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Tag: inbound marketing

Get Found Using Market Hive

Get Found using Inbound Marketing

Advice for building your own Inbound Marketing machine- a requirement for most businesses today.

The web has forever changed people’s buying habits. Instead of needing to rely on sales people to send them information, buyers now have Google and other search engines to research products, find competitors, and see how other people rate those products in blogs and reviews. Furthermore they are greatly influenced by individuals that have emerged as experts in particular subject areas who use social media to get their messages across.

This sea change in buying behaviour requires vendors to re-think how they go to market, and optimize to make sure that they will get found by buyers using search engines, blogs, reviews, and social media. The term Inbound Marketing was invented by the crew at MarketHive (When they were Veretekk), when they developed the techniques and technologies that are needed to get found by buyers, and to make sure that the reviews and blogs around your industry segment cover what you are doing. (MarketHive provides great software tools, plus education to help you automate Inbound Marketing. The founder, Thomas Prendergast has written many great  books on these topics (dating back as far as 20 years ago) “Automated Marketing”, Customer Centricity”, Building a Better Website”, “The Power of the Social Network in Search Engines”, Conference Room Advantage”.

 

Many people hates spam emails from vendors, and some go as fare as developing a canned email response to them.

“Please understand that I get dozens of these types of messages a week. I simply do not have time to read them, dig into them, follow-up on them, or reply to them. The most effective solution to this problem is for me to ignore the messages, which is what I usually do. …

… Finally, a small comment. As a customer, I find this type of approach to sales to be largely annoying to me and unproductive for you. We learn far more about what we want to purchase by searching the web, looking for customer references in blogs and forums, word of mouth, and by finding white papers on your site that concretely describe solutions to problems we are having.”

Remarkable Content is King

A key part of getting found is making sure you show up on the first page of a Google search. The lazy marketer’s approach to doing this is to purchase Google Adwords, and pay by the click (referred to as SEM, Search Engine Marketing). However 85% of people ignore the paid ads, so to be really effective, you will need to perfect your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) skills.

SEO requires you to develop great content that your buyers will find sufficiently interesting, different or insightful, that they will want to remark on it. (The authors of Inbound Marketing refer to that as remarkable content.) When your readers remark on your content on-line, using tools like Twitter, Facebook etc., they spread the word virally to other readers and broaden your reach. These comments lead to links back to your site, which lead to ever increasing page ranking in the search engines.

 

To be successful at this, you will need to keep the content fresh.
Traditional web sites don’t work in this regard, as they don’t change frequently enough.
What is needed is a blog that you update regularly.

 

Your blog cannot simply be a sales pitch for your product, but needs to be about topics that your buyers care to read about. The tone could be educational; or humorous; or controversial. But above all it needs to be highly engaging and relevant to them — i.e. remarkable.

When you post a new blog entry, you will see your site traffic surge for a few days, then die back to a level slightly higher than before. The more you post, the faster your traffic will build. But in the end, it is the really great articles that you post that will have the most impact.

And meritocratic blog system like MarketHive (actually only MarketHive) produce all of the above in a simple atmosphere of massive content curation that is immediately reward or rejected, building amazing content is King results, or something like that.

Once you have interesting content, you can use social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc. to get the word out, Marketing simplifies this to a level of excruciating results, but then like EST (You remember EST Erhard Seminar Training), you need to experience. No word, even from me, can truly do it justice.). Your goal is to get other bloggers to link to you, and to have people tweet about your content.

An interesting thing about a marketing department that focuses on Inbound Marketing: it will place a high value on people that know how to write and develop content that draws in an audience. A silver lining to the damage that the internet has inflicted on the publishing industry is that there are plenty of very talented journalists seeking employment, and they possess the perfect skills for this job!

SEO versus SEM

Like most of things that are good for us in life, SEO requires work and patience before it will payback. So it can be tempting to take short cuts, and just use SEM (paid search ads). However if it is done right, the results will continue to build, and you will start to build your own audience, and own your own traffic.

We have also seen that the cost of paid search increases as the need to scale the lead volume grows.

The Power of Free

Another extremely powerful way to create inbound traffic and qualified leads is to use a free product or service. A great example of this is the The entire Inbound Marketing Platform (Valued in excess of up to $10,000 per month) service from MarketHive. (If you haven’t tried this, I recommend giving it a try now. It will only take a few minutes to join.) MarketHive has a couple of interesting attributes that are worth studying:

 

It is free of charge.
It takes very little work by the customer to get some very valuable results

 

It provides its results in the form of a score out of 100. Human beings are very competitive, and when they don’t get a good score, they want to find out how to improve their score. That leads them to wanting to find out more about MarketHive which can help them improve their score.

It allows them to compare themselves to their competitors. All businesses care about how they are doing relative to their competition. If they are doing worse, this is a powerful motivator to drive them to change.

Think hard about your audience and whether there is an opportunity to build a similar free web service that would draw them in, and provide great value.

If you are interested in learning more about how Free products and services can help your marketing, please refer to this section: The Power of Free.

Building your reach

Once you have great content and possibly a free product/service, you will want to find ways to drive the maximum traffic to that content. In the last couple of years we have seen some powerful new tools emerge to help with this process in the social media space. Get yourself accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and join in the conversation. Start by listening. Watch what people are talking about in your topic areas, and take note of their interests. Once you have an idea of how the conversation works join in. Be careful not to take a sales stance to promote your products, as that will rapidly lose you your audience. However you can draw your audience in with short url’s (Another one of MarketHive’s great free services) that link to your blog posts and other non-sales oriented content.

This short paragraph is not going to be enough to fully educate you on the ins and outs of using social media to build your audience, so if the topic interests you, I recommend going here to learn more:

Internet Marketing Webinars (see the calendar in MarketHive after you join for free of course).

Influencer Campaigns

In every product area, there are usually already influencers that write the most about that area, and have the largest audience that follows them. To conduct a successful social media campaign, you will want to identify those influencers, and reach out to them to get them to write about your product/service.

To get them to pay attention to you, you will first need to understand what they care about. Read their blog posts and tweets, and try to get inside their minds. Try to determine what appeals to them, and what has clearly turned them off. Then prepare your pitch, and use social media to engage with them.

You will then want to monitor the results by tracking their blog posts, links to the articles, tweets, etc.

For more information…

Inbound marketing is a rich topic area that would take more than a single article like this to describe. For more information, consider yourself a friend of MarketHive:

Markethive

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Markethive: Multi-Million Dollar Social Marketing Platform- In Pre-Launch

Multi-Million Dollar Inbound Social Marketing Platform In Pre-Launch

Markethive has created a Multi-Million Dollar inbound social marketing platform that will rival the existing social media platforms in many ways.

Many times change comes along and we don't recognize it until its too late. Internet Marketing has changed with the advent of Millennials all searching for information specific as to what they want, no longer does SEO [Search Engine Optimization] play a major role in getting noticed on the internet. Millennials want to find information, not have it jammed down their throat.

They are seekers not persuaders!

The new trend of getting noticed on the internet is through referral basis. No longer do you have to pack your articles or website full of key words and hope the search engines notice them and give them top ranking, today you just have to make sure your message gets out to the public in a social way where people notice it, and then come to you for more information. Social Infusion Marketing is the new way to market your goods and services with people seeing what you are offering, and when the time comes that the person needs your offer they will take action.

Markethive has perfected Social Infusion Marketing with a unique social platform that allows anyone who is interested in marketing their products or company to be able to do it without paying huge sums of money to get noticed. No longer does anyone have to put up with the confusing language of the SEO guru's who charge outrageous sums of money with little results, you can do it yourself!

The Markethive platform is Free to join and use, and is funded partially by an advertising platform that enables the entrepreneur to get a huge reach with low cost. Markethive is built for the Global entrepreneur, and gives them a level playing field in a world that is cluttered with everyone trying to get into each others pocket financially.

So if you have read this far, Markethive is rolling out a Pre-Launch offer, before it goes to Crowdfunding, to anyone who want to join up and learn how to use this platform to grow their business. The Social part is being built by adding as many people as possible and assisting them in growing their business through Social Infusion Marketing.

To join just click here and you will be directed to a sign up page where you can enter the platform and poke around. Here is the secret, when the platform goes to CrowdFunding the people responsible will share in the rewards, so don't waste time this launch will be HUGE!

Thanks for reading,
Dr. Raymond Jewell

PS: Dr. Raymond Jewell is a leading Economist specializing in the Small and Home Based Business Marketplace. He is a Alpha Founder with Markethive and manages several blogs on the hive. Dr. Jewell is a professional Network Marketer and represents several companies successfully. He can be reached through Markethive.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Can Inbound Marketing using Markethive give your business a boost?

Inbound marketing is now a trending topic in business, but it has actually been around for quite a while.  It has been used by savvy marketers to effectively attract and keep their audience.  This is the opposite from traditional media such as TV where everyone used to have to watch the same show at the same time,

The trend towards personalization and inbound marketing where anyone can choose which video to watch, which blog post to read, and which content they choose to subscribe is not going away anytime soon, and is here to stay.  Would anyone trade in their smart tv with recording capability and on demand media for their old tv with the rabbit ears?  Not a chance. Would anyone turn in their state-of-the-art smart phone for a land-line phone.  

It is not just about having the latest technology.  It is the availabilility of the content and the way it is delivered that is truly revolutionary.  The days of smoky back rooms of admen deciding what content to deliver are long gone.

Now with the development of social media, it seems as though the content factories have gone into overdrive.  Companies are scrambling now to put out content that can lure their prospects and customers into liking and sharing any kind of mediocre content the company wants to push out there.  Well, how long can people show interest in boring, uninteresting stuff?  Content may be king, but if you only produce junk, you will become the king of junk. 

Suppose you had a plaftorm that could connect all of your social networks together, that would be something desirable, right?  In addition if you had a group of people that had like minded interests, and you could share each others content on your blog, sort of like guest posting, but it would happen automatically. You could lessen your own burden of content creation, right?  And suppose you could automatically connect groups on your social networks with content that you create on your own blog, that would also be a way to extend the reach of your content, right?  If you start to get the picture of how content can spread in this way, then you are beginning to get the idea of Markethive.  

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Reach Massive People by Blogging

There are more and more bloggers created every day. If you have a point to share about a product, service, business, events (the list goes on), many people choose to expose it online via their blog. With so many blogging services and platforms out there, how do you choose one? Even after you have chosen a blogging platform, service or network, can you still "Reach" enough people to make a difference.

We all know that blogging is definitely a numbers game. This is why so many bloggers are scrambling to create and promote their blogs on multiple platforms thinking they can reach more people. The greater the "Reach" can bring success to what you're promoting. A big question is, how many people would you like to reach? Now that you have that number in your head the other questions is How do I do that?

MarketHive is the simple answer for many reasons. MarketHive makes it simple, easy and more affordable than any other option out there.  Before WordPress, Aweber, Constant Contact, Facebook and other marketing solutions is the CEO of MarketHive. He ushered in the industry of automated marketing back in the early 90's known as the "Godfather of Automated Marketing".  if that wasn't enough he then created the first Inbound Marketing Network in the mid 90's. Now he's at it again with his new social Inbound Marketing Network for all entrepreneurs, built by entrepreneurs called MarketHive.

Don't just take my word for it, see his video blow that talks about reaching massive people by blogging. This is just one component of his new business network and how it can impact any bloggers reach in a massive way.

If you're a entrepreneur that specializes in helping others to succeed online, you owe your viewers this info. To get inside the MarketHive system for free more details is as easy as connecting any of your favorite Social Profiles by Clicking Here Now

Now is you want to be telling others about MarketHive before they start telling you and others they know.

 

Bruce Jacobs
MarketHive (Partner/ Developer)

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Govt Monetization of Marriage…. Try, Entrepreneurship or Home Business Instead!!!

Govt Monetization of Marriage…. Try, Entrepreneurship or Home Business Instead!!!

“Marriage is a contract but, admitting it means the institution is really a business” …Vaurn James

Times are tough and if, an Oxygen Tax could be implemented governments at all levels would be charging us a fee to breathe; however, the cost benefit analysis wouldn’t be advantageous for generating revenue if, your clientele suffer from Anoxia (die from suffocation), I think, I am light-headed, right now. Now, oxygen remains free for now; however, man’s other form of oxygen or more accurately, carbon dioxide (NEVER ingest because you know the outcome) the female provides an ideal opportunity for the extraction of a man’s resources via his ultimate commitment in life known as tying the noose… I mean knot, i.e., better known as marriage.  Yes, it’s an institution and confirmation it’s a bloody nuthouse.  Hey, Gene Simmons of Kiss said it best, “the biggest financial pitfall in life is divorce and the biggest reason for divorce is marriage”.  Not a very wise investment by signing a contract that mixes business w/pleasure.

“What About Love”, as per Ann Wilson, “Dreamboat Annie” & Nancy Wilson of the Rock & Roll sister act group known as Heart.  Forget it, love is a bonus, if you have it in your relationship but, marriage is and always has been a business contract.  If, you doubt it then, ask any attorney who can recite the old saying, “litigation is the basic legal right, which guarantees every corporation/business its decade in court”.  Clearly, a quick, easy and amicable divorce is not profitable for attorneys, courts and the economic mercenaries who initiated the proceedings.

Nothing like having access to your former partner’s 401K, IRA and/or Life-time alimony as a parting gift.  Property Distribution Laws in theory are about equitable division of assets and resources earned during the marriage; however, the concept of Standard of Living has led to essentially lifetime alimony even after the marriage.  Imagine being responsible for ensuring your ex’s standard of living is commensurate or even better than your own despite, forfeiture of 50% of your accumulated wealth.  Sounds like governmental incentivized dependence on a system that promotes continued litigation and no accountability for eventual, financial independence.  Charles Dickens was accurate when he said, “the one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself”.  "It's just as easy to love a rich man as a poor man", yeah, right.  With marriage being a significant source of revenue for government then, it’s time to look at the institution from a pure legal and cost-benefit analysis which is more honest.           

Yeah, with a 50% divorce rate and women initiating 70% of the divorces, investing in the Institution of Marriage appears to be reserved for the very wealthy, naïve, religious or very stupid.  Fortunately, many of us in the middle-class now recognize that signing a marriage contract results in the automatic forfeiture of half of our goods/properties/assets accumulated during the marriage.  Christ, Asset Forfeiture Laws under the Reagan Administration were more equitable than most divorce hearings but, if you want out the relationship then, you have to pay the ex-wife and her new baby-daddy (Government) a significant portion of your net worth.  Oh yes, alimony, child-support and other monthly maintenance costs are more easily acquired with assistance of feminist judges, mangina politicians, equitable distribution of property laws, gender-bias laws and the social policy, “best interest of children” (consider Parental Alienation).

Alright, we now have a clear picture and Briffaults Law remains staunch and triumphant in its stance.  I recommend that any relationship building on your part should be directed towards entrepreneurship or home-based business.  The benefits are obvious and most importantly, no DNA paternity testing required (Cuckoldry)…you know this is your baby.  “It’s nothing personal but, business is business”.

8 Reasons Why Straight Men Avoid Marriage

You’ll Lose Respect, today’s fathers are considered to be less than needed because they have no value that enhances the quality of their family’s lives (feminist perspective).

You’ll Lose out on Sex, married men are at the mercy of their wives when it comes to intimate relations and acts of infidelity can trigger divorce proceedings that can cost him more than 50% of all his assets accumulated during the marriage and sometimes into the future.

You’ll Lose friends, once you tie the noose then, contact with your friends decreases dramatically because of familial responsibilities.

You’ll Lose Space, a man’s home is his castle; however, his man-cave is often commandeered by the wife and kids leading to the garage as his only sanctuary

You could lose your kids and your money, with gender-bias laws executed by the Family Court and child custody given to mums 90% of the time with court-ordered child-support then, the risk of becoming a father is evident.

You’ll Lose in Court, The Family Court is often viewed by men as bias against them and only concerned about raping them financially because Title IV-D of the Federal Social Security Act, essential allows judges to increase child-support orders and will receive direct fund matching funds from the Federal Govt.        

You’ll Lose your Freedom, At least, if you’re charged with child support that you can’t pay, you can be put in jail — and if you can’t afford a lawyer, you don’t have the right to have one appointed because, according to the Supreme Court, it’s technically a civil matter, never mind the jail time. Fathers and Families found that it’s the men who are jailed rather than women: “A new report concludes that between 95% and 98.5% of all incarcerations in Massachusetts sentenced from the Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts from 2001 through 2011 have been men.

Single Life is better than ever, the value of marriage continues to decline in popularity, while personal freedom has no price and men are increasingly appreciative of it’s importance in maintain their sanity.

Well, the cold and hard reality of marriage is evident and men must make a decision if, they want to risk it all financially, emotionally, psychologically and legally.  I recommend they function like hard-core inbound marketers, who conduct thorough research on a topic and learn everthing about an audience to better provide them quality content that solves the problem of “I, do or I, do not”.       

Vaurn James

Contributor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

10 Free Keyword Tools to use in 2016

Did you know that you no longer need to allocate a large budget for keyword research, that there are a wide range of free keyword tools out there for you to choose from? Read on to learn more about the 11 free keyword tools you should be using.

1. Google Webmasters Tool When you need to boost SEO, why not go straight to the source? With Google's webmasters tool, you can see what keywords your website is ranking for and learn more about potential keywords that you have yet to target.

2. Bing Webmasters Tool Bing's webmaster tool provides information about keywords that are related to their search engine. This tool shows users all of the keywords that are related to their seed keyword, as well as the search volume data.

3. SeoChat's Keyword Suggestion Tool This tool allows users to generate keywords from Amazon, YouTube, Bing and Google. The alphabet is used to modify the original keyword and generate a plethora of suggestions.  

4. Soovle Soovle is more limited than some of the other choices, but remains effective, providing up to ten suggestions for each seed keyword.

5. Ubersuggest This tool appeals to the more simplistic user, generating keywords from Google. It has been around for several years and is already quite popular. Ubersuggest can generate a whopping 300 to 400 suggestions for each keyword and the resulting keyword can also be expanded for further information.

6. Hypersuggest Much like Ubersuggest, Hypersuggest offers keywords from Google, in addition to suggestions from YouTube, as well. Since Hypersuggest users can add modifiers, it is able to produce keywords at a greater rate than Ubersuggest.

7. Google Keyword Planner One of the premier keyword research tools, Google Keyword Planner provides search volume data and keyword ideas by using a seed keyword. Users are also able to add their own keywords that have been generated in other places and receive CPC data/search volume information.

8. SeoStack Chrome extension This tool is totally free and generates hundreds of keyword suggestions from Google and YouTube. Alphabets and numbers are tacked onto the original keyword and the tool also supports the use of multiple seed keywords.

9. Google Trends Google Trends is the premier tool to find out more about the current trends and determine the popularity of certain keywords. When you want to know about certain keywords that your competition hasn't discovered yet, Google Trends can help.

10. AnswerThePublic This is a simple tool that generates keywords from Google's autocomplete function. Much like the SeoStack extension from chrome, alphabets and numbers are added to the seed keyword to generate hundreds of suggestions.    

 
Related articles

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Ultimate Gift for Mom: Financial Freedom via Inbound Marketing

The Ultimate Gift for Mom: Financial Freedom via Inbound Marketing

Well, it's Mother's Day (okay, May 8, 2016) and time to honour the Old Girl, who gave birth to you and plays or played a pivotal role in your success or failure throughout life, just ask her.  Oh yes, your FATHER; likewise, deserves the same honour and respect on June 16th 2016, despite less media and corporate advertising on TV and Online.  Anyway, time to get down to business and demonstrate the ultimate act of L-O-V-E for one's parent.  Learn how to achieve and then, teach mum the fundamentals of financial freedom through Inbound Marketing. 

In fact, duplicate the process with other family members so it becomes a generational practice.  More importantly, you create the Ultimate Gift for Mom, that keeps on giving and giving.  It’s only fitting because she was your first teacher of Inbound Marketing.  Mum was an expert in Inbound Marketing?  Yes, she was because her task was about developing and training the “inner you” to become the best man/woman you could become, believe it or not. Additionally, she was your first teacher of Inbound Marketing because she did the following things in preparation of your arrival: researched, developed data, consulted with experts (grand mum), created strategies specific to the individual (yourself) and executed strategies to achieve a resolution to daily problems.  Should sound very familiar from both a marketing and mother perspective. Both give birth to their babies and responsible for their developmental growth which later impacts society.   

By now the symbiotic relationship between mum and Inbound Marketing should be clear, I hope. Now, let’s jump ahead in time and show the interconnectivity between technology, inbound marketing, mothers and their kids (Millennials).  So, with the massive acceleration in technological devices (computers, smartphones, IPads, Kindle, Mac Books, etc.,) and impact on social media, significant changes in societal behavioral conduct have occurred and businesses are scrambling to make appropriate adjustments to meet the needs of their consumer base.  Unfortunately, many businesses still engage in an old strategy called Outbound Marketing where companies (buy leads, pay for TV commercials, flyers, door-to-door salesman, etc.,) initiate contact by sending their messages to their desired target market.  Nothing wrong with traditional marketing (outbound marketing) if, the strategy generates new and consistent customers; however, consumer behavior has changed and attracting them requires a more individualized approach that earns their attention. It’s the intimate touch that’s so critical in today’s market (yeah, just like mum). 

Generally, Millennials (Generation Y or Net generation) are the target population most desired by most major corporations because they are some-what “fresh meat” with great potential purchasing power; however, they are also, very entitled and opinionated in their beliefs which have impacted corporate culture, media and certain parts of society when dealing with various social issues (equal pay, abortion, war, etc.,).  Being in a westernized capitalist society when money is involved or potential to generate massive revenue then, positions quickly change at least publicly because business is business.  So, mum’s little millennials are impacting the society and possibly the World be it good or bad.  So, she should be rewarded for her dedication.

Now, the research suggests that rearing a child from birth into adulthood (18-years old) costs approximately $250,000 dollars and the cost continues to increase yearly.  Yes, you are worth it but, what about Dear Old Mom?  She and the Old Man could use that money for their retirement.

How about offering Mom the ultimate?  Mother's Day gift and I don't mean a card with chocolates and roses.  No, give her the means to retrieve the investment cost of rearing YOU and your siblings.  Give Mom and Father (don't forget him) access to the essential Tools, Training, Traffic and Resources needed to generate, Consistent, Predictable and Long-term Residual Income in the Information/Computer and Social Media global economy.  Start on May 12th 2016 or sooner.

Oh yes, since Father's Day is shortly after Mother's Day give the Old Man an early bird special.   Since he already “Tied The Noose” it's best he has a backup plan in the event of divorce, which is likely in today's reality.

Behind every great man is a man greater, his father.” 
― Habeeb Akande

Vaurn James

Contributor

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

7 Tips For An Authentic And Productive Writing Process

7 Tips For An Authentic And Productive
Writing Process

 

Richard Tipsword, Contributor

 

Does this sound familiar?

You’re sitting in front of your laptop, staring at a blank screen.

The deadline for the article you need to write is approaching, and you’re struggling to get started when you should be in the final editing stages.

As you sit there trying to put your expertise in writing, a strange insecurity creeps up your spine. You see yourself changing before your own eyes, transforming from a confident expert into a self-conscious amateur.

It’s your own Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde transformation experience.

I’ve been there.

I used to hate writing

Well, actually, it was more like loathing than hating.

Anytime I needed to write anything I’d procrastinate, pretending that avoiding the project would make it go away. Needless to say, the procrastination led to a flurry of rushed writing at the last minute to meet my deadlines, resulting in less than my best work.

But my real problem wasn’t the act of writing. It was fear. Fear of making mistakes, fear that what I wrote would sound stupid, fear that my writing wouldn’t make sense to the reader, etc.

My insecurities were turning me into a monster

So there I was, a guy with more than 15 years of experience, who has won some awards and is even a judge for three international design competitions, worried about sounding stupid.

It sounds ridiculous, but my fear of screwing up made writing a miserable experience for me.

I even used to try to compensate for my fears. I’d use stiff, formal sentences and large, important-sounding words to try to “prove” I knew what I was talking about. Unfortunately, all that did was make me sound like a pretentious jerk.

It was like I was changing from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde anytime I had to write something.

Then one sentence from my college professor changed everything

I had a job that offered tuition reimbursement benefits, so I decided to take some college classes. One of my classes was a composition class, and the professor gave me the best writing advice I’d ever heard.

“Write the way you talk.”

Wait. What?

It can’t be that easy! Seriously? What a liberating idea! That one piece of advice helped me break free of my fears and relaxed my writing style. No more procrastination. No more using large, unnecessary words to try and impress the reader. I could just relax, be myself, and write.

Now before you get the wrong impression, let me explain something: writing the way you talk does not give you permission to write poorly, or to publish content that sucks.

What it does is help break down the mental barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you from being a more engaging, and more productive writer.

Here’s how to use “write the way you talk” to squash your insecurities and avoid sounding like a pompous idiot:

1. Imagine yourself having a chat with a trusted friend

Good writing is like a conversation between the writer and the reader. So when you’re writing, think about how you would explain your topic to a close friend who was sitting next to you.

If you were having a conversation with that person, what words would you use? What would you talk about first? What examples would you give to help them understand your topic? What questions might they ask?

Approaching your writing this way will help you write copy that’s more informal and conversational in tone, that better engages your audience. As it happens, it’s also the best way to write sales copy.

2. Record yourself talking about your topic.

Not sure what you sound like in a conversation? Try recording yourself talking about your topic.

This is especially helpful for people who have clients they talk to on the phone regularly. The next time you’re explaining something to a client on the phone, record the call and listen to it later (Be sure to check the laws in your state first. Some states require you get the other party’s permission before you record). The easiest way to do this is with one of the many available plugins for Skype that do call recording.

3. Take a deep breath, relax, and just be yourself

By writing the way you talk, you can’t help injecting a little of your personality into what you write. After all, you’ll be writing in your own voice, using plain English everyone can understand, and a tone that makes you seem more human than textbook.

Combine that with a few relevant, well-placed personal stories and you have the makings of some irresistible content.

4. Use the same words that you do in your everyday life.

If you write the way you talk, you’ll be more inclined to use common, everyday words that you would normally use in conversation.

This prevents you from sounding like Captain Jack Sparrow using (in my best Johnny Depp impersonation) obtuse and generally confounding speech that makes your readers wish they were drinking rum.

So keep your writing simple and clear without artificially inflated language. A good rule of thumb is: if the average person would need a dictionary to know what your word means, then you need a different word.

5. Toss out the rule book and just start writing

If all the rules about grammar, writing styles, active versus passive voice, and punctuation are adding to your insecurities about writing, toss out the “rule book” for awhile and just write.

Focus on getting the main points of your idea down in your first draft, and don’t worry about anything else.

Once you’ve done that, you can go back and edit the heck out of what you wrote.

Do you notice any obvious errors? Is there anything that could be rearranged to bring more clarity to what you wrote? If so, now’s the time to fix it along with any grammatical, spelling, or other writing problems.

After you’ve made those corrections, leave the article to sit overnight and look at it again in the morning with fresh eyes. Is there anything you can do to make it even better?

6. Enlist the help of a close friend to keep you honest

Want to make sure that what you write actually sounds like you and not someone else?

Enlist the help of a close friend. Have them read what you write, and tell you if it sounds like someone else wrote it. This will help keep you true to yourself, and will force you to be authentic with your writing.

7. Read what you write out loud

One of the first editing tests I put my writing through is reading it out loud. Doing that makes awkward sentences and bad punctuation become obvious, because as you read, you’ll naturally “stumble” over the parts that need to be fixed.

So as you read your writing aloud, pay attention to those places that tend to trip you up — they may need some additional work.

The moral of the story

Get over the fears of messing up or sounding stupid. Just write the way you talk and you’ll be able to knock out your first draft in no time.

If you’re willing to do that, you’ll find that you’ll dread writing a lot less and be able to get more writing done because you’re working on it instead of fearing it.

I’ve been using these tips to guide my writing for several years now, and today I got the best evidence yet that they work.

I was talking with one of my clients on the phone about blogging, and as we were discussing the content for her blog she told me, “Whenever I read something you wrote, you always sound like such an expert. Like you really know what you’re talking about. ”

Need I say more?

So go ahead. Dive in. Who knows? You may even start to like writing.

Written by: Logan Zanelli

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Many tips for finding customers in the Digital Marketing Field.

Many tips for finding customers in the Digital Marketing Field.

Ready to tap into the power of digital marketing to help your business succeed?

Check out this list of the top 10 digital marketing ideas from our FedEx Small Business Grant winners, including ideas for social media marketing, content marketing and more!  

Even better, not only are these digital marketing ideas easy to implement, they’re even easier for your business to afford.   

1: Run contests through social media
Nicole Snow is the owner of Darn Good Yarn, an online retailer of specialty yarns. She has achieved incredible success with social media marketing by allowing her social fans to pick the names of new yarn colors. The winner gets a free ball of yarn — and even better, bragging rights. Nicole claims that she’s able to track sales back to participants in the contest, sometimes even up to a year later.

Susan Buchanan, the owner of Humdinger Kettle Corn, a business that sells flavored popcorns, also asks users to provide feedback via social media and help her pick new flavors to develop. The advantages to her business go beyond fan participation — she’s also essentially getting free insight into what her customers are looking to buy. With that knowledge, she is better able to successfully roll out new product lines.

#2: Create a YouTube channel
YouTube allows just about anyone to set up an account, brand it with their business identity and post videos, all for free.

For a business like Catullo Prime Meats, a YouTube channel was a pretty logical fit.  Danny Catullo, the owner and operator of this specialty butcher shop, uses the channel to offer his customers recipes, how-to-guides and other fun and useful stuff. He’s even created family videos and had the good fortune of having a turduken video turn into a viral video marketing star — resulting in a five-fold increase in sales one year.

#3: Tap into star power
When Patrick Whaley, the owner and founder of TITIN LLC, a creator and retailer of high-tech workout gear, wanted to grow his social media audience, he filmed videos featuring well-known athletes.

Because those stars had already built up their own social followings, TITIN essentially leveraged the popularity of their social media marketing and realized a massive spike in views on their YouTube page.

With some smart cross-promotional messaging, TITIN was able to turn YouTube views into visitors to their website and a corresponding increase in sales, making the digital marketing campaign an easy expense to justify.    

#4: Treat content like king
If you’re setting up a website for the first time, you obviously want it to look nice, perform well and be easy for customers to use. But don’t forget about your content marketing!

Content marketing essentially means creating content in order to acquire customers. In order to do that, Danny Catullo advises making sure that your website is built so that it’s easy for you, or someone on your staff, to add, delete and update content. Most modern websites are built on a content management system (CMS), which is essentially a publishing platform for your site.

If you’re paying a vendor to set up your site, make sure right from the start that you’ll have access to your CMS and discuss whether or not training is included in the project quote. If you’re setting it up yourself, consider open-source alternatives, like WordPress, which also has the advantage of being free. 

#5: Make your content useful 
While we’re on the subject of content marketing, here’s one of the best ways you can make content resonate with customers: make it helpful!

Think about who your customers are, what problem your business could potentially help them solve, and then create content that does that (being careful not to give away your goods or service for free, of course).

Examples of this type of content include blog posts, videos, a Pinterest page, Facebook posts and more. Catullo Prime Meats hosts a YouTube channel of how-to-guides, cooking tutorials and more. Darn Good Yarn posts recipes on their Facebook wall, gives remodeling advice through their Pinterest page, and connects with younger customers on Instagram.Remember, content doesn’t just refer to writing — it can be almost anything your customers might find useful!

#6: Use website analytics
One of the best things about digital marketing is that it’s so measurable. Not only can you track traffic to your website, but you can also learn where the traffic is coming from, what they do while on your site, how long they stay — and much more.

You can also use website analytics tracking tools to measure ad campaigns, efficiently buy ad placements and more. The advantage to you as a business owner is that you can measure the return on investment (ROI) of your site and marketing, use what you learn to enhance performance and make smart decisions about what to continue and what to drop.

Ari Hoffman, the owner and founder of GOBIE H20, a retailer of environmentally friendly water bottles, uses Google Analytics, which is widely considered to be the industry standard. He’s such a big believer, in fact, that he advises other business owners to use it “like it’s part of your life!”

#7: Tap into online local search 
If your business relies on local customers, online local search could be a game changer — and compared to targeted media like TV, radio or billboards, it can be relatively cost-effective.  

Online local search marketing basically means ensuring your business is included in search engine results for your geographic area. For example, if you own a carpet cleaning business in Phoenix, you ideally want your business to come up when someone types “Carpet cleaners in Phoenix” into Google. Anyone performing that kind of search could be likely to be a potential customer, so it makes sense to have your business represented.

There are 2 basic ways to do that: 

  • Local search engine optimization (SEO), which involves creating content on your site so that it targets those keywords.
  • Local search engine marketing (SEM), which means buying keywords from search engines like Google or Bing.

Both ideas have been used successfully by the 2013 FedEx Small Business Grant winners. Danny Catullo attributes about 60% of his local business to a combination of SEO & SEM, while Ari Hoffman has used SEM to great success.

#8: Don’t take "No" for an answer
When Patrick Whaley of TITIN started his digital marketing efforts, his first strategy was to target a broad audience. Using what he learned, he was able to gain invaluable marketing intelligence, identify consumer trends, learn buying patterns and discover what it took to convert a variety of different demographics into customers.

“If you limit your sales at the start, you will never know how large your market potential really is,” Patrick said. “ I would encourage every company to try to sell to everyone they meet.  Don't be afraid to fail and don’t tolerate someone telling you ‘No.’ You will be shocked at how many new markets can be realized if you don't allow fear to hold you back.”

#9: Digital is bigger than your website
If you’ve just started your digital marketing, or even if you’re getting ready to revamp your existing efforts, there’s a natural tendency to want to go for broke with your business’s website.

But you should be careful about putting all your digital eggs in one online basket, according to Danny Catullo. Instead of spending a fortune on a flashy site, he used Shopify, a turnkey e-commerce solution, to get up and running. By paying small monthly fees, he was able to launch quickly, without a huge initial investment, and he even gets ongoing support.  

Plus, small businesses need to plan for the long term, says Ari Hoffman. Even the slickest website in the world won’t do your business much good if it can’t adapt and evolve. He advises setting aside 15% of your initial investment for future modifications.

#10: Star in your own show!
Last but definitely not least, Nicole Snow was able to turn a little bit of technological savvy into a huge marketing asset with a show on Google+.

‘Darn Good Yarn Live airs Thursday nights on Google+, and attracts an audience of die-hard fans who often become some of Nicole’s best customers. Plus, Nicole feels that the connections she creates with the public helps build a unique differentiation point from the competition — it literally helps her stand out in a “sea of yarn stores.”

With tools like Google+ and Vine from Twitter, your business can essentially host your own TV channel for free. So if you’ve got some creative ideas to share, fame (and fortune) could be just a few clicks away!

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Your Business is Marketing and Not Sales: What… Impossible?

Your Business is Marketing and Not Sales: What… Impossible?

Sales is the highest paid and World’s Oldest Profession, contrary to popular opinion.  Any challenge is foolhardy because selling is the conclusion of any and all transactions between individuals involving product/services.  However, the conduit is really Marketing.  Now, what kind of IDIOCY is this being presented as Truth?  After all, isn’t all the about the Benjamins Lebowski, Cash is King and it's all about the lettuce; otherwise, why are you in business?  You don't want to be operating a Non-Profit Agency which 95% of marketers are actually operating which isn’t too encouraging.  So, what kind of marketing are you conducting and how effective is it?  It’s a critical question because different methods will yield different results at different times based on your audience’s interests.  Marketers and the industry have become more competitive and sophisticated due to increased demands by consumers.  In fact, to be effective they must function both like an economist and detective addressing what I call the W5s of a campaign (Who, What, When, Where & Why); otherwise, they will not see the pay-window.        

Now, before the core question can be answered let’s briefly examine the issue of Sales and its role in business.  Let’s look at a basic definition before we continue, “sales are sales, it’s converting any inquiry or lead into a contract or shipment”, while “marketing is not advertising.  Marketing is finding out what people want, why they want it and how much they’ll spend.  Don’t confuse marketing with advertising”.  Now, we got all the formalities out of the way, time to get to the real meat of this article.  Safe to say, sales are the final stage of the transaction but, why is the sale considered to be so important?  What was the process that motivated the buyer to complete the transaction?  There exist multiple stages involved between the start and finish and this is the sales process.  Basically, the sales process can be reduced to the following: Prospect, Connect, Research, Present and Close; however, a more in depth definition is best described by Mark Roberge at Hubspot.            

Well, it's hard to believe but, there exists an old term that holds TRUE and more importantly, an accurate measure of your ability to close a sale.  Have you heard the expression, “It’s all in the Presentation” or “you get once chance to make a first impression”?  Think about it, how do you make sales?  The process is SIMPLE (kind of); however, the execution often requires more skill to attain success.  Now, part of selling involves advertising, “promotion of a product, service or company. It features a strong call to action and promotes the benefits of that being advertised”. 

The other component of the sales process involves connecting through various methods of communication featuring your product/service.  Let’s examine some of the methods of connection: e-zine marketing, email marketing, cold-calling, videos, live webcasts, blogs, banners, online ads, search engine marketing, social networking, podcasting, twitter and mobile content, all are established methods of online marketing designed to connect with a desired target market. Again, how do you make SALES with these different methods of connecting with the masses?  Putting your product/service in front of as many eyeballs as possible with the aforementioned methods.  Seems simple but, never forget about quality content.  Sales are made based on perceived value; therefore, the most effective way of converting a prospect into a long-term customer is by educating them, addressing their interests and demonstrating how a particular product/service can render a solution to a particular problem/challenge.  Think about it, no hard-sell nor the usual rubbish by fast-talking snake-oil salesmen.

Now, back to the important question of what kind of marketing are you executing (Freebie Marketing, Word of Mouth Marketing, Close Range Marketing, etc.,) and why? The essence of the question boils down to what is called customer segmentation or segmenting customers into smaller groups to better understand their wants, needs, interests and other factors so as to provide relevant content.   Makes sense and this is why Inbound Marketing increasingly has become the standard form of marketing.

Firstly, what is Inbound Marketing and how does it work?  “Inbound marketing refers to activities (blogs, podcasts, eBooks, SEO, physical products, newsletters, whitepapers, social medial marketing and other forms of content marketing) that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects' attention”.  “Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers”.  

One primary goals behind marketing is to develop a business relationship where TRUST is established and maintained for the long-term…. similar to Marriage (lol!!!!).  Like Marriage it's not 50/50 but, 100/100 but, you are responsible for your own actions within that relationship.

When you think about that bloody insane Institution called Marriage, it's a business involving two Individuals who both marketed and sold themselves to each other and the confirmation of the Sale was “Marriage” or as I affectionately say, “Tying the Old Noose…I mean Knot”.  Like any successful relationship TRUST is vital; otherwise, no consummation of the transaction.  All transactions (monetary, personal, etc.,) involve commerce and marketing is the conduit that facilitates the process. Well, allow me now to demonstrate the benefits of Inbound marketing.

  6 Inbound Marketing Techniques Every Business Should Use

Give Away A Free Guide That’s Directly related To Your Business, what better resource can you create than a Guide that provides relevant information about the value and benefits provided by the product/services you make available to the masses.

Pick One or Two Keywords, And Optimise The Heck Out of Them, want leads and traffic then, the solution is to focus on a few keywords that are valuable, and create specific pages on your website that are for those keywords specifically. 

Build Your Personal Brand, your business is a reflection of yourself, Entrepreneurs like Jayson DeMers, Joel Gascoigne, and Hiten Shah are examples of people building businesses by means of building their personal brand. If you start a business, it’s virtually impossible to separate yourself from that business. It only makes sense to use your personal brand to build that business. Many brands such as Tim Ferriss’s and Ramit Sethi’s depend almost exclusively on the power of their personal brand. 

Ask and Answer Questions On Social Media, engage subscribers in social media sites and provide solutions, tips, suggestions to those who would benefit from your knowledge and expertise.  When you increase your presence and value online then, the benefits are soon to be received. 

Create Am Email Pop, use the popups in your business to build the email list for obvious reasons.

Guest Blog, “Guest blogging is, indeed, one of the powerful ways of building strong, high-quality relationships that may help you in multiple ways, including developing business opportunities and professional connections, setting brand value and, of course, acquisition of link juice.” — Moosa Hemani, Moz

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member