Using “Price” as a Tool to Sell More Offline Services, Coaching Services, Etc

This works for any big ticket item you are selling one-on-one. For example, maybe you sell SEO services to brick and mortar business. Or perhaps you sell coaching over the phone to people who got a free 20 minute session with you.

This works in print as well, but it works even better when you’re actually talking to the person.

Let’s say you sell list building systems to local businesses. You’ve sat down with them, explained exactly what you can do for them and they’re excited. “How much do you charge?” they want to know.

Let’s say you charge $1,000 a month for the service. Tell them you normally charge $2,000, and explain why your service is a tremendous deal at that price. Then tell them that if they will allow you to use them as a case study, you will knock that price in half.

Here’s the beauty of this system:

First, you’ve already primed them for a higher price, so when you offer the lower price, they’re actually relieved and much more likely to say yes.

Second, in the back of their mind they’re thinking, “If s/he is using my business as a case study, that means s/he’s going to work extra hard to get good results.” Which makes perfect sense, because you wouldn’t want a case study that failed.

Third, you can use these case studies to bring in new clients. For example, let’s say you performed a service for a plumber. Now you can contact plumbers in other cities and show them the exact results you achieved in that first plumbing business. When they see these specific results, they are much more likely to sign on.

The same goes for any other service you provide to local businesses, professionals, coaching clients, etc.

Show them your ‘regular’ price, then offer the option of getting a reduced price in exchange for allowing you to use them as a case study.

One caveat: In the case of personal coaching (versus business coaching) you might want to change their name in your case study to protect your client’s privacy.

Testimonials: Let Your Customers Sell for You

You know about testimonials – those little blurbs from customers that tell prospects how great a product or service is.

But did you also know that over 70% of customers look at product reviews before buying? And 90% of participants in a Zendesk survey say they were influenced in their buying decisions by positive reviews.

According to research firm McKinsey, customers that come in through the advocacy of other customers actually stay longer and pay you more over time.

And it gets even better, because according to Influitive, customers who advocate for you will actually stay longer and pay you more.

Talk about a win-win-win, with YOU coming out as the biggest winner of all.

But getting testimonials can be a problem. Business people don’t want to ask for them or don’t know HOW to ask for them. And customers, while they might want to give them, don’t know how.

That’s why we’re going to show you exactly what to ask to get testimonials, how to use the testimonials to overcome the biggest objections of your prospects, and even how to get testimonials without asking.

First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – that is, the problem with 90+% of testimonials out there right now…

“I don’t believe it!”

The problem – and it’s a big problem – with testimonials is they

tend to be too sugary. Too positive. Too… unbelievable.

“Since I bought the ABC Super Scooper Money Making Machine, I’ve made so much money I dumped my wife of 22 years and I married 18 year old super model triplets. I now own 16 homes, 83 cars and my own personal rocket ship to Mars. Plus my skin rash cleared up real nice and I’m about to buy a big yacht and an island and become president of a South American country. Let me tell you, that was the best $19.95 I ever spent!”

Yup.

Uh-huh.

You believe that, don’t you?

Me neither.

Testimonials are a lot like resumes…

What happens when you hand your snazzy jazzy resume to a hiring manager? Sure, they read it. But do they BELIEVE it? Nope. If they did, they wouldn’t do all that digging into your past, your social media accounts, your previous employers, your college records and your references.

Why don’t they believe what they read in resumes?

Two reasons:

  1. A lot of people ‘pad’ their resume, making themselves sound better than they ar And since they don’t know you, they just have to assume you’re padding until proven otherwise.
  2. It’s all Nearly nobody every puts anything negative on a resume.

“That company canned me because I didn’t do a darn thing for 8 months but play video games on the computer and play with the company dog.”

And what does this teach us about why people don’t believe testimonials?

  1. A lot of testimonials are fake, or at least people perceive them as being fake
  2. The reason they think they’re fake is because they’re all positive – sometimes ridiculously positive – like the example at the beginning of this artic

With those two strikes going against you, how do you get real testimonials that people BELIEVE?

By getting believable testimonials. Which brings us to the question:

What makes a testimonial believable?

If the testimonial starts out on a negative note, people’s defenses go down and they your credibility goes up. In fact, not only does a bit of negativity ring true and become believable, but there’s a second benefit as well:

Because the testimonial starts out negative, people are captivated into reading it from start to finish.

Let’s say a friend is recommending an auto mechanic to you. What might they say?

You know that repair shop on 5th and Vine, the one in the tacky yellow building? Well I went in there the other day because something was wrong with my car.

The place came highly recommended, but I gotta tell you when I walked through the door, I wasn’t too sure. It didn’t look nearly as modern as the repair shop at the dealership.

But they took great care of me and my car. They diagnosed the problem in minutes, told me exactly what was wrong and how long it would take to fix it.

It cost way less than I thought it would, and they had me back on the road in 40 minutes. I was so impressed.

The last time I went to the dealership they tried to upsell me on a bunch of stuff and I know they overcharged for what I let them do. I’ll never go back to the dealership again.

That repair shop might look a little funky, but the mechanics are top notch, fast and friendly, and they don’t try to rip you off.”

Notice how different this testimonial is from most of the testimonials you see online. This one starts out negative, talking about “the tacky yellow building,” and “it didn’t look nearly as modern as the repair shop at the dealership.”

And near the close it gets negative again, saying “That repair shop might look a little funky.”

But there is no doubt the author of the testimonial is thrilled with the service he received and the price he paid.

THIS is a testimonial people will believe.

In fact, if you have several of these kinds of testimonials, half your job of selling will be done for you.

That’s because your customers will be overcoming prospect’s objections for you, in a way you alone could never do.

Just imagine, you haven’t written one word of your sales letter or sales video yet, and you already have half of your selling done.

How sweet would that be?

We’re going to teach you right here and now how to do this in your own business for your own products, with REAL life customers and real life testimonials composed by your customers.

Your prospect’s mindset:

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that your prospect is skeptical. She’s skeptical of your product, your claims and possibly even your industry. She’s been scammed before and she’s heard of numerous other people buying products that didn’t do what they said they would do.

In a word, she doesn’t believe you.

Not yet.

That’s why when you hit her with “This is the world’s greatest product ever!” type of testimonials, you’re not getting through to her.

You’ve got to start where she is in her thinking, take her hand, and lead her to where you want her to go.

And she’s thinking, “I don’t believe this!”

That’s why testimonials that start out with some variation of what she’s already thinking are so powerful.

“I was skeptical this could even work so imagine my surprise when…”

“I had tried so many things before, I didn’t think this would work either. But it was the only thing I hadn’t tried yet, so I gave it a shot and…”

“I was sure the investment was too high, but when I got the results I realized it was the greatest bargain I’d gotten in years…”

“I thought the whole process would be too difficult for me, but once I tried it…” “I hated the product name, I didn’t like the way it looked, but the first time I used it I became a believer because…”

So how do you get testimonials that answer the objections of your prospects?

By asking your existing customers a very specific set of questions. Here’s how:

Testimonial Questions:

Whether you’re writing to your customers or calling them on the phone, you’re going to ask them the following questions, in order (feel free to adapt these to your business as you see fit.)

  1. What was your main concern when deciding to buy this product?
  2. What did you discover as a result of buying and using this product?
  3. What is your favorite feature of this product, and why?
  4. What are 3 other benefits of this product?
  5. Would you recommend this product to others? If so, why?
  6. What else can you tell us about your experience with this product?

Let’s break down the reasoning behind each question:

1. What was your main concern when deciding to buy this product?

This is where you’re going to uncover the main objection the customer had to purchasing your product.

As you do more of these, you’ll likely notice a pattern of just a handful of objections buyers had. This tells you what the issues are and how to handle them in your sales copy. And it often provides you insights you may not have considered.

2. What did you discover as a result of buying and using this product?

This question is the flip side of the objection. “I had this (objection) but when I bought the product I discovered that the purchase was worth it because…“

For example, “I thought it was priced too high, but once I got it I realized it gave me 10 times the value of any competitor. I’m amazed they don’t charge more.”

3. What is your favorite feature of this product, and why?

You want specifics here, which is why you’re only asking about that ONE favorite feature. For example, saying the product is great isn’t going to make any sales. But saying the secret revealed on page 44 made them an extra $1000 a week is going to sell your product like hotcakes.

4. What are 2 or 3 other things you like about this product?

You’ve got their favorite feature, so why not see what else they like about your product? You might be surprised by some of the answers you get.

5. Would you recommend this product to others? If so, why?

Now you’re asking your customer to put their own reputation on the line. If they’re willing to, then it’s clear to prospects they really do believe in your product.

6. What else would you like to tell us about your experience with this product?

This is a wild card because you never know what they’re going to say. They might reveal something that could be improved, a feature you didn’t consider important that they love, or a unique way of using your product that you haven’t even thought of before.

From the answers you get from these six questions, you can compile a testimonial that rocks. When you do, be sure to send it to your customer for their final approval. Yes, they did say every single thing you’ve compiled into the testimonials, but you still want to get their final approval to use it.

Answering Specific Objections

This is an advanced technique that is a slight variation of what you did above, and it goes like this:

Let’s say you keep getting the same objection from prospects – for example, your product costs too much.

You might already have some testimonials that cover this objection, but if you don’t, then you can go to your customers and ask them directly, “Did you think the investment in the product might be too high?” If they say yes, ask follow up questions. If not, that’s okay.

So let’s say they said yes, they initially thought the price was just too much. Ask them why they went ahead and bought anyway. Do they now feel it was worth the investment, and if so, why? Knowing what they know now and after getting the value or benefits from the product, do they still think it was too high, or did they make a good decision / return on their investment? And so forth.

In just an hour of phone calling or emailing, you can accumulate a half dozen testimonials that strike right at the heart of an objection. And you can do this for every single objection that you repeatedly get from prospects.

Do you see how powerful this is?

“But what if I don’t have any customers yet?”

The fastest way to get some great testimonials is to give your product away to people in your niche, in return for their feedback.

This doesn’t mean randomly giving it to every person you can find. Instead, hand select your ‘guinea pigs’ to try your product.

Ideally you want people whose opinions are respected and trusted. For example, if your niche is online marketing, you can go to established online marketers and ask them to review your product. Some will, some won’t, and that’s okay.

And if you need a specific objection answered – such as price in the example above

– be sure to ask a question such as… “Do you believe this is a terrific deal, considering everything the customer gets for this price? Why?”

For those watching closely – yes, that was a leading question. We didn’t ask what they thought of the price, we asked if they considered it to be a terrific deal. Not a good deal, or an okay deal, but a great one. Remember, they are still free to answer any way they choose. But it doesn’t hurt to help them just a bit by pointing them in the right direction.

“HELP! I’m afraid to ask for testimonials. What should I do?”

First, if you go back to those 6 questions above, you might notice something

missing. Never did we ask for a testimonial. Never. We are simply asking for feedback.

And if the feedback is positive, we’re going to use it as a testimonial. If the feedback is negative, hopefully we’re going to correct the situation and make it right with the customer. (Unless, of course, if the feedback is ridiculous. Like, “This $20 sweater didn’t get me an A on my algebra test!” or some such.)

So you’re not asking for a testimonial, you’re asking for feedback. If you like what they wrote, THEN you ask permission to use it as a testimonial.

That’s part one to my answer on how to get testimonials without asking for testimonials.

Part two is kinds sneaky, and it works like this:

Sometime in your product’s life span, there are likely some milestones built into it. For example, if it’s a course on how to build an online business, the first milestone might be to build a website.

Now then, how does your customer feel when they’ve reached this milestone?

Probably pretty fantastic.

So why not build a questionnaire right into your course at that point that asks for feedback?

Simply ask them about their experience with your product or service.

“Hey Joe, congrats on building your first website… what’s your experience with (this course) been like so far?”

This is really easy to do if you’re providing online courses. But in almost any form, there is a way to build it into the product.

And here’s the kicker – you might want to offer an incentive to get them to respond. In my experience, this will double and even triple the number of people who answer your questions.

Offer something that directly correlates with the product itself. Something useful that they likely want. And all they have to do is answer a handful of questions (six, perhaps?) and they get the reward.

Then you can repurpose their feedback into a testimonial. Remember to contact them to get their permission to use it in your marketing.

Here are 12.5 more tips on getting and using

testimonials…

1: Testimonials that are rich in detail are more believable.

For example, “I love the bigger dials on this stove” versus…

“The dials are almost twice the size of the older model, making it much easier for these tired old eyes to see the settings. Because of this, I no longer burn my eggs and my wife no longer complains about having a burnt smell in her spotless kitchen.”

2: “Interesting, tell me more.”

If you are speaking to a customer, use the above phrase to get them digging deeper and telling you more about their experience.

Also, anytime you’re getting feedback by phone or in person, remember to ask only open-ended questions. This will provide you with much more information than simple yes/no questions.

And of course the same applies to written feedback – ask only open-ended questions.

3: Name and website

When asking to use their feedback as a testimonial, be sure to tell them you’ll be using their name and URL if they have one. This is free advertising for their website. Who doesn’t love that?

4: Facebook Reviews

If you have a Facebook page and you’re set up as a local business, then you also have a hidden reviews tab.

Simply slide this tab into your visible tabs, and encourage fans to enter reviews.

5:  LinkedIn  Recommendations

If  you  have  an  individual  (not  a  company)  profile,  then  you  can  get recommendations from your customers.

6: Reviews you don’t even know about

Depending on your business, there might be unsolicited customer reviews being published in the least expected places, such as blogs and social media.

Set up daily notifications on Google Alerts and Social Mention for your applicable terms. Then when your brand is mentioned, check out the links. Ask people who have mentioned you if you can use their comment or story on your testimonials page. Let them know you will be linking directly back to them, and most people will be happy to say yes.

7: Incorporate reviews right into your sales copy

We touched on this earlier but it bears repeating – use reviews to overcome objections right there on your sales page or in your sales video.

For example, when you talk about how easy your product is to use, place testimonials right there that confirm just how easy it is. When it comes time to quote a price, use testimonials to reassure the prospect of what a great deal it is, and so forth.

8: Have a testimonials page

Place all of your testimonials for a product on a page of their own. This includes the testimonials you have on your sales page. Then have a link just for testimonials from your sales page. Make sure the testimonial page opens in a new window, so they don’t lose the sales page.

And place a buy now link on the testimonial page. Prospects who have read the sales letter and clicked over to the testimonial page are often on the verge of buying. Having the buy now link right there saves them from having to go back to the sales page to find the link.

9: Holy Cow Batman, someone posted a negative review!

Sooner or later someone will post a review on your Facebook page or somewhere else that is less than positive. What should you do?

Respond.

Respond, respond, respond. Yes, I said it 4 times, because it’s that important.

Don’t get mad or angry. Stay positive. Apologize for their negative experience and ask them to get in touch with you so you can make it right.

Once you have made it right, ask if they will go back and amend their original review.

Always stay positive. Never let anger show, even if you’re feeling it. Be the courteous professional you aspire to be. And you’ll find you can right 90% of the negative responses you get.

10: Use real names and photos

Of course you’re never going to make up a testimonial (more on this in a bit.) But to make it even more believable, always use real names, both first and last, and photos of the person whenever possible.

11: Editing

If a testimonial is super long, it might not get read. You can cut out the weaker points, just leaving the strongest message.

And to make it more interesting and readable, bold the one word or phrase you really want your prospects to see.

12: Titles

You can put a title at the top of each testimonial to grab attention. Something super short, snappy and straight to the point works well.

12.5: Your best testimonial

Do you have one testimonial that outshines the rest? Maybe it’s simultaneously

credible, relatable and aligns perfectly with your sales message.

What should you do with that testimonial? Well you certainly don’t want to bury it down deep in your page. Instead, place it very near their top, perhaps just under the headlines, or at least within the first block of text.

We’ve got one last thing to cover on testimonials…

Testimonials and Avoiding the Long Arm of the Law

There are a few things you need to know to stay on the right side of the law when using testimonials.

First, you need to disclose any relationship you have with the endorser. For example, if you provided a free review copy, if the endorser is your cousin or employee, if you are business partners, etc.

Rule of thumb – when in doubt, disclose.

Second, the FTC tells us that endorsements must reflect honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences of the endorser.

Here’s an example straight off the FTC’s website that shows how honesty about

products should be conveyed:

An advertisement for a weight-loss product features a formerly obese woman. She says in the ad, ‘Every day, I drank 2 WeightAway shakes, ate only raw vegetables, and exercised vigorously for six hours at the gym. By the end of six months, I had gone from 250 pounds to 140 pounds.’ Because the endorser clearly describes the limited and truly exceptional circumstances under which she achieved her results, the ad is not likely to convey that consumers who weigh substantially less or use WeightAway under less extreme circumstances will lose 110 pounds in six months.

If the advertisement simply said that the endorser lost 110 pounds in six months using WeightAway together with diet and exercise, however, this description would not adequately alert consumers to the truly remarkable circumstances leading to her weight loss.”

Third, if results aren’t typical, you need to disclose that fact. For example, “Kelli lost 55 pounds on Nutrisystem.” And the right underneath in smaller print: “Results not typical.”

Now you might be thinking that just about no testimonial reflects ‘typical’ results, since everyone’s experience is different. And you’re right, which is why you should talk about this in your sales copy or sales video.

Fourth, get written permission from your customers to use their testimonials. And yes, an email is sufficient for these purposes.

Keep a file of all the emails granting you permission, just in case anyone ever wants to see them. You know… like those pesky FTC guys.

Another reason to keep written permission on file is to protect you in case a customer wants to retract their testimonial.

Optional: Include a clause in your Terms of Service or Privacy Policy that says any user review or testimonial submitted to your website can be used for marketing purposes.

Fifth, don’t ‘lift’ testimonials from other sites. If you see a good testimonial for your product on a review site, don’t just copy and paste it without permission. Most review sites clearly state that user-generated content is owned by the user and licensed to the website.

Instead, contact the original poster and ask if you can use their testimonial on your site. Or better still, ask for their feedback using the questions we talked about earlier to get a new and even better testimonial.

The sixth and most important thing to know is that I am not a lawyer, I don’t play one on TV, and nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice.

In conclusion, testimonials are one of the most under-utilized tools we as marketers have.

Once we start putting as much effort into getting great testimonials as we do in writing sales copy, our sales will go through the roof.

That’s because everyone wants to hear from real life product users before they purchase a product.

Social proof works like gangbusters, but only if you learn how to work it.

17+ Content Marketing Secrets: Powerful and Drive More Traffic!

content marketing

Last month we covered 17.5 content marketing secrets of driving targeted, lucrative traffic to your blogs and websites.

And while no single method will provide an avalanche of traffic, combining your favorites can result in the kind of traffic that keeps you in profit, indefinitely.int

This month we’ll cover 17.75 more, including how to get major bloggers and influencers to gladly share your posts, how to piggy back off the best content on the internet, how to make your content interactive to garner more traffic and a whole lot more.

Let’s get started:

1: How to get bloggers (big and small) to share your blogposts with their readers

This is so easy, yet few bloggers take the time.

And the benefits are two-fold: First, you will likely get extra traffic- maybe even LOTS of extra traff And second, it’s a great way to begin building relationships with other bloggers.

Here’s how it works:

Choose a topic for your next blogpost. Now search out other content related to the post you’re writing. It could be articles, podcasts, infographics, blogposts, videos, etc., as long as it directly relates to what you’re writing about.

Not sure how to find the best content? Use a tool like Buzzsumo to locate the highest shared content for your keyword.

Get in touch with these content creators right away. Let them know  you’re  working  on  a  post  and  you’re going  to  include  areference to their work.

Ask if they would like to see the post when you’re done. Be friendly and keep your messages fairly short and straight to the point. If you want to gush a little bit about how you live their (blog, videos, products, etc.) go ahead.

When your post is published, let them know they’re featured in your newly published content. Even if they didn’t reply  to your first email, let them know. Maybe they were just busy.

If they like your content, many of them will share it with their readers and social media. Be sure to THANK THEM profusely when they do this.

2: Offer bribes in exchange for social media shares

When you create a new piece of content, create what you might think of as a bonus, too. It could be an infographic, a resource list, a pdf of the article, the biggest, baddest and best technique of all, etc.

Sign up for a Pay with a Tweet service and create a new campaign.

Integrate the campaign button or campaign link into your content page. Feature it prominently, and talk up the benefits of what they will receive in exchange for a simple share on social media.

3: Optimize Your Facebook Posts

Things to know…

  • Run tests to see what types of posts, headlines and images your audience prefer
  • Avoid clickbait headlines, as these will hurt your new feed r
  • Definitely use  hashtags  whenever  appropriate,   since  they  increase interactions by 60%.
  • When appropriate, use a question to get 100% more comments than non- question posts (Source: KISSMetrics)
  • Link titles should have less than 100 characters
  • Publish between  5pm  and  1am  for  the  most  interactions  (Source: TrackMaven)
  • Engage with  photos  because  93%  of  the  most  engaged  posts contain photos
  • Use videos as well for even more engagement
  • The most engaging length for a Facebook post? Is between 50 and 99 chara (Source: Simply Measured)
  • Posts with emoticons receive 33% more comments and are shared 33% more oft (Source: AMEX Open Forum)
  • Saturday and Sunday posts have much higher average engagement (Source: TrackMaven)
4: Join Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are an excellent way to connect with people interested in just about any topic – including yours.

In Facebook groups you can really get to know your audience, and eventually promote your content. Here’s how:

Create a list of keywords that best describe your niche.

Enter each keyword or phrase into the search field, click search and click on ‘groups.’

Join the groups that look the most promising, but don’t share your content right away. Read the rules, participate in the conversations, help others and answer questions.

When someone asks a question that your content can answer, then share your content.

Or share your content as updates, asking the group for feedback.

5: Share your content on LinkedIn (Maybe)

This one depends – can you find your target market on LinkedIn? If so, this is a great place to share great stuff, keeping a few things in mind:

Many LinkedIn groups are nothing more than spam groups. In other words, everyone is shouting, “Look at me!” But no one is listening.

You’ve got to find relevant groups with lots of activity and very strict anti-spam rules. Try different keyword variations, and use group filters in the search settings. As you gain experience searching, you’ll get better at finding the right groups.

Once you’re in a group, read the rules and see how people interact. Help others, like, comment and ask questions that move conversations forward. Do this for a few weeks before sharing. Remember, you’ve got to give first if you want to receive.

When it’s time to share, ask for comments and feedback, opinions, questions, etc. The main goal of LinkedIn is to build your network. It’s entirely possibly you could meet someone who has a list of buyers who would love your product. It’s also possible you’ll meet your next joint venture partner, or your next $10,000 client.

But you do need some patience and the willingness to be in it for the long haul, helping others and initially expecting nothing in return.

6: Sending traffic from LinkedIn to your blog

Is your audience on LinkedIn? Then every time you write a new blogpost, also write a 300-400 word teaser post for LinkedIn.

This post will give the gist of what your blogpost is about and provide a link back to your blog so they can read the entire post there.

Remember to use teaser bullets demonstrating what they will discover when they read your blogpost, as well as a direct call to action to go read the post.

7: Driving traffic from Google+ to your blog

Contrary to popular belief, Google+ is still alive with 300 million active monthly users.

The key here is the communities. Joining and taking part in conversations will get you more engagement on the platform. Here’s how:

Search for your niche keywords on Google+, then scroll down to the ‘communities’ section and click ‘more’ to see the results.

Join the communities and start building relationships. Share your thoughts and ideas, answer questions, be helpful and keep the conversation flowing.

Now get in touch with the owner of the community and ask if they could use your help. If you get approved as a moderator, you should see a big spike in followers and engagement.

Bonus: If your business page is a moderator on a Google+ community, then all of the plus one’s from that community will be added to your business page. Remember to link your business page to your website, so the plus one’s pass on to your homepage.

8: Get 10,000 new Instagram Followers

The more followers you have, the more traffic you can potentially drive to your blog, your website, your offers, etc.

And it’s easy to get followers if you have some time to kill.

NOTE: Instagram makes you do this manually, so when you have spare time, here’s how to do it:

Open Instagram, tap on the search icon, select ‘tags,’ and search the hashtag associated with your topic.

Choose a photo and start following the account. Like their most recent three photos.

Soon you will see people following you back.

9: Get More Shares (and traffic) With Interactive Content

People love to discover more about themselves, what their spirit animal is, what their personality says about them and so forth.

This is why for decades the Cosmopolitan Magazine Quiz has been one of the favorite features of the entire magazine.

And it’s also why you can use simple quizzes to drive more interaction and more shares from your readers.

Here’s how:

Register for a free account at apester.com.

Click ‘create new’ and select the type of content you would like to create – polls, quizzes, personality, video or countdown.

Add your questions and mark the right questions.

Press ‘publish’ and install the Apester plugin to your WordPress site.

Copy the code and insert it on your website, where ever you want it to be.

10: Run a Contest

Offering a contest on social media is a great way to get lots of engagement, traffic and new subscribers.

But be careful – you’ve got to tailor your prize to the audience you seek. Otherwise you’ll end up with a ton of subscribers who care nothing about your niche, your blog or your products.

For example, don’t offer a free electronic device (as so many do) unless it’s 100% directly related to your niche.

If your niche is gardening, offer a big selection of free bulbs or your latest book on growing vegetables.

If your niche is online marketing, offer free access to your latest marketing course to bring in super targeted leads, and so forth.

Here’s how to set up a contest:

  1. Sign up at Rafflecopter to launch and manage your givea
  2. Click ‘new giveaway.’ Put in the prize(s) your winner(s) will re
  3. Choose how people can enter to win the priz Subscribing to your newsletter? Tweeting about the contest? Etc.
  4. Set points for each m The more points they get, the better their chances of winning.
  5. Choose a start and end date and click ‘preview and install.’
  6. Either embed the contest to your website or run it on your Facebook
  7. Want to have even more options? Upgrade to the premium version.
11: Use other people’s great content to drive traffic to your site

This is a great technique on several levels. First, you’re sharing relevant, timely content via social media, so your followers and fans benefit.

The person whose content you are sharing will see you’re sharing their stuff, which can help build relationships with these marketers.

And in the process you can actually drive traffic to your own content as well. Here’s how:

Find articles and posts related to your newly published post. You can use Google Alerts, Mention, or simply do a Google search for new content on the topic.

When you find an article your audience will likely enjoy, use Sniply to share it via your social channels.

To do this: Go to Sniply and register for a free account. Insert the article’s link and click ‘create snip.’

Then customize the call to action that visitors to that article will see, and link it to YOUR blogpost.

Click ‘snip’ and you’re set.

12: Create Roundup Posts

This is a great way to get social media shares from other bloggers and marketers, and even begin building relationships with them.

Each week, biweekly or monthly (you choose a time frame) you will create a collection of the best content related to your topic.

To find this content, you’ll want to subscribe to relevant blogs, set up keyword trackers, or use a notification service like Feedly.

Choose the best posts and write a few sentences of introduction for each one, linking back to the original source.

Notify your sources before you publish your post. Let them know you’re working on a roundup post and their article or post will be included.

Once you publish, let everyone in your roundup article know you are live.

For those who don’t promote your article via social media, it is okay to politely follow up in a few days just in case they missed your email. When they do promote your article, THANK THEM very nicely.

13: Create News Posts

This is generally done weekly and it’s similar to the roundup post. Only in this case, you are focusing on newsworthy items from your particular niche.

Your traffic here is likely to come more from people sharing your post than from the sources you are quoting, since many times those sources will be actual news sites.

However, for sources that are regular sites, blogs, etc., be sure to let them know you’ll be including them, and then let them know when you publish.

14: Do Influencer Roundups

Want to create something epic that really stands out and gets shared by a lot of people?

Then doing an influencer roundup on a hot topic could be exactly what you’re looking for.

Choose a question that will appeal to both your readers and your influencers. For example, in online marketing you could ask what one piece of advice your influencers most wish they had been given before they got started, and why.

Search for your influencers. Odds are you already have a list just from the blogs you subscribe to, but you can find more by using sites like Buzzsumo. Check Klout for more info on each one.

Next, get in touch with each influencer with a short message. Tell them you’re working on an expert roundup and you want to include them, and give them the question.

If you don’t hear back from someone within a few days, you can make one more effort to contact them. If they don’t respond the second time, leave well enough alone.

Once you’ve written your post, send it to your experts for any feedback they might have. Some of them might want to amend or change their answers slightly, based on something else they thought of or answers others have given.

After you publish, let your influencers know your article is live so they can share it with their followers if they choose to.

But don’t get pushy. If they share, that’s great. If not, you don’t want to ruin your budding friendships before they start.

15: Get Social Share from the Tools and Resources You Recommend

Here’s something almost no one thinks to do…

When you write a “how to” post or article, do you recommend resources and tools? If so, here’s a little trick:

Locate the email address for each of the resources. Then get in touch and let them know you’ll be recommending their tool/resource to your readers in an upcoming post. Ask them if they would like to know when it goes live.

Once your article is live, let them know and politely ask if they might like to share it with their subscribers. After all, your endorsement is validation that their product works, plus their readers might find a new way to use the product, too.

16: Share. A LOT.

You’ve just finished a brand new blogpost and you are proud as can be at the way it turned out. Time to tell the world, right?

Yes! Tell your followers on every social media avenue on which you’re active.

But don’t make the same mistake most marketers make.

Most folks don’t want to ‘bug’ others. They’re afraid if they ‘over promote,’ then people will get mad, unsubscribe, stop following, etc.

Actually, the exact opposite is true. You’re going to have to share your content many times before some people ever see it. Think of Twitter – do you see all of your tweets the first time? Not likely, but let’s say you do. Do you click all the links the first time you see them? Of course not. You’re busy, you’re distracted, things get in the way…

Your followers and fans want to see your content, so make sure they can my sharing it multiple times.

Create different versions of the posts and tweets you’ll make – maybe 5-8 variations. Change the titles, use different pictures and even emojis to boost engagement.

Set up a sharing schedule in advance by using a service like Buffer.

Share right after the post is published, and again an hour later, 3 hours later, 7 hours later, the next day, the day after, the next week, the next week after, the next month and the next month after that.

Track how your posts perform and adjust your schedule accordingly. Also, try to share both during the morning, the afternoon and the evening for full coverage.

17: Use Jump Links to Share Even More

You wrote a great post and you shared it several times via social media. But you don’t want to get obnoxious about it, so you stop sharing.

But… what if your post is a list? For example, “10 Great Ways to Drive Traffic” or “7 Key Secrets to a Great Relationship.”

Then you can continue to share without getting redundant, simply by using jump links.

For example, you want to share tip #3 from your list, so you create a jump link that takes readers directly to that specific tip on that post.

If you’ve never created jump links, here’s a great tutorial:

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/jump-link-same- page#sm.0001raqtw6hekf26y7914pn0o9ev5

Create a new social media message for each tip and use the jump link to point to that specific tip.

Then add relevant, interest-provoking images for each tip, so they stand out and apart when you share them on social media.

17.75: Keep Your Readers Coming Back Without Social Media or Email

This tip isn’t so much about driving new traffic, as it is bring traffic back to your site time and time again.

No doubt you’re already building a social media following, right?

And of course you’re building your email list, too.

But… what about all those readers who either don’t fall into one of those two categories, or who ignore social media and your emails?

You can still bring them back to your website with push notifications for Chrome and Firefox. Here’s how:

  1. Register to get a free account at Pushcrew. You’ll get a unique code to insert in your website. Or if you have WordPress, you can install their plugin.
  2. Customize your push notification. Just edit the title, subtitle and button text.
  3. Then  set  up  automatic  scheduling  notifications  for  your  subscribers.  Your subscribers will be notified 30 minutes after you publish a new post.

Easy!

And there you have it – 17 (plus) more content marketing ‘secrets’ that drive wicked traffic. You’ll notice there isn’t a difficult one in the bunch. It’s simply about taking the time to do these things and watching the traffic flow in.

Once you do, it won’t be long before you have a huge loyal following, an ever growing list of subscribers and continuous stream of sales notifications in your inbox!

10+2 Signs You are on the Path to Being Super Successful

Do you have what it takes to succeed in your own online business? You do if you have the following qualities…

1. You’re relentlessly persistent. When you decide to do something, you tenaciously work towards that goal until it is completed, no matter what.

2. You’re realistically optimistic. You know that believing you’ll grow wings and fly won’t make it true. But you also know there is a method by which you can fly, and you’ll keeping believing this until you find a way to do it.

3. You take failures in stride. Yes, you did all you could, but you failed anyway. But you realize this is just part of the success process. So instead of lamenting the loss, you ask yourself, “What’s great about this?” And you take what you learned and apply it to your next attempt.

4. Your face is in the dictionary under the word “self-improvement.” While some people think learning ends with graduation, not you. You are continuously reading and learning more and more, and putting what you learn into practice.

5. You take action. Planning is a necessary part of the process, but you know that nothing happens until you take action.

6. You keep an open mind. You realize you don’t have all the answers, and you’re willing to listen to others to find the answers you seek.

7. You maximize your strengths and delegate your weaknesses. Some folks think they need to work on their weaknesses – not you. If you’re not good at something, you’re smart enough to outsource it.

Instead, you focus your efforts where they shine, and that’s what makes you and your business successful.

8. You’re ambitious. Sure, you could settle for a small online business that just covers the bills. But instead you’re looking to create a real business you can sell in 5-7 years for 7 or 8 figures. Shoot for the clouds and you might only hit the rooftops. But shoot for the stars and you’ll at least hit the moon, which is pretty darn good.

9. You set goals. You can’t get someplace if you don’t know where you’re going, so you set goals to keep yourself moving and on track.

10. You spend 90% of your time on the present, 10% on the future, and no time on the past. The past is over and done. Childhood was lousy? Didn’t get into the school you wanted? Passed over for that promotion? First business failed? No matter because it’s ancient history. You’re all about what you can accomplish right here, right now, with an occasional eye to the future.

11. You delight in delaying gratification. Sure, you could watch TV right now, but you know there is a bigger reward to be had down the road if you just keep working instead.

12. You don’t listen to naysayers. There’s always somebody ready to tell you that you can’t do it, you shouldn’t do it or you’re an idiot for trying. But you just smile, say thanks for the advice and keep on doing what you need to do to be successful.

After all, the best revenge on naysayers is success. And if you have at least 8 of these 12 qualities, you’re almost certainly going to meet with success on a grand scale, and soon.

Navy seal tells us a Great Secret and a threat to content marketing

Navy seal tells why we should ‘do something that sucks’ every day

It’s all about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

The theory is that we need to constantly take

ourselves out of our comfort zones in order to get better at anything.

It makes sense – but are you willing to try it for 30 days?

http://www.businessinsider.com/navy-seal-explains-how-get-better-every-day-david-goggins-2016-10

———————

The Biggest Threat to Content Marketing

Is it fake news?

We’ve got a problem when the question changes from…

“How can we make this content engaging and get it in front of the right audience?”

to…

“Will our audience even believe us?”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2017/01/15/the-biggest-threat-to-content-marketing-isnt-fake-news/#3d20536d6c8c

Why You Should Consider Getting Comfortable In Front Of A Camera

The media through which we excel and sell out brand the best vary from person to person and organization to organization.

The best way to get through to your customers becomes not only an exploration of their demographics and where they spend their time, but also of where you and your team can best come across in your content.

Are you comfortable in front of a camera? Well, you might want to brush up on your news anchor skills, or at least find someone who doesn’t mind getting in front of the lens and talking up a storm.

Why? Because while content is still and will continue to be absorbed in a number of different ways throughout society, consumers are more and more expecting brand content to create an experience (and a valuable one at that), and those who innovate the quickest are reaping the rewards.

For example, let’s take three different social media apps that have all created a stir in the tech community this year: Periscope, Blab, and Meerkat. What do they all have in common? If you’ve been following any of them, you’d have instantly answered, “Hey, they’re all apps that let you stream video from your phone!”

In fact, many of this year’s social media darlings (Snapchat included) have allowed for the easy creation and sharing of video content. Many businesses and entrepreneurs building a brand will continue the classic resistance habit: “Everyone has been fine just reading my blog for years, why would I start doing video instead? What’s the point?”

The point is that the way people like to consume things has evolved, those growing up in the golden era of television might have trouble imaging a generation who prefers to watch video on a 4 inch screen, it sure as heck beats reading text on it.

Plus, creating interesting video content takes more effort, and it’s becoming more and more transparent which companies are putting in the work to make sure that the content they create is useful and helpful.

Plus, the realtime nature of live-streaming apps like Periscope means that people get a chance t send messages, questions, and replies to video content in realtime. Plus, much like its less visual content counterparts, video content can be created about virtually anything. In fact, in many cases it make topics that aren’t that fun to read about more compelling.

Make a plan to win with video right now by thinking about how you can translate your niche or market’s interest into video content. And if you think your business is too boring or not flashy enough for video, think again. There are landscapers getting hundreds to thousands of views on every video they put on their snapchat story where they just explain their plans for someone’s yard or talk about what kind of tools they will use to dig up soil – these show expertise to their target audience and can result in real sales. Once you’ve got an idea, start executing.

Opt for speed over perfect and you’ll quickly find what pulls in the attention of your target market.

Beyond social media apps, you’ll want to use sales videos and other videos in your sales funnel. For that, I recommend you use a tool like Easy Video Suite that makes it simple to put your videos online anywhere also add order buttons to your videos, opt-ins, timed actions, etc.

The ‘Weird’ Startup Investment Game You Need To Stop Playing

In the United States, we elect a president every 4 years. One candidate can serve two terms, for a maximum total of 8 years in office. Now, around two-three years through any given president’s first term, a common trend prevails: Legislative agendas generally become less ambitious, previously polarizing views are swapped out for those that are more middle of the road, and messages which were previously more laden with detail and precise figures degrade once again into campaign-esque rhetoric.

What the heck is happening? In short, another election cycle will soon be upon these presidents, and they need to start thinking more about getting re-elected than continuing to push through any work their currently tied up in.

The exact same phenomenon happens with startup founders, except that their term is a burn rate runway, and their election campaign is a quest for further financing. If you find yourself heading up a grand idea, and it turns into a company, the way of business these days is, ironically, not very business-like at all. In fact, instead of focusing on profit margins and costs of operation, most founders are focused on obscure and multi measurable metrics like ‘growth’ and the like, aimed at figuring out they can make the numbers, any numbers, impressive enough to secure another round of funding.

If you find yourself in this exact scenario with a company that you’re heading up, it’s important that you know that, for the rainmakers who founded the biggest, most disruptive companies in the world, these thoughts never even crossed their mind. Indeed, there has recently been a reversal, in which instead of achieving something great in order to secure wealth, people are working on the premise of securing wealth in order to achieve something great. Forgive the cliché, but did Zuckerberg start his ‘The Facebook’ website in his dorm room in hopes of securing millions of dollars from Sequoia Capital? Hell no!

Founders these days who want to not find themselves with a valueless company in three years’ time, need to get comfortable with the idea that they are still running a business, they still need to act and make decisions based on the premise that if they are not profitable very, very soon, they’re out. Most startups fail. Of those that don’t fail, the vast majority will be steady, sustainable businesses that can catapult their founders into the upper middleclass, but they won’t be Facebook, they won’t be Snapchat. And they won’t be a household name.

And that’s OK.

The narrative that everyone has to be a tech founder that turns the market upside down is overhyped and, ironically, not the path to its own realization for most tech world heroes. Instead, the most common path to greatness is a stellar work ethic, a mental resilience to discouragement, and a passion and drive that’s the stuff of legends. So the next time you see that some Silicon Valley hotshot just closed a $200 million C-series, just remember that there is more than one path to greatness.

6 Internet Marketing Conferences To Attend This Year

When you work in Internet marketing, it’s easy to become insulated from the outside world. While this has its benefits – you can get more work done without distractions and it’s easy to keep up with trends and developments online – it also cuts you off from actual contact with other human beings.

Networking is an important part of Internet marketing as it is any other industry. And while new video conferencing tools make it possible to interact with other people one-on-one or even as part of a group, it doesn’t replace the genuine value of meeting and speaking with your peers face-to-face.

Getting Out into the World

It’s also important that you not fall into a rut, which is something that can easily occur when you work online, especially if you work from home.

That’s why it’s often valuable to occasionally get out of your work zone and into the real world once in a while.

Internet marketing conferences offer the perfect opportunity to hone your people skills, network with other IM professionals, and gain exposure to cutting edge concepts and emerging ideas and technologies related to your craft. You might even meet future JV partners or affiliates!

Top 6 IM Conferences For The Rest Of This Year

Regardless of where you live – East Coast, West Coast or somewhere in between – there likely is an Internet marketing conference being held relatively close to you at some point this year. To help connect you to the one that’s best for you, here’s a list of the top 6 must-attend IM conferences for the rest of 2015:

Copyblogger, The Authority Rainmaker – Despite its unconventional name, this conference, to be held May 13 to 15 in Denver, attracts some of the biggest names on the Internet today, including Daniel Pink, Danny Sullivan, Chris Brogan, Ann Handley and, of course, Copybloggers’ own Brian Clark.

Confab – If you are anywhere near the Minneapolis from May 20 to 22, you need to run, not walk to Confab. It’s the go-to conference for curating, managing and strategizing content campaigns and attracts the biggest names in social strategy, content creation, and marketing.

SMX Advanced – Have you heard of the popular online publishers Search Engine Land and Marketing Land? If so, you probably already know how influential they are becoming in global marketing. Both are owned by Third Door Media, the organizer of this conference scheduled for June 2 to 3 in Seattle. It’s fast-paced yet user-friendly event that offers something for everybody involved in SEO, online marketing, and global branding.

Mozcon – Also in Seattle is Mozcon, a three-day conference filled with informative sessions on everything from community building, SEO, social media, content marketing, brand development, big data analytics, and mobile optimization, among others. It’s scheduled for July 13 to 15.

Content Marketing World – There aren’t many things that will get me to Cleveland, but Content Marketing World, scheduled for September 8 to 11 – is one of them. It’s the largest content marketing event in the US and features more than 80 sessions presented by some of the biggest names in brand marketing from around the world.

Pubcon Las Vegas – It’s no gamble that you will take away something valuable from Pubcon Las Vegas, scheduled to be held in Sin City from October 5 to 9. This conference always focuses on the future of technology and attracts some of the IM industry’s most forward-thinking minds.

Make a commitment that this is the year you are finally going to get out of your office and interact with real people in the real world. Any (or all) of these conferences offer you the opportunity you need to expand your horizons, meet new people, and network for success.

App Developers Today Look A Lot Like Web Developers 10 Years Ago

While improving your current operations should always be priority number one, it’s never a bad idea to key your finger on the pulse of other industry trends that might provide completely new opportunities.

Today specifically, we’re going to go through an up and coming overhaul in the tech industry that you should keep your eye on: The birth of the app developer.

Mobile apps as we know them have been around for a number of years now, but that’s a lot like saying websites weren’t interesting in 1998 just because some people already had websites. In fact, keeping along with the website theme, there was a golden era in the early 2000’s that is only just now waning that saw those with the skills to develop websites making massive amounts of money off of their skills.

This could have meant helping people set up personal sites and blogs, creating websites for local businesses, or taking on larger, highly lucrative private contracts. The bottom line was that many services that allowed people to create their own websites without knowing how to code were either drag and drop or were too simplified and limited to be of any real use to business owners.

Now, it’s much easier for someone to create a website using any number of easy builders or WordPress themes that will leave their creation nearly indistinguishable from a customer solution.

Since the launch of iPhones and Android smartphones, a similar goldrush has occurred amongst those who learned how to code in Java and Objective-C so that they could be some of the only people around in a position to create apps for professional clients.

In the same pattern that website creation followed, we’re now seeing several builders pop up that purport to help those without native programming skills create their own applications that they can submit right to the App Store or Google Play.

As you might imagine, the same progression of more plentiful and more powerful tools is also happening at the same time, and that’s a critical intersection you should pay attention to: We are reaching a period in which the mainstream public know they want apps, don’t know how to create them, and also don’t know that there are tools out there that let people without perfect technical skills create these apps.

Servies like Telerik, Aquro, and Appery are several players in this space, which are to app building what things like Weebly and Wix are to website creation.

There is a massive opportunity right now for people who start reaching out to local businesses and offering to create them apps at a fraction of the cost of traditional iOS/Android developers, but still at a price that will be extremely profitable for the time investment required.

You can sell these businesses on the fact that they can push customer rewards notification and offers right to their audience on their smartphones and a number of other features their current websites can’t provide.

Social Media Marketing – Keeping Your Customers Engaged And Informed

Social media sites have become some of the most-used sites on the internet. If you have a business, and you are trying to attract visitors, there is a good chance that social media sites rank higher than you do. Use the power of these sites for your marketing plans. Here are some smart ways to do that.

Interact with others as you do in real life. Remember, it is “social” media. Don’t just post one-sided status updates about you and your business. Read others’ posts. Ask questions. Have conversations. Your contacts and friends will be more likely to trust (and buy!) from someone who they interact with, instead of someone who posts impersonal snippets all the time.

When using social media marketing to improve your business, you want to create a synergy between all the social media sites that are out there. As you know, there are many sites and each one has its own characteristic or style. Use each style to your advantage and make your online presence known.

Once you decide that social media marketing is the thing for you, be sure to post things regularly. By having this consistency, you will have people come and visit you on a regular basis. They will know to expect a new topic from you, and they will know that it will fit their interest.

Try to make lists when you make posts on social media. These are usually a big hit among people who pass on information to others through social media. Lists also highlight your main points, and make it easier to reference and remember the information that you are presenting to the reader.

If you are using WordPress for your site, be sure to put a Retweet button that is at the top of your posts for your readers to use. This will make it easy for them to pass on your information to others. WordPress has plugins for this, so it will be simple for you to do with huge benefits in the long run.

When using social media marketing, you cannot limit yourself to one area of the internet. Since there are many different social media sites in existence, there are many opportunities to reach potential customers. Join every social media option available and take full use of the resources they offer to get the best results.

To successfully market your business on social media, opening a twitter account can help attract new customers. Word on twitter travels fast, and many successful businesses have used twitter to spread the word on discounts or special events occurring at their businesses. You can gain followers by doing this, and news about your business will also be spread by word of mouth.

When you use the tips in this article, you are catapulting your business out of the dark ages and into the technological age. By making these popular sites work for you. Your marketing can be much more effective. Keep learning about the ways that social media can help you, and watch your profits rise.