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Many newbie marketers fail each year and they have no idea why they fail when they stayed busy all year long trying their best to start a successful internet business. This is a problem with productivity and a problem with staying focused.

If a marketer is not laser focused with whatever they are doing (especially in the initial stage) and if they get constantly distracted by the marketing noise around them, then they will surely fail with their business. Another big problem that most online marketers who have failed before is due to the fact that they are faking productivity. Allow us to explain more about this issue.

What’s productivity?

This is a very important question to answer because productivity is the key for any business to move on. Productive work is known as work that will provide direct results to your business profits. For example, if you are going to build your list then that will definitely increase your profits. So when you spend time building your list, those works that you did for building your list are categorized as productive work.

However, if you are spending time buying a domain name on your website, or learning new ‘methods’ to earn money online, then these tasks are actually nonproductive tasks. Note that this kind of task won’t directly contribute to increasing your profits. This means that you should either outsource this kind of task or if you absolutely need to do these tasks yourself, then you have to try and be rid of them as quick as you can.

Other unproductive tasks that takes up a lot of time and worth mentioning would be link building, writing articles, checking your emails or replying your emails, browsing through the forums and much more.

These tasks are very time consuming. Assuming that you work 6 hours a day on your pc, but only 1 hour is use for productive work, then you can expect very little in return for your business. Therefore, you should learn to put more time and effort into your productive workload to ensure that you will earn even more money.

Productive tasks that are worth mentioning are such as negotiating deals with JVs, improving your sales letter conversions, buying traffic for your site or anything that can directly contribute to making more sales. When dealing with productive tasks, you should work in the area of your strength and then outsource the rest to those who are good at what they do. Sure you might have to share some of your revenue sometimes, but you will find that things will get done much faster and your business will grow tremendously well with very little roadblocks or hiccups along the way.

What’s Faking Productivity?

There is a saying that goes like this: “Failures do what is tension relieving, while winners do what is goal achieving” (by Dennis Waitley). This is very true because many newcomer online marketers are pressed with time and budget so they try their best to keep themselves busy. They will often try to do everything themselves to save on the cost and they will try to find out what they could to make money instead of just focusing on what’s important and make it work for them. Often times, you will see marketers scrolling the entire day on a forum or checking their emails frequently without getting any productive work done. What happens here is that they actually ‘feel’ busy and they tell themselves that a lot have been done for the day and it’s ok to take a rest for the rest of the day.

The problem is this happens every day. So after a few months or so, they have nothing to show for it. At the most they can tell you their ‘plan’ on what niches that they wish to be in and what kind of product they want to product. They can sometime even tell you all the techniques that they have learnt and how much money they have spent on educating themselves on how to make money online. However, if you ask them to show you their first product or landing page, they will smile meekly and give an excuse such as they were going to get it done soon or they have not gotten to that task yet.

What a newcomer should have done is, learn 1 method that everyone says it works, and go ahead and build the site, and product for it. Note that building the website and product for it is not considered productive tasks so one should not dwell too long on this phase. Only when you start driving traffic to your site and only when you start tweaking your marketing message will you see results. This is pretty much like a boat rocking back and forth endlessly in the middle of the ocean and it will only move towards the right direction if the driver or the boat will start peddling towards their destination.

Make a list and distinguish your tasks.

Hence the best thing a newbie marketer can do is to try and sit down and quickly list down the entire tasks that they have been doing and mark the task properly as productive or non-productive. This is the best way for them to tell themselves which task is going to make them money and which task does not.

Learn to eliminate distractions and soon you will be slowly moving forward step by step. Be careful not to fall into the trap of feeling busy but when all you are doing is nothing productive. Focus on what is important and you will soon see the results that are important to you. Learn to outsource the little stuff but takes up a lot of your time so that you can have more time to do what really matters for you and your business.

If by the end of a day you are totally satisfied and know that what you have done today will produce results such as a sale or an opt-in tomorrow, then you are definitely on the right track. Keep doing what’s right and may your business bloom like there is no tomorrow!

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Make Money This, Make Money That, What’s The Best Marketing Tactic, That Costs Me Naught! Small business owners start small. No biggie there. Therefore, saving that low cost marketing strategies s one of the most important things an online business owner can do for their business. Otherwise if you are not working on a tight advertising budget, you could easily see all your savings thrown out the window very fast.

Below are a few great cost efficient low cost marketing strategies for small online businesses.

Link exchanges

One of the few remaining  low cost marketing strategies that cost almost next to nothing for small online business owners is to take advantage of link exchange services. Link exchange is a strategy commonly used by SEO experts to build their backlinks. However, if you are building your links exchanges with the right websites, you could be getting a lot of overflow traffic from the sites that you choose to exchange links with. The best way to get other people to exchange links with you is to ensure that your website has value and existing traffic.

This way, other websites will not hesitate to exchange links with yours because they are looking for more traffic as well. You can choose to exchange links directly with your competitors in the same niche (which is much harder to do) or you could exchange links with websites that are not in your same niche but have the traffic with the right demographics that you are seeking out for.

A better version of these link exchanges would be a banner exchange. A banner should get you a lot more traffic if your banner is a high click through rate designed.

Pinterest.

Pinterest is now on the rise. People are flocking into Pinterest every day to look at interesting photos. Like the old saying go, when there’s people there’s traffic. So off you go to Pinterest and make use of the traffic there and post attractive and click inducing pictures and bring the traffic to your website. Make sure that you do not try to hard sell the traffic at first instead you should focus on getting them subscribed to your email list.

Only try to sell or promote to the traffic you get later on via your email newsletters. While you are at it, you should also try to use Pinterest to market yourself and brand yourself as the expert in your field. This way, by the time people arrive at your landing page, they will already have a certain level of trust in you which will make the conversions, be it a subscription or a purchase later… a much easier process.

Contests and giveaways.

You can easily go to high-traffic sites such as a forum and organize a content or giveaway event. People with the same interest in the forum will certainly be curious to what you have to offer. Make sure to provide a lot of value and give away only valuable gifts to help build the trust that you need. Again, your goal here is not to make a sale right off the bat. In fact, you are only trying to entice them to opt-in to your list and only after that will you try to slowly educate them on what you are selling and then actually try to sell it to them while offering them a special discounted price on the product that you are pushing.

You can try to organize these events on social sites as well. Everyone loves free stuff, especially when the stuff that you plan to give away is actually helpful. The psychology behind this strategy is to provide good value first so that people know that you are the real deal and that they can count on you to help them solve their problems.

Refer-a -Friend programs

Going viral or word of mouth advertising is like a dream come true for most marketers. Hence, refer a friend strategy was born to help induce the viral factor of a product and hopefully get more of your existing customers to help you spread the good words about your product via words of mouth. To improve the response and the use of your tell a friend program, you can offer s special discount to those who helped refer a friend to your business.

The low cost marketing strategy can be implemented in most online businesses even for a service provider. As a service provider you could offer a special ‘service’ or bonus for your customers if they help ‘tell a friend’ or two about your business. The best part of this strategy is that it is very easy to use and it is very easy for your customers to help you out as well when you use the ‘tell a friend’ script on your website.

Affiliate marketing

Setting up your own affiliate marketing program is essentially one of the best and cheap methods you can hope to implement on your website. An affiliate program could potentially skyrocket your business exponentially. This is because all you need is a super affiliate and your business will be booming in no time assuming that you can get a super affiliate to promote for you.

However, getting a super affiliate to promote to you at the early stage is probably asking for too much. For starters you should try to get your conversions high. Next, place your affiliate offer and market it on affiliate networks. Once you have a few affiliates promoting for you, you can then try to approach some super affiliates and try to get them to promote for you. When you have an army of affiliates who is willing to promote for you, then you can sit back and watch the snowball effect run rampant to bring you what is known as … success.

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How should you deal with Reviews? Whatever you do online to make money, you cannot hope to please everyone. That’s the one rule that guru’s abide by and understand better than anyone else. They will try their best to build a specific product for a certain type of people and that’s it. They will never try to please everyone because they know in their heart that this would be an impossible task.

More often than not, if you are running a business both online and offline, your customer service will have to learn how to handle those difficult customers. There will always be people who are hard to please and there will always be people who will criticize your business. Because this is totally unavoidable, any business owner will have the chance of getting a negative review at a point of time even if they are doing everything the legitimate way while offering a totally quality product.

Even on YouTube, you will rarely see a video that has a 100% like rating on it. In fact, there are probably no videos with a 100% like on it, and you will see a few dislikes every so often like it or not. The main reason here is probably because everyone thinks differently and everyone has a different opinion and view of the world.

So the question now lies in how your customer service act when your company get negative reviews? Do they simply delete them as fast as possible before anyone sees it? What else can they do? Well, most of the time customer service is able to delete them however there could be instances where they are not an admin (like in the forums) and there are no options for then to delete a negative comment at all unless they contact the admin of the website directly.

When this is the case, customer service might need to handle the situation just a tad bit differently. They could try to turn the negativity into your advantage.

The email feedback

Most of the time, a negative review of feedback will come first from an unhappy customer. That means that something is wrong, and they are trying to resolve the issue with you personally before going out and spoil your reputation. This is still a good sign because in this situation, you can easily turn things around and find out what is wrong and help them out with the issue professionally. Most of the time, dealing with the problem maturely will douse the flame and the issue can be solved.

In an extreme case, where things cannot be solved, you should honor your refund policy and hand them their money back and most of the time that should solve the problem right there. Remember to add a ‘thank you for trying’ note after the refund. If you do this right, you can change their mindset to think that you are an easy person to deal with, and although they are not happy with your product, the overall experience was not so bad and doing business with you is not risky at all. If you can get them to think this way, there is a chance that they might still buy from you again in the future.

The rule of thumb here is to never leave an unsatisfied customer unattended because you will never know what they will say or do outside your website and in this social era on the internet, it is easy to spread some nasty rumors about you via social sites such as Facebook.

Customer Service to the rescue.

Whenever you get a negative feedback or comment on or off your website, you should always deal with it professionally and maturely. If you can just reason with them appropriately some people will come to their senses and back off and even apologize. If the problem is beyond help, it is very useful to state your points clearly and explain the situation to the best and try to turn the general public’s support to help you out.

The by passers and your own customers will always stand by the one who is reasonable so make sure that you argue reasonably and turn the situation around and get more a support then the ‘difficult customer’. Always be humble and use the right choice of words and toning in your replies so that you do not appear to be ‘afraid’ of the negative comment and there should be a balance where it shows that you are not agitated b the comment as well.

Too many good reviews can be suspicious.

Sometimes if you get too many good reviews, people might wonder if the reviews are fake or are they a form of paid reviews. Therefore, once in a while when you get a bad review it can work to your advantage and show that the other reviews could be legitimate too. Just as long as you deal with the bad reviews the proper way, you will be able to walk away looking like you are a legitimate business with pros, and cons. Remember, nothing is perfect in this world even when we try hard to be one. So just be natural and handle the problems naturally and show to the world that you are human after all.

Negative reviews are good critics.

Whatever bad things people are saying about you and your business, always be sure to take not of it and try your best to use the feedback to improve your business. Sometimes, when you get a bad review, you could always answer by saying ‘Your suggestions have been noted and we will include it in our future updates’ or something similar.

This way, you will always appear to be the winner. The people who were complaining will not know how to respond to that usually, and they will just leave it as it is. You in another hand get to learn what is wrong with your product which you thought was perfect all this while and use the suggestions to improve. Other website visitors will be able to see clearly that you are a business owner who cares and do provide consistent update to your business.

In the end, one do not always need to delete the negative comments. What does not kill you only makes you stronger!

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What makes a business successful? Is it the product, the price, location, or something else?

I would suggest that there is another variable in play here. The variable is known as “customer service”. Good customer service can take a mediocre business and turn it into a world-renowned success.

There’s that old adage: Businesses do not really sell products, they sell customer service. Today, that old adage still rings true. If a business wants to succeed financially, they must first succeed in the realm of customer service.

And that’s what I hope to help you accomplish. I want to share with you some tips and tools that will help you sell your best asset: Customer service.

By taking to heart the suggestions and putting into practice the tips in this ebook, you will be able to build a wildly loyal and profitable customer base.

It may not always be easy, it may not always be fast, but one thing is for certain, it will work.

An issue that holds many entrepreneurs back is that they think that the end goal is money. Well, I am going to tell you to put those profits on the back-burner for just a little while, if only long enough to read what I would like to share with you today. Money is good.

There is nothing inherently wrong with money. But if you make it you goal in life, it will quickly become your master. A business whose goal is to create customer loyalty, on the other hand, has a very noble task. And that will ultimately pay off in the end as well.

Another pressing issue these days is the struggling global economy. Uncertainty abounds as world markets carry us on the roller coaster ride of a lifetime.

The only thing that can keep a business grounded in times like these is a loyal base of customers.

With loyal customers, a business can survive, and yes, even profit when the world markets are tumbling down. Loyal customers equal security and that is what I want to share with you.

As you read through the following pages, I want you to be thinking about one thing. How can I (the reader) put these things into practice in my own business? That is what matters the most.

You may want to take some time and think about certain sections before moving on. That is fine. Write down some notes and thoughts as we explore the world of customer service together. The purpose is to help you.

One other thing before we get started here. I ask you to keep an open mind. Let the text speak to you. There may be ideas that you do not like or that seem silly. Please do not put a judgment on them until you have tried them.

Some things may seem like a lot of work, but do not think that you have to make these changes overnight.

Some of the suggestions here will take time to implement. Go easy on yourself. Do not let the business be your slave master. And do not allow the love of money to direct your paths.

This Blog is designed to provide you with customer service tips and tools to cement customer loyalty and create a good reputation in the marketplace.

We will explore together the benefits of good customer service. We will also examine how to improve customer service by using the right tools for the job.

 

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Since sites such as Yelp, Google+ Local, and Citysearch started to hit the web, many small business owners are struggling to figure out how to fill them up with glowing, positive reviews from customers.

Naturally, consumers are making these sites their first stop when it comes to choosing a business; they place a lot of value on what past customers have to say.

Many companies have started vigorous campaigns to encourage their customers to leave reviews, while others have taken extremes. Some companies have gone as far as to post their own fake reviews on their listings, which is a bad idea as well as unethical.

In order to get REAL authentic reviews, the answer is simple:  offer a great product and provide excellent customer service.

While this may seem like common sense to most people, many businesses are not paying enough attention to the things that really make their customers tick.

However, those companies that are placing all of their attention on making their customers happy are seeing a consistent influx of positive reviews. This approach starts with a focus on your product and/or service.

When customers have a genuinely better experience at your establishment, it will naturally lead to more of them flocking to the web to tell others how they feel.

As a result, many of your potential customers who come across these reviews will have solid social proof that your company is the better choice for a positive buying experience.

Above all things, customers want to feel like they are being treated well and like they are important when they visit a business. Focusing more on the “customer” can help you build a stellar reputation – both online and offline.

For example, quality customer service, and going above and beyond for a customer, can take any patron’s experience from just “OK” to great. Customers who feel they have had a truly ‘great’ experience at a business are far more inclined to take the time to write a review.

Also, if a customer has had a negative experience at your establishment you should attempt to do everything possible to remedy the situation. By extending excellent service even to your “unhappy customers,” they will be less likely to write a negative review.

In many cases, these same unhappy customers go on to write “positive” reviews that lets others know how committed you are to customer satisfaction; this can be powerful in converting others into customers.

Taking this approach to excellent customer service will naturally put your business in a positive light and help your company become the local “business of choice” in your industry.