Category Archives: Business Success Tips

Improving Conversion by Building Business Relationships

building business relationships

building business relationships

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Trying to sell a visitor on a first visit is like asking someone to marry you the first time you meet. To improve your chances of closing the sale, first seek to build a business relationship with the prospect. Building rapport can be done in the following ways.

1) Educating

Explain a process or concept. Give step-by-step instructions and advice.

2) Problem solving

If there is a common problem your prospects face, develop a creative solution. Provide a simple, quick, and easy way to fix it.

3) Adding value

Provide something of value to your prospects. Ideally, use digital products and systems so that once the product is created, it does not cost you any extra to distribute it to 1,000 or 1,000,000.

Practically, these methods of business relationship building are conducted through the following ways:

4) Articles

Writing articles about your area of expertise can allow you to dramatically increase your influence. By submitting articles you have written to relevant directories, you could get republished to dozens of publications and reach thousands of prospects. You will be positioned as an expert to these people, and they will come to you looking for answers.

5) Blogging

The benefits of building and maintaining a blog are similar to those of publishing articles. Posting new, interesting content will help you market yourself by educating others. It attracts inbound links from other websites, and can often boost your website traffic.

6) E-course

An email e-course can be built by taking 3-5 of your articles and setting up a newsletter publishing tool to send 1 article per day to each person that signs up. You will get the benefits of marketing through education, and the repetition of one article per day will further market yourself.

Since the recipients have chosen to receive this from you, you can also include a message at the end of each email promoting your product or service.

7) Free tools & downloads

Building free tools that help your potential customers in some way is a powerful strategy to building traffic and relationships. Examples include calculators, generators, eBooks, and plugins. Often, these do not cost much time or effort to create, but provide a lot of value to your target audience.

Build relationships by sharing knowledge and giving away value before you try to close the sale. Doing so will not only improve your sales conversion rate, but will win you loyal customers and clients.

 

MarketHive Inbound Marketing Tools for Entrepreneurs

MarketHive is a social networking site designed for entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, MarketHive isn’t only a social networking website, in addition, it includes a blogging platform, plus some very effective online marketing tools to allow entrepreneurs to be successful marketing their Internet business, services and products.

Below you will find some of the marketing tools you will receive once you sign up for Markethive:

  • Autoresponders
  • E-mail Broadcasting
  • Blogging Platform
  • Capture Pages
  • One Click Lead Generation System
  • Conference Room and a whole lot more

You might be curious about how much actually does MarketHive charge for these amazing online marketing tools, well the answer really is these Internet marketing tools are totally free of charge for life, no strings attached. Basically these online marketing tools would cost you hundreds of dollars per month, not at MarketHive. This is the good news for the beginner as well as the veteran Internet marketer.

To learn more click on the following link:

http://blogs.freeinboundmarketingtools.com/go/market-hive/

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call me. My telephone number is 609-641-6594 – Eastern Time Zone

 

Thanks,

Ida Mae Boyd
Inbound Marketing Specialist

 

MarketHive

Some Common Reasons a Small Business Fails

 

MarketHive

A Marketing Plan for More Traffic, More Leads, and Higher Customer Retention

Are you up against competition that has deep pockets and can outspend you using traditional advertising methods?

Does it seem like a losing battle to go head-to-head with them to get new prospects?

Particularly for start-up companies, using traditional advertising and marketing methods can get expensive…especially if you’re up against an established company with more money than you. This is why you need to use marketing channels that will bring you the attention and customers you need without breaking your bank. Fortunately, you have an entire group of channels that you can use…

 Inbound Marketing.

This diagram explains all the techniques behind inbound marketing:

Traditional outbound marketing can end up being a poor investment. You have to rely on channels like cold-calling, paid branding and print advertising.

All of those channels can get really expensive really fast.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, will help you capture attention, generate leads, convert customers and keep those customers…all at a lower cost to you than your competition.

So, if you need help getting more traffic, more leads and retaining customers, then let’s look at a few steps you need to take to get there.

Step #1 – Ignore Sales And Focus On Marketing

Before you accuse me of losing my mind, let me explain. While hiring a killer sales team is very important, it’s much better to create a marketing strategy that feeds that team qualified, warm leads, instead of cold, and possibly dead leads. This way your sales team doesn’t spend their time chasing down unqualified prospects and following up on bad leads.

Instead, your efforts should be focused on building a marketing team with excellent marketing skills. Like::

  • Hire brilliant marketers – Look for talented men and women who have a reputation for building a huge fan base, generating qualified leads and using the tools that are involved in inbound marketing (SEO, social media, and content marketing) to bring brand exposure. It’s also better to find those who have worked with a startup company before.
  • Focus on tightly targeted markets – Understand your audience, break them down into relevant segments and then create tailor-made campaigns for each segment. This narrow approach will also raise your conversion rates.
  • Close qualified leads –What does a qualified sales lead look like? It comes down to the answer of these three questions:
    • Do they have the authority to buy?
    • Do they have the budget to buy?
    • When do they plan on buying?

You want your sales team to avoid leads that are NINAs—no influence, no authority. You want to just send them mostly A leads (is ready to buy in 3 months or less), some B leads (is ready to buy in three to twelve months). The C leads marketing can keep. This process should make the sales team’s job seem like they are shooting fish in a barrel.

Step #2. Focus On Multiple Inbound Channels

The key behind an effective inbound marketing strategy is to create and deliver valuable content. This strategy gives you a lot of different channels to use.

Here is a template that you can use for your own inbound marketing strategy:

  • Blog – Your team should focus on publishing quality content two to five times a week. By quality I mean it is search-engine friendly, highly-researched and compelling.
  • Engage in comment marketing – Someone on your team should focus on visiting sites within your industry to interact with bloggers and readers in the comment section. Commenting is a great SEO strategy too, but more importantly, it will bring you attention, help build you up as an authority and prepare you to write guest blog posts.
  • Publish guest blog posts – Guest blogging is one of the fastest ways to grow your subscriber base. Fortunately, because of the high demand for content many blogs are looking for guest writers.
  • Produce online video – Video can help improve your search rankings, to raise the amount of time, people stay on your page and even boost conversion rates on your landings pages.
  • Interact in the social bookmarking world – While this isn’t one of the most popular ways to generate leads, it is definitely one you shouldn’t ignore. In fact, certain industries include heavy users of social bookmarks sites like delicious.com or Readability.
  • Establish authority on Q+A sites – Quora has really established itself as a place for a professional exchange of ideas. Search for questions related to your industry, leave thoughtful answers and interact with other contributors. This process will help build your credibility.
  • Design brilliant infographics – Some companies like Wordstream use a heavy dose of infographics to generate traffic and back links to their sites. But making a great infographic is not easy. A bad infographic can set you back, so get this one right. Visual.ly, a one-stop shop for infographic creation, also has this inbound marketing technique nailed.
  • Build a social media audience on the big four – Focus your audience-building efforts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. If your target audience is on Pinterest or Tumblr, then use those sites as well. Keep in mind—don’t spread yourself too thin. Pick two or three that you can maximize your exposure.
  • Implement a solid startup SEO plan – If you run a startup, then you are in an excellent position to take advantage of everything that SEO has to offer.the Cool thing is if you are doing all the things above…you are halfway into a great SEO plan. Now you just need to cover some other basics like on-page optimization.

All of the efforts behind a good inbound marketing plan won’t cost you a dime except for the sweat equity you invest. This means you can compete with bigger competition that is better funded.

For each of the inbound marketing efforts above you’ll want to break them down into steps. To show you how to do that we’ll break down one of these techniques into detailed steps. And we’ll choose a social media strategy where there is little competition so you can take advantage of this strategy now.

Step #3. Dominate LinkedIn Groups

While the big three social media sites get all the attention, LinkedIn is quietly becoming a powerhouse. With over 150 million users, you have a lot of opportunities to generate some serious attention. The specific strategy I want to focus on is with Groups. Contribute and engage with LinkedIn Groups with this quick 5-step strategy and you’ll generate some high-quality leads.

  • Find the best Group to join – LinkedIn has lots of groups that are divided into categories. Find three to five small groups that most accurately represent your target demographic. The reason you want to join small groups is there will be less competition and easier opportunity to get attention.
  • Target popular discussions – You’ll waste your time if you simply try to join every discussion. Instead, search for the most popular discussions—these will have the most visibility. These discussions usually involve hot button issues, and attract a lot of members. You’ll find these discussions on the top of the group discussion page. Read the post, review some of the comments and jump in!
  • Start a new discussion – Before you start your own discussion, make sure you spend some time in other discussions. Get a feel for the culture of the group and find out what is important to them.
  • Follow up – It’s not easy keeping track of discussions, so you’ll have to be proactively visit your groups and monitor the discussions—especially the ones you started.
  • Start a Group – This is a perfect way to establish your authority. But you have to be strategic here. Make this group center on your brand and how your message is different than the competition. Brands That Defy Gravity is a great example of a group that stands out in a crowded market.

Let’s look closely at another strategy.

Step #4. Never Attend A Trade Show Again

If your industry has a lot of trade shows, you may be tempted to attend a few. Why not? Trade shows are a great place to meet new people, build relationships and build your brand. But trade shows can be very expensive. From buying the ticket to the show (which can cost upward of a thousand dollars), to flying to and from the show, buying food and spending money on a room…you could easily drop ten thousand dollars a year. There is a more effective—and cheaper—way to leverage the power of trade shows.

Most conferences are online in some way, so you don’t actually have to go or even pay. In fact a lot of these conferences share so much content during the show that you can tweet about it as if you are actually there, using the conference related hashtags, of course.

Here’s what you could do also:

  • Blog about the main points of each speaker – During an event you can check the website and pull down the points that he is sharing. Then publish a blog post as soon as possible and promote it on your social site. This will engage you with those who are actually at the conference!
  • Summarize the conference – The day after the event create a blog post or white paper about the conference. Include points from each speaker and even offer take away lessons that you learned. This is effective because you were building a captive audience while you were tweeting and blogging during the event.

“Attending” conferences and trade shows via the internet will probably give you more insight than those who are actually attending since you’ll have a 30,000 foot view. Make sure you are engaging both attendees and speakers at these events, and notifying them when you share content.

Conclusion

Inbound marketing is truly a gift to startups who are strapped for cash. Depending upon how big your team is, you will all probably end up working like a slave to get it all done…but it will be worth the effort. Dozens of companies like Mashable and SEOmoz got tremendous exposure for their companies from their tireless inbound marketing efforts. What other inbound marketing techniques have you used?

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

MarketHive

Looking For Money For Your Business, Listen To The CEO of Indiegogo Tell You How

“I love huntin’ through data to find the weird little trends; it’s how you learn how things actually work. I also really, really dig the concept of crowdfunding. Put the two together, and you’ve got my attention.

During a chat with John Biggs today at Disrupt Europe, Indiegogo CEO Slava Rubin dropped a rapid fire stream of knowledge. If you’re considering doing any sort of crowdsourcing campaign, this is probably stuff you should know.

The tips Slava gave were almost entirely pulled straight from the data that Indiegogo has gathered over the past few years, rather than random guess work. “I used to have a lot of opinions. Now, luckily, I don’t have to have opinions. We can talk on data.”

While these pointers are based on Indiegogo’s data, the overall concepts likely apply to pretty much any crowdfunding platform.

Slava broke his advice down into three categories: pitching, being proactive, and finding an audience.

On pitching:

  • If you have a video, you’ll raise 114% more money on average than if you don’t.
  • Wondering how many perks to offer? The magic number seems to be somewhere between 3-8.
  • On average, successful campaigns will cross their target fundraising goal on Day 36.
  • Average contribution size on successful campaigns comes in at around $70.
  • If you have 4 or more people on your team, you’ll raise 70% more money than if you only have one person.

On being proactive:

  • Update your backers (and potential backers) regularly. ”If you do an update every 5 days or less, you’ll raise 4x more than if you do an update every 20 days or more”.
  • Need to reach potential backers? Indiegogo sees most contributions coming from email campaigns. Facebook is second, then Twitter.
  • Momentum matters: you’re 5x more likely to hit your target if you can reach at least 25% of your overall goal within the first week

Finding an audience:

  • “We like to think about it as 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. Indiegogo multiplies whatever you can accomplish. If you’re only able to raise $0, Indiegogo can only multiply [by zero]. You need to start by finding the first 1/3 of the money for your campaign [through your network], often the next third comes from friends of your network, and Indiegogo will, on average, get you that last third.”
  • Have your family and friends help to get the ball rolling: “No one wants to fund your empty campaign”
  • On whether your project should be as polished as possible “I don’t think it’s about [that]. It’s about being authentic. […] Some campaigns should be more polished, because that’s what they’re trying to sell. Some campaigns can just use flipcams and iPhones. It varies, and the data really doesn’t prove yet that it’s important to be polished.”
  • On how important it is that your campaign is in english: “There’s a debate on that. To get as many international dollars as possible, you definitely will want english as part of your campaign. But, obviously, if you want to focus first on your local community, [use that local language].”

*Article was swiped from Techcrunch.com Disrupt Europe 2013 Conference.

Dr. Raymond Jewell is a leading Economist and Home Based Business Consultant. Dr. Jewell is an Alpha Founder with Markethive and manages several blogs in the hive. Markethive is a revolutionary new marketing tool that is a game changer in marketing on the web. Sign up for a FREE Markethive system and see for yourself.

 

MarketHive

The Alpha Advantage

The latest buzz about alpha males has spawned workshops and books geared toward both women and men who want to become more “alpha” in business. How can being more alpha help female entrepreneurs?

“Women need to stop waiting to be recognized and go after exactly what they want,” advises Christopher Flett, author of What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business: Opening Up the Heavily Guarded Alpha Male Playbook. “First, women need to stop competing to get on the ‘guys’ team. The only team in business now is profitability. Second, women need to stop attacking each other and speaking ill of others in the workplace. Finally, women need to stop inadvertently giving up their power to alpha male clients and colleagues.”

Through his online program, Ghost-CEO, Flett offers guidance to women business owners, providing them with on-demand, downloadable coaching sessions. Women typically look to build consensus and make sure everyone’s included, he says. “Alpha males call this ‘henning.’ By having this focus, [women] make concessions intended to bring people together, but instead, they give up their power.”

“Women shouldn’t be victim to today’s business cultures,” says Maria Bailey, founder and CEO of BSM Media, a $2 million marketing and media company in Pompano Beach, Florida, that helps companies connect with and market to moms. “If you act [as if] there is inequality, then you get inequality.”
Bailey says two men can argue over business one moment, then be found on a golf course the next. “[But if] two women disagree, they both stew over it for weeks, taking it personally and getting emotional,” she says.

Bailey, 44, thinks women get too emotional about business in general. “We fall in love with our ideas and companies,” she says. “Look at how few women entrepreneurs have an exit strategy. So many women call their companies their babies. What woman would get rid of her baby?”
Nathan Kwast, managing member of BecomeAlpha, a global organization that “teaches the arts and sciences of social dominance,” believes that women don’t understand the “power of neutrality.” Says Kwast, “[Women] mistakenly believe that blind aggression and displays of dominance are necessary to attain power. They choose being perceived posi-tively over grabbing for power, when, in reality, they can have both.”

What can women entrepreneurs learn from alpha males? “Men are great at getting to the point and not internalizing issues,” says Bailey, who learned long ago never to cry at work. “[Crying is] a sign of weakness,” she explains. Instead, “When I feel upset about a professional issue, I always ask myself, ‘What would a man do?’ And then I ask myself if it’s me creating the situation or really a situation to worry about.”

 

MarketHive

Should Freelancers Ever Work for Free?

You’ve just been asked to work for free, perhaps with a promise of “great exposure.” What should you do?

working for free

Whether it comes from a family member or even a potential new client, most freelancers have been asked to work for no pay. Perhaps the request was from a family member that doesn’t realize the amount of time put in to the request, or from a client who would like a trial run before hiring a new freelancer. But should freelancers ever work for free?

The question has stirred up debates among freelancers, some insisting it’s necessary to work for free in order to get started, others saying that it devalues the work and brings the price for that work down. There’s merit to both sides of the argument – here’s what freelancers should consider when they’re asked to work for free.

Value matters.

Say you are ordering at a restaurant you’ve never been to before, and you want a really great pizza. There are two options on the menu– a $5.99 value pizza and a $15.99 deluxe pizza. Which pizza do you think is better? Most consumers will say that $15.99 pizza is better, because there’s a value associated with price.

The more an item is priced, the more value people will associate with it. Most will automatically equate that $5.99 pizza with a greasy one-topping pie, and that $15.99 with a topping-filled tasty dinner. The same thing applies to things that are free. When you give your work away for free, it can send a message that you are a low skilled freelancer, because there’s little value associated with something that’s free.

Since free things have little value, freelancers should never work for free, right? Well, not necessarily. Whether or not a freelancer should do some work for free depends largely on the situation. Here are some examples:

When you should work for free

  • When you are a new freelancer, and you have no portfolio, you may need to work for free so that you have samples to show paid clients. This is just temporary – a few free projects to show what you can do. Don’t place free bids for clients actively seeking freelancers; instead try seeking out a nonprofit and volunteering, creating a product for yourself (like a blog or logo) or opportunities such as guest posts that double as a marketing tool.
  • When you work in exchange for marketing. Sometimes, you may not get paid in monetary form, but through exposure. A prime example is the Huffington Post. While they have some paid writers on staff, they publish a lot of guest posts for free. Many writers have grown their business exponentially after guest posting for a large site like Huffington Post, because it offers a big boost in their credentials. That’s not to say every freelance writer should write guest posts for free, but for some it is a great marketing tool.
  • When you trade services. Say you are a freelancer writer that needs a new logo, and say you meet a graphic designer that needs to update their website copy. There’s certainly nothing wrong with trading services.
  • When the person that’s asking is your mom (or someone equally important to you). There’s undoubtedly some people in your life that you owe. Just be sure to set a limit and decide how far to extend family freebies (or if you want to do them at all).

When you shouldn’t work for free

  • When you have a solid portfolio. I’ve come across this many times – a potential client asks for sample work done specifically for them, despite having very similar work in my portfolio. Charge for that work. If you are creating something that the client will be able to use, they should be paying for that service. When asked to do a test trial for free, politely tell them your rates for that work. Point them to your existing samples, and mention that it does not have to be long term if the first project doesn’t work out. Again, when you offer work for free, you lower the perceived value of your service.
  • When the client reaches out to you for something like a free guest post, that should be a warning flag. That’s sort of like asking for a gift, it’s not exactly polite or good business practice. If they like your work enough to contact you, they should like it enough to pay you.
  • When your work isn’t going to be connected to your name. Make sure before sending out any guest posts or similar “free” marketing efforts that you know how it is going to be used. If you create a guest post or cartoon that isn’t linked back to your website, you’ve wasted your time. Take the time to write down exactly how your work is to be used and make sure both parties agree.
  • When the work isn’t “evergreen.” Sometimes, you may not get paid right away, but will reap rewards over time. A classic example is starting your own blog. You won’t get paid one lump sum like blogging for a client, but those blog posts will continue to earn advertising revenue long after you’ve completed them. If you do need to create a portfolio, a great way to do so without working for free is to create a blog that has potential to earn you money down the road, long after you’ve completed it and are getting paid clients.

Most freelancers, at some point, are asked to work for free. For the most post, free work should act as a red flag. When freelancers offer work for free, it devalues their services. Time is valuable, so freelancers shouldn’t work for free, at least not often. But, in a few cases, working for free can be a good marketing tool, and may be necessary for freelancers who have no portfolio.

What do you think? Have you ever worked for free? How did it turn out?

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they are visible on this page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive
markethive.com


 

MarketHive

Closing the Deal the Right Way

If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you are interested in honing your sales skills. You probably have a desire to take your sales game to the next level, by improving your ability to close a sale. If so, congratulations are in order. The desire to improve your skills is one of the key traits all real closers share. The truth is that the process of closing a deal the right way is very straightforward. There’s no magic or sleight of hand involved. Nevertheless, the close is the one part of the sales process that defeats many otherwise successful salespeople.
 
The key element in closing a sale is understanding when the time is right to stop the sales pitch and ask for the potential customer’s business. There is no sure and fast rule for when to decide that the moment is right to close. Because there are too many variables involved in each discrete sales process, there is no way to definitively apply a set of standards to cover each one. What can be said though is that your instincts will tell you when the time is right. If you trust your instincts, your timing of the close will become impeccable.
 
 Also, don’t be afraid of asking for the customer’s business. After all, the primary element of any salesperson’s job is to sell things to people. Despite this, a surprisingly large number of salespeople flinch and balk when it comes to the actual moment of truth.
 
One of the reasons for this is poor preparation prior to the close. A poorly prepared salesperson has no confidence in their presentation. This potential customer senses this lack of confidence and, as a result, feels lukewarm about the whole process. The salesperson, in turn, senses the customer’s apathy and becomes fearful of losing the sale. The flinch is a result of the salesperson trying to avoid this result.
 
A properly prepared salesperson has no problem with the close. This is because he or she has done all of the necessary work beforehand that’s required to bring the sales process to a successful conclusion. They made the customer the center of attention by remembering that the sales process is not about them. They have listened to the customer and determined the nature of the customer’s problem or need. They have explained to the customer how they can solve this problem or meet this need. Therefore, asking for the customer’s business becomes a done deal.
 
 
 

Source: Tips for Business Life Success

Did you start the first of the year off on the right foot?

Well, how’d you do this month? Did you start the first of the year off on the right foot? Did you gain momentum towards your goals?  Did you put forth more effort in the direction of making 2015 a better year? We hope so.
 
As I look at this month in review, the main enhancement that i’ve made that has resulted in momentum, is implementation intention.  Implementation intention is a strategy used in the direction of effective goal attainment. In a nutshell it’s ‘specificity’. For instance, instead of saying tomorrow i’m going to get that ‘thing’ done.. Instead you say ‘tomorrow at 3:00pm i’m going to complete the ‘thing’ on my computer in my office. The ‘thing’ will take 30 minutes to complete. 
 
See the difference? I’ve learned moving forward or not is not only due to lack of effort, but often times due to not having a defined plan. When we’re confused or unclear, we don’t take the necessary action. 
 
Here are a few steps to improve your effectiveness:
-Plan your day the night before
 
-During planning, get super specific with all tasks
 
-Have your plan and process clear with no ambiguity
ex) know the steps, know the process, know what happens next if a or b happens.. etc
 
Last thing, to becoming more effective is to map your process. Imagine you are hiring an associate/sales rep, and you let them lose to help you build your business. What are they doing? Do you have a detailed standard operating procedure for them to implement? 
 
Knowing your process and how to implement with specificity is a huge productivity enhancer in itself. Give it a go!

Source: Tips for Business Life Success

What Ambitions Do You Have?

Everyone has some kind of ambition regardless of age, kids demonstrate this when they are small by dreaming of becoming a dentist or doctor. As you age you still have ambitions but the question is whether you are any closer to actually achieving them or not.

Having dreams and desires is fine but why not go a step further and make your dreams a reality? This is exactly what ambitious people do. They go after the very thing that they wantand they don’t allow anything to get in their way.

An ambition can be a really lofty goal and one reason why you may not reach it is because of that. It is such a large ambition that it seems to be insurmountable.  So instead of trying to attain it you give up before getting started. This is not the way to think!

What you should do instead is to break this ambition into smaller sections. If you want to own your own home for example write out all the steps you have to do to achieve it. Then tackle each one at a time.

Be very specific with each step so that you outline how to reach your end goal. Then be realistic with how long this will take. Your first step may be in having to find a better paying job so that you can own your first home. This may require additional training that will take time.

No matter how long it takes to reach your goal always keep your ambition in sight. Remember that each and every action you take will take you to where you want to go. J.K. Rowling’s approached several publishing houses before being accepted. She would have never achieved her fame and wealth if she didn’t have ambition and drive.

By breaking down your main ambition you can identify just what you have to do to get there. This process allows you to stay on track and stay motivated. As you complete one section or goal, cross it off of your list and feel proud. You are now one step closer. Repeat this process until you have achieved your dreams one by one.

Always remember that good things will not just drop into your lap, instead you want to make things happen and the best way to do this is by using your ambitions. Success will come to you before you know it.

Source: Tips for Business Life Success