Would it be possible to add additional or optional columns to the contacts view page. For example, I would like to be able to see: Name, Email and Birthday/ Anniversaries on the contacts home page. This would be a helpful sorting option as well
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Hi @PoeC9! I believe you may be asking about our List Growth Tools. These are tools that we provide to you as part of your account and they can help to grow your contact list. We have web sign-up forms and plugins for Facebook and Wordpress as well. You can locate all of your List Growth Tools by clicking the List Growth Tools link at the top of your account:
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Email Marketing Content Ideas - 1. Talk about your store.
Talk about your store. Why did you create your store? Where is your store? What are the hours of the store? Just give a bit of background about the store. If you do not have a physical store, or a brick and mortar store, figure out what is your store story? How can you share the history of the business and how it was created? People like these insider secrets. It is not unlike when a celebrity has a baby. People want to know the insider stuff. Give your clients and customers the background story about your business.
Email Marketing Content Ideas – 2. Talk about a day in the life of your business.
Talk about a day in the life of your business. This is what happens on a typical day. This is how you deal with customers. This is how you deal with clients. Share the typical questions that you encounter. Because this is your business, it should be easy for you.
Email Marketing Content Ideas – 3. Profile a customer.
Talk about a customer or client success story. Interview somebody who knows and loves you. Of course, you need to get their permission to do this. Make sure to tell a little bit about their backstory. Ask the questions that other customers want answers to. How did you help them solve their problem? Why are they working with you? Why do they like your business? People love to connect, not with businesses, but with people. If you are talking about your business, that is one thing, but if a satisfied customer is talking about your business that is better.
Email Marketing Content Ideas – 4. Profile an employee.
You could also profile an employee. If you have employees whether they be part-time or full-time, people like to connect with people. So, just tell them how you hired this person, why you hired this person, what their typical job is. You may think that this is mundane, or not important, but sometimes when we are dealing with websites and emails it is important to know that there is a human being in there somewhere. We are just social animals and we need to connect. This helps people connect with you, via your email marketing newsletter.
Email Marketing Content Ideas – 5. Demo your product.
Show a product demonstration or a product usage. Show your product being used. If it is a physical product, that could be a quick little video; a demonstration. If it is professional service, you may need to be a bit more creative, but you can still do this. People are visual people and we process 80% of our information through visual media, so do the best that you can to portray the benefits of your product in visual form.
Email Marketing Content Ideas – 6. Customer testimonials.
Share customer testimonials. We talked about customer profiles previously, but this is a bit different. Instead of in depth stories these are quick little comments that people may have written on a blog or on Yelp, or social media. The other day I saw a great idea implemented. Somebody just took a screenshot of what somebody had said on Yelp and they just pasted it in their email campaign. That is an example of email marketing content via customer testimonials. So, share those customer testimonials. This is proof that you are doing an exemplary job.
Email Marketing Content Ideas – 7. Push people to a social media contest.
Encourage a social media contest. If you have fans connected with you on Instagram, or YouTube or LinkedIN or Facebook, encourage them to post. Encourage them to share and create a strategy for this contest. Perhaps the most creative post of the month wins a dinner, or a $50 coffee gift cards of some prize like that. So, you are encouraging your customers and your clients to create a little buzz on social media.
This is just seven quick email marketing content ideas, there are thousands more. Good luck with your email marketing, and you if need an email marketing strategy expert, please contact me. I offer a no-cost phone consultation for qualified clients. Please visit www.buildingaspirations.com/appointment
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HOW TO DO EMAIL MARKETING
EMAIL MARKETING FOR BUSINESS
Your Email Marketing Toolkit by Mark Mikelat president of Building Aspirations My goal is to teach you how to do email marketing. This short, but comprehensive article tells you what you need to know from strategy to implementation. Email marketing is a powerful marketing tactic. Whether you are a consumer based business, service based company, not-for-profit, corporation, or something in between, email marketing can help you connect with your customers and clients in a very cost effective way. The tools and techniques outlined below will be powerful tools for your email marketing toolbox.
How to Do Email Marketing – Email Service Provider
First of all, you need an ESP or an email service provider. Please don’t think that you can do a blind cc in Outlook or Yahoo, or Gmail to email a long list of contacts. You need to use the right software, and I strongly suggest that you go with Constant Contact. Constant Contact is a provider of email marketing and social media marketing services to small business. They provide exemplary customer service and the software is robust in its features. Click here to get started with Constant Contact.
How to Do Email Marketing – Making Money with Email
Email marketing allows you to connect with your leads, stay in contact with them and nurture your relationships. You can use it to fill and maximize your marketing funnel. The short video below explains how to accomplish this.
How to Do Email Marketing – What To Say
What do you say in your emails? In short, you must provide high value, focused and concise messages to your target audience. Please do not just demand that they purchase from you. Provide something of substance. How can you accomplish this? Click here for 17 Super Quick and Easy Content Ideas.
How to Do Email Marketing – Visuals
Great visuals can really make your marketing message much more powerful. Make sure to use pictures, videos or graphics that support your branding, and are matched well to your product and target market. Click here for 83 places to find great visuals.
How to Do Email Marketing – Subject Lines
Good subject lines are critical. A great movie title or a powerful book title can grab your attention. A good email subject line should accomplish the same thing. Click here for expert instruction on How to Write Subject Lines.
How to Do Email Marketing – Open Rate
You need your emails to be read. This is like people coming to your store or website. You cannot make a sale if customers do not visit your business. Along the same lines, you cannot impress somebody with your great email content if they do not open your email. Click here for tips on how to increase your email open rate.
How to Do Email Marketing – Segmentation and Targeting
Please do not use the same strategy with your first time purchases as your VIP customers. When you segment and target your customers, your email marketing effectiveness will increase dramatically. Click here for 7 Ways To Target Precisely With Email Marketing.
How to Do Email Marketing – Advanced Tips
Now that you have the background, here are some advanced tips to really accelerate your success. Click here for tips on How to Engage with Email Marketing.
Now you have the building blocks to build a great email marketing system that will get you more clients, customers and revenue. What are the next steps? You need to execute. The specifics are right here on this page. Review them, embrace them and make them your own for your business and your customers. Even with this guide, sometimes, people need help. I can help you with training, coaching, or email management services. Simply click on the orange button to schedule a no-cost call with me to learn more about how I can help you put your email marketing strategy into action.
Please join our email list. We welcome new subscribers to the Building Aspirations newsletter with the Email Marketing Video Success Kit, 10 videos on how to ramp up your email marketing. Click here to subscribe.
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EMAIL LIST BUILDING
Quick and Easy Email List Building Strategies by Mark Mikelat, president of Building Aspirations You need a list. Email marketing is a powerful tool, but you need a list of people to send your messages to. No worries. For nearly two decades I have been helping businesses with email marketing strategies that bring real, measurable, and cost-effective results. Allow me to share with you some quick tips on how to effectively build your email list. Enjoy this short article – Quick and Easy Email List Building Strategies.
Focus on Quality, not Quantity
First of all, realize that email list building is about quality, and not quantity. It is far better to email to 10 people who know and love you, then 10,000 people who do not know who you are. Start with your connections, your clients, and your vendors. The people who know and trust you and are familiar with your great products and services are the foundation of a great list. Business happens only after successful rapport building and this is accomplished through a quality connection. This leads us to the next point.
Build your list, do not buy it
It is far better to build a list, than buy one. I have been doing email marketing for nearly 20 years. Some of my clients have been Microsoft, MasterCard, Victoria’s Secret, and hundreds of other globally recognized companies. I have never experienced a significant success story from people who have purchased a list. Consumers want a connection. They want to trust you, your product and your service, and this starts with simply knowing who you are. You cannot buy this relationship. It needs to be developed.
Spam is for breakfast, not email
Secondly, do not put yourself in a precarious situation by becoming a spammer. Spam is great, or perhaps, more accurately, delicious when fried, especially over an open camp fire. Spam is a horrible email marketing practice. Please do not be a spammer. I could quote the specifics of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, but I will summarize with some advice that your mother might provide – “Be nice to people.” You do not like receiving spam, so please do not spam other people.
Train your staff
Train your staff to collect contact information in their client and customer interactions. Please do not be sneaky. Make it obvious that people are subscribing to your newsletter or your updates. Perhaps this might be done in person at the point-of-sales terminal, on the guest receipt, or in the purchase documentation, depending on your type of business. A browser in your shop today might become a frequent shopper next month if they are intrigued and enticed with some good email marketing.
Add an opt-in form to your website
Also, I encourage you to include an email opt-in box on your website. You know your business, but a visitor might not understand. They need more information, and subscribing to your email newsletter is a low-risk way that they can get the information that they are seeking. That additional information can come in the form of a regular, value-packed email marketing newsletter. The potential customer can educate themselves on your business at their pace without pressure by simply reading your email newsletters. Make sure to put the registration form in multiple prominent places on your website.
Ask people to subscribe
As general rule, simply ask the person. Saying “Would you like to subscribe to our email newsletter?” is a quick, easy and non-confrontational way to get new, permission-based, and opted-in subscribers. Statistically, 57% of people will say “yes” when asked. The answer is “no” 100% of the time if you do not ask. Always ask.
Integrate the Ask
You can also integrate the ask into all of your marketing. If you have magazine advertisements, flyers, or brochures, you could add a line that asks for the email subscription. You can also add a subscription link on your blog, Facebook page, or business card. Wherever and whenever you interface with your potential customers, you can integrate the ask.
Finally, I could never hope to answer all of your questions about list building in a short post. So, I created a powerful tool to help you. The List Building Mastery Course is a comprehensive, online tool to provide you the expert guidance you need to build a powerful list. And, because you are a blog reader, you can enter the promo code of VIPBLOG to get this already inexpensive course for an incredible 50% discount. Click here now to get started.
Please join our email list. We welcome new subscribers to the Building Aspirations newsletter with the Email Marketing Video Success Kit, 10 videos on how to ramp up your email marketing. Click here to subscribe.
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The best advantage of social media marketing is to your professional. You can create activity through web-based social networking, which changes over into the leads of offer finest-Asssignments. You generate the business not problem for social media marketing about noise pollution because everyone faces the all problem for money.
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7 Content Ideas for Social Media When You Do Not Know What to Say
by Mark Mikelat,
president of Building Aspirations
Click here to subscribe to our newsletter and get the Email Marketing Video Success Series.
A good number of people are confused about social media marketing. I understand the frustration. Sometimes, you simply do not know what to say. Allow me to provide you some quick tips. Enjoy this short article - 7 Things to Say on Social Media When You Do Not Know What to Say.
Ask for a testimonial
If you are speaking about yourself and how great your product is, that is bragging. Yet, if somebody else speaks to your great service, product quality, or innovation, that is a testimonial. The first is bad, and the latter is good. When a happy customer shares their experience with the world, they are providing you a public endorsement. Ask you customers to share their experience on your Facebook business page.
Tell a story about your best work day
Everybody loves stories. Pick a particularly good day or experience that you had and share the details with your audience. A great way to do this might be via a basic video. Simply create a video, host it on Facebook and share the link with your audience. If this is a professional, higher quality video, share it on LinkedIN.
Create a selfie photo contest
User generated content creates engagement with your fan audience. It speaks directly to your fans, keeps them involved and creates a bit of buzz around your brand. You might ask your fans to take pictures of themselves standing next to, or holding your product. This is more than just a bit of random fun. You might create customer envy and win a new customer because they want the same experience. If you do not have a physical product, use a variation of this idea with a logo contest.
Create a logo contest
Suppose that you have a business to business model, or you work in a professional services industry. There might not be a straightforward visual content strategy for you. For example, what is a good visual for accounting? Posting pictures on Instagram of your spreadsheets might not garner the interaction and marketing attention that you are seeking. Use your logo. Your logo is a powerful piece of your branding strategy. Encourage your fans to print out your logo and take creative pictures of themselves holding it, and then have them post these photos on social media. Have fans vote for a contest winner. The contest prize might be a gift card, or a certificate for your services. This strategy allows you to tap into creativity even if your marketing team is not creative.
Also, you can share tips. People love tips because they are quick and easy. Notice the title of this post. If the title were "113 tips..." you might not be reading it. But, when you present 3, 5, or 7 tips people understand that the information will be concise and specific. They might invest five minutes to read it. More importantly, tips help solve problems. Provide these solutions in your tips, and link everything back to your products and services. You could also implement a version of this with expert advice.
Provide expert advice
When you provide expert advice, you share your expertise for one specific problem. For example, you might share a blog post entitled "What you really must know about ____ before you ____." Simply plug in the keywords for your target market and wow 'em with your expert knowledge. If you are a contractor your blog or Facebook post might be "What you really must know about your home before you hire a plumber."
Share an exclusive offer
You can also share an exclusive offer on social media. An exclusive offer does not need to be a discount. It could be first access. Perhaps your email newsletter subscribers will get the first opportunity to purchase a new product. People love exclusivity. We are all jealous of the elite frequent flyers who can board the plane two minutes before we can. Apply this exclusivity principle to your email marketing program.
As long as you remain focused on helping your customers, solving problems for your fans, and engaging your target market, you will always have something to say on Social Media. If you need help with putting together a strategic social media marketing plan, contact us. We specialize in helping small businesses with their social media marketing strategies. Click here to get the conversation started.
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83 Sites You Need to Know About to Find Super High Quality Photos by Mark Mikelat, president of
Building Aspirations Click here to subscribe to our newsletter and get the Email Marketing Video Success Series. Do you struggle finding the right photo to convey the right message in your social media marketing? There are a ton of great sources, but wouldn’t it be great if they were all in one place? What if you were directed to editing tools too? Then of course, you might need a better understanding of copyrights and what you may and may not use. Well, lament no longer. This short post has all of this and more – 83 Sites You Need to Know About to Find Super High Quality Photos.
Visuals are Powerful
A good photo can convey your social media marketing messages powerful and quickly. Please do not shy away from hiring an experienced photographer when you need to. You are paying them for their expertise and not just the photos. With the proper use of shading and lighting they can really tell your marketing story very effectively. But, sometimes, you just need quick photo. Make sure to bookmark this post, and even share it with your friends. Share it with your enemies too.
If you need more information about copyrights, fair use and keeping out of trouble, here is an easy to understand and comprehensive article that explains the specifics of what is and is not copyright infringement. I am not a lawyer, so I cannot and will not advise you on what graphics to use where. I would hate for you to start a national social media marketing campaign and need to halt it due to infringement of intellectual property rights. Make sure to get the expert advice first. Click to read the entire article.
Some Basic Tools
PicMonkey is a great editing tool with a very simple to use interface. It is free, and there is a premium version if you need more advanced features. If you are creative and can make you own illustrations, Canva is a great tool. I know several Instagram fans who swear by this tool for their social media marketing. Canva advertises themselves as a free, simple and fun tool to enable “Amazingly Simple Graphic Design.”
Where to Find the Photos
For royalty free stock photos visit iStockPhoto. Some of the photos require you to purchase credits. They also have video clips available for sale. DollarPhotoClub.com has a huge database of pictures for $1 apiece. They have a membership model. Death to The Stock Photo has a free and a premium service. Their name speaks to their vision and their business model. This service is very popular with bloggers. Morgue File is a free photo archive. They explain their name on the site. DepositPhotos.com has a great collection of millions of high-quality stock photos. Fotolia sells photos and video clips and they have monthly specials. For a huge selection, try ShutterStock.com. There are 50 million+ photos, icons, and graphics. If you are an agency, this is a great solution for you. Pixabay advertises high quality images that you can use anywhere. Thinkstock photos is a product of Getty Images. You can download 25 photos a day with an annual subscription.
A Whole Bunch All at Once
There are 20 more resources here for some great photos. There are 50+ resources shared on this blog post.
Marketing is nothing without the strategy Great pictures are great pictures. Great marketing requires a strategy and if you do not have one, we should talk. I have consulted on the online marketing strategies of large global corporations and now I focus on helping small business. If you are just posting pictures and hoping that something magically happens, you are not marketing. That whimsical strategy is called gambling. Click here to learn about my business mentoring program. If your business is established, but just not achieving what you feel you should, we could be a perfect match. Building Aspirations can help! Connect with us today. We are experts with social media marketing. You know your business. Building Aspirations knows social media.
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7 Reasons Why You Cannot Have Enough Fans
by Mark Mikelat, president of Building Aspirations
I want you, your company, and your products to have more fans. Nike has fans, Apple has fans, Starbucks has fans, and you can have fans too. People brag about overpaying for a Starbucks coffee, and fight to be the first one to buy the new Apple product. Having a fan base can really propel your business success. Enjoy this short article - 7 Reasons Why You Cannot Have
Fans love you.
A fan has an emotional connection. A client buys something. A customer browses. A fan loves you, your product, your service and your brand. Have you been to a professional sporting event lately? Holy, Cow! People paint their faces, pay $200+ for tickets, $50 to park and then they buy a $250 jersey. These are fans. They are emotionally invested. You need to work to create this connection in your business to create this fan base. Fans buy stuff.
Fans will buy.
A fan has an emotional connection.
A client buys something. A customer browses. A fan loves you, your product, your service and your brand. Have you been to a professional sporting event lately? Holy, Cow! People paint their faces, pay $200+ for tickets, $50 to park and then they buy a $250 jersey. These are fans. They are emotionally invested. You need to work to create this connection in your business to create this fan base. Fans buy stuff.
Fans are less price sensitive.
Fans care less about the price. Sure, price is always a factor, but for a fan it is not the primary one. You cannot easily compete on price. It is extremely difficult to compete on price in a competitive marketplace. Yet, with fans, this is less of a problem. Fans love being fans and they pay for that experience. Also, they want to share the fan experience.
Fans bring friends.
Fans tell their friends about you.
You probably do not go alone to see your favorite band in concert. You probably bring a friend, or even friends. Personally, I have friends who will create small outings around an experience. They might have a small dinner, and then this group might pile into a car and drive to the concert. Your fan is literally bringing you more fans. You need to encourage this in your business. Do you have a bring-a-friend night, or a friend referral program? You need one. Contact us to help you put a system into place. You want your fans to help you attract more fans.
Fans attract more fans.
Fans create buzz and excitement and this creates more interest in your business. Suppose there were people in the middle of the sidewalk on a busy street and they were all in a bunch laughing and clapping. You would probably wonder why. You might walk over and see what is happening. See!? Fans, because they were excited, attracted you as a potential new fan. This is happening RIGHT NOW, all over social media. Are these people being attracted to you, or your competitors? I want them to be attracted to you, and stay loyal.
Fans are loyal.
Customer loyalty is a huge asset to a company, and fans are loyal. In some industries it is 10-20 times more expensive to obtain a new customer than to retain an existing one. The key is fan loyalty. They love you, and they not only stay loyal, but they bring you other potential new fans. This process creates product scarcity.
Fans create product scarcity.
I want your products to be in short supply. I want your products to fly off of the shelves, and your website ecommerce system to be red-lining at its maximum capacity. A huge wave of fan demand creates product scarcity, which increases your price, which in turn increases your profits.
Right now, we are speaking about the benefits to you, but this really only works if you focus on their side. Why would somebody be a fan? What is it about you, your service, your brand, and your process that attracts fans? If you cannot answer these questions, with quick, solid, powerful answers, we need to talk. We can help you attract, convert, and retain more fans. Contact us today.
Please join our email list. We welcome new subscribers to the Building Aspirations newsletter with the Email Marketing Video Success Kit, 10 videos on how to ramp up your email marketing. Click here to subscribe.
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5 Email Marketing Excuse Busters Have you been thinking about email marketing? I have been consulting with businesses on email marketing since the time when dinosaurs walked the earth. I have well over 15 years of experience and I started building my expertise by helping very large corporations with their email marketing. Now I help small businesses tap into the best case practices. Here are some excuses that I hear again and again. Enjoy this short article - 5 Email Marketing Excuse Busters. I do not have the time Imagine that you were super busy. The business is crazy. The kids are crazy. Traffic is just nuts. You simply do not have the time to deal with everything in your life. I understand. My life is like that too. There is simply not enough time to do everything. But imagine that you had a full calendar and a MEGA HUGE client called you. Let us say that this opportunity was 100 times more valuable than the biggest sale that you made last year. What would suddenly happen to your jam-packed calendar? Would you adjust everything and create time to manage this previous unforecasted opportunity? Yes, you would. To bring more success to your business, you must find the time for the most productive types of marketing. I do not know what to say You know what to day. You do not know that you know what to say. You provide expert advice to your customers and clients all of the time. Simply follow the same strategy in your email marketing. In just a few minutes you can determine 6 months worth of email marketing content. Think through the top 6 questions that you get in your business. You get the same questions again and again because these are the most significant issues for your target market. Answer one question in every email campaign. Your subscribers will appreciate it because you are directly helping them with their most critical issues. Then, after you provide them value, you can market. Provide the value to them first, and then explain how you can provide more value with your sales pitch. I have a small email list It is not about the size of the list, but the quality of it. It is better to have a list of 10 devoted fans, than 10,000 who do not know you. You simply build this list over time, bit by bit. No rock star out there, started as a rock star. They did not roll out of bed and instantly have a fan base. They started small. Perhaps they sang at the local coffee shop to two people. But, they got the contact information of those two people and contacted them to invite them to the next event. When they emailed those two people, the performer asked them to bring two other people. Theoretically, if this were repeated 13 times, the list would exceed 1 million. You do not a big list. You just need to start. I do not know how to do it There is nothing in your entire life that you know how to do. I am serious. Everything that you think you 'know' how to do, you 'learned' how to do. Today you probably walked and talked, and perhaps drove a car, and likely without any real contemplation. It was somewhat automatic for you. You learned how to do all of these things at one point in your life. To really appreciate this, find the person in your life who taught you how to drive. They will be happy to share their near death experience with you. They might even tell you about their minor concussion caused when their head banged on the dashboard after your feverous use of the car's brake pedal. So, do not worry, you can learn the skills, strategies and best practices for good email marketing, and I suspect that this can be accomplished without significant head injury. I do not know how to get started There are people in the world to help you get started. Whether they are teachers, parents, mentors, pastors, business partners, vendors, suppliers, or consultants, they are there to help you get started. That is what we do at Building Aspirations. We help you get started. I do not want to you to just jump into any type of marketing program if it is not a match for you. You must evaluate what matches you, your business, and your budget. But, once the decision is made, you must take action. You must get started. Click here to get started with Constant Contact email marketing.
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Use Social Media to be a White Knight on Black Friday by Mark Mikelat, president of Building Aspirations Click here to subscribe to our newsletter The Thanksgiving holiday is just a couple of days away. I wish you a blessed, safe and happy time with family and friends. Give thanks. Show appreciation. Enjoy the love and company of your family and friends. What comes right after Thanksgiving? It is Black Friday. Here are 8 Ways to Use Social Media to be a White Night on Black Friday. 1) Create a hashtag for Twitter Twitter is fast and furious, not unlike the mad dash to find those elusive Black Friday deals. Create a hashtag that is specific to your promotion and share Twitter updates throughout the day. Encourage people to take advantage of, and share your promotion. Remember to include an additional geo-specific tag of your city, or neighborhood if your product is at a specific location. . 2) Encourage story sharing on your Facebook page Ask your friends on Facebook to share their holiday stories. I am certain that somebody will have a gut-busting comedic anecdote about some Thanksgiving family disaster. And, this type of sharing encourages more sharing. By encouraging some funny sharing amongst your Facebook fans, you create customer interaction and engagement. You can be the source of their holiday merriment, and your fans can write the content for you. 3) Post some holiday survival tips on your blog Help your customers. Provide tips on your blog. We all have holiday challenges and we can all use some help. Share suggestions, and expert advice that connects you and your business with the holidays. If you are a fitness expert, explain how people can enjoy the holidays without gaining weight. If you a financial planner, provide tips on how they can buy great gifts without piling on more credit card debt. 4) Create a customer appreciation video for YouTube Create a holiday thank you video. Tell your customers why you appreciate them. Give them sincere thanks and wrap this into a high quality video. Have your staff members in the video as well. Let them share quick comments about what they appreciate. You could even tap into Facebook’s auto play feature. Simply host the video on YouTube, but share the link on Facebook. 5) Invite fans to post pictures on Instagram Create some buzz on Instagram with the sharing of photos. Have people take pictures of your products in holiday poses. Encourage them to be creative and fun. You could even create a contest around this. The best holiday pose might win a gift card, for example. You can also include the same hashtag that was created for the Twitter promotion. 6) Thanksgiving leftover recipes are great content for your Pinterest board Do not neglect your Pinterest board. It is a great place for sharing recipes and we all need more creative solutions for the Thanksgiving leftovers. Share holiday recipes and encourage your followers to repin them. Make sure to send interested viewers back to your website, blog, or lead capture page. 7) Send an email campaign to says thanks Also, you can send an email campaign of appreciation to your clients. Thank them. Appreciate them. Create holiday specific promotions for your products and services. Suggest creative ways that your products can be given as gifts. 8) Help those who need your help Lastly, and more importantly, go out of your way to help somebody. Help somebody who can in no way help you back. Help them because they need help. Help them because you are there to help them. Help them because it is the right thing to do. A White Knight is a savior. They come to help. They come to rescue. Be that knight, whatever that means for you and your business. Collect toys for needy children. Collect food for hungry families. Support a cause. Serve at a charity. Support your church. Consider donating a portion of your holiday sales to your preferred charity. Advertise this program online so that all your current customers can share it with potential new customers. Black Friday creates a huge buzz for your business. Let us tap into this promotional fervor to help you, your business, and those who really need help. I encourage you to be a White Knight on Black Friday. Do you need some online marketing help? Do you just need the right marketing partner to help you implement these ideas? Building Aspirations can help. Contact us today.
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7 Tips that Few Use to Supercharge Their Word of Mouth Marketing by Mark Mikelat, president of Building Aspirations Click here to subscribe to our newsletter You are extraordinary. Your products are great. Your business is great and the world needs to know. You need to let the world know, but how? Somehow you need to learn to talk about yourself, but without talking about yourself. I will help do just that. Let your customers talk about you. Enjoy this short post – 7 Proven Tips that Few Use to Supercharge their Word of Mouth Marketing.
Your Customers are Your Fans
Your satisfied clients and customers are your fan base. The know you, respect you and appreciate the product that you provide them. Companies of all types have huge fan bases, and you can have a fan base too. We all have friends who brag about their Starbucks addiction, their devotion to their iPhone, and their unwavering support of their local sports team. These are fans and fans can help you with your word of mouth marketing.
1) Video Testimonials
One of the most powerful things you can do is encourage and promote video testimonials. The big brands do this already with the celebrity endorsements in their commercials. You can do the same, just on a smaller level. Post video testimonials on YouTube. Have your loyal customers create short video testimonials about why they support you.
2) Yelp Reviews
Yelp is another great tool to get people talking about you. What is especially powerful is the fact that a good Yelp review has a story attached to it. A fan bragging about you is not just explaining about how you provided good service, but rather good service at an anniversary party, or a romantic dinner. This personalization is a strong and emotionally charged connector. If your target demographic uses Yelp, create an account and encourage people to share their stories in the reviews of your business.
3) LinkedIN Recommendations
If you are a more business-to-business focused enterprise, recommendations on LinkedIN are a key tool for your word of mouth marketing. LinkedIN makes it especially easy. Just find the ‘Request a recommendation’ drop-down menu and send a personalized message to a targeted client. Please do make this is a personal appeal. You do not want their recommendation to be cookie-cutter, so please do not make your request generic. Remind them of your professional relationship to get their ideas flowing.
4) Twitter Endorsements
Twitter endorsements are great too. These require little time and effort and have the potential to be seen by thousands of people depending on your client’s Twitter following and your presence. If you have a hashtag that promotes your products, please suggest that the hashtag be included in their endorsement tweet.
5) Facebook chatter
Facebook is an enormously powerful opportunity for word of mouth marketing. Ten years ago, somebody would make a call to a friend and ask for a referral. This conversation is still happening, but now it is happening in front on 100s of people in the Facebook-sphere. To really leverage this, make it easy for friends, clients, and customers to refer people to a business Facebook page. Seeing beautiful pictures of your puppy on your personal page is great but, if I am seeking a general contractor, I should really be sent to your Facebook business page.
6) Blog Social Shares
Blogging is also a great marketing tool. When you are sharing information, focus on your target market and their needs. If you are a marketing pitch machine in your posts, it will be quickly obvious to the world and your readership will plummet. Great blog posts are like jokes. They get shared. Make sure that your blog has social share tools enabled so that your readers can brag about you by sharing your blogs posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Pinterest or whatever social media powerhouse might be created in the future.
7) Client Pictures
Take pictures with our clients. Old restaurants do this, and they do it well. The walls are papered with photos of the chefs, and owners and their happy customers. Bars do this too. Sometimes there might be a bulletin board cluttered with pictures of customers just having fun in the bar. Encourage photos. Post photos in your business. Do it online too. Do your best to include your logo and business name in the photo and let the pictures impress future potential fans on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest, just to name a few.
Need Help? Do you see the value, but just need the right marketing partner to help you implement these ideas? Building Aspirations can help. Contact us today.
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Social Media Marketing That Converts by Mark Mikelat, president of Building Aspirations Click here to subscribe to our newsletter You should be reaping huge benefits from your social media marketing. The way that you do this is by focusing on results and for many that means conversion. You want to convert your fans and follows into buyers. Let me share with you a short article on how to do just that. I will tell you how to create Social Media Marketing that Converts. Connect You need to connect with your fans. First, you will need to determine the best channels to connect to your target market. Do they go to Pinterest or Instagram? Do they open your Email Newsletters often? Do they watch your videos on Facebook? Or, perhaps they prefer your blog. Your social media marketing is about them, not about you. This means that you connect with them on their terms, where they prefer to receive the information. An award winning campaign on Instagram does not help you connect with your target market, if they are not fans of that social media channel. Connect with them on the channels that they prefer, and then engage with them there. Engage Engagement is a critically important part of every customer experience, and the examples are everywhere. When Amazon.com recommends products to you, they are engaging with you. When your car mechanic sends you a birthday card, they are engaging with you. When your realtor sends you a house warming gift, they are engaging with you. Follow these offline examples online. Acknowledge, and appreciate your fans. Listen to their feedback and comments. Answer them back, and start a conversation. This is a form of fan mail, and you need to answer your fans. Next, build and strengthen this relationship by providing value. Provide value Your fans on social media follow you because of the value that you provide. You intrigue them, inspire them, motivate them or make them laugh. Value is more than just a deal. Consumers seek far more than the best deal. They want the best experience. Provide this to them. If you are curious about how to provide value to them, ask them. You can learn how to provide engagement and value with a thoughtful survey, QA session, or Twitter chat. A good business leader listens to their target market. Your empathy and active listening is an incredibly valuable market research tool. Entice for more value Next, provide more value. Let us suppose that you provide leadership coaching. Your social media shares might provide quick insights into how executives might motivate their staff and recognize productive employees. Those that find this valuable might want to subscribe to your membership site, or purchase your training materials, or hire you to train their team. This additional value is best served bit, by bit. A potential client, might see your Facebook posts, and then subscribe to the email list to learn more and then start reading your blog to learn even more. In each circumstance you provide more and more value, and continue to invite your fans to invest in even more, higher-value products and services. You do this with an obvious and specific call to action. Have a call to action Your call to action tells your fans what to do for them to experience the higher value. The most obvious example might be a buy button, but there are many variations. Perhaps you want a social media fan to register, or download, or donate. The key is to wrap all of the principles into this call to action. Make it engaging, enticing, and value-packed. Secondly, make it very obvious. We are all overwhelmed with information and a call to action that is ambiguous will provide poor results. A powerful call to action might be ‘call us today.’ The most effective call to action is one that is direct, specific, and obvious. Monitor, manage, and repeat Finally, you need to manage this whole process. If it worked, do it again. If it did not work, fix it. Was there a technical issue? Perhaps the timing was poor, or the channel was wrong. Please do not just set and forget your social media marketing. It needs to provide value to your business after reasonable time and effort. If you are too impatient, you will miss opportunities, but if your time frame is too long, you might lose money on ineffective marketing. Remember, your fans want to hear from you. How, when, where, and why is determined by you and your marketing experts. Seek Out Expert Help If you need help, we are here to help you. Contact us today.
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7 Reasons Why Your Marketing is Not Working by Mark Mikelat, president of Building Aspirations Click here to subscribe to our newsletter Sometimes when working with clients, I have found that they appreciate negative examples. Failure is good. Perhaps, we do not appreciate our failure, but if we can learn and improve from it, then the failure is not really a failure. Allow me to share some marketing failures to help you improve your own marketing. Enjoy this article – 7 Reasons Why Your Marketing is Not Working. 1) You are focused on the product Are you selling your product? I have said it before and I will say it again. Nobody cares what you are selling. They do not care about your product, your service, or your cause. They care about the benefits. They care about how your product helps them. Your market does not care about your exercise program. They care about their fitness. Market that. Your charity is not important. The impacts of your charity and the good that it provides the community are what people care about. Always focus on benefits, especially over price. 2) You are focused on price More often than not people buy from emotion, not from financial analysis. Price is not the number one factor in a purchasing decision. People want good deals, but that could mean quality ingredients, excellent service, a friendly sales person or so many other characteristics that are not directly related to price. People understand that if they buy a radio from the 99 cent store, they are not buying the best quality. Do not focus solely on price, but do focus on your competition. 3) You are ignoring the competition The market has choices and we want your target market to choose you over your competition. To compete with your competition, you must pay attention to them. Are they doing something that is attracting a lot of business, or in worst case, taking your customers? Pay attention to what they are doing. And, if you cannot beat them at their game, create your own game. Market something about your business that they cannot easily copy. 4) You listen and ignore Not only must you pay attention to your competition, but also your market. Most of you listen to and then ignore your customers. If they are complaining that your product is the wrong color, change the color for crying out loud. Time and time again I hear clients lament about what their market wants when so often it can be easily provided. The market is telling you what they are willing to buy. Please do not ignore them. 5) You talk too much Remember, when you were five and your mom told you that you had two ears and one mouth? She explained that was because you needed to listen more and talk less. Stop with the blah, blah, blah marketing. It is necessary? If the CSI team on TV can find the killer in 42 minutes, why does it take you 10 web pages to explain your product? Convincing through information fatigue is not a good way to acquire new purchasers. 6) You are impatient It is far better to have shorter, more direct and concise marketing messages and repeat them over time. Trust building is a critical part of any marketing strategy. Buyers need to trust you, your business and your offerings before they will purchase. This is a type of relationship building and it happens slowly. Rapport is built with persistent and consistent messages over time. When you start a new marketing strategy, you need to give it an opportunity to succeed. If you are executing properly, you will achieve success, just not immediately. 7) You are repeating failure Also, you just keep doing the same thing over and over again even though you know it is not working. It is a bit odd, but human beings are comfortable with what we know. And even if our standard types of marketing are not producing for us, because we are familiar with them, we accept mediocre success. Are you that person who puts keeps putting flyers on my car windshield? Does it work? I suspect that it does not, but it is a common practice because many are comfortable with it. It is easy. It is not threatening. Even though it has a high likelihood of failure, businesses repeatedly do it. I want you to experience success and that could come from the unfamiliar. Investigate what makes sense for your business, determine a reasonable plan and budget and execute the new ideas. Need Help? Do you see the value, but just need the right marketing partner to help you implement these ideas? Building Aspirations can help. Contact us today.
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7 Social Media Marketing Tools to Make You Super Productive by Mark Mikelat, president of Building Aspirations Click here to subscribe to our newsletter Social media marketing is a powerful way to market your business quickly and cost effectively. Yet, if you are inexperienced, or lacking in focus, you can quickly be sucked into a world of frivolously distractive cat videos. Your time is extraordinarily valuable and I want you to tap into the productive power of social media marketing. Here are 7 social media marketing tools to make you super productive. 1) Nutshellmail This is a message consolidation tool, and it is free. You simply go to NutShellMail.com, and configure your specific social media accounts and set your update frequency. You will receive an email with all of your messages consolidated into one email message. If you set this for multiple times a day, you will only receive the messages since the last update. The channel specific reply buttons are included in the email, so that you read and reply from your email inbox. The messages all come to you in one place. 2) MarketMeSuite You can schedule the various social posts in MarketMeSuite. This is particularly important when you have a specific social media campaign running across multiple days. There is a small monthly fee for this software. One particularly great feature is the ability to do geo-analysis. For example, you can review your Twitter Feed by geography to determine what fans are in a specific city. You can than execute a more targeted campaign to this sub-group. 3) Constant Contact If you do not have an email marketing system, you need to get started, and Constant Contact is a great place to get started. There are already 600,000 active customers worldwide, the customer service is great, and there are several templates and instructional videos to get to you started. You can get started on Constant Contact Toolkit, a full collection of online marketing tools, including email marketing, for less than $50 per month. 4) PicMonkey Do you ever need a quick graphic, but lack the skills to navigate Photoshop? PicMonkey is a great, no-cost, easy to use tool for basic graphics. You can crop, size, and add titles to photos with great easy. There are several standard fonts, and you quickly manipulate colors and shapes. No coding skills are need. If you can click, and drag and drop, you can master this robust tool. 5) HootSuite HootSuite is another social media scheduling tool. There is a basic and premium version of the tool. The basic version is free and has ample functionality. The primary difference between this and MarketMeSuite is the administrator functionality. If you are managing multiple brands or accounts across various projects or clients, this is an easier and friendly solution for you. You can schedule, cross post, and monitor replies all in one comprehensive dashboard. 6) Canva As social media marketing becomes more and more visual, we need tools that make us all appear to be master graphic artists. Canva is one of these tools, and it is optimized for use on mobile devices. There is a free app, and a paid app version, with the later being ads free and inclusive of great options. This tool is most valuable when you wish to post text, but give it some visual power. For example, if you wish to post a quick inspiration quote with an eye-catching background, this tool allows you to do that quickly and easily. 7) Discipline Finally, and most importantly, your most valuable productivity tool is self-discipline. Part of social media, is or course, being social, but for many people it stops there. Your business must drive traffic, customers, and eventual results from your social media posts. This requires a strategy, and adherence to and monitoring of the results of that strategy. If something is working, you must do more of that, and if something is not working, do less of that. Ironically, most of you will evaluate with great detail the results of your magazine marketing, or your direct mail marketing, but your social media marketing suffers from the spray and pray basis. Far too many of you confuse tools for strategy. All of these are tools, and tools must be used effectively. The highest quality hammer will accomplish nothing if it sits in your toolbox. Review these tools, evaluate them, and experiment with them, but most importantly, extract value from them. The goal is to make you more productive in your online marketing and that means that you must use these tools to support your overall social media marketing strategy. Need help? Do you see the value of social media marketing, but just need the right marketing partner to help you implement these ideas? Building Aspirations can help. Contact us today.
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5 Content Ideas for Your Next Email Marketing Newsletter by Mark Mikelat, president of Building Aspirations Click here to subscribe to our newsletter and get the Email Marketing Video Success Series as a welcome gift. Email marketing continues to be a great way to connect to your market, stay top-of-mind and solicit repeat business and get referrals. So often, my clients do not know what to say. Well, here are some quick tips on what to include in your next email campaign. Enjoy this short article: 7 Content Ideas for Your Next Email Marketing Newsletter. 1) Contests People love contests. The whole idea of getting a prize for something is pretty humanistic. I still remember the gold stars from the board in kindergarten class. I do not remember what they were for, but I remember winning them for something. So, consider rewarding your fans with a prize for their participation in a contest. Have a prize that is representative of and connected to your business. For example, if you are a restaurant, encourage the readers of your newsletter to go to Facebook and share a romantic dinner story. Have your followers vote for a winner and provide the winners a prize of a dinner at your restaurant. Then, post pictures on Facebook of the winners enjoying their dinner. 2) Customer Success Testimonials You can also share a customer success story. Your email newsletter might have a short example with a link that has the full story on your blog, or YouTube channel. This directs your reader to your website to increase your traffic and it also provides your fans a great example of the value that you provide. When people see best examples of success stories, they are more able to see the value that you can provide to them. There is also the added benefit of customer envy. A present customer may want to be profiled in a future success story. 3) An Exclusive Promotion You could also try an exclusive promotion. This might be a discount, but it could also be a new product launch that only the readers of your newsletter have first access to. People love the idea of exclusivity. They have the opportunity to get something special. Secondly, as people see the benefits to the readers of the newsletter, they will be more likely to subscribe, and encourage their friends to subscribe. This is not unlike the benefits to a frequent flyer program. The program membership provides benefits, and the subscription to your email enewsletter works the same way. 4) Share Stories It is always a good idea to share stories. People love stories and some of the best politicians, television personalities, or public speakers are really great story tellers. My mom and dad owned a bar for 20+ years, and part of their success was attributed to their storytelling. Stories help us connect. We are all human and we all intrinsically have the need to connect to one another. Stories help your customers connect with you. They allow your customers to understand and relate. Share the stories about your workplace, especially if you have comedic experiences to share. The more intriguing, interesting, or bizarre the story is, the more likely that people will want to share it around social media. 5) Tips Personally, I love the idea of sharing tips. We all need more tips for everything. These are concise pieces of advice. If you are an accountant, share 5 ways to save money on your taxes. If you are a contractor, share 7 ways to work effectively with a contractor. If you are a leadership coach, share 3 ways to effectively motivate your employees. These tips provide exceptional value to your readers and these email newsletter fans will continue to open and enjoy your newsletter because you always provide good content. Wrap This Up With a Bow Now, some of you might be confused because I have not mentioned the actual marketing part in the content for your email marketing. This comes last. First, you must connect to your market; your readers. Follow the 80/20 rule. Create your email marketing with the intent of 80% sheer market-specific valuable content and 20% marketing. An email message of ‘buy, buy, buy’ is not market focused, but instead, obnoxious. Your readers understand that you are a business and you need to sell to exist, but nobody wants to buy your product all of the time. However, they may want to hear from you all of the time. It is this connected-ness that makes email marketing so valuable in your overall marketing strategy. To get started, click here to create an account with Constant Contact, my preferred email marketing systems for small businesses. How we can help Do you understand the power of fans, but just need help? Building Aspirations can help put this success plan into action for you. Connect with us today. We are experts with social media marketing. You know your business. Building Aspirations knows social media.
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7 Creative Ideas for Social Media Content by Mark Mikelat, president of Building Aspirations Click here to subscribe to our newsletter A key value in social media marketing is the content sharing. You want people to share your messages. This is word of mouth marketing at its finest. When a trusted consumer passes along your blog post, email campaign, or video link, it is an implied endorsement. Yet, your content will only be shared if it has value to the reader. It must be focused on the market first. Help them. Educate them. Inspire them. Do not just sell to them. If you need help in this area, read on. Here are 7 Creative Ideas for Social Media Content. Contests People love contests. There is just something about winning that intrigues and entices people. They love the fact that they can get a prize. Whether it is the gold star from your kindergarten teacher or the gift card from a Facebook promotion, the chance of prize-winning engages us. To leverage this, create and promote contests with prizes that are focused on the needs and wants of your target market. If you need a software-based solution to help you, tap into the Social Media Campaigns feature of Constant Contact’s Toolkit. User-created Content Also, you can have your users actually create content for you. Ask them to share, post or comment. For example, you might ask a controversial question about a topic that is of particular importance to your target market. Suppose that you sold educational supplies to parents. Perhaps your question might be “What is your suggestion to prevent bullying in our schools?” Because this is such an emotionally critical issue for parents right now, you will likely get a lot of engagement. And, these parents are your target market, so you are engaging potential customers. Video Testimonials I strongly encourage you to tap into video testimonials. Some of you can create and post videos with the click of two buttons on your phones. Granted, these videos are not Hollywood production quality, but depending on your needs and target market, that might be just fine. Capture the excited satisfaction of your clients. Remember to post these videos on YouTube with proper keywords to drive optimized website traffic. Since Google, owns YouTube, this is an SEO tool for you. If you need video marketing help, consider investing in the YouTube DIY Success Kit. Tips People love tips and this idea works for every industry and every product. Every single one of us on the planet needs better ways, easier ways, and less expensive ways to do everything. Be the source of this information. Share your expertise. You cannot give away all your wisdom in a simple blog post. You have infinite knowledge. Just share some of it. It you get stuck, just think about the questions that you get again and again in your business. They are repeated because they are the questions that your market most needs the answers to. To really excel at this, consider using a different voice. An Adopted Voice When I say voice, I really mean the source of the expert advice. It could be your expertise, but you could share it via a surrogate. There are countless examples. Personally, I love that Geico uses cavemen and a gecko to sell insurance. I strongly suspect that 95% of the population of the United States did not know what a gecko was before the launch of the incredibly creative Geico campaigns. Borrow the voice of your kids, your pet, your car; it works. Stories Please share stories. People love stories because they connect us. Share stories that people can relate to and appreciate it. We all have stories of failure, bad decisions, great purchases, and disastrous vacations. Find the common elements in your market demographic and share the stories. If you sell running gear, share the story about how you wore the wrong shoes in a race and paid for it dearly. I suspect that your target customers will appreciate the anecdote because they can personally relate. Best Case Examples Remember, to share best case examples about you, your products and your services. Wrap up everything in a manner that showcases how you solve problems, and address the needs of your target market. By doing this via testimonials, stories, and tips, you are speaking to your value. You are marketing your products without an aggressive sales pitch, and this will encourage social media sharing. Create best case stories that people want to share. Do you need some online marketing help? Do you just need the right marketing partner to help you implement these ideas? Building Aspirations can help. Contact us today.
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11 Ways to Supercharge Your Email Marketing by Mark Mikelat, president of Building Aspirations Click here to subscribe to our newsletter If you are using email marketing, here are some ways to supercharge your marketing success. If you have not started with Email Marketing yet, you really need to get started. And, whether you are already using email marketing, or are getting ready to start, enjoy these 11 Ways to Supercharge Your Email Marketing. 1) Have Great Content What is great content? If you are not sure, think about what is really popular right now, and how or why it would be intriguing. What will inspire, motivate and educate your subscribers? What will make them love you with laughter? 2) Be Fun Laughter is key. Sure you are marketing, but you do not need to bore your readers. Tickle their funny bones. Make them smile. Yes, you are a business, but you are doing business with people. And, people love to laugh. 3) Include Videos You could try to make them laugh with a video, or you could just have a video that engages with them in another fashion. Video marketing is very powerful because of the intimacy. Other than being face-to-face in a conversation with your client, this is the next best thing. 4) Be Relevant When you are conversing with your reader in your email, be relevant. People do not have the time or the patience to put up with silly, nonsensical banter. Be timely, pertinent and direct in the information that you provide people. They will appreciate it. 5) Give Away Powerful Information This relevant information that you provide can be very powerful. You can help solve peoples’ problems, support them, help them save money, or countless other things. And, information creates more power when you give it away. It connects you to the reader because it is focused on them. 6) Focus on Them You must always be focused on them, your target market. If you emails are littered with ‘we’, ‘we’, ‘we’, you should change up your messaging and more importantly, your mindset. Your messages need to be rich with ‘you’, ‘you’, ‘you’. You can maintain this focus by giving away bite-sized pieces of information. 7) Give Away Snacks Even if the content in your email message is very market focused very relevant, the reader still needs it in small chucks. If you have a more complex topic to share, provide the reader a snack, or a summary, with a link to your website for them to learn more. 8) Use Lists A list is a great way to give away your snacks, and there are an infinite variety of lists that you can share. Examples might include: 3 Ways to Do This, 5 Secrets to This, 7 Ways to Save Money with ____. But do not just use lists. 9) Create Balance Your messages should be balanced to accommodate all of your readers. Some people might like to read, while others might prefer pictures. The videos might be great for some, while others prefer lists. If you create a balance of the different types of content in your email marketing messages, you can create a very effective marketing tool. 10) Listen to Feedback No strategy works all of the time, and even if something works very well, its effectiveness may decrease over time. Keep your finger on the pulse of your target market. Continue to learn from their feedback via direct comments, and indirect comments via their clicks, opens and share. Your market will provide you great insight, but you must listen and be ready to receive it. 11) Repeat Finally, remember that marketing is a long-term investment. You must market again, and again and again. With repetition comes rapport building. And, this strategy requires a good email campaign management system, and CTCT has a great one in the Toolkit package. Thanks for reading and I wish you greater success in your small business marketing. If you have not yet started with email marketing, click here, register with Constant Contact and get started. If you need some business coaching to put it into action to get more clients, and increase revenues, visit this page to learn more about my personalized business mentoring program.
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Social Media Marketing - How to Appreciate Your Fans by Mark Mikelat, president of Building Aspirations Click here to subscribe to our newsletter Social media marketing in an incredibly powerful business tool, but only if you remember why it works. It is all about the fans. People follow your business, tweet, click, like, post, share or comment because they are fans. It is not about the technology, or the platform. The popular channels can change with the whimsy of the customer marketplace. Yet, the connection to your fan-base can live on. It is all about the fans. Social media marketing is all about the fans. Fans love you Why does it work? Marketing on social media works because your fans love you. The precise name of your fan might be a connection, a follower, a subscriber or friend, but they all are really fans. Fans connect with you. They love something about you, your business, or your product, and this emotional attachment is a responsibility for you. You need to appreciate your fandom and continue to respect them with the service, quality or other traits that attracted them in the first place. This builds loyalty. Fans are loyal One simply needs to watch the news on the night before a release of a iPhone to understand the power of the loyal and dedicated fan. For example, the tv news stations are flooded with interviews of people sleeping outside in front of Apple stores to be the very first person to buy the next version of a phone they already have. These are fans. You have fans too. The weekly readers of your blog, the retweeters on Twitter and the people who constantly and consistently post on Facebook are all fans. There are strong emotions involved in a fan relationship, and they cannot often be easily analyzed via columns in a spreadsheet but, whether it can be easily explained or not, they spend money, and sometimes a lot of it. Fans are not price sensitive A true fan is not a bargain hunter. If you are speaking with a client trying to squeeze you for every last discount, or aiding a customer in your store who has a fist full of coupons, you are not dealing with a fan. Fans are price insensitive, meaning that price is not a dominant factor in their consumer decision making process. You want more fans, because they will not nickel and dime you. As long as you continue to respect and appreciate them, they will continue to sing your praises, and this in turn, gets you more fans. Fans get you more fans It costs money to acquire a fan. You need to market to them and there is a cost to doing this. But, the key is that while there might be a cost for acquisition of a fan, there is a very minimal variable cost to keep them loyal. You might need to build out your social media presence with good graphics for example, and perhaps even purchase Twitter promotions, or boosts on Facebook. This is a fixed cost to acquire those fans. Once you have some, they bring others. Like a fan of a sporting event likely does not attend a game alone, a fan of your Facebook page, will like want to share the experience with a friends. Your existing fan with get you more fans. Social Media Marketing is all about the fans. Love your fans You must acknowledge and appreciate your fan. They love you and you must love them back. Post valuable information often. Make sure that it is engaging, interesting and pertinent. Most importantly, make sure that it is focused on them. Share the content that they want. It is not about you. It is about them and purely marketing messages of "buy-buy-buy," will quickly dampen the enthusiastic support that you might have from your fans. Show the love Post visuals on social media that document your appreciation of your fans. As you post more and more pleasant looking photos the market will react with comments, and further tell you what they like. Monitor this with vigilance and listen to what they are saying. Your fans will appreciate being appreciated. What you can do right now Show some public appreciate for a customer or client right now. Publicly thank them. You do not need a strategic plan, or a marketing vision to accomplish this. You simply need a sincere and authentic desire to thank somebody for their fan support. Thank your fans. Social Media Marketing is All About The Fans. Do you understand the power of fans, but just need help? Building Aspirations can help put this success plan into action for you. Connect with us today. We are experts with social media marketing. You know your business. Building Aspirations knows social media.
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Santa Has Good Branding by Mark Mikelat, president of Building Aspirations Click here to subscribe to our newsletter Santa has great branding. Think about Santa. All someone needs to do is mention a single name — Santa — and a powerful picture is conveyed. This is the power of a good brand. A simple name, logo or picture can create a vividly powerful experience. You know what he looks like. You know the values that he represents, and you know what his business is. You need to use Santa's branding strategy for your business. Noise is your competition Why is branding important? The answer is noise. Our lives are incredibly noisy. Noise is anything that distracts you. Just think back to this morning. Picture your chaos. The kids are yelling about their inability to find their shoes, the milk jug is once again empty and the dog appears to be barking at an invisible intruder. You are late for the office, and of course, your freeway has now been transformed into a parking lot. But, you are not paying attention since you are distracted by the fact that you were selected for jury duty, again, and ugh, the gas warning light just went off on the dash. And, this is your morning. The day has barely even started. Your life is crazy. It is filled with noise, and everybody's life is like this, including the lives of your clients. Get through that noise You need to find a way to get through all of the noise so that your clients can remember you. You must remain top of mind with them, and you need to find a way to accomplish this that's quick, concise, simple and cost effective. In a land of fast-food, instant rice and quick cash, we do not have the luxury of long, complex and detailed marketing messages. You need to get your message to your target market quickly and directly, and this can be accomplished with good branding. Remember Santa Remember Santa. You know what he looks like. You likely do not concern yourself with the fact that his elves might be working too long in the toy factory, or that his reindeer might be oxygen deprived due to their high-altitude flying. You think of toys, and celebration and the happiness of family. Yet, I did not speak of this, you thought of it. This is the power of branding. If done properly, a good brand brings marketing messages with it, automatically. But, what is branding, really? Your brand is everything associated with your business that can invoke a response in your target market. Even simple things like fonts are important. I learned this first hand when I did some focus group testing for the layout of my book; Aspirations - Achieving What You Want For Yourself and Your Life. People had strong and emotionally-packed comments about fonts. Some fonts were seen as scientific, or feminine, or too aggressive. A simple act of choosing a poor font could have been a poor branding choice. Three brand building blocks Although your brand strategy has many complexities, let me provide three very fundamental brand building blocks. These following three items are foundational, and like all of your marketing, will change and evolve, yet these decision points require a bit more time and energy. These constructs should align strategically with how you want your business to be understood and remembered in the marketplace. Your Logo Logo: Santa has the red suit. What is your logo? A logo is more than just a graphic. It must support your business in visual format. It should support the principles of your company and do it in a way that is not overwhelming. Also, please consider the size and detail. If your logo is viewed via the screen of a smart phone, it may be the size of a dime. A very detailed logo will not render well. Nike's swoosh is a great logo. Your Tagline Tagline: Santa says "Ho, Ho, Ho." What do you say? Your tagline is concise and power-packed. It is a short sentence about your business and it acts as a memory hook. It must be simple and memorable. The best taglines are ubiquitous with meanings that are extremely well known. Got Milk? Personally, I like "Every kiss begins with Kay." This one is especially valuable because it associates Kay Jewelers with romance, without even mentioning romance, or even the product. It is clever and easy to remember. Your Voice Your voice: Santa is jolly. Your voice is not the sound of you speaking, but rather the mix of your personality and your style. This is prevalent in all of the communication and it creates connection and engagement with your audience. Be you. Be authentic. If you are funny, be funny. If you are artistic, be artistic. If your voice does not match your values and the values of your business, this incongruence will show through, and your messages will fall flat. Just simply communicate yourself and your honest value system into all of the marketing messages. Your market will appreciate the sincerity. Be remembered Remember, these tips are part of the overall branding strategy. There are multiple parts and complexities. Yet, the key goal is to be remembered. Your branding tools help create a picture of your business in a manner that is easy to remember and understand. If this appears frustrating or complex to you, do not worry. Santa did not have the vast marketing and branding tools that you have. When building your business branding strategy, think about Santa. Need help? Do you see the value of Santa-Branding, but just need the right marketing partner to help you implement these ideas? Building Aspirations can help. Contact us today.
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The secrets to Red Hot Email marketing by Mark Mikelat of Building Aspirations Click here to join our list. Email marketing is Red Hot. It continues to be the most cost-effective marketing strategy for small business. There is no other marketing method that combines the power of word of mouth marketing, referral marketing, and relationship building. Here are proven secrets to Red Hot Email marketing. Marketing Leads to Sales Marketing leads to sales, the purchase. But, people do not buy products. People do not buy services. People buy benefits. They do not want your product, but rather the benefits of your product. If you sell perfume, your literal product is chemical water. Nobody wants to buy this. They want to buy the fashion of the scent, or the emotional trigger provided by the perfume. These are benefits, and you must emphasize benefits in your email marketing. Focus on Them, Your Market Secondly, your email marketing, actually all of your marketing, needs to be focused on them. The 'them' is your target market. You must write your email messages for and to them. It is never about you. It is always about them. Their needs and wants always take precedence over yours. If your email marketing messages are littered with 'we' statements, you need to rewrite your email copy. Market Regularly Also, remember that marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to put the message about there and out there again. You need to get through all of the noise. You know how crazy busy your life is? That is everybody's life. We have a thousand different thoughts bouncing around in our heads and your message needs to compete with the cacophony of other messages already competing for my attention. So, to get through the noise, you need to market via a regular, consistent, and persistent system; an email system. Be Concise Because we are all message-overloaded, you need to be very concise in your email marketing messages. A person's time is precious, and you cannot hold a person's attention for very long. You must be focused and direct in your messaging. Imagine that somebody is really is excited about reading your email message. Do you know how long they will spend reading it? The answer is 52 seconds. UGH! That seems like a frustratingly short amount of time. Realize though, that television commercials might be just 30 seconds. So, you do have ample marketing time. You just need to use this time very wisely. You do this primarily, by having a specific goal. Have a Specific Goal Your marketing should not be whimsical. Every piece of your marketing should have a desired intent. Think through what you want to have happen, and then write your copy to that desired intent. This is your intended response. Now, you must express your intended response in a manner that benefits your target market, and you must do it in a quick and concise manner. One way to accomplish this is by being very obvious. Tell Them What to Do Tell the email marketing subscriber exactly what to do. If your ordering process is complex or confusing, you are dead. You must have very straightforward language. Do not force the reader to make dozens of decisions or review an ocean of options. Have a very clear call to action. And, connect this call to action to the intended response. Here is an example. You are overloaded and confused about your email marketing and need expert help. We at Building Aspirations can help. You can save time, energy and money by working with us. Click here to learn more about how we can help you with your email marketing. Monitor Lastly, monitor the situation. Did it work? Here is the long and short of marketing, folks. When something works, do more of that. If something does not work, do less of that. That sounds pretty straightforward, right? It is, but only if you followed the previous steps. Did you achieve your intended response? If you wanted ten phone calls and you received five, then you need to adjust your expectations, or improve your campaign. Without monitoring you cannot improve, and remember, marketing is a long-term strategy. Final words Please take these strategies to heart and implement them for greater success in your small business marketing. If you have not yet started with email marketing, click here, register with Constant Contact and get started for less than $50 per month. If you need some business coaching to put it into action to get more clients, and increase revenues, visit this page to learn more about my personalized business mentoring program.
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3 Marketing Tools that Everybody Should be Using By Mark Mikelat of Building Aspirations Click here to join our Email List You need marketing that works. Not only do you need it to be effective, but you need it to be easy to use, without requiring piles of cash or an army of experts. I am a big fan of results and I will share 3 marketing tools that get results. Here are 3 marketing tools that everybody should be using. They tap into word of mouth marketing. Far too many small business leaders do not appreciate the value of the human connection. People love talking about their purchasing experiences and I want them to talk about you in a positive light. Statistics have proven that a personal recommendation from a fan of your company is 76% more effective then direct advertising. You need people talking about you, your products and your services. They do not need you, but you need them. You must not forget that your market does not need you. They will do just fine without you, but you need them. Respect them, provide them good service and reasonable pricing, and they will spread the word about you. Not only will they talk about you to your friends, but there are no costs associated with this. Marketing costs money, accept ironically, word of mouth marketing, the most effective marketing that there is. The biggest bang for your buck This is the crux of why you must tap into the three marketing tools below. They are all very cost effective. Yes, they may have costs, but the return for the associated investments is well worth it, which makes these strategies very friendly for small business. You want marketing tool tools that have low risk for a potentially high reward. Tool 1 - Email Marketing Email marketing has been and continues to be a very effective small business marketing tool. Sure, you get too much email, we all do. But, you know what? All the data, all of the evidence that we have overwhelming supports that email marketing works. It works incredibly well. We are addicted to our email. Let me just give you one statistic that I think is nuts, but is accurate. In the US, 17% of the population will check their email before they get out of bed in the morning. They will roll over to the nightstand, pick up their phone and check their messages before they even get out of bed! They will do this even before they pee. Holy cow, we actually have proof that sometimes, people value their email more highly then basic bodily functions. It is crazy, but true. Email marketing has, and continues to be an incredibly effective marketing tool for small business Tool 2 - Blogging Secondly, blogging is crazy popular, and it works. Admittedly, I am a bit late to the blogging universe, but in my relatively short experience, I have already reaped the rewards of more traffic, and client contacts. The value comes from the fact that you are sharing a bit of yourself with you target market. Your target market is tired of advertising. They want a conversation. They want more of a personal connection with you and your small business, and your blog helps accomplish that. I am confident that you have valuable stuff to say. I guarantee that you are an expert in something and there are people out there who want and need the valuable expertise that you can provide them. Even if you do not have the creative communication style of Mark Twain, or the eloquence of William Shakespeare, do not worry. The market will appreciate you, and your authentic sharing. Tool 3 - Video Marketing The best way to share is via video. This is an incredibly intimate type of marketing. Your target market can have a conversation with you, without having a conversation with you. They might not have the patience to read your marketing material for three minutes, but they might watch a video for this long. This too is an example of an opportunity to make a real connection with your target market. Do not create a video with a buy, buy, buy attitude. But, rather provide them something that is enjoyable, inspirational, or entertaining. Think about the commercials that you enjoyed the most. Why did you like them? Why do you remember them? Those are the same types of memorable qualities that should be in your videos. Get people talking You need to have people talk about you. Word of mouth marketing will accelerate the success of your business and email marketing, blogging, and video marketing are great ways to get this conversation started.
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Chocolate Chip Email Marketing by Mark Mikelat, Building Aspirations
You need chocolate chip email marketing. Chocolate chip cookies are powerfully magical. They are more than just lumps of sugar, batter, and chocolate chips. They illicit emotion, love and connectedness. Do you remember when your scrapped knees became magically pain-free when mom's triage was performed with a glass of milk and a chocolate chip cookie? Your email marketing should have the same power as that of a chocolate chip cookie.
Connect with Your Market
Your market wants to connect with you. They want a chocolate chip cookie experience. They want something fun, and pleasurable. Shouting 'Buy my stuff' at them does nothing to build rapport. Speak to how they can benefit. Speak to how your products can make their problems go away. People want to know that you care about them, and that you can provide them a cookie to make everything better. Provide them messages that are sweet and full of goodness. Provide them a chocolate chip cookie experience.
Provide them the Cookie They Like
Now, one might suspect that if one cookie were good, ten would be ten times better. But, alas, this is not the case. While economists refer to this as the law of negative returns, most simply refer to this as gluttony, and it provides no benefit, except perhaps to the person who sells stomach ache medicine. So, provide your email reader very few offers, or in the best case, just one offer. Providing somebody dozens of offers will result in a headache, just as too many cookies will result in a stomach ache.
Wrap Your Cookies Simply
Imagine that you were excited to receive a cookie and it was packaged. You tackle the package with the vigor of a hungry lion. You claw and claw at the packaging and it will simply not open. It seems to be made of some type of impenetrable material. Eventually, you give up trying to open the package, even though you desperately want the cookie. This is analogous to a confusing email marketing message. You must make it easy for your clients and customers. Tell them to click. Tell them to call. Make it very obvious what the phone number is. Anything that represents any type of barrier or obstacle is a threat to your success. And a confusing email campaign can be just as perplexing and discouraging as an iron-clad cookie package.
Embrace the Cookie-ness
And, most importantly embrace the cookie-ness. Focus on the cookie experience. Remember, what it really is. It is more than a snack, or a desert, it represents much, much more. Just like a song from your childhood can bring back a flood of pleasant memories, the first bite of a chocolate chip cookie can trigger an equally powerful feeling. Your email messages need to tap into this cookie-ness. Do not market your products. Market the cookie-ness of your products. Focus on how it will make your subscriber feel. Your message can be clever, warm, light-heart, joy-filled, and your readers want this. They want the cookie-ness.
Bake with love
When you write your email marketing messages, think about chocolate chip cookies. Think about the connection to the joys of childhood. Think about your mom or gramma and the love she poured into these concoctions of delight. Your email marketing can achieve the same result. The technical requirements of an email are not keys to success, but rather the warm, soft, tasty gooiness. To really be successful in your email marketing, practice Chocolate Chip Email Marketing.
Finally Please embrace the Chocolate Chip Cookie strategy to heart and implement it for greater success in your small business marketing. If you have not yet started with email marketing, click here, register with Constant Contact and get started for less than $50 per month. If you need some business coaching to put it into action to get more clients, and increase revenues, visit this page to learn more about my personalized business mentoring program.
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5 Success Factors for Social Media Conversion by Mark Mikelat, Building Aspirations Subscribe to our newsletter to get the Email Marketing Video Success Series A lead on social media is great, but conversion is better. Here are five keys to success in social media conversion. Social Media marketing is a powerful way to grow your business because it taps into a very basic marketing principle; word of mouth marketing. Just like you want people to tell their friends and family about your awesome products and services, you also want them to forward your messages on social media. This referral on social media can be to 100s or 1000s of people, depending on the message, the social media channel, and the proper strategy. But, you need to convert. Your social media marketing needs to provide positive results for your business. In marketing-speaking this means conversation. Embrace the following five keys for successful social media marketing conversion. Channel - Pick the proper channel Channel - Pick the proper channel for your product and your target market. What is your target demographic? Does the selected social media channel match? What are the characteristics of the channel? Perhaps your product or message is not a good fit. For example, does Twitter Marketing (Link) make sense for your marketing message? Can you position your value proposition in this lightening quick media that is limited by a 140 character message? If the answer is a resounding, 'no', then Twitter is not the proper channel for your message. Know the demographics of the popular social media channels and match them to your target demographic. This will help you deliver valuable content. Content - Social media is about being social. Connections - People want and need to connect. This is our highest priority in life. We, as human beings, as parents, as children, as buyers and sellers, all have the need to connect. We have an innate need to connect and this connection is critical to your business. Why should somebody connect to you and your business? Think how you can personalize your messages. Would you connect with you? Think about the businesses that you like and support. Why do you promote them on social media, or why do you follow them? Perhaps you love their service, or perhaps their clever marketing messages make you laugh. Social media is about connection, and that leads to conversation. Connections - People want and need to connect. Connections - People want and need to connect. This is our highest priority in life. We, as human beings, as parents, as children, as buyers and sellers, all have the need to connect. We have an innate need to connect and this connection is critical to your business. Why should somebody connect to you and your business? Think how you can personalize your messages. Would you connect with you? Think about the businesses that you like and support. Why do you promote them on social media, or why do you follow them? Perhaps you love their service, or perhaps their clever marketing messages make you laugh. Social media is about connection, and that leads to conversation. Conversation - Don't talk; converse. Conversation - Don't talk; converse. Please stop the blah, blah, blah. If you talk at somebody you are bragging. If you talk with somebody, this is a conversation. Two-way communication is a requirement for conversation. All of the social media channels have tools for people to comment. A comment can initiate a conversation, and you need to acknowledge these commenting people. You can do this by commenting back, or asking thoughtful questions. Use your creativity, and as long as your market reacts positively to the conversation, then it is working. You are building a relationship via rapport and trust building. This leads to the final step in the conversation; call to action. Call to Action - Tell people what to do. Call to Action - Tell people what to do. To convert on social media, you need to know what that means. What is a conversion to you? Is it a call, or a purchase, or a download? There are many different business models and conversion could mean very different things to different businesses. Regardless of what the call to action is, there is one key commonality. You must make it very easy, obvious and straightforward. If you want people to call you, then tell them to call, and provide a phone number. For example: Call Building Aspirations today for your online small business marketing needs (562) 883 2734. Strategy - Putting this All Together I get very frustrated when a client wants to set-up their social media profiles and just get started. Ironically, they feel annoyed with my questions about their target marketing and intended strategy. While, they would always plan a direct mail campaign, they somehow feel that they can just 'put something out' on social media and have instant success. You need to follow a plan. Perhaps you see the value with this method, but need help with implementation. Building Aspirations can help put this success plan into action for you. Connect with us today. We are experts with social media marketing. You know your business. Building Aspirations knows social media.
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