January 7, 2010
I know, many coaches are very much against watching TV, but "I" am very much for learning how to navigate the online world by watching the world of television. As I was watching The Late Show with David Letterman one night, it occurred to me how his show is similar to the way we market ourselves online. Did you ever notice how (in a very boiled down way of looking at it) talk shows are really just a marketing vehicle for actors, movie studios, politicians, and television networks? Watch a few and notice the format. They start with a little of their own material (which showcases the hosts talents, creating credibility and sharing a bit about who they are), the host sits down with an actor, politician or other person who has something to promote. They ask questions that help the audience to get to know that person, then finish up with…um…yeah…you guessed it…a promotion for the latest, greatest project that guest is working on. Usually including a photo, album cover, clip etc… It's a show of commercials (with commercials thrown in).
Okay, my point is not to ruin talk shows for you. My point is that people who watch these shows don't see the marketing going on. It's NOT noticeable. It's most certainly there, but it isn't the focus. People watch to see some candidness. To get to know the guest in a different way, outside their movies, TV shows, campaign, tours etc… This way, when they are ready to decide whether they'll go see that guest in action, they already feel they know who that person is and what the "feature" is all about, so it's easy to determine whether or not to go.
So, by now you are wondering what any of this has to do with Internet Marketing. Here's my take on it. When it comes to internet marketing, people are getting wise and they see "advertising" in their inbox, on flashing website boxes etc… and they are ignoring it. It's our job to do it talk show style. Use internet marketing vehicles that allow your potential clients to get to know who you are first, BEFORE you give them the promo. Follow the talk show format and find ways to do that.
There are many vehicles on the internet for this kind of format. Here are a few ideas to help you get started. Of course, if I miss something, or you want to share your thoughts, please comment on this post.
1) Podcasting - This is actually a mirror of the television talk show format, only it's on the internet. Podcasters want content for their shows. If your service or products support the topic of their show, then a Podcaster would love to interview you.
If you ARE a podcaster, remember the talk show formula. Ask questions that help your audience get to know your guest, before helping them promote their business. This will give them a greater return AND keep your audience tuned in.
2) Social Networking - I can't think of a better way for people to get to know you first, before they buy from you. You can replicate the talk show style by having someone you know on the network ask you the questions. Say you are a Life Coach on Twitter and one of your Twitter followers is a Massage Therapist. The Massage Therapist might ask a question or two about your life (and how you lead by example) one day. Then follow that up the next day with a question that is specific to your brand of Life Coaching, and answer the question of how you might help their clients. Then you trade off and YOU ask the questions for a couple days. Creating conversation like this gets people interested and they learn. You could even just script the questions to do throughout one day and publicize it. Let your followers know that if they follow both of you on that specific day, they'll get some great info.
You can also fly solo on this. Just remember the formula. Let your social networks get to you know YOU, as well as what you do. Be yourself and when the opportunity to promote something shows up, take it. Just remember that it's all about getting to know YOU first.
3) Internet Radio - There are two main networks for internet radio where people are always looking for guests. You can go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com or http://www.talkshoe.com, search for subjects that compliment your coaching topics and then see if the radio show owner is looking for interviewees. Offer something special JUST for their audience and they'll be happy to promote you on their show…always starting with who you are first.
4) Newsletters and blogs - I put these two in one category, because you can do the same thing on either or both. Swap newsletter/blog interviews. Agree to pick a topic with the list owner and then you can interview each other about that topic and share the answers with your list. Of course, you'll start getting to know each other, then end promoting something special for their readers.
So, learn from the talk shows and take it to the internet. You will find potential clients respond to this format and are going to be much more willing to trust you and move to purchase faster.
Kristen Beireis is the Marketing Implementation Expert for Group Mastery. She works with elite life-changers who are so buried in marketing they are leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table. Kristen and her team free coaches up to earn those hundreds of thousands of dollars without breaking a sweat so they can focus on helping others make positive changes.
January 6, 2010
One of the greatest sources of writer's block for coaches and really all writers is the fact that it is easy to run out of article ideas when you aren't even sure if anyone is going to care about what you are writing. In fact, I get that question all the time from coaches and other solo professionals. "How do I know I am writing articles that people want to read?"
Now let me first say that you should be asking this question, because I won't pretend that writing articles is not work. It is. If you are going to spend time everyday, week, month writing articles for readers in your niche, then you want to make sure that you are coming up with article ideas that they want to read. That you are making an impact. Especially when you want to encourage and influence these readers into eventually becoming clients in your coaching groups.
So if this is you and want to make sure that you are reaching people in your marketplace, then I stand by these top 3 article ideas for group coaches, to generate interest, buzz, and conversion (readers who visit your site).
Article Idea 1 - Write Articles That Answer Client Questions
You can generate many, many articles if you pay attention to the issues of your current and past clients. What specific issues have you handled more than once with a client. What are the common problems of prospects in your niche. What have past clients struggled with during your time together?
These types of articles are a great way to address objections potential clients may have before they start working with you. This is an important part of converting prospects into clients, but it is also important because it will help better qualify your clients. Because of course, we are all striving to attract our type of "perfect client".
Article Idea 2 - Write About Timely Issues In Your Niche
Potential clients know that there are many coaches that they can probably work with, that's why it is important that you position yourself as an authority on your topic and someone who has a pulse on the current hot topics in your niche.
It's not enough to write about the same information that coaches in your field have been writing about for years. You will stand out as a leader if you write about current issues that are creating buzz in your industry. Just look to your industry magazines, periodicals, newsletters, forums, associations, etc. for these types of hot topics.
Article Idea 3 - Write In-Depth On One Aspect Of Your Business
Many coaches are afraid of giving away all their information in their articles, so they tend to write pretty weak and generic stuff. You know the ones, articles that never stand up and get noticed. This is a BIG mistake and one that I see occur again and again.
In today's competitive market, and let's be honest here, coaches are coming out of the wood works! It's essential that your information stand out. The best way to achieve that is to really teach your readers something specific. Don't just gloss over the same old information. Really dig down and write about topics, trends, tips, and tricks that someone would pay for. Why?
Well if you are doing your job, these are NOT all your trade secrets. Plus, if you are a coach, people want to invest in you in order to have a direct line to you. Not just your information. So do not be afraid to really teach the folks in your marketplace something that perhaps another coach may charge prospects for. It may be just the thing to help you dominate your market and truly become a six-figure coach.
Finally, each of these article ideas should minimally generate at least 10 articles a piece. 10 issues that your market struggles with. 10 hot topics in your niche. 10 really good tips that you can share with readers. That's 30 new articles you can get started with right away. So what are you waiting for? Get writing!
Lisa Angelettie is a professional coach, published author, and article marketing expert. She's been using articles exclusively since 2003 to drive traffic to the websites of her clients as well as her own. Lisa is the Article Marketing Expert for Group Mastery. Stop by and read some of Lisa's free article marketing tips over at her site: http://LisaAngelettie.com
November 18, 2009
There are a number of reasons why your business can’t succeed without online payments. If you place your business online, it is absolutely essential to ensure that you have an online payment system where your customers can easily purchase the products and services that you have to offer.
When you set up an online payment system, you will immediately notice a drastic increase in your overall sales. Here are some steps that you will need to take to get this going, as well as some advantages associated with doing this.
Choosing an Online Payment Processing System
Choosing an online payment processing system can be a challenging task. However, it is one that is well worth the time and the effort. When developing your online payment processing system, consider the following:
- The very first thing that you have to do is determine how much money that you can budget in each month that will pay for your online payment solution. Many of these systems will require that you pay a startup fee, as well as a monthly maintenance fee. Be certain that you read the complete terms of agreement (the small print) prior to committing to this monthly subscription.
- The next thing that you will need to do is calculate how many sales, on average, that your business experiences. This will help you to establish whether you need a simple online payment system or a relatively full featured (robust) system.
- When choosing an online payment system for your business, it is absolutely imperative that you make sure the service is PCI Compliant as well as secured protection for your existing as well as potential client base. Don't ignore this tip - it's important.
Advantages of an Online Payment System
When you have an online payment system for the business that you conduct online, there are a number of advantages. The following outlines why your business can’t succeed without online payments:
- Having an online payment system will allow your customers to pay quickly and conveniently without the hassle of paying by check and money order. This means that you are more likely to experience more sales overall. (Also cuts down on returned checks as well as bogus money orders.)
- Having this system in place can actually enhance your credibility as an online business.
- The speed of the transactions not only satisfies your customers, but it will also increase the speed in which you experience profits as a whole.
As you can see, there are many reasons why you should implement the use of an online payment system. It's vital to the success of your business and it truly helps to work smarter, not harder.
Contact me for a free 15 minute ecommerce solution consultation, I look forward to answering all of your questions.
Regina Baker is the co-creator of Wahmcart and the Ecommerce Solutions Expert for Group Mastery. She created Wahmcart as a full ecommerce software solution for work at home moms without the huge price tag. She's dedicated to educating the small business individual (sole proprietors) and companies with ecommerce solutions that will allow them to work smarter, not harder while at the same time providing an affordable solution that the “average” person can afford. More about Wahmcart