Archive for August, 2008

Got Banned From Social Networks?

Monday, August 25th, 2008
 

You should have built your own list….

Think about this for a second – what will happen if you get banned from your favorite social networks, the one you use the most often, the ones you use to connect with others, to network and to promote your products and services?

Will you be able to get in touch with everyone you need to get in touch with? Will you be able to update them on what’s going with you without using the social network?

And you don’t have to be banned from a social network to lose your contacts – what if you just decide to leave a social network on your own and delete your account? You will not be able to contact people through the network anymore, so unless you have other means to connect with the people you met through this network, you will not be able to connect with them anymore.

In my 10+ years of social networking, I have joined and left hundreds of social networking groups. But I kept in touch with many people I have met through those groups. How did I do it? By inviting people I meet through social networking to join my list. If you don’t do that yet, here is a plan to help you get started:

- Evaluate what you are using social networking for. If you are using social networking to get more clients and build your business, don’t rely on the social networks alone to keep in touch with the people you meet.

Spend some time now to create a plan to do that.

- Create a plan to keep in touch with your contacts. Get started with your plan. How do you want to keep in touch? Blogs? Newsletters? Some other means?

- Start promoting your newsletter. One of the best ways to keep in touch with people you meet through social networking is by inviting them to subscribe to youR newsletter.

In order to do that, make sure you promote your newsletter! Promote it in your profile, link to it from your signature, post a link to it from your “About” page, etc. The more visible you make your newsletter, the more people will get on your list, and the more people you will be able to keep in touch with even if you stop using some social networking groups.

Want to learn more about building your list? Join me for the Top 5 Strategies To Build Your List Teleseminar at http://www.marketingsalad.com/build-list.html

More social networking posts:

- What To Do With Your Social Networking Traffic

- Is Social Media A Fad?

Issues And Benefits With Duplicate Content

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
 

If you have been reading this blog, you know that I am a huge fan of article marketing. I have been using article marketing for many years to build my list, get clients and get web site traffic. Many of my newsletter subscribers and clients have found me by reading my articles in article directories, blogs and on other people’s web sites.

I often receive questions about article marketing that have to do with duplicate content. When you submit the same article to 10, 20 or 30 article directories, you have exactly the same article appear on multiple sites. This constitutes duplicate content.

Many business owners have seen that duplicate content does not rank as high as original content in search engines. Because of this many business owners have been asking me if it is still worth it to submit articles to article directories, if they will not rank that high.

The answer is that even with duplicate content you should definitely submit articles to article directories. Your articles will still show up in search engines – they just won’t rank as high as more original content.
However, when you submit your articles to good, popular article directories, you will receive traffic boosts in two different ways:

- First, when your articles are published in these article directories, they will have links pointing back to your web site(s). When people click on these links, you will get very useful web site traffic that you would not have received otherwise.

- Blog and web site owners use article directories to find articles that they can re-print on their web sites, in their blogs and in their newsletters. When you submit your articles to article directories, they get re-printed, thus, providing you with more exposure and more traffic.

And, when you have many articles appear in many directories, your potential clients see immediately that you are the expert at what you do.

Therefore, even if your articles that you submit to article directories don’t rank that high in search engines, you will still benefit from using article marketing.

Want to know the best places to submit your articles to get more web site traffic? In my FREE Report, “How To Get Clients Online” I have listed my 10 favorite article submission directories.
You can get the report at http://www.AvocadoConsulting.com

Biana Babinsky

How Does Your List Help You?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
 

I publish a weekly newsletter on getting clients online and I am often asked how this newsletter helps me and my business succeed.

There are many ways that my newsletter helps me:

- My newsletter positions me as an expert

- My newsletter helps me showcase my expertise

- My newsletter helps me build relationships with my subscribers, every single week

- I re-use the articles that I write for the newsletter on my web site to get more traffic

- My newsletter brings in more clients and more sales. Every time I send out my newsletter there I see many product sales.

All of this from just sending out a weekly newsletter!

It is no wonder that when I discuss the above with my clients, they want to take action and start their own newsletter! So their next question is how to get more newsletter subscribers.

I use many strategies to get subscribers. I believe that the best to get subscribers is to have a system in place for using online marketing techniques to get subscribers.

First in the system is your free gift – a gift that your target market would love to receive. Offer this gift to everyone who subscribes to your newsletter.

Next, tell everyone about this free gift, so that they subscribe to receive it! For example:

- If you are doing an off line speech or a presentation, pass around a sign-up sheet to enable participants to receive your gift and get on your list.

- If you have a business blog and are blogging, have your gift offer prominently displayed on your blog.

- If you are writing and distributing articles, make sure that everyone who is reading your articles is able to sign up to receive the gift.

Share the information about your free gift with everyone in your target market! You can dramatically increase your product sales and build your client roster if you have a large list full of your target clients, ready to hear from you.

If you don’t have a system of getting people on your list yet, I recommend that you sit down today to brainstorm how to create such system and how to use all the marketing that you are already doing to build your list.

Want to learn my favorite strategies for building a list? Join me for the Top 5 Strategies To Build Your List Teleseminar at http://www.marketingsalad.com/build-list.html

Biana Babinsky

From Too Few To MANY Clients

Monday, August 11th, 2008
 

Some coaches I know have 2-5 clients, have a few people subscribing to their list every month and have 100-500 web site views every month. Of course they would like MORE – more clients, more subscribers and more web site visitors.

How can they go from 2-5 clients to 15-20 clients, to hundreds of people joining their list and to thousands of web site views every month?

Here are my thoughts on this:

First off, congratulations! If you have a few clients, people are joining your list every month and you have steady web site traffic, it looks like some of your marketing is working!

The next step is to track which marketing is working, because it is very important to know what is actually producing results. So my first question is: Are you tracking your efforts to find out EXACTLY which of your marketing efforts are bringing in the results?

If some efforts are already working, why not increase these efforts and see if they bring you more results? Marketing is not about creating breakthrough, award-winning campaigns. Marketing is about finding out what works for you and your practice and using what works to get MORE clients, subscribers and web site traffic.

My next recommendation is to streamline your marketing and create a marketing system that you use to move people around your marketing funnel. Create a system for getting people to your web site ==> getting them to subscribe to your newsletter ==> using your newsletter to offer them coaching and your other products.

You can do this by:

- Driving qualified traffic to your web site. Article marketing is great, but you need to use it consistently in order to get more web site traffic. I recommend my clients to submit at least 5 articles a month to article directories.

Other ways to drive traffic include search engine optimization, having your own blog and blogging on a consistent basis, participating in online networking where your target market networks and more.

- Once your get the traffic to your web site, make sure you can convert it into newsletter subscribers. Create a nice free gift that you can give away, such as a free report, audio recording, etc and promote it on EVERY page on your web site. Doing this will ensure that no matter where people have entered your web site, they can subscribe to your newsletter.

- Use your newsletter to promote your services and products. Now that you are adding subscribers think big about what they need, create products that they need and offer them to your subscribers.

As you are working through your online marketing strategy, see if you want to publish your newsletter more often. When you publish your newsletter every two weeks, or even weekly, you will be able to share more with your subscribers, get them to know you better and get them to buy your products and services.

Need more help? Check out more blog posts on list building:

- How To Use Your List To Get Clients

- Coaches, How Often Do You Send Out Your Newsletter?

- What To Do With Your Social Networking Traffic

More information on list building is available in the Grow Your List Home Study Course available at http://www.avocadoconsulting.com/rlinks/znews

Biana Babinsky

Interview with Writing Expert, Linda Dessau, About Her Book

Thursday, August 7th, 2008
 

Linda Dessau has just written a book, The Customizable Style Guide for Coaches Who Write: Look Smarter, Write Faster and Get Better Results from Your Writing. Since I always talk about how coaches need to be able to write well to be able to market themselves, get clients and create products, I decided to interview Linda about the book and about why writing is so important for coaches. Here is my interview with Linda:

1. Linda, why did you decide to write this book?

There were a few reasons, Biana. I’ve heard from a lot of coaches over the years that they’re hesitant to write, or hesitant to publish their writing, because they’re worried it’s not good enough. I want to help them get over that, because I LOVE helping coaches polish up their writing. But if they can’t get over this hump we can’t get to this stage.

Another big reason was so that I would have a desktop resource for all of the things I was constantly looking up as I was editing. As I heard once in a seminar, a great editor doesn’t know everything, but she knows where to look to find the answers.

2. Could you please explain what a style guide is?

Sure! A style guide is basically a collection of writing rules and guidelines that you can refer back to when you’re writing anything for your business (including articles, emails, special reports, books and more).

3. Why do coaches need a style guide?

It will save you time and energy while you’re writing, because you’ll have a clear cut answer to the writing questions that come up. And if you’re like me, and the same question pops up over and over again, it’s guaranteed that you’ll handle it the same way you did the last time it came up. If you always refer back to the same style guide, your writing will have a consistent, professional appearance and that helps to reinforce your credibility and your brand. And Biana, you and I both know how important those things are for a successful coaching business.

4. What’s the one mistake you wish coaches would stop making in their writing?

Trying to say too much. The coaches I’ve worked with are so prolific and creative, and sometimes they don’t know where one article ends and the next one begins. When it comes to articles, book chapters or each section of a special report, try to make just one main point, and then support it with sub-points.

5. What did you learn about writing a book that you can pass along to your clients? What is your one recommendation to a coach that wants to write a book?

Here are a few key lessons I learned:

- Books can change a lot from beginning to end, so draft your outline and then make room for the book to become what it’s going to be.

- Talk about your writing process as often as you can, with people who will offer enthusiastic support.

- People are incredibly generous! My volunteer reviewers gave me such a valuable perspective as the eyes of my potential readers.

- Invest in the support people you need to get the best finished product– I worked with a coach, (Kathy Mallary), an editor (M. Lisa Forner) and a designer (Victoria Vinton).

6. Tell us more about the book: is it a book or e-book? Are there any bonuses included with the book?

This is a print book only; I really wanted coaches to use it as a desktop resource. There are online bonuses as well, available on an exclusive readers-only website. There’s a list of troublesome words and phrases to watch out for, writing tools such as a sales page generator, a template to create a customized style sheet, links to all of the resources in the book and updates and additions as they become available.

7. Who is this book aimed at?

The Style Guide was written exclusively for coaches, and the entire second half of the book is dedicated to mapping out the specific writing projects that coaches use the most. That being said, I noticed that the virtual assistants who reviewed it for me found it just as helpful. I’m sure most service professionals and other small business owners could relate these guidelines to their own writing needs.

Looking for more information about Linda’s book? You can learn more about it and get your own copy at The Customizable Style Guide for Coaches Who Write: Look Smarter, Write Faster and Get Better Results from Your Writing.

Yesterday, August 6th the blog tour kicked off in great fashion with Chris Dunmire at Creative Slush. Great start Chris!

Tomorrow, August 8th, the blog tour continues with Teresa Morrow with her own interview with Linda.

Are Newsletters So Last Century?

Monday, August 4th, 2008
 

Every once in a while I receive a question from a coach who has heard that newsletters are old news and web 2.0 is the way to go. Here is a question I received recently:

Question: Biana, I have been a life coach for about 4 years now. I have been publishing my newsletter for about 2.5 years. About 6 months ago I started reading articles and hearing from everyone that newsletters are outdated and that I should start using web 2.0 exclusively.

I stopped publishing my newsletter and canceled my newsletter service. Instead, I started blogging and using social networking sites.

I am getting some interest in my coaching services and products from people reading my blog and people I’ve met at social networking sites, but I used to get more interest when I published my newsletter.

Did I make a mistake? Should I have been publishing my newsletter instead of starting the blog and doing social networking?

My answer: First of all, I LOVE web 2.0. Blogging and social networking has been bringing leads and clients to me for a very long time. However, your newsletter is a foundation of your marketing strategy. Before you blog, before you use social networking sites, you MUST have a newsletter.

Let me explain. Your newsletter helps you build long term relationships with people in your target market. It is your most important piece in your marketing strategy. When you meet people in your target market – in person, through speaking or networking, or online, though social networking, article marketing, etc – you need to invite them to get on your newsletter list.

Once they get on your list, they will be able to receive your newsletter, get to know you and become aware of products and services that you offer.

The best way to use web 2.0 is to use it to get more people to subscribe to your newsletter. When people are reading your blog, make sure that you invite them to subscribe to your newsletter. You can do that by using an invite in the blog header, including a newsletter subscription box in your menu, etc.

And when you are using social networking, make sure that your personal pages on different social networking sites promote your newsletter. That way you can use your newsletter to continue building relationships with people you meet at social networking sites.

So I recommend that you continue using your blog and social networking sites, but you should also find a way to continue building relationships with people you meet through those means.

I talk a lot about using your newsletter to get clients in the Grow Your List Home Study Course that you can see at http://www.avocadoconsulting.com/rlinks/znews

Biana Babinsky