Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

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Convert your readers into clients!

Would you like to convert more of your readers into paying clients or customers?  If you would, then this post might be just what you are looking for!  That’s because I am about to tell you one of the most common reasons that sites have poor conversion rates and also, how to fix it.

Convert readers into clients

convert traffic, convert readersIn order for a site to convert readers into clients or customers (herein called clients) it first needs to be attracting the correct profile of readers.  You might be the best widget maker in the business, but if your site doesn’t attract people that are interested in buying widgets, it’s never going to convert.  When people think about attracting the right profile of people to their sites, they usually think exclusively of SEO.  So, they get their site’s optimized for the key words and phrases that they believe their target client profile will be looking for.

So far, so good!

However, in many cases, the site owner then shoots themselves in the foot by writing content for their site, which is written for totally the wrong audience!  For example, web designers often have blogs that are filled with posts about the latest coding tricks or the most useful piece of specialist design software.

Here’s the challenge with that approach: The only people interested in those subjects are their fellow web designers. NOT prospective clients!

Keyword density

Not only is that kind of content only going to appeal to fellow web designers, it’s also going to miss many of the words or phrases required, to help them attract the right search engine traffic.  Part of the process Google uses, when determining what words to rank your site for, is something called keyword density.  This is the number of times keywords are repeated within a page of text, in relation to the other words.  When you write your web pages or blog posts for the wrong audience, your keyword density will score too high for the wrong terms and too low for the correct terms.  As a result, your search engine traffic could be largely from the wrong profile of people.

I just saw a web hosting provider’s website, packed from page to page with technical specs, hardware combinations, buzz words and industry slang; rather than messages that their prospective clients will be interested in.  They should be primarily speaking about how their services will help businesses to maintain a fast, reliable online presence.  The software and hardware they use is important, but it needs to be worked into that message.  They should be clearly stating the commercial benefits of using their services and giving people a call to action.

The marketing value of focused copy writing

If you are reading this blog post, there’s an extremely high probability that you are a business owner.  Moreover, you probably own a small to medium-sized business too.  That’s because 100% of the material here is written for business owners.  As a result, this blog ranks highly on search engines for many phrases and terms relevant to business owners, who want to improve their marketing.  Equally, people share the posts here with business owners via social networking sites, because my posts are all written for my prospective client profile; which are small business owners.

So, if you want to convert more of your readers into clients, start off my making sure that you are actually writing for the correct profile of readers.  This means writing in their language, about topics they are interested in and likely to be looking for; such as common challenges within their industry and how you can help them.

(If you are a business owner and you want regular free marketing advice, remember to subscribe to our RSS feed and never miss another post again!)

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Photo: Nina Matthews Photography

Why you may want to publish that ebook after all!

So, you have some really valuable information, which you would like to turn into an ebook.  The thing is, ebooks are usually either free of they cost very little – so you don’t bother.  After all, if you only make the price of a coffee for each one you sell, you need to make a LOT of sales.

Wrong!

Ebook pricing now reflects value rather than format

ebook marketing, ebook pricesRight now, there are ebooks selling for hundreds of dollars – Some with just a few thousand words!  That’s not much bigger than a few, long blog posts.  If you find what I’m telling you a little hard to believe, take a look at this ebook from AdAge.  It’s just 3,600 words long and costs $249 to download.

Why?  Because the author believes that the information in this ebook is worth it, to the people who need it.  It’s a highly targeted book, with lots of data.  If the ebook’s target audience agrees with the author’s valuation, they will happily pony up with the $249.

Ebooks finally coming of age?

It is certainly beginning to look that way.  Just last month, Amazon announced that they now sell MORE ebooks than traditional hardback books.  It seems that consumers now recognise that the value of the words are just the same, regardless of whether they are in paper or digital format.

The marketplace is increasingly demanding instant access to information and doesn’t necessarily want to wait days or weeks for a book to arrive, if they can download that same book and be reading it in seconds.  Equally, people are also more environmentally aware and are moving away from dead tree media.

So, if you have a great idea, which you would like to turn into an ebook, you may want to reconsider your options.  If your information is valuable enough, people will happily pay a fair price for it.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

 

Photo: Patrick Feller

Don’t worry – Be happy!

In my experience, happiness is not something you should put off until some point in the future, yet many hard-working business owners do exactly that.  They subconsciously decide to delay their happiness until they have reached a certain financial status or moved into a certain size house or reached some other landmark.

jim connolly

They promise themselves that when they have X amount of money, THAT’S when they will start relaxing and enjoying life.  But right now, in the present, they will just work hard and plough through life.

I discovered a long time ago, that true success comes from learning how to enjoy the whole journey and not just the destination.  I know many people in business, who work long hours building a better future.  That’s great.  The thing is, some of these people have been doing this for 20 years and very seldom taken time out to enjoy their family, friends and all the things that matter.

When they are at the beach, they are still really in the office; or at least their mind is.  You’ve seen them too right?  Sitting with their family, yet checking their email and voice-mail?

It’s commendable to have a strong work ethic and to want a better future.  I would like to think I fit into that category myself.  However, no one said that the journey to the top shouldn’t be fun or include plenty of time to enjoy our family and friends.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Photo: Kthypryn

Business blogging: The “get rich slow” approach!

A successful business blog is a great marketing and communications asset.

It’s no surprise then, that so many business owners start blogging.  However, many of them stop blogging after a few months, because they have not seen the kind of results they had hoped for.

It’s like a farmer planting her crops and then trying to harvest them too soon.  The farmer may have planted the crops correctly and tended the soil perfectly, but her crops might take 6 months or more before they’re ready for harvesting.

Building a blog that generates regular sales, leads or opportunities for your business often takes up to a year or more.  Pulling the plug on a blog after just a few months is like giving up on your crops before your seeds had a chance to grow.

Blog development takes time

My first blog post here was read by just a handful of people on the day it was published.  Over the next 2 years, I worked hard to make Jims Marketing Blog as valuable as I possibly could.  I wrote several hundred blog posts, replied to comments, improved the blog design and marketed it to new readers.

Why?  Over the past 12-months alone, this blog has repaid me, by generating over £100,000 in profitable, new business.  Had I stopped after the first few months, because I only had a relatively small number of readers, none of this would have happened and I would have missed what’s become one of the most fun elements of my business too!

Numbers are less important than quality, but you do still need the numbers.

How many readers do YOU need?

That’s easy.  You need enough targeted visitors to your blog each week or month, in order to provide you with a steady, predictable stream of high quality sales or business leads.  Now, in some industries, that may be 5,000 a day.  In most industries you will need nothing like that many! Lots of successful business bloggers do amazingly well with 500 unique visitors a day and others with half that number!

To get you from wherever you are right now, to that magical place, aim for developing a growing, targeted readership, through providing useful, focused content and embracing a good Internet marketing strategy.

The bottom line: Don’t get disheartened by comparing your visitor numbers with anyone else and allow your blog the time it needs in order to grow. If you are looking for a quick fix, business blogging is probably not for you.  However, if you are looking for a way to build an amazingly powerful marketing and communications asset in the medium to longer-term, I suggest you embrace blogging.

What have your experiences been of starting or growing a business blog?  I would really love to hear your feedback!

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

I’m all ears!

Here’s a quick communication tip, based on my observations of some amazing communicators over the years.  All of them shared a common characteristic, which is essential if you want people to REALLY connect with you.

communication skills

Your undivided attention

In every instance, these masters of communication gave 100% of their attention to the person they were speaking with, whilst they were with that person.  They maintained eye contact, nodded in agreement in all the right places and never once looked around the room.  They listened a lot, and spoke a little.  When they were with that person, they WERE with that person – 100%!

Some of the least effective communicators, like those you often meet at networking events, do the total opposite.  You can see them looking over your shoulder for their next networking victim, as they say; “tell me about your business” or “tell me how I can help you.”

Business is all about people

Business is all about people and the way they feel.  If we take time to show genuine interest in; our colleagues, our clients, our prospective clients and our contacts etc, we can massively improve our relationships and make business a lot more enjoyable and profitable.  Notice I said; “take time to show genuine interest”?  I know you are already interested in these people, but just like those expert communicators I mentioned earlier, it’s important to show people clearly we are interested in them and what they have to say.  Let them know you are listening, with visual feedback.

What are your communication tips?

There are many ways to improve your communication skills.  What communication tips would you like to share with us?

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

 

Photo: Living on impulse

How to get a million unique visitors & flat abs!

I was reading one of those; how to get millions of unique blog visitors articles yesterday, when I saw something that made me smile.  At the end of a long list of very obvious blog marketing ideas, was a sentence that told readers  NONE of this will work, unless you are producing remarkable content.

In other words, unless you are a creative, gifted content provider, capable of producing amazing material that people will want to share, you can forget everything you just read, because these “tricks” won’t work!

Why was that important disclaimer at the bottom of the post?

Because if it was at the top of the post, very few people would have read beyond it!

The marketplace is full of people, who are actively searching for that one elusive trick that will magically generate a ton of traffic to their site.  That’s who those posts are targeted at. They are the blogging equivalent of those infomercials, that promise you a flatter stomach in just 4 weeks, with just 60 seconds use a day; with that tiny disclaimer at the end that says it only works if you massively reduce your calorie intake and take regular exercise!

Business blogging: You don’t need tricks!

The reality is that you don’t need tricks if you want to attract regular sales or enquiries through your site.  You do, however, need 2 things.

  1. Great content.
  2. An effective Internet marketing strategy.

How many people produce great content?  Very few.

How many people work to an effective Internet marketing strategy?  Very few.

There’s the challenge!

Think of it like this:  Imagine my friend Bob the Blogger manages to get his business blog ranking highly for a certain search engine term that’s relevant to his business.  You search for that term on Google and see Bob’s link, so you click it.  However, when you arrive at Bob’s blog, you can tell very quickly that the content offers nothing new or interesting.

What do you do?

You leave!  Then, you then go back to Google and keep searching until you find something worth reading.

In that example, Bob made it to page 1 of Google for a relevant search engine term, you visited his site, saw that his content was crap, so he lost you almost immediately.  He did well with Google, but his content let him and his business down.

Now, imagine that Bob’s content is great, but his Internet marketing strategy is poor.  He fails to use the most effective, basic SEO techniques and isn’t leveraging social media either.  As a result, very few people ever discover his site and he becomes one of those best kept secrets in business; where the business owner usually works very hard and offers great value, but goes broke through lack of sales / new clients.

The balance that’s required, is great content, backed up by an equally good Internet marketing strategy.

Depending on your industry, there are potentially hundreds of thousands of sites out there, in your particular niche.  For example, I did a search on Google recently for the term “marketing blogs” and saw 145 million results.  That’s a BIG niche!  In order for my blog to rank on page 1 of Google for that term, which it does at time of writing, I need to out-perform a LOT of marketing blogs.

Business Blogging: Where people get it wrong.

In my experience, the area where most people get it wrong is not their SEO.  It’s their copy writing.  They write content that’s very similar to others in their niche and they fail to inspire their readers to take action.  This means that even when one of their posts or pages attracts a lot of traffic from search engines, there’s little there to inspire these search engine visitors to do anything.

People will only click a link, share a post, subscribe to your RSS feed or call you via your site, if there’s a compelling reason for them to do so.  All the SEO plugins and “killer techniques” in the world will not make up for generic / pedestrian copy.

Have something worth saying and learn how to write it as effectively as you possibly can.  Use the best SEO techniques you can find and weave them into your overall Internet marketing strategy.  If you want help, let me know. It’s what I do!

It’s time to say, “Thank You!”

In business, it’s easy to assume that people know how much we appreciate them, so we often don’t bother saying anything.  The thing is, your words of appreciation or praise are enormously powerful.

A quick email, Tweet, phone call or thank you note from you, can transform someone’s day from being just average to being wonderful and it only takes a minute or two of your time.  For those going through a tough time right now, your words of appreciation can be worth more than gold.

So, Why not make today the day where you:

  • Tell your clients how much you love working with them.
  • Email a few of your contacts, just to let them know that you value your relationship with them or the support they offer you.
  • If you write a blog, publish a post that thanks the people who have helped you and make sure you name names.
  • Tell the person that serves you in the coffee shop that you appreciate the way they look after you.
  • Write a quick testimonial for one of the companies that provides your business with a great level of service.
  • Reach out to a blogger, whose advice helps you, but maybe she doesn’t know yet. (Bloggers need a hug occasionally too you know!)

Thank you!

I would like to get things started, by thanking you! It’s almost exactly 2 years since I launched this blog and a huge part of it’s success is down to the way you have shared my posts with your friends.  Equally, the comments and emails I receive from readers are a constant source of inspiration.

Most importantly, without you Jim’s Marketing Blog wouldn’t exist.  That’s a fact, and one that I will never forget, as I strive to provide you with the best, free marketing and business development ideas I can.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

What does your client list say about your marketing?

marketing strategyIf you want to work with better quality clients or for higher fees, here’s something to consider: It’s always your choice!

Your existing client base and fee income are reflections of your marketing strategies, thus far.  If you are not happy with the way your client list or income is developing, adjust your marketing strategy accordingly and it will quickly improve.

Otherwise, you risk being like the guy I saw this weekend, complaining about the quality of a new client’s business and how much he didn’t want to work with them.  That’s right, rather than fix the problem HE CREATED, his strategy was to complain about his new client, instead.

The marketplace is full of business owners, who are repeating the same approach to developing their business, yet hoping for better results each time.  They complain – But stay the same.

Don’t waste another day following your current strategy, if it isn’t working.

As Albert Einstein once said:
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Photo: Fr. Antunes

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