Home › Monthly Archives › May 2012

Using Contests for List Building

Contests for List BuildingUsing Contests for List Building

If you are seeking a new way to entice people into joining your subscription list, you should consider using a contest.  Not only are these contest usually fun, they are also a great method for list building and require little effort.  Basically, in order for people to participate in the contest and have a chance to win a valuable price, they need to sign up for your newsletter.  In fact, if your offer is enticing enough, they will even tell their friends about it so they can sign up to win too!  So how do you ensure that your new subscribers are from your target offers and not just out to win a free prize?

Select Your Prize Accordingly

Start by making sure that your contest prize appeals to your audience.  By carefully avoiding prizes that anyone would want you can eliminate a lot of the freebie seekers.  For example if you offer a free iPhone, everyone will flood your sign up box.  But will all of them be interested in your teeth whitening product? No!  Instead, offer a prize that specifically applies to your target audience such as a free gift certificate for your teeth whitening products or services.  By offering your own products as prizes, you can be sure that everyone who signs up is interested in your products.  After all, why would they enter to win something they don’t want?

Establish Your Contest Criteria

While you may be tempted to just hold a random drawing contest, you should consider the additional benefits you get from actually making your prospects put forth a little effort.  For example, you could make the contest criteria a 1 page essay on how X-brand Tooth Whitener stands out among the competition. Not only will this cause your prospects to do research and learn about your product, you will eliminate most of the people who are simply seeking something for nothing.  And the best of all?  They will actually be writing an essay that proves the benefits of buying your product over all others, and will be more willing to purchase it in the future!

Place Your Contest Campaign in Selected Locations

If you want to further target your audience, then only advertise your contest on niche specific websites, forums and blogs.  This is where your target audience is actively seeking solutions to their teeth whitening needs, and you have the additional benefit of piggy-backing off of existing SEO.

For Optimum List Building Give Something to Everyone

While you can probably only offer one grand prize, you can also offer several smaller prizes to others- and by others I mean everyone.  If you want your new list of subscribers to convert as quickly as possible, then make sure you give something of value to all entries.  You can tell them that they were the ‘second place winner’ and offer them your product at a reduced price.  Make sure it is reduced enough to call them to action, and also be sure to place a time limit on the offer.

To learn more about list building contests or other list building tips, visit Turbo Charge Your List Building.

 
Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

[pinterest]

List Building Part V – How to Get the Most out of Your List

List BuildingUntil now, we’ve concentrated entirely on list building, but we’ve said almost nothing about what to do once you have a list. And there’s a reason for this: most campaigns fall apart in the list building phase, which is well in advance of the monetization phase. I wanted to make sure you got through the list building phase completely focused and with a significant amount of momentum.

But now that you have a growing list, it’s time to start thinking about how to use it to make money. There are several different ways to do this. I will outline them in the order I believe you should do them.

Action 1: Thank You Page

When someone subscribes to your list, they will be re-directed to the ―thank you page on your website. This page will probably contain a link to download a free report or some free software, as well as a brief ―thank you message for subscribing.

If you want to make a quick sale, the thank you page is a great place to do it. All you’ll have to do is include a paragraph or two of text promoting a related product, as well as a link to the download page.

Action 2: Provide an eCourse

In earlier posts, we talked about growing your list by giving something away for free. One thing many list builders give away for free is an eCourse related to their particular niche. This is something I strongly suggest you do.

How can you do this? Begin by thinking about 5-7 topics related to your niche that not everyone knows about. Next, start drafting an outline for a course that explains these 5-7 things.

Each lesson in this course should be brief (say, 300 to 500 words), but should clearly convey a specific, actionable message. At the end of each course lesson, you should include an affiliate link to a product, but in a way that isn’t too pushy.

For example, you might spend the entire lesson talking about search engine optimization. At the end, you could include an affiliate link to an effective SEO tool, which, as you’ll explain, will greatly simplify the process.

When creating a course, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Plainly state how frequently subscribers will receive emails on the opt-in page.
  • Be considerate and thoughtful when deciding how to space the emails. At minimum, you will want to leave 1 day between emails; however, you may want to increase that time significantly.
  • Promote your affiliate link as a solution to the problem the email poses, but don’t do it in a way that is too blatant. If your emails don’t contain useful tips that are independent of the links, readers will become put off and unsubscribe.

After you’ve created your course, simply load it into your autoresponder.  All new subscribers will immediately be enrolled and will be exposed to your product pitches.

If you’re not satisfied with your results after a few weeks have passed, consider altering your course to improve your conversion rates.

Action 3: Present Your Product

Once subscribers have gone through your course and have been a list member for a few weeks, consider sending a direct sales proposal to them. Rather than doing it in the form of a basic sales letter, write it as suggestion in a personal letter.

Mention that you have a product available that solves some problem that members of the list will have. Then offer it to all of your list members at an exclusive discount. These list-only discounts will build rapport and a connection with your readers; and also give you an opportunity to earn some money from direct sales.

Action 4: Promote Affiliate Products

In action #2, we talked about weaving affiliate product offers into your eCourse. This is always a good way to make some immediate cash. But there are other ways to promote products as an affiliate, too. One of the better ways is to find and try new products—and then to provide a review for you list with an affiliate link included.

If you’re not sure what products you can use this method with, spend some time reviewing ClickBank, Commission Junction, DigiResults, LinkShare, and JVZoo. Regardless of what you want to promote—be it physical products or electronic products—you can sell it as an affiliate through one of those sites.

Summary Monetizing Your List

One of the most important parts of list building is figuring out how to squeeze money out of our list. Using the five methods I’ve listed above, you should be able to slowly amass a reasonable income by converting your subscribers into buyers.

35 Great Ways to Rapidly Build Your List

We talked extensively about a few very effective methods for driving traffic to your opt-in list. Now, let’s talk very briefly about 30 different methods you can use to immediately start building your list. I will leave it to find out how each will interface with your particular business model.

Approach 1: Create an account at squidoo.com and use it to talk about your niche, generate traffic, and then convert it into subscribers.

Approach 2: Draft a free report and pass it out on forums and post it in directories. In that report, repeatedly refer to your opt-in page.

Approach 3: Related to Approach 2, but use an eBook, rather than a report.

Approach 4: Similar to strategies 2 and 3, but use video content. Create it using www.camstudio.com.

Approach 5: Similar to strategies 2, 3, and 4, but use audio content instead. Create the audio content using http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.

Approach 6: Create an AdWords account and use it to drive traffic to your opt-in list. Refer back to Part III for details.

Approach 7: Create a CPC advertising account with Yahoo:

http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/ysm/sps/new/;_ylt=Asy_FOtICMyRCddA_6VrisuOQSN4.

Approach 8: Create a CPC advertising account with Bing:

https://adcenter.microsoft.com/customer/SignupPreview.aspx?adv_market =en-us&s_int=118

Approach 9: Hire a professional marketing team on elance.com or guru.com and have them run your campaign. Or, there is always Fiverr…for more info review Cash5er to even make a business out of it.

Approach 10: Hire a graphic designer on elance.com or guru.com to create a banner advertisement for your site. Purchase cost per view credits from banner advertising networks and test how well your banner converts.

Approach 11: Create a LindedIn Account and join groups in your niche.

Approach 12: Find relevant forums on http://www.big-boards.com/, post on them frequently, and use a signature to direct traffic to your opt-in list.

Approach 13: Write articles. Use http://www.vretoolbar.com/articles/directories.php  or search for free article directories to find a list of relevant article directories. Post your articles there with a link back to your opt-in page.

Approach 14: Create a Facebook account and use it to add friends who are likely to be interested in your list.

Approach 15: Do the same thing, but for Google+.

Approach 16: Find relevant niche social networking sites and use them to sell your products.

Approach 17: Find joint venture partners who are willing to promote your list in exchange for promoting them on your list.

Approach 18: Create a contest with a large prize and require participants to join your list in order to get contest updates and information.

Approach 19: Purchase high-quality, double opt-in leads for your list.

Approach 20: Buy advertising space on other email lists and use them to promote your own.

Approach 21: Refine your current traffic generation strategies through tracking and testing.

Approach 22: Improve your conversion rate by tweaking your opt-in page and testing your results.

Approach 23: Create a series of tutorial videos and post them on YouTube.com. In your profile and in each video, include a link to your opt in page.

Approach 24: Post insightful comments on blogs in your niche and provide a backlink to your opt-in page.

Approach 25: Take all of your free products, update them to include links to your opt-in pages, and upload them to torrent sites you can check them out here:  http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/peersharing/a/torrent_search.htm.

Approach 26: Use this site to locate relevant link directories http:/www.web-directories.ws/. Post your site in each of them to gain backlinks, so that you will get more organic search engine traffic.

Approach 27: Pay to put your link on high PR sites. This has the potential to improve your organic search engine rankings and thus increase the traffic that is sent to your opt-in page.

Approach 28: Use free sites, including traffic exchanges, to generate credits that you can use to send visitors to your opt-in page.

Approach 29: Use Twitter to gain followers. Periodically, tweet something related to your site in an attempt to convert readers into subscribers.

Approach 30: Offer to promote a successful marketer in the future if they are willing to review one of your products and include a link to your opt-in page in the review.

Approach 31: Now that you have your Facebook page and have a few fans, consider Facebook Advertising.

Approach 32:  Create a Pinterest Account, begin to follow and pin.

Approach 33:  Start your own Blog that is pertinent to your niche.  Use it for advertising and incorporate links to your products within your posts.

Approach 34: Advertise on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/advertising.

Approach 35: Review all the Free resources on our site Products and Free Resources.  Pick out the ones that are applicable and study them!

That is certainly not all of the possibilities, and there are subsets of each one.  But you now have 35 approaches that you can immediately put to use in building your list. Select the ones you think will work best for you, learn more about them, and use them to build your business.

10 Different Categories of Content You Can Send Out to Your List That Always Works

Following what we covered in the previous section, let’s now take a look at some different types of content you can send out to your list.

  • Create and send short articles to your list that contain ―How To instructions on a particular topic that they will find useful.
  • Create and send out a free, 10-page report that contains a specific, focused strategy they can use. Consider including a link to one of your paid products in the report.
  • Write and send out a long eBook; and use it to link to dozens of different affiliate products.
  • Send your list news and updates about your niche. If there’s a new product launch, let them know about it (and include an affiliate link, of course). If there’s a newsworthy event, also let them know—even if there’s no direct profit in it. It’ll give them a reason to read your newsletter carefully.
  • Periodically, review relevant products and include an affiliate link to them in your review.
  • Offer exclusive, list-only discounts on your various products. This will build rapport with subscribers and also help you to generate quick sales.
  • Offer links to free video content.  How To always attracts visitors and builds credibility.
  • Send out long-form sales letters to your list from your joint venture partners in exchange for a share in the profits.
  • Offer links to free software that you pay a freelance coder from elance.com to create.
  • Create a thanks for being a subscriber note and give away a free copy or a desirable product. Use this as a means to re-active your list and generate interest in your emails.

Summary

Throughout this five part series, we thoroughly broke-down the process of list building and monetization. We talked how to create a website, how to create setup an autoresponder, how to create squeeze pages, how to create opt-in lists, how to generate traffic and subscribers, and how to test and track your results.

You now have a truly complete list-building education. All you have to do now is act on it and make some money. So get started, put this knowledge to work, build a huge list, and earn some additional income.

Remember this is not an overnight promise….you will hear enough of that as you get started.  No one became an internet millionaire by purchasing a push-button software system.  It is like any business that survives over the long term; it takes time, effort and patience.  It requires applying principles and re-evaluating the results.

To your success –

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

[pinterest]

Keeping Pace with Business Trends

Business TrendsWe have recently been talking about outsourcing and our recent book Outsourcing Profits.  It obviously has to do with increasing profits by saving us valuable time to focus on the things that matter.  But what about the innovative and strategic things that matter….like emerging business trends or promising opportunities, how do we keep up?

The way we do business has changed dramatically.  In just the last decade, the internet has become such a dominate force and information is well…overwhelming.

An entire industry or sector can literally change over the span of just a few short months and since we’re in marketing, we must constantly be on the lookout for emerging business trends.  It doesn’t do you much good to publish an eBook on Facebook, just before Timeline is announced.  It is likely not prudent to stock up your retail inventory on 3G iPhone cases a month before the unveiling of the 4G.

This can be a difficult and complex task –but if you don’t keep your finger on the beat and pulse then there’s a good chance you’re going to get left behind!

So how can you use the internet to keep track of emerging business trends? Here’s a few simple ways that I use:

Read it Online! – The Broad-Brush.

The Wall Street Journal is still one of the best places to get information from as it relates to emerging business and marketing trends.  It is still considered by most business experts to be the premier business newsletter.

The Journal follows business activities across a wide variety of industries and report on them every day.

The Economist is another widely recognized subscription. The basic distinction between WSJ and The Economist is that the WSJ is a daily newspaper, while The Economist is only published once a week.

Using your iPhone, iPad, Android, or the internet to browse makes it painless to scan through and just read the articles you really want to read or catch you eye.

It really depends upon your business and concentration, if you’d prefer to keep your finger firmly on the pulse of business, then follow the WSJ for daily updates.

At a bare minimum, make time to catch the most important things that are going on every week by following The Economist.

Follow Just the Relevant Topics – A More Selective View

I can easily be overloaded with information, but found the combination of a couple of handy tools can help me sort through the majority of it.  Give the combination of YourVersion  and Evernote a try.  You may not care much about emerging business trends in the healthcare industry, but you may care a lot about emerging trends in social media.

YourVersion is a news aggregator that allows you to follow industries, companies, and services you select.  It will collect news articles based on keywords you give it and give you all the results in one easy to use interface.  You just enter the keywords and it will then show you all news articles related to your industry, condensed into one screen.  If you use Evernote to manage your tasks, you can share important news right to Evernote, a colleague, or bookmark it for future reference.  Both YourVersion and Evernote have iPhone and Android apps as well.

Join LinkedIn Groups – A More Tuned-in View

If you are a member of LinkedIn, you can subscribe to groups that are pertinent to your business interests.  It is an excellent way to stay in touch with current industry discussions and even share your expertise and participate if you choose.

This is more of a grass roots micro or ‘all ears’ view and is very helpful when you have isolated a specific sector or potential opportunity.

Follow The RSS Of Principal Blogs – I am Likely Going to Read it Anyway

RSS or “Really Simple Syndication” allows you to follow blog posts from your favorite blogs as they’re posted. Rather than having to visit each blog individually, you can just subscribe to their RSS feed.

You’ll need to download an RSS feed reader. NewzCrawler, FeedDemon, or Google Reader are some of the best, there are many free options for RSS readers.

Once you have a reader, you can start subscribing to feeds.  You’ll then see all the new posts stream by and be able to pick and choose which ones you want to read.

A word of advice, keep you search and selections narrow and focused, otherwise you just have a great deal of information that is categorized! It is always best to set aside a certain time each day to review.

These are the four ways I use to follow up-and-coming business trends online. Often, I may only use one if my schedule is hectic.  Use one, two or all four depending on how much information you want.

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

[pinterest]

List Building Part IV – Build a Massive List

List Building- Drive trafficPreviously, we have thoroughly dealt with all of the methods through which you can build an opt-in page and ensure that it converts. Regrettably, while this is an important first step in the list building process, it is not sufficient in itself. If you want to build a large, responsive list, you will also need an effective means for driving traffic to your opt-in or squeeze page.

In this post, I’m going to cover popular and successful strategies you can employ to drive traffic to your opt-in page, where they will then be converted into subscribers.

Technique 1: Frequent Forums

No matter what niche you sell in, it’s always a good idea to spend some time interacting with your target buyer group. One of the top ways to do this is to frequent forums; and to spend some time discovering and understanding what your customer base wants and what they’re talking about.

Perhaps the most useful benefit of frequenting forums is that you can contribute to the discussion directly and can visibly demonstrate your expertise by being a valuable contributor to discussions.

If you prove to be a helpful member of a particular forum, there’s a excellent chance that members will find you interesting and may be interested in the particular products you sell and services you offer. Creating a signature for your profile offers a great outlet through which you can capitalize on this.

If you’re not familiar with the forums in your particular niche, you can check the following place to get an exhaustive list of all of the relevant sites: Big-Boards, or Forum Sites List.  Of course, the more forums you can participate on, the better. However, you must manage your time.  It’s always a good idea to periodically think about how much time you’re spending on forums to evaluate whether it is too much or too little.

Technique 2: Driving Traffic Using Twitter

Despite what many believe, Twitter isn’t only for people who want to hear about what celebrities had for lunch or what simple thing they might be currently thinking about. Rather, it’s a micro-blogging medium that is highly viral, fosters and promotes discussion between many parties simultaneously, and is purposely restricted to short posts.

As a list builder, you can use Twitter to seek out high-quality prospects—and then drive them to your opt-in list. So how can you use Twitter for this end? It’s simple. Just follow these steps…

Action 1: Create Your Account

Start by going to www.twitter.com and setting up an account. You’ll need to create a username and a brief bio. The bio is where you’ll want to include a link to your opt-in list. Other than that, you will want to limit the amount of references you make to your business.

Action 2: Follow, Follow, Follow

Once you’ve setup your account, the next step is to start ―following people. The optimum way to do this is to search for people who are talking about stuff in your niche. From there, check out the profile and then click ―follow if you believe the person will be a good prospect.

After you’ve opted to ―follow someone, they will have the choice of following you back or not. If they don’t follow you back after a while, you may want to consider dropping them.

Action 3: Tweet, Tweet, Tweet

As you build up your base of followers, you will want to start tweeting, too. The key to being successful here is that you must tweet things of value. If you’re in Weight-Loss, you could tweet relevant news about Weight-Loss or daily tips or something equivalent.

If your approach is too obviously commercial and non-social, many will ignore your tweets and choose not to follow you. To the contrary, if you offer something of value, people will gain an interest in what you’re saying and consider reading your opt-in pitch when they check out your profile. Review this article on Birds of a Feather.

If you follow those steps, you’ll soon have a constant stream of new followers, which will convert into a stream of opt-ins, which will convert into buyers.

Technique 3: Blogging

Another valuable way to drive traffic to your opt-in page is to set up a blog. You can even do this on the same site by using the WordPress Plugin mentioned earlier.  There are many benefits of owning a blog—all of which will help you as a list builder.

The first advantage of blogs is that they are relatively easy to optimize for search engines. This is especially true if you use the WordPress Plugin, which will automatically optimize your blog for search engines.  Bear in mind: the more traffic you have coming to your blog, the more people you can funnel into your list through your opt-in page.

Another benefit of a blog is that they provide you with a place where you can post short updates about your site and business. Particularly, using a blog means that you can directly post about a new product you’ll be giving away for free; and you can tell readers how they can obtain it by opting in to your list.

If you decide to use a blog as part of your traffic generation campaign, you will want to invest some time in determining what other blogs are large and well-followed in your niche. If you can usefully contribute to those blogs and provide a backlink to your own in a signature, this will provide an excellent means of obtaining inexpensive traffic.

Technique 4: AdWords

Once you’ve optimized for search engine traffic and have built a large base of followers on Twitter, it’s always a good idea to consider some paid methods of traffic generation, too. Among these methods, the best and most targeted is probably a Google AdWords campaign; it is the granddaddy of contextual advertising.   You can also consider several alternatives including Microsoft AdCenter or Chitika …there are hundreds available, but I would stay with the larger networks.

If you haven’t used a Google AdWords campaign so far, one of the best features of using AdWords (and other CPC advertising services) is that you can create ads, get them well-circulated almost instantaneously, and only pay when someone actually clicks on them (not just when they view them).  Here’s a short break-down of what’s involved in a Google AdWords campaign:

Action1: Create Your First AdWords Campaign

Start by going to Google AdWords and set up an account. Next, select a name for your campaign, select the countries in which your ad can be viewed, and setup a maximum cost-per click (CPC) and daily budget.

The first part is self-explanatory. Simply pick a campaign name that makes sense to you. The second part requires deciding what countries you believe will be most profitable. In general, you’ll want to pick the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia at a minimum.

For the third step, I highly suggest you enter a daily budget, but then select ―enter bids manually. This will allow you to pick the cost-per-click for individual keywords, rather than selecting the same CPC for every keyword used in the campaign.

On the next page, you’ll be asked to fill in your ad, your keywords, and your maximum CPC for each keyword. Start by picking your keywords. You can do this by clicking on the link that says, ―Help me choose effective keywords.

It’s a good idea to at least skim Google’s directions on how to select keywords. In contrast to many advertising services, Google provides a tremendous amount of useful information on using AdWords correctly, so take advantage of the free resources. Once you’ve skimmed over Google’s directions, take a look at the keyword selection tool by clicking ―Keyword Tool. Using this tool, you can generate a substantial amount of potential keywords for your campaign. The best part is that Google will return a full break-down of the amount of traffic and advertising competition connected with each keyword.

In general, you’ll want to look for keywords that receive a bunch of searches on Google, but don’t have a lot of competition. This means you’ll be able to obtain one of the top advertising spots without bidding much.

When you’re finished compiling keywords (by clicking the ―add link every time you see a possibly relevant keyword), download them in Excel format and then return to page where you enter your keywords and ad copy.

Select the ―enter spreadsheet mode and copy-and-paste your keywords into the spreadsheet provided. For each keyword, enter a maximum amount that you are willing to pay.

Once you’re done with this phase, all that remains is creating your first ad. Start by entering your URL and displayed URL as requested. If the actual link to the opt-in page is long, then consider using something shorter in the display URL box. For instance, if the page relates to golf, you could simply use www.yoursite.com/golf.

Now, when it comes to writing ads, there are several actions you can take to make your ads convert better. I’ve listed just a few of them below:

1. Use words in your ad that are also contained in many of the keywords you’ve bid on. If your site is about lowering  your golf handicap, then many of your keywords may contain ―golf handicap.  If you use this keyword in your ad, it will show up bolded when people search for it. This will position your ad apart from others.

2. Make specific and precise claims. For example, if you’re selling an IM product that has helped people to make as much as $500/wk, then state this specifically. Don’t just say, ―Increase your income.  State, ―increase your income by as much as $500/wk.

3. Capitalize all words other than prepositions. Many AdWords experts advise that this will always convert better.

4. Use the word free. After all, you’re giving something away for free in order to get people to join your list. You may as well state it in your headline, so that people know this instantly.

Once you’ve completed your first ad, you’re nearly done with the first step. With a few button clicks, you’ll be ready to run your first ad.

Action 2: Test and Track

I won’t get into this too deeply, but one thing you absolutely must do if you want to use AdWords and other CPC advertisement effectively is to test and track your results.

Without examining your results, you have absolutely no method of determining whether or not your ad is converting well. You very well could be pulling in two or three times as much traffic each day at half the cost, but since you didn’t bother to test alternatives, you have no way of knowing whether this is possible.

General Tips

If you’re new to the idea of tracking and testing, there are 4 fundamentally important things you should keep in mind whenever you perform an experiment:

1. Don’t confuse your results by making too many changes at once. If you want to test which headline converts better, only change the headline and nothing else. If you change other elements, you cannot be sure which change caused the increase (or decrease) in the click-through rate.

2. If you’re testing two different headlines, create two identical opt-in pages with the only difference being the opt-in form. This will allow you to not only determine how the change affected your clickthrough rate (by looking at AdWords statistics), but also whether there was any difference in the quality of the visitors sent to your site (by looking at your AWeber and site statistics).

3. It is basic marketing to test your ads by having them rotate, rather than displaying one on a certain day—and another on a different day. This will make certain that your results aren’t simply a product of when you showed each ad.  Rather, your ads will be displayed to roughly the same demographic group.

4. Collect a large enough sample to draw valid inferences. In general, if your ads have only received a few views and click-throughs, this won’t be a sufficient predictor of how they will perform in the long term. Allow at least two days of observation before you draw any conclusions.

Having said that, we’ll conclude this subsection on AdWords. If you feel you need more in-depth information, you should first explore the documentation AdWords provides. There’s a tremendous amount of information available and the best part is that it is completely free.

Technique 5: Social Media Other

We discussed Twitter, blogging, and forum-posting earlier. But there are many other forms of social media through which you can generate traffic.  I chose Twitter because it is (in my opinion) the simplest to get you started.  So, I won’t cover the remaining exhaustively, but to name a few: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Squidoo, provide excellent mediums through which you can locate potential list members and pitch to them indirectly.  I might suggest you check out some Free resources: Biggest Facebook Marketing Mistakes and Fatal LinkedIn Marketing Mistakes LinkedIn…these are Free and can add great value.  Inevitable Social Media is also a good read; when it comes to social media, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • You’re dealing with people—not bots. Keep this in mind when creating profiles on social media sites and interacting with prospects. The better you’re able to minimize intrusive sales pitches and instead focus on creating enjoyable content and engaging in mutually beneficial interactions, the better you’ll be able to attract list members.
  • Generate very, very large friends’ lists. The more people who can follow your feed or check your profile, the better. Furthermore, as you add more people, you gain the possibility of more people mentioning or referring your business to members of their own networks.
  • Avoid violating ToS agreements and tarnishing your reputation. This goes back to the first bullet. If you violate a ToS agreement or trash your reputation, someone may report you and your account could get banned. This means you’ll completely lose your investment and will need to start over elsewhere.

Overall, these social media outlets provide another means by which you may expose your list to wide variety of potential subscribers. Use them in conjunction with the suggestions I’ve made and you should experience success over time.

Summary Getting Subscribers

No matter how high-quality your opt-in page is, it won’t matter if no one else sees it.  And it also won’t matter if only un-targeted; low-quality traffic lands there. This leaves you with a problem: you have to figure out how to drive a great deal of high-quality traffic to your site.

Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can do this. The ways I’ve listed are by no means exhaustive, but for many, these channels are all they have needed in order to build large, successful, profitable lists. In Part V, I’ll give you shorter descriptions of the many, many options you have.

Stay tuned….

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

[pinterest]

Grow Your Business through Outsourcing

OutsourcingAt first, most people start an online business with the dream of making more money for their family while freeing up time. However, because of the fear of delegation, many end up with an even more demanding job, working for their own business. Outsourcing is really the only way you will be able to expand your business and become a business owner rather than an employee.

A Change in Mindset for Outsourcing Success

In the beginning, most people can’t afford to outsource, which is only natural. However, as time goes by, they become increasingly convinced that no one can do the job as well as they can and loathe turning to outsourcing.

If you subscribe to the adage “if you want a job done right, do it yourself,” then you are going to have to change your mindset if you want to succeed in business. How many hugely successful companies have you seen where the owner plays every role? None because it simply isn’t possible. There is no way for you to do everything in your business and grow it at the same time.

Besides the fact that you can’t be an expert in everything, there simply isn’t enough time in the day for you to handle every aspect of your business and still be able to strategize. And the only way to expand your business is through strategic thinking and delegating.

Learning to Let Go

Yes, at first it will be hard to let go. It’s your baby and only you know how to do everything properly. Well, even babies need to grow up and yours won’t if you don’t loosen the reins a little and start delegating.

The easiest way is to start small. Make a list of all the routine tasks you do, especially the ones that you hate. You can start by outsourcing some of these smaller tasks until you get used to delegating and managing people. This will free up your time and allow you to focus on tasks that will make you money.

By starting off small, you’ll gain more confidence in outsourcing and will find it easier to delegate the tasks that are taking up too much of your time without actually making you money directly. For example, if you hate writing, you could always outsource the articles you need to build backlinks or to promote your service or product. There are many other things you can outsource, including all your marketing if you are so inclined.

The key to growing your business is understanding the fact that you really can’t do everything and the easiest way to solve this problem is through outsourcing. You have to get out of the employee mindset and realize that you are a business owner, which means you need to learn to delegate. Just start off small and you’ll soon see the benefits of outsourcing and wonder why you waited so long to get started.

For more information and a Free Report visit: Outsourcing Your Way To Huge Profits.

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

[pinterest]

A Custom Graphics Cheat Sheet for Social Media

I saw this and couldn’t resist! A popular question, a characteristic frustration, and one of the most difficult tasks as you set about personalizing social media profiles and pages is getting the artwork and branding just right. Every site has a distinctive approach.  They propose different sizes and styles that they prefer when placing artwork on your page. The challenge is that they seldom (for some reason) tell us the dimensions that work best and if they do, you have to hunt through their FAQ’s or search (Google, Bing, Yahoo…) each artwork type for…profile size, then cover size, etc.

This Infographic by San Diego web design is an ideal cheat sheet for those who want their pages to look exactly right. It’s above all useful for those who have to post graphics on a regular basis.

The bad news: Keep in mind that most popular social media platforms make a large change in layout presentation every other week (or so it seems). This means all the graphics you worked feverishly  to perfect for your page(s) become obsolete or vanish from the page altogether.

Optimistically…internet marketers, social media marketers, designers, developers, marketing directors and social media consultants alike will find this helpful. Until, of course, these platforms ‘revolutionize’ again.

Click the image to download the PDF version for an easy reference.

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

[pinterest]

List Building Part III- How to Produce a Converting Opt-In Page

List Building- Opt-inEarlier, we talked about squeeze pages, what they are, and what minimum requirements you would have to satisfy in order to have a good one. We also discussed some good examples of squeeze pages.

An opt-in page is similar to a squeeze page, but takes a looser form. It might include more copy or a slightly different format. Either way, the purpose is the same: to get as many visitors as possible to subscriber to your list.

So let’s talk about how to make a converting opt-in page. But this time, let’s be more specific—and work through the process using a proven, 8-step method, rather than talking about what makes a good opt-in page.

Action 1: Launch Your WYSIWYG Editor

There are many different editors you can select from when building your opt-in page. If you’ve been following this guide step-by-step, you may have downloaded one to create your website and your first squeeze page.  If you don’t have one yet, you can use something like free like Kompozer, Amaya, or CoffeeCup– if you are a bit more proficient (has split screen…but not truly WYSIWYG.)

Action 2: Create a Table

Create and center a 600-pixel wide table. Some Internet marketers suggest that a table of this size will convert better than other formats. Additionally, wrapping your content and placing it in blocks will improve readability.  You might remember the format from Part II…..

 

Action 3: Fashion a Headline

Create a headline for your opt-in page. Make sure the headline is

a) inside of quotes;

b) 18-24 size font; and

c) red.

This combination has a proven track record for converting visitors into subscribers.  Also, consider using the word ―free in your headline. Make it clear to visitors that you will give them a report, video content, an eBook, or software (depending on what you’re offering) for free.

Action 4: Insert Bullet Points

Bullet points are the easiest and clearest way to explain how your free report will solve the problem you introduced. In this part, you will want to use 4-5 bullet points to highly important benefits—not features—of the free item.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of a benefit (as opposed to a feature), think about the following two ways in which you could describe an Internet marketing eBook:

  • It contains a chapter about using Facebook Ads.
  • After reading it, you will be able to increase your Facebook Ads income by up to 50%.

The first item is a feature of the eBook. The second is a benefit. In your bullet points, you should use only benefits.  Great Copy in Six Steps.

Action 5: Call to Action

Before your reader can think about something else, it is important that you direct her to your opt-in form. So make a clear transition from your bullet points by saying something like ―

All you have to do to get my report for free is add your name and email address to this form. You will immediately be emailed a link to download my report.

 

Action 6: Generate the Code for Your Opt-In Form

If you’ve been following along to this point, you already know how to generate an opt-in form from Aweber.com.

All you need to do now is generate the HTML form and then paste it into your page-creator. Also, remember to say that you will not use the email to spam and you will not sell it to a third party (as mentioned earlier).  No matter your choice in Autoresponders;  Awber, GetResponse, and MailChimp have excellent and easy to follow training sites.

Action 7: Upload Your Form

If you’re using one of the page editors we discussed earlier, this process will be no different than it was for any other pages you created. If not, you may want to use something like FileZilla  or CoffeeCup to upload your opt-in page.

Action 8: Track and Fine-tune Your Results

Use Google Website Optimizer (http://google.com/websiteoptimizer) together with Google Analytics (http://google.com/analytics ) to track your website.

You’ve now made an excellent first attempt at creating an opt-in page. It’s now time to edit your first draft, send some traffic, evaluate your results, and then create another draft.

Maximizing Your Opt-in Pages for Maximum Results

So far, we’ve talked about opt-in pages at length. And there’s a very good reason for that: conversion rates vary significantly among opt-in pages. And if you want to have any success as a list builder, you have to figure out how to make a page that will convert well.

Previously you learned the basics of squeeze pages. You also learned exactly how to construct a squeeze page using a proven template that is likely to convert well. In this chapter, you will learn how to analyze your opt-in pages and make changes as needed.

Let’s begin with your current opt-in page. For starters, it should satisfy all requirements described above. But in addition to that, there are specific page elements you will want to optimize. Let’s go through them element-by-element:

Creating a Strong Headline

A good place to start is the headline. This is the single most important piece of text on your page, as more visitors will read it than anything else on your page. If the headline is good, they’ll get hooked and stick around. If the headline is weak, they’ll quickly leave your site. So what makes a good headline? You might want to review: What Makes great Copy.

Psychological Triggers

One important element you will want to include in your headline is at least one psychological trigger. If you’re not familiar with the term—it’s basically any word or phrase that will compel many people to pay attention or take action.  Psychological triggers are useful because they stick out and because they draw in a reader before they have the chance to lose interest. As mentioned earlier, ―free is a reliable psychological trigger that is frequently used to induce people to try products and join mailing lists.

There are also other psychological triggers. For instance, ―unstoppable, ―scientifically proven, ―tested, ―powerful, ―explosive, and ―immediate are all terms that will stick out when your prospects read your headline.  Review: Words Influence.

So, if your current headline seems flat, consider re-writing it to include some psychological triggers. And once you start sending traffic to your opt-in page, consider rotating the triggers to see how they affect your conversion rate.

Colors

Colors are also an important part of any opt-in page. Depending on the selection of colors you use, you will can: a) subconsciously put pressure on your visitors to take action; b) put your visitors at ease, increasing the probability that they’ll remain on your opt-in page for longer; or c) chase your visitors off accidentally.

For starters, it is generally a good idea to use a red headline, a blue or black sub-headline, and a blue or white background. As far as the opt-in form goes, you have many options for colors, but some evidence suggests that orange converts better than other colors. Good choices also include blue and white.

Layout

The layout of your opt-in form will also be a critical determinant of your conversion rate. In general, you have two basic options for the layout:

Wide Format

Your first option is to create a ―wide format opt-in page. In general, this format will use only a little text in bullet points and will contain all of the relevant information above the fold, so that the visitor does not have the option to scroll down.

If you use this method, it is critical that everything on your opt-in page is visible as soon as the visitor arrives. Otherwise, this will make for a poor, distracting format.

Additionally, if you use this format, the headline should be at the top, the sub-headline should be below, the opt-in form should be just right of the center, and the bullet points should be to the left. Format Above.

Long Format

Don’t confuse this with ―long copy.  Whenever you create an opt-in page, you should always use short copy. Here, ―long simply means that the visitor will have to scroll before he or she can see the opt-in box.

The ―long format also frequently uses more text than the ―short format, but this isn’t necessary. The only necessary part is that it must include a single, long, thin table (600 pixels wide, as mentioned earlier) that contains the headline, the sub-headline, the bullet points, and the opt-in form.  Example.

Regardless of which format you use, you’ll want to make sure that it is text-light and clearly communicates what you’re offering to the visitor in exchange for his email address and name.

Bullets

Many novice copywriters make the mistake of using paragraphs, rather than bullet points. When it comes to Internet marketing, few readers will have the patience to work through a wordy opt-in page. They’ll just leave instead.

Bullet points give you a good way to communicate powerful benefits of your product one-by-one, rather than lumping several into a paragraph.

If you’re not sure whether your current bullet points are appealing enough, you may want to try some of the following ideas:

  • Use bold on every other bullet point. This switch from plain text to bold and to plain text again will catch the reader’s attention and help the bullet points stand apart from each other.
  • Use psychological triggers. Repeat words like free, shocking, proven, and tested. Use them in ways that will entice the reader to continue and to eventually opt-in.
  • Bold words and phrases that are important. This will allow impatient visitors to get the gist of your message by simply scanning the bolded phrases.
  • Reduce the size of bullet points. No reader should ever get bored before she finishes reading a bullet point.
  • Clarify vague bullet points, so that they deliver a more specific and more compelling point.
  • Change the first word or phrase in each bullet point, so that each has a unique start.

Using those six tricks, you should be able to significantly improve your conversion rates.

Benefits vs. Features

As I mentioned earlier, it is critical to highlight benefits, rather than features. Features tell customers exactly what they get, but provide no additional mental picture of how it will help them in specific ways.

To the contrary, a benefit tells a visitor how they will gain or profit from a specific feature in your report or eBook. This is important because it will help the visitor visualize using your product to become more successful. This mental image your ―benefits conjure up will reinforce their decision to relinquish their name and email address.

Call-to-Action

As with any pitch, your opt-in page must end with a powerful call-to-action. If you flounder here, all of the time you spend building a strong headline, selecting the right colors, crafting clever bullet points, inserting psychological triggers, and communicating benefits will be for naught.

When it comes time to opt-in, the visitor won’t feel sufficiently compelled. They might make note of your site and possibly even bookmark it, but they won’t think it’s necessary to opt-in now.

This is why the call-to-action is critical. So after you wrap up your bullet points, insert a call-to-action that:

  • Tells the reader to take action now—not later.
  • Explains how waiting translates into fewer profits, no bonuses, expired time frame, or some other type of worse outcome.
  • Is brief and clear

Critical Elements Summary

If you find that your conversion rate is lackluster, your best bet is to re-read your sales letter with a critical eye. Attempt to figure out where your colors might be less than optimal, whether your headline or sub-headline is weak, and whether your bullets don’t do a good job of pulling in the reader.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to communicate benefits—not features. The goal of your opt-in page should be to burn an image in the mind of the reader, so that she can visualize how your free product will improve her life in tangible ways. If you can do this, you can also covert visitors into subscribers. Download a Free eBook>> Turbo Charge your List Building.

More to come Stay Tuned….

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

[pinterest]