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5 Mistakes You’re Making In Your Business

Hopefully you are the exception to these mistakes. If you’re not, take heart: 9 out of 10 online marketers make these very same mistakes. Here’s how to rise above your competition and increase your bottom line simply by NOT making these 5 mistakes…

5 Mistakes You're Making In Your Business

Spamming on social media. You opened your Twitter account with the best of intentions to Tweet valuable content and answer questions, but now nearly every tweet you send out is a link promoting a product. If this is you, then it’s time for a change. Promotion is fine as long as it makes up only 20-30% of your tweets at MOST. The rest should be content rich and helpful to your followers. And this goes for every social media network, not just Twitter.

Not testing. You create a new squeeze page but you don’t test one headline against another. Result? Every day that goes by, you are losing money. Test everything and eventually the exact same effort will yield 1.5, 2 or even 3 times the results.

Not asking for the sale. Whether you’re looking for an opt-in, a share or a sale, tell them exactly what you want them to do. If you don’t make your call-to-action clear, you will get less than stellar results every time.

Ignoring your current customers. Are you so busy looking for new business that you forget to pay attention to your most important asset – your current customers? These are the people who already trust you enough to have purchased at least one of your products. That’s why your current customers are actually your best future prospects in the world – treat them like gold.

Talking about you, you and YOU. Do you know who your customers care about? Themselves. They don’t care about you, only about what you can do for them. This sounds harsh, but it’s true. Yes, you can tell them an anecdote about what happened to you last weekend, but it better have something in it for them. Your customers don’t want you or your products. They want solutions to their problems. Remember this and you can’t go wrong.

How to Get Your Visitors, Customers, JV Partners and Affiliates to Really LIKE You

It’s almost cliché: People buy from and work with people they know, like and trust. People get to know you through your content, and they trust you based on your reputation and track record of service. But how do you get people to LIKE you?

How to Get Your Visitors, Customers, JV Partners and Affiliates to Really LIKE You

Be honest. Who doesn’t like an honest person? If I came to you and said I did a really stupid thing and asked for your forgiveness, you would almost certainly forgive me AND think more highly of me, even though I did the stupid thing. But if I tried to cover it up and you found out, you probably wouldn’t like me, and who could blame you?

This is why mistakes are actually an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between vendors and customers. When the vendor owns up to the mistake and takes immediate action to correct it, the customer will often feel even more positive about the vendor than if the entire transaction had gone off without a hitch.

Be responsive. When someone takes the time to write to you, write back. When an affiliate has a question or concern, answer it immediately. If you can’t, let them know you’ve received their message and will be replying as soon as you can.

If your joint venture partners and affiliates can’t get a hold of you when things are running smoothly, they’ll be concerned that you won’t be there for them should something go wrong. And if you (or your assistant) answers customers questions in a timely manner, you will stand apart from those competitors who never bother to reply.

Be passionate. Yet another reason to work in niches you love – when you’re passionate about your topic, people just naturally like you. You exude an energy and charisma that draws people to you. Positivity is contagious – and people who are passionate about the topic will naturally bond with you.

Tell stories. Imagine a subscriber is on 10 emails lists. 9 of those lists are a constant bombardment of “BUY THIS!” But the owner of the 10th list tells stories. In fact, every email s/he sends contains a story, even if it’s still selling something. Which emails will get opened and read? And who will the subscribers like more? I know of list owners who promote a product every single day to their lists, but because they always tell an interesting story, their open rate is through the roof.

It’s no different than 150 years ago when the farmers would sit around the wood stove in the general store in the middle of winter. The farmer with the best stories was almost always the most beloved of the bunch.

Be yourself. Vulnerability, humility and authenticity will shine through every time. Which of your friends do you like the best? Odds are it’s the ones who don’t put on a facade and can just be themselves.

In the long running British series, “Last of The Summer Wine,” 2 of the main characters were Compo and Foggy. Compo had all sorts of faults, dressed like a bum and obviously didn’t care what people thought. Foggy, on the other hand, was continually trying to paint himself as a regimental, heroic leader. He cared a great deal about what others thought and often told stories of his many imaginary exploits in the great war. Of course he was really rather timid and somewhat incompetent. But he was too busy putting on a false front to notice that he was the only one who believed it.

So which character do you think was most beloved? Compo of course.

Use humor. You don’t have to be a comedian or even tell jokes if you’re not good at it. Simply telling tales about yourself and laughing right along with your readers and viewers will show you have a sense of humor. And they will be able to relate to you all the better when they see you can laugh at your own stupid mistakes.

Surprise people. Find ways to pleasantly surprise your affiliates and customers and they’ll keep coming back for more. For example, you might do a blog post in which you thank each of your active affiliates by name. It wouldn’t cost you a cent, but it would certainly surprise and delight your affiliates when you took the time to publicly recognize their efforts.

Be thankful. Thank your joint venture partners and affiliates every chance you get (see the previous paragraph.) And of course thank your customers. Simply sending an email is a good start, but consider taking your gratefulness further by sending e-cards or actual snail mail cards or even calling. Imagine calling someone who just purchased your $97 product just to say thank you. You’ll have a new best friend for a customer every time you do it.

Keep it simple. Every day the world gets a little bit more complicated, which is an opportunity for you to find a way to simplify things. Taking complex ideas and distilling them down to their simplest forms makes it far easier for your audience to understand what you’re saying and to appreciate you for making it easy for them.

Take a look at every component of your business and find ways to simplify. Is your ordering system a 4 page maze of forms and check boxes? Simplify it. Is your product 26 videos of step-by-step information? Make a mind map so they can see the entire thing on one page. Do you make new affiliates jump through a hoop or two before they can promote you? Simplify. The last thing anyone needs is more complication. By making things simple, you will again become that much more likeable.

If you are the marketer who is honest, responsive, passionate and thankful, who tells stories and uses humor, who keeps things simple and down to earth and even occasionally surprises people, you will be well-liked indeed.

8 Tips to Get Your New Business Off the Ground Fast

Whether you’re just starting your first online venture or you’re going into a new niche, you want to hit the ground running. And because success loves speed and so does your wallet, these tips are designed to give you maximum boost for the effort.

8 Tips to Get Your New Business Off the Ground Fast

Get your Unique Selling Point together. What makes you different? What sets you apart? Don’t say quality or price – everyone says that. Find your own unique voice that can be heard above the noise of the crowd and all of your marketing endeavors will become that much easier.

Decide exactly what you want. You can’t reach a goal if you don’t know what it is, so what’s your chief objective? To build a loyal list? To sell a particular product or service? To become the trusted authority in your field? Decide what you want so you can choose the best methods to get there.

Decide exactly who your target customer is. You can’t market to everyone, so create a profile of your ideal customer and then cater all of your marketing and content to that profile as though you were speaking one on one.

Get some partners. These partners will vary according to your goal (Building a list? Selling a product? Etc.) and according to who your target market is. Decide who is in a great position to help you reach your goal, and then start building alliances with them by asking them what you can do for them. Let’s say you can write – offer to write blog posts, articles, emails, etc. for them. Think of it as paying it forward. Yes, it works. The alternative is to approach them with an exciting goal, like raising a large amount of money for a cause or charity. Potential JV partners will often lend a hand to be a part of something big and newsworthy.

Get social. Choose the two social networks that are the best fit for your new venture. Create new profiles just for your venture and start reaching out. Incentivize people to share by offering them a bribe (ebook, video, etc.) or by running a contest.

Get your content on. Create content for your blog or website, social media content, videos, etc. Make it INTERESTING, make it informative, make it enjoyable. Mix in a little controversy (if possible) and you’ve got a recipe for share-ability.

Don’t just write and post your content, SHARE it. Use social media, guest blog posting, email and any method you can to get your content out there.

Give away small tastes only. There’s a theory that if you give away all your best stuff, customers will line up in droves to buy your products. But if they’re already getting your very best stuff for free, why would they? Because they think what you’re selling is even better. You can guess what happens when they realize it isn’t. Instead, only give away nibbles of your information. Tell them what to do, but don’t tell them how to do it. Make them buy your product to find that out. This is the secret of the marketers who charge 3 and 4 figures per product – they don’t give away their best stuff, they make the customers pay for it. And one more thing – people appreciate what they pay for. Want your customers to not appreciate you? Then give away the farm.

There you have it – 8 tips for launching your next IM venture. These are the solid techniques that build businesses. And you’ll notice something – no where in here did you see a gimmick or the latest piece of software. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel because building a solid business means using the rock solid basics that have been proven by successful marketers to work time and time again.

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