Does Someone Really Need Me?

I’m sure we’d all agree that the world is definitely changing.  Watching the national news usually doesn’t leave me encouraged.  I recently attended a Chamber event where the guest speaker spoke all about change and why it’s good for us to continue to grow and change, no matter what the economic climate.

I totally agree.  I used to balk at change, tried to avoid it, but nowadays I embrace change and at times, go out in search of change – new technologies and processes that make life easier for me, and my clients.

Maybe it’s something that comes with age.  All I know is I need much less than I used to, I don’t worry about hardly anything (it’s all small stuff anyway), and I feel much more at ease than ever before in my life.

Since the first of the year, my business has been steadily growing, and I’ve added new clients regularly.  While some of the needs and technologies have changed, the basic premise has not.  I work with clients who understand the value of their own time.

Clients don’t necessarily come to my business because they ‘need’ me, they come because they have a problem to solve, or they want to find out more about Internet marketing and how to expand and grow their own businesses.  If I’m not helping them be more successful, they not only won’t need me, they probably won’t want me either. 🙂

I know of many other small business owners who are struggling right now.  What is it that I do differently that shields me from this struggle?  I believe it’s an entrepreneurial mindset.  I understand what it takes to run a business, which not only helps me stay profitable, but also helps my clients stay profitable.  I don’t just have good skills, I have good business practices.  And I only work with clients who share the same mindset and practices that I do. 

It’s also not just business, it’s about building relationships.  Not only client relationships, but relationships with people that solve all sorts of problems I may not.  It really allows me to develop a much deeper relationship.  I knew all that networking would come in handy some day!

Whether you want to call it the Law of Attraction, or just plain old horse sense, if I surround myself with successful, talented people, and I continue to attend seminars and trainings, I’m sure to bring something of value to my clientele, and my own business.

Having a mindset that helps me to understand that I’m not the right fit for everyone, helps to expand my network to include others who do what I do, or what I don’t, so that I am able to refer prospects to someone who is better skilled to solve their problems and challenges.  This is a big part of the value I bring to the table, and feeds into my passion. 

Without that, I wouldn’t be doing what I believe I’m here to do – help people.  I am absolutely passionate about what I do, and I LOVE being able to do it.  I hope you have found your passion and are doing what you LOVE, too.  If not, take some time to re-invent yourself and work on your entrepreneurial mindset.  How bad could that be?   

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Two Ways to Optimize Social Media for Maximum Results

There are hundreds of case studies built to highlight social media’s strength as a traffic generation platform. There are hundreds more explaining its ability to increase participation and inspire users to complete specific actions. What the industry is missing is an authoritative case study on one of the most important success metrics out there: its value for sales-driven businesses.

Sure, there are pieces of information out there, maybe even a rough outline or two. What’s missing isn’t the potential for optimized sales results to happen – any social media marketer knows how worthwhile the medium is as a sales tool – but a scientific look at the improvements that can help it increase the bottom line of small, independent, everyday businesses.

These two tips can help you do just that, whether for your own independent operation or as part of a larger organization. Don’t worry – none require technical wizardry or complex coding skills – just a basic understanding of social media and enough time to carry out some basic A/B or split testing.

1) Exclude more people from your community.

At its heart, social media is about community. Seth Godin highlighted the value of a leader-guided online community in Tribes, explaining that a dedicated and enthusiastic online group can create more than the sum of its parts with the right leadership. But that group can’t succeed without a goal that’s shared, and sometimes creating that common goal requires eliminating some members.

Don’t fence off your group after you’ve spent years building it – instead, set up some light rules for participation before you make it public. Excluding people based on their membership or customer status may not seem particularly social, but it can lead to a community experience that’s often lost on larger social networking groups and open forums.

2) Add sales-driven elements to all of your social media presences, and start testing.

For marketers, social media is about both community and commerce. There’s no value in an online community lacking any commercial intent, just as there’s little value in web traffic that simply isn’t interested in buying. Adding sales-driven elements into your social media pages may scare away a collection of uninterested users, but it comes with a surge in the proportion of sales-friendly users.

By guiding your users through sales-driven actions, collecting data, and generating test sales, you can quickly and easily grow to understand the commercial makeup of your audience. Some users may be the buying type, interested in quick results and guided success, while others may show an interest in products, services, and offers that you previously never expected to discover.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Writing Blog Content to Attract Visitors

There are literally millions of bloggers on the Web covering just about any topic you can think of.  So how can your attract visitors to come to your blog and read your posts?

Your blog content and the use of keywords, plays a big role in attracting people to your blog.  If your content is consistently interesting to the people you are targeting, they will return to your blog page over and over, and may even sign up to your feed.

We’re going to discuss the type of content that is suitable for your blog in order to make it profitable. First off, I want you to understand that there is no fixed scope that your blog should have, which means you can write about whatever you’re interested in.

However, the difference between a profitable blog and a non-profitable blog is the way the blog is written. Just imagine, would you prefer to read your university professor’s lecture notes or the latest novel by your favorite author?

You may prefer to read the novel because it appeals more to your interest, or because it is not as mind-numbing as the lecture notes by your professor.

However, the most important point is people like to read “light” stuff most of the time. You see, when people log on to your blog, they are not only looking for information – they are also looking for information they can obtain easily, and better still in a relaxed manner.

So, to attract more visitors as well as to keep your current visitors coming back for more, it is very important to add a human touch to your blog posts. This can be done by simply imagining you’re talking about a certain topic with your personal friend. An extra bonus for your readers would be a great sense of humor, so try to add funny comments in your articles where they are suitable.

Another important key point is to avoid addressing your reader as a plural unit. What I mean is you should not write as if you’re preparing a speech. Instead, you should write as if you’re having a conversation with a single person because this will make your visitor think of you more as a personal friend rather than a person of higher authority.

Besides that, it is also very useful to establish your own personality through your words. Human beings are very curious creatures, so naturally your visitors would want to know as much about you as the information you’re offering them.

Having a distinctive personality in your blog would make a world of difference between your blog about gadgets and all the other blogs about gadgets out there. This is a lot like creating your own brand name, where people immediately remember your blog’s name when they need to find out information about gadgets, just like people immediately think of McDonald’s for fastfood or Nike for sportswear.

So, simply write as an equal friend to your visitors, write to them as if you’re talking to them alone and establish your own personality on your blog.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

The Four Biggest Social Network Marketing Blunders

Unlike other forms of online marketing, social media marketing has no stone-set right and wrong behaviors; no cost-per-user statistics, and there is, by no means, a code of conduct or behavioral plan that must be adhered to. While pay-per-click advertisers and SEO experts are inundated with information on what is and is not effective, social media marketers are left without dedicated and accurate information.

That certainly does not mean that social media is not governed by some form of assumptions and expectations. It is social; and is controlled by collective opinion and user discussions. These four social media faux pas are unlikely to get you thrown off social media websites or banned from the discussion altogether, but they are best avoided for social media marketing success.

Using deceptive affiliate tactics.

Back in 2004, MySpace was the king of the social media stratosphere and spam was out of control. Hidden comments, fake “friend me” requests, and endless blog posts all led to shady affiliate offers and utterly deceptive advertising banners.

There has since been a transformation within social media, one that has fought back against these tactics. The new social media environment accepts promotion and commercial influence, but dislikes being aggressively marketed to. As long as you keep your social media marketing tactics soft, value-filled, and useful, you will be rewarded with success. If you end up using an outdated and selfish strategy, you are likely to be rejected.

Pay-per-post marketing.

Blogs are part of the social media realm and are held to the same standards of behavior as any other service. They are treated as an outlet, yet at the same time neglected by users that could contribute. More than anything else, blogs are abandoned when they offer nothing beyond commercial use. Remember that, while your blog can be a money-maker, it may mean significantly more to your audience than it does to yourself.

Thin, fake, and generic conversation.

Marketing expert Seth Godin has often asked his readers whether it’s truly worth engaging in social media if your message is dry and generic. Many have seen the light, realizing that his suggestion was not to give up social media entirely, but to change their approach to become more unique and influential.

Social media communities can and will ignore you when you have nothing interesting to say. Join the conversation, but do not treat it as something you can’t change. Offer information and value beyond what is currently available, and you will be embraced, appreciated, and financially rewarded; share the same old information and you will quickly fall out of favor.

The “friend everyone” approach.

The “friend everyone” approach is normally seen much like the affiliate strategy used by thousands of marketers in an attempt to reach a large audience in little time. It is a classic spam tactic, and it is one that is rarely successful for social media marketers.

The top Twitter users are not necessarily those with the most followers, just like the most popular Facebook pages are not those with the most fans. Build real relationships and you will be rewarded with loyalty; friend everyone that comes your way and you will end up with weak and utterly worthless online connections.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Are You Like a Salmon?

In my former life, I was a purchasing agent for a seafood company.  This time of year reminds me of the salmon runs.  During the summer months, many wild salmon species take the journey back to their birthplace to spawn and ultimately end their lives. 

Their upstream journey is a challenging one, swimming against rugged rapids, leaping over rocky waterfalls, traversing fish ladders, avoiding fishermen nets, and staying clear of hungry bears. When they finally reach their natal stream, they are ready to spawn. This is an amazing and focused journey calling them to do what comes naturally.

Some of us make such a journey to find new clients or maintain those we currently enjoy.  While the economy has kept some businesses from flourishing, others have maintained and grown over the past few years in spite of those pitfalls.

Nowadays we have to think outside the box with our marketing and face the challenges of competition, less disposable income, overcoming objections, and differentiating ourselves by creating benefits clients simply can’t live without.

On the flip side, I’m looking for the clients who are like the salmon – the clients who will go through the upstream battle to find the most professional support, the BEST level of service and technology to create the ‘can’t live without’ message that reaches that ideal client who helps them grow their business during tough economic times.

There are only a few ways to grow a business, no matter what the economic situation:

  • Find new clients
  • Sell more to current clients
  • Raise prices

Finding new clients is probably the most expensive way to grow your business, but one that can certainly yield great results if you have the right plan and consistent implementation. 

Getting involved with social media is a great way to keep costs to a minimum; but expand your exposure to current and targeted clients that can help you grow your business and develop your brand while learning about the challenges and problems you may be able to solve that you hadn’t ever considered doing.

Selling more to current clients is also a low-cost option to grow your business. 

Mention new products or services on your invoices, on an insert inside the envelope with your invoice, on social media, in a monthly e-zine, or create a special promotion to help establish new products and services at little to no cost.

Raising prices, although certainly understandable, may be the most difficult option to consider.  Perhaps it’s best to begin quoting higher prices (if possible) to new incoming clients and wait a few months before raising prices to your entire client base.  This allows you to test to see what the market will bear as it relates to your specific product or service.

So where are you in the life cycle of my salmon story?  Ready to look for those clients who are willing to swim upstream to get to your product or service?  And are you willing to leap over rocky waterfalls and traverse rough waters to find the most professional support you need? 

Whatever you decide, increase your marketing time and investment if you want to grow your business, or take a chance you’ll get left behind.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Three Reasons People Hesitate Using a Virtual Assistant

Although Virtual Assistance has been around for more than 20-years, it’s been an education to help prospects understand the value and benefits of outsourcing their tasks to someone they may never lay eyes upon. 

People still struggle with the concept and with the wide range of options available, from all corners of the world, making it difficult for the industry to provide consistency and overall value because of the wide spectrum of industry offerings.

Here are three reasons why people may hesitate using a Virtual Assistant (VA).

1.  The Do-it-Yourselfer.  Many people believe they can do it better themselves, or with their current in-house staff.  The down economy has opened many doors for VAs, but in many cases, the owners or managers pick-up these tasks as they feel they are menial or can be done with little to no skills.

I think of this as if everyone did their own taxes instead of using a CPA (which in many cases is an independent contractor, like a VA), or had all their IT support handled by someone in their office without much training or advanced knowledge about technology and networks.  This could be disastrous to your company, on many levels, and what almost always happens is they end up spending three to four times as much having to bring someone in, after the disaster, to clean up the mess it’s created.  Smart entrepreneurs don’t run their businesses this way – they get it!

The Do-it-Yourselfer may not know the true value of their own time and how they can best benefit the organization.  Incorporating these tasks into your daily routine, or those of someone else who already has a full plate, simply hurts every aspect of that person’s work, and ultimately the organization.

VAs are trained and skilled in many levels of support and can truly partner with entrepreneurs to keep them abreast of the latest technologies and innovations, while keeping them competitive within the marketplace. 

2.  Letting Price Be Their Guide.  Over the past 20-years, I’ve seen several shifts in thinking.  The importance of price being put above that of quality and service, and then back again to quality and service over price.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m always looking for a good deal, but when it comes to running my business, quality and service definitely take the number one spot over price.

It’s difficult in the VA world when prospects look to compare VAs from all areas of the world, to offshore options that can be found in the $3-10/hour range.  Many times things get lost in the translation or are more difficult to communicate from the start.  This can prove to be much more time consuming in the long run for the client who has to micromanage the VA, or take oodles more time in getting a particular project completed.

I don’t actually consider these providers to be my competition.  The client who is looking for someone in that price range isn’t looking for the type of support I’m able to provide, or the partnership we offer to increase client success.  That’s not a bad thing; it’s nice that there’s something for every budget and need to be found in the VA industry, we just need to be sure we make the right choice for our own business needs and growth.

I also believe that some clients look at the amount of time it takes THEM to complete a project rather than a VA who does this type of thing day-in and day-out at a much quicker pace.  I recall several years ago a prospect indicated that it took him five hours to create an electronic newsletter.  Once I’d gotten him to show me a sample, and he told me he provided almost all the content, I told him I could do it in about 30-45 minutes.  This allowed him to take a look at his cost on a real-time basis, rather than think that he had to pay me for that same five hours that it took him. 

I encourage prospects to look at things from a ‘return on investment’ (ROI) aspect.  Here’s a recent example.  Someone contacted me about creating a database with hundreds of business cards they had collected over the past year at networking events.  They needed them added to two databases, one online (Constant Contact), and one they would use for US Mail pieces.  Based on 800-business cards, and the necessary creation, the total investment would be $675. 

The plan was to drip on these 800 leads twice a month, once electronically (by Constant Contact) and once by US Mail (a postcard).  If done consistently, the minimum return would be 1-2% within 90-120 days.  That would mean that my client would get 8-16 new clients over the next 3-4 months.  We calculated that each new client to her business would generate a minimum of $500 in commissions, meaning that the $675 investment would be easily covered within a short period of time.

We exceeded the 1-2% return over the first four months and she continues to benefit from setting up this valuable data in a format that keeps her marketing consistent and her business growing.

Plus, once the list was established, adding new contacts is much easier and less costly as she moves forward and grows her list.

3.  Having a Bad Experience.  As I mentioned earlier, Virtual Assistance is an emerging industry.  Not unlike just about every industry, you can find good and bad providers.  I believe that because of the ‘virtual’ nature of the business, because some VAs model their businesses based upon up-front payment, and simply because there are scammers everywhere, over the years, clients have not had good experiences with their VAs.  So much so, that they hesitate ever taking another look at this being a viable option for their needs.

Sometimes it’s simply because there wasn’t a good fit between the client and VA that causes the issue.  Like making sure that I have a good fit with my doctor, or car mechanic, you need to make sure that the VA you choose has similar business practices to yours, has the skills and training needed to complete the task, and generally shares a similar personality. 

While it is different than a traditional in-house employee interview, you should have an interview and reference check process in place when looking for a Virtual Assistant for any area of support.

So if you’re on the fence about using a Virtual Assistant (VA), and you fit into any of the three areas above, I hope you will take the time to reconsider finding the talent and expertise you need in order to run a more organized and profitable business.  When the relationship is a good fit, the possibilities are endless, and rewarding.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Can I Get a Second Chance at a First Impression?

The short answer to that question is, ‘no’ – it is what it is.  A first impression is what you project to someone whenever they are first connected to you.

Especially if you’re in a B2B-type business, it’s important to remember that your body language, the words you speak, and the way you present yourself (hair, clothing, if online, through your copy), etc., are what people will immediately judge.

Yes, as humans, no matter what, we do judge.  Some more than others, but we all do it!  I was raised with all those basic ‘golden’ rules, and abide by them faithfully.  In this situation, it’s the ‘do unto others’ rule that helps me stay focused on how I present myself.

Beyond that, and equally as important, my first impression, and those that follow, are a huge part of my personal brand.  Branding within your business is not only the look and feel of your website, or your logo, letterhead and business cards, but in many ways, about how you do business, and your business style and acumen.

Even when I was in phone sales, the tone of my voice, the way I managed and cared for my clients, and even the level of knowledge I shared, were all a part of that first and on-going impression.  When I started my own business, having had so many years in phone sales really allowed me some distinct advantages over my competitors, because I understood this brand and the promise I made when serving them, as well as a real secret that many didn’t even think of in the same situation.

Even though I could have been sitting at my desk working in pajamas, I made myself shower and dress each morning as if I were going to a corporate office.  I remembered to ‘smile’ when I picked up the phone and addressed a caller, and I was continually complimented because people noticed.

But I do believe that we can get a second chance at that first impression, if we handle it properly, and try to be more of a listener when in someone’s company on that second effort.

I know there have been times when someone has not made a good first impression on me, but later, and sometimes it takes multiple ‘later’ connections to happen, I will find that the person is not who I initially thought they were, and have gone on to have a mutually beneficial relationship, whether on a personal or professional  level.

I’d be the first to say that there have been times when I was not at the top of my game, or perhaps was having a bad day, but if the relationship is worth developing, the laws of attraction will find a way to bring you back together, to consider a more positive connection.

To make a great first impression, you need to develop your personal brand and make sure you project it each and every time you’re meeting people for the first time.  Even if you never end up seeing that person again, leaving a good impression is sure to help you grow as a person and a professional.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Brand, Sales, and Balance: Are You Including Social Media with Other Online Marketing?

The 1980s are remembered for their developments in business and technology, particularly computing.

The 1990s for their advances in technology, particularly the growth of the internet and online business opportunities. If the 2000s are to be remembered for anything (although it may still be too early to tell), it will be their developments in communications and online communities, particularly the incredible power of social media.

Social media gives major brands and companies, as well as small business, some seriously big power, but it is rarely used as it should be. Commitments to quality are sometimes overlooked, and opportunities for branding, direct sales, or indirect marketing are often passed over. These missing opportunities do cost businesses.

Social Media for Branding:

A dollar unearned is a dollar lost. Businesses are often questioning the value of social media for their branding efforts, but few take action when they should. Billions of dollars are being left on the table, particularly as major brands move onto social media services, and the value of a social media-friendly brand still is not being recognized.

An experiment is always worth more than not even trying. Discussion on social media’s branding abilities will only take companies so far. With the low cost of social media efforts, an experiment with social media branding can generate huge returns, all with a relatively minimal level of risk.  Develop a simple plan and test your ability to grow and expand your brand.

Social Media for SEO:

SEO consultancy (and in-house efforts) were once the domain of spammy content and low quality link generation efforts. Poorly planned information was setup on low-cost websites, and marketers shot out as many links as were possible. Despite being somewhat effective, the old world of SEO is packed with inefficient models and outright unethical business models.

However, social media has given SEO new life. The old “SEO is spam” cliche is no more, thanks to the development of social media. Each new social media asset is another opportunity for high quality outbound and inbound linking, and every social media conversation is another opportunity to spread links that actually add value.

With Twitter tweets and Youtube videos now regularly appearing in Google’s standard search results, the divide between search and social media is likely to become even smaller. Marketers accustomed to spam-style SEO tactics are in for a new surprise, while businesses that embrace social media receive a well-deserved SEO boost.

Social Media for Sales:

Social media may not be a good sales platform, but it is a good resource for generating future sales. Social media’s ability to generate prospects is one of the most important aspect to the sales process. Marketers that were once dependent on direct lead generation have a new platform available to them, particularly in open social media platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn.

The greatest news is that social media is still ever changing and growing. Businesses that are built on lead-based sales have good things to look forward to. As social media develops further, sales models will be refined, micro-networks offering great sales potential will grow greater, and marketers can look forward to a platform that is refined, sales-friendly, and willing to be marketed to.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Six Simple Tips To Boost Your Business with Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing has become one of the top options for small to medium-sized businesses to get noticed Online. Adding Social Media Marketing to your overall marketing plan can help turn lagging sales around.  Take the time to be proactive and sign-up for social networking sites.

However, unlike some of your competition who may sign up and never use them again, you can easily show positive growth by using this innovative marketing option on a consistent basis.

Use the following six simple social media marketing tips to increase website traffic, grow sales and outshine your competition.

  • Sign up for several of the top free social networking sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These sites are simple to navigate and user-friendly (even for the technology-challenged!).  And look for connections on these platforms to other people you know or aspire to do business with.  Even connections to your current clients can be beneficial.
  • Fill out your profile – This is important to your success on social media. Include links to your websites and blogs, which helps you get links back to these sites, increasing your search engine optimization (SEO). Include business contact information like email and telephone as you will WANT potential clients to contact you!  To avoid spammers, you may want to use a catch-all type email account – into@yourwebsite.com rather than your main business email.  Be sure to provide a toll-free number, if your prospects can be outside your local area, and offer a street address only if you have a store front.
  • Keep them coming back for MORE by offering something for free, industry news, valuable information and resources, a Free Report or White Paper, or maybe even a contest to attract a broader following. Analyze your target markets and hone your message accordingly. If you sell organic-cotton baby clothes you would want to target your message to moms, business women perhaps, or owners of baby boutiques. People want VALUE so give them what they want and they’ll keep coming back for MORE!
  • Include a photo of yourself – People want to do business with someone they know, like and trust.  A professional photo, not one of you and your children, aligns you with your business name and company, consider this a great branding opportunity!
  • In this medium, less is more.  Don’t be too salesy with your message, and don’t tweet about what you had for breakfast. You want to reel in potential customers, not scare them away. Get back to the basics of your marketing message and don’t over sell. If your message is perceived to be ‘spam’ you’ll get blocked by the social media sites and prospects. You want a fan base, not an “I Hate Your Business Because You Spam Me Too Much” club.  Talk about your expertise and the value of working with you.  Share results and valuable information and resources that establish your expertise without coming across as someone who is just looking for their next dollar.
  • Keep it simple – Showcase your knowledge but don’t “talk down” to them. Social media is a great way to test what messages work and don’t work for your potential customers. Keep your language/message breezy and friendly (but with a professional edge).

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Gain Subscribers for Email Marketing Through Your Website

The task of building a list of subscribers for email marketing isn’t too difficult if you already have a website that has engaging content and decent traffic. However, your visitors won’t sign up just because you asked, you need to optimize your site to build your subscriber list without compromising its current focus or making it look like a sales page. To help you use your website to build your subscriber list for email marketing, consider these tips:

1) Make Your Sign-Up Form Visible

The first step to getting email marketing sign-ups is to let your visitors know the option to subscribe exists. Make it easy for them to find your sign-up form. If possible, you should position it in a way that it is visible no matter which part of your site a visitor is viewing.

2) Provide Incentives to Subscribers

All internet users have become wary of signing up with their email addresses because of the many ways it can be used. This may bring up privacy concerns. To put such privacy concerns to rest, you need to give your website visitors powerful incentives to subscribe.  Statements like “Register to Receive Our Weekly Newsletter” or “Sign Up for More Information” will no longer be enough to gain subscribers for email marketing. Experiment with different statements and incentives in order to find exactly what it is that will work for your specific target audience.

3) Minimize Required Fields

Although getting as much information as you can from your subscribers will allow you to fully customize your email marketing campaign for them, it may not be a good idea to ask for too much information right away. If your subscription form requires too many fields, potential subscribers may easily be turned off and refuse to sign-up at all. Generally, all you really need to ask for is the subscriber’s name and email address.

4) Send an Email at Once

To manage expectations, immediately send emails to all who subscribe. These emails should contain everything new subscribers can expect from you whether it’s a newsletter, free report, or something else. The same email should contain instructions that will allow new subscribers to confirm their email addresses or opt-in if you so desire. This will help you make sure that all the email addresses in your mailing list are valid and all those who subscribed are actually interested in what you have to offer. Doing this will help you avoid statistical nightmares when tracking the results of your email marketing campaign.

Always remember that visitors won’t subscribe to your newsletters or marketing emails just because a sign-up form is available on your site. You need to woo them with incentives, entice them with proper communication strategies, and make it easy for them to sign up. As long as you keep all these in mind, you can make good use of your website to gain subscribers for email marketing.

Share your thoughts and ideas for new ways to gain subscribers by leaving a comment below!

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com