Mind Strategies For Business

A question that arises quite often in seminars is “what is the first thing I should address in my business”? There could be a number of factors dependent upon where your business is currently and where you want to take it. That is another subject for another day because until you truly know where your business is positioned it is very difficult to draw a map of where it is you wish to go.

My number one answer or question is always “where are you now”?

Not your business but you. How can you hopefully take your business to the next level if you don’t know where you are at yourself? Do you have written objectives for yourself? It’s a bit like where I mentioned having a map for your business in that you need a map for yourself because how will you know when you have arrived?


One of the real issues with creating this map of your life revolves around knowing what it is that you want. This means you have to tap into your inner reserves and providing everything lines up you will come up with the answers that best suit you now. Whether that is the same in a few years is questionable. However, for now it’s a good place to start.

A lot of people say to me, “ yes, I have written these goals down, but they have never been realised”.

Congratulations if you have been able to get this far. Even if you’ve hit a roadblock or are feeling stuck, it’s really just another small step to start making these goals a reality. Usually, there are a few things that are missing. However, the key component in both personal and small business strategies is your mindset. Having the mindset to follow through on what it was that we wanted.

How much better would our lives be if we just followed through? I’ve been there and can safely say there are some extraordinary tools available that will push us that step further in being an enormous success. This goes for all areas of your life and when you find out how close you have been you will be kicking yourself.

Being able to tap into the mind and to then create the mindset essential to making the leap, is as easy as listening to a CD. Why not treat your life to a boost and go here to find out some more.

Actually being afraid of success is another issue for another day.

Create Competitive SEO Campaigns With These Tips

Search engine optimization is a great strategy for driving traffic to your website but SEO techniques can blow up in your face if you don’t know how to use them correctly. These tips will improve your page rank while preserving your site’s good standing with the search engines.

Create Great Content and A Great User Experience

First and foremost, remember that ranking on the first page isn’t going to do you much good if you aren’t serving your website visitors as Rand Fishkin of MOZ points out in this informative video. So start by producing useful and engaging content and ensuring that the whole website experience is as good as it can possibly be. That includes ensuring that your pages load fast (this is especially important for mobile sites) that your site is free of malware and broken links and that you offer secure browsing. Your visitors will thank you and since all of these factors are part of Google’s ranking algorithm it will also aid your SEO efforts

Get Your Content Indexed

When you’re creating a new website or blog you need to make sure the search engines know about it so they can crawl your content. The easiest way of doing this is to create a sitemap and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools. If you’re using video on your site make sure to also submit a video sitemap. Then make sure you have Google Analytics installed on the site and  submit your website URL IN WMT using the Submit URL option. Finally, ping the search engines using a service like Pingler or Pingomatic.

One of the ways search engine spiders find new content is by following links. So if you want the search engines to find and index your content quickly a fast way of doing this is to post status updates to all your social profiles including a link back to your content and to bookmark it on Delicious and StumbleUpon.  If you want to take it one step further you could also consider building some off-site links by blog commenting, submitting guest articles to other blogs in your niche or using an online press release service. For blogs you should also create a RSS feed using Feedburner and submit to blog directories such as Technorati.

Don’t forget to check from time to time that your site is being indexed by performing this search in Google: site:yourwebsite.com. If you don’t see any results check that you haven’t accidentally blocked the search engine spiders or no-indexed your pages and then log into Webmaster Tools to see if your site has been subject to a manual ranking penalty.

Pay Attention To On-Page Optimization

The search engine spiders won’t be able to index all of your content and match them to relevant searches unless you tell them what your content is about. So be sure to include your keywords in your site title and description and all of your page titles, URLs, meta descriptions and image alt tags as well as the body of your content.

The key here is to incorporate your keywords in a natural way that makes it easy for the search engines to pick out your focus keyword. Make sure you include the focus keyword near the beginning of your title tag and in the first and last paragraphs of text and use lots of different variations of your keyword throughout the post. Use H2 and H3 headings, bold, italic and underlined text to highlight important keywords and phrases and embed relevant rich multimedia content such as images, infographics, audio and video.

Aim for posts around 600 to 700 words in length. If you’re targeting highly competitive keywords you may need to increase this.

The other aspect of on-page optimisation you need to pay attention to is your internal linking structure. Link out from every post to other related pages and posts on your site using keyword rich anchor text. Be careful not to over-optimize your content by using the same keyword too often. Instead, try to use lots of variation to make it look more natural.

Finally link out to other authoritative and trusted websites (for example, Wikipedia) and blogs in your niche from your posts. This will make your content more credible and helpful for your readers and also help the search engines understand what your content is about.

To market your website more effectively your website, think about using the services of a London company like WOW Consulting that specializes in search engine optimization (SEO). SEO tactics are the most effective method to make your website to rank highly in search engine results. You will find a number of firms offering SEO services on the Internet, and can seek out the best deal.

Build High Quality Backlinks and Social Signals

Having plenty of social signals and good quality backlinks from authoritative and relevant sites in your niche is the key to building trust and authority in the eyes of the search engines, both essential if you want to rank for highly competitive keywords.

Here are just a few ways you can build strong social signals and quality backlinks:

  • Writing great, shareworthy content and promoting it widely via social media, social bookmarking and web 2.0 properties
  • Submitting articles to high quality article directories
  • Guest blogging for other authoritative sites in your niche
  • Commenting on do-follow forums and blogs

When building backlinks your aim should be to achieve a natural link profile that includes a mix of follow and no-follow links, a balance of links to your home page and your inner pages and good variation in anchor text including a lot of branded keywords as well as non-branded keywords. At all costs avoid spammy links and link exchange schemes. They will have you relegated to the nether regions of search engine results or have your site de-indexed faster than you can say Panda or Penguin!

Getting Up To Speed With Social Media Marketing

business social media iconsSocial media may be the “next big thing” in marketing, however keep in mind that you really need the fundamentals in position before launching a promotion and marketing campaign. That means products and services to market, a target audience for them, and a channel to market in. Once you’ve identified all of these, you will be able to successfully implement the tactics and guidance offered here in this article.

Doing social media marketing well requires you to interact with your customers. Do not make the typical error of failing to use customer comments as a way of learning more about your marketplace. Respond to any of your users’ reviews and have a dialogue with them. Make it your mission to discover exactly what they want and need, and use these insights to visualise precisely where to go next with your business.

Before you start, here’s an important question to consider. Are you planning to use social media to build a deeper relationship and connection with your customers or do you want social media to just be a sales method? If the latter, then you might be better off just buying some paid ads on social media sites rather than investing a lot of time and effort in producing great content and interacting on a regular basis. Whatever your objective, focus on being as helpful and engaging to your audience as possible. Be human and don’t just bombard your followers with links to your website and sales messages.

Conducting a social media campaign takes time and energy and has to be done consistently so think about what support you are going to need. There are plenty of social media professionals out there who can help you put together a social media strategy and will even do the day to day posting and interacting for you. You might have to throw down a little bit of cash, but this is an investment that will reap rewards over time.

There are a ton of tools that can help make light work of your day to day social media management. Hootsuite, for example, allows you to post or tweet at specified times and if you have a WordPress website there are plugins you can use to automatically generate posts whenever you publish a blog article. You can also monitor all your social profiles from a single dashboard so you can jump straight into any relevant conversations and respond promptly whenever anyone mentions your company.

When sharing your content on Twitter don’t forget to include the correct hashtags. You can create a tag by preceding it with the hash (#) sign, and it will make it easy for people who are interested in that topic to discover your tweets using Twitter’s inbuilt search.

Social media is a great tool for managing your brand reputation but you do need to be prepared for the occasional negative comment. Just make sure that you respond promptly and in a constructive and helpful way and your reputation for providing good customer care will be enhanced immeasurably. Whatever you do, remember that social media is public so steer clear of engaging in ugly spats or making personal remarks!

Using these pointers will ensure that your social media marketing is built on sound foundations. There’s undoubtedly a ton of information to take in, and doing so will call for a certain investment of your time and effort. Down the road, however, your greater social media savvy will provide a great return in the form of enhanced brand exposure, more website traffic and opportunities to do business.

4 Awesome Tips For Effective Email Marketing Strategies

email marketing graphicUnless you’ve been living on a desert island without an internet connection you will doubtless have been on the receiving end of an email marketing campaign at some point in the last couple of years. Email marketing is commonly used by many organizations to get their offers and information in front of existing and prospective customers and most marketers agree that it is one of the most cost effective of all marketing tactics.

If you are considering using email marketing for your business, this post offers some helpful tips to help you use it effectively.

Tip 1: Build A Targeted Email List

Buying an email list may seem like a good idea but it’s always best to build your own. Start by adding some content to your website and/or Facebook page that visitors and fans have to opt-in to your list to receive. This could be a simple newsletter sign-up or you may choose to offer some premium content (white papers, videos or free reports) to induce your users to hand over their name and email address. Remember, the less information you ask for and the more assurances you give about their email privacy the more likely they are to sign up.

Tip 2: Get Permission To Send Email Messages

The recommended approach is to use double opt-in to ensure you have your subscribers’ permission before starting to send them marketing messages. This means that when they enter their contact information on your site they will receive a message with a link asking them to confirm their subscription. Tell them exactly what they’re signing up for, how frequently they can expect to receive messages from you and remind them to white-list your email address to ensure your messages aren’t caught by spam filters.

This might appear to be a lot of hassle but managing your subscribers and lists is actually a breeze with email marketing software such as MailChimp or Aweber and using double opt-in is well worth it in the long run. Failing to follow best practice could mean you end up being labelled a spammer and finding your domain blacklisted by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Offer people on your list an easy and obvious way to un-subscribe from your list and get into the habit of asking the reason why they want to un-subscribe so you can use that information to improve the experience for other people.

It’s also a good idea to ask your subscribers to confirm from time to time that they want to continue to receive your emails. This ensures that people who are no longer interested in your products or services are periodically weeded out, keeping your list fresh and responsive.

Tip 3: Make Your Email Content Personalised

One great way to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns is to personalise your messages and give your customers options. Let them determine the number of messages they want to receive, how frequently they want to receive them, and how much information they wish to disclose. When your customers feel that they are somewhat in control of the process, they are going to be far happier to receive your information and much more likely to read your messages.

Let your readers choose the format of your content and always offer a plain text version for people whose browsers can’t cope with multimedia or rich HTML.

Tip 4: Pay Attention To Headlines

Many ISPs automatically filter out emails that include certain words and phrases in the headline so before sending your email messages it’s worth running them through an email spam checker to ensure they actually get delivered.

You also want to ensure that your headlines are sufficiently attention grabbing to persuade the recipient to open and read your emails. Try testing different headlines to see which ones perform the best.

A/B split testing involves creating a couple of very different versions of the same email (A and B) and sending “A” to fifty per cent of a small test group and “B” to the other fifty per cent. Whichever email receives the most positive response is the one that you should be using for your campaign. As well as your headlines other email elements you can test include the body content, images, layout and colours and your calls to action.

Make sure you keep your marketing emails fairly short and your language as direct as possible. This demonstrates that you respect your readers’ valuable time and makes it more likely they will read right through to the end. This is particularly important if you place vital information or links and your call to action near the end of your message.

When done correctly email marketing is a super-effective strategy for growing your customer base and revenues. Following these simple tips will ensure that your email marketing campaign gets off to a flying start.

15 Small Business Strategy Tips on Facebook


How to Optimize Your Business on Facebook

1. Create a detailed profile and keep it updated. Here is a list of things to include:

  • photos
  • education/employment history
  • philosophy
  • arts and books
  • featured people*
  • sports
  • activities and above all interests
  • updated contact info (including websites)

2. Import contacts from you email accounts, Yahoo, AOL, Gmail and Microsoft Outlook.

3.* Create lists by geographic location, topic, or by type of category. Under the redesign, some friend lists can be made public. People on a particular list will get a notification if that list is added to the “Featured People” section of a user’s profile. Warning: be careful how you title the lists and who you add to them, according to Facebook tracking site Inside Facebook.

4.” Like” pages and leave a legitimate and meaningful comment. Once friends are broken down into groups, users can click on their “Most Recent” news feed and select lists from a drop-down menu in order to interact with each group individually.

5. Share the 3 P’s (personality, passion, profession). Remember what facebook is all about. It is people getting together to have a conversation over coffee. Keep that in mind when you are making your comments. Facebook focuses on people “who said that”? Google focuses on what and where, “Where can I find the answers to help me fix, avoid or accomplish it?”

6. Share photos and video
. There is power in video and videos definitely stand out in the news feed.

7. Create a simple yet detailed Facebook page. A page should include photos and basic information, a biography and/or mission statement and useful content based on your target audience or community. Facebook only allows only one account. However, you can have as many Pages as you want. Pages are viewable online and are search engine optimized so that even individual posts can appear on Google. In other words, fan pages are indexed and ranked by Google just like your blog pages.

8. Promote your page. Once more than 25 people “Like” your page you can create a distinctive “vanity URL” (such as facebook.com/username). A vanity URL (uniform resource locator) is much easier to use and remember than the URL assigned by Facebook, making it easier to add to marketing materials. In order to attract “Likers,” ask your friends and associates to “Like” your page. You do this by continually adding valuable, informative, creative and entertaining posts to your page so they will keep coming back.

9. Create a welcome page or a “Like” page. You will need to add the app FBML. (facebook markup language). You can then add other tabs to your page.

10. Listing exposure (via Marketplace). Facebook’s classified advertising service, powered by Oodle, allows people to find your business page.

11. Learn the art of social listing posts. This means that when posting “Give people a reason to engage with you, a call to action” . There is a certain etiquette to follow. Always refrain from posting listings in all capital letters. This is interpreted as “shouting”!

12. Create a daily engagement plan. “If you don’t manage your social media, your social media will manage you” . It is best to check on facebook in the morning. During that time, you can update your current status, share a helpful resource, send birthday wishes, make comments,   and check to see what is going on in your different discussion groups.

13. Create a Facebook Group. These groups allow Facebook users to gather over a shared interest with people they know. Groups can be public or private. The big advantage is that you can send everyone in that group emails.  It is recommended to have 100 friends before creating a group.

14. Create relevant Facebook ads. Facebook asks about 45 pieces of information when you create a profile. Though not everyone fills in every piece, that information can help you collect information to target a specific group of people.

15. Host an event. Organize a meetup around a local interest, such as any holiday or seasonal event and post it on Facebook.