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Inbound marketing training – Free

By | social marketing | 6 Comments

It is not often that you get the chance to hear from some of the best in the business for free and at the end walk away with some really useful advice. Inbound Marketing University (IMU) is a free marketing  program for marketing professionals looking to gain new skills to get ahead in the competitive workforce.  The program includes 10 webinars from June 15-19 and includes a stellar line up of speakers.
Attending IMU

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing is marketing focused on getting found by customers.

When people buy things they are more likely to go online and look for the information themselves, ask people in their social groups list or look for referrals from others.

Enter the new marketing paradigm called Inbound Marketing.

In order to do this, you need to set your website up like a “hub” for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through the search engines, through the blogosphere, and through the social media sites.

This course will help you learn more about inbound marketing techniques.

Professors include: Chris Brogan (New Marketing Labs), Brian Carroll (InTouch), MackCollier (MarketingProfs), Rand Fishkin (SEOmoz), Eric Groves (Constant Contact), Ann Handley (MarketingProfs), Jeanne Hopkins (MarketingExperiments), Lee Odden (Top Rank Marketing), David Meerman Scott (New Rules of Marketing & PR) and Marshall Sponder (Monster.com).

The university program concludes with the inbound marketing certification exam. Those who will complete IMU and pass the exam will become Inbound Marketing Certified Professionals and will receive a certificate.

Visit InBound Marketing for the chance to participate.

Customers buy for their reasons not yours. 5 ways to join their conversation.

By | small business marketing, social marketing | No Comments
Awareness Inc pic

Awareness Inc pic

How many times do I have to say it. It is all about them, not you. They don’t care about you. Still, I am constantly confronted by businesses that continue to focus on themselves and not their customers.

Today the tide has well and truly turned. Everywhere  you can see how the customer is controlling the conversation. Harley Davidson president got it when he said “ the more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing”. And you know what, if you don’t engage they will by-pass you. It is so easy for them to ignore. They can turn off the tv, delete the email and fast forward the podccast. It is all about them. They choose. They determine your brand value, they listen to their friends on twitter talking about a bad experience and they research new products by visiting user forums.

So where does this leave the small business. It is simple and here are my 5 top tips of ways to join your customers’ conversations.

1. LISTEN – start connecting by listening. This means act like a customer. Ring your own phone number. Stand in your own queue. Understand them. Invite them to participate in improving your product or service. Educate them and inspire them, but mostly join their conversation. Observe conversations in your sphere. Listen to the experts in your business on blogs, tweets and other social media forums.

2. LOOK – at your communications, your website for example. Does it talk about the customer and their problems and how you solve them or does it talk about YOU! Remember no one cares about you, nor do they care about everybody, the care about themselves. So don’t be all things to everyone. Just communicate to the select target market and explain how you can help them.

3. ACT – If you get some feedback, good or bad act on it. Show you care. A blog is a good way to join the conversation with your customers but it is no good if you don’t act on the information. You have to show that you are invested and you care.

4. CREATE – opportunities for your customers and employees to communicate and build an extended online community. They are going to have the conversation with or without you so you may as well be listening and providing input. Marketing is now a dialogue and two way conversation that requires listening and if you are good at it, you will empower your customers to create their own ideal products and services, review yours and provide feedback and nurture your business. They will tell you how they want their information, and what they want. You just have to listen and be willing to share the process.

5. EVALUATE – evaluate your on-line community and strategy and make sure it suits your customer needs. As you can see from the conversation prism below, there are many ways to join or start a conversation and you can’t give your attention to all. Pick the best way and medium that suits your customers and make a start today.

PR 2.0 pic

PR 2.0 pic

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Small Business Branding Webinar series

By | small business marketing, social marketing | 2 Comments

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing. John Jantsch has come up with some great content here.

Small Business Branding Webinar Series

Over the course of the last month  John has been conducting live online panel discussions with some great guests on a range of small business marketing and branding subjects. Featuring Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, and David Meerman Scott on the subject of online branding.

You can listen to this session and the entire series archive here.

The quick guide to using social media

By | small business marketing, social marketing | No Comments

As a relative newcomer to social media (last 3 months) I have been chasing the curve to try and understand how to use tools like twitter, linkedin, and facebook. I have used these tools for sometime for personal use but now are uncovering the fantastic potential as a business tool to enter the conversation with your customers, listen and learn and gather a lot of  IP really quickly. Here are my top learnings so far…

1. Twitter – I  largely now use this as a news service. Connect with key people that shape your industry and then follow their tweets to keep abreast with what is going on. Use tools like tweetdeck to capture the information in a useful interface. Tweeting is about sharing rather than promoting yourself. Yesterday I sent out a tweet that must have been sweet because I gained about 40 followers in 5 minutes. The tweet wasCheck out http://InboundMarketing.com – new community for marketers and free training program #imu June 15-19http://bit.ly/IMU. Shows you the power of the network!

2. Facebook – I use this to keep connected to friends and family. It does have some uses in that you can profile your business. Marie Smith the guru on facebook gives some good information on how to set up a fan-page which is useful.  Her tips about using your face as the image seems like a no brainer but to use the same image, bio and links in each social medium is a good tip.  Remember that your business contacts could look at this page and it exists forever!

 

3. Linkedin is a great business networking tool. I use this to stay connected to past contacts, ask questions, gather resources from like minded individuals. Joining some of the discussion groups in your industry is a good idea but the email trail can be a bit much. Just choose the groups that really mean something to your business. Otherwise tweet for instant updates.

4. Find sort cuts. You can on tweetdeck set up an autorespond tool that tweets out your messages to facebook automatically. Save your profile somewhere so when you fill in a new social forum you can cut and paste. Link all of your social profiles on your web, blog and email.

 

Anyone got any more learnings to add?

 

Good article in the  uk guardian re social media.

 

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Coaching the PA in marketing – your best asset

By | small business marketing | No Comments

One of the biggest issues small businesses face is a marketing resource. As the manager you don’t have the time although you might have the ideas. You might be in the position where you have a PA or a receptionist but they don’t have the marketing skills. Well, here are a few ideas that might help coach you PA and help them start to acquire the marketing skills to grow your business.

Note: this is a great idea if your PA shows some interest and enthusiasm for marketing only.

 

1. Get them a coach – providing the PA with a marketing coach will give them the hands on experience to start developing the basic marketing skills to implement some key marketing strategies. This small investment in them is also a vote of confidence that they can develop beyond their current role and grow with the company.  There are many companies that can provide this service including mine. I have started a e-zine for PA’s to develop these skills for free and they can join by clicking here.

2. Develop a database – capturing your customers in some simple format is critical for communicating with them. Creating a excel spreadsheet with headings like First name, Last Name, Company, Address, Email, Phone Number, customer type can then lead to being able to do some marketing campaigns down the track. Eventually your PA will be ready to use auto response software and CRM to develop some more targeted communications.

3. Developing some templates – creating some basic templates will help the PA with this role. A marketing action plan – list and cost of all marketing activities, newsletter format template, customer testimonial template, media release, invitation to event, employment ad, tender response template, etc. These can be downloaded from various sites for free often, just do a google search.

4. Consistent look and feel – having a file with your logo, images, letterhead etc and monitoring the look of documents and communications is really important. Having one person controlling this is really helpful.

5. Website – you can get many cheap and easy to use content management software platforms for setting up your own web or blog and this is something that the PA can then use.  You can still have a graphic designer for your web but having the PA be able to update the content via a web based content management system is more cost effective and makes sense.

6. Network – give the PA an opportunity to talk with an network with other PA’s looking to move into marketing. Even giving the opportunity to do some short course is valuable, ie direct mail, online advertising, event co-ordination etc. Australian Marketing Institute is a good starting place but there will be one in every location that your PA could join.

10 Great marketing internet tips from Jay

By | small business marketing | 2 Comments

Jay Berkowitz from 10goldenrules he has some great Ideas for marketing on the Internet and these include:

  • Maximize web site traffic by using Free Search Engine Optimization techniques
  • Create a FREE Offer on your site to get leads
  • Measure the cost to acquire a lead and a sale
  • Learn from the competition by using Competitive Intelligence Tools
  • Take advantage of FREE Internet products like Google Optimizer to improve conversion on your web site
  • Generate greater awareness for your business or product by using Free or low cost Internet Press Releases
  • Develop an eNewsletter
  • Create a virtual internet sales force using Affiliate Marketing
  • Build your company’s position on high traffic Social Media
  • Cut out the middle man by selling direct

Check out Jay’s podcast on itunes as it is a really great podcast 10goldenrules, full of great tips.

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