Category Archives: Communication

Using Signature Files For Promotion

23 August 2013, by A. Cedilla

You might brush these things off as simply being those annoying mini-essays tacked onto all the emails cramming your in-box, but that probably comes from being exposed to people who didn’t understand the principles of having a professional signature file

Even in interdepartmental communications, we can get the TMI-version from some of our co-workers, but in a professional setting, you shouldn’t brush off signature files (also known as “sigfiles.”) They are still a way to spread the word about your business.

Business card rituals happen in a professional setting, and there are even protocols for giving them out, especially in Japan. The key thing is to be professional. There should be a clear distinction between work email and personal email. For example:

  • Links in your sigfile should lead to good sites, not elicit a “What the hell is this?” reaction. Rickrolling is not work-appropriate behavior.
  • Put nothing you’d be embarrassed to be admitting to in public, in front of lawyers and your family.

In a nutshell, a signature file takes the place of a dead-tree business card, but with more space. It is attached to the end of your email messages. Just as a blank wall can inspire people to scribble all sorts of things on it (“Kilroy was here!”), this blank space can inspire you to ways you can push your business. Continue reading Using Signature Files For Promotion

Marketing Your Brand With Ezines

28 July 2013, by A. Cedilla

Have you ever thought of making an e-zine to spread the word about your brand?

An e-zine is an electronic magazine, like a little pocket full of content that can quickly and easily be shared from person to person as much as forwarded emails are. Many paper/dead-tree magazines also have digital editions to take advantage of today’s tablet-rich consumer environment. For example, look at Time, Sports Illustrated, GQ and People magazine.

Publishing survives because of advertising and subscriptions. When publishers of popular magazines decided to venture into online digital versions of their original product line, they establish an online and offline presence that lets them take advantage of new (to them) technology.

Ebooks and ebook readers paved the way for ezines to gain mainstream acceptance, and for cross-pollination to occur, since there are ezines that also ventures into print edition. Either way, an online and offline version of content can only spread the influence of the magazine’s brand –as well as the advertiser’s products in it.

For a purely online business, an ezine can help spread the word about what your customers can do with your products farther, faster, and cheaper than traditional methods. With an ezine, you can promote your website with back links to your site, with direct links to your products for one click orders.

How do you lessen the production load?
Join up with others in your niche, people you can trust, and move towards a common goal. Forging agreements where people also pay you to let them advertise their products in your ezine can also lessen the costs of producing it, and provide additional income.

Promoting each others’ products, sharing relevant information, lessons, and tips also fosters community, and a robust support system, a vital aspect to ensuring good relationships with others and a healthy business online. Continue reading Marketing Your Brand With Ezines

Refining Your Presentation Skills For The Internet

“You know what they say about first impressions…” Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

Well yes, practically everybody has an opinion about ‘What They Say’, but that old saw doesn’t always hold true for all occasions, nor for every circumstance, especially on the Internet.

For every visitor to your website whose initial excitement died down in a hurry, there are more who stay to browse. And the Internet being a huge place, you have a lot of chances to make a good impression, you just have to make sure your customers know where to find you. And that takes some presentation skills.

There’s a high probability that a majority of your customers stumble on your site through search results, or found it mentioned on a forum somewhere, or perhaps were referred by their friends. Base it on your own actions. How many times did you look up a general service or a product on the internet and click on the resulting links, only to find out for the first time about this specific product, or that particular service, from one particular company?

Good presentation gets attention. Effective presentation guides your customers into taking a course of action that is in your favor: it gets your customers to give you their email address, sign up, or buy a product.

It gets you ‘liked’ and followed.

Then you follow through on the unspoken deal by giving them what they expect: value.

Not for nothing do we use the words “highlight” and “showcase” in these circumstances. To get readers’ or customers’ attention, you need the chance to catch their eye. When you display your products in a very good light, it’s the customer who does the rest of the work, because at that point, it’s their decision now on whether to accept your offer or not. And when they like what you’re doing, they’re likely to keep tabs on it. Continue reading Refining Your Presentation Skills For The Internet

Trading Places With Your Customers

How do you get customers?
When you have a product intended to serve a particular purpose, and you aim to make it succeed in a particular market, you go to where people are who will be able to use it, who will be interested in using it, who will want it, and will be most likely to buy it.

Then you test it out in the market. You generate a lot of interest and publicity, maybe by giving samples in exchange for feedback, or letting out a fully functional version with certain limits to differentiate it from the paid version.

You let people know you have something that will help them solve a particular problem, something that will improve their lives, make things easier, and fulfill a need of theirs.

How do you keep customers?
You give good service, and supply good products that do exactly what they’re meant to. You deliver on your promise. You go the extra mile.

Who decides if you give good service, or make good products?
You do. And your customers do, too. It’s a collaborative relationship –emphasis on relationship.

There are studies of course. Focus groups, market studies, feedback-for-points, paid surveys,etc. and then there’s also the more direct approach, like follow-ups, and soliciting and getting feedback from your customers.

But when your customers can hie off whenever they spot a better deal, what can you do on your part to keep doing what you want to do and make money running your business?

You put yourself in your customer’s place. Continue reading Trading Places With Your Customers

5 Steps To More Sales and Better Salesmanship

When you’re anxious-excited or crazy-nervous about making your online business into a successful enterprise, you can do an incredible amount of work trying to sell your product.

  • You subscribe to the newsletters and get the free reports. And you actually read through all of them.
  • You watch all those videos explaining the secrets of the masterminds of marketing and you attend their webinars.
  • Aside from book-marking websites like a fiend, you even make flow-charts explaining the sales process — with special notes underneath each step spelling out what you can say to put the customer at ease and be more open to buying.

So you research and you test, and the more you practice the easier it gets for you to deal with the marketing and promotional area of your operation, but somehow the sales part isn’t quite doing as well as you think it could. What do you do?

Remember that you are dealing with people. Real life doesn’t come with a script. You may catch a prospect on a rare bad day…or you may be the one having a bad day.

  • Maybe it’s the weather where they are, heat can sometimes make people snappish and stressed out. Not for nothing do we often inject “How’s the weather?” to keep a conversation flowing.
  • Maybe it was the traffic on the way to work that day . Maybe you got some family news that you can’t get out of your head. Maybe they got personal issues that are taking up their attention. You just don’t know, you know?

How do you respond to your prospects then? Continue reading 5 Steps To More Sales and Better Salesmanship

Top Two Free Traffic Building Methods

If you want get and direct more traffic to your squeeze page, this segment will cover 2 ways you can do so: article and forum marketing. At the end our goal is to give you enough information to help you gain more visitors to your site, help your sales and boost the traffic to your squeeze page. And you can do this all with no money down.

Article marketing is the marketing method where you submit original articles, which as a rule are composed of 400-500 words, to article directories. It’s a very good traffic-generating approach: aside from the fact that many excellent article directories are free, the more high-quality articles you write, the better your odds of getting attention because of the quality of your work, attention that then can be redirected to your site.

When people uses article marketing, the generally use it for promotional means: pushing an affiliate product, for example. As a secondary (and even better) side-effect, article marketing is excellent for list building, because readers (without having to commit anything) get free, useful content, which enhances click through to your site, and attract potential subscribers. Article marketing is one great method to attract subscribers to your squeeze page, but not the only free one. Continue reading Top Two Free Traffic Building Methods

5 Basic Things To Include in Your Newsletters

In a previous article, How To Engage Your Newsletter Readers , we went over important factors to consider when you want to keep the people on your hard-earned mailing lists. In this installment, we’ll share 5 of the basic bits of information you can share with them.

Aside from the worry about the time you need to invest in setting up and creating engaging content for your newsletter, even if you think you’re gong to run out of things to share, there are very basic (some may say essential) subjects you can stick to that can help you greatly in keeping your readers reading, and save you work in plotting out what to say.

If you only share information that helps them, the scheduling can be adjusted to whenever you have useful information, like software updates, special offers and ‘Coming Soon’ events. You don’t need to flood your mailing list with updates on everything you’re doing (you can use Twitter for that) and there’s less pressure on keeping to a hard schedule of ‘publication’. Continue reading 5 Basic Things To Include in Your Newsletters

No Time? Speed Networking Can Help

If you don’t have the time to network the ‘old-fashioned’ way, what do you do?

To move in pace with our time-driven world, we’re required to do so at one speed: faster. In this vein, you may already have heard the term ‘speed networking’. It’s a very popular and fast growing method of networking and growing your business, and fits your time-scarce needs perfectly.

How does speed networking work? It works exactly like speed dating plus musical chairs, only with none of the romantic expectations. And the cheesy music.

At a speed-networking even, participants are paired up and each one has 2-5 minutes to introduce themselves and share what they do. At the end of the period a whistle blows, the pair dissolves, and each person moves on to another person from another dissolved pair until everyone’s had a chance to meet.

It’s the modern-day solution for people who have little time to meet others, and find networking difficult. It’s also an ice-breaker and launch spot for any general networking which can follow after the initial meeting, getting around the habit of talking only to people you already know.

So you’ve booked your place in a networking meeting, but what can you do to get the most out of the session? As with all marketing for your business, preparation is vital. Continue reading No Time? Speed Networking Can Help

How To Network The Right Way

Build a band of peers. Support each other. Essentially, that’s what you do when you network. You establish connections: people you know, people whose capabilities, experience and opinions you trust, and you help each other. So what can you do to create a network?

Newsflash: You’re already part of many networks. Classmates, bandmates, schoolmates, for starters. People you work with. People you’re related to. The kind of connections we’re talking about here is composed of the people in your life, the ones you meet as you’re living it, and the ones you keep in touch with.

Real connections take time and continued effort to sustain, so when you reach out or reach up for advice or assistance, pull others up with you even as the more experienced ones hunker down to your level to share what they know.

Good networking also has a self-policing effect. People who insist on taking without reciprocity get themselves weeded out, and if you and your colleagues invest real thought and good efforts in your interactions, you’ll reach the point when you can’t help someone else without getting helped in return, in one way or another. You build up your reputation and you strengthen your group’s network. Continue reading How To Network The Right Way

How To Engage Your Newsletter Readers

Give them what they want, what’s useful, what’s entertaining — in that order.

Look at it from the other side: if you’re even remotely internet savvy, your inbox is layered with filters that shoot incoming mails to different folders. Anything with “SALE”, “FREE”, “Trial” or even “Work” gets shot down to the trashcan. Any email you send to your subscribers with these keywords can get you filtered out, unless you prove from the start that what you write is worthy to land in the inbox from the start.

Things to bear in mind: Speed, succinctness and impact. Important information comes first, in easily digestible chunks that explain its importance. Things to balance: frequency, relevance and entertainment. Short, sweet emails that share new information in a bulleted format can come with more frequency than longer, chattier newsletters. Above all: value, value, value

People are all too often pressed for time to read through everything that lands in their inbox. Your e-newsletters should be stick to giving useful information about your products (tips and shortcuts, newbie advice), late-breaking industry trends and developments etc., things you believe will only help your subscribers. Continue reading How To Engage Your Newsletter Readers