Social Media and Marketing: Using Your Head

During my usual weekly rummage through the delights of the Internet I came across this absolutely wonderful post by Frank Strong, the director of Public Relations at Vocus & PRWeb, a client of TopRank Online Marketing and featured on Top Rank Blog.com. It was called “7 Social Media Lessons from Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid”.

A well crafted, currently relevant (vis a vis Karate Kid 2010) and a fondly nostalgic blog post, it really summed up the best way to approach social media and the ways I myself try to approach it. However, out of all the words of Miyagi wisdom “using head for something other than target” hit home the most for me as I see this applying to all forms of marketing and promotion, not just social media.

The biggest mistake businesses make in marketing is trying to sell.

Mar...

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Being Available – it’s all about the contact…

I was reading a great post the other day about how to write a great FAQ page – you can see the whole post here. One of the tips (number 6 actually) was about Being Available to your customers. The point in this case was put a link to your contact page if the customer (or potential customer) has a question that hasn’t been addressed by the FAQ page. And the complaint in this blogger’s case was companies who don’t put their contact details on their website.

And I totally agree. If you don’t put your contact details on your site then it screams “don’t trust us!”. Ok you might not want your address on your site if you work from home (like I do) but there are sites out there that provide products or services but do not have any way for their customers to contact them

I find this so annoying and...

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Authentic Networking finally takes shape

You may remember (or may not as it has been a while since I updated this blog – just blame the fact of being Just Too Busy!) that I did a post on how to make networking work for your business. If you don’t remember, and I won’t blame you if you don’t, then here is the full article from last November : “Networking: How to make it work for your business”.

Well, I am delighted to say that the authentic networking I mentioned in that article has now taken shape as an actual, real-live event: the new Authentic Networking group for small businesses based in Horsham, Worthing and everywhere in between.

Now in the context of a potentially (if not actually) global blog, that probably doesn’t sound like much. But for me it is a personal achievement that I have been wanting to do for some time.

I am ...

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Is Your Business Wearing a Wedding Dress?

It’s a blind date and you’ve been set up by your BFF with one of her boyfriend’s work colleagues. You’ve spent most of the afternoon getting ready, you’re on your way to the snazzy restaurant you both settled on and you’re starting to get a little nervous and wondering if he’ll be attractive, nice, interesting or funny – or all of the above.

Then you walk through the door and none of that matters. He takes one look at you and bolts through the back door! What did you do wrong? You didn’t even get to say hello. What on earth could have caused him to flee so suddenly?

Do you think the fact that you are wearing a wedding dress just might have had something to with it? Err duh! Of course! Who turns up to a blind date in a wedding dress? It screams D E S P E R A T E!!! And no-one wants to go ou...

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Quick-Start, Kick-Start Marketing Checklist

How to quick-start, kick-start your marketing….

If you know you should be doing marketing for your business but aren’t getting round to it then here are a few ideas to get your marketing off the ground, quickly:

  1. Find ONE networking group in your area and go along as a guest – more groups will let you participate as a member and you can meet new people quickly and easily without spending a fortune. It will also give you the opportunity to see if you might even want to join that networking group. If, however, you don’t think it’s for you then you haven’t spent a fortune to find this out.
  2. Sort out your email signature – if this doesn’t have – at the very least – your website address and your phone number in it – along with your logo, then you are wasting a FREE marketing opportunity every si...
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Internet Marketing versus ‘real’ marketing – a RANT!

Yes I am having a rant!

Very simply, it really frustrates me to see “Internet Marketing” being touted as the answer to a small business’s marketing dreams. I come across so many instances of pure marketing being substituted with Internet marketing that I wonder if anyone who reads that information will ever move beyond the IM holy grail of building a list, selling online products and holding teleseminars and workshops (oh and don’t forget the flagship product of exclusive one-to-one coaching.)

So yes I am having a rant about how Internet marketing is portrayed and then perceived by its intended audience. What do I mean?

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Marketing Basics: Article Writing & Submission

Spreading the word – proving your expertise!

Article writing and its online distribution is an excellent, low-cost way to market your business and it achieves a number of very positive things for your business and your profile. It:

  • Establishes your knowledge and expertise on your chosen topic
  • Enables you to communicate with your target market (and more) on any topic of your choice (of course it should be relevant to them)
  • Provides a forum via your author biography or article resource box for you to ‘brazenly’ promote your business (in conjunction with the expertise piece this works really well)
  • Creates inbound links to drive people to your website or blog (as long as you remember to include the URL in your bio or resource box!)
  • Raises your profile and adds to your credibility as an expert
  • Gives your target market the opportunity to learn more about your field of expertise (and your business) in a non-sales way
  • Has a positive impact on your website’s page ranking and SEO results rankings
  • Provides you with a range of information that you can leverage in a number of other ways such as using the information for a newsletter, a blog post, put it on your website, use in a presentation, part of an ebook or series and more….

So you can see that just by writing one article and submitting it online the results of that can be impressive. Of course, the more articles you write the better and more impressive the results will be. It won’t work just to submit one article – but it is a start!

And that’s where most people STOP!

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Ooh we’re all becoming teenagers…..!

No it’s not a magic trick or plastic surgery on a global scale or even some airborne virus from Fringe, but quite bizarrely we are about to enter the decade of the teens – the 20 teens and we are all about to become teenagers again. Woo…. Hoo?

It’s weird, I used to look at my driving licence after I had just passed my test and think WOW, 2043 – I can drive until then? I’ll be sooooooo old. :) And yes it’s still a way away, but now I am on the ‘other’ side of the divide and the fact that we are about to go into 2010 just drives home the fact that another year has passed us by and time just will not stop! Boo time!

I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, I just felt the need to express my thoughts about this, because like me I just know you are probably sitting thinking – crap that year went fast and I’m soooo glad it’s over over OR crap that year went fast – it was soooo much fun. Whichever it is for you: “Crap that year really went fast!”

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SEO for small business – a ridiculous argument!

That got your attention didn’t it? LOL!

OK I just read the most ridiculous series of comments on a post from a blog I subscribe to (well used to subscribe to) – the original post was a response to another post that raised the question of validity of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for small businesses – but it turned into a slanging match between two obviously diametrically opposed ‘experts’ on SEO. As far as I am concerned there is no question on the validity of SEO for small businesses – it is a must and this post looks at why…

But first, back to the argument. It really annoyed me. Do you know why it annoyed me so much? Because in this slanging match you could tell these two SEO ‘experts’ (yes I use the inverted commas sarcastically because in the slanging match they conducted themselves as anything but) were more interested about trying to out-do the other, rather than discussing the real issue of whether SEO is still important for small business got totally pushed to one side. So I take up the slack and look at that here – without any slanging whatsoever.

The weird thing is I actually agreed with some points on both sides of the argument. Oh and the argument was: Is SEO still important for small businesses? (One said NO the other said emphatically and just a little rudely YES! Oh and at one point to highlight the ridiculousness of it all were arguing about the use or non-use of a question mark! Yep I know – crazy!)

Ok, so let’s forget about the silliness and get cracking…

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What to do when you’re suffering from Christmas stress….

You WILL enjoy yourself this time of year, and make sure everyone else does, even if you have to half kill yourself to do it…..

DON’T…. GIVE…. IN…!

Yeah, that makes sense. Off you go.

Regardless of your religion – or whether you even have one – Christmas time brings about a change to our daily lives – and it starts about November 1st. Joy be to all – yes and we have to put up with it for longer and longer every year.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I really do. I love the excitement and anticipation of it all – both as a kid and a big kid with little ones of my own now. I love the socialness of Christmas – the thought of getting together with people you might not have seen all year due to the pace of every day life. And I love the carols, the fayres, the decorations and the giving of presents. I love it all.

But I DON’T love it – for 7 weeks before the day itself. I DON’T love the pressure to buy all the latest gadgets and toys. I DON’T love the commerciality of it all, I DON’T love chocolate advent calendars (what happened to the excitement of the different pictures each day and the countdown being enough?) and I certainly DON’T love the putting up of decorations before 13th December. So yes I guess you could say I’m a Christmas purist. And that means I am determined to enjoy myself this time of year despite it being rammed down throat for sooooooo long – and I will do it without the stress.

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