Explode Traffic, Get Exposure & Generate More Sales with Pinterest

So you already have a Pinterest, and you know the basics of how to create boards and add pins to your various boards, but you want to really leverage Pinterest — and all it has to offer — to drive traffic to your website, increasing your business’ exposure and ultimately acquire more sales. If that’s the case it’s time to go to the next level and prepare a winning Pinterest marketing strategy.

Create Informative Infographics — Your infographic doesn’t have to be super intricate. It can be a simple meme that gets your point across. Creating visual content that educates, engages and even provokes your audience can be very useful to getting more traffic. Infographics are shared a lot and can become viral if you give it thought as you create it.

Freebies Work With Pinterest Too — Link your pin to something free. It could be a free report, an informative video, an app, a free sample of a more in-depth tutorial, or whatever you desire that your target audience would find valuable. Don’t forget to require a sign in to get the free item.

Brains Over Beauty — Even if your pins aren’t the most graphically pleasing to the eye, if they are educational and resourceful people will re-pin it and share it with others. Tutorials are the most shared and clicked pins on Pinterest. Yes, a lot of what you see on Pinterest is beautiful, but don’t overlook the value of sharing your intelligence.

Pins are Bread Crumbs — Remember that all the information you want to impart does not need to be on the pin. The pin is the breadcrumb trail you’re leaving to others to entice them to click-through to see the rest of what you’re offering. Provide them the “tease” so that they click through, not the entire show.

Keywords Still Rock — Even on Pinterest, what’s current within your niche and keywords still matter. It’s really not much different from any other type of content you use to promote your business. Ensure that you are using keywords in your captions, descriptions, and in your website link. You should also use hashtags. Educate yourself about your target audience so that you know what keywords and current events will attract them.

Engage With Others — Pinterest is social media, therefore it’s important to be social. Comment on other pins, like other people’s pins, and follow people who follow you. Promote your Pinterest on your other social media accounts too and make it easy for other to pin your content by adding a “pin it” button to your websites, blogs, and even your sales pages.

Edit Your Pins — After you upload a new pin from your computer, be sure to go back and edit it to add a link to the rest of the content that you want to promote. If you don’t do this, then if people click on your pin they will go nowhere. Another option is to use the “pin it” buttons on your own website to pin an item to various boards on your Pinterest account.

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be certain to explode your traffic, get more exposure, and ultimately generate more sales.

Why Having a Business Blog is Important

A business blog is a must for every business; whether you have a website for your business, your business is a brick and mortar only or if your business is only on the Internet. If you are in any type of business at all, you need a business blog.

Blogging has become the way to drive new traffic to your business, whether the business is on the Internet or in a building. This is because people connect personally to you through your blog, even if it is a business blog.

Through writing blog posts your readers, subscribers and customers get to know a little bit about the person behind the business. And as long as you’re posting quality, trustworthy content your readers will come to trust you. Therefore, they will then begin to purchase your products or retain services that you offer.

Your business blog should reveal a little about the person behind the business, but it should never be too personal. Having an “About” page on your blog is a good place to display a little about your personal life, but not too much. Keep it professional, but let your audience know who you are as a business person. The “About” page is also a great place to display your qualifications, merits and credentials for your business.

Once your business blog is up and running, you will then use it to connect with people on the Internet through stories, talking about promotions or sales, and letting the public know your business exists. Having a business blog is the most important marketing tool your business should have. If you don’t have a business blog yet, and don’t even know where to begin, hire a virtual assistant to start one for you. A VA could even then maintain and manage it for you if you feel you don’t have the time. But, by doing whatever it takes to get a business blog started now, soon you will see an increase in your business traffic and more traffic means more sales.

Getting Your Info Product Launched

While you can launch an information product with pizzazz on your own, if you are totally lost and know you’ve got something good to sell, you can create a frenzy about your new info product by following strategies other people have used successfully. There are also companies or consultants who specialize in launching products so that’s another avenue to consider. These consultants and companies have done it all before and know what the best ways are to launch your product, website, get you into affiliate marketing, blogging, and everything else you need to launch your site.

Whether you decide to go it alone or use the help of a product launcher—take the time to do your own research and be as creative as possible. A product launcher may give you ideas on how to be creative that you hadn’t thought of but the final marketing decisions are yours. Since your name is on this information product, you must be proud of the marketing plans.

There are many ways to get you and your product noticed, before it’s even launched, so see what others are doing and start creating some industry buzz for yourself. Use social media, host a teleseminar, or visit forums and start chatting about your project. Create a pre-order landing page so you can gather possible customer email addresses prior to the actual launch.

While you’re going through this process it’s also a good time to look at what your competitors are doing in this area. Take the time to do your research and see how many ways you can find your competitor on the Internet through searching. Take notes and strategize ways to get your info product recognized. If your competitor wrote a press release about their product, you should write one too and search for places to post and announce your product. If nothing else you’ll find inspiration for things to add to your idea box.

Creating Recurring Revenue Solutions

If you’re a service provider you may be looking for ways to increase your income without increasing your work load. Trading hours for dollars can be limited. Sure, you enjoy and love what you do every single day but eventually the amount of income you can make will be capped to the number of hours you have each day to work. By creating recurring revenue solutions you’ll end the problem with time scarcity and open up a whole new world of possibilities. You can think of recurring revenue as a way to add on to your existing services but it can also be a way to create passive income. Let’s take a look at both options.

Add on Services That Create Recurring Revenue

Priority Client Club — Charge clients a monthly fee to get priority service. If your normal return is 72 hours offer them 48 hours for the price of the monthly fee. Or, offer a set number of services / products / tasks for the monthly recurring charge.

Monthly Maintenance Program — If you perform technical services such as website security maintenance, updates, and backups, offer a monthly recurring program to your clients that they pay every month via auto pay or auto billing.

Long Term Discounted Contracts — Offer a big discount for clients who agree to sign a long term contract rather than work just month to month. They must give a notice to end the contract since you make it clear that you mark out this time for them. Sometimes you can include a cancelation fee equal to the discounted rate to avoid client cancelations or freebie seekers.

Client Coaching Program — Coaching can be accomplished via email, on membership sites, and by telephone. Offer a monthly client coaching program with recurring fees and a promise of a certain amount of your time.

Passive Income Models That Create Recurring Revenue

eBooks — Write the eBook once, then sell it in multiple ways. Via your own website and sales page, or via Amazon’s Kindle and /or Barnes & Noble’s Nook. Both offer a free and simple opportunity to sell your eBooks. Price point is imperative here, lower is better for larger sales volume.

eCourses — If your book is a how-to book, you can break it down into a course that you “teach” via email. Set up Aweber to auto deliver courses on a predetermined “drip” and clients pay you a monthly membership fee to keep getting the courses via their email membership.

Membership Website — Put your eBooks and eCourses and other “how to” information on one website and charge a monthly fee for access. In this case you may need to add to the site at least monthly to encourage members to stay.

Affiliate Programs — Both have an affiliate program and participate in affiliate programs for products and services that you like. Nothing is better than making money today on something you did a year or more ago.

Outsourcing Services — While service providers like to think they are irreplaceable, try to think long term and consider starting to outsource much of the work you do on a day to day basis. By outsourcing most of the hourly work, you will become a manager of your business, which can then be sold, or taken over by someone else.

Why Membership Cards Work

If you are familiar with membership marketing, then you probably already know what membership cards are. Membership cards are a great tool to reinforce your membership marketing program and here’s why:

1. Value. Membership cards offer value to the customer; value through your business, value through savings and possibly even value with participating partners. While the true value of a membership card is in the eye of the beholder, it often also carries a tangible value, such as discounts, exclusive membership rights and more.

2. Visibility. This may seem obvious, but because membership cards are tangible objects, they are a constant reminder to your customers of who you are and what you do. Consider your membership cards to be like your picture in your customers’ wallets. Every time they open that wallet, there you are! This ever-present marketing tool will keep you at the forefront of your customers’ minds and your business in the black!

3. Sales. Think about it. Are you more likely to shop at a store where you are a member over one where you are not? Or consider this, are you more likely to fly on an airline where you accumulate frequent flyer miles, or change carriers every time you book a flight? The obvious answer would be to shop where you are a member and fly with the airline that offers you the most rewards. The same idea goes for membership cards. Your customers will be more likely to make purchases… and your sales will increase… when they are committed to you.

So there you have it! The top three reasons membership cards work. If you aren’t convinced, take a look in your own wallet and I bet you will find at least one (if not more!) membership cards that you use yourself. Why? Because they really do work!

A Simple Backup Strategy For Laptop Computers

No matter whether you travel with your laptop or not, a successful backup strategy means having your files backed up in more than one place. You’ll probably start with an external hard drive stored in your home, maybe a drive that you carry around with you, and then back up to the cloud in addition to these areas. This ensures that, no matter what the situation, at least one of your backups will survive.

External Hard Drive

The first part of your backup strategy should be an external hard drive. Make sure it’s as big (though preferably larger) as your laptop’s hard drive, and transfer everything from your computer to the external drive regularly. To make things easier, install an application that’ll regularly update your backup whenever you modify or create new files.

Put your external hard drive in an easy-to-reach location so that you remember to connect it to your laptop whenever you’re at home. If not, you might forget to back it up for a couple of weeks and lose that all-important document you’d been working on for months! You may even want to buy a second external hard drive and store it in a different location to be extra safe.

Online Backup Services

There are a huge range of online backup services available to choose from, starting at about $10 per month. For extra security in your backup strategy, you may even want to sign up to more than one service. All services work differently, but most allow you to download a program to your PC or Mac that’ll automatically check for new or modified files within the folders you specify. Once they’re up and running, these backup tools really are “set and forget”!

Make sure to test any online backup service regularly. Even if you have no need to yet, you need to make sure it’s easy to recover your files to your computer. This will check both the recovery process of the service you’re signed up to, as well as the fact that the backup has actually worked!

There are a few drawbacks of online backup services, most notably the fact that they can use a lot of bandwidth to upload all of your files to their services. The initial backup can also take quite a few weeks to complete (depending on your hard drive size) and the software may use a significant chunk of processing power while it completes. Until you’re sure everything’s backed up online, make sure you have an alternative backup strategy in place, too.

The Difference Between Spam and Marketing on Twitter

When we begin speaking in terms of marketing, invariably the question comes up, are my marketing efforts true marketing efforts or are some viewing them as spam?

Spam is about taking the choice away from someone and delivering them information about products and services without their permission. Spam comes in the way of unsolicited emails, junk mail and telemarketing. Spam leaves a bad taste in our mouths and for good reason. We have not asked to be inundated with the information that we find floods our inboxes these days.

Marketing when done responsibly can be fun and witty. Commercials that reach us emotionally are effective marketing tools. People who care about their audience take the time to consider their message and how it will reach others.

On Twitter we each have an option as to who we will follow. And one might suggest it is that choice that gives others the right to “spam”. Wrong. Spam is irresponsible and annoying. More will tune out than tune in.

Take time to consider your message and how it will connect with your followers. Are you sharing a valuable service, product or resource? Do you take the time to share on a personal level as well as sharing on a business level? Have you established a relationship with your followers? Is the information you are providing timely and appropriate?

If you can answer these questions with a yes answer then your message can effectively be considered marketing rather than spam. Your followers will welcome your post rather than turn away from it. Share your tweet with others and in turn respond in kind to their own messages and tweets. After all, marketing is all about the relationship and spam is about nothing more than the bottom line.

Developing An Effective Keyword List

When considering the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the success of your website often depends on it. That is why it takes crucial planning and careful execution of the best, most appropriate keywords in order to improve your ranking and effectively capture the attention of your target market.

Coming up with a list of the perfect keywords, or combination of words, takes time. Some website owners often think this is the easiest step in the SEO process. However, they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, this step should be the most difficult. Why? Because, sure anyone can come up with a list of keywords related to your business. But not everyone knows exactly what your customers are looking for.

When creating your list of keywords, you have to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and actually think like them, rather than try to sell to them. In other words, as a business owner, you may have a tendency to use buzzwords (like “niche” or “conversion”). But your customers may not be as familiar with those terms, or simply apply more commonly used words to the same concepts (like “group” or “sales”).

The trick is to come up with a list of keywords that not only apply to your business, but actually work. You may start with a list of 100 words, but in order to drive customers to your site, you will have to cut it down. A great tip is to take a look at some competitors’ sites. Try to get a feel for what keywords they are focusing on and how you might be able to improve upon and top them.

And don’t limit yourself to single keywords. SEO is about the recognition of single and mutli-word phrases. For example, if you are in the telecommunications business, you wouldn’t only optimize for words like “calling”, “telephone” or “wireless”. Instead, you might focus on keyword phrases like “call centers”, “wireless communication” or “home telephone services”.

The good news is, you won’t be alone in your SEO efforts. There are many useful tools available to help you develop the best, most effective and easy to rank keywords possible. Google, in particular, provides a tool that allows you to research how often keywords are searched. What you want to avoid are keywords that impossible to top.

For example, a very broad word like “cellphone” is searched over 2.2 Million times a month (according to Google AdWords keyword tool). This makes it nearly impossible for your site to come up within the first few pages of a search engine because the competition is so fierce. But a phrase like “cellphone service” is searched 14,800 times a month, making it easier to compete for a high ranking spot. Therefore, if you are in the cellphone industry, be it sales, service, accessories or otherwise, you will want to optimize for phrases and keywords that are searched often but not so often you lose your ability to be found.

Creating A Membership Site

Membership marketing is an important extension of your business and can be critical to the future success and growth of your business as well. When applying membership marketing principles to your business, you will want to create a membership site.

What exactly is a membership site? Well, it’s a website that will turn your customers into members, creating loyalty and a reliable revenue stream for you to benefit from.

Here’s how to get started:

#1: Research and select your membership site software.

Spend some time researching what software is available and then, what software is a good investment. Remember, not all software is created equal and while some come with a large price tag, they may not live up to your expectations. On the other hand, some extremely inexpensive software products may not provide you with the tools you need. Be careful not to just go with the cheapest or the most expensive because often times, price has little to do with quality. What you will need is a robust product that offers complete membership site functionality without unnecessary bells and whistles.

One of the best ways to research membership site software is to read product reviews written by other membership site managers who have used the software. You will find the most valuable information from people who have actually used the product and know first-hand it’s benefits and it’s flaws.

#2: Set up your membership site.

Membership site software programs are usually very user-friendly. No matter which product you choose, it should take you through the entire process, from start to finish, of setting up and creating your membership site. The program should also guide you through launching your program and help you get started in a timely manner.

When creating and setting up your membership, site, be sure to keep in mind that you will want to create intuitive, easy-to-follow navigation, registration and login functions for your members to use. For login, you should also prompt your members to answer a specialized question in order to weed out the real members from any spam bots.

Most importantly though, keep everything simple. You will want the site to be welcoming to your members and easy to use so that they will come back… and come back often! And seeing that you will be enticing them to visit often, you will want to manage your site, keeping all content up to date and current.

#3: Launching your membership site.

Your membership site software should walk you through the entire process of creating your site. You will input content, make decisions on color scheme, layout and standardize required login information. That’s the fun part. The work comes in to play once you launch your membership site and go “live”.

Your efforts should be focused on attracting new customers and turning existing customers into members. You will do so by offering discounts, free products and valuable business tools for them to use. Once your customers realize how great your membership site is and how much you have to offer, they will continue coming back for more.

Use Keyword Generators Sparingly

Of course it is helpful to use a keyword generation tool to help you complete your keyword list. Not only will it help you round out your list with keywords and phrases you may not have thought of, but it also gives you ideas on what others may be searching around your topic.

Take the keyword “copywriting” as an example. A copywriter might think of obvious keywords to optimize for, like “copywriter” and “copywriting” but may not think to optimize for “copy writer” and “copy writing”. Believe it or not, people often search for products and services by using common misspellings and because they are misspelled so often, the search engines recognize them as actual searches. This requires creativity and know-how on your part.

So, for these reasons and more, keyword generators can be and are very useful tools. However, they are not meant to do your SEO work for you. In other words, they are there for guidance and word generation. They are not meant to serve as keyword managers nor do they have the ability to create entire SEO campaigns for your business.

Only you can create the best, most effective list of keywords for your website and it should be completely unique. Why? Because your business, although it may be one of many in its field, is one of a kind. Therefore, you should optimize it as such. After all, that is what sets you apart and will continue to set you apart as you gain new customers from well planned and effectively executed keyword optimization.