Firstly, my apologies for missing our regular Monday post yesterday, but there have been a few things happening in our Bee HQ which meant we wasn’t able to hit our schedule yesterday.
Today’s post, you will be pleased to know, is going to be more informational, and explaining some changes that we are making with both Bizzebee the blog and also The Hive.
Change Is Good
I’ll start by letting you know that the team is changing dynamic, and we are moving from a 6 to a 5, but for the short term you will only be seeing updates and posts from just 4 of the team. Sometimes, external factors in the real world need to take precedent, which is what has been happening for some of our team at Bizzebee. However, rest assured we are as dedicated to our readers and followers as always, and will continue to over deliver on our content, information and training.
With that change in mind, we have decided to alter the weekly posting schedule from Mon | Weds | Friday down to Tues | Thurs of each week (hence this Tuesday slot filled by yours truly) – We tossed about the idea of keeping the 3 x a week posts, but moving forwards we need to focus our attentions in slightly different areas to fit the business needs to take this project to the next level.
Alongside that, our weekly round up, which features the best of the web in 5 posts is being moved to a monthly round up (so the competition is fierce!!!) but whilst we are in a transitional period, this is going to be put on hold (it doesn’t mean we won’t share posts across our social channels we read and like, because we will do)
Lastly, but by no means least, We’re changing the concept of “The Hive” – we all spend a lot of time online, talking to people and seeing whats going on, and it’s become apparent that as a team we can cover pretty much everything and help you all in so many ways, but we might not have been presenting it in the right format with the Hive.
So, we are going to put together individual courses and learning that we will be advertising and selling within The Hive – so effectively we are turning it into a market place for our products, and rather than offering the one product with a membership site, we will be offering several which you can pick and choose from dependant upon your needs, which in some cases will be free training, and some will be a one time payment (rather than a monthly membership subscription)
Some of the areas we will be covering will be
Content Creation & Blogging
Of course this isn’t a finalised list, but just some of areas in which we will be putting together online training courses that you will be able to enrol and learn about.
This means, we are giving ourselves more work to redevelop the Hive to fit this need, and of course we need to work on putting together course materials for you, so the change in blogging pattern and losing the weekly / monthly round up in the interim is to help us have more time to develop our product library for you.
Whilst we are waiting on this to happen, we will be releasing some of our training into other online market places, such as Udemy, and focusing on creating a great affiliate programme for anyone who wants to resell our products and earn commission for doing so!
All in all, a very exciting time for Bizzebee, and one that we are 100% committed too, and excited to deliver to you – change is always inevitable, especially in the online business world, but we believe in the power of our new HIVE market place, and the cogs are already in motion.
I shall leave you with a quote from the infamous Jim Rohn – which is kind of apt for this post today I believe
“If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree”
Stay tuned, we’ve not even scratched the surface yet!
Today, we are happy to announce that we are launching a new feature to our premium site ‘The Hive’. You are now able to purchase individual courses that we have put together for a one-time payment. Better yet, you can become a member and get access to all of our great courses and content for a NEW REDUCED PRICE!
Individual Courses Now Available
We have spent a lot of time putting together our membership site (The Hive) for people to sign up to and access all of our premium content. One thing that kept cropping up, however, was that certain people were only interested in some of our individual courses. Well, we pride ourselves on listening to your needs, so we decided to package them up individually for you.
Currently, we have 2 fantastic courses for you to purchase, but we are working on plenty more behind the scenes that will be published when ready.
Here, we guide you through the process of setting up your site online and introducing you to WordPress with our detailed videos. You also get an accompanying eBook with the course so that you can refer back to it when needed.
Nowadays every business needs a social media presence online as that is a fantastic way to both, find new customers and interact with existing ones.
In our ‘Beginners Guide To Twitter’ video course, we guide you through the process of setting up your Twitter account for your business, we show you how to begin to grow your following, different types of tweets that you can use and more.
We also have BIG news in the fact that we are dropping our membership prices for all new members. Gain access to all our existing courses, videos, audio, eBooks and future content for a monthly subscription of $39.99 $9.99.
Alternatively, purchase a lifetime membership for $399.99 $99.99 and gain access to all our existing and future content FOREVER! If that’s not enough, lifetime members also get access to us, the Bizzebee team, to help them individually with whatever they need help with their business/website.
So what are you waiting for? Head on over to The Hive and take a look at what we have to offer you. If you have been thinking about getting your business online then we are here to help.
LinkedIn is a powerful Social Media platform, and something up until now at Bizzebee we’ve not really spoken a great deal about. So I thought today would be a good opportunity to break that habit, and take a little look at how you can increase your LinkedIn page following.
Before I say anything, I want to share a video with you, Its from the official LinkedIn YouTube Channel, and talks about how to post an update within your company page on the site.
A Powerful tool don’t you agree?
So we need some quick fire ways to get people following your company on LinkedIn – Yes another site you can now engage with people away from your own name, under a company ‘hat’
As a business we should all want to increase our opportunities to network with clients, prospects, colleagues, peers, suppliers, and potential employees’ right?
LinkedIn gives us the opportunity to build a well-developed presence within its platform.
Did you know there are over 2 million businesses with a LinkedIn company page? Many of which are looking for new talent/opportunities.
As with every other social networking platform you MUST build up a network of followers, otherwise the content, updates etc. will not show up in newsfeeds and be seen by people. So like you make a commitment to turn up at Facebook and Twitter everyday …. Same goes for LinkedIn – the ability for the Viral Promotion is the exact same as most others, you can share content in your personal profiles which then becomes visible to all your friends / connections / followers.
It is NOT always about having masses of followers, I know I have previously said its more about quality than quantity, particularly if you are a business start-up / small business / SME. You want the most relevant people in your network following so they will share out to their subscribers. If you build this steadily the numbers can and often do increase quickly!
Top 5 Tips to increase your company page following:
Encourage existing employees, relatives and friends to link up with your company page share the status updates, and various links.
Follow company pages of those in your industry, suppliers, experts, customers, prospects – most of the time people generally follow back – something about the courtesy of it, having good manners and generally being polite! You don’t need to stay pigeon holed in following your industry; you can follow those geographically near to you too even if they are in a completely separate niche / industry.
Send An Announcement – Don’t be frightened to email your connections on LinkedIn. ALWAYS provide 2/3 concrete benefits as to WHY someone should follow your page …. Remember people have the WII-FM mentality (What’s in it for me) so think ‘What will they get out of it?’ ‘How can it help them to be better at what they do?’
Consider sending that same ‘Call to Action’ message to your existing database of customers & prospects, especially if you know they are using LinkedIn.
Post a ‘Call to Action’ to follow your page within relevant LinkedIn groups
Remember! The more relevant a follower you have for your LinkedIn company page, the more opportunities you have to be seen and build that all important influence with your target markets!
There is a whole host of information and areas that we need to cover when it comes to LinkedIn and in due course you can expect to see a lot more discussions happening on our blog which focus on the different aspects of the platform.
Today I wanted to share some fun Facebook tips that I believe most small businesses should try and incorporate with their Facebook marketing.
I am going to use one wonderful example by showing you what Mark the Van Man Lincoln regularly does and I can tell you that many of his posts have me and my better half laughing. Before we get started, this idea that I´m going to share with you guys is an excellent idea for small businesses with a small income, but if you really want to get your local business known, then look what i found while searching for new marketing ways. Link Digital advise looking at your digital marketing services from all angles, first popularized as a term in the early 2000’s, digital marketing has actually been around much longer.
Unlike other local businesses like Cake Makers or Furniture makers Mark cannot share pictures of recent products he has made or has for sale because what he has to sell is his service of van hire and delivery.
Sharing pictures of your products is a great way to get people to know more of what you do but what do you do if you do not have any products to show? You need to become more creative and have fun.
I can tell you that we have used Mark to deliver a couple of sofas for us which we bought on eBay and he will be our first choice if we need anything big delivering again and that is because we ‘Know of him’. Yes we now ‘know him’ from using him but what I mean by ‘know of him’ is that his name and services are securely ‘lodged in the front of our minds’ because of his Facebook posts and interaction.
If anyone asked me if I could recommend someone who can move furniture or deliver large items I would point them towards Mark Van Man Lincoln because he is the first person I would think of, I know him, I know what he does and I know how I or anyone can get hold of him easily.
Mark has fun with Facebook and he engages with people in fun ways and he has also shown me a great way to use business cards today. You might think that business cards are last year’s business accessory that are no longer viable today and that Facebook and Twitter are the way forward and they are to a degree but Mark has gone one step further and created a guerilla marketing approach to using both business cards and social media with the strategies from https://the-indexer.com/digital-marketing-agencies/.
As you will see from these images Mark places business cards in the strangest places and sometimes popular places, he then takes photos with his smart phone and uploads them to Facebook. Often they will have a funny comment attached or maybe he will ask people to ‘Spot the card?’
Cards appear on buses, in shop windows and even supermarket bunting.
I love this one of his local shop keeper; he has appeared more than one.
Supermarkets and shops are his favourite targets. It took ages to choose the pictures for this post as there are so many great examples and I apologise if I have gone overboard with them but I need to share this great idea of business card bombing. You can see more of his marketing style here Facebook/VanManLincoln
Mark has posted cards and gone back days later to see that they have been untouched and still where he left them. This is good because the person buying a burger at Burger King, chicken and fries from KFC or anything from Tesco might see his details and that is great exposure for a local small business but even better it gives him another fun photo opportunity. Although with an instagram company getting your business online is very easy. Social media is very important for your business to grow.
Mark also uses Facebook’s Place’s system to ‘check in’ and post status updates saying where he is going and what he is doing which shows how far he is prepared to travel and I know that he travels the whole of the country.
This bit is very surreal; when he delivered the sofas to us and we got chatting he told me that ‘tomorrow’s job’ had him driving down to the south coast of England towards Portsmouth. The following day on his travels down south he ‘checked in’ on Facebook that he was at Farnham Castle in Surrey, I lived and worked in Farnham and had only recently moved back from there, I know it very well and was just a little surprised at the connection. It is nothing I know but as they say… small world.
Anyway, Mark often shares status updates which show that he will travel the country and that he isn’t just locally based. He will also share photos of some of the items he delivers and where they were bought from so people can get an idea of what he is prepared to do. As you can see in the image below Mark delivered a motorbike which was brought on eBay.
Mark also adds some fun to his page by sharing part pictures of music album covers and asks people if they can guess what the album and artist was. This gets people replying and often chatting with each other.
I recently sent him a message on Facebook saying that I loved his pictures and was planning on writing an article about him; part of his answer was that he just wants to have fun with his posts.
This I believe is needed today; too many people are posting ‘woe is me’ style posts which are depressing and moaning. Many are posted simply in the hope to solicit compliments or the offer of help or company from friends. This usually works for a few times then just gets plain annoying with friends eventually ignoring these types of ‘Bat Signals’ as I call them and in some severe cases people will hide the posts from certain friends or even unfriended them.
Mark knows full well that fun and helpful is the way forward, we got to know about his Van Man services when my better half was looking for a sofa in the local Facebook ‘things to buy and sell’ groups. Mark often goes in and comments on the bigger items that are being sold. For example we saw him commenting on a sofa saying that if anyone needed it being delivered then he was your person.
Sofas are big and not everyone has a vehicle that can take big items. I myself have a Fiat Doblo which has a big boot, it can take so much but we certainly cannot fit a large sofa in it. We eventually found a great deal on eBay and bought two 3 seater sofas with a large pouffe. We just knew who to contact to arrange collection and delivery of the item from Lincoln to Gainsborough which is roughly 16-18 miles away.
Mark is pretty busy in these local groups, he will share posts that he thinks he can help with such as larger items and he will also share things he sees when out and about. For example he has taken pictures of furniture in shops that are drastically reduced to clear.
People may want a new wardrobe and cannot afford the full asking price but if it has 75% off then they might be interested and if they do not have a car big enough to collect the item… who posted the information? Van Man Lincoln… and what does he do? He has a van which will easily accommodate a large wardrobe. What a great way to drum up possible business.
Mark has embraced the modern mobile phone, we can take pictures and uploaded them to social media networks within seconds which is fantastic and something many smaller local businesses should be utilising. I have taken a leaf out of Mark’s book and recently took photos of my uncle and I fitting some doors. As I am a trained carpenter and joiner I gave him a hand for the day and I took pictures of various stages as we worked.
I cannot say whether this will result in generating more work for my uncle but it took me a few seconds to do and it is free advertising, why would we not want to utilise that? The post resulted in getting likes and comments from friends and family living overseas within minutes. I don’t need to tell you how powerful that is.
Only last night I was asked if I was back in the building trade because someone had seen that I was working with my uncle. That conversation had come about from those pictures. It works and again I must stress it is free to do and takes only a few seconds to share pictures from a phone.
Remember Facebook is ideal for creating local networks as it is Geo specific, it gives us a fantastic free tool for networking with people allowing us to show what services we offer, why would you not want to utilise that? Doing it in a fun and light-hearted way just like Mark the Man with a Van from Lincoln does will benefit you greatly.
Mark appears to always be busy, he doesn’t just rely on social media, he does use flyers and business cards as you can see but I am sure his use of Facebook helps him a lot. Especially to connect with clients, that is one thing you cannot do very well with a business card unless someone rings you.
One thing I will say as I draw this to a close, Mark will reply and contact you if you contact him and that is what social media is about. Last week I contact our local vets through Facebook and have so far not had a reply, if you insist on using Facebook use it properly. Do not post pictures of your business services or products without any fun, personality or more importantly… any response to people who comment or contact you otherwise you will cause your business a lot of harm.
If you have a small local offline business then I suggest you start to use Facebook the same way Mark does and embrace the free advertising it can offer in a fun way.
After sending Mark a copy of this post and telling him I was going to publish it I got this excellent reply in seconds which I think just sums up Mark, social media, mobile phone technology and what a great age we live in today! 🙂
If you do implement any of the things you have read here today we would love to hear from you if you had any benefits and successes from it.
The days of the old ‘Buy My Stuff’ style emails are long gone and it’s about time. Email marketing has been the big thing for years and is still the best converting marketing agency around. With that in mind, you have to wonder why so many marketers and newbies send their loyal email subscribers emails that are short and basically full of crap.
I have been in this industry for many years now, with many of those as a beginner opting in to loads of email list from big ‘guru’ marketers offering what I thought were ground breaking reports and information. I was often wrong, the reports and videos were usually pretty useless. What was more annoying were the emails that I would receive later.
Look for Ways to Improve the Customer Experience
We all know by now that the customer experience is king. But, many businesses are still struggling to employ marketing analytics to improve the customer’s experience, taboola cpc can get to your customers and enhance the customer experience at the same time. One of the biggest advantages of leveraging marketing analytics is the ability to see how your customers are responding and how you can improve. The best way for your customers to enjoy their experience is by letting them know where you are located and how you can help them them. You start to add a location on Google Maps so your customers immediately know where to go for help.
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86% of соnѕumеrѕ wоuld lіkе tо rесеіvе рrоmоtіоnаl еmаіlѕ from соmраnіеѕ thеу dо buѕіnеѕѕ wіth
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They said nothing, they had a distinct lack of words and information but all seemed to tell me about some new amazing software or program that their brand new best friend who lived overseas somewhere who had developed a way to make $1000 a minute while loafing around in their underwear. Probably wearing them on their head as they dance around partying 10 foot away from the laptop, I mean that is how amazing these software and programmes were! Or so I was led to believe.
Interestingly all of these secret products were being sold via Clickbank or JVZoo and were being promoted by loads more marketers who had also suddenly become best buddies with this new special underwear wearing wealth generating dude.
Now these guys who send you and me these emails are making money from their email lists, after all that is why they build them and there is nothing wrong with making money from your list, I am sure you have heard over and over again the saying ‘the money is in the list’ well it is true, kind of. The money is actually in the relationship you have with your list.
You do not monetize a list you monetize your subscribers and the biggest harm you can do to your list is upset them by sending them too many ‘buy my stuff’ style emails without giving them any form of help, advice or ideas. In fact it is a downright disgrace that you should even think that it is ok to pitch to your list all the time.
It is disrespectful to your subscribers to see them as simply people to fleece with software and programmes that you have never tried or know to be any good.
When someone signs up to your newsletter or they hand over their email for information they are expecting it to be good, figure out where they come from with mobile attribution and send them emails accordingly, every customer came from a different path. And that is what you should give them, to think differently is pure madness. You should see every new person on your list as a new love interest and every email you send them is the online equivalent to a date.
You would never turn up for a date with your dream person in your work clothes, unkempt and dirty would? No of course you wouldn’t, you know that you would probably upset your date and never seen them again.
The subscribers on your list have trusted you with their email address and expect to get help and advice from you, not to be sold to all of the time otherwise they will hit unsubscribe and run for the hills. Of course you want to make money from your list, that is why you have built it but you really want the maximum returns from your list and reduce the risk of list burn out. Remember it took time and money to carefully grow your list, why would you want to burn it out quickly and have to start building another list creating more hard work and expense for yourself? You don’t!
You will also need to get used to Email hosting, which is a service in which your email messages and associated files are all stored on a server, you can find the best platforms for hosting. When you receive an email to your website’s domain address, the email is routed across the internet and stored on the recipient server.
So what can you do to reduce the risk of annoying your list subscribers and prevent earl list burn out?
Send out a newsletter that gives useful doable advice and tips for your niche once a week, once every two weeks or once a month. Include a roundup of the latest posts on your blog as well.
Create special subscribers only reports and send them an email giving your subscribers access to the report stored somewhere on your blog.
Create subscriber only videos that are embedded onto your site in pages that are only visible to your email list by sending out an email to them.
Every now and then create a review of a product you KNOW is good and worth the money, send the review to your list. Never promote products you would not personally use. You can damage your reputation if you promote things that are simply rubbish.
Not promoting the same products that other marketers are doing at that time can help build your reputation just as much as promoting those you think are really good.
Now after all this, remember the people on your list are likely to be on multiple lists and they will see what the ‘new magical product’ is that everyone is promoting.They will know when a new product launch is imminent, sending an email that explains why you are not promoting it or basically ignoring it will make your subscribers realise that you are not there to simply promote the standard useless ‘get rich quick schemes’ and that you care for them. That is very powerful these days with many list subscribers believing that marketers are less than helpful and only out to fleece people.
I take my car to the same mechanic that I have used now for over ten years, he might be dearer than others and probably cannot always accommodate me as quickly as others but I don’t know because I have never looked around to see if I can get work done cheaper or faster and the reason is because he has always looked after me and been good.
On several times he has looked at the car when I thought something was wrong and he has not charged me for it, I have even took him a bottle of wine to thank him for doing something for free which was his way of thank me for being a loyal customer. But I am loyal customer because he looked after me, it has become an on-going circle and a very powerful relationship.
This is what you need to achieve with your email subscribers, to build a healthy relationship with them where they want to open your emails when they arrive, where they want to buy from you and choose you over other marketers and you will not do that by sending out too many ‘buy my stuff’ emails. Don’t believe me, try and see what happens.
In this day and age each and every website that offers a service should have a blog. Simple as that, and in this post I will tell you why. Gone are the days of complex code and hours of pain to set one up. The costs have come down dramatically and hosting can be found at very reasonable rates now. You can get a blog setup with your own domain for under $10 and hosting for less than $10 per month. So, no excuses in that department.
As mentioned the technical side of things are no longer a big stumbling block. In fact in the Hive you can get access to several step by step videos that will show you exactly how to do this in no time at all.
Does My Company Need A Blog?
Yes. I don’t care if you are the local PC repair man in your village, the garden center, the hobby cupcake designer or a multi-million pound enterprise. You should have a blog. Your blog gives you the potential reach unrivaled by any other of your marketing strategies. Why companies pay to have a large advert on a billboard on a highway is beyond me. Sure – your advertisement is going to get in front of thousands upon thousands of cars each day but how many of them are targeted? A very low number I can tell you.
Whereas your blog is about your chosen niche, and will only get in front of eyes that want to read it. It opens up many doors of opportunity.
What Should I Blog About?
Let’s go back to the local garden center. They should be writing a blog giving tips on all things gardening related and could also do reviews of mowers, products, sheds, you name it. Sounds daft? No – it’s exactly what their audience will be looking for. If they wrote a post on “Top 5 Tips For Growing Tomatoes This Year” the people that read that post would almost certainly be looking at growing tomatoes fairly soon. Giving away free advice like this builds trust and people who have this relationship are more likely to buy and use the services. The blog could be a nice way to bring in leads for more expensive high ticket services. The key point here is that they are putting their services in front of an already interested audience.
For a more established high revenue business the blog should be no different. It should be aimed at the company’s audience and customers again. This is where the real Q & A should come in, even a complaints department should be utilised here. Your customer service department will have complaints, questions, improvements and suggestions. You should take these very seriously. And answer them on your blog! This is the perfect platform to do this.
If you had a small team of 10 people working in a customer service center why not get them all to write 1 post a week on a topic or suggestion from a customer? In no time at all you would have a well-established blog that the search engines would love and more importantly your customers would love – as it is from their input that you are creating the content!
This brings me on to the next point. Get your customers feedback, without this you will struggle. Spend the time to get your customers or audience’s point of view where you can. You can set up a simple form using Google Docs, I highly recommend doing this from the outset.
A simple survey of just a few questions can give you a gold mine of data that you can extract ideas from hopefully with solutions to the issues.
So, with all that in mind and everything outlined above can you or your company really afford not to have a blog?
Enough is a great word isn’t it? It means not too little and not too much. We say things like, “just enough for…” or “make sure there is enough” We the bizzebee team talk regularly about how great social media can be for small businesses especially for building brand awareness and informing the local community of what you do, where you are and any special promotions you are running but we also must warn of the dangers of overdoing it.
If you look closely at Facebook and Twitter you will see that there are all sorts of people and groups bombarding their followers constantly with pictures and messages, some are interesting but most of the time it is just ‘chatter’.
If you imagine social media is a huge football stadium full of shouting people, all shouting different things, it is believed that you need to shout louder to be noticed. This might work to a degree, but in truth, you are doing nothing more but adding to the annoying and undecipherable noise pollution.
The reason many people/businesses post a lot is that these social media networks are huge resources of free traffic, they are also social so fun and interesting stuff can be shared potentially leading to some posts going viral meaning more traffic. Also more importantly these newsfeeds are fast, they can soon be filled up with new stories and status updates meaning yours could soon be lost in the ‘chatter’ and pushed further down the feed with very few people actually seeing it.
Again it is assumed that most people have a fairly big list of Pages or people they follow so their newsfeeds are soon filled with new information and all businesses and people need to be seen. With Twitter people follow thousands of people so it doesn’t take long before a Tweet is replaced by another.
Facebook is slightly different to Twitter, they do not show you all of the posts that are shared from the Pages you follow, they generally show those you interact with more but again these posts can soon be lost so it has become common practice for many to share a new post, Tweet or status every hour or so. This is ok but it can soon ‘cheese off’ a lot of people.
For example, my better half is a keen ‘pruner’ of stuff on Facebook, more so than the average person but she can soon become fed up with the constant posts by Pages of ‘nothing’ as she calls it. She has Fibromyalgia and M.E. and once followed a Page dedicated to the subject mainly to get new information. It wasn’t long before she hid it from her newsfeed due to the constant posting of images with quotes on them and the constant complaining and moaning from other sufferers.
She doesn’t like to complain and would rather find a solution or soldier on with a smile but even the constant sharing of positive and uplifting images and quotes becomes annoying when your news feed is awash with them.
Imaging if you liked only 80 Pages and Facebook with their odd system showed you the posts of 40 of them, those 40 Pages posted a new status update every hour over the 8 hour working day. Your newsfeed would be filled with 320 images and posts about ‘stuff’ each and every day. And then there will be all of the posts from your friends and family.
The problem gets worse when you realise that Facebook is open to the world and Page owners know this so they schedule posts to go live every hour of the day to cover different time zones. That would be 960 posts over the period of a day if those 40 Pages all posted every hour!
Your newsfeed will be crammed with images, videos and texts from around the world and it won’t be long before you start ‘pruning’ your list of Liked pages. And to be honest who can blame you?
Building a company brand, building exposure and trying to keep in the ‘limelight’ is ok but do it too much and it can be very damaging.
Twitter is often used to share news, articles and inspirational quotes by others which again is fine but these will soon be lost in all of the chatter. I at times get fed up with social media because when you are working with it daily you get exposed to a lot of ‘noise & chatter’ and it can be very off putting and depressive.
I have often finished a week thinking I could just walk away from it all and never look back.
So I advise you to think carefully about how much you post and what you post, many of the bigger reputable marketers and small businesses use Twitter more as an international text message service where they will broadcast some news of a promotion and then interact and chat with people.
Some companies use it as a service help desk, I have chatted to my broadband provider over Twitter and had issues sorted by them there and then. I have chatted to friends and fellow bizzebees using Twitter, people start worldwide debates using Twitter and the #hastag system.
The screenshot above is from the national Australian political debates known as #qanda (Questions and Answers)
Twitter is a great tool for conversation and interaction and using it correctly in my opinion is often down to ‘less is better’. My only big issue with Twitter is I say a lot or at least have long worded sentences and need more characters; I never have enough which is why a lot of people use Twitter to post a lot of one liners and quotes due to character restraints.
It can be annoying seeing Tweets and RTs of articles or quotes that are shared for the sole purpose of trying to ‘be seen’.
I have started to play the ‘Hoax Quotes Game’ on Twitter these days just to see if a quote I have made up gets shared by someone who has only half read it. Just today I shared a quote by cartoon character Stewie Griffin to see if anyone notices.
Believe me when I say it is likely people will not notice it because it has become the norm to share pap that people simply ignore, it blends into the rest of the chatter.
Facebook allows more words and characters with a comments system that in my opinion is easier to follow conversations with however Facebook have a terrible system of deciding what posts are seen and by whom based on who has interacted with each other.
If you have Liked a post, shared a post or commented on a post from a specific Page or person then you will more likely be shown more by them because Facebook deem it to be more relevant to you. If you Like a page or make a friend with someone but do not do any interaction then eventually they will stop showing you any posts they make which is just crap in my honest opinion. I often like to see stuff without having to like, share or comment. I know it is hard to believe but I am actually quite a quiet and reserved guy with little to say. 🙂
However even with Facebook’s terrible system I would still advise that you try and not share too much too often and I would limit the images and positive quotes to a few now and then because people will get fed up of seeing them. (If they are the lucky few who see them!) And instead of your business or website name being etched on the back of their brain as you first hoped with your branding attempts you will instead be seen by eyes suffering with the Facebook equivalent to ‘snow blindness’ or even worse, be un-Liked or hidden from view.
I think personally the motto is share less, share quality, and converse more. These tools are free; they can be very powerful and have saved many local businesses from going bust. Use them wisely and try to remember, sometimes ‘Less Is More’
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There are unfortunately a lot of dubious people in this industry who try their hardest to sell you products you might not want and they will do it anyway they can. There are also quite a few honest and decent people out there who will sell you products without all of the unethical bulls**t and hype.
I wanted to describe the 3 main types of marketer who you will no doubt come across in your quest to learn more, to make more money or find a system that might just change your life. The 3 types are
The Real Deal
Let’s take a look at them in more detail, as you can imagine the first 2 appear to be the people you want to pay attention too and the 3rd one is to be passed over as quick as possible. The big problem comes from the types of sales letters and marketing methods they use, for example the Real Deal will tell you about the system he used and how it made him a success however the Bulls**tter will also say the same when it is not true. How do you tell who is who? Unfortunately that is the hardest part but anyway let’s look at the 3 types in detail.
The 3 Types Of Internet Marketers
1 The Real Deal
As the title suggests this is the type of person who has done what he says and talks about. His knowledge in a subject is from experience and that experience can be very successful or simply ok. What matters is how he sells himself, his products or services.
In no way will they try and sell a product or information by telling you that it made them a success or a lot of money if it hadn’t. These people will tell you what they know, what they did and not what they think you want to know. If they see another product that they know worked for someone else and decide to promote it too, they will say it worked for that person and not try to convince you that they had success with it.
Some successful people will promote the system that made them a success themselves but usually these people will first go to a publishing company or be approached by one who ask them to share their system. They usually create the product which could be an eBook, written manual and/or training videos, the publishing company will then publish, promote and market it. Both parties will share the profits often on a 50-50 basis after all the costs are covered.
The people who spring to mind when we talk about the real deal are George ‘Google Sniper’ Brown, Patrick Meninga, Pat Flynn, Zac Johnson, and Yaro Starak. Each have had success in their own way, they have been open about it and they will not pretend to be anything other than what they say.
2 The Publisher
The publisher is simply a business person or company that sells information products, systems or software but do it by selling the product or the person who had success with it. The internet marketing and direct mail marketing industry has been plagued by people pretending to be an expert or a success when in reality they were not or that they hid behind a pseudonym creating another false success.
The important thing to remember is that you do not need to be a success or an expert to sell systems or products that work as long as you openly admit it isn’t you or focus on those who are the success. The Dummies books cover every topic imaginable but the publishers and company owners are not experts in the information or topics they publish.
Papers are full of articles and information written by journalists who have done some research but not necessarily had the experience. Writing information and giving tutorials about things that work by someone who has never used them is ok. Most of the eBooks and guides you get from internet marketers are written by people from outsourcing sites like Elance and Odesk, very few marketers write them themselves and very few have actually done what their eBooks are about.
As for the example of the Dummies books, the publisher will often approach experts in a field and ask them to write it for them. It has a win win situation because the popular publishing company lends its name to the expert which helps sell the book and the expert in the field lends his name to the publishing company which also helps sell the book.
We encourage people to write eBooks or create products that they can sell but a lot of people are fearful because they feel that they are a fraud if they have not experienced first-hand the information they are sharing. This shouldn’t be the case, you cannot copyright fact and if something works and you know it works then you can share that information whether you have used it or not, that is what publishing houses have been doing for centuries.
You should never dismiss someone who offers information because they have not used it themselves or their product, the information could be seriously good and very useful. What really matters is how they market and sell the information. Publishing companies include those that publish the ‘Dummies’ and ‘Idiot’ guides.
3 The Bulls**tter
This one is self-evident but unfortunately for the newbie it can be quite hard to tell if the person claiming to be the successful self-made millionaire is telling the truth or just another unethical bulls**tter.
They will do anything and everything to convince you that the product they are selling works and that they have a made a lot from it or that it will be the next big thing. It can take some serious research to uncover whether the person is real or not or if their story is true.
These people genuinely do not care about you or your money and will do anything to get it from you. These are the scammers and the people who give the industry a bad name. (Along with a few other issues)
The sales copy will have all of the copywriting tricks and they will not be subtle, they will sell the dream to a point it will be so sugary sweet even Disney would want to vomit.
I don’t know if anyone remembers Riplin but they promised to be the next big thing in social media, they didn’t say they wanted to be but that they WOULD be. They said their mobile app system would be worth billions and to be an early part of it was a way to guarantee success along with a lot of wealth.
It had an MLM feel and to be part of it you had to apply to be a member then after that it was invite only and to get an invite you had to contact a team leader, someone who had already become a member. They had some seriously professional looking videos created along with flashy animation (see below) to get people excited and interested leading to many to sign up.
Was it a game or a social media network? Was it a mobile app or not? Most people wasn’t sure what it was or what it actually did. I cannot remember whether people paid an initial up front joining fee as a lot of it was done behind doors and in secrecy. Apparently that was to make the whole thing exciting and mystical for marketing reasons but what is interesting is that it has just suddenly disappeared into thin air.
When I last went to the website I was still none the wiser, there is a 14 minute video explaining that Rippln will be the next big thing but it doesn’t explain how nor is there an ‘about us’ or ‘how it works’ page.
The website is still there but doors are closed and I believe that includes the invite only set up. So have they run to the hills with hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in their bank accounts or did they just amass a huge list of emails which they then either sold to other marketers or rented out for email broadcasts? Having a lot of hot targeted emails is a commodity and worth a fortune, it is possible the scam was nothing more than an email harvesting ploy.
Whatever happened these people sold the dream and said that they had had the next billion dollar industry, sucked loads of people in and the disappeared, they simply bulls**tted their way to wealth and back to their secret hideout.
This, my friends, is the thing you need to be very careful about, if the product sells the dream but hardly mentions what it is or how it works or what you get for joining/buying then the bizzebee rule of thumb is to stay well clear.
I have wanted to write this article for a while now to help people understand what copywriting is and what it does.
In a nut shell copywriting is the art of persuading people to take action by using well-chosen words creating emotionally charged and well-crafted sentences. It is an art form and a science but it is also often frowned upon, sometimes with good reason may I add.
As business owners we all want to be able to sell bucket loads of our great products and services and it is true that if a product is great it can sell itself or rather it should however many of the products you see these days online associated with the internet marketing and ‘make money’ industries are often poor or the greedy owners simply want to charge a lot more for them than what they are really worth.
Copywriting. The Art Of Persuasion Through Words
To maximise their profits and to sell more they create long form sales pages full of copy that is written to persuade the reader to buy. This is often criticised because it appears people are manipulated to buy a product they really do not want.
In many ways this is true, people are made to believe that they should buy the product and that it would change their lives but how does that happen? How does someone who is not interested or vaguely interested in a product can go from non interested into getting out their credit card and spending several hundred or even several thousands of pounds/dollars to buy a product they are not even sure what it does?
The AIDA Principle.
Copywriters and internet marketers use what is called the AIDA principle. AIDA stands for…
All long form sales letters, which can be up to 32 pages long, that fall through your letter boxes by the Direct Mail marketers to the very short adverts you would see in the back of newspapers and magazines a few years ago use this principle.
The headline of the copy must capture attention. “Full Time Policeman Pays Off £120,000 Mortgage in Just 4 Weeks By Doing Less Than 10 Minutes Work A Week…”
“… & Adds Further £5,000 To His Bank Account”
That headline and sub headline will get people’s attention, it has a hard working person with little or no time to spare who has managed to pay off his big mortgage after getting a commercial cash out refinance within a fast time frame by doing what appears to be very little easy to do work once a week and also adds more money into his bank account.
In this day and age of austerity, cut backs and recession, who would not want to know how to generate over £120,000 in four weeks for what appears to be less than an hour’s work?
Within the copy of a sales letter the reader is taken on a rollercoaster ride where they are told a story about a struggling hard working desperate person who probably had large debts and who was tired of life and looking for a big change. The type of person that the general public can identify with.
The sales letter will then tell how this person changed his or her life in a “small time person done good” type of story. They will now be living a lifestyle that the reader would like or desire. The sales letter will then tell you to imagine that it was you and ask if you would like that kind of lifestyle. The sales copy will then talk about how you too could achieve that same level of lifestyle by copying what this person did. They normally tell you this without giving much away about what it was that the successful person actually did.
This successful ‘rags to riches’ story is to raise the interest in the reader, “yes I do want to learn how to sell your home quickly to pay off my mortgage and have money in the bank, I am also struggling for time/lazy and want to do little work, I am interested, please tell me more”
Rather than sell the product most sales copy sells either a lifestyle or desire. The copywriter focuses on an end result or benefit that the product COULD deliver.
This isn’t all bad as most people would really prefer to know what they will get from having a product than what the product actually does, for example someone who suffers from spots and acne wants to buy a product that gets rid of spots for ever and leaves them with smooth fresh looking skin, how it works isn’t really that important to the user. So it would be madness to not mention the lifestyle benefits in the sales copy if your product could deliver those results.
The issue comes when people write copy full of benefits which are generally unlikely to happen or unattainable. This happens a lot, usually the sales letter is full of benefits which can only be realised when you either…
Buy the more expensive up sell which the sales copy forgets to mention
Invest a lot more money which you now may not have after paying thousands for the information
Follow a very hard and often unworkable work plan.
Selling the Benefits.
As a product owner you must sell the results and benefits and in the world of real products like those found in shops this is often done more ethically and is more accountable. Generally real world products do not need to over sensationalise its sales copy because people see it and buy if they decide they want it or not. The products are easier to buy as many more places generally stock them.
Think of shampoo, the sales copy and advertising material prefer to baffle their customers with science and talks more about the chemicals in them that do wondrous things with your hair. They work on the ignorance of people who have no idea of what a ‘pemptiwhattide’ is or what ‘whatdoyoucallitites’ extract does but because they have been told and shown that it nourishes hair to a natural shine it must be good.
These products are available everywhere and are generally sold at a reasonable price. After all the only benefit you get is clean hair, it will hardly change your life whereas the information product that is sold online or via direct mail long form copy are often priced a lot higher because they could change your life for the better. Supposedly.
People are becoming more aware and many of these products are deemed to be cons which is not always the case, but they have had a period where they have been over priced which just adds to their own problems.
I can tell you this in confidence; the older style direct mail marketers prefer to sell these items at higher prices because it means they do less work, they cut down on their overheads by paying for less DVDs and fulfilment costs while keeping incredibly high profit margins. They get rich quicker.
Many marketers will use the analogy of owing the winning lottery ticket, the actually value of the paper and the ink is probably less than a penny but if it is the winning ticket worth £10 million the value is far more than the price of the materials or the money you paid for it.
Imagine you owned that winning ticket but you were leaving the country and unable to collect the money so you decided to sell the ticket. Theoretically you could sell it for £1 million in cash; if anyone could get their hands on that amount of cash they would be stupid not to buy the ticket for one million if they could instantly make a life changing £9 million profit.
Even the people who think information products are scams would think a person was stupid for not buying a £10 million pound winning lottery ticket for £1 million. This is how information marketers see their products and price them. If a product they are selling has made one everyday person £120,000 in 4 weeks then surely it is worth £12,000? The answer is yes and no.
It does increase the price slightly but the problem is that unlike the winning ticket which is an instant result, the information product has too many variables and hidden issues that make the product hard for most people to master.
The fact some people do not make the promised £120,000 is because they do not follow the information correctly which, as I mentioned earlier, to do so would need more time and money invested than first realised due to the sales letter selling the dream instead of the reality.
With so many people seeing information products as scams the copywriter works hard crafting his or her sales letter to convince the reader otherwise. ‘This is a genuine man, a real product, with real results that you too could achieve…’ then the letter finishes with the usual legal requirements, everyone’s results may be different etc etc.
The reader is drawn through the letter by grabbing their ATTENTION, they then are made INTERESTed in what the letter has to say by telling the story of the ordinary person doing well and then they have their emotions stirred with images and fantasies of living a millionaires lifestyle. This creates a big DESIRE on the part of the reader and that desire to become wealthy and live that lifestyle along with the ‘true’ story of the person who was successful then drives them to make a decision to take ACTION.
Should they carry on ambling along in debt or get the credit card out and spend several thousand pounds/dollars on learning a system that generated over £120,000 in four weeks. I mean, the guy made £120,000 in four weeks that means in a month I should have made my investment back and more right? So what is £12,000 ticket price when I could be mortgage less and wealthy in four weeks? This time next year I will be mega wealthy, right?
These questions are the ones being asked by the reader who then convinces himself to take action and buy, it is very easy to make that decision when the sales copy has impregnated your mind with answers that will cloud your judgement when you come to ask yourself, “Is this product worth £12,000?”
You are made to see key phrases which lead your mind to make the decision to buy; these key phrases are written in different colours, highlighted, made bold or underlined and sometimes made to lean like italics, these tricks make them stand out more and become more noticable over the rest of the copy. Words like ‘Secret’, ‘Revealed’, ‘Never seen before’ and a whole host of powerful words are interwoven into the copy to affect your decisions as if you were sharing a flat with Derren Brown and Paul McKenna. ‘Look into my eyes, not around the eyes but into my eyes…’
The desire is so strong many people say yes and then buy a product which when arrives is a lot more work than what was portrayed and also comes with a refund policy that was ‘hinted at’ but most people fail to understand which is, the product cannot be refunded unless you have used the system unsuccessfully for one whole year and followed the plan to the letter.
By opening the parcel and deciding that the product is not for you often will start that refund policy which means you have now lost £12,000 (whatever the cost is) or you have to work hard for the next year following the unworkable plan before you can even attempt to ask for a refund.
Internet marketing systems that are delivered online and not as DVDs usually have a 30 day money back guarantee because many of the online affiliate networks like Clickbank insist on them. Online systems are generally cheaper mainly because the way they are shown is either online or a digital download. They do not send out expensive postal mail shots which can cost tens of thousands of pounds/dollars.
Also the digital way that online systems are delivered and seen means they can be sold and accessed for many years to come with very little extra costs. An off line marketer would need to send out a new expensive mail out if he wanted to re sell the DVD course to new people, internet marketers do not have that issue but many do still use the long form style of sales letters on their websites. Many now use video these days because they do convert really well but they still use the AIDA principle.
Some videos that were created by people like Anik Singal were very professional, they were mini Hollywood movies designed to get your ATTENTION, to get you INTERESTED, to create a DESIRE in you and to finally drive you to take ACTION. The same principle, just a different media.
The worst trick, which is nearly stamped out now, was to create a scarcity feel to the product. Unscrupulous marketers would say things like “Only 500 available, hurry now before they are all sold out and you miss out on this once in a life time offer” Often they would sell as many as was ordered and if they flew past 500 they would still sell and then re promote the “once in a lifetime offer” a few months later.
Another trick is that copywriters would add a ‘price hike’ after a set time, for example a product is for sale at £$47 but after 24 hours the price will jump up to £$197 so you need to act quick to get your discounted deal. Sometimes the price hike is affected by sales numbers so the first 50 ordered are at £$47 then after that the price goes up.
This is done so that you do not doubt your decision and buy. If the price was not set to go up after 24 hours you might not buy straight away while you ponder on it for a while and then you might either decide not to buy at all or completely forget about it. Marketers have lost a sale and they do not like that so they try and get you to buy fast.
Fortunately much of this has been stamped out by the affiliate networks who insist these tactics can only be used if you are only selling a set number of products or if the price will increase after 24 hours. However in my experience I still see sales letters discussing time and sales related ‘price hikes’ 6 months or more after the product was launched which to me means the trick is still being used in a not so ethical manner.
Whether you are reading the sales letter online or one that has come through the letterbox please read them careful and see what the sales copy actually says. They do their best to be as vague as possible about the product itself.
Try and ascertain what the product actually does, do a Google search on the product name or owner to see if you can find more information. After receiving a sales letter through the post by a UK company, using Google I found the same product had been sold in the US for several months, the UK company had doubled the price, used the same sales copy but just changed it from dollars to pounds and increased the price. I doubt the product would have be much use here in the UK.
Make sure you read a sales letter understanding that they are designed to sell a dream or series of benefits and not what the product does. They are written to evoke an emotional response in you strong enough for you to want to buy. In reality they are trying to cloud your judgement and get you to buy, as the old saying here in the UK goes, “Bulls**t baffles brains”