First Rule of Marketing: A Confused Mind Always Says “No”

Dear small business owner, I get it. Marketing is not your thing. Your business is your thing and you wouldn’t even think about marketing if you weren’t trying to promote your product or service. So, while you’re out there trying to wear all the different hats necessary to start and grow a small business, let me tell you about the A #1, top, most important rule of marketing:

A Confused Mind Always Says “No”

I learned this from my first business mentor, but really, it goes way beyond sales. In fact, I can’t think of one area of life where this doesn’t apply. Take a moment now and think about it. I’ll bet you can’t think of one situation when you were confused, but still eager to press ahead without all the necessary information. Right? When humans are confused, they tend to stop and examine what they’re doing. They start to doubt the wisdom of their current direction. Often they will back up a bit and may even set the current task aside for further consideration. In sales, this is the kiss of death.

If you started with a storefront business, you might be a little removed from this reality. In person, customers can ask questions, giving you the opportunity to dispel any confusion without even realizing it. When it comes to doing business online, you don’t get that opportunity, so it becomes vital to identify and address any possible confusion in the minds of your customers while they’re looking at your web site or ad.

Think of it like this – To sell anything online, you’re basically asking customers to give you their protected payment and contact information, and simply trust that you will live up to your end of the deal. That’s a lot to ask! If a stranger walked up to you and asked for this information, you’d tell them to get stuffed. It’s not enough that a customer may want what you’re selling, they also have to trust that you will deliver. The moment they think “Huh?” while looking at your ad or web site, you’ve lost the sale.

Do’s and Don’ts

Don’t think your web site is more important than your ads or social media posts. Everything you write is a reflection on your business and first contact is just as important as the “buy” page.
Do minimize typos and spelling errors. Careless mistakes can indicate a lack of sincerity or attention to detail, which buyers may translate as a poor work ethic.
Don’t assume people know anything. If there are options, tax, or shipping, make it clear.
Do spell out your offer every time. When you post on social media, be sure to include the name of your business and what you’re selling EVERY TIME.
Don’t overload customer’s with too many options, choices, or proprietary terminology.
Do organize your magnificent array of choices in a way that won’t overwhelm first time shoppers.
Don’t worry about being repetitive. Of course, there’s no need to repeat yourself in an ad, for example, but you never know how people will find you. It’s important to include your business name and what you’re selling in every piece of copy you write.
Do speak in your own voice, but edit for clarity. You want your style to shine through, but not at the expense of readability.
Don’t publish your first draft. Write it, put it down, and come back to it. You will always find a way to improve it after you’ve let it sit a while.
Do get someone else to look at it. Just because it makes sense to you, doesn’t mean it makes sense to others. Ask someone to read it through and find out if they have any questions.
Marketing is a Specialized Field
Remember, marketing is a specialized field. Countless dollars and hours have been spent to study and perfect the science of selling. You can’t be expected to master it unless you’ve taken the time to study it yourself. If you need help, I am here and eager to assist all types of small businesses to make their dreams come true.

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Internet Marketing – The Amazing Ron Paul

Wow, check out Ron Paul’s Internet Marketing campaign!

Without doubt, Ron Paul’s success on the Internet is nothing short of amazing. His team’s approach has been ground breaking in the way they’ve applied Internet Marketing techniques, not only to reach potential supporters, but to attract a significant number of contributors.

Although not currently one of the frontrunners, Ron Paul is now being called an “Internet Phenomenon” by many political strategists.

While the Internet Marketing strategies being used by Ron Paul’s team are not necessarily unique, the dedication his team has shown in reaching potential supporters online has been outstanding. By deploying a very aggressive Internet Marketing campaign, Ron Paul’s team has attracted a flood of contributors and a huge number of avid supporters.

In a very short period of time, Ron Paul’s team has developed an enormous Internet presence. In fact, anyone who’s been online in the past six months has certainly seen multiple references to Ron Paul on the news or social media sites.

If you consider the raw numbers, Ron Paul’s Internet Marketing strategy leaves his competition in the dust – and it’s a big reason he’s still in the race:

Consider the facts …

· Last month, Ron Paul’s site had well over a MILLION visitors, more than all other Republican candidates combined!

· In one day, Ron Paul’s team raised over $6 Million dollars on the internet.

· They raised approximately $20 Million Dollars in the 4th quarter of 2007 alone.

· On YouTube, there are 109,000 videos currently available about him.

· And in the past month there have been over 89,000 blog posts about him, according to Google.

The bottom line … Ron Paul’s focus on Internet Marketing is changing the face of political campaign strategies.

Ron Paul is not the only candidate making use of the Internet … on the other side of the aisle, Barack Obama’s team has deployed a very well designed Internet Marketing strategy – over 728,00 visitors last month – and has been very effective in reaching potential supporters and contributors in his own right.

An Objective View

My analysis of Ron Paul’s internet success is purely driven by curiosity; I have no political affiliation or opinion of Ron Paul’s political platform.

What intrigues me about Ron Paul’s Internet strategy is not only the response he’s received (over a Million visitors last month), it’s the number of contributors he’s attracted and the dedicated constituency he’s built on the Internet. With a major part of his communications being conveyed via the Internet, Ron Paul’s campaign team has demonstrated beyond any doubt that Internet Marketing is a formidable tool in building a successful political campaign strategy.

Perhaps the Ron Paul campaign chose to focus more on Internet strategies and less on other media simply due to budget constraints. Whatever the reason, their decision to use the Internet as an integral part of their campaign strategy is undoubtedly a big reason he’s still in the race.

This is not the first time we’ve seen a candidate deploy an Internet Marketing strategy as a part of a political campaign strategy – but it may be the first major campaign that has used the Internet as a primary part of their campaign strategy.

So, what does this say about future political campaigns and the tactics that will be developed to exploit the enormous potential of the Internet?

Political campaign teams can be very creative in developing marketing methods and I have no doubt we will learn a great deal concerning Internet Marketing by watching the successful political campaigns.

If ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, then the Internet Marketing strategies being developed by political campaign teams like Ron Paul’s will no doubt be leveraged by other organizations to help build their own visibility and success.

Ron Paul’s Internet Strategy

So, what does Ron Paul’s team do differently?

The short answer lies not in what his team does, as much as it does with how his team ‘works’ their strategy.

First, the Internet Marketing strategy Ron Paul’s team has implemented focuses on some very basic Search Engine Marketing tactics:

· Website optimization,

· Compelling content,

· Intuitive site navigation,

· Social Media,

· Press Releases,

· Videos,

· Blogging,

· RSS feeds

· Email Marketing, Newsletters, & Breaking News

Pretty straight forward, right? No real surprises here with the exception that Ron Paul’s team does not really use of PPC strategies to any great extent.

The real difference lies is the way Ron Paul’s team implements their tactics, especially when compared to other Presidential contenders’ strategies.

The body of the site contains very compelling content that is easy to find and leads you to endless amounts of interesting information concerning Ron Paul.

Maybe the most obvious difference is Ron Paul’s site is constantly being updated and changed; the team adds new information daily and continually works to improve their Search Engine visibility using well attended blogs, Press Releases, and Social Media.

Web Site Optimization

Overall, the Ron Paul team has deployed a very solid website in a short period of time. Not that every part of the site is perfect, but the good points far outweigh the bad. In fact, with just a few slight changes, the Ron Paul website could serve as a great model for other political candidates.

One somewhat insignificant difference, but one that I personally like about Ron Paul’s website, is that his team does not use an annoying Splash page as many other candidates do.

I know splash pages look good to the website owner, but they’re almost always a waste of time since most people just want to get to what they came to the site to see – in this case, information about Ron Paul!

The ‘home’ page Ron Paul’s team has designed is very intuitive and easy to navigate. They’ve placed breaking news, volunteer sign up, Blog access, and an excellent menu of choices that covers everything from Ron Paul’s position on the major issues to videos and recordings of his major appearances.

Looking at the foundation of the website, Meta Title tags are the same for all pages. Concerning the Meta Descriptions, they’re also identical across all the pages of the website, so the Search Engines choose their own descriptions to display with the Ron Paul listing. Not recommended, but it probably causes no real harm in this case.

Looking deeper, the site could use some fine tuning, adding Alt tag descriptions that contain more keywords would help; as well as adding unique Meta Descriptions for each page.

Links into the page are almost non-existent and I would recommend adding a number of related, quality inbound links to the site. It couldn’t hurt and would probably drive even more traffic to the website and/or Blog.

The site could also use some additional keyword research to help Ron Paul key in on the potential voters who are not familiar with him, and to present his message to more of them.

The Ron Paul interactive videos on top of the ‘Issues’ page are a great addition. It seems to me if more detail were added concerning Ron Paul’s stance on the issues, it would be a more valuable contribution to the site.

Although there are some obvious opportunities for improvement; given the website’s presentation, the information available, and ease of use, I give Ron Paul’s team very good marks in the SEO category.

Social Media Strategies

Ron Paul’s team’s approach to social media marketing has made him a Republican powerhouse. His campaign team understands social media and knows how to use it.

From photos and videos to networking, Ron Paul can be found across the Internet.

Most candidates’ teams have begun to use social media sites but most of them don’t seem to be very active on them. Ron Paul’s team excels

here because they are very active – they make continuous updates on his social media profiles all hours of the day.

Increasingly, as new generations enter the voting ranks, social media is becoming an indispensable part of successful political campaigns. The current generation of younger voters has grown up using the Internet as their primary means of communication. It’s second nature for them to use the Internet to gain and share information.

Currently on MySpace, Ron Paul shows over 273,000 friends, Facebook shows over 205,000, and YouTube has over 109,000 videos under his name.

On the Ron Paul Blog, links to submit posts to Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious and others are available. Also helpful, is the RSS feed button that’s displayed in the upper part of the left column. Having an RSS feed signup on the blog helps to promote the blog even further in the social media outlets.

When you look at the popularity of Ron Paul on the social media sites and compare the other candidates to him, he is definitely using the social networks more than other candidates to promote his grassroots efforts.

Blogging Strategies

Ron Paul has a very active Blog [http://people.ronpaul2008.com/campaign-updates]. His team consistently posts new information and breaking news all hours of the day. The Ron Paul team knows they have a very active and captive audience on the blog and they actively cater to them.

There’s an RSS button to easily subscribe to blog updates and links to YouTube and other social media are scattered throughout the page to promote Blog entries.

Overall, Ron Paul’s campaign team has done an outstanding job developing and deploying a very effective Internet Marketing strategy.

Summary

Internet Marketing is quickly becoming an integral part of nearly every political campaign.

Increasingly, the Internet is becoming a news and recruiting source that is irreplaceable in major political campaigns.

Pressed for campaign funds, both Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul have used the Internet as a very cost effective way to get their message across to potential contributors and voters.

Without their efforts on the Internet, it could be argued that very few people would have ever heard of either candidate. While both candidates are underdogs, they probably would not even still be in the race without their well orchestrated Internet Marketing campaigns.

How much of Ron Paul’s or Mike Huckabee’s success is due to their Internet Marketing efforts? There’s no doubt Internet viewers looking for information concerning these candidates have had no problem finding it on the Internet.

The real question is how many potential voters will actually be affected by the Internet Marketing they come into contact with? Judging from over a Million visitors to Ron Paul’s website and the amount of contributors he’s been able to inspire, there can be no doubt many potential voters have been directly affected by the Internet Marketing strategy his team has deployed.

Innovative Internet Marketing

There are three key principles involved in non-traditional marketing, innovation and originality, different thinking, and risk taking. Internet marketing uses online channels to satisfy customers in ways which are profitable to the brand. Offline guerrilla marketing, which in some ways is the epitome of non-traditional marketing, is unexpected, drastic and cheap. When you think about it that way there are actually many things that internet marketing and offline guerrilla marketing have in common.Unexpected:In trying to capture consumers’ attention online, marketers will often present them with unexpected content, attractive graphics or surprising titles. This approach doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘drastic’ as in the case of guerrilla marketing, however with all of the content available online, marketers have to do something slightly out of the norm. And ideally, they will do something that not only captures the consumer’s attention in that instant, but is memorable enough to make them come back to that brand’s website, Twitter page, Facebook etc. To achieve this, brands have to do more than just provide unexpected content and surprising titles; they have to then back it up with relevant messages and information which is beneficial to the reader. That way they can generate trust and consumer interest in their brand.Cheap:One of the major benefits of guerrilla marketing is the price. Guerrilla marketing campaigns set out to make a big, unexpected splash in an avant-garde, cost-effective way. While some big brands invest in guerrilla marketing, it tends to be the smaller brands with low marketing budgets who use this form of marketing the most. Internet marketing is similar in that can be a relatively inexpensive option for small companies. Techniques such as search engine optimisation and tools like blogs and microblogs can be learned and exercised by anyone. Companies who don’t understand the internet or who don’t have the time to do their own marketing will often hire an outside company to assist them, but the costs don’t have to be high. Of course, internet marketing can be costly. If brands are looking to hire a big, external agency who will be able to combine online campaigns with offline in an effort to create one, memorable message, and/or to develop interactive, engaging and very technically advanced online campaigns, then they will end up spending quite a lot of money.The beauty of the internet though, is that anyone can publish content and anyone can market that content. The playing field hasn’t entirely levelled, but it is certainly a lot more equal than it’s ever been before. So whether you’re a big brand or a small one, get out there, and make people remember you.

The Most Effective Internet Marketing Blueprint For A Successful Business Online

If you are new to internet marketing and don’t have any idea yet on how to start, you shouldn’t missed the important considerations in running an internet marketing business. All you have to do now is to prepare yourself for you are about to get fresh ideas about the best internet strategies that I will be discussing in this article. I will be sharing to you the best internet marketing techniques that I include in my Internet Marketing Blueprint.Internet marketing is becoming more popular as the use of internet is widespread in the world. Many internet marketers think that internet marketing is very easy and directly decide to use various methods without the knowledge of the right internet marketing strategies.These are 3 of my best strategies for a successful Internet Marketing:Keyword ResearchThis is the critical part in starting an internet marketing campaign. Before anything else, finding the right keywords for your niche is very essential in any forms of marketing online. Even before deciding for a domain or name of your website, a keyword research must be carefully performed. You can base your website on the most profitable keywords in your niche.It is in this part that you will study what people are searching for and how many of you who are offering the same products and services that they are looking. So, the two most important things to consider in a keyword research is the volume of searches and the amount of competition. The best keyword is a keyword that has less competition but a considerable number of searches.Branding Your Website and YourselfYour website is the right place where you will do the promoting of your products. It is where you will present your products to the customers and you can talk all about the benefits of having your products. This is the main reason why you need to brand your website, to create an appearance in search engines that people are using to find what they need. To be in the top of the searches means driving high volume of traffic to your website this will give you the opportunity of getting more sales.Branding is not only applied for your website but also for yourself. You might ask why you should brand yourself in the internet. Branding yourself is essential because most of the buyers will make sure that they are buying good products and one way of knowing it is by knowing the seller. Your name must also appear in search engine with good records making you a reliable person. Buyers don’t want to be scam and they will make sure that the owner of the products they are buying can be trusted and must have an experienced in the particular form of business.Building A Contact ListBuilding a contact list is same as building a good relationship with your potential customers. One way of earning trust from the customers is by providing them useful resources for free. Giving those free materials and even products will strengthen your buyer-seller relationship and will give them the reason to continue subscribing for your products. As you are building your contact list you are also converting these numbers into sales as they will become your permanent customers.