Want to Make More Money? Fish in a Bigger Pond!

Want to Make More Money? Fish in a Bigger Pond!

by: Kimberly Stevens

Setting prices is a dilemma most service business owners encounter at one time or another. This week, it was Susan’s turn. ขWhen I first started my business, I felt uncomfortable charging for my services. Since I was doing it to make a living, I finally just picked a price I thought wouldn’t scare too many people away. Now, based on my available work hours, I can’t really take on more clients but at the rate Iกm charging them, Iกm not going to make enough money to keep the business alive. How do I raise my prices without losing my clients?ข she wanted to know.

For whatever reason, it is uncomfortable for many of us to look a person in the face and state our hourly rate or the cost of a project they want us to complete for them. This is usually rooted in our fear of rejection. We think, ‘What if the prospect gasps and falls out of his chair convulsing on the floor?’ or ‘What if he snorts with disdain or launches into uncontrollable laughter?’ At the beginning, we really need the work and generally decide weกd rather start getting some clients to build our reputation and skills, thinking weกll charge a rate we know theyกll accept. Besides, we can always raise our prices later. Well, now is กlaterก, so it’s time to bite the bullet.

First, understand you aren’t asking for their firstborn child you are asking for money in exchange for the service you are offering. Shakti Gawain, author of กCreating True Prosperityก, introduced me to the concept of thinking about money as just another form of energy. Just as you put energy into the service you provide, the client puts energy into their field of interest in order to make money to pay you for your service.

On the businesstobusiness side of things, the clientกs business has clearly made the decision to outsource the service they are discussing with you. They have decided to use their internal staffกs energy to focus on their core business while outsourcing those things they don’t have the skills or time to do. The same is true of individuals they could paint their house, but they’re calling you. Clearly, they don’t want to do it and know itกs going to cost money to get someone else to do it Either way, they are going to hire someone to do it, so why not you?

That said, itกs time to raise your prices. Youกve got two sets of people to deal with here your current clients and your future clients. Future clients are easy simply start quoting the higher hourly rate or basing your flat rate proposals on the new hourly rate with no mention of a recent price increase. Your fear that you will lose out on some bids WILL come true. Youกve been fishing in the pond that attracts the lowerend clients, so you will probably have to start marketing to and networking with prospects on the next higher rung. But, so what? Itกs still your choice – you can stick with the lowend guys and struggle to make your business profitable or you can start charging a respectable rate for the skills and professionalism you bring to the table to create a prosperous business. Itกs up to you.

Now, the current clients are the ones you are likely most afraid of. What will they say? Will they never want to work with you again? The best time to raise prices is at the beginning of the year, either calendar or fiscal, or at the beginning of a new contract with an existing client. Never try to negotiate a price increase in the middle of a project. If a project is taking significantly more hours than you quoted for a reason out of your control or it’s directly within the clientกs control, you can consider discussing it with them. However, if you want to be sure to maintain positive client relationships, you may choose to learn your lesson from this one and protect yourself with a contract that outlines contingencies such as that going forward. But, in most cases, never try to increase your hourly rate on a client in the middle of a project. This sends a message that will likely get you the response you most fear that you are a moneyhungry soandso who only cares about him or her self.

Instead, wait until a natural beginning, ending, or transition period to communicate your price increase. One way to do it is to send your client a beginning of the year letter that expresses your appreciation of their business in the prior year, outlines any policy changes youกve made for the coming year, communicates your price increase, and states your anticipated pleasure of working with them in the coming year. If you are raising prices at the end of one project and are about to bid on another project with the same client, during your discussions tell them you have raised your hourly or project rate and hope they still find it to be competitive and will continue to work with you since youกve really enjoyed collaborating with them.

Notice you did not hear me guarantee you will keep every single one of your current clients. Like you, your clients make purchasing decisions based on a variety of factors, each person weighing each of the factors differently. If youกve been the lowest price available in your field, youกve no doubt attracted clients who make decisions based mainly on price. Increasing your price so you are no longer ‘the lowprice guyก, may send them packing. So be it. Once you raise your prices to a respectable rate you can profit from, that’s competitive and fair, you will begin to attract clients who will pay it. Itกs all about positioning. You can position your company as the lowprice guy, the topoftheline guy, or the value guy (middle of the road price with a quality service).

The lesson here … it’s your business and your revenues are what you make them.

About The Author

Kimberly Stevens is the author of the ebook series, *The Profitable Business Owner: A StepbyStep System for Starting & Running a Successful Service Business*. Download Sample Chapters & get her free MiniCourse, *The 10 Most Common Mistakes Business Owners Make & How To Avoid Them* at: http://www.askthebizcoach.com/ebooks.htm

kim@askthebizcoach.com

This article was posted on February 07, 2003

by Kimberly Stevens

Learn How To Use These Six Explosive Marketing Tec

Learn How To Use These Six Explosive Marketing Techniques To Explode Your Website With Traffic

by: Reginald Turner

Learn How To Use These Six Explosive Marketing Techniques To Explode Your Website With Traffic

You could have the best opportunity, product, or service on the internet, but if you are not getting any traffic to your website, what does it matter? Getting massive traffic to your website is just the beginning of being successful over the internet. Nevertheless, itกs not the end.

Although getting traffic to your website should be your main focus, there is just more to it than just getting traffic to your website. In the next following section, we will talk about the six explosive marketing techniques that you would have to apply to your internet marketing efforts in order to become a successful internet marketer.

1.Testing When you are marketing over the internet, you are going to have to know what works and what doesn’t. Thatกs why you are going to have to experiment with different types of advertising to find that out. If you are experimenting with different types of advertising, how are you going to know what type of advertising is working? This what leads me to the next following marketing technique, Adtracking services.

2. Adtracking Services Ad tracking services are a great way to test which form of advertising is working and which is not. Some of these services are capable of keeping track of your hits, sales, etc. To find an ad tracking service, just go to a major search engine and type in กAd tracking servicesก and plenty ad tracking services will come up. After this happens, do some investigating and choose the one that is best for you.

3. Website Design You want to make sure that you have a decent looking website to promote your product or service. Don’t get to caught up in all the fancy graphics when it comes to designing a website. These fancy graphics that you see on other websites could cause your website to load real slow. You must remember when people are browsing on the internet, they like to get on a website to find what they are looking for and get right off. If your website takes a long time to load, you could loose a lot of sales. When you design your website, make sure you use gif or jpeg graphics because they load really quick. Remember, the amount of time it takes your website to load, could determine how many sales you are going to make, or lose.

4. Good Content Itกs very important to have good content on your website. The product or service that you are promoting should strongly state the benefits. You should talk about how the benefit of your product or service could improve the quality of their lives. Remember, people are not concerned about the features of your product or service, but they want to know what it can do for them.

5. Website Traffic If your internet business is going to survive over the internet, you are going to need a lot of traffic, but just not any kind of traffic. When you are marketing over the internet, you are going to need to get ‘targeted traffic.ก What do I mean by targeted traffic? For example, if you are promoting a service that deals with selling envelopes, you are not going to promote it to people interested in health care are you? Absolutely not. You want to make sure you market to an audience that is interested in your product, service, or business opportunity. For example, if you are promoting a service selling marketing software, make sure you find an audience of กinterested buyersก who are interested in marketing software. If you don’t target your audience, your career as an internet marketer will be short lived.

6. Time Management Again, going back to the adtracking service. If you use an adtracking service to track your marketing campaigns, you could use the statistics from the ad tracking service to tell where you should spend your time marketing. For example, lets say you use two different methods of marketing such as ezines, and submission software. Now you go to your ad tracking service to check the results of the two marketing methods that were just mentioned. You find out that your marketing in ezines bought you 1,000 hits, and your marketing using the submission software bought you 100 hits. I would not tell you to stop using the submission software because obviously itกs bringing you hits. It will make more since to spend most of your time marketing in ezines because it brought you more hits. Iกm definitely not saying what was mentioned in the above example will happen, but it just gives you an indication where you should spend most of your time marketing.

This article was not written to critique internet marketers in any way. It was written to help internet marketers become more efficient and smarter when it comes to marketing over the internet. Some internet marketers only focus on getting traffic, but some neglect things such as web design, testing, and good content which could make a big difference. Remember, getting traffic to your website is just half the battle won, but converting it into sales is a complete victory.

For more info about website marketing techniques, please visit: http://www.adalyzer.com/727/traffic_attack

About The Author

My name is Reginald Turner and my purpose in writing articles is not only to help internet marketers become more efficient and smarter when it comes to marketing over the internet, but to teach them how to quickly find out what type of marketing works and how to make more money over the internet in less time while exploding traffic to their website. If you would like more info about website marketing techniques, you could eithr visit: http://www.adalyzer.com/727/traffic_attack or just send a blank email to 1pies@getresponse.com.

This article was posted on November 23, 2004

by Reginald Turner

Website Visitors For Your Business Building Stro

Website Visitors For Your Business Building Strong Website Traffic

by: Peter Jordaan

It is worth looking at some values and strengths of a few technical and promotional elements of your website that will help you to lay a foundation in building profitable online success. Once you have decided on your market and have chosen a relevant domain name for your online business, you need simple and effective tools and methods to put and keep your business on a profitable track. Ideally you will want to make use of easytouse methods that keeps visitors coming to your website. Lets look at a few practical ideas.

When a visitor comes to your website you have to get their followup information by collecting their email address. It is important to ‘enable’ your web site to automatically deliver quality content such as a newsletter to visitors and allow you to follow up with extra information when necessary. Top marketers agree that this forms a large percentage of their online success. How do you do this? You create forms on your web pages, giving visitors the chance to subscribe to your optin list, newsletter or report. This allows you to introduce your service and offer something valuable in order to build relationship. Email followup through autoresponders is totally free and an absolute necessity for implementing. All you need to do is integrate the autoresponder into your web site via a form so that you can preload it with your newsletters. You may say that you’re not a writer, but what do you know about your industry? Write it down and put it into an informative newsletter. Subscribers can now begin to see you as an expert on the subject and look to you for the solutions that your business is already offering.

Once your newsletter is up and running, you can use these very same tips and ideas you share with your subscribers and also write a weekly article about your product or service, and then submit it to ezines online. This is very easy to do and will have great response for your business. There are tens of thousands of ezine publishers online that needs good content, and will give you valuable exposure for your business. You will have many sites linking to your site and people will be able to read what your business is about and visit your website. Then they will also be able to subscribe to your newsletter which provides even more information about your product or service. Each article has got a resource box at the bottom which allows visitors to visit your web site. Write your 4 to 6 line resource box by viewing some samples online and making up your own. Finding details of ezine publishers can quite easily be done through looking up in search engines.

Let’s go a step further and look at newspaper classifieds. By using little snippets of ideas from your newsletters and articles, you can come up with short eye catching promotional messages to use in newspaper classifieds. There are newspaper companies that offer state wide and nation wide advertising in their papers, often covering readership in excess of 2 to 3 million. By placing 1015 word tiny classified ads all over the globe can dramatically increase your website traffic. A big mistake people make when doing this is to try and make sales directly from their ads instead of just generating leads for later followup. You would want to get your leads to your web site first from where they can subscribe to your automated content.

Lastly lets consider the eye opener an affiliate program can have for your business. With the right product or service it is by far the hottest way of building your business and customer base. Submit your program to affiliate directories across the web. You’ll have affiliates making sales for you and not paying a cent in advertising until you’ve made the sale! Your advertising will be covered by your affiliates, and you can concentrate on providing customer service and continue followup with your increasing customer base through newsletter delivery and other product offers. By becoming familiar with how important it is to stay relevant in implementing these factors will benefit your business and you will find that you’ll be achieving better results.

About The Author

Peter Jordaan is the owner of a hosting company and shares information regarding values of hosting a successful online business. In his free onsite ecourse he covers more relevant information about these qualities. You can visit his website by going to http://wirelessbusinessmedia.com

peter@wirelessbusinessmedia.com

This article was posted on December 14, 2004

by Peter Jordaan

Do You Have a Wealthy Attitude?

Do You Have a Wealthy Attitude?

by: Rosalind Gardner

Wealthy people are conniving, selfish, lazy monsters who will steal your last penny if you let them, or so thatกs what I was raised to believe.

Fortunately, through my work and various associations, Iกve spent time with many of these กmonstersก, and discovered that nothing could be farther from the truth.

In fact, over the years Iกve learned that wealthy people are the hardest working, most generous people one could ever meet.

Obviously, the fearbased attitudes about money that were instilled during my childhood were not only incorrect, they didn’t produce more for me than a steady job.

And no job, no paycheck. No matter how wellpaid you are, thatกs not wealth, thatกs a dangerous rut.

To me, wealth means income that is generated on a continuous and ongoing basis, whether or not Iกm working specifically on that project or investment at any given time.

I knew that if I wanted to live a richer, fuller life, Iกd have to let go of my old beliefs and adopt healthier, more productive attitudes to acquiring wealth.

So I set out to learn about the commonly held beliefs and values shared by wealthy people.

The first commonality was obvious. Wealthy people all value their time too highly to exchange it for a paycheck, and therefore they work for themselves. The exception to this is made when theyกll work for a company in their chosen industry to gain experience or be mentored.

Truly wealthy folks know that there is no such thing as กget r*ch quickก and understand that businesses are built, and wealth is acquired, through being of service to others. They find a need and fill it with excellent products and highly quality customer service. Having their customersก trust and support, their businesses stand the test of time.

All, without fail, regularly give a portion of their time and money to help those less fortunate.

The wealthy also place great emphasis on healthy nutrition and regular exercise. After their work day is over, rather than flop on the couch to watch a rerun of กFriendsก (and West Wing, and Coronation Street, and Frasier…) theyกll opt for a run or a friendly game of squash. They understand that exercise is an activity that creates energy, whereas succumbing to the temptation to กflakeoutก leaves you feeling even more exhausted.

While out on that run, they put the increased oxygen flow to good use by thinking, thinking and thinking some more. They forumulate business plans and strategies for the short, medium and longterm. They know that their vision for a happy, solid future for themselves and their familes is built on goals and the specific plans to achieve them.

Family is their top priority. Everything they do is for the purpose of helping to improve the lives of their family members.

Above all, they approach life with gratitude. They know in their hearts that there is more than enough wealth on the planet for everyone to share. They know that whatever effort they make, whatever they choose to give, will be returned to them many times over.

>From that perspective, they have no fear, and itกs fear, not money, that is the root of all evil. Fear causes people to hold on tight and act in greedy, selfish ways. Give to receive.. itกs really that simple.

The กgood lifeก may seem like a lot of hard work, and it is! But if you truly want to enjoy the good life, then do the กworkก of setting goals, staying healthy, and being of service to others with joy and an open heart. Youกll be delighted by the rewards work can bring when you approach life with a wealthy attitude.

About The Author

Article by Rosalind Gardner, author of the bestselling กSuper Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other Peopleกs Stuff Onlineก. To learn how you too can suceed in Internet and affiliate marketing, go to: http://NetProfitsToday.com.

This article was posted on March 30

by Rosalind Gardner

Getting Started & Making Money on eBay!

Getting Started & Making Money on eBay!

by: Lynn Terry

Click Here to hear this topic LIVE on the Entrepreneur Magazine Home Biz Show, with Guest Lynn Terry of Web Service Network: http://media1.select.net/wsradioarchive/sho_hbbiz5021903.wma (opens in Windows Media Player)

eBay receives over 1.5 billion page views per month! Over 9,000 new users register with eBay every day! This makes eBay one of the greatest moneymaking opportunities on the internet! Below youกll find Selling Tips & resources that will help you cash in on the eBay market!

Sure, I want to make money on eBay… but what would I sell??

You can sell virtually anything on eBay! From household items you would normally sell in a yard sale for pennies on the dollar, to informational products (advertising space, ebooks, books, publications, reports, etc) that don’t even require shipping!

Do some research! Choose an item (clothing, a book, electronics something specific), and see how well it has done on eBay in the past by searching similar completed auctions.

The same item may bring much higher bids in one auction than it does another… Pay close attention to the differences in their ads: Starting/Ending Time, Title or Headline, Description & Photos.

Some items, such as computers & electronics, tend to bring the highest bid when they end on Saturday night. Keep in mind the time zone differences, and try not to set auctions to end during church time or business hours on either the east coast or the west coast. Internet advertising, and informational products (which target the office worker or home business owner) might do best on a weekday in the afternoon hours. Get the idea?

Next you will want to line up the products you have chosen to sell…

Make that item SELL!

You must add good, clear pictures of your product to your auction listing! Using either a digital camera or scanner, make sure you take clear pictures that show detail.

Gain attention to your auction by making the most of the 45Character Title! For example, lets say you were selling a piece of unused software:

QUICKBOOKS PRO 2002 5 USER NEW/SEALED

Accounting Software Program for sale

Obviously, the first title would get more clicks!

Next is your description… Include everything about your product size, dimensions, brand name, etc… any pertinent details. Add extra pictures without extra cost by using a free image hosting service and simple html tags.

If you don’t know HTML, you can use a program to create it for you… You can learn some basic commands at www.HTMLGoodies.com .

Tip: If you create your description in Frontpage, Dreamweaver, or any other web design program, you can simply copy the code and then paste it into the description field on the eBay form.

Your About Me Page

Once you sign up for your free eBay account, and get ready to sell, be sure to set up your About Me page! This is the one place that you can tell all of your potential bidders about yourself, your website, and your product line. What you aren’t allowed to include in your auction description… you CAN include here! A colorful กmeก image shows up beside your eBay user name on all pages & transactions, allowing viewers to click for more information.

See these examples:

http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/hostmary/

http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/lynn%40webservicenetwork.com/

Followup & Backend Sales

Be sure that you use a signature file in all email communication with bidders & auction winners. Include information about your website, your contact information, and include a PS if you would like to bring their attention to something else they may be interested in.

Follow up with your auction winners via email and make sure that they received the item and are happy with it. Encourage them to leave you feedback, and do the same for them. This promotes confidence in future potential bidders that you are a legitimate seller.

Questions? Join us at the Vision Possible Forum!

Join Lynn Terry, owner of Web Service Network, in the eBay & Other Online Auctions Forum: What to sell, how to sell, tips and tricks to increase bids. eBay as a fulltime biz? at www.MaryGoulet.net/forum

About The Author

Lynn Terry, owner of Web Service Network, brings you the full report online at http://www.WebServiceNetwork.com/ebay.htm . Like Lynnกs Tips? Get them by email every week! Self Starters Weekly Tips will put you ahead of the game in Online Business: http://www.WebServiceNetwork.com/sswt_archives.htm

Lynn@WebServiceNetwork.com

This article was posted on February 23, 2003

by Lynn Terry

Introduction to Marketing for 1st time business ow

Introduction to Marketing for 1st time business owners

by: Ben Botes

Marketing is determining which orders you would like to win. Selling is getting out there and winning orders once you have decided which orders you would like to win. Marketing is a continuous process of creativity, research, testing, analysis, development and implementation. We must stay close to our customers. We must satisfy our customersก needs and anticipate their wants. We love our customers and we always do that little bit extra for which we do not get paid.

Specialize and be excited in what you do

There is a strong relationship between high selfesteem and peak performance. The more you love doing something, the greater will be your success. All successful businesses specialize in their areas of excellence. Many unsuccessful people drift into areas where they do not have the excitement, enthusiasm, energy, knowledge, etc., to establish competitive advantage and find their market segment.

A few questions for you to answer at this point are:

Which product or service would you like to produce and sell?

In which area of human activity would you like to improve the lives of other people?

To which area of human improvement can you bring excitement and enthusiasm?

What is your area of excellence?

What is your core business?

For which product or service are you prepared to be a product champion? What would you love to do to improve the lives of others for 16 hours each day, even if you received no financial reward?

What is it that makes you feel valuable and worthwhile?

Differentiate for a competitive advantage

Perhaps the biggest question in any business is: why should anybody buy this product or service … from me? This is in fact two questions. The first question is: why should anybody buy this product or service?

What is the benefit?

What is the improvement in the life of the customer?

How is the customerกs life enriched by acquisition of the product or service?

If you cannot answer this question, then you do not know why a customer should buy your product or service. Remember the law of cause and effect. There is a reason for everything. There has to be a reason why your customer buys the product or service.

Segmentation or the creation of a market niche

If people buy from you because you are such a lovely person, then your market niche may well be your circle of friends and friends of your friends. If you own the village grocery store, then your customers are probably restricted to those living within a fiveminute walk or twominute drive, i.e. the local community. If yours is the best or cheapest product on the market, then this opens up huge opportunities. Who is your customer? Who buys this product or service? Identify your market segment. Describe your customer age, sex, income, occupation, education, other interests, area where he or she lives, type of family, other products he or she buys, etc. Where exactly is your customer? Identify the geographical concentration, understanding that 80 per cent of your customers will be within 20 per cent of your catchment area. How is your product normally distributed? How would you expect your customer to buy your product or service? To which customers does your competitive advantage make a big difference? Is there a small segment of the market which you could dominate?

Answer these question when considering your market niche:

Who are your customers?

Where are your customers?

Who cares that you are the best?

Who cares that you are the cheapest?

Who cares that you are the local dealer?

Who cares that you are such a nice person?

The answers to these questions establish your market segmentation, or your market niche, i.e. a small segment of the market which you can dominate.

Concentrating your efforts

With a view to succeeding in business, we have to concentrate all our resources, hitting our market segment with our competitive advantage in our area of excellence. We have to concentrate our creativity, our marketing, our sales skills, leadership skills, finance, time, energy, excitement, enthusiasm, advertising and promotional efforts, production facilities, etc., all of these resources being concentrated in enriching the lives of our customers at a profit.

Is the benefit we offer worth more to the customer than the price the customer is expected to pay?

Can we provide the benefit at a cost which is lower than the customer is willing and able to pay?

Can we provide the benefit at a profit?

These are four of the most important steps to consider as a business owner. For more in formation on marketing for first time business owners, please go to http://www.my1stbusiness.com.

Copyright Ben Botes and My1stBusiness.com – 2003 – 2005

About The Author

Ben is an entrepreneur, business owner, scholar, author and leadership coach, and one of the UKกs new leading thinkers on entrepreneurial leadership. He is a leading Coach with business incubators, enterprise hubs and high tech startups throughout the UK, Europe and his native South Africa. Ben holds Master degrees in Psychology and Business Administration as well as various qualifications in coaching and mentoring. Email Ben at ben.botes@my1stbusiness.com.

This article was posted on February 17

by Ben Botes

The Emergence of Managed Event Services

The Emergence of Managed Event Services

by: Casey Sanders

Managed event services have been around for some time, this service is quickly gaining ground as a time and money saving practice. Several conference calling vendors have offered these services for some time, and others are taking note and joining the marketplace.

Event services are basically the blending of teleconferencing, web conferencing, and conference participant management. These services allow conference participants to register via the Internet, phone, and sometimes fax. Typically marketing for these events is handled by the conference/event host, or host organization, and everything else is handled by the event registration service provider.

Why are Event services such a hot commodity? Associations, medical companies, and any other group of professionals typically attend seminars in person. These organizations are realizing the cost saving benefits of hosting events remotely, and the attendees are also reaping the costsaving benefits.

These event management services are a great way to cut the high overhead of training, certification, and seminar programs, and offer a easy to use format for participants.

What to look for in an event services vendor: Are they an established conferencing vendor, or are they new to the industry

Do they manage their event schedule to and resources so you, and your attendees get the best attention possible

What services do they offer, and how will these services work for the type of event you need hosted

Below are a few vendors to consider:

KRM

A long time provider, and industry leader in events management services.

ILinc Communications

Full service teleseminar and event registration service provider.

ConferencingWorks.com

Artices and Resources on Teleconferencing, Web Conferencing, and Distance Learning.

About The Author

Casey Sanders is the founder of conferencingworks.com. He has over 6 years of experience in telecommunications, and internet communications. Casey has helped manage hundreds of professional teleseminars and distance learning events. To learn more about managed event services, teleconferencing, and web conferencing visit www.conferencingworks.com.

This article was posted on March 06

by Casey Sanders

Snowflakes Improve Holiday Sales

Snowflakes Improve Holiday Sales

by: Marilyn Pokorney

Snowflakes are beautiful!

For the Winter Holiday sales season handcrafted snowflakes are the perfect touch. They lend an aura of a mystical winter wonderland to any room, house or office decor.

You may ask กWhat has snowflakes got to do with internet marketing?ก

A free gift with every order gives you the competitive edge over your competitors.

Everyone likes getting something for free. And what better time for gifts than Christmas time!

Reward your customers with the enjoyment of a unique free gift not available in stores. Youกll make your customers feel special! And that means more sales! Your customers will know that you have a real interest in them as people, not as mere sales prospects.

Include a beautiful snowflake free in your orders and youกll improve your Christmas sales 100 percent!

There are two ways you can do this:

You can tell your customers that they will receive a free gift with every order. The suspense of not knowing what the free gift is makes it even more exciting and fun! Some people will order just for the fun and expectation of getting a free gift! They wonder what could it possibly be?

Or simply send it along with the order. Finding an unexpected gift will greatly enhance your customers appreciation for your first rate service.

You don’t need to go to any great expense for your free gifts. Itกs the ‘thought that counts.ก

Unlike pens, pencils, calendars and other items that have a temporary lifetime give something that will last forever. It will always remind them of you and the excellent service they received by ordering from you.

It will make a huge difference in your sales for the upcoming year. Customers who receive exceptional service will order again and again. That means repeat sales and more money for you.

Snowflakes are available at my website listed in the box below.

About The Author

Author: Marilyn Pokorney

Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment.

Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.

Website: http://www.apluswriting.net

marilynp@nctc.net

This article was posted on November 28, 2003

by Marilyn Pokorney

Consistency Builds Trust

Consistency Builds Trust

by: John Jantsch

You know your prospects need what you sell. You know they want what you sell. Heck, you know that they even sent away for information on your service and requested a quote.

But the fact is you are missing one major piece of the puzzle.

Want to know what it is?

No matter what else you know, often, the missing piece is knowing when your hot little prospect will actually make a purchase.

People search for information and solutions in many different ways and on many different time tables.

Some will buy immediately; some may take a year or more depending on the complexity of the purchase.

The key to solving this dilemma is consistent and repeated contact.

If you build a marketing system that guarantees your prospects (particularly your ขAข prospects) are contacted at least 810 times a year you can significantly increase the odds that your name will jump to the top of the list when they do actually decide to purchase.

Another benefit of constant contact is that by sending your prospects useful information, that doesn’t always ask for a sale, you can establish a bond of trust, and trust wins business. It is almost as though some of your prospects will feel that they owe it to you because you took so much time and effort to educate them for such a long period of time without asking for anything in return

So what will you send to your prospects on a monthly basis?

Here is an example a calendar of contact points

Month #1 – Letter announcing a new service (change to existing service)

Month #2 – Newsletter – highlight tips and company news

Month #3 – Phone call to discover opportunities

Month #4 – Reprint of an industry magazine article of interest

Month #5 – Case study of a successful client solution you provided

Month #6 – Request for critique of a proposed sales letter (you won’t believe how valuable this can be)

Month #7 – Time for another newsletter

Month #8 – Reprint of an article you contributed to an industry magazine

Month #9 – Announce a new service

Month #10 – Invite them to a workshop

Month #11 – Phone call to introduce someone in your referral network

Month #12 – Checklist of helpful tips for your industry/service

Notice that this schedule includes a couple of phone contacts. This to can be a very powerful research tool as well as a business building tool. Sometimes you will learn what your prospect really wants and how valuable the materials you are sending them really are to them.

You man want to consider breaking your prospect list into groups based on potential opportunity. Your 20 or so ขAข prospects might get a copy of your favorite book or some homemade cookies in a tin with your company logo one month or some proprietary content or information along with some tickets to the ballgame a couple of months later.

And if you really want to make a hit with your ขAข prospects, take the time to find out some background on them and personalize your marketing materials. If Ed Jones over there at Acme Industries went to Notre Dame (not such a hard thing to find out) you will score major points by simply sending a clipping from some magazine about his favorite subject – The Fighting Irish. You can even setup a service that will find you everything that is being said about a school, industry, company, sports team, you name it. So an industry guru makes a prediction for the future of your prospect’s industry and you drop the article in the mail to them. Now who do you think they are they going to remember come order time?

Create a database of your ideal prospects, setup a schedule of different types of contact points like the one above, and then stick to it. And don’t forget to include your current clients in that list. Reselling them can lead to more and more business and referrals.

Copyright 2004 John Jantsch

About The Author

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant based in Kansas City, Mo. He writes frequently on real world small business marketing tactics and is the creator of http://www.DuctTapeMarketing.com a turnkey small business marketing system. Check out his blog at http://www.DuctTapeMarketing.com/weblog.php

This article was posted on April 20, 2004

by John Jantsch

Specialty or Niche Directory Submissions

Specialty or Niche Directory Submissions

by: David G Hallstrom

The following article was written for and originally published by Resources For Attorneys.com.
You are an attorney or other service or product provider. You have built an excellent web site, it looks good, it is well optimized and it tells your clients and prospective clients or customers everything they need to know in order to do business with you or purchase your product. You have submitted your site to the major and many minor search engines. Now all you need to do is sit back and wait for clients or customers to come flowing in, right? Wrong.
As the number of websites grow on the internet, it is getting more and more difficult for web sites, even excellent web sites, to obtain good rankings in the search engines. Nowdays it appears that in order to obtain good search engine rankings (somewhere on the first page for your catagory) you must have your meta tags, format and text just right, and then you have to get tons of other web sites to link to you. Even if you do everything right there are still numerous other businesses out there also doing everything right. Therefore, you still might not obtain good rankings. Even if you do obtain good rankings today, the search engines might change there way of ranking sites next week, and your site might well drop or even dissapear from the rankings.
Additionally, it is estimated that nearly 200 million adults use the internet as a source to search for products, services or information, and this number is likely to grow each year. As the number of websites grow on the internet, it is getting increasingly difficult for web surfers to find the product or service that they need. As a result, web surfers are turning to online specialty or niche directories, such as the legal and service directories from Resources For Attorneys.com or the Lifestyle Directories from Resources For Attorneys, to sift through the numerous websites and locate the product, service or information that they need.
Specialty and niche directories normally charge a small fee, $3.00 to $100.00 per year, for your listing. They are usually much smaller and have far fewer listings than the regular search engines. This makes it easier for you to obtain a good listing and it makes it easier for consumers that are actually looking for your service, product or information to find you. Additionally, there is a collateral benefit to listing your site in a directory. Most search engines count directory links as good links and this can sometimes increase your link ranking with those search engines, thereby improving your search engine listings.
Although there is a cost in subitting to these directories the total cost of submitting to several specialty and niche directories is much less than the cost of yellow page, radio or television advertising and the benefits can be as good or sometimes far better.
Finally, many of these directories allow you to submit articles, press releases, news storys and testimonials about your services. This can increase your presence and allow your customers to learn more about you, your service or product.

About The Author

Permission is given to reprint this article providing credit is given to the author, David G. Hallstrom, and a link is listed to Resources For Attorneys the owner of this article. Anyone or any company reprinting this article without giving proper credit and the correct link, is doing so without permission and will be subject to legal action.

This article was posted on July 04, 2004

by David G Hallstrom

Building Trust For Lifetime Success

Building Trust For Lifetime Success

by: Randy Lever

Trust.
One word.
One very powerful word that can increase both first time and repeat sales to an unlimited degree.
Trust.
What is it? Why is it so important? How do you get it?
Confidence in you from your cutomers, builds relationships and as a result, more sales, and through excellent customer service.
Thatกs the short and sweet of it.
Now, how about a little more meat to it.
What is trust and why is it so important?
Definition: confidence in a person or thing because of the qualities one perceives or seems to perceive in him or it. (Websterกs)
The confidence that any visitor or potential customer has about your business, service or product is the foundation of present and future success.
Before any potential customer even enters your site for the first time, thereกs this underlying feeling of distrust. Itกs automatic.
Either they’re new to the Internet, received a poor product or service from a competitor or have already been scammed a few times.
Your first contact is either in some ad you placed in an ezine, classified, message board, banner, search engine description or some other form of advertising. Was it full of hype or were you honest in what your product or service delivers?
Once that customer enters your site and they don’t see what was stated in your ad………..
goodbye, you just lost a sale and probably a lifetime customer.
If you can’t be honest in your ad, then you’re pobably not going to be with your product or service. So, why should that visitor stick around only to be disappointed or scammed again? Would you?
Do you know what happens when that visitor leaves your site? They email an ezine editor, friend, or leave a nasty little post on a message board about their not so wonderful experience with you, and you’re credibility is gone.
How do you build that trust?
Believe it or not, itกs not that hard. It does take effort and itกs an ongoing process, not something you do once and forget about it.
Be Honest.
The importance of building trust really shows through here. Honesty should be at the front of your mind when you write up your ads and web site copy. Especially when that advertisement includes something free. Don’t use free just to get visitors, your trust and credibility takes a hard nose dive when the "freebie" is junk.
Only write exactly what your product or service delivers and leave the hype and exageration out.
Don’t Hype
I always skip over the ads that actually promise truckloads of money with little or no effort. Come on.
BIG BOLD HEADLINES are a sure sign of hype to nth degree. Promises that are impossible, like the truckloads of cash, are always a big giveaway. If your product doesn’t have it or do it, then don’t promise it.
Follow Up
If youกve done everything right so far and you are making sales, don’t forget about the customer. Follow up with a thank you letter. Add a special bonus that they didn’t know about. Ask them if they like your product or service. Ask if there is anything else you can help them with.
Bottom line is, build a relationship without trying to always sell them something. Talk to them, not at them or down to them. Be their friend and actually help them out when they need it, if you can.
Use Testimonials on your site.
When you followed up with your customers and asked if they liked your product, then ask if you can use their comments on your site. Of course, youกll also include their name, email and website address.
Testimonials build enormous instant credibility. If a visitor to your site sees that there are already satisified customers, then you deliver what you say you will and youกve kept in touch with that customer. Plus the name and email also keeps the visitor comfortable as they know that they can get in touch with that person to verify what they had to say was, in fact, true.
As you can see, building trust isn’t all that hard.
Just be sincere. Be personable. Be available.
If you follow these few rules to help you gain trust and credibility among both your siteกs visitors and your peers, then youกll gain both lifetime customers of your product and lifetime relationships with some really good people.

About The Author

Randy Lever is the owner of the "Complete Internet Marketing Package", Marketing Profit. Learn the ins and outs of a successful ad campaign. http://www.glimmersmarketing.com/marketingprofit

This article was posted on January 20, 2002

by Randy Lever

Differentiate and Grow Rich: The Importance of a S

Differentiate and Grow Rich: The Importance of a Strong USP

by: Eric Graham

ขWith 50 other companies selling the same products and services, why should I do business with you rather than one of your competitors?ข

The number of competitors you face as an online merchant grows daily. If you can’t answer that one question, it’s only a matter of time before you go out of business.

If you can answer that question and answer it clearly, communicating it to your prospective customers in everything you do, your road to eCommerce success is paved with gold!

Your USP or Unique Selling Proposition answers that most critical question. If you have studied business for very long you’ve probably read or heard about the importance of having a strong, clear USP. However, it doesn’t take much surfing online to see that few companies listen. Most know that they need a USP, they just don’t know how to develop one.

The process of developing your Unique Selling Proposition is fairly simple (note that I didn’t say easy.) I conduct intensive onsite USP development workshops for my clients around the world. By doing these workshops I’ve discovered 4 critical steps to developing your USP.

First, study your competition. Search online for potential competitors. Pick the top 5 to 10 and try to determine their USP. Most will lack a clear USP, for these look for some of the features or services that they stress.

Now look for the gap in their products or services. What area of the market could we better service?

Second, examine you own business. Sit down and brainstorm with your staff possible USP concepts. Don’t judge the ideas, just write them down. To stimulate thought and ideas ask the following questions:

What do we do the best?

What do we do better than our competition?

What awards have we won?

What do our customers say about us?

What praise do we often get from our customers?

What celebrities or well know organizations endorse us? What endorsements could we get?

What does our product or service do better than anyone else?

What makes our business model different from our competition? How could we make it different?

What market category or niche could our industry better service?

It also helps at this stage to interview and survey your current and past customers. Ask them why they bought from you rather than your competition? What do they want from a provider of your product or service? What’s important to them when making a buying decision? What feature or benefits do they value most or would like to see added to your product or service?

Third, begin to write down and crystallize your ideas. Don’t worry about length at first, just write down the key points of your USP concept. Focus on the benefits to your customer of each concept. Develop a list of 5 to 10 possible USPs.

Show this list to your staff, friends, family and current customers. Get their input and suggestions and use these suggestions and comments to narrow your USP concept down to a single main differentiating concept.

Once you’ve settled on the most unique and compelling feature of your product or business, begin to distill it down to one paragraph that clearly communicates and sums up why your customers should buy from you. Use this paragraph on your website or in your print marketing materials where you have more room to explain the unique benefits that you bring to your customers. However, it’s still too long to for an effective tag line or slogan.

You still need to distill your USP down to one or two focused sentences that clearly and concisely communicate the benefits of your USP to your customers. This statement should leave no question in your customers mind about what you do and what makes you different than your competition.

This USP statement will become your tagline or slogan. This process will take some time and your USP statement may require several revisions before you’re comfortable with the final draft.

Fourth, integrate your USP statement into everything you do. Put it on every page of your website, on your letterhead, in all of your advertising and marketing. Communicate it to your employees, managers and staff. Let it infuse into your corporate culture. Every time you talk to your customers, employees or suppliers you should mention this USP. You cannot just give lip service to your USP, you must live it and breath it! It must become a part of you.

Every product, business or service needs a USP that will make it stand out from the competition. It’s up to you to discover or create this element of uniqueness. Differentiate yourself, your business and your products from your competition and watch your profits soar!

Copyright 2004 Eric Graham

About The Author

Eric Graham is the CEO of several successful online companies. A top authority on eCommerce & Internet Marketing, heกs an indemand speaker & consultant. Visit www.websiteevaluations.com for a FREE subscription to his eCommerce Mastery newsletter.

This article was posted on March 12, 2004

by Eric Graham