USP Unique Selling Propositions

USP Unique Selling Propositions

by: Scott กGearsก

If you have competitors, then you should have at least one Unique Selling Proposition (USP). The more REAL ones you have, the better for your Branding, your business recognition, and your sales!

We all have competitors, and the more you have, the more important it is that you have a Unique Selling Proposition (at least one).

Allow me to explain. Letกs use a recent example of a company that sells laser toner cartridges… Do you think they have competition online? You bet they do, another category that is swamped with resellers. Sound like yours?

The task of coming up with a USP can sometimes be tough. But every company needs this, it sets you apart from your competitors. Let me stress this again, it is one or more reasons why prospects should work with you, or buy from you, or do business with you, instead of your competitors, period.

Let me narrow this a little further, it used to be if you had the best price, you got the business. Although still a minor USP, price alone should not be the only consideration, itกs not really that unique… Yes, you still need to be competitive, but I don’t want to be the cheapest guy… we’re in this to make a profit, right? So don’t make price your กonlyก USP. Combine it with more value, something your competition doesn’t do, or doesn’t offer.

O.K., back to our example. This company needed more than price, their product pricing is right inline with everyone else, so now what?

First of all, you need to know what your competitors do offer.

This is not a new concept. You can’t compete if you don’t know what you’re up against. So take a little time and check out what they have. Do some research, youกd be surprised what you might find or not. Special offers, free shipping, a contest, great customer support?

Take a step back, imagine you are the customer and you do buy toner from someone a few times a year. If they do not get great service or itกs just average, then chances are you can sway them your way. This references กcustomer loyaltyก another chapter, but it follows first getting the customer. So, letกs get the prospect as a customer first.

Now, what do we do to sway these prospects? We offer them what the competition doesn’t. This can be discovered with your competitive research. Oh, and if you still haven’t found a USP or a few then Hyperformance Media can help you with this as well.

Write down every idea that you and your team come up with. Please don’t worry about how silly they might seem (at the time), just brainstorm with the data you have gained. The reason I say to include the silly ones, and others is because sometimes those little ideas that you laughed at can actually be morphed to create your USP. No idea is too far fetched at this point, and usually the ideas you laughed at are, in fact, some things your competitors don’t offer. Thatกs where we go next.

On the toner company we came up with all kinds, some were already offered by competitors, some were not. The idea is to initially come up with as many as possible. Here are some of what we narrowed the field to (we started with about two dozen);

Price (of course)

Free Shipping (varied by quantity/price)

Great Customer Service (so everyone says)

A Contest / Promotion (a what?)

Free Gifts (vary)

Referral Savings (with parameters)

Reminders? (to buy)

The next step is again to nail down our list, get creative, really think here. This alone still makes us more competitive (once implemented), even if others use the same approach. Why? Because before we did this, there was a ton of competition, and as we add these USPกs we now narrow the list of our ‘realก competitors. We are now more competitive within our industry, because we now offer things that (most) of our competitors do not!

We are getting more competitive immediately by implementing some simple offerings. Letกs take each one in this example and see how we can use it or discard it to our advantage.

Price Still very important in any market, but very tied to customer value (or perceived value). If your product or service is not competing here it does not necessarily rule you out, more on this later. However, this is usually where a shopper starts (because itกs easy), and you want to be considered with this group. In this example, we agreed that (based on our research) we were in the market on price. So our price is competitive and thatกs great, but not unique enough to get the business.

Free Shipping In our research, we found that most of the companyกs who were offering this service were just a couple dollars higher in price (covering their กfreeก offer). So while it may have some perceived value, it was not enough for this company to offer that, so we discarded this one. If however, your costs are such that you can ship for free and still be competitive and profitable, this is a worthwhile USP.

Great Customer Service This is stated everywhere, making it tough for the consumer to know what is reality. It is hard to judge until you are a customer. It would be more valuable to offer testimonials of Great Customer Satisfaction. Not Customer Service, but Customer Satisfaction. There is a big difference here. So we DO want to take some of our really satisfied customers and put together, or request their testimonials. This is much more powerful than the words or promise of กGreat Customer Serviceก. So we will use this, but focusing on satisfaction with testimonials in our advertising pieces and website, etc.

A Contest/Promotion This covers a broad area, but can be extremely successful when implemented and marketed properly, so be creative and if possible, develop one for your business, product or service. After our discussions, and research, we have begun developing this idea. Example: Every time you buy from us, you get another chance at winning กFree Toner for a Yearก. I know you’re saying… free toner for a year what are you crazy? Bear with me on this… first of all, most of their customers use 4 to 6 toners in normal use in one year (In our contest, we can actually cap that in our rules, i.e., กNot to exceed 6 cartridgesก. So we associate our costs to that, which does not make this a cost prohibitive program at all, depending upon the program success. Again, the mileage and customers we gain from our contest is potentially huge, and if it works well, we continue it… at a maximum cost of 6 toners per year for a Grand Prize.

Free Gifts Don’t discount this one, many people grab hold of these กoffersก to feel like they are making out. All else being the same, the customer does get something for nothing. Now, if the item truly has no value, then the customer has little to no interest. And, it actually กcheapensก the image of your firm (be careful). We decided with our products and business customer profile, this would not work for this business. But it could work for you or your products.

Referral Programs Another potential attraction (savings) for your customer. I say potential because this type of referral program, like price, should not be the only USP. When used in conjunction with others, this can steadily grow your business (sales) as well. You need to develop a program that somehow rewards referrals. For example, it can be something simple like ‘refer a customer to our business and when we ship their order you will receive or accrue credits, dollars, points, or 5% off your next orderก. Get the idea? The key is to make it of value, and still keep it cost effective.

Reminders This was it! The big one, it was unique, it has great value to the customer, and it reinforces our Customer Satisfaction! This was also laughed at when first mentioned.

So? What was the plan? We acquire a software program that can be set to automatically email each customer based on their own usage when their toner and supplies were potentially running low (i.e., 30 or 90 days or any date we choose. Once setup it is all automated (cost effective)! It also gave us their email address (important anytime) and with our reminders we could include any special or seasonal offers that might further attract more sales.

So, what did this company find?

In a nutshell Their products are priced well to compete. In this case, we discarded free shipping as not really cost effective. We stressed Satisfied Customers in all of our marketing materials with testimonials and reallife examples. We are also developing a contest to further set us apart from our competitors. We could not find a free gift we thought would add any value to the customer (but continue to look). They are considering a Referral Program as well. The real USP in combination with the others was our unique Email Reminder System. At that time, no other competitor was offering anything like this! This IS a Unique Selling Proposition and was perfect for our example. Put all these together, and this company has numerous กedgesก on their competition. Once customers are aware of these differences that set you apart from all the rest growth is almost certain! That company is in a much better position to กownก their market online, or at a minimum increase their market share.

The more you get the word out, the more you’re sure to benefit from these type ideas.

I understand this was a pretty broad example but you should get the idea.

You won’t always come up with an idea that no competitor has or offers, but if only 36 competitors offer that same USP, you are still in the top tier of your competition instead of lost somewhere unnoticed while buyers continue to purchase through your competition. You decide.

Use this article for your training, website, or newsletter by simply adding the following footer;

Written by and Copyright © 2003

www.hyperformancemedia.com

About The Author

Scott is the Founder and Sr. Project Manager for Hyperformance Media.com, a Technology Marketing Company serving online businesses since 1996. His 23+ years of experience in the computer industry will help you succeed. Their website offers free education & resources that will assist any business in successfully marketing their company online.

ss@hyperformancemedia.com

This article was posted on March 03, 2003

by Scott กGearsก

Innovation Makes Leaders

Innovation Makes Leaders

by: Pavel Lenshin

Basically what innovation does is making your business unique and often more progressive in its development.

Looking deeper at positive influence of innovation allows us to notice clear tendency from business stagnation to rapid development depending on what level of innovation takes place in business management and planning.

The logic behind is simple if your business is a clone in its product and business structure, it will more likely to experience difficulties in reaching set goals in comparison with more innovative and therefore flexible competitive predecessor. New and wellgrounded approaches greatly raise chances of any legal entity to take the lead over competitors, because one cannot beat competition doing the same things competitor does. It takes implementation of the new progressive vision and steps in business development.

Business innovation is an organizational and behavioral strategy any part of running business should be based on. In other words, it is an alternative way of thinking and doing business. There are times where conservative attitude allows securing reached results and accumulating resources for taking next step, still conservatism in Internet surroundings is to be exception rather than rule.

Human is a conservative creature by nature, especially at a mature age. We agree to face any evolutionism when we start private business or under unordinary circumstances (yet 80% of all people don’t even want to take a risk of starting their own businesses) but once all problems have been settled, the need for กanother angle of viewpointก vanishes, making us highly vulnerable in the face of external changes and environment.

I used the word กriskก on purpose, as we know, any innovation is a risk. Doing what others do may be a wise strategy for slow moving low profit development and it may be good for big corporation where gross income in several hundreds million dollars can กleverageก their reluctance for adopting innovative measures.

Small business owner does not have such privilege. For him/her it is usually a matter of survival to be innovative or not.

Innovation is a feature and integral part of starting, running and developing business, especially Internet business nowadays. I laid stress on Internet business for the unique competitive surrounding it possesses. While competition in offline business world may กforgiveก some กimperfectionsก in plans, services, products or marketing due to inability of instantly offering a good alternative, business online instantly presents any visitor with thousands of similar choices that can be reached with a click of a mouse.

For every offline business owner having several direct competitors on the same street is a nightmare, demanding taking unordinary steps in order to กkeep afloatก. For every online business owner hundreds, if not tens of thousands, direct competitors กon the same streetก are a usual and inevitable feature of running online business from the very beginning. Crucial part of making a difference here is to implement innovativebased business tactics on a constant basis.

There are many strategies of unique marketing measures that brought success. I have personally emphasized the importance of creating USP (Unique Selling Proposition), but all of these advices are nothing more than a way of innovation implementation.

Whether you are creating a new product, choosing a webdesign, setting up customer support or developing marketing plan be innovative and unique in your approaches.

Every starting solo professional on the net experiences shortage in everything but probably a desire to succeed, so there is no point in reinventing the wheel. Often we are forced to make a compromise. If we speak about marketing strategy your next move may be wellknown, widelyused and, therefore, customerresponsedepleted or, on the other hand, innovative, unique and fresh, generating exposure you have never anticipated. Unfortinately many of us go the กconservativeก way and that is why are doomed to read success stories of others, trying to reproduce what thousands marketers do vainly.

We are given proven tools that work USP, time management, branding, viral marketing, affiliate programs etc. they represent the invented axe a proven tool with help of which we need to cross the กInternet business oceanก and reach desired point กBก, but it is for us to decide how wisely to use given axe.

The first one decided to throw it away and swim across, the second built a raft, the third added oars, while the forth one in addition set a sail with a steeringwheel. What are you going to do? Rationalism teaches you to go the bestknown forth way, while innovation set a second sail or invent a steam engine!

About The Author

Pavel Lenshin is a devoted Internet entrepreneur, founder of ASBONE.com, where you can find everything to make your business prosper. Discounted Internet services,

FREE ebooks http://ASBONE.com/ebooks/

FREE reports http://ASBONE.com/reports/

info@asbone.com

This article was posted on November 16, 2003

by Pavel Lenshin

Product Positioning 4 Differentiation Tips

Product Positioning 4 Differentiation Tips

by: Daniel Levis

Here are 4 product positioning tips to differentiate your business.

Luckily, it’s not all that hard to stand out from the crowd, as long you realize the importance of product positioning. Positioning is the art of matching your marketing message, with the desires, feelings, & beliefs of the particular type of customer that you know you can service better than anybody else. You make yourself กvisibleก as the kind of business this individual would naturally be attracted to.

Why would I say that it’s not that hard?

Well, you really don’t have to look very far to see that effective product positioning is about as common as caviar at a McDonald’s outlet. Just look in the yellow pages, look on the net, and you’ll soon see what I mean.

It’s more of the same old same old, look at us were #1 for pricing, service & selection nonsense. It’s just meaningless drivel. Anyone can say these things & everyone does, & I ask you this.

Are you guilty of spouting these กbuy from us for no apparent reasonก platitudes? Don’t feel guilty if you are. Just take these product positioning tips to heart.

What happens when everybody in your industry says the same thing? Customers don’t know how to tell the difference between one product & another, so they make their decision based on price. And everybody loses. The customer doesn’t get the product that best fits their needs. You don’t make nearly as many sales as you could, and those that you do make, are at less margin than you would like.

Listen, if you can just get the principle that I’m about to reveal hammered into your head, you’ll have more business than you can handle, and you won’t worry about having to undercut the competition.

That sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

Here’s the secret. Just take the time to communicate, clearly, specifically, & thoroughly why you‘re different & how that difference makes a difference in your customer’s perception of his or her life. Such a simple concept, but so rare, it can’t help but differentiate you.

You see, people really don’t buy on price at all. They buy on value. If they bought a cheaper product, it’s because you didn’t demonstrate the value of yours. Admittedly, there is a certain percentage of the market that is best served by an inferior low end product, but this segment is much smaller than it appears. More often than not, people cannot differentiate, buy based on price, & live to regret it. This is a crying shame, & were not going to stand for it much longer, are we?

As you absorb this material you will become intimate with the following 4 product positioning principles that will set your business apart.

*** Unique Selling Proposition

Something unique, that you have to offer. Not necessarily entirely unique. You can appear unique by simply packaging your product or service in a unique way. For example, a lawyer, might advertise flat rate incorporation, and attract a lot of customers because the market fears the open ended legal bill. In reality, it is all of the other กback endก services that come about as a result of incorporation that generate incorporation revenues. But who do you think will end up getting more of that lucrative business, the flat rate USP savvy attorney, or Mr. Conventional?

*** Risk Reversal

Differentiate yourself with outrageously bold guarantees, that you’re competition don’t have the guts for. Most people are genuinely honest, and if your service is what you say it is, youกve got nothing to worry about. The increased sales volume will be well worth it.

*** Inordinate Value

Leverage your advertising, by offering to let complimentary businesses come along for the ride, in exchange for a free sample of their wares. Then bundle those into your offering. Cut the right deals, & your offer will appear กirresistibleก, compared to your competition.

*** Clear, Complete, & Concise Customer Education

Hereกs were most advertisers fall down, and you can stand head & shoulders above the crowd. Tell your full story. Don’t make people try to figure out on their own why they should be doing business with you. Spell it out for them.

Spend some time thinking deeply about these product positioning ideas, and how you can use them to your advantage. Your market share is predicated on how well you assimilate them, & apply them to the promotion of your business.

Copyright 2005 Daniel Levis

About The Author

Daniel Levis is a top marketing consultant & direct response copywriter based in Toronto Canada. Recently, Daniel & worldrenowned publicist & copywriter Joe Vitale teamed up to co author ขMillion Dollar Online Advertising Strategies – From The Greatest Letter Writer Of The 20th Century!ข, a tribute to the late, great Robert Collier.

Let the legendary Robert Collier show you how to write words that sell…Visit the below site & get 3 FREE Chapters!

http://www.AdvertisingOnlineStrategies.com/adstrategies.html

This article was posted on February 26

by Daniel Levis

Want to Increase Your Online Sales? Make Sure That

Want to Increase Your Online Sales? Make Sure That Your Web Site Has a Unique Selling Proposition

by: Gerardas Norkus

If you own a web site or if you are going to build a new one, the most important thing about your site is to achieve as high as possible visitors to sales conversion rate.

Although they say that ‘the traffic is king onlineก, if your website converts poorly, your online business will fail, unless you receive tons of free traffic which I doubt.

On the Internet today every website has competitors. So, in order to have a high conversion rate your online business should have a unique selling proposition, sometimes also called กunique value propositionก (USP or UVP).

What is this unique selling proposition? Your USP is the biggest unique benefit to your prospects. A benefit is an answer to your customerกs question of กWhatกs in it for me?ก You should tell your prospects what makes doing business with your company better than doing business with your competitor.

Here are some guidelines for creating a compelling unique selling proposition USP:

Write down every possible reason you can think of why someone would want to do business with you. Review the list and eliminate everything that is also true of your competitors. If a competitor can make the same claim, itกs not a กuniqueก proposition.

Some quick guidelines:

What is unique about your service compared to your direct competitors?

Which of these factors are most important to your prospects?

Which of these factors are most difficult for your competitors to imitate?

Which of these factors can be understood most easily by your prospects?

Rework your USP until you have it simple and clearly defined that your customers can instantly identify with. USPs work best when they are a sentence or two for the most.

Lowestfare.com is an example of a company whose unique selling proposition is clearly defined in their domain name. This company provides the lowest air fares in the air travel industry.

If your business doesn’t have a unique selling proposition, you must create one in order to be successfull on the Internet!

When you have your USP, you should present it in your web siteกs headline, web copy, in every ad, do so year after year, and… remember that you must deliver what you promise.

When writing your web copy, it is also important to understand that there are four online personality types, and they look for information that specifically answers their questions. Note that sales conversion rate also highly depends on personality types:

Competitive/Assertive personality answer กWhat can your solution do for me?ก question.

Spontanious/Amiable กWhy is your solution the best for me?ก

Humanistic/Expressive กWho has used your solution to solve my problem?ก

Methodical/Analytical กHow can your solution solve my problem?ก

So, try to answer all above questions (What? Why? How?) in your web copy or sales letter.

After your website is up and running, in order to further increase sales conversion rates of your online business, you should run a splittesting, or A/B test, on your web site.

Note that direct marketing professionals don’t guess they base their decisions on statistics.

What is a split run?

A split run is where you measure a new idea or way to sell a product against a control or default that you know works.

So, you might have two pages of sales copy one that you know sells 2% to a targeted audience, and another that is selling the same thing but at an unknown rate.

To do the splittesting online, you should have a decent measurement system that accurately records the number of people arriving at your web site and their actions (leads, sales).

You could test different headlines, graphics, background/text combinations, link colors, buttons (buy now, order now, buy, order), you can even test paragraphs of content. There is nothing on a website that cannot be splittested.

Any of these changes affect your sales conversion.

After you have run a splittest, you should find out if your test results are statistically significant.

Use SplitTester. This free tool will tell how likely two ad copies are to have different longterm results:

http://www.splittester.com/

So, before thinking about how to drive more traffic to your web site, first make sure that your web site has a unique selling proposition (USP) and converts well.

About The Author

Gerardas Norkus is a successful author and publisher of http://www.1stinrewards.com

Great tips on receiving free merchandise and money from top online rewards and incentives programs.

(c) Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.

Publishing Guidelines: You may freely distribute or publish this article provided you publish the whole article and include the copyright notice and links in full. A courtesy copy is requested upon publication.

This article was posted on December 09, 2004

by Gerardas Norkus

E(merging) Books

E(merging) Books

by: Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

A novel redefinition through experimentation of the classical format of the book is emerging.

Consider the now defunct BookTailor. It used to sell its book customization software mainly to travel agents but this technology is likely to conquer other niches (such as the legal and medical professions). It allows users to select bits and pieces from a library of ebooks, combine them into a totally new tome and print and bind the latter on demand. The client can also choose to buy the endproduct as an ebook. Consider what this simple business model does to entrenched and age old notions such as กoriginalก and กcopiesก, copyright, and book identifiers. What is the กoriginalก in this case? Is it the final, usercustomized book or its sources? And if no customized book is identical to any other what happens to the intuitive notion of กcopiesก? Should BookTailorgenerated books considered to be unique exemplars of onecopy print runs? If so, should each one receive a unique identifier (for instance, a unique ISBN)? Does the user possess any rights in the final product, composed and selected by him? What about the copyrights of the original authors?

Or take BookCrossing.com. On the face of it, it presents no profound challenge to established publishing practices and to the modern concept of intellectual property. Members register their books, obtain a BCID (BookCrossing ID Number) and then give the book to someone, or simply leave it lying around for a total stranger to find. Henceforth, fate determines the chain of events. Eventual successive owners of the volume are supposed to report to BookCrossing (by email) about the bookกs and their whereabouts, thereby generating moving plots and mapping the territory of literacy and bibliomania. This innocuous model subversively undermines the concept legal and moral of ownership. It also expropriates the book from the realm of passive, inert objects and transforms it into a catalyst of human interactions across time and space. In other words, it returns the book to its origins: a time capsule, a time machine and the embodiment of a historical narrative.

Ebooks, hitherto, have largely been nothing but an ephemeral rendition of their print predecessors. But ebooks are another medium altogether. They can and will provide a different reading experience. Consider กhyperlinks within the ebook and without it to web content, reference works, etc., embedded instant shopping and ordering links, divergent, userinteractive, decision driven plotlines, interaction with other ebooks (using Bluetooth or another wireless standard), collaborative authoring, gaming and community activities, automatically or periodically updated content, ,multimedia capabilities, database, Favourites and History Maintenance (records of reading habits, shopping habits, interaction with other readers, plot related decisions and much more), automatic and embedded audio conversion and translation capabilities, full wireless piconetworking and scatternetworking capabilities and moreก.

About The Author

Sam Vaknin is the author of กMalignant Self Love Narcissism Revisitedก and กAfter the Rain How the West Lost the Eastก. He is a columnist in กCentral Europe Reviewก, United Press International (UPI) and ebookweb.org and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com. Until recently, he served as the Economic Advisor to the Government of Macedonia.

His web site: http://samvak.tripod.com

This article was posted on February 2, 2002

by Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

5 Simple Techniques to Work at Home Forever

5 Simple Techniques to Work at Home Forever

by: Sylvie Charrier

If youกve spent any time online, you will already know that there are lots of scams out there! You might have even begun to doubt that there are any workathome positions available for serious jobseekers. If this sounds like you, you aren’t alone!

Believe me, there are real home based jobs, but what most of the work at home sites omit in their information packages is that it takes work to get work. Finding a telecommuting job can be a full time job in itself, but if you don’t have all the facts, you will be spinning your wheels trying to get somewhere or you will probably give up within a few weeks. That would be a shame, because there aren’t enough high quality telecommuters as it is!

Look, I know you’re skeptical. So was I, a few short years ago. That was before I started implementing some very unique strategies that allowed me to generate so much work from my small home office, that I needed to hire extra staff just to keep up with it all!

The strategies I used are actually very simple, and you can duplicate these ideas to become a very successful telecommuter. In fact, I want you to copy my techniques, even if it means I create my own competition! Why? Because every time a new person starts to work from home more successfully and efficiently, that means one more employer is happy with the concept of hiring homeworkers! That means everyone gets more jobs, and more opportunities to do what we all love to do…working at home in our pyjamas!

So, let’s cover the top 5 simple techniques you can use to work at home forever, shall we?

Never pay for any job! There is never a good reason to pay for work, and I am amazed at how many jobseekers waste precious time and money chasing after schemes that will never pay. It wastes a lot of time you could better spend targeting your jobsearch to legitimate and valid work.

Get your materials ready! You are going to need to be ready before you start looking for work. You will need a specialized telecommuter’s resume, an excellent cover letter template, and an online portfolio that showcases samples of your work. Without these things in place ahead of time, you will not be ready for rapid response when an employer needs to see your stuff.

Make sure you have all the equipment and software you’re going to need! Depending on your skill set, you’re probably going to need special software and equipment to do your job right. Don’t expect an employer to pay for these things. A prospective employer is more likely to hire the next person who is properly equipped, rather than hire you if you expect the employer to pay for what you need to do your job.

Know what you do for a living! This is an absolute necessity if you want to work from home. You may think that you want to do ขtyping at homeข, but if that’s all you can think of, then you’re wasting time. Think about how your typing skills will be useful to your employer, come up with creative applications of that skill, set up samples to show what your service looks like, and plan ahead on how much you will charge for that service. Be willing to tell prospective employers exactly what you do and how much you charge for it.

Change your strategy! Instead of looking for jobs that have already been posted online, and have already been taken, look for companies that are well suited for your talents. Create your own work by contacting companies that have not yet posted jobs online, and eliminate the competition. But, make sure you know exactly what service you plan to offer that company, and why it is useful to them. Don’t bother contacting companies by sending vague resumes. That technique never works! Contact targeted companies with specific services in mind, and let them know you are open to alternate suggestions.

These techniques work extremely well, and using them allowed me to build my home based service company from scratch, without spending a dime on advertising. I was broke when I started working from home, and I didn’t have a computer. Using these techniques, I was able to slowly build my business and develop a client base that has consistently earned me more money than if I was working onsite. You can do it too!

About The Author

Copyright © 2003, Sylvie Charrier, Author of ‘telecommuters Work in Their PJsก

http://www.inyourpjs.com

This article is excerpted from ขTelecommuters Work in Their PJsข, a real world guide to telecommuting. Sylvie Charrier works from home full time and wrote this book to share her unique techniques with others. You can download your free trial copy of ขTelecommuters Work in Their PJsข by visiting http://www.inyourpjs.com

This article is available for free reprint on your site or newsletter, provided it is copied in its entirety, and the byline remains intact. The only allowed change to the byline is to replace http://www.inyourpjs.com with your unique affiliate link so you can make money from any sales of ‘telecommuters Work in Their PJsก.

Sign up as an authorized affiliate here…

http://www.inyourpjs.com/affiliates.htm

Once signed up as an affiliate you will receive your unique affiliate link and may replace Sylvieกs URL with your affiliate link.

This article was posted on February 25, 2003

by Sylvie Charrier

Why Articles Are Not The Route To High Search Engi

Why Articles Are Not The Route To High Search Engine Rankings

by: Priya Florence Shah

If you have any interest in getting high search engine rankings for your website (and who doesn’t) youกve probably been sold the idea that writing and publishing your own articles will do it for you.

Hereกs why thatกs not entirely true.

Imagine the following scenario…

You write an article around a keyword or keyphrase you want to rank well for.

You submit that article to all the article submission sites and directories and ezines you can find.

Your article gets published in hundreds of places.

You now have hundreds of links pointing back to your main site…

But your own site never shows up in the top ten results for that particular keyword or keyphrase.

Instead you find that there are lots of other sites carrying your article that rank better than yours.

Youกve completely missed out on an excellent opportunity to get high rankings for your keyword or keyphrase.

Even worse… you just handed your precious keywordrich content on a platter to possible competitors who happened to publish your article on their website, and may have lost some of your most targeted visitors and sales to them.

So where did you go wrong?

Your mistake lay in using your precious article the keywordrich content you toiled for hours to write for entirely the wrong purpose.

You failed to use the power of the medium of article publishing to give your site an unbeatable advantage over others.

Hereกs how to use your articles the right way to boost your search engine rankings.

1. Publish Unique Content On Your Website

When you make an article available for reprint, the article, by virtue of it being published on hundreds of other sites, now no longer qualifies as unique content.

In the eyes of search engines, those pages with higher Pagerank (and hence greater importance) than yours will now rank better than you for the keywords your article is optimized for.

Instead of making your article the main course, use it as an appetizer to direct search engines and readers to a UNIQUE, keywordrich, welloptimized report or white paper on your website, and youกll see dramatically different results.

2. Use Your Article As Spider Bait

Think of your articles as simply the conduit that leads search engines to your website.

Publishing your articles all over the web is like leaving scraps for a puppy (a.k.a. the search engines) that follows them all the way back to the kennel (a.k.a. your website) where it can feast on the main course your UNIQUE content.

3. Use KeywordRich Anchor Text In Your Resource Box

Use your main keyword or keyphrase in the anchor text of the article resource box that contains a link pointing back to your unique content.

This will create hundreds of keywordrich links pointing back to the welloptimized report on your website, and give your pages a powerful edge over other websites.

Often this factor alone is sufficient to take your website to the top of the search results, especially with search engines like Google and MSN.

The guidelines here include only a few of the steps you need to take to get high rankings for the keywords of your choice.

To learn how to use your articles and unique content to get an edge over your competitors and secure longterm, top rankings for your website, check out the search engine optimization ebook, Number One In Your Niche.

http://www.numberoneinyourniche.com

Copyright 2004 Priya Shah

http://www.PriyaShah.com

About The Author

Priya Shah is the author of Number One In Your Niche http://www.NumberOneInYourNiche.com and edits the newsletter Be a Whiz at eBiz! http://ebizwhizpublishing.com.

This article was posted on August 14, 2004

by Priya Florence Shah

How To Conceal Your Websiteกs กFingerprintก From T

How To Conceal Your Websiteกs กFingerprintก From The Search Engines

by: Satyajeet Hattangadi

The internet marketing industry is now flooded with various page and portal generators.

In the good old days the gateway page generators did very well, earning a lot of money for many people.

Then the search engines began to crack down on robotgenerated pages, a trend which has led to the demise of such tools.

But how is it that the search engines are able to track down these sites so fast?

Well, its not rocket science. Believe me, even you could track down a site within minutes if you knew how to find its fingerprint.

A fingerprint for a site is usually a piece of text or a paragraph or at times a particular CSS style that the software repeats for all the sites it generates.

In fact thatกs why I always advise customers of my portal generation software Niche Portal Builder (http://www.novasoftinc.net) to modify the default templates.

If you use such software with the default templates provided and don’t modify the HTML, you can be sure that hundreds of others are doing the same thing.

All it takes is one jealous competitor to complain to Google. And, Bam.. your site gets banned.

Modifying the templates to create a unique site is definitely one way to go, but there are several others ways to make your site unique.

RSS is a great way to make your site กunfingerprintableก.

But most RSS scripts available in the market today just display the feed content as is without modifying it.

The ideal way to use RSS feeds in a truly กunprintableก fashion would be to aggregate more than one RSS feed and display them randomly.

By aggregating and randomizing several feeds you can guarantee that your content will be unique.

PPC feeds from Amazon, Revenue Pilot and Search feed can add extra content to your sites that make it unique, and earn a few dollars for you at the same time.

All the three PPC sites listed above provide their feeds in XML format and also provide sample PHP code that can convert this into regular HTML.

If you use page generators to create your websites, use them responsibly to ensure the กlongevityก of your websites.

And if you use RSS feeds on your site, remember to กrandomizeก them to conceal your siteกs fingerprint from the search engines.

About The Author

Satyajeet Hattangadi is the Owner of Novasoft Inc, creators of RSS Randomizer http://www.novasoftinc.net/rssrandomizer, a unique php script that aggregates and randomizes RSS feeds to make your site กunfingerprintableก

This article may be reprinted as long as the text and resource box are kept intact, and the links remain live and spiderable.

This article was posted on April 15

by Satyajeet Hattangadi

TALES, FAILS AND BETRAYALS OF SEARCH ENGINE PLACEM

TALES, FAILS AND BETRAYALS OF SEARCH ENGINE PLACEMENT Part 1

by: Gina Novelle

This is the first of a series of articles about a subject so many people want to learn; the unsizzled truth of search engines. What do you really know about how a web site is placed? Are you being told the truth? Not only will these articles enlighten you, but along the way, I will create a new web site and in the next 2 months we will watch where it lands!

You will learn about the tricks, and tools I use. If I have an affiliation with any of the companies I recommend, I will let you know. I’m going to start at the very beginning. Therefore, I will assume you have little or no knowledge of how web pages get to the top of the search engines.

There is a reason that large web site companies have names like eBay, Google, and Yahoo! These names are unique, limited in characters, easy to spell, easy to say and the biggest reason – they are easy to REMEMBER! I also noticed that they are sounds my toddler makes! I’m not a psychologist, so I won’t go there, but you get my point. I’m not saying that your web site name should be googoogaga.com, but the more unique the name, the less chance of duplication by others. Before you consider purchasing a web name, first check it out! Oh by the way, the name googoogaga.com is already taken.

You think you have a great name for a web site? Go to the following search engine addresses and type in the name. Remember people use spaces if they type in more than one word. This is why your site name should be short! Think of compound words or terms used together, like ขcash stash.ข

http://www.google.com

http://www.yahoo.com

http://www.altavista.com

http://www.msn.com

http://www.aol.com (search is at the very bottom of their page)

Many people purchase a web name that matches their birth name, as in www.stanleygeorge.com. Just look in your local phone book and see how many others have your name. Why would you think your name would be unique in an entire world of people? Okay, Okay, don’t fret just yet, even if you did use your name as a web name. You will learn how to remedy that situation in this article.

When picking a name for your web site, you want to think of the following items.

Describes what you do

Is easy to spell

Is easy to remember

Has a word or words that people will use in a search

Or is Unique enough to create curiosity

That’s the problem with the web names today. Most items people type in a search engine is already used. So I take a different approach to web names. If unable to get a ขsearch termข for a name, then I go for unique names. My new web site for this article is http://www.popcornfart.com. Okay, does that strike a curiosity? Where did I get the name? Actually, it was a saying from my grandfather. Yes, I did check the web, and very few items came up with that verbiage. Now for the lesson in the name game!

You can purchase a name without a web site. Read that again. You can buy just a name! Oh, no one told you that? Here’s the best part! You can redirect that name to an existing web site, to a free web site, or even to a page on a web site. That’s right! You can pick any name and have it redirected. Think of it, as call forwarding! If your current name is not the most advantageous to the search engines, or is too long, you can buy a better name, and have it automatically pull up your web site. Just like call forwarding your phone, only your new web site address is seen online.

I’m not affiliated with this company, but I’ve been working with them for over 5 years. They only sell names, and ways to redirect them. When you purchase a name from them, you also get redirection email for free. I’ll explain more about redirection email in the part II of this article. For now, check out, http://www.namesecure.com.

Using their home page, you will be able to type in a web name you want to purchase. You will be surprised that so many of the names are already taken. Get creative and think of something unique. Take your time!

You must open an account with Namesecure which includes a user name and password. I found it easier to first setup the account, then purchase the name. Their web site can be confusing to new users, so go slow. Don’t go crazy and purchase names you will not use. I know it is tempting, because names on this site are reasonably priced. Don’t purchase extra stuff! With the name, you automatically get email forwarding. Buy the name for only 2 years, as the web changes quickly.

The order is usually processed in about two days, sometimes in 15 minutes. The name will then appear in your account. Sign back into your account, then click on the word ขmodify/updateข next to your name. A new page appears and on the third tab below your new name you will see ขWeb Settings.ข That is where you tell the new name to redirect to your existing web site. The amount of time to redirect also varies. I’ve had some names redirect in 10 minutes, others took 8 hours.

So now you know, multiple names that redirect appear as multiple web sites. Don’t miss Part II of this article – online soon!

Copyright by Gina Novelle at http://www.thirdpocket.com

About The Author

Gina Novelle is a published free lance writer! She writes ขHowToข articles, press releases, and other informational articles. She works with clients that want to obtain a web presence, and is available to write for you. Her Background can be found at http://www.thirdpocket.com/wall.htm, and mailto:gina@exclusivemarkets.net.

This article was posted on November 01, 2004

by Gina Novelle

Why USPs Don’t Work

Why USPs Don’t Work

by: Debbie Jenkins

The USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is based on the assumption that if you can’t be better than the competition then being different will usually suffice.
It is true that most businesses scrape by in the midst of mediocrity. The bosses of these firms see an industry or profession that looks lucrative and join the ranks in a กme too, Iกd like some of that actionก, kind of way. If thereกs enough of a market for what they do then theyกll pick up the odd client and eke out an existence without having to think or work very hard on their brand.
Most of these companies make up the headlines of casualties when the market they’re in gets tough and only the outstanding or wellpositioned firms stay safe.
So, the USP, in principle, enables the enlightened business owner to rise above the ranks and be noticed. This is usually achieved by:
High Value Promises
Guarantees
Under Promising and Over Delivering
Finding an underserviced niche in your market
I applaud and support this way of thinking and believe that high value promises, guarantees and aiming to delight clients are all important. I actually believe that these things should be the baseline for any business.
So the notion of a USP is fantastic. Thereกs just one tiny flaw…
Finding your USP can be like the quest for the proverbial Holy Grail. You could end up spending inordinate amounts of money on research, product/service development and branding without ever really attaining a true USP. The quest to find กuniqueก when ‘relevantก, กoutstandingก and กdecisiveก are just as good can be frustrating and wasteful.
Iกve seen people stumble upon some really great propositions for their brand that would have worked like a dream, but then dismiss them because they’re not ขuniqueข enough.
Some of the problems with USPs:
Nearly every idea you come up with will have already been done, so struggling to find unique will be frustrating and wasteful
Youกll spend lots of time trying to invent something truly unique and if you do ever find it youกll never really know if itกs unique anyway
If you are unique then as soon as you start telling people the reasons why, somebody else will copy it and, alas, it is no longer unique.
Most people realise the above as soon as they start looking and instead of doing the hard work theyกll just slap a USP label on something that is กme tooก or mediocre.
USPs feed money hungry textbook marketers with research, positioning and creative brainstorming projects. Then once somebody copies you itกs back to the drawing board and they can get paid all over again.
I want you to get the notion of กuniqueก out of your head by replacing it with กdecisiveก. Weกll look at how to achieve this shortly but first, Iกd just like to tell you about a guy who came on one of my first Lean Marketing(tm) Master Classes…
Mister 73 USPs: A Warning
This guyกs firm provided training and coaching in performance improvement and change management. He had an MBA and reportedly knew lots about marketing.
Just to set the scene…
Throughout the first half of the day heกd managed to disagree with and antagonise everyone in the room, including his own business partner.
He was quick to disagree and slow to explain his reasons why. Weกd just started work on the ขSo What?ข exercise when he said,
ขI know what you’re doing. You’re trying to help us find our USP. Don’t bother, Iกve already got 73 of กem.ข
I was surprised and impressed but not convinced, ข73 USPs? Are you sure? Tell me about them.ข
Silence. The rest of the group were now all looking at him. He looked back with a look of concentration as he struggled to remember just one. He finally came back with, ขQuality!ข
Although I felt uncomfortable for the man with 73 USPs, I believed it was important to uncover what he really understood; for his benefit and the benefit of the rest of the group. I didn’t want everyone believing that having so many USPs was a good idea. So I continued my line of questioning,
ขHow does quality set you apart as unique?ข
Again, a long pause and then,
ขWell, we provide the best quality solutions to all of our clients.ข
I continued with three questions in rapid succession,

ขDo you offer a guarantee?ข
ขAre you sure your competitors aren’t saying and delivering the same thing?ข
ขWho are your clients?ข

His response to each question was,

ขNo we don’t guarantee it, how could we?ข
ขWe don’t have any competitors because what we offer is unique!ข
ขAnyone can benefit from what we do, so anyone willing to pay is a client!ข

As you can see, Mister 73 USPs was in a tricky spot:
He didn’t have one USP let alone 73
The กUSPก he chose was not unique
He had no idea who his competitors were
73 anythings in branding are usually 72 too many, no wonder he couldn’t remember them!
He hadn’t even defined his target as a type of business let alone pinpointed an individual
He was entrenched with a belief that heกd seen it all before this usually limits a personกs ability to learn anything new
Now, Iกm known for my ability to step right beyond the BS and for my edgy and sometimes dangerous manner with textbook marketers, but he was a delegate, so I swiftly moved on so that he could save face. I then continued to try and help him personally during the rest of the workshop but he really wasn’t willing to part with the belief that he had 73 USPs. Nor would he accept that selling to everyone meant that he wouldn’t appeal strongly to anyone.
I don’t pretend to be a life coach (I leave that to people who are good at it) and don’t believe itกs my job to change peopleกs beliefs, so at the end of the class, unprompted, I gave him his coursefee back.
He wasn’t going to use our information and ideas anyway.
So why am I telling you this sad story? Why, because most textbook marketers, in my experience, really don’t understand USPs. Itกs just another buzzword they throw at you to sound clever and important but under the surface their USPs are usually little more than overdressed features.
USPs are mythological artefacts that rarely exist today except in the imaginations of textbook marketers or the truly inspired.
DPPs Decisive Power Points
Right, back to the programme… Iกd like you to ignore กuniqueก and replace it with กdecisiveก.
Decisive is more effective than unique for a number of reasons:
Unique doesn’t necessarily mean favourable Decisive does!
If all else is equal your DPP will tip the scales in your favour it will be the deciding factor
DPPs work from your clientกs viewpoint they are triggers that help your client decide, not just things that you think are unique
Decisive is much easier to find and maintain than Unique
Thereกs an example of our DPP chart (high and to the right is where you want your benefit to be) on our site at http://www.debbiejenkins.com/academypics/DAY17dppexample.gif
The Decisive Power Point chart and detailed instructions on how to use it is covered thoroughly in our ebook called Coaching Charisma Using The Power of Your Brand to Magically Attract New Business. This 64 page book is a must read for any coach who is struggling to stand out in the crowd.
Speak Soon
กDangerousก Debbie Jenkins

About The Author

กDangerousก Debbie Jenkins is a speaker, author and standup comedian. Get her latest course กCoachesCan!ก Attract More Clients & Enjoy More Success By Doing & Spending Less and you can even set your own course fee!

http://www.debbiejenkins.com/coaches/index01.html

debs@debbiejenkins.com

This article was posted on May 27, 2004

by Debbie Jenkins