In order to build a successful business, you would automatically assume that the most important factor is your product. The thing that, when it all boils down, you are left with at the end. The thing that people go to you for. But while that may be true, there is something else that is equally, if not more, important: your brand.
Don’t believe me? How else do you think that Instagram has emerged as a major social network, without most of its users realizing that it offers a service that is essentially no different from (and perhaps more limited than) that which is offered by Facebook or Twitter. Instagram built its brand around exclusivity, and created something that made people think that they needed it. The service now has more than 50 million users, despite having only been launched at the end of 2010.
Here are some examples of other companies who have mastered the art of telling their story through good branding:
Google’s logo is simple and fun, representing perfectly the exact image that Google wants to convey. Although it appears to be nothing more than the company’s name, much more is conveyed from underneath the surface. The colors, while seemingly random, were chosen with a specific purpose. Designer Ruth Kedar said, “we ended up with the primary colors, but instead of having the pattern go in order, we put a secondary color on the L, which brought back the idea that Google doesn’t follow the rules.” (source)
If there was ever a title for “king of branding,” the winner would certainly be Apple inc. The Apple logo has become more desired than any other logo, and the Apple brand is one of the most popular and fashionable brands in the world. No company garners brand loyalty like Apple does. And the logo has an interesting story behind it. The original Apple logo was a picture of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under the famous apple tree. This evokes Apple’s central mission to come up with something groundbreaking and different. It also evokes another essential part of the brand, that Apple is quick to integrate into their stores — the Apple “genius.”
The famous Nike swoosh tells us much about the company’s story. The shape of the mark evokes speed and efficiency, and a tidy design. It also represents the wing in the renowned statue of the Greek Goddess of victory, Nike. Even the name “swoosh” is derived from a material used to make Nike shoes. The Nike logo is so iconic that the company can create an entire ad campaign without inserting any part of their brand — shirts, shoes, signs, mugs, banners, you name it — save for that famous swoosh.
FedEx has won multiple awards for its logo, which was designed to tell the story of its company in the simplest way possible. The logo is simple and pleasing to the eye. It creates the image of a company with whom you can trust your important packages. The subtle arrow in between the “E” and the “x” give the impression of speed and efficiency, as well as forward motion, which is what you want in a shipping company.
How many social networks have you joined? Do you join the newest ones? Or do you wait a bit and see how the social network begins to develop?
Are you a social network junkie? Cannot seem to join enough or fearful that if you do not join the latest like your peers you might be missing out on something?
In the search for marketing targets, social networks is one target that may or may not net you results. There is a great deal of literature available from marketing experts and gurus that target social networks in general. No one seems to be willing that there is one or five best social networks to target.
When you begin considering joining a social network, there are a few questions you may wish to consider.
- Does the theme of the social network align with my purpose or niche? My product or service?
- What is the future of the social network? Does it have potential for growth?
- How old is the social network? How long has it been in existence? 1 month or 10 years, there is a difference.
- What is the member count? More than 10 or 10,000?
- Do the members fit my target audience?
These questions are meant to stir your gray cells and begin a planning and developing stage in your marketing. Small business owners and home based entrepreneurs can learn a great deal by perusing corporate pages. Pictures catch the attention and carry a stronger message than words alone.
Copycats do as well if not better than those who try to reinvent the wheel. Just do not plagiarize or infringe on copyrights. It is the style you wish to learn and use for your own purpose.
Happy marketing and see you on the social networks. Click here to find me.
How do you view search engine optimization? Does it seem overwhelming and time consuming? Have you refused to educate yourself? I know how you feel.
There are a few items every web mistress should have when building a website, even a blog. These few tools aid in developing the layout, optimizing for search engines, and making it user friendly. Who wants to visit a website that takes forever to load in your browser?
In talking with website owners I have discovered that each one believes that search engine optimization is beyond them. Keyword research, checking code, links, and other important aspects of a blog and website is time consuming. Especially when you use more than one piece of software or do it all by hand.
I have a solution. One I use frequently. It has become an invaluable tool for me. I do not like spending all my time fixing links, researching keywords, balancing the pages, and fixing the numerous other errors that do occur.
WebCEO ( http://www.webceo.com/cgi-bin/go/clickthru.cgi?id=officewife) has been a gift. I can input my website’s url, select the task and wait a few seconds. Reports are created that explain about keywords, meta tags, errors in both areas, if any, and how I stack up to the competition if I choose to know. A free trial is ready for you to give it a try. Click here ( http://www.webceo.com/cgi-bin/go/clickthru.cgi?id=officewife) and check it out for yourself. There is no cost or obligation. No pushy sales person is going to bother you. I know I won’t.
I would like to know what you think of it. If you purchase the full Pro version of WebCeo http://www.webceo.com/cgi-bin/go/clickthru.cgi?id=officewife), you can sell SEO services to your clients, friends, family, and strangers. The free online version allows you to set up two sites. Upgrade and again, sell your SEO services.
I create complete reports for my clients, letting them know if keywords are missing, how they rate compared to their competitors, meta tags are either too short or too long, too many out going links, and not enough back links. There are 12 tools in one piece of software.
I repeat, 12 tools in WebCEO. I invite you to try it for yourself. There is at least one free software program similar to this program, but it was a bit complicated and time consuming. I am spoiled, so back to WebCEO.
Do you know about QR codes? When I saw the title of this article I wondered what it was. Since I know little about the latest marketing technology. I have been neglectful.
Those little odd boxes you see on ads in the newspaper, magazines, and business websites are called QR codes. You use your smart phone and scan them to get information about the product.
I came across a couple of worthy sites that now keep me up to date. Now I get to provide you with the latest relevant information.
You can subscribe to the newsletter or keep coming back here. But I won’t be publishing everything here. That would be like, cheating? Maybe.
Enough of my ramblings this morning. Not your usual post from me today. Get on with reading the guide to QR codes.
By Guest Expert: Daegan Smith
A few days ago in our regularly scheduled “Inner Circle” no holds barred q and a session we discussed the proper use of blogging to recruit and enhance your home business. Make no mistake blogging is extremely powerful as a business building tool “if” used properly, here’s how to do it right . . .
One of the biggest mistake I see people making in their blogging efforts is “why” they use them. Most people tend to think of blogging as a primary traffic generation strategy, and it can be, but it’s not THE best use of a blog in our type of business.
You should think of blog traffic more like icing on the cake. The primary and MOST powerful use of starting and using a blog in your business is it’s ability to create a powerful testimonial for you. Let me explain . . .
When I started my first successful business here’s exactly what I did. On an almost daily basis I blogged about something relating to my business, at the top of that blog I would always note
the number of people in our team, and then carry on with the message.
Sometimes if I had new recruits I would create a formal blog welcome to my new team mates by listing their names and welcoming them to the team.
If there was a co-op, advertising strategy that was working well for me, you better bet I put in on that blog.
Why? Well, I haven’t told you how I used my blog to recruit yet (we’ll get to that in a second), but along with using a blog to recruit I also constantly referred my team members there for any and all updates on our business.
It was a central meeting point. As a result my team always checked the blog to see what was going on in our business. This was important for two reasons:
First, easy access to important current information pertaining to our team, and second as team wide social proof.
They came to the blog and saw the number of people on the team growing and welcome messages to our new team members and subconsciously it helped raise their belief level about the business they
It’s sometimes easy for a new recruit to get discouraged without encouragement and the blog helped give them that encouragement they needed. As a result they “believed” in the business, and took more proactive action to go out and do what we were doing to grow which translated into a higher rate of
duplication in the business and longer retention.
So let’s recap so far, we’ve got a blog where we’re blogging about our team, what we’re doing to advertise, we’re “training” our team members to check the blog often for advice and encouragement
and as a result their using that motivation to go out and build. This causes the team to grow faster,
stronger, and better.
What do we have? That sounds like a pretty darn powerful testimonial to me. And that’s the primary use of the blog as far as recruiting is concerned as I mentioned earlier.
The mistake most people make is they want to blog for traffic, which you can do, and I’ll share a few tips to doing that better in a few, but not it’s best use for recruiting. Here’s how to use your blog to recruit . . .
I’d generate leads directly to my own lead capture page or my company’s lead capture page. Once I saw my lead opt in I would send them a personal email to tell them a little bit about myself, our team, and our business. In that email I would always include a link to my blog so my prospects could get an inside look at who I and our team was doing.
This is powerful as heck for a couple reasons where recruiting is concerned.
First, people are inherently voyeuristic. They wanna spy, so let them. By sending my prospects to my blog they now had the opportunity to get to know me and my team without me even being there. As a result, when we did have an email correspondence or they called me they already knew me.
I’ve always found this to be a MUCH better option than cold calling leads. I let them get to know me first.
Second reason this is powerful is based on a principle called “The Power Of Documentation” which states we as humans tend to take things which we read as more truthful than things we just hear.
In other words, a prospect who goes to your blog and reads about you and your team is going to take what they read there at face value where if you’re on the phone telling them the same thing they’re most likely saying “Yeah right”
If you’ve ever called leads and had that question come up of “Well why should I join you?” Having and sending your prospects to your blog first will virtually eliminate this objection and ignite powerful curiosity and intrigue about you and what you do.
So, when it comes to using a blog to recruit, it’s best us is as a secondary traffic strategy. You get the lead, then you send them to your blog for a powerful testimonial.
So I can hear the question welling up “What should I put on my blog to start?” Simple, talk about yourself, your company’s products and service, why you love your company, your team, AND here’s
a key . . .
Ask your upline or downline to write you a quick note about why it’s great to work with you and put it on your blog.
You do that, and you’ve covered all your bases. Not only are your prospects learning about you, why you like what you do, your personality, your team, BUT they’re also SEEING other people saying
great things about you. Third party validation about you is a powerful thing.
Simply doing this and nothing else, I was surprised to see that after about six months of consistent blogging my blog received about 300 site views per day from people finding online via search engines. I did nothing but blog,
but just because I had content on the blog I had tons of people finding it for free, and as a result, calls out of the blue from people saying “yeah I found your blog, what’s up with your business” (kinda cool)
So let me share a few things you can do to improve you search engine rankings for you blog posts to enhance your free traffic.
First, do a little keyword research using the Google Keyword tool. Find a few keywords related to business and use those keywords in your blog title, and a few times, along with a few synonyms for
that main keyword in your blog post.
One secret strategy that’s really increased my blog traffic personally is using images in my blog.
On blog posts where I insert an image to correspond to the blog post keyword I tend to get about double the traffic. So find a few images related to your blog post keyword.
Name those images as your main keyword, for instance if my blog post was based on the keyword “internet network marketing” then then I would find 3 images I could use for that keyword and I would name the images:
Search engines rank you based on how many other websites link to your post related to your keywords, so when you create a new blog post, write an article with the same keyword and submit it to the major article directories with a link going back to your main blog post.
Find a few other blogs in the niche and comment on a few post and link back to your blog post.
Create a facebook, twitter, myspace, squidoo account and post some content based on the keyword and link those back to your blog post.
You do that for you blog and you’re ahead of 99% of marketers.
So now that we’ve got traffic down, let’s talk about $$$, how do you make money with your blog? I think the simplest way to make money with blog from the outset is to simply add Google Adsense to each blog post, not so much because you’ll make a ton of cash from it, but when people do click on your Google Adsense ads on your blog you’ll make a few bucks which is powerful positive reinforcement for your efforts in the early going.
It’ll fuel you forward. You’ll see money coming in and you’ll get excited.
The best long term way to make money with your blog though is . . .
Integrating your blog with your email marketing efforts. I love using the one two punch of email marketing and blogging because it allows you to change the dynamic of your email messages to
your prospects from a one way conversation to a two way conversation by giving your prospects the ability to comment back to you.
Getting people involved and commenting on your blog is a powerful way to build trust. Think of your blog as a conversation and you’ll see the bond between you and your prospects growing stronger daily and for it your income will increase.
There are two powerful benefits of turning your emails into a blog conversation.
The first is simply when people get involved and proactively comment they’ve taking a powerful step into your world. The second benefit is a little more sneaky, but extremely powerful.
Say you send a prospect to your blog to share an important post today and 15 people comment on that post. Great!
Well what if you take the email that you sent people to your blog and add it to your auto responder?
Now the leads that join your list 3 months from now will get that email automatically via your autoresponder email sequence you set up and when they get to the post not only are they going to get to participate in a conversation you set up on autopilot, but they’ll also see all the people that commented
prior and say . . .
“Wow! I just got this email and 15 people already comment there must be a lot of people listening in.” and hence conclude you’re a good teacher and someone a LOT of people listen to.
So there’s more I could go into on blogging, but I think that’s plenty for now. No matter what you do if
you haven’t checked out this free website. Go here now
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