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Posts Tagged “Marketing”

10 Tweets To Solve Twitter Writer’s Block

If you are actively involved in your social media activities, then you may have trouble coming up with new and exciting tweets to share with your customers on a daily basis. However, there is a simple fix for this. Remember, social media is about being social and interaction. When you are not sure what to [...]

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Get a Big Media Story in 3 Steps

As a small business owner, you may think it’s impossible to get a big, feature story about your company in one of your favorite publications, especially if you don’t have the money to hire a publicist. And while a publicist has the skills to build buzz and cultivate relationships with the media, it is possible [...]

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Small Business Owner Bob Christensen Gets the Word Out

Recently, I spoke to the CEO of Your Dollar Matters, Inc., http://www.theformtool.com, Bob BobChristensenChristensen. As a successful, small business owner who deals with other entrepreneurs in accounting, case management and HR on a regular basis, he is getting the word out about his business and increasing sales via public relations efforts. Here are his insights…

Why did you start Your Dollar Matters?

As a significant purchaser of professional services, particularly from lawyers and accountants, I was often disappointed by the agreements and documents that constituted their final product, which were usually just cut-and-paste hatchet jobs in Word, regurgitations of documents created 20 years ago and reused 1000 times since.

I wanted to provide the market with the kind of professional, form-based product I expected rather than what I was getting. While I don’t mind paying well for expert guidance and advice, compensating someone hundreds of dollars an hour for laboriously tweaking documents they’ve written 100 times before strikes me as ludicrous. I’ll gladly pay by the gram for brains, but not by the pound for the words!

With Your Dollar Matters, we saw an opportunity to do well by doing good: good for professionals who are yoked to their clocks; good for clients who want lower prices and better service; even good for “the system” by improving courthouse and bureaucratic productivity, too, by giving taxpayers a more efficient bang for the buck.

What advice do you have for others starting a new business?

Figure out who needs a better mousetrap then build one that is exponentially better than the best. Before you launch, though, figure out how you’re going to convince your market that it actually needs your better device.

Because, as it should, the market only cares about one question, “What’s in it for me?” A successful entrepreneur needs to have an overwhelmingly convincing answer to that question.

How are you getting the word out about your business and why?

Times have changed. Traditional paid media is fading fast. Consumers, including business consumers, have instant access to what I think of as “crowd experience,” reports on product experiences from users in near real-time.

Our biggest decision was to adopt a “Freeconomics” business model similar to what Facebook, Pandorajam and Twitter have done, where a small minority of users pay for the service while the vast majority get it for free. (Note: “Freeconomics” is a strategy outlined by Chris Anderson in his 2009 bestseller, “Free: The Future of a Radical Price.”) We expected that decision would help us build a user base fast, to which we could later turn for word of mouth (or keyboard), product reviews, testimonials and paid upgrades.

Three of the unexpected consequences of that decision were fascinating. First, overnight TheFormTool found an international following among people who need document assembly on a regular basis. Second, because people could actually count on a real product and a real lifetime license for absolutely free, they stepped up to decisions they otherwise might not have. Finally, the incredibly rapid adoption into other industries – contractors, estimators, environmental engineers, insurance and a dozen others – is possible because people could justify giving TheFormTool a chance because of the low-risk threshold of their decision.

What marketing and publicity strategies have worked so far and why?

As buyers, we all look for the Amazon ratings or online ratings in other virtual stores. We trust those masses of anonymous, prior purchasers. With TheFormTool, our task was to develop a respectably-sized user base just as fast as possible and to give users an opportunity to crow or complain about our product and service.

Now, ordinary people really can assemble the smartest documents™ in the world and they do, easily – the feedback and chatter were stellar. After awhile, the professionals started noticing the chatter, and we began to have opportunities to help them with editorial content, which provided free media coverage, which fed the virtuous circle.

What do you plan to do in the areas of PR and marketing in the future to build awareness and why?

Our job is to expand the user base and continually enhance document-assembly users’ experience so that they come to the point where the reasons for buying are just overwhelming. The best way to do that is to share current users’ experience with the interested public.

That translates into tightly focused attention on our primary vertical markets. We’ll work with PR professionals to identify those markets and to seek and exploit opportunities for press attention within them.

Why is public relations important to your overall, business goals right now?

We want TheFormTool to become as ubiquitous as pen and paper once were. For that, we need awareness among 100 million or more potential, document-assembly purchasers of their need for increased productivity.

We need everyone to agree with us that it’s time for documents to start thinking on their own, for promissory notes to be smart enough to compute their own payments and for a contractor’s bid form to fill itself out, correctly and instantly. Public relations is the most efficient way to accomplish these goals.

What PR and marketing tips do you have for other, new business owners?

Build a story just as fast as possible, but remember that the best stories are not about you or your company. The very best stories are about users and customers. They’re the ones that are reinventing the world.

Thanks for the information Bob. Hopefully, your insights will help other small business owners with their PR and marketing activities.

How about you? Do you have marketing and PR tips for other entrepreneurs? Please write to me below or visit my site at www.rembrandtwrites.com for more information.

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Recently, I spoke to the CEO of Your Dollar Matters, Inc., http://www.theformtool.com, Bob Christensen. As a successful, small business owner who deals with other entrepreneurs in accounting, case management and HR on a regular basis, he is getting the word out about his business and increasing sales via public relations efforts. Here are his insights… [...]

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3 Questions to Avoid SEO Stress!

If you are a copywriter or small business owner researching SEO (search engine optimization) keywords for your business, it can be overwhelming. You’ll find tons of words via the search engines, Google Analytics, social media efforts, and more. With this in mind, here are… 3 Questions to Ask to Avoid SEO Keyword Stress! 1. What [...]

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3 Ways to Know If You Should Do Social Media or Not

As a small business owner, you are probably inundated with news about the latest, social media trends. There is facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and more. Do you have this feeling that you should get involved with it but just aren’t sure? Well, here are… 3 Ways to Know Whether or Not You Should Get [...]

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Find Out Why the Media Isn’t Calling You

Yes! You just started your new business, and customers are starting to arrive at your door and visit your Website, but you haven’t heard from the media. Why aren’t they calling you? Well, here are…

The Top 3 Reasons Why The Media Is Not Calling You

  1. They won’t unless you call them.

Have you reached out to media members to introduce yourself and your new business? If not, how are they supposed to know you exist?

Take the time to make a list of specific media members you want to contact. Then, call introduce yourself. Tell them who you are and the benefits your new business has to offer. Most important, let them know that you can act as a resource for future stories in your area of expertise.

Keep it short and sweet and ask them if you can send them news about your business. The worst they can say is “No,” but at least they’ll know who you are and you’ve started a media relationship. And if you are nervous about calling media members, start with a small, local publication and move up to more important and larger media venues after you’ve had a little practice on the phone.

  1. You don’t care about them.

When you contact a media member, you’ve got to think about what’s in it for them and provide information they can actually use. If you simply talk about how great your business is and all the product features you have to offer, you will hear crickets chirping or a dial tone.

However, if you think about how you can offer valuable information to a media member that he or she can actually use, you’ll be more likely to from a lasting relationship with that person. By creating a reputation of always providing interesting and current information, over time, media members will want to call you for future stories.

3. You haven’t done your research.

When you contact a media member, do you have a specific story in mind that relates to his or her target market?

If not, you need to do more research. Before contacting a media member, you should know what that person writes about (his or her beat), read their previous stories and learn about their audience. Then, you need to use this information to develop a unique story idea specifically for that media member.

Do not send a blanket media pitch to a huge list of media members!

Yes, this is easy to do, and you may get a few, media nibbles from your efforts, but if you want to develop long-lasting relationships with the media and get fantastic stories written about your business, take the time to do your research.

After all, if you were a member of the media, would you want to talk to someone who has an interesting and unique pitch just for you or read a “template” e-mail you know was sent to many, other reporters?

Do What it Takes to Make Your Phone Ring.

You may think your new business deserves press, and media members will just start calling you. But this is just not going to happen unless you are already well-known. Getting good publicity for your new business takes time and effort.

Conduct the appropriate research and learn about specific media venues, reporters, producers, and bloggers before making contact. Develop specific pitches and think about how you can help media members do their jobs. By doing so, you’ll become a respected expert that media members will want to speak to, and your phone will start ringing!

For additional help with your SEO copywriting and publicity efforts, please contact me below or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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Yes! You just started your new business, and customers are starting to arrive at your door and visit your Website, but you haven’t heard from the media. Why aren’t they calling you? Well, here are… The Top 3 Reasons Why The Media Is Not Calling You They won’t unless you call them. Have you reached [...]

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3 Ways to Improve Your Copy in Less Than 60 Minutes

Are you an entrepreneur handling every aspect of your new, small business? If so, you are probably writing all of your marketing materials and Website copy. While you may not be able to afford a professional, search engine optimization (SEO) copywriter yet, there are some things you can do to improve your copy… and they [...]

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Are You Moving Too Fast with PR and SEO?

Today, the world of public relations (PR) and search engine optimization (SEO) runs at the speed of light. You need to write, optimize, send, and monitor press releases quickly to keep up with news and the competition. In addition, your site needs to have the right SEO keywords and coding in place to be noticed [...]

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How to Avoid SEO Surprises

It’s been months since you did extensive, search engine optimization (SEO) keyword research and added the appropriate tags to your site. Lately, you’ve been focusing on other things like landing pages, newsletters, case studies, and more.

But as you scan the Web one day, you notice that your site is not showing up in the search engines.

You look a little closer and notice that all of the tagging you added to the site previously is no longer on the site.

What happened? Where did all of your hard work go?

Oops! This was an unexpected surprise, and you forgot a few things.

With this in mind, here are:

3 Ways to Avoid Unnecessary, SEO Surprises:

1. Check Your Tech.

If there are other technicians working on your site, communicate with them on a regular basis. They may be updating the site, forget about your coding and remove your SEO tagging.

When this happens, all of your hard work coding each page with the appropriate title tags and descriptions will be worthless. Even worse, the site engines will have a difficult time finding your site.

2. Monitor Results.

Even if you are the only person working on your site, it’s essential to check your site statistics on a regular basis. What are people clicking on? Are the search engines finding your site? Which keywords are working and which aren’t?

If you don’t check your site to see what’s going on, how do you know if your SEO activities are successful or not?

3. Make Changes.

By regularly monitoring your site, you’ll be able to see which keywords bring in the most traffic and the content your visitors find most appealing. Then, you can discard the words that aren’t working and update your copy to provide more value – for your customers and the search engines.

Pay Attention!

After doing tedious, keyword tagging for a site, it can be easy to put it aside and forget about it. But if you don’t check your site statistics frequently and know what’s going on, you’ll waste time and money in your SEO efforts.

More important, you will not see an increase in site traffic and that means a loss of new customers and sales!

Do you need help increasing your site traffic with search engine optimization? Please contact me here or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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It’s been months since you did extensive, search engine optimization (SEO) keyword research and added the appropriate tags to your site. Lately, you’ve been focusing on other things like landing pages, newsletters, case studies, and more. But as you scan the Web one day, you notice that your site is not showing up in the [...]

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How Much Are You Paying for SEO?

Ugh! I just had a long conversation with another small business owner who was ripped off by several, search engine optimization (SEO) firms. I hear this all the time, and it breaks my heart. As a fellow entrepreneur, I know how important it is to get value out of all the services you purchase. How [...]

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7 Ways to Effectively Market Your Small Business

I’ve been working from home for 20 years (not counting the Kool-Aid stands I set up, and the business I had selling rocks door-to- door when I was 8). When I started my first home-based business, technology wasn’t where it is now. I thought I was so cool when my dad gave me his old [...]

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Have A Better Website in 30 Minutes

Don’t have much time and need to update your Website? No worries. Here are three things you can do to add valuable information to your Website in 30 minutes, or less: 1. Add a Link to Cool Information. Did you just read an interesting article in the newspaper, a news item on an industry site or [...]

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3 Ways to Provide Value to Site Visitors Fast

Ok. Be honest. When is the last time you updated your Website? I know that you have many, other priorities. But, if your Website is old, you are losing customers! After all, who wants to look at the same old data all the time? And I’m not talking about drastic, expensive changes. I’m talking about [...]

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How Seasonal Branding Can Increase Sales

I received this post about seasonal branding in an email the other day and I liked it so much I thought I would share it with you.  Question:  Do you do any seasonal branding? If so, leave a comment at the bottom of this post along with a link to your website.  Would love to [...]

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Learn More About Your Customers with These SEO Secrets

In a recent blog, I focused on how it’s important to provide value to your customers in your search engine optimization (SEO) copywriting efforts. You can ask your customers what they want via surveys to get some good information, but there is also another way to get information from your customers. Uncover SEO Secrets with [...]

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How to Stop Being an SEO Panda

Google’s Panda Update has caused quite a stir in the search engine optimization (SEO) world. Basically, Google changed it algorithm so that the Websites that provide value rise to the top of search-engine listings. And the content farms posting articles, Website pages, blogs, etc. filled with massive amounts of will be penalized. While this update [...]

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