Archive for May, 2018

5 Proven Ways to Rapidly Grow Your Online Business

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

It’s easy to feel frustrated when trying to grow your business with digital marketing because there is an overwhelming number of ways to effectively market your business.

After you try out all sorts of things, you might discover that many aren’t as effective as you’d thought. But here’s the thing: you won’t get far until you learn how to master each marketing technique. Fortunately, you don’t have to master everythingto flourish as an online marketer.  Just learn a few things well or outsource the more complex marketing techniques.

In fact, you might be surprised to learn that you can be a highly effective marketer by just focusing on five things that have been shown to work remarkably well. Your business will become profitable when you get good at SEO, copywriting, blogging, YouTube marketing, and social media marketing. Of course, you can always add more marketing tactics later.

While you should outsource SEO and copywriting to professional services because they both require well-developed skills, you can easily do blogging, YouTube marketing, and social media marketing on your own.

Marketing Techniques You Should Outsource

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

Search engine optimization (SEO) is much more affordable than using paid advertising like Facebook ads or Google’s pay-per-click advertising.

Additionally, you can also do local SEO.  If you have a brick-and-mortar store, then you’ll probably want to do local SEO to promote your products to local customers at the same time that they’re looking for them.

While it’s possible to study everything you need to get good at SEO, it may not be the best use of your time to do all this work in-house.  If you have a brick-and-mortar store, then you’ll probably want to do local SEO to promote your products to local customers at the same time that they’re looking for them.

This is because SEO is a highly specialized form of marketing. There is always a lot to learn, algorithms keep changing, and understanding subtle nuances can make a huge difference in how well you rank in the search engines. Since SEO is complex, it might be better to outsource the work to an SEO specialist firm like HigherVisibility.com

Investing in SEO is worth it because you’ll notice a distinct spike in traffic over time. It’s a powerful way to take your business to the next level. Since people tend to trust Google and other major search engines more than paid advertising, your brand will have more credibility if it shows up in organic search listings. In fact, many of your competitors are probably already doing SEO because they realize that it provides a better return on investment than paying for online advertising.

With hundreds of millions of websites on the web, SEO will give you a chance to stand out once you get a page one ranking on Google for a primary keyword.

2. Copywriting:

Copywriting is essential for success in selling anything online.

If you don’t know how to persuade enough people to buy your products or hire you, you won’t stay in business long. Since learning how to write your own copy well will take a considerable amount of time and effort, you may want to hire a professional copywriter in the beginning.

Marketing Techniques You Could Do On Your Own

1. Blogging.

When you blog, you’ll tap into all the benefits of content marketing. Blogging not only allows you to talk about your passion, but it also helps you connect with other people who share it, too.

Besides building up your network and earning more exposure, blogging helps you share your knowledge, refine your communication skills, and discover many ways to monetize your traffic.

2. YouTube Marketing.

Many people have found fame and fortune by making their own high-value content videos on YouTube.

By promoting your business on YouTubethrough informal conversations with your viewers, you’ll create brand awareness and attract many customers. The nice thing about starting your own YouTube channel is that there are plenty of marketing courses available on how to do it well using inexpensive video-recording equipment.

3. Social Media Marketing.

Social media marketingis simple to do and highly-effective. While you can always hire a social media marketing firm to do the work for you, this isn’t necessary unless you don’t have the time to do it yourself. Social media works because it’s cost-effective, automatically syndicates your content, effortlessly increases your brand’s visibility, and allows you to engage with your audience in a personal, informal way.

In conclusion, you don’t have to know everything there is to know about digital marketing to be successful. Just master a few essentials like SEO, copywriting, blogging, YouTube marketing, and social media marketing. Since your time as a business owner is limited, it might be more efficient to outsource hard and time-consuming marketing work like SEO and copywriting while adding your own personal touch to marketing tactics like writing blog posts, making YouTube videos, and chatting with people on Social Media. Building an online business need not be overwhelming if you start by focusing on a few essential things.

Business Presentations

Friday, May 25th, 2018

Delivering a business presentation is an event that most people find utterly terrifying. A business presentation, however, is just another business skill, combining specific technical aspects with behavioral practice.

There are three distinct components to making an effective presentation:

  • Designing a high-powered presentation
  • Using PowerPoint properly to support your presentation
  • Delivering the presentation effectively

The Starting Point

When preparing a business presentation, what elements need to be considered?

The first questions that you need to address are:

  • What is the Purpose of this business presentation
  • What Action do you want people to take as a result of the presentation

Although these questions seems relatively straight-forward, most often they either are overlooked or it is assumed that “we all know the answers”.

In fact, accurately articulating the answers to these questions at the outset of designing your presentation is vital to constructing a business presentation that will be effective, as well as delivering meaningful results.

It’s Only For Information

Generally, people answer the first question with “It’s Only For Information”. In a business context, however, everyone is far too busy to attend a presentation just for information. A business presentation needs to provide value to the audience.

In the business environment, every presentation needs to be understood as an opportunity to:

  • Educate
  • Create alignment
  • Develop commitment
  • Secure resources

From this, we can conclude that the Purpose of the presentation is to persuade the audience to engage in supporting your initiative, with the desired Action being the allocating of human, financial and other resources to achieve its end.

Obviously, this is a fundamentally different and more intricate objective than the view that “It’s Only For Information”.

Internal Competition For Resources

Every organization experiences significant ongoing constraint on its available resources. Legitimate demands for more resources far exceed the organization’s ability to satisfy all those requests.

The organization ideally will allocate its finite resources in a manner which maximizes strategic priorities. Other business units or particular initiatives, therefore, effectively are your competition for these resources.

Given this backdrop, delivering a presentation is a focused opportunity to stand apart from the internal competition and promote your imperatives, while demonstrating how this will contribute to the organization’s success.

Strategic Positioning

The strength of a business presentation depends on the degree to which it is strategically positioned.

  • Does it concisely link to the business priorities?
  • Does it deliver on improved customer service, reduced costs, etc.?
  • Does it collaboratively support other business units or initiatives?
  • Does it reduce organizational pain and increase employee engagement?
  • Does it address emerging dynamics and opportunities?

Remember, you’re looking for support and resources in a highly competitive environment. Your goal is to build the audience’s understanding about your activities, so that they enthusiastically will endorse your resource requirements.

The Audience

The audience is comprised of a variety of people with different roles and varying power. You need to be very thoughtful about:

  • Who are the decision makers?
  • Who are the influencers?
  • Who are your potential allies?
  • Who are those that might perceive you as competition or a threat?

The presentation needs to be crafted to appeal and connect sequentially with each of these groups. Their current level of understanding, as well as their educational and business needs, most often will be quite distinct. This unevenness requires your careful consideration.

Be Selective And Precise

Think of presentations you’ve attended. Has your attention ever strayed and, if so, at what point in the presentation? The sad truth is that we’ve all endured presentations which were too long and crammed with an overload of information.

Your goal is to connect with the audience, keep their attention, nurture their enthusiasm, and secure their commitment. Avoid sabotaging yourself – keep the presentation short, concise and focused.

You are the expert regarding your business. You are intimate with a vast array of information, substantially more than the audience wants to know or can absorb. Your presentation should deliver education, not just reams of information.

You will need to be selective and precise, by filtering and organizing only those important highlights which will be most meaningful to the audience.

What They Need To Know

It has been shown that your presentation time is limited and precious, therefore, be judicious. Determine what your audience already knows. You might choose to remind them of this, but you don’t need to dedicate valuable time to details.

What are the gaps in their understanding and which is the most effective way of educating them to close those gaps? Articulate the most critical elements first.

Position your presentation to demonstrate a compelling argument that delivers on a blend of positive outcomes from strategic priorities to financial success to alignment with other operations. Highlight the benefits of supporting your initiative and the consequences of declining such support.

Sequencing

Your presentation should begin with a short description of what you are about to present. This eliminates the situation where your audience is side-tracked during the presentation, trying to figure out your intent. Then deliver your presentation. Conclude the presentation with a short summary of what you just presented.

Good News First

You want to get the audience on-side as quickly as possible. Start with good news. For example: “Our recent project was delivered on time and under cost. There were, however, a number of major obstacles that we needed to overcome. I would like to share those insights with you, as well as the lessons learned.”

This is a more effective approach than beginning with a litany of problems that were encountered and only sharing the good news at the end of the presentation. As soon as the audience hears the good news, they will be relieved and encouraged, and likely will be more attentive throughout the entire presentation.

Timing

You will need to time out your presentation. Always aim for something less than the total time that has been allotted. The most accurate way to time out the presentation is by practicing it and making the necessary adjustments.

Conclusion

By combining these design strategies with suggestions from the companion articles on how to use PowerPoint properly and how to deliver a presentation effectively, you will become much more confident and competent in delivering high-powered and effective business presentations.

Removing Annoying Adware From Your Computer

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Adware is one of those intrusive things that seems to have just “happened”. Of course, early computers weren’t often connected to the internet so the chance for annoying Adware to appear was a lot less. Unless you had the misfortune to use an infected floppy disk, you were probably OK.

Then came the turn of pop-up adverts but with the advent of pop-up blockers the adware companies have had to resort to other ways to get our attention. If most people block pop-up adverts most of the time, what’s the point in using them?

Some pop-up adverts are still unblockable – they just appear on your screen, sometimes below your current browser window, sometimes occupying the full screen. Most times you can just click the “close” button, but it’s still annoying. After all, why should anyone have the right to take you away from the current web page you’re viewing? It’s the internet equivalent of cold calling on the telephone and is enough to make you growl!

Adware gets worse when it starts to slow down your computer. The most intrusive is difficult to uninstall, such as programs that display random adverts and crash your browser in the process.

If you know exactly when the Adware installed itself, you may be able to get away with doing a Windows System Restore to a point in time before the Adware affected your computer. Always assuming that the Adware didn’t install itself with another program that you actually wanted.

Sometimes you can get remove Adware by paying an upgrade fee. Browsers like Opera work this way – you can have a free copy, supported by advertising, or you can pay a small fee and get rid of the adverts. Or you can change to an alternative program that doesn’t inundate you with adverts – this is easy with a web browser but may be more difficult with a more specialist application.

The next step in Adware removal is to do a search on the web for instructions. If you’ve been infected by a fairly common piece of software, this can be a viable option. But it still frequently involves delving around in the Windows registry, which is a dark and scary place (even to some geeks) and if you get something wrong you can destabilize your computer further.

Alternatively, you can get a piece of software to do the hard work for you. This has the advantage that – providing the software has been programmed correctly – it should be reliable and a simple process. Adware removal software is available free or fairly cheap. The free programs like Spybot Search and Destroy work well but you usually have to remember to run them.

If you’ve got more than enough things to remember already, it’s worth spending a few dollars on a program that will work away in the background of your computer in much the same way as your anti-virus software does. Incidentallt the only reason I can think of as to why most of the anti-virus companies don’t check for Adware as well is that they can sell us another program. But that’s life.