Welcome To Camp Okutta
LinkedIn, like all social media sites, is constantly evolving. It’s not just a site where you can post as bait for companies that might be interested in hiring you. It provides a way for you to network and engage with other professionals in a wide variety of industries. And just as you can with the other leading social networking sites, LinkedIn is shaping up to be an excellent tool to use when promoting your business and the services you offer, or boosting your notoriety as an expert in your field.
Since LinkedIn is a horse-of-a-different-color when it comes to social networking, it’s important to understand and explore the unique ways you can promote your business through it. Here are seven of the best ways you can get started with LinkedIn and utilize a new tool in your business marketing arsenal that many companies tend to overlook.
- Build a Company Profile. A company profile on LinkedIn is like a fan page and personal page combined. You’ll want to include a description of your company, the services you provide, your level of expertise, number of years in the business, and contact information.
- Take part in Groups. Right now, you can be a member of up to 40 different groups on LinkedIn at one time, so be selective about which ones you choose to be a part of. Contribute to the discussions by giving thoughtful insights and feedback. With each post, your photo and name will be included, as well as any information you include in your signature, such as your business information. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many leads you’ll get when you start becoming a regular contributor.
- Answer some questions. LinkedIn Answers is a great way to show off your knowledge and let the community know you’re an expert in your niche. You’ll also be reaching an audience of people who are interested in your business, which could mean more clients. People will pose questions and you have the opportunity to answer them, and over time you’ll become the go-to person for answers in your field.
- Get recommendations. Nothing speaks louder than a recommendation. When a customer or former employer, employee or coworker, gives you a positive recommendation, it’s like getting a vote of confidence. Potential clients will be more eager to work with someone who comes highly recommended than a business that no one has anything to say about.
- Create buzz. Self-promotion is a big part of internet marketing and with that comes the responsibility of maintaining your reputation. LinkedIn’s Company Buzz allows you to keep track of the good, the bad, and the ugly things being said about your company on LinkedIn as well as Twitter. This enables you to respond quickly when any negative comments creep up.
- Post job opportunities. What’s one way you can tell a business is doing well? They should be hiring! So, by advertising the fact that you are in need of some more talented people will tell others that you’re having some success. People are drawn to successful businesses more so than those that are not.
- Create ads. You can generate a targeted advertising campaign for your business with LinkedIn DirectAds. This is an excellent way to reach other professionals and company decision makers. You can specify your audience geographically, demographically, and by industry.
Are you using LinkedIn to its full potential? In what ways have you used LinkedIn or other social media to boost your business marketing? Tell us what you’ve found works the best and the least for your company!
One of the toughest challenges for entrepreneurs is prioritizing their day and focusing their time.
And one of the reasons for this is because it’s like a buffet! So many things to choose from and we want to dive into it all!
Well, just like a buffet, if we pile too much on our plates, some items will get cold before we can get to them, some items will melt into others and some will lose their pure “flavor” by being so close to stronger seasonings.
If you want to enjoy the bounty that a buffet provides you want to “sample” before you fill your plate. This way you can dive deeply into a pan of tasty dishes that will fill and satisfy you.
Now that you’re sufficiently hungry, let’s talk about how this relates to your business.
When you have the bounty of tools, tactics, resources and strategies from which to choose to grow your business, how in the world do you decide which to choose. And once chosen, how do you prioritize how to include it in your already full agenda or “to do” list?
My clients, and myself at times, go back and forth with how to prioritize the bounty we’re presented with every single day. As an example, do we focus on networking – offline or online. In either case, where’s the best place to spend our expensive time and dollar? Why would we want to use this one strategy over any other?
Next, do we invest in newsletters, audio or video for our communications vehicles? Are more people interested in reading, listening or seeing what we have to offer?
You see, same buffet of choices. What’s a busy, hungry entrepreneur to do?
My recommendation has always been and continues to be similar to that approach to a buffet filled with lots of different foods to try. And that is to “sample” those different approaches. You want to put a couple on your schedule to see what response you receive from prospects and potential ideal clients.
You may find that in your profitable market, your prospects read and highlight things of interest to them. Or perhaps they’re on the road more often and would enjoy audio messages from you. Then there are those who prefer to “see” what you have to offer.
Since there are so many ways to see which of your dishes deeply fills and satisfies. Here are just a few to get you started:
– You can measure where your traffic comes from – Google Analytics
– Run a test to see how often your email messages are opened
– Look at how many downloads there are of your articles
– Review how many comments or views there are of you videos on YouTube.
Now you have several ways to determine who is “sampling” and who is going back for seconds. And that, my friends is one of the best ways to determine how to prioritize your time and day, and where you want to put your focus.
We are often blinded by the latest and greatest tools, tactics, etc., but why not pursue excellence where we know our prospects and clients get their enjoyment and fill their plates?
Just to give you a quick example close to home. I observed ezine authors use a new strategy to drive traffic to their blog, so I decided to try it too. I would put a couple of paragraphs of my article in the ezine and direct readers to my blog to read the entire article online and comment.
So what happened? My open rates for my newsletter plummeted! Fewer people were reading it. When I returned to posting the full article, open rates went up, as did new subscribers! However, without the test, I wouldn’t know the buffet choices of my readers!
Now you have some examples and strategies to help you approach and prioritize the buffet of marketing choices in front of you as a busy entrepreneur. Choose wisely.
You’ve finally done it. You created a great product to sell. But, could it be that the product you think is ‘great’ is not something many others are interested in?
For small business marketing to be effective, you need to know if there is a customer base for your product or service. This is why it’s important to determine what people are buying. And, it’s important to know this prior to creating your product, if possible. If you already have a product or service available, this information will help you tweak it to be more relevant and attractive to potential customers.
How to Find out What Consumers Buy
You might be wondering how you learn about your prospect and his buying habits. Fortunately, the Web has made this easy to do. One way to find this information is to do keyword searches. Knowing what people are searching for gives insight into what they want and what they’re buying.
As an example of small business marketing and keywords, let’s use ‘alternative health options’ as a search word.
If you do a search for that particular keyword through Yahoo, you’ll realize the target market is broad. In fact, there are over 50,000 in the search results.
You can also do a Google AdWords search. Using ‘alternative health options,’ Google will provide you with an assortment of keywords related to your query and let you know their weight – meaning how many searches there are for each. For the keyword ‘natural health,’ there are 246,000 global searches.
The purpose of these keyword search tools is to provide you with information, such as:
- What consumers buy – the types of products and/or services people are searching for, which shows what they want
- The specific keyword or phrases people are searching under
- Less competitive long-tail keywords that will narrow your target market
- Product and name ideas
But, to see which keywords are actually relating to your sales, you should use Amazon, which by the way is an excellent keyword search tool. Simply type in the beginning of your query. We’ll stick with ‘alternative health options’ from above. So, type “alternative,” in the query box and Amazon will automatically list its most popular keywords for that beginning query.
This is valuable information for the marketer. These are the keywords that people are using to buy books and other products. And, since Amazon makes money when products are sold, they provide the most effective keywords.
After doing the research, the effective keyword you come up with will be the foundation of your product’s name and/or your website’s name. This is what the people you’re targeting are looking for, this is what they want. And, this is what you’ll provide.
Other Marketing Strategies to Determine What Consumers Buy
Join groups that deal with the subject matter you are thinking of creating a product around. Follow relevant keywords on Twitter and take note of what’s going on in the tweets. And, follow through on links provided in the tweets. The same goes for Facebook, Linkedin, GooglePlus, active blogs and newsletters. Read, read, read.
The information garnered through these strategies will help you create an effective name for your product, or if you already have an existing product, as mentioned above, it can help you tweak your marketing strategies in regard to its name, its appearance, and its promotional content. The same goes for your website.
The information you learn will also help you craft articles and content to establish yourself as an authority on the subject matter and draw traffic to your site.
Knowing what consumers buy is an important element in your small business marketing strategy.