Like all pubescent teens there was one movie that I could (and did) watch over and over again Boomerang. As you may recall the film co-stars both Robin Givens and Hallie Barry… say no more, right? Not a fan? OK, here’s a quick run-down and why your marketing should mimic this classic tale. In Boomerang, […]
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Online Tools To Use For Your Business in 2017
Are you brave enough and committed enough to start an online business in 2017? If you have passion, grit and a clear mission you too can create an Unstoppable online business this year!
This article will get you jump started fast and provide the tools required to ensure you have everything you need (and more importantly, what you don’t!). Sound good?
Great, let’s dive in!
Millions of people have decided to start an online business in the past 3 years. It’s relatively easy, fun and allows you to contribute value to your fellow human beings.
Here are the tools I use to provide a service and generate income.
- A bold idea, goals and products and/or services
- Domain Name
- Email Autoresponder
- Content (i.e. blogs, YouTube, Facebook articles, etc.)
- Lead magnet and Capture page
Let’s go through each one….
Number 1: An Explosive Idea or Service
First, your reason for starting an online business is to provide help to your fellow (wo)mankind. You need to be upfront about what you want to be known for.
For example: You now know that I’m known for helping guys create an Unstoppable online business using email and content marketing.
I love to write and thus content marketing is one of my favorite ways to reach subscribers. I’m against the hype you spend tons of money on multiple Ad campaigns. There’s a time and place for paid ads, however most use them ineffectively and waste time and capital.
I’m also against having clients spread themselves too thin on all social media outlets trying to be everywhere all at once. That’s not sustainable and it pollutes these channels with lackluster content… BOOO!
To summarize point 1:
- Know what you’re selling and to whom
- Create a mantra of who you are and what you do
- Know and say what you stand for and against
Number 2: Domain Name
Keep it simple. Pick a domain name closely aligned with your product or service. If you’re selling a service or knowledge, use your name (https://yourname.com). If you’re promoting a product, select a name associated with that item. (http:/vegansrock.com).
I use Godaddy exclusively for my domain name and website hosting simply because I’ve gotten started with them and they have a switching mote (for my investors out there!). Which means it’s more time consuming to switch to another platform at this juncture.
What I recommend is that you have your domain name and web hosting sourced by two different companies in case one platform goes down. Example: Use Godaddy for domain hosting and Blue Host for your websites.
To summarize point 2:
- Plan ahead. Use two different platforms for your online business to protect against company changes/failures.
Number 3: Website
WordPress is used by more business owners than any other website platform to date. According to WordPress, this number will continue to increase. Why? WordPress is relatively simple and allows you to create almost any design you can imagine.
To summarize point 3:
- WordPress is a great platform for online businesses
- You can also use Square Space, Wix and WordPress.com* (free*)
Number 4: Email Autoresponder
Email will be your vegetables or to translate for you omnivores this will be your “meat and potatoes”. You’ll send your audience vital nutrients in the form of actionable articles that they can use immediate to help solve their problem.
You’ll want to free yourself up as much as possible and automate all of this. Do it once (or twice if you’re me) and then forget it.
To automate my business emails I use Aweber. For the larger businesses that I consult however, I use Ontraport to manage about 90K users.
Fair warning, Ontraport while very affective may take some time to get use to. Active Campaign is also recommended if you have more than 10K subscribers. If you’re uncertain which to choose, read this article from AmbitionAlly.
To Summarize point 4:
We create online businesses to leverage our time and create more freedom to spend our time as we please. Put your emails on autopilot from the beginning with an email autoresponder.
Number 5: Content Creation
Creating content is what will attract your ideal audience to you and keep them coming back for more. Recall what you read earlier, it’s important to select the best medium/platform for you. Not what everyone else is doing.
I like content marketing and YouTube. So the majority of my content will be written and within videos. I find that I consume information best from these platforms. Where do you spend the majority of your time when you want to learn more?
If you’re reading this chances are you’re a writer and or don’t mind reading… that tells me you’ll most likely enjoy content marketing and sending weekly (or daily) emails to your customers.
Tools I currently use: Resources
- WordPress (hosted by Godaddy)
- Aweber or Ontraport
- Webinar Jam (more on this in an upcoming article)
- Optimize Press and Lead pages
In conclusion, if you want to monetize your online business, create teachable content and email your audience with tools and resources that ensures they’ll succeed.
Email marketing and content marketing reign supreme when it comes to transforming subscribers into paying customers.
If you’re a facts and figures guy, check out the latest research conducted by Help Scout proving that email marketing is awesome… and (more importantly) effective!
Email has higher conversion rates per session than search and social combined:
Number 6: Lead Magnet and Capture pages
A lead magnet and capture page. A lead magnet allows you to offer new readers a chance to solve an immediate problem quickly. This item is free and typically promoted via paid advertising. Think free ebooks, guides, recipes, pocket tools, etc.
A bit of thought is required here. Your lead magnet will be congruent with your overall message and goal for your audience.
You’ll solve their initial pain points while your blog articles, or Youtube videos and emails will solve their more serious concerns.
Example: When you’re starting an online business the first thing you need to know are the tools required to get started.
An ideal lead magnet for my site would be the 6 Top Tools required to start an online business.
Then my up-sell would be my top email automation sequences (to get you up and running fast) and/or an outline of content creation strategies to build both a loyal following and happy paying customers.
While you’re at it, you’ll want to take this 60 second poll and let me know which one resource would be most helpful… every answer counts!
Capture (or landing) pages allow you to collect the name, email address, phone number and whatever else your product requires from customers in exchange for the solution you’ll provide.
After reading this article you now understand the tools you’ll need in order to start an online business. This will get you going quickly.
Go forth dear reader! Implement what you’ve just learned. But before you go subscribe for my upgraded content to learn the detailed intricacies of building an Unstoppable online business!
And if you’ve found this article helpful, leave a quick comment below and share it with another person.
Would you like one-on-one guidance? If you’re too busy to do all this yourself, we’re here to help. Simply send us a message and we’ll get back to you shortly.
How To Create A Winning Sales Funnel
There are many ways to create a winning sales funnel or online sales system. I’ll walk you through what’s creating maximum profits for the companies I work with. This article will give you all the information you need to guide you on what to do to increase your sales online.
First, let’s talk about that a sales funnel is and isn’t. What is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is a pre-determined sequence that take a person from point A to point Z. Point A is a person who doesn’t know anything about you or your product to point Z, they are a happy customer and raving fan. Let’s talk about the points in the middle… the things you’ll want to do to get them to Z.
A sales funnel is not blasting a product or service on a sales page to an email list or on social media without any nurturing or followup. Think of sales funnels as building relationships and trust.
The Zane method: This video shares the overall goal of what you want to accomplish.
Most companies I speak with are quite impressed with the increased sales they make after simply making one or two tweaks to their website. If they don’t have a site, my team gets to work to create one, which adds an additional stream of revenue to their company within a few months.
Let’s use a well-known company as an example of how to create a profitable sales funnel. Since I’m quite fond of Tesla’s Model X we’ll use it for this article. Let’s assume Tesla Motors did not have a website nor did any formal (paid) advertising.
If Elon was concerned about his low sales volume, the first recommendation I would suggest would be to share his end-game sales goals with me. If Mr. Musk said “Zane, I’d like to show the benefits of my model X and how much fun it is to drive.
We’d then brainstorm all of the highlights of the vehicle and create a website that focuses on videos and articles that outline all of the unique aspects, details and components of each vehicle. The key i to focus on his ideal customer. What will they want to know about these fuel-efficient cars and why do they need to purchase one, if not two?
After our brainstorm we’ve found that his ideal customers are, global thinkers, health conscious entrepreneurs in their mid-late 30s+ that enjoy the flashy showmanship and speed of these sexy vehicles.
His site would be full of strategically placed testimonials and video clips of road trips.
To further optimize this site, and to add the second component of his sales funnel, we’d have a popup that would say “Want a test drive?” This would lead people to a form that would ask for their name, email address, and zip code. Once it’s filled out, they’d receive a list of Tesla dealerships nearby and a number to to call to schedule a test drive.
Popups are terrific ways to get website visitors more engaged with your product or service. If done correctly, visitors will be thrilled to hear more from you and happily open your emails.
Creating an email series scares a lot of new business owners. What happens if I get blacklisted? I’ve heard about bounce rates and or getting a lot of unsubscribes… what then?
First off, email marketing is the heart of any business on or offline. What I love about email marketing is that you can really connect with each person on your list and create a highly lucrative business from this form of marketing.
It’s true, you want to be concerned about being “blacklisted” that’s when your customers complain about the content of your messages and mark your emails as spam. The company who send these emails on your behalf can decide not to send your emails and terminate your membership.
While this does happen, it’s very rare. Not long ago I promoted a companies digital products and I was given a list of 5K subscribers (that I paid for). I tried to upload this list into GetResponse and after a few days received an email from them stating that this list was already imported into their system.
Essentially I was given a dud-list. It learned a great lesson that week. Do not purchase lists, no matter what people tell you. Getting traffic, people to view your products or services is BEST done organically.
Stick to the steps I share with you and you’ll reach your goals in no time.
Once you have your website optimized to receive and impress your visitors, you need to create and /or build upon your social media presence. Ideally, you’re already building an audience and have people actively commenting, liking and sharing your material. If not, don’t worry you can learn how to build engaging fans by reading this article.
Do you hate social media and all the hoopla that comes with it? If so, you’re not alone. The sad truth is that you need it and it needs you. People are actively searching for what you have. They must know you exist and why you’re different from the next gal or guy.
The goal for social media isn’t to sell your products, it’s to connect with others and to be yourself. -Zane White
When I was in college, I spent a decent portion of time on Facebook and Myspace, post college and once I started a business I found it more challenging to stay up-to-date on my platforms. I almost was repelled by the idea of using these spaces for marketing purposes.
My aversion to promoting business online was intuitively smart. The goal for social media isn’t to sell your products, contrary to popular belief. It’s to connect and be yourself. It’s to let people know, “Hey, I’m here and I’m human, just like you!”
Social media brings people to your website to learn more about what you do, who you are and how you can help them solve a problem. That’s all that you are allowed to use social media for if you want a profitable business.
Think of social media as a gateway your introduction to the world. You can share your likes and dislikes, what you stand for and against, funny and inspirational images and videos, etc. Don’t complicate this. Social media should be fun.
Now that you’re receiving regular visitors to your website and have a growing list of people who are joining your email list, you can begin to promote your products and/or services to them through both email marketing and webinars.
Webinars are great for many reasons. If done properly, you will have their full attention as they’ve already decided to learn more from you as you are their “guru” and subject matter expert. Your webinar goers are investing their time into you (and time is money). If your pitch is right, at the end of your presentation you earn big rewards.
Live webinars solidify the relationship between you and your audience. I can tell you from experience, if I’ve stayed until the end of a webinar it was because I was focused on what the speaker discussed and 9 times out of 10 purchased their product. I was captivated and wanted the solution the product offered.
If you’d like to learn more about webinars and how to give presentations that will earn you profit, then you’ll enjoy the reading my upgrade content.
By now you have the information necessary to assess your own business’ sales funnel. Does it have the above components? Is your website fully optimized to attract and impress your visitors? What about your email marketing? Do you have the key components to maximize your subscribers and open-rates?
If you’re in business, you need an edge. You can no longer be passive and just wait for clients and customers to come through the door. Up your ads, emails and marketing materials with proven advanced copywriting and marketing methods with the Unstoppable Copywriting Strategy Blueprint.
This book is packed with simple to follow and quick ideas that you can use right now to blow any competition out of the water for good. Click here for more info.
I’m Zane White Sarasota’s leading online business strategist and coach and lover of all things that fly. Did you enjoy this article? A friend might too, I invite you to share it with them or business colleague. If you have a specific question about your business, let’s connect.
Best Ways Your Company Can Use Social Media for 2017
For busy business owners it can be unclear where to start or what to do to integrate social media into your company. There are so many choices it can be overwhelming!
By researching interviews from marketers across multiple industry sectors I’ve gained insights into what actions they are taking to improve social media integration. Here is what I learned.
- Pick a strategy over tools. Social media changes constantly and new tools are being introduced at lightning speed. Using the latest and greatest technology may benefit the company, especially when its target audience includes younger and more media-savvy customers.
It is always important however, to judge the value and impact of a social media tool against the company’s marketing strategy rather than its innovation. How will the tool help your company develop a more effective marketing strategy? If not, confidently continue with that you’re doing.
- Have crystal clear marketing goals. If social media actions are undertaken without a clear customer objective, integration is likely to be elusive. This means that marketers should always identify a specific customer objective when employing social media tactics. One common approach we observed was marketers using social medial to help move the customer into and through the purchase funnel.
- Keep your sights on your end results. Social media is often used to generate brand, product, or company awareness. If awareness is the goal, your marketers must have a clear understanding of what happens next in the company’s marketing strategy to convert awareness into purchase intent. Likewise, if building brand advocacy is the goal, make it known to your marketers that you want to build engagement with fans and increase their loyalty.
- Prioritize your marketing strategy. While practically every brand is on Facebook and Twitter, there are many other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat. Brands typically do not have the resources to be on every social media platform, so how do marketers prioritize?
They should choose the social media platforms that fit the company’s target audience and brand positioning. Facebook and Twitter tend to still reach a broader demographic than Instagram and Snapchat yet, the latter are fantastic if your company sells clothing, food, homes, equipment, etc.
Find markets that complement yours and target their customers. Avoid driving traffic to your competitors’ audience, instead find companies that align with yours. Do you sell homes? Find pool companies or lawn care companies as partners.
- Create social media toolkits. Brand toolkits have become standard procedure for many companies and are effectively used to guide local markets on how to showcase global brands by providing templates and guidance for tailoring content.
In a similar way, some companies are starting to create social media toolkits which include templates for Facebook and Twitter posts. These toolkits will make sure there’s strategic alignment and create a more cohesive brand image across geographies and platforms while reducing the time and resources required to develop social media content.
- Put social media experts on brand and customer teams. When social media operates from a separate group or from a separate place, there is a greater chance of poor integration. Instead, social media experts should be closely linked to the brand and customer teams so they are involved as soon as communication objectives have been established.
This involvement pays off because social media experts are tuned in to the latest platforms and know what approaches generate interest from current and potential customers, fans, and enthusiasts. As a result, these experts can guide brand teams to the most effective results.
- Keep in-house or use an agency? With so much to learn and social media moving at such a fast pace, many companies outsource social media activities to multiple agencies. Some argue that this structure threatens the integration of social media because agencies lack a complete understanding of a company’s marketing strategy.
To combat this, what works well is to have your company sit with your social media advisor and tell them of the highlights and goals your business wants to reach. Your advisor will then formulate a solid plan to make sure your goals are met.
- It’s all about conversions. Social media is one of the very few places where companies can engage with their customers in an ongoing, personal, and real-time manner. If, for example, your customer posts he looking for a particular item, your companies can respond with a tweet containing helpful information or personalized discounts, and/or promotions.
- Just say no. Given the buzz surrounding social media, every brand or customer-facing function likely wants its own Facebook page and Twitter account.
Business owners need to hold the line and decide which social media platforms are ideal for a given brand from a strategic and customer point of view. Controlling social media access through a social media group ensures that someone is accountable and knowledgeable about the best ways to use it as part of a company’s or brand’s marketing strategy.
For example, if you own a real estate company you may only want to focus on two platforms. Choose platforms based where you can provide the most value. If you want to host podcasts for your company to share what’s new on the market along with advice, that’s where you should focus your energy.
Despite popular believe you do not need to be everywhere… not in the beginning. 🙂
- Champion integration. For integration to be valued and sought, leaders need to share success stories throughout the organization. Success stories can become part of the company’s ethos and organically influence the integration of social media in marketing activities. Testimonials and stories from your employees are great additions.
- Sort out attribution. If social media is part of a company’s marketing strategy, questions will be raised about its contribution to sales revenue and how it works alone and with other tactics.
These are worthy questions and steps must be taken to understand and measure the effects of social media to integrate it with the company’s marketing strategy in the most efficient and effective way. You shouldn’t let these attribution questions keep them from pursuing social media, but instead consider them an opportunity to prove its value.
- Learn from failures. It is easier to experiment with social media than traditional media, your company can test and learn quickly. Also, social media costs tend to be much lower than traditional media, so the losses from failures are less severe.
By split-testing your campaigns, your business can more accurately determine which social media posts and campaigns have the greatest impact on your marketing strategies—helping to further integration efforts.
When social media is fully integrated into your business the management of your customers and brand assets are seamless. Strategic elements such as targeting, segmentation, positioning, and all go-to-market activities show a clear and consistent understanding of the value your company offers to your customers and how you aim to capture value from attracting and retaining these customers over time.
The result of social media integrated into marketing strategy is improved efficiency and effectiveness in all aspects of the marketing plan.
Once you have your social media down to a science, it will be time to perfect the way you speak with them. The reason why I focus so much on copywriting is because it’s the best way to get your audience to understand why your service is better than your competitors.
Having a well crafted sales letter, ad and email follow up campaign will be the difference between attracting 5 clients a week or 5 clients a month.
That said, if you’re confused on how to craft enticing ads and emails, I recommend you look into the Unstoppable Copywriting Blueprint. It’s an advance strategy program that is loaded marketing methods to give your business a boost!
Until next time… #BeUnstoppable
Marketing Glossary For Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
This article provides you with a marketing glossary to explain our commonly used marketing terms. When I initially started marketing products online, there were a list of words which I had to learn.
My friends who are doctors, professors and lawyers all have their own terminology that they throw around sometimes when I’m with them.
I often ask what they meant by a term or phrase and they’re happy to explain the term(s).
Their special words makes telling their stories with each other easier and yet also puts up a barrier that excludes those around them who don’t speak their lingo.
That said, each industry comes with its own jargon and phrases that explains specific topics, concepts or ideas easier.
I recall helping one of my first clients. He had many questions, many of which were to define several marketing terms.
He asked me things like “What’s a link rotator?” and “What’s a domain name?”
Marketing Analytics Tools
Website testers use customer’s insights of real people to provide you with actionable steps to improve your site.
Judge impact of PR events and product launches
Historical stats on traffic sources, engagement of visitors and devices used
Shows user location and pages being viewed “now”, also tracks busy traffic times
A/B split and multivariate testing
Scroll maps tracking
Uses heat maps to ID problematic sections on sites
Measures engagement, create conversion funnel visualization (e-commerce)
Track health of website. G.A. allows you to monitor the number visitors, the amount of time they stay on your website, where they come from and much more.
This is marketing glossary will help you on your path towards marketing mastery. Check back often for more information.
- A/B Split Testing: The act of comparing marketing results of one advertisement against a similar one. The ad that performs better is used again. The lower performing ad is adjusted and retested to beat its earlier opt-in rates.
- Behavioral Response Marketing: The act of preemptive content creation that triggers and distributes information (typically in emails) based on how readers behave to your marketing.
- Blogs: Written content that provides insight into the writer’s life or information on a company, or service.
- Content Marketing: The creative expression of written or spoken words to captivate and motivate readers towards an end result and goal of the author.
- Domain: A combination of letters or numbers, (like a home address) that helps people to find your company on the web.
- Digital Marketing: The process of advertising products or services electronically share ideas with the purpose to promote and sell your products or services.
- Link Rotator: This term is heavily used in affiliate marketing and while split testing landing pages. When marketing several products simultaneously marketers place domain names through software. This software changes the domain name each time a human clicks on or sees that ad.
- Posting: The act of publishing content, written, audio or both audio and visual online.
- Opt-in: The act of a person giving you their contact information in exchange for beneficial information or a free gift.
- Sales Funnel: A system that guides a prospect or customer through a series of steps with the goal to buy products at predetermined points.
- Social Media Marketing: The use of communication platforms to buy advertising “space” where people meet on the web to connect and share information.
- Website: A place where information is stored, organized and presented to an audience for consumption.
I trust the above information sheds light on questions you’ve had about these marketing terms. Each term weaves into the next as building a marketing strategy is multifaceted, simple yet can be complex based on your goals the number of platforms you use.
If this marketing glossary was helpful, let me know below and share it with others.
Until next time… BeUnstoppable!
P.S. Keep in mind that if you’re in business, you need an edge. You can no longer be passive and just wait for clients and customers to come through the door. Up your ads, emails and marketing materials with proven advanced copywriting and marketing methods with the Unstoppable Copywriting Strategy Blueprint.
This book is packed with simple to follow and quick ideas that you can use right now to blow any competition out of the water for good. Click here for more info.
This article will explain 6 Ways you Solo Entrepreneurs can market your business on a budget.
In my earlier article, I talked about how to create a winning marketing strategy, but if you’re a solo entrepreneur on a budget, then that information may be a bit premature.
So you’ve gone off into the world and have invested heavily into the infrastructure of your company. Now you need to market yet find your funds limited.
There’s hope for you, ambitious Being!
I recall a few years ago getting started with my first internet business, I spent a bit of money getting all the necessary products and software implemented and then found that I had limited funds to invest into advertising.
In order to gain massive exposure however, I had to think find the box and then trace around it to use free strategies that would effectively show off my products.
What worked very well back then (and still does today!) was to discuss the benefits of my products in blog posts and YouTube videos. I tenaciously published videos daily and used targeted key words to attract people to me based on their search inquiries.
In fact, one client I’m currently working with is using this strategy right now and is quickly gaining a massive following on YouTube.
Together he and I create 2-3 videos daily and once published, we distribute them to a specific group of people whom will best respond to his videos.
Get Laser Focused
Use Google Keyword to find keywords that have low competition yet are gaining popularity and rising in Google’s monthly search volume.
Using these two techniques will allow you to expand your company’s popularity within a few weeks – months and with consistency, your audience will share your content with others.
Not sure what to do once you’ve created content?
Check out buzzsumo.com and find similar content published within your niche. Look at where these articles and videos were shared and use this information to contact the owners of the blogs and say the following:
“Hey there, I see you’ve published an article on “6 Ways Solo Entrepreneurs Can Market Their Business On A Budget” my article includes more techniques and I’d love it if you could share it with your readers. Be well, – Zane”
If you have a video that you’d like to share, use Twitter and Facebook to share them with your target audience. Find 5-10 leaders within your industry and do the same as above.
Contact them personally and say: “Hey there, Zane here. I really enjoy your content and especially liked the video you posted called “6 Ways Solo Entrepreneurs Can Market Their Business On A Budget” I’ve expanded on your video and added a few more strategies and would love it if you could share it with your audience. Be well, – Zane”
When you’re sharing your content keep it simple and friendly. The easier you make this, the more people you’ll be able to reach and it will take a lot less time.
If You Have A Small Budget, Get Some Help
If you’re low on time and have a small budget, I’d highly recommend you speak with people on Upwork and ask for help to distribute your content.
Depending on your industry, it may make sense to use Pinterest and Instagram for your free marketing strategy. Once you have at least 20 posts, Find the movers and shakers within your industry and like, share and comment on their posts.
After a few days, send them a private message and briefly tell them what you’re trying to do. If there’s a post you’d like to promote, ask them if they’ll share your content with their audience. If they say “no”, not to worry move forward and ask another “top-cat” in your niche.
If there are more than one giant within your industry, don’t start at the top. Look for someone within your peer group first with a loyal following slightly larger than yours.
Speak with her or him as described above and then work your way up to the bigger players in your field.
Yes, Facebook Will Get You There
At this point you’re probably saying “Zane, what about Facebook? Is it still a viable platform?” My answer: YES. I simply prefer Facebook for paid strategies… however, you can definitely use the technique outlined in the previous paragraphs to reach your ideal market.
Facebook makes it easy to select your audience based on what you’re looking for in your customer’s demographics.
6 Main Takeaways
- Find specific keywords for your products or services,
- Regularly produce content using these keywords,
- Identify top players in your industry and reach out to them, share and like their content,
- Ask these gals and guys for mentions, shares and/or to post an article on their blog (guest posting),
- Use surveys and giveaways to generate new subscribers and build a list of people who are excited about your products.
- Repeat this several times a week.
Habits Will Make Or Break You
Getting into the habit of marketing in this way will take time, yet the overall results will be phenomenal. As you start to generate revenue from your free marketing campaigns, you will use that money to buy advertising to scale your marketing efforts.
I use paid advertising to hasten the sales process with the goal and sweet reward of receiving a large ROI.
If you haven’t received a return on your investment through paid advertising, then it’s highly likely the sales process itself has blockages that requires analysis and an immediate resolution.
That’s what we specialize in here and would be happy to help improve your sales.
Thanks for reading this article! If you’ve enjoyed it and found it helpful, I invite you to let me know and to share it.