Local Business Marketing: It’s not all me

Some important folks visited my blog this week. I say important because they’re important to me, but it’s not like the guy who invented Oreo’s stopped by to read this stuff. :) They’re stopping by occurred the same time I was working with a new client. And unfortunately the lesson I was trying to teach the client, I hadn’t adopted myself.

In our first meeting together, I was explaining what my role would be. I was explaining how my job was to bring new clients in the door using the internet, how I was going to go about capturing the information about the new clients and then how we were going to keep marketing to them via e-mail or mail or whatever.

Well, it occurred to me while I was there that the local business had a job too.  While it’s my job to get new clients there, it’s the local businesses job to keep them there and leave the door of possibility open that the person would come back.  What I mean by that is their job is to be friendly, clean, current and fair. Even if you have what the client wants, if the place is not inviting – they’ll unsubscribe from our e-mails.

That lesson came back on me. It’s hard to have a dirty blog, but it’s not hard to have outdated information. After getting back from my meeting with them, I took a look at this blog and realized the About Me section is from the first week I started. Lettersfromdan has morphed over time and that part is just not relevant.

What my important visitors thought when they visited, I’m not sure. But I can tell you right now the About Me section doesn’t reflect what I told them I was writing about. So this weekend, it’s time to take my own medicine. You can read the old “About Me” section right here, otherwise, I’m committing to you that all parts of this blog will be up to date.

Thanks for stopping by!

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The custom blog magnet tool

I gotta tell ya, this blog comment magnet is the coolest tool I’ve seen in a long time. There are a lot of tools out there, and some of them are pretty ingenious. I love programs like Market Samurai and Traffic Geyser, and Firefox plug-ins like “Screen Capture Elite” and “Google Global”.blog magnet tool

But seldom do I actually promote products. In fact, over the last 2 years I’ve only promoted 3 products. I did so for the P90X Beachbody folks for a while, but with all the informercials they didn’t really need any help.  And then I’ve been a huge fan of GoBrevity (which you can read about here) and SiteBuildit. Those are two great services.

But then today I came across the Maxblogpress Subscribers Magnet, which for some reason I call the blog magnet tool. This is a WordPress plugin that does the work of 3 other things and also does a few things that nothing else can do. I’m going to list out a few things it does, but I really want you to go to their site and see the video.

Just seeing it is enough.

So, should you enable these things, here’s what it can do:

  • Add an opt-in floating light box to your site – with a time delay if you want. (Also available in aWeber).
  • Add an opt-in form to your sidebar (which is available free with WordPress Plugin)
  • Add a “subscribe me” button to the comment form at the end of each blog post (not sure if that’s available elsewhere)
  • AUTOMATICALLY fills in the name and e-mail address of your visitors when they arrive at the site. That means they only have to press the “subscribe button”.
  • Add an opt-in box to the beginning or end of every post
  • Add a floating footer bar at the bottom of screen with newsletter opt-in form embedded
  • Silently subscribe anyone that leaves a comment on your blog. They’ll then automatically get a “thank you for leaving a comment” e-mail, along with the “confirm your subscription button.
  • Fully customize everything – and it works with AWeber, 1shopping cart and most other opt-in box providers.

I’m not sure if that’s enough or not. The plug-in costs $147, but now you can finally have an e-mail capture strategy, design and tool. Truly an amazing tool – one I’m proud to help promote.

I urge you to check out this sales page of theirs: http://danmorrismarketing.com/blogmagnet – and see for yourself. If you’re a local business and you’re driving traffic to your website, this is the best hands off method to help capture that traffic.

Check it out . . . and take a look at their form below.

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Ladder of Value: Moving customers from $7 to $1,500

The Ladder of Value isn’t something you’re going to learn about in school. In fact, this may be the only time you’ll ever hear about it, but I guarantee that it will not only make sense to you – but will likely shift your thought process in your marketing efforts.

The premise is simple. If you want to get hired to be the Keynote speaker at the biggest convention in  your niche, you’re going to have to move the people who book the speaker from knowing nothing about you, to getting pat on the back for hiring you.  Sending them a resume and a request to speak is not going to cut it.

However, by providing great information, insightful content and helpful, regular postings you can easily move someone from a point of ignorance, to respect, to paying customer. For example a very well thought out free e-book can interest a customer in a webinar, and then perhaps a workshop to hear you speak.  That kind of value can beget personal coaching or weekend symposiums.

The ladder of value is a logical, merit based way of proving to your ultimate goal client that you are indeed worth the $200,000 you’re asking to be the convention’s keynote speaker.  It also fits hand in hand with the customer’s natural “buying process”. Here’s more:

Get your customers to market your small business with video

Video is powerful. Did you know that people watch more internet video these days than they do television? Did you know that Google indexed video as it does everything else and will place it on the first page of results ?Did you also know that 95% of people watch internet videos to the end? They don’t stop in the middle.

That says 1 thing quite clearly – video is powerful!

So, why not use that to your advantage? If you’re a small business, why not have a contest challenging your customers to make great videos about your company and putting them on YouTube.  Tell them what the title needs to be (like Nashville’s Best Pizza) and let them know if you can find it, you’ll judge it and award the winning video a free pizza or Cadillac or something. . . Make it valuable and your customers could very well start marketing your business for you.

To make it even sweeter, if you use WordPress (or could build a site using it), you could display all the videos in the same place using the TubePress plugin.  All it requires is that you log-in to YouTube, add all the videos you’d like to a playlist, then tell TubePress the playlist ID.  That’s it. It will create a page with all the videos on it – no code necessary.

Consider that!  It’s a great way to get some marketing help from your customers.

The NAMS 6 Toolkit is Here!

This is it. You’ve come to the right place. The NAMS 6 Action Guide is complete.

Managing Customer Expectations and Your Business

I took the kids to Chicago this 4th of July to see the fireworks. Why wouldn’t I? The fireworks should be fun, full of magnificance (if that’s a word) and should awe you.  That was my first mistake. For one – an 8 and 6 year old can be awed by a sparkler they hold in their hand.  I’m sure the local fireworks would have been just fine.  But I had bigger things in mind for them.

Chicago. The Windy City. The Willis Tower. Oprah. The Bears. . .

Chicago is big. Chicago Crime is big. Chicago Politics are big.  And I could have sworn the fireworks were big.

Chicago, on the other hand, has issues.  For their annual Fireworks Show they have to manage traffic, congestion, the city’s metro transit system, the police and their budget. Well this year they decided to solve all those problems with one fell swoop. That’s right. Chicago decided it was time to manage their city – not be managed by it.

So they took their firework budget and divided into three parts. Then proceeded to plan three separate fireworks shows. Each of the three shows were on beaches miles apart. This would keep the congestion in the city down, congestion on the metro down and allow lots of people to see the show.

What they didn’t tell those of us going to see the Fireworks Show was that the fireworks budget itself was cut in three. So each of us, with Big Expectations, sat down for a fireworks show that lasted no more than 14 minutes.

The question Chicago should ask (and in turn a small business) is what is the long term impact of that? I probably won’t drag my kids to Chicago to see the fireworks ever again. So the $300 we spent there will now go elsewhere. And it’s not because they didn’t put on a show – it’s that they didn’t meet the expectations of the audience.

You have to manage your business – there’s no doubt about it. But know that your customers have expectations that need to be met, exceeded or explained ahead of time.

In the online world, sometimes that means doing things the way others have done them – which is the way consumers come to expect. If you’re going to make big changes that will greatly benefits your business – make sure you look at the new changes from the eyes of the consumer.  Do your beneficial changes really benefit everyone?

Please share a moment when your expectations weren’t met? And how do you feel about going back.