Have you asked?

surveyIs this you?

You know what I’ve found to be common among my clients? They all want people to attend, watch or participate in the things they do.

Sounds normal, doesn’t it?

Well, it occurred to me while working with the local Chamber of Commerce that having that goal is not right. There’s something wrong with it and it took me a while to figure it out. You see, the Chamber is doing seminars and picnics and golf outings . . . . and they can’t figure out why the only people who come are the same core group.

And so they try better newsletters and e-mail marketing and “bring a buddy” campaigns. All to no avail.

But the one thing none of them do is surveys. In person, on the phone, at registration time, by e-mail, on the website, in the newsletter – it doesn’t matter. Continue reading “Have you asked?”

Engagement on Facebook

I recently met with a Realtor and spoke to them about their internet traffic. The conversation always comes back to Facebook for some reason.

I don’t know if you know this, but¬† I’m not a fan of Facebook Fan Pages because they require the owners to be diligent, sociable and engaging. I’ve found few able to do it well 6 months down the line.

So the question was asked, should they link their YouTube account, where they post all their real estate videos, to their Facebook account so that it automatically alerts their Facebook fans that a new video was uploaded. Here were my thoughts: Continue reading “Engagement on Facebook”

What Klout interviewed me about

klout-interviewRecently the folks at Klout asked me some questions about doing business online. Thought I’d turn it into a blog post. . . because that’s what I preach. ūüôā

Klout: What common marketing mistakes should one avoid when forming an Internet marketing strategy? Why?

Focusing on “Likes” “pins” “retweets” “+1’s” – – – – should not be the goal. Revenue should always be the goal. If “likes” “pins” and the rest are part of the strategy to achieve revenue growth, then by all means employ these tactics. But don’t make “likes” the goal or that’s what you’ll get. Continue reading “What Klout interviewed me about”

Bounce Rate Failure is a Myth

I was over at Kyle Nelson’s blog reading about bounce rate today.

I agreed with his clinical definition of bounce rate. But our opinions diverged there.

I don’t agree that a high bounce rate is something that needs to be fixed. That’s painting with a broad brush and contributes to the myth of “bounce rate” that plagues so many. Let me start by saying:

  • A high bounce rate by itself does not indicate anything.
  • A high bounce rate does not signal website problems
  • A high bounce rate should make you think, not take action.
  • A high bounce rate just may be an indicator of great profitability Continue reading “Bounce Rate Failure is a Myth”

Community Building Mistakes: Don’t make them ever.

I got asked today if I’d made any mistakes in building my ¬†FreeWeeklyMastermind community. The answer to that is yes. ¬†Darren and I have definitely made mistakes. ¬†I wouldn’t even say their obscure mistakes – but probably common marketing mistakes many people make.

The first mistake we made was altering the schedule. I made the mistake of switching nights for the weekly webinars.

Some of our audience was also pretty active in another community that met Wednesday nights. It never bothered me that some of ourcalls would be lightly attended because they attended the other call that night. It didn’t bother me because not everyone needs what we’re talking about right now. Maybe the other subject was more appropriate for them. Besides ours are recorded.

In all fairness, how can you expect to maintain a community if you are commanding them to be present? Their presence and attendance should be because they really, really wanted to be there, right?

Anyway, ¬†I got asked by the other community’s leader if I’d switch to another night (because it bothered him that sometimes the audience was on my calls that night). I decided to be neighborly and do that.
Well that was a mistake.
Sticking to one schedule that fit into the lives of my community members was the best. Their having a choice was good for them as well.
But more importantly I couldn’t make any other night a regular¬†occurrence. ¬†Without my 100% dedication and sticking the schedule, how can I expect the same from others?
So I’ve moved back to the original night and am rebuilding that momentum.
That was clearly a mistake. I need to focus on the needs of my community, my ability to dedicate time to it and not worry about others. I thought I was. . . but I wasn’t.
Lesson learned.  Can you think of any other community building mistakes? I know I can. Feel free to share here or at http://FreeWeeklyMastermind.com

Should You Start Another Site?

How many times have you gotten an idea and thought you should take what knowledge you’ve gained and start another site? If you’re like me and you continually renew domain names just because you have a good idea for them, you know what I’m talking about.¬†So many ideas, so little time.

The question is should you start a second site? ¬†I believe the answer can be derived quite easily. ¬†So let’s talk about the pro’s and con’s as it pertains to branching out and starting anew.

Another Fork in the Road

Work Load

It’s not easy building a website that makes money and is profitable. It’s not hard to drive traffic to one coupon, one affiliate deal, one promotion or even a monetized lead capture page. ¬†In fact there have been cases where people made money on their very first tweet. ¬†But that’s not a business.

A profitable website is one where you’re making more money than if you were to have spent your time working elsewhere. If you would make more money as a clerk at Walgreens, ¬†I would submit that ¬†you’re losing money working online.

But that’s not necessarily bad.

The question is how long must you be “building” your business before you reach the profitable point? And what amount of content, links, pins, videos and tweets will get you there the quickest?

Let’s use some math as an example (oh no! not Math!!!):

For the purpose of this example, let’s say it takes 500 hours of work to make a profitable website from scratch. If you have 20 hours/week to work on your site it would take approximately 25 weeks of work to get there. Make sense?

What happens to that time if you add a second site? Even if it is in the same general niche, you become less efficient. If you divide your time up evenly, it now takes at least 50 hours of work to get there. But being less efficient, I would say that it will take a bit longer.

Can you afford to not be profitable for that period of time? Do you have the stamina to continually be encouraged throughout the duration? And will you get burnt out without seeing the joys of good income sooner?

Family Sacrifices

Do you consider your family’s sacrifice when you’re spending time on your business? Every moment you toil away is a moment away from helping your kids with flash cards, spending time with your spouse, or making your home a more wonderful place. And every moment they spend without you, they are agreeing to the sacrifice and are equally dependent on its rewards.

Think of them when you’re considering starting a second site. Will you and your family’s sacrifice be better spent on a new idea or diligently working to make your current site profitable?

Expert Status

Much of what you bring to the table is bound up in your expert status. Some would call it your brand, others your reputation. But it all boils down to whether people perceive you as the expert or not.

Once your expert status is known around the world, doors open up. Rarely do large organizations hire non-experts to speak. Rarely does CNN interview generalists on a topic. And rarely do the big brands ask weekend hobbyists to be their spokespersons.

Are you that expert now? If not, can you afford to divert your attention to something else while you become that?

If your new idea doesn’t directly tie to your current site, enhance your brand or reputation in your field, should you really take on the burden? Think of Bob Villa, the home repair expert. If Bob Villa were to start something new, should he take on the role of Dancing with the Stars host? Or do you think his empire would benefit by becoming the host of Extreme Home Makeover?

Empire Building

That leads me to the overall empire. If you currently run a wedding site and are thinking about starting a Bahamas Travel site, will you be building an empire?  Will you be able to cross sell the two sites? If you develop a good relationship in the wedding niche, will you be able to email that to your Bahamas list?

This idea you have should both support and be supported by your current site. In building your list, your relationships and your cheerleaders do you really want to start from scratch on idea #2?

Remember Grey’s Anatomy and the TV spinoff Private Practice? Can you sense the synergy that came from moving one audience to the next? ¬†Do you think they would have received funding if they had proposed a car racing spinoff show? Probably not – the built in synergistic empire is not there.

Some people suggest that once your site has become profitable that you first clone yourself in that niche before branching out. That idea makes a lot of sense but for me doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. However there is definitely rewards to be reaped when you rank #1 and #2 ¬†for your keywords with two different sites. ¬†You truly do have an empire then.

If you’re at the ¬†point where you really just want to start something new, write a book. There’s a ton of credibility provided by a book. Your audience will love you. You’ll have a new product from which to derive income and you’ll have reached a new rung on your Empire ladder.

Podcasters will tell you differently as I learned at BlogWorldExpo. If you’re interested in their opinion, read this post.

Dan R Morris

(Photo Credit: Ali Shevlin)

Making Money the Wrong Way: Messaging Mistakes

It’s possible to make money the wrong way. You would think that money that goes from my wallet to your wallet would be a good thing. But sometimes you need to make the tough decision to cut bait and start over.

Let me give you an example. The TV infomercial world isn’t easy. You spend oodles of money building a product, fashioning the brand, creating a show and paying money to get on TV. And that’s long before you make $1 from those efforts. When you finally get to the point that you’re spending money on advertising, the pressure is on. The show has got to work or you lose thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) before you can retool.

That pressure affects decisions. For instance a couple tweaks there and a couple tweaks here could mean the difference between a profitable show and bankruptcy. With money on the line, any evidence that revenue is increasing is met with cheers. Since shows are taped with on-air talent, tweaking a show is difficult to say the least so changing the offer is often the first test. The good news is once a show works and sales pay for the marketing, you can effectively market forever.

That’s when the mistake can happen. That’s when you can start making money the wrong way. Continue reading “Making Money the Wrong Way: Messaging Mistakes”

Awesome Commercial, but oops! a Marketing Mistake

I went and saw a movie this weekend and was excited to see a Mayonnaise commercial featured before the previews even started.¬† Let me re-word that. . . I was excited to see what the Mayonnaise folks were doing in a commercial before the movie started. I can’t say I cared one way or the other that the commercial was about mayonnaise.

So just as the commercial started an icon floated into the bottom right corner of the screen that said “Shazam for Free Sample” I looked at it for a second and realized that the commercial wanted me to use the Shazam app at which time I would redirected to a webpage where I could order myself a free sample of mayo. Continue reading “Awesome Commercial, but oops! a Marketing Mistake”

Pricing Mistake? Small Business Strategies

No one wants to make a pricing mistake. Small business owners often have to order pricing labels so getting it right the first time seems crucial. Lately I’ve gotten some questions about how to price things, both products and services.

Fortunately, yes I say fortunately, there are no rules. That holds true especially if you provide a unique service or one that requires a great deal of expertise. However, if you’re offering the same service or product someone else is then you’ve got something concrete to look at. Continue reading “Pricing Mistake? Small Business Strategies”

Survey Marketing Mistakes


Make sure everything you do results in actionable information. One of the big survey marketing mistakes is asking questions no cares to know the answer.

Honestly, I would love to stop that here. That alone is all you need to keep in mind moving forward. But a picture with color is so much easier to imagine. Here are a few examples of actionable information that should clarify this discussion.

The Survey Question

You’ve surely taken surveys that ask your age, income and marital status – have you not? I have too, several times and I’m eager to give that information. But I wonder, and I hope you do too, what are they doing with that information?

When you ask survey questions to your audience, role play the answers that might get returned. Suppose 65% said they were male and 35% female? What would you do? Suppose it was 50/50 or the reverse, would that change your marketing in any way?

One of the biggest survey marketing mistakes is failing to understand the value of the information. Continue reading “Survey Marketing Mistakes”