Tag Archives: Conrad Hall

Relationship Marketing’s Rebirth – Sad for Small Business Marketing

Pundits and cow-patty gurus galore are squawking about relationship marketing being a “new thing” in small business marketing. You could get the idea business owners have never heard of things like word of mouth or referrals.

Once upon a time, relationships were the only thing that mattered.

We could secure credit for our small businesses based on a handshake or a promise. People honored their word, and put out every effort necessary to meet their commitments.

The truth is that relationships are nothing new. They are, and always have been, the foundation of small business marketing, and even of success itself.

How is it that we – small business owners – have fallen for Continue reading

Bridging the Achievement Gap – 3 Keys to Successful Goals

Martha Stewart fell into an Achievement Gap when she was convicted and sentenced to five months in prison. Then she found a way to bridge that achievement gap and return to being chairman of the board.

Her situation is more high profile, sure. Yet we can all use the same 3 keys to successfully achieve our goals. Let me share them with you, and at the end I’ll show you how to get your own goal setting worksheet to bridge your achievement gap.

Have One Focus

Martha Stewart’s goal was to return to being chairman of the board. Dan Kennedy’s goal was to build a business that allows him to work from home, and set his own schedule. My goal is to find teens who are as I once was, and help them avoid the darker paths I’ve traveled.

For each of us to achieve this goal of personal development, we definitely keep our minds focused on the big, over-arching goal. Equally important is that while we work toward that big goal, we have one focus at a time.

For example, right now I have three books under contract and am becoming seriously involved with affiliate marketing. This could easily become four places to “focus” my attention. But if it’s in four places, then I’m not really focused, am I?

So, my one focus to start is the book on joint ventures and affiliate marketing. The first draft deadline is only a couple weeks away. Then I’ll focus on a second book, and then the third. Affiliate marketing is important – heck, it’s a revenue generator – but because it’s ongoing (rather than a project) it can always be a second level priority. It only becomes a focus when I’m doing a special promotion or specific project.

This is important – have one focus, and be sure to leave time for everyday work. I put four hours a day into a book, and that leaves time to work on affiliate marketing and other daily business tasks.

Plan Your Work

This is where a Goal Setting Worksheet comes in handy.

I’ve made my own, and it helps me decide what my objectives are, plan what needs to be done, and break those big To Do items into a specific task list.

I use a goal setting worksheet for ongoing items and projects. Each evening, I take tasks from the goal sheets to make my schedule for the following day. Then I add in errands, phone calls and other small tasks.

This allows me to split up the four hours I have set aside for writing the book. In psycho-cybernetics, it’s called oscillation. You alternate the kinds of work you do so you stay fresh and attentive. For me, I write for about two hours then take an hour to do other tasks. There’s another two hours or so of writing, then I’m “done” for the day.

Because tasks are listed on the goal setting worksheet, I put a checkmark next to each one that’s done. I can check off big To Do items as they’re finished, and it feels great to check off an objective achieved.

I even formatted my goal setting worksheet so it prints on 3-ring, lined binder paper. This allows me to make notes, add task items, and add pages whenever needed.

Track Your Progress

We’ve already talked about checking things off on the goal setting worksheet. More than anything else, I think celebrating progress bridges the achievement gap.

So I track my progress in two places. I have a spiral-bound book where I write each day’s task list. As things are done – writing this post for example – I check it off. At the end of the day, I go to my goal setting worksheets and check off tasks accomplished during the day.

I find tracking and reviewing my progress this way reinforces my successes and helps me quickly bridge the achievement gap.

What I’d like to do is share my goal planning worksheet with you. If you’re interested, I’ll make a blank template available AND a current goal setting worksheet you can use as an example. Leave a comment saying you’re interested. When we hit 100 comments, then I’ll make the whole thing available with notes for my whole system for bridging the achievement gap.

Leave a comment, and be sure to ask your friends to comment, too. We need 100 comments to be sure there’s interest, right?

Blogsite vs Website – The Power of Content

Carol asked me recently whether she should include a blog with her website. Like many business owners, she didn’t really understand the powerful, business building (or strangling) differences between a website and a blogsite.

The first thing to understand is that a blogsite and website have the same appearance. They each have pages, links, ads, and other content. You can even make a website do the same things a blogsite does. The difference is this: Anyone can handle a blogsite, and it takes a programmer to handle a website.

Blogsites are dead-nuts easy to manage. You definitely want a Continue reading

Social Media Politics, Agencies Admit Failure, Yahoo For Sale

Social media is used in Egypt to change the government, and in Mexico to keep people safe. But in the U.S. it’s being used by politicians to bicker and throw mud. Is it just me, or does this seem incredibly out of whack?

As politicians of all stripes follow Barack Obama’s precedent setting social media campaign from 2008,

I’m starting to wonder if they can really be this clueless. After all, what have they been doing for the last 4 years? They’ve had no particular use for social media since 2008, yet they expect us to engage with them now that they’re hopping on the bandwagon.

Listen to this week’s show at www.SocialMediaCheapAndEasy.com

Another social media flop is ad agencies. A new report from RSW/US and RSW/Agency (2011 New Business Report) found that while 95% of U.S. ad agencies are using social media to identify potential clients, less than 10% of their new clients are coming to them through social media.

Evidently they didn’t pay attention last year when the Nation’s Restaurant News published the results of their own industry survey. In that case, it was specifically for Facebook, and they discovered that while 65% of restaurants were using Facebook to market themselves only 3% of their customers were interested.

Naturally, the agencies blame social media for the poor results. Listen to this week’s show for the real reason why they’re getting no social traction.

And we wrap up the show this week with a look at Yahoo being on the bidding block. Google and Microsoft are interested in financing a purchase, although neither company wants to directly own Yahoo. Strange, but true.

More importantly, there’s a particular line in this story that really raised my ire. It ties everything together this week, and is a stinging indictment of all the profiteers and opportunists. This one piece is the best possible evidence for why we need to revive capitalism.

Social Media And Small Business Marketing – Joining The Conversation

Word of Mouth marketing is the ultimate goal of every business owner. Social media is supposed to the golden ticket for small business marketing, yet less than 1% of small businesses are succeeding with social media? Why?

The flat out truth is that YOUR MESSAGE SUCKS!

On the other hand, there are thousands of bloggers out there with engaged, active and purchasing audiences. And they’re interested in what you sell – whether that’s accounting, home repairs, or doctor’s visits. There’s a blog – a popular blog – for every interest.

Hear the truth at www.SocialMediaCheapAndEasy.com

Collective Bias has built a community with over 1,200 of those bloggers. Their results are phenomenal precisely because they’re tapping into the conversations that are already happening. Just like we talked about in last week’s show with the Occupy Wall Street movement, the UAW contract talks, and the Sims Social game.

So in this show, I walk you through what Collective Bias is doing with their bloggers. It’s something you can do for yourself – just hook up with an already popular blogger. Now, I won’t kid you. Tracking the results takes effort, and the payoff is well worth that effort. A campaign done earlier this year for K-Mart resulted in a 51% increase in year-over-year sales.

Then we take a look at what’s in it for the social media services. We know what’s in it for us as business owners, and some of what’s in it for us as consumers, but have we really thought about what’s happening to our information?

Get my social media prediction at www.SocialMediaCheapAndEasy.com

We wrap up the show with an in-depth look at how you can tap into the social media that’s happening all around you. The conversations are already in motion; all you have to do is join in.

There’s a special question for you at the end of the show. Collective Bias wants to know what you think –whether you’re really listening or just sitting on the sidelines. Show us you’re more than a bystander – leave a comment here. We’ll close the comments after we hit 100.

Be a leader at www.SocialMediaCheapAndEasy.com

 

Small Business Marketing 100 – Premiums Outperform Discounts

58% of US Facebook users EXPECT to gain access to exclusive content, events, sales, discounts or promotions for no better reason than clicking a “Like” button.

Talk about an over-weaning sense of entitlement.

These results from an Exact Target study are nothing new to us. But it is a little surprising that we haven’t been paying attention to what it means for the sort of customer we’re getting from social media.

Let’s face it, the customers we’re getting from social media are bargain hunters. They’re only coming for a deal, and their loyalty doesn’t last past the cash register. So why are we settling for such crappy results?

Probably, likely (in my opinion definitely) because today’s social media gurus are stuffed full of old-fashioned – even mainstream – “throw-mud-against-the-wall-to-see-what-sticks” marketing concepts. They’re the sort of person who thinks ads on Facebook are social media marketing.

Every marketing test done show that discounts bring in low quality customers. They also show that premiums consistently outperform discounts in terms of response rate, customer quality, and how long the customer stays with you. That’s because there’s a fundamental difference in attitude between the bargain hunter and the rewards shopper.

That’s why credit card companies and airlines (and most other successful companies) have rewards programs rather than discount programs.

The obvious question at this point is what kind of premium can we use to tap into the other 42% of US Facebook users who might be of higher quality and deeper loyalty?

The answer lies in remembering that social media is also called Relationship Marketing. This week on SocialMediaCheapAndEasy.com we devote the entire show to exploring this topic.

The premium is the relationship, the conversation and the social interaction inherent to social media. It’s also the key to the small business marketing goldmine: word of mouth advertising.

Listen to this week’s episode on SocialMediaCheapAndEasy.com to discover four examples of conversations that are happening right now – and why they’re happening. We also look at a small business that is connecting business owners with the conversations that are happening in social media.

And those conversations are not all happening on the “big” social media sites.

Many of them – and most of the conversations among buyers – are happening in a place that most of us have stopped thinking about.

Splitting the 2010 Social Media Guide

We’re in the “thrashing” period for revising The Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media.

There’s even a possible title change. What do you think of “Facebook Sucks…And Other Social Media Truths.”

A big change we’re looking at is splitting the guide into 2 parts. A basics section and one that’s more advanced. The section with the basics gets delivered completely online.

This is the part with all the information about creating profiles, the illustrations and graphics, and even the lists of sites. It’s almost half of the current guide, and there is more information we want to add. The idea is to make it a resource for anyone getting started with social media, and who needs to incorporate it with an existing local business marketing strategy.

The fun part about this piece is that it is Continue reading

Progress Needs an Audience

There’s more than one reason to avoid dating your posts. It helps you feel less guilty when you get distracted and don’t post for quite a while.

Yep, I’m feeling guilty. Especially since we all know quite well how important consistent communication is in relationship marketing.  😉

So here are a couple of quick notes, and I’m working diligently at putting time back into my day to write here consistently.

Note 1: We’re planning a 40 city tour this summer in the US.

The tour has me and 8 co-presenters visiting 40 of the Top 100 US markets. We’ve put several partners into place (read non-profits) and are starting to contact sponsors now. Stay tuned for more on this because there’s a lot to share.

Note 2: The local Rotary Club has started putting everything into place for their fall charity event – the Rotary Ball.

They have a Facebook Fan Page, and I’m asking you to help them by becoming a fan. Tell everyone you know about it for one simple reason: half the money they raise is going to We Care – the local food bank.

Okay, that’s the quickie update. There’s more to come – plenty more. Including a 13 part series on the G.L.A.D.™ system for using social media. I think you’ll like it.

XSitePro2 – powerful software

Hi,

Jason Gaspero sent me an e-mail last week. He’s using XSitePro2, too – and he says the tutorials are dynamite.

Well, you just know when he wrote that I’d have to go and check out a tutorial. After all, I suck at watching tutorials – I’m always hitting the fast-forward.

When you get XSitePro – just go to xsitepro.com – you’ll want to watch some of the tutorials.

Ordinarily, I’d tell you a little about Continue reading

Editorial Copywriting – the uniquely common niche

Hi,

When’s the last time you heard someone mention Editorial Copywriting?

I’ll bet it happened when you were standing next to me or Bob Bly.

Google tells me the keyword phrase “editorial copywriting” is searched only 36 times each month. That’s incredible when you consider Continue reading