Archive | January, 2017

When Collecting Unemployment Isn’t Enough – What You Can Do!

Maybe you are or know some one who is currently collecting unemployment and chances are that you probably realize that to many this money is just not enough. In the article I am going to give you some fairly simple ways that you can make some more money to add to your unemployment checks or completely replace them.

I am writing this article because I am fully aware that just because ones income is cut the bills that they have still have due dates and food still needs to be put on the table. All you got to do is turn on the news at any given time and you will see exactly what I am talking about if you are not currently going through this yourself. It seems that collecting unemployment is one of the best jobs out there these days.

Look, if you are getting sick and tired of being limited to just sitting back and collecting unemployment checks or want to know some ways that you can add to it you can start doing one of the things listed below to start bringing in a part time or full time income.

Most of these things require using a computer and  I know that a lot of people are afraid of the computer, but everything that I am recommending takes very little computer skills to do. So no, you don’t have to be a computer nerd to do this stuff.

1. Sell on eBay. I know you probably heard of eBay, but are you aware of how much money you can make selling on eBay? You can start of by selling old things that you no longer want. This will definitely put some extra cash in your pocket, but if you are looking to make some serious money you can get hooked up with a wholesaler where you will be able to sell all sorts of things on eBay and create a consistent stream of income.

2. Try affiliate marketing. Basically affiliate marketing is when you promote someone’s product or service and for every sell that you generate you will receive a commission. This is primarily done online but in my experience I figured out that you can market these products offline pretty effectively as well. You can do this using simple things like business cards, flyers and newspaper ads. Find products to promote that you feel comfortable promoting and that people want and you can really make a killing.

3.Freelance work. If you have any kind of skill such as writing, graphic design, editing or transcribing you can easily find someone who is willing to pay you for that skill. All you need to do is sign up with sites like  Elance and Freelance to set up a profile and you’ll be on your way.

These are only a few of the many ways that you can start bringing in some more money. The really cool thing is that all of these methods can be started pretty quickly. There are fairly inexpensive course out there that will help you maximize your earning potential so you really have no excuse not to make this work for you. Collecting unemployment does not have to be your main income stream. All you really need to do is take action.

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Customers Go Where They Are Wanted and Stay Where They Are Appreciated

It is often said, “Customers go where they are wanted and stay where they are appreciated.” When businesses lose customers, they typically assume it was related to price, a new competitor or even the brother-in-law who now does what you do. Yet research has shown that over 65% of customer leave because of perceived indifference — they just don’t think you care.

So how much time and money do you invest in retaining and building relationships with your current customers? Now compare this to the resources you spend attracting new customers? Are you surprised?

Don’t get me wrong, new customers are the lifeblood of most businesses. But, if your new customers simply replace those you lose, it’s costing you a lot! Losing customers can drastically affect your reputation, credibility, referrals, sales, and profits.

7 Ways To Retain Your Valued Customers

Never assume you know what customers want – ask them! Customer needs change. So does competition. Customer surveys are a great tool for understanding customer needs, evaluating how you perform as a team and identifying innovative ways to solve their problems or exceed their expectations. One of the best questions you can ask is “On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best, how would you rate our service and what do we need to do to be a 10?” The answers may surprise or maybe even inspire you.

Measure and reward customer satisfaction and retention. If customer satisfaction and retention is really a priority in your business, demonstrate this to your team. Develop a method to measure it, set goals for improvement and reward the team when the goal is accomplished. This approach works for any improvement you wish to make because… when you measure something, the team then focuses on it and with focus, comes improvement.

Select the right people. When you hire employees or select subcontractors to interact with your customers, make sure they value customers and possess the skills to deliver to your standards. Are they empathetic and trustworthy? Can they communicate well and listen to learn? Each customer contact with your team or other partners is an opportunity to build your reputation or destroy it. Make selection of people a priority.

Say Thank You. Sounds obvious but consider this. When was the last time you received a thank you note from a company you do business with? This simple strategy can really make an impact and says a lot about your company and the value you place on customers.

Stay connected with your customers. Whether you do it by phone, mail or email, make sure your customers know you are thinking of them. Too often, we only connect when we’re trying to sell something. A simple thank you, a request for feedback or a holiday greeting card can all do the trick. If you want to add a special offer just for them, even better! While the frequency may vary based on your industry, quarterly contacts should be your minimum goal!

Make customers feel like VIP’s. Your current customers need to feel more appreciated than non-customers or prospects. Some of you may remember when the telecom industry was de-regulated. Companies were offering $100 to switch providers — but if you were already a loyal customer, you got nothing. How did that make you feel? While new customers are important to growth, make sure current customers get some VIP treatment. Programs, offers or specials just for current customers (VIP’s) work well.

Make customer service everyone’s responsibility. Does everyone in your company understand the value of customers – and are they ready to help them regardless of whose job it really is? Train your team on customer service and give them the tools and ability to take care of your customers. From the receptionist to the delivery driver, your team will make an impression. The kind they make is up to you!

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3 Reasons A Strong Online Presence Will Help You Make More Money

Studies have proven that advertising consistently over time can increase profitability by 30% or more. This is true because advertising helps build brand recognition that ultimately influences purchasing decisions. In our Internet driven world, a strong online presence works like a robust advertising campaign and may be all you really need to make more money and increase profitability.

This is the reality;

The Internet has changed how consumers shop and interact. Almost everyone has access to the Internet. In fact, almost all consumers now use the Internet is some way to shop locally. As a result, using your online presence to advertise and promote yourself and the products and services you offer is more important than ever.

This is why:

The consumer purchasing decision making process hasn’t changed for thousands of years. When a consumer has a need or desire, they search for a solution, then they compare options, make a purchasing decision and a post purchase evaluation.

What has changed over time is how the availability of tools that help consumers work through the process. In our world today the entire process can be accomplished without ever talking to a salesperson or walking into a store. It can all be done online.

The reality is this;

Consumers are in control. There are search engines, social networks, business directories, websites and mobile applications that consumers can use to search for products and services, compare options and get recommendations without moving their eyes off their computer or smartphone screen.

What that means is this:

If you sell products or services, you must get your business listed on as many search engines, social networks, business directories and mobile platforms as possible. Creating a website and Facebook page isn’t going to do much to improve your online presence in the Internet world of today.

If you don’t have a strong online presence, a large segment of potential customers may never even have the opportunity to consider purchasing anything from you, because they don’t know you exist.

A Strong Online Presence Promotes Brand Recognition and Trust

Your online presence can define your brand. People identify with brands. Developing your online presence helps convey a uniform quality, credibility and experience. It will help you define who you are, what you do, and can differentiate you from the competition. Your brand is your identity; it helps you convey trust and develop relationships that lead to customer loyalty and more sales.

This fact isn’t surprising:

Surveys indicate that consumers prefer to purchase products and services from people and businesses they trust. You wouldn’t purchase products or services from people or businesses you don’t trust, neither will anybody else.

This however is really important;

These same surveys indicate that consumers will pay more for the same product or service if it is purchased from a person or a brand they trust. Consumers want to be satisfied with their purchase.

Many studies have been conducted that try to measure how consumers use and react to different types of advertising and delivery platforms. Many of these studies confirm that a strong online presence is important to consumers today. A study by Neilson concluded that consumers now believe branded websites can be trusted more than any other form of advertising other than the personal recommendations from friends and family. Seventy percent (70%) of global consumers now say they completely trust branded websites.

Branded websites are themselves defined and identified by a strong online presence that not only promotes credibility of the site itself, but improves search engine ranking.

This in turn influences purchasing decisions. In other words, a consumer’s trust in the advertising type and platform directly increases the probability that he or she will be positively influenced by that advertising.

Creating a Strong Online Presence is Affordable

Traditional advertising is expensive. More importantly, it’s not nearly as effective as it used to be. In fact surveys indicate that not many people trust the advertising they see or hear on most traditional advertising platforms. As a result, a random advertising campaign on these traditional platforms is generally ineffective.

Think about this:

Consumers are bombarded with advertising messages from the back of sales receipts and coffee cups to highway billboards and online banners. The human brain can only absorb so much information effectively at any given time. As a result, consumers have become very good at effectively ignoring advertising messages that are fed to them that they don’t want or need. This further diminishes the return on investment of traditional advertising campaign.

Currently the most expensive form of advertising is on prime time television and the least expensive in improving your online presence. The cost to reach 1000 people on prime time television is approximately $34 as opposed to $8 for general online presence improvement.

If you sell products and services locally, your ability to develop a strong brand identity may directly affect your long term ability to make more money and improve profitability. Clearly, money invested in advertising, packaging, public relations, sales promotions, word-of-mouth marketing programs, etc., all contribute to developing a strong brand, but given the facts, nothing is more important today than developing your brand online by strengthening your online presence.

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12 Tips and Reminders for Team Members To Enjoy Their Team Experiences More

Warning: The ideas that follow work. Don’t be fooled by their simplicity. For experienced team members and team leaders some of these tips may seem obvious. Sometimes however it is the obvious things we forget about or don’t apply. As you read the list think about your past experiences and determine which of these ideas would have made your team experiences more effective and productive.

1. Know your roles, purpose, boundaries and resources. Teams need to first know their purpose, the role of each team member, what they are responsible for (and what is outside their scope) and what resources they have at their disposal. Once they know these things they need to remember them! Team Leaders can help by setting a clear purpose up front. The team can build processes to keep their roles and scope in focus. And as a team progresses, the resources required may change. Teams should try to succeed with their original resources, but should engage the team leader to provide additional resources when needed.

2. Assume the best about people. People on teams will do and say things you don’t understand or agree with. Always start from an assumption that their motives are team-based and their goals are consistent with team goals. Too often a comment or action will be misinterpreted leading to rifts, factions and dysfunctional behaviors. If you don’t understand a person’s perspective or comments, ask them for clarification rather than making your own assumptions based on your biases.

3. Be patient and caring. Teams sometimes need time to get going or get unstuck. As a team leader or any member of the team, be patient. Individual members of the team might not get on board with an idea or decision as rapidly as you so be patient and give them some time.

4. Maintain a sense of urgency. Patience is important, but teams also need to maintain a sense of urgency. Too often teams get bogged down in the process, spend too long on small points, or languish for any number of other reasons. Give the team time to work things out, but always keep the timeline in mind – and move towards completion.

5. Take time to plan your meetings. Want the best way to increase the productivity of your team? Spend more time planning your meetings. Meetings cost time, money and emotional and physical energy. Improve the return on that investment by having clear objectives and plans for every meeting – and by letting everyone see that plan (agenda) before the meeting so they can be prepared to succeed.

6. Be willing to ask for and accept help. Being on a team means being a part of the team. Be willing to ask for help on a particular task or decision. When help is offered don’t be proud – let people help. It will build relationships and help the team succeed more quickly.

7. Share. Your ideas, your thoughts, your experiences. Sharing these things are critical to a team developing synergy. Without the willingness to share, a team is just a collection of individuals. And as the work is completed, be willing to share the accolades and success as well.

8. Be willing to give feedback. Sometimes people will do something that bothers you or other team members. Be willing to give the person feedback on their behaviors. Equally important, when people shine or have done something very valuable, let them know that too! Effective timely feedback helps a team avoid breakdowns and provides the information needed for continuous improvement.

9. Fix the problem, not the blame. Problems will occur. Use them as a way to assess progress and as an opportunity for learning, rather than as a chance to assign blame. After learning what can be learned, let the situation go and focus the team’s energies forward, not on the problem or issue.

10. Involve the right people at the right times. Sometimes teams need outside help and expertise. Go get it! Get the right people involved to make decisions and the right people involved to implement those decisions.

11. Keep the big picture in view. Teams often get lost in procedures, small problems or on any other sort of “rabbit trail”. Don’t lose track of the big picture. Remember the goals and purposes for the team and continue to bring yourself and the team back to those purposes. Keeping the big picture in view will smooth out many of the bumps in a team’s road and reduce the time and effort required to reach success.

12. Be proactive. These tips are for team leaders but not just for team leaders. Everyone on a team has a responsibility for team success. Be willing to ask the hard question, encourage the team to have better meeting planning, give the feedback and more. Highly effective teams are made up of highly effective, proactive team members.

As I mentioned at the top of this article, think about which of these tips you could apply with the greatest immediate impact. Resolve to take the appropriate action based on that determination and you will be taking positive step towards more effective teamwork.

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Customer Service – Marketing Extension

While it is true that consumers do not have to shop online it is equally true that many consumers like the convenience of online shopping and would continue to make it a part of their shopping experience.

If you, as an online business, can provide a quality product at a competitive price you have waged a significant battle in a much larger war.

An online business cannot conclude that simply because a consumer sought out their products and made a purchase that they can be reasonably assured this customer will return.

You spend a great deal of time and resources on front-end marketing, but surprisingly many online businesses are missing out on a key element of consumer retention – Customer Service.

This function in an online environment is different than brick and mortar counterparts simply because you are dealing with someone you will likely never see. However, the reason customer service is so important to online business is that it is an extension of your marketing activities.

If you were to break marriage down into the most basic marketing efforts you find that many men and women pour enormous amounts of time and resources into finding a spouse, yet once the ‘I do’ has been said, sadly for many, the marketing exchange is over. This should not be the case in marriage and it should not be the case in online marketing.

The same effort you put into gaining a customer is the same effort you need to put into keeping that customer happy and willing to return to your ecommerce site.

One of the ways to advance quality customer service is a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. This will help answer common questions before and after the sale. You should also make sure your customer can access contact information quickly from any location on your website. Make sure to answer all correspondence in a timely manner.

Comprehensive instructions are another means of quality online customer service. If your customer has a hard time completing a transaction, finding products or feeling as though they have missed some key element in the process it may signal a decrease in their personal trust factor, which equals fewer online sales.

Customers aren’t especially happy to conclude they have been subjected to a classic ‘love ’em and leave ’em’ scenario. No one likes to feel the only value they have is in the money they spend with a company.

You serve individuals with lives that are important. You convey a distinct lack of care when you treat customer service with casual disregard.

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Work At Home – 4 Tips For Setting Up Your Home Office

Work At Home Office Tip #1 – Make your space your own.

If you are going to take onboard all the pros and cons of working at home, you may as well make your office a place you like hanging out right? So where possible keep the things you love to see surrounding yourself. This will generally keep your mood up, and make sure you are in a happy and positive mindset. Some simple examples of this: Family photos and pictures; Pictures of places you wish to travel too; Your favourite picture calendar, hanging on the wall. Fresh flowers in the home office are my personal favourite.

Work At Home Office Tip#2 – Keep your space super tidy and organized.

If you’re anything like me, you find it hard to be productive and focused on the task ahead when there is random paperwork all over your desk, and knick knacks lying here and there. So take the time to visit Ikea and your local stationary shop, and pick out some fantastic office storage and organizing products. Not only are a lot of them visually pleasing on the eye, but they keep everything meticulously organized and close at hand. You never have to worry about where you keep that elusive red pen or if that form you needed to fax off is hiding again.

Work At Home Office Tip#3 – Listen to the music baby.

What is the soundtrack to your life? That one song that psyches you up. The music that puts you in a great mood, no matter how you were feeling before? The power of good music can’t be denied. With this in mind, keep music that motivates you playing as you go about your tasks. It’s sure to help keep your focus as sharp as a laser and help keep your eye on the prize as you move through your daily tasks. One great idea is to put together a playlist in iTunes of all your favour motivational music, and let that shuffle throughout the day. Slowly build it up over time and working to your new soundtrack will be a pleasure.

Work At Home Office Tip#4 – Time management list.

I like to keep a one page to a day diary next to me at all times. On it I make a list of the things I want to do for the day and log the start and finish time for each one. Doing this I’m able to look back on what I’ve done, where I have been productive, and pushes me to improve and find out where I might be losing time and focus. Simple to implement, but it makes a world of difference. I urge you to try it out.

I hope these tips have rubbed off and given you some fresh insights as to how you can make working at home more enjoyable. If you are interested in other cool tips and tricks for work from home warriors, be sure to check out our work at home blog.

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10 Priorities For Every Leader

There is nothing as wasteful as a leader in a position and is ignorant of his/her priorities. I have always shared the notion that in every human being is the craving and desire to lead. Everyone is potentially a leader. However, some are very successful at thwarting and suppressing the leadership potential through various well-crafted excuses. I have discussed some before in another article. Now that you know you are a leader in your team, I need to acquaint you with your priorities. Mixed priorities normally create concoctions which are detestable and whose results go against organizational thrust and direction. Below are the 10 Priorities to keep close to your chest.

1. Inspire and motivate your team – Keep them motivated and energized to tackle the tasks at hand. Reward good performance and celebrate the bright sparks in the team. Create healthy competition. Build a strong team based on trust and transparency. You don’t need to be a motivational speaker to say to John “Hey John, I have seen your diligence, I see you go an extra mile, I am giving you time off on Friday to be with your family”. Simple gesture that will give you incredible results you will get.

2. Delegate; do not abdicate – Do not do all by yourself. You can never manage without having a spinal disorder. You are called a leader because there are people behind you. You have followers who break your responsibility down into smaller manageable chunks. They are not below you for decoration or to show off how powerful you are. Be clear in your delegation what level of authority you are giving your subordinate. If they have authority to act then you still take responsibility for whatever the outcomes of their decisions are.

3. Communicate and over communicate – Sometimes you may have a team whose view of the Vision, goals, expectations and values is skewed. Where there is no vision, it is left to assumption and personal opinion and views. Get people to share a common vision. A leader who has poor communication skills will always achieve less. There are by far too many means and ways to communicate in this Information age than in other time past where there was no email, internet etc. Find creative ways to over communicate without bringing monotony.

4. Training and Leadership Development – A good leader is always developing and mentoring leaders below to avoid yawning gaps when the leader leaves. Create a culture of always creating a leader in every follower. That way the organization is very strong as everyone knows they are being setup for leadership success and when the time comes, people are not panicking and wondering who is to take over as everyone is ready.

5. Model good character and integrity – Your character is what most followers will learn from not necessarily what you speak. If you as leader come to work late all the time, you should not be surprised when the team starts doing the same. They do what they see their master do. Avoid the old statement “do as I say, not as I do”. They will always do as you do and don’t blame them. It only makes sense to do so.

6. Mobilize human and financial resources – financial and human and others- As the leader, you are the one that hires the people you want to work with. You know the skill gaps you have or the intellectual matrix in your team. Don’t just get people who think and act like you. Find those who know and think differently. Team members must complement each other. Avoid duplications. Also realize that you are the one that makes sure that your team is raising enough finances to sustain itself and other areas of the department or organization. You are to mobilize all the time. A resourceful leader gains the respect of followers. They feel they can depend on you.

7. Protect those who follow you – As leader, you exist to cover your followers from prowlers. People from outside your team can easily damage your team members if they take it upon themselves to rebuke, correct etc. You must correct your leaders out of the relationship you have built. Outsiders never take the liberty to check the extent of the damage from their own utterances. You will always be the nurse over your wounded soldiers hence your time is wasted mending what others did. If you do not protect them, you lose them and lose time doing what is not core business. Every human being desires a sense of security in whatever position or team they belong to.

8. Personal Growth and Development – As a leader, you need to grow. As you have a drive to train and develop others, you too must be in a position to dish out what you have learned. If you do not stay abreast with the ever changing trends, you will derail organizational effectiveness, success and excellence. Today’s “wow” is familiar territory by tomorrow. Create new “wows” for your team. Be the hunter for new information, latest gadgets, latest methodologies and tools for the trade.

9. Plan and Strategize – As leader, you need to sharpen your planning and strategy skills. You are not supposed to always worry yourself over operational issues all the time. You have teams who are hand on while you take an eagle’s view of the whole department or ministry. Regular review of achievements against set strategy and objectives will show you the progress and impact you are making. Where there is no strategy, chaos is the order of the day. Where there is no plan, excellence hides or shies away.

10. Discipline and Order – Everything must be done decently and in order. Follow the system. No shortcuts. As a leader you have a role to ensure you have disciplined followers who take responsibility for their actions. Where someone has gone against the code of conduct, the relevant action must be taken for others to learn. There is an expected behavior in the workplace. Refer to my article on Office etiquette. Just like a parent uses a rod to drive foolishness from a child, you have to institute corrective action lest you groom rebels that will haunt you.

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Sell Dog Pictures Online

Do you know that you can sell dog pictures online for cold hard cash?

Let’s face it if you have a dog there is no reason why you shouldn’t make some money from it.

I’m sure you consider your dog as a good friend but he/she can cost you a lot of money.

If you never sell dog pictures online before you must read on the only thing you need is a digital camera and a connection to the internet.

If you have a crap budget you can buy a digital camera on eBay or borrow one from a friend.

At the end of the article I give you four tips to make sure that your dog picture looks better then the rest.

How to sell dog pictures online.

Stock photography sites.

The best place to sell pictures of your dog online is trough online stock photography sites.

This is very simple you submit the pictures of your dog to the stock photography sites.

Once they are accepted people can buy them from the stock photography sites and you earn money.

Yes people do need pictures of your dog.

Think about webmaster who make sites about dogs;

they are very busy with promoting and designing their websites but they don’t have time to take pictures themselves.

Some webmaster spend actually thousands of dollars on digital photos.

You save them time and they make your money, call it a win-win situation for both parties.

If you do a Google search for stock photography sites you can find a lot of results.

The first thing you must do is learning how they will pay you.

With some sites you can set your own price for dog pictures with other sites

you earn a fixed amount for your pictures or a set of pictures.

Your own website

It is also possible to sell dog pictures from your own website as well.

Of course you have to learn how to drive traffic to your website and how to write ad copy that sell.

If you have a budget you can buy advertising trough pay per click but if you don’t know what you are doing you can actually lose money.

Another great way to sell dog pictures online with your own website is trough link exchanges from other dog websites.

Just email the website owner a polite email with some information about yourself and your website.

Most of the time they will do it.

Dog picture photography tips for maximum earnings.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to earn money from this

but let’s face it; the better your pictures are the more people will download them

and the more money you will make.

1) Make sure that your dog is relaxes; take the picture with him in his favourite hangout.

2) Outdoor lighting is the best for taking great pictures of your dog.

3) Take close up pictures mostly they are more beautiful than shots from a distance.

4) Dog toys are good to make it your dog comfortable.

I hope you will try it out to sell your dog pictures online for profit.

If you submit only a few pictures you won’t earn much but if you submit hundreds of pictures you can earn a decent amount of money.

Thousand of people are earning a second or even a full time income selling pictures online.

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Christian Team Building Activities, Games, and Ideas for Fun

Christianity promotes unity and hence team building is an essential activity of the church. To foster unity and enhance the values taught by the religion in the congregation, some Christian team building activities for adults can be organized by the church. Such activities will also help develop leadership skills, reinforce social commitments and co-operation amongst the church goers.

To develop the activities for building a team of church goers, the Bible is undoubtedly the best source. It contains numerous sermons on the importance unity and teamwork hold, in building a strong human race. So before embarking on devising activities for adult church goers, consult the Holy Scriptures thoroughly.

1. Hunt a Bible Verse: Based on the game of Treasure Hunt, this game is a great team builder that will renew interest in the Bible amongst your congregation. Get the people into groups of three to five members. Give a Bible and a list of clues for a verse in it, to each group. Some of the clues could be easy pointers to the verse. Each group should hand in their list of verses within the stipulated time.

2. Do as Jesus would do: Divide the people into groups as in the previous game. Here you will need a few facilitators. They will depict a scene or situation to each group separately. One member from the group will react to the scenario thus presented in the manner he thinks Jesus would have reacted to it. Each and every member of those taking part should be allowed to enact a scene. The chief facilitator will judge the performances.

3. Serving the Needy: Charity or helping those in need is the most Christian of all human activities. An outdoor camp could be organized at a place where people are suffering. You could serve people suffering from accidents and natural calamities, or the sick in a hospital or take care of destitute and homeless children. Here too divide the people into smaller groups and assign them different tasks.

These and other activities that instill the essence of Christianity could be regular activities in a church to build a team of people with genuine human feelings.

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How the Internet Has Forever Changed Marketing

In the last few years, consumers have changed the way they find what they want, and where they want to get it. Business supplies, concert tickets, and that perfect gift are now on the web, and that’s where many people are going. In the past consumers have responded to direct mail, cold calling, and trade shows in addition to conventional advertising. Those methods are less effective than the internet and also harmful to the environment through toxic ink, paper waste, fuel costs, and other excess energy consumption. With the use of search engines, it is now easy to filter out gimmicks and find what we are looking for directly. The tools are at the tips of our fingers and unlimited. We have access to search engines, social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), and blogs where we can find information as well as reviews on those services or products we are researching. Therefore, marketers must change their tactics to accommodate how the internet is changing business.

Inbound Marketing is now far more effective. The internet and the emergence of sites such as Google, MSN, Yahoo, Digg and other sites, allow consumers to research what they are looking for without involving the companies directly. “The internet has changed the dynamics of the business world, necessitating from ‘old marketing’ techniques to ‘new marketing’ techniques” (hubspot). Business owners now need to ensure that their website is optimized for this. Website content matters, as well as the location of key words or phrases. To optimize a website, key words must be in the page title, headings, URL, and in the page text. Keeping content fresh and updated is another good way to increase search engine rankings, especially when used in conjunction with viral videos, podcasts, and YouTube videos.

By adding simple tools such as a blog, a site owner creates a unique opportunity for search engine optimization (SEO). However, keep in mind that the blog set up with its own webpage for the best results. Websites are also setting up RSS Feeds. This allows consumers to have their favorite websites send them updates, as opposed to going to each website and searching for the information. Most people have very busy lifestyles and don’t have time to waste. By simply adding this feature, websites are ensuring more visits to their site.

Social networking is a huge way to market to consumers, with 34% believing that businesses should be involved with a social network, while 51% believe they should also interact with consumers through a networking site. After a website has established itself and has more visitors, the designers should add an online form for visitors to register for updates, newsletters or give-a-ways. This also generates new leads for the business. Credible inbound links also generate more traffic to your website and rank your site higher on the search engines.

With all of the “new” technology out there, it is far more effective for advertising dollars to utilize the web and market to consumers in the format that is easiest for them. By capitalizing on the efficiency of the web, businesses can track past search results, and optimize their pages for future searchers. Businesses can also measure numbers of web visitors, website conversion rates (Leads / Visitors), lead conversion rates (Sales from Leads / Leads), and costs per lead or per sale. With the abundance of the marketing tools available online, websites create a relationship with future and current visitors in a cost efficient and “green” way.

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