Automate Your Marketing – 5 Most Effective Automated Marketing Tasks For More Clients

Having to market your business, whether online or offline, is the bane of existence for most business owners. Too many times you get pulled in multiple directions, trying this and trying that, with no real plan or schedule in mind. Mired down by the details, marketing is often pushed to the side when the demands become too great and your client load becomes too heavy. It’s only when you need to replace income with new clients that marketing again becomes a focus for your business.

The best way to market your business is to do that continuously. Having a schedule and plan in place helps, as does being able to automate a number of your marketing tasks so that they occur automatically for you. Here are the 5 most effective marketing tasks to automate in your online business:

1. Social Networking. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, oh my! Who can keep up with all of this? It’s easy to get lost in the world of social networking. However, taking a few minutes to link some systems together and then pre-writing content to be uploaded and distributed over time makes it look like you’re engaged in social networking more than you actually are. Connect your blog and ezine to your social networks so that anytime you publish a post or an issue of your ezine, your followers and friends are notified. Create a list of useful tips that can be pre-scheduled to all of your social networks over a period of time. Set up your Twitter account to send one of several warm and inviting direct mail messages to all that follow you on Twitter. Remember, though, that you’ll also need to spend at least 15 minutes a day personally networking, as automation can’t take care of everything for you.

2. Social Bookmarking. Social bookmarking is defined as a method for people to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Whole communities develop on places like Digg and StumbleUpon, where visitors avidly search for the latest and greatest info on their areas of interest. With 100+ social bookmarking sites in existence, social bookmarking could easily take up most of your day. However, there are several free and fee-based services that dramatically decrease the amount of time you have to devote to social bookmarking. Once these systems are set up, social bookmarking becomes much easier.

3. Marketing Planning. It’s tough to find the time to create a marketing plan for your business with all the other hats you have to wear as a business owner. Then, once you figure out a plan, you have to outline all of the implementation steps and set up and implementation plan. Now there is marketing software that will let you set your income goals for the year and then design a marketing plan to support those goals, as well as a step-by-step implementation plan, including all the tasks that must be completed, along with their completion dates.

4. Article Publishing. You’ve probably heard that writing and publishing your articles on a variety of article banks is a great way to generate traffic to your site. In fact, this is the primary traffic generation strategy I’ve used for years for my business. However, there are thousands of article directories out there, so how do you decide which ones to use? You can manually submit to the 10 with the highest traffic rankings, but that will still consume a couple of hours of your time. To get the most bang from your article publishing buck, seek out article submitter software. What used to take several hours can be reduced to 20 minutes or so when you get your system in place.

5. Stay-in-touch Emails. One of the most common complaints I hear from people who search for info online is that they get emails from people from whom they never requested info. A more likely scenario is that they requested a freebie from a business, and the business did a poor job of keeping in touch with that prospect. When the prospect hears from the business two months later, for example, she has already forgotten the business, as too much time has passed without any communication. Sequential autoresponders provide the perfect opportunity for you to automatically stay in touch with prospects for as long as a year after your initial contact with them. Once you set up a sequential set of automatic followup messages, you can reach out and touch your prospects with very little effort on your part. Best of all, you remain top-of-mind with them.

The more you can automate, the more you can accomplish, and the more clients and sales you can attract. Take a look at automating these marketing processes and see how your business grows.

Top 10 Marketing Tips for New Network Marketers

Marketing is the life-blood of most successful businesses so you must commit to learning the basics if you are serious about generating profits.

Can you think of any one thing that you purchased in the last year that did not involve some type of marketing? It doesn’t matter if it was word of mouth, a television ad, business card, or a t-shirt that you saw at the mall, somebody succeeded in getting you to pay attention to what they were selling.
So, here are 10 simple tips to remember when you are ready to start promoting and building your home business.

1. Marketing Starts With You.

How aggressive you are with your marketing efforts is up to you. However, you must take some kind of action. What you can’t do is throw up a web page and wait for people to come. They won’t. So, develop a marketer’s mentality and constantly look for new and creative ways to promote your offer. Part of that mentality is being professional as you market your business. For example, you don’t want your kids answering your business line or flyers circulating with lots of spelling mistakes on them. These things could cause your potential customer to turn away. Again, it all starts with you and your basic attitude towards your business.

2. Don’t Run Off to Create Brand New Materials.

If you are a newbie, there is a good chance that your team or company already has some marketing tools in place. You might even find someone who is making great money by using one of them. Before you run off and start making new brochures, flyers, etc., check to see if something is already available. If it is, use that until you are making a profit. I’ve personally seen people make six figures with one of the ugliest black and white flyers ever created. However, it did the job in relaying the required information.

3. Learn How to Target Your Market.

You probably would not sell a weight loss product to your local high school or college athletes. Why? Because there is a good chance they will not need to lose any weight and will not be interested in your product. In other words, they are not your “target” market. We won’t go into great detail here on how to identify your target market but some quick ways would be to find out who is already buying the product. Secondly, ask other people via formal or informal surveys. Outside third parties, like family and friends, can often provide valuable info on which target group might pay for what you are promoting.

4. Make a Plan.

Now that you have developed the right mindset about marketing and pinpointed your target market, the next step is to make a plan. You can write out a formal marketing plan (can be found for free online) or you can whip up something that is more simple. Either way, you want to know specifically how you will go about reaching your target market. Are you going to use flyers, newspaper ads, business cards, car signs, cable television ads, or a combination of the above. Keep in mind that your plan must be flexible and ever changing. You just need a basic one to get started.

5. Take Action.

Have you ever heard the phrase “getting ready to get ready?” These are people looking to make money from home but they never actually get going. Yes, they read tons of things online, organize their offices, sharpen pencils, etc. but they never really take the action required to acquire new customers or business partners. Once you have your plan in place, set a firm date to take action. If possible, make it sooner rather than later. Ask yourself what is really stopping you from taking action today-right now.

6. Be Consistent.

What this means in a nutshell is that you can’t market your business this week, skip 30 days, and then start marketing again. It’s very important to be consistent and persistent until you are making the money that you desire. If you have a limited budget, break it down into smaller amounts to allow for a longer run of your ad or other marketing campaign.

7. Evaluate and Adjust.

You would not keep running the same marketing campaign if it was not bringing you results. Therefore, you must be ready to constantly evaluate and adjust. Professional sports teams do this on a regular basis. They might sit around for weeks creating a plan of attack to defeat the other team. However, two minutes into the game, they are evaluating the plan and adjusting. Sometimes, the plan is thrown out completely, regardless of how much time they spent on it previously. In marketing, you might be forced to do the same thing. Use what works and drop what doesn’t. With that said, you must give your plan a fair amount of time, effort, and adjustments before making major changes or ending it completely.

8. Respond Timely.

Now that you have your marketing plan in motion and your phone or email box is busy with inquiries, you need to also have a plan to respond timely. People are very impatient these days. We know that Americans in particular seem to expect instant everything. You don’t want to lose a potential client or customer because you can’t answer their request timely. Some of the things you might consider is making your available hours well known and sticking to them, automating your process whenever possible, or hiring part-time help to assist with your business or your family.

9. Follow Up With Your Customers.

This is a very important part of marketing whether that person is a potential customer or a paid customer. Potential customers often slip through the cracks because the business owner failed to follow up properly with them. Remember this, just because a person does not call you back it does not mean they aren’t interested in what you have to offer. Here’s a true story…I had been calling a guy for nearly a week that wanted to meet about advertising. He would not return my calls. Finally, I left a “goodbye message” that he didn’t really like. The message was not rude in any way but he did not like being dismissed. However, he said something to me that forever changed the way I think about following up with people. He said, “Listen, I have my business to run and you have your business to run.” In other words, he was telling me to make the effort to reach him because he was a busy man. I probably would have ignored this advice but that night he ordered my most expensive product times two. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised that the deal went through but happy just the same. It was a good lesson learned. In the end, proper follow up is critical.

10. Never Stop Learning About Marketing.

Did you know that McDonald’s will put up their sign in a dirt covered lot before anything else is under construction? Did you know that “red” headlines on web sites tend to pull more prospects than black ones? Did you know that lumpy things inside envelopes will get yours opened versus thrown in the trash? I’m sure you get the point. Take the time to learn new things whenever possible and never forget that marketing is the life-blood for your business-nothing really happens without it. Some way, some how, my marketing got you to this article. Now, if you would kindly send it on to one other person, that would be “viral” marketing. Maybe we will talk about that some other time. Thanks for reading.

Writing a Home Based Business Plan

Writing an effective plan for home based businesses can be an overwhelming task for many. Most beginners are often confused or immobilized on how to create an effective business plan. We have listed some effectual steps, so as to help you formulate your business plan.

Funding Type and Audience

At the time of writing your business plan, you must assess who would be reading it. This assessment would shape the home based business plan. What kind of financing would you be implementing for your business. Equity financing or debt, every form of financing would have its own advantages and disadvantages. For an example, venture capital funding can be pretty time consuming and you would have to write a detailed plan for investors.

While writing for investors, your business plan should comprise of 15-30 pages with complete analysis and details about figures, so as to support the assumptions of the market. Focus on the risk factors since this would highly interest the banks. A venture plan would present the anticipated profits, whereas the bank plan would show your ability to pay back the loan and reduce the risk.

Plan Outline

A home based business plan outline is the second most essential starting point after you have assessed your target audience. A plan outline must be prepared before getting started with the research process.

Research

Once you have decided on the funding type for your home based business, the next step is to get started with the research process. There are several aspects to business plan research. Pay attention to the industry you wish to venture in. you can collect published information from the internet, library, paid databases, which would provide authentic information on the market growth. Secondly, field research involves interviews with competitors, customers, industry experts and suppliers.

In-depth Analysis

Once the amount of data has been collected, start off with the process of analysis. Look at setting up a contingency plan, an attractive profile, risk assessment plan and many more. Include the financials as well. Hire the services of an accountant, so as to build realistic projections.

Lastly, write down the executive summary of all the sections included in your business plan. It is important to make a good impression with your business plan, since the plan would be instrumental in fetching money required for the business. Review and edit your plan. Ask others for substantial feedback, before presenting it to banks or potential investors.