Does Your Website Sell or Simply Inform


Sell or Inform

When someone visits your website what do they see? Do they find information of value or a positional marketing advertisement?

Marketing courses have always taught that there are two kinds of ads:

  1. Those that keep your name in front of customers and prospects.
  2. Those that sell your business and products or services.

Most websites follow the first reason. The problem is that there is no reason for your customers and prospects to return. Okay, they know who you are let’s move on to something more interesting.

Is that what you want? Is that how you really do business? Of course not, you want your customers and prospects to see value and a reason to keep returning. If you are not meeting that need, then your website is futile.

All the Talk About SEO Strategies

People talk and organizations promote the idea of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is great if you have something to offer once they click on your ad. If you have nothing to offer, however, all you have done is throw away the money you spent getting them to click!

There has to be a value proposition when they come or the process is futile! SEO organizations don’t tell you that. All they care about is causing people to click on your ad; conversion from a visit to a sale is your responsibility.

When Visitors Come You Must Give Them Value

Whether your visitors are coming to your website, Facebook Page, or even LinkedIn Profile are you providing value? Are you demonstrating what you have to offer by giving them something for simply coming? It doesn’t need to be monetary, it is the perceived value that counts.

Maybe it is a list of the top ten problems that your clients and customers bring to you for help or assistance. Maybe it is the top ten health issues faced by people over a certain age. Whatever it is you need to offer relevant value to the people that come to your site.

When Visitors Come Are You Capturing Their Information

Another common mistake with Websites, Facebook Pages, etc. is not capturing your visitors information. When someone visits, follow the information above and provide something of value just for showing up, but then offer even more if they will give you just their first name and email address.

You need to capture information on who is coming to your site. With Facebook this is particularly valuable when you get them to “Like” your Page, because along with the “Like” you gather tremendous demographic information. You can determine the primary age range of your visitors, whether they are male or female, where they live, their language, and a host of other information. You just need to get them to “Like” your Page.

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Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Social Media/Social Networking topics helping businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Click here for my list of Facebook Tips and Ideas or sign up for my Facebook Newsletter.

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What Can You Do with an Email Service


What Email Service Is Right for You

Have you thought about using an email service to stay in touch with your customers and prospects? I’m sure you have, if for no other reason than the intensive marketing being done by Constant Contact.

Before You Select a Service; Know What You Want to Do

The truth is that all email services are not created equal. Some have features that others do not. Some charge based upon the number of emails sent and others charge based upon the number of subscribers you have.

How Many Subscribers Do You Expect?

Knowing how many subscribers you will have and how often you plan on contacting those subscribers can make a huge difference in the cost.

How Many Email Lists Will You Have?

Another factor is how many email lists will you have? Will you have both a list of active customers and prospects? Will it be a single list? Will you have a list for customers of each type or category of product or service you offer?

Are You Going to Do Email Campaigns?

Maybe you are asking what is an email campaign, so I will give you a brief overview. A campaign is typically a series of emails sent to subscribers.

The campaign starts with a letter of invitation to join the list (usually an opt-in or double opt-in) process to make sure you have the correct person.

Following the opt-in there is an immediate follow-up with the additional promised information. A few (7-10) days later there is another follow-up to ensure that they received the information and provide a second promotion. 12-14 days later there is another follow-up typically with some type of incentive to sign up. That may be it or 60 days later there could be one last follow up. It’s really up to you.

Some email services support email campaigns, some do not, and others only limited email campaigns or a limited number of campaigns.

To Opt-In or Not; or Will You Spam

Opt-In basically says do you want to participate and lets the reader know that they can opt-out at any time.

Do you want an opt-in or double opt-in process where the people signing up must go to a sight or respond to an email and confirm that they want to be on your list. If you don’t have an opt-in some, maybe many will report you as spam and can get you blacklisted; opt-ins are preferable to blacklists. Unless you are closely monitoring the service you won’t know that your emails have been blocked.

If the service isn’t offering an opt-in option that can be a problem. Maybe you don’t irritate the users but that doesn’t mean that someone else using the service won’t irritate their recipients and the backlash can hit you!

Opt-ins protect you as much or even more than they protect your recipients.

Will You Have Mini-Memberships?

A Mini-Membership has people sign-up typically paying a fee for a limited-term-membership (compare it to a four – 12 week class and sometimes up to one-year). Each week or month they will have the next part of their course delivered to their email box.

Some email services support this and some do not. Some will support several limited-term-memberships and others will support only one.

Before you select a service know what you services you are expecting them to provide.

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Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Social Media/Social Networking topics helping businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Putting Power into Your Reviews and Testimonials


Negating the Negatives

Negative Internet Reviews

If you are like many businesses today you have experienced the negative review on Google, CitySearch, Yelp, or a plethora of other sites. In the process you have most likely noticed that these reviews hide behind an alias. The reality is that they, the reviewers, are cowards or even worse competitors.

To top it off Google, CitySearch, and the others make it difficult and costly to respond. This may be a good thing, because your immediate response would be a “knee-jerk” reaction and probably end up hurting your more than helping. You must remember that you are in the age of the Internet and the person who wrote the review will NOT be the only one reading your response. In your attempt to respond you may end up hurting future business from the eves droppers.

What Do You Do

One of the best ways to counteract a negative review is to get a good review; but not just any good review. Get one where the individual writing the review is willing to give their name and their city and state. You want credibility behind the review!

Get Credible Reviews

When you have credible reviews and someone points to Google, CitySearch, or whomever and it is a review that hides behind an alias; you can point to your reviews (good, just okay, or even bad) and say that YOUR reviews have quality. You can say that these are people you can talk to and they will answer your questions honestly. These are people that have nothing to hide.

You can, with the writer’s permission, use these reviews in your marketing and sales materials as testimonials of the work that you do and they way your customers/clients/patients feel about you, your business, your products, and your services.

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Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Social Media/Social Networking topics helping businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Your Fan Page Needs Your Friends


Do My Fans Need to Know I Administer the Facebook Fan Page

Here’s the deal. You created a Fan or business page under your personal profile; that makes you the administrator of the page. Unless you post something on the Fan Page that gives it away as to who you are; your Fans cannot tell.

Two Steps to Better Hide Your Identity

If you are still worried the best way to hide the details about yourself is through the security settings on your personal profile. What you want to do is manage the information that you want to share with everyone, your friends, and your friend’s friends.

The other protection is deciding who you will accept as a friend. You can control this and if there are people that you do not want to have access to your personal information do not send a friend request or accept a friend request from them.

You can also classify your friends using the FB “list” process and create lists and then assign your friends. When you post you have the option to select the lists that you want to see the post you are leaving. That provides an additional method of restricting who sees what content.

Why You WANT the Two Connected

The last thing is that your business reputation and brand come for most of us from our personal reputation. What role does your personal reputation play in your business and how much do you count on your friends for referrals. The more restrictive you are the fewer the referrals you will receive.

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Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping businesses, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Can Your Business Really Have an Identity Separate from You?


Can You Really Separate Yourself and Your Business?

I do not think you could ever truly and completely separate yourself from your business. Today, I am thoroughly convinced that any attempt at separation is even more difficult than ever. In fact, the attempt to separate may be a death knell to your business as you attempt to establish your brand.

Businesses have always been tied to the owners/proprietors from the earliest shopkeepers to some of the largest single purpose corporations. The owner/proprietor was responsible for creating and building the brand.

Social Media/Social Networking Makes Separation More Difficult

Social Media/Social Networking offer incredible opportunities to build and promote your business and your brand. The problem is that many business people want to separate the two and that is extremely difficult, if not downright impossible.

I constantly receive emails and posts from people that want to separate themselves from their business. I am never told why they want to separate the two, just that they do.

Why is that? Are they afraid of something? Do they think that is how all big businesses became big businesses?

I have my business, UPPROACH, but the reality is that I cannot separate it from me. UPPROACH may be the name, but people know that it is my business. Whatever name I chose or will choose; the initial reputation and the reputation that the business will have for a long time is based upon my reputation and what I bring to the table.

I have worked many years to establish my reputation and brand; why wouldn’t I want to bring those efforts to my business? Why do I want to start over creating a new brand?

Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Ford Motor Co

We can all agree that Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Ford Motor Co, etc are all large companies. Where did they get their names? A little research shows you that these are the surnames of the people that started the business. Just like your business; these businesses got their start based upon the reputations and even the surnames of their founders.

Microsoft, Apple, IBM

Again these are all large companies and although the company names are not the last names of the founders; the reputations of the founders were critical to the initial acceptance of the businesses. We know the names and backgrounds of these company founders. We also know that the initial reputations for these businesses came from their founders.

The truth is that our personal and business reputations are intertwined and if you think that is not so; you are only fooling yourself.

Social Media/Social Networking Sites Present Challenges to the Idea of Separation

For sure Social Networking Sites present challenges to the idea of separation. It is increasingly difficult for owners to keep themselves separate from their business. A quick search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other search sites will quickly connect you to your business.

I believe that many of these people want to maintain the separate identities because they want the freedom to express themselves as they see fit in their personal life. While keeping those activities separate may be the desire or goal; the fact is the Internet may not allow that to happen. That would be great if you could do it; the reality is that the chances of truly pulling that off are slim to none.

The reality is that who we are and what we are is all over the Internet. Maintaining any semblance of privacy and controlling what people see is a figment of our imagination. Some people think because they have not established themselves on the Internet that they are therefore not on the Internet and even that is foolish thinking.

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Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping business, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Does Your Social Networking Answer the WIIFM Question?


What’s In It For Me?

The reality is that people are always looking to understand how they will benefit from any activity or action undertaken. They may be totally supportive of an idea or a plan, but their own interests will eventually come into play. With that in mind do you have the WIIFM answer for your customers and prospects?

Does Your Offer Answer Your Customer’s WIIFM Question?

If you can answer that question for them and answer it repeatedly with a benefit that they perceive has value and is of interest; you will get their attention. We are all bombarded with information constantly and one of the easiest ways to weed through the information is by looking for those messages that quickly tell them what is in it for them and make if very clear what they have to gain.

They will take that information and then weigh it against their cost. If the benefit out weighs the cost, they will be interested and act. If the perceived benefit does not outweigh the cost, they will move on to the next offer.

Do You Struggle with the WIIFM Question for Yourself?

So whether you are promoting yourself, your business, your service, or your product; you must be able to provide your reader with an answer to the WIIFM question. If you can’t or you don’t it is wasted effort on your part and you then need to look at the WIIFM question for yourself.

If you don’t want to put the work into your own activities then YOU must be failing your own WIIFM question. For whatever reason you do not feel that putting the effort into your own activities is worth the benefit you will receive.

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Tom Staskiewicz creates networking strategies that help you build your individual and business brands. Ask him how! Check out the UPPROACH website.