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.

Helping Your Children by Building Your Network


Your Network Has Value to Your Children

While you may typically think of your network as your list of contacts that will help you in your business or career. Your network has the potential to help more than just you. One of the most important benefactors of your networking efforts can be your children.

How Your Network Can Help Your Children

Through your connections, you can provide your children access to influential people they may otherwise never know. Whether your child is looking for a connection to a college, an opportunity for an internship, a job, references, or some other interest that can benefit from a connection; you can be the missing link.

Almost daily most of you come in contact with interesting people with varied backgrounds. Capturing these connections brings value to you and your network, but it may also bring a needed future connection for your children.

As a parent building your network can be one of the most unselfish acts you ever take as you work to create the connections that your child will need as the progress through their career.

Read my other networking articles on this Blog for more reasons why you MUST be networking.

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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.

Your Circle of Communities Are Your Key to Going Viral


The Key to Going Viral

Everyone wants their Fan Page or business for that matter to go viral, but for most it is a huge challenge to make that happen. This is especially true for local businesses. How do you get your word out?

For your Fan Page or business to be successful it must go viral to your target market. So what is your target market? Have you defined it? Do you know your target market?

Local Businesses

For the brick and mortar business – which includes businesses like restaurants, salons, medical practitioners, etc. – your target is your local community. The people that will be using your service are local and therefore you need to reach out to people within your community.

When I talk about your community; it is actually your collection of communities. You have many communities where you participate. There is the community at large where there may be some relative awareness of who you are; within that community, however, there are many smaller communities where you are well known.

Your Circle of Communities

These are the areas you must penetrate to be successful. These communities include your church or synagogue, your school where you or your children attend, your sports activities where you or your children participate, your work and volunteer efforts, etc.

All of these communities are important to your business objectives when it comes to a brick and mortar entity. This is where, as Malcolm Gladwell says in “The Tipping Point“, your connectors, mavens, and salespeople exist.

Connectors, Mavens, and Salespeople

Your connectors, called that because they have lots of connections, put you in touch with the people you need or want to know. The mavens are those that spread your word far and wide. Your salespeople are those that promote your product or service to others.

As you successfully reach into your Circle of Communities and they become your fans; you need these contacts to be promoting you to the friends in their Circle of Communities.

The Power of the Ask

This is where the “power of the ask” comes in. You need to ask these friends to “like”, comment, or share what you have shared with them. You need them to be reaching out to others if you want your message to go viral!

Here is my power of the ask… If you like this Blog; please share it with your friends and others that you believe would benefit. Thank you.

Check us out on our Facebook Fan Page the UPPROACH Support Center and take a look at our Fan Page How Tos and Webinar schedule while you are there. Whether you are looking for the basics or advanced features we have or can have the webinar for you! Let us know what you would like to see.

You are welcome to use this information in your newsletters or Blogs, but please extend the professional courtesy of referencing UPPROACH as the source. Thank you.

Copyright © 2010, UPPROACH

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.

Social Media.. What Site or Sites Are Best for My Business?


Few Companies Take the Time to Select the Social Media Sites that Will Be Best for Them

I don’t know how many times I have read purported experts telling organizations that they should have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Plaxo, Friendster, MySpace, etc. I have heard them specify up to 10 sites that they state are critical to your business. Do they really know? What is their proof?

If you go looking for sites on your own you will see that Wikipedia lists over 190 different Social Media sites. On top of selecting your Social Media sites; businesses are told they must be blogging and oh, by the way, you should do podcasts in your spare time.

The reality is that there are way too many options and no business, regardless of how well staffed they are, can effectively participate in all these sites or even 10 sites. To make it worse many so-called Social Media consultants or experts spend little or no time understanding your business or helping you develop a strategy. My experience is that their interest is to get you involved in Social Media Sites far more than helping you achieve Social Media success.

What Do You Hope to Accomplish with Social Media and Why?

Before you jump into any site you must first understand or determine what you are attempting to accomplish. You must be able to answer these questions:

  • Who do you want to talk to?
  • Where do members of your audience spend their time?
  • What Social Media sites serve your audience?
  • What is interests your audience?
  • What information can you contribute to meet their interests?
  • How often do you want to talk?
  • What of quality or value do you have to say?
  • What action do you want your audience to take?

I am sure you can come up with other questions that will help to narrow your focus and evolve your strategy.

When you can answer these questions you are then prepared to start evaluating which Social Media sites will best serve your purposes. Certain sites lend themselves better to one objective or another and none are a one-size fits all solution.

The mistake that you do not want to make is to spend time in places where you will not find your customers and prospects or where you have nothing to add to the conversation. My friend, Neal Shaffer, wrote the blog post 5 Reasons Why Your Social Media Strategy Isn’t Really a Social Media Strategy.

Your Social Media Strategy Must Be Evolving

Your Social Media strategy must be evolving. Social Media sites will come and go, customers will redefine their interests, and/or you will change your strategies. You must be prepared to adapt and change as your needs change.

The reality is that businesses must pick and choose their Social Media sites with care. Just like you take care in selecting your product or service lines you must be using the same care in selecting your Social Media sites.

Social Media Has Much to Offer Businesses, but They Must Do Their Homework First

If you take the time to do your homework; your chances of success will increase geometrically.