Best Marketing Tactics for Your Business

Posted on May 18, 2015 in Business

Marketing your services is what keeps you in business — so using the best marketing tactics to support your goals only makes sense. There are dozens of simple ways you can add impact to your marketing strategies — and many of them are right under your nose.

The best marketing tactics are the strategies you can implement right away, utilize with minimal effort, maintain on a regular basis and work into your budget and schedule. Here are a few of the best marketing tactics you can start using TODAY to create more profits in your business.

Make the most of every opportunity.

Every time you conduct a business conversation, make sure you are offering something helpful to the person you are speaking with — and then offer a little more. Make it a personal habit to end your conversation with a simple phrase like, “What else I can do to support you?” It’s your equivalent of “Would you like fries with that?” Every fast food restaurant on the planet teaches its employees to upsell — to add a little something to every order, like fries or a soda. Do the same with your clients and prospects — ask them if there is anything else you can help them with — every time you talk to them.

Play nice with other people!

We learn from an early age that playing nice with others is always the right thing to do. In your business, you can create joint ventures with other service professionals and create a win-win situation for both of you. When you partner with someone who offers a service complementary to yours, you can draw from each other’s client base and networks, multiplying your opportunities. For example, if you’re a copywriter, partner with a web designer and the next thing you know, you’ll both be sending work each other’s way on a regular basis.

Spread the wealth- your wealth of knowledge that is.

Chances are you are familiar with the value of blogging about your business. Keep in mind though to not just focus on your own blog. Connect with other bloggers who write about related topics. Comment on their blogs, be friendly, helpful and complimentary and then ask for the opportunity to guest blog on their site. Offer them the chance to do the same on yours if they wish. This can open the door to dozens, even hundreds of potential clients. Choose blogs that are in the same industry as yours, but not in direct competition.

Sponsor a contest!

Everyone likes to win something — and contests create viral, word of mouth advertising like nothing else. Offer up a gift certificate to one of your offerings, find a few colleagues to do the same or even find a corporate sponsor to offer a tangible prize. Use your social media profiles to spread the word and get folks excited about your contest.

Make it easy to buy what you are selling.

Create a variety of purchase plans and options for your products and services. Use PayPal, Google Checkout, accept credit cards and offer payment plans for big ticket items so prospective clients have no excuse to turn down your offer. You can also create a “limited time only” sale of your services. Offer an irresistible incentive if clients purchase by an upcoming date. Give your audience a compelling reason to take advantage of your offers.

These simple strategies are some of the easiest and best marketing tactics you can find. By implementing these ideas in your business, you’ll quickly create more visibility for your brand, attract more ideal clients and significantly increase your profits.

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3 Best Markets to Buy Commercial Real Estate

Posted on May 11, 2015 in Business

The greed in the United States has not only driven this country to a deep and long recession, but also sparked a global financial crisis of unparalleled proportions. This fact is well known and documented. It is also well documented that the commercial real estate market have been severely hit leading public traded REITs like General Growth Properties and large commercial property owners like the Lembi Group out of San Francisco to file for bankruptcy protection. The herd mentality says “sell, sell, sell.” During these times of great uncertainty, it will be the contrarians that will ultimately take advantage of the steep declines in commercial properties and actually be the catalysts to turn the economy around. So, if you have money and are ready to invest in real estate, where are the best markets and opportunities that promise to yield optimal risk adjusted returns?

The first market to invest in is urban in-fill locations. You may have been expecting me to offer up a specific city, but you’ll find great opportunities in a myriad of urban in-fill locations. Urban infill locations are places like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York to state the obvious. These locations have large existing populations, strong job base and limited available properties. There are less obvious cities, but equally filled with opportunities like Redmond or Bellevue in Washington and San Mateo, Burlingame, and Los Gatos in California. Look for cities within 15 miles of the most urban city in your region.

The second market to invest in is tourist locations. When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the real estate market in Louisiana was devastated. Properties sold in the French Quarter were selling for 1/3 of the price before the hurricane. Once the flood and the chaos quelled, real estate in the French Quarter tripled. There are other places to consider like Mexico. Mexican cities like Cabo San Lucas or Cancun are excellent cities in Mexico. While the Mexico flag flies in those cities rather than the American flag, there are great opportunities in this depressed market to buy real estate.

The third are college towns. Places like Westwood near UCLA or Berkeley next to UC Berkeley yield some of the highest and inelastic rents in the country. You can even buy depressed properties near state colleges like West Virginia or Fresno State. Even though the prices are low, the rents are high because students want to be near campus.

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Which is the Best Marketing Tool For a Physical Therapy Clinic?

Posted on May 4, 2015 in Business

Any physical therapist will agree that the best marketing tool for a physical therapy clinic is referrals. For referrals you need your clients to trust you and be happy with your services. They need to have a personal rapport with you to want to refer you.

This is why you need to build this marketing tool into your marketing strategy for marketing your physical therapy clinic. Requesting referrals is something you should be doing as a matter of daily business operations.

Just asking your patients for referrals will get you only that many referrals. Use your imagination and find more creative ways of getting referrals. Call up your potential patients and ask them for referrals even if they are not willing to commit buying your services just yet. Attend doctors’ conferences and seek referrals by exchanging business cards. Tap into your network of associates and ask for referrals.

Set a clear goal for you to achieve such as increasing your referrals business at your physical therapy clinic by 7% in the next 8 weeks.

Provide extra service and support to your patients before asking for a referral. They will be more willing to refer you in order to return the favor.

Design a rewards program for referrals. Use a separate set of incentives for patients who provide referrals and a separate set for doctors who refer you.

Set up a customer satisfaction survey and find out if you are meeting your patients’ expectations. Additionally, find out if your referring doctors are happy with the kind of service their referrals are getting. Send out letters to referring doctors within a week of their referral’s visit so that they know that the person they referred, is being looked after by you.

Ensure that you have a system for clearly tracking those patients who have been referred by doctors. Just being prepared to receive referrals is not enough. You need to keep in touch with the referrers on a regular basis so that the referrals keep flowing. You can implement this by creating a special newsletter for referring doctors to let them know of new services or some new technique.

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Best Marketing Article Tip Grew My Traffic 300% in 72 Short Hours

Posted on Apr 27, 2015 in Business

The best marketing article tip I have ever come across is so powerful that it grew my blog traffic by 300% in about 72 short hours.

So why would I want to share it with the world? Why not just be human and keep the best article marketing tip to myself?

To start with, sharing my article marketing tip with others will put me in my prospective customer’s best books and yet it will not affect me or my continued use of this valuable secret in any way. Secondly a vast majority of the folks who read this tip will do nothing about it, anyway. That is the really sad part. They’ll agonize over whether or not it is possible for them to do it. They’ll keep on putting it off and opting instead to spend their hard earned cash to drive traffic to their sites or blogs rather than use this articles marketing method that is free. And that brings us to the other reason why most people will do nothing. It is because the vast majority of folks out there do not believe that anything of value can come out of a free service or tool.

Most folks have a small archive of content stored away somewhere. It could be content at your site or blog, or even some articles you emailed out to a safe list a while back when you felt it was the best marketing to do for your site. It is amazing how large a volume of useful stuff you can find by simply going through your PC hard drive, email and wherever else you archive stuff.

Locate these articles and turn them into the best marketing weapons for your site by sprinkling high traffic non-competitive keywords all over them, including the headline. Next find a high traffic articles directory and post your batch of articles there. I posted a batch of about 25 articles in a space of 72 hours to one articles directory and I got the best surge and increase in traffic I had ever gotten from any marketing effort.

Each article can have as few as 250 words and it should not be too difficult to break up longer articles into 2 or three 250-word articles. Especially when you sprinkle keyword phrases all over them. What’s more, it should not be too difficult to put together 15 to 20 articles that have the potential of giving you your best marketing results ever.

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Best Market For Day Traders

Posted on Apr 12, 2015 in Business

When it comes to available markets for day trading, there are many options to choose from. I am often asked which market and instrument is the best one for day trading. The answer to that question is a difficult one, because many different markets offer many different opportunities for a day trader. Today’s biggest markets are probably stocks, futures and forex, but each has advantages and disadvantages for new traders. Some of the largest world wide volume is found in the forex market, but that market is not regulated nearly as well as stocks and futures, and trading them has some real disadvantages in my personal opinion.

I actually like to trade currencies on occasion, but when I do so, I trade them via the futures market and not through the forex market for this very reason. Day trading stocks has some disadvantages in that there are certain rules that you must follow that place the small trader at a disadvantage. There are special requirements when shorting stocks you do not own, and even more importantly, you need a minimum account of $25,000.00 US in order to meet the day trader account minimums. You also have to watch or scan many different stocks in order to find the best ones to trade each day as well, so this can be complicated and confusing for newer traders.

My market of choice is trading futures, and my favorite is the Mini S&P (ES). You can go long or short with ease when trading futures and you can start with a much smaller trading account. U.S. futures are well regulated too, so you do not have some of the problems you find when trading forex markets. All of the mini futures indexes are good choices, but there are several reasons I prefer to trade the ES market. When it comes to futures, you can trade several different grains, meats, financial instruments and even commodities such as sugar, cocoa and coffee. There is a multitude of choices that can and will fit any trader’s needs.

As stated previously though, I recommend and suggest the mini index futures for day traders. The Mini S&P or ES is one of the most liquid markets available, so there is almost no slippage when trading regular market hours. You may find some minor slippage in the after hours trading, but even then, it will be very limited unless you are trading institutional size lots. The lack of slippage alone makes it a very attractive day trading market, but there are also other nice advantages. Each tick in the ES is worth $12.50 US, and with it now being relatively easy for even small traders to get a round turn commission for under $5.00 US, this makes it a great market for scalping. You can actually make money in the ES with only a single tick of profit if you have a good broker who offers these competitive commission rates. There are not many markets where you can actually scalp a single tick and make money. Just a few short years ago, you had to make several hundred dollars on a single trade just to cover commissions, so the ability for small traders to profit is now better than ever!

You can also trade the ES with very small margins if you are a day trader and exit by the close at 3:15 PM CST each day. There are many brokers that will offer you day trading margins of $400 to $500 US per contract in the ES. Compare that to the amount of margin needed to trade a single stock and you will quickly see that the ES futures offer an excellent opportunity for leveraging your profit opportunities while allowing you to do it with very small commission costs. When you factor in liquidity, margins and commissions costs, the ES is on par with the best markets in the world, and that is one reason it brings in so many players.

The one disadvantage, which will actually be big advantage if you learn to profitably trade the ES, is that many of the best professional traders in the world trade this market each day. Because of this fact, you are going up against some very smart and very seasoned traders that know how to take money from your trading account, and transfer it to their trading account. If you can learn to trade profitably in the ES though, you can transfer that knowledge to almost any other market and do well there.

One of the best things going today is that there are many brokers that will give you a simulation account that works and trades exactly like a live account, using the very same live streaming chart data that the live traders are using. It is the closest thing you can get to trading real markets, except you will be using simulated money. Only a few years back, you had to “paper trade”, which was just writing down where you wanted to enter and exit the markets and assuming it would have all worked the same with live orders. Paper trading was a good way to learn, but it was nothing like real trading. Simulators today are much closer to the real thing, so they are a great training format.

If you are even remotely interested in day trading futures, I would suggest that you start by contacting one of the many brokers that will offer you a simulator trading option for free. Check out several of them and when you find one you like, open you a simulator account and start trading. The hardest part will be figuring out a strategy or system that actually works, and then practicing it until you can profit with it. Most people run out of money before they ever figure out what really works in trading. They simply give up and walk away having donated their trading account to other traders.

Trading price action is my first recommendation for a successful strategy, so I encourage you to start there. If you start with price action and learn to trade on the simulator without believing in the miracle working indicators that simply do not exist before risking your real money, you will automatically improve your opportunity to out last the associated learning curve. Just make sure you do not risk a single cent of your real money until you can consistently make money every day on the simulator.

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You Are Your Best Marketing Weapon

Posted on Apr 5, 2015 in Business

YOU, the small business owner, are a powerful marketing force. It’s your idea, your passion and your knowledge that created the business. You are the face, personality and charisma of the business.

You have seven powerful tools as a business owner that are often underutilized.

Your elevator speech should give your name and business, along with a memorable “hook” or tagline. It should be no more than 60 seconds long, and focus on the benefit you provide to prospects and the value you’ve provided to clients. Your elevator speech should spread passion and enthusiasm. Make sure you choose every word with care-you’ve only got 60 seconds. Practice it enough that it flows naturally without sounding memorized. You’ll want to sound conversational, and be able to make minor tweaks seamlessly to adapt to the event and the person with whom you’re talking.

Your business cards should be good quality, not flimsy. Get them made just for you. Templates and free cards look cheap and won’t give the impression you want. Get a unique logo and show the personality of your business.

Make sure you include all your contact information-especially email address. I can’t tell you how annoying it is to want to contact someone after an event to do business with them only to find that their business card doesn’t have an email address. I don’t want to go to your website and fiddle around trying to find your email address or deal with a form email. No email address-you miss out on opportunities. (You say you don’t want spam? Being contacted is part of being available for business. Why miss contacts you do want?)

Use your card as a tool. Write notes or referrals on it when you give it to your contact, or write a specific way you can help. Write yourself a reminder of how to follow up on the card you receive. And always have your cards with you!

Use the online profiles you’re given with club memberships or that come with your social media to make a real statement. Use a good, current photo and fill in your bio completely. No one wants to do business with an empty bio. Don’t mistake it for a resume-it should focus on benefits and highlights. Remember that it’s a great way to let other people find you by listing prior employers and alma maters. Avoid jargon, and target your message to your intended audience. Let your personality shine through. Let people get to know you and offer valuable information.

Make your professional association and club memberships really work for you. Take advantage of the online profiles and directory, get value from the discounts and perks, and make sure you use all the advantages you’ve paid for with your membership. Take a visible role and be active. Commit to a few organizations and then go often and make yourself a valuable resource. Give generously by being an answer resource, leading programs and serving on committees. Connect and refer, making it your job to be the bridge between people and organizations. Be the first to volunteer or see a need and fill it. Your leadership will be noted.

Get more from your social media by using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites to find connections and resources. Use your “window to the world” to give recommendations and referrals and to share useful information. Search for people you know from business or club memberships, or from prior jobs or your alma mater. Reconnect and offer to be a resource. Participate in online groups and show your stuff with great answers and helpful posts. Leverage the “six degrees of separation” by noticing who your friends are friends with and asking for connections. And avoid the temptation to add friends indiscriminately just to run up a big number. On Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, friend people who have demonstrated some shared interest in your topic, such as a group membership. On LinkedIn, friend only people you actually know.

Create more value from your speaking engagements and personal appearances. Ask the groups you participate in if you can be a speaker. Lead workshops and offer to provide seminars. Make sure your appearances include a way to build your opt-in list by offering a follow-up bonus to the people who attend. Ask the program coordinator for referrals to other groups where you might also be a speaker. Make sure you promote your appearances before and afterwards by sharing video or audio links and sending press releases. Above all, go to every event with a plan for how it will help you build your business and a goal for what kind of value (qualified leads, product sales, etc.) you will receive that day.

Engage in strategic community involvement. It’s great to volunteer to help organizations in the community, but if you’re doing it for business (not personal) reasons, then make sure people link you to your business by always wearing a logo shirt or driving a company car with magnetic or silk screen signage. Contribute logo merchandise when asked for gift items or prizes, and if you sponsor an event, get full value by having a nice sign or banner made. Take a leadership role and choose opportunities to volunteer that showcase your business talents. For example, if you’re an accountant and you want more accounting clients, volunteer for the finance committee, not the publicity committee. You only have a limited amount of time to volunteer, so choose your organizations not only based on sincere interest, but if it’s for a business goal, take a hard look at your ability to make connections that will lead to sales. Publicize your involvement on boards and committees. Look for ways to lead and innovate. And make sure you network with volunteers and leaders to get the most out of your investment of time and talent.

Make the most of your seven powerful tools and watch your business soar, even when the economy is tight.

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Blogging – The Best Marketing Tool

Posted on Mar 27, 2015 in Business

Blogs for businesses have increased in popularity in recent months. Many people have started to create their own to express their thoughts and feelings. Even corporations and government agencies have their own to inform consumers about the latest products, developments and reviews.

Therefore, blogs are also used as internet marketing media tool. Gone are the days of doing internet marketing by placing banners and links on popular sites, such as news and information sites. Links were also included on the newsletters and marketing letters sent to members of their mailing lists. Although they are still widely used today, recent trends dictates having your own blog to promote your products or services in the internet.

Many people pass the time reading blogs. People read blogs of their friends, their favorite author blogs, blogs on topics they are interested in and blogs on product evaluations. With it’s growing popularity, there are even fears that people rely on them to get the latest news.

While getting stories from a blog is unreliable, some provide reliable contents which some people rely on looking through product reviews for information about your products and services. While it is true that some media people are paid to write good reviews on a given product, some authors write about their actual experiences on the products and services of a company.

Given that many people who read and start their own blogs, why not do the same to market a product or service. With increasing average blog traffic you get, it is a guarantee that you generate an increase on sales of your products or services.

Blog traffic can be increased by joining sites, which will display your blog under a certain category search or name and affiliation programs. You can also have your blog announced in popular Web sites. This, however, will cost a little money and is not recommended if you just started with your site.

What is recommended though is quality, informative, reliable or amusing contents to make your readers comeback for more. Additionally, it is a plus to have a smashing layout and design that is both refreshing and shows your personality.

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