SEO


Now, I know that the next few minutes of discussion will not resemble anything politically correct (not unusual right?) or mentally sound in the rational way that should be on topic, but I am noticing a growing trend that alarms me.  In many ways, I walk completely outside of society and their uptight rules.  Yes, hippy rebellion as it may sound…let people live and think without hurting each other.  Not so crazy, after all, I think that it could be argued that the Bible says something like that in several places. However, not to get too far off point, I am very obsessive about paying bills on time.  I own a business and nothing makes me angrier than to have to remind someone to pay their invoice.  So, in turn, I don’t want people having to remind me to pay my bills.  Fair is fair right?

In return, I do expect a certain amount of customer service.  Let’s be completely honest, I represent that ideal that customer service is essential and I seem to be the only one.  I have noticed a sliding trend of customer service in the past few months that makes me want to reach out to companies and say, “You know, I will pay more for good service.  Really!”  They really need the proverbial V8 slap to the back of the head.

Here are some of my mental money meanderings over the past month:

  • Language Barriers:  PLEASE don’t make me press one again to speak to someone in English.  If you can detect my name and address using caller ID, cant we please set my language preferences?  I would much rather tell you my name than have to listen to that damn 30 second introduction for the next 50 years of my life.
  • Language Barriers, part 2:  After I press one to speak to someone in English, transferring me to someone with an accent that is so thick I can not understand them DOES NOT count as speaking to someone in English.  It is very frustrating to continually say, “I am sorry, I can’t understand you.  Did you just ask me what I had for dinner last week?”  *grin*  Ok, so maybe it is not THAT bad, but you get the point!
  • Don’t call me:  What is up with companies that do not have a telephone number on their website or put it in an obscure place where you have to search all over the world wide webiverse?  (My word “webiverse”—I love it because it describes all of us who have a universe on the web!).  Enough already…give me a break and let me call you with my question.  We will all be happier when I finally find it.
  • At the beep:   Even better, large companies that keep bankers hours on staffing their phone systems.  I swear, I called AT&T the other day (switched to Vonage because it will save me about $150 a month—I will let all know how that goes) to pay my last bill.  I received an automated voice that said they only staff the phones during 8-6, M-F.  Logically, that is when all phone issues occur right?  The phone company does not have people staffing the phone.  Yes…in my mind…that is right up there with a Catholics priests not being married but giving marriage advice!  Enuf said.
  • Charges to Pay:  Now, to make a payment online (which I used to love because it was fast and convenient!), you have to pay 3 days ahead of time.  Good enough, when I understand that the rules have changed, I can play the game.  But, I called to make a phone payment today to keep from being late and was told that there would be $15.95 phone payment charge.  Huh?  I could not believe.  Fast and easy is apparently gone the way of cost effective.  Never mind the fact that I don’t consider a 3 day lead way an acceptable time frame for an electronic payment, but now it costs extra if I want to pay them on time.
  • Check Please:  I find it incredibly irritating when I make an electronic payment that requires me to void a check.  I don’t consider it unreasonable.  Electronic payment is supposed to keep me from needing the check.  Do they know how much checks cost these days?  And, the security risk of tearing it up (we shred—but anyways)….throwing it away is just a huge waste of my money.
  • ATMs hold ups:  When my ATM is down (and the next ATM is about 25 miles away), I have to use another bank.  For this, I get charged an incredible fee, as much as 25% of the ATM transaction between both banks, because their equipment did not work.  Interesting version of customer service.  We charge you for our failure.  Its good to be the bank!
  • Resellers:  After noticing an amazing charge on my cell bill this month (I just got a new Blackberry), I called the company to discuss it.  I was told by their customer service that the store that I bought the product in only housed retailers.  They were sales people on commission.  If I wanted services turned off or on, then I needed to call the customer service branch of the company because the sales people were only there to make sales.  Now, I am not naïve by a long shot.  But, it seems to me that if you put a large sign on the building, all of the guys in the place have your logo on them, and they tot business cards with your name, then you carry some liability for what they say.  I was advised to go to the store and discuss it with the Manager.  Uh huh… right after he had just told me not to trust their representatives that were in there.  When did businesses STOP backing up what their employees say?  More over, when is it ok to be ok with saying….”You should never trust one of our representatives.”  Guess I those guys selling cell phones on street corner with a side of crack really do have the right idea…they are training to work for my cell phone company!
  • Special Honors Note:  Here is a little tidbit that I found out by calling the bank after putting a meal on my debit card and noticing it exceeded the ticket amount by a large margin (so much I noticed it!).  The bank informed me that merchants are allowed to charge up to 30% of your sale OVER the amount of the sale (yes…in addition to your sales price) and hold it until your sale clears the bank.  The ticket is electronically submitted to the bank and the bank refunds the money back into your account. 

              

*At this point, I said….”what if the money is not recredited to my account or the ticket is not submitted as I signed it?  You have allowed them to take money from my account without my consent.”

**Answer:  “That does not happen.” 

Let me give you a little background.  In Tampa in January of this year, I took a few people to lunch.  The restaurant is a national chain that will remain nameless (but it does have a big pepper on the sign!) and I was charged three separate times for the same meal.  The bank had let all three transactions clear.  I caught it and reported it.  It happens and your bank is NOT there to protect you.  Protect yourself.

Ranting over…I have been meaning to go down this road for several weeks because it has been collecting in my brain.  I don’t feel like I am asking TOO MUCH….I mean, I pay my bills on time and I consider myself a logical human being.  I guess that might be the problem.  Logical human beings don’t get very far in the universe….so, I took it to my “webiverse.” 

Money, as the Bible says, is NOT the root of all evil.  The root of all evil is bad customer service and terrible business practices.  If you are guilty of any of these OR something that is driving your customer crazy, all the great marketing in the world will not help you! ~~Dee

For just a moment, let’s put aside the issue of whether or not blog marketing works.  It does.  There is no argument there really…just denial on the part of those unwilling to step into the new age of blogging and reach for the market of the internet generation.  We have short attention spans (so I am told!) and highly creative ways of reaching each other through identifying ourselves with our media.  Literally, I blog therefore I am!

But, all that rant aside, there is another issue that I am continually face with in my marketing efforts.  Before I throw this into the dark void of the blogosphere, let me say that I UNDERSTAND that what I am going to say goes against EVERY marketing genius and theorist on the subject of blog marketing.  Gotcha!  In return for my confession, I want everyone who reads this to understand two things about great online blog marketing:

  • It does not follow the pack of what everyone is doing.
  • When a better way is discovered, you do it.

Now, rinse and repeat until these things are deeply rooted into your mind because there will be a comprehension test at the end!

The argument revolves around the ideas of push vs. pull marketing.  If you are not quite hip to what I am saying it means quite simply that with some marketing methods require you to push the materials out to the marketplace to reach your audiencePull marketing is just the opposite in that your marketing efforts pull your audience to you through viral methods like email campaigns, social book marking, and networking.

Ok…here is our visual for the post.  If someone said to you that:

  • You could get office space on a country road not visible on any map without you placing huge signs to lead visitors, or…
  • For the same price, you can have this great office space located in the middle of a high traffic area of Main Street.

Which would you want?  If your answer is the office space on the dirt country road, you are in the wrong place…the Marketing Goddess is not for you!  You might need one of those marketing companies with low output and high prices that should come with a free mental examination.

The problem is that I am really strong with the customer service.  I do hand-holding better than anyone in the game (clean hands are even FREE! *smile*).  I understand that marketing is a scary thing for businesses…it’s an investment.  But, the other “experts” that constantly tell me about the books they have read that say that a blog should be kept in a private space, like as part of a website, to increase website traffic.  <deep breath>

We need to rage against this type of mythology!  While a blog can be an excellent marketing tool to drive traffic to a website, the website MUST be functioning and highly SEO-ed to stand alone.  Last thing you want to do is hide an incredible marketing tool behind a website that can not rank on its own.

Further, when you remove a blog from a public space, like Blogger or WordPress (my personal favorite), you effective take it out of the blogosphere circle where people can stumble across you.  Plus, using your SEO tactics on your blog and tagging system (not offered by most private blogs) you are enabling your blog to live on Main Street.  When your blog is on your private space, you have to do lots of blog marketing to get your message out.

Here’s some case study info for you:

  • Blog#1—90 posts, 30 relevant comments, 4068 visits over 5 months, PR5, ranked under 630K in technorati
  • Blog #2—25 posts, 7 relevant comments, 178 visits over 3 weeks (too early for PR)
  • Blog #3—35 posts, 13 relevant comments, 768 visits over 1 month (too early for PR)
  • Blog #4—7 posts, 8 relevant comments, 1094 visits over 1 month (too early for PR)
  • Blog #5—9 posts (very erratic!  Yes….here!), 19 relevant comments

Ready for the big one?

  • Blog #6—104 posts, 709 relevant comments, 37382 visits in 5 months, PR6, ranked under 150K in technorati

All of these sites have three things in common:  all public blogs, all highly successful and SEO-ed, all brining traffic back to the primary website.

The main counter argument seems to be there is a “.wordpress” (or .blogger) in the URL.  With today’s world of hidden linkage, why would anyone let what works stand in their way? 

The one truth that I have heard over and over again is that content is KING.  True that, but where the content is located is a matter of marketing companies that have control issues.  I guide companies’ everyday on how to reach an audience using a blog.  I don’t intend to argue with the big guys or their armies of followers about the whys of blogging in a public forum as opposed to a private venue.

With a great marriage of SEO for your website and a steady blog approach, there is NO reason to sweat sales on that country road when you can have what you built a website and blog to achieve.  A marketing tool that stays home to gather traffic (website) and your marketing tool (blog) that goes out into the world to invite people home!

Consider this:  I don’t market the Marketing Goddess blog.  You (and hundreds more people) found me somehow!
 

This will be my last post for 2007.  I am on my way to Tampa and New Orleans for the holidays.  Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!  Here is to a profitable and successful new year!

If you have questions, comments, or emotional outburst….well, that is why I am here! ~~Diana, Marketing Goddess

People often ask me why I am in marketing. I know, it seems like your insurance agent. You don’t want to admit that something horrible could happen, but you need to make sure you are covered in a case it does. Well, marketing people are much the same way. The best of us, really good at what we do, watch people…analyze….and find ways into their buying consciousness. Does that seem predatory? Perhaps.

Unfortunately, people sense this about marketers. Like we are all the tele-markers that call you during dinner time trying to refinance your house or get you to take another credit card. No…but I would like to note in this space that if AT&T calls me just once more (7 times in 2 days) that I will be going to a cable phone line!!

See, for each client I work with, I can see the vision of their dreams. I don’t take every client. I would not waste my time or efforts with people less than motivated to reach for success. They get to define that goal for themselves. Is it tons of money? Ok. Is it taking their messages of love to the world? Yes. Is it starting a business so that they don’t move through life stumbling over a 9-5 existence? Super. I can help with these visions.

Here’s the confessions part: What is in it for me? If you say money, true. I get paid, but that is not the payoff. If it were, why would I live in the blogosphere? Why would I turn down clients who do not have the passion needed or the understanding of achievement? Why would I fire clients who are not meeting my expectations? (yes…did that twice this week!)  I mean, anyone can write a check each month!

What is in it for me is a small idea I have called “Building Dreams on Dreams.” That means, quite literally, that I get to participate in the construction of other peoples dream.

  • I get to see that first direct mail campaign equal a sale.
  • I get to watch as the website or blog start to get responses.
  • I get see their PR turn into interviews and product buzz.

I build my dream—being the Marketing Goddess—on the successful achievement of the dreams of others. That is worth more than money to me. So, here I am blogging about the best ways to market for those who need help and understanding to get their part of the dream.

If you have questions, comments, or emotional outburst….well, that is why I am here! ~~Diana, Marketing Goddess

First, whatever I say from here on out in the blog….pay attention.  I am starting a New Years Resolution early and this is it.  Once a week (atleast), you can find me here.  The Marketing Goddess blog is ready to live again!

Why did I stop?  Easy…business got into the way.  I do not get paid to write here.  I did get paid to write other places.  The choice is easy right??  Wrong.  Here is where I teach you WHY blogging is important to your business. 

The call last week went something like this:

“Hi, I found you on the internet and I was impressed with what you had to say,” the voice on the other end told me.

“Really, you found interesting information on the website?” trying to prompt her to tell me what she read.  It is a marketing conversation that EVERYONE should be having with every potential customer that calls.

“No, on your blog.  I goggled you,” I could hear her smiling.  That made one of us.  I was not smiling because I knew the blog had not been updated in months.  And, I have learned first hand that blogs work in another way.

Recently, I started another blog (not listed on this site).  It has received over 20K hit in the past four months.  How does happen?  It’s not hard at all, but we will go through it in the next few posts!

Lesson here:  1—Blogs work.  2—Clients will find you on the blog.

Here are some blogging basics that you MUST accept:

  • You must commit to your blog.  If you are not going to keep a regular posting schedule, then save yourself time and money now.  Leave it alone.  This is extra important because blogging can bring you SEO hits.  Plus, an audience will not commit to follow you if you don’t give them a reason!
  • Get Technorati (and other social medias) hooked up from the start.  By adding easy ways for people to follow your blog, then you will build an audience because they get whatever they want with their Happy Meal.  See the green box over to the right that says “Technorati Favorites”?  That is my Technorati home where people vote for me!  VOTE FOR ME! VOTE FOR ME! VOTE FOR ME!  If I know that I am loved, then it is easier for me to keep coming back.
  • Load your Blog.  Some people simply put their comments out on the blog.  Your blog should be your home away from your website.  Adding content gives people places to look around and find out more about you.  For example, on my blog, you can see customer testimonials.  Give them a reason to talk to you.  AND…your contact info should be prominent.
  • Plan the information you want on your blog.  What do you want to say?  How often?  What schedule do you want to set?  Get with your marketing person and set up a plan for your blog.  Your marketing plan should include this important step.
  • Have someone design your space.  Its not rocket science, but it is brain surgery.  No…not really.  But in truth, a good Blog Marketer (if not me, then someone please) can give you hints on what to include, how to lay it out, and where to cross the Ts.  You can also get information on writing for human beings as well as search engines.  A great blog marketer will hold your hand through this process.

Ready to get started with your blog marketing campaign?  You have my blog New Years Resolution.  Is getting more business part of your New Years Resolution? 

If you have questions, comments, or emotional outburst….well, that is why I am here! ~~Diana, Marketing Goddess

Today, my goal is to pass along the one greatest mistake any marketer (business owner have to be marketers also!) makes in the development of a business or marketing plan.  It applies to all industries, all businesses, and all product/service lines.  Ready?  Because I won’t sugar coat the truth…here is the 64 thousand dollar question:  Do you know your customer?  If you are shaking your head confidently, then I you have all the customers you need and you can stop reading now!  <keep reading—that comment is a test to see if you read my last blog!—world domination remember??> 

You see, I work with many great companies in a week.  Some have great inspiration and a fabulous team.  Some have a great product, but a weaker team.  Some have great competition, but a driven group of individuals wanting a piece of the pie.  The one thing they all lack is an unerring knowledge of their customer.  When I ask them the questions that are vital to successfully selling their product, I get a mixture of “I guess,” “I think,” and “I assume.” 

BTW…it is my belief that the word “assume” should be banned from the English language!

Anyway…soapbox aside, these phrases are a plan for disaster.  You have to know what your customer likes and dislikes, know where he shops, what he eats and drinks, what kind of car does he drive (hint: financial as well as culture implications)…dont stand back and guess….go out and find Elvis!

Here is another of my famous “Marketing Goddess” checklists for knowing your customer:

  • Personality Profile:  This includes knowing the basic information about your customer like what they like to do with their spare time, what does their house look like, who are their friends, do they have children, large family vs. small family, large town mentality vs. small town mentality….and on and on.  All of these things are triggers for buying habits.  Think on this…someone who grew up in a large family is more likely to be thriftier, so you will need to go the extra mile when explaining benefits (NOT FEATURES—ask if you don’t know the difference!).  You will really have to work on integrating your product into their “need structure” as opposed to their “want structure” because they tend to spend money on what they need first.
  • Know Your Customer on Sight:  Do you have a mental picture of your customer base?  This will be more than one person, so I tend to think of it as a group family reunion picture.  Look across gender, age, race, ethnicity, hobbies….these will be the physical features of the person you are seeking.  I recently did some work for a tattoo company.  While at dinner, one of the ladies started to tell me how she had always wanted a tattoo, but she was scared to get one because she might not like it.  This is the customer!  Know that person when they appear in front of you. Why??…keep reading.
  • Engage and Listen (do these simultaneously):  It is important to ask the questions you want to find answers to…BUT…engage and listen.  People love to talk about themselves.  If you are interested enough to listen to them talk, they will talk your ears off every time.  Crazy part of that…they will think you are the best conversationalist in the world!  So, it goes something like this…”what do you do in a day?”….They answer.  Never never ask yes or no questions.  Always ask questions that lead to another question or a detailed answer.  You can feel free to jump in with questions as they talk like “how many kids/dogs do you have?” if that is what they are discussing at the time as you go (this is called engaging).  Engaging is as simple as asking the right questions on the topic they are discussing so it shows them you are listening!  They feel like you are really interested…and you really are!  In the instance above, with the lady who wanted the tattoo, I found out what was holding her up, if she was bothered by the idea of the pain, that she had been looking through shops (tells me what stage in the buying process she is at), how her husband felt about it, and if she had found something she liked!  That was a short conversation of less than 10 minutes.  Then, I left her with the website address and talked to her about a few features that addressed what she had told me.  Was it successful?  It was—she called to rave about the site and tell me of her purchase!
  • Understand Their Motivations:  This is possibly the most important factor.  This will tell you what makes someone act or take the action you want.  There are three big motivations: security, money, and prestige (power).  These things are not always connected and NOT always self-directed.  Example—if you are selling a security service, knowing that someone travels a lot and wants to make sure their family is safe while they are away is gold to you!  Or, if you are selling a phone reminder service for the elderly, knowing that someone has elderly parents in another city that they worry about is your cue.
  • Think Like They Do:  Ok, so now you have all of this information.  Use it to think like your customer.  What services or products do they use?  Can you add to that?  Can you create a product or service that they would want to go with it?  Do you have a product or service that you can create a marketing slant for each of the audience you have discovered?  You need to tailor your approach to each of the groups you have found.

Hint Hint Hint:  Know ahead of time what action you want your customer to take.  Do you want them to sign up for a newsletter, post on your blog, or buy something?  Ask yourself…how do I move them that way?

Now, Plan B:  Always be prepared with an alternative plan of action.  For instance, what if someone is not ready to use your service or buy your product?  Do you really want to loose your marketing investment on them because they are not comfortable and ready to buy?  NO WAY…give them other options.  Post on the blog, sign up for my newsletter (Elvis information), fill out a survey for a discount, get a free informational white paper…give them something and keep working on them.  One great example of this is John Roulet of Gold Standard Management (http://www.unleashyourtiger.com).  He gives away a free white paper called “Key Principles of 21st Century Management” when you register for his newsletter.  Find an alternative plan of action and provide incentive!

The test is when you can pass your average customer at dinner or in the grocery store, drop a slight hint on them about your business (please…dont annoy people…this is your test, not theirs!), and they want to know more.  Remember, the key to any good marketing is not getting the sale from the beginning.   Your goal is to develop an ongoing relationship with your customer, “Mr. or Ms. Ideal Customer,” and then keep them in your sales channel.  Marketing theory says it takes 3-5 contacts with a customer before a sale.  So, think of this as a first date.  Learn what you need to know about them.  Look alittle deeper…what are their hobbies, interests, favorite colors, favorite foods…you name it, you know it!  Every piece of intel is important to your success.  Because your real goal is to “Find Elvis” or that collection of traits that will give you insight to your customer.  When you have that golden collection of traits that sell to your customer, then you will be able to approach the market with a new understanding of what you should offer, incentives, and services that make that clickable combination of widespread, repeatable sales.  Don’t wait until “Elvis has left the building” to go searching for your perfect customer (make that CUSTOMERS!)

Next posting?—A theory from my hero, Jack Welch, about taking your product or service into a new market.  Maybe…again…I get to change my mind!
If you have questions, comments, or emotional outburst….well, that is why I am here!
Diana, Marketing Goddess (Magic Touch Marketing @ www.marketingsc.com)

First, a grateful acknowledgement to Tim Totten of Final Embrace for giving me a well needed kick in the blog!  I met Tim yesterday while doing some blog marketing and he reminded me that my blog was suffering from malnourishment.  I promised Tim that I would get my blogging act together!  And the Marketing Goddess never breaks a promise!  So, here’s to you Tim!

My favorite quote on the planet:  “The best definition of insanity is to do things the way they’ve always been done and expect different results!”  Although I don’t remember who said it (I could goggle it), but that is not the point.  Its application to marketing is the point.

Let’s look deeper!  It is often the case with niche markets that they forget those creative solutions that make them stand out from their competitors.  Those really important “Ah Ha!” and “What If” moments that sparks organic growth.  About now, I ALWAYS get the weirdest looks from clients as they point out that they either get as much business as anyone else in their market or they assure me that their services are popular with their customers. 

Always remember:  Marketing has a two sided function. 
1—Attack the Company:  This is a serious microscopic look at your product and service to see where you can reach out to customers even if your company has to change.  Many customers feel the need to defend their companies, but, in fact, it would be like the doctor giving you medication.  It might be bitter and hard to swallow, however, look at it from a detached perspective if you can and take the medication!  The pain only last a second.
2—Dominate the World:  A good marketer will not accept anything less and neither should you.  Which would you rather?  A marketing company who is interested in gaining 5 new clients or 10 new clients?  Granted, marketing is NOT a short term solution.  Great marketing puts you are a road to successfully lining customers up outside of your door and maintains the flow of new business.  It’s not how much business you deserve (all great respect to my hero Jack Welch!)…it is how much business will you settle for?
Once you accept those two ideas, Great Marketing is within your reach!  Now, grab my hand (electronically speaking of course!) and walk outside the box with me.

Ask yourself these five top questions:
1–Do I have a viable market plan?
2– Do I really know what my customer wants?
3–What new trends can I incorporate into what I already do to meet customer needs?
4–Do I have the proper partnerships in place to really maximize my exposure?
5–Are you constantly in contact with your customer base?

A quick case study in dedication to Tim’s market (Funeral Services):
Audience Analysis (this would commonly be a part of your SWOT analysis—ask if you want to know!!):  People who need funeral services after losing a loved one.
1–Do I have a viable market plan?  A market plan will include all the pretty bells and whistles that answer the most important questions…how will I attack?, where will I attack?, what do I want to gain from this attack?, and how much will it cost me?  These are all important because you want to get every $ back that you put into a marketing approach.  So, set goals.  Know what you want and how you will get it.  Also, know how to measure what you will receive for your investment!  This marketing plan will give you a quick and easy map for your marketing.
2–Do I really know what my customer wants?  In the funeral market, one would assume that traditional is king.  But….NEVER ASSUME.  As with any market, your customer decides what is important.  Remember, we are outside of the box.  What if you offer theme funerals?  You’re thinking cheesy right?  Are you thinking of an incredibly patriotic military themed funeral?  Outside of the box says offer your customer what they want to make it perfect for them.  Much the same as weddings, don’t stand at the doorway and wish you could offer this or that.  Ask your customer….”when you think of the perfect funeral, what do you see?”  Make that happen!  Even if you need to hire an event planner…make it happen!
3–What new trends can I incorporate into what I already do to meet customer needs?  Now, the world is full of new and useful social marketing tools that can be used in every facet of life!  For example, do you have a website?  A blog?  An online memorial services page for each funeral where people can get together online to remember their loved ones.  Do you have the ability to offer web cam abilities so long distance relatives can log in to your system and virtually be at the funeral?  Perhaps leave notes of comfort for the family from far away?  Really, walk outside of the box with me!
4–Do I have the proper partnerships in place to really maximize my exposure?  In the example above, perhaps you seek sponsorship or partnerships from FTD (or another large online flower shop).  This way, when people are viewing the services they can send flower to their loved ones.  Are there other partnerships that will support and grow your business?  Reach out to them and explain WHY you should partner together.
5–Are you constantly in contact with your customer base?  This is the most disappointing to me in our online, wired up, constantly connected world.  In past days, we would struggle to make sure we kept in contact with each customer.  Now that is it easier, we don’t work at it.  It takes several contacts before your customers see you.  Do a postcard mailing promoting your “Respect for Military” funerals.  Send out emails to your customer base (opt-in only PLEASE!!) with a short message of services and how you can help prepare.  Get in contact.  Funeral services are always preaching about pre-planning for pre-need.  Take your own advice!

You see, marketing does take thought, planning, and insight.  You have to really understand the people you are trying to reach and then take the mountain to them.  Even if that means doing things in your field that others are not doing.  Don’t continue to walk the same ground because you don’t want people to look at you.  That goes against every marketing grain known to mankind.  THE BASIS OF MARKETING IS….people are looking at you and talking about you!
Now, get out there and start some buzz in your business.

If you have questions, comments, or emotional outburst….well, that is why I am here!
Diana, Marketing Goddess (Magic Touch Marketing @ www.marketingsc.com)

I know…I have broken the unwritten rule of blogging.  I have missed updating my blog.  I can hear the blog gods rumbling disapproval in the distance of the internet.  I hear the teller at the bank and the clerk at the grocery chastising me for my lack of respect of my blogging duties.  Or…maybe not.  I mean, all of those people cant really know about my blog right?  I am sure they are not sitting by their computer every night just waiting for me to log my blog!  And that is just the point that I want to discuss.  PR is vital to the success of any marketing strategy.  That is not the  “giving out your business card” or “placing an ad” approach to marketing.  PR is a whole different and often confused hybrid animal.  It’s a zebra with spots instead of stripes and very few people know how to properly work the PR machine.  But the point is not whether to promote using PR as a part of your marketing arsenal.  The point is not even where to promote because there are tons of free PR sites.  Later in the blog, I will give you my top 10 list of free PR listing sites!  (See…you have to keep reading for that.)  PRweb and MassMediaDistribution have both gotten good paid results for me personally.  The point is that you should promote using PR and that you have to do it correctly to achieve results. 

Big Question:  What is the wrong way?

Well, I am glad you asked!  Remember, PR is geared toward media exposure.  So, trying to sell yourself or your services will not work.  The media can smell a sell job a mile away and will not touch anything you send.  Instead, try writing about:

a      a success story

a      place you have broken into the market

a      a service that you provide that no one else does

a      a new way you are influencing your market

a      a break through in society because of your product

In short, if you can show them the news, they will find you!  There are many templates on the web to show you have to write a great press release.  But, remember….the key is that it HAS to be press worthy!  Sure, you promote yourself and show them it was your press release, but you are not selling the press.  Their job is not to be sold.  You are selling them a story.  To do that, you must excite their news sense and allow them to spread the news of your existence like it is there idea! 

Ok…. Top 10 Free PR sites (in no order):

  1. I-Newswire
  2. PR.com
  3. ClickPress
  4. PR Buzz
  5. USPRwire
  6. UKPRwire
  7. PressBox
  8. PRLeap
  9. 24/7press
  10. The Open Press

Next Blog: Link Building! (Probably….I get to change my mind!). 

Quote of the Blog:  “I mean look at Madonna, there’s a poster of her all over the world when she has a new album and I don’t think they’re any good. But there’s a lot of PR.” —-Victoria Jackson 

Now….if you are trying to figure out who Victoria Jackson is, then I have one more link for you….www.google.com!  If you have questions, comments, or emotional outburst….well, that is why I am here! Diana, Marketing Goddess

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