Monday, March 30, 2009

Could this be the "Next Big Thing" in internet marketing?

The discovery of the "Squeeze page" with a opt-in revolutionized marketing online. This important concept created companies like aWeber and 1Shop as this allows marketers to build a mailing list.

Here are key components of the Squeeze page.

- the intro/sales letter
- the bribe
- the sequential autoresponder and/or mailing list for mailing out offers.

Typically, the bribe comes in the form of an ebook/report.

The problem with this is:

1) eBooks are often not read.
2) eBooks can be forwarded to friends (thus bypassing the opt-in)
3) People give bogus email addresses.

Don't get me wrong. The opt-in concept works and is very powerful. But, what do you think of the idea of instead of sending your users an email with the e-book, sending them to a HIGH QUALITY/VALUE 7 to 14 day e-course instead that is linked with your community website via your squeeze page?

Doing so would get you some interesting consequences:

1) the e-course can not be sent to friends.

2) the viewer will naturally want to tell their friends about it and have them share the experience/learning...which makes for a NATURAL viral engine. You don't even have to pay them for the referral.

3) You are training your users to come to your community site daily for the next 2 weeks. If they see a high degree of activity and value - they will naturally want to be more involved in the community.

4) Regardless whether the client provided a good or bad email address....they will still consume your content and come to value your community...and may eventually join as a paid member.

The key to making this work then is building a HIGH quality 7 day e-course for your free opt-ins. One worth talking about. One worth sharing. At the end of each module, you will say, "If this has helped you, then share it with your friends. Click on the link below to invite your friends so they can experience this e-course also."

If you perfect this system, I believe you should get an unbelievable explosion in client referrals naturally..without needing to pay them an affiliate commission.

Essentially, like Michelle MacPhearson's where she offers an incredible value ebook that is worth passing around, this concept also builds your list and member opt-ins. Social Media Marketing with Michelle MacPhearson.

The second part to make this all work is the e-course opt-in technology tied to a community website. I am working on this to be included on our platform to make the whole process integrated.

What do you think of the concept? I dub it "viral opt-in ecourse".

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Twitter Best Practices

Twitter has gotten a lot of press lately. A lot of people are new to Twitter and are somewhat confused about how to use Twitter.

I've been on Twitter for quite some time and I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on Do's and Don'ts of Twitter.

Twitter Do Nots

* Don't use it as a vehicle to spam your followers. This is not like a mailing list. People want to know more about you, and what you do throughout your, news, ideas you want to share. I've followed (and subsequently unfollowed) a number of internet marketers and found their practice not to my liking. Most of their tweets are: "I'm selling my stuff for 50% today only." "Buy more of my stuff here". "Buy more of Bob's stuff (I am making a commission from this link)".

This is the quickest way to turn people off. It really shows your followers (and would be followers) your true colors. These people are not about growing their social capital (and good will) but are in it for a quick buck.

* Don't over tweet. While some people are too shy to tweet, some go overboard. Sending 10+ tweets a day tend to wear your followers out. Keep to the relevance of your topic. It's one thing is you are using it to keep in touch with your friends and family, it's another as a marketing/corporate communication tool.

If you have relevant and helpful things to tweet about, by all means.

All I am saying is...respect your follower's time. Take a few minutes to ask yourself "is there value in this tweet for my followers?"

* Don't Spam Follow. There's a growing practice of people Following others with the hope of getting a reciprocal follow. It's not a collectible card game people. The people who do this thinks that having a few thousand people following them means big bucks in their bank account....I don't believe that this is a wise strategy. I would rather real people follow me rather than an artificial crowd of "bots". It's just me.

* Keep your Follow list small. I actually read and care about the people I follow. When I see someone following 3000 people...I know they are not serious about the people they are following. How can you? If it takes you 1 second to read one tweet...and if everyone on average tweets once per day, that's 3000 seconds PER DAY or 500 minutes (over 8 hours) to read. This seems like you're not real or genuine.

Twittering Done The Right Way
Now let's talk about how to use Twitter the Right way; especially to grow your business and make money.

* Share real content and value with your followers. For example, "I've found this really cool widget that saved me a lot of time.." By sharing this sort of information, your followers will come to appreciate and respect your tweets.

* Keep it balanced. Balance your tweets between heavy information with light tweets...for example, "I'm heading out to lunch with Paul. Paul's a great guy who specializes in...."

* Give people credit. Sing other people's praise. If someone does something cool, tweet about it. They will appreciate it, and may in turn follow you.

* Comment often on other people's posts. People like to know their tweets are being heard. It's amazing how much engagement you can ignite by just commenting on someone's tweet. Try it.

* Produce content. Write blogs. Submit your stuff to e-zines. Post on newsgroups, Ning, Facebook groups, etc. Put a twitter signature so people can follow you. In fact, it might be better to just put a twitter link than your website. Add it to your email signature

* Ask questions. Enage your followers. If you are at a supermarket and can't decide between product A vs Product B...tweet about it. "I am looking for...what do you think ?" "I can't decide...which do you think?"

* The world's a stage. Try to make your tweets funny or interesting...Again, give your followers value.

* Have a detailed Bio. Give concise and relevant information about who you are in your bio. Specifically what industry you belong to. What your interests are. Answer this question: "why should I follow you?"

* Post once in a while. Put a reminder on your calendar to post once a week. It really only takes less than 2 minutes when you make a habit of doing it. If you are a beginner...just post something mundane. Like "I am heading out to the supermarket" It's OK.

* Be sure to link to Facebook and Linkedin. Most people are on Facebook and Linkedin these days. Be sure to use the Apps within Facebook and Linkedin to connect your tweets so that tweets from Twitter automatically updates to your Facebook account so your friends on Facebook can see it too.

* Ask people to re-tweet your posts. If you write a newsletter or a blog and you think the content is worth spreading, then pre-make a Tweet for your readers and ask them to "re-tweet" your post to their subscribers. Check out the bottom of this article if you don't know what "re-tweeting" means. (Thanks to Michael Rubin.

Summary: Twitter Best Practices

It's pretty simple really, follow Jesus' Golden Rule: Do onto other's what you want others to do onto yourself.

Imagine chatting with a group of friends or business associates. Ask yourself, "would my comments be appropriate in this group?" If so, tweet it. For example, "Wow, I saw Iron Man, it was a great movie." would be appreciated.

Another suggestion you might want to try is to follow some people who I consider have high social equity on Twitter. Follow these people:

Mari Smith: (I love her tweets!)
Robert Grant:
Kirt Christensen:
John Reese:

Do what successful people do. Copy these people's best practice.

Finally, don't force yourself to tweet. Do what comes natural. I sometimes go for days without tweeting. Some times, I tweet 3-5 times a day. It's all good.

Do you have any other ideas or suggestions? Please add to this post.

You can follow me on Twitter at:

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