CEI 051: Conversion Optimization with Bnonn Tennant

conversion optimizationIf you have ever asked “How do I get better results from my website, landing page, or sales materials,” then you’re going to love today’s podcast.

Our guest today is Bnonn Tennant (pronounced “non” – the b is silent), Danny’s friend and colleague, who is also an expert in conversion optimization.

Now, you might be thinking that conversion optimization sounds a lot less exciting than the hot topic of getting traffic to your website.

But the truth is, if all you do is focus on getting people to your website, and they don’t take any action when they get there, then you’ve just wasted a lot of time and money that resulted in zero new subscribers and zero sales.

That’s where conversion optimization comes in. [Read more...]

How to Make Your Business “Antifragile” (and Why You Must)

antifragile“Change is the only constant in life.”

That’s what my mom has told me ever since I could remember. The longer I live, the more I see the truth in it. This goes for health, relationships, and especially business.

As small business entrepreneurs, we have this stereotype that we’re fearless. That we aren’t satisfied unless we’re reaching out of our comfort zones every day or risking it all on a new venture.

I think that stereotype is overblown. Entrepreneurship is exciting and rewarding, but it can be scary too. Unexpected events can throw us off and leave the audiences we’ve worked so hard to build high and dry.

But it doesn’t have to be like that for you. Tweet it! Instead of worrying about what might happen, you can focus on connecting, engaging, and inspiring your growing audience. You can design your business to thrive in the face of uncertainty.
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7 Quick Tips to Becoming a Hollywood Star in the Eyes of Your Prospects

Business Communication SkillsMost actors, unless they’re up there with Tom Hanks or Julia Roberts, must audition for roles they get in the theater, movies or television.

They have to find ways to set themselves apart from all the other hopefuls and convince a casting director that they’re right for the part.

As a salesperson, you have a lot in common with actors. The difference is that your stage might be social media, a video conference, or a cold call. But you must still convince your audience that you’re right for the part.

In her book Act Like a Sales Pro, Julie Hansen adapts tried-and-true acting and improv techniques for sales professionals. Here are seven lessons from the world of acting that she suggests will help you become a star in the eyes of your prospects.
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Creative Marketing Ideas: Why Small-Scale Businesses Need It and How They Can Pull It Off

creative marketing ideasFor every day that your business survives, the need to think of new creative marketing ideas to extend your existing customers’ loyalty and to gain new ones remains constant.

This is especially true when there are other products in the market similar to what you are selling, which means that you’re competing with other brands for your target audience’s attention.

Such a circumstance automatically puts you in a position where you have to always come up with unique ideas to keep your product interesting.

Not only that, you also have to make sure that connect with target audience and keep them engaged.
[Read more...]

4 Types of Video Marketing That Will Increase Your Site Conversions

video marketingThere’s a strange double standard going on in online marketing. Have you noticed?

There are all these great resources about how to write great copy. And yet, when is the last time that you read a sales page that really stuck in your memory?

Now, compare that to first video that comes to mind when I ask you to tell me about the best marketing video you’ve ever seen. I’ll bet that the video was a lot easier to remember and describe than written words. Right?

So what’s going on here? Why are videos so much more memorable than text?

According to a recent study, the average user only reads 20% of text on any given webpage. For the non-math majors out there, this means that 80% of your text is not being read. And if only your audience is only reading 20% of your words, how are they supposed to understand the message that you’re trying to convey?

This is where video marketing come in.
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CEI 050: Why Mobile Website Design Matters with Greg Hickman

mobile website designMobile website design, and mobile marketing in general, are one of those areas where some people are already active, and some don’t even know it exists.

That’s why Danny caught up with Greg Hickman, a mobile marketing expert, for today’s podcast. Greg is the creator and host of Mobile Mixed, a mobile marketing consulting firm.

Often when people think of mobile marketing, they think of some kind of app for their smart phone. But mobile marketing covers a whole range of things, from emails and web browsing to social media, text message marketing, even video marketing! Basically, Tweet it! mobile marketing covers every way that entrepreneurs can connect to their current or prospective customers through their mobile device .

On today’s podcast, Greg will take us into the world of mobile marketing, and specifically into the world of mobile website design. He’ll talk about why it’s important to focus on your website first, and also how to optimize your website for mobile users. He’ll also share some strategies and techniques for getting started right away on making your website a better experience for your mobile customers.

Podcast run time: 30 min 23 seconds

And don’t forget that you can also download the transcript of this podcast.

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Why Giving and Receiving Effective Feedback is So Hard, and How We Can Get it Right

effective feedbackI have a confession to make: I used to be an ardent supporter of feedback sandwiches.

You know what I mean – it’s the conversation you have with your boss / partner / children / client where the criticism is sandwiched in between the “bread” of an introductory and concluding set of positive comments.

However, when I began receiving feedback sandwiches instead of giving them, I became far less enthusiastic about this technique. I knew that the technique was being employed, and I knew why. Maybe the person meant the complimentary stuff and maybe they didn’t, but there was a very good chance they were softening me up with bread, before hitting me with the meat of the problem.  I kinda felt like George Costanza: “You’re giving me the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ routine? That’s MY routine!”

Studies show that most people are unskilled at giving and receiving effective feedback, so it’s no wonder the sandwich technique has become so popular. Employees, it turns out, reacted to a negative interaction with their boss six times more strongly than they reacted to a positive interaction. And this isn’t just a problem for the supervisor/supervisee dynamic – difficulty dispensing and receiving criticism can be a debilitating problem for entrepreneurs and in personal relationships as well.
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The Karate Kid Guide to Creating Compelling Business Case Studies

business case studies

photo credit: imdb.com

When was the last time that you made a decision based purely on logic and reason?

If you had a hard time thinking of an example, you’re not alone! Most of us use both logic and emotions to make decisions. And yet, so much of the sales and marketing material that we see every day is emotionally cold.

Which is a shame because, when it comes to handing over their money, how your prospects feel about you is much more important than what they think.

This is especially true in competitive market environments. When it’s difficult to differentiate one service offering from another, your prospects rely on their guts to make the right decision.

So, if you want to stand out from the crowd, you’re going to have to move away from the head and engage the heart.

That means putting the features of your products and services to one side and focusing instead on stuff that creates the feel good factor.

That’s where storytelling comes in.

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How to Market Online: The Worst Advice You’ll Hear About Starting an Online Business

how to market onlineYou’ve done the research. You’ve read the blogs. You’re prepared. Now, it’s time to launch your business.

But as you take this giant leap, you just might fall victim to a fatal piece of “how to market your business online” advice. You might make a mistake that could cost you a lot of time and money.

And it wouldn’t be your fault. Because all you’d be doing is following a popular piece of advice that’s just downright, well, wrong.

What is it?

“Find a Niche”

This is the typical cliche about how to market online that you hear from bloggers and online marketing experts all over the web. And it sounds like a good idea, but it’s terribly misguided.

The idea is this: the world is full of advertising messages that people are tired of hearing. So the way to get noticed is to set yourself apart by targeting a unique segment of the market, some special group that has gone unnoticed.

And when you do this, once you connect with those people and make them matter, they will pay you money. They’ll buy whatever you have to sell, and you can make a fortune.

Sounds good, right? Maybe too good to be true? And that’s the problem.
[Read more...]