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.
[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

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.
[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

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...]

Seeing Is Believing: 8 Simple Ways to Use New Visual Content and Boost Your Social Media Marketing

new social mediaOnce upon a time, bloggers would write long-ish posts with an image or two tucked in. Then along came Twitter, and we started to write posts in 140 characters or less.

Now, a new shift is happening. This time, it’s from written media to visual media. Every day, your audience is bombarded with tons of information, and they don’t know how to process it.

Luckily for us, humans are pretty good at remembering information when it’s presented in a visual format. That’s why the art of representing big chunks of data in easy-to-grasp visual formats is the new trend on social media.

Tweet it! Want to hold the attention of distracted, super-busy prospects? Want to make a statement in less than 3 seconds? Try visuals.

Why Go Visual?

In the interests of being clear, let’s take just a second to define what I mean by visual. “Visual” means anything that’s not text such as images, infographics, bar graphs, comic strips, videos, memes, cartoons, maps etc.

It is said that humans process visual information quicker than plain text. What can you do faster: Read thick novel or watch movies in your favorite genre? You’d be pushing to finish three books in a week , but you can easily watch three movies in a day.

On Facebook, once king of the text updates, photos will now generate 53% more likes than your average post. Videos are shared 12 times more than links and text posts combined. Following the trend, even Facebook lets you “highlight” your image posts to catch attention. Hubspot says that Google+, a visual channel, drove customers for 15% of the marketers in 2013.
[Read more...]

CEI 048: The Product Launch Formula with Jeff Walker

Jeff WalkerThe act of launching something – whether it’s your very first product or your 100th – is a big piece of your success as an entrepreneur.

Today, Danny interviews Jeff Walker, creator of the Product Launch Formula and author of Launch, about the best strategies and tactics for a successful launch.

Jeff actually started his online career by writing an email newsletter with his own hard-learned stock market tips. Over  a period of several years, Jeff grew  his list and developed training products. Most importantly, Jeff got really good at launching new products. So in 2005, Jeff shifted his focus from teaching and writing about the stock market to teaching and writing about how to launch a product, and the Product Launch Formula was born.

On today’s podcast, Jeff will briefly discuss the launch of his upcoming book before getting into key insights on how you can launch your new product or business successfully. He’ll talk about the three essential pieces of content that every launch needs, and also what has worked really well for his customers (who, by the way, range from “regular entrepreneurs” all the way up to people like Tony Robbins).

Podcast run time: 25 min 57 seconds

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

[Read more...]

8 Tips for Gaining New Readers and Growing Your Business through Guest Posts

growing your businessNo self-promotion effort has had a greater impact on the growth of my business, audience, and network than guest blogging. This should come as no surprise to Firepole readers!

Writing posts for blogs in my niche is how I gained clips for freelancing, developed friendships and started working with influencers, sold any product or service I’ve launched, and connected with thousands of new readers for my blog.

Writing a lot of guest posts without a solid plan, however, is also how I wasted a ton of time and energy in the early days of my business. If you’re not targeting the right blogs and setting strong goals, you could be wasting effort writing guest posts that won’t help you gain blog readers, subscribers, or book sales.

Here are the lessons I’ve learned to help save you that wasted effort, get the most out of every guest post you write, and grow your business.
[Read more...]

How to Supercharge Your Sales Page with One Easy Copywriting Tweak

copywriting Tweet it! Confession: the words I use to write my sales pages aren’t always my own.

In fact, some of my most successful sales copy was authored not by me, but by my customers.

Don’t worry – this doesn’t fall under plagiarism and it’s perfectly ethical. It’s also one of the simplest and most effect tweaks you can make to your own sales pages in order to increase conversions big time.

Yes, you guessed it – we’re talking about learning your customers’ language in order to tweak your sales pages.

As fellow small business owners, I’m sure you’ve experienced the frustrating situation of putting something you’ve worked hard on out into the world, and getting a dismal – or worse – response from your audience.

Creating amazing products are services is what you do, but communicating it to the world in the right way can be challenging. I know exactly how you feel. In fact, here’s how it happened to me.
[Read more...]

Project ABC: Self-Created Road Blocks on the Road to Success

overcoming procrastinationMeet Carolynne Melnyk, our newest project ABC contributor. Carolynne’s going to give a back story on her journey to building an online business, and then we’ll get into how we create our own road blocks on the road to success, and how you can overcome your own procrastination roadblocks :)

10 years ago, most of my friends thought I had it all.  I was a teacher, mentor, counselor, adviser, coordinator and vice-principal. I lived, worked and wandered around the world.  I had great paying jobs with lots of holidays in exotic places.

But on the inside, I was miserable and very unhappy.  So in 2004, I traded it all in for a backpack and flight to Peru.

Finding Joy in Peru

I have always been known for following my intuition.  But this time, family and friends thought I had lost it.

They kept asking me what I was going to do.

My answer, “I don’t know.”
[Read more...]