Archive for June, 2011

Why Your Business Should Set Up Four-Square Specials

If you own a brick and mortar store, you may or may not have heard of FourSquare. In this post, I’m going to show you what FourSquare is, why you should be using it to bring more foot traffic into your store and the benefits of this new FourSquare 3.0 tool.

What Is FourSquare?

Wikipedia’s definition of FourSquare states that…. foursquare is a location-based social networking website based on software for mobile devices. This service is available to users with GPS-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones. Users “check-in” at venues using a mobile websitetext messaging or a device-specific application by running the application and selecting from a list of venues that the application locates nearby.[3] Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes “badges”.

 

 

Why Should You Care About FourSquare?

Honestly, you don’t need to care about FourSquare if you are 100% content with how much business you are getting right now. If you would like more people coming into your business and buying your stuff then you should listen up. The type of person who is a user of FourSquare is someone who is tech savvy and usually very active on different social media networks. This individual is someone who would likely become a fan of your business on Facebook or follow you on Twitter if your business provided a good experience to them. This will cause your Facebook Fan Page to grow and you’ll see your followers increase on Twitter if you are providing a good experience. If you aren’t providing a good experience and actually leave a negative image left in your customers mind, they are even more likely to share their negative experience with their social network. If you are available on these social networks, you may be able to address the problem and help create a happy customer by fixing their problem. Not everyone will accept you trying to help them, but surprisingly there will be a few that will listen and be happy that you addressed their needs.

What The Heck Is a FourSquare Special?

In it’s simplest form, a FourSquare special is a way of hooking up your best customers with a little deal. These specials work great to get people to choose your specific business over another. In fact, at the Chili’s by my house they have free nachos and salsa for every check-in. It’s right next to a few other restaurants like Chili’s and my friends and I often chose Chili’s because we get those nachos. The cost to the business is minimal and it’s provided a simple way of differentiating Chili’s from the other businesses in the area. The cool thing about this is that your business can do something like this. You can give away something or give someone a small discount when they check-in. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg either. The nacho chips probably cost a few cents to Chili’s but more than cover it when my friends and I go in and have a few drinks and some chips.

How Can I Set Up A FourSquare Special?

It’s very simple to set up and you can learn how to do it here or you can pay the team at Brain Smart Success to do it for you. If you’d like to learn how to do it, check out the article How To Set Up A Foursquare Special If you’d like us to do it for you, we can do it for $150 and will have it done within 1 week. We will work with you on the phone and through Skype to get all the information we need from you. To do that,

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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5 Tips for Growing Your Business Using Print Media

Are you looking to grow your business using traditional print media? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here, you will be given five tips for growing your business. You’ll learn the importance of planning out your campaign. You will also be given a list of options so you know what is available to you. You’ll learn about the importance of an attention grabbing hook and call-to-action. Finally, you will be given some advice on budgeting and tracking your results. So read on to get the top five tips for getting the most out of print media.

1. Plan Your Campaign

First of all, it is important to plan out your campaign before doing anything. Why? It reduces the trial and error involved. Traditional print media can get very expensive if you do not know what you are doing. That’s why you want to make a plan and stick to it. Also, it allows you to reduce your expenses by buying in bulk. So be sure you are not just shooting at random targets. Start with a plan.

Image: africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2. Know Your Options

To help you plan your campaign, you need to know your available options. This really is not difficult. When you go to a restaurant, you’re given a menu. It is the same thing with print media. You may think print media is limited to the expensive options of newspaper and magazines. However, there are other choices. You could use a direct mail campaign. Flyers, brochures, postcards, and business cards are just a few more examples. Remember, if paper and ink is involved, then it is print media. Use the most cost effective options available and don’t be pressured by sales staff disguised as advertising advisers.

3. Have a Hook

It is important not to get caught up in all of the technical details of print media. You need to get a return on your advertising dollars. To do that, make sure you have a powerful message that will get the attention of your target market. This is known as a hook. In newspapers and magazines, the hook is the headline. It is important to remember that 80% of readers will see the headline. However, only 20% or less will read the actual body. The stronger your headline, the more people will read the content. So be sure to have a strong enough hook to actually get people to read your message.

4. Include a Call-to-Action

Next, remember to include a call-to-action. This is the part at the end of your copy, where you tell readers what they can do next. If you simply inform them without giving them another step to take, then your print media campaign is useless. What do you want them to do after reading? Will they visit a website? Will they place a call to your office? Then tell them that. A strong call-to-action will give direct instructions. So be sure to include a call-to-action at the end of your copy.

Have something like this:

5. Budget and Track Results

Finally, it is important to stick to a budget and measure your results. This allows you to know if your advertising dollar was a good investment. One of the benefits of print media is that it is easier to track. So have a system in place to know exactly how many leads and how many sales you got from your print media campaign. This allows you to compare future print media campaigns to see if they perform better or worse. Naturally, you’ll want to stick with the ones that prove themselves to perform the best.

So that’s it. These are the top five tips on growing your business using print media. You know to plan your campaign and choose from among your available options. You know the importance of having a hook and call to action in the body of your actual copy. Finally, you know to track your results and stick to your budget. This will allow you to get the most out of any print media campaign.

This is a guest post written by Tom Walker who writes and is a product reviewer for CartridgeSave, providers of the cheapest ink cartridges.

jamesAdams

James Adams is a blogger based in the UK who works for Office Kitten, an online specialist in cheap office furniture and many other supplies for businesses.

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Why Hosting A Free WordPress.com Blog is Actually Costing You Money

I recently came across a business owner who was hosting their blog on a WordPress.com website.

This led me ask a question to this business owner. Why don’t you host your domain name on a wordpress.org site so that your domain is shorter and easier to remember?

A funny thing happened after asking this, she said she didn’t know how to do it! My initial thoughts after this were “WHAT?!?! It’s so easy to do!” But then I thought about it and realized that when I first got started with marketing online, I had absolutely no idea how to set up a wordpress blog. Lucky for me, I am fairly stubborn and worked my tail off so that I could learn how to do it!

This is when it actually kicked in for me that I had developed a skill that had become easy for me and something I once perceived as being difficult.

WordPress.org is not too difficult to set up and I wrote a blog post about setting up a blog in 24 hours here . In reality it will take about 2-3 hours if you have no idea what you’re doing.

But this post is about why hosting a WordPress.com blog is costing you money, not about how to set up a blog.

You’re throwing away money by not hosting your own blog.

Why the FREE WordPress.com Blogs Costs You Money

Let’s start off with something that you may or may not be aware of.

WordPress.com blogs don’t allow you to set up Google AdSense on your blogs, yet they set up AdSense ads all over your blog so that they can make money.

Google AdSense is simply the advertising that google does through Google AdWords. People will be bidding on specific keywords and search terms and you will host their ads on your site if you have relevant information on your website.

Image: scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

That’s right, Google is making money from YOUR blog!

This means that people are actually paying to have their ad seen on your site, but Google and WordPress.com are taking the money from that. You don’t get to see any of that money because it’s on the WordPress.com server and not on your web hosts server.

I’m not promising that you will make hundreds of dollars a month from Google AdSense and it’s possible that you won’t make any money at all from Google AdSense. However, you are not making anything at all by hosting your blog on WordPress.com

But what about re-directing my domain to a wordpress.com site?

This is a common thing that I’ve been seeing lately as well. When a business owner first learns about getting their website online, they typically want to save money on web design and cut corners so that they aren’t spending all their profits on this “new marketing thingy” that is the Internet.

These business owners might hire a kid in high school or college and ask them to build them a site for a few hundred dollars. This kid might create them a wordpress.com website and then have a domain name re-direct to this wordpress.com site because they don’t want to tell the business owner that they need to pay for a hosting account to have their website online.

This is funny because an $8-$10 a month bill from a hosting company isn’t anything to a business owner. I used to think that they wouldn’t want to pay for hosting because it costs so much money each month! This was before I really understood that businesses would routinely pay thousands of dollars a month for things.

If you are a business owner and don’t want to pay $10 a month for hosting, you simply aren’t serious about growing your business and probably shouldn’t even pay for a website.

Re-directing a domain name to a wordpress.com site is simply a waste of your time so please don’t do it. If you want to do that, you are better off not even having a website. There is no true benefit to the re-direction of the website to a wordpress.com site and it will actually make you worse off in the search engines and make your prospects lose respect for your business.

Losing the Respect of Your Customers

If you are to head to a businesses website and notice that they are using businessname.wordpress.com will you lose respect for them?

What about if you see their website is businessname.com?

I’m guessing that you will have more respect for the business that has their own domain name and a blog that is professionally designed. I know I personally have more respect for the business when I see that they’ve invested in having their own domain name and self-hosted blog.

If you lose the respect of your customers, do you really think that they will spend their hard earned money on something that you are offering for sale on a wordpress.com domain name?

So what is there to do?

Check out the How To Set Up a Blog in 24 Hours post and you can do it yourself, or you can have me do it for you for $500.


 

 

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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How Can You Better Manage Your Social Media Interactions?

Did you know it’s been proven that Social Media has shown that you and other employees are blowing $10,375 in productivity each year according to a recent survey from social email software provider, harmon.ie and Social Media Distractions are costing businesses major money. Did this come to a shock to you? It sure did to me when I read that article, which is exactly why I wanted to write about how you can better manage your social media interactions so that they turn into profitable relationships and save you time.

Social Media can be considered one of two things ….

1) Waste of Time
2) Profitable Marketing Tool

I want you to think back on a day when you were really in the zone with your work. You were doing a lot of work and seeing positive results with checking off things on your To-Do list. All of a sudden you receive an email notification that someone commented on your wall on Facebook through your Outlook Express email notifications. You can learn how to turn off Facebook email notifications.

One of the first things that has helped me drastically is turning off e-mail notifications. After I turned off email notifications and re-read part of The 4-Hour Work Week, I created a vacation setting for my email that automatically responds to people that I’m only checking email once per day. I know this might seem impossible for you to do, but I’m willing to be that if you test this out for 2 weeks, those emails that you thought were an emergency can be just as easily be responded to the next day. If there is a problem, the person can always call you and tell you its urgent, if this is the case you can open your email and respond to it.

The next step to managing your social media interactions is to start tracking how much time you spend on social media sites each day. RescueTime is a tool that is simple and extremely powerful for tracking where you are spending your time. Track your activity online for a week or two to find out how much time you spend online during this test period. After you identify exactly how much time you spend, you can choose to cut that time in half and will notice that you’re getting the same amount of work done but saving time.

Dedicate Time Limits

Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you are like me, you’ve logged onto Facebook just to update your status and ended up hanging out in different groups or commenting on friends pictures or walls. Two hours later you ask yourself, “what the heck just happened?”

There is an addicting aspect to different social media sites and you absolutely need to set limits on how long you will be on different social media sites. If you find yourself using social media for hours on end, decide to only spend 20-30 minutes on these social media sites. You’ll notice that you are only connecting with the people you needed to follow up with. When your time limit is up, close the browser with the social media site in it. You might not accomplish everything that you needed to, but you will learn how to be more efficient with your time.

Use Tracking Tools

Tools like TweetDeck allow you to easily track your Twitter conversations and tools like HootSuite allow you to schedule messages to be sent out periodically throughout the day. This keeps your messages in one area and allows you to save time with having to track the messages back and forth on Twitter.

Tools like Ping.fm will allow you to post a single message across multiple social networking sites at once. This will save you a ton of time when distributing content among your different social networks.

Learn how you can use Friends Lists to save time by grouping friends into lists. Learn how to do this in the article, Save Loads of Time on Facebook with Friends Lists.

There’s also the old school way of having a daily planner and keeping track of who you need to contact daily in order to grow your business. This is one of the most effective ways that you can keep track of things and also will serve as a constant reminder about what tasks need to be done. By physically checking off who you’ve contacted and made a note about how the interaction went, you are moving towards a more effective use of social media without using social media.

 

Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Take The Interaction OFFline

[oqeygallery id=1]

Here is a short slideshow of some of the people I’ve met via Social Media 🙂

Too many people who consider themselves Social Media Strategists or advisors only speak about using social media to get in contact with people. I still believe that you need to be using social media to further enhance your relationships, but meeting with a person face-to-face really changes the interaction. It allows you to truly bond with a person and this will actually increase the chance that they will do business with you. I’ve found that when I meet up with people offline and have coffee or a beer with them, it really gives us an opportunity to bond and create a real friendship.

GET OUT THERE AND MEET PEOPLE!

Business is all about doing business with people that know, like and trust you so you might as well start to meet up with these people in person. If you’ve connected with someone online through a referral or recommendation and they are near where you’re living or traveling then meet up with them! I absolutely love when my online relationships turn into offline relationships and I get to sit at a table with this person. It really allows for you to connect with the person, and did I mention it also helps to build trust and will most likely lead to more sales? I know that personally for me, when I go to networking events and meet people I end up connecting with people who I can either help or who can help me.

The truth is that social media is here to stay, whether it’s spending time on Facebook or Twitter or if a new network comes on. It simply allows for people to connect at a further level and leads to better business and personal relationships.

Do you have any other tips or tricks that you can recommend that have helped you better manage your social media interactions? Please comment below…

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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How To Add Google +1 To Your WordPress Blog

In this video I’m going to teach you how to add Google +1 to your WordPress blog.

Get your Google +1 code here

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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