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Archives for March, 2008

WETPAINT! Another great Social Networking Site For You To Check Out!

There are more and more social networking sites coming up, better to help you with your viral networking strategies. Wetpaint has some wikis that are becoming a great, fully functional social networking site. They have recently added Feeds, which by the way is a very important feature of any social networking site. This makes these sites communicative which is vital to it’s survival. These feeds include dashboard and friend updates, giving each user their own personal view of the happenings in their particular part of the world.

They offer some great friend invite options who can add to your wiki’s that you have created, making this an integral tool, focusing on the current trends going on in our social media. You have greater personalization with their custom profiles, photo gallery, and place to share media. This is a great tool to get your name and product out there even more. Social networking sites are a great way to build up contacts, friends, along with trust.

Features You Need To Be Focusing On!

This site has a couple of self-promotional features which you need to take advantage of. The first one is the ‘Promote My Site Wizard’, which is a way for users to find better SEO for their wikis.

The next feature is the option to offer Compliments to your friends. This is a great version of ‘poking’, and hopefully will be used as encouragement and support. You can actually collect and display these compliments as awards right on your profile, letting others know that you can be trusted and that others think you are great.

Here are some the features and Why Wetpaint?

  • 100% free
  • Simple to start
  • Easy to build
  • Fun to share

What is Wetpaint?

Wetpaint powers wikis, but unlike most wikis, which can be complicated, Wetpaint wikis are as simple as 1-2-3 , making it easy for anyone to start a free wiki that they can share with friends.

Who is using Wetpaint?

A better question might be “Who isn’t using Wetpaint? Wetpaint is perfect for almost anyone! This is for so many different uses and passions. Educators, gamers, technophiles, sports fans, and everyone in between is using Wetpaint.

Now for those of you who don’t know what a Wiki is;

-A wiki is a type of website that anyone can easily edit and help grow through collaboration. You can add text, photos, videos of your own or that you like, add polls, anything that you want to share with others.

-You do not need to be a techy to build a wiki website, Wetpaint makes it totally easy to do. The other great thing about this is other people can contribute to your website, making it grow quickly.

-You will be able to track every change and addition to your wiki page, allowing you to remove any content that you don’t want to keep.

-If you are in a group with a common interest, or would like to form a group, this is a great way to start You can use this as your central headquarters for the group, where everyone can share and add their own ideas, photos, experiences, etc…This will allow all of you to always be on the ‘Same Page’.

 

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How Do I Set Up An RSS Feed?

Have you seen this symbol? If you read blogs, or visit websites, I am sure you have. RSS represents REAL SIMPLE SYNDICATION or Rich Site Summary (they both mean the same thing), which is a way for you, if you have an interest, to get new information, news, and anything else regarding that topic without having to surf through pages and pages on the Internet.

An RSS page is generated in XML which you are not able to see, but can be seen by the RSS Readers or Aggregators.

How Does RSS Work and What are RSS Newsfeeds?

When you find a blog that you enjoy reading, or a website, they offer a “news feed” where you are able to get their information on a regular basis sent directly to your “News Reader”. This is totally free for you and will be displayed right in your web browser, desktop, or homepage.

If you have seen the stock tickers which are giving you information in real time, allowing you to see what the stocks are doing without going to a website for the a information; this is how the RSS Feed works, delivering the information to your computer as it happens.

Do You Need RSS?

Well, let’s look at the advantages of an RSS Feed and then you get to decide if you need it or not.
This saves your email inbox from getting unlimited newsletters,
You never need to go and get the information,
It is being sent to you without taking up valuable email storage space.

How much easier is it for you to have the newspaper delivered to your front door versus going to the store each morning to get it. This is virtually the same thing, you are having the news you are interested in delivered to you instead of you going out to find it.

An Example:

Let’s say you want to get as much information on viral marketing as that is what you are focusing on at the moment, you will take some time, search out some websites, and when you find something you like and want to stay up on, you simply click on the RSS, and this information will be delivered to you as it comes available. The other way would be to bookmark the page, then go to it every day to see if there is anything new you would be interested in. You will have to wade through all the unwanted information to find what you are looking for. Look how much time and energy you save when you use the RSS Feed option.

How Will RSS Work For You?

There are so many ways this can work for you, there is no one answer. I am going to give you a simple answer allowing you to get RSS Feeds the easiest way possible. Remember however, this is not your only option, just a simple one.

The easiest way is to have it sent to your homepage of your browser.

For instance, I use Google’s homepage and I have RSS Feeds sent directly to my homepage that I have set up for that particular genre of information.

Because I am a writer, I have a page dedicated to writing helps, topics, articles, and I have all of these sent to that home page via RSS. Now, if you have an RSS newsreader (aggregator), you can have it sent there as well. I actually use both. I have my Google Reader where I have RSS Feeds sent to that I don’t read on a regular basis. The more crucial information is sent to my homepage.

If you are wondering about whether you have a newsreader or not, I would guess that you do and not even know it. If you have Yahoo, MSN, Google or Hotmail, you have a reader. Let me help you set one up…We will use MSN as our example.

  1. Go to My.Msn.com and sign in. If you don’t have an account on one of these browsers I have mentioned, set up an account now. You can do this with Yahoo, Google, or MSN in a matter of minutes.
  2. Once you have signed in,you will see information such as weather, news, sports, stocks, local information and ads. This is your selection page, you can move things around, add or delete, making it tailored to your needs and interests. It is simple to move them, just click and drag from the top right of the subject area, moving them, using the minus (-) symbol in the top left area. If you delete one by accident, no worries, you can add them back anytime.
  3. Now in the top left area of the screen, you will see “Welcome”. You are going to add this content below your name, with four choices (Tabs) to assist you. The “Search” tab is the default tab, and from that point you will see your four options. If you know the web address (URL) for a sites newsfeed, enter it there. The three tabs remaining let you browse by subjects and names of companies. You just click on the box that you want.
  4. With Yahoo, you will notice that there are already some news feeds available listed as “Top Stories” from Reuters, along with “Politics”, “World News”, and “Business”. You will notice a big yellow box in the center above these stories giving you clear instructions on how to “Add Content”.
  5. Next you will click on the “Add Content” link bringing up a search box which allows you to “search content” about your subject or topic.
  6. Type in your search phrase, search, and you will be presented an array o results. When you see something that you like, click “Add” next to it. Once you have made your selections, click “Finished” up on the top right of the page.

Now you have added RSS Newsfeeds to your MSN or Yahoo homepage.

As you scroll down your “My Yahoo” page, you will see the headlines you have just added. You can rearrange them in the order you want. If you decide you don’t want a particular fee any longer, then simply delete it.

How Do You Customize Your Own RSS?

You may know a particular RSS Feed you would like and don’t need to “find” it. This is very simple to do. On most pages you will see a small orange box that says XML, News Feeds, or RSS Feed. You then click on that button, and a set of instructions will come up on that page. You will be given an option to choose that Feed to appear in your Aggregator or your homepage. There are some that allow you copy and paste the “news feed URL” and paste it into your news reader.

If you are worried about the code, don’t be, you are just looking at the “feed code” which is the specific URL of the news feed.

This is such a great and convenient way to get the news updated and on a regular basis. My favorite reader is Google Reader, it is so simple to use and navigate.

Below are the Top 7 RSS Readers in order
1.RssReader
2.SharpReader
3.Pluck RSS Reader
4.NewsGator
5.FeedDemon
6.FeedBucket
7.NetNewsWire (Mac OS-X only)

Here are the Top 7 Web RSS Feeds/Aggregators (these require a personal account)

1.Google
2.My.Yahoo
3.NewsGator Online
4.Feedster
5.Bloglines
6.My.MSN
7.My.AOL

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DO YOU HAVE A KILLER MARKETING STRATEGY?


By WAGH3

What is your wonderful and well thought out marketing strategy, what is your main objective?

The reason I ask this question is due to the amount of small business owners that do NOT have a marketing strategy. So many of us neglect the all important strategy for our business, but we put all our eggs in the basket of tactics.

What does the word Strategy mean? A plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result: a strategy for getting ahead in the world.

You need a strategy to help you obtain your business goals, to obtain the results you are working toward. Your tactics are are your methods, but not a specific plan.

Here are a few reasons why you need to have a plan, a strategy to implement your tactics and reach your business goals.

  • Strategy will keep your marketing effort on track
  • Strategy will help you define your goals and move you towards your goals end
  • Strategy will help you create a budget and help you to abide by it

Why are so many small business owners gun-shy of marketing plans? Do they think that it is a bunch of huge charts with graphs, huge stack of documents, never-ending finances? Maybe so, and it may include that if you are building a strategy for funding your project. But typically, if you are in business for yourself, your marketing strategy is nothing to be afraid of, rather it is something that can be so simple to do.

What should your Marketing Strategy Include?

Here is a list that you need to consider;

  • Your objective, how you see your business in its final stages
  • Your unique selling and value proposition
  • Marketing budget
  • List your strengths as well as your weaknesses in regards to the customer side of your business
  • Use a marketing calendar to list the steps you will take

Now there are three ways that you can apply to increase your business revenue;

  1. Increase amount of transactions
  2. Increase customer numbers
  3. Increase customer purchase frequency

You can do this with the following ideas and objectives;\

-It is important you not just focus on the customer numbers, but you need to focus on the amount of transactions you incur over a period of time.

-You are not going to be focusing just on PR and advertising, you need to make your strategy include he whole experience that your customer will have with you.

-You may want to change the way you answer the phone, or making more follow-up calls, you may want to offer free bonuses, how to lists, maybe you want to have a customer satisfaction survey.

-Take a look at your product presentation, can this be improved or changed to create more interest? Can you make a new product brochure?

Have a plan with specific tactics and have a budget for each and every one.

-Plan for the unknown! There are going to be things that are not expected or predicted, plan on it. If you need to change your marketing strategy then be ready and willing to do so, don’t be afraid of revision. Capitalize on any new opportunity that comes your way.

-Be consistent, keep your objectives in focus, by doing this you will be in pass by your competition at a strong and steady pace.

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Building a List? Build Trust First!

You want to build a great opt in list, well the first thing you are going to do is build up the trust of your readers. You are going to want to do this quickly so you can get the word out about your site. When you have a broader opt-in list, the more traffic you will bring to your site, therefore, providing greater profits.

So how are you going to do this?

Let’s take a look at a few points of interest.

  1. You first do this by having a legitimate business or product, one in which you have some expertise. Your customers are relying on your knowledge and expertise in your niche to answer their questions and help them to improve in that area.
  2. Let your readers know that you know your stuff, that you know what you are selling them. They love to get helpful hints and how-to lists, bring up new and fresh ideas and guidelines that relate to the product you are selling. If you have a site selling hand tools, give some ideas and instructions on making a doll house, or maybe birdhouses. You may want to have instructions to making a nice new workbench for their new hand-tools. If you are proving your value and your knowledge in your product area, they will grow to trust you.
  3. Be honest and true! If you are going to promote your products and services with the utmost hype and performance, then make sure you provide a guarantee to back up what you say. If you have a satisfied customer, then you will get recommendations and your viral marketing will spread. When someone recommends you to their friends and family, they are more likely to also trust you and visit your site on the referral alone.
  4. Be consistent! If someone is given a recommendation for your great service, continue providing that great service.
  5. Give them an escape if needed. You do not want your customers to ever feel trapped, you want to keep your list clean, enabling your readers to unsubscribe at any time. On you web form, provide information needed to unsubscribe from your list. Also let them know that they can do this anytime they want, and that their name is not sold to anyone else. No one likes spam, and by letting them know that you don’t like it either and that you will only be sending them letters as long as they want it.
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Should You or Shouldn’t You Disclose Your Price


By richie

Price is a big deal to you your customers!

There is a big controversy along with questions around the topic of price and whether it should be disclosed from the very beginning. Have you ever gone to a local gym to inquire about a membership, you ask the price, and they say, sorry, I can’t disclose that until you have been on the tour of the gym and have met with one of our salespeople. I don’t know about you, but this is a sudden turn off. If you instead go into a gym, ask the membership price, they give it to you right then and there, I would be ok about joining that gym. I do not like working with businesses that try to be sneaky in their pricing or any other issues regarding their services. The first gym will not

get my business, but the second one will…why?

Because they are missing a couple of very important key points in sales;

  1. You want to be ready to sell when a customer is at their peak of their emotional level to buy. If you wait till later, when they are ready now, you are going to lose the sale.
  2. If you cannot gain the trust of the customer, then just give up. If your customer wants to know the price, then tell them the price. You do not want to give any reason for them to suspect or distrust you.

If you have done sales in the past, you know that sales can be very complex, especially when it comes to advertising and giving your prices. There will be some that say, just tell me your price, and in this case you would give the price, but you also want your client to know the value of your product and why it’s priced that way.

So many times a client will compare products on price alone, when they really don’t know the value or quality of one product versus another. They may look at the price and think that it’s too high and move on.

If you client wants the information, don’t hold back, but don’t try to give them a cheap pitch, instead, have a natural conversation with them, telling them honestly what the benefits are of your product and how the value far outweighs the price.

Find out their questions regarding the prices, help them to feel comfortable in talking with your, develop trust. Carry on a conversation with them, show that you understand their concerns, and ask them to express their concerns. Then you want to take the opportunity to explain your product and the pricing. Keep the dialog going, be able to back up your reasons for a higher price compared to the competition.


By Jeff Holbrook

The same goes for your prices that are less expensive than the competition, have your prices to compare with the higher prices along with the high quality that matches or exceeds that of the competition.

There are some that will look at lower prices and think the value is less, for this reason you need to explain why your prices are lower, and how you are able to do this without sacrificing the quality of your merchandise.

There has been a test where people were given three choices of a similar product, each having a different price. The majority of the test subjects chose the product with the middle ranged price.

Have you ever been to the new shopping store called IKEA? Well, the next time you go, look at their signs. You will see how they explain their lower prices by purchasing their stock in bulk, using self-service, and shipping everything in flat boxes. With their price promotion, they have built a very successful reputation for providing high quality items at a very low price.

Also, be your own customer, take a look from their perspective, would you trust YOU? Would you pay your price for your products? Be honest, develop trust and be open about your price, but back be ready to back it up.

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