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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Every customer is unique

I read an interesting article at profitguide.com today. It talked about the 7 trends that would impact your business over the coming 5 years.

As technology increases, can we use technology to track our customers individually, and offer customized services just for them?

The answer is overwhelmingly yes. Not to do so will mean death to most small businesses.

In the world of Wal-Mart marketing (average customer service and marketing techniques), the ability to customize services for specific customers will be a definite plus for small businesses. It will guarantee your place in the hearts of your customers.

But keep in mind you will have to continually offer your customers way beyond the norm. Anticipate what they want and have it waiting for them. Create promotions and sales specifically for certain customers. It's easy to do with today's software systems.

Client-based relationship marketing is here to stay. The sooner you start tracking your customers behavior, and anticipating their sales needs, the quicker your company will grow!


Sunday, April 24, 2005

Getting PR When You Need It

In the NY Times on Saturday, they ran a story several pages deep on Wendy's, stating that it has been cleared of all charges related to the "finger in the chili" hoax. It seems the woman in question has filed charges against many large businesses, and the "finger" has now been pointed to her.

Yet when the story first broke, everyone considered it front page news. As a business, this can be scary to your reputation. Negative news always seems to make front page headlines, while the real story ends up buried somewhere in the back, basically never to be seen by your customers.

This type of thing doesn't just happen to big business. It happens all the time to small businesses too. But staying out of the news is not an option if you are trying to grow at all.

My goal is to maintain a relationship with the media. I send out press releases regularly, and try to get as much good press as I can. If the bad should happen, I'll take it in stride, and move forward releasing my good news stories every week. I like good news. I concentrate on the good stuff. How about you?

Friday, April 22, 2005

What is a landing page?

I was talking to a client yesterday about landing pages, and it made me realize how many people don't understand what a landing page is or how it works for your website. So I thought I would share! :)

A landing page is a page created to focus on one keyword for your company. Maybe it's a product. Or a new service. Or a new training package you are offering as this month's special. Whatever it is, your goal is to boost sales and page views of that particular product/service.

So let's pretend you've just released a new product, ABC Software. Your goal is to get ABC Software in front of as many people as possible during the month of May. Because you are a software company, you already have a product catalog filled with other software products. But for the month of May, you want to focus on sales of ABC Software.

This is the ideal candidate for a landing page. Create a page specifically for ABC Software. Fill it with all kinds of good, quality text referring back to ABC Software. Then make sure your keywords, metatags, descriptions, etc are also focused only on ABC Software.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Blog vs Ezine

So what's it going to be in the future? Ezine. Or blog.

If you have been reading any business material, you know that blogging is coming on strong. And for good reasons.

1. Blogs exist online. Ezines are sent via email, which can be knocked out of the system by spam filters.

2. Blogs have a heavy pull to get people back in to your website.

3. Blogs are becoming very media friendly. PR people love blogs. The media loves finding information quickly that is relevant to whatever they are researching. Within minutes, a reporter can find relevant copy, and make a connection with you. That's not possible with standard ezines.

So what's the answer for you? If you're familiar with my writings, you know I'm a strong proponent of try and test. Online I try everything, and test to see how it works. I've had my ezine for several years, and will continue to do so. Blogging is the natural next step. I'll be working both together to see how they work. For you? Try a little of both, and see what works for you.

Monday, April 18, 2005

"Advertising is 85% confusion and 15% commission."
Fred Allen

Do you like to ponder thoughts and quotations?

I love to receive quotes in my email. I use them just about on a daily basis. I put them in email. I include them in articles. I create brochures with them. And now that I speak to groups, I include them in each of my speeches.

Quotes just seem to give you more crediblity. They add enthusiasm to your print material. They change the focus of a conversation. And they give people an idea to ponder!

Are you using quotes in your daily business life? If you would like to begin receiving daily quotes, my favorite site is www.DailyKickStart.com.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

What's In Your Signature?

When you send email, what's in you signature?

In addition to your contact information, provide a one phrase or one sentence motivational message that gets people to take action. My signature on all my email reads:

Lori Osterberg
Vision Business Concepts Inc.

Opening Up Minds To Possibilities...

Sign up today for my weekly ezine, Vision Of Success, and start using your website to its fullest potential! www.VisionOfSuccess.com

I'm growing the readership of my ezine. This signature promotes my ezine to everyone that receives my email. Yet it's short, and doesn't clutter the bottom of my email too much. (Have you ever seen a signature that goes on and on?)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What if?

What if

you spent one hour online, posting to message boards, and you made contact with someone who could become a strategic partner?

What if

that strategic partner helped you create a joint campaign, and you were able to get your information in front of 2000 new people - all great customers of your new partner?

What if

only 1% of those contacts turned into quality customers for you?

What if

out of those 20 new customers, 2 of them ended up being repeat customers, and an excellent referral source for your business?

What if

you could find 4-6 strategic partners this year?

Play the "What if" game every day. You'll be amazed at how your business will grow.


Monday, April 11, 2005

Getting Traffic to your Website

Are you trying to drive more traffic to your website? Would you love to get
more visitors to your website by having them find you within the search

A great way of increasing your traffic is by supplying articles to
complimentary businesses. Provide clubs, associations, and other groups and
businesses with quality information. Let them use it within their website,
or on the newsletters or ezines. Then provide a link from your website back
to your article within the newsletter.

Let me provide you with an example. I recently wrote an article for
professional photographers. You can see it in the April edition listed at
the following website:


Then I link to this newsletter directly from my website. I list all of my
postings in my media room. See it at:


This technique will help you Get Known on the Internet!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Women Take The Lead

Women Take The Lead

According to a new report from eMarketer, women have taken the lead in online use.

The report "Women Online in the U.S.: A Growing Majority," states that women currently comprise of 51.6 percent of the U.S. online population. And that number will continue to increase over the coming years.

What does that mean to you as a small business owner? Women are now becoming more Internet savvy. They are starting to realize the potential benefits of doing research AND making puchases online.

I can definitely relate to that. I have done the vast majority of my holiday shopping online for the past two years. I catalog shop for my whole family, find exactly what I want at the price I want, and complete my purchases online. And I'm becoming the norm.

As more women find the time savings advantages the Internet offers, the Internet will continue to grow as a major marketing method.

What are you doing today to begin to reach women? Is your website a brochure, or is it a functioning sales tool?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Pay Per Click Marketing

If you've been reading the papers lately, you know the buzz is very strong with regards to pay-per-click marketing strategies. Lawsuits have been filed, and questions are being asked as to how legitimate pay-per-click advertising really is.

Depending on your keyword, using pay-per-click with Google and Yahoo can be a very expensive endeavor. Sponsored links can run anywhere from a few cents to $10 or more per click. As a small business owner, I can't afford that kind of advertising - I'm sure you're in the same boat.

While I still try pay-per-click for small, niche keywords, you may also want to try other approaches to pay-per-click advertising. Other small, niche search engines are popping up, and can offer you a new way of advertising your services.


As with any type of marketing, you need to understand your target market, test your results, and try it again.

I try many different things. If I see some results, I keep working that type of advertising. If not, I move on. The wonderful thing about the web is there is so many things to try!

You can never get bored on the web!