How to Sell Like a Rock Star

Heather Nelson and Gene Simmons of KISS and Family JewelsWhat is it that makes rock stars different from musicians who can’t sell a CD? You might answer that it’s talent, but the real difference is “presence“, a pull that makes people want to stop and listen. It’s also what we hope occurs when someone reads about our products, but if we haven’t learned to sell like rock stars, that’s probably not happening.

Let’s look at some ways we can make our ads grab the customer’s attention. As we do, we’ll also look at some things we should all avoid in marketing.

For example, if people are clicking off your website to avoid being put in a coma, it’s time to revamp your copy. It’s a lot like listening to someone sing a great song in a monotone. It may have a great message, but who’s going to stay to listen?

Look at your current website copy and ask yourself, “What can I say about my products that will make people want to know more?” Acknowledge first what your customers really need. If you’re trying to sell to a demographic with no real need for your product, you’re in the same boat as a rock star selling tickets to country music fans.

If you’ve done your market research, you’re probably selling to the right crowd, so state their need then follow with your solution. For example, “Air Conditioner Running Day and Night? Our Insulation Seals Your House Up Tight!” Awfully trite, I admit, but do you think people reading the ad know what the product will do?

It holds their attention by stating a need and offering a solution. For as long as it takes to read the ad, it’s center stage in their focus. Compare that to, “Buy Our Insulation. It’s Got an R30 Factor and It’s Relatively Inexpensive.” Snoring yet? Advertising doesn’t have to scream the message, but it at least must keep the reader awake.

Going back to musicians; some singers become great without being brash. That’s because what they have to say is so enticing. Their songs create an emotional reaction the first time we hear them. Does your marketing do that, or is it full of distracting filler?

Especially online, we only have a few seconds before the reader’s attention span has moved to the next frame. Test your copy on your own senses. If there’s no reaction from any of the five, you’ve just put your audience to sleep!

Here’s one more tip for marketing with rock star attitude. Let it carry the weight of celebrity! How many times have you purchased something because someone famous recommended it? An endorsement from someone your customers recognize will go a long way to making a sale.

If your sales aren’t where they should be, consider what I’ve said. Project a rock star image in every aspect of your marketing. That’s when you’ll really start to get their attention.

Networking Online? You MUST…

Champion Assistants Online Social Networking ServicesHave you taken the leap into online networking? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on a great tool for building your online presence. Sites like LinkedIn, Ecademy and Xing offer professionals and business owners a chance to connect with thousands of other professionals. There are, however, some simple rules you MUST follow if you want to be a welcome presence in online communities.

Build Relationships First

A sure-fire way to have someone delete you as a contact on most business networking sites is to start new relationships with a sales spiel. At least spend the time getting to know who THEY are and what THEY do before you start trying to sell them products. There’s truly nothing more annoying than meeting someone new on a networking site and having them flood your inbox with offers the next day! Participate in forums and groups. Offer help when someone has a question. If you’ll invest in building relationships, the natural networking (and sales) opportunities will follow.

Avoid Generic Profiles

How many times have you clicked on someone’s profile link on a networking site, only to find a blank page? Would you really do business with someone who doesn’t bother to complete a profile? The profile templates on most online networking sites allow you to link to your own website and blog, upload photos and otherwise create an interesting online presence.

Be Responsive

Sending an email that never receives a response is a lot like shouting into a deep canyon. “Hello….Is there anybody out there??” Don’t leave interested parties hearing echoes; respond promptly to requests for more information, or even just friendly contacts. You never know which new network contact is the doorway to expanding your business.

I urge everyone to learn what online business networking sites can add to your marketing strategy. Google “business networking site” and investigate for yourself. It could be the beginning of some beautiful business relationships!

Top Tips for Selling Your Book Online

Champion Assistants author marketing servicesThe hope of becoming a published author springs eternal for many online business owners. Your book could be the next great novel, or a publication aimed at increasing sales for your business.  No matter what the reason for writing the book, though, it takes careful planning to successfully sell it online.

Here are some questions you first need to answer in order to plan your strategy:

  • Who is publishing your book? Unless you’re working with a traditional publisher, you’re probably printing a limited run through a print-on-demand house. If that’s the case, be sure your book’s been issued an ISBN number. Without this number, most outlets won’t let you market your book. Bowker Publishing < http://www.bowker.com/> distributes all ISBN numbers, as well as allowing you to add your book to their Books in Print list and obtain a barcode for international sales.
  • Who is your largest audience? Armed with an ISBN number, it’s time to do some market research. Who is your intended audience? There are few books written that appeal to everyone, so narrow down your potential readers by age, occupation, geographic area, and any other filter that’s logical for your audience.
  • What online resources exist to market your book? This is where your market research becomes important. You must first know where people in your demographic are likely to purchase a book. For example, ninety-year-old great grandmothers probably won’t use Amazon.com http://www.Amazon.com, but most other age groups will. Amazon actually represents a great way for authors to market their writing.

Amazon’s Webstores < http://webstore.amazon.com/Online-Store-FAQ/#What-is-WebStore-by-Amazon> can be created quickly, whether or not you have technical skills. They process credit card and echeck payments for their store owners, so you won’t need separate merchant accounts.

Don’t ignore the possibilities presented by eBay, either; you can list multiple copies at “Buy It Now” prices rather than traditional auctions. Regardless of where you build your store, be sure to link to it from the websites we’re going to discuss next.

  • How many websites should you build to market your book? If you’re actually selling through Amazon, you can create simple “business card” websites that link to your online store. Write compelling copy for search engines to include in your listing. Feel free to purchase multiple domain names and create several sites with different focus by changing your content.

Another idea that sells books is a blog linked to these sites. Post frequently about topics related to your book’s main message, but avoid blatant sales tactics in your blog posts. Since you’ll also be linking to your online store from the blog, your readers will get the message.

  • How can you use online communities to launch your book? Social media sites are a boon to self-publishing authors. Many communities for writers exist, as well as other groups who have common interests. Examples: If you wrote a book on potty-training, join Facebook, MySpace and YahooGroups and look for writers’ communities, mother’s groups, parenting groups and daycare providers’ groups. Join in discussions naturally without a deliberate focus on your book.
  • Who can you talk to about your book? The growth of podcasting makes recording “radio shows” easy and affordable. Be sure your podcasts are being promoted on podcast services like iTunes by creating RSS feeds. Talk about anything related to your book – the main topic or issues that caused you to write the book. Use carefully chosen keywords so podcast subscribers can find your recordings.

And you thought all you had to do was write! Self-publishing authors are responsible, unless they hire an agent, to promote and sell their books once written. Online tools are making those tasks much easier, and can help you become a successful author. Invest in the time to learn to promote yourself well.

The Truth About “Low-Cost” Outsourcing

Champion Assistants Virtual Assistant TeamYou’ve probably seen the ads yourself, “Quality Virtual Assistants, $3 per Hour.” Wouldn’t it be great if those ads were true? The truth, however, is that in outsourcing as in most other things, you get what you pay for.

Let’s look at the kinds of tasks being outsourced by small business owners and Internet entrepreneurs. They’re finding new freedom to build their businesses by using Virtual Assistants for a variety of needs. They’re trusting “VAs” to do things like responding to client email, keeping their schedules straight, making appointments and travel arrangements, and updating their websites.

A well-trained Virtual Assistant is someone who’s committed to helping a client grow a business by minimizing the owner’s involvement in day-to-day tasks. Not only do these virtual wonders handle tasks with little supervision, they’re also motivated to suggest improvements that save you time and money. They can help you find additional markets for your products, ways to streamline product delivery and better solutions for business automation.

Is it reasonable to expect the same from someone making less than minimum wage? Here’s the reality, based on feedback from frustrated business owners who tried “cheap” first: the time they spent redoing poorly done work and constantly supervising virtual support outweighed their original savings.

Great VAs will look for ways to increase your business while saving you money. But they don’t work for three dollars per hour! They’re highly-trained professionals running their own businesses, and they charge rates appropriate to their expertise.

As you’re looking for someone to help run your business, consider the benefits of outsourcing to a well-trained Virtual Assistant. Why waste valuable time wondering if the work’s being done correctly? Make the investment in a quality VA and spend your time growing your business, instead.

You can learn more about using a VA by listening to a teleseminar Heather Nelson did about outsourcing: Champion Assistants Virtual Assistants teleseminar

Twitter Demystified

Twitter VAHave you “tweeted” lately? Do you like knowing what people think and aren’t afraid to ask? Both of these questions have to do with Twitter www.twitter.com, the social media phenomenon. Here’s a whirlwind tour of Twitter, for those who’ve been wondering.

Twitter, in a few words, is a “microblogging” community that tracks the frequent (sometimes constant) updates its members around the globe are posting. These members are able to “follow” each other and know instantly when someone they’re following writes a “tweet”. It’s much more immediate than other Web 2.0 sites like FaceBook, with small, 140-character snapshots updating someone’s status.

What does that have to do with business? Think of Twitter, and other social networking sites, as vast pools of members who share information, ask questions and otherwise communicate quickly.  The idea of sharing who you are and what your business does should be enough to have you signing up.

Twitter’s also a great way to survey thousands of people at once, by posting a question and watching for replies. Here’s a survey example wrapped in a status update, “Attending VA marketing forum 2pm CST. What svcs RU using VAs for?” Anyone who is following your tweets, or who searches for “VA”, will see your post and can reply. That brings up another great use for Twitter.

The search functions built into Twitter let you look for what others are saying about topics related to your business. There are actually three separate ways to look. TweetVolume www.tweetvolume.com lets you search for up to five words or phrases at once and ranks them by volume. Summize www.search.twitter.com lets you find all postings with related keywords and TweetScan www.tweetscan.com searches Twitter and similar sites for specified content and will even send updates by email.

There may be questions posted that you can answer, or conversations you can lend your expertise to. That’s the best way to build your reputation on Twitter. Nobody likes a hard sell-build relationships and watch for ways to meet people’s needs.

In his blog on community and social media, Chris Brogan gives 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business http://www.chrisbrogan.com/50-ideas-on-using-twitter-for-business/. Follow his instructions for getting started, then experiment with several of his ideas this week. A word of warning: Twitter can quickly become addictive, if you let it. Set a schedule for posting, searching and following Twitter activity, just as you would any other market research tool.

We don’t have to chase every new phenomenon to be successful on the Internet. We should, however, learn what’s good and put those to work for our companies. Twitter, used in the right context, could turn out to be one of the best for you.

4 Quick Ways to Make Money Selling Online

Champion Assistants services for online salesI have often been asked: “What is the quickest way to make money selling online?”

This is such a hard question to answer because it depends on each person’s ability, financial back up and knowledge.  What I can do here is list some of the ways that do make money fairly quickly once it is up and running.   What a solopreneur would need to do is look at how long it would take them to get a particular business opportunity making money.

INTERNET MARKETING

  • Selling products online from your own blog site or website
  • Selling affiliate products (other people’s products for commission)
  • Promoting a service that you are going to run, like a consultancy business

With products you may choose to buy them or make your own.  There are so many choices in this field.  It is important to choose something that you like doing so that you can keep your motivation up because as a solopreneur you are it.  You have to keep yourself motivated.

SELLING ON EBAY

Some people selling on Ebay are making thousands of dollars a week.  There is a system that works and it would probably be a good idea to buy into that or research how these people are doing so well when others are making nothing.

PROVIDE WRITING SERVICES

Many people write for a living.  With the popularity of the internet there are thousands, if not millions of people who do not have either the ability or time to write for the internet, but really need to.  Very good money can be made from writing for the internet if you make it a full-time job.  There are writing sites like Elance, Guru and others where a writer can earn money.

SELL PHOTOS ONLINE TO PHOTO WEBSITES

Because of the growth in promoting online, site owners are always looking for Public Domain Photos.  What you do here is take photos and upload them to the photo sites and they pay you a commission on each photo that is downloaded by a buyer on the site.  This is quite a good way to get passive income coming in because once it is set up you can just leave it there.  For example, a site that uses these photos is http://www.isistockphoto.com

12 Reasons You NEED a Blog Now!

Champion Assistants Blog ServicesOne thing that I can truly say here is that there is nothing on the internet that will do your business more good than having a quality blog site.  If you do not have a blog site it should be your number one priority, even before you do a website for your company.

Google recognizes the strength of a blog site and these sites help you get high ranking in Google’s view.

For an easy blog site you can set one up in WordPress.com and initially it will do all you could ask for.  There are so many benefits of having a blog site that I almost don’t know where to start so I am going to list many of them for you:

1.           It is cheap way to promote your business, products and services – you can set these sites up and run them for free

2.           You can send people to this site from anywhere else on the web, especially the social sites where you be connecting with people interested in your business

3.           You can add up-to-date information

4.           By adding to the site each day or at least 3 times a week you will have customers coming back for more information

5.           You can give opinions on anything in your industry

6.           You can interact with people as they make comments on your site

7.           You can survey people to find out what they want

8.           You can link this site to any other site or promotion that you have

9.           It is more friendly than a website

10.        You can link to other compatible sites and this is good for getting Google rankings

11.        You can set up categories so that clients can easily find what they are looking for

12.        You can add graphics to make it more interesting or use photos of business events

Be aware of the fact that if you want to sell on your site you would need to upgrade it to a paid site.  You still need to keep your postings short and to the point to keep people’s interest.

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