Free Tips

Should I buy a new website?

Marketing TrainingI get asked this a lot!

And the truth is that when buying anything in marketing there are two questions to consider:

  1. What the risk?
  2. What’s the return on investment

Let me give you some examples from our services.

For example – Let’s say you are considering booking on to our LinkedIn workshop.  What’s the risk?  £69, plus half a day of your time!  So, this is a fairly low risk.  Question 2 – What’s the return on investment?  Well the truth is it depends.  I know I client, who made £42,000,000 and many that have made £100,000+ be attending, but I also know others who have not taken any action following the workshop and so have got no sales.

It is the same with buying a new website – If you buy a new website and pay decent money for it, then there is a reasonable amount of risk.  However the rewards can also be very high.  The big problem that I keep hearing is “we have bought a new website, but we have had no leads at all from it”.

The truth is that the reason behind this lack of success is two fold.

  1. There has been little, or no effort, or cash but into driving traffic to the site
  2. There has been little, or no effort but into CRO (conversion rate optimisation) of the website.

Is it worthwhile using video to grow your business?

Is it worthwhile using video to grow your business?

Join the Association of Prudent Marketing for only £15 per month.  It’s a total NO BRAINER!

For details click here.

Your sales skills

Sales skills

I’ll be honest with you, creating leads is great, but it is also a nightmare if you don’t have the skills to convert them into sales.  However, most of the business owners I meet don’t consider themselves to be good at selling  and most have done little training; they try to workout everything themselves.

Do you think that it’s possible to gain those valuable sales skills?

I think it’s like putting your head in a hole in the ground like an ostrich does!  Wouldn’t it make sense to work on improving your sales and marketing skills on an ongoing basis?

Here is why …

Psychologists recognise that there are four stages of competence in any skill area. These are:

1) Unconscious Competence: You totally lack knowledge and skill and are totally unaware of the need for training – or the skill.

2) Conscious Incompetence: You discover there are skills you need and you may know that others are more competent than you.

3) Conscious Competence: You’ve acquired the new skills and knowledge. You actively put them into practice and gain confidence as a result .

4) Unconscious Competence: Your skills have now become habit and you perform tasks without conscious thought or effort. You’re on autopilot and your confidence is at a high level. 

So my question for you is: Where are you when it comes to sales and marketing skills?

If you’re better than most small business owners, then you’re at a Level 3 in some areas and Level 2 in others.  But even if you’re at the top of your game, there’s still a bit of Level 1 lurking around somewhere.  It could be on LinkedIn, or to do with SEO or defending price.

Let’s face it, no one gets 10 out of 10 for everything that they need to know and the skills they have in sales and marketing.  But the truth is – a lack of skills and knowledge is leaking money from your business each and every day.  

Here are just some of the leaks:

  1. Your website is not converting.  This is because you don’t understand CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation).
  2. You’re leaking referrals.  You could be wining referrals from 40% of your clients, but you have no system in place and so your numbers are round the 10% mark.
  3. You don’t really understand LinkedIn and you are leaving a pot of gold sitting there, just waiting to be asked for.
  4. You are only converting 20% of your meeting into sales because you have never done any sales training; yet if you just got your conversions up to 40%, then you would double the size of your business over time.

So take action to improve your sales skills and conversion rates NOW!

Big changes with Google

PPC Advertising ManagementGoogle PPC Advertising

Google has changed its logo many times for fun, but major changes to the pages don’t happen too often.  That is why their recent decision to remove PPC adverts from the righthand side of the page is big news!

This will have the effect of reducing the amount of PPC adverts on the page from eleven to only seven.  In turn, this means more clicks for the companies on the page, especially those in the first three boxes at the top of the page.

Will this also impact organic traffic?

Yes it will, although it is hard to say how.  Fewer adverts could increase organic traffic, however a fourth advert at the top of the page could push the organic pages down the list.  My thoughts are that Google have not done this to reduce their PPC advertising income, but rather to increase it.  So if that is the case it is reasonable to assume that fewer clicks are going to be made in the organic side of Google and more are going to be for PPC adverts.

What will this do to advertising costs?

Less adverts above the fold means it is going to be more expensive with higher CPC (cost per click) fees and bidding wars!

You may want to ask yourself: Are the words you are bidding on worth spending the current CPC on?  Could you find a more cost effective niche?

Six tips from The Prudent Marketer

Steve Mills - Marketing Advice

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Review how your generic adverts for each page of your website appear on Google
  2. Review your average position and CPC for each key word
  3. Look for niches to advertise in and and be more Prudent with your PPC investment
  4. Measure, measure and measure
  5. It is always good to get the top spot, but it may not always be financially viable
  6. Improve your landing pages so that you get a better ROI from your PPC fees

Helping others

Do the same as we do.  Give something to those less fortunate, every time you become more successful, by making a sale.

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Better Retailing Magazine

Marketing Advice for the retail sectorLook out for me in the next edition of Better Retailing Magazine.  I wrote an article call Localised Marketing the Best Resource for the Retail Sector.

Location Marketing

Marketing advice ukLocalised Marketing Is A Business’ Best Resource, says The Prudent Marketer Steve Mills

Steve Mills, the Prudent Marketer, and expert in all things business, is encouraging businesses large and small to take advantage of the local markets that they have access to online. It is said that local marketing is one of the biggest opportunities for leads that businesses currently have access to, and making the most of this type of marketing can help to create dedicated client bases across the country.

Location marketing, with examples including the daily deal sites such as Groupon, as well as the social network Foursquare, which is based around checking into certain locations to receive promotions and discounts, are both great examples of ways in which businesses are tapping into the local marketing phenomenon. Consumers love to find deals and discounts which are exclusive to their area, and that statistics speak for themselves. Localised marketing produces a 67% better customer response, consumer connectivity is improved by 39% and almost three in ten people become more loyal to a brand when it markets specifically in their area.

Steve Mills says, “In the past few years we have seen a huge rise in the number of businesses attempting to try out localised marketing and see how successful it could be for them. Local websites are linking everything from social media and mobile usage to local search content and review sites, all of which combine to create a complete package for consumers. This is something that all marketing departments should be looking into on some scale, as they attempt to generate more leads for a business.”

After determining the role of local marketing in a business’ strategy, businesses should start putting together websites which target local content. Automated content capability is a distinct advantage, as it means that web teams don’t need to constantly update each local page every day. Then, using local web media channels, businesses can reach customers locally and drive traffic to their website, boosting their brand and also their profits. Marketers can also use local marketing to learn about their marketing ROI, modifying their strategy and placing more investment in this channel if necessary.

It seems strange that, with globalisation and the digital world makes the whole planet smaller, consumers should be so preoccupied with the businesses in their local area, but the figures cannot be argued with; 73% of online search activity is related to local business, and 49% of marketers believe that local marketing will be essential to business growth and lead generation in the coming years.

For more information about Steve Mills, the Prudent Marketer, and to discover some of his personal marketing tips, visit www.theprudentmarketer.com

 

Six good ways to gain extra business from cakes


By Graham Brooks of londoncakes.com and cakesnextday.com

1. REPEAT BUSINESS

If you win a contract or sizable order send a cake to your customer’s office saying thank you and looking forward to working with you.
Woodford Heating, a successful commercial plumbing company sends their clients a ‘Thank You’ cake to his clients for new contracts.

The cake gets shared around the office and other buyers get to know of the company. Guess what?

More often than not they receive a new enquiry and further business.

As a result of a £40 cake new business of more than £10 000 has been awarded.
2. PRODUCT LAUNCH

Send an image cake in to a few journalists. Ribena and Samsung used cakes from us to launch a new branding and got good press coverage as a result. One of the worlds’ best known chocolate brands had a cake delivered to their London HQ with a new brand image on the top. The cake was for the Directors Board Meeting. Ask yourself would a printed image have had the same impact as the image on a cake?

3. STAFF RECOGNITION

A delivered cake costs less than £45. Many of the UK’s best known retailers send cakes to branches that have over-achieved. Rather than a single present for one individual a cake can be shared with the team and provide a good occasion for a little team appreciation.

Psychologically a cake reminds us of our childhood. We remember a time of celebration, when we were the focus of attention and gives us a warm fuzzy feeling. Try mentioning cake in a small group and see the response and excitement that it produces.

L’Occitane send a cake to each store on the anniversary of the store. So even the store has a birthday. A good excuse to say thanks to the branch and further increase loyalty for the company and local outlet, all for the price of one cake.

4. LAPSED CUSTOMERS

We all have them, but how many of us contact them to reignite the flame? Picking up the phone straight away should be a good first step, if this receives a luke warm response then a cake may a good way forward.

Humour is a good ice breaker, so think about Googling a funny image or adding a funny speech bubble to a photo or cartoon.

For those that have read the excellent book, ‘The Art Of Influence’

by Robert Cialdini, you may recall the first principle of persuasion-‘Repciprocation’. This is defined as – “people feel indebted to those who do something for them or give them a gift.”

A cake definitely ticks this box.

5. PROSPECTING

Put yourself in the mind of a buyer you are looking for a new supplier of Widgets. Company A, emails a catalogue of their Widgets, Company B sends you cake with a personal message to you. On the cake is a small QR code, which when scanned takes you to a video on their website introducing their company and products.

Which company do you think is more likely to get the business?

Even without the QR code company B are more likely to get the business, the use of modern technology and video is just a really nice touch likely to pay dividends.

Just this month Santander used this exact method to send cakes to key people in the Press to gain PR for their 123 account campaign.

6. PRESS PICTURES and FREE PR.

Celebrating ANYTHING make sure you have a cake with the key message on it. Grab a few pictures of people around the cake. Send this to the press along with a well worded press release, costs very little and may well get you some valuable FREE PR. A cake says you have something to celebrate and tells the world you are doing well.

The Growing Importance of LinkedIn Training

Marketing ConsultantLinkedIn’s status as the most important social network for businesses and this has been cemented with new research from ROI Research Inc.  Of almost 3,000 professional participants in a social networking survey, 59% of them said it was important to have a LinkedIn account; a higher percentage than any of the other big social network. Over 50% of those surveyed visit the site weekly, with one fifth of them visiting on a daily basis, showing the rising number of marketers putting the site to good use.

Steve Mills, the Prudent Marketer, sings the praise of the LinkedIn on a regular basis and he estimates that he has made over £250,000 worth of new business on LinkedIn, as well as millions for his clients. Steve runs regular seminars and workshops on how best to use the site. He deems it one of the most important tools that a professional can use. “The two best forms of marketing are referrals and networking; LinkedIn allows both of these, and become a crucial marketing resource for all businesses. It facilitates low-cost marketing, great lead generation and list building, and can help to grow businesses when utilised in the correct way.”

52% of those surveyed agreed that sites such as LinkedIn can influence business decisions made by certain brands and retailers, while 53% stated that brands and organisations should communicate with their customer base on social media on average of once per week. The rise of social media has been rapid and dramatic, and businesses must now adapt to the growing importance placed on sites such as LinkedIn.

Social networks are important to businesses because they help to create connections. These connections are especially useful for the marketing side of the business, which can take advantage of many of LinkedIn’s features. The professional network can help them to get to number one and specific key words and phrases on Google, and can offer businesses ways to contact thousands of people with their products, offers and news. LinkedIn PPC advertising can help to drive highly targeted traffic to a company website over the course of a year, while the power of LinkedIn at its very best is enough to get onto the first page on Google in less than twenty-four hours, according to Steve Mills, the Prudent Marketer.

Companies can communicate their message quickly and easily, and with a little work, organisations can get referrals from influential figures in their industry, simply by using LinkedIn. 60% of people surveyed by ROI Research said that they were more likely to take action when a trusted friend posted something about a brand, proving the overwhelming power of referrals. LinkedIn has an incredible amount of potential; it is important that businesses learn how to unlock this potential and channel its power for their own marketing needs.

For more information, or to join one of Steve Mills’ LinkedIn Workshops, visit http://thelinkedinacademy.com

About Steve Mills

Steve Mills helps clients to create more leads. Over the past 17 years, Steve has built a reputation for helping businesses to market themselves using his ‘Marketing without Money Formula’. Never one to take unnecessary risks for himself or his client, Steve is now known as The Prudent Marketer.

Steve established his reputation by training thousands of business people in how to market themselves without a budget. He has spoken to audiences all over the world and authored three highly successful marketing books as well as writing articles for many leading business magazines. He is the founder of The LinkedIn Training Academy which provides training, coaching and mentoring, through video, audio, workshops and webinars.

 

How has marketing changed and what is new?

Boy that is a big one…

Marketing is changing 24/7.  There has never in all my 30 years of involvement in marketing been so many changes.

This is particularly so with online marketing.  Social Media is a massive shift in the way we communicate.  YouTube is set to change the internet.  I read recently that Cisco state that be 2016 over 90% of internet traffic will be video based.

LinkedIn is emerging as an incredible tool in the B2B market.

In a nut shell – The new norm is constant change and as a business owner in my opinion you only have three choices:

1. You learn what to do by keeping yourself up to date

2. You find someone else who knows what to do (beware of this one).  Hiring someone to do something when you don’t understand what they are doing is often dangerous

3. Die – Sorry to sound harsh, but if you don’t keep up to date, then your business may die.

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