October 27, 2005

A Beginner's Checklist to Promoting an Online Business

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Beginner's Checklist to Promoting an Online Business

The Internet is full of hyped-up promises of the 'ultimate' marketing secret that will singlehandedly skyrocket your business to instant success.

Naturally, this is ALL it is: hype. There's no single 'secret' that will magically transform a fledgling business into a powerful money-maker. Instead, every business owner is responsible for testing and refining various techniques until he or she has developed a solid, effective base that produces the desired results.

What works for one business may not work for another! Likewise, another business may have poor results with one method, while others experience great success. Here's a quick checklist of some of the more popular -- and completely free -- marketing techniques to help you build your online business (note: this is a 3-part series).


1. Build and use your own opt-in list of targeted and interested prospects. Offer a free newsletter that provides fresh, interesting, and relevant content. You'll receive feedback from your readers about what's important to them, and over time they'll come to know and trust you. Your products, services, and even recommendations will then be taken much more seriously because you've developed credibility with your readers.

2. Contribute to newsgroups or discussion boards. Establish yourself as a helpful member of a community. Other members of the community who come to know and respect you will often refer you to others.

3. Niche directories or search engines. Find all the highly-targeted directories and SE's for your market, and then work to get listed. You'll be surprised at how many niche sites there are! Good places to start looking are yahoo.com and dmoz.com.

4. Build your link popularity. For example, you can trade links with other businesses in your market so that you can 'share' each other's traffic. Most of the major search engines take link popularity into consideration when ranking your site.

5. Endorsed mailings to other lists. Find the editor of a great newsletter, and offer your product or service to him for free in return for a review or an endorsed ad to his list. Endorsements from the editor can far outperform regular 'ads', since they come from someone they know and trust (the editor).

6. Testimonials. It's fine for you to say that your product or service is wonderful... but there's far more 'punch' when someone else says it! Testimonials show prospects that you have happy customers and helps them to make the decision to buy.

7. Use autoresponders to follow-up with your prospects. It has been proven time and time again that autoresponders can dramatically increase your profits! They're also great time-savers, saving you from following up with each prospect manually.

8. Ad swaps. You can get extra exposure for 'free' (no out-of-pocket expenses) by swapping ad space with another editor that caters to your audience. Plus it's a great way to put 'remnant' ad space to good use.

9. Join a webring. Link to other sites like yours and build an online 'community.'

10. Offer coupons or gift certificates to entice visitors to make a purchase *now*.

11. Make good use of referral marketing. Ask happy customers to refer prospects to you. Many people are so busy these days that they're willing to rely on a trusted friend or contact's advice -- it saves them the time necessary to do all the research themselves.

12. Write and distribute articles in your area of expertise. This is a great credibility-builder! People who appreciate what you have to say are much more likely to check out your business. Another 'bonus' is that articles are often archived on websites for visitors to refer to time and time again.

13. Become an 'expert'. If you like to write and have the time to do so, consider partnering with a high-traffic site within your niche market and offer to write a regular column or article. You establish credibility and get exposure; your partner site and their readers get great content.

14. Use a 'Recommend-It' or 'Refer-A-Friend' script. These scripts let visitors send your URL to friends. 15. Make it easy for others to link to your site. Consider adding a 'Link to Us' section where you provide the

HTML that visitors can simply cut and paste to their own web pages. Again, this helps to build your link popularity (see point #4).

16. Hold contests. For example, every month you could give away one of your products to a lucky subscriber or customer.

17. Use a signature. Also known as 'sig files', a signature is a brief blurb about your business along with your URL and/or contact information. Put a signature on every piece of email you send out, as well as on any message board posts (if appropriate).

18. Give away a quality free eBook or report. eBooks and reports can be excellent viral marketing tools. You can even offer them as a 'premium' to other businesses within your niche, so that they can give it away to their own customers or subscribers.

This is an effective way to build a network that will willingly promote your business for you! More on promoting free eBooks and how they can help you can be found in the article, '10 Quick Tips on How to Create, Distribute, and Profit from Free eBooks'.

Hopefully this has given you a few helpful ideas on how to market your online business. In the next installment of this series, you'll read about several marketing techniques that may cost you money, but that can be worth the investment many times over. The final installment is all about marketing your online business in the 'offline' world! Stay tuned.

About the author: Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical guide to building a business on a beginner's budget. It's a proven hit with beginners, for the down-to-earth style and loads of instantly usable tips! For details, visit:
OR request a series of 10 free reports to get you started:

October 23, 2005

The Hottest Prospecting Phone Tips

The Hottest Prospecting
Phone Tips

Be Up-beat!
Here's a truly excellent article from my friend Tim Sales of MLMBrilliance and Professional Inviter...

The Hottest Prospecting Phone Tips

The first of the 13 hottest prospecting phone tips I can give you is to be up-beat :-)
Now, what does that mean? The word upbeat means to be full of optimism or cheerfulness.

As a phone tip, your actions, the tone of your voice, what you talk about and how you respond to your prospect's questions and comments should be full of optimism and/or cheerfulness.

Why would you want to be cheerful and optimistic to your prospect? Why not be the opposite – negative and sad? Because people (your prospect) enjoy talking with, being around and working with people (you) who are cheerful and optimistic.

Now, let me warn you about a common mistake. DON'T BE TOO FULL OF OPTIMISM AND CHEERFULNESS. Before I explain this…please know that I didn't make this rule, I only observed that it's there! Around me and when you call into the office, I urge you to be as happy as you can be!

But if you're considerably more cheerful and optimistic than the person you're talking to, you are at a different level than they are and this will make communication more difficult.

Imagine that you just won the lottery and you are jumping up and down and screaming with cheerfulness. You're standing next to someone who just got fired from their job. The two of you are very different in your mood. You will just annoy this unemployed person. So what's the “right” amount of cheerfulness – for any prospect?

Optimally, use slightly more optimism and cheerfulness than the prospect is showing you.

How would you know if you're being too optimistic or cheerful? As always you must observe the person you're talking to. Remember, you're interested in him or her and the reaction they're having about you.

If you're someone who's been following my newsletters over the past year, this may sound a lot like Communication Quality #Four - Use the right amount of assertiveness. But it also looks a bit like, #Six - Ensure your body doesn't distract the prospect and #Nine - Communicate at the prospect's level of understanding. The truth is that there are many communication qualities this prospecting tip is similar to because it is part of the basic underlying issue when you talk to prospects.

Join me on October 19 and I'll discuss how you can be up-beat – even when you don't feel like it! I'll also discuss how to tell if you're being too upbeat… or not upbeat enough.

In addition, I'm going to answer a lot of questions and “cries for help” from people who have written or called into the office and asked – I have quite a backlog.

I am so grateful to you for submitting your questions to me. I do wish I could answer them directly back to you – but that would be cheating everyone else out of learning the answer. It would also take every minute of every day just to respond. :-) So I'm going to answer many of the top questions people have about the industry and how to succeed at it. Please join me at MLMBrilliance.

About Tim Sales: In 1989, near the end of an 11-year tour with the US Navy Underwater Bomb Squad Team, Tim answered an ad in the Washington Post newspaper that led him to his first and only network marketing company. Five years later his network marketing income rose to over $150,000 per month with over 56,000 people in his organization. His most noted contribution to the Network Marketing Industry is the Brilliant Compensation presentation. In addition, Tim is a teacher at the university-affiliated Network Marketing Certificate Seminar sponsored by the University of Illinois at Chicago . To learn more about Tim, visit his MLMBrilliance website.

October 20, 2005

Big Al... Hoo Who Is Big Al?

Big Al...Hoo Who Is Big Al?

If you run a home business, be it Network Marketing, MLM, or otherwise, then chances are you're already familiar with Tom Schreiter.

But just in case you aren't, and have somehow missed coming across one of the few people who's expertise could help launch your home business into the success stratosphere, here's a little bit about Big Al.

Who is Tom "Big Al" Schreiter?

In a nutshell, Tom Schreiter (a.k.a. as "Big Al") is one of the most successful and influential Network Marketers of today. He runs the Fortune Now! website and publishes the widely-celebrated weekly newsletter, "Big Al's Recruiting Newsletter."

Tom Schreiter is undoubtedly one of the richest sources of home business information and tips that a Network Marketing or home business professional could come by. And his tips definitely produce results.

So if things like learning how to recruit more people into your home business, and making your home business a success are on your list of top priorities, then I highly suggest subscribing to his free newsletter.

Hungry for Success?

Just to give you a taste of how Tom Schreiter's Network Marketing and MLM knowledge can help you and your home business, here's a quick look at this week's newsletter, along with some of the many free home business tips you can get on a regular basis:

In this issue . . .

1. Put testimonials on your business cards?
2. "Cheap" coupon prospecting - cool idea.
3. Big Al "live" workshop schedule.
4. Over 800 great headlines - FREE !
5. I stunned my wife with my brilliance . . .
6. Where are we?
7. Fat Boy Report.


Put testimonials on your business cards?

Use the empty back of your business card for testimonials. It's different. Your prospects will notice the testimonials.

And, why not put testimonials in your signature file at the bottom of your email messages? If your testimonial is too long, write a teaser headline and direct the reader to a link to your testimonial page.

Want some examples of teaser headlines for your signature files? Try these:

* Click here to see a picture of my dog biting my . . .
* Click here to see how much weight I've lost this month.
* Click here to see my "before" and "after" picture.
* Click here to read my daughter's opinion.
* Click here to learn why I turned out like my mother threatened.


Get seven examples of ways to sponsor new distributors, taken directly from the '103 Ways & Places To Sponsor New Distributors' manual.

Simply send a blank e-mail to: liz3-15187@autocontactor.com


"Cheap" coupon prospecting - cool idea.

Turn your business card into a coupon.

Instead of printing a paper coupon, make your entire business card a coupon. Instead of having your company logo, address and other boring data on your business card, do this:

Make a strong offer for your product or opportunity.

For example, your business card could say:

* $5 off Super Vitamins.
* First-time customers only! Get ...
* Free admission to business seminar.
* Present this ticket at the door.
* Free audio report:
* How to get an extra paycheck every week.

Business cards are cheap, cheaper than printing cheap-looking paper coupons.

So when your next prospect asks you for a business card, give them your business card coupon with an offer they can't refuse.


Big Al "live" workshop schedule.

Attend a "live," interactive workshop to learn how to get more distributors fast, how to sponsor rejection-free, and how to find and create new prospects easily.

* Rotorua, New Zealand October 27, 7pm to 10pm
* Houston, TX November 10, 7pm to 10pm
* Tampa, FL November 11, 7pm to 10pm

To register online, go to http://www.bigalseminars.com/ or call (281) 280-9800.

Remember, I conduct "live" workshops almost everywhere -- Moscow, Tucson, Richmond, and even Saskatoon! So if you have an interest in having a Big Al workshop when I travel in your area, just fill out the form at the bottom of this page:



"Four Strange Insights To Build Your Network Marketing Business."

I wrote this special report in 1995 to introduce my Fortune Now Newsletter for Leaders. Many of you asked to see it again, so here it is. Simply go to: http://fortunenownewsletter.com/ and make sure you read the part about how the "crying baby" crushes the dreams of the alleged potential leader. :)


Over 800 great headlines - FREE !

Two years ago I ran a contest for readers to submit their best headlines. Over 1,000 readers sent me their very best ideas. In turn, I sent them Big Al albums, CD's, etc., as prizes.

After a bit of editing, we now have over 800 great subscriber-submitted headlines.

Would you like these 800 headlines?

I am passing them on to you free. All you have to do is to send an e-mail to: liz3-45156@autocontactor.com

And we will start sending the headlines to you in batches of 50 at a time. I am sure you will find at least a few headlines that will make great first sentences for your presentation. Do it now.


I stunned my wife with my brilliance . . .

I only speak one language, English, barely. Some people have asked me if English was my second language. That's embarrassing.

My wife, Susan, speaks three languages and can't understand why she has to continually correct my English. After all, English is only her third language.

But it takes lots of work to learn English. To prove it, I gave her a small gift and said:

"Since there is no time like the present, I will now present your present.

"Wow! She was quiet for a whole five seconds.


Fat Boy Report.

Since I lost one pound last week, I asked my neighbor: "So, on a scale of 1 to 10, how do I look?"

She answered: "Like a 747."

Guess I have a few more pounds to go.

So here I am with fellow fat-boy, Walter Seward, having a light snack:


More next issue!

- Big Al

October 15, 2005

7 Surefire Ways to Get Leads for Your MLM Business

Need To Heat Things Up A Bit?

Here's a really good article by Kevin Nunley. It'll certainly give you some great ways to get more quality leads for your MLM business.

More quality leads, you say? Isn't that what we all want? Heh, you bet it is! So read on...

7 Surefire Ways to Get Leads for Your MLM Business

After you join an MLM business, it's usually smooth sailing for a few days or weeks. You have plenty of leads--well, you have your family and friends--but those leads don't last forever. When you've exhausted your list of leads, what do you do?

The lifeblood of your business is leads. If you don't have interested prospects to email and call, then you don't have much of a business. So the question is, how do you get leads beyond your family and friends?

There are many network marketers out there who have more leads than they know what to do with. They get to the point where they don't have to look for leads at all--the leads come to them. How are they able to pull this off?

Let me tell you, it's not with some simple conjuring trick. They use a variety of lead-pulling techniques that anyone can use. Here are a few of the top lead-getting techniques used by network marketers:

1. Content - Put up a website that not only has information about your business opportunity and products, but also features content that people search for, such as articles, free tools, business and marketing tips, etc.

Many of the people who end up in network marketing do so by accident. They didn't go searching for an opportunity; one just sort of fell into their lap while they were searching for useful information.

Just because people don't go searching for your opportunity doesn't mean they aren't interested. If they come to your site because they did a search for information on a certain topic, or free marketing tools, what does it matter? They are still at your site where they will have to view information on your product or opportunities, along with what they were actually looking for.

2. Dangle the Carrot - Once you've drawn visitors to your site with free content, you have to get their information so you can follow up. You've already led them this far; you just need to dangle the carrot and lead them a little further.

The carrot could be a free report on email marketing, an e-course designed to help them start their own business, or an e-book on how to build a website. Make sure it pertains to the content they came searching for. That way, since they wanted to see what your content was, they will also want whatever freebie you have to offer.

Here's the trick. They have to give you their contact info--at least their name and email address--in order to get the freebies. And as soon as you have that information, you have leads!

3. Create a Newsletter - The promise of helpful information sent directly to you on a regular basis is a tempting offer for most Internet users. So why not create your own? You don't even have to write all the content. You can ask other authors if you can use their articles, so you don't have to spend all your time on the newsletter.

But sure to include information about your products or opportunities in each issue, but don't display the ads too prominently. Otherwise subscribers will think your newsletter is just one big ad. To get subscribers, use the methods above. Draw visitors to your site with free content and then offer the free newsletter.

4. Buy Your Leads - One of the easiest ways to get leads is to buy a leads list. Of course, this is also one of the most expensive. But it works well if you have a good lead source. Ask other network marketers who use this method to point out the best sources for buying lists.

Make sure the lists you're buying are of people who have truly expressed an interest in getting information. Otherwise, you'll be wasting your money because they will delete your message without bothering to read it. What's more, you could be accused of sending unsolicited email.

5. Offer an Email Course - You can turn yourself into an instant MLM expert, as well as promote your opportunity, simply by offering an email course via multiple autoresponders. If you don't feel comfortable writing your own course, find a good copywriter to do it for you.

Make sure the course is not just a bunch of sales letters. They have to contain information your prospects really want. Pitch your products or opportunity briefly at the end of each course letter, or mention it occasionally in the body text.

6. Talk About It - Never pass up an opportunity to talk about your business or products. I don't mean talking to people while you're standing in line at the grocery store; you don't want to annoy people. But there are plenty of other ways you can talk about your business.

For instance, you could give a presentation on starting your own business to local groups or on talk radio. The subject of your business is bound to come up, but don't force it. Establish yourself as an expert by talking about business and marketing related subjects, and when people find out what you do, they'll automatically be interested.

Save your MLM pitch for private conversations with participants or prospects who contact you later. You may also find many opportunities to talk about your business in chat rooms and on newsgroups. These are places where people who want to talk will, so throw the subject out there and see who responds.

7. Rank High - Use pay-per-click search engines to their maximum potential. Choose keywords that will get you ranked high so you can get people to your site. But don't just focus on keywords about your business.

Use keywords that will draw the people who want to sign up for your newsletter or take advantage of the free content on your site. Let your newsletter and content do the selling.

October 9, 2005

11 Powerful Marketing Tips...

Polly Want A Marketing Tip?

OK, how about 11 of them! My friend Bob Leduc shared some really excellent marketing tips here in this killer article. And trust me, you don't want to thumb through this one! :P

11 Powerful Marketing Tips
by Bob Leduc

Each of these 11 marketing tips is based on a marketing strategy or tactic proven to boost sales. How many are you using?

Tip 1: Your customers buy your product or service to feel a certain way after their purchase. Keep this in mind as you develop your ads, web pages and other sales tools. Use vivid word pictures to dramatize the pleasant feelings your customers experience when they use what you are selling. It intensifies their desire to have it and motivates them to buy now.

Tip 2: Continually test new advertising and marketing methods...and old methods you never tried before. A good guideline to follow is to allocate 80 percent of your budget to proven promotions and 20 percent to testing new things. Most businesses using this formula keep growing regardless of changing market conditions and intense competition.

Tip 3: Reduce the size of your ads so you can run more ads for the same cost. Don't be surprised if your short ads generate a higher response than long ads - giving you a bigger return for your expense. One of the most effective ads I ever used was only 11 words.

Tip 4: Print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. People read postcards when the message is brief. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your web site and generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.

Tip 5: Active, stimulating words and phrases keep prospects interested in reading your sales copy. Look for dull passive words and phrases and replace them with active ones. For example, change a phrase like "...it's practical and inexpensive" to "...it's fast, easy and you save $99".

Tip 6: After telling prospects what they gain when they buy your product or service, tell them what they lose if they do not buy it. Most people fear loss more than they desire gain. Customers want your product or service so they can enjoy the benefits it provides. But they will want it even more if you remind them of what they lose by not buying it.

Tip 7: You can eliminate any last minute hesitation prospective customers may have by announcing a pleasant surprise near the end of every selling procedure. For example, add an unexpected bonus to each transaction immediately before the final action that completes the sale.

Tip 8: You can boost your total sales volume and your average size sale at the same time by combining 2 or more related products or services into a Special Combination Package. Set the price lower than the cost of buying each item separately. This "special deal" will motivate both procrastinators and bargain hunters to buy now.

Tip 9: You always need to find new customers. But don't overlook the sales you can easily get from your existing customers. It's easier to get more business from them than it is to get any business from new prospects. Follow up with your existing customers to get more sales of the same product or to offer them additional products and services.

Tip 10: How would you react if you got a personal "thank you" from a business several days after you spent money with them? You'd feel good and probably want to do more business with them. Give that same feeling to your customers. They will reward you with more business - and a flood of referrals.

Tip 11: Convert your customers into publicity agents. Develop an incentive for them to tell associates and friends about the value of your products or services. An endorsement from them can produce sales you would never get with any amount of advertising.
How many of these 11 marketing tactics are you using? How many have you overlooked? You are losing sales if you don't use all of them.

A tad more abour Bob Leduc: He spent 20 years helping businesses like yours find new customers and increase sales. He just released a New Edition of his manual, How To Build Your Small Business Fast With Simple Postcards and several other publications to help small businesses grow and prosper. Find out about his highly effective low-cost marketing methods at: BobLeduc.com