Keywords Are … Well, Key!

by Tina on September 19, 2014

in General Biz,Marketing/Traffic

keywords-are-keyKeywords, the select words and phrases you focus on in your website name and copy, blog posts, and even social media, are a vital part of your brand’s online marketing strategy. Choosing the right keywords and developing a keyword strategy are among the first steps to building an online presence around your brand – it helps potential customers find you, know who you are and what you do.

Why Keywords Are Important

Content is king, but keywords are the crown jewels. When you choose a domain, develop website copy, and write blog posts, you’re not only telling the world who you are, but you’re also leaving breadcrumb trails for your potential customers to find you.

When search engines, such as Google or Bing, crawl through your website (as they do with every page, on every site, on all of the Internet), their bots will index your pages based on the terms and phrases in your copy. The headlines in blog posts, the alt tags on your photos, and the meta data on your site should all be written with your brand’s keywords in mind.

This isn’t to say that keywords are the only important part of your copy. Search engine rankings have developed algorithms to detect the difference between keyword repetition with poor quality content and keyword usage with well-informed copy. Your keywords should be backed up by your wealth of information and great product offerings in those areas.

Great keywords and well-written copy also give influencers in your industry a reason to link to your pages. If someone who ranks highly for particular keywords links to your blog post or website from their site, your ranking for those keywords will improve as well.

Social media messaging should also use your keywords. When your followers share or engage with your posts, your keywords show their friends and followers what your brand is all about.

How to Identify Your Keywords

Keywords are not just about SEO. They are at the heart of a company’s marketing campaign at its most granular level. ~ MICHAEL MOTHNER

One of the biggest mistakes that an entrepreneur or marketer can make is to develop keywords using the company’s internal terms. We each have a deep knowledge about our area of expertise and it’s easy to forget the types of words and phrases a layperson might use when searching online. Keywords help them to find you when they conduct a search.

You want to rank for the problem you solve, not just for the solution you offer. That’s why it’s vital to develop a marketing campaign with potential customers’ needs in mind.

So how do you find the words and phrases? A great place to start is with words from the customers’ mouths (or keyboards!). Go to Amazon or Yelp and read through the reviews for a book you wish you wrote or would give to a client as a gift. Look for the words and terms happy customers use in their reviews, the words that are emotional triggers will pop out, these are very likely your keywords. Try using them on social media, and see how customers and potential customers respond. If you have a book, product or business that is reviewed online, read through your reviews too.

Have a long list of potential keywords? The Google Keyword Tool is a great, free way to research searching patterns on Google and determine the best words to use in your content.

Once your keywords are in line, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to develop an online marketing strategy around your business.

 


 

Donna Cravotta is the CEO of Social Sage PR and the creator of the Total Social PR System™ and Publicity Prowess™. She helps entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses maximize their online presence with a very different approach to social media and public relations. Her commitment is to ensure that her clients are empowered to amplify their unique voice and share their purpose, without overwhelming their schedules.

A natural connector of people and a relationship builder long before Facebook even existed, Donna has created a simple, yet strategic method to reveal hidden opportunities online that create authentic situations for her clients to grow their networks, gain loyal followers, connect with the media, and do it all with ease.

Donna knows a thing or two about creative (and cost-effective) social media and online strategy, the best part is… she teaches her clients how to build these strategies into their own businesses in an ongoing and sustainable way. Her techniques can be easily implemented in just a few minutes each day to create valuable business connections, resulting in lasting relationships that lead to mind-blowing opportunities and endless possibilities.

You can reach Donna at SocialSagePR.com.

 

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successsignSocial Media is STILL one of the hottest topics amongst business owners today, regardless of the size of the business, regardless of the target market, whether they are online business only or brick and mortar or somewhere in between. Social Media Marketing is often the topic of discussion.

If I can be completely transparent with you, here at Online Business Manager.com (and all Tina Forsyth Companies) we have spent the past 2 years purposefully focusing on this area of the business. Sadly though, much of what we have done has resulted in very minimal return. This is by far one of the areas of the business that we can find ourselves on a bit of a hamster wheel… running, running, running, but never really getting anywhere.

However, through our efforts all was not lost! We learned some invaluable lessons along the way, and developed (finally) a clear path to social media success. Hopefully you will be able to take these suggestions and consider them for yourself or your clients to ensure you are actually getting a measurable result.

Social Media Success #1

Hire an Expert – we simply do not know what we do not know! There are tips, tricks, apps, software, etc. that make social media so much easier to manage. Often we lose time, money and prospects under the umbrella of “figuring it out” or “learning on the fly.”

When I say an expert, let me clarify: I am talking about someone who truly understands both the strategy and implementation. An expert knows how to read the metrics and bring an analysis of what is working, what is not, and how to fix it. This person should feel comfortable that you are hiring them with the expectation that they will produce a result, rather than be paid by the hour for implementing a task.

An expert will help you successfully create these 3 elements in social media initiatives (both for ongoing and launch purposes):

  1. education
  2. empowerment
  3. engagement

Once you have the strategy and know what the best practices are, then you’re ready to move forward in your social media efforts. These efforts are calculated and purposeful in execution.

Simply put, there comes a time when all of us will need to extend beyond our own expertise. When this happens, it is sooo important to bite the bullet and hire someone who can get you the result you desire.

Social Media Success #2

Consistency – stay in front of folks CONSTANTLY! I will admit, we totally dropped the ball on this one in a few places through the “bootstrapping, we will figure it out, can’t be that hard” approach to social media. Honestly, what seems like an absolute annoyance of communication, is without fail one of the most important elements to being successful in social media.

The key is to keep your BRAND in front of your market, not your offerings. Which means, we must be relevant on multiple layers of connection with what is going on in the lives of our prospective leads. Which has a whole lot more to do with them and a whole lot less to do with us. So it’s promoting, it’s engaging, it’s educating, it’s empowering… and it’s consistent.

For years, we as a brand have been purposeful to ensure our fan base knew what we were offering and when. We have always tried to be available for questions and such as they would surface and felt this was the “win” of social media. But the truth is, it wasn’t the win. If anything, it actually hurt us and our efforts. By not keeping the BRAND in front of folks on a consistent basis when we did share something, it resulted in almost no return. If you do not STAY relevant, you will very quickly become irrelevant.

Social Media Success #3

Keep It Real – at the end of the day people are people. People want real relationships, they want to connect with folks who are having real experiences in their businesses. One of the things that Tina Forsyth has always done brilliantly, and that I desire to excel in, is always being herself with the communication throughout the brand. We are simply real women, growing real businesses, with real successes and real failures just like everyone else.

As leaders in the industry, we desire, above all, to keep transparency at the core of how we serve. We are not perfect in our efforts (and trust me, social media has been far from a perfect journey for us), but we don’t quit, we don’t back down and we don’t let it beat us. With this attitude, we desire to keep it real with folks, and so far this has been one of the most successful elements of social media we have experienced!

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Craft-perfect-social-media-postYou hear that an important rule of marketing is to “know your audience,” but what you don’t hear as often, is that it’s just as important to “know your platform.” Crafting the perfect social media post is about the means and the message. Each social media site has it’s own personality and language, you want to know the types of posts appropriate for various platforms in order to get the best engagement and response from your audience. It is also important to identify where your audience is spending time online and be active in the sites where they are active.

Ideal social media posts are not hard sells for your product. Instead, they’re conversations on topics related, or tangentially related, to your brand. They remind your customers of your brand and keep your products top of mind. They may not convert as soon as they see your social media post, but over time, your fans are significantly more likely to purchase or recommend you than non-fans.

Facebook

The ideal Facebook post includes interesting copy, a photo asset, and often, a link to “read more” or “learn more” on a company blog or other brand platform. The copy may ask a question or provoke a conversation based on the photo, as fans will see the two together.

Even though Facebook’s word limit is now in the thousands, studies show that “short and sweet” is better when it comes to Facebook copy too. The Facebook algorithm curates its newsfeed on visual aesthetic. Photos and videos (especially those uploaded in the Facebook player) are more likely to appear in users newsfeeds, and are more likely to be clicked on by users, than word posts alone.

Twitter

The perfect Twitter post stands more on the legs of its copy than Facebook posts do. While photos and videos (embedded from YouTube or Vimeo) now show up in users’ Twitter Timelines, posts are still driven by text.

Great tweets can include interesting quotes from blog posts or articles, enticing, specific statements designed to draw followers’ attention to the link (example: “How I saved thousands of dollars with 3 simple budgeting rules”), or questions or polls for the followers, especially if follower responses are used to shape your product offerings or branding decisions.

Hashtags on Twitter: Definitely! Read my last guest post for more specific information and advice on Twitter hashtags.

LinkedIn

Updates on LinkedIn are generally more related to the career and business world. This is not so much the place to post about your new product offerings or upcoming discounts, unless you can relate it to a big-picture marketing discussion. However, if you’ve written a business or marketing-specific blog post, LinkedIn can be a great place to share with your customers and fellow entrepreneurs.

LinkedIn posts can, but don’t need to, include photos. And if you link out to a blog post or news article, its thumbnail is pulled in on a photo for your post.

Hashtags: Not used on LinkedIn.

Instagram

Instagram is a great medium to share your brand’s more “artistic” side. If you have a physical product, find ways to show off the way your product is made or demonstrate its various uses. Instagram is especially beneficial for brands in the food or fitness industries. But even if you sell non-tangible products, you can use Instagram to show off the culture of your company. Fun, funky “around the office moments,” or business trips to various locations can perk followers’ interest.

Hashtags on Instagram: Yes! Hashtags are a great way for users to find your content. Here, you want to use more descriptive hashtags about the content of your photo. For example: #SFO #Juicing #DogsofInstagram #Fitness

Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual platform, like Instagram, but the photos aren’t always as “organic” or “in the moment.” While recipe and fitness photos are popular on Pinterest, the platform is also a great place for clothing and interior design photos, or inspirational quotes with interesting backgrounds.

Pinterest is also a terrific platform for sharing digital products. Mashable is very creative in the way they have organized their digital content on their boards. Take a look for inspiration.

Pinterest users like to be inspired. The perfect Pinterest post reflects the mood and tone of your brand, and it’s captivating or motivating enough for users to repin to their own followers.

Hashtags on Pinterest: Yes! As with Instagram, use descriptive hashtags relating to the content of your pin. For example: #quotes #healthyrecipe #gardening

Google Plus

Conversations in Google Plus are similar in style and tone to Facebook conversations. However, you do have the opportunity to limit the post to particular fan “circles.” If you have a passionate group of “superfans,” you may want to post a special incentive or reward to just these followers.

Hashtags on Google Plus: Yes! Google Plus automatically creates hashtags on your posts, depending on keywords used.

Crafting the perfect post for your platform is a great start, but it’s also vital to engage with the thread after it’s posted. We don’t ask a question, and then walk away from the conversation! Respond to your followers’ responses, ask more questions, “like” or “favorite” their replies, and feel free to retweet the good ones (on Twitter). When audiences see that their responses are heard, they will stay connected and continue to engage in the future.

 


 

Donna Cravotta is the CEO of Social Sage PR and the creator of the Total Social PR System™ and Publicity Prowess™. She helps entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses maximize their online presence with a very different approach to social media and public relations. Her commitment is to ensure that her clients are empowered to amplify their unique voice and share their purpose, without overwhelming their schedules.

A natural connector of people and a relationship builder long before Facebook even existed, Donna has created a simple, yet strategic method to reveal hidden opportunities online that create authentic situations for her clients to grow their networks, gain loyal followers, connect with the media, and do it all with ease.

Donna knows a thing or two about creative (and cost-effective) social media and online strategy, the best part is… she teaches her clients how to build these strategies into their own businesses in an ongoing and sustainable way. Her techniques can be easily implemented in just a few minutes each day to create valuable business connections, resulting in lasting relationships that lead to mind-blowing opportunities and endless possibilities.

You can reach Donna at SocialSagePR.com.

 

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How to Sell to a High End Client

by Tiffany on September 10, 2014

in For OBMs

On Thursday (tomorrow), 9/11 Tina Forsyth will be hosting a BRAND NEW free Webinar:

7 Keys to Working with High End Clients

You can register for the webinar here: http://www.onlinebusinessmanager.com/highendclients

Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You do not want to miss this webinar if you are interested in up leveling your clientele and really producing a top quality service that will have high-end clients happy to make your retainer/invoice payments every month.

BUT…

Before you can work with high-end clients you have to know how to sell to them.  So I wanted to take just a few minutes to give you a super easy 3-question process to closing the deal with a high-end client.

There is a bit of preparation on your part before you hop on that call.  Everything about the way the call will flow will be determined by how you prepare yourself and the mindset you have going into the call.  So ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you feeling anxious or relaxed?  Confident or uncertain?
  • Are you familiar with their business, services, everything you can find out about them online?
  • Are you clear on exactly what result you can bring to their business?
  • Are you confident in the conversation around how you desire to be compensated for that result?

If you are not relaxed, confident, clear on the results you bring and comfortable with the compensation conversation… there is no reason to even answer the phone.

Here is why I say this.  A prospective high-end client is one who has obviously accomplished a great deal of success in their business.  This success stems from their being able to confidently offer and sell a result to a target market, generally at an elevated price point.  If you desire to be a team member of theirs, and really step into a partnership of success to ensure their vision for the business is executed, you have to be willing to offer them the same level of confidence in your services they offer in theirs.

Remember you are the expert in what you do, and “they need you more than you need them” (quoted from Michael Port, Virtually Successful VideoSummit Summer 2014).

So step into your brilliance, fearlessly ready to serve the person on the other end with the highest level of excellence you have.  When you do, this will set the tone for the rest of the conversation.

Now you are ready!  Here is the 3-Question Process to closing the deal with the high end client:

1. What do you feel is the biggest obstacle in growing your business and reaching your revenue goals?

Depending on how they answer this question, you want to be sure you have a clear understanding of how you can support them in overcoming those obstacles.   Don’t be afraid to actually offer a real solution in the moment to how you would support them in progressing the business forward if you work together.

  • If it’s team management – then share with them how you support your clients with alleviating the hassle and headache of managing the team by creating a solid process around working with teams in a successful virtual environment.
  • If it’s sales – then talk to them about what they are spending their time on, and how, if you were working with them, you could assist them with freeing up their time from the day-in and day-out operations of the business so they can focus more on sales and marketing.
  • If it’s lead generation / marketing – then share with them some proven strategies you have worked on previously with clients who had great results, and that you could help get established in their funnel.

2. Why do you feel you need an Online Business Manager?

With this question, you really want to hear what they believe or think the solution you are bring to the table will be.  Without the answer to this question, you won’t know exactly what their expectations are about working with an OBM.  Getting this specific result clarified will assist you in using their terminology on how you can partner with them in managing the business.

If the answer is:

  • Overwhelmed – this is a good time to connect with them about upcoming launches and current team condition.  Be ready with a quick overview of the first 90 days of working together so you can immediately relieve their overwhelm.
  • Someone was recently in this position and is leaving – you want to find out what they feel really worked out well with that person, and what they would like to see different with the next person in that role.
  • Looking for the right-hand person to go to the next level – this is where you’ll want to find out exactly what they feel is where they should be spending their time, and why they are spending it doing other things.

3. Why do you feel you need an OBM right now?

What you want to do with this question is create a sense of urgency around their pain point.  This should help you in knowing what they need to make a decision right there on the spot so that you can close the deal.

The real key to each of these questions… isn’t the question, it’s the answer the potential client gives you.  So listen intently for key pain points, for expectations and for how they envision the solution.  Keep the focus on them and on their needs.

When you have to answer a question they have, keep it short and to the point they are asking.  This is not the time to share your life story, this is the time to be a leader, to lead the conversation to the outcome you desire and SHOW this potential client your level of confidence through your ability to lead them to a decision:  that you are the solution to their problem. ;-)

Now to be sure you can back up all you promise… be sure to join Tina Forsyth LIVE TOMORROW (9/11/2014) for the webinar:

7 Keys to Working With High End Clients

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3 Habits to Adopt as an OBM

by Tina on September 3, 2014

in For OBMs

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle

As Online Business Managers it can be really easily to get stuck in a trap of what I like to call: Adrenaline Addiction. This is where we run from one fire, to the next fire, to the next fire. You know what I am talking about, it’s that ping of fear that creeps in on you before you open the inbox each morning, or when you see a certain client is Skyping you in the middle of the day. All alarms go off and before you know it you are on a full fire drill…

Producing at the level of an OBM and trying to be a firefighter do not go hand in hand. As a matter of fact, many times the fire extinguishing tasks will cause us to by-pass the OBM tasks all together. Now to ensure that when I say “OBM tasks” we have the same expectation, I’m talking about the tasks that support these 4 pillars of business management:

  • Project Management
  • Operations Management
  • Team Management
  • Metrics Management

These are the tasks I am referring to as being the OBM tasks… anything that pertains to planning, proactivity, team leadership, metrics analysis.

Now with that in mind ask yourself this question:

On a scale of 1 – 10, how proactive are you in your business and in serving your clients’ businesses?

If you answered “7 or above,” good for you… there might be a bit of improvement you need to focus on but most likely you see what that is and you are already looking to make those changes.

If you answered “4 – 7,” then my guess is you are in the ‘rut’ – that space where you know what needs to be done and find yourself giving great spurts of effort towards the OBM side of things on a regular basis, but you haven’t quite figured out what habits you need to have in place to stay ahead of the curve.

If you answered “0-3,” let me just say… I am so sorry, as I know your work environment is likely absolutely exhausting. This is the place where burnout breeds! It is miserable, overwhelming and often feels like you are completely stuck, with no way out.

The good news is that, no matter how you answered, I have 3 simple habits you can implement in your business right now that will at least move you 2 levels on the proactivity scale.

Habit #1 – To Do or Not To Do – get in the habit of asking yourself this question about EVERYTHING you are doing.

“Is this a TO DO for you?”

Meaning:

  • If someone else can do it, delegate…
  • If it doesn’t need to be done right now, plan for it…

Once you decide it is a TO DO for you, and not for someone else, then you need to prioritize it among all the other tasks. However, most the time it is something someone else on the team could be doing. You are still doing it likely because you haven’t figured out how or made the decision to delegate the ‘TO DO’ tasks in front of you.

If it’s not an OBM task… and you ARE an Online Business Manager… then I really encourage you to build the habit of asking yourself if this task is a ‘TO DO for you.’

Habit #2 – Perform, Process, Pass

If you are trying to be the VA and the OBM and plan everything, and do everything… there is a good chance you will never move past a 3 or a 4 on the proactivity scale. Not because you are not great at what you do… I am sure you are… but simply because you can’t possibly do it all!

This is where team comes in… when working with a VA (specifically if they are new or you don’t have any processes set up), I encourage you to follow the 3 Ps of Delegation:

  • Perform the task – as you are doing a task ask yourself: do I ever want to do this task again? If the answer is no, then move on to the next step.
  • Process the task – simply write out the steps you are doing as you are performing the task.
  • Pass the task off to a team member – with the process you have created.

BAMM! You don’t have to do that task any more. ;-)

This should be a habit you put in place around every task you are doing that does not fall in the category of the OBM role. Even if no one is there to pass it over to right now, at least when the business grows and there is someone to pass the task off to, you will be ready. Or you may hire your own VA ‘to do’ the tasks.. and that’s okay too. ;-)

Habit #3 – Inspect, Don’t Expect

So many of the OBMs I talk to will say to me:

“I tried to work with a team, but they just didn’t get it done the same way I would, or they didn’t do it right, and the client got mad.”

To that I say, why didn’t you inspect it before the client ever saw it? You had an expectation someone would do something the exact same way you do… but you can’t simply expect it, you must inspect it.

Until a team member proves themselves trustworthy, inspect everything before you send it to the client or let it go live. After a while you will learn to trust that team member and they will learn what you desire.

The key here is to not do it for them, if it isn’t the way you want it, instruct them on what you want and have them redo it ;-)

The good news is you can always add new GOOD Habits to your work experience, and you can always take away BAD ones! The choice is simply up to you.

So how do you choose today?

 

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Implementers Unite!

August 27, 2014

        Recently Tina Forsyth announced a brand new membership program: The Implementer’s Club. As we here at Team Forsyth have been working on the back end to lay out all the pieces of this very targeted empowerment community, I have realized a few things. Although they seem as though they should have […]

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Find Out What Folks Are Excited About with The Implementer’s Club

August 22, 2014

Recently Tina Forsyth launched a BRAND NEW membership program for ALL IMPLEMENTERS! Not just Online Business Managers, but anyone who works as a contractor / freelancer in the implementation role: VA, Graphic Design, Web Design, Copywriter, Social Media Specialist, etc… So if this is you… be sure to watch this video and find out what […]

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Launches, Social PR & Team Based Business – WOW!

August 13, 2014

WOWSERS! The Virtually Successful Video Summit has been hopping! I’ve been in the VA industry since 2003 and never have I participated in an event that has provided so much insight! (And it’s so much fun being the Summit Correspondent!) Did you know there are 5 kinds of launches? I had no idea! On the […]

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The Summit Is LIVE! My Thoughts On the First 3 Sessions

August 6, 2014

The Virtually Successful Video Summit started off with a bang on Monday morning and it has been G-R-E-A-T!  As your official Summit correspondent, I’m super excited to share a few notes from the first 3 sessions. Where was all this information when I started my business back in 2003? Seriously, I would have made so […]

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My Confidence Was Bruised and I Was Scared…

July 29, 2014

  It’s Cindy Greenway here, your Virtually Successful Video Summit Correspondent. I’m wondering if you can relate to one of my painful business experiences. When I opened my official ‘virtual doors’ back in 2003, I was SCARED. I was a first time mom to a 6 month old boy and a government employee with a […]

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