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Telling IT Straight
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Marketing helpViews: 7702
Aug 09, 2007 10:57 pmMarketing help#

Tracy Collins, Web Designer
Hi everyone, I'm having a bit of problems marketing my services so I am coming here to ask for help. First let me start out for those who don't know me, I provide virtual assistance services and my main target is Private investigators. Now I will go on and tell you all what I have done.

1. Sent out 3 postcard mailings to 100 prospects
2. Re-vamped my website at least 20 times
3. have ran an ad in the most read trade journal for approximately 6 issues (it's bi-monthly)
4. Participated in online forums of my target market
5. created forms and templates for Pi's to use in their day-to-day activities, gave one for free to anybody interested and am trying to sell the others
6. Followed-up when people have expressed a tiny bit of interest
7. Am offering 1 free hour to all new clients
8. have written articles
9. do have a blog
10. Also have excellent keywords, descriptions, etc

I am at my wit's end. Don't know what else to do. I am getting hits to my website for my forms that I created but am not getting any takers on my services or my forms. I think the design of the site looks good and professional but am having a tough time with the copywrite.

Any suggestions, are greatly appreciated.

Tracy Collins
Collins Admin
http://www.collins-admin.com

Private Reply to Tracy Collins, Web Designer

Aug 09, 2007 11:37 pmre: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
hi Tracy,
If you are getting the traffic but it is not converting then it is primarily because you are getting the wrong traffic.

I looked at your site and you need to focus your keywords for your market segment.
If I look at your keywords the first couple of phrases are, private investigation, judgment recovery, credit and collections.
However, it seems that you are providing services for the people that do private investigation, judgment recovery, credit and collections and do not supply the services themselves.

Given this, you would be getting traffic looking for those services, and thus no conversions.

It seems that you could expand on the income streams on your site. Perhaps, through affiliate programs, you could offer "spy" related items, hidden webcams, small recorders, and similar.
You could put AdSense on the site to profit from those that leave. It won't be a large amount, but it will be an extra bit.

Your page says: "Collins Admin provides office support to the overworked, time-strapped private investigation, judgment recovery, and credit and collections professional.", but your forms are for investigative services. Now I'm confused. Are you a PI as well as offering services for PI's?

Do you have a web stats program on your website's server?
What are people looking for when they find you? What keywords do they use?
Try putting the free http://CrazyEgg.com tracker on your site to see where people are clicking.
Get some webforms up instead of the word or text ones.
Set up an online payment plan. Sites that sell actively are 1500 times as likely to make the sale.
Your free 1 hour offer should be spelled out online, most wont be bothered to type or send an email. List what you do, setup a series of packages, and the 1 hour session gets deducted. Add a money back guarantee if they are not satisfied.
You could even setup a delayed transaction where you capture the credit card information but it is not processed for a given length of time.. say a week. That would give them time to test your services.

Hope this helps,
Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Aug 10, 2007 12:08 amre: re: Marketing help#

Tracy Collins, Web Designer
Reg,

I will see if I can answer your concerns one by one.

So for my keywords, you are saying that I need to re-arrange the keywords. Such as making administrative, virtual assistant, office support be the first couple of phrases and then after that put the private investigation, judgment recovery, and credit and collections?

The investigative forms that I have on my website are for private investigators to use, not for me to use. I am trying to portray myself as an expert when it comes to my administrative skills as well as knowing what PI's need. That is why I created the forms. Does that make sense?

Also, I have awstats through my webhosting and I also have extreme tracking on my website.

I do have a money back guarantee for both the forms and for my services. I also have the ability for them to pay me via paypal for my services.

The majority of the traffic that I am getting are either from my posting on the online forums or when people are looking for specific forms such as the one's I have for sale on my website. But again, I am not getting them to purchase them.

Tracy

Private Reply to Tracy Collins, Web Designer

Aug 10, 2007 1:06 amre: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
>>So for my keywords, you are saying that I need to re-arrange the keywords. Such as making administrative, virtual assistant, office support be the first couple of phrases and then after that put the private investigation, judgment recovery, and credit and collections?

Yes. Perhaps something like "Private investigators administrative assistant". Leave it at that. Put the other phrases on pages focused on their topics.

>>The investigative forms that I have on my website are for private investigators to use, not for me to use. I am trying to portray myself as an expert when it comes to my administrative skills as well as knowing what PI's need. That is why I created the forms. Does that make sense?

It is not obvious. I would suggest packaging them for sale to PI firms. Or offering them as an incentive to get on a mailing list.

>>Also, I have awstats through my webhosting and I also have extreme tracking on my website.

Great. Add the Crazy Egg tracker.

>>I do have a money back guarantee for both the forms and for my services. I also have the ability for them to pay me via paypal for my services.

I did not see either as I just gave your site a quick look.
YOu need to offer your services with an obvious method to pay for them.

>>The majority of the traffic that I am getting are either from my posting on the online forums or when people are looking for specific forms such as the one's I have for sale on my website. But again, I am not getting them to purchase them.

Your "company" link on your Ryze home page is not working.
I took a look at the searches done in Extreme and they are mostly for terms I would not associate with your site.

You need work on your SEO as evidenced by the figures showing for visits from other sites, email, and search engines.

Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Aug 10, 2007 1:31 amre: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Tracy Collins, Web Designer
Reg,

Okay, you gave me some awesome ideas to get me off and running.

I fixed my link on my Ryze page. It was my old domain name.

From this topic and going back and re-reading your SEO 101 on B2B I think I understand SEO a little bit better now and what I need to do.

Thanks,

Tracy

Private Reply to Tracy Collins, Web Designer

Aug 10, 2007 1:47 amre: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
Good!
Keep us updated on your success eh?

Reg

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Aug 10, 2007 3:52 amre: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
You are selling a very personalized service, requiring a great deal of trust. Nothing will ever compare in power to personal introductions and handshakes. Here is what is working for us in a similar type of marketing arena:

1. Find events where your target market will be in large numbers. Be there in a way that you can contact them. Get in there and get known, and make it known what you do. Prep a booth layout with some sample forms, brochures, and a good poster that catches their attention. Events will help you if they are TARGETED events - specifically for your target market.

2. Join trade associations where your target market hangs out. Look for those with high value benefits, then USE the benefits.

3. Join the Chamber in your area, and start attending networking events and taking advantage of member benefits. Used right, Chamber membership can get your name out in your region, introduce you to people who can help you move forward, and help you get recommendations. Get to know the Chamber leadership - make yourself visible and helpful to them. They'll recommend names faster and with more conviction when they know you personally.

You may think of your business as being mostly location independent - and it may be long term. But I can tell you from personal experience, that with service businesses requiring a high trust level, nothing else can come close to personal marketing in a local area. People do business faster with people they meet in a familiar setting.

If you want to jump-start your business, start getting out there offline as well as on - you are doing some of the right things to network online, just do it offline too.

Best wishes,

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Aug 10, 2007 4:18 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
I have a friend in Victoria that is setting up in business as a VA for real estate people.
She mailed, snail mail and email each agency she can find telling them of her services and got a fairly good response.

Reg
Think locally before global.

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Aug 10, 2007 1:47 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
Gee Reg... Is business really THAT bad? If this new marketing approach of yours is going to work, I think you'll need to make the sign BIGGER. And maybe BLUE... that IS the professional trust color, you know! You might lose the latte cup also - makes you look too prosperous. A small McDonald's cup would be more pathetic!

Here is what we've done, and the results:

1. Postcards - total bomb for our business for a number of reasons.
2. Radio ads - also a total bomb - gets our name out there, but does not get the phone to ring.
3. Chamber membership - slow, solid referrals, good networking opportunities, and the source of our best new connections. We have membership in two communities that we market into. We attend networking events, and we stop by in person to meet the leadership every so often, and we offer bits of free help to them as the opportunity comes up (little things - like the day I dropped by and their email was not working - I helped them get it functioning again). I am keeping my feelers out to serve on a committee if an appropriate one is available.
4. Beat the streets half a day in downtown Laramie - got two good contracts from it and some other leads, and made some good business connections.
5. Beat the streets half a day in downtown Rawlins - got some good connections, and ONE contract... but that was the Chamber itself, which has proven very helpful. Key to this is to CONNECT with people - they won't let you "sell" to them unless you can connect on a personal basis first, so we come in and ask questions about their business, get to know them a bit, and find some common ground before we get into web issues, even though I do introduce myself right up front with who I am and what I do.
6. Guest speaker for online or teleseminars. Minor response.
7. Guest speaker for a business startup workshop. VERY good response, and a good reputation builder.
8. Commercial booth at the fair. Long, hard week, with just enough leads and connections to make it worth the effort. Since this is UNTARGETED, it is more of a "get the name out" effort. There have been many unexpected connections with power players in the area, and reinforcements of our legitimacy and professionalism that have come from it though.
9. Booth at targeted events. HIGHLY successful, gets a lot of response and a high number of leads, and is worth paying for a booth and giving the time and other expense for.
10. Online networking through forums, groups, email, etc. Marginally effective. Seems to be fairly time consuming for the return in this particular market, but it gives back just enough business to justify the time.
11. Viral information production. Increasing response. We promote these through our websites, through forums, by personal invitation to certain website owners to carry our eBooks, and through CD distribution at events.
12. Article Marketing - I do this mostly for pagerank benefits, it does help with that. The power is mostly abstract, but it is worth the time and effort to do. It does not work quickly, it is a long term strategy.

There are other things I do also - carry business cards everywhere, follow up on leads, mention my business when it is appropriate to do so when I am out and about, wear promotional t-shirts, etc.

I have also asked marketing professionals a couple of times about enhancing our promotional efforts. Struck out, because they do not "get" what we really are or what we do. We are different enough that the words used to describe our services are inadequate to express that difference quickly and intuitively. No one is impressed or really interested in what I do if they do not meet me personally and talk with me about solutions for their specific business. So I'm on my own figuring out effective ways to make the process of getting contracts more efficient. I can identify with marketing struggles for personalized services.

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Aug 11, 2007 3:02 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

S C
Tracy,

Send me your marketing plan via email.

I went to your website. It has to be re-designed. There's no oomph to it. But I need to see your marketing plan first specifically the demographics and psychographics of your target market before I can make a professional recommendation for you.

If you have no marketing plan, just email me the specifics of your objective, strategy and tactics.

If you can also send me your latest marketing materials (brochure, flyer, etc), it would help me a lot.

Will wait for it on my email. Do not lose hope. Supergirl is here. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Private Reply to S C

Aug 14, 2007 8:00 pmre: Marketing help#

The Perfect Image Network Let Me Vent Network
Tracy
I also help people like Sunny so if you need me to help you brainstorm, PM me and I can give you a call or we can talk via email.

Chaele
Let me Vent Network

Private Reply to The Perfect Image Network Let Me Vent Network

Aug 21, 2007 5:29 pmre: Marketing help#

Linda Sorensen
Hi Tracy,

Welcome to the wonderful world of marketing! It is very hard to make money online and takes a real committment of time on your part. You are doing all the right things, the forums I feel are the best way to meet people and grow relationships.

After all, it is you that you are selling, not your product! Continue to do what you are doing and make your online time count, contact people at the forums, get to know them, call them up and chat. You never know what you might find in common to help each other out.

Also, advertising offline can be very effective. Classified ads in your tarketed area.

I have a great home business, Send Out Cards. Due to circumstances beyond my control I have not been able to work this business, I have so much going on in real life right now, I hardly even get on my computer anymore. And it shows in my monthly checks which have gone from hundreds a month down to under one hundred per month. I have been online for 7 years and have had successes and failures, but not until the last 2 years did I have consistent success. Hang in there! It takes time to build a business or money, if you don't have time! Just like a business offline would be.

Best wishes for success,

Linda

Private Reply to Linda Sorensen

Sep 08, 2007 5:32 amre: Marketing help#

Eileen Brown
Hello Tracy.

Some great advice already listed. You got lucky with this
bunch of folks as they know what they are talking about.
When you get over the shock of all the suggestions, here
are some more. Take a deep breath and relax.

I also looked at your site and it is very nice. You
obviously put in a lot of hours and much thought into what
you wanted to show your potential customers. I am going to
throw in a few "buts" here so get ready. Just off the top
of my head I would say...

BUT # 1 - use of color:
The blue colors are lovely BUT seem a little intense. I
would suggest the use of some white space, especially in
the text area.

BUT # 2 - more use of color:
You have the right idea in the general layout and you
obviously like it BUT the use of black darkens the whole
effect a bit too much. Suggestions - can the black and move
the blue behind the text in to replace the black. Use
white on the right side where the text is located. These
changes should make a big difference in the overall look
without a whole redesign at this juncture. Don't think about
redesign now. It is a large task and a few changes could
make a huge difference and not take up near as much of the
time you want to spend on Marketing your business.

BUT # 3 - Readability:
Text should have 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches around it. Your
text appears to be sort of "jammed" up against the left
wall. Bring it out a bit from that left wall and it will
be easier to read. Likewise, watch the right margin too.

BUT # 4 - All the text:
I can see you put a lot of effort into choosing the right
words and choosing your words carefully BUT - and get ready
for this, you need the help of a professional copywriter.
You should not have to shell out a load of money but you do
need some rewrites. This is a crucial point.

Example From your site:
Free Investigation Request Form-Here is a form that I
created for Microsoft Word and Open Office users. There
is also a link to the form for people who do not have
either Word or Open Office. If you are using Word or Open
Office, you will be able to send the electronic version of
the form to a potential client and they can fill it out
and email it back to you. There is also a print version
that can be printed out and mailed to a client or taken
out in the field with you.

How it cound be put:
FREE Investigation Request Form.
For use with MS Word and Open Office. Benefits:
ē Email - electronic version for potential clients.
ē Print - Snail mail to potential clients.
ē Print - For P.I. use in the field.

Compare the two and see which one sounds more
professional. Can you see my point?

No more BUT's. Make a list of the suggestions you feel are
valid. Add a time table to achieve each one and you will
be on your way to making changes for the better. Once you
have a product that is marketable (re: your web site) you
will be much better off.

I am certain you are a pro at what you do and earn every
penny you are paid for those services. It seems you just
need to "Back up the truck Chuck!" a tad and take a good
look at all that has been layed out for you here. Please
know everyone means well. You did ask for help and you
certainly are getting lots of it. lol.

If you want to do some rewrites I would be glad to check
them over for you and likewise, I could do some rewrites
for you. Shoot me a PM - I am willing to help.

Blessings,

Eileen :)

"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde
http://www.buddywebworks.com/ - Buddy Web Works, More than just hosting.
http://www.buddycopywriting.com/ - Uh, not a web site yet, but the link works.
http://www.bekansas.com/ - A doofuss site, but kinda fun.

Private Reply to Eileen Brown

Sep 08, 2007 5:53 amre: re: Marketing help#

Eileen Brown
Oh - Holy Cow Batman! I completely forgot! I wanted to point
out Laura's post above - she did a truck-load of brainstorming
for you with her long list up there. Good work Laura!

Glad to see you are taking Reg's points to heart too. All
that techie talk makes my head spin, sometimes. He
knows his stuff. I realize you did not ask for help with
your web site. It just makes sense to do the best job you
are capable of doing to help, guess who?, YOU.

Oh my, it is so far past my bedtime and I don't know how I am
keeping my eyes open.

Goodnight all.

Eileen - zzzzzzzzz



"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde
http://www.buddywebworks.com/ - Buddy Web Works, More than just hosting.
http://www.buddycopywriting.com/ - Uh, not a web site yet, but the link works.
http://www.bekansas.com/ - A doofuss site, but kinda fun.

Private Reply to Eileen Brown

Sep 08, 2007 11:43 amre: re: re: Marketing help#

Tracy Collins, Web Designer
Eileen,

Thank you for your insight. Actually, Laura (who is an awesome help and does awesome work) and I are in the process of redesigning my site right now. We have been working on it for a couple of weeks hopefully we can get it completed by the end of next week.

I have definitely taken some of the suggestions into consideration and I am in the process of implementing them now. I am going to be creating a marketing calendar soon and stick with it as well.

I might also take you up on looking at my rewrites.

Thanks

Tracy Collins
http://www.collins-admin.com

Private Reply to Tracy Collins, Web Designer

Sep 08, 2007 8:42 pmre: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Eileen Brown
Good for YOU Tracy! Affirmative action is always the key
to success.

Laura will do you a great and complete job. I hope to be
working with her soon myself. *** With my arm WAY up over
my head - waving frantically - HI LAURA!!! ***

I would gladly work with both of both of you on the
rewrites, if you wish before all the new pages are
uploaded - it also might save some time for you both.

Blessings,

Eileen :)

"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde
http://www.buddywebworks.com/ - Buddy Web Works, More than just hosting.
http://www.buddycopywriting.com/ - Uh, not a web site yet, but the link works.
http://www.bekansas.com/ - A doofuss site, but kinda fun.

Private Reply to Eileen Brown

Sep 08, 2007 9:23 pmre: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
Thanks for the vote of confidence Eileen! I've got some ideas churning around that will probably scare us both! :)

I must say, working with Tracy is a joy. She is hard working, diligent, dives right in and doesn't expect anyone else to do what she is capable of doing. She isn't afraid to ask for help if she gets buried either. An easy person for me to respect.

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Sep 08, 2007 11:51 pmre: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
My marketing idea to you.

Get your list of private investigators for a bulk mailing.(post)

Now talk to a company that makes beef jerky. Cut a deal have a label with your biz and thier on it.

Stay with me.

On your beef jerky have a label created that states you company name and tag line "Beef up Your Dicks" Now include a very catchy sales letter and Presto.

I used a similiar campaign with a temp agency that targetted just office staff. The jerky campaign was sent to offices HR deptartments and read "Beef Up Your Staff" The staff agency got a great return on the campaign and as far as I know still uses it.

If "Beef Up Your Dick" (dick-slang for PI)is too risky sounding perhaps come up with something in relation "beef up your_____"

If you set the campaign up right with a jerky supplier they might get orders off it and be willing to cut an even better deal and or share in mailing expenses.

You can also hand these 'promotional" items out at local networking events. Beefing up is a postive image to anyone and a memorable one.

Hope this helps ya out. If you use it please send check too......LOL


Cheers!

:0)

KB

Kathy B
Mayhem Marketing
"Creative Works & Strategies for the Mill of Human Consumerism"
http://www.mayhemmarketing.net

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 09, 2007 12:06 amre: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
ROTFLMAO

Or include a Viagra pill with the slogan "Prolong your operations" or "Keep them dicks hard on the job. Let us take care your paperwork."

Reg

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Sep 09, 2007 12:44 amre: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
LOL LOL LOL

>>Gee Reg... Is business really THAT bad? If this new marketing approach of yours is going to work, I think you'll need to make the sign BIGGER. And maybe BLUE... that IS the professional trust color, you know! You might lose the latte cup also - makes you look too prosperous. A small McDonald's cup would be more pathetic!



Actually Laura, it has been a great image to use.

Reg

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Sep 09, 2007 12:51 amre: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
For you, I can see how it might be. I don't think it would work for everyone though! :)

And there is absolutely NO insult intended in that!

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Sep 09, 2007 12:52 amre: re: re: Marketing help#

Tracy Collins, Web Designer
Eileen,

I would like to take you up on the offer on the copy editing help. I have redone my website so many times and I am finally having a professional design it and I would like to have some input on the copywrite because if I am going to do it the millionth time, I need to do it right.

Send me a PM with your email address and we can communicate via email instead of on Ryze.

Kathy and Reg,

You guys are too funny. I really like the beef jerky idea or something similar but I don't know if I would do the Beef Up Your Dick that might be a little off the wall for me although, I'm sure if I did it, I would get a lot of hits to my website and I'm sure it would be major viral marketing for me. Hmmm!! I might have to think a little bit more about this one.

I could also do the Viagra but I don't think that they would give me a prescription and besides I don't want it in my house because I don't want my husband to get ahold of it. If he did, I wouldn't get any work done. LOL


Tracy Collins
http://www.collins-admin.com

Private Reply to Tracy Collins, Web Designer

Sep 09, 2007 1:11 amre: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
You might get TRAFFIC from it... but would they be potential CLIENTS, or looking for an entirely DIFFERENT sort of assistance?


Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Sep 09, 2007 1:30 amre: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
Tracy,

Please do not view the beef up campaign as viral.
You could just say "Beef up your office" Marketing is all about creating top of mind awareness.

There is little branding on your site. The handshake image and a lady sat at a desk say nothing to me. I do not know what your collateral material looks like.

Look up any virutal assistant site, ask yourself what sets you apart aside from the fact you specialize in PI assistance.

You need to create a unique marketing message. If your marketing message is not in place all the advertising in the world will do little. Become a bigger picture person.

I think Reg was just joking. Viagra would be a bad idea, it suggests thing are down. LOL.

:o)

KB

Kathy B
Mayhem Marketing
"Creative Works & Strategies for the Mill of Human Consumerism"
http://www.mayhemmarketing.net

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 09, 2007 1:52 am(Laura) re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
Hi Laura,

You seem to be a real go getter with all the efforts as to marketing your business. Being able to sell yourself face to face is a great thing and the first step with many business's. I though have to question your statement as to your experience with trying to get a marketing person to help you and them just not getting it.

Sometimes a business owner and a marketing person are not a good match. Sometimes the wrong questions were asked by a marketing person. Sometimes the business owner is not open to try anything new or not mainstream because they do not understand.

RE: "Beef up your____" Campaign suggestion. You responded "You might get TRAFFIC from it... but would they be potential CLIENTS, or looking for an entirely DIFFERENT sort of assistance?" (the word "Dicks" was suggested to fill in the blank because PI's were often known as private dicks.)


The tag line "Beef Up Your____"...is an attention grabber, it is and could be gritty, that though is the objective. In a tight niche market is Tracy the only one offering similiar services? Probably not. She needs to stand out someway. Mine was just a suggestion and a spin on a succesful campaign. The sales letter to be included in a post mailing would be directed to PI's and explain the services and the benefits.

Sunny is the other resident marketing person, Im sure she'd agree about the challenges of selling a campaign idea.

Best,

KB

Kathy B
Mayhem Marketing
"Creative Works & Strategies for the Mill of Human Consumerism"
http://www.mayhemmarketing.net

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 09, 2007 2:44 amre: re: re:Kathy: Marketing help#

Tracy Collins, Web Designer
Kathy,

I guess sarcasm doesn't work too well in writing huh? I was just kidding when I was talking about it being viral marketing. I also believe that Laura was being quite sarcastic in her response to yours and my beef jerky post.

Actually, Sunny has been working with me on my marketing. As I stated previously, we are in the process of redesigning my website that means the design as well as the content.

Tracy Collins
http://www.collins-admin.com

Private Reply to Tracy Collins, Web Designer

Sep 09, 2007 2:58 amre: (Laura) re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
I wasn't commenting on the slogan you suggested, but rather Tracy's comment about getting lots of viral traffic from pushing an image that can be so easily misunderstood - you suggested using it offline, she joked about using it online. If you cross the line into sexual jokes in a slogan, the kind of traffic you get to a website will be looking for something you are not offering - in fact, that can happen UN-intentionally, when catch phrases develop in certain segments of society that other segments are unaware of.

The number one website problem of small businesses is getting too little traffic. A close second is getting traffic that has no interest in what they have due to poor search returns.

My experiences with marketing pros were in trying to get help in defining a marketing slogan for a business that is not easily defined. I had received some criticism for an approach I had used previously, but when I asked what would be better, I got a "gosh, beats me" reply. From several pros, not just one. They felt they knew what WASN'T right for my business (I already knew that), but they couldn't come up with anything better, no matter the price. There simply was NO suggestion made at ALL, except pointing out what I already knew.

Now, those experiences had NOTHING to do with Sunny. She is, in fact, the first person who ever made constructive comments that actually HELPED. Mostly because she was the first one who even attempted to put themselves into the shoes of the prospective client.

Dealing with the market I deal with, perfection usually isn't the goal. They can't afford that. It is more a matter of choosing the most important things within their budget - they get value and function, but if they could hire a marketing specialist, they wouldn't need me. Due to your different background, you will certainly feel that different things are the most glaring to you. I daresay you could go through any site I built and find flaws - but I could do the same with yours. We simply see different things because our training has been different, and our priorities are different.

Marketing is also highly subjective. There are a hundred ways to do it well, and not a single one that everybody will agree was THE RIGHT way.

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Sep 09, 2007 3:33 amre: re: (Laura) re: re: Marketing help#

Tracy Collins, Web Designer
Laura said: "Marketing is also highly subjective. There are a hundred ways to do it well, and not a single one that everybody will agree was THE RIGHT way"

This comment sums it all up for me. You would not believe how many hours I have spent researching marketing online and reading books. One "expert" says to do it one way and then another "expert" says no, don't do it that way. That is why I have revamped my website so many times.

I have finally come to the point where I will try and try to do what feels right to me and just get input from everybody and decide what is best for me. I don't even look up marketing articles, how-tos etc anymore on the internet because there is just too much that can be done that nobody agrees which is the best way.

I have decided that if you can't be yourself when you are promoting your business then how can you be in business because you are not being true to yourself or your clients.

Tracy Collins
http://www.collins-admin.com

Private Reply to Tracy Collins, Web Designer

Sep 09, 2007 4:10 amre: re: re: (Laura) re: re: Marketing help#

Lindy Asimus
Have you considered putting the books aside and talking to the guys (and gals) who are private investigators?

I love it when all the "experts" get into a conflab about this, that and the other, when the customers you want to target are the only experts.

One of the few things I've learned in life is that it doesn't matter what I think is someone's "problem" they ought to attend to. They are going to respond to what They believe is their problem - if they even are aware they have one!

You can't want what you don't have a concept for.

"This is how we do things around here" is a powerful, powerful groove that people are trained to move through. This *is* how it is! That's what they know! "Everybody does it like this!"

The individuals who are wanting to get outside of an established cultural pattern are the minority. Great to work with, but you are really talking "early adopters" in this context.

Think about the personality traits of someone attracted to being a PI. Talk to PI's about what life looks like to them. What do they value? How do they operate when they are doing it automatically? What bugs them? Only then,when you really can see life from their point of view - can you hope to present an offer in language that they will know how to want.




Lindy


Private Reply to Lindy Asimus

Sep 09, 2007 4:10 amre: re: ) re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
My comment about Sunny was not negative. I hope it was not taken that way. I adore her blog. She's a smart cookie.

Me bad I thought the comment about "wrong' traffic from Laura was a response to my suggestion.

Sexual Jokes? It was a play on a slang used to describe PI's I also suggested that if the word was to risky to use something tamer. I didnt mean for the word "dicks" to become offensive and be taken in a sexual context.

The concept of creativity & uniqueness has been over thought and misinterrupted as to delivery to a niche market.

A Beef Up campaign was presented to obtain some market leverage by pairing two business's who could both benefit. Know any PI's? ever look in their cars and see all the food wrappers? Beef jerky I'd bet is among them and probably seeking a vendor easier then appraoching hostess cupcakes or Milky Way to add ones label on product.

That is the point that has been missed.

There's is talk about website traffic needing qualified traffic. Thats a no brainer, everyone wants qualified traffic be it online or a store front.

Really regretting I even offered up the suggestion.

Laura, I do not what it is you do. I can though think of many reasons why it would be difficult to come up with any one slogan defining your business. I am not going to get into that now, except to say my experience with one client who had so many services I created divisions and marketed each seperatley. The branding as a business name though came in with colors, logo, jingle, and a goofy mascot.

""Marketing is also highly subjective. There are a hundred ways to do it well, and not a single one that everybody will agree was THE RIGHT way.""

Research makes any campaign less subjective, the hundreds of options get widdled down to whats effective and what a budget will allow. NO campaign comes with a guarentee, any professional saying otherwise is a liar. Thats why they call it ROI projections.

I'll end this with my statement to people who feel marketing is not needed or that they can do it all themselves.

-Marketing is not rocket science, neither is plumbing. Do you though call an electrician to fix your toilet?



I hope I've made myself clearer.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
*burp*

:o)

KB

Kathy B
Mayhem Marketing
"Creative Works & Strategies for the Mill of Human Consumerism"
http://www.mayhemmarketing.net

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 09, 2007 4:13 amre: re: re: re:Kathy: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
TRACY -

Guess my sense of humor failed on that one..went over my head.

Sunny is good people, very smart. I love her blog.

I hope i didn't offend by suggesting the word "dicks" , it was just an idea I flung out there. I guess I thought it might create a brain storm session in efforts to brew some ideas for ya.

The spirit of brain storming seems to have been lost in a stream of posturing and positioning comments.

I hope we can get back to brainstorming.

KB

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 09, 2007 4:17 amre: re: re: ) re: re: Marketing help#

Lindy Asimus
Spot on.

Marketing is really not at all subjective.
I grant you, there is no shortage of people who will promote that idea. If you are measuring results though, it is a closed discussion.

Objectively, it either works - or it doesn't!

Then you measure How Well...


Lindy

Private Reply to Lindy Asimus

Sep 09, 2007 4:48 amre: re: re: re: ) re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
Marketing is only objective in retrospect. Research cannot predict what people WILL do, it can only show what people HAVE done in the past. It cannot indicate whether there is a real demand for an unknown service or product. And if you ask people if they'd use something they've never used before, accuracy is highly unpredictable. People say all kinds of things with good intentions, which may or may not be acted upon.

Market research can show whether a particular market is overcrowded, but it cannot show whether a prospective campaign into that market will be successful. If there is creativity, there is risk. You cannot quantify creativity, nor can analysis tell us everything - a good deal depends upon the data that is being analyzed, and upon the interpretation of the analysis. The best marketers are still those who combine intelligent research and analysis with gut instinct. That gut instinct is what sets each marketer apart, and what makes marketing subjective. And most marketers take great pride in their creativity, and consider it to be a defining characteristic.

If it were not subjective, and if it were not risky, marketers would give guarantees.

Tracy has worked with her chosen target market for years. She is the best qualified expert here to know what their needs are.

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Sep 09, 2007 4:49 amre: re: (Laura) re: re: Marketing help#

Lindy Asimus
Laura I hear ya!

That seems to be the trouble with public forums. Open a discussion, post an idea and everyone with an agenda wants to push their own business outlook as The Answer To All Man's Ills.

Bah. I see this over and over, "sites have to look professional" - whatever that means! Often it means to those saying it - it is pretty and has lots of clever scripts and other paraphernalia that essentially makes it useless to a search engine...yet proclaim they are Experts In SEO. Gimme a break.

Meanwhile Joe the plumber doesn't even know why he needs to have some kind of useful presence on the internet, much less put himself on the never-never plan for a couple of hundred dollars a month for a "webplan" that he doesn't understand could have the potential to help grow his business, in some limited circumstances, yet if he chooses poorly ( a likely option if he does choose to do anything at all) will be useless.

Oh, yeah, I hear ya.


Lindy



Private Reply to Lindy Asimus

Sep 09, 2007 4:52 amre: re: re: re: re: ) re: re: Marketing help#

Lindy Asimus
Yes marketers should give guarantees.

Why anyone would work with one who doesn't is beyond me.'



Lindy

Private Reply to Lindy Asimus

Sep 09, 2007 1:31 pmre: re: re: (Lindy) re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
I never claimed to be an expert nor do I personally have an agenda. I just offered ONE suggestion, to someone asking.

I do not tell people how to run thier business, I make suggestions, in the spirit of discussion.

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 09, 2007 1:35 pmre: re: re: re: (Lindy) re: re: Marketing help#

Lindy Asimus
That's what I thought ;-)

Hint: I quite agree with you.

BTW, I think you are the first person I've seen on Ryze, bring up a working model example of a joint venture approach to marketing. Thank you!


Lindy

Private Reply to Lindy Asimus

Sep 09, 2007 1:40 pm(Lindy) re: re: re: re: ) re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
"Yes marketers should give guarantees.

Why anyone would work with one who doesn't is beyond me.'"


Does a person building a website offer a guarentee? They can guarentee completition dates, maybe? I'm sure any webby folks can tell stories of clients that take days to proof, make numerous changes etc, all causing delays in project management and time costs.. They can offer no guarentee of an ROI.

I do not have a crystal ball to offer guarentees of how, when or if any objective of boosting sales will be met. It's called managing expectations.

Best,

KB

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 09, 2007 1:52 pmre: (Lindy) re: re: re: re: ) re: re: Marketing help#

Lindy Asimus

Hmm. I would think anyone doing anything can guarantee some level of their work.

What is the alternative? The business owner take a gamble that the person they hire can deliver on their promises?

Frankly, I think it is often the case that 'marketing experts' as I've heard them referred to in this thread ( who could be any body) are often selling something quite other than marketing skills.

I agree, managing expectations is important. That's a good place from which to be negotiating a reasonable guarantee for both parties. The client knows what to expect through the discovery and what not that is established, and the consultant is entitled to know that if the clients agrees to do X that they can provide assurance that they will do Y.

No crystal ball required.

Private Reply to Lindy Asimus

Sep 09, 2007 2:16 pm(Laura) re: re: re: ) re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
Laura,

Everyhting you said about market research is well stated. Like I stated earler, it's called ROI projections that defines how a target might respond. Those projections gained from market research and there are many arms and methods.

I read once on another network that you run radio ads. Radio is an awesome media. I'd bet you might have been sold on Arbitron ratings and sold inventory based on listnership of your target? I hail from radio and did sales, I can't tell you how many times I'd show a prospect the Arbitron ratings and then crumple it up. The quantitive and qualitive numbers as to listner demographics are a bunch of hoooey five dollar ad words. I'm not get into how arbitron rates, Rome was not built in day and Arbitron still building. *giggle*

My point is Biz to Biz ads are the trickiest. Maybe you used your gut and took morning and afternoon drive times. High priced inventory times w/ generally good results. Maybe you chose to sponsor a popular show. In any event you are ontop of your game and know that only consistency and frequency works. If you bought based on Arbitron ratings, give me a hollar, your probably paying too much.:)

There is often no rhyme or reason why one campaign works and the other one doesnt. Sometimes it's timing of events that take place that overshadow interests from a normal buying market.

As far as Tracy knowing her business of professional investigators as to their needs. Of course she does know best, sometimes we though need to step away and seek outside help. An objective eye not so close to the product or service often can see things the owner missed. Smart plan to call on yourself and Sunny for assistance. I many times call on people to look over my work. Sometimes we as the business owners become like doctors needing medical attention, we self diagnos before noting all the symptoms and treatments available.

Best,

KB

Kathy B
Mayhem Marketing
"Creative Works & Strategies for the Mill of Human Consumerism"
http://www.mayhemmarketing.net

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 09, 2007 3:22 pmre: re: (Lindy) re: re: re: re: ) re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
Lindy,

Robert Middleton may stand 100% behind his services, I've though seen no guarentees.

"What is the alternative? The business owner take a gamble that the person they hire can deliver on their promises?"

A good marketing professional will offer up a marketing plan then set up the implementation plan. Implementing stages and methods of multiple campaigns allows for monitoring and gauging of results desired. If a client is telling the objective is to pump up sales, I'll ask by how much. If they tell me 50% during a 90 day campaign, thats were managing expectations comes in. There are so many aspects to explain, it all though breaks down to the client. I have my methods that work, another marketing consult may have a different approach. Niether right or wrong, just what works for an individual in business and thier presentation styles etc.


I have no control over the sales process, if a prospect is responding by phone to an ad, the client is now the salesperson. I did my job and got them to the door. If prospects are going to a website and not responding, we need to look at where they went, and how long they stayed. Theres to much for me to go into detail.

Here is an example though of a campaign gaining an awesome response rate, but the client dropping the ball on selling his service, which originally saw a ZERO return. An analysis told me why, and that was adressed to see a return.

Bulk Mailing client wished to target the printing business's to offer services to thier clients. I came up with a 3 stage post card mailer campaign. The first card a teaser, just the website address (NOTE: the website a very generic mess, client refused a revamp).Second post card- front was an intentionally blurred graphic ( I blured it intentionaly because printers will notice a job that looks poor before they notice a beauty peice) the back side of the post card was catchy copy, not bluured. The third postcard had a front displaying another blurred graphic and hard hitting copy on the back.

Printers were calling, some offering thier services due to the blurred graphic, even the though the rest of the print was fine. The client was upset because some printers were not calling for his service, uhm ya...thats how biz to biz ads often play out. He failed to sell himself, I got the people to him. When I reviewed the traffic to website and inquires from there and phone, A crash course in sales 101 saw client calling people back and converting prospects to clients.

MORAL: I can not offer a gaurentee because I have no control over all the aspects of expressed realistic expecations.

False advertising you say? Well Hmmm, when you go to Pizza Hut does your waitress look like a model and does the pizza look anyhting like it did on TV? Ladies when you buy make up, do you like the gals on the commercials when you put it on?

Anywhos...there can be NO Guarentees with any marketing or advertising campaign. The fact that I explain this to clients is what sets me apart from my local competitors.

I do not have a crytal ball, I do though have a magic 8 ball I consult often! LOL


My 50 cents worth today.

Best,

KB

Kathy B
Mayhem Marketing
"Creative Works & Strategies for the Mill of Human Consumerism"
http://www.mayhemmarketing.net

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 09, 2007 5:57 pmre: re: re: (Lindy) re: re: re: re: ) re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
I have to agree with Kathy as there is just too much outside of the direct control we, as marketers, can establish.

When I do a website project, I give a tentative completion date as there can be factors outside of my control especially in supplied materials.

When I do a SEO/SEM project I do not guarantee anything.
All I can do is to point clients to past successes and let them judge for themselves.
SEO firms that offer guaranteed placements are usually scamming, in one form or another.

As part of any marketing campaign depends on client participation this again is out of my control.
My job here is to advise. If the client chooses not to listen, then I can guarantee problems.
If they have an idea of a different way, I am open to listening, but after over 12 years of this work, there is not much that I have not seen, or tried.
I know what I do works, my sites make hundreds of dollars every day.

A successful marketing campaign is not just one factor, it is many systems working in harmony, and is only as strong as its weakest link.

Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Sep 09, 2007 6:12 pm re: Marketing help#

Eileen Brown
I agree with Reg, Kathy, Laura and Tracy. Probably more but
my mind is weak on Sundays. I try not to work on Sundays
or think too hard on any subject except family and
reflection. However...

ē I always bow to superior knowledge in any arena.
ē I am not a marketing anything (with a few exceptions).
ē I do SEO copywriting, copywriting and web sites.
ē I allow for errors in the work of others.
ē I allow us all to be human "beans".

Tracy was asking for advise and many have generously given
what they believe to BE good advice, suggestions and views
on the subject.

Tracy, in her wisdom has taken it all to heart and sorted out what is best for HER.

Smart cookie.

Blessings,

Eileen :)

"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde
http://www.buddywebworks.com/ - Buddy Web Works, More than just hosting.
http://www.buddycopywriting.com/ - Uh, not a web site yet, but the link works.
http://www.bekansas.com/ - A doofuss site, but kinda fun.

Private Reply to Eileen Brown

Sep 09, 2007 6:21 pmre: re: re: re: re: (Lindy) re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
""Hint: I quite agree with you.

BTW, I think you are the first person I've seen on Ryze, bring up a working model example of a joint venture approach to marketing. Thank you!""


I am very passionate about my chosen field of insanity. Sometimes I get a bit over the top when trying to explain something. I do so in hopes that maybe someone who can't afford my services (or anyone elses) is reading and can take something from what I share and use it :)

I'm glad you recognised the value of market leveraging. There are countless options! It's double the impact for me because I get to join two like minded business's and create win/win situations.

I have another leverage campaign going off in October. I paired a limo service with a radio station and the Green Bay Packer Stadium (Lambeau Feild). I'm not gonna share the details of that one though *wink*

Cheers!

KB

:o)

Kathy B
Mayhem Marketing
"Creative Works & Strategies for the Mill of Human Consumerism"
http://www.mayhemmarketing.net

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 09, 2007 7:48 pmre: re: Marketing help#

Tracy Collins, Web Designer
Everybody has given some wonderful insight into marketing. The number one challenge that I need to overcome is the confidentiality and trust concerns.

I have a PI who has me doing a ton of work for him and he is pleased with what I have done. The reason he decided to hire me is because he asked me to do a project (create an access database) for him and I thought I could but once I got more and more in depth to the project, I realized that I couldn't do it but instead of pushing him to the curb I found a forum and found a wonderful person from the UK who was willing to help me out and walk me through it step by step and we ultimately finished the database and since then he has been providing me a ton of work. I learned a very hard lesson from that one.

The reason I am still doing work for him is because of my work ethics instead of saying sorry I can't do it, I worked at it and got it to the way he wanted it so we have built a relationship.

I am going to join the state PI association and participate in those forums as well as when they have a trade show in the spring, I am going to do everything in my power to be there and get to know the PI's.

PIs are very untrusting which is understandable given the field they are in. I need to find a way to get past the trust issue. Once I join the association, it will go to my credibility because PIs know that there is a thorough background investigation on anybody who applies to be a member so that will help with some of the untrusting.

Also, I do believe that alot of people (including PI's) just do not understand how somebody can do this type of work outside of the office. They also don't understand how a VA can actually help them. That is why (with the help of Laura) I have created some blog posts that are basically an ongoing story talking about a "stereotypical" PI and how his VA (me, of course) has helped him overcome some of the administrative challenges he has faced. This way people get an idea on what a great asset a VA can be to their business.

I would like to post those posts on some article marketing websites but I just donít know if those would be appropriate for article marketing.

I do thank all of you for the input I have received. I like the beef jerky idea as well. I might have to look into something similar. I am also going to look into becoming an affiliate for a company that sells PI gear such as recorders, and all that other "007" stuff and put that on my site.

I think if I can just get past the trust issue and allow PIs to understand a little bit more about what can be done from my office instead of being in theirs it might be a little bit easier.

Okay, I will get off my soapbox now. Sorry this is so long.

Tracy Collins
http://www.collins-admin.com

Private Reply to Tracy Collins, Web Designer

Sep 10, 2007 2:40 pmre: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
Tracy, if you add affiliate links to your site, remember the "single page focus" rule. Make sure the revenue generation focus for each page is focused on a single primary method of earning. That means, don't scatter affiliate adds on pages that are designed to sell a service, or which are designed to sell your own products. Instead, create separate pages for your affiliate links, where the primary focus is on those items. Affiliate links are, by and large, HARDER to make money with than services. So you don't want to compromise the sales of your services for a less successful earnings model.

As to the topic of guarantees, I do give guarantees. I always offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on web work - I refund if they are not satisfied. But I also control the delivery process (and thereby, the risk) - I break the design work into phases, and a payment is due for each phase (paid as a retainer, in advance). If the client is not satisfied with the work, we either get it right, or revert and refund. They don't get to keep anything that is not paid for. I control the size of the phases so the risks are containable. One of the major fears in this market that a client has is that they'll get into a work relationship with someone, and it won't quite work - that something will go wrong, and they'll be stuck with a bad job, that they won't be able to develop a rapport with the designer, etc. So offering that guarantee gives them the understanding that we really DO make sure they are satisfied with the design and the work. I've never had to refund. I have had to take extra time with a client to make sure that they loved the result. But I'd have done that even if I did not offer a guarantee.

I guarantee delivery dates on some contracts - but the guarantee is written for each contract, with the specification that they must deliver content and graphics for specific parts of the site by specific dates, and if they do not, the guaranteed delivery date is void. Consequences for failure to deliver are also spelled out. Most of my clients don't ask for delivery date guarantees though, so typically I just state in a contract that delivery times are flexible, and dependent upon the ability of the site owner to deliver content and graphics in a timely manner, as well as the schedule of the designer.

I guaranteed SEO and marketing, but the terms stipulate that the results are long term, not short term. With SEO, they will see significant improvements within a 6 month period (you can GET results much faster, within days, but the full impact can take 6 months to show, depending on how fast PR is indexed) - I will specify what the minimum expected results are in percentage, traffic, etc. With marketing, I mostly do link building, ad placements, article marketing, and other simple stuff. I don't do full ad campaigns, and I don't do anything other than brainstorm with my clients (a free service that comes with site services) or provide training materials for other types of marketing (if they need more, I refer them to specialists - though most of my clients can't afford specialists until after their site begins to pay). So, I can offer a guarantee on results for a link building campaign, article marketing service, etc. Generally, I CAN offer an ROI guarantee on that - I've seen the statistical returns often enough that I know that if I do it right, their profits will increase by a minimum of a certain percentage within a period of one year (based on the age of the site, the degree of improvement needed, and the traffic history, I can generally assess an accurate potential - I know that if I can see that a 400% ROI is realistically achievable, I can guarantee a 300% ROI, or if 200% is achievable, I can guarantee 150%, taking into account how vulnerable their business might be to market, social, political, or other factors beyond our control). And I ONLY give guarantees on one year contracts for those services, because especially with low budget startups, it takes time to get a website noticed and performing well. But you also have to understand, when someone comes to me and wants to improve their site, it is often a site that was badly built, with no SEO, poor copy, bad design, and no marketing of any kind ever done with the site (not even put onto their business cards!), OR, they are a brand new startup with a very limited budget. So offering a satisfaction guarantee on improved results or initial ROI is easy, and realizing it doesn't take anything more than routine effort. This part really just comes down to knowing the statistics for my particular market, and knowing how to provide something that will perform, for their business.

Most businesses CAN give guarantees. The trick is to control the parameters of the guarantee, and the terms of it in a way that provides genuine benefit to the client, but which also protects your interests and keeps you from being taken advantage of by users, or harmed by flakes. I know a lot of business owners that get real squirrelly at the idea of offering a guarantee, but really, you just have to think about it carefully and define it well. It isn't about assuming ALL the risk - it is about fair division of risk, and clients really do understand that.

Maybe you can't say, "Every customer will be happy with the results". But you can say, "If you do your part, I will do my part, and I guarantee you will be satisfied with my part." Then you plan in ways to limit your risks - my method is to design in phases, so that I never risk more than one phase at a time. If they approve a phase, then it is closed, and we move on to the next phase, and the prior phase is no longer refundable. You also don't have to give refund guarantees. You can offer something else that is meaningful - something they know you won't like to do, so you'll work hard to avoid it, but also something which they feel offers either some compensation to them, OR, which ensures that the situation is rectified if they are not satisfied. The concern of the customer is generally that they have some assurance of quality, and a consequence to you, and compensation to them, if quality is not delivered. There are TONS of creative ways to meet that objective. It is just a way of saying, "We really mean it, and to prove it, here is what we are willing to back it with." An example would be, if the objectives are not met within the time frame we state, we'll work for free until they are met. There are lots of other ways to do it too.

Hope everybody's weekend was good!

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Sep 10, 2007 2:58 pmre: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Tracy Collins, Web Designer
Thanks for the input on affiliate links. I haven't really delved too indepth to the affiliate that I am looking into as of yet. I will take a look a little bit more and look into maybe making a page strictly dedicated to that affiliate.

Becoming an affiliate goes along with my mission statement. Become the go to girl for PIs who need assistance. I know I won't make much if any money off of it but at least it's just one more way that I can help my clients.

Tracy
http://www.collins-admin.com

Private Reply to Tracy Collins, Web Designer

Sep 10, 2007 4:10 pmre: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
I never have been a huge advocate for link exchanges, banner exchanges etc. My mindset has always been, why give a visitor a reason to leave.

If someone is coming to your page off of a search result and all those efforts to get ranked, then seeing an link or banner and deciding that offer might be a priority verses your service. You might get some income from the refferal but if they aint coming back to youyr site, I think you've lost more then you gained.

I have partner business's that I refer to, and they refer me. We are on the honor system. I only though refer a client or prospect that wants something out of my services. Partner business may be brought to a client campaign when needed and within budgets.

Someone care to change my thought process about link exchanges? Perhaps there is something I am missing.

Cheers from gloomy rainy Wisconsin!

KB

Kathy B
Mayhem Marketing
"Creative Works & Strategies for the Mill of Human Consumerism"
http://www.mayhemmarketing.net

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 10, 2007 4:50 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
Link building, and link exchanges, aren't necessarily the same thing. Link exchanges CAN be part of it, but rarely are in a well organized campaign... there are simply better ways of doing it. I see link swaps as more of an "opportunistic" thing, than a calculated one.

I use link exchanges, with people I know and trust. I won't refer people to sites I am not familiar with. Many of them provide a resource on my site that helps my clients know that I have their best interests at heart. BUT... I RARELY place those links onto my primary service site. Those that I do are carefully screened, and placed in locations where they really ARE a resource, not a distraction from the page message.

Many of my clients gain an advantage from link exchanges - they are a help to informational sites of all kinds, because they are just another kind of information. The Town of Medicine Bow benefits from links to regional attractions, or area resources, area businesses, etc - it makes the site more valuable as a central resource. The Chamber benefits from similar ones. And most of those links aren't "link exchanges" per-se. They are more "please place our resource on your site", with a reciprocal link if it suits the content of the site in question.

Link exchanges are arguably less useful for service or product sales sites than they are for informational sites.

At any rate, I don't think they are something worth spending a lot of time on. When I get to know someone and their business and mine are complimentary, I'll negotiate a link or ad swap with them if it is mutually advantageous. Otherwise I don't make requests of strangers, or waste my time hunting up "compatible" sites - emails for requests get ignored anyway, and only amateurs or scammers bother doing that anymore.

The ONE exception to that is if you have a regional organization that has credibility just by existing, in which case, there are a series of site types where you can request a link, or offer a trade, and be taken seriously - these are entities like towns, chambers of commerce, county entities, city entities (planning commissions, park districts, etc), or state organizations, etc. And then it pays to keep a listing of other sites in a similar category, because they all work with each other anyway, and they'll always be willing to promote each other if the request is made.

There is a cost to everything. Time, potential lost traffic, money, etc. The cost/benefit equation is different on each issue for each site type, and each revenue generation model. Link exchanges are just one of the things that may tip one way or the other, depending on the site type.

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Sep 10, 2007 4:56 pmre: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
Laura,
I think we are referring to different things when talking about SEO and its attendant guarantees.

When I talk SEO results I am specifically talking about the position the client's site gets in their SERPs, (Search Engine Result Positioning) and not the increase in traffic or even ROI, which is another story altogether.

The results in the SERPs are due to the work put in on keyword research which is translated into page copy on the client's sites.

Increases in ROI can be attributed to many other things outside of search engine placement results and a site rebuild and marketing plan should show increased ROI even without top ranking SERPs.

You are right about having specific pages for affiliate products, but if done correctly, these should not have a negative affect on sales of services but enhance them.

On one of my sites, http://FantasticMachines.com the main page shares space between our own product, (Tile Tools), and an affiliate product, (Portrait Pro). Sales are pretty evenly divided with TT at about 60% and PP 40%.

Sales of our own product increased after adding Portrait Pro.
I would attribute this to the increased traffic for the SERP for PP which brings traffic interested in the PP but spills over to our product.

If an affiliate page is done correctly, it will often out rank the manufacturer's page as you can be more specific in your copy.


Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com



Private Reply to Reg Charie

Sep 10, 2007 5:22 pmre: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
I agree on the affiliate stuff. Most manufacturers with affiliate programs don't really SELL the product well on their landing pages. Your own pages with some explanations and personal insight as to why you feel it is good can make a huge difference in how effective affiliate links are.

The best affiliate products are the "natural fit" ones. Web design is a natural for hosting affiliate links. It works so well because the vast percentage of my clients need hosting. And because I can get one with my favorite hosting company, so I can recommend them without reservation. Many businesses can find a product or service that their clients are going to ask about anyway, which they can recommend and profit from.

As to SERPs, I can guarantee an improvement there, and I do. But my clients rarely ask about that, what they see is bottom dollar - if it doesn't contribute directly to that in a way they can see, they feel the guarantee is meaningless.

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Sep 10, 2007 5:23 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
Kathy,
Link exchanges, for the sake of traffic, are being penalized by Google now.
They have been on a campaign to eliminate or weed out purchased links and downgrade links from referral pages.

Link exchanges can still benefit IF both sites are relevant to the topic at hand. Google likes this kind of link as it will enhance the subject matter.

One can also craft the outbound links to open in a new browser so that people do not leave your site.

In dealing with affiliate links to products or services you will be making a profit from, it is absolutely necessary to use a "no_follow" qualifier in the outbound link so that you do not transfer page rank to the destination site.

Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Sep 10, 2007 6:07 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
Laura,

Thank You for responding.

I understand the mindset of wanting to be a resource to current clients who continue to visit your site for information, that is a great retention campaign.

I am though questioning the new visitor to your site. If you have link building resources visible anywere, could that not be an opportunistic time for that new prospect to see one of your resource links as more of a priority then YOUR service? then pooof they are gone!

Are you sure one of your resources is not somewere offering a similiar resource that offers the same services as yours on thier page?

In my humble opinion links are links, A well designed and developed site will have a pull and stay effect that invites a visitor to dive into the entire site, so to me makes no difference if they are on a primary page or not.

*chuckle* This is why I source SEO and link realted issues out to a partner business, I know just enough to be potentially dangerously stupid with my mindset. This is why I stick to primarily offline campaigns that accent online efforts. I have low retention for absorbing the learning of all the in and out's of links etc. Besides that my brain full and I'd have to delete valuable stored info like; were did Duran Duran get it's band name from! LOL

Cheers!

Kathy B
Mayhem Marketing
"Creative Works & Strategies for the Mill of Human Consumerism"
http://www.mayhemmarketing.net

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 10, 2007 6:22 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
Hey Laura,
Too true about manufactures landing pages.
I had one manufacturer of an info product get very upset with me as I was constantly outranking her site.

Hosting IS a good fit for a web designer and I also offer it through my own http://0Grief.com service.
I am not a reseller though as I own and manage my own co-located server.

As to SERPs, the client should be seeing a vast improvement in traffic, (and hopefully conversions), if you get listings in the top few results.

Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Sep 10, 2007 6:40 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
Kathy,
Good planning in outsourcing your SEO. < grin >

>>In my humble opinion links are links, A well designed and developed site will have a pull and stay effect that invites a visitor to dive into the entire site, so to me makes no difference if they are on a primary page or not.

As sites are, or should be, constructed out of separate "text bites" with different content on their respective unique pages, it does matter where links are placed.
You would not want a link to something that is not relevant to the page copy.

In SEO, it also matters as to where on the page the link is positioned and how it is written. (As a straight link or in anchor text).

Links can and do add value to your SEO work.

Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Sep 10, 2007 7:47 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
Reg, I think we are just defining things and selling them differently to our clients. You sell SERPs as a means of upping revenue. I promote the revenue increase and downplay SERP, because my clients typically don't understand what it is. And it is part of the puzzle, not the whole thing, so when I do a marketing guarantee, it includes SEO, but is measured by either traffic or revenue, because those are the things my clients can focus on and see as being important.

I have another issue here... This is NOT a contentious issue, I really want to know if I've missed something on it.

Ok... how good, really, are search engines at determining relevancy? I mean, they are computers, and while Google CLAIMS they do pay attention to it, I suspect this is just posturing on their part to intimidate SEO gurus into complying with Google's wishes of not manipulating results. They have been singing the "relevancy" song for about, what, two years now? My experiences and knowledge of search matching suggests that they cannot do quite as much as they imply. Here is why I think they may not be as on the ball about it as they want us to think they are:

I have longstanding sites that are interlinked. At one point, I attempted to make the links more relevant, and that meant categorizing the links and not interlinking as heavily. The pagerank on all of those sites dropped, and stayed down, even though backlinks from other sites increased - fewer links, but more relevant links. Some of the old links were so clearly NOT relevant, that if they HAD been cracking down on it, they'd have never given credit for them. But those links took the sites from PR3, to PR4. Without them, it dropped back down to PR3. I can, in fact, plug a new site into my network of sites, and give it an instant PR3, or PR4, depending on how many sites I link it in with, and it sticks. Relevancy has not made a bit of difference, only volume has. But these are also all sites that Google considers to be high quality, and the new site coming online is also high quality. Lots of tasty original content.

Now, there is more than just that single anecdotal episode. I've seen other things happen similarly, but logic tells me that they aren't as good as they say either. Consider:

I have a site on Diabetes Control. I have another site on Secondary Infertility. They are related sites, because high blood sugar can contribute to infertility. BUT...

Google judges things by keywords. We do not have infertility as a prime keyword on the diabetes site, nor is diabetes a prime keyword on the infertility site. Does Google consider those two sites to be relevant?

Or...

How about the classic "organ" issue... If you sell electronic musical organs, Google will NOT keyword match you with Pianos or synthesizers unless you put keywords in to make it do so. It will, however, match you up with anything else containing the word "organ"... and let me tell you, you'll either be shocked, or amused, or both, if you Google the term "electric organ", or even "electronic organ". So Google would consider sites about Organ Transplants, Penile Implants (seriously), Organ Donation, Bodily Organs, Harmonicas, and Organ Grinders to be relevant, but could potentially consider a Classical Music shop to be irrelevant.

Keyword matching is pretty inexact. It only gets it right about 50% of the time, in either direction, even when we get the search terms correct, and when a site is well optimized. You may feel it is more exact, and it CAN be, but isn't always. In order for it to be accurate, the sites must be optimized not only for their OWN content, but for the content of the linking sites as well. What a pain. People don't do that. Google can't expect them to do so, it is unsustainable. My conclusion is that I'll link for people - if I think the site visitors will enjoy it, I put it in, whether I think Google will think it relevant or not - because THAT is a normal behavior.

I have also heard people say that Google may penalize you for cross-linking your own sites. This is patently (provably) untrue. If they did, they'd have to penalize Yahoo, MSN, IBM, EWeek, and even themselves! It is an unsustainable claim - Google knows they have to follow the same rules with the little guys as with the big guys - if they start making different rules for different players, their entire search superiority crumbles. They DO consider normal human behavior. They know that a business with two lines will interlink those sites. They know that a site owner who has 35 sites WILL cross promote them, to not do so would be a colossal marketing mistake - why promote 35 things separately when you can leverage the marketing of one for the others? I think what they look at is QUALITY. Back to content again. If you have 35 sites that are all an excuse to get traffic to one site, and all of them have substantially the same content, or all of them have weak or low quality content, they do penalize - but they do that for all sites with weak content. If, on the other hand, you have 35 sites with good quality content that adds to the substance of the web, they are only too glad to let you leverage the marketing of one to benefit the others - this is, after all, a normal marketing reaction for good business people with honest and useful websites. This conclusion is, again, based on experience and on seeing it work quite well, over a long period of time.

On the linking issue, Kathy, would you say that to promote certain types of businesses, that it would be a good idea to host a trade show where multiple vendors of the same kind can create a bigger splash together than any one of them can create on their own? Sure, it means that someone across the aisle from you may be promoting the same thing you are, but if you get people in that you would not otherwise get, it benefits you. It may benefit your competition too, but if it gets you what you'd not otherwise have, then it is positive. The difference with linking is that you cannot see it as it happens in quite the same way, and it is a long term thing not a one time event. Google Analytics could tell you a lot of the visitor behaviors - where they went and when they left. It is similar to offline marketing - smart to collaborate for some businesses, not smart for others.

And... Link placement makes a huge difference. If you place off-site links in prime positions, they are likely to take people away before they use your site. But certain places, like the bottom of the right sidebar, or extreme bottom of the page, are "afterthought" locations. People only really LOOK there if they are NOT finding what they want on your site. They'll typically look at the left navigation, or top navigation, and the center of the page. They'll only look right if they didn't find what they wanted. So I place off-site links there - including ads that earn (on my infosites). If I am going to lose them anyway, I'll do so in a way I can direct! :)

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Sep 10, 2007 8:29 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
"Kathy, would you say that to promote certain types of businesses, that it would be a good idea to host a trade show where multiple vendors of the same kind can create a bigger splash together than any one of them can create on their own?"

Someone going to a trade show expects to be inundated with information no matter what it is they may seek.

Someone going typing "mopheads" into a search is searching for mopheads but now is leaving the mopheads site because they saw a link for environment safe products.

You have some control over a face to face example like a trade show. There is no control over the web visitor leaving.

I may have to research this and attempt to absorb the trend. Gawd knows I can't call my linking expert Diana in WA, she's explained it enough to me and might fly out her and smack me...LOL

Cheers from the still gloomy rainy Wisconsin!

:o)

KB

Kathy B
Mayhem Marketing
"Creative Works & Strategies for the Mill of Human Consumerism"
http://www.mayhemmarketing.net

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 10, 2007 9:43 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
Laura, I do not find my clients have difficulty understanding SERPs. It is just a matter of them understanding that being found for a specific keyword phrase search can increase their bottom line.

Relevancy is becoming more refined and IMO Google is doing a much better job at it than in the past.
True they miss the boat at times and some results are merely link bait, but this is becoming less and less.

PR is another whole can of worms.
I have seen changes in PR for no (determinable) reason, and It is my opinion that Google only evaluates this at their own schedule, or perhaps when a site is changed.
The PR results you see in your browser's bar is NOT the PR Google uses.
>>I have also heard people say that Google may penalize you for cross-linking your own sites. This is patently (provably) untrue.
Perhaps the drop was due to the interlinked sites using the same IP block? This is what got my affiliate sales friend in trouble.
Try telling my affiliate friend that cross-linking your own sites is not penalized.

Google also operates on a "Do as I say, not as I do basis".
When they banned BMW for cloaking it was only for 1 day.
Any small site would have been banned permanently.
They have recently announced that they will be hosting news sites and I am wondering how these will will show in the SERPS. Will they show a preference to sites hosted on their services?

As for the "organ" issue, if you check the frequency of searches for the keyword organ you will see that the vast majority are for human body organs.

I have found keyword matching to be extremely relevant and precise. If you write your copy to match the phrase, include the phrase in the correct locations and with the right frequency and use, it will produce repeatable results.
Page Rank is part of the process and incoming links do count, but you are not penalized for IBLs that are out of context.
If you were one could put up a ton of spammy links to a competitor's site just to get them off the SERPs

Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Sep 10, 2007 11:01 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
Actually, the rumor about linking your own site said that Google checks the Whois on a domain, not the IP.

I've tested out a lot of PR stuff with cross linking my own sites over the last two years. Pretty consistent results - I cross link them, and my PR is up on the next change. I remove the cross links, and the PR drops on the next round. With some of the sites in question, there were NO other marketing efforts, whatsoever. Our method of cross linking consists of a link box on each page of the site, with identical links on each page of the site. Each site has its own set of links going to whatever other sites we own that we think the visitors might be interested in. The links appear pretty much instantly, overnight, and can be anywhere between 500 and 2000 links, depending on which sites we put them on. Now... the ONLY time PR has dropped, is when we removed a significant number of those links. That has not EVER happened after doing ANY other changes.

I would say your friend needs to look at other things besides just cross linking. Two sites can be interlinked to behave as a single site, and Google does not penalize for that - this, again, happens all the time in the web world. A grouping of sites can also form a "network", through a standardized cross link scheme. That is, again, something you see all over the place with numerous legitimate uses. If the content is weak though, they'll treat it as a spamming effort.

There have, in fact, been exactly THREE precisely trackable effects that we could unmistakably identify:

1. PR goes up with cross linking. Goes down with removing cross links. This happened when other changes were not being made, and it is repeatable. These are sites that have been stable otherwise, for a period of two years or more.
2. PR and traffic go up with improved SEO. Each site I produce gets what we term as "level 1" SEO at first, then it is launched, and then we slowly work our way through the site, page by page, optimizing each page. Traffic trends break any previously established pattern and dramatically increase when we do page by page optimization.
3. Content demand. If there was a high demand for the content, it got traffic from Google within 2 weeks, and would grow steadily month by month, without marketing. If there was not a high demand, we had to market consistently to get traffic trends into a growth pattern. The difference between a site with high demand for the content, and low demand for content is unbelievable unless you see it in a way that tells you that this particular factor was precisely the reason why it took off, with virtually no effort to get it to do so.

I've had enough sites of my own that I was able to do some experimentation that I could never do with a client site where the goal was to get it earning as efficiently as possible. I was able to launch a site under controlled circumstances, and watch what happened in response to things I did. I also had a lot of sites that I was working on, so any changes I made tended to be far enough apart so that the results were trackable back to the last change made. I'd only work on a site once every three to six months, so the results from changes were pretty conclusive. We also took into account seasonal trends, and other factors.

If the PR changes had been due to cross linking of my sites, then it would have affected ALL sites. It did not. It only affected the sites that had a significant number of the cross links removed. The rest stayed stable.

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Sep 11, 2007 12:03 am re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
I'm so confused!

TAXI!

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 11, 2007 12:09 amre: re: re: Marketing help#

Tracy Collins, Web Designer
Don't worry Kathy. I am right there beside you LOL I guess this is why I don't do web design and SEO because it's just so darn confusing. LOL

Tracy Collins
http://www.collins-admin.com

Private Reply to Tracy Collins, Web Designer

Sep 11, 2007 12:20 amre: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
No fear, we'll give you plenty of time to study before the quiz. :)

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Sep 11, 2007 9:21 pmre: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie

Google not only checks the whois they check the IP Laura.

Here is something about linking between your own sites from SEO labs.

----------
With an Independent Back-Linking Network (IBLN), not only will you have to invest a considerable amount of time, you will also have to invest a significant amount of money.

What is an Independent Back-Linking Network?

In simple terms, it's a network of sites that all directly or indirectly link back to your site in such as a way as to promote it through the search engine rankings.

The complex side of it is that Google at least has multiple ways of devaluing back-links from the same IP subnet (think: xx.xx.xx.different as actually being xx.xx.xx.same). So for SEO purposes, if you want to get real serious with an IBLN, then you are going to have to pay for a lot of webhosting.

If fact, you are effectively going to need a completely different web-hosting plan for every site you want to link back directly to you.

Of course, it's not all gloomy. After all, you wouldn't want every site you create to link directly to your own site. Oh, no. You need to create a network of sites that is as organic in construction as the internet itself ‚Äď a microcosm within a macrocosm.

Search Engines are built to work upon networks, to investigate the way that the vast network of the internet inter-links. That's why you need your IBLNs to look as natural as possible.

Otherwise, if one of your back-linking sites is flagged, the extent of your manipulation of links to your site can be very quickly uncovered. And do you think that search engines are really going to be so forgiving of you for that?

At best they'll maybe just wipe all the direct referrers from their index (the sites they find flagrantly built simply to link to your main site). At worse, they'll drop your entire IBLN - including the main site your were trying to optimizing for.

The risks of a poorly constructed Independent Back-Linking Network are considerable ‚Äď but the rewards of a well constructed IBLN are also considerable: especially in the commercial environment.

Of course, there are greater considerations at hand than mere natural linking. With the face of the search engine world moving in a constantly dynamic manner, it's important to know what some may have in store for future ‚Äď and potentially devastating ‚Äď updates.

For a start your IBLN should try and stay on topic as much as possible ‚Äď but don't be afraid to let it drift into one or two off-topic domains. After all, that happens on the net. You could even take that opportunity to promote a complete separately site that you run.
Full article here.
http://www.seo-lab.com/seo-articles/independent-back-linking-networks.php
----------------

PR is but a small part of SEO.
The most important parts are done with the page copy and keyword choices.

You state that traffic and PR go up with SEO, do you have any examples lots of links having a effect in the SERPS?
Traffic would go up due to people clicking on the links but not necessarily show as better positioned SERPS.

A high PR is not necessary for good SERPS.
Content can be king here.

Back in March of this year I did a job for machine tool company in Rhode Island.
When I started they were nowhere to be found in the SERPS, except for their name "RICarbide".
Their current PR is 0 due to only a couple of IBLs.

Here are the current SERPs and keywords.
Clicking on the links will bring you to the actual search used by the visitors in the last couple of days.

Search Engine   -  Keyword phrase used by visitor to find site Position
  Google:  carbide tools CNC   #3
  Google:  edm machine tool   #6
  Google:  cnc projects   #13
  Google:  machining projects   #8
  Google:  end mill resharpening   #3
  Yahoo:  walter 5 axis grinder   #10
  Google:  cnc edm machines   #8
  Google:  edm machine tools   #6
  Google:  CARBIDE PRODUCTS TOOLING   #17
  Google:  design service carbide tooling    #1
  Google:  END MILL Resharpening   #3
  Google:  machining projects   #8
  Google:  CNC Machining Projects   #7
  Google:  machining projects   #8
  Google:  RI CARBIDE   #1
  Google:  FORM TOOLS ON CNC   #5
  Yahoo:  cnc machining projects   #2
  Google:  toolgrinding   #2
 

Reg

http://DotCom-Productions.com
http://0Grief.com
 

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Sep 11, 2007 9:58 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
You know, I think that Google is not as powerful as they say. I think they have the entire SEO world buffaloed. They release statements about what their policies are, and everyone rushes to comply, because the bald fact of the matter is, nobody REALLY knows what Google CAN, or CANNOT track. Not that you should not take what they say seriously, just that you should temper it with some common sense!

I think that Google is pretty close to terminal mass. I think that the amount of data they are analyzing and indexing per site, given a finite number of computer resources, and given the explosive number of websites, and the fact that they have given themselves the task of analyzing each one on a regular basis (some daily), means that Google cannot possibly add much more to their existing algorythms and still maintain any kind of efficiency in the job they do. I do not AT ALL underestimate the capacity of a computer to analyze. But each time Google changes their algorythm, they have to go through testing, and face a huge number of potential problems. If Microsoft is having the degree of problems they are with sustaining growth in an operating system, Google HAS to be having the same issues, because what they are doing is not only equally complex, it is happening in the face of growth of the internet that they cannot control.

Google is good at playing the game. They know that if they never tell anybody EXACTLY what they CAN do, then they can convince people that they can do anything. That means we have SEO "experts" out there who take Google's word for it, and come up with all sorts of complex theories to explain how to comply with Google's latest threat.

The truth is though, that a lot of stuff that is accepted as common fact in the SEO world is stuff there isn't even any evidence to support other than Google's claim that they are measuring or monitoring it. And Google tells people what Google wants them to think, not what Google is actually doing.

I know what I am seeing. And what I am seeing is far simpler than Google is letting on. My sites are almost all in the same hosting space, under add-on domains. IF they were discrediting for cross linking of sites based on ownership alone, my sites would all be dead in the water - because over half of them have no other backlinks besides the crosslinks.

I continue to believe that the real difference is, that if you set up a network just to drive traffic and make it LOOK like you have a lot of sites, you'll get caught. Your goal is NOT to add to the substance of the web. On the other hand, if you create sites for their own sake, and interlink them just because it is reasonable to do so, your goal and Google's goal are the same - no trickery, just getting good stuff out there. Quality will out. No "expert" without evidence and just Google's word will be able to persuade me otherwise, because I am seeing something different, in a test environment that is not duplicated elsewhere.

I think the guy in the article is overanalyzing the issue. It is not nearly so complex as he says. But then, HIS goal is to build sites JUST for cross linking. Mine never was.

And, incidentally, I can take risks with MY sites that I would NEVER take with a client site. Which is why I have evidence that nobody else seems to have - I have a test environment where I can take risks.

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Sep 11, 2007 11:05 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
>>You know, I think that Google is not as powerful as they say. I think they have the entire SEO world buffaloed. They release statements about what their policies are, and everyone rushes to comply, because the bald fact of the matter is, nobody REALLY knows what Google CAN, or CANNOT track. Not that you should not take what they say seriously, just that you should temper it with some common sense!

I can't agree. Google is EXTREMELY powerful and well understood by the SEO community.
I don't know how much you follow the SEO forums Laura, but I read them just about every day and the community has a good handle on what they are doing.

There are a lot of highly experienced minds analyzing everything that Google says or does, and cross referencing sites that have had problems or improved against the Google algos.

If anything, it is over analyzed.
A lot of this is to line the SEO hucksters pockets, as in time spent to determine code/text values, table vs CSS, on page or off page code, and a whole lot of other cr@p that really means little, if anything.

>>The truth is though, that a lot of stuff that is accepted as common fact in the SEO world is stuff there isn't even any evidence to support other than Google's claim that they are measuring or monitoring it.

It it NOT in Google's interests to divulge their ranking algorithms, as that would open them to reverse engineering, or "black hat" SEO.

I think the ethical SEO folks have a good handle on what Google is doing, for the most part.

I see it this way, and it works well for me and my clients.

They DO offer excellent guidelines.

Google wants honesty.
The pages and keywords used should reflect the content on the pages and the navigation should be straightforward and easy for humans and their robots.
Your meta tags should never contain words that are not on the page.

They want relevance, but so do your readers.
They do not think it is necessary to bombard a reader with multiple, unnecessary repetitions of your keywords, which they consider keyword stuffing or spam.

They want "organic" linking.
Organic in the sense of not paying for links and links that are built by the site's owner and pointing to another relevant site. The odd deviation is ok, but they would not want to see 100 links to non relevant sites, no matter what the quality.
They also monitor the speed at which links are added.

They are weeding out the link farms, have long since down graded links from FFA (Free For All) and paid directories, esp on high PR sites.
As all of this is being done to refine their PR rankings, it follows that if one wants to continue to cross link to non relevant sites, then they should use the no_follow tag to avoid transferring PR. This would esp be true if the other site links back.

>>I continue to believe that the real difference is, that if you set up a network just to drive traffic and make it LOOK like you have a lot of sites, you'll get caught. Your goal is NOT to add to the substance of the web. On the other hand, if you create sites for their own sake, and interlink them just because it is reasonable to do so, your goal and Google's goal are the same - no trickery, just getting good stuff out there.

The only question I have Laura is how did your SERPs fare in the linking tests you did?

When my friend got taken off Google for her cross linking, all of her sites were legitimate, associate sales sites, some with only products but some with articles and topical information.
Not only did they depreciate her SERPS, they removed her sites completely from their index. Even a search for the domain names turns up nothing but references to them in a lot of instances.

I guess my outlook is that if Google states they are worried or looking into something, if there are a number of reports from users that their sites have been dumped in the listings, then I do not do it.
Better safe than sorry seems to work well.

Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com


Private Reply to Reg Charie

Sep 12, 2007 12:55 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Laura Wheeler
Just Google "Natural Diabetes Control". I own naturaldiabetics.com. A year ago that site showed up on the third page.

Google "Bad Marketing". I own badmarketingideas.com. Again, a year ago, it was on the third page.

Then try "large family". megafamilies.com is mine.

And "living at high altitude". highaltitudeliving.com was built by me, and just sold.

And yes, those terms do get searched, plus the sites get traffic from hundreds of individual page content keywords. (Try "acai diabetes", "large family organization").

All of these developed instant pagerank due to cross linking. All are sites that are in enough of a demand niche that they get solidly growing traffic.

In fact, NaturalDiabetics and Megafamilies have grown so well, and earn so well, that I'm expanding both sites. Oughta be fun to see where they can go. I have not marketed either one in any significant way. They get thousands of uniques per month.

I always play it safe with client sites. I understand Google's goal - it is ACCURATE indexing. No games. So I don't play games.

And I do read a lot of the "expert" blogs and articles. If they cannot agree with themselves, then I figure they really DON'T have it all worked out. So I fall back onto common sense and logic.

Laura
Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.
http://www.firelightwebstudio.com
http://www.westernhillsinstitute.com

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Jan 15, 2008 10:48 pmre: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
Lots of great info in this thread so I am going to make it sticky for a while.

If you have any threads you would like to see made sticky, bring them to the top by posting to them and I will sticky them.

Reg

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Jan 15, 2008 10:58 pmre: re: Marketing help#

Blake Raab
This looks like a really good thread. I'm getting caught up from being out last week, and I need to get caught up on my reading too.

I don't want to hijack this thread, but I think my website needs some keyword help too, and I'd love to have one of the experts here help me with that. As always, I'm willing to barter custom products that we offer for your services. Thanks.

Customizable promotional products and gifts! Artists/Designers, make money
selling your work on my products!
http://www.blakesdesigns.com/store
Promotional Advertising & Industry Networking - No P.A.I.N, no gain!

Private Reply to Blake Raab

Jan 28, 2008 1:41 amre: re: re: Marketing help#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

What it comes to SEO, what is the thinking process in building a web site? Do you start building the website and insert the tags as you go along? Or, is this like a house blueprint? You have everything down on paper before you use your computer to start the construction process?

Compare building an SEO website to taking a vacation. In preparing to take a vacation, you get everything ready in advance. You know where you are going and how you are going to get there. In fact, most people have a map to make sure they do lose their way.

Well, in doing this SEO stuff, do you have a map? Do you know where you are going before you get started on the online trip? Or, is this comparison totally irrelevant?

Please advise.

Lamar Morgan
CDMM
http://www.squidoo.com/CDMM
Attract more customers!

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Jan 28, 2008 2:20 amre: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Scott Wolpow
It depends if you are doing a static site or a dynamic site.

But in both cases you want to edit the tags and the content on a reguar basis.


Scott Wolpow
http://www.myfilm.com
http://www.publiccto.com
http://www.discountjewelry.com

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Jan 28, 2008 4:54 pmre: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
Lamar,
The basic concept behind SEO is to make your website as user friendly as possible.

As this covers navigation as well as content, I would have to say we work from a "blueprint".

If you are starting out, they you need to do some keyword research before you even get your domain name.
This is the start of your blueprint.

Since you should be building in a known framework, this is the next 'sheet' in your blueprint.
Your framework - template or content management system, if you will, must be designed so not only your visitors can find the 'doors' to other content (rooms) in your site but they must be marked clearly for the search engines to read.
This is especially important for the 'sign' over your main entrance, (your keywords).

You could also consider that your meta tags define the 'materials' your construction is made from. EG. If your meta tags say "this building has an all steel framework" and there is no 'steel' in your page then it would not be true.

Blake.
Take a look at your meta tags and ask yourself if the keywords defined in them are present on your page.

Scott.
Once the tags are defined properly there should be no reason to edit them. Tweaking or edits *might* be necessary to improve rankings but this would be done to page content and not the tags.

Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com


Private Reply to Reg Charie

Jan 28, 2008 5:20 pm re: Marketing help#

Eileen Brown
Reg Wrote:

Once the tags are defined properly there should be no reason to edit them. Tweaking or edits *might*
be necessary to improve rankings but this would be done to page content and not the tags.

~~~~~~~~~~

The only problem with this is so many folks don't know how
to properly do keyword/phrase research or good research in
general. If a person is looking for SEO help it usually
means they need a good researcher as well as someone who
knows how to make it all exchangable and interchangable for
front page google positioning.

As markets evolve and change so do the keywords. Many keys
have been added to marketing arenas over the past few years
and new key phrases come on all the time.

Folks who are blazing new trails on the internet are more
than aware of the necessity to "keep up" and go beyond
what is currently known.

Keywords and Key phrases should be updated to add these new
terms as well as updating content.

.02

Eileen :)

"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." ---Oscar Wilde
Cowpokes: http://abhp-network.ryze.com/ Hosting: http://www.buddywebworks.com/
SEO Copywriting: http://www.buddycopywriting.com/copywritinghome/
Gift Shopping: http://www.eileenseshop.com/ (get ready for the home page music)

Private Reply to Eileen Brown

Jan 28, 2008 5:29 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help Tweaking#

Scott Wolpow
Reg,
It would depend on what the site is about. You may want to change the positions of headlines and their size. You may want to change what the real content is.
ie Lamar is pushing clean air as a reason for moving to his town.

Clean air gets mixed in with air purifiers, so he may change teh content of the page until he gets the rankings related to the keywords he finds most useful.

But there is no trick.



Scott Wolpow
http://www.myfilm.com
http://www.publiccto.com
http://www.discountjewelry.com

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Jan 28, 2008 8:04 pmre: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
Eileen,
>>The only problem with this is so many folks don't know how
to properly do keyword/phrase research or good research in
general. If a person is looking for SEO help it usually
means they need a good researcher as well as someone who
knows how to make it all exchangable and interchangable for
front page google positioning.

By definition a SEO expert MUST be a good researcher as one of the keys is to find out the best search terms.

>>As markets evolve and change so do the keywords. Many keys
have been added to marketing arenas over the past few years
and new key phrases come on all the time.

IMO, the key phrases do not change all that much, especially for the short tail phrases (most commonly used phrases).
I have sites that have been ranked well for over a decade with little or no changes to their keyword structure.
Look at http://www.luthierwoods.com/ as an example.
This is a site that I did in '99.
Keywords are VERY industry specific EG luthierwoods, luthier woods, tone woods and tonewoods. (All relate to the materials needed to build a musical instrument.)
I've been after the client a few times to upgrade to a shopping system but he just says the site works fine as it is, and he would not want anymore business that it currently brings him, as it is a "sideline" business.
Last I heard sales were in the neighborhood of $35k annually.

>>As markets evolve and change so do the keywords.

Perhaps not the keywords so much but the way they are used. I do see some new additions but mostly in the tech sector...EG iPod
In the way they are used Google has gone great guns with local search and results are excellent.

This means that small businesses can compete on a better than equal footing with the large corporations.
The key to this is to get your company's location on your site in a prominent position.
Look at the text I put in the header for http://latelierart.com/ then go Google "Crafts Classes Broward county" (no quotes) and you will find the site #1
Painting Classes Broward county is #4
drawing Classes Broward county #1
Sculpture Classes Broward county #4
Kids art Classes Broward county #4 and so on.

BTW the site is just over a month old and has few inbound links.

Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Jan 30, 2008 3:32 pmre: re: re: Marketing help#

Eileen Brown
Hey Reg and ALL.

>>By definition a SEO expert MUST be a good researcher as
one of the keys is to find out the best search terms.

That's why we do it all at Buddy Web Works. Months of
research in many cases. When the research is done properly
on keywords and phrases many things fall into place. The
biggest obstacle is the competition. It is in any market.
But hands on, day to day research about the competition can
take quite some time to complete, especially if you throw
branding into the mix.

Example: My newest counseling clients in Wichita, KS. When
you have clients who are professionals in many areas there
is much more than to decide "counseling, psychologists,
therapists, mental health, medication evaluation" will
work. They already had an url (but no website) that does
not include any keywords: BMSPA.biz, which is absolutely
non-descript so branding comes into play. And since there
are 12 therapists, all with a long list of specialties;
since they did not want their staff spending time on any
items, (as they simply did not have time) and know how, it
came to Buddy Web Works in one bundle. I had one contact
and she was the office staff manager. No outside marketing
firms were involved or consulted.

I uploaded the basic package last January and within 30
days almost all designated search terms on the first list
were on page one of google for no less than 250 different
key phrases. By March half of those were page one, number
one. Examples:

All #1:

depression counseling wichita ks
emdr therapy wichita ks
bipolar counseling wichita ks
cancer counseling wichita ks
dbt wichita ks
career counseling wichita ks
medication evaluation wichita ks
teen medication evaluation ks
aspergers counseling wichita ks
sexaul trauma counseling wichita ks
adoption counseling wichita ks
aging counseling wichita ks
pain management counseling wichita ks

...just to name a few off the top of my head. Needless to
say there are hundreds of terms in the #2 to # 4 positions.

Wichita is the largest metro area in Kansas (state pop:
2,764,000+, last census) and people travel from all over
the state, the USA AND foreign countries as some of the
psychologists/counselors are world-renowned. One of the
counselors is an EMDRIA approved instructor who traveled to
Indonesia and Africa this past year to teach trauma
techniques. When it happened, to Louisiana for the Katrina
disaster to train and do hands on therapy for many
survivors. Key phrase combinations for that particular site
go over 700 terms when you throw the basic terms in with
all the specialty terms and at one time my assistant
thought it was approaching 1,000 different search term
phrases. She never could decisively prove it to me
though.

There was over four months (they are not my largest client)
of intensive research before that particular website was
designed and premiered.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

>> Keywords are VERY industry specific

No duh dude! LOL.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

>>Perhaps not the keywords so much but the way they are
used. I do see some new additions but mostly in the tech
sector...EG iPod

I will beg to differ on this subject. 10 years ago SEO was
an unknown term, heck, even 5 years ago SEM (the term) did
not exist but go ahead and google THAT these days. People
who don't know sqat about SEO and SEM marketing are touting
themselves to be gurus when all they do is recommend
adwords and adsense along with blowing a lot of other
smoke. Then they attach a hefty price tag to cover even the
simplest of changes. Take the term "microwebmasters" as an
example. A word that will be creating a lot of buzz soon
and when the competition starts, look out. More imposters
will crawl out of the woodwork.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

As far as local goes instead of worldwide I have written
many articles, blog entries and posts regarding this
issue. Now that google is blogging about getting into the
local markets (ie: the deal with yellowpages) I see the
small business owners and micro-business owners losing a
lot of their marketing revenues to google through a channel
that should not exist; print media. Don't get me started.
I just had this conversation with a lawyer friend
yesterday - I begged him to keep his money in his pocket
but who the heck do lawyers listen to? Since I am not a
judge (lol) my friend will probably put out a wad of cash
for no real reason. One additional yellow page listing (or
ad) is simply NOT worth it! Those yellow pages people talk
a good scripted game but it is dishonest because the
results are so skewed out of proportion to the actual ROI
benefit. Uh oh, I got started...

Shutting up... as Laura would say.

Blessings.

Eileen :)



"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." ---Oscar Wilde
Cowpokes: http://abhp-network.ryze.com/ Hosting: http://www.buddywebworks.com/
SEO Copywriting: http://www.buddycopywriting.com/copywritinghome/
Gift Shopping: http://www.eileenseshop.com/ (get ready for the home page music)

Private Reply to Eileen Brown

Jan 30, 2008 5:59 pmre: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Tracy Collins, Web Designer
Since I started this thread and with all the information that is in it Reg decided to make it a sticky thread (thanks Reg)I thought I would give you all an update on my progress.

First I must say, I owe a huge thank you to Laura and Eileen for their help on my website.

Laura did the designing and creation of my website and my logo which fits right in with my target market and I am extremely happy with it plus she put it into an easy to use format so it is extremely easy to update any information that I would like on my site without uploading it and reuploading it etc.

Eileen did the copywriting and SEO on my site and it has improved my rankings as well as my traffic drastically here are the results:

Private investigator administrative assistant # 2 in google # 1 in Yahoo

Private investigation administrative assistant # 3 in Google

Private Investigation virtual assistant # 1 in google

Anyways, you get the picture.

The funny thing is I got these rankings just from SEO and no adwords, adsense, or pay online advertising. I have had two different companies contact me about paid advertising for better rankings but I turn them down because obviously my ranking is good without paying for expensive advertising.

Tracy Collins
http://www.collins-admin.com
We've got the LOCK on confidential assistance.

Private Reply to Tracy Collins, Web Designer

Feb 12, 2008 6:34 amre: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Jay Traylor
Check out a product called CoVideo. It's a wonderful method to turn an email into a personal message and it's extremely cost effective.

You can't convey trust and integrity through an email as well as you could thru this product and on top of all that, it' affordable.

Jay

How To Save Money on a New Car or Truck
Find Out About Secret Dealer Money the
Factory Gives the Dealers
http://www.cartipsonline.com

Private Reply to Jay Traylor

Feb 16, 2008 11:30 pmre: Marketing help#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Tracy,

In reaching out to your target market(private investigators), you have done a lot to draw attention to yourself. That is to say, you have used a lot of push technology. You have sent out lots of postcards, etc. But, how much "pull technology" have you employed? Unless there is both a push and a pull, there is no REAL CONNECTION between the people you want as customers and the services you provide. Simply putting your message in front of the masses does not make them care. Remember, no one reads the newspaper, listens to the radio or watches TV for the advertising. They watch it for the news and entertainment. Why? Because the medium is there to serve its audience - not its advertisers - even though the advertisers pay for the time.

So, what does that mean you need to do? Answer: think like the audience you want to reach and entice them to come to you. All too often, people assume too much. A person assumes that just because he likes the ad he wrote about his business everyone he wants to reach will like it. Well, the person who bases his ad on himself is usually making a big mistake. He should find out what his target market needs and find a clever way to approach meeting that need.

Look what Charmin' Bathroom Tissue did years ago. They had a grocery store character named Mr. Whiffle tell you, "Please don't squeeze the Charmin'." Why? Because they wanted you to squeeze the Charmin'. Nothing entices like prohibition. But, that is not all. They actually wanted you to take the bathroom tissue OFF the shelf and squeeze it. Remember, Mr. Whiffle actually showed you how to do it. Well, what happens when you give the Charmin' a healthy squeeze? It inflates. And, what does that mean? That means suddenly the tissue is no longer easy to put back on the shelf. So, what do you do? You toss the Charmin' into your grocery basket. You just sold yourself on the tissue. Isn't that clever?

Are you in need of a "clever approach?" Consider using a series of online tools to reach out in a clever way to your target market. For example, get a Skype account and add some extras to it to help PULL your target market to you once you have pushed your message their way. Two tools I highly recommend are Pamela, an automated virtual assistant and Yugma, a desktop sharing program. Both can help entice your audience to want the services you provide.

Think about this. It is one thing to simply call someone on the phone to talk. It is a lot more impressive to call that person and ask him to allow you to share your desktop with him because you want to SHOW him what you are capable of doing for him in REAL TIME on HIS COMPUTER SCREEN with YOUR DESKTOP.

With Pamela hooked to Skype you can do amazing things with regard to having Pamela calling your prospects and answering your phone. In fact, some high-profile marketing gurus recommend changing your answering message frequently. Pamela makes that not only easy but entertaining.

Would you like to do something really "outside the box?" Become a splash page advertiser at a wifi hot spot. Pick a FREE wifi hot spot location with heavy traffic and see if the owner will allow you to place an ad on his sign-in page for a small monthly fee. If he does not have a splash page set-up and would like to have one with you as an advertiser, contact me. Just send me a private message with the person's phone number. I will gladly call him to explain how to get that set up. If you are looking for a cost-effective advertising approach that can utilize the best of newspaper, radio and TV advertising, wifi hot spot splash page advertising is the answer.

Make no mistake, cleverness counts.

Lamar Morgan
CDMM
707-709-8605
Attract more customers!

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Feb 17, 2008 3:13 amre: re: Marketing help#

Scott Wolpow
The story about Charmin' Bathroom Tissue is not true. What they wanted to get across that Charmin was soft. Until that time most Bathroom Tissue was more coarse. The softness was geared to Women who need softer tissues. Todaythey sell to types one for men and one for women. Look at the bears that sell the tissues.

Scott Wolpow
http://www.myfilm.com
http://www.publiccto.com
http://www.discountjewelry.com

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Mar 11, 2008 4:02 pmre: re: re: Marketing help#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Scott,

It's rather obvious the Charmin folks wanted the public to take action - physical action - regarding their bathroom tissue. It's no accident that you were not only told NOT to squeeze the Charmin but that Mr. Whiffle squeezed a big package was no accident. By squeezing a bigger package as Mr. Whiffle did, you stand a better chance of self-inflating the package so it will NOT fit back on the shelf. Hence, you decide to put the package in your grocery cart to avoid further hassle of getting it back on the shelf.

The goal as I pointed out was to get the tissue IN your grocery basket. The softness of the tissue was simply an excuse you could not verify until you actually used the product. What you are squeezing when you squeeze ANY bathroom tissue is an air bubble. No one is going to know how soft any tissue is until they actually use it. The idea that you are going to know how squeezably soft Charmin is by squeezing its air bubble is nonsense.

Lamar Morgan
CDMM
707-709-8605
Attract more customers!

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Mar 12, 2008 8:15 pmre: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
Lamar -

..and when you ran your focus group and sent them in the store to actually squeeze the Charmin - how many put it back in the shelf? How many walked away?

"Squeeze the Charmin" was a GIMMICK, top of mind awareness about it being squeezably soft - Mr Whipple always got caught squeezing the Charmin. The action was to feel the Charmin and it's softness not to inflate the packaging so it wouldn't fit back on the shelf.

It's called branding - I dont moan in the shower when using herbal Essence shampoo like commercial suggests, nor does my husband have dreams of celtic background with fair maidens and leprachauns while he uses irish spring soap.

Marketing gimmicks - not covert pre -planned actions to force you to buy as you suggest. Mere branding messages to make you think something about a product. It's associative memory at work.






Kathy Buck
Mayhem Marketing
(site getting face lift)
Small Business Think Tank Owner http://thinktank-network.ryze.com/

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Mar 18, 2008 12:40 amre: re: re: (Lindy) re: re: re: re: ) re: re: Marketing help#

Tammy Wood
"Anywhos...there can be NO Guarantees with any marketing or advertising campaign. The fact that I explain this to clients is what sets me apart from my local competitors."


Thank you! I tell my clients the same thing, if you are looking for a 'silver bullet' buy a coors light.(tm) ;)

Tammy Wood

Private Reply to Tammy Wood

Mar 18, 2008 4:01 amre: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Kathy,

There is no difference between squeezing any bathroom tissue while it is still wrapped in that plastic bubble. Think logically for a moment, please. You are not going to experience the softness of any bathroom tissue while in the grocery store. Why? Because you are not feeling the tissue, you are feeling the plastic balloon which surrounds the tissue.

Why don't you see Mr. Whipple squeezing a single role? Why do you see him squeezing a four-pack? Is that just a coincidence? No. It's part of a clever design. Once you squeeze a four-pack in the manner Mr. Whipple shows you as he tells you NOT to do it (drawing that invisible line in the sand you are not supposed to cross but desperately want to) the package self-inflates.

Yes, this product is being branded to the public. But, in the process, there is definitely some clever manipulation going on here. And, I confess I did not realize it until I actually went and did the "Charmin' Test." I did not purchase the bathroom tissue because it was softer than the competition. No one could make that determination in the grocery store. I purchased it for two reasons: 1) Because it was close to the same price as the competition and 2) Because I happened to have it in my hand. Remember, I could not easily fit the Charmin' back on the shelf after having squeezed and self-inflated the package. To avoid further hassle, I simply opted for the path of least resistance and dropped the package in my grocery cart.

Lamar Morgan
CDMM
707-709-8605
Attract more customers!

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Mar 18, 2008 4:10 amre: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Scott Wolpow
Lamar,
What do you mean it does not fit in? What happens if the shelf is empty? Or why would a person just shove it somewhere else?

Lamar, this is not a true story.

Scott Wolpow
http://www.myfilm.com
http://www.publiccto.com
http://www.discountjewelry.com

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Mar 19, 2008 8:35 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
Lamar - I'll stake my edumacation on this.

Branding is associative memory.

The Charmin ads were not meant to have people rip open a package and test the softness...you are thinking about the softness when you see the package.

Associative memory Simple.

Pavlov is the father of associative memory. Pavlov rubbed meat paste under his dogs nose and rang a bell. The dogs response was to drool. After a time, Pavlov just rang the bell and offered no meat paste - the dogs response was to drool even though no meat present. The dog associated the bell to the meat. PRESTO! Associative memory.

Marketers rely on associative memory to brand products. The key is Consistency. Frequency, and an emotional hook. If the dog Pavlov used had no love (emotional hook) of meat the bell would have just annoyed it, like so many commercials we see do.

Thats the Logic Lamar - A logic you are missing because you are over analyzing. Yet while you analyze why - the old campaign for Charmin did it's job - you remember the product as soft. Perhaps the emotional hook for you if your love of soft buttwipe? *sarcasm*




Kathy Buck
Mayhem Marketing
(site getting face lift)
Small Business Think Tank Owner http://thinktank-network.ryze.com/

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Mar 20, 2008 3:25 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Kathy,

I do not disagree with the psychology behind the Pavlov experiments. But, when Mr. Whipple tells you, "Please do not squeeze the Chamrmin'" that is not Pavlovian. You are not being asked to associate softness with denial. Mr. Whipple is drawing a line in the sand hoping you will cross it. Why? So you can discover how soft a balloon feels? No! Because he wants you to get your hands on the package, squeeze it, self-inflate it and not be able to put it back on the shelf and decide to simply toss the package in the basket. And, why would you do that? Two reasons: 1) There is no major difference in price between Charmin' and the competition. 2) Because it is the "path of least resistance." Yes, it is easier to simply toss the Charmin' in the basket than try to fit it back on the shelf. Give the folks who created this clever commercial the credit they deserve. There is a lot more here than simply associative memory techniques.

The next time you are in the grocery store, do the Charmin' test just as Mr. Whipple instructed you NOT to do it and see what happens. After all, that is exactly what I did and why I shared the experience.

Lamar Morgan
CDMM
707-709-8605
Attract more customers!

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Mar 20, 2008 4:11 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
*shakes head*

McDonald's uses feel good commercials "Im Lovin It" with a happy sound. Do you feel like that when you eat a Big Mac?

"Bob" from the male enhancement product commercials shows an extra step in his stride and happy smiling face - do you think that product has that result?

Mens Hair Dye shows a man using the product and then women flocking to him - do you think that product has that result?

State Farm Insurance promotes themselves as your good neighbor - do they all live next to you?

Branding Concepts Lamar - not covert actions.

""No! Because he wants you to get your hands on the package, squeeze it, self-inflate it and not be able to put it back on the shelf and decide to simply toss the package in the basket.""

In my 20 plus years in the marketing sector, this is this most absurd thing I have ever read. You may not disagree with the psychology of associative memory because you do not understand it nor marketing strategies PERIOD.

""Give the folks who created this clever commercial the credit they deserve. There is a lot more here than simply associative memory techniques."

I entered college in 83 - the campaign was a case study. I've never stated the campaign poor nor refused credit. I'm debunking your rational as to your views on the campaign being a covert call to action to take the product off the shelf, squeeze, inflate and then it not fitting back in original spot.

In 1978 ďPlease don't squeeze the Charmin!Ē was named by R.H. Bruskin Associates as the most recognizable advertising slogan among those testedóbeing identified by eight out of 10 persons.

People have a poor enough view of what marketing is all about, your just fueling it with your perceptions of a campaigns intentions. I mean really - 20 some years ago a group of clandenstine marketing folks met in closed session to think of a way to force people to purchase.."John" flew out of seat and announced " We'll package it so people will want to squeeze it then it will inflate so they can't fit back on shelf and they will have to buy..and will get this grocery guy character to say "Don't Squeeze the Charmin to make people want to do it"" ..."John" is now retired in the Bahamas, living off of residuals of Mr Wipple.

Gimme a break.













Kathy Buck
Mayhem Marketing
(site getting face lift)
Small Business Think Tank Owner http://thinktank-network.ryze.com/

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Mar 26, 2008 6:07 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Kathy,

I entered college in 1968. You are entitled to your opinion just as much as I am entitled to mine. We can simply agree to disagree. However, I took the commercial to task and learned something from the experience. I invite you to do the same and see if you too learn something new. Otherwise, it is simply the rhetoric of an opinion that is not backed up with a personal experience.

Lamar Morgan
CDMM
707-709-8605
Attract more customers!

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Mar 26, 2008 6:35 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Lindy Asimus

Kathy...

>>20 some years ago a group of clandenstine marketing folks met in closed session to think of a way to force people to purchase.."John" flew out of seat and announced " We'll package it so people will want to squeeze it then it will inflate so they can't fit back on shelf and they will have to buy..and will get this grocery guy character to say "Don't Squeeze the Charmin to make people want to do it"" ..."John" is now retired in the Bahamas, living off of residuals of Mr Wipple.


I blame the Bilderbergers... ;-)


Lindy

Private Reply to Lindy Asimus

Mar 26, 2008 9:28 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Kathy Buck
"I took the commercial to task and learned something from the experience. I invite you to do the same and see if you too learn something new. Otherwise, it is simply the rhetoric of an opinion that is not backed up with a personal experience."

*****


My opinions are not rhetoric - while I may have taken a jab at your theory of a campaign, I stand by my statements. I have never felt the urge to take any commercial to task. Even if I did test your theory and found the package to expand (as I'm sure all other like products packaged do) I certainly would not be forced into purchasing because it didn't fit back on the shelf.

RE: backed by personal experience

Did the Big Mac make you feel like "I'm lovin it"?

My herbal essence shampoo still has yet to make me moan in the shower - perhaps I'll invite a camera crew to my bath to see if thats the missing factor. I didn't buy it for that reason though - I had a coupon.






Kathy Buck
Mayhem Marketing
(site getting face lift)
Small Business Think Tank Owner http://thinktank-network.ryze.com/

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Mar 26, 2008 10:04 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Marketing help#

Reg Charie
I'm still waiting for a van load of hot girls to grab me each time I go out wearing my Axe body spray.



Reg - Online since before Al Gore "invented" the internet.
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
Zero Grief Hosting -
http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Mar 26, 2008 10:43 pmRe: Marketing help Reg's Axe.#

Teddy Towncrier


Want the girls to stampede? Stop shopping at the Dollar Store, Reg.

If it doesn't say "Made in Canada" and has some funny looking lettering on the label It's probably made from something that comes out of one end of a camel.

What "MADE IN CANADA" really means ..... Eye popping story about the lies and deception It's all Here

BTW. I seem to recall "Europes Best" packaged vegetables were once labeled Product of China. Now I can't find any country of origin on the package. Interesting.

... and who is your elected representative serving?


Bestest.

Click here to visit http://towncrierbroadcasting.com
Teddy Towncrier. CPP ††††towncrierbroadcasting.com

LakeshoreproudTV. Click here for more

Private Reply to Teddy Towncrier

Mar 26, 2008 11:25 pmre: Re: Marketing help Reg's Axe.#

Reg Charie


Reg - Online since before Al Gore "invented" the internet.
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
Zero Grief Hosting -
http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Mar 26, 2008 11:25 pmre: Re: Marketing help Reg's Axe.#

Kathy Buck
LMAO @ Teddy! That was a brilliant come back.

I now have a visual of Reg in a trench coat pushing a cart through the Dollar Store! LOL

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Mar 27, 2008 2:08 pmre: Re: Marketing help Reg's Axe.#

Teddy Towncrier


I'm keeping my eye on him, Kathy. Since he stopped smoking a month ago; He's acting weirder

Is this forum so bereft of direction that we now find it necessary to flaunt our skinny bod as content?

So if flaunting is now acceptable as content ...... Let's have some panache.

Here's flaunting Eastern Canada style. ††††Right Here


Bestest.

Click here to visit http://towncrierbroadcasting.com
Teddy Towncrier. CPP ††††towncrierbroadcasting.com

LakeshoreproudTV. Click here for more

Private Reply to Teddy Towncrier

Mar 27, 2008 3:39 pmre: re: Re: Marketing help Reg's Axe.#

Eileen Brown
~~~

Teddy!

That is an absolute screaming HOOT!
Folks - take the 2 minutes of time to view.

Eileen :D

PS - This incendiary post contains no intrinsic value. Sorry!

"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." ---Oscar Wilde
Cowpokes: http://abhp-network.ryze.com/ Web Serv: http://www.buddywebworks.com/
SEO Copywriting: http://www.buddycopywriting.com/copywritinghome/
Microwebmasters Guru Squad Coordinator: http://www.microwebmasters.com

Private Reply to Eileen Brown

Mar 28, 2008 8:05 pmRe: Marketing help Reg's Axe. Kathy & Eileen like it.#

Teddy Towncrier


Kathy & Eileen ..... Glad to see our halucinations tickled your funny spot.

Want a comic video for yourself?

Send me a cuple of pics and I'll have one of these shiftless Prima Donnas cobble somthing to-gether for you and make you a star.

( Reg says that line is still working. He's been using it for two years, on the head waitress at the local Hooters and she's thinking about giving him her phone No. ).


Bestest.

Click here to visit http://towncrierbroadcasting.com
Teddy Towncrier. CPP ††††towncrierbroadcasting.com

LakeshoreproudTV. Click here for more

Private Reply to Teddy Towncrier

Mar 28, 2008 8:26 pm(OT) Marketing help Reg's Axe. Kathy & Eileen like it.#

Eileen Brown
~~~~~~~~~~~

This thread slipped into a mud hole fast, eh?

Teddy - I am expecting visitors soon and still have to get a shower! Yikes!

I will PM you later...

EB :D



"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." ---Oscar Wilde
Cowpokes: http://abhp-network.ryze.com/ Web Serv: http://www.buddywebworks.com/
SEO Copywriting: http://www.buddycopywriting.com/copywritinghome/
Microwebmasters Guru Squad Coordinator: http://www.microwebmasters.com

Private Reply to Eileen Brown

Jul 21, 2008 4:06 amre: (OT) Marketing help Reg's Axe. Kathy & Eileen like it.#

Jay Traylor
Just got back from our local grocery store to buy some chicken. I squeezed the chicken and it's breast and thighs expanded. I couldn't put it back, so guess what I did?

I put it by the Charmin which was half empty.

Turn Buyers Into Browsers With
CarLeadsOnline.com and Covideo.
http://www.tracourt.com
http://www.cartipsonline.com

Private Reply to Jay Traylor

Aug 03, 2008 4:35 pmre: re: (OT) Marketing help Reg's Axe. Kathy & Eileen like it.#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

If you are open to serious businee networking and in need of marketing help, form a cluster with three people who have similar needs. This is something people on a very limited budget should seriously consider. Need more information? Click here.

Lamar Morgan
CDMM - Synergistic Business Marketing
707-709-8605
Attract more customers!

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Jun 05, 2009 2:46 amre: Marketing help#

Jean Bounier
Hi Tracy:

I suggest some research in AdWords to increase your traffic, if more people visit your web site, so you will have a bigger probability per sale.

Good Luck, and please let me know if I could help you.

Jean Bounier
http://www.ilikewebsitedesigners.com/

Private Reply to Jean Bounier

Aug 09, 2009 6:12 amre: re: Marketing help#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Tracy,

It's been a good while - and as anyone can see - you got a lot of marketing advice with this thread. So, here's a question - Are you still in need of help? Or, do you now have more business than you can handle and are looking for some relief?

Lamar Morgan
CDMM - Synergistic Business Marketing
707-709-8605
Need PR?...Call Lamar!

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Aug 11, 2009 6:36 pmre: Marketing help#

Tom Loosmore Jr.
Hi Tracy,

Our company, USA-GIVES, offers free sponsorship links on our web site for those who have in interest. We would love to have you join us, as we are a new company also. We are seeking sponsors from many different industries and also creating a group of "virtual volunteers" to help us complete our client's campaigns. (Obviously no pressure intended:))

If you have an interest you can go to www.usa-gives.com and click on the "About Sponsorship" link. Just fill in the blanks and send us your information. I will contact you to see about getting a copy of your logo and a short mission statement to go on the site.

Thanks,

Tom Loosmore Jr.
CEO
USA-GIVES, LLC
www.usa-gives.com

Private Reply to Tom Loosmore Jr.

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