Top Secrets For Using The Success Of Your Rivals

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It can be disheartening to realize that you’re just a small fish swimming in an incredibly vast pond. Those bigger fish sure look intimidating, don’t they? Some of them are sharks! Wouldn’t it be great if you could use their size and their success to your advantage? Well now, you can because we have got the secrets that will allow you to piggyback off the success of your competitors. There are a few different ways to do this. Let’s start with the one that’s simplest.

Well now, you can because you can legitimately piggyback off the success of your competitors. What’s vitally important is not to cross the line of impropriety and illegality. This is not about doing the wrong thing(s), but being smart about how to leverage what is working.

Communicating With Their Customers

If you know a popular direct competitor to your business, you should contact their customers. It would be useful to find out why they chose that company over yours. Essentially, you’ll be looking for their USP and seeing if you can replicate it. Contacting their customers can be tricky.

If you work offline, we suggest you hire an agent who can contact the customers for you. They can wait near or outside the business and contact the customers directly. By engaging them in conversation, they have an excellent chance of getting honest and useful answers.

The goal is NOT to steal their clients, but to learn what they want/need.

If you work online, things are a little different. We suggest  you begin by using social media. You can retweet competitors when they make big announcements. Make sure you give them credit for the tweet and you’ll attract interest from their followers online. They may then follow your business and at this point, you have the chance to convert them to your company.

You can use a social media profile to do this. On Instagram, target their followers and use them for user generated content. You’ll be amazed how quickly they start taking an interest in your company.

Using Their Online Profiles

Are your business competitors seeing fantastic levels of success online? If they are, it might sound like a great idea to copy their marketing strategy and SEO profile. For instance, using your competitors’ backlink profiles could boost your online performance . Be careful about doing this though because it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. You need to know how to find their backlink profile for starters. To do this, you’ll need to complete some research online, using tools such as Ahrefs.

Replicating Their USP

Companies always market and promote their Unique Selling Proposition (USP). That’s the whole point of having one. You want to show customers what makes your business different from the rest. This means it’s easy to find and understand the USP of a competitor. It will probably be highlighted on their website or in their store. You need work on fitting their USP into your business model. This levels the playing field and allows you a better chance at capturing their customer base.

Once again, we are not adavocating you steal anything – but that you tailor your offering legitimately and authentically, if and only if it fits in with your plans and strategic goals – this is not about ripping anyone off. That won’t work and will backfire.

Piggybacking On Their Marketing Campaign

Finally, a competitor might be using an effective marketing campaign online. In this campaign, they might be using things such as hashtags. You can use their hashtag for your own business. When you use their hashtag, you will again, gain attention from their clients. It gives you the perfect chance to build your online reach.

As you can see, these are great ideas, but in the wrong hands, they can do more harm than good. This article is about leveraging what’s out there and  making the most of it. Don’t cross the line. If you think you’re about to cross a line, don’t do it. nowledge is power and today’s article is about

Knowledge is power and today’s article is about acquiring that knowledge and making the most of it.

3 Mistakes Not To Make With Your Business Website

A lot of people dream of starting a business. They hear the tales of companies who start with nothing and develop into a multi-national brand. This inspires them to start their own company. If you’re thinking that now’s the right time to launch your startup, it’s important to understand that it’s not going to be easy. There’s a lot that goes into launching a new company. That being said, if you’ve got an idea that has the potential to be successful, it’s more than worth the time and effort.

Of course, the most important thing for almost all business startups is their website. This is how new customers will find them. How they will get the word out about their brand. For startups, a website is the most crucial tool that they can have. With that in mind, if you have any chance of success, it’s crucial that your website is as effective as possible.

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Creative Commons Image

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A lot of new business owners make fatal mistakes when it comes to their websites. If you want to ensure that yours is as effective as possible, avoid these three mistakes.

1. Don’t go DIY

Money is an issue for a lot of new business owners. That’s why a lot of startups choose to go DIY with their company website. This, however, unless you’re a web design pro, is a fatal mistake to make. If your website isn’t smart, stylish and professional, you can kiss goodbye to any chance of success. Once your company is associated with a bad website, that’s all anyone will think about your brand. That’s why, despite the cost, it pays to hire a web designer to create your website. You can specify the colours and design features but make sure to use a pro to build your site.

2. Fail to make your site user-friendly

 

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No one is going to buy from a website that isn’t user-friendly. Your website needs to be easy to use and navigate, it also needs to be appealing to your target audience. If you have an issue when it comes to getting sales via your website, it’s worth using conversion rate optimisation. This will work out what is causing your site to be unpopular with users and should be able to suggest how you can improve this. For example, A-B split testing might show that larger text and clearer images make your site more appealing. It’s just a case of ensuring that your site is as appealing to your target audience and as user-friendly as possible.

3. Ensure you don’t forget to add a blog

If you want your site to have high amounts of traffic, adding a blog is essential. If you’re not able to produce high-quality content, it’s a good idea to outsource the task. A blog is essential for every business website as it helps to increase search engine ranking and drives traffic to the site. However, it’s also essential that the blog boasts high-quality, well-written content. No one is going to share a blog post that’s badly written or return to the website for me. That’s why it’s essential that if you’re not a skilled writer, you outsource the task.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that your business website is everything that you need it to be. After all, everyone knows that for new businesses, their website is the key to success.

Shift Happens

We all know SHIFT HAPPENS. But wouldn’t it be nice to have 20/20 Foresight?

Consider these digital disruptions:*

  • The world’s largest taxi company owns no taxis (Uber)
  • The largest accommodation provider owns no real estate (AirBnB)
  • The biggest communication companies own no infrastructure (networks) (Skype, WeChat)
  • The most valuable retailer has no inventory or stores (Alibaba)
  • The most popular media owner creates no content (Facebook)
  • The fastest growing banks have no money (SocietyOne)
  • The world’s largest movie house owns no cinemas (Netflix)
  • The largest software vendors in the world don’t write their own apps (Apple and Google)

SHIFT HAPPENS … At an unprecedented rate. Click on the hyperlink to see how the world has changed just since 2006 when the video was created – SHOCKING!

* Thank you to Andrew Powell of Montreal, Canada for submitting this amazing list!

Boomerang For Gmail

This is a cool app for Gmail users – called Boomerang. Check it out, it might help your productivity.

Basically, Boomerang for Gmail lets you take control of when you send and receive messages.

If you like to work late at night, you can use Boomerang to schedule emails to send in the morning. Data has shown that a well-timed email is 30% more likely to be read than a poorly-timed one. Most people check their email at the beginning of the workday, so the best time to schedule your messages is between 6-7am.

Many emails don’t require immediate action, even though they’re important. It takes mental energy to remember when you need to respond to each one. Boomerang allows you to snooze a message out of your inbox and have it come back to the top of your inbox at the specific time that you choose so that you can take action.

Boomerang can also automatically remind you when you need to follow up with someone. If a person hasn’t responded to your email after a certain amount of time, Boomerang can automatically bring that email back to the top of your inbox for you so that you can follow up on it.

Boomerang for Gmail enables you to send messages later, get email reminders, and snooze messages seamlessly inside of Gmail. Download Boomerang for Gmail and see for yourself why over 240,000 businesses and millions of people around the world use Boomerang to help them get and keep their inbox under control.

Give up Facebook? Are you nuts? No, just happier

Another interesting study revealing the downside or social notworking apps like Facebook

Could you handle going cold turkey for a week? Hmmm…. What does that say about you? Your life, the quality of your relationships or lack thereof?

I am not making a value judgment, just asking a few simple questions.

The stronger your emotional reaction to these questions – well….

 

 

Vaut mieux tard que jamais!

Better late than never… Check out this story on Skype’s new LIVE simultaneous translator tool

Pretty cool stuff n’est-ce pas?

New iPhone OS 9 Tip

Check out this tip to avoid potentially HUGE DATA CHARGESTurn OFF WiFi Assist.

Free Space In The Cloud – DropBox

We all need more FREE disk space – especially up in the cloud. If you’re not using DropBox, click on one of the hyperlinks and you’ll instantly get 500 Mb of free space. Need more space? Invite more friends and you can get up to 16 GB of free space in the cloud.

Dropbox is ideal when you run a virtual company with freelancers and contractors working around the globe. It’s one of the many priceless web-based tools we teach our clients to use to leverage their time and resources – exponentially.

It’s also ideal for personal use to send video and other large files with one click of your mouse. Once your friend has downloaded the file, you can delete it and “re-use” the space for the next video. It sure beats dealing with USB flash drives…

DropBox Sign up

The Visual Power Of Big Data

I have blogged about the Privacy Pirates and the massive invasion of digital privacy issues that abound… And I’m not even a conspiracy theorist!

That being said, this TED Talk shows the incredible power and majesty of what big data can reveal. I can only imagine what oppressive regimes do behind-the-scenes that we never get to see, but then again, I am NOT a conspiracy theorist.

The video below is magnificent, it shows beautiful, colourful renditions and extrapolations of data like I’ve never seen before. Gone are the days of endless, broing numerical printouts and tables. If only we had had visual tools like this when I studied cluster analysis in my doctoral multivariate statistical analysis course. I probably would have understood and retained a lot more…!

Blogging For Business – Does it really work?

Don’t take my word for it. Read the email correspondence below from Malcolm Whitfield in response to a Post Program Planning (automated) email we send to all our clients after-the-fact.

___________________________________________

Hi Marc, (or whoever handles your mail),
 
Just thought I would reply to this.

I attended a half day Internet Business Blogging Workshop several years ago (2012).

I knew it was just a taster for further services, but I felt I got genuine value out of the few hours.

I implemented a couple of the ideas I got from the session, (there were more that I could have used, but I’m slack), plus what I have gleaned from the info on your website.

I got a feel for how the web thingy actually works. My tiny little website with its tiny little business pulls enough customers to outperform all my competition, including St. John’s, in my local area, and brings about as much work as I can handle by myself. (I’m 65 and not really wanting to hire staff and build a big business).

Your training session was tight and professional and jam-packed with real, usable tips and information. (I’m a trainer myself, and I’ve seen a lot of mediocre ones).

Don’t know how the people who do your mentoring programs (Platinum Program) and bootcamps go but if they get the same bang for the buck that I did, they should all be millionaires by now.

Just thought I’d let you know.
Cheers
Mal

______________________________________

This email, unsolicited and received more than two years after-the-fact tells you a few things… Among them:

  • Classy people still exist in this day and age of entitlement. If ever you are working late dealing with a client request and wonder if it’s worthwhile – remember you change the world ONE person at a time. Not many will tell you, but many more than you think will appreciate it.
  • When you pay it forward, it all comes back to you. Malcolm and I met at an event several years ago, but I still remember him even though I’ve spoken to thousands of people since then. Be INTERESTING and people will be INTERESTED in you and your story.
  • Give without the expectation of reciprocation. This is so much truer today than ever with “everything” being free and too many people taking things (and people) for granted. If you are well served and are provided with great value – let the person/company know. Praise and acknowledgment never, ever falls on deaf ears!

 

You know you’re texting too much when…

… You need to have your own lane…

This is both funny and sad at the same time. I am all for multi-tasking, but not to this extreme!

 

Stairs and texting

7 Signs That You Are Going To Be The Next Cyber Victim

Have a quick look at this interesting perspective on the state of cyber crime.

Boaz Fischer is a graduate of our Platinum Program.

Do we spend too much time online?

Since the Internet arrived in our lives in the 1990s, few would have realised then how far it would eventually infiltrate our daily activities.

And whilst it has undoubtedly provided many convenient functions by allowing us to socialise with friends, and shop for products in a digital environment, many are concerned that the time we spend online might be having a negative effect on how we live our lives.

Research

According to a report made by research company Nielsen in 2013, it seems that the average Australian is spending more and more time online. In fact, it is thought that it is commonplace to find that many users now spend the equivalent of one day per week on the Internet.

This figure is mirrored by the fact that laptop ownership in Australia has significantly increased from 33% to 77% in the past ten years.

And although the use of desktop computers has decreased slightly from 80% to 72%, it is thought that there is now a growing trend for ‘dual-screening’, where people now use mobile devices in conjunction with the more traditional computer interfaces.

Applications

The increased use of technology has mirrored the massively expanded range of applications that now exist within the digital domain.

One of the most notable trends in the past decade is the rise of social media sites. Research shows that seven out of ten Australians are now actively engaged in social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

The rise of social applications for entertainment is equalled by the huge growth in gaming sites that now offer a convenient way for people to spend their time. Now mobile users can play complex strategy games like Minecraft from just about any location, and likewise the incredible rise of online gambling sites like www.spinpalace.com have facilitated an entire new industry to blossom out of our desire to play a variety of games from the comfort of our mobile device.

Warnings

Whilst the massive range of online options from researching travel options to purchasing the latest products with a click of a button may have many instantly identifiable benefits, there are a few warnings to consider too.

News stories like those published on news.com.au point to the fact that the increased time spent online can lead to a variety of sleeping disorders, low self-esteem and depression. Furthermore, the potential exposure to pornography can disturb normal sexual development in children in alarming ways.

So like any other activity, the overruling guidelines for internet use should be to participate sensibly, and in moderation.

 

Google is at it again – mobile update to algorithm

Just when you thought you were getting on top of your SEO, rankings… Google changes the rules yet again.

This time it’s to optimise search for mobile devices.

Click on the link for some of the buzz it’s creating. It could be quite disastrous if you get caught with your pants down so-to-speak.

If you want to stay one step ahead of your Internet Marketing, contact us.

 

They Know

I have talked about Privacy Pirates before…

This video is worth the 3 minutes – but I have to warn you, it’s more than a little upsetting what THEY KNOW…

Internet Addiction

Internet Addiction

The Beginner’s Guide To Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing - phoneKnowing what the best practices are when it comes to creating effective mobile marketing can seem incredibly complicated and rather daunting to a newcomer. This is especially true if you’re someone who runs a small business and can’t afford to hire a person to take care of it all for you. What are the dos and don’ts of mobile marketing?

Know Your Customer

Knowing the recipient of your mobile marketing is crucial to generate engagement. Make metrics and analytics your BFFs. They will tell you a lot about a person from some very basic data collection. More than ever, the same tools you use for mass marketing can now give you detailed information about the demographics of individual recipients.

For example, thanks to developments in SMS technology, companies that deliver mobile marketing tools (see the SMSGlobal website for an example) can now provide you details about who is reading (or ignoring) your messages.

Tailor Your User Experience

Using the SMS data might tell you that the vast percentage of your online customers are using a particular smartphone or mobile browser to browse and purchase your products. You should definitely use that information to create a user experience that makes using your site or app much easier on those specific devices or browsers. The smoother the experience, the more likely it is customers will return.

Apps Vs Mobile Websites

A startling amount of people don’t really understand the difference between apps and mobile websites. These are very different ways of solving a specific problem. Creating an app for your mobile marketing allows you to target customers using very specific platforms and refining the experience for those devices.

Mobile websites are exactly that: sites that have been designed for use on a smartphone. In both cases, text should be kept to a minimum – communicate in short, clear phrases. You want to get the message across FAST.

Streamline The Purchase Process

81% Of all purchases made on a smartphone or mobile device are driven by spontaneity. That means, if your marketing’s call-to-action can tempt a customer into looking at the item on your online store, your interface needs to lead naturally and quickly to the checkout screen (shopping cart). Reducing as many steps in the purchasing process is a great way to increase sales.

Don’t Be Invasive

When you think about receiving marketing yourself, what’s your least favourite thing about it?

Many people hate the invasiveness of certain kinds of marketing. Mobile marketing can certainly be classed as invasive. You’re muscling your way onto someone’s private phone screen. If you want them to take time out of their day to pay attention to your message, you have to be respectful and value-driven.

When in doubt, always err on the side of a conservative approach. The last thing you want is to stir up a dust storm of controversy on social media sites!

Seeing the forest for the trees or _____?

I use this metaphor to explain Internet Marketing Strategies all the time.

Forest For The Bears

The Social Contribution Of Social Media

As a reader or subscriber to this blog, you know my ‘opinion’ of social media… This cartoon summarises it quite cleverly. social_media

Net Neutrality Vote

The Internet’s neutrality will be voted on soon… If you want to protect the Internet’ “integrity”, click on the image below or on the hyperlink to cast your vote to keep EVERYONE’S ACCESS EQUAL.

 Internet Neutrality