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How resilient is your business?

I have just had to take over a week off work as I have been ill and had to stay in bed.  For the first time in a long time, I did not open emails, do any Social Media or respond to anything in the ‘Virtual World’.

Did my businesses come to a grinding halt, or did they carry on working as smoothly as clockwork while I took time out to self-care and heal myself?

They did the latter.

This was not a stroke of luck or chance.  This was because I have built my business models on businesses that are all internet based and automated.   I have put in place systems and procedures that ensure that they work 24/7 and 365 days a year.

One of my businesses offers business coaching.  This is a good business model.  However, to coach businesses can be extremely time consuming and even if you are fortunate enough to have high level coaching clients, there is only one of you.  This means that you are selling your time for money.

Had I only had this business model, it would have meant that last week, I would have had to cancel everything.  I would have had no income and would have had to reschedule all of my appointments, meaning that the coming weeks, I would have been playing ‘catch up’.

Does this sound familiar to you?

My new businesses are both internet based, so accessible anywhere from the world at any time of day or night.  I set up two of them during the Coronavirus pandemic.  There could not have been a better time, as the majority of people were confined to their homes and the internet was the only way of communicating with the outside world.

If you are trading time for money and have no back up plan in place, maybe you need to look at what you are currently doing and think of ways that you can implement to ensure that you are not left vulnerable and without any income.

If I can be of any help, please email me at ali@alimcoaching.com or call me on +44 7968 134048.

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How to Promote Your Business Website for Free

How to Promote Your Business Website for Free

How you Can Get Free Website For No Cost

Are you able to promote your website for free?  Is that even possible?

Yes, it is.  Your business website can gain huge traffic in no time thanks to free website promotion.

How do you go about promoting your website for free?

The following is a list of steps that you can take to get more traffic to your website:

1. Enlist your website on Internet Directories

Look for the best Internet directories and enlist your site there.  This is the easiest and most effective free website promotion tactic.  Start with this step and the rest of the steps will follow on from here.

Before you try to list your website, make sure that it is looking professional and business-like for a higher chance to get accepted in your directory of choice.

2. Know your forums.

One reason why forums are created is for free website promotion for everyone. Log in, post actively, let them know about your site in every post and you will attract instant visitors from the forums.

3. Write a press release.

Release your writing prowess and start up a press release that advertises your site.  This is a free website promotion tactic that you can do anytime.  Type a brief paragraph or two and email it to your friends, colleagues, internet E-magazines, newspapers and other media and you will find that the traffic to your website will increase dramatically.

4. Be friendly online.

Free website promotion means you need to be friendly to other people who are on the web.  You wouldn’t be rude to people that you meet in real life, so why would you treat people on the internet any differently?   If you build up a list of colleagues and friends online, ask them to like your posts and share them.   Work on establishing links with other business owners and building up relationships with them.

5. Write an article.

There are lots of places that you can submit articles without it costing you any money.  Use Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and other online Social Media platforms to post your articles on.  If for example, your website is about your travel agency. Write an article about the perks of traveling or the hottest travel spots in the world.  In the concluding paragraph, make sure that you put a link to your website. This article works as an advertorial and doubles as free website promotion.

6. Let the whole world know about your site.

What is free website promotion without the word of mouth?  Make sure that you have conversations with people, rather than just spamming them with your sales pitches.  Once you have built trust, insert your website, its URL and features in daily conversations and let the good news spread from one person to another.

7. Make a banner ad.

Make a banner ad for your site and ask another webmaster to do the same for his site. Then swap, so that you both have links to each other’s sites on your websites.

Two Basic Parts of a Low-Cost Web Site Promotion

Anybody could own a web site.  Anybody could up sell their products and services to their target audience.  Anyone could try to promote their website with a low-cost budget.  But there are not many web sites that have a truly successful web site with traffic all day.  What these individuals or companies lack is the most essential factor of success – a low-cost web site promotion that really works.

If you have been trying to promote your own web site and you have received traffic consistently, congratulations.  But for those people who need assistance, who do not have the patience to promote their own product and services, and who lacks the knowledge to properly advertise themselves, here are some guidelines to help you achieve success with a low-cost web site promotion.

SEO

Search Engine Submission and Ranking are the two basic parts to a low-cost web site promotion. Both of the parts have the same effect on the marketing of the website – for your products and services presented in your website to catch people’s attention.

The first inexpensive method of website promotion is search engine submission.  This first part is the act of filling in information and submitting your website to search engines. There are two types of Search engine submission – manual and automatic.  For a low cost and effective web site promotion, automatic submission is ideal because after filling up the information, a software program would forward this information to other search engines.

The second money-saving web site promotion is ranking.  This refers to the numerical position in which your web site appears on a search engine, based upon the web site’s criteria.  Some search engines rank the order in which your search results appear primarily by how many other websites link to each page.  The leading web sites on this order would eventually fulfil a low- cost web site promotion.

Other types of inexpensive web site promotion you could use to boost up traffic to your web site are Google Ads, banner advertising, classified ads, text links and section sponsorship.  Banner advertisements pop up above and below web pages, and sometimes in another window. Text links and section sponsorship may cost more, but these methods help in promoting to your specified target audience.  If you have the budget to do this type of advertising, it is worth experimenting and seeing what results you get.

Website v Traffic

Having a website and getting traffic to your website are two totally different things.  If you are losing sales because no one can find your website, then it may well be worth trying out some of the methods mentioned above or employing someone who has the necessary skills and experience.

The internet is open for business 24/7 and is global, so investing a small amount of money in some of these strategies could greatly increase your customers, clients, and revenue.

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Building an Online Presence for your Business

Branding, as a whole, is essential for any serious business because a company’s brand is what distinguishes it from its competitors.  In today’s internet global age, it is necessary for most businesses to have an online presence to stay competitive.  An effective internet branding strategy, just like its offline counterpart, helps bring awareness to your unique business offering and drives customer demand.

While Internet branding offers huge opportunities for business, in order for it to be effective one needs to attract and engage its customers.  This isn’t easy on the internet. Branding is not as easy as putting up a website and adding your company logo and slogan.  Your internet branding strategy should make your online brand noticeable and apparent.

Why Should You Worry About Branding Your Business?

Branding utilizes hi-tech tools to create an online presence for your business.  Graphics and animation, a compelling web copy and overall website design that reflect your company are some of the important elements that will bring your online brand alive.  An attractive website that helps customers easily and quickly find the information they need is the key to getting customer interaction and eventually, business.  Your branding plan should include good design elements and ease of use to create an effective overall impression.

What Will Make Your Company Stand Out From the Crowd?

A strong online image will make the difference between a customer who buys from you online or switches to your competitors.  Remember, that online customers can just leave your site and go to your competitors at the click of a mouse.  A lot depends on the impression they get from your site.  Branding seeks to convey an immediate unique message about your business to your target clients.

Basically you may know what your vision and offer are, but do your potential customers understand and will you immediately be able to capture their attention before they click away and go to your competitors. 

As you can see, there are many requirements for a successful branding strategy. Hiring a branding specialist might be helpful to give you focus on your efforts in creating an online presence that will become a valuable asset to your business and make you stand out from the crowd.

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Living Your Company Brand

Not everyone is your buyer.  There may be a large amount of people that purchase your product, but that’s not everyone.  You need to research your audience and be really clear of who they are.

Find out the answers to the following questions:

  • What are their spending habits?  
  • Values?
  • Concerns?  
  • Needs?  
  • How does your product/service fit into their life?

By answering these direct questions you will begin to win over your key customer.  The closer the focus, the more connected the buyer will feel with your brand.  You want them to think that you designed the brand specifically for them.

It is imperative when communicating that you exchange information about the product in the same way your buyer talks.  For example: if they are high class, intelligent and wealthy speak to them with sophistication and parallel their first-class style.  Or for the free-spirited young adults don’t confuse them with words that they won’t understand or metaphors; simply connect with your audience on their level.

Employees, customers, friends, and clients must know the personality of your business.  Everyone needs to be familiar with and understand the persona inside the brand.  Some great ways to do this are to hire those you believe already possess the desired traits, attend company parties, being a part of community events and relaxed company meetings on implementing the brand through its employers.

How do you use your Branding?

Next, use your brand, logo and tagline on company material.  These are: web sites, Social Media accounts, marketing, advertising, public relations, e-mail, letterheads, business cards, and product packaging.  Place your brand on any objects related to your products or services.

Society is always changing.  With that said, it’s important to evaluate and re-evaluate your brand. Simple changes without changing the overall message are needed for survival.  Grow with and ahead of your buyer.  Don’t let your brand get left behind.

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Three Internet Traffic Tactics That Won’t Cost You Any Money

  • Are you constantly feeling anxious and frustrated that you are not receiving all the internet traffic you would like to get to your web site?
  • Are you tormented from information overload listening to all the latest free website traffic tactics and not being able to understand any of it?
  • Are you dejected by people trying day and night who are harassing you to max out your credit card and get loans for Google clicks, and in the process losing your credit score?
  • Are you stupefied by the way your website just completely dropped out of the Google search results?
  • Or are you just too broke that all you have to rely on is getting some free website traffic tactics?

 Well the good news is that you can employ website traffic tactics without spending any money whatsoever.  However, knowing what to do and how to do it is crucial.  

Here are some ways to get traffic to your website without spending any money on advertising or marketing:

1.  Link it

Of all the effective website traffic tactics that can get you best results, linking to and from other websites is the one of the most widely-used method.  Just make sure that the Internet business you are exchanging links with is relatively if not utterly related to your own business. And of course, don’t overkill by linking to too many websites as this might ban you from search engines.

2.  Utilise Your Meta Tags

Another way of to acquire your desired traffic for your website is through having your Meta tags contain usually used keywords that target your business.  Meta tags help search engines in describing your web page.  If you’re quite adept with the HTML aspect of your web pages, manipulating your meta tags would be easy.

3.  Keyword-rich And Sensible Content

Writing or acquiring articles that provide solid information regarding your business is one of the best ways of increasing traffic to your website.  Making use of free keyword suggestion tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Overture, Wordstream, or Wordtracker will help you on which keyword or phrases to work on to better lead more traffic to your website.  Making these write-ups very readable and genuinely informative will help you to gain trust and repeat visitors who will subsequently become repeat customers or clients.

Submitting these articles to various article directory listings will provide more visibility for your business as long as you keep your resource box intact to create for yourself numerous back links.

These methods, if employed properly, will not only make your web site popular but will make you achieve your most desirable result – higher conversion rate, therefore more customers or clients. 

More leads, more customers,  more sales, more revenue!

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How to Sell With Branding

How can Branding help you to sell your products or offers?

When you think of the Coca Cola brand, what comes to mind?  Does an image of a red can with words Coca Cola written in white display in your mind’s eye, or perhaps a coke bottle? Of course it does.  Possibly a huge proportion of the globe know what the Coca Cola image and brand are.

Other incredibly famous Brands are companies like Apple, Nike, Microsoft, Disney, McDonalds to name just a few.   The instant that you see their logo you know exactly who they are and what they do.

Following their example, we must pick our niche on the internet and brand our company name accordingly.  Having a Brand that is easily identifiable and which tells your potential customers of clients what you do without them having to read a lot of text or to contact your company is essential if you want to succeed.

Here are the things that you will need:

1) A website that belongs to you.

2) Auto Responder and Opt In box. Your visitors will most likely not make a purchase on the 1st attempt and when they leave your site, you will not see them again. So do capture your visitors details with an auto responder opt in box and follow up with a series of emails. Follow up emails reinforces your brand name in the mind of your readers. Respectful persistence wins sales.

3) Photograph & Signature. Scan a groomed, smiling photo of yourself and your penned signature. This adds that personal touch to let your audience know you are a real person.

4) Audio. Do you have a nice speaking voice? If so, combine this with your photograph and signature to humanize your website and establish rapport with your audience.

5) Blog. A blog can be an add-on to your main website or be used as a free alternative to a website, at least until you are generating profits. You can combine every aspect of name branding mentioned in the above points into your free blog. Update your blog at regular consistent intervals with content specific to your vision. Refrain from writing about off topic content so as to keep your message and theme consistent. One way to keep your readers posted about your content is to use RSS feeds.

6) A Domain name. You can register a domain name and forward it to point at your Blog. Use the domain masking feature that allows your website to have a professional look.

7)  A logo that represents your colours and theme and that people will instantly know what you do.

8)  A clear image that are your colours and theme that you carry on to every Social Media account that you have.

Be specific on what your offer is and how you are trying to portray yourself as a company to fulfil the needs of your potential customers and clients. 

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Creating Internet Traffic for Your Business

Perhaps you have followed the trend in business to create an internet web site for your business that can be used to supplement your marketing efforts.   If so, you have joined the momentum of the majority of businesses nowadays to create a corresponding “place” in cyberspace that can be used to reach customers online.   The need for such an internet presence is entirely market driven and now more than any time, this is the place where you should have a presence and been seen. 

Internet sales have soared during the last 6 months of the Coronavirus Pandemic outbreak, particularly in certain market segments and more and more, the first place people go to in order to learn about your business is the internet.  If they find a well-designed web site that is full of features, that works fast and draws them in, that can be a tremendous tool for promoting your business.  It doesn’t have to necessarily be an online business to have an internet presence, but it is the most cost effective and successful way of marketing any business.

When you set up a marketing tool outside of cyberspace, the first concern is how will that new marketing effort get noticed.   So we would traditionally have been drawn to places where there is already an active traffic of people who would qualify as our customers.   That may mean putting up a billboard where it will be seen by people going to work.  That target audience may be the best population to respond to your message.  Or if your business appeals to youth, advertising on MTV or on popular radio stations is a natural place to put your marketing money because the traffic is already there.  However, these methods are extremely expensive and nowadays when a large proportion of the population is either working from home or on the internet, it is really touch and go as to whether you will ever capture their attention and interest.

We have to approach the internet differently.   Yes, the traffic is already there but we have to enter the world of cyberspace marketing with a different kind of strategy so we can reach the customers who are traveling certain “internet roads” and make sure those roads lead to our web site.

There is a whole industry that has sprung up around the need for knowledgeable internet marketing gurus.  It’s a good idea to use their talents to make sure the search engines put your web site in front of the right kind of client or customer.  These talented internet geeks can put your business web site into the flow of web surfers so you get your share of that traffic.

That said, you don’t have to wait for the internet marketing experts to make your web site more successful.   If the business has made the effort to put that web site up, you want to see it start to pay off right away.  That is why you should consider some creative ways to drive people to your web site from your traditional markets thus educating your current customers, clients and partners about the site.   

Ways to do that include:-

  1.  Promote the web site at every opportunity that you have.  Have some business cards printed with your website details on including your email address and contact telephone number.  Make sure that you give them out to anyone that you meet who may be a potential customer.  Some creative signage such as flyers or brochures at your relevant retail locations can create some momentum and interest in customers to visit your exciting new web site.
  •  Put the link on all correspondence.  If you have flyers, a magazine or other current means of communications, your URL should always be listed there, as well as your email address and contact telephone number.  Add your URL to your email signature and on business cards and all other forms of communication so your community of clients, customers and partners get used to associating that web site with you as much as they do your business name.
  •  Create excitement.  It is easy to operate a discount code or special offer from your website and Social Media as well as your business site that drives people to the web site for discounts or special offers.  That kind of momentum can create huge surges of traffic through your web site with the corresponding surge of sales and leads.

The modern customer or client is used to seeing the promotion of a web site included with other forms of promotion and advertising.  You are not “assaulting” your customer base with this information.  If anything, when your audience sees that the business has burst into the cyberspace world in a big way, they will be thrilled and as likely to respond with, “It’s about time.”.   A lot of people will now do their shopping or purchasing when they are at home or in the evening either on their computer or on their phone.

You know how much you depend on the internet to keep you informed about areas of interest and about businesses you like to patronize.  So you can see that not only putting up a good web site but letting people know that it is there and that there are big things there for them to enjoy is doing them a favour as much as it is creating new marketing opportunities for your business.

If you would like any help or assistance with any of the above, please email me on ali@alimcoaching.com and let me help you.

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Tools Talk: All about internet marketing tools

Who doesn’t want inexpensive internet marketing tools?

In this day and age when advertising your business online is the way to go, it’s a must that you avail of internet marketing tools at the lowest cost possible. How do you know what you need and how to get hold of them? How can you make the most out of these low cost internet marketing tools?

These low cost internet marketing tools aim to better your website and promote them to massive audiences regardless of their location and business niche.

Here are some tools to help you market your business:

1. Software

There is software specializing in internet marketing. These programs are affordable internet marketing tools.  They attract traffic, communicate your site to anyone online, harness and trim down your keywords, track your site visitors and create links to other sites. Of course, the phrase “low cost” emphasizes that you should not spend a large amount of money on them. Watch out for internet marketing tools that promise the earth, but actually do not deliver and just take a large chunk of your marketing.

2. Website packages

There are many low cost internet marketing tools and companies that do the following: hosting and designing your site, getting your domain, offering technical help, configuring and upload your files, and doing your Google keywords or AdWords campaign to attract traffic. These are available in website packages that you can sign up to anytime. Choose a package that caters to your site’s needs and to your budget.

3. Mailing lists

When you visit the ‘inbox’ folder of your emails, you read nothing but website promotions.  That’s email marketing.  It boosts your business like no other method. Be very aware of the rules about spamming. Ensure that your subscribers have opted in to your emails and are therefore on the “safe lists” that make your mails spam-free. You can also buy mailing lists from the internet or work with JV (Joint Venture) partners.  

4. Data Submitters

This is a money-saving internet marketing tool that works like magic. Have a data submitter of your own and amass tremendously huge hits.

5. E-books

Integrate a free E-book in your site for people to download once they have subscribed to your emailing list.  If you give away free information and value, you keep people’s interest and attention and hopefully they will keep visiting your site in the future. That’s one very affordable internet marketing tool for you.

6. SEO tools

Internet marketing is not complete without the standard SEO tools. Search engines remain as the major powerhouse in marketing so never leave this part out. Generate traffic through this effective low cost internet marketing tool.  If you are not sure how to do this yourself, there are plenty of companies who specialize in doing this and often for a small amount of money.

However, if you are going to outsource your SEO, before you sign up to a company, study the package deals; analyse the contents and benefits before deciding who you will go with.

I hope that these hints and tips have given you some value, if you would like any help with any of the above, please email me on ali@alimcoaching.com.

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Internet Marketing Strategies that Won’t Break the Bank!

To promote your new business and to let people know that it exists,  you can utilise a lot of various Internet marketing methods.  You don’t have to spend millions of pounds just to get some decent exposure for your company.  There are ways to make your business be seen and felt without spending a lot of money on advertising.

Make use of your online power – through Internet marketing.  Here are simple methods that you may employ to boost the visibility of your business without spending more than what you can afford.  However, these techniques need patience and some footwork to produce satisfying results.

Firstly, you need a website before you can make use of these low cost Internet marketing strategies.  So create one or hire a web developer.  It will display your products and services. This will be used in employing the following Internet marketing techniques.

1. Affiliate Marketing

This is the process of recruiting a network of smaller websites known as affiliates to drive targeted traffic to a website.  Ad copy and links will be provided by the advertisers.  You will have to pay a certain percentage of the sales profit to your affiliates.

2. Links

One of your goals should be to attain a good ranking with search engines.  One way to do it is through link building.  This could be done through trading links to other businesses that are related with yours.

3. Newsletters

Sending out newsletters to your subscribers (those who signed up for your newsletters) will help greatly in establishing a good working relationship with your customers or prospective customers.  It has to be short, sweet, consistent and written for a general audience.  You also need to do this on a regular basis, whether once a week or once a fortnight. 

4. E-mail Marketing

As one of the best cost-effective Internet marketing tools, it stays as a very important method of keeping your customers aware of your products and services. Just make sure to avoid spamming or you will have to close down you business due to complaints.  Ensure that you have an opt-in form on the front page of your website giving you permission to email your subscribers.

5. Articles

If you put quality content in the form of articles in your website along with your products and services, search engines will have to index your website.  Getting you website indexed by popular search engines means more traffic for you.

6. Forums

Expand your Internet network is through joining forums that mainly discusses stuff regarding or related to your products and services.  Actively posting responses or answers and asking relevant information will build your reputation as that forum’s member and boost your company’s visibility through your signature files.  These signature files are those that go with your every post.  Links to your website could be included in this signature and your email address.

If you would like some help with marketing your business on the internet, email me at ali@alimcoaching.com and visit my website at www.alimcoaching.com

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Building An Online Presence

Branding, as a whole, is essential for any serious business because a company’s brand is what distinguishes it from its competitors.  In today’s computer age, it is necessary for most businesses to have an online presence to stay competitive.  An effective internet branding, just like its offline counterpart, helps bring awareness to your unique business offering and drive customer demand.

While Internet branding offers huge opportunities for business, in order for it to be effective one needs to attract and engage its customers.  This isn’t easy on the internet.  Branding is not as easy as putting up a website and adding your company logo and slogan.  Your internet branding strategy should make your online brand noticeable and apparent.

Branding utilizes hi-tech tools to create an online presence for your business. Graphics and animation, a compelling web copy, and overall website design that reflect your company are some of the important elements that will bring your online brand alive.  An attractive website that helps customers easily and quickly find the information they need is the key to getting customer interaction and eventually, business.  Your branding plan should include good design elements and ease of use to create an effective overall impression.

A strong online image will make the difference between a customer who buys from you online or switches to your competitors.  Remember, that online customers can just leave your site and go to your competitors at the click of a mouse.  A lot depends on the impression they get from your site.  Branding seeks to convey an immediate unique message about your business to your target clients.

As you can see, there are many requirements for a successful branding strategy.  Hiring a branding specialist might be helpful to give you focus on your efforts in creating an online presence that will become a valuable asset to your business