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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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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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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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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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How To Write A Good WHY Statement

Once you have discovered your true calling in life you want to create a WHY statement around it.  Your WHY statement needs to be compelling because you want to use it to motivate you every day to do the right things to attain fulfillment in your life.

There are a number of formats that you can use to write your WHY statement but at the end of the day it is up to you.  There are no hard and fast rules here.  The most important thing is that your WHY statement really resonates with you and that it is effective.

Four Elements of an Ideal WHY Statement

Although you don’t need to conform to any set rules there are four elements to a good WHY statement that we strongly recommend that you follow.  Your WHY statement need to be very clear and as concise as possible for you and any people that you choose to share it with.  So we strongly recommend that you include these 4 elements in your WHY statement:

1. Make your WHY statement clear and simple

It is really important that your WHY statement provides you with clarity about your life’s purpose.  It needs to be simple to understand and as concise as you can make it.  At the end of the day it needs to make sense and resonate with you.

2. Your WHY statement needs to promote action

Your WHY statement must inspire action.  There is no point just writing a WHY statement and then do nothing with it.  It needs to inspire you to work towards your true calling in life and motivate you to work on this every day.

3. Include your Contribution to others in your WHY statement

If you can help others then you will help yourself.  Every good WHY statement needs a contribution element to it so make sure that yours does as well.  Having a contribution element will inspire you to move forward each day.

4. Make your WHY statement positive and ensure it resonates with you

It will actually be pretty difficult for you to create a WHY statement that is negative but ensure that it is really positive.  When you read your WHY statement it needs to resonate with you and motivate you to take action towards your life’s purpose.

How long should your WHY Statement be?

Again there are no strict rules to follow here.  Your WHY statement needs to be as long as you need it to be.  Having said that we recommend that you keep your WHY statement as short as you can.

The most important thing is that your WHY statement contains the 4 important elements that we discussed above.  While others may be able to write their WHY statement in one sentence this may not be enough for you.  This doesn’t matter at all so please do not concern yourself with this.

Aim for an Evergreen WHY Statement

An evergreen WHY statement is one that you will not have to change very often, if at all.  You want to use your WHY statement in all aspects of your life both in your work and personal life.

When you are writing your WHY statement, think about it as a way to express the value that you provide to others at work and in your personal life.  There is no need for you to write two WHY statements to cover this.

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Getting The Best Results From Your WHY Statement

It is no easy task to identify your real purpose in life and write a compelling WHY statement that will drive you forward.  In reality this is going to take a lot of time and effort to get it right.  So when you make this kind of investment in your WHY statement you want to make sure that you get the most out of it afterwards.

In this article we will explain how you can do that.  As soon as you have your WHY statement written you can start to do these things which will help to transform your life for the better.  Don’t just write your WHY statement and then not take any action and follow through on it.  If you don’t take action then there is no point writing your WHY statement.

Use your WHY Statement to set inspiring Goals

Only a small percentage of the population actually set goals.  Some of these people choose to do this at New Year when they have been out drinking and celebrating, but have a feeling of loss or that something is missing in their lives.  We do not recommend this as it rarely works out well.  Others will set goals with a clear head but they end up going for goals that they are not totally committed to and then fail to achieve them.

You may be wondering why anyone would set themselves goals that they are not really committed to.  Well it happens a lot and sometimes this can be other people influencing us to do something that seems like a good idea at the time.

For example you may have a close friend that has decided that they want to climb Mount Everest.  They put pressure on you to do this with them.  You agree because you value their friendship but you do not really have any desire to start mountaineering.

You go to classes with your friend and soon lose interest.  Your heart is not in it like theirs is.  So what do you do?  Well you may have to dream up some credible excuse why you cannot pursue this goal with them.  Maybe lie about a physical problem that you have which prevents you from climbing mountains?

This kind of thing can be completely avoided when you have a clear and compelling WHY statement.  You will have clarity about where you want to go with your life and there will be no need for you to be influenced by others.

It will be a lot easier for you to identify and set your goals when you have a powerful WHY statement.  You will also be totally committed to achieving the goals because they are in line with your real purpose in life. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Let your WHY Statement Guide your Decision Making

Without truly knowing what your purpose in life is it will be very easy for you to make the wrong life choices.  You will be vulnerable to any temptations that come your way and to ride the wave of the “next big thing”.

Most decisions that you need to think about have consequences.  People that drift along aimlessly in life rarely consider these consequences and as a result end up living a life that they don’t want.

When you have a powerful WHY statement as a guide you will make a lot better decisions in your life. It doesn’t matter how big or small the decisions are you can use your WHY statement to guide you down the right road.

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Why Your Business Needs A WHY Statement

Why Your Business Needs A WHY Statement

A WHY statement for a business is known as a “Mission Statement”.  It is similar to a personal WHY statement in a number of ways.  Having a good mission statement is important but most business owners don’t bother to create one.  Or they write one for a business plan and then never look at it again.

Writing a good mission statement is essential.  If it is done in a rush and doesn’t encapsulate all of the important things about your business then it is a complete waste of time.  In this article we will explain why it is so important to create a strong mission statement and take the time and effort to do so.

It Provides Direction

A good mission statement will always clearly state the direction of a company.  It will include the main goal of the business and this is important for customers, employees, suppliers and stakeholders to know.

As your business launches new products and services your customers and employees will understand why you have done that if you have a strong mission statement.  They will see how they align with the direction that the company is heading in and will be more committed to them.

It will provide Employee Unification

In any company that has a number of different departments there is often a disconnect between them.  These days many businesses outsource work to skilled freelancers and external companies and this makes the problem worse.

For example, if the company is planning to launch a new product then it is very likely that most of the departments and a number of outsourcers and external companies will be involved.  If no strong mission statement exists then there is a much higher chance of the overall goal of the project being lost on different people.

When you have a strong and explicit mission statement and you share this with all parties it makes it a lot easier for everybody working on the product launch project to see how they fit in and how important their role is.

A Mission Statement helps to maintain Focus

When a company grows and expands their reach it is often the case that both the bosses and the workers will lose their focus.  If your business has a strong mission statement then this can be avoided.

Loss of focus can really harm the reputation of a business.  Its brand can suffer and so can its overall image.  With a strong and explicit mission statement in place it will provide guidance to all during periods of growth.  The mission statement will remind everyone of the main goal and help to keep its reputation intact.

Creating Accountability with a Mission Statement

Any business will exist to fulfill a specific purpose or need and this needs to be stated clearly in your Mission Statement.  A businesses needs to be accountable so that it can continue to improve and serve its customers better.  If the overall purpose of the business is unclear then it is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to make these improvements.

You need to make it clear in your Mission Statement what your business wants to accomplish.  This will help to hold both the business owners and employees accountable and ensure that everyone is striving to achieve the same goal.