Posts of the Week Ending 11-17-2012

Potluck Sunday posts of the week

The big news for business bloggers during the past week was the announcement of Pinterest’s new tools for businesses. And, as always, bloggers have been busy creating great content. Here’s a list of the best posts I ran across last week:

  • 10 Ways to Make Your Blog More Social – from LongHornLeads, this list doesn’t share any surprises, but it’s a great social content marketing checklist.
  • 10 Tips to Take Advantage of Google+ for SEO – We’ve talked a lot about the importance of social media in relation to SEO, and since Google is the proud parent of Google+, wise bloggers will take notice of its importance. Cyrus Shepherd wrote this guest post over on Social Media Biz.
  • Snoox: It’s Like Pinterest but for Social Recommendations – Whether or not we need another social platform, we now have Snoox (“We Share Things Every Day in Real Life – Now Share, Search & Save Recommendations with Friends Online.”). Thanks to Megan O’Neill for her Snoox review on SocialTimes.
  • In B2B Email Subject Lines, Some Keywords Work Better than Others – You gotta love analysts. Thanks to MarketingCharts for researching over a BILLION email subject headlines to let us know which words are more effective. It’s great information. I’m just glad they did the research and not me!
  • 7 Tips to Create Great Mobile Landing Pages – Did you know 70 percent of mobile searchers take action within one hour of their search? We’ve talked a lot about landing pages lately, and this post from DreamGrow gives some great tips for mobile landing pages.

How to Win Friends and Influence Your Market

How to win friends and influence your market

On “Wednesday is Friends Day” we typically talk about social media or even host an occasional guest blogger, but, since we’re discussing lead capture systems this month, today I wanted to share a few tips on how to strengthen the bond between you and your audience.

Once you have your free giveaway (or “ethical bribe”) created and set up to deliver via your auto-responder, you need to nurture the leads you’ve collected. This is done through follow-up emails, again delivered via your auto-responder. If you missed it, yesterday’s post shared how to set up an auto-responder.

The first set of emails sent to those who’ve entrusted you with their email address should introduce yourself to them. Let them get to know you. Let them learn to like you. And, most importantly, let them grow to trust you. I call these first 5-7 emails the Know-Like-Trust series.

Getting to Know You

Without being overly personal, give your audience a glimpse into your life. One of my friends has built a huge “tribe” by letting her followers get to know her dogs. She doesn’t share much about her personal life, but she and her dogs visit area state parks from time to time, so she shares pictures from their outings on her company’s Facebook page. On a recent hike, she called one of her dogs by name, and a woman who was hiking with her family immediately stopped and said, “Wow! I read all your Facebook posts!”

Because my friend let her audience in on a controlled portion of her personal life, she has become “real” to them. There’s no need to gush over every detail of your life. Trust me, people probably don’t care, and you don’t want to tempt potential stalkers. Choose something about you to share – like my friend picked dogs and hiking – and periodically include references to that aspect of your personal life through updates on Facebook, Twitter, and through your email marketing. It’s especially important to share a little personal info with your email list, because not only do you want them to get to know you, you want them to like you.

Learning to Like You

When people identify with someone else, they are more likely to like them. That’s one reason why it’s important to share a bit of your personal life with your readers. Another way people learn to like you is through your writing style. Make it conversational and let your personality come through in your blog posts. Let people know you’re a real human with real dreams and dreads.

Don’t whine and fuss, but it’s okay to once in a while share that you’ve had a challenging or stressful time in your life. Everyone can identify when “life happens,” and people like those they can identify with.

In your initial Know-Like-Trust email series, share a bit of “your story” with your readers. Why did you get in the business you’re in? What challenges have you faced and overcome? What are your goals for the future of your business? Keep it relevant to the reason they joined your list (to learn more about your industry), but keep it real, too.

Growing to Trust You

Consumers have become more and more skeptical in today’s market. It’s imperative for people to trust you. When you say you’re going to do something, do it. Be consistent with your email messages. Be consistent with your blog. This is an area I’ve struggled with, and it has honestly hurt my business. I’ve had good intentions, but I have let life issues creep in. Now I’m in the process of starting over in many areas.

Another way to get people to trust you is by providing valuable content. This is one area where I’ve had good success. I try to research and provide information that will help my readers, and because of that, I’ve had good response from the majority of them. I’ve worked to develop a reputation of someone who provides content my readers can trust.

Once you’ve introduced yourself and part of your personal life and shared your story, it’s time to include valuable content to your list. Give them things you don’t give to your blog or your Facebook page or Twitter followers. Make it special, just for them. Make it worth their time. Make them glad they’re on your list.

Only after you’ve put in the time to develop a Know-Like-Trust relationship with your audience will you be able to sell your products and/or services to them.

How to Set Up Your Auto-Responder

Email marketing with Aweber

We’ve been talking about lead capture systems this month. The cornerstone of your lead capture system is the auto-responder. I use and recommend Aweber, which is also used and recommended by many professional bloggers and online marketers.

You’ll need a professional program with a high deliverability rate, the ability to segment your lists, and the ability to test and track the success of your campaigns. We’ll get into the “how-to” of all that later, but since it’s Techie Tip Tuesday, today we’ll get started by showing you how to set up your Aweber account.

Before we get started, I’ll explain exactly how an auto-responder works:

  1. You place a sign-up box on your sales page, squeeze page, website or blog
  2. You drive people to that sign-up box via blog posts, social marketing, search engine optimization, advertising or other forms of networking
  3. Interested readers voluntarily sign up via this box and give you their contact details
  4. You send them regular emails, either giving valuable information or inviting them to view your offers

And for your “Techie Tip” of today, click on this link to watch a video that explains how to set up your Aweber account.

Potluck Sunday – Top posts from week ending 9-29-12

Potluck Sunday

When I say “top posts,” of course I mean the posts that I found to be the most useful out of those I read during the past week. There is no secret algorithm or ballots to count. Just stuff I ran across on the web I thought looked cool or interesting or helpful.

So, without further ado, and in no certain order, here are this week’s Potluck Sunday winners:

  • Infographics are all the rage right now, plus learning how to do keyword research is still a big mystery to many bloggers, so my first choice for this week’s Potluck Sunday awards goes to Search Engine Land for their infographic on how to do keyword research. One cautionary note, though – this infographic offers some controversial steps in keyword research, such as identifying landing pages before you conduct the search, so be warned – it’s not the “definitive way” to do this process.
  • Email marketing is still one of the best tried-and-true methods for nurturing leads and retaining customers. Plus, Hubspot always creates rockin’ content. Therefore, it’s no wonder they made this week’s list with their post titled, “25 Little Email Marketing Experiments that Deliver BIG Results.”
  • You might need to sit down for this one, but MySpace (yes, you read that right) is under new management and just underwent a re-design that puts all those never-ending changes of Facebook to shame. Kudos to Ad Age Digital for bringing this “new and improved” MySpace announcement to our attention with their piece, “Sexy MySpace Redesign Makes Some Wish They Hadn’t Deleted Their Account Back in 2008.” Now I’m curious if MY MySpace account is still active. I’ll have to check on that!
  • The term “landing page” is one of the most misunderstood terms for newcomers to online marketing. Our friends over at Duct Tape Marketing have put some of the confusion to rest in their September 26 post “How to Create a High Converting Landing Page.” The post comes complete with a breakdown of landing page elements and examples of excellent landing pages.
  • Finally, thanks to Portent.com for sharing a great post on How to Optimize Social Networks for Local SEO. This post also covers the all-important topic of online reputation. There are some tips there I can’t wait to share with some of my clients.

Speaking of redesign, I’m still working in the background on the new design for OnBloggingWell. Hopefully this week’s schedule will permit me to spend more time on that so I can unveil it to you soon. I mean, if MySpace can dust itself off and “relaunch” with a new design, so can On Blogging Well!

It’s great to be back on the block!

Until next time,
Happy Blogging!