Eight Tips For A Successful Webinar

Eight Tips For A Successful Webinar

Webinars are amazing events that can help you move your business to the next level, teaching your audience about something specific and special to their niche. You can use a webinar to inform, educate, and engage with your audience in a more personal way than via blog posts, videos, or social media. But, it’s important to ensure that you cover all your bases.

1. Choose Your Technology Carefully
Based on your budget, technical skills, and needs, decide which technology will work best for your purposes. Test out a few different choices to ensure that the software works in the manner that is intuitive to and useful for your needs.

2. Add Value to Your Attendees
Send information to the participants prior to call so that they know what to expect and can come up with questions to ask. Have them submit some questions in advance so that you can personalize your webinar to the people who will be attending.

3. Choose a Topic That Appeals to Your Target Audience
As you plan your webinar, it’s important to understand who your audience is and what they need to know. Make the webinar focused on one thing that your audience needs to know so that you can provide superior value to them during the event.

4. Joint Venture with Movers and Shakers in Your Niche
Find popular people within your niche – who market to your same audience but who aren’t direct competition – to join you and conduct part of the webinar. Or, offer them a large affiliate commission to promote your event to their audience.

5. Have the Event at the Right Time
If you know your audience well, you’ll know when you should have the event. You don’t want to have it at the wrong time for your audience because they may not be able to attend. If you’re unsure about when is the best time, try surveying your audience.

6. Encourage Engagement
Ask for questions in advance and during your event to encourage engagement. Set up a hashtag and ask attendees to live tweet the event. Create fun memes to share during the event. The more engagement that you can get before, during and after the event, the more likely your attendees are to buy from you and continue their relationship with you.

7. Focus on Building Relationships
Try not to make the entire event about selling your products and services. Instead, make the event about building relationships with your audience. Provide so much value to your audience that they want to follow up with you and they want to buy what you’re offering. Make them want to look you up and learn more about you.

8. Always Follow Up
Do not wait too long after the event to follow up. One way to follow up is to offer a recording of the event, transcripts of the event, or other information to help remind the attendee what they learned. Finally you can start telling them about the products and services you offer to help them implement what they learned.

Webinars offer an exciting way to provide personalized attention to your audience that they will appreciate. It’s a great addition to a membership website, too. You can use them as weekly calls or monthly benefits for members. It’s totally up to you.

Eight Reasons Your Online Reputation Matters

Eight Reasons Your Online Reputation Matters

Your online reputation is the same thing as your offline reputation but, thankfully, you can discover what your online reputation is and work toward making it better. In contrast, it can be very difficult to discover what your offline reputation is.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you have these days – it can be online or offline, large or small. You must manage your online reputation. Here are eight reasons why.

1. Most People Will “Google You” before Buying
You know you do it, so of course, most others do it too. If you want information on a business or product, you search on Google to see if you can find it. You don’t care if it’s a local business or not – you go to Google, type in the name, and then you read the reviews and other information about that business.

2. People Buy from Those They Trust
Finding good information during the searching process helps build a feeling of trust in your customer. If instead they find bad information, poor ratings, or other things about you or your business that is negative, they may choose a competitor – even if they can’t find information on that competitor. Worse, they might find information about a competitor who is far away and order through the mail.

3. Reputation Builds Brand Awareness
By building an online reputation through the use of social media, websites, blogs, YouTube videos and more, you will build brand awareness. If you do it right, it will build positive brand awareness about yourself and your business. But, if you do it wrong you might inadvertently make yourself look bad. Focus on always being positive and not negative, unless of course that is your personal brand.

4. Good Reputation Gives a Competitive Advantage
The aim is to build such a good reputation that when someone searches for your name, a search term, or your product or industry, you appear in the searches in a healthy way without controversy. In this way, you’ll have an advantage over your competitors who either don’t exist online or have a bad reputation online.

5. Nothing Is a Secret Anymore
One thing you have to accept about our new technological world is that nothing is secret anymore. You cannot be anonymous online if you expect to make an impact with your business. Instead you need to be yourself, out and proud as they say, taking control of your reputation by making an appearance on discussion boards, blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos and more. Even if you have one negative event, you can ensure that the positive outweighs the negative if you make a concerted effort.

6. Customers Care about Your Values
In the old days, everyone cared more about the bottom line than their reputations as employers or corporations. Today, people want to know about your character. If you have poor character, or appear to online, you will lose money because consumers want to buy from people that are upstanding citizens who care about the world.

7. Unscrupulous Competitors May Attempt to Trash You
By keeping an eye on and working to improve your online reputation, when and if a competitor tries to trash you, you’ll be ready. Believe it or not, some very misinformed and bad people will actively seek to trash you online. They’ll hire people to do poor product reviews, or do one themselves, and call you out on things that aren’t true just to make you look bad. How you respond makes all the difference.

8. Every Action You Take for Better or Worse Affects It
One thing you have to know about being online and running an online business is that everything you do will be analyzed and scrutinized by everyone. It’s imperative that before you post that picture of you hanging off the ceiling at that convention that you consider how it will impact your future. Before you spout off to a rude customer on social media, consider how you can turn it around in a way that is positive because even if you’re ultimately right, how you respond matters.

Building and maintaining your online reputation is an important way to build your brand, improve your business, and make a difference. Leave no stone unturned and you won’t be unhappy.

Understanding the AIDA Formula

Understanding the AIDA Formula

In advertising there are tried and true formulas that you can use to ensure effectiveness. One of these is called the AIDA formula. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Using this formula in all of your ad copy is a way to check whether or not the advertisement will be effective before you even test it.

Grab Their Attention
You can catch your audience’s attention with a headline, an image, a special font, or the way you use words. As you know, the best way to ensure that people read your copy is to do something that makes them stop and take notice.

Interest
As well as the above, the words on the page need to keep your audience’s interest. The best way to do that is to explain the benefits of your product using words that differentiate yourself from the competition.

Desire
Using the right words, you want to create a longing or desire within your audience to follow your call to action. You do this by showing them how your product will solve their problems and fill their desires.

Action
Grabbing your audience’s attention, keeping their interest, and finding the words that bring up a well of desire for your product, will induce your audience to answer your calls to action at a higher rate than without applying AIDA.

How to Apply AIDA
Craft bold headlines, use active voice, white space, images and other means to use AIDA in your copy. Understand that while you need to write copy for all four stages, your audience also goes through the four stages as they engage with your advertising copy. If you can clearly identify the stages as you create the copy – whether it is a sales page or a pay-per-click advertisement, then it’s likely you’ve accomplished AIDA.

It’s a Weeding Process
You have to remember that you don’t want just anyone to click on your headline; you want someone who will read your copy and buy what you’re selling. So, to make AIDA work, don’t use tricky or misleading headlines or images to attract readers. Be up front at all times and as clear as possible about what’s “inside” your headlines for the reader. Use images that are relevant to the copy, and you’ll attract better leads. Ad copy is not just an attraction method; it’s also a weeding process.

Whether you write copy for digital media or print media, using the AIDA formula will help you creating winning ad copy as often as you need to. Show your audience what your product can do for them and why they need to buy it using this method and it will work. You will get results from AIDA when you put it into effect.

Making a Lean Budget for Your Home Business

Making a Lean Budget for Your Home Business

You need to create a budget for your home business in order to know whether or not you’re making a profit, expanding your business, and achieving the goals that you want. Budgets help you plan for the future, manage cash flow, and even secure financing if you should need it in the future.

Research Your Niche
When you’ve decided upon a business and a niche, there are tools of the trade that you may need or want. See what is available so that you can research the tools and choose the ones that offer the most value to your business.

Avoid Traditional Office Supplies
It can be tempting to run out and buy a file cabinet, paper, printer, ink and so much that you relate to an “office,” but today you don’t need those things. Instead “think green” and avoid most of that stuff. You don’t need it, and you’re not ever going to need it. Even when it comes to printing, unless you have a position that requires it, you will save money buying a second monitor instead of printing things out.

Use What You Have
What items do you already have? You likely have a laptop, a desk, and other things that you can put into service already for your home business. There is no reason to go out and buy all new things when you are first starting out. Using what you have will enable you to spend money on things you don’t have.

Keep Your Budget Simple
Don’t get carried away in the beginning with adding extra phone lines, a new internet connections and things that you’re not even sure you need yet. If you only add things when you’re certain that you need them, you’ll keep your budget lower and controlled.

Question Every Expense
Before you add a new expense to your business, ask yourself if the expense will create a return on investment or not. If not, ask yourself why you really need the expense. Does it play an integral part of your business to help it keep running? Do you really need it? You do have to spend money to make money, but you should be smart about it.

Work in Flexibility
One of the most awesome things about working from home today is the cloud-based technology that is available. You can essentially rent software instead of buying it outright, which means that you can deduct it fully each month from your income, and then if you no longer need it you can stop. Plus, most cloud-based software allows for flexibility in terms of features that you may or may not need.

Know Your Break-Even Point
Your break-even point is the amount of money you need to make just to keep the doors open without actually earning a profit. It’s your cost of doing business. This is an important number to note because it will help you determine your fees in the future.

Reassess Yearly
Always take the time to look at your budget each year to make sure that it fits with your goals to maintain a lean business. Being lean with a home office is a lot easier than if you had a bricks and mortar business.

Your lean home business budget is an important part of running a home business. You have something a bricks and mortar business doesn’t, and that is lower overhead and much more flexibility surrounding the costs to do business.

How to Use Images with Your Blog

In order to bring your blog posts to life, it’s important to add images. Images add interest, color, and even more understanding to the reader of the information you’re trying to convey. But there is a lot to know about using images to ensure that you get the most from them on your blog.

Understand Copyright Laws
You can’t just find any image you want by searching on Google and using it. It’s important to understand about how copyrights work. Read the fine print no matter where you find the image, so that you get permission and give credit appropriately.

Where to Find Images
You can buy royalty free images from stock photo sites like iStockPhoto.com, and stockfresh.com, or you can find free images from morguefile.com. These are only a few examples. Royalty free does not mean an image is free; it just means you can pay one time, and if you use it according to the licensing agreement you don’t have to pay per view.

Links:
iStockPhoto – http://www.istockphoto.com/
Stockfresh – http://stockfresh.com/
Morguefile – http://www.morguefile.com/

Ensure That Your Images Relate
And this post is a perfect example! Does the image relate to the article? Well, yes and no – it IS an image, and it probably caught your attention, if for no other reason than asking yourself what on earth it had to do with the article (And the truth is, I just like the pic and the attitude she has!)

Adding images to your blog posts will, if you choose right, make the blog posts come to life for your audience. If the image advances the story of your blog post, it’s going to mean a lot. They say an image is worth 1000 words, and it’s true if you choose well.

Add “ALT” Tags to Your Images
Many bloggers think that tags are old-fashioned and unnecessary, but if you want Google to index your images right, you’ll need to add the alt tags as well as a good description, using keywords that fit your website and blog post.

Keep Pictures on Your Own Server
It’s tempting to house images on another server because of space, but it’s best if you house the images for your blog on the same server. If you use WordPress, just upload them in the media section to ensure fast loading of images.

Use Screen Shots or Make Your Own Images
Sometimes, the best images are the ones you create yourself using screen shots. This is especially true if you are creating a how-to post that needs images to help lead the blog post reader to follow the directions carefully. You can make your own images easily by taking pictures with your phone and using software like Canva.com to edit the picture for posting on your blog.

Link to Canva – https://www.canva.com/

Be Consistent
It can be hard to be consistent about how your blog posts are laid out if you don’t create a guideline for yourself (and others if you have guest bloggers). But, you don’t want to confuse your readers by making your website look messy without any order. Try to place images logically on each blog post.

Using images on your blog posts is important. In fact, most experts say you should never post any blog post without an image included. WordPress has an area that allows for “featured image” for each post that will let the image share with the blog post. Posts with images are more likely to be read, so it’s important to include them.

How to Make a Wow-Worthy Profile

How to Make a Wow-Worthy Profile

Today, a social media profile can either make you or break you. If you haven’t given a lot of thought to your profiles, then it’s time to pay attention to them. Most people, before following, liking, or friending you on social media will click and look at your profile to ensure that you’re the type of person they want to follow.

Not only that – potential clients, customers, and employers look at social media profiles to determine whether or not they want to do business with you. Thankfully, it’s not that hard to make a good profile and you can use components of any profile on one social media network, tweak it and use it on another. After all, you want your profiles to be cohesive across all channels.

It Starts with a Great Photo
If you’re creating a personal profile to represent yourself as a business owner, then you need a great headshot that represents the professional tone of your industry. Set up a good photoshoot with changes of clothing. Make sure to get your hair and makeup professionally done for a photoshoot. Great places to find people to take pics and do your hair and makeup at a low price are local colleges and university photography and cosmetology students.

Provide Directed Information
You don’t need to put everything you’ve ever done on your profiles. Instead, pick and choose what you put on the profile based on what you’re trying to accomplish. Remember to phrase everything toward your audience. They should read your profile and immediately understand what you do, who you do it for, and why you do it.

Distinguish Yourself from Others
Depending on the platform you’re using, outside of your picture you probably have other things that can showcase what you do for people. Some social media networks like LinkedIn allow you to put video, slide shows, PDF documents and more for your audience to be able to review what you do and the results of what you’ve done.

Keywords Still Matter
If you want to position yourself as an expert and authority in your niche, learn the keywords and terms that are used to find those experts. That way, when someone searches for someone who does what you do, they can find you because you’ve used the right keyword phrases and words in your descriptions, summary, and experience.

Keep It Up-to-Date
You want to try to at least update your profile on a monthly basis. Update your status as often as the network average. For example, they say to update Twitter three to five times a day, Facebook about three or four times a day, Instagram once a day, and LinkedIn once a day. If there is no activity on the profile it will seem as if you aren’t active in your business. People might pass you up.

Keep Professional and Personal Separate
When possible, keep your professional life separate from your personal life. But, realize that people who are actively searching for you, especially on Facebook and Instagram, may find your personal profile as well as your business profile. In this case, ensure that you set your account settings properly.

Making a wow-worthy profile is an important component in being active in any community. Creating a stand-out profile requires just a little effort and can be done over time in just a few minutes a day. Take the time to work on one aspect on one social network each day and your profiles will truly be wow-worthy.