Tools: LeadPages

Like you, I have several projects rolling at the same time and therefore I’m always looking for a tool that is going to make my work easier and get me the results I want.

I found  LeadPages  and have fallen in deep like with it.

Why?

Well, I can easily make a landing page that makes people want to sign-up for a newsletter, buy a product, or register for a webinar.

How?

I can choose from a variety of templates on LeadPages and customize the page to what I think the audience will respond to best.

I can easily track the conversion rate. Yes, you read that right — easily track conversion rates!

That is the number of people who see the offer and then sign-up for the list.

That way, if I see a page that has a high conversion rate, I can use that page in other projects.

I could wax on but the peeps over at LeadPages do a better job of  quickly explaining all that LeadPages can do for you.

Here is a quick free video that covers all that you can do with LeadPages.


BTW: I only promote stuff I use.

Cobbler’s Son’s Shoes Complex

If you delve into the online marketing world you’ll hear this one word: Content.

Content. Content. Content.

I’m guessing you have the same issue most businesses have including even mine – you spend so much time taking care of your clients that you sacrifice taking care of your marketing.

It is easy to overlook when you are busy.

I get busy developing a website or managing an email marketing campaign for my clients and whoosh – my clients are happy, but meanwhile my site is out of date and I haven’t added anything new in weeks.

Ouch!

Especially with how voracious the online world is for content.

You need good content.

But, what exactly is good content?

Good content is information your readers can use and, because it is so helpful, will want to pass it along or at least bookmark your page.

Content SEO mills and any number of sites that offer a bid system where freelance writers bid to write your content – might sound appealing but it will wind up costing you more in the end:

  • SEO mills are an easy way to get blacklisted by Google. You’ve seen this crap horrible writing before, it is loaded with keywords and makes no sense. “Blue benches has blue benches sitting next to blue benches on the blue bench sidewalk.”
  • Is that content original? Yep, you have to worry about this when you go with someone who is producing content at such a ridiculously low rate. After all, if they can swipe the content from someone else and sell it to you, they’ve made an easy buck and you are on the hook for stealing content.
  • Is your content yours? Another problem is your content being repackaged and sold to your competitors.

That leaves you with the task of creating the content yourself or hiring a reputable company like LandShark Communications LLC to create the content for you.

A reputable company will work with you to develop an editorial calendar as well as the content to go with the calendar.

Think of it like a long-term plan. You know what is being focused on each month so you can focus on your sales and running your business.

The next level is using that content to drive traffic to your website and you do that via email marketing, social networking, and good old fashioned networking.

 

What is your process?

In a creative meeting, I had the new art director turn to me and ask, “What is your process?”

“I sit and write,” I replied while finishing up my notes from the meeting.

“Yes, but what is your process?” He wasn’t being rude. He was trying to figure out how I work at writing.

“I find out what the client wants, what their customer wants, and I write to fit the outlet.”

“Yes, but what is your process?”

“Okay. I find out as much as I can about my client and their customers. I ask a lots of questions and take a million notes. I look at their competitors. I read the industry magazines. Then, I sit down in my office in front of my computer and I write whatever comes to mind while I’m focusing on what the client’s needs are.”

“Yes, but how do you write?”

“With the keyboard and headphones with a Pandora station on.”

“Yes, but what is your process?”

“I sit down and don’t get up until I have something decent on the page. Then, I go for a walk, work in the garden, or work on something completely different. After I’ve taken a break,—then and only then, do I look at what I have written and tear it apart and make it better.”

He blinked, “Okay.”

I’ve been writing content for 20 years and my process is part of my daily life. I never thought about it until he kept digging into the guts of how I worked. Now that I have spent some time thinking about it, I am more efficient and effective because I have specific steps I follow.

What is your process for communicating with your clients? Have you thought about it? Do you have a plan? What are you doing to make sure you stay on track?

Share It All

The other day, I was talking with a friend of mine who is a small business owner. She has a vintage customized rental trailer that won’t be finished until at least a month from now. In a quandary of whether or not she should promote the trailer for rent she asked me what I thought.

“PROMOTE IT!” I restrained myself from shouting. “Promote it. Share with people the process of getting your product to them. They want to know. Show them the guts of what it takes to overhaul, modernize, and customize a vintage trailer.”

“Really?” She shook her head. “You think people will want to know this?”

“Yes. How many people are doing what you are doing? What 10? People have this dream of doing something off the beaten path but how many of us actually do it? We want to live vicariously.”

“What should I share?”

“Everything about the process. Let your audience determine what is crap and what is good. And, 90% of what you do is going to be crap and 10% is going to be awesome. But, you’re too close to know which is which—that’s your fans’ job.”

“So, I should share when I’m painting the outside and adding curtains and pillows to the inside?”

“Yes, share it all. Be brief, take lots of photos, and share the process. Share the dream.”

“What if someone wants to book but the trailer isn’t done yet?”

“Then, you’ll have waiting list and what is better than a list of people who know you, trust you, and want to buy from you?”

Share your process and let people see behind the scenes.

Designing an Editorial Calendar

Blog Bog

You promised yourself that you would post.

Regularly.

Like clockwork.

And, then after the first 20 or so posts you ran out of steam and ideas.

I know it is hard coming up with new things to post about. Especially when looking at that dreaded cursor. Blinking at you.

Were to start? What should you write about?

You check Facebook. Review your site stats. Get another cup of coffee even though you are so caffeinated you could likely power a small country.

I manage blogs and email blasts following the same principles I used when developing content for the State of Ohio–an editorial calendar.

Simple.

To create an editorial calendar the best thing you can do is leave the office and turn off your cell phone. Get a soda and sit in the sunshine at a park far away from that dreaded cursor and any distractions.

On individual index cards write out:

  • each product group or service your business offers
  • questions your clients ask
  • new products
  • top selling products
  • what products you want increase sales

Get up and take a short hike and you’ll come up with even more ideas. Write them down.

Return to the office and get 12 sheets of paper and label them January – December. Take out your index cards and start placing them on the appropriate month. When you are done arranging the cards, arrange them within the month.

Now you have the skeleton of an editorial calender. Transfer all the information into a Word or Excel file and the next time you won’t have to wonder about what you are going to write about.