Tag Archives: advertising

Marketing Dos and Don’ts

dos and dontsWhat is worse than not marketing your website?  It is getting bad backlash from doing the wrong thing.  At least if you aren’t marketing you still have the opportunity to do so.  When you are getting a bad rap, people may avoid you like the plague.  Here are some marketing do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you go forward from this point.

DOs

1.  Keep the name of your website short and to the point.  When it comes to reading something on the Internet, shorter is better.  People lose interest quickly and a long name will not be catchy enough to stay on their minds for very long.  This is a business that you want to keep going for a long time.  Choose your words carefully.

2.  Use your signature line in forums and on emails.  The signature line is not just for your name anymore.  Include the name of your business, a brief description of what it is about, and the website link to find your main business page.  Be sure to check with the forum administrators to find out what you can and can’t do as far as trying to get free advertising.

3.  Do advertise offline to the local community.  The local community is another sphere of influence that will help the word spread about your business.  If money is an issue, advertise in church directories, newsletters, advertising books for special events, and the word of mouth method.  Talking to people in the beauty shop, barber shop, church, and the Rotary Club meeting can earn you hundreds more visitors to the site.

4.  Learn all that you can about search engine optimization.  The idea is to be ranked somewhere on the first page of search results for as many search engines as you can.  Most people only look on the first page because they assume correctly that they are the best places to find the information needed.

DON’Ts

1.  If you ignore the rules of posting information about your business on forums, they will boot you out.  This type of blatant solicitation is prohibited on most forums.  They let you use your signature line but adhere to the rules of what you can say.

2.  Adding a lot of extra frills to your website page will not make it more attractive to the search engines.  People who visit may like the bells and whistles but they won’t find you to admire them if you are consistently placed low in the page rankings.

3. Take a long time to respond to customer service issues.  When customers send you email about a broken product or have a question, answer promptly.  If you do not they will tell everyone that they know about your rotten service.  That type of word of mouth marketing you can do without.

Marketing strategies will either help or hurt you.  It takes time to see what works best so try as many as you can.  Remember that the object is to attract customers, not anger them.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, homeschooling mom, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

Advertisements

Paid Advertising Versus Free Advertising

advertisingAdvertising can be a very big topic among small business owners.  It is not uncommon for small business owners to feel a little lost when it comes to advertising.  There are so many choices out there that it can be a little confusing when trying to figure out the best advertising options.

Some business owners may feel that paid advertising will be their best option and seek out those choices.  Others may be on a small budget that does not allow for much paid advertising.  Because of this, they turn to free advertising.

Each group may be wondering if they are making the right choice and if they should keep doing what they are doing.  In this article we will talk about the differences between the two types of advertising and give you the pros and cons of each.

Paid advertising includes things such as ads in magazines, newspapers, on websites, blogs, ezines, pay-per-clicks and so forth.  The benefit is, of course, the exposure that paid advertising can bring.  Unfortunately, the cost of these ads can get expensive, especially if the ad will be seen by a large audience.

Free advertising includes things such as social networking, commenting on blogs, article distribution, sending out press releases, posting on forums, and so forth.  The main benefit of free advertising is that a business can receive a lot of exposure without paying out of pocket.

On the other hand, it can take up a lot of time to actively participate in free advertising and it is hard to say if it will bring in the exposure the business is hoping for.  Sometimes a business can get lucky and their free ad will generate lots of traffic, but that isn’t something a business should depend on.

While some business owners may think they need to decide between the two, a third option is take part in a little of both types.  A business owner can set a dollar budget for paid advertising and a time budget for free advertising.

By doing a little of both, the business owner has the potential for increased exposure while staying on a fixed budget.

The website’s statistics program will help the business owner stay on top of where their traffic is coming from and help them decide where to continue investing their time and money.

Another option is to use an ad tracking system, which will automatically track the each of your ad’s clicks and conversion rates.

Advertising is an essential part of owning a business.  Without it, a business is going to have a very hard time finding new customers.  By getting creative and participating in both free and paid advertising, a business owner can develop an advertising plan that truly works for them.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, homeschooling mom, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

Need Marketing Inspiration?

inspirationYou may not realize it, but turning on the television, radio, and Internet can teach you new marketing techniques and strategies.  Each day, companies are bombarding us with their marketing messages.  By the age of 65, the average American will have viewed over 2 million television commercials.  And that doesn’t begin to take into consideration the ads we see in newspapers, magazines, online, on billboards, or hear on the radio.

Some companies choose to use catchy jingles and slogans so that we constantly find ourselves humming along. Others tug at our heartstrings in order to establish an emotional connection, and some (purposely) annoy us.  Here are a few quick lessons we can learn from these companies:

Try to keep it simple.  Nike says, “Just Do It”; McDonald’s “loves to see you smile,” and Calgon can “take you away”.  Creating a simple, catchy, and easy to remember slogan can set your product apart from the competition.

Capture your target market’s emotions and they’ll become loyal customers.  Back before people had unlimited long distance, phone companies created commercials featuring a depressed older lady who brightened up and became happy when her son called her from across the country.  Back then, long distance phone charges were expensive and people were careful not to rack up a big bill.

The phone companies knew that people considered long distance a luxury item.  In order to get people to use it, they pulled at their heartstrings and featured the lonely old woman.  People were moved by this ad and immediately thought of their own mothers and how they could instantly brighten their lonely, old mother’s day by calling her.

Savvy marketers know that causing a bit of an annoyance isn’t always a bad thing.  Take, for instance, the product Head On! and their annoying commercials which featured people with headaches, saying, “Head On” over and over again.  The people who saw the commercials may have been a bit annoyed, but they remembered the product and some of them became customers.

Marketers are also discovering that moms are the ones that make the purchasing decisions for their families.  Major companies are learning that if they want to sell more cars, more Florida vacations, or more potato chips, they need to make their product more appealing to moms.

These are just a few of the strategies that you can see on a daily basis.  The next time you need some marketing inspiration, try turning on the television or picking up your favorite magazine.  You may even want to keep an idea file, full of ads you have seen and particularly liked.  The next time you are trying to come up with a marketing campaign, look through your idea folder and adapt one of your clippings to your own product or service and see what happens.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, homeschooling mom, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

Need Marketing Inspiration?

inspirationYou may not realize it, but turning on the television, radio, and Internet can teach you new marketing techniques and strategies.  Each day, companies are bombarding us with their marketing messages.  By the age of 65, the average American will have viewed over 2 million television commercials.  And that doesn’t begin to take into consideration the ads we see in newspapers, magazines, online, on billboards, or hear on the radio.

Some companies choose to use catchy jingles and slogans so that we constantly find ourselves humming along. Others tug at our heartstrings in order to establish an emotional connection, and some (purposely) annoy us.  Here are a few quick lessons we can learn from these companies:

Try to keep it simple.  Nike says, “Just Do It”; McDonald’s “loves to see you smile,” and Calgon can “take you away”.  Creating a simple, catchy, and easy to remember slogan can set your product apart from the competition.

Capture your target market’s emotions and they’ll become loyal customers.  Back before people had unlimited long distance, phone companies created commercials featuring a depressed older lady who brightened up and became happy when her son called her from across the country.  Back then, long distance phone charges were expensive and people were careful not to rack up a big bill.

The phone companies knew that people considered long distance a luxury item.  In order to get people to use it, they pulled at their heartstrings and featured the lonely old woman.  People were moved by this ad and immediately thought of their own mothers and how they could instantly brighten their lonely, old mother’s day by calling her.

Savvy marketers know that causing a bit of an annoyance isn’t always a bad thing.  Take, for instance, the product Head On! and their annoying commercials which featured people with headaches, saying, “Head On” over and over again.  The people who saw the commercials may have been a bit annoyed, but they remembered the product and some of them became customers.

Marketers are also discovering that moms are the ones that make the purchasing decisions for their families.  Major companies are learning that if they want to sell more cars, more Florida vacations, or more potato chips, they need to make their product more appealing to moms.

These are just a few of the strategies that you can see on a daily basis.  The next time you need some marketing inspiration, try turning on the television or picking up your favorite magazine.  You may even want to keep an idea file, full of ads you have seen and particularly liked.  The next time you are trying to come up with a marketing campaign, look through your idea folder and adapt one of your clippings to your own product or service and see what happens.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

Where to Start When Advertising

advertiseWhen you have decided that you need to advertise you have to start somewhere.  Some of this decision will depend on what you are advertising and the market niche you want, as well as who will be managing the advertising – you or an agency.

Another bridge to cross when deciding upon where to start for advertising is how much help you want and how much you are willing to do yourself.  Your budget will affect the kind of advertising you can do and this helps determine where you start. Your advertising decision will also be based upon the type of business you have.

So let’s discuss some different kinds of advertising and where to go for these types of advertising.

* Internet advertising is a popular form of advertising and generally less expensive than television.  It can get into more niches than newspapers, radio or magazines.  Internet advertising also uses auto responders, though you do have the choice not to use these.  Auto responders will automatically forward a response or information from an incoming email or a set subscription.

There are also blogging and article submission options.  Article submission is simply writing and submitting articles to directories.  With a blog you can submit this to a directory as well.

Affiliate marketing is also available.  Affiliate marketing will also connect you to many other companies, and you will generate an additional income by using affiliate marketing which can help offset the overall cost of advertising.  A lot of internet advertising is used for those companies that are internet based.

* Direct mail advertising is another form.  We have all received the envelopes full of different kinds of coupons.  Even though industry states that this is mainly for business to business advertising, it also happens to hit individuals who have no business and it is becoming more popular.  There are printing costs associated with this, which will depend on how many coupons you wish to have distributed.  This can be coupled with magazine ads or newspapers.

* Radio ads are also popular. These can be anything from public service announcements to podcasts in which you will play a part, to local radio stations that are in line with the product or service you are offering.

* Television advertising is probably the most powerful of all advertising forms, simply due to the amount of people who watch tv as a leisure activity.  This is also the most visual and can hold more appeal simply for that reason.  Television advertising is also the most important.

So, the communication levels and the markets you are trying to reach will determine where you will end up going for advertising.  Ask yourself how many buyers you want to reach and consider the demographics of this answer.  Make a few phone calls to ad agencies and see what they have to offer or what ideas they can give you, or shoot off a few emails to an online marketing company.

Either one of these approaches should be able to drive you in the right direction and if you are in the right direction then your business will be to.

JuliImageanne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

 

Get Your Business Seen!

In these tough times, all of us business owners are looking for places to advertise where we can get the most bang for our buck as well as get some good visibility for our advertising dollar.  After all, if the ads are inexpensive but no one sees them, what’s the point?  We need inexpensive and high visibility!  Do such places exist?  Indeed, they do!

There is a great place where you can get both low cost and high visibility!

The site is Buy By MomBuy By Mom is a web site with a separate blog that caters to moms in business.

Buy By Mom has a passion for mom-made businesses and wants to give them the exposure they deserve!  There are moms who have so much talent, but need help marketing their business.  Most are women who want to be able to stay home with their children, but need to bring in some kind of income.  There have been countless stories of moms who have started businesses from home, then quit because they could not profit from them.  Buy By Mom wants to prevent that from happening and help moms succeed!

Buy By Mom is a site that is itself advertised heavily online, offline and over internet radio.  This helps to ensure that the businesses advertised on the site will be seen.

Buy By Mom has a great advertising special going on that will expire on 2/28/11…buy any ad pacakge on Buy By Mom and get the same on the Buy By Mom blog for the same time frame at no cost!   Get your spot today before the special expires!

Another way to get your product seen on Buy By Mom is to submit it for review…but get it in soon so it can be reviewed in time for Mother’s Day!

Visit Buy By Mom and the Buy By Mom blog today!

 

 

Grow Your Business

It’s universal…everyone who owns a small bsuiness needs clients/customers.  Most want to grow their business.  Some just want to maintain it where it is.  Regardless of which description fits you best, one this is for sure…your business needs exposure to get clients/customers.

One of the very best ways to get exposure for your business is to be a member of Our Milk Money.  Don’t stop reading now!  There is no fee to join and the benefits are outstanding. 

Our Milk Money is the largest directory of self-employed parents in the country and probably the world.  Our Milk Money (OMM) is a national search directory that lists ONLY self-employed parents. OMM is also a community resource dedicated to helping parents who want to stay at home find financial opportunities and support.

OMM‘s institutional ethos is built around a common goal to provide for our children. In this society, the average family is faced with a challenge to provide for their families with no less than two incomes, and are sacrificing their commitment to raising their own children. As a result, many parents are forced to give the people they work for more of a commitment than they are able to give their children.

OMM has three goals:

OurMilkMoney.com began to grow with it’s first goal: To help parents see that they DO have a choice, and that they are not alone in wanting more for their children. Our Milk Money would become a tool to help parents find financial opportunities and support.

The second goal for OurMilkMoney.com: To educate the average consumer on the value of purchasing from a self-employed parent, as well as to provide the consumer with an effortless way of accessing the businesses just as efficiently as conducting any online search.

The third and final goal in reaching that destination: We aim to empower one another, set a good example by purchasing each other’s products and services, and pass our funds back and forth in our own mini-economy. By making a commitment to one another, we knew that others would see the benefit and want to be a part of our community.

One of the most amazing benefits for the members of OMM are their advertising rates.  OMM has a monthly newsletter with a subscriber base of over 10,000!  That is some great exposure at very little cost…a huge bang for your advertising buck!  OMM is also advertised weekly on This Little Parent Stayed Home, an internet radio show hosted by the founder of OMM, Ally Loprete.  The radio announcement emails are received by 6,000+ subscribers. 

As a self-employed parent you should definitely take advantage of all OMM has to offer.  To receive a rate sheet for advertising in the OMM monthly newsletter, contact the OMM Director of Communications by emailing her at julianne dot wish at gmail dot com.