Winning Sales Through Creative And Inventive Ways

Posted by Peter Bowen in Website Marketing and SEO | Leave a comment

Today’s business atmosphere has grown extremely diverse and competitive. In order to make an enterprise survive and win sales, creativity and innovation are both essential. These two tricks work hand in hand in order to market a business in the best possible way.

What is innovation management (IM)?

a. The term “innovation” comes from the Latin word “innovates”, which means “to renew or change”. It is to make changes or approach something in a new way.

b. IM is the discipline which manages all innovative strategies. It deals with an organization’s internal, external, and service innovating schemes.

c. Strategic processes are set and standardized tools are utilized to allow the team’s innovative team to develop new ideas in an organized and efficient way.

d. The purpose of this is to enable a company to make most of creativeness in developing brands, campaigns, products, and solutions.

e. Most of the time, this is carried out along with a company’s research and development team. However, it is still advisable that the whole work force is involved so that all creative input can be maximized.

f. The processes integrate traditional values, modern technology, and the latest trends in the market.

Why are creative thinking techniques beneficial?

a. These mental processes lead a person to come up with brand new thoughts and ideas.

b. This makes possible the development of innovations in the field of various enterprises.

c. Companies should help employees grasp and master these techniques so that innovations can come in at a more constant pace. This can be done by regular seminar updates, workshops, team-building activities, and brainstorming sessions.

d. Current market researches explain that the most essential techniques needed for corporations are:

  1. diagnostic – demands the careful assessment of a situation, understanding the nature of a problem, and making the appropriate decisions regarding the steps which need to be taken
  2. strategic – consists of identifying different issues that need to be addressed and selecting the right pathways to move an enterprise to its desired future
  3. visionary – involves conceiving results that you want to create
  4. ideational – the production of original thoughts and ideas which could respond to significant challenges
  5. contextual – utilizing existing researches and integrating the concepts learned to current problems
  6. evaluative – looking back at past decisions and pointing out the strong and weak points of old ways
  7. tactical – mapping out sound interventions and tactics for a company’s success in the new age

Innovation is not merely an option in today’s market – it is a requirement. It guarantees that an enterprise can offer something fresh and purposive – something which could not be provided by anyone else. This gives a healthy edge among competitors and helps businessmen win more customers and sales.

Grow Your Business, Grow Yourself

Posted by Peter Bowen in Blogs, Internet Marketing | Leave a comment

To grow your business, you must grow yourself. Business growth is anchored in personal growth the way a tree’s roots are anchored to the ground that nourishes it.

Business expansion brings increased creative risk and complexity as well as the potential for outstanding rewards – and it requires an expanded version of you to shape and hold it.

The most successful of my clients are those who understand this.

They willingly cultivate a loving relationship with their soul and with the essence of their business. Their business flourishes, serving them and the people and causes they love, while shaping a world that works for everyone.

Much of the work my clients and I do together is about building capacity – the capacity to handle creative risk; to ride the waves of uncertainty without losing focus and commitment to their deepest desires. The capacity to reshape identities, transform beliefs, and evolve into the inner pattern of their being. The capacity to partner effectively with the soul of their business and to manage increasing complexity in their business relationships.

You grow your business by developing a deep relationship with its soul – the essence qualities that you and your business are here to bring into the world. Those qualities of essence are intimately connected to your own soul’s deepest purposes. They also emerge from your gifts, talents, genius and heart – from the purposes of your incarnation.

The soul of your business is a living being whose pattern of perfect unfolding already exists in the subtle energy realms. You co-create your business by anchoring this pattern to your concrete intentions, and partnering with the soul of your business to bring its pattern into the world.

By tethering the pattern of your business – or of a particular project in your business, like creating a product or launching a program — to your clear intention, and then by taking consistent, concrete, daily actions towards the fulfillment of your desires, you help to grow your business organically and sustainably.

Guest blog extract by Hiro Boga

How To Make The Most Of Your Online Business Blog

Posted by Peter Bowen in Website Marketing and SEO | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The online industry is constantly changing and evolving. It is becoming more and more crucial for Internet marketers to have an online blog to promote their business. It can help you increase traffic volume to your business, allow you to promote various products from your site, and give you the opportunity to meet new people and build relationships.

There are several differences to running an online blog versus a web site. One of the first things that one needs to do is get an understand is that it is far more casual than your web site. The advantage of having an online blog is you can be far more conversational and less like a business owner.

This will give you the opportunity to open up and reveal who you are. It can be difficult to show your true side with a business web site, because you have to focus on being professional and taking care of your customers. With an online business blog, you can focus on interacting and offering your opinion on various topics.

When running an online business blog, it is essential you take the time to post every day. You cannot get away with posting once post per week if you want your readers to keep returning for more. You have to be devoted to making at least one post a day. This way you can reply to other people’s comments and create a new topic from time to time.

There is nothing wrong with staying with each topic for a few days if the conversation continues and everyone has insights. However, you do need to make sure to keep your posts fresh and appealing. There is no point in making a post that people have already talked about in several other blogs and forums.

Doing research is the easiest way to keep your posts creative and fresh. Take the time to post in forums and discover what people are searching for. Find out what questions people have and what kinds of information. They want to learn about.

Do not be afraid to ask people questions either. Just because, you are responsible for the blog, does not mean you have to be the expert. It is clearly beneficial to be knowable of what you are talking about and be able to lead a conversation. However, keep your online business blog open, so everyone can express their opinions and answer your questions.

Running an online blog with your small business can prove to be extremely valuable. It gives you the opportunity to show a whole new side to yourself. You can interact, offer your opinions to topics, and truly bond with prospects and customers of yours.

Hope this information was helpful, “How to Make the Most of Your Online Business Blog” Furthermore, I appreciate your time that you have spent here!

How To Choose The Perfect Office Chair

Posted by Peter Bowen in Website Marketing and SEO | Leave a comment

office chair

 

We’ve all heard the scare stats about obesity and heart disease and everything else linked to sitting for long periods of time: it’s bandied around like the latest thing that causes cancer. But if you’re based at your desk for nine hours a day and you’re not taking the recommended walk around the office once an hour – you need to be sure your chair is absolutely tip top when it comes to support.

There are several key areas you need to consider when assessing your office chair:

 

1) The backrest

Your upper and lower back must be supported, preferably with lumbar support which follows the curve of your spine. The backrest should also be adjustable so you’re comfortable whatever height you are.

2) The armrests

Proper adjustable armrests make your chair more comfy, which means you’re more relaxed at your desk. You shouldn’t have any tension in your shoulders and neck, and you should be comfortable enough to keep yourself from leaning your arms on the desk.

3) The seat

Not to put too fine a point on it, your seat needs to fit your bottom properly! You need consistent support across the seat, and it should be angled slightly towards the floor. This allows your feet to lie flat, which is much better for circulation.

4) The test

The only way you can know if a chair is made for you is by sitting in it. And I don’t mean just giving it a little try in the shop. Spend as much time as you need assessing how comfortable you are, and if it’s a chair your employer has selected, don’t be afraid to speak up if it’s not right.

If you’re considering how to choose the perfect office chair, you need to think about the amount of time you’re spending there. For instance, I sit in my office chair for up to nine hours a day, and I spend another four hours sitting on trains… I need office furniture that is going to work as hard as I do!

When you’re stressed at work, the last thing you need is a poorly performing chair adding discomfort and potential damage to your back. You wouldn’t put up with a bed that wasn’t comfortable, so don’t put up with it at work either. Desk comfort and health is actually covered by workplace welfare legislation, so if you’re not sitting comfortably – it’s time to start making demands.

Have you found the perfect office chair? I’ve heard everything from Ikea to exercise balls, so let’s have some more!

 

Honor Clement-Hayes is an office nuisance who always demands the perfect working conditions. She blogs for Office King and also writes about shoes for a fashion magazine.

Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ngv_design,_frank_lloyd_wright,_office_chair_larkin,_1904-06_02.JPG

Social Media Attracts More Website Visitors

Posted by Peter Bowen in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are you getting more traffic from social media than you were a year ago?

Measuring and analysing visitor traffic to a website is important in understanding what motivates those visitors and knowing how they get to a website and where they came from is an important metric that is used to build better website content that ultimately results in better conversion rates.

Peter Bowen at First One On says “we are seeing increasing numbers of visitors coming from social media platforms and Google’s changing algorithm is placing more emphasis on websites that can attract visitors from sources other than a search using their search engine”.

So the question this week is to ask yourself is – “how well are you doing with search results that come from Google?” and “what are you doing to attract visitors from social media platforms?”

As we all know, social media is about people and people share information that they find and as the old adage says “the best referral is word of mouth” and in this case it is the sharing of knowledge and great content and social media is gaining ground against search engines in its ability to deliver increasingly more traffic to websites over traditional search engines.

UK Experian Hitwise Data noted that UK visits to major search engines dropped by 100 million through the month of August 2012 to 2.21 billion, and has dropped by 40 million year-over-year. Peter Bowen says, “the key thing here is the growing significance of social networks as a source of traffic to websites” and “search is still the number-one source of traffic, but social networks are growing as people increasingly navigate around the web via recommendations from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.”

This is great news for Facebook should it launch its own search engine and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said “we’re basically doing 1 billion queries a day and we’re not even trying,” adding that “Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have. At some point we’ll do it. We have a team working on it,” and “Search engines are really evolving to give you a set of answers, I have a specific question, answer this question for me.”

A recent survey from Greenlight Digital suggested that a Facebook search engine could instantly grab 22% of the market share.

According to recent research from Webmarketing123, the number of marketers able to attribute leads and sales to particular social channels more than doubled (leads from 15 to 31%, sales from 23% to 60%) year-over-year.

“Compared to last year, nearly 50% more B2Bs now identify social media as having the most impact on lead generation (2011 vs 2012),” the firm said in its report.

In social media engagement, the firm says, “B2C marketers are ahead with 70% moderately to highly engaged (40% highly engaged), but B2B is catching up, with 63% at those levels of engagement (27% highly engaged), overall, only 1 in 10 have no social media program.”

90% of B2Bs have some level of Social Media engagement, according to the research, with 63% describing themselves as “moderately to fully engaged,” and 25% “very” to “fully” engaged. The majority of this group, Webmarketing123 says, are seeing a return on their investment. Top areas of investment (for the 60% that spend) are Facebook & LinkedIn (where 40% are active), and Twitter (30%).

Other research from RichRelevance indicates that for ecommerce, Pinterest is increasing in terms of traffic value (specifically average order value).

Webmarketing123 says that 20% of the marketers active on social media aren’t sure if they’re generating leads, and a full 40% aren’t sure if they’ve closed sales attributable to social media.

Seo And Other Online Marketing Tips

Posted by Peter Bowen in Website Marketing and SEO | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Marketing strategies in the online environment requires quite a bit of effort on the technical part of things, but the underlying principle remains the same as that of business in the real world. That is, in order to succeed, you need to get your business exposed to a greater audience and hold on to their attention once you get them to be interested. But just as doing business in real life involves dealing authority figures, SEO practices and the like also have rules to follow in order for success to be achieved.

 

Great SEO Practices

 

Since doing SEO or Search Engine Optimization is one of the best ways to get your rankings to rise on search engine results, it would only make sense to make the best of it however you can. For the best in SEO practices, it would be best to focus on making sure that the quality of your content is to the satisfaction of visitors. Learning how to build links properly will also be of immense help, as well as taking advantage of social media options.

 

Content Has Always Been And Will Always Be King

 

Seriously, although it might not seem as tangible when you are doing business in the online world, a very big part of your business practices would still involve human customers. As such, whatever content you have on your site should be created with humans in mind and not search engines. Make the content interesting, make it informative, make it easy to read, and make it relevant most of all.

 

Proper Backlinking Means Successful Marketing

 

Links are the bridges which leads your visitors to wherever you need them to go in order to generate profit. As such, it is important to make sure your Backlinking practice can get the most results without breaking any of the rules of search engines. You can do this by first making your anchor texts as varied as possible.

 

Search engines, with Google in particular, have a habit of paying attention to how natural anchor texts look in a particular content. If they deem that your anchor texts have been repeated too many times or that they do not fit with the content naturally, then the consequences will be a drop in rank. So make sure your texts are as versatile as possible and spaced out adequately to avoid penalties.

 

You should also make sure that any link found on your site is of high quality by leading visitors to high quality sites. Search engines hate it when a site has too many links that are low in quality, which usually results in the sites being at the very end of the search results. So your option is to either make sure that your links are of high quality or reduce the links you have that are low in quality.

 

Twitter Tweets For Business Purposes

 

For some of the most successful business entities in the world, a similarity that most of them have is the propensity of embracing new ways to reach the people. With that in mind, it would be quite odd not to use social media options in order to boost your business prospects, especially considering the way people are flocking to use mediums like Twitter for all kinds of things.

 

So create your own account if you don’t have one already and get extremely active in collecting plenty of followers and friends. It also helps if you put certain options in your websites like tweet buttons where readers can share your material to all their friends and followers. Whatever your move may be, do not waste an opportunity to broaden your influence and to touch more people.

Email Marketing Works with Quality Subscribers

Posted by Peter Bowen in Email Marketing, Social Media, Website Marketing | Leave a comment

Email marketing if it is done right will work really well – however – blasting out hundreds or thousands of emails to unqualified end users will get you nothing…

Yes email marketing is like any other marketing programme – it is a numbers game, the more you send, the more chances that more people will open your email – but there is a LOT MORE to email marketing than just blasting out numbers!

It’s a lot like developing relationships – one at a time and nurturing those relationships to the point where you can communicate a broad message, but know that it is being received by a select few that you have qualified and will reciprocate with quality replies.

A quality list of end users or subscribers who have agreed to receive your email and have opted-in will get you results. The opted-in process works like this – a potential subscriber completes a signup form on your website or through an email invitation and submits it to you, then an email is sent back to that person asking them to validate or give you permission to send them email. Now you have an end user who is qualified as a valuable lead and is expecting to receive an email communication from you in the future. Now your chances of those qualified leads reacting to your email is going to be a lot more positive.

An email sent to a qualified list is most certainly going to get a much higher “open rate” from subscribers who open the email and become exposed to your marketing message.

The next task is to get the subscriber to react to your marketing message and the key is to get them to “click through” on your offer or “call to action” and land on your website page and ultimately to “BUY” into your offer.

The content of the email must contain quality content that describes your value proposition or presents an issue and asks a relevant question where the response, the click through to your website, will generate the opportunity to sell your stuff.

Ensure that the content is to the point and does not require the recipient to read through long paragraphs of text to get to the point you are trying to make. The content should be short and succinct, capturing the recipient’s interest and motivating them to react to your message in appositive way.

Email marketing is very much a process that does work if it is done right says Peter Bowen, Managing Director at First One On, “we send out thousands of emails to qualified contacts and get remarkable results for our clients in terms of open rates, click through’s and conversions”.

 Subscribe in a reader

 

The Danger Of Waiting Too Long To Change

Posted by Peter Bowen in Email Marketing, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Website Marketing | Leave a comment

You’ve probably heard the saying, “the only constant is change”- which means, basically, that we can always count on circumstances, business, life- to keep changing. The reality is that even though we know that change is inevitable, we still tend to resist it with all our might. We construct elaborate plans and routines and regimens and often fight any disruption to these plans.Certainly, I think that a certain level of routine is good, and there are definitely areas of your business you want to keep stable.

Like clients and cash flow, for instance- you want to be sure you have a steady base of clients and at least a steady base of income.

Aside from that, you might also have routines for how you work, when you work, and where you work. All of those can be supportive and good, too.

But there is a danger in waiting too long to make changes. There is a time where our routines and habits can keep us from responding appropriately when circumstances change.

And what I mean by that is this: if you are paying attention in your business, you’ll find that you often get advanced warning that circumstances are changing. Maybe your initial consultation calls don’t convert as they used to. Maybe you’re experiencing many more objections in your sales process than before. Maybe you are feeling hampered, stressed, rushed- or otherwise unhappy. Maybe your systems and infrastructure start to fail, but you keep patching up the leaks and the bleeding, because that seems easier to do than to start over.

Whatever it is, you will often get clues or cues that circumstances are changing. Most people, though, experience these changes- but keep doing whatever they had been doing (which isn’t working anymore.) We, as humans, often seem to do more of what we see isn’t working- we try harder. We work longer hours. We keep waiting outside of doors which have been closed to us- and so on.

The danger in waiting too long to make changes is that you become accustomed to the “not working” place. You lose your confidence and faith and become indecisive. Or, worse, you take drastic action in the wrong direction, and end up more stressed and worried than before.

So what’s the antidote to waiting too long to make changes? It’s to adopt a process of small, but important, innovation. So even when all is going really well in your business, you want to reserve a bit of brain space, a bit of cash flow, and a bit of time to focus on what might be next. It’s this idea of 5% innovation- where you take a little bit of your resources and start to develop new lines of thinking, connections, or infrastructure.

My guess is that the most successful entrepreneurs do this almost intuitively- they are often looking at where they are and what’s next. At the same time, they become accustomed to responding when problems are still small, rather than letting them play out over months and years to see what happens.

As a way of knowing when you need to respond to something versus letting it just unfold- I tend to think of it in the rules of threes. If three things happen in a row that are unexpected- i.e. three clients in a row don’t sign up with me, where I used to sign up 2 out of 3- I know that something has changed or is changing. That’s my clue to look at what might be shifting my results.

I have found, again, and again, that when I pay attention to the small problems, I can often hold off the bigger ones.

By paying attention to patterns in your business now, and innovating a bit at the same time, you will keep your business fluid and flexible agile enough to weather the inevitability of change.

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About the Author:
Dr. Rachna Jain is a content and search marketer who helps her clients become more profitable and popular online. Sign up for her no-cost newsletter filled with business growth strategies- get your copy at http://ProfitablePopularity.com/newsletter

Negotiation Skills: Three Power Questions Related To Time

Posted by Peter Bowen in Internet Marketing, Social Media, Website Marketing and SEO | Leave a comment

Negotiations are a fact of life and almost every interaction we have is a form of negotiation. We negotiate with people we care for, and we negotiate with people we don’t care for that much. All relationships are the product of a negotiation.

One of the most important elements in negotiation is the idea of a deadline – by when must a decision be made?

In certain negotiating situations, deadlines are very important – they can mean the difference between life and death (such as in hostage negotiations) or the loss and gain of money (such as in business negotiations.)

In other situations, though, deadlines are more flexible and missing them does not create dire consequences. It is vital to understand which type of situation is which.

If you’re in a negotiation that is reaching some kind of deadline, it’s important to stay focused and continue to move forward.

Hopefully you’ve taken to heart any previously provided suggestions to plan your negotiations, create flexible conditions for yourself and to plan for things to go wrong.

In addition to these suggestions, there are three questions that you should be asking yourself as you prepare for negotiations which have deadlines.

Deadlines are a fact of life; preparing for them is the behavior of a successful negotiator.

These questions will help you relieve the pressure of a deadline more effectively.

Question 1: What self imposed or organisation imposed deadlines am I under that limit my ability? What time pressures make it more difficult for me to negotiate? Self-imposed deadlines are often more difficult to cope with than those coming from the other party.

Question 2: Are the deadlines I’ve imposed on myself or my organisation real? Can I negotiate an extension with my own people? Many deadlines are amenable to change. And you can use the same negotiation skills to uncover what the true deadlines really are and why.

Question 3: What deadlines are putting pressure on the other party and his or her organisation? Even if you don’t know for sure, you can probably make some reasonable guesses. Remember, you are not the only one under time pressure. They may be under greater pressure than you.

These are simple questions, but can be very powerful. If you answer these prior to your next negotiation, you will be much better prepared.

When you negotiate from a place of time power, you are building your bargaining base, and are more likely to generate substantially better desired outcomes.

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Guest blog by:

Dr. Chester Karrass, the founder of Karrass Ltd, the world leader in negotiation skills seminars for individuals and companies. Learn more about negotiation by visiting http://www.Karrass.com

Gain New Customers with Inbound Marketing

Posted by Peter Bowen in Email Marketing, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Website Marketing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

We are all familiar with traditional marketing techniques and a lot of business owners are still using these methods that involve out bound marketing to potential customers using tools like advertising in local newspapers, community flyers, telephone directories or even posters and billboards which are in themselves difficult to measure the effectiveness and track their performance in terms of delivering customers. Indeed it is often the case that the potential customer is either not ready to buy your product or is not even interested when they see your message that is advertising your product to the masses.

It would then seem that this type of marketing is not very effective in targeting customers who should be buying your products, it’s a bit like a duck shoot or a shot in the dark!

How to develop really effective inbound marketing strategy

Inbound marketing starts to focus on targeted techniques such as, content creation, social media and search marketing to help potential customers find your business when they are interested in buying your products. This brings more qualified quality customers into your sales funnel.

Step 1
Getting more qualified customers to your website is the goal and the method to achieve this is by creating content that meets the needs of those customers. This process is sometimes called ‘content marketing’ and relies on having content that answers questions and provides real value. Visitors will be able to find the content through searching and landing on the associated page and begin to realise that your pages provide a reason to hang around and read more about what you are offering. There might also be links to a blog, white papers, case studies or even a video or two.

Step 2
Getting found by customers who need your products using advanced search-marketing techniques and optimised web page content will ensure that your content is found by visitors who are looking for the answers and solutions that you are providing. Sharing content through blog posts, guest blogging, and through social media posts are other methods for proliferating your content to potential visitors to your website.

Step 3
Getting customers to interact with you is paramount in developing the relationship and allowing them to learn more about you. Providing a series of suitable ‘call to action’ triggers enables you to direct them to what they are looking for on other pages within your website. You may also want to capture their contact details so that you can provide them with more targeted information and continue to build the relationship with email marketing until they are ready to buy from you.

Step 4
Increased traffic and converting leads into customers is the goal by this stage of the process. You have tailored landing pages and information pages to meet the needs of the visitors and now you want to convert them into customers. Now is the time to make the contacts more personal with direct one to one emails, phone calls and online meetings.

Step 5
The final step in the inbound marketing process is to measure the results that you have achieved, fine tune the various steps of the process and make any adjustments as required to continue to fill the ‘funnel’ and build the number of prospects that will eventually become customers.

Inbound marketing like any other relationship building strategy is an on-going process that takes time and requires consistent and constant care to nurture and keep your business growing in the right direction – onwards and upwards.

Peter Bowen
Managing Director
First One On Limited