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Tips for building and managing your online reputation

If you are going to be successful in business today, you’re going to need to make sure that you have all of your bases covered when it comes to the Internet – and that doesn’t just mean building up an attractive and effective online presence and a social media account or platforms that are helping to generate influence for you in your market.

No, you’re also going to need to make sure that you are able to effectively protect your online reputation so that you don’t have to worry about bush league attacks by your competitors designed to tank your business as quickly as possible by attacking and assaulting your reputation.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you protect your online reputation at all costs!

Figure out what your online reputation is right now in the first place

Fire up all of the major search engine networks (not just Google) and search for your name, your business’s name, your products and services name, and anything else you can think of that would be connected to you or your operation.

It’s going to be impossible to fix what you do not understand right off the bat, and you may discover that your reputation needs to be better protected right now because of ongoing assaults or that you have a little bit of time to build up some defensive walls (so to speak).

Rehabilitate your image

The next step is to abandon any of your “dead” or old accounts on social media, old websites that no longer reflect your business today, and any online presence that paints you in a less than ideal light from a “previous life”.

The last thing you want is a major client googling your name and finding pictures of you during rush week, that’s for sure.

Strategically control your online image

It’s going to be really, really difficult to scrub the Internet of any negativity that already exists online (after all, there’s a reason why they say that once it’s online it’s permanent) but that doesn’t mean that you have to give up.

Instead, you’ll want to create a bunch of strategic content that helps you better shape and mold your persona and your online reputation. Join professional sites and become an active member, right professional blog posts and get them higher in the search rankings, and create more positive encounters so that the good results far outweigh the bad ones.

Set up online alerts to track your image

The only things that get managed are the things that get tracked, which is why you want to set up online alerts to track your name, the name of your business, and the name of your products and services that you know exactly what is being said about you and your operation as it is being said.

Be respectful when responding to negativity

Send direct messages to those that are writing or posting about you negatively, but make sure that you do so in as respectful a way as humanly possible. You don’t want to fan any flames, but instead want to try and see if there’s any potential to reason with those that are bashing you online. If you’re not getting anywhere, simply sees contact and focus your energy elsewhere.

Keep your personal and professional world as separate as possible

This should go without saying, but it’s important that you do everything you can to keep your personal life and your professional life as separate as you can. This goes for social media especially, which is where most people find themselves stumbling and bumbling around.

Five marketing automation tools that increase lead conversions

Marketing automation today provide small businesses with the same kinds of advantages previously only available to major multinational corporations, giving them the opportunity to market and advertise aggressively while taking up less manpower, less time, and less money.

Today, tools like the five that we highlight below, provide small businesses with a significant advantage – not only against their competition, but against the major businesses that are looking to gobble them up as well. Utilize these tools and technology to change the game in your favor from here on out!

Zoho

Providing you with all the tools you need to manage and measure online campaigns, collect information about your prospects and your customers, and generate leads almost on autopilot, you’ll also be able to use the tools provided by the software to share information with your sales, marketing, and advertising team to improve results across-the-board.

DrumUp

Understanding the importance of social media marketing today is absolutely critical, in this particular tool gives you the ability to better capture prospects and leads using social media across multiple social media accounts. On top of that, you’ll be able to use this software to prioritize and schedule content to be released at regular intervals in the future, streamlining your content creation calendar as well.

Get Response

All successful marketers understand that the real profit in any business is on the back end, selling more products and merchandise or services to customers that have already purchased something. Email makes marketing to your past customers really, really easy, and this software makes automated marketing to your past customers – and creating inbound marketing files for new customers – about as easy as humanly possible.

You’ll be able to measure all of your email campaign metrics with this tool as well, making it a real “one-stop shop” kind of solution.

InfusionSoft

Considered by many to be the most powerful multi step marketing platform available on the planet today, you’ll have to spend a little bit of extra money to take full advantage of everything that this platform has to offer – but when you dive right in with this platform, you’re going to be leveraging the full feature set that multinational corporations use to build multi step marketing campaigns, track leads and prospects, and improve your sales funnels dramatically.

This is a game changer in every sense of the word.

Socedo

Generating leads from social media can be a bit of a challenge, especially when you’re talking about social media platforms like LinkedIn that don’t necessarily love automated tools designed to pull leads from their social media network.

With this tool, however, you’ll be able to put your lead generation across those exclusive social media platforms basically on autopilot. Simply fill out a couple of key parameters and this tool will track and measure influencers in your market, find links between you and these potential prospects, and take up a tremendous amount of information that can then be effortlessly input into a CRM of your choice.

You’ll also be able to use this tool to automate your lead generation on social media, really making things rock and roll without too much heavy lifting on your end!

Online Marketing Techniques to Help You Attract More Customers

While more and more business and entrepreneurs are working hard to increase their online presence, there are still some that are reticent to spend the time or money needed to attract more customers online. While updating twitter and facebook is fun, doing so without a bigger plan in mind will not get you the results that you are looking for. It’s important to have a marketing plan that contains achievable techniques in motion from day one. These techniques needs to add value, be accessible and affordable, and are something that customers have come to expect from big companies and brands.

Search Engine
SEO is necessary to make sure that you site is being picked up by search engines. You have to be high on the search engine ranking for customers to see your sight when they search for the services or products that your company offers. If you don’t understand SEO and the important role that it plays in success then you are missing a key piece of getting your company in front of as many people as possible.

Social Media Marketing
Put your social media accounts to good use and quit tweeting pictures of your lunch. Your customers and potential clients love using social media to interact with big customers, but they want something of value in return. You can increase your visibility and show your brand’s strengths if you use social media correctly.

Content Marketing
If you’re looking for sign-ups or email addresses from visitors you will need to have some form of content marketing in place. Most online visitors are looking for this on your website, and if you don’t offer if you’ll immediately be at as disadvantage to your competitors. You can use it to attract more traffic to your site or even to help you troubleshoot problems that you’re experiencing.

Personal Branding
While a lot of people focus on personal branding for in-person networking events, it’s even more important for your company and it’s brand online. You need a trustworthy brand to show to other people and to get them to trust you. Companies and other entrepreneurs are more likely to work with someone with a strong brand than with someone who doesn’t show exactly what they stand for. This is free to work on, although it will take some time and brainpower to come up with your perfect personal brand.

Email Marketing
Once you have email addresses from online visitors you need to be smart about how you’re going to use them. Many people won’t open emails that you’ve sent unless they’re sure that you are going to offer them some value. You want to encourage people to come back to your site and to keep your brand at the top of their mind.

Making sure to use all of these techniques to attract more customers is the best way to make it work for you. While you can cherry pick and do them individually, they all work best in a group and will work for you and your business if executed correctly.

New Award Will Increase Social Entrepreneurship Activity Within Asean Region

A brand-new award for social entrepreneurship was announced on the eighth of May, 2017, within Singapore. The launch of the new award is designed to acknowledge people from social groups (in addition to individual philanthropists), for their achievements in terms of helping the needy. The award recognizes the efforts of worthy Singaporeans, as well as others within the Asean area.

Known as the Asean Social Impact Award, the new award is the brainchild of the Department of Social Work at the National University of Singapore. The University is known as NUS for short. The award was inspired by Dr. EE Peng Liang, whose good deeds earned him the nickname, “the father of charity”. He was a businessperson who launched an array of charitable foundations, including the Singapore Council for Social Service and the Community Chest.

The chairman of the new award, Stanley Tam, feels that having a genuine practitioner is the best way to demonstrate the award’s intended message and this is why the award will recognize the achievements of a person who has lived a truly charitable life in service of those who are disadvantaged. The award and the story of its recipient are designed to inspire others and push them towards social entrepreneurship. It’s about exposing everything that it special and important about social work.

This award is available to candidates of many ages, from different nationalities. The candidates should work for groups which are marginalized within the Asean region. Candidates will need to have worked on their initiatives for three years, with measurable and positive impact.

It’s anticipated that more than one hundred and twenty applications will be received. After these applications have been reviewed, a small group of five candidates will be short-listed, based on the level of social impact that they’ve triggered. Other factors to be considered by the review panel for the award include innovation quality, sustainability and entrepreneurial quality. The three chosen finalists will each get up to fifty thousand dollars which may be utilized in order to help them with their social entrepreneurship.

Giving inspirational social entrepreneurs access to more funding is a great way to empower them, so this new award is definitely something to get excited about. It’s expected to spark even better social work initiatives which are cost-effective and effective in terms of helping those who need help the most.

Singapore is a Progressive City-State

The island city-state of Singapore is known for its progressive government. The government and other national leaders, such as universities, work together in order to support business entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. As well, Singapore is known for its livability, as it has a very low crime rate and good real estate values. The nation is currently turning attention to its health care system in order to upgrade it with a mind to helping Baby Boomers get the care that they will need.

At all times, Singapore’s leaders and great minds are making positive changes. This new award is just another shining example of why Singapore is a great place to live, work and move towards social change.

Why is SEO Important?

SEO or search engine optimizations is incredible important for businesses everywhere. When businesses correctly utilize SEO, they make it easier for customers and search engines to find their website. Through indexing, search engines can easily identify your content through SEO and can more efficiently bring users into contact with your content.

Building Your Business with SEO
In order to brand your business, SEO is a must. As users and potential customers search for specific products and services, your business needs to be at the top in the search engine rankings. SEO is what will allow engines to redirect most users to your business’ services and will greatly impact your business. The words you use in your content should include the terms users will search for as they look for relevant content.

Your business can get many new customers through the use of relevant search terms. Potential customers searching will always go to the first few sites that pop up in their search. When your site ranks in these top few, users will click and visit your website, as well as trusting in your company as a reliable source.

1. Understanding SEO Will Improve Results
SEO follows a few different rules in order to optimize and rank websites based on content. SEO works to find websites that have the highest quality content and sites that are more user friendly than others. While there is not a perfect recipe for using SEO to rank the highest, it is always beneficial to adhere to rules of SEO for best results.

2. Show Up in the Top Five
With a clear strategy and focus on SEO, you can ensure that your website will rank higher than any of the other sites that are not creating new content or content created with SEO in mind. Eventually, your business will end up within the first five sites in a search, which will increase your visibility to the public and to potential customers indubitably.

3. Improve the Social Marketing of Your Business
When you find that your business is within the top rankings in a search, you will see that your content will be shared more frequently. When content is easy to find and access, people are more likely and more willing to share it with they friends and business partners.

4. Increase Traffic, Increase Customers
As your content is more tailored for SEO, more people will be drawn to the services and products that your business provides. As more people become familiarized with your business this way, more of your visitors will be converted into customers.

Whether your work to increase your businesses SEO on your own or you work with professional content creators or an agency, your business will always benefit from targeted content. Take some time to research and understand what keywords your business would benefit most from and see how you can work SEO into the content that you already have on your website. As you continue to grow as a business, you will definitely see growth in regards to your virtual audience and real life customers.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a niche of marketing which is about creating interest in a brand and what it sells via the creation and dissemination of Web-based podcasts, articles, videos and posts. If you want to attract your ideal customers and spark conversions at your company website, you’ll find that content marketing gives you a lot of leverage. However, in order to get optimal results from content marketing, you’ll need to do it correctly, or outsource the task to skilled and experienced content marketing pros…

How to Get Great Results

With content marketing, you’ll grab the interest of the types of people that you want to attract. You’ll also boost brand credibility and increase the odds of enjoying more brand loyalty from your clients. With content marketing, it’s a two-fold approach to getting results. This means that any content that is created must be optimized for SEO as it’s also promoted aggressively online, via social media platforms or other channels.

The best content marketers offer consistent, relevant and valuable content to those who surf the Web. In other words, they post podcasts, landing pages and blogs which are loaded with helpful and/or entertaining information. Everything is specially designed in order to be easy for the end-user to digest. For example, articles feature shorter sentences and lots of subtitles. Podcasts feature language that is understandable for the vast majority of people, rather than being too intellectual to appeal to the target audience.

When content marketing isn’t crafted with care, with the needs and wants of the “ideal customer” in mind, it may fall flat. For example, a blog which is designed to subtly promote a company may not get readers and engagement. It’s important to understand that “content is king”, but also to have patience with the process. It takes time to build audiences, with even the most skillful and thoughtful content marketing. As well, how the content is promoted and whether or not it’s effectively optimized for SEO will be factors which dictate whether or not it rises or falls…

As you can see, content marketing does have its complications…

Content marketing, when done well, will help to boost brand awareness and it will help entrepreneurs to build audiences. As well, it may position you or your company as an online expert. People enjoy buying goods and services from experts. With this in mind, it’s smart to show expertise whenever you post or record.

Stay In People’s Minds

Content marketing helps companies or personalities to stay in the minds of the right people i.e. prospective and returning customers.

It’s probably the most effective way to stay relevant in the minds of potential and existing clients. It’s not just about driving sales. It’s more about making sure that you or your company are influential. It’s about building trust in a person or brand. Content marketing isn’t about hard-sell. It’s about offering content which is consistent, relevant and valuable to the end-user.

Blogs are great starting points. Consider writing up some “how to” articles also. How-to’s are known to be the types of articles/blog posts that people love sharing via their social media accounts!

Where is Content Marketing Going?

This year, the Web is already loaded with premium content. It’s rare that a company doesn’t have a blog which is carefully crafted for the purpose of successful content marketing. As well, podcasts abound and YouTube channels proliferate. So, the goal of content marketing is to stand out as much as you can!

Now that you know more about content marketing and why entrepreneurs rely on it, why not create a brand-new content marketing strategy of your own?

How to generate leads through social media

Even though the overwhelming majority of folks on the planet today take advantage of social media to interact with friends, family, complete and total strangers and even some of the biggest celebrities and superstar athletes in history, businesses use social media for – surprise, surprise – business (even if they aren’t using it as effectively as they could or should be).

Generating leads through social media can really help you streamline your overall sales operation in ways that you may not even be aware of right now. When pulled off perfectly, ANY social media platform can help flood your marketing funnels with a tremendous amount of highly qualified leads that give you the best opportunity to convert into paying customers and clients.

Some of the big benefits you will enjoy when you start to generate leads through social media include cutting down the costs of lead generation by up to 45% compared to more traditional approaches and improving the revenue generated from these leads by nearly 25%.

You’d have to be at least a little bit crazy not to take advantage of everything that social media has to offer your business today. Here’s how to improve your lead generation operation almost overnight with social media!

Who is your perfect prospect?

It may be easier to reach literally anyone – and we mean ANYONE – today than it has ever been before, but that doesn’t mean that businesses are really thinking out WHO they want to reach when it comes to prospecting and lead generation.

Without knowing exactly who your ideal prospect and your ideal client really is you’ll never know which of the major social media networks to target for your lead generation activities, what kinds of “bait” are likely to attract the most, and what you have to do to move them from complete stranger to paying repeat customer or client as efficiently as possible.

Spend the bulk of your time in this research and ALL of your marketing and advertising efforts (as well as the products and services you offer) will get much better.

Match your message to your market via the right medium

Generating leads through any major social media network is going to require taking a unique approach that your competitors aren’t while still “playing by the rules” that people using the social media networks are going to embrace.

All of the different social media platforms out there have their own “flavor”, all of them have different “rules of the road”, and all of them have different approaches you will be able to leverage when it comes time to communicate with folks on these platforms.

You’ll want to create as “native advertising” as possible – the kind of advertising and lead generation efforts on social media that doesn’t come across as advertising or lead generation efforts on the surface.

Folks today are incredibly sensitive towards overt plays for their business or their hard-earned money. If you make that kind of heavy-handed effort you’re going to be rebuffed every step of the way, but if you learn how to generate leads while camouflaging them on the social media networks everything becomes a lot easier

Content marketing tips for small businesses

If you are serious about making the most of all the leverage available from marketing on the web today – and as a smart and savvy business owner, advertiser, or marketer you NEED to be making the most of this leverage ASAP – you need to knock your content marketing right out of the park or you’ll fall behind to competitors that are.

We live in the middle of the most competitive business environment that has ever existed. There are more opportunities to build a business and the financial future of your dreams than ever before, but these opportunities exist for more people than ever before as well – and that means there is plenty of competition, requiring plenty of innovation.

One of the most effective marketing tools you’ll have in your arsenal has to be content marketing. This can be your unique selling point, your unique competitive advantage, and help you to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. But content marketing is only ever going to be powerful and productive if you’re smart about how you utilize the strategies.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you do exactly that!

Produce powerful and valuable content

The overwhelming majority of “also-ran” style businesses in any industry or market are going to dive headfirst into the world of content marketing with one thought in mind – pushing out as much content as they can as often as they can and just kind of hoping for the best.

As a savvy marketer, however, you’re going to understand that the shotgun style approach can and will never work. There’s too much noise in the market already and not enough signal, and you are only ever going to be to rise above the pack with valuable and powerful content that resonates with your market.

The best way to produce game changing valuable content marketing pieces is to create the kinds of content that you would charge a premium price tag for – and then give it away free of charge as part of your marketing funnel.

Your competitors will never be able to touch you with this approach!

Give your market EXACTLY what it wants

There is always a bit of a temptation to kind of ignore what your market is telling you they want and instead tried to sell or create the kind of products and services you are interested in offering – even if it isn’t all that effective when it comes to ringing the cash register.

With your content marketing you are much better off really understanding your ideal customer, what they want, what they are searching for most, and what they find valuable and then reverse engineering your content marketing pieces from there.

The results you’ll get with this kind of approach are going to be head and shoulders above anything else you’d have been able to create on your own, and best of all this kind of approach to generate content marketing becomes effortless as your customers, your prospects, and your industry partners are telling you exactly what they want.

All you have to do is listen and then take initiative to give them exactly that.

Tips for Promoting Your Business on Social Media

Promoting your business on social media can either have great results, or can be a complete flop. Your result depends on the kind of efforts and techniques you use to promote your business. The five tips below will help you successfully promote your business on social media, so you don’t have to watch your efforts fall short.

The Correct Social Media
The first and most important aspect about promoting your business is choosing the correct social media websites. Targeting the sites that reach your intended audience the most is the optimal option. Some social media sites are more appealing to a certain gender, and certain social media websites do better with different kinds of content, like images, text, or website links.

Valuable, relevant content.
After figuring out which social media websites will do your marketing aspiration the most good, then it’s time to work on posting valuable, and relevant content that is worthy of being shared with the rest of the world. If you can post content that is valuable to your readers they will want to follow your page to get similar content in the future. If the content is relevant to your business niche, then it will be that much easier to gain authority for your business’s online presence.

Updates
While having valuable, relevant content is one of the most important aspects about promoting your business on social media, having consistent updates is just as important. With posts full of helpful information for your consumers, they will be looking forward to more posts, which means if you forget about your social media account and only post on random days once or twice a month, no one will really care about the trickle of information you provide on an inconsistent basis. It is best if your followers don’t have time to forget who you are. Posting frequently during the start is the perfect way to build a base of followers, then over time reduce your posts to once or twice a week if you feel comfortable doing so.

Freebies
Followers love free things. Free samples, free information or almost anything free. This is a great tool for running promotions. Offer a product free for 24 hours through your social media site and your ratings will increase overnight, so to speak. However, when providing freebies, make sure they are useful freebies, providing something of very low value for free is not going to help your business, you want to use the opportunity to show off your quality work.

Show and Tell (but mostly show)
For those scrolling through their social media accounts, they can pass hundreds of posts in minutes. So, what causes someone to stop and actually look at something? A catchy graphic. The more images you have that can catch someone’s attention, who is just scrolling through, the better your business will fare. A lot of times the graphic can even have the words you would normally just write up in the post on the image instead. If it looks good, it’s more likely to make someone stop to look at it.

With these tips you can start promoting your business and watch as your online presence grows.

How to Create a Successful Business Blog

It is absolutely impossible to compete in today’s ultra competitive business environment without an online presence that your customers can find, engage with, and learn quite a bit more about your company and your products or services without you having to do any of the heavy lifting all day long.

Thankfully, blog technology today (namely the open source blog technology WordPress that powers nearly 50% of all websites today) makes it really easy to set up an online company blog and build your business from the ground up with next to no real resources – at least from a monetary standpoint.

You just have to be really smart and really savvy about how you go about setting up your business blog so that you can cash in on your efforts, rather than burn out and coming for a crash landing when you find out people aren’t anywhere near as excited about what you have to offer as he thought they might have been.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you really hit the ground running with your new business blog!

Understand your audience

A lot of people (including some pretty smart and savvy business owners and entrepreneurs) start their business blog building journey in exactly the wrong spot – looking for web designers that can create something flashy as opposed to figuring out EXACTLY what their audience wants and then giving them that and nothing else.

You see, on the web today – with so many different choices, so many different websites to visit, and so many different businesses all competing for the exact same customers – content is everywhere.

You really have to drill down into understanding exactly what your customers want most so that you can give them exactly that, cutting through the noise in your market and building a real relationship with them.

Perfect your persona

The other thing that you really have to master when building up your business blog is to take the time to create a business persona that you are going to project onto your market – almost like a character, if you will – that really resonates with your ideal prospects expectations as well.

There’s a reason why people have absolutely no trouble whatsoever believing that Indian a Jones could be both a treasure hunter digging through tombs and a Harvard professor – and that’s because of the costuming and the persona that he projects depending upon his circumstances and environment.

What you’re going to want to do is understand that your business blog is a business tool first and foremost, and because they’re so much content out there you need to create a business persona and character that resonates with your customer. Find out who they’d like to interact with most and write your posts from that perspective.

Court controversy and market like crazy

At the end of the day, you’re always going to have a tough time debating against a flood of free information that pours into the Internet on a daily basis – unless of course you are willing to court controversy and market your business blog like crazy.

Don’t be shy about alienating anyone (ANYONE) that isn’t your ideal prospect and likely to give you money, and make sure that you market and advertise your business blog just as aggressively as your products and services.