Creating a consistent brand for an online business is a highly effective way to get more customers and clients, to increase awareness of your organization and to generally propel yourself to new heights. Having a strong brand will create many more opportunities for you and will mean that every aspect of your business helps to strengthen every other aspect.
But creating a brand isn’t easy and that’s why there are so few sites on the net that have that strong presence and identity that they need. This is the complete opposite offline where I am sure you can reel off dozens of brands off the top of your head! Here are some of the most common mistakes that companies and individuals will make when creating their brand…
Lack of Congruency
Your visual consistency – in terms of the way your brand looks across various channels and the way you have positioned yourself in your industry and the values you put out MUST be congruent.
Lack of consistency
This is closely linked to congruency.The point of a consistent brand is that it should represent a certain degree of quality and a certain predictability in terms of what users get. People should know that something with your logo on it will be something that they enjoy. So if your website is talking about puppy dogs one week and programming the next, you’re going to lose people. Likewise, if you put out a brilliant product one month and the next thing you release is garbage, people won’t be able to trust you in future. Stay consistent and stay true to your vision.
Poor Visual appeal
Aesthetics are an important aspect of your branding and if you don’t have a strong logo and strong visuals through your advertising and web design, then your brand isn’t going to be memorable to your customers and users. If your logo is a grainy JPG that looks like something you made in college, then it might be time to hire a professional or at least have a rethink.
Every business card, social media account, invoice and email is a chance to strengthen your brand. Make sure you include your logo everywhere and don’t miss an opportunity to show it off.
Lack of Self Awareness
When creating your branding, you are creating the way that people are going to see you. To do this effectively though, you need to be objective and realistic. If you’re a one-man-band tinkering in your free time, then don’t try and brand yourself as a global corporate enterprise. It will ring false and your brand will fail as a result.
Do you remember when you first made the decision to become an internet marketer? Many of you will have felt the heady rush of quitting your boring 9-to-5 job in favor of starting afresh where the success or failure of your business rests squarely on your shoulders and yours alone; you are in control of your own destiny now! And you look at the financial gains which are virtually unlimited and the possibilities seem endless. It’s an exciting moment, to be sure… but are you still excited?
The problem is that far too many marketers end up treading down a road of frustration and drudgery; what happened to the path that was laid in gold?!? This causes them to burn out. They get discouraged as they hit an obstacle, or perhaps they get bored and lose interest; this is a problem with the instant gratification culture we live in today. Whatever the reason, it’s important to know how to get yourself back on track if you see yourself floundering or lacking motivation.
Many of your biggest obstacles will be mental: While you want to be constantly learning and getting smarter from your experiences, you don’t want to lose sight of your original vision and mindset. And don’t learn for learning’s sake; you should be implementing what you learn and not just keep learning more. Learn from your experiences whether they be success or failure and don’t let them make you overly cynical or worse, discourage you. Remember the excitement you felt about being your own boss. And remember how excited you felt about bringing your business/product/vision to the market and having a positive influence in peoples lives. Feel that way again and become that idealistic, go-getter again.
Never underestimate the power of routines to help nurture such mindsets. One of the biggest struggles with working for yourself is actually motivating yourself to do the work as there are so many distractions at home. Having a strict daily schedule in place can help you stay focused on the task at hand. Many productive people use their first few actions of the day as a psychological trigger to set them up for the rest of the day. For example, you might begin each day by walking your dog (or going for a stroll by yourself if you don’t have a pet), then brew your morning cup of tea/coffee before sitting down at your desk and writing your first 500 words of the day. Repeating your process each day can get you in the mood to work and it becomes a habit.
Don’t be afraid to expand or outsource tasks. This may be difficult at first if you have little spare capital but think of it as an investment; if yo. can get someone to do the tasks you hate then you can focus on those you enjoy and bring money into the business. Not long ago, article/content marketing was huge. But do you think that the people making serious money from it were spending every waking hour glued to the keyboard? No, these people quickly hired writers to allow them to capitalize on the opportunity and grow (and profit) quickly. Alternatively they may have started a large writing outfit to cater to the marketers working with content volume. Whatever they were doing, they were running a business and not a self-employment hobby. Remember that a business makes you money whilst a hobby costs you money.
Look at your business and identify which tasks can be quickly outsourced to freelancers to help give you more time to work on your business, not in it. For most entrepreneurs the first task to outsource is content creation as it is cheap and easy to get done and gives you content or products that you can quickly bring to market. For others, it may be SEO tactics to increase the ranking of their website. Outsource the tasks you hate as soon as financially possible and you will be a much happier marketer.
Finally, you need to be able to adapt You may have started your marketing journey two years ago, and a lot can change in two years, especially in the online marketing world. Keep learning, researching, and ensuring that your own methods are still considered best practice today; never mistake comfort with effectiveness. But be careful to implement what you learn or you will be left behind.
The key to making your vision a reality is to set goals – both long and short term – and start working on your highest value tasks first thing in the morning, everyday.
It’s clear that life doesn’t divide up all good things evenly among all people. Just look around you for the evidence of that; some people are more attractive than others. Then there are people who are richer or more successful than their peers.
There are people who come from a good background. They are well-educated, intelligent and well-liked. And from the outside at least, it appears that the world is their oyster.
Then, there are people who are average in looks. They don’t have a lot of money, let alone all that they want in life! They come from backgrounds full of various struggles. They may not have attended a prestigious college;in fact they may have little or no education at all.
Yet, so many times, it’s this second group of people who end up far more successful and enjoying more personal satisfaction than the first group. The simple reason for this is their mindset.
Just because someone appears to have it all doesn’t always mean that it is true or that it will always stay that way. And what you see on the outside – the nice car, the fancy clothes – doesn’t necessarily reflect inner happiness and fulfillment.
It’s not enough to wake up every day and tell yourself positive things. Don’t get me wrong; positive affirmation is great, but mindset alone isn’t enough to change your life. You need to take an active role in taking action to leverage that mindset into a new existence for you.
Next time, we’ll look at understanding mindset…
Pay per Click (PPC) marketing is a very powerful tool in the internet marketers arsenal but just like any other advertising campaign it needs to be planned out well before you start spending any money on your advertising
If you begin your PPC marketing plan without prior preparation you have set yourself up to potentially lose a lot of money very quickly, not to mention a lot of wasted hours. There are some great books available that you can read that will help you optimize your PPC marketing campaign.
But you can do all this without reading them if you avoid a few of the more common mistakes that most new marketers make. If you find you are making one or more of theses errors, don’t panic as they can easily be rectified and you can get your campaign back on track.
The 3 most common PPC mistakes are:
- The most common mistake people make when creating their PPC marketing plan is to send the prospect to their home page. This may seem logical to you but there are reasons why this should not be done. People who click on your advertisement are looking for specific information and this is probably not available on your home page. You are much better off sending them to a squeeze or landing page as this allows you to send your prospect to exactly the right information that they were looking for. They will be happy and if your message resonates with them, they are much more likely to take action whether that be to enter their email address or buy your product or service. Each of your landing pages should be keyword specific relating to your ad. It should also be clean and shouldn’t contain any other links or distractions that may confuse them and cause them to leave.
- Keep it simple. As touched on in the previous point, if your landing page causes confusion you will lose sales as a result as people don’t want to be made to feel stupid! If you create a PPC that is highly targeted to the keywords the visitor is searching for it will result in consistent sales as long as it easy for them to read and understand. Your landing page address should ideally contain the keyword that they are searching for. Make sure that it is easy for the prospect to find. You should also have several different landing pages if you have several different keywords or topics.
- Know your keywords. All the search engines are different and will use their own methods and discretion as to where to place your ad for greatest exposure. One of the biggest PPC mistakes that people make is that they do not laser target their keywords and as a result end up losing optimum placement on the search engines for their ad for that particular keyword. Over 85% of all search engine results are based on the top three ads. If you are not able to hone in on your keywords you will probably not make the top three and this could cause you to potentially lose sales as a result so really concentrate on getting your keywords dialled into your target prospect.
As you can see the most common mistakes made by new users to PPC marketing are very easy for anyone to make and there are probably a lot of more experience marketers making them too and therefore potentially throwing money away, not just in the cost of their ad but also in lost revenue. Knowing how to identify and fix them is the key to a great profitable PPC marketing campaign.
When you make a living as an online entrepreneur , many people just won’t get it. Some of them will think you’re nothing more than a spammer just because you make your money on the Internet.
You need to be aware of these types of people. One problem is that some of them may even be close friends and family members who are simply ignorant about the various marketing uses for the Internet.
Try highlighting the fact that although many people make money online, the amount of spammers is actually very small; it is just unfortunate that they can be so very disruptive!
When you are explaining the workings of email marketing it is also important to let your detractors know that every single person you send email to has signed up specifically to your newsletter, and clicked a link to confirm that they really want to be on your list.
Isn’t this just like signing up for a newspaper delivery or a magazine subscription? Of course it is! People sign up to your newsletter because you are providing them with valuable information, not just advertising.
If you are a self published author and sell eBooks online, tell them that it’s a bit like being a book publisher, but all of the books you publish are in digital format. You can also explain that instead of paying thousands of dollars to get the books printed, bound and shipped, you can eliminate those costs by selling all of your books as downloadable products and pass on these savings to your readers so they get a great book at a great price!
If people still don’t understand, you could even show them what an eBook is by letting them view one on your computer, although that is highly unlikely nowadays with the increasing popularity of eBook readers such as Amazon Kindle.
If you tend to work as an affiliate marketer, you can tell people you’re in advertising. Tell them that you run a website (or websites) and you place advertising on that website. Every time someone clicks an ad and purchases something, you receive a commission. If you make the majority of your money through AdSense or selling advertising space on your sites, you can simply tell people that you place advertisements on your websites, and you charge advertisers for that ad space.
Why not show them some of your sites or blogs to illustrate the point? You may feel more comfortable just telling people that you design websites rather than showing them, especially if you are not a graphic designer or creative type. But if you’re a decent website builder/designer you may actually impress them and then you may get people asking you to make a site for them!!
You also need to understand that some people will just never get what you do. All you can do is explain it the best way you can, and if it doesn’t work, accept it. If the in-laws or your spouse are nagging you because your money isn’t yet streaming in, and you feel pressured, put together a simple presentation that answers all of their questions and puts their minds at ease. Better still, get them involved; make it a family business and their passion for this glorious online lifestyle may blossom too.
Email marketing is a constantly developing process reflecting the change in wants, needs, and actions of the population. Many marketers have been guilty of abusing the email inboxes of potential customers and clients as email marketing evolved: they constantly sent emails to all potential customers, thus invading the privacy of their consumer base.
More and more emails end up going straight to the spam folder due increasingly aggressive filters from the internet service providers and email platform such as Gmail so it has become more difficult to get your emails seen, let alone read! Luckily the evolution of email and society has led to a recent resurgence in email marketing. Companies can now communicate with their consumers through a variety of different email platforms.
Any business or entrepreneur can benefit from a good email marketing strategy and the 4 tips below will help you to tweak your approach to email marketing thus giving you the boost you need to make your email campaigns more successful.
Try to keep your emails short and to the point as many consumers do not want to read long emails. Each email should address one topic only and be laser focused on that topic alone; don’t waffle – just stick to the point and get your message across as quickly as possible. Those who manage to get their point across quickly will keep the attention of their consumers and will increase engagement and thus open rates for any future emails.
Don’t email too often
Do you suffer from inbox overload? I certainly do as there are many marketers who insist on emailing every single day and sometimes even multiple times per day. And do you know what happens to them? If you’re like me I quickly hit the unsubscribe link! Communicate sparingly and if somebody hears from you less often, they are more likely to open your emails and pay attention to what you have to say when you do communicate with them.
Give Your Audience a Reason to Read
Your audience needs to have a compelling reason to read what you have to say. To that end, ALL your emails should be beneficial to the reader, whether that is in the form of information, a sale, or an offer that you think will benefit THEM, not you! Don’t become one of these spammy marketers who just send out emails like “My friend just released this great course/product on X,Y,Z so go check it out…. There is no benefit here for the reader and has me quickly clicking the unsubscribe link!
Know your Target Market
You need to work to know who you are talking to so that you can talk to them at their level, using their verbiage. The more you know about the person you are speaking to the easier it will be for you to connect with them. Connections are critical, especially when trying to introduce a call to action or increase their interest through an email strategy.
When coming up with an email marketing strategy, think about the whole process and not just 1 or 2 parts in isolation. How will you address your readers and what benefits will they get from reading your emails? If you can speak directly to your audience and give them a compelling reason to read and listen to you, your email campaign will be successful. So really take the time to get to know your audience to make your email marketing strategy as powerful and successful as possible.