Totally Free, Ever
Time Guide/White Paper
The Current Environment For Little or No Money
on any clear, cloudless
night. Count the total number of stars you can see from horizon to
horizon. Now take that total number times 100,000. That is, without
exaggeration, the number of sites competing for your client's attention
in an Internet marketing environment. Even if you do everything right,
this is like owning
a five star restaurant that is located in a back alley off some
out-of-the-way street in a universe far away. You could spend
thousands, millions perhaps, trying
to buy your way into your potential client's mind and never succeed.
Or, you can do it the right way and achieve success without spending
much at all by using free publicity as a marketing strategy."
Free Publicity Focus
of this document to provide information that is vital for anyone who
hopes to achieve marketing success. Three decades of real world
marketing experience, working with hundreds of individual and corporate
clients, will cause one to develop a sense of humor, if nothing else.
a very serious
business, but it can also be fun. Though this has
been written in a very
style, the hope here is that this will provide information that will
prove to be
useful to nearly anyone interested in producing real-world
results. This document will change constantly as it is not possible
these days to produce a document that will not be out of date before
the proverbial ink dries.
It goes without saying that an extremely high percentage of people fail
in their marketing efforts. This is not due to lack of effort.. It is
in many cases directly attributable to a lack of real world
marketing knowledge or perhaps to relying
upon well intentioned but very poor advice. This document
is an attempt to remedy that all too common problem.
and publicity is not about simply putting up a website or sending out
releases. Though these may be necessary, they mean little in regards to
creating real success. In this environment, you must develop a razor
sharp strategy to create a presence, a footprint' in four key areas:
- over 70% of
people now look at the Internet as their FIRST choice when making
- though not as important, still important if your buyers are reading
newspapers or watching TV
- over 73% of the population participates in social media. Even if you
do not, you must still be there or risk becoming invisible to those
- bloggers are fast becoming the 'New Media'. If you are not in front
of them, you risk not being seen.
Your 'footprint', and the size of that footprint, depends upon creating
a strategic presence in these four key areas.
Here, in this document, the attempt
will be made to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
truth. For though new ideas, methods and delivery systems pop up
basics of successful
marketing have not and, most likely, will not ever change.
is because marketing is actually
study in human nature. The
'new' systems, ideas and methods are in many cases proven concepts
repackaged and repurposed or perhaps simply done more efficiently or
more effective in some way. Human nature is human nature. If you understand how
marketing messages and how they react to those messages you will succeed.
If you understand how
they wish to
receive those messages, you
will most likely get good results.
Armed with knowledge, common sense
and hard work, you can achieve your goals.
the term product will be used for both products and
services here. The terms customer, client and buyer will also be
interchangeable. So, let’s get started . .
– THE BASICS - DEFINITION
OF MARKETING TERMS
market anything, you must first know what the term
‘marketing’ really means.
a. If the circus is coming to town, and you place a sign and write upon
it the words ‘Circus Coming To Town’, you are
engaging in advertising.
b. If you walk down the street and whisper in people’s ears
. . .the circus is
coming to town. Pass it along‘
you are attempting to
create a viral
c. If you hang your circus sign on an elephant and parade it down the
street, you are creating
d. If the elephant goes wild and runs through the mayor’s
garden, forcing you to apologize, buy the mayor new flowers and provide
free circus tickets to the mayor and his family for life, you are
engaging in public
– or, more specifically a subset of public
relations known as ‘damage control’.
e. If you stand outside the tent with a megaphone in your hand and
scream ‘Circus tonight! Get your tickets here!’ you
engaging in selling.
f. If you sell so many tickets that there is standing room only and you
must therefore run out and rent additional chairs so that everyone may
sit down, you are engaging in meeting
the needs of
your client base.
g If you sell popcorn to the circus attendees and make a profit, you
have created an add-on
h. If instead you hang a sign outside the tent that says 'Free Popcorn
With Every Ticket Sold', you have created an ethical
i. If, after the show is over, you stand outside the tent and shake
each person’s hand as they are leaving and give them a
coupon for the show the following night, you are engaging in creating
j. And finally, if you set the whole thing up in advance, you are
engaging in marketing.
k. Marketing is putting all of these components together - it is a plan
- a recipe. Strategy cannot be too strongly emphasized here. This is
putting all the pieces together, in their proper ratios, in the correct
order with a specific goal that can be tracked to completion.
is akin to baking a cake. You can buy only the best ingredients and put
all the ingredients together but, if you have the wrong ratios or
forget to bake the thing, all you've created is a nice mess.
l. Be advised that if you miss any of the above points, you will soon
THE BASICS - GENERAL
People will only
buy from you if they really trust you.
a. If people do not trust you, they will never buy anything from you,
regardless of the price you ask or the quality of your product. (See Creating Trust
– Using Words
That Sell’ located
in the articles
section of this site).
Trust is formed as the result of many seemingly unconnected factors.
Cute butterflies and such do not create trust. They scream novice
instead. Sorry, but it’s true. However this is not a hard and
rule. You rarely see attorneys and doctors using cute butterflies and
such, yet, we STILL don’t trust them. Building trust is an
b. Intuitive processes are quite hard to define. Some people spend a
lifetime trying to build trust but never manage to do so. Here is one
easy way out. Understand that there are basically two types of
marketers. There are takers
They take your money. They take your name. They take your email address.
give. They give free advice. Free articles. Free gifts.
b-3 If you are a taker,
people will never trust you
b-4 If you are a giver,
people will trust you, even if you screw everything else up completely.
b-5 If you are a giver
but have strings attached to your gift, people will know you are just a
trying to appear to be a giver.
it. That is #1 on the trust killing list.
2. You cannot sell
anything to someone who does not want to buy it.
a. This is like trying to force a hook into a fish’s mouth
then expecting it to bite. This will not work. You must instead offer
something the fish wants to bite. The fish will only bite when the fish
wants to bite. Don’t try to force it.
Artists, writers and musicians are especially prone to fishing by
force. This is because they are artists. If an established company
wants to sell a product, rest assured they have done their homework and
most likely know there is a market for the product BEFORE they buy the
raw material, set up shop and spend all the money to build it or
produce it. Artists, writers and musicians, on the other hand, first
create a work of art and then go looking for people who will buy it.
This is why we have the phrase ‘starving artist’.
It would be more effective if the artists knew there was a market for
the art before creating it. However, from the artist’s
perspective, this would make no sense and we, as a society, would have
far less art, books and music.
However, an artist can be very successful if they first create the work
of art and then do the research to determine IF there is a market for
the work. If the market DOES exist, the art can then become a
marketable PRODUCT and should be marketed as any other product is
your product to the whole world
a. Trying to sell your product to the entire world is like throwing a
handful of rice at the sun. This will not work. Ever. The message will
necessarily become scattered and you will fall short. Not everyone is a
prospect for your product or service. Niche marketing
is the key to success. Niche marketing is a tightly focused message
aimed at a very specific target. You can have many targets, each with
its own specific message. (See ‘Profiling’ below).
no limit to the number of profiles you can create.
Marketing is not
a ‘one shot proposition’
a. Marketing is an ongoing process. It must be done every minute of
every hour of every day for as long as you hope to sell the product. If
you do not market today, you may be out of business tomorrow.
is short for
public relations – not press release
a.Refer to Section A above. A media release has its place within the
overall publicity plan, but it is a tool, not a strategy. This leads to
. . .
tool is not a
strategy - Marketing 101
a. A hammer is not a blueprint. Planning your strategy comes first in
every case. Once you have a blueprint, you will know which tools need
to be used. Twitter is a tool. Facebook is a tool. Should you use them?
Only if the blueprint says you need them. If you decide to use these,
you should have a strategy for using them going in. Never use pliers to
nails. All tools work, but any tool will only work for very specific
applications. The blue print comes first. Strategy is the singular key
to your success. It is
that will set you apart from the rest of the marketing herd.
Lack of strategy is often the cause of failure. (See 'One Key Idea'
located in the articles
section of this
There are four
categories of marketing strategies
a. Outward bound strategies
- this is
find people and
deliver your message to them
bound strategies -
this is where people
and gladly listen to your message
bound - this is the
direction you will be headed if you use both a and b above
bound - this is
the direction your business will take if you don't use both a and b
e. Most people use too much of a and not enough of b. This is why most
people experience too much of d and not enough of c. This can be very
confusing. Just remember: A + B = C.
as few words as possible to get your message across.
a. This is the age of the Internet. People have become accustomed to
short, powerful messages. Too many words will cause them to click away
to the competition. You need to use only as many words as are required
– no more. In advertising, we use the term ‘white
space’. White space is extremely important. White space makes
your message stand out clearly from the background. To see an example
of white space, look to the left of this paragraph. That is white
space. What you don't say is as important as what you DO say. This
concepts also works in personal relationships.
space where there are no words. It can often be more important than the
words you use. White space can help create impact. Ask any parent whose
child has just announced 'I got a tattoo today.'
b. You must speak your buyers language. Though 'Boomers' make up the
vast majority of today's purchasing profiles, the average age of a PR
rep is 28. What does this tell you? It tells you there is a language
problem. If you are marketing to 22 year olds and you reference John
Wayne in your language, the response you will most likely get is '"Who
is John Wayne?' The words you use are vitally important.
Everything you do
or say either contributes to, or detracts from your success.
is a study in human nature. Think about the last time you met someone
new. You immediately, subconciously or otherwise, began to size them
up. You looked perhaps at the hairstyle, the clothes, the body
structure. You paid attention to the movement of the eyes, the timbre
of the voice and the words being used. You made a thousand judgments in
mere seconds. Out here, people will not judge your hair or your
clothes. They will instead make those instant decisions based on the
feel of your site, the quality of your communications and a host of
other factors. The question we all ask when meeting someone
is - Can this person be trusted? Remember that, as everything you do or
say adds or subtracts from that trust.
– THE BASICS - CLIENT
others will most likely not work for you.
a. Using what works for others is like wearing someone else’s
eyeglasses. Might work, but won't work well. Your friends want to help
you certainly, but THEIR product is
not YOUR product. THEIR potential buyer is not YOUR potential buyer. By
understanding YOUR buyer’s specific wants and needs, you will
able to develop a laser sharp strategy and message that is specific to
b. Never ask another person 'Did
(MARKETING METHOD) work for you?'
The answer you get will always
be wrong. It may not have worked for that other person because they did
not use it properly, did not have a good product or did not have a
market. Conversely, it may work for them but will never work for you.
Ask groups and then make your own decision based on a broad range of
send must be delivered in the way YOUR buyer prefers to receive messages
a. A 60 year old male will prefer a specific method of delivery. A 22
year old female will prefer an entirely different method of delivery.
Both will require a different use of language. Don’t waste
twittering to 80 year olds and
ads for teenagers. (See 'One
in the articles
section of this site)
- THE BASICS - BRANDING
AND BRANDING STATEMENTS
your own brand.
a. Without a brand, you are dead.
a branding statement.
a. Without a branding statement, you are really dead.
your branding statement set you apart from the ever growing crowd.
a. Having these established will make you memorable, rather than just
being a memory. If you do what everyone else is doing, you will look
like . . . well . . . everyone else.
your branding statement must literally jump off every marketing piece
or page you create.
a. The idea here is that, when your potential client or customer thinks
of their needs, they immediately think of your brand.
You get the idea. The branding statement used by the Free Publicity
Focus Group is:
There was some white space added here for impact. Simple is best.
Nearly any English speaking person will get the message these words
hold. (See Your
And Your Branding Statement
located in the articles
THE BASICS - ADVERTISING
money and produces fewer results
a. As a society, we have advertised ad nauseam. Though it used to work
well, advertising no longer works like it used to. Advertising is an
intrusive message. It interrupts rather than informs. It does not pull,
it pushes. Think about those used car dealer commercials. The ones with
the horns blowing and the sirens going off and the big yellow bursts on
the screen or page. Most novice marketers are those type
of marketers. This style of marketing requires huge numbers to
effective. You most likely do not have these kinds of numbers yet.
Using this type of advertising is why advertising gets such a bad rap.
It is also why people say 'I hate marketing'. This is not marketing, it
is advertising. (See Section A above).
Publicity is free
and produces greater results
a. People do not like ads. Think about this. When you pick up a
newspaper, do you prefer to
read the ads or the stories? When you watch television, do you jump up
to make a sandwich when the show comes on so that you can get back in
the commercials? TIVO, spam blockers, popup blockers, paid radio - the
list goes on and on. The success of commercial skipping technologies is
testament to the simple fact that people dislike advertising. As a
marketer, the very last thing you
want is to have people fast forwarding past your message. People do not
like to read ads, but they do like to read about subjects they find to
be interesting. This is why content is king and why publicity works.
generally two unique categories of advertisements –
‘Awareness’ advertising and
a. Awareness advertising allows you to tell people you exist
‘We’ve been here for 25 years!’
b. Results advertising produces quick results - action -
c. You should not totally discount advertising. It is necessary at a
local level. If advertising becomes a necessary evil for you, you will
likely need to utilize both in a mix that is right for your business.
Always use one or the other at any given time. Never create a message
like ‘We’ve Been Here 25 Years But Will Be Out Of
By Thursday!’ That won’t work unless you are a
company pretending you are going out of business - again.
advertising will never disappear, but will be used far less on both the
national and, in the future, at the local level
a. A recent study has shown that 50% of people now look to search
engines FIRST for local and national business information, followed by
24% Yellow Pages, 4% local newspapers and 1% television. Yet only 44%
of small local businesses have a website! What does this means? It
means that if you are a small local business and have no website, you
are virtually invisible to 50% of your potential LOCAL customers. Hmmm.
might be a good time . . .
b. Another recent industry study shows that Boomers (who make up a huge
majority of buyers now) spend 9.5 hours a day on a screen - mostly
television. 77 % of this screen time occurs between 7:30pm and 11pm.
76% listen to radio. Older boomers read print. Those age 55-65
spend 100 minutes per day reading print on average, those
age 45-55 spend 30 minutes per day reading print. Most of this
with their LOCAL papers - 57% read local dailies, 68% read local
weeklies. This means that, if your market is LOCAL and you have a
PHYSICAL business storefront, you should be using your LOCAL dailies
c. Yet another study shows the following: Only 14% of people
state that they trust advertisements and only 18% of traditional TV
campaigns generate a positive return on investment. Surprisingly, 90%
of people that can skip television ads do. Meanwhile, 24 of
25 largest newspapers are experiencing declines in circulation. What
does all this mean? It means that if you are not profiling your
potential buyers, you are most likely wasting a great deal of time and
even more money. The delivery system you use for your message is every
bit as important as the message itself.
Section F – WEBSITES
of people prefer to use the Internet when making a purchase
a. The recent studies have shown a real shift is occurring. This is a
change from just a few short years ago when most feared giving a credit
card over the net. Now, the convenience of the search engine has moved
us to this medium in droves. This creates a situation where an Internet
presence is almost required for success. If you are reading this, you
most likely have a website. If you are reading this on a friend's
computer and do not yet have a website of your own, come back
Holy Grail of
Internet marketing is not traffic – the Holy Grail is instead
interested, qualified traffic
a. Traffic is just traffic. Having great traffic with no resulting
sales is often the result of getting the wrong type of traffic. Would
you rather have 100 people in your store who are simply not interested
or 10 people in your store who may be very interested? Do you want
tire-kickers or buyers?
three seconds to make the right impression
a. Hundreds of factors enter into making the right impression. Look,
feel, ease of use, overall aesthetics, language, message delivery
on. If you do not accomplish this during the first three seconds, there
are millions of other sites waiting just one click away. Once your
clicks away, they most likely will not return.
b. Out here, your website is your business. It is you. It is your
product. It is
everything and it may be all your potential client ever knows of you.
It is urgent that you create the impression that will create trust,
create that all important great first impression and will deliver your
and your branding message in such a way as to make you memorable
immediately. This is an art form. You cannot please all the people all
the time but, in this case, you must try. Or, at the very least, try
not to turn people off.
c. Trying to decide if you are creating the right impression is akin to
trying to decide if you are good looking by looking in the mirror. Get
the opinions of others. Do not rely on your friends and family for
these opinions. Though your friends may exclaim ‘Very
nice!’, this is not a valid opinion. If your website can be
compared to a broken down mobile home, you have problems.
and metrics are crucial
a. It is imperative that you use metrics tools to determine how your
site is being received. If 100 people hit your site and 98 click away
after three seconds, what does that tell you? If 100 people hit your
site and stay for 30 minutes, what does that tell you? If 100 people
hit your site and 98 spend all their time on page A but nobody visits
page C, what does that tell you? What all of this tells you is that you
best learn how metrics tools work and put them to work immediately.
Engine Optimization) is important to your success.
a. SEO is a broad and very specialized subject that requires a great
deal of learning. Without proper SEO, your website is like a tattered
to a telephone pole in a far away city. No one will ever see the thing.
very long learning curve. Hire a
professional if you can. But don’t hire just any professional
professional. Good, in this case, means effective. Ask for references
from others you know and call the references you get.
b. If you cannot afford to hire a real professional, you will be
required to learn how to do it yourself, which will require that you
also learn to code, in most cases. Buy a good book as learn as though
your business life depends on it. It some cases, it does.
c. Using search engine adwords on your site is sometimes a bad idea.
Why go to all that time, work, investment and trouble to get people to
your site only to have them find something that causes them to
immediately click away? It also may, in some cases, demonstrate that
you really are out just to make a quick buck. Think about this. Of
course, if you are really out to make a quick buck, it makes sense.
d. SEO works involves being aware of many factors - metadata, keyword
strategy, proper headings, alt attributes, readability, page rank,
linking strategy, directory listings, bookmarking strategies, feeds,
data collection, directory structures - in other words, you cannot just
throw up a website and expect any success. Some websites look like they
have been thrown up. Again, hire a
professional if possible.
placement - your name does NOT count
a. Anyone can get first place position on Google for their own name or
their company’s name. However it is unlikely anyone will ever
search using your name or your company name, as they do not yet know
your name or your company’s name. You must get placement for
GENERIC SEARCH TERM such as ‘children’s
is extremely difficult and is the reason why SEO experts charge so much
b. If you Google ‘free publicity’ you will see that
million hits are returned. The Free Publicity Focus Group has number 1
position for this generic search term (as of the date of this article).
That is the goal. I am not bragging here, I am just saying. However,
this will likely change very quickly - maybe today.
c. SEO work is ongoing and never ending. New sites come online every
day. Old sites change constantly trying to get to the first page of
Google. It never ends. Ever. (See 'Why
Isn't My Website Working?'
located in the articles
section of this
placement is not the be all and end all of Internet marketing.
a.You can have low page rank and poor traffic and still succeed if you
are driving interested, qualified traffic to your site. Your family,
friends and acquaintances do not count, unless they are interested in
purchasing your product.
b. That being said, you will still want to get on that first page of
Google, as most people only have the patience to look through the first
page or two of search engine results. SEO is not a 'set it and forget
it' proposition. If you treat is as such, everyone will just
forget it. SEO is an ongoing, dynamic process. Again, hire a
buckle down and learn it.
you must look good - twice
a. You must look good to the search engines. Without their help, you
will be like that five-star restaurant in a back alley off a side
street in a far away universe mentioned previously.
No matter what you do, no one is likely to find you. This will require
laser sharp search engine strategies.
b. You must
also look good to your potential buyers. This involves taking a hard
look at many factors - aesthetics, trust building language, overall
feel, positioning, ease of navigation - the list goes on and on.
c. You must
strike a balance between both. It's much like being married to two
people at the same time. Either one can make you or break you.
3. Do NOT attempt to trick
a. Be honest. Don't get involved with blackhat techniques, etc. You
will find your website in the electronic equivalent of Siberia. In the
old days, people would stuff keywords - words like 'flower, daisy,
When Grandma innocently clicked, she found herself on a porn site. The
green on the porn site was a green door with some people behind it.
Grandma might have gotten a big surprise when this happened certainly,
but what is really the point here?
want people who are actually interested in your subject matter to visit
your store or you
are simply wasting precious time and creating MIS-trust. You may get
some short term results using these techniques but this will eventually
Google, Yahoo and
Bing are not the Internet
a. The engines are indexes, much like the old card indexes in the
library. Every engine works differently. You must optimize for the
three largest in every case. However, they use different strategies and
rules. You might be on page one on Google, but page three on Yahoo.
Therefore, you must take a middle ground with the emphasis being on
Google, as they own the lion's share of your clients' minds (over 60+
MEDIA – TRADITIONAL
not care about your product or your service
a. This is
because the media is interested in
has no reason to care about your product or your service
a. This is because the people in the media are paid to report news. A
sales pitch does not qualify as news.
begin to care about you, your product or your service ONLY if you
something that has real news value
a. Real news value can mean many things at different times. Even if
your message has real news value, it is always up to THEM to decide how
this will be judged and how important it might be to their slice of the
mind of the public. It is not up to you. Don’t bug them.
them quality information instead and be patient. Demonstrate that you
know your subject and that you are a real professional. Don't call us,
call you is a good rule to keep in mind.
b. You will be forced to jump through their particular hoops if you
hope to get
coverage. Every one of these will have a different set of hoops.
However, media people are accustomed to getting
how to pitch effectively.
c. That being said, a 'pitch' to a journalist is NOT the same as a
'sales pitch'. They are two completely different things. This
is an art form with a huge learning
curve. If you do not know the difference, don't even attempt it. I will
say it again - traditional journalists are not paid to listen to sales
pitches; they are paid to report news that is important to the public.
journalists, though still important, are not AS important as they once
to an article found here,
in the first half of this year over 100 news
shows were cancelled, over 100 newspapers folded, over 500 magazines
went down and somewhere around 12,000 journalists lost their jobs (not
verified by FPFG). Traditional media is being slammed by the changes in
how people prefer to receive their information. Quarter after quarter
we see these kinds of losses.
if your potential buying profiles are still watching TV, listening
to radio or reading newspapers and magazines, then you will need to
learn to pitch well as you will necessarily need to get coverage in tv,
radio, newspapers and magazines. If your potential buyer is using the
Internet exclusively, concentrate your efforts there instead. Due to
the move by journalists to the Internet, (and if placed properly), your
message will be picked up by
default. Remember that it is always best to create relationships with
the media and not to be perceived as a huckster. (See 'The End Of An Era'
located in the articles
section of this
MEDIA' is not a thing. The media is a group that is comprised of real,
live human beings. Remember that always. Treat them with courtesy,
dignity and respect as you would anyone else. They are busy people and
you must respect their time.
5. A media release is a
one time, very
directed news communication tool with a time limit
a. Never use a cookie cutter release. Never use someone else's release
a model. You will be seen to be like that guy in the bar - you know the
one - the guy that goes from table to table saying exactly the same
thing to every girl in the place, hoping to get lucky with someone -
anyone. Using someone else's release as a model is like asking someone
if you can read a letter they wrote to their girlfriend, copying it and
then sending it to YOUR girlfriend. The results will be pretty much the
b. A media release may or may not directly create sales. Usually not.
The purpose of the media release is to help create the 'buzz'. The buzz
creates the sales. The media release is a vital component of the
strategy and should be treated as such. If anyone tells you anything
different, run away, run away.
6. 'PR Spam' is not acceptable
What is 'PR
Spam'? This is a term being used by more and more journalists (and many
bloggers) these days. PR Spam is sending out hundreds or thousands of
releases to journalists - journalists who are simply not interested in
the subject matter of your release. It is wise to research what stories
a journalist covers, writes about and has interest in rather than just
sending it to everyone. Not only is this intrusive and very impolite,
it might also get you blacklisted with the very journalists you are
attempting to contact. Some bloggers (the braver souls) even list the
names or email addresses publicly of those who do this. If you need
proof, just google the phrase 'pr spam'. So don't do
7. More and more,
traditional journalists are looking to the internet to receive
to the PRWeek/PR Newswire Survey, 90% of journalists now PREFER
unsolicited pitches by email. However, 45% of journalists state that
only 0 to 25% of pitches are 'on target'; only 8% state that 76% to
100% are on target!
b. The survey also reported that 90% of journalists use a
company's website to get information about a company and 85% use search
engines. This mean that a traditional journalist will look at your site
to determine whether or not you fit the bill for their outlet.
(Disclaimer - The full survey is available from prweek.com. Contact
Beth Krietsch to purchase the full survey).
fast replacing the traditional media model
a. There are two types of improvement models:
This is where a new idea improves upon an existing model in some way,
leaving the existing model in place
This is where a new idea completely replaces the old model, rendering
The Internet could be said to be a destructive form when applied to
traditional media. Though this will not happen immediately, the
Internet will eventually most likely completely replace tradtional
media. Newspapers are really feeling the heat now. Radio is not far
b. For now, depending upon your target profiles, you may need to use
the Internet and traditional media. Don't ignore either. It is your
specific profiles that will determine which should be used and in what
The traditional means of creating publicity
do not work as well in this environment.
old-school press release is fast becoming a dinosaur. As mentioned, it
makes sense to use these if your profiles are still getting their
information from newspapers and magazines, but very few people are
actually doing this these days. Look at the numbers. You must instead
utilize a strategy that consists of four specific components:
(over 70% of purchasers now consider the Internet their FIRST choice)
- assuming your buyers are still reading newspapers, watching TV, etc
Media Strategies -
over 70% of the general population is using these. Even if you don't
use them personally, you must go to where your buyers are hanging out.
If not, you will be invisible to them
Bloggers are fast becoming the new journalists of this age.
marketing at the corporate level, a relatively recent development, is
far too broad a topic for inclusion here. That being said, for the rest
of the world . . .
1. Twitter, Facebook,
LinkedIn and other
social sites are not social marketing.
a. These are social marketing message
delivery tools. Social
marketing is a
completely different subject. Remember that tools are just tools - they
are not the strategy.
social marketing is the Internet equivalent of doing referral
marketing, only a lot bigger.
marketing is not 'new'. As a matter of fact, social marketing was the
first form of marketing to exist. Back before we had newspapers, radio,
tv, magazines and other forms of media, the only way to get the word
out was to tell other people - your friends - their friends - and the
word was simply passed from person to person. Media and the Internet
made this far easier to do without paying for advertising.
b. If people like you, they will pass the word along to their friends.
Those friends will then bypass every other option available to get to
you, because their friend recommended you. This is the power of social
marketing. (See 'What
Marketers Know . . . That Most Don't'
located in the articles
section of this
3. As a
Twitter can be
used for marketing but should not be used as a sales pitch machine.
a, Social marketing involves creating trust, developing real
relationships and providing value at a level that will cause another to
pass the word regarding you, your product or your service. Therefore
you should strive to provide that trust and that value. Try not to bore
everyone with never-ending sales pitches or frankly
boring posts. An informal study has shown that there are basically
three types of tweeters:
9 am –
‘Buy my stuff’
‘Buy my stuff’
1 pm –
‘Buy my stuff’
3 pm –
‘Buy my stuff’
5 pm –
‘Buy my stuff’
7 pm –
‘Buy my stuff’
This gets old fast and becomes an unfollow. This is like saying
‘Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!’. This is
the wong twee.
9 am –
‘Just got up’
‘Thinking about lunch’
1 pm –
‘I ate too much lunch. Naptime’
3 pm –
‘Just got up’
5 pm –
‘Thinking about dinner’
7 pm –
‘I ate too much dinner. Going to bed’
This also gets old and becomes an unfollow. If you do this, you are in
9 am – Great Twitter tools (link)
11 am – Found a great article that will help you (link)
1 pm – Found a whitepaper everyone should read (link)
3 pm – Read this survey
5 pm – Read my article on advertising (link)
7 pm – Found a cool web site (link)
Type C's get the followers. The point is that providing valuable
information to others, passing it along, makes for happy followers.
They will come to appreciate you and will actually look forward to your
tweets (assuming you are attempting to use these types of tools to
create awareness). Remember this. Please remember this. It's twue.
4. Be careful what you say
a. Of course, this goes without saying but I said it anyway. One of the
worst examples is when you get a post that says 'I found a site that
got me 2000 new followers last week!' Then, when you visit their
page, the poster only has 100 followers. What does that say about the
person who made that post? Ask yourself - why do you covet those
the first place - what is the real goal here?
Always remember that a
a bad impression sent to a lot of people will only cause you to fail
faster. First things first.
If you don't know what those first things
might be, stop here and start at the top of this page again.
marketing tools as you would the watering hole or the golf course.
a. Think of social marketing tools as places to get familiar
potential buyers outside the restrictions of the marketplace. We know
that lots of
really great deals are made at the local watering hole or on the golf
course. This is because it pays to know people and this is how you get
to know them. However, if you as a business owner spend all day in the
screaming ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ you will most
out of business very quickly.
If you are going to attempt to use social
marketing, the easy way out is to pretend you are at a casual party
filled with potential
clients. Don't bore, don't blather on endlessly about yourself or your
accomplishments and don't dance in inappropriate ways. You are in front
of thousands of potential customers who, depending on the time of day,
have not been drinking. Act and speak accordingly.
Social marketing allows you to connect with
your customers, clients and potential buyers
In each and
every case, without exception, the goal should be to pay attention to
these people and provide value. Forget blowing your own horn and grow
some ears. Listening will draw these people to you. Preaching will push
them away. There are four steps to social marketing success:
1. Forget about yourself, provide real value for readers, listen to
them and then respond.
4. Return to step 1
J - EXPERTS
1. Anyone can say 'I am an
learning marketing appears to be too difficult, or if the learning
curve appears too long, you might want to consider working with an
expert. If you decide to work with an expert, you will find there are
three types of marketing experts from which to choose:
All three types of experts are found in every field. Lets use the
analogy of learning to skydive. Suppose you want to learn to skydive
and go looking for a skydiving expert to teach you. You will encounter
all three types:
will be able to talk at great length about skydiving. This is because
the Pseudo-expert has read many books on the subject. He has memorized
the Wikipedia article on skydiving. He will certainly convince you that
he knows all there is to know about skydiving, though he has likely
never set foot on a plane, let alone jumped out of one. He saw a plane
once and double checked the facts with Wikipedia and so this, in his
own mind, qualifies him as an expert.
will tell you the truth. He has been there and done that - many times.
He has opened a tiny door, a mile and a half high up in the sky and
watched a 150 mph wind rip the door off the plane. He has stepped out
into that void and tumbled end over end, dropping like a fireball from
the sky, suit flapping, unable to breath, unable to see, struggling
desperately to get his hand on the rip cord that is snapping around
just out of reach. He has pulled the thing at the very last second and
smashed into the ground behind first and passed out from the pain. He
has done this many times. He is covered with rope burn and walks with a
limp. Nonetheless, he is the one you want to get to know. He does not
talk ABOUT skydiving. He talks skydiving.
Then there are the Tool
walk into a hardware store. A man wearing red bib
overalls runs up to you and exclaims 'You need a hammer!'
'I do?' you ask.
'Absolutely, yes you do. I am the hammer expert. Come on. Let me show
you our hammers. These
hammers are cool. They come in different colors and sizes. They are the
best hammers money can buy and can be used for just about any purpose
. . . .
Ten minutes later you finally manage to get a word in. 'But I am here
to buy a tool to change a tire,' you protest.
'Doesn't matter. You can use a hammer. I am a hammer expert and the
uses for these hammers are unlimited. Why, just the other day . . . "
The question is this: Would you buy that hammer you really don't need
because the hammer expert said you needed the thing? No.
Experts are everywhere these days it seems. Many of these people are
not experts - many are actually tool salesmen. It is an
unfortunate fact that
most of these experts go about things backward. They first decide upon
a tool and then try to retrofit you into their tool profile. Don't
allow this to happen. If you do, you will waste a great deal of time
and money and will end up with a hammer that will not accomplish your
Experts analyze - they don't fantasize
a. If anyone
tells you the answer before asking the questions you are not talking to
an expert - you are talking to a salesperson. A real expert will do an
analysis of your situation before making any recommendations whatsoever.
b. Real experts often turn away more clients than they accept.
3. Real experts have real
a. The first
question you should ask should be 'How long have you been an expert at
_______?' If the answer does not end with the word 'years', (plural)
run away. Even if the answer does end in 'years' you may still wish to
back away slowly, especially if the expert is an expert at selling a
particular tool only.
that they do not know everything
a. A real
expert will refer you to other real experts if they do not consider
themselves to be an expert on a particular subject. This is why doctors
and attorneys refer clients to other doctors and attorneys. There is no
such thing as an expert who is an expert in everything. If anyone tells
you that they are the expert in everything, cover your pockets, cover
your you-know-what and,
Above all else,
real experts are realistic
a. If your expert is promising the moon, that is likely where you will
have to look for that expert - after that expert takes your money.
Experts do not make promises - they make projections. No one can
guarantee the success of anyone else.
b. The expert might make you angry at times. This is because real
experts are known for telling the truth. You may not want to hear the
truth. This is because your expectations may be unrealistic. Most
marketers do not want to hear bad news - they only want to hear good
news. A false expert will be more than happy to tell you all the good
news you want to hear - until they get your money. Then, they most
likely will not answer the phone, as they are probably out having lunch
with their tool-selling buddies.
c. A real expert will most likely burst a few bubbles. They will be
realistic. This is what you want. This is how
they developed a reputation as a real expert. Real experts do not deal
in hopes or dreams - they deal with reality and facts. This is also why
should use them. Real experts are building a reputation - not making a
buck. No real expert would gamble a long-term reputation against a few
The Free Publicity Focus
Group offers a
no-cost, no obligation consultation that can help you develop a
marketing strategy that can produce real results.
Please feel free to send your ideas and
recommendations for additions to this document. We will consider adding
it. Email us here.