Try These Strategies If You Want To Elicit Positive Responses for Your Next Fundraising Requests

 

 

When writing to solicit or request fund from people, the common thinking of an average marketer is to say, “If they love us or find it worthy, they’d give us something”.

 

Only a weak marketer reasons this way.    

 

A pro-marketer sets all things right in the right direction…aims at his or her target perfectly, and makes so sure the right – positive – responses are got from such requests.

 

Direct marketing gives no room for conjectures…

 

Direct marketing is scientific.

 

With direct marketing, responses are pre-determined; they can be forecasted…because the plans for them are fully calculated.

 

Hence, they results and outcomes could be easily measured and predicted.

 

 

Always Force an Answer

 

 

Do everything within your creative power to force your reader to respond in some way.

 

Ask your reader to send back an answer to your letter – “Yes” or “No”.

 

Asking for a response one way or the other requires the reader to make a decision. You want to give your reader reasons to answer now – to make a decision.

 

The worst answer for a marketer from his or her recipient is, “I’ll think about it and get back to you later.”

 

That means the answer is “No”.

 

But the prospect is also keeping his or her options open. The easiest answer for your prospect to give is “Maybe”.

 

By requiring a “Yes” or “No” answer on the spot, you are forcing your prospect to face a moment of truth…

 

“If I answer NO, I’ll look bad and evil-minded” is the thought you must create in the mind of the prospect.

 

The last thing you want your prospect to think is, “there’s no hurry. There’s no need for me to make a decision right now.”

 

Women take exactly this approach with men.

 

They’d say, “You either ask me to marry you now, or that’s it. No more waiting. Tonight we will go out on a date. If I don’t have a ring on my finger by the end of the day, I’m gone. That’s it. You’ll never see me again.

 

“Yikes!” the guy thinks. “I guess she’s not going to let me keep her along for further long years. I better rush out and get that ring.”

 

A weak marketer does not like forcing this moment of truth, or requiring a “Yes” or “No” on the spot.

 

A weak marketer believes that if he or she does not get a “No” answer, he or she still has a chance to get a positive response later.

 

This is wrong.

 

A marketer has very little chance of making any good with this approach…because most people would rather never commit until they absolutely must.

 

A strong marketer knows that forcing a moment of truth and requiring a decision on the spot will certainly produce more definitive “No” answers…but he or she will also force many more “Yes” answers – many more positive responses.

 

There are many methods of forcing a decision.

 

You might say in the P.S. (Post Script section), “if you decide not to give us something, would you mind writing me a note telling me why?”…

 

Or, “if you decide not to donate, please just write, ‘I am not donating’ across the letter and mail it back to me. That way, I will know you received and read my letter, only that you’re not interested, and I won’t bother you again.”

 

You can as well ask (by stating within your letters that) the recipients of your letters mail or return your letters and envelopes to you if they had decided not to donate or buy into the cause you’re promoting.

 

Many of them would find it quite insulting to return your letters and envelopes to you without sending a thing. 

 

Many of them would feel too embarrassed to return your letters with no gift at all.

 

So, in all your mailings and sales presentations, always think of ways to require a response one way or the other – to force a decision.

 

 

Let me have your thoughts to this post in the comments section below.

Here’s How to Strategically POSITION Your Business for Maximum Marketing Success

 

 

Positioning your business strategically in the heart of your leads and prospects is perhaps the most critical issue to settle before you begin all your marketing efforts for your products or services.

 

The reason why is because:

 

The offer of your products or services that you make to your leads and prospects is not just about price and terms.

 

Sometimes if you charge too little, they value your product or service less.

 

If a consultant was only charging you say, $25 per hour for his work, you might appreciate his low price, but you would certainly decline his service….

 

…“How can he or she charge so little if he or she is any good?” you’d think.

 

On the other hand, if he or she is charging you say, $500 per hour, you might stagger at the price, but you’d end up accepting it…

 

…knowing his or her price is high because he or she is the very best at what he or she does, and you certainly want the very best consultant to consult with.

 

Are Gucci’s shoes and handbags really worth the staggering price?

 

Are Gucci’s products really that much better than other brands that are one-third the price?

 

Gucci’s products do not necessarily look anything different from the others’.

 

Gucci’s entire marketing appeal is that its products are ridiculously over-priced.

 

Apparently, that’s part of what people want when they buy Gucci.

 

The Gucci label shouts to their friends: “look at me! See how much I paid for this. I must have so much money I don’t know what to do with it all.”

 

What this looks to me is just like someone saying, “Hey! Look at me!  I’ve just been ripped off!”

 

But there it is – that’s Gucci’s entire marketing pitch in a nutshell.

 

Smartphones and other smart devices are pretty good.

 

A whole range of companies are producing them, and they’re all good…but with little or no difference between the products of these different companies.

 

And the costs to get them are largely affordable to most people.

 

But Apple has figured out how to create a monopoly on the production of these electronic devices.

 

Then Apple figured out how to market their electronic gadgets, not just as costly, but as a way for people to show the kind of class they belong in the society.

 

So the question of price is not necessarily always about how low the price is compared to your competitors, but about the “positioning” of your product or service in people’s minds.

 

The question of how you “position” your product or service is the most important issue you must settle before you begin your marketing efforts.

 

Gucci is not really selling shoes and handbags…

 

Gucci is selling “image” and “status”.

 

Apple is not really selling smart, portable, and durable gadgets…

 

Apple is selling, “class”.

 

 

Figure out what makes you different – your Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.)

 

 

What is it that’s different about your business, your product, your service?

 

What is it that your business, product, or service does that no other business, product, or service does?

 

What makes you different from your competitors?

 

Marketers often toss around the term, “unique selling proposition” all the time.

 

But there are probably very small numbers of businesses that can say in 50 words or less why I or any other consumer should buy from them as opposed to all the other choices out there.

 

All this takes is some little thought and creativity.

 

Maybe what makes you different is that you are local.

 

Or maybe you’re different because you’re national or even multinational.

 

Maybe your advantage is that you’re small, or that you’re big.

 

Maybe your advantage is that your staff is old and “experienced”, or that your staff is young and “energetic”.

 

If you were to start a business that’d compete with say, Facebook, you don’t have to do exactly what Facebook does.

 

You only have to try to figure out what needs to be done in the art of social connections that Facebook isn’t doing.

 

You have to try to find a task that needs doing that no one else is working on.

 

Perhaps, you’d try to be even more specific and narrowed down to a path, say, business and job connections, just like LinkedIn is doing.

 

By taking this approach, you’d never become as big as Facebook, but you might become 20 percent or even 10 percent the size of Facebook.

 

You’d try to find some niche to dominate and become known for, some niche not occupied by Facebook already.

 

It would be hopeless to try to compete directly with Facebook, as hopeless as it would be to try to compete with Coca-Cola by launching an imitation cola.

 

Yes, other companies have done it.

 

Pepsi did it successfully with many billions of dollars in advertising.

 

Of course, Pepsi is unlikely ever to surpass Coke.

 

Pepsi will always be the #2 cola drink, at least in our lifetimes, and that’s not bad.

 

But even Pepsi emphasizes its differences with Coke.

 

Pepsi claims to be less “syrupy”, to have a “cleaner, more refreshing taste”, to be “chosen by 70 percent of people in blind taste tests”, and that it’s for a “younger generation”.

 

Pepsi never says it is the same as Coke, but rather claims to taste better than Coke.

 

But most of us don’t have billions of dollars to compete with the Coca-Colas of the world…

 

…so we need to do something different…

 

…something that’s clearly not being done by some other businesses that are a lot bigger and richer than we are.

 

So, figure out, or come up with something, that makes you different from your competition, and continuously hammer that theme into the minds of your customers and potential customers with relentless repetition.

 

Of course, your USP must be a difference that’s both needed and sell-able.

 

There’s no point in having a USP no one wants. 

 

 

What new thing have you just learned? Let me have your thoughts in the comments section below.

How to Use ELECTRONIC SEMINARS to Turn More of Your Business Leads and Customers into Long Lasting Buyers

 

 

Given the latest advancements in technology, you can now have video or audio conferences on the web (webinars) to train your leads and customers or to market your products or services, etc.

 

These were impossible a few years ago, but now anyone can afford these powerful marketing tools.

 

These tools mean you no longer need to pay for an expensive conference room or a hotel to hold a seminar or a conference.

 

Nor will the participants need to travel long distances, or expend huge costs on travelling welfare, etc.

 

Everyone can participate from the comfort of his or her office or home.

 

Your seminar or conference can include a few people or even up to thousands of people.

 

These electronically conducted conferences or seminars can be used to:

 

  1. Introduce a new product or service.

 

  1. Share (valuable) information.

 

  1. Build relationship with your prospects and customers.

 

  1. Reward your best customers by giving them a way to participate as an “insider” in a special level program, etc.

 

If you’ve categorized your customers for ease of marketing, you can then have electronic conferences for various levels of your customers; for example, one for your “Starter Members”, another for your “Intermediate Members”, and another for your “Advanced Members”, etc.

 

Your reasons for holding an electronic conference or seminar are limited only by your imaginations.

 

Some could be free.

 

Some you charge for.

 

It all depends on what you are trying to achieve.

 

Is it a friendly event where you share some valuable information for free?

 

Is the purpose to sell a product or service?

 

Or, is the electronic seminar itself the product? – For example, part of some expensive coaching program for certain category of your leads or customers?

 

You can charge whatever you like, from $1 to $10 to $30 to $100 to $1,000.

 

Whether you charge or not, and what you charge, depends entirely on what your purpose is and who the audience is – which is no different from all your other marketing efforts.

 

The same principles apply in all marketing.

 

Just the tools change.

 

The webinar or web conference, etc., are just some of the newest and most potent arrows in the marketer’s quiver that fit perfectly with the philosophy of “sell-by-educating-and-informing” – a method that ensures you more conversions and sales.

 

Some of the tools you can use to simply get these tasks done are Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.

 

The electronic conference can be conducted in a way that everyone participates, or you can have just a few designated participants where everyone else is muted and can only listen.

 

You’ll have to have designated speakers if you have hundreds or thousands of participants in the conference or seminar.

 

You should not start off with a large electronic conference at first.

 

Start small with just a few people and get used to this medium.

 

As with any performance, you need to rehearse your act before you hit the big stage.

 

When you promote your electronic conference, you’ll do it exactly as you do all your marketing, following the procedures below:

 

  1. You’ll want to use an attention-getting headline for your electronic conference or seminar (e.g., “Thirteen Ways to Double the Sales and Conversion Rates of Your Business This Year”).

 

  1. You’ll need to tell people when it is, how long it will be, and how to access the conference.

 

  1. You’ll want to emphasize that this is a “By Invitation Only” conference.

 

  1. You’ll need to publicize the benefits participants will gain from the seminar (like, “you’ll learn how to automate your marketing so you will never need to work round the clock marketing your products or services again”).

 

  1. If your conference is selling something, you’ll want to offer an incentive for people to hear or watch the entire presentation (i.e., “you’ll want to stay on this seminar for the entire 60 minutes, because at the end, we’ll show you how to download your free book, How to Attract High Paying Clients and Customers”).

 

  1. When you begin the conference or seminar, and if you have a large group, you will need to mute participants on the line.

 

And you will need to explain why not everyone will be able to speak by saying something like, “because we have a sold-out seminar today with 105 participants, we are muting the line for everyone except the featured speakers in order to cut down on background noise so everyone can hear clearly, and because we have a lot of great material to cover in a short period of time.

 

We know how busy all of you are, so let’s get started. If you have questions or comments, please just email them to our support email. We’ll try to answer your questions as we go and as time allows.”

 

  1. As you would with a regular conference in a physical conference room, you will want to introduce yourself and the speakers.

 

And you will want to encourage all participants to take notes.

 

  1. You will likely want to close out your conference with a call to action of some kind.

 

If you were selling something, you would make the same kind of pitch you would in a marketing letter.

 

You would give your listeners:

 

  • Benefits to the buyer.

 

  • The offer.

 

  • Proof of your claims (i.e., testimonials, case studies, track record).

 

  • A super-charged guarantee.

 

  • A way to order.

 

  • Incentive to order right now, and not later.

 

  1. You then close out the conference by thanking everyone for participating and give everyone a way to get their free book (or other incentive reward) for staying on the seminar for the full-time.

 

If necessary, you apologize for not being able to cover every question emailed in, but promise to answer all emails after the conference.

 

The benefits of incorporating audio or video conferencing into your marketing plan are enormous.

 

Here are just a few:

 

 

  1. Your reach is now global, just like the world’s biggest corporations.

 

 

Using these tools, you can a wide range of global audience and break your geographical bounds. All thanks to the internet.

 

Although not everyone has a high-speed internet connection, but everyone can still participate.

 

It’s possible to offer participants a choice of watching a video, or listening to an audio – and it could even be recorded for those that can’t participate in real-time for them to access later on.

 

 

  1. Increases your visibility and credibility with your clients and prospects.

 

 

You will be perceived as a market leader and highly professional.

 

Those who conduct seminars and conferences are perceived as experts.

 

 

  1. It cements a relationship with your customers.

 

 

The more your customers see and hear you, the more loyal to you they will be.

 

If your presentation is compelling, if the information you are sharing is valuable, you will develop a committed loyal following.

 

 

  1. It’s cheap.

 

 

You no longer need to travel to meet with your customers.

 

You no longer need to rent a conference room.

 

Everyone can participate from wherever they happen to be.

 

 

  1. Minimal logistics.

 

 

Conducting such an electronic conference requires far less logistics and complexity than a physical seminar at a location.

 

No hotel and travel reservations.

 

No need to serve food, refreshments, etc.

 

No name tags.

 

 

  1. You can replay it over and over.

 

 

You can upload the conference or seminar onto your website for repeat playing.

 

If you are in the seminar or information sharing business, you can charge a fee to give your customers access to an archived library of seminars.

 

 

 Here are some uses for the electronic conference or seminar:

 

  • You can use them to share valuable information that is of interest to your market;

 

  • You can use them to introduce a new product or service;

 

  • You can use them to conduct a class or seminar;

 

  • You can use them to showcase a book you’ve written;

 

  • You can use them to train salespeople and company personnel if they are dispersed geographically;

 

  • You can use them to conduct Q & A sessions with your customers and clients; and

 

  • You can use them to conduct a focus group to pilot test your marketing message.

 

 

 

What new knowledge have you gained from this post? Let me know in the comments section below.

 

Your 5 Step Guide to Setting Up and Running Your Business as a Successful E-Commerce Platform

 

 

This is the 21st century.

 

People are becoming more comfortable with doing and transacting business online.

 

Many want the convenience of being able to shop on their terms, whenever they want, wherever they want, like from the comfort of their homes, with ease, 24/7, and so forth. 

 

Businesses that can’t transact sales online via websites, etc., usually have many excuses, like:

 

It’s hassle.

 

I don’t know how to go about it.

 

I don’t have the time.

 

It might be costly.

 

And so forth.

 

But today’s technology makes it so easy, cheap, and quick to set everything all up.

 

Shopping carts, security certificates, and payment options, etc., have all been taken care of for you.

 

Even if you still conduct 99 percent of your business offline (outside of the internet), you look amateur if you can’t conduct business online.

 

You’re leaving a lot of money on the table, ignoring a whole lot of your market share by limiting your business to your immediate geographical location.

 

The truth is, you will probably be out of business in a few years if you ignore the web as a place to market and transact your business.

 

Below are the few basic steps you must follow in order to set your business up in an e-commerce way for maximum customer acquisitions:

 

 

1. Pick the products or services you want to sell online.

 

 

You can sell just about any kind of products or services from your website.

 

These could be products or services born out for your personal creations and developments, or products or services of others that you’re reselling based on agreed terms.

 

 

2. Get the necessary software.

 

 

Some website building systems come with shopping carts, etc., built in.

 

If your website lacks these features, you must buy or get the software to set up an online shopping cart, as well as order forms, payment systems, third-party credit card processing, etc.

 

Make sure you have all the software necessary at hand before you set up your store for smooth running of the business.

 

You might want to employ or hire a web designer who’d take care of all the software and form set-up, etc., for you.

 

 

3. Set up your online product catalog if you are selling a variety of products or services.

 

 

The more information you provide, the better your chances of making a sale.

 

Show photos of your products or services, and write detailed descriptions – bullets are effective when listing benefits.

 

Be sure to include the price for each products or services.

 

 

4. Set up your payment options.

 

 

The more ways your customers can pay online, the less shopping cart abandonment you’ll suffer.

 

For example, if you accept PayPal, credit cards, fax in payment, and cheques, you’ll convert more sales than if you operate on a cheque-only basis or if you only accept certain credit cards.

 

 

5. Make sure you’re ready to ship, fulfill, or do whatever it is you promise.

 

 

You haven’t completed your sale until you can get the product to your customer’s door.

 

This is perhaps the most critical aspect of any e-commerce business model.

 

You must first settle the case on how to deliver the physical products you’re selling to your customers…

 

Several shipping and handling companies such UPS and FedEx, etc., are very happy to help you with your shipping.

 

 

What are your takeaways from this post? Let me know in the comments section below.

  

A Smart Marketer’s Guide to Using Surveys to Acquire MASSIVE SALES out Of Your New Product or Service Launch

 

 

 

Surveys are great tools to use in the right situation. 

 

Surveys are, in fact, a great tool to use if you are looking to generate leads for your business, or if you are offering a wide range of products and/or services for sale.

 

The purpose of the survey is simply to ask your prospect what he/she wants, what he/she is interested in – and then sell him/her what he/she just told you he/she wants.

 

This is just exactly like what politicians do.

 

Politicians would intelligently seek – both in formal or informal ways – to know what voters were thinking, what was on their minds, what they wanted.

 

They’d then craft their message exactly according to what they found out people actually wanted.

 

This is a kind of master marketer and salesman approach.

 

This approach is scientific.

 

When they perceive what it is people really wanted, they’d then craft their message accordingly.

 

We can do the same thing in all our marketing and sales work.

 

We can conduct surveys both to find qualified prospects, and also to help us zero in more accurately on what our existing customers want.

 

Another great feature of surveys is that people like filling them out.

 

People love an opportunity to give their opinions about things.

 

Yet, you can also offer a reward to those who fill out and submit your survey – perhaps a free special report or guide on a subject you know is of interest to your reader.

 

A well-crafted letter and survey to the good set of audience should be able to get a 15 percent or even a 20 percent response rate.

 

The answers you get back from your surveys should then be organized and entered into a database.

 

Let’s say you are selling a variety of health products.

 

The African Development Bank believes: “Africa’s pharmaceutical industry is the fastest growing in the world”.

 

It is generally reckoned that the pharmaceutical market will be worth $40-$60 billion a year by 2020.

 

Another table also shows Nigeria as spending about $21 billion a year on health care, which represents a 3.7% health care spending as a percentage of the GDP in 2014.

 

So the virtue of this field is that everyone is interested in their health.

 

Everyone has concerns about health, the quality of health care, the cost of health care, and government policy on health care.

 

And most people will be interested in completing a survey on their health care if they believe their participation in the survey might lead to better health, lower health care costs, and a longer or healthier life.

 

Senior citizens are especially concerned about health care, so you might start by targeting your letter to the over-60 audience.

 

Here’s how you might begin your letter, the goal being to persuade your reader to complete and submit your survey:

 

 

National Research Survey on Africa’s Health Care Needs and Concerns – Using Nigeria as a Case Study

 

 

Dear Mrs. Wright,

 

You have been specially selected to participate in this National Research Survey on Africa’s Health Care Needs and Concerns (Nigeria as a Case Study).

 

The results of this survey will be submitted in a report to the National Assembly and the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Office of the Honourable Minister for Health.

 

I am hoping you will take just a few minutes of your time to complete this important research poll.

 

Your participation will help ensure that your voice is counted and heard as the Federal Government of Nigeria and the National Assembly prepare to reform medical care and change how health care is delivered in Nigeria (before moving to duplicate same in the whole of Africa).

 

The results of this survey report will also be submitted to Nigeria’s leading pharmaceutical companies and medical research institutions.

 

In addition, all participants in this survey will receive a free copy of the final survey report.

 

Your individual answers will be held in confidence. Only the overall results will be made public.

 

We have selected 109,000 citizens from across Nigeria to participate in this poll, representing every senatorial district (1,000 participants per senatorial district).

 

Because this survey is so large, you can be sure the National Assembly and the Federal Government will study the results carefully.

 

And it will have a major impact on the medical care and health care debate in the National Assembly over the coming months, when crucial decisions on medical care and the delivery of health care will be made.

 

So I hope you will make a special point of completing and submitting your survey for processing today.

 

 

The survey letter starts this way because you must give your reader some compelling reasons to take the time and efforts to fill out and submit the survey.

 

The incentive in this case is the promise of having an impact on the health care and medical care reform debate taking place in the National Assembly.

 

The incentive is having one’s voice heard and counted by the powerful – important decision-makers whose decisions will have a major impact on all our lives.

 

People vote in elections because they want their voice, their opinion, to count.

 

People will fill out a survey like this for the same reason.

 

The letter will continue to develop these points.

 

The survey questions then become very important.

 

The survey should begin with a series of public policy issue questions concerning medical care and health care delivery in Nigeria, with questions along the line of:

 

  • Do you think medical care should be changed to be a program only for those who can’t afford health insurance?

 

  • Are you in favour of more government control over health care, or less?

 

  • Do you believe government should guarantee health care for all Nigerians?

 

  • How do you rate the overall quality of health care in Nigeria (and Africa by extension)?

 

  • Are you for or against the President’s proposal to…?

 

  • Would you like to see the National Assembly make all your medical and health care expenses tax-deductible?

 

 

After you complete the policy questions, you start to move into more personal questions thus:

 

  • What is your age range?

 

  • What is your income range?

 

  • Approximately how much do you spend on medical treatment each year?

 

  • How much do you spend on prescription drugs each year?

 

  • How much do you spend on vitamins each year?

 

  • How much do you spend on supplements each year?

 

  • How much do you spend on orthodox medicines each year?

 

  • How much do you spend on herbs each year?

 

  • Which description drugs do you use most?

 

  • Do you now have health insurance?

 

  • How concerned are you about the quality of your current health insurance coverage?

 

  • What is your weight?

 

  • What is your height?

 

  • Do you belong to a gym or health club?

 

  • How much exercise do you do a week?

 

  • What kinds of regular exercise do you focus on?

 

  • How do you rate your overall health?

 

 

And there are all kinds of other related questions you might ask, depending on the information you need.

 

Can you see how the answers to such questions could be very helpful to a marketer of health products?

 

Your survey should be an impressive, very official-looking document, about a four-page booklet at a minimum would be good.

 

Your survey should look like it might have been produced by a government agency – perhaps the Census Bureau, the National Bureau of Statistics, the National Populations Commission, or an academic or medical research institution.

 

And, as you promised in your letter, you will deliver an impressive report to the National Assembly and the Federal Government of Nigeria via the Office of the Health Minister on the results of the survey, which truly can have an impact on the policy debate.

 

You do everything you say you will do with the survey, including delivering a copy of the final report to all who participated.

 

You now have an enormous number of great leads for your health-related products.

 

The value of these leads will then be determined by your “conversion rate” – that is, what percentage of leads become customers.

 

It then becomes a mathematical equation how much you can spend to acquire a lead.

 

Of course, your “conversion rate” will be affected dramatically, up or down, by the quality of your survey questions, the products or services you are selling, and the skill of your conversion campaign.

 

The quicker you follow up with your conversion program, the more productive your leads.

 

I’m a huge fan of the survey as a great marketing tool.

 

 

I hope you’d learned greatly from this post. Let me have your opinions to it in the comments section below

 

How to Set Up Your Business Website on WordPress Content Management System in Just 3 Steps

 

 

Websites are the brochures of the 21st century.

 

Your website is a critical marketing tool.

 

It is an integral part of your entire marketing strategy.

 

You can use your website as a bulletin board for disseminating breaking news on new projects you are offering.

 

All your marketing media should promote your website because…

 

Your website can be a repository for all your archived newsletters, special reports, blogs, books, audio recordings, and videos.

 

Your website can be populated with compelling sales-oriented text, audio and video.

 

Your website can be a dynamic, interactive, full-blown PowerPoint and multi-media presentation.

 

Your website, for very little cost, can make your small business look as big and powerful as the world’s largest corporations.

 

You cannot be in business in any serious way today without a terrific interactive website.

 

When people want to learn about you and your company, the first place they will go is to the internet to check out your website.

 

If you have no website, or if your website is boring and unimpressive, people will assume your business is not real.

 

You will be judged, in many cases, by your website because that’s all many of your prospects have to go on to know what you and your business are about.

 

 

So, How Do You Set Up A Great Business Website?

 

 

As earlier noted, building your website is not only cheap, but also very easy…when you know how to go about it.

 

In the 3 steps below, I’m going to lay it out in simple terms how a layman who can understand and take instructions in English language can easily set up a WordPress website without writing a single line of code.

 

 

Step 1: Registering a Domain Name

 

 

Your website’s domain name is the name your website bears on the World Wide Web.

 

It goes something like, “yourawesomewebsite.com”, or “yournewwebsite.net”.

 

You can set up your website on free platforms like BlogSpot, WordPress.com, etc., whereby your domain name would look something like, “yourwebsite.blogspot.com”, “yourdomainname.wordpress.com”, etc.…

 

…but that’s out the scope of this post, because this post focuses on using a paid website service like WordPress.org (rather than WordPress.com), which lets you do a lot of things a free website won’t let you do.

 

To know if a name is available for you to register and use as your domain name, go to Whois.org and search if the name is available.

 

If unavailable, choose another.

 

If available, then, you have to act fast and go to register it straight away, just in case someone else might be somewhere thinking of using the same name.

 

 

Step 2: Getting a Hosting Account

 

 

Your website hosting account is like a land (on the World Wide Web) where you erect your building (domain name) on.

 

It houses your domain and all your website files.

 

If your hosting account expires, and you failed to renew it, your website ceases to be accessible.

 

You can transfer your website from one hosting account to another as you wish, based on your business needs.

 

Your best bet is to look out for a great website hosting service provider to register and host your website with…

 

…this will continue to ensure an effective and great working website for you.

 

Most website hosting service providers provide domain name registrations alongside registering of hosting accounts for smooth processes.

 

Some domain names are sold, but most, if not all website hosting service providers who offer domain name registrations alongside their website hosting services provide domain name registrations for free to their customers as incentives to encourage them do business with them.

 

An indigenous website hosting service provider that possesses these features is HostNowNow Website Hosting Service Provider.

 

Having registered your domain name and your hosting account with them, the next step is to download and install a Content Management System (CMS), such as WordPress (for the purpose of our training) onto it to run your website contents on.

 

 

Step 3: Installing WordPress Content Management System (CMS) onto Your Domain

 

 

Websites have a system that runs the contents – texts, audios, videos, etc. – created and stored on them.

 

This is called the “Content Management System”…

 

We have a number of them: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.

 

But, for the purpose of this training, we’d be talking of WordPress, which is the most popular, and which powers more than 28% of the websites on the internet, and 59% of all websites using a known Content Management System (CMS).

 

So, after registering your domain name and hosting account, you then download WordPress Content Management System from online apps installer like Softaculous Apps Installer…

 

After downloading it, you then upload and install it onto your website hosting account.

 

Next, you choose a theme (which serves as a storefront or display mechanism for your website, and shows it to the world) from the WordPress themes repository, and download and install it onto your WordPress dashboard…

 

And voila!

 

You now own a brand new WordPress website!

 

Cheers!

 

 

Let me have your take on what new lessons you’ve learned from this post in the comments section below.

 

 

Modes of STRATEGIC BUSINESS ALLIANCES That Make You More Money, But With Little or No Marketing or Advertising Costs!

 

 

The life-blood of every business is running costs, which come from conversions, sales and turnovers.

 

Regular sales are made when the appropriate framework is established for systematic and automatic customer acquisition and customer monetization.

 

You have to strategically come up with, and put in place some systems for constantly and regularly acquiring customers to your business, products, or services…

 

As well as systems that will let you make money from such leads and prospects…and turn them into customers automatically.

 

This kind of systems would not only give you assurances of making money, but they will also ensure you always remain in business.

 

Not even added to the fact that they will reduce your efforts, money, time, etc., spent for looking for and finding customers for your business…

 

…as well as the combination of the time, stress, and so forth, needed to make them buy from you and your business.

 

An example of such systems to put in place is what I call; “Strategic Business Alliances”…and these come in different forms.

 

 

Strategic Alliances with Businesses in Your Industry, But Who Aren’t Direct Competitors

 

 

When you look critically around you, you’ll find certain businesses and companies in the same industry as you are, but whose businesses, products, or services aren’t directly competing with yours…

 

…better still, their businesses, products, or services might even seek to complement yours.

 

These are a class of people to reach out to and seek to make some business alliances with.

 

You might be a web designer, and have a graphics designer who can design logos, icons, web and social images, etc., as a business ally.

 

A graphic designer could align with a digital marketer.

 

A web hosting business could enter into a strategic alliance with a web or application designer.

 

A copywriter could work out a business alliance with a digital marketer.

 

A courier service and a transport company could both work out some strategic business alliances between themselves.

 

A plumbing business could be an ally of a builder or bricklayer.

 

A draftsman or architect could work out some business alliances with a land surveyor.

 

A restaurant could be a business ally with an event management business.

 

A computer or tech engineer could work out some business alliances with a sales outlet that sells computer or tech items.

 

An event planner could be in some strategic business alliances with a beautifier, cloth designer, makeup designer, etc.

 

Now, sit down with a pen and paper and write down those strategic alliances that would work for both you and another company.

 

With that, you’re creating a kind of “win-win” relationship for you both.

 

When a prospect of your business ally needs something to complement the service he/she is getting from your business ally…

 

…they instantly remember you, and quickly mention you, and direct such prospects to you…and you also do the same for them too.

 

You need each other.

 

Now, for these arrangements to work well, it’s usually best if the two businesses work in different areas of the same field or industry…

 

…where there are opportunities to combine efforts to create a whole that is more profitable for both parties than the services would be if sold separately.

 

A movie production manager would need a costumer, a caterer, a driver, a video team, post-production team, etc.

 

Very often, these services are provided by different companies and businesses.

 

This opens up tremendous opportunities for a strategic alliance.

 

A strategic alliance generates great business for everyone involved.

 

Asides from reducing money spent on marketing by the parties involved, strategic alliances also vastly improve overall marketing because no prospect feels they are being sold an entire package, such as a one-stop shop.

 

When a client needs an event manager for their wedding, the event manager could say, “do you like so and so design your hair? Or so and so design your cloths…?”, this comes across as an unbiased recommendation, not a sales pitch.

 

A strategic alliance of this nature expands your capabilities and makes you seem bigger than you really are.

 

Plus, you don’t have the burden of a lot of money spent on marketing to get those jobs.

 

A strategic alliance of this nature is not a partnership or a marriage.

 

It can be informal most of the time, or deals can be formalized for certain distinct projects and ventures.

 

 

Another mode of strategic business alliance is…

 

 

Getting Overflow Work from Friendly Competitors

 

 

In business, you have to be friends with all of your competitors.

 

You don’t really have to consider them to be competitors at all.

 

The truth is, there’s enough business out there for everyone.

 

You should like your competitors because they do what you do.

 

You share the same interests.

 

When you get together, you’ll all share your secrets and your battle stories.

 

You’d have a great time.

 

You should love your competitors because you have the same problems, challenges, and interests.

 

In whatever business we’re in, there are always the “Big Boys”, and there are always those who are just starting out.

 

Those who are just starting out are not always a threat to the “Big Boys”.

 

The “Big Boys” almost always have an overflow of business that they reject because it’s not profitable enough.

 

If you’re just starting out and just getting established, you can ask the Big Boys in your industry for their overflow work.

 

Form a strategic alliance with them.

 

Always encourages your industry Big Boys (who’d most likely be undefeatable competitors to you – at the moment) not to turn down any work they don’t want to accept…

 

…but to allow you to do such work as a subcontractor.

 

If a Big Boy in your industry normally charges say, $700 (around #280,000) for certain jobs, but some clients are willing to pay say, $500 (about #200,000) for the job, offer to do it for say $300 (about #120,000) – if that makes business sense for you.

 

Allow the “Big Boy” firm to invoice at their rate, and pay you the $300 you’ve agreed to, and let the “Big Boy” firm keep the $200 profit for doing almost no work, except the invoicing – for the work the “Big Boy” firm was going to turn down.

 

Again, this is a “win-win-win” game for everyone.

 

The client wins because they get the work done.

 

The “Big Boy” firm wins because it gets $200 of the $500 it charges for the job, while having to do almost no work for the fee.

 

But a most important part is that the “Big Boy” firm does not annoy a customer by rejecting the work.

 

And you win because you make your usual $300.

 

Conversely, if you’re the “Big Boy” of an industry, don’t be afraid to help out your start-up competitor firms.

 

If you can keep a client happy by sub-contracting with your start-up competitor, and make some little money along the way, please do it.

 

Your customer will be pleased that you always have the time for their work, even during your busiest times.

 

There’s no need to see your competitors as enemies.

 

There’s more business and work out there than all firms in any industry combined can handle.

 

Try to work together harmoniously, intelligently, and creatively to create a bigger benefit, and more business for everyone.

 

Strategic alliances are a huge vehicle for generating more business for everyone.  

 

 

 

I hope you find this post helpful? If you do, then kindly drop a word or two in the comments section below.

How Much Should You Charge For Your Products Or Services? (Part 2 of 2)

 

 

While deciding on fixing the prices of your products and services (which we started to discuss in the last post)…

 

…it’s quite possible you fall into a common error most businesses fall into when trying to beat their competitors and win over the hearts of their customers…

 

 

The Price-Cutting Trap

 

 

So many businesses fall into the trap of always trying to be cheaper than their competitors.

 

You see adverts all the time that say, “best prices anywhere”, or, “the cheapest price you can get anywhere ever”, or, “if you can find this cheaper somewhere else, we’ll pay you the difference plus 10%”, or, “plus 20%”.

 

This is a big marketing mistake.

 

Never get into a discussion of which company – you or your competitor – has the lowest prices.

 

Never get into a price war.

 

Yes. Price is certainly one factor your customers might consider when doing business with you.

 

But price is not the only factor.

 

In fact, price is one of the least important factors determining whether someone does business with you or not.

 

You want clients and customers who are primarily interested in quality, not price.

 

So instead of focusing on how much you can afford to cut your price, focus instead on providing increased value to your customers.

 

A study shows that a 1 percent cut in prices costs the average company 8 percent in profits. This means that a 10 percent price cut wipes out 80 percent of the profit.

 

This number varies depending on the industry you’re in, but the point is that even a minimal price cut is often financially devastating.

 

If your profit margin is 20 percent, a 10 percent price cut means you’ve just lost half your profit – half your income.

 

But most businesses are operating on less than a 20 percent profit margin because they are in a constant price war with their competitors.

 

Now let’s look at what happens when you raise your prices 10 percent.

 

So, if your profit margin was 20 percent, it’s now 30 percent.

 

You have just increased your income by 50 percent with a 10 percent price increase that will hardly be noticed by your clients and customers.

 

Reading this now, you should consider raising your prices 10 percent right away.

 

This is the fastest, easiest way to improve the profitability of your business.

 

With 10 percent price increase, if you lost one-third of your customers, you would be just as profitable as you were before.

 

Most likely, you won’t lose any customers.

 

In fact, increase your prices another 10 percent in six months, and see if you lose any customers.

 

If you’re a well-run business that provides excellent quality, service, and value, you’ll be fine.

 

So now, you’ve doubled your profits in six months adding a single new customer.

 

 

What People Actually Want From You and Your Business

 

 

You should never allow a business conversation with your customers to focus on the issue of price.

 

You don’t want to do business with the bargain hunters and price shoppers.

 

They will drag you down.

 

You are almost certain to lose money by servicing this kind of clients and customers.

 

If someone comes to you and says, “I can get the same thing down the street for 10 or 20 percent less”, your answer should be, “and then why are you here?”

 

Of course, the reason they are standing in front of you is that they really can’t get the same thing down the street for 20 percent less.

 

They know you’re the best.

 

They want to do business with you.

 

But they are scamming you.

 

They are trying to frighten you into cutting your prices.

 

If people were really only interested in price, everyone would be driving the cheapest cars, wearing the cheapest clothes, eating the cheapest food, taking the cheapest drinks, and living in the cheapest houses.

 

When you think about it, the truth is, most people don’t want the cheapest of anything.

 

Do you want the cheapest surgeon operating on you?

 

Do you want to fly on the plane that hires the cheapest pilots?

 

Do you want the cheapest lawyer handling your case?

 

Do you want the cheapest teachers teaching your children?

 

Do you want to stay in the cheapest motel or hotel?

 

Or, you want to watch the cheapest TV?

 

Do you want the cheapest furniture in your home?

 

Or, you want the cheapest carpeting?

 

Do you want your house painted with the cheapest paint?

 

Do you want the cheapest roof?

 

How about the cheapest electrical work and the cheapest plumbing you can find?

 

Do you actually want the cheapest haircut?

 

All answers are a capital “NO”.

 

People want quality.

 

People want great service.

 

People want convenience, prestige, and a great customer experience.

 

Most people understand that they must pay a premium for these things.

 

People also want a trusted relationship with those they do business with.

 

But here’s another problem with getting caught in a price contest with your competitors.

 

If you keep cutting prices, soon you won’t have enough profit to be able to provide the products and services your customers want and expect.

 

You will find you have no choice but to start cutting corners and shaving your costs or you’ll go out of business.

 

Soon your customers will start noticing the poor products or services and will leave anyway…which is want you’ve been avoiding.

 

Getting caught up in a price-cutting contest with your competitors is one of the surest roads to business failure and bankruptcy.

 

Your customers won’t appreciate your low prices, but they will blame you for downgraded products and services – poor products or services you can’t help because your prices are too low.

 

You will never win a contest over who charges the least because there is always someone willing to do the work for less.

 

So, refuse to be bogged down in a discussion of price with your customers and clients.

 

Focus instead on the benefits you are providing.

 

Focus on providing value, not cutting prices.

 

Of course, you must be well worth the prices you are charging.

 

 

And that’s the end of our discussion on effectively pricing your products or services.

 

Disclaimer: Don’t forget this post is courtesy of Benjamin Hart.

 

 

I hope you gained some knowledge with this post? Kindly share your comments to it in the comments section below.

 

How Much Should You Charge For Your Products Or Services? (Part 1 of 2)

 

 

Disclaimer: I actually learned these tips from Benjamin Hart.

 

 

Getting to know how much to charge your clients or customers is a dilemma you might often face if you’re in the business of selling products or offering services.

 

Most businesses find it hard solving this puzzle.

 

But different individuals and businesses have even come up with different theories and conclusions on arriving at the prices they could charge for their products or services.

 

Most businesses answer this question by figuring out how much it costs them to produce the product or to provide or render the service, and then marking it up 15 percent or 20 percent.

 

If they find a cheaper way to produce or provide the same product or service, then they cut their prices to stay in line with their lower cost of production.

 

Other businesses look at what their competitors are charging and go on to charge about the same.

 

“Industry standard” is a phrase you hear a lot in certain fields when the subject of prices comes up.

 

But alas!

 

These are all poor ways to set your prices.

 

The correct answer is:

 

You should charge what your customers are WILLING to pay.”

 

Now, how then do you determine what your customers will pay?

 

What your customers will pay depends entirely on their perception of the value they are receiving.

 

If you get a Gucci handbag, and then look for a very smart local bag maker to make something that looks exactly like it in quality and size…but you put a logo of your company on it.

 

Can you sell it at the same price the Gucci bag that looks exactly like it sells?

 

But conversely, if perchance your local bag maker is contracted and given a franchise by Gucci to produce and sell bags in Gucci’s name, with Gucci’s logo, branding, etc…

 

Don’t you think you can then be able to sell the same bag now for the normal Gucci’s price?

 

Given people’s instincts and great sense of bargaining…

 

…who could think some people would prefer to buy drinks at high exorbitant prices at top class restaurants…

 

…when they could easily get those same exact drinks at roadside shops at huge fractions of what they’re getting at the high-class restaurants?

 

It all burn down to nothing but…values.

 

About the only thing Gucci has to its brand, in my estimation, is its staggering high price.

 

Gucci is not really selling anything but status.

 

People buy at those top-class restaurants mostly for a reason – the experience.

 

They sell social life.

 

They sell prestige.

 

They sell exclusivity.

 

These are but some of the reasons people are willing to buy at multiple the prices of what they would get somewhere else.

 

Not really because the products or services are much better, or better at all.

 

It’s all in the marketing, in the positioning of the products or services in people’s minds.

 

So, again, the answer to how much you should charge is how much people are willing to pay.

 

You can’t charge a penny more.

 

You are wounding yourself grievously if you charge less.

 

You are literally giving money away if you are charging less than people are willing to pay.

 

Remember, you are not a charity. You are a business.

 

You are in business to make a profit.

 

Make your charitable work a separate activity, something you do outside your business.

 

So now, the correct phrasing of the question is not: “how much should I charge?”

 

The real question is: “how can I find out how much people are willing to pay?”

 

And the short answer is: “trial and error.”

 

In direct marketing, we are always conducting price tests.

 

Quite often, the higher price might actually produce a higher rate of response, or no response at all.

 

Very often, raising your prices actually improves the perception of your clients and customers about you.

 

You had to raise your prices because you are in so much demand.

 

You are in so much demand because you are the best.

 

Raising your prices can help re-position yourself in the minds of your customers.

 

We’re no longer the cheap low-end service.

 

We must charge more because we attend fanatically to every detail.

 

We’re perfectionists.

 

We are involved in “the relentless pursuit of excellence.”

 

Yet, of course, you must be ready to meet up on this promise.

 

But even before you undertake any new re-positioning of yourself in the minds of your customers, which is a major task…

 

…you should almost certainly try raising your prices 10 per cent today…

 

…and then another 10 per cent in six months.

 

Then see what happens.

 

If too many customers start walking out of the door and if you find trouble finding new customers…

 

…you’ll know you’ve raised your prices too much or too quickly.

 

Your customers are almost certainly willing to pay more than you are now charging; even if that’s the only thing you’re going to change in your business right now.

 

But the really big money is to get completely away from any discussion of price…

 

…to begin the process of re-positioning yourself in the minds of your customers as the best alternative of what you do (better than your competitors).

 

You don’t want to market yourself as the cheapest doctor, the cheapest lawyer, the cheapest plumber, the cheapest hair salon, the cheapest mechanic, the cheapest seller of anything.

 

You want to market yourself as the best – as Number One in your field or your industry.

 

Of course, you must be worthy of this positioning.

 

 

Let’s continue this discussion in the second part of this post.

 

I hope you find this post helpful? If you do, endeavour to drop a line or two sentences of thoughts in the comments section below.

An Ultimate Guide to Leveraging “EXCLUSIVITY” and “PRESTIGE” for Attracting High-Paying Attendants to Your Conferences, Seminars, and Trainings

 

 

How do people feel when they just bought a new Apple product?

 

They literally feel important and on top of the world.

 

It’s not as if Apple’s software can give them all what anyone could want in a device…

 

…but that’s just what and how Apple wants them to look and feel.

 

Why do you pay more for a drink you’re buying in a top class restaurant than what you can easily get at a roadside shop?

 

That same feeling of importance…that you’re buying at a place not everyone could buy from.

 

It gives you glory to show and tell anyone you just bought a new Gucci product…at a high and exorbitant price…

 

…even when you can easily get a locally made product, which could even be more durable, and at a huge fraction of the price of the Gucci material you bought…

 

But you’re well happy and fully satisfied with the Gucci product…no matter how costly you’ve bought it…just simply because it gives you a feeling of “exclusivity” and “prestige”…

 

…and goes on to make you highly “different” from every other person, and even more “important” than other people.

 

This “feeling of importance”, being “better than other people”, “exclusivity”, and “prestige” is a psychological state of mind that most, if not, all people crave for.

 

And when you put this into play in marketing your products and services to your leads and prospects…you’re bound to get insanely crazy conversions and positive results from your marketing.

 

 

A Live Illustration?

 

 

Now let me show you a live example of how you can take advantage of these psychological states of mind in your marketing…

 

Benjamin Hart (whom I learned this marketing tactic I’m showing you here from) is a member of a public policy organization called the “Council for National Policy”.

 

This Council meets three times a year in nice locations around the country of United States of America like Boca Raton, Aspen, Laguna Beach, places like that.

 

The purpose of the organization is to connect successful business leaders with right-of-center public policy organizations and candidates.

 

The goal is to interest these business leaders and wealthy individuals in politics and public policy and to get them contributing money to these non-profit public policy organizations, as well as mostly Republican candidates.

 

The only way you can join this organization is to be nominated first by another member.

 

You then have the privilege of paying a $2,500 (approx. #1,000,000) membership fee every year, plus the fee for attending the three meetings.

 

At these meetings, you might hear from the President or Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, and many other political leaders and luminaries.

 

The “attraction” of membership in the Council is…you will have plenty of opportunity to meet with and talk with Republican Party leaders and other influential people.

 

The Council is marketed as an “exclusive” organization.

 

It’s considered an “honour” to be invited to join.

 

Was it really an “honour”?

 

But that’s how it’s sold.

 

And the only way you can get in is with a referral from another member.

 

You will then receive a letter announcing that you have been nominated for membership in the Council by “so and so”.

 

You can literally deploy this strategy effectively for all kinds of organizations, associations, conferences, seminars, trainings, and so forth.

 

 

Another Close Example?

 

 

Another great example is found with a client of Benjamin Hart who is a creator of educational programs for high-achieving young people.

 

The way they find students for the courses is to write teachers and ask them to nominate six of their best students to participate in the prestigious “National Young Leaders Conference”.

 

The nominations come in from the teachers.

 

The names and addresses of the student nominees are entered into a computer database.

 

The nominees then receive a letter that begins something like this:

 

 

Congratulations!

 

I am pleased to announce that you have been nominated to be a National Scholar and Delegate to ……………… in Washington, D. C., this fall (season).

 

Your teacher, [Name], identified you as one of her most outstanding students.

 

The Nominations Committee then examined your academic record and concluded that you qualify for nomination.

 

You should feel proud of your exemplary academic record and your selection to be a National Scholar representing the State of Virginia.

 

 

This letter is then sent out in an impressive-looking invitation holder and package.

 

It as well includes a program schedule, an impressive list of advisors, and even a short form letter from the country’s President (or any other worthy personality) welcoming the students, and an Enrollment Application.

 

Another letter is sent to the parents at the same time.

 

The tuition for the five-day conference is about $1,400 (approx. #560,000). 

 

The point to note here is…this list of participants is developed by way of a “referral” strategy.

 

The students are found by asking teachers to provide names of (nominate) their best students.

 

This is how the prospects (invitation) list is built.

 

When this kind of letter arrives, it has instant credibility because the teacher’s name is mentioned right away.

 

If the child’s teacher is involved in this program, then it must be worthwhile.

 

This will be a very powerful evidence for the parent of the value of the program.

 

This potent system mixes the use of the “referral” strategy with the appealing to the desire for “exclusivity” and “prestige” present in every human’s mind.

 

Use this ultimate system with your next conferences, seminars, or trainings…and see how people rush to pay you huge prices just to show they’re in some exclusive clubs not everyone could ever be privileged to be in!

 

Try it.

 

 

Do you find this post helpful? If you do, kindly share your thoughts about it in the comments section below.