Using Your PC For Self Promotion

If you build it, they will come. Location, location, location. How do all of these sayings apply to you and/or your business?

You have something to promote, and you want to do it online. Great, but so do millions of others. How do you navigate not only what to do, but the best course of action to stand out from the pack? Getting noticed is the goal, backing it up with content and satisfaction for your clients and customers. Think about what people love, what floats their boat. Some of the same tied and true practices that have worked in the traditional marketing past can work in the Internet present, albeit with some new twists, turns, and new technology and media. For instance, the average person loves to “get a deal”. Traditionally, this may have meant receiving a coupon or something for free that was printed in the paper or sent in the mail. These days, there are online marketing options, such as an online coupon, incentives for visiting Websites, and even intangible “freebies” like tips and tricks from an expert that comes in an e-newsletter that one can subscribe to for free.

The good news is there is a vast amount of information about this subject on the Internet, just waiting for you to investigate and research. However, that could also be the bad news if you become overwhelmed by it all. The following Websites do a great job of helping you through the maze.

Since the biggest challenge of promoting yourself online may be finding the time to filter all of the information here is a “top ten” list that will get you on your way.

  • Get a good domain name. Think long and hard about your domain name and have lots of alternative options if the one you want is already taken. do you think it matters to have .com, .org, .net, as your extension? Some do, Some don’t. Most people associate “.org” with non-profit organizations, but there is no law that relegates it to that. Some people think “.com” is still the best way to go, as it may be perceived as being more professional, but the jury is still out on that one, so trusting your judgment is still a good way to go.
  • What’s the difference between search engine optimization and search engine marketing and why should you care? Without sounding too scientific, search engine optimization (SEO) means making your site noticed by search engines. Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to the process of actually “getting” customers to your site. In a way, SEO is a subset of SEM. This can be a complex process to learn and it may be advisable to consider hiring someone to help you with your SEO and SEM. If you have the budget, this is money well spent. In fact, even if you don’t have the money, you may want to sacrifice a years worth of coffee to make it happen. SEO and SEM are crucial to your success. Think of the niche market of the people that help spruce up a home before it goes on the market. SEO and SEM professionals are basically doing the same for your Website.
  • Google, Google and more Google. NMot to put all the eggs in one basket, but if you want to keep things simple, you can do some “one-stop shopping” and use the strength of the Google machine where you will find many options to help your promotional goals. Pay per click (PPC) advertising is huge and has become synonymous with Google’s Adwords program. You purchase advertising based on how many people click on your ad. It’s all in your hands. You control your budget. You control how often your ad is seen. You create your ad and then choose keywords that relate specifically to your business. Talk about target marketing! Your ad appears right alongside searches that have resulted from the keywords you have chosen. And here’s the best part: You only pay when people click on your ad. There is not charge for the display. Google Business Solutions is an invaluable resource. It has loads of information on how to make your business more productive. When you have a few hours or days, spend some time visiting and learning. The Google Webmaster Central are is especially saturated with content.
  • Do some viral marketing. Unlike most other virus’, viral marketing is where the consumer actually becomes the marketer, by passing along information about a company product, or service to their circle of contacts simply because they like it. The potential for any product to be spread (advertised), and hopefully create a huge buzz, and therefore income is limitless. Even having a great tagline at the end of an e-mail can do wonders for spreading awareness of what you do. Just ask Hotmail who started the viral marketing craze back in 1996. Check out wilsonweb for more information.
  • Social networking: where business meets pleasure. What can Myspace, Facebook, Youtube and the next greatest thing do for your online marketing campaign? Though most of the sites weren’t specifically designed for business marketing, it stands to reason that this will happen both directly and indirectly. At the very least, it wouldn’t hurt to have your presence on the various social networking sites with your Website address to drive traffic where you ultimately want it to go. YouTube is a whole marketing playing field all by itself. These days, anyone with a video camera can create a commercial, a comedy show, a demonstration, or simply document an event for all the world to see, along with a credit at the end listing what else, your Website! The balancing act once again is standing out from the pack and rising up to the top of the millions of videos collecting daily on this incredibly popular Website.
  • Get published. They say, “write what you know.” So, take that old advice to heart and write some free articles. Submit them to relevant Websites that accept articles, with the knowledge that you will receive a short bio and a link back to your Website. You can easily find article directories that will review your submission and hopefully post it. You can also place it on your own Website with an offer for readers to post it just as long as they include your bio and link. There is also the option of syndicating your article, but there are pros and cons to this. You may gain visibility on search engines, bu you would have very little control of what happens to your articles. They may potentially be perceived as “spam on the Web” if they are listed on too many sites, running the risk of doing a disservice to your reputation.
  • Six degrees of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a networking Website that encompasses “6 degrees of separation” with marketing and promotion. A genius concept, spending some time on this Website can yield direct results, especially for one-on-one marketing, job seeking, and networking. Here’s the basics: Join LinkedIn for free, invite others to join, increase your network, and then you can view the network of each of your connections, which includes their job information. If you see someone that you would like to network with, you can request an introduction through your connection. You can also search for school alumni, find jobs and ask questions directly through your network.
  • Affiliate programs. You know those advertising banners that pop up randomly on Websites? There’s a good chance they are part of an affiliate program. Designed to be another way to drive traffic and revenue, both parties (the seller and the company displaying the ad) stand to benefit. It’s a win-win situation. The seller gets new customers when they click the ad and the affiliate partner gets a fee every time an order is secured. These are such a vast amount of these programs around; conducting a bit of research through some of the Websites listed at the beginning of this article would be wise.
  • To blog or not to blog. Thoughts on a page, updated often, and reflective of the writer and the topic at hand. Blogs have become as common as shoelaces, so the question is, should you have one and will it help your business? The answer is maybe, and maybe. Keep it interesting. Talk about specific topics that your customer and clients would enjoy reading. Remember, since a blog is typically updated regularly, this may be the simplest way to keep you Website current, and you readers wanting more. The following sites offer useful information on blogging: Blogger, WordPress, and TypePad.
  • e-Mail marketing. The best example of what not to do in e-mail marketing can be summed up on one word, SPAM. The best way to NOT get business is to agitate people by sending them something they did not request. However, with “permission marketing,” you can create a mailing list based on customer requests, subscriptions, and referrals, and you can always invite people to be on your list. You can do this by using your existing e-mail program, but you run the risk of the latest challenge for marketers: e-mails mysteriously disappearing without much rhyme or reason. Luckily, there are many companies designed to help solve the problem. When you work with an e-mail marketing company, they help you with every aspect of developing your e-mail campaign. Creating professional e-mail newsletter pieces, providing coupons and other incentives for your clients, helping you build and manage your list, assuring your e-mail gets properly delivered, conducting strict procedures for spam content, and even tracking results, are just some of the advantages to working with e-mail marketing companies.

Remember this top ten list when you need help with your self-promotion.

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