25 Jan 2011

Social Media-What You Don’t Know, Can Hurt You!

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Isn’t it something how Social Media is everywhere? I just found out today that Pepsi pulled all it’s ad dollars from the upcoming Super Bowl to use it for Social Media Advertising.
Did you know that Facebook has over 500,000 million members? That’s bigger than the 3rd largest country in the world. Wow!

Many experts simply are saying that if small businesses don’t have a presence on the internet, they will be left in the dust. I believe they are correct.

The good news is anyone can do it. Most of it for free.

Where a Social Media expert comes into the picture is when a small business owner cannot take the time to keep up with the constant changes and updating.

There is no shortage of great info but you do need to commit to it.

For a free review of where you stand now and what it would take to have your business use Social Media to grow your business, give me a call and let’s talk. There is no cost or obligation.

Austin Helsel 717 330 1850

12 Jan 2011

Happy New Year!

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Yes, a brand new year. Can you believe it?

For some, it’s a scary time, wondering what this year will bring. For others it’s a time of great excitement.

What’s the difference?

Well, one thing is whether a plan has been put into place. I know for me, if I have a plan, a goal, a dream, I get alot more excited about the future than when I have nothing to specifically work for.

What are your goals? have you written them down? Told anyone?

It’s not too late. Don’t even finish reading this, just go on and get your goals on paper, then tell someone. Who to tell? Anyone. And if you can’t find anyone, tell me. I am here to help you hit your goals.

Are you still reading this? Stop. It’s your turn to make 2011 your best year ever!

Let me know how you are doing!

If you need a business coach, you know I am here for you.

Let’s talk soon!!!!!!!!!

15 Nov 2010

Sales Coaching

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I love everything about sales, even the rejection but that’s a whole other article for another time.

This little bit of sales coaching is about personal growth. There is tons of info on personal growth to read and put into practice and today I really only want to make one point.

And here is the ONE POINT…..

When a sales person comes to me for help and pays the price in time and money as compared to the one who was “Sent”, there is a 90% difference in the success rate. We need to want it in our heart. We need to sacrifice something and we need to be eager to do so.

Being the best we can be can be painful but that should be ok with you. Why? Because if it wasn’t everybody could do your job and chances are there would be no job. Certainly no big paydays.

So for those who make a decision to reach out for sales coaching and help, I think you are the cream of the crop! Reach out and grow, just like all the top golf pro’s do.

Thanks for being here and I’ll see you at the top!!

26 Oct 2010

Social Media. Is it For All Businesses?

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Please take the time to read this article by Kyle Lacy. Good man and knows his stuff.

Social Media is NOT Scary. Read the Stats.
Posted by Kyle Lacy, October 13, 2010
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For some reason social media for business is still in question as a marketing tool. Sometimes… I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here. Individuals are still not sure whether it’s truly worth the time. Their not sure if it will actually yield desired results. However, if you are anything like me… you don’t yearn for success… you expect it. That being said social media (if used correctly) can match your expectations with little exception.
For starters, do not be scared of social media. It may bark but it will not bite. It may bite depending on where your judgement is being placed. From a marketing perspective you can look at both systems as being either negative or positive. I would like to think we are passed the point of talking about ignoring it.
Although you may not understand every nuance… do not live in fear of it. The only way to conquer any fear is to face it. Therefore, learn about it. See what you can do with it and what will work for you or your company. Here’s some stats to back this up from the blog Why Executives HATE Social Media (which I also recommend reading).
In the last 7 years, Internet usage has increased 70% PER YEAR. Spending for digital advertising this year will be more than $25 billion and surpass print advertising spending (forever)
Lenovo has experienced a 20% reduction in activity to their call center since they launched their community website for customers
Blendtec quintupled sales with its “Will it Blend” series on YouTube
Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI
Dell has already made over $7 million in sales via Twitter
37% of Generation Y heard about the Ford Fiesta via social media BEFORE its launch in the US and currently 25% of Ford’s marketing budget is spent on digital/social media
(Sources for Statistics: meyersreport.com lenovosocial.com George Wright Blendtec Mashable.com econsultancy.com businessweek.com )
Social Media has clearly made it’s mark on industries all over the world. When questioning if it’s worth the time… quickly note that Facebook alone has 500 million users not to mention Twitter is becoming a rapidly growing source for news and insight into companies and customer interaction. When people are talking it is extremely important that you are listening as a brand. Social Media offers unsolicited feedback. By simply setting up a Twitter account for your company, department or personal brand you can receive instant and honest opinions from customers you’ve never interacted with before. The opportunity for you to cater to the needs of the customer outweigh the time spent. Customers are not dismissible. They are the fuel that keeps your company running. Therefore, time needs to be spent finding how to offer them better service and where you can improve. This is only one aspect of the many reasons why Social Media is not a waste of time.
If your unsure of Social Media in terms of results then feel free to source the statistics from above. The tool may not launch your company into a whole new tax bracket but what it will do is create relationships. A business does not exist without relationships and without these relationships there are no tangible results. In order to have a successful experience on social networking sites one must remember to be authentic, responsive and engaged.
If your still unsure on whether or not to implement Social Media then expect to get lost in the noise. In order to stay relevant one must stay current. Social Media may not be the answer to all your problems but if anything it will bridge the gap between the corporation and its consumers. That alone should offer value enough.

24 Oct 2010

Marketing Plans? How Important Are They?

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Marketing Plans come in all sizes. They are used for small businesses as well as billion dollar companies. Some marketing plans are used while others are stuffed into a drawer somewhere and never to be looked at again.

Why are marketing plans created in the first place? For most, it is for the hope that if a plan is decided upon, a map if you will, then we will surely reach our goals.

Yesterday, a client referred me to a company that is in great need of a game plan, a marketing plan, if fact, any kind of plan would be helpful for this company.

After exchanging some pleasantries, I asked some probing questions pertaining to their goals, short term and long term? What have they tried so far? Did it work? Is there a Budget? How are decisions made? And I had a few more questions to get the ball rolling.
They had already went ahead with some of their “thoughts”, spent ½ million dollars which created 3000 units of their product. When I asked them how many they had sold so far in the last year, I was a bit shocked. Seven, is what they had sold!

What was the plan to sell the rest? Well, they loved their product so much; they thought that “word of mouth” would surely get the final 2993 sold.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wish it was that easy and I love the thought of referrals but without a plan, this inventory will grow old with us.

When I asked a further question as to whether any outbound calls had been made to their target market, he said they had not made even one call.

There was no plan, no real thought as to how this business that they hoped to go national and then international would happen.
The author of “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, Steven Covey, says to “begin with the end in mind”. Does that sound something like a business or marketing plan idea to follow? You bet it does.

When I asked them why they purchased 3000 units, they said it was the best price, based on volume. Now, how’s that for a plan?
As you can see, I have not mentioned who this company is. It’s not because this is not a true story because it most certainly is. It is because I always protect my clients and because they are not unique. This is a very common problem with businesses. They are very good at what they make or the services they offer but when it comes to planning, especially a marketing plan and budget, they are lost.

This article does not have enough space left to explain a full marketing plan but one of the key elements is to know the value of a customer. Why? If you know the value of a customer in dollars, you will know how much money to set your marketing budget for.

Here’s a simplified formula.

1. How much profit do you make on a new client in one year?
2. How long do you keep a client?

By knowing just these 2 things it will help you know how much money you could spend to get a new client. Now, how many new clients do you want?

Of course we can make it more sophisticated but the whole idea is to get started with your very own marketing plan. Good Luck!

24 Oct 2010

Landing Pages

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Here is an informative article on landing pages. Never send a prospect just to your website. Always to a Squeeze Page, also known as a landing page. read and take action

Landing Page Optimization – Testing your way to higher profits
By Tim Ash

In the online marketing world, a lot of time and resources are spent driving traffic to a website or landing page. Huge budgets are spent on pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, e-mail marketing efforts and search engine optimization. You analyze campaign performance with almost religious fervor in order to extract the last penny of revenue and profit possible from each internet visitor. But all of your hard work comes down to the few precious moments that a visitor spends on your landing page.

The Landing Page
The landing page is the first page on your website that a visitor sees as a result of your traffic acquisition efforts. You probably spend obscene amounts of money to buy traffic to your site, but how much effort do you devote to the landing pages to which it is sent? The truth is, the biggest profit driver under your control is the conversion efficiency of your landing page. Your neglect of this critical element of your online campaign is costing you huge amounts of money on an ongoing basis.

Cost Per Acquisition
Your cost per acquisition (CPA) depends on two key factors: the cost per click (CPC) of driving traffic to your landing page, and the conversion rate (CR) of the landing page itself. The CR is the percentage of visitors who take the desired conversion action (buy, fill out a form, download, or click through to another important page).

The economics of landing page improvements are compelling. If you do not increase your conversion rate at the same rate as your traffic CPC increases, you will see an ongoing decline in traffic as you are priced out of the market and become increasingly irrelevant. On the flip side, you can gain a lasting and significant advantage by increasing the efficiency of your landing pages, and then use that as a club to beat up your competitors in the quest for more traffic and larger program scale.

How can your landing page perform better?
But how are you to know in advance which landing page element will or won’t perform better? You actually have access to thousands of conversion experts and are interacting with them daily. But you have mostly ignored their advice. The real experts on the design of your landing pages are your website visitors.

Landing page optimization can be viewed as a giant online marketing laboratory where your experimental subjects are your website visitors, who willingly yet unknowingly participate in your tests each time they visit your site. Every visitor action (or inaction) gives you valuable data to improve the user experience and maximize conversions. Through testing of alternative landing page content and design, you can determine what your audience actually responds to best.

Websites have three desirable properties that make them ideal testing laboratories:

* High data rates: A relatively steady and large stream of visitors allows you to use statistics to find and verify the validity of the best combination of landing page elements.

* Accurate tracking: Web analytics software supports the accurate tracking and recording of every interaction with your website, providing a standard of data collection accuracy that is almost unheard of in any other marketing medium.

* Easy content changes and customization: Internet technology offers the ability to easily swap or modify the content that a particular website visitor sees. The content can be customized based on the source of the traffic, the specific capabilities of the visitor’s computer or browser, their behavior during the particular visit, or their past history of interactions with your site.

Landing page optimization
Landing page optimization is part art and part science. It requires many diverse skills including design, usability, copywriting, psychology, statistics, and project management. But the payoffs from a disciplined landing page tuning and testing program are simply too great. Ignore this critical activity at your own peril.

Tim is correct in all he says. Let me know if you need help with this important step.
Austin Helsel

17 Oct 2010

Sales Coaching- Who Needs It?

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As a Professional Sales Coach for over 25 years, I have worked with 1000’s of sales people.

Some believe in sales coaching 100%, while others go it alone.

Interestingly enough, the ones who want training are the ones who are doing fairly well. The ones who don’t do anything are the ones who try to tell me all the great “angles” they use to make a sale. [even though they haven’t made a sell in weeks..or longer!

Remember that old saying, “the teacher will appear when the student is ready”? Well, it’s sad to say but for many the teacher never gets to come.

But for the wise, they “seek” the teacher and invest time and money to grow themselves.

I remember when I first became a salesman. After getting beat up for way too long, I looked for help and plucked down 1000’s of dollars for professional sales training. I was [and still am] a sponge for knowledge. Sale and Marketing is a passion for me. I eat it up. I get excited. If you don’t feel that way, it’s ok but don’t expect too much in the way of success. farm it out to have someone else do it and do what YOU love. There is no problem with that.

However, if you do want to be the best you can be at selling, do what the best people do and get a coach. Alll the great golfers have a coach. No matter how good they get, they have a coach. Why should you and I be any different.

Now I really want you to think about that but more importantly, I want you to take action and get a coach. If you need help finding one that fits you, let me know. I will point you in the right direction. It may not be me or my schedule will not allow it but it’s up to you to make it happen.

Are you going to take action? Don’t leave this post until you either say Yes or No. No is fine. You made a decision. Saying, “I need to think it over” is NOT fine. You have had plenty of time to have thought about this.

Finally, I know I came down hard on you today, look at it as “tough Love”. I want the best for you and I want you to take action.

My good friend, the ball is now in your court!! My best to YOU!!

28 Sep 2010

Surveys- What can they do for your business?

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I just completed a survey that asked me to fill out 11 questions about what kind of help I would be looking for in a particular field I am interested in. What he was actually asking me was what would I most be interested in…. so he could fulfill my needs and sell me a product.

How’s that for Smart marketing? Asking me what I’d buy if he created it? Pretty darn good. So how can this help you? Well, when was the last time you asked your customers what they most need from you? Or what ideas THEY have for your business?

Surprise, surprise! They will tell you if you ask. Who better to ask?

Anyway, think about talking more to your customers and specifically asking them to “help you” sell them what they are looking for.
You can check out www.surveymonkey.com and take it for a free ride!

27 Sep 2010

Here are a few Quotes that you might like!

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Enjoy these Quotes and let me know of some of your favorites!

***********************************************************
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates
the talented individual from the successful one is
a lot of hard work.”
–Stephen King
***********************************************************
“Hard work often leads to success. No work seldom
does.”
–Harvey Mackay
***********************************************************
“You can neither win nor lose if you don’t run
the race.”
– David Bowie
************************************************************
You see when you learn how to provide EXACTLY what it is
that your target market is searching for…you’ve got
a formula for unlimited success.

The secret to making a lot of money is to offer valuable
service. To give and to add value and improve other people’s
lives by giving them what they want.

When you follow this simple philosophy, it is absolutely
unbelievable what blessings and abundance will manifest
in your life.

“Help others get what they want…and you will
get what you want.”

01 Sep 2010

Focus – Focus – Focus

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Is this short article for you?

I just got off the phone with a very good man. We had met at a “meetup” meeting on SEO and had some things in common. He called to ask me if I bought a certain internet product.

I had not but offered other products that he could borrow at no charge. As it turned out, he had MORE products than I had ever bought but never did anything with them.

In fact, he could not remember all the ones he had stacked up at his home!!

What’s the problem here? Has this ever happened to you? It’s not uncommon at all.

What my good friend must do is STOP BUYING and start DOING!

I told him to take one off the shelf and take the opportunity it offered to either a yes, I can do this or no, I cannot. He needs to find out why he would rather BUY that DO.

We all know it is much easier to just throw money at stuff and hope something happens like the time I bought my treadmill. It’s the funniest thing. It just sat there and wouldn’t help me lose some fat unless I got on it and did something. Crazy.

So, if you are like my friend who needs some help with FOCUS, let me know and I will help you too. We are all in this together and the ones who raise their hand for help are the ones who move ahead.

See ya at the top!!
Austin