Too many browser windows open?

Do you find that that, as your working day progresses, you end up with dozens of browser windows?  I used to have so many that I would have several different web browsers on the go.

Station can be downloaded for use on your computer. It is free to use and it enables you to work with several hundred apps such as email, accounting, online storage, MailChimp, social media accounts (i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter), Skype and many others (about 300 in total).

The result is that your website browser is much less cluttered. In addition, you can search across multiple apps within Station and move from one app to another in a variety of ways.

Station groups all your pages by app, automatically.  You can turn notifications off, when you need to concentrate.

No more getting lost in 50 open tabs. Decision making speaker and NavigatorPlus member and decision making speaker David Knowles-Leak kindly brought this to my attention.

Visit Station’s website here to find out more and download the app.

This story first appeared in my marketing tips and ideas newsletter. You can subscribe here.  “Your newsletter is the most useful I have ever subscribed to!” Steve Munden https://ibizify.net

Choosing an internet marketing consultant

Digital marketing consultant

Impartial, independent third party advice and feedback on your internet marketing activities can make all the difference. Here is a checklist for choosing an internet marketing consultant:

* Begin by deciding what you want the consultant to help you with, i.e. creating an internet marketing plan, increasing traffic, a website review, web copywriting review, an SEO audit and feedback, improving social media engagement, improving conversion rates,  generating more enquiries / sales (or all of these).
* Look for someone with a wide range of experience in different industries
* Does their website give you confidence? Is it well designed, does it look professional and is it easy to navigate?
* Do they display testimonials within their website?
* Does the consultant also teach? Where have they taught internet marketing?
* Does the consultant understand web copywriting?
* Can they demonstrate a thorough understanding of SEO?
* Do they have professional marketing qualifications, for example a marketing degree?
* Has the consultant built any websites? How successful are these sites?
* How many clients has the consultant worked for?
* How quickly do they respond to your enquiry?

Choose three or four consultants and talk to them on the phone. Ask them to give you some initial feedback on your website. Request a written quotation for their services by email.

Read about Nigel’s digital marketing consultant services.

Here is some typical feedback:
“I revamped the site taking into your comments and the bookings have gone crazy. We’ve just had our best ever week! Thanks so much, your magic has worked!” ~ Neil Ross

Nigel Temple internet marketing consultantNigel Temple is an internet marketing consultant, author, speaker and trainer. He shows business owners, professionals and teams how to get better results from 21st century marketing – including online brand awareness, improved search engine rankings, social media effectiveness, website traffic and sales enquiries / sales.

Nigel has taught internet marketing since 2000. He served as a Faculty Member and Course Director at CIM (the Chartered Institute of Marketing) for 12 years. He led over 500 Business Link workshops, focusing on website effectiveness, SEO and social media. Today, he delivers internet marketing events for The Marketing Compass which provides impartial marketing advice for business owners. He has worked in dozens of countries around the world including the USA, Dubai and Japan.

To find out more about Nigel’s services email joanna@nigeltemple.com or call Joanna on +44 (0)1628 773128.

He welcomes media enquiries about 21st century marketing, social media and digital marketing. He has appeared within the national press and broadcast media.

Nigel is the founder of The Marketing Compass – join thousands of business owners, tell us about your business and ask some marketing questions,

Here is an online SEO course.

Follow Nigel on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nigeltemple

Using the phone for business sales calls

The Marketing Compass member Walter Blackburn is an experienced business person and expert in presentation skills training. He enjoys using thephone to talk to his extensive network of contacts and clients. Here are his thoughts on using the phone to sell.

Earliest time to start calling: 8am if you’re calling someone in their office on their landline. If you’re calling their mobile I would leave it to 8.30 or even 9 because you don’t know if they’re working from home and most people don’t want to be disturbed there if they’re getting the children off to school or whatever else they might be doing to get ready for the day.

I would be careful calling mobiles if you don’t know them. Most of us are quite protective of our mobile numbers, but I believe it’s ‘fair game’ if I call you on an office landline number. If you already know the person you’ll know when it’s OK to call and whether to use their mobile or landline. For example, one of my clients has back to back meetings every Monday and most Tuesdays so I wait to call him later in the week. He’s a high Mover (see www.empathystyles.com) so he loves to speak on his mobile rather than dealing with email.) If you know the person you will know what their situation is (i.e. do they work from home and what the best time to call is).

The point of calling early is to either get past any protective secretary or PA, or to catch your prospect before they get involved in meetings. If you’re calling someone ‘cold’, i.e. for the first time and you don’t know them, I would start calling them at some time during the day rather than early in the morning or early in the evening (say, after 5.30). It’s only when I’m being rebuffed by a secretary or a PA that I would call them early, say, before 9am, or early evening to get past the protective PA who may not be at his or her desk at that time. Turn it into a ‘warm’ call by doing some research first and make the call appropriate and relevant for them.

You will need to know how to contact the decision-makers in your target organisations – is it by email, by landline, by mobile or through social media? Many people are happy to ‘hide behind’ email and voicemail. Whether you use the phone to communicate with them will be guided by the organisation and the sector. Businesses probably fall into one of 3 categories re the phone:

1. There will be those companies which use email extensively, almost exclusively, and it would therefore be pointless looking for phone numbers.
2. There will be those companies which only use mobiles – literally there will be no landline numbers.
3. And there will still be many businesses which have a main reception with a switchboard to direct calls to the appropriate person.

A lot of business is still done on the phone. So unless you’re just selling from your website you need to be confident and competent on the phone. What that means is that you have to be able to establish rapport, qualify your prospect, find a need, present your offering in a way that meets the need and close on an action step, as well as countering any objections along the way. In other words you need to be skilful in the sales process, either face to face or on the phone, or indeed in email. I’m not saying that you should give your sales presentation over the phone – you need to be doing that ideally face to face – but there will be times when it’s appropriate to do some of it over the phone or in email.

So that means two things: first you need to know the sales process for your product/service and the sector(s) into which you are selling and second you need to get some practice and experience in using it.

Do scripts still work? Yes, but they need to become a guide for you, not to be followed slavishly. The best scripts will form the basis of what to say or what to ask and are used in that way. As soon as you give prospects a scripted conversation most of them will recognise it as such and switch off. One of the reasons for that is that salespeople don’t adapt them to their personality or experience. It’s up to you to understand what you’re doing and how to personalise it for each prospect. Most of us will need some help with creating the basis for a script – we are too close to our own products / services and will tend to present our features and benefits too early rather than asking questions. Having a script means that someone has put some thought into how the call might go, which has to be a plus.

(Since Walter originally wrote this article, GDPR has come into force and this brings a whole new set of implications, including the need to generate more in-bound sales enquiries).

Click here to continue reading about business phone calls

Are Google AdWords effective?

Are Google AdWords campaigns effective? The answer is that yes, they can be, in the right hands. This is also true of advertising in a wider context. You may be asking yourself: will advertising work for my enterprise? If you have a good offer and are prepared to stick with it, then advertising can work.

However, bear in mind that there are 36 promotional mix categories to choose from and over 300 promotional techniques, so there are many options – including paid for advertising.

Google Adwords has been part of many successful promotional campaigns, however you have to invest time and money to make them work.

The challenge is that there are many factors to take into account including objectives; the length of time that you are prepared to spend learning how the system works; your daily / monthly budget; how much you are prepared to pay for a click through; how good your headlines are; the offer that you make within your advertisements; where the click through takes the customer; your landing pages; your skills as a copywriter and your approach to measurement.

If you are starting out with AdWords, you should spend some time familiarising yourself with the user interface. Shift + ? …will show you the keyboard shortcuts, incidentally.

It is important to have a well organised Google AdWords account. It is all too easy for the account to become cluttered. For example, ensure that ad groups, adverts and keywords are related.

AdWords can be confusing, particularly for first time users. Here is a tip: start with (Google) search network campaigns. When someone uses a search engine for they are looking for an answer to something, i.e. where can I buy a product that I am interested in? Getting your ads into the top of the search results page is much more effective than seeing them appear at the foot of the page, by the way.

Effective Google AdWords campaigns start small and begin with testing. Don’t run one ad – run at least two ads containing one changed variable, i.e the headline.  This is time consuming, which is why many people seek outside help.

As Henry Ford said: stopping advertising to save money is like stopping a clock to save time.

Digital marketing checklist

Are you ticking the right digital marketing boxes i.e. plan, CRM, website, content, SEO, social media,  email marketing, smartphones and advertising? Increasingly, the boxes are connected. Here is a digital marketing checklist to get you started:

Digital marketing strategy plan

The digital marketing plan should include:
*  Objectives
*  Sales targets
*  Target markets
*  Online promotional mix
*  Budget
*  Metrics (including analytics)

A digital marketing plan includes an integrated approach to online brand awareness, customer acquisition and retention.

It sees things from the customers’ perspective, as marketing always has done. The perspective, however, has changed with the new ways in which consumers and business decision makers research and buy products and services.

CRM

*  Has a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system been chosen and deployed?
*  Have all customer facing staff been trained to use the CRM?
*  Which cloud based marketing apps and services connect with our CRM?
*  Are we using our CRM every day?

Website

*  When was our website last updated?
*  Is our website optimised for mobile devices?
*  How many sales leads / sales do we receive from our website every day / week / month?

Website content

*  Does the website navigation bar still make sense?
*  Do we have an uncluttered homepage?
*  Is the website content easy to read?
*  Does Google like our website?
*  How often do we publish new content?

SEO

*  Do we have an up-to-date understanding of  Search Engine Optimisation?
*  Do we have an SEO strategy?
*  With regards to SEO, what are we measuring?
*  What are our SEO results?
*  Here is an online SEO course

Social media

*  Do we have a social media strategy and plan?
*  Which social media platforms are we focusing on?
*  How often do we post original content within each platform?
*  Do we use social media metrics?

Email marketing

*  How many opt-in subscribers do we have?
*  How often do we send out newsletters?
*  What are our open and click through rates?

Smartphone marketing

*  Do we have a mobile first digital marketing strategy?
*  How do customers interact with our website when they use a mobile device?
*  How are we catching and keeping customer’s attention via smartphones?

Online advertising

*  Which paid for online advertising platforms are we using?
*  Is our online advertising strategy effective?
*  How much do we budget each month for online advertising?
*  What is our CPC (Cost Per Click)?
*  What is our CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)?
*  How can we improve results in this area?

Marketing automation

*  Do we have a marketing automation strategy?
*  Have we deployed software for sales lead nurturing, scoring and lifecycle management?
*  Can our software help with cross-selling, up-selling and customer loyalty?

Additional digital marketing checklist questions

*  What is working?
*  What isn’t working?
*  How can it be improved?
*  Current cost of customer acquisition
*  Target customer acquisition cost
*   Do we have a digital marketing learning strategy?
*  Should we get some impartial advice / training?

Digital marketing is a vast subject and I have been thinking about it whilst I have been rebuilding my Digital Marketing Consultant page.

Here is an online SEO course that I have created.

If you need some help, you are welcome to get in touch with me.

5 sales messages a day

If you need to get more business, here is a process that works:  get in touch with five prospective clients a day. You can do this by:

*  Email: either a brief introductory email or a follow-up nudge email
*  LinkedIn messages (or InMails, if you have a Premium account)
*  Telephone calls. If you can’t get through after a few attempts leave a message using the mackeral fishing* approach

Contact dormant clients as well as members of your target markets. Keep in touch with advocates (people who have recommended you in the past). In addition, take the time to remind current clients of the different things that you do.

You may feel that ‘only 5’ sales contacts a day is not very many. However, each message has to be tailored to the recipient and it may well require time and research before the message is sent. If you are starting out (or re-starting), 5 messages each and every day will create momentum for you quickly. This is partly because your subconscious mind will be coming up with new ideas and people to contact.

As a marketing and sales consultant, trainer and coach I am often asked about how to get started and how to keep the momentum going. Let’s face it, selling is a tough job and sometimes it can feeling like you are shouting into the void, can’t it? The 5 a day method has worked for me and it has worked for my clients as well.

With regards to sales leads, I am lucky in that I receive one a day on average for my marketing and sales training, speaking and consultancy services. I do my best to speak to them all on the phone. Having spoken to a prospective client I follow-up with a tailored proposal. Quite often, they come back to me quickly, which I appreciate. Sometimes I don’t hear anything. After a week or so, I include them in my 5 a day routine.

I recommend that you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to keep track of contact details and your sales pipeline. There are hundreds of products to choose from. I use Capsule CRM and I provide training for this software.

If you need a little help and / or motivation, by all means get in touch with me.

* If you contact me, I will tell you about the mackeral fishing sales approach.

If you are looking for a LinkedIn trainer – click here.

LinkedIn connection requests – what to include in the message

When it comes to LinkedIn connection requests,  what should you include in the message, particularly when you are connecting with someone that you don’t know personally?

Here are some tips and ideas for you.

* It is fine to visit their profile once or twice, prior to making the connection request.

* Always include a personal message and start this with their name; triple check that you have the correct spelling for their name.

* I start my messages with ‘Hi’, however, you may feel that ‘Dear’ is more appropriate.

* Make the message about them, not you. Mention something that you noticed about them and / or their organisation, within the connection request message.

* If possible, refer to someone you both know (if they are a mutual LinkedIn connection, so much the better).

* Mention a Linkedin Group that you both belong to. (This is a good reason to join Groups, by the way).

* Mention something that you saw in their website or in the media.

* Before you press send, check the spelling carefully.

Here is an example of Message or In-Mail to a new contact:

Hi Susan
I have been reading your articles within LinkedIn about (ISSUE) and I noticed that we both know (CONTACT NAME). I have visited your website www.theirwebsite.com and I read (BLOG OR WEB PAGE) with interest. It would be great to connect with you.
Kind regards, (YOUR NAME)

How would you feel if you received a message like this?  You would probably think to yourself that at least they have taken the time and trouble to write a personalised message.

The recipient of the connection request will probably look at your LinkedIn profile. Therefore, it is important to keep the information up-to-date. Use the available word count. For the Summary section this is 200-250 characters or about 25-42 words.

Beware of sending connections requests via your smartphone. They can whizz off without giving you the chance of including a personal message.

PS I provide LinkedIn training and talks.

Delivering on your promises

Here is a way to succeed in life and in business: keep your promises.

I realise that at times it can be quite hard to do this.

Consistently delivering on your promises can be life changing.

Think of someone you know who does this.

Now think of a business that always keeps its promises.

If they say that they will call you back, they do so. If they are going to do something for you, it gets done.

Consistency is a message in its own right, isn’t it?

Sales and marketing can benefit from this.

The buyer thinks: I may not need you now, but I know where you are and I trust you.

Keeping your promises demonstrates integrity, which is a core brand value.

How hard can it be to keep a promise?

How to write better headlines

Given that headlines are the entry point to the rest of your copy, here is a challenge for you.  Get up a little earlier tomorrow morning and write 10 headlines. Then do the same thing for the next 21 working days. This could be for a website page, a blog entry, a social media item, an advert, an email subject line or any other sales or marketing item which includes a headline.

When you write, do not try to edit your copy (words). Just write. If you find that you write more than 10 headlines, that’s fine, however ensure that you are writing at least 10 and no fewer during each writing session.

During my copywriting training workshops and talks we always discuss headlines. Focus your attention on the first 2 or 3 words as these are the most important. The reason being that the eye reads in ‘chunks’ and the reader will process the first words of your headline.  They may already be making a decision with regards to whether they will continue reading. It is a bit like your smile when you meet someone – it is the first thing that they see and they may well smile back at you.

It is OK to write long headlines, in that the reader will usually read the whole sentence. Check out advertisements and count the number of words that they put in their headlines. Sometimes it is only a few words, sometimes the headline is much longer.

Headlines are a big subject and, because I don’t get out much, I have been studying them for over 30 years. An effective headline can work wonders, by the way and entice the reader to continue reading – just like you are now.

Having written 10 headlines, go and do something else. After at least an hour has passed, come back and look at them. Sometimes, the best one jumps out at you. If you work in a team ask your colleagues to vote on your headline ideas: you will be surprised with the results, I am sure.

I know that you are busy. You may be a business owner or marketing professional. I am sure that your ToDo list never ends. Even if you are lucky enough to be able to outsource your copywriting, I still think that it is important that you contribute ideas (including headlines).

I have found that little and often beats big and infrequent, when it comes to writing and this is true for headline writing.

As you know, Google likes content including headlines (wrapped in H1 tags within the html).  Writing headlines will give you ideas for website pages and blog entries. You can also experiment with split A/B tests to see which headlines work the best.

I realise that writing words for websites can be a big challenge, which is why I offer this service and provide training in this area.

So, will you take me up on my challenge and write 10 headlines tomorrow?

Here are 26 ways to write better headlines.

For support and ideas, either comment on this blog or engage with me via The Marketing Compass website where we have a Copywriting Group.