Still Not Convinced Of The Power of Google+?

Simple goal today — wanted to be sure you are giving due consideration to investing some energy towards engaging with prospects and your community on Google+.

The reason? I happened upon this blog post from Chris Brogan on the business applications of Google+.

But the key point that I want to be sure you see from this article? Is this:

First, realize that Google+ indexes any post you submit to the “Public” sharing option, meaning that the information in such a post is searchable in Google (the search engine, not the social network) within a few hours.

You don’t have to be an SEO expert to understand the significance of this statement.

One of the intentional purposes of content marketing is to get content indexed on the search engines that your prospects can find, which leads them direct to you, in the form of inbound marketing.

Obviously, the more content, with the right keywords, on the search engines, the more likely a prospect will find you. Similar to the more fishing lines, with the right bait, that you have in the water, the more likely a fish will nibble.

So, to recap: engage with your community on Google+. Share knowledge that will be helpful to them. And actually engage in meaningful, helpful conversations.

This is more bait in the water, and as Chris points out in the article above, this can be a very powerful tactic for nurturing relationships with critical prospects and/or referral sources.

I always suspected Google+ was going to do this, and that this would be a powerful inducement to invest time there, but this article confirms it for me.

And don’t give me any song and dance that “my prospects aren’t spending time on Google+.” I don’t want to hear it. There are 40 MILLION people on Google+, as of this writing. It is the fastest growing social network. Ever.

And remember this: if there are only a few “prospects” spending time here now, those people are the early adopters in your market space. Thus, they will be the influencers.

Might as well have them on your team…


Whats the Difference between Long-tailed Keywords and Regular Keywords?

A long-tailed keyword is not an animal you find in the zoo.. Okay that was a bad joke, but do not let it distract you from the importance of long-tailed keywords.  At this point, I’m sure your asking whats the difference and why should I care? Completely understandable and you’re going to have the answer to it before the end of this post.

Long-tailed Keyword:

Keyword phrases that contain 2 or more words. Usually focusing on a specific term or phrase.

I know this hasn’t answered your question. Now let’s look at the logic behind the definition with an example. I’m going to be using Google Keyword Tool to analyze the keyword, “Radio”.

  • Enter the word or phrase into the tool and the results are as follows (Image is a screenshot from analysis)

    The competition is low and the search volume is extremely high. Even though the competition is low, it is still going to be fairly difficult to rank high. In its current form, the search is too broad and probably isn’t targeting the right market.
  • Lets analyze a more specific phrase, “Trade Show Radio”.

    Wow.. nothing. It may appear to serve no value at all, but you get the benefit of the improved rankings for many more words beyond “trade show radio”  Each one of the three words will drive traffic to your site.

The most important aspect of a long-tailed keyword is the traffic is more qualified.  Someone searching for “radio” could be interested in thousands of different results and very few are going to have to do with you. When “Trade Show Radio” is typed into the search bar, that person knows what they are looking for. Long-tailed Keywords will increase your conversions due to the fact that the search knows what they want and finds you quicker.

Dominate your niche market in the search engines. Quality will always beat quantity unless you are a commodity. When creating keywords for your posts and pages reflect on your search happens. How many times are you typing in questions or even full sentences? Your not the only one. Time to take advantage.

Spend some time researching long-tailed keywords and next week we will use them to correctly optimize your blog post or pages.


The 14-Step Arrows In Your Quiver Content-Generation Strategy

“Oh Todd, I understand that we should blog, but I just don’t know what the hell we would blog about,” he said.

I hear this statement far too often.

You Have Answers To Your Prospect's Most Common Questions, Right?

Let me offer one simple solution. I call this my “Quiver Full of Arrows” solution. Here is the 14-step process to begin to solve the content-generation problem:

1. Sit down with your sales force.

2. Ask them to list the most common questions, challenges and objections they get when are making a sales call.

3. Prioritize the list, and try to come up with at least 10 to 15 common questions heard on all sales calls.

4. Engage in conversation with sales force about how you deal with the objection. Jot down the answers. Better yet, also video the session. Come up with solid answers to the questions, challenges and objections.

5. Now go through each question, and identify a customer engagement where you have effectively dealt with that question. Quickly jot the story down.

5.5. Or better yet, shoot a quick video of the customer explaining how your company dealt with the question, challenge and objection.

6. Assign each member of the sales team to organize the thoughts on a particular question. This involves the whole team in the process.

7. Prepare an article identifying the question itself, along with a discussion on how the company handles that question, challenge and object. Include helpful videos in the post.

8. Publish the article on the company blog. [and reference the articles on your personal blog too…]

9. Be certain to properly optimize the article with the proper keywords and search query phrases, so that others in the marketplace might stumble upon the content in the search engines.

10. Now, and most important. In the future, when prospects throw out the question, challenge and objection – in addition to addressing the issues yourself, you can select the specific article that addresses the question, and email it immediately to your prospect. And observing an existing customer explain how you handled the issue should be quite powerful for your prospect.

[sidenote: these articles are arrows in your quiver. When a prospect asks a specific question, you can pull it out of your quiver and fire the bolt right away!]

11. You just might see deals move along a little faster with rapid fire ability to address prospect objections with helpful, meaningful content.

12. Observe sales cycles become shorter.

13. Go to the bank with increased profits.

14. Retire to your island.

Any questions? What do you think? Agree? Disagree?


[photo from flickr]

Your Sales Process: Open 24 Hours A Day!

So I’ve spent two of the last three weeks sitting in a hospital room. Not for me, but because a member of my family has been very sick…

Needless to say, that’s quite disruptive to the daily process, routine, and flow of running your own business. And despite this very frustrating and maddening experience…

…I sold two pieces of business.

How? Because of my e-rep.

I had two entrepreneurs visit and spend time on my website while I was attending to family matters. They learned a little about me, my philosophy, and my services, and made the decision to reach out to me for assistance.

It was most satisfying. I mean, closing a sale is always gratifying. Closing a sale that you didn’t have to expend too much energy on is even more so.

But this didn’t just happen. This is NOT a “build it and they will come” scenario. There is some groundwork that goes into this process, and seeds that need to be sown, and land that needs to be tended…consistently over time.

Here are four key principles to think about when building an e-rep designed to sell 24/7/365:

1. You do have to regularly publish solid content, at least a couple of times a week. Most likely this is on your blog, but can also be done by contributing guest posts elsewhere, submitting articles to other aggregate sites, and/or distributing content via your e-newsletter. Generating good content is critical. If your work is poor, people won’t be inspired by it, and more importantly, won’t be motivated to share it with others. But writing good content – and just waiting for people to find it – doesn’t work either.

2. The content, particularly on your blog, should also be optimized for the search engines. Be sure you strategically place the right keywords and phrases in the title, the body of work, and in the SEO tools used by your blogging platform (see your webmaster if you are not clear on these tools). A great body of work is most important, but you are missing opportunities to expand your reach and draw in new prospects if people can’t find your content using search engines…

3. You do have to network with people. You do have to engage with people. This is where spending time conversing with the right people on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn begins to make a difference. The two guys that I mentioned above who bought from me, first learned about me from Twitter. I never sold them services on Twitter. We just talked. About non-business stuff. This is how to begin to establish relationships with people. This is where you begin to learn a little more about your prospects. What happens, inevitably, is your new friends on the social web begin to check out your blogs and websites, and once you capture their attention there, they begin to consider ways to do business with you.

4. You have to help other people. This won’t work if you are only in a me, me, me position. You need to share the good works of others. You need to comment on the work of others. You need spotlight the works of others on your own website and blog. Why is this important? Because this is – bar none – the best way to drive traffic back to your site. And the best way to stir up referrals back to your site. This is the key piece to building awareness to your blog, and that’s how the 24/7/365 sales process begins…

What do you think?

[cartoon by @gapingvoid]