A Few Surprising Reasons Your Website Isn’t Getting Results

Did you know you can get more leads from the exact same website by simply moving it to a different server?

Did you know that you can get more business from a website by changing NOTHING other than by redesigning some of the source code…something none of your visitors will EVER even see?

It’s not all about design.

If you want your website to generate leads and build your business, there are several crucial elements you need to address. If you want to grab a list of the 7 most important factors overall, you can get that here.

In this quick post, I want to share a few of the more obscure issues that very few business owners ever address. We literally never even look at this stuff, and it makes a HUGE difference. In fact, these issues are so important that if they’re not addressed properly, everything else you do will have much less impact.

This stuff isn’t difficult. It’s just a matter of most small business owners not knowing what to look for. Just like anything else in business, the stuff that really makes the most difference isn’t sexy. In fact, for most people it’s downright boring. But if you don’t do it, everything else suffers.

Check these three simple principles and see how your website measures up…

Dedicated IP address

Your domain name is called a URL, which stands for Uniform Resource Locator. You may not know this, but your website isn’t actually located at your domain name. It’s located at an IP address. You may have heard of IP addresses but aren’t sure what they are. This post is NOT a technical tutorial. Don’t worry. I’m not gonna bore you to tears with technical details 🙂

Suffice to say, your site is on a web server, and that server has an IP address. Most small business websites share an IP address with thousands of other websites.

Who cares?

You should absolutely care that you share an IP address with thousands of other websites.

Why?

Because if ANY of those other website owners have poorly coded sites, malware, are involved with spamming or any other activity that is frowned upon by Google, ISPs and others, then the IP address generating that activity can get dinged.

Hear me on this…you can get blacklisted, have your search rankings dramatically affected and more. All for activity that you have NOTHING to do with. All for activity you’re not even aware of. All for activity you have absolutely no way to correct.

Talk to your developer and make sure you’re on a dedicated IP.

Modern Design

Did you know Google grades your website on hundreds of thousands of metrics? No one knows them all, as they’re not all public knowledge. But one of the newer factors we’ve come across lately is design.

Your search visibility can be negatively affected by nothing other than the fact that your design hasn’t been updated in several years.

Why the heck does Google care about this? Because their only concern is providing a positive and relevant experience for their users. They want to direct their customers to websites that have the right information, of course. But they also want the website to work well and provide a positive experience for their customers.

In other words, with literally trillions of webpages to sift through, they have to prioritize. They’d rather send their visitors to websites that look great, work well and ALSO have the information they’re looking for. Make sense?

The good news is that modernizing your design is far easier and less expensive than it’s ever been before.

But don’t get me wrong. This is NOT just about Google. Let’s be honest about this, if you were the consumer, would YOU take your website seriously? We’re tech savvy and picky these days. If you’re considering doing business with someone, but their website is tacky and looks like it was built by an intern in 1996, would you take them seriously?

I’ve come across so many companies that are doing GREAT work for their clients. They operate successful, profitable businesses. They know how crucial it is to put their best foot forward, to present themselves professionally. They put these ideals to work in nearly all aspects of their business.

And then they roll into the marketplace with a $500 website that looks like it was built by a high school student. And in MANY cases, it actually WAS built by a high school student.

It’s all about priorities, my dear 🙂

Page Speed

Another element that dramatically affects user experience is page speed. This is yet another metric that Google and other search engines look at seriously. But your prospects look at it even more closely.

Let’s be real…if you’re on a website, and the pages are taking 20 seconds to load, how long are you going to stick around? In most cases, people wait about 2 seconds. Anything past that and your visitors are going to notice.

Even if you change nothing else on your website, these three factors all work together to create a solid foundation. Yes of course, content matters. Design matters. There are however, some elements that most people never even look at, that make a big difference.

Checking into these will only take you a few minutes. Correcting them is not difficult either, and it can make a huge difference in the results you get.

Questions or need help? Hit me up. I love, love, love hearing from you all!

CC Underwood talks about Homes for Heroes

cc-underwoodI met CC Underwood recently on Facebook. She’s a Realtor in Jacksonville, FL. Today she shared something she was involved with that I just had to share with you as a great example of how to run a business.

CC is an affiliate for a program called Homes for Heroes. The organization gives money back to military families, firefighters, police officers and other local heroes. Anytime they purchase a home, they get money back at closing, contributed by the professionals involved in the transaction. Watch a short video of CC explaining the program in an interview.

I’ve had so many discussions with clients who are searching for ways to differentiate themselves from their competition. The best answer is as simple as this!

People work with people they like, bottom line. Who wouldn’t love and appreciate an organization like this? It’s a fantastic way to contribute, and it’s also a great way to grow.

Are you contributing substantially to your community? The more value you give away, the more valuable you become. This is how you create wealth my friends.

I hope you’re havin a blast this week. Questions? Want me to cover something on the blog? I love hearing from you! Peace.

 

For Those About to Rock (Email Marketing 101)

One of the things I discuss with clients very often is email marketing. How to get started with it. How to do it well. How to make money with it.

Even though email marketing has been around for a long time now, more and more small business owners are still getting on board with it. As a result, there are a few basic fundamentals about email marketing that are still not widely known.

Most of us who’ve been email marketing for years consider this stuff fairly old hat. Because it is. So we don’t talk about it much. But the fact is, many, many people are still very new to email marketing. This list of email marketing 101 rules is not meant to be exhaustive by any stretch. Email is a tool. Every tool takes some practice to learn and eventually master.

But getting started is simple. There are just a few basic things to keep in mind.

btw…if you think of something I may have missed on this list, let me know 🙂

Getting Started with Email Marketing

  1. Definitely start building your email list right away. One of the big mistakes is to focus on SEO and other things first. Get some calls to action on your website right away. Ask people to sign up.
  2. Stay in touch regularly. This is one area I know I’ve struggled with personally. I get busy too, so I understand the argument for putting it off. But if you put it on your schedule, staying in touch with your list is not time consuming. If you’re writing a blog, mailing your list can even be virtually automated.
  3. Use a professional email marketing vendor from the beginning. Those of you working with us or reading the blog regularly know I’m a big advocate of Aweber. If you build a list first without using a service like Aweber, you’ll eventually (sooner rather than later) start running into delivery issues. Your prospects just won’t get your emails. That’s because everyone is on high alert when it comes to spam. So it doesn’t matter if you got the email addresses legitimately, sending bulk email is just not a task suited for your laptop. Used to work fine to do it that way. Not anymore. If you blast hundreds or thousands of emails from your local computer, expect the majority of those to not get delivered. Email services like Aweber work very hard to ensure their servers are trusted by internet service providers. This keeps your email going where it’s intended to go…your client’s inbox.
  4. Don’t buy emails or rent lists. Yes, there are services that do this. But these services are virtually worthless. If you’ve purchased a bunch of email addresses, it may seem very tempting to blast em all and hope for the best. But they’re not expecting to hear from you, and they don’t know you. Mailing a list like this generates a lot of spam complaints and usually a lot of bounced emails. Yes…I’ve done it. If building an email list the “right” way seems like a pain, try getting domain off a blacklist 🙂
  5. Only mail to a list you’ve built yourself. This means the emails on your list should be only people who’ve specifically asked to be on your list. They should know who you are and be expecting to hear from you. If either of these criteria aren’t met, spam complaints are soon to follow.
  6. Start selling right away. I’ve definitely made this mistake before. I had thousands of subscribers before I ever offered anything for sale. Then when I did have something for sale, a lot of people were put off by it and unsubscribed. If they’re put off by the fact that I’m actually running a business here, they don’t need to be on my list anyway. So that’s fine. But by being straight with them and making offers on a regular basis from the beginning, I would have made sales along the way. I would have been building a much more targeted list that responds well to my offers. Share a lot of great content with your readers, and after giving them several pieces of valuable, helpful information, ask for something in return. It doesn’t have to be buying something. You may want them to follow you on Twitter, you may want them to help spread the word about your business. Or you may want them to buy something. But establish a dialog from the beginning. Asking your readers to respond is crucial. Ask them to do stuff. Ask them to email you. Ask them to buy from you. Ask for what you want. This is what makes the value of your email list pick up huge momentum.

How to Build an Email List Properly

  1. Install opt in forms in several places on your website. I’ll list the best locations I’ve found for opt in forms further down this post.
  2. Use a bribe. Give them something of VALUE that SOLVES A PROBLEM in exchange for their subscription. You’re asking someone to give you their time and attention, which is a rare commodity these days. It’s very valuable. In fact, if you can’t get your prospect’s attention, you’re finished. So get their subscription by giving them something very valuable to them as a trade for their opt in.
  3. Use lead capture pages. Squeeze pages, opt in pages, etc. People call them different things, but ultimately a lead capture page is just a page with nothing other than your call to action. The only thing you can do on a lead capture page is either sign up or leave. This format gets a much higher conversion rate (at least 10 times the conversion rate in most cases we’ve tested). Even if you’re using the exact same call to action in a different place on your site, displaying your call to action on a lead capture page can dramatically increase the number of leads you get.
  4. Don’t depend on Google. Free search engine traffic is awesome. Don’t get me wrong. But SEO is slow and you only have so much control over things. Google can then change something overnight, and your rankings tank. It can take weeks or months to rebuild when this happens. I know a lot of people in internet marketing, and it happens to us all. Everyone. No one is immune to this. So don’t depend on Google. Drive traffic to your lead capture pages using social media and advertising. Traffic generation is a different topic I’m happy to discuss with you. Getting traffic to your pages is actually EASY when you know how. Contact me for a quick chat if you want to discuss that further.
  5. Stay in contact. Don’t let a long period of time go without people hearing from you. I’ve had people ask me about Louis CK and other well-known people that will email their list only once in a while, often several weeks or months between mailing. Well, I’m not Louis CK 🙂 I’m not on national TV on a regular basis. I don’t have my own TV show. As a small business owner, the primary way my readers, prospects and clients hear from me is social media and email. If it’s been months since your last mailing, there’s a good chance many of those emails aren’t even good anymore. Keeping your list actively engaged is an important part of the equation.

Where to Publish Your Opt In Forms

  1. Upper right hand corner, in your sidebar.
  2. Across the entire width of the page, at the top of the page.
  3. Pop ups. Yes, they still work. Both entrance pop ups (right when you land on the site) and exit pop ups (when you try to leave the site). No, I don’t like em either. But I’ve tested them, and they definitely work.
  4. Lead capture pages. As I mentioned above, using lead capture pages is the single most effective tool you can use to dramatically increase conversions. A well-designed lead capture page can literally unlock a gold mine. If you’d like to discuss the details on how lead capture pages work and how to employ them in your marketing, let me know. It’s my pleasure to help.
  5. Underneath your blog posts. I’ve always found these don’t convert all that well. What I mean is that I don’t get a lot of leads from opt in forms placed here. But the leads I get are super high quality. So I don’t get big numbers from these, but I still use them because it always results in high quality results. I’ll pick quality over quantity every time.

These are a few of the basic rules when it comes to getting started with email marketing for your small business. Building an email list is hands down one of the most cost effective and scaleable ways to market your business. Imagine sending a direct mail campaign to 20,000 people. What would it cost? $10k? What would the conversion rate be? Most direct marketers are over the moon if they get a 2% response rate from a direct mail campaign.

Imagine contacting those same people, for pennies. And then imagine the response rate being 5-10 times what you get from direct mail. That’s what email marketing does for your business. It’s worth learning how to do it right. In fact, when you decide to build a list properly, you’re deciding to build what will soon become one of the most valuable assets your company has.

If you have any questions about how to get started, I’m at your service.

I Don’t Even Have a Facebook Business Page, Man

It’s true. I mean hold on…I could have sworn I had one of those around here somewhere.

Oh yeah, I set up a Facebook business page a few years back. But I’ve never used it. I’m not even sure how to find it. And I think I misspelled my own name when setting it up.

Did I mention that Facebook is a GREAT source of business for me? Evidently my friends, all the hoopla about doing social media the “right” way is a little overrated.

I get emails (lots of em some days) with questions about social media. Here are a few sample questions I receive:

  • How do I get more “likes” on my Facebook page?
  • Should I start a Facebook business page? (ahem…)
  • What do you think about (insert the latest weird change Facebook is making here)?
  • Do you prefer Facebook or LinkedIn groups for finding new business leads?
  • What’s your take on G+?
  • You get the idea…etc, etc.

Interestingly, my favorite social platform of all (Twitter) is one I get the fewest inquiries on. Go figure 🙂 Anyway, you may have noticed I don’t talk too much about social media here. I’ve covered a few topics on occasion, but for the most part I’m pretty quiet about it. So what’s up with that?

Why I’m Not A Social Media Advocate

I just don’t have time to advocate social media. And I don’t see any purpose really. There are bazillions of consultants out there harping on every day about the value of social media, and the world doesn’t need another social media lackey talking about how social media is the way of the future, blah, blah, blah.

None of this means I’m AGAINST it. Not at all.

I use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all the time. I get business from social media. I’ve met good friends using these sites. I find social media pretty invaluable actually. It’s also fun.

But that’s not what this website is about. And it’s not what my business is about.

The focus here is getting high conversion results from your website. You know…the art of getting lots of leads. So that’s where my focus lies. This doesn’t mean that social media isn’t valuable, it just means that I focus where I’m able to provide the highest value.

Blogging And Email Rule

From day one I’ve pretty much focused on blogging and email. These are the tools of my trade. This doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to chop down a tree. This is just how I do it. And it’s what I teach clients how to do.

There’s a pretty high appeal to this approach, because to be honest…most people are pretty overloaded with info already. There’s all this pressure to use social media incessantly. The marketing world is filled to the brim with cats talking about how you need to be using every social media site out there, be everywhere all the time, etc. It’s pretty exhausting if you ask me. Not to mention the fact that it’s all bullshit.

Not only do you NOT need to be everywhere, all the time…you also can’t.

There’s not time to do everything all the time, silly 😉

And even if it were possible, 90% of it would be a waste of your time. Most of my clients are pretty relieved when I inform them that I’m not going to give them a bunch of rules about how they need to be on the internet all day long. I like cutting through all the B.S., so we can get right to the heart of things. What’s going to get RESULTS for your business?

My Two Weapons Of Choice

Blogging and email rule. These are the two tools I focus on. Since the late 90′s, this has been my focus and it’s served me well. Yeah, social media has blown up. And yeah…I use it. There’s a lot of value there. But you know what no one seems to recognize?

Even though Facebook has completely exploded and taken over the internet, guess what remains the internet’s NUMBER ONE most used platform for consuming and sharing information? That’s right…email. Good ol email.

You know how Facebook ads have tripled in price over the past few years? You know how Facebook changes their TOS and silently exploits their users personal information every time they get a chance? You know how Facebook regularly changes their platform, throwing everyone for a loop, so they have to completely relearn where everything is and how to use their website?

Email doesn’t do any of that crap. It’s simple and effective. I don’t know about you, but I really like stuff that’s simple and effective.

After all these years, email has quietly remained on top. And for good reason…it works. And blogging remains one of the most accessible and effective ways to show up in search engines and build a highly engaged, powerful email list.

Where Do We Go From Here?

So where do we go from here? If you want advice on social media, I’m always happy to give you my feedback on whatever I’m doing. Those of you who subscribe and talk with me know I respond to your questions. And I always love hearing from you and sharing what’s working for me.

I just don’t go in depth on social here, and if you have super technical questions, I’ll usually refer you to one of my friends who focuses on that.

For me and my clients here, I find a lot of value in simply focusing on what works best. Focus on blogging and email, because that’s where you can get the most substantive long term results. From there, use social as much as you can and have fun with it. Just don’t stress it. Life’s too short 😉

Questions? Then subscribe, and talk to me! That’s right…via email!

The Two Biggest Concerns New Bloggers Have

This post is one of my longer ones. Stick with me til the end though, because I’m addressing two of the most common questions I get…

I get two primary questions from new bloggers. First, you may want to know how you can possibly come up with a constant stream of ideas for your blog. Understandable! I’m going to show you how. Second, you may want to know how you can possibly fit blogging into your already busy schedule. I’m going to answer that for you today also 🙂

The question I get MOST often is how to come up with ideas for what to publish to your blog, so I’ll start there. It can be intimidating to have to always come up with something to write about.

Til you know the trick!

The trick is, you’re already blogging. Did you know that?

I bet you didn’t know that 🙂

Well, you’re not blogging per se, but I guarantee you’re already doing 95% of the work it takes to have a profitable, lead generating blog. You’re just not publishing. Stick with me for a second, and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean…

Blogging is Way Easier than You Think

The idea of sharing ideas with your readers on a consistent basis can seem daunting when you haven’t done it. But here’s something weird…you never seem to struggle with what to say when you’re talking with a customer or client in your normal day-to-day business, right? Why not?

It’s because you just act like yourself. You talk casually. You have fun. You share ideas. You answer their questions. It’s just a normal human interaction. It’s all very natural.

What a lot of would-be bloggers don’t realize is that your blog is the same.

Blogging isn’t for stuffy, uptight professional writing. It’s the opposite actually. It’s very casual and honest way of communicating. It’s just a different format than you might be used to using.

Your Blog is Your New Cell Phone

If you’d grown up in the 1800′s, the idea of talking to someone on the phone would have been strange indeed. Some people probably would have even said it was from the devil.

If you grew up in one of the past few generations, having a cell phone you can carry around in your pocket…that’s some freaky weird alien technology shit right there. We don’t think twice about these things now. Your blog is no different.

Sure, it’ll take a minute for you to get used to using it as a communication tool. But rest assured, it’s not any more complicated than operating a smartphone.

Is there a learning curve? Of course. There are a few mechanics you’ll need to learn, but you can learn everything you need to know by simply browsing YouTube for some tutorials. We even give our clients an entire archive of training videos, showing them how to blog, how to create squeeze pages, how to build an email list, etc. It’s really as simple as that.

How to Fit Blogging into Your Already Insane Schedule

Remember when I mentioned you’re already doing 95% of what it takes to have a successful blog? In the section above, my intention is to demonstrate that blogging is not a technical, geek-o-licious nightmare. From a technical perspective, it’s actually quite simple.

But if you don’t have any time to do it, you will clearly not be able to benefit from it. So what I try to explain to clients (and today, to you…) is that there’s no reason blogging has to take up a huge chunk of your time.

Remember all those emails and phone calls you get from customers or clients of yours? They ask you questions. You have answers. Instead of just clicking “reply” and responding to that email, why not take a couple extra steps and publish your helpful answer to your blog?

Seriously. If someone had a question compelling enough to email or call you about it, there’s a good chance several other people may be looking for an answer to the same question.

When you start looking at your business in that way, all of a sudden you’ll start seeing that you already spend plenty of time producing content that is more than appropriate for your blog.

You’re literally…already doing it.

Examples:

  • Your interactions with your customers
  • The lessons you learned during that day in your business
  • Your comments about some recent changes in your industry
  • Changes in your business (new hires, promotions, expansions, etc)
  • Your thoughts about why you got into your business to start with
  • The toughest thing to deal with in your business
  • The most enjoyable thing for you in your business
  • Funny things that happened in the office that day
  • Employee birthdays
  • Community events, hobbies, etc …blog content doesn’t have to be strictly business.
  • Etc

All of this and much more are things you’re ALREADY DOING. You already have all this (or similar) going on. You’re already discussing these things with others in and around your business. You’re already having these interactions with your customers, etc.

You’re just not capturing it. You’re just not taking the extra step to share it, and that means you’re not leveraging it.

And that, my friend, means you’re not getting the maximum benefits from the work you do.

What Happens When You Choose to Write a Blog

Initially, you’ll go through the learning curve of getting comfortable using your blog. After you publish your first handful of posts, it’s pretty much a piece of cake from there from a technical perspective.

So you publish that first blog post. So what? Who cares, right?

Well consider this. You’ve decided to take a couple extra steps to publish something. Maybe your post only gets a handful of visitors. With a new blog, that’s to be expected. But here’s where the magic kicks in:

  1. You publish that first post. Let’s say it’s an answer to a question you get from your customers all the time.
  2. You were going to answer the question anyway, so might as well take a couple extra steps to publish as a blog post.
  3. Now you have an asset. A page on the web. It’s not bringing in a lot of traffic, but it brings in a little. Let’s say 20-30 visitors a month or something like that.
  4. Now that you’ve published an article, you now have a relevant, non-salesy reason to contact your customers. You get to email your prospect list (or contact your people however it is you usually do) with a helpful article. This initiates some awareness of the fact you have a blog.
  5. Next, you’ll see that after some time has passed, that article continues to bring in a trickle of traffic each month. Again, maybe it’s not much, but it’s something.
  6. In the meantime, you’ve published a handful of more articles. You’ve decided to stick with this “blogging thing” for a year and give it a fair shot. Others have built multimillion dollar businesses around their blogs, so surely you can reap at least some modest benefits from blogging yourself 🙂 What you notice at this point is that traffic is starting to increase. That first post is continuing to bring in a few visitors each month, but your others are too. So maybe that first couple weeks you only got 30-50 visitors. Well, now you’re getting 30-50 per day. Thinking more clearly now, it occurs to you that if you keep it up, you just might be able to continue seeing growth. You’re right about that by the way.
  7. After a few months and some diligence on your part, you have a well-crafted blog with at least a dozen or more articles, all bringing in new visitors every day. A percentage of them are signing up for your email list, because you have a compelling call to action installed on your blog as well.
  8. From there…your results start to snowball a bit, because you’re getting more traffic. But you’re also getting more signups to your email list. You’re also seeing that some of your visitors are sharing your content with their friends on Facebook and Twitter. This is when it starts to get fun 🙂

From this point, it’s just a matter of continuing with what you’re doing. Yeah, you’ll make tweaks to your approach along the way, but this is the essence of it. Carry on, fellow blogger. It’s really as simple as that 🙂

To help you get started blogging, I’ll even give you some topics that should keep you busy for the first few weeks or months…

Here’s a quick list of blog post ideas to get you started. Please take these and use them as you see fit:

  1. Video or written review of the your favorite tools you use in your business.
  2. Talk about a book you’ve read that relates to your industry and what you’ve learned.
  3. Share your thoughts on an article or blog post you’ve read.
  4. Predict where your industry is headed and share why you feel that way.
  5. Describe something specific you do in your business that sets you apart, and share how you came to do it that way.
  6. Share a problem with your industry or a concern you have about the market.
  7. Share testimonials and case studies. Has a client taken your advice recently and had great results?
  8. Give a step-by-step system for how to accomplish a specific result in a specific amount of time.
  9. Video and/or pictures of your office, your team, your family, your town, your hangouts, etc.
  10. Showcase a member of your team or one of your favorite clients.
  11. Rave about your favorite blog, magazine or writer. Share what you love about them and thank them for helping you.
  12. Share something you’ve learned lately? What are you doing differently now than you were this time last year?
  13. Have you responded to an inquiry from one of your customers or clients lately? If one person has that question, it’s likely others do too.
  14. Have you ever made a mistake? Share the details and what you’ve learned.
  15. Do you consistently see clients or customers making the same type of mistakes? Identify a common mistake and educate your readers to save them a bit of heartache and hassle.
  16. Share why you love your business. What motivates and excites you about doing what you do? What got you into your business to begin with?
  17. Share your to-do list. What are your 5 biggest goals in your business in the next year? Where are you going? Get your readers involved.
  18. Publish your reading list. What do you have on your list to read that will motivate, inspire or educate you?
  19. Ask your Facebook friends a question, and share the feedback you get.
  20. Interview someone in your industry. Post the audio or video as well as a transcribed version on your blog. This is a great way to educate your readers, yourself and meet awesome people all at the same time 🙂

Got questions or need help getting set up? Hit me up any time.

7 Tips On Writing An Effective About Page

It’s not difficult to get great leads from your About page every day. But most people don’t. That’s what I call a missed opportunity. Why do most of us miss this opportunity? Let’s be honest, most About pages kinda suck.

I mean, really suck. That’s what I meant to say:)

Now, sitting down to craft an effective About page can be intimidating, so I wanted to share a few tips with you. Keep these in mind and it’ll be far easier to get the copy written for it.

  1. Sure, have a short company bio, but that’s about 10% of the story here.
  2. Tell a story…why did you start your business in the first place? What drives you to succeed? Don’t tell people you care. Tell them WHY you care. Be specific.
  3. If you’re meeting someone new in person, it’s unlikely you’d say anything like “I’m the top person in my field. I care more than anyone else. No one works harder than me. Here, look at this list of my credentials.” But we say shit like that on our About pages all the time. When you think about it that way, it’s not too confusing why it doesn’t resonate with people. Real human conversation centers a lot more around what we like, what we think is funny or moving, what we care about. Not that we care…what we care about and why.
  4. Your About page should be targeted. In other words, if it appeals to 99% of the human race, it’s crap. Your About page should pull at the heart strings of a few people. Just a few. The people you absolutely like working with the best.
  5. Talk about THEM, not just you. The content should make it clear that you know where they’re coming from. They should feel like you understand their frustrations and what worries them. Meet them at their level. What problem do you solve better than anyone else? What does it feel like to be in the midst of that problem? How awesome does it feel when it gets fixed? The more you laser target this, the more your prospects will realize you’re the obvious person they want to work with. From there, signing up for your email list is compulsory. Their concerns are addressed, and there’s nothing left for them to think about.
  6. Use your About page also to link up a lot of the best content on your site if possible. Demonstrate that however much they’ve read and enjoyed on their first visit, there’s a lot more where that came from.
  7. Have a compelling call to action. If you want them to sign up for your list, ask them to do that. Don’t just have an opt in form off to the side. That’s fine, but spell it out for them. Tell them right in the copy of the page itself what you want them to do next.

Your About page is rarely the first page people visit. They will however, hit your About page after being on your site a while. People who are considering doing business with you definitely want an opportunity to “meet” you. They want to get a sense of who you are, what your company is about. The more your About page resonates with them, the more likely they’ll be to contact you or sign up for your list.

Consider including photos and video also. Photos and video of yourself, your office, your team, etc. Some people are just more visual than others, and this type of content resonates much more greatly with them.

Do you have any questions after reading this? Let me know what’s on your mind!

Blogging is Like Getting a Massage

While I advocate blogging for marketing purposes, the truth is that it’s a lot more valuable than just that. I’ve found over the years that while I do indeed get a lot of benefits business-wise from blogging, the main benefits are personal.

Blogging is therapeutic. It really is.

I’d compare blogging to journaling, and this comparison is obvious in some ways. Blogging was originally born out of journaling. But the act of journaling has been a tried and true practice for building a successful life for generations. We seem to have forgotten that. We seem to have forgotten where blogging came from.

It’s not some damn new marketing tactic. It’s actually not new at all. It’s old. Really old. It’s been going on for as long as pen and paper have been readily accessible.

Success gurus like Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy…gosh I don’t know…everyone…have been talking about the value of journaling forever. This isn’t a coincidence. Bottom line: it makes you better at what you do. And that’s important.

Most people don’t do it. Most people don’t write and share their goals. Most people don’t take the time to record and develop their ideas. Most people also…don’t achieve their true aspirations in business and in life.

To paraphrase Jim Rohn’s take on it, “It’s easy to do. It’s also easy not to do.”

Blogging is introspective. You have to ask yourself what is worth sharing with others. You have to think about your customers in a human way. They have hopes and dreams, fears and worries just like you do. You have to think about how you can help them, legitimately…not just how they can help you. You have to take stock of what’s going on in your business.

Maybe that’s all just a big pain in the ass. Or maybe…just maybe, there’s a reason that journaling has been a pastime of many of the most successful business owners and thought leaders throughout history.

I’m probably waxing philosophical a bit. I do that late at night sometimes. Especially after two glasses of wine. Which is exactly where I’m at right now.

But I think it’s an important point. The benefits you get from blogging extend far beyond just making some sales. It’s way more important than building a list. Far more profound than just finding a cheaper way to market yourself.

It really will change how you look at your business.

But if you look at it in a purely utilitarian way, it’ll be a drag…pure and simple. I just used a fancy-ish word in that last sentence. I broke one of the small business blogging rules…keep it dumbed down. Sorry about that. I’m pretty sure you can handle it 🙂

When you go to get a massage, the point is not to get it done. It’s not the point to cross the massage off your to do list for the day. The point of the massage is not for it to be over. The point of the massage is the massage itself. The experience itself gets you straightened out. It energizes you. It focuses you. And doing it regularly forces you to keep your priorities straight.

Yeah, blogging can feel inconvenient sometimes. So does prospecting. So does exercising. So does eating an apple a day. Sometimes the things that make us successful don’t always feel fun. Sometimes we feel like we’re too busy. That’s exactly why it’s so important. It’s why I believe every small business owner should have a blog.