Career Advice

Take proper control of your company web site

Take proper control of your company web site

By: John Philip

I recently carried out a web-site review for a solid and successful company. It had followed most of the 'rules' for getting high traffic, but had somehow missed the mark. I suspect that a large number of visitors found the site unconvincing, uninspiring and unmemorable. The site certainly did little to enhance the company's otherwise very high reputation. I quickly spotted the problem, but it took me a while to figure out the underlying cause.

The problem itself was really very simple. Each page was fine on its own, but the site as a whole was not coherent. Some pages had long paragraphs while others were written in bullet points. Sentences varied hugely in length and complexity. Key staff were profiled by some departments, but not by others. Even key branding language varied, including, believe it or not, the name of the company!

The root of the problem was somewhere in the overall co-ordination of the site. The obvious conclusion was that whoever was in charge was not sufficiently skilled as an editor. But that was not enough. Why were senior executives not dealing with it?

The company's paper publications were excellent, with attention to detail and a common style across the range from annual reports and press releases to marketing materials and recruitment leaflets. Each department's copy passed through the hands of a small editorial team who corrected and improved the language and transformed it into a coherent company style. Beyond this, a director ensured consistency and co-ordinated the output of different departments in accordance with the board's strategic demands.

The web site was a totally different ball game.

The company leaders regarded the web site as a techie issue. The different departments were giving well-written copy, but there was no-one with proper editing experience to pull it together. Executives were satisfied with the web pages that were relevant to their own departmental responsibilities and were happy to leave the site management in the hands of someone who understood the technical issues involved. This was the equivalent of leaving paper publications in the hands of printers and graphic designers.

The lessons are clear. First, ensure proper executive oversight of your website. If it isn't already, your site will soon be the most frequently viewed representation of your company. Second, make full use of professional editors for your site's text. It depends upon your company's circumstances whether you are better off doing this in house or outsourcing.

 

Author Bio
John Philip has been a writer, editor and educator for over 30 years. He now mainly provides consultancy to businesses, professions and public services and continues to work for befirstgroup.com, which offers writing and editorial services.

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Positive language for a positive response

Positive language for a positive response

By: John Philip

The vast majority of business literature is boring. This applies to printed and web writing alike. It is sometimes tempting to inject a bit of light-heartedness into the text, but it is a dangerous game.

Some time ago, I edited the marketing materials produced by a London hotel. One of the hotel's attractions was its leisure centre, which included a well-equipped gym. The original script referred to a 'large satellite TV to give some relief from the torture.' Now, I have to admit that I agree with the sentiment. The strange machines in gyms are as painful as they are boring. Nevertheless, this was an unwise piece of ironic humour.

The gym is a selling point to people who already like hard exercise, not to couch potatoes like me. Why present a negative perception of the gym, however obviously it is intended as humour? Of course, it is unlikely to deter the hardened keep-fit fanatic and, no matter how the gym is marketed, I am a lost cause. The big risk is that it puts off someone who is wondering whether to try a gym during a leisure weekend. Reminding them that long-forgotten muscles are going to ache is perhaps not the best selling point.

We changed the brochure to say that the gym has a 'large satellite TV to keep you entertained.' The number of guests using the gym has increased. Enough said!

 

Author Bio
John Philip has been a writer, editor and educator for over 30 years. He now mainly provides consultancy to businesses, professions and public services and continues to work for befirstgroup.com, which offers writing and editorial services.

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About Logos

About Logos

By: Vukan Karadzic

What makes one logo better than another?

Simplicity.

A good logo works in the simplest form. It is a memorable representation of your brand and inspires confidence in your customers. It should be fresh and original -- without visual cliches or amateur effects. A logo is well-designed when it looks as good on a business card as it does on a web page or a billboard. To be functional, a good logo must reduce well to simple black & white or grayscale for use on faxes or in newspaper ads. The best logos are elegantly simple.

Why do you need a logo?
In a way, a logo is a visual shortcut to who you are. Your logo will establish your corporate identity and credibility. It builds loyalty among your clients and employees. You invest in your brand image every time your logo is displayed on a Web page, on a sign, or in an advertisement.

A professionally designed logo enables you to be immediately recognizable and must be unique, memorable and simple. Such a logo will become one of your most valuable corporate assets over time.

How does your current logo stack up?
Run down this logo quick test:

  • Does the logo have immediate impact?
  • Is it good to look at?
  • Is it distinctive?
  • Does it create or evoke a positive image?
  • Does it accurately represent the organization or business?
  • Is it straightforward?
  • Is it comprehensible?
  • Is it memorable?
  • Is it flexible?
  • Does it copy well?
  • Will it hold up to both large and small scale use?
  • Will it wear well over time?
  • Will you be proud to use it?

 

Author Bio
Vukan Karadzic is the main logo designer at E Logo Design company.

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Give 'em a Taste (and they'll likely come back for more)

Give 'em a Taste (and they'll likely come back for more)

By: Alicia Forest

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the original ice cream shop that offers you a taste of any flavor ice cream you want before you make your decision on which scoop you are going to enjoy.

Giving you a taste (or as many tastes of different flavors as you'd like) is a brilliant way to ensure that you not only order a cone at that moment, but it's also a way to bring you back to try more flavors on another day.

You can use this brilliant marketing strategy in building your business, too. Offering your prospects a taste of what it is that you provide is a proven and easy way to get people to become part of your community, and part of your marketing/product funnel (the funnel is the "journey" (that builds a relationship over time) that your clients follow from the first visit to your website, where they enter by giving you their contact information, down through each level as they make their way through each purchasing step in the funnel). By offering them a sample, you're giving them an opportunity to get to know you without risking anything more than perhaps a bit of time.

In your marketing/product funnel, the taste you are giving your potential clients is at the top of the funnel, the widest part. The taste is your freebie/complimentary/gift offering and is your first (and usually only!) opportunity to engage your prospect. Your taste needs to be something of value that you offer for free to people who visit your website in exchange for their contact information, usually their name and email address.

This is often one of the most overlooked steps in building an online business. A prospect needs to see your message many times (it ranges anywhere from 5-10) before they will feel confident enough to risk handing over their money to you. In order to build a relationship with people you need to be able to contact them again, which means your goal is to capture their email address before they click away from your website.

If they leave, it's unlikely that they will come back, so don't lose the opportunity to welcome them into your community, your funnel. They landed at your website because they were looking for something (usually a solution to a problem they are having, right? :)). Give them a taste of the solution you offer. And remember to make it easy for them: make your sign-up form or email so obvious that they'd have to trip over it not to notice it (yes, that includes pop-ups and the like, because even if they annoy you as much as they do me, they work!).

So, what can you offer of value in exchange for their email address? A newsletter, an ecourse, an audio clip, or a special report, are all good options. Personally, I like the offer of an ecourse AND an ezine. You give them a taste of what your services are like with the ecourse, and then you keep in touch with them on a regular basis with the ezine. The ezine allows you to build a bond with your readers in a uniquely personal way, letting them get to know, like and trust you over time, with you having to build that bond one-on-one.

So, one caution is to not offer any one-on-one interaction with you at this level. You want to leverage your time, and offering free consultations or one-time meetings with you is not a good use of your time. Let them get to know you over the course of your freebie offering. When and if they become serious about you and your products or services, they will move further down the funnel (from free to fee) without you having to "sell" them on what you provide during a complimentary session (how nice is that?).

So what is your taste going to be? Here are some other ideas:

  • write a Top Ten article about the benefits of your products and services, convert it to a PDF file, and offer it as a special report.
  • record a short audio about the three key things your niche needs to know about X.
  • create a mini ecourse that encompasses the five steps to getting started for your market.
  • or create a quick-start guide that helps your market focus on how to get started.

Once you've given them a taste, they will likely come back for more, eventually turning from a prospect to a client. Creating a taste of what you provide is easy and it's fun. Try it and watch what happens!

 

Author Bio
Alicia Forest, MBA, Multiple Streams Licensed Coach, & Founder of www.ClientAbundance.com, helps coaches and other solo service professionals to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately make more money. 
For FREE tips on how to create your own Client Abundance, visit www.ClientAbundance.com

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The Marketing Rollercoaster

The Marketing Rollercoaster

By: Mark McCormack

Ever hear someone say "Don't listen to them! They just want to take you on a rollercoaster ride!"

Many people who care about you and your well being will say something to this effect when you are provided with a business opportunity online. It is a way to deter you from joining up but what does it mean?

A rollercoaster provides anxiety building climbs, adrenaline pumping falls and exhilarating twists and turns. Half the time one is unsure which direction they are going and after all the ups and downs and twists and turns they find themselves back where they started.

Like a rollercoaster there are times when business is slow and times when things seem to be overwhelming fast. However, the scariest part is that no one wants to end up where they started with their business. Starting up a business costs money too, so if you end up where you started you are actually at a loss.

This is what upsets people. No one wants to put themselves through such a stressful event and come out with less than what they put in! It is true that the aim of a rollercoaster is to provide some exciting entertainment, but a business is viewed as a very serious money making system. If you don't make money then the business experience is considered a total waste. A scam.

But it is exactly this mentality that prevents people from succeeding in life. Money cannot buy happiness. If you're only goal is to make money then every drop, climb and twist in your business will be felt doubly. It will consume you. To a person with this state of mind every missed chance at a sale is a disheartening loss and reason to give up.

It's like wishing a rollercoaster ride was over as you climb into the seat. Your goal is to have fun but if you are too fearful of the ups and downs then when you get to the end you've missed the point of taking the rollercoaster! Many people get off at the end and say "I'll never do that again!"

The same can be said for a home business. If you wish you had all the money before you even started your business then you are missing the point of having money. Why did you want to join a business? Most people say for the money but then why would you want money? Many people who start up their businesses do not need it to survive but rather to gain luxuries in their lives. Sure you could buy that new car or house but why does that make you happy?

It is for the status. It is for the experience; for a sense of freedom and accomplishment. Money does not buy all of these things for you but rather it is the time and energy you have spent taking on the rollercoaster.
If you start up a business with the sole intent to make money then you will end up like the other 95% of internet based businesses that fail. The most successful people take heed of the advice, "Watch out, they want to take you on a rollercoaster ride." and expect that there will be ups and downs but they have fun with them. Even if they do not make money they learn from their experiences and apply the knowledge they learn. In real life there are ups and downs to everything and it is the way one deals with these ups and downs that determines the quality of their lives.

Money is only a symbol of one's real goals. It is an illusion born from materialism that blinds so many people from the rollercoaster ride that is their life; from the rollercoaster that is their business. It makes every twist and every turn more frightening and overwhelming. Do not become blind and miss the ride because sometimes the journey is more important than its end.

 

Author Bio
After taking the plunge into Direct Marketing, Mark McCormack is sharing what he has learned to watch for. He provides a legitimate Direct Marketing Opportunity + E-course for newbie's and veterans at www.MM2prodigy.com

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MLM Training: Let Prospects Close Themselves

MLM Training: Let Prospects Close Themselves

By: Ed Forteau

Network Marketers lose many prospects because they try too hard to close the deal. It is a natural reaction for people to shun being sold, but they love to buy. By letting prospects close themselves, you will end up putting more people in your downline.

Most MLM Trainers tell networkers to sell features and benefits. When promoting a network marketing opportunity, features and benefits selling is hard work. The prospect is always suspicious, and moving away from you.

The way we eliminate this fear and suspicion is to use what we call a Crossover Move.

Let's demonstrate what happens when a Crossover Move is used:

The Prospect says, "I really like your opportunity."
The Networker says, "Interesting. Based upon our discussion to this point, I would not have guessed you had any interest in my opportunity. What did I miss?"

Did you see the Crossover? Instead of moving in for the close, we gently moved away, and let the prospect close himself. Let's continue and see what happens next.

The Prospect says, "Maybe you missed how your marketing system will solve my problem with duplication."
The Networker says, "Really. I'm still a little confused. Could you be a little more specific?"
The Prospect says, "Sure. By doing... "

Did you see what just happened? The prospect is doing all the work to close himself. The prospect is buying, not being sold. Isn't that easy? Just one last move, and then we're done.

The Networker says, "John, what would you like to do next?"
The Prospect says, "I'm ready to sign-up."

No surprise stalls or last minute objections. The prospect feels in control, and is moving the process forward. And because of this, he is much more likely to sign-up for autoship and start signing up other distributors right away. Because he bought, he is self- motivated.

The Crossover Move consists of two parts: the build-up and the take-away. Here's an example:

"Conversational RecruitingTM has been called the most powerful recruiting process in Network Marketing, but it's not for everyone."

The build-up is: "Conversational RecruitingTM has been called the most powerful recruiting process in Network Marketing."

The take-away is: "but it's not for everyone."

The build-up captures the imagination of the prospect, while the take-away entices the prospect to want to know more. The prospect then begins selling you on why they would be interested.

Once you've mastered the fine art of the Crossover Move, you can sit back and watch your prospects sell you on wanting to get involved with your network marketing opportunity. You build up, then take away; build up, then take away... and if you do that long enough, prospects sell themselves.

Why is this called the Crossover Move? Because it is the opposite of what MLM Trainers tell networkers to do when recruiting someone new into network marketing. It crosses over from the expected, to the unexpected. Most of all, like all Conversational RecruitingTM methods, it just flat-out works.

Achieving MLM Success requires that you step away from the norm. Crossover Moves allow you to do just that, and step into the ranks of the Super Recruiters.

 

Author Bio
Ed Forteau & Kevin Paschke help you Attract, Sponsor, Retain, and Develop all the distributors you will ever need. Sign up for their 15 Day Conversational RecruitingTM Advanced Mini-Course at www.ConversationalRecruiting.net and put more distributors in your downline now!

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Introduction to Trade Show Booths

Introduction to Trade Show Booths

By: Rob Dougan

Trade show booths come in an array of styles and designs that will show off your products, your services or your company in an unforgettable manner that offers a unique appeal, which is intelligent, chic and contemporary. Most trade show booths are very easy to assemble and transport to make your experience a more enjoyable one.

Choosing the perfect trade show booth to accommodate the products that you wish to display will be very easy once you know just how much room you will have at the trade show and how much material you will be presenting.

A bit of flash and sophistication never hurt a presentation. You only have a few minutes to grab the attention of a potential customer, client, or buyer. As they walk past your trade show booth, you must have something that will draw their attention, whether it is your personality, the products themselves or a very unique design displayed to entice.

To begin with, you should choose a trade show booth that will fit properly with the allotted space you have been assigned. You can choose from 10 feet by 10 feet, 10 feet by 20 feet or 20 feet by 20 feet Truss trade show booths. Each one has a compelling appeal that with the right graphics will draw a crowd to your booth. Be sure to get a trade show booth that will hold everything you wish to present without your visitors feeling claustrophobic, clutter will definitely turn them away. They should be able to walk around and through your display without bumping into items and knocking items off counters and shelves.

Remember most people will notice items that are eye level. This is where the main attraction should be. You want the area to be well lit, colorful, and maybe even add some music. You must attract attention just before they get to your booth. If they notice a pleasant, stylish, elegant trade show booth, they will at least stop and look around.

Now, you should start to think about what trade show booth you should purchase. In the 10 feet by 10 feet style, you can choose from the Carina, the Pluto, the Mars, Mercury, Cygnus, Lyra, Castor, and Sirius. All of these styles offer durable steel construction, 2 or 3 tabletops in either lightwood or silver in color, 2 or 3 silver spotlights, and the tools for assembly.

If you believe a 10 foot by 20 foot trade show booth will present your products better then you can decide on some quality and professional looking booths such as the Andromeda which comes complete with 4 tabletops and 5 silver spotlights, the Hydrus with 2 tabletops and 5 silver spotlights, the Venus with 5 tabletops and 4 silver spotlights, the Saturn with 2 tabletops and 5 silver spotlights, the Polaris with 4 tabletops and 5 silver spotlights, and the Arcturus with 4 tabletops and 7 silver spotlights. Each one of these trade show booths will have potential customers clamoring to your display to see what you are offering.

Next, in line to consider are the 20 foot by 20-foot trade show booths. You may believe these are just too big for your company. Nevertheless, remember you do not want any clutter and you want your guests to be able to walk around and feel comfortable while they are eyeing your products. This size may be the perfect size to display everything you wish without any worries about missing something you believe is an important selling feature. You can choose from Truss trade booths in this size and style that include the Cassiopeia, the Centaurus, the Neptune, the Jupiter, the Vega and the Orion. All have wonderful features that you desire with steel construction and easy to assemble.

Prices for trade show booths may seem a bit expensive, especially if this is your first time being involved in a trade show. But, you must remember trade show booths are an investment. You can use them time and time again and with the quality steel construction, they can last for years to come. Spending the money now to make a statement for your company is a wise decision that can lead to more money and loyal customers in the years to come.

There are also many different accessories that you can add with your trade show booth that will give your company many more options when presenting your services or products to the world. Enjoy setting up your booth and bring in more customers with the perfect trade show booth with a style of elegance, innovation, and style.

 

Author Bio
Everything Displays is an online retailer offering a full selection of trade show displays, booths, exhibits, and display accessories. Their website is www.everythingdisplays.com

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Introduction to Trade Show Displays

Introduction to Trade Show Displays

By: Rob Dougan

When it comes to displaying items at a trade show, you have many options from banner stands, literature stands and pop-up displays. You may choose to use more than one type of trade show display unit since each one can be used together to give a more full effect and useful information.

Banner Stands
Banner stands come in an array of sizes and designs. the majority of banner stands are portable are designed to be set up in very quickly and have a practical existence for several trade shows as long as they are treated properly. Deciding on which type of banner stand is best for you is to decide among the varieties available. The main types are retractable, spring back and telescopic.

Rollable banner stands are great for creating a floor standing photo mural. This type has hardware that allows the graphic image to be seen from the floor to the top of the image. The main selling point for this type is that from the front of the stand all your potential customers will see is the image. All of the hardware is either hidden or a small portion is at the top or the bottom of the stand. Therefore, the hardware is not what is noticed by visitors to your display. The rollable display can also be attached side by side with other rollable banner stands to create a much longer imager that can be as long as ten feet or more.

Retractable banner stands may be better if you are seeking durability. The graphic in this unit is rolled in and out of a metal housing, which is at the bottom of the display. With retractable banner stands, the lamination is on both sides this will aid in preserving and protecting the image from any type of damage.

Literature Racks
Literature racks also come in many different styles, designs and sizes that will enable you to fit all of the literature that you would like to offer to potential customers. Most of the time trade show literature racks are silver or black and have 3 to 5 pockets. A few larger ones are similar to a magazine rack that you commonly see at the grocery store holding comic books.

The most popular literature rack is probably the Zed Up. This great literature rack has a shelf system that can be folded down and put into its own bag for transporting. The main reason this type of literature rack is popular is that you do not have to remove the literature when you are ready to pack up. There are two sizes of the Zed Up, one with 3 pockets that will hold single brochures and another that will hold larger quantities of literature in each pocket.

You may desire a more sleek and modern design which would be the Slope literature rack. It is also very easy to transport by just folding the rack flat. It has 3 pockets that will hold literature 10 inches wide by 57 inches high and 16 inches deep. The slope has its own carrying bag as well for easier transport.

Pop-up displays
There are quite a few different types of pop-up displays that you can enjoy using for your trade show needs. There are five fashionable types that most people prefer which include the Standard Pop-up Displays, the Photo Mural Pop-up Displays, the Fabric Mural Pop-up Displays, the Commercial Pop-up Displays, and the 3-D Style Pop-up Displays. Each one has their own unique qualities and style to enhance your trade show experience.

The commonest is the standard pop-up. These are normally around 10 feet wide with a curved design. They are usually made with lightweight aluminum frame, PVC or steel channel bars, individual aluminum, or Velcro fabric panels.

The photo mural pop-up displays are pretty much like the standard pop-up displays except they use photo mural panels instead of the Velcro fabric panels. The photo mural pop-ups draw more attention because of the large format graphics that they use.

With the fabric mural pop-up display, you do not have to worry about set up as much. The mural is attached to the frame, which makes setting up faster and easier than with the standard or the photo mural style. This type also weighs less than most standard pop-ups on the market today. You can choose from a curved or non-curved design and most come with their own carrying bag.

Commercial Pop up displays may be what you need, but they are a bit more expensive. This type is sturdy and can take a bit more mistreatment or mishandling than other units can.

One of the newest pop up displays on the market today is the 3-D Style Pop-up Display. These are similar to the fabric mural displays in that the fabric image is attached to the frame, but you can choose from different shapes such as square or round. Set up is easy and quick.

 

Author Bio
Everything Displays is an online retailer offering a full selection of trade show displays, booths, exhibits, and display accessories. Their website is www.everythingdisplays.com

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Introduction to Trade Show Exhibits

Introduction to Trade Show Exhibits

By: Rob Dougan

When you are planning for your next trade show exhibit you should look back to when you were only browsing the many different booths, exhibits, and displays. Remember what type of exhibits got your attention. Your presentation should also draw the crowd.

Before you just rush out and purchase displays for your trade show exhibition you must take into consideration many different aspects of how you desire your presentation to look and feel. You know you want it to speak to the potential customers that are passing by and hopefully bring them over so you can speak with them. Your exhibit must get their attention so will they walk over, and then you can get their undivided attention.

You must first decide which type of exhibit will be the best to present your products, services and your company image. You should also consider your budget. No matter what your budget you can find the perfect trade show exhibits that will convey your message with the image that you want others to see.

The size of your trade show exhibit can either make or break you. If you have one to large, the exhibit will be overwhelming and if you choose one to small it will look overcrowded and cluttered. The most common sizes for trade show exhibits are 10 feet by 10 feet, 20 feet by 20 feet, and 10 feet by 20 feet. Within this size limitation, you must also choose from pop-up designs, panels or complete Truss trade show display booths.

In the 10 feet by 10 feet size, you can find some great displays in various styles and designs. With the Clever 10 foot panel, you can choose from Backlit Header, lights, the color that you prefer for the lower panel and a different one for the upper panel. The benefits of using these panels are that they are sturdy and durable but very lightweight and easy to transport. The average weight of these panels is around 130 pounds. The Genius I 10 foot panel you can also choose whether you want lights, the counter base color, Counter Laminate Color, the color of the lower panel and the upper panel. The features of this type of panel is that it is a folding panel display system, has 6 upper hinged panels, 6 lower hinged panels, 1 backlit header and lights, 1 alcove counter top and 1 alcove counter base. This wonderful panel is very impressive for all types of displays and normally weighs around 200 pounds.

If you prefer a larger size like the 20 feet by 20 feet, you should like the features that are included with pop-up displays and Truss display booths. The best pop-up display of this size is the Trilogy 20' x 20' Island Pop up Trade Show Display. The features of this unique display are that it is in actuality three trade show booths in one. It has the 10-foot wide back-to-back exhibiting area that creates a triangular or star shape. If gives you the ability to present your products or different aspects of your company all the way around the display. You will also be able to choose the color and fabric that you desire along with a case to counter conversion kit and the colors and fabrics of this kit, lights, shelf package, Backlit Header Package and Reconfiguration Panels. 20 feet by 20 feet Truss booths come in a few unique styles such as the Cassiopeia, which features a steel construction; high shine silver color, 4 tabletops, and the ability to assemble with just four screwdrivers that are included. The Centaurus features the same quality steel construction, the high shine silver color, 24 silver spotlights, and the ability to add tabletops in either lightwood or silver in color. The Neptune is sure to grab attention with features like a modular system that is quick and easy to assemble. The Jupiter is another modern and innovative display which gives you great features such as high shine silver color, quality steel construction, 6 tabletops in either light wood or silver, 8 silver spot lights, and easy to assemble with screw drivers that are included. The Vega is similar to other Truss booths but is an eye catching and appealing booth with options for tabletops, colors, and design.

The 10 feet by 20 feet size of displays gives you styles and designs to choose from such as pop-display's, panels, and Truss booths. All of these also have many unique styles and designs that are sure to aid you in presenting your products, your company, or your services in a manner that is not only unique, stylish and original, but with prices within your budget.

 

Author Bio
Everything Displays is an online retailer offering a full selection of trade show displays, booths, exhibits, and display accessories. Their website is www.everythingdisplays.com

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Planning for Success - A Positive Approach

Planning for Success - A Positive Approach

By: Robert Evans

Are you a good or bad planner? Do you cringe at the very mention of the word 'plan'? If you do then you are not alone. Thousands of online (and offline) marketers find themselves in the same position.

A good many of these people may well have never considered a plan of action as part of their daily marketing activities. Others may think they are too busy to spare any time for planning. Still others may feel they do need to plan, can see the benefits to be gained from planning, but don't think their skills or personality are suited to this task.

It seems perfectly clear to me that without planning, the long term success of any business,large or small, is unlikely to be realised!

A plan need not be elaborate. It need not be detailed, but you should at least commit something to paper.

Start off by taking a positive view of planning. Don't just look at it as 'another boring chore I've got to do'. Say to yourself 'This is my plan for success.'

Also consider the following benefits to be gained from good planning:

  • you can meet deadlines
  • you can meet or even exceed your targets
  • you can create a feeling of achievement for each step you fulfill
  • you can monitor and control your marketing activities to greater effect
  • you can initiate improvements
  • you can achieve personal growth and success


Once you have accepted that planning for success is a positive thing, it is then time to think about your goals. And just what do you want to achieve? Why are you marketing this or that product in the first place? Do you know what your short term and long term aims are?

Answering these questions accurately will enable you to take a big step forward to achieving whatever goals you ultimately set yourself. So what are your goals? And how do you plan to achieve them?

The great thing about targets is they give you a way to measure your performance and give you a sense of direction - you are going somewhere. It is important also to consider that in order for your goals to have substance and meaning they should satisfy the following criteria:

  • they should be achievable
  • they should be measurable
  • they should be challenging though NOT impossible


Here are THREE achievable, measurable and challenging goals that Bill, an Ezine owner, has set himself:

  • to get 200 subscribers within the first three months following launch
  • to ensure that AT LEAST 70% of subscribers are still in place after 6 months
  • to increase the number of subscribers by 800 in the year following the initial 6 month target


What three goals relating to your business can you think of that meet the above criteria? Write them down.

Now let's look more in depth at each of Bill's goals to see how he can evolve an Action Plan that will enable him to meet each goal in a systematic, cost-effective way.

In order to work out the Action Plan he should consider a set of specific questions he should ask. These questions are:

  • When should this happen?
  • How is it going to be carried out?
  • How much is it going to cost?
  • Who is going to do it?


GOAL ONE:
To bring in 30 subscribers

WHEN:
Within the first 30 days

HOW:
By advertising in Ezines, on PPC Search Engines, via opt-in email lists, and via other media such as Classified Ad sites and also offline via magazines and periodicals

WHO:
In the first instance Bill himself and then by others as the subscriber base grows

HOW MUCH:
The budget is under $50 a month

Bill's next step is to start to put together the Action Plan in more detail. This is a very important stage of the overall plan because it focuses on specifics:

  • how many hours is he going to devote?
  • which specific advertising media is he going to use and how often?
  • which advertisements is he going to use?

When getting down to the nitty gritty of executing his plan, Bill will try to keep in mind:

  • his daily advertising routine (stick to it)
  • whether he is keeping to the budget
  • his target


When considering your own marketing campaign always think to yourself that EVERY day you follow your Action Plan is a step closer to the achievement of your goal!

Author Bio
Bob Evans has been doing business online since October 2000. He utilises a powerful marketing action plan of his own to generate targeted traffic to any website: http://www.market4profit.net/marketing-action-plan.php

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