Writing Tips – Three Simple Tips For Better Writing

Looking to improve your writing? Here are three great tips to make your writing clearer, punchier and more fun!

Time-Tested Advice from TV Land

As a former on-air reporter and news anchor, I use many of the lessons I learned in Broadcast Writing 101 in all my writing, from magazine articles to marketing copy to case studies. Now, do not get me wrong. Everything you write should not sound like a radio commercial. Far from it. Think more network evening news.

One hard and fast rule of broadcast journal: write simply, but not stupidly. Acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow once told his staff, "Imagine yourself at a dinner table with a local editor, a banker and a professor, talking over coffee. , listen from the kitchen. Talk to be understood by the truck driver while not insulting the professor. "

Meaning? Avoid jargon. Do not use a fancy word like "ascertained" when "learned" will work just as well. Always keep your audience in mind, and write to them as if you are speaking to them. It takes courage to stand behind simple words and short sentences. But These words, when crafted correctly, have the most power to influence your readers and cause them to act.

The Right Style for Online Writing

When it comes to writing a web site, blog or e-mail, many of us struggle to find the right tone. Too uptight, and it makes you (or your business) sound stuffy and old-fashioned. Too casual and you sound unprofessional.

Think of online writing as a balance between fine dining and fast food. You do not want to be the waiter with the starched collar and a bow tie. But, you do not want to have the long-haired teenage burger-flipper, either.

When you write online, take a tone that is upbeat, conversational and friendly – but not overly relaxed. If you write the same way you talk with a potential client over a lunch meeting, you've probably got it right.

Sizing your Sentences

In writing, it pays to start short. In today's fast-paced world, starting with a lengthy sentence can be a major reader turn-off. Whether you're writing a quick email, a brochure or a novel, sentence length matters.

As writers, our first goal must be drawing the reader in. By keeping your opening sentence short, catchy and to-the-point, you leave your reader wanting more. Once you have their attention, you can fill in the missing information.

The best way to keep a reader interested is mixing up your sentence lengths. Short sentences keep your writing punchy. But, adding too many can annoy your reader. Longer sentences give your words a flow and rhythm, but too many read like a dissertation. With the right mix of short and long, your writing becomes more interesting, engaging and powerful.

Promotional Strategies to Boost Sales for B2B Marketers

B2B marketing is a funny business and very different to the B2C marketing world. Unlike consumer campaigns, where a mass marketing approach is often adopted, B2B Marketing is much more about developing longer term relationships with a smaller amount of customers and maximizing opportunities for up-selling, cross-selling and repeat business.

But as a B2B Marketer, how can you stand out from your competition and ensure that your brand is recognized and remembered by your target customer? Here are some great ways to ensure you keep your brand in the forefront of your customers' mind.

1) Organize breakfast events & webinars

One of the best ways to promote yourself is to demonstrate your expertise while providing some value to your prospects before they buy. Holding breakfast events and workshops is a great way to leverage your expertise and build your contact database while delivering real value to potential customers who will appreciate you for it. If your customers are not local, then consider offering webinars, which can be dialed from anywhere in the world.

2) Produce Whitepapers

Producing content which can be delivered out to your contacts all over the world is a great way to demonstrate your credibility and expertise and keep your brand in the forefront of people's minds. In B2B marketing, most people do not appreciate a hard sell, but they do value information which can help them do business better and will appreciate those suppliers who take the time and trouble to help them with no obligation to buy from them in return. The more you can show your skills and understanding, the more they will trust you and your ability to deliver for them, increasing their chances of buying from you.

If you have a few impressive clients, considering approaching them to partner with you on a whitepaper which could include commentary from you as well as from key spokespeople at some of the brands you already work with. Credibility by association has massive value in the B2B world and will help show that you are trustworthy if other respected brands are using you already.

3) Get on top of your PR

Most businesses in the B2B world are so busy working that they have little time to take sales calls or to source for new suppliers, but what we do know is that they value the information they can source from reputable trade publications, their websites and their newsletters . Creating a strong and consistent PR strategy is the key to getting your brand in front of your target audience at a time when they are ready to absorb information and take notice. Remember coverage through good quality PR is always more responsible than paid for advertisements, especially if it appears in a magazine or website that your customer trusts.

4) Be seen at the right trade shows

Attending trade shows is a great way to get in front of your target audience in an environment where they are ready to be sold to, albeit softly! Trade shows are more about getting your brand out there, networking and meeting people, rather than discussing business. The age old saying of 'people do business with people they like' has never been truer than at a trade show, so focus on building relationships with people first and the business will come second. One of the most useful things to do at trade shows, whether you are exhibiting or just attending, is to have some good quality business cards or promotional items to hand out to potential prospects. USB Business Cards and USB Flash Drives are excellent ways to leave lots of valuable information with potential customers in a small, handy and attractive USB stick or card. Opt for a storage capacity of 2GB as this is the most popular and gives you the ability to pre-load it with important information about your company, while also leaving enough space for users to store their own data and information on it too.

B2B marketing in the current climate can be a challenge with longer lead times than ever before, but with the right approach to building your profile and the right promotional products to keep your brand at the forefront, you can look forward to a prosperous year ahead!

Lead Generation Quality – It's Not the Size Of The List That Counts, It's the Revenue it Generates

A lead list can be a very valuable asset. In the marketing world, a big list can mean respect, credibility, job security, power, fortune and fame. But let's be realistic, the way to measure the quality of a list is not by its size, but more importantly, by the revenue it generates.

Sales lead generation in today's business environment is a complex undertaking. There are dozens of options to choose from, snail mail to social media. It is important to realize that some methods work better than others for the type of prospect you are trying to attract. For example, the primary objective of most Pay-per-Click B2B lead generation efforts is to get the lead to opt-in to your list. Although you may have some control defining key words and geography, for the most part you get who clicks wherever the lead fits your profile or not. On the other hand, a white paper can attract a more targeted contact and add credibility at the same time.

How to Develop a List That Converts Sales Leads to Revenue Producing Clients

Lead Generation Requirements

The first task is to develop the overall Lead Generation Requirements that are right for your business. This is much more than a technical exercise. The process will require detailed answers to the following questions:

· What are the specific goals of the Lead Generation Program?
. How many leads do you need to fill the pipeline?
· What budget is available? What budget is needed?
· Who in the prospective organization do we want to target?
· What geography do we want to target?
· How will we find our target lead profile?
· How do we capture the attention of the target audience?
· How do we increase the opt-in ratio?

Lead Generation Deployment Strategy

With answers to the questions above, it's time to design your lead generation deployment strategy by choosing the specific marketing programs that will help you accomplish your goals. Marketing would be much easier if you had unlimited resources and budget. But if your company is like most, this is simply not the case, particularly in the current business environment. Your deployment strategy needs to be designed to maximize the results for the minimum investment.

Focusing all your energy on one method of lead generation is generally not an optimum strategy. This may limit the overall effectiveness of your marketing program. A multi-faced approach approaches to produce more buzz in the marketplace and therefore can improve the overall results.

There are dozens of ways to generate sales leads. In the table below we listed 16 of the most effective marketing mediums that you can use to assemble your deployment strategy. Also included is the authors experience in the best application of each as well as its effectiveness in a B2B environment.

Lead Generation Mediums, Best Application of Medium and B2B Effectiveness

Letters and Postcardswork best when used with other mediums; Medium B2B effectiveness.

E-mail is an alternative to direct mail; Medium B2B effectiveness.

Newsletter is not a good lead generator; Low B2B effectiveness.

SEO, Key word, Meta tags, Pay Per Click can work well but can be expensive; Medium B2B effectiveness.

Report is a good bonus for opt-in and generating interest; High B2B effectiveness.

Press Releases are a reliably inexpensively way to capture traffic and create Buzz; High B2B effectiveness.

Trade Magazine Ads are a good way to attract the target market; High B2B effectiveness.

White Paper and White Paper Hosting are very good to attract specific interest; High B2B effectiveness.

Case Studies are very good for adding credibility; High B2B effectiveness.

Articles are very good to attract specific interest; Medium B2B effectiveness.

Telemarketing can work to compliment other mediums; Low B2B effectiveness.

Social Media is good for creating buzz; Medium B2B effectiveness.

Remember, the lead generation process is not complete until the lead Opts-In to your list. Capturing their attention is only half the battle. Your landing page and bonus offers must be compelling enough to complete the task. Jon Miller of Marketo reports "as high as 200% improvements in conversion rates," by optimizing the landing page.

In a B2B marketplace and specifically those environments with complex sales cycles, experience shows that it can take 7 touches or more to nurture the average lead to a sales ready state. Although Lead Nurturing and lead development are outside the scope of this article, the effectiveness of your lead generation deployment strategy will help shorten the follow-on lead development cycle.

Summary

Many marketers may boast about the size of their list. The way to measure the quality of a list is not by its size, but more importantly, by the revenue it generates. The first place to start to improve the revenue generation potential of the list is to develop a detailed lead generation plan. Next, design a lead generation strategy designed to attract the highest quality leads for your business.

How to Reach Your Social Network

I am still a bit slammed from the time travel back from the land of Oz. In my midnight sleepless surfing, I have come across a brainstorm: there is no single 'killer app' for social networks. The trouble is that there is no single solution for maintaining one's electronic connections, mainly because different people require different communications methods. I guess I needed to travel thousands of miles around the world to realize something so simple.

Some of us are trying to conduct all of our social intercourse using one application. Jeff Pulver has moved over to Facebook and will not respond to emails any longer. Paul Gillin and I just did an interview with Laura Fitton on our TechPR War Stories podcasts (it will be posted later this week), and she swears by Twitter as her main communications tool. And others are champions of LinkedIn with thousands of contacts, or have to prune their Instant Messaging buddy lists to keep it from scrolling into eternity. These are still very much extreme cases.

I would venture to guess that most of you are like me and still using a bunch of different mechanisms, including phone and (gosh) fax, to stay in touch with our electronic 'hoods. Part of the reason for this is that we have different requirements that trade off immediacy (this is where the Twitter crowd likes to live) with depth and time to reflect on our correspondence. Another issue is that many of you do not use a single communications mechanism either, and can not force everyone in your network to convert to one system (although Pulver claims success with Facebook).

I've also seen what I call the natural evolution of social networks that has taken place over the past couple of years. This evolution happens like this: first you sign up with LinkedIn, because you are thinking of changing jobs and want to start updating your electronic resume. Then you begin to get involved with Facebook, and import your contacts into both and start to build your network of friends and business associates. In the meantime, you start to keep track of your emails, because eventually you will need to decide whether to maintain your identity with your current work email or to create a new personal Gmail or Yahoo email for people to continue to talk to you when you do change jobs.

But I digress. Getting back to the subject at hand, many people are still adjusting to the jump from phone to email as their main communications tool. And they are not eager to make another sea change in their lives, which is why email still is the undisputed champion of how I interact with most of my audience, and one of the reasons why I still send out these missives via an email list to this very day.

Students of social networks should study the rise and fall of push technology to gain some perspective. Remember when push was going to change the way world communicated? It went from darling to despised in about two months; long enough to make the cover of Wired magazine and have me proclaim that I was going to convert Web Informant to a push-only version. (That listed through about 20 issues, before I regained my senses and continued the email list that you are on now.)

I wrote this ten years ago in one of my email newsletters:

Push products had plenty of problems. They really did not have the publishing tools at all. You often did not know who your audience is, could not tell what software they used to view your content, and often preparing content took loads of time and was also a hit or miss proposition. Most of the products could not even tell you whether your readers actually received your content, let alone if they spend any time reading it. Try doing this with a print publisher or television producer and see how long you stay in business.

The same could be said for many of the social networking applications in use today. You can not use any of them as a publishing platform, although many of you are trying.

I also find that one's communication mechanism of choice depends on generational issues. Teens are still the largest users of IM. 20-somethings text, then Facebook, then maybe IM (although my daughter tells me that IM is so over, daaad!). Email is almost never in the picture: when I need to send my daughter an email, I usually have to IM or call her about it. On one of my flights there were a bunch of teens traveling together and they were comparing the features of their phones. They sounded like IT managers talking about their computing strategies, only with a lot more "likes" inserted into the dialogue.

My 15-year old niece is a communications junkie, caught at the crossroads of many technologies. She is online with her best friend across town via video chat. She Skype's and IM's my daughter all the time. She has a Facebook page (that I am not allowed to frequent). She has been through several smart phones and run up huge texting bills. Email? I do not think she bothers to check it more than once in a blue moon.

The 30- and 40-somethings go for IM, then maybe email and texting from their phones. Some of them are picking up on Twitter, others on Facebook, but that is still new territory. Those of us 50-somethings are solid email users, for the most part, although a few of my generation still prefer phone calls and even have personal assistants to screen their calls too, those dinosaurs.

It has been a while since I got a cold phone call from a PR person – in fact, I am glad that my phone is mostly silent these days. That may change now that I am appearing more in the print Baseline magazine and that number is listed on the masthead, but I do not think so – most of the pitches I get still come through email, though some PR people are beginning to use IM and Facebook to send inquires my way. Bring them on, I say.

So my revelation is that social networks will continue to multiply and attempt to capture all these various dimensions of our normal social interaction. But no one system will be all things for everyone, now or forever. And that means that more of our electronic workday will be sent using a variety of tools to process all this information, just to stay in touch with our would-be friends.

From Free to Fee: How Experts Get Paid to Speak

You’re already on the speaker’s circuit, using concurrent session programs at industry events as marketing opportunities. Each year, you get return invitations, rave reviews, and high evaluations. Perhaps it’s time to quit giving away your expertise and get paid. Makes sense doesn’t it?

The transition from speaking for visibility to paid speaking is like jumping off a cliff: if you survive that first leap, the rest will seem easy. Here are four big changes you must make if you want to succeed.

1. Go Where the Gigs Are

The first change you have to make is where you speak. The easiest way to get paid is not with associations; there are too many speakers in those venues willing to speak for free. Instead, you need to compete in another arena – corporate special events.

The good news is that many professional services firms already have established relationships with corporate decision makers, so you have the ear (and respect) of the buyers. You don’t have to go through the usual gatekeepers. But familiarity can also be an obstacle if your clients see you as a teacher or trainer.

What they want: These buyers are looking for something more than their association colleagues. Corporate folks want to know the outcomes of your presentation. They are looking to change current behavior. So, have a compelling answer at the ready.

What to do next: To prevent being pigeonholed, invite the prospect to preview your speaking outside of the consulting environment. Show your client that you are the riveting speaker they need to rally their troops.

If you still want association gigs, ditch the concurrent sessions and go for the keynote slots with state and regional associations. National associations with bigger budgets usually use more high-profile personality keynoters, so pitch for the general session, where lesser-known experts are used. More motivational topics are usually given in the wind-down speaker slot.

Another way to work with associations is to participate in pre- and post-convention workshops. Associations are also open to creating new venues for speakers who will provide a draw (and high registration fees). Experts can get paid for these presentations if they are willing to take a percentage of the fees.

2. Ditch the Data, Add Stories

Buyers and audiences alike have very different expectations of keynoters. If you want to get paid $4,500 or more, it is assumed that you have more than just great presentation skills. Audiences at that level have been exposed to masterful speakers, so make sure your skills can compare favorably.

The flow of your speaking must be very smooth and transitions seamless. Storytelling takes the place of diagrams. Humor takes the place of case study exercises.

What they want: Keynoter programs also require major content changes. National associations request general topics that discuss trends or allow their members to feel good about their roles. Remember, technical content is more appropriate for the concurrent sessions.

What to do next: Go through your programs with a fine-tooth comb. Take out all the exercises and replace them with compelling stories. No more data dumping and PowerPoint slides with 10 lines of text.

3. Expand Your Media Campaign

Established committees that focus on expertise and content usually choose free speakers for concurrent sessions. Selecting paid speakers is made at the very top levels, and the decision is far more subjective. These buyers are more concerned with the speakers’ brand and how their message fits the strategic objectives of the meeting than with the PowerPoint presentation.

Because the decision is more subjective, indirect marketing approaches work best. Focus on recommendations from advocates and showcasing. Leverage is king, and paid speaking engagements can beget more of the same.

While speaker bureaus play a bigger role, don’t depend on them to be your marketing department. Speaker bureaus work with speakers like banks loan money: they only want those who get plenty of bookings on their own.

What they want: In the corporate markets, content is king. Your message has to be a conduit for attendees’ strategic objectives. Again, what behavior will you change? What are the outcomes they can expect? In the association market, buyers want someone with enough visibility to create excitement for the conference.

What to do next: Pump up your prominence in the right places. Experts who have focused on building their business with trade journal articles will need to expand their media campaign. It’s time to be quoted in widely read publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, etc. Make sure that book you’ve written will get you into these respected outlets.

4. Create Speaking-Specific Promotional Materials

Again, the decision is more subjective, so speaking-specific promotional materials take the place of requests for proposals. Professionalism is the key here — good graphic design and copy are essential. The focus is on message and approach, not specific content. No one will read pages of topic descriptions.

Many buyers check out speakers online, so websites have become the centerpiece of a speaker’s promotional materials. They won’t search your site for your topics; have a designated section just for your speaking.

What they want: While many experts have a speaking section on their site that mentions key notes, these sections are not effective if the homepage focuses only on professional services. Buyers are looking for experts who both speak and provide related services, not advisors who speak as a sideline. This subtle difference is critical.

Another way to show your stuff is via video. Buyers not only preview footage for speaking skills, but they also use them to determine if the message is on target. They examine the audience as well to determine similarities between your previous engagements and their own.

What to do next: Smart experts refocus their site towards the positioning and expertise rather than the roles they play, such as speaker, consultant, author, etc. If that’s not possible, consider a separate speaking website that touts your background, expertise, and approach. And get crackin’ on that video footage. It should be less than a year old. The fancy graphics that many speakers include are not necessary; it’s more important to be certain you are presenting your best speech material. Put it on the homepage as well as the speaking sections.

Written materials are still needed, especially when working with speaker bureaus. Plan on creating what speakers call “one-sheets” that feature your photo, list of speaking engagements, testimonials from speaking clients, your background/approach, and topics. Even beginning speakers have this material professionally produced.

A Different World

The transition into the world of professional speaking doesn’t happen with your current tools and marketing efforts. Be prepared to revamp your positioning — to brand your approach to different buyers with different expectations. Invest time, energy, and money just as you have in your professional service firm. And like any other business venture, professional help in speaking skills, marketing, and promotional material production can speed up the process.

Good luck, and I’ll see you on the circuit!

Be Part Of The Snowboarding Culture And Enjoy Every Minute Of It

It can not be denied that the era of snowboarding is at its peak today. With more than seven million of snowboarders all over the world and numerous competitions held each year, one can not argue that this extreme winter sport is indeed on the upswing.

Snowboarding goes beyond just riding one's board and doing tricks while flying. This ultimate winter sport has become a culture among the young ones, both male and female. Surprisingly, there are many teen females just as there are many young males who have made a name for themselves in this thrilling activity. Additionally, more and more teens are benefitting from the snowboarding summer camps and other related summer activities which help them further improve their skills and tricks.

Of course, these energetic young people enjoy every minute of their sport but other than that, they also share some common stuff including music and night life which what brings them together. Camaraderie as well as sportsmanship are vital aspects of any sport activity and are admirable exercises when maintained for the long term even with the competition.

Teenagers love to meet new friends and get together for sports, fun, music and food. You can just imagine the wonderful experience they get when joining competitions.

Early beginnings

Did you know that it was in the late part of the 1980s when snowboarding became a teen culture? Big credit goes to skateboarding enthusiasts such as Chad Voren who turned to snowboarding for a change. You know how teen are, always looking for something new to explore. Being the innovators that they are, they then made their own boards and bought the thrilling activity to the snowy mountains.

When snowboarding gained ground, as expected many business-minded companies such as Soloman and Rossignol joined in the fever and manufactured snowboards to make money.

Today, the Snowsports Industries America reveals that the business of snowboarding manufacturing is worth $ 130 million with the young generation as the main target audience of equipment as well as clothing accessories.

China joins in

If you think that only the North American and European countries as well as those down under are reaping the popularity of snowboarding, think again. China has a growing snowboarding culture itself with 400 million of its people now engaged in active sports. And with the Beijing 2008 Olympics set to be held there, the Chinese have reasons to celebrate and be active.

From only three snowboarding resorts in 2001, there now exists 12 as of 2003. China's snowboarding culture developed from the efforts of Steve Zdarsky from Austria. This man took up Chinese and economics and moved to China where he launched the first pro snowboarding events in 2003. He has also established his own snowboarding brand of clothing Nivit and has published a magazine focused on this winter sport.

The younger Chinese segment is fast catching up on the snowboarding trend including fashion and accessories. In fact, the club scene in Beijing and Shanghai now are seeing young people dressed in the popular boardsports-inspired clothing. These trends are attributed to the penchant of the Chinese teens just like the Japanese for Western lifestyle and icons.

So, how about you? If your inclining is towards snowboarding, too, why not jump in for a taste of this youth culture. As they way, if you can not beat them, join them.

9 Action Steps to Attract Bureaus With Resources You Can Use For Immediate Result

You probably ask yourself … Why are the bureaus not booking me? What do I have to do to get them to call me?

A bureau's first responsibility is to satisfify its clients – organizations who hire speakers. Put yourself in the bureau's position. They want to place speakers who are:

"The easiest way to book.
"Exclusive with them. This means that all interested organizations have to go through the bureau to book the speaker.
"High profile personalities that have favorable reputations and instant name recognition.
"High fee speakers. All other things being equal, why not place the higher fee speaker?
"Dependable. They respond quickly to inquiries, are courteous, punctual, focused on stage, stay on point and keep agreements.
"Predictable. They have high ratings consistently, get standing ovations and stay on topic.
"Referred and endorsed by past clients.

Here are 9 action steps that will increase your bookings and get the attention of bureaus

1. Get published.

The three most important words following a speaker's name are, "the author of …"

Write a book that tells your story or teachers others what you know. Every chapter can become an article. Become a regular columnist in a newspaper or a guest columnist in your industry publication or trade journal. You may choose to write manuals, textbooks, home study courses or sales scripts, for example, for others to follow.

To learn how to write in a compelling manner, there are two and three day boot camps for prospective and active writers. There are many speakers offering their own boot camps, but I think one of the best is Mark Victor Hansen's Mega Book Marketing. Why not learn from someone who built a billion dollar enterprise from one book series (Chicken Soup for the Soul)? His faculty typically includes successful writers, agents, publicists, ghost writers, publishing companies, self publishing experts and famous speakers who are published. Visit Mark's website info about the next Mega Book.

Articles about you or by you are marketing fulcrums that have stood the test of time. Writing and submitting articles to major article directories will increase your online visibility instantly! (Learn more under # 3.) It will drive traffic to your site, establish you as an expert in your target market and give you valuable content to repurpose into information products.

Articles can be submitted directly to industry online publications, your association's online newsletters, local tabloids and magazines.

Writer's Digest is an excellent reference for prospective and active writers. It produces eight (8) magazines a year for under $ 20 with solid techniques for a wide variety of genres; insider info on what editors and agents really want; professionals' secrets for winning queries and cover letters; tips and tricks for kindling your creative fire and savvy business advice for writers.

Another resource is Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2009: Who They Are! What They Want! How to Win Them Over!

Begin to commit to paper what you know so that you can reach readers when you can not reach an audience in person!

Stop procrastinating. Start writing.

2. Utilize Internet technology to reach your customer base faster, more frequently and more effectively.

In other words, make sure that you've either learned the strategies and tools of Internet marketing to increase and convert traffic to your website or that you've retained those services from Internet marketing experts. Since technology changes daily, it's best to stick with your own expertise and leave this skill to those who do it as a primary source of income.

Simple opt-in strategies offering free reports, CDs, articles and tips that demonstrate your ability to help people solve problems and build their dreams are the quickest way to reach those in your industry. The objective is to make contact with decision makers within organizations who are seeking speakers with your expertise.

I use a combination of one-on-one marketing (picking up the telephone) and electronic marketing to introduce a speaker.

Stay in touch with your customer base after you speak. You may be able to share helpful industry trends that can be used in management and leadership capacities. The relationship that began with your appearance should not end your relationship but begin a customer for life relationship. Given your insider's perspective, you may offer assistance in suggesting their next speaker. You may offer your new products specifically designed to help them and others in the same industry. Or you may offer the second and third presentation in your series of programs.

Read Janet Switzer's book entitled, Instant Income. You'll find 319 pages chocked full of ideas to prospect and build your brand in a profitable manner. The more recognizable your name or brand is as an expert in your field, the more bureaus start to notice.

3. Increase your media exposure.

Be the go-to person in your field of expertise. Generate articles, media attention, television interviews and press releases telling your story, demonstrating your competency, expertise and value in the marketplace. Either write articles or be the subject of others' articles.

Again, great article marketing directory websites that want your articles are Ezine Articles and Article Marketer.

Learn to write press releases. A press release is simply a written statement distributed to the media. It can announce a range of news items: scheduled events, awards, new products and services, new book releases, sales achievements, etc. Check out wikihow.com/Write-a-Press-Release and prweb.com. If you'd like to hire a publicist to set up media appearances, talk with an expert such as Imal Wagner. Her website is the same as her name.

You may inadvertently get exposure through adversity, an error in judgment or an accident (such as committing a courageous act like cutting off your arm to survive, becoming a war hero, championing a cause following a crime as the founder of MADD did, etc. ). Let those in your field know you have some temporary philosophy from your personal experience or creative solutions that can help others.

All forms of social media further establish your brand. Consider joining at least LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter. Contact the experts on the proper strategies to use for each application. They're free services but can prove useless if not properly set up and managed.

4. Increase your visibility in your industry.

Become a spokesperson for an organization. Write industry specific articles to appear in online and offline publications. Volunteer your time and talents to your favorite charity. There were many people who surfaced after the Katrina Hurricane that became public figures for positive change simply because they became leaders during and after the crisis.

Serve your professional association in some capacity, such as being an officer, speak and find other speakers, be a spokesperson for their cause, board member, fundraiser, adviser or sponsor.

Host teleclasses / teleseminars and webinars marketed through Internet technology. It is an instructional format with you as the expert or with you interviewing an expert in a field of importance to others.

Conduct a research project that those in your field will find valuable for leaders, salespeople and administrators. You can offer the results to your customers in the form of an article, teleclass, white paper report or CD.

If you are seeking a representative and do not have the time or desire to train her / him on the daily activities necessary to secure paid speaking engagements, visit my website at for products to help you find, interview, hire, pay, train and keep your booking agent.

If you are not yet ready to hire someone to represent you, I have products that you can use to know what to say and do on a daily basis to systematize the booking process. You'll learn what to do before, during and after your appearance to uniquely position yourself, optimize your appearance, generate referrals and enable more revenue potential through product sales.

Google Alex Mandossian's Ask Campaign technology and learn how to know in advance, what your audience most wants to learn.

Offer continuing education credit if required in your industry.

Write a free ezine for those in your target market. Teach others how to do what you do and become successful so that they can actualize their dreams. Be the subject of a documentary, made for TV movie or the wide screen.

5. Outperform your competition.

Do what you do so well that you rise to the top. Become a leader in your field.

Begin with your company or your local association and branch out to your district and regional events and then on to your state and national levels. When you're a top producer or when you lead an organization to greatness or when you originate a new idea that solves problems and creates a new paradigm, others want to know how you did what you did. You'll make the news. You'll be asked to appear on television shows, be interviewed for radio shows and magazine articles. Your invitations to speak will increase.

Who are the champions in your field? Has your performance or production exceeded that of others? If so, these are facts that bureaus want to know. This will put you ahead of others in your field and bureaus will start to notice.

6. Study others in your field of expertise.

What are the trends that currently have the greatest impact on your industry? One of the world's leading trend firms, trendwatching.com and its 8,000+ trend spotters scan the globe for emerging consumer trends. They report on findings in free monthly trend briefings. Visit Trend Watching's website.

What's happening in your industry? Are your current industry leaders increasing profits, initiating cutbacks, decreasing profits, creating dissension, inspiring courage or are they encouraging greed and corruption? Are there company-wide layoffs? What types of programs and presentations will be needed for those that survive the layoffs and downsizing?

Learn how you differ from other speakers in your field and be able to articulate it in a clear and concise manner. Get a mentor in your field and study his / her behavior and performance. Gain the advantage with clients and bureaus through your service, product or your style of delivery.

Visit the website of the National Speakers Association – nsaspeaker.org and click on "find a speaker." Now, click on "speaker area of ​​expertise." How many names come up under your area of ​​expertise? Study their websites. How are they positioning themselves? How are you different? How can you capitalize on the difference? What presentation topics do you offer that they do not? Look over their list of past clients and make note of the organizations that have hired them to speak. Generally speaking, the more bookings you've had, the more bureaus will be interested in working with you.

Identify bureaus who serve your industry. In some cases, you can identify their target market by the title of the bureau, such as Financial Forum, Inc. The best way to familiarize yourself with their customer base is to visit the site of each member bureau of the International Association of Speakers Bureaus.

7. Always maintain a professional attitude.

Keep your composition under stress. Bureaus aim to please meeting planners because they seek repeat business. Why not? Those same meeting planners who have a positive experience with one speaker will return many times over to the same bureau for another speaker or speakers.

If you react negatively under pressure while at an event, or if you act or speak unkindly or inconsiderately or disrespectfully in any situation, the news will spread like a virus.

Even if you excel in expertise, eloquence and enterprise, if you are perceived as unethical, disrespectful, unkind or inappropriate, your speaking career and your relationship with bureaus will end.

The IASB member bureaus stay in touch with each other and share experiences about various speakers and events. Maintain an attitude and presence that makes them want to work with you again!

8. Create an extended line of information products.

As a leader in your field, you're demonstrating your ability to create solutions for others who have challenges. This increases your outreach, your name recognition and your popular appeal. If you have popular appeal, bureaus will want to know about you.

If you have a Nightingale Conant product, you have instant credibility. If you do not, you can create your own library of information products helpful for those in your industry.

Get the best advice and service on products from the experts who do this for a living. Compare services and prices of two great companies: Speaker Fulfillment Services in Indiana and Flow Motion Inc. in California.

I use Speaker Fulfillment Services to manufacture, duplicate and distribute my products because I like the "produce on-demand" service they offer. They are immediately notified of an online purchase from my website by my website shopping cart.

If you're a generalist, you can create products designed to help anyone move to a higher performance or productivity, move from living in the past to living in the present, harness the power of their expertise, increase profits, reduce health risks, eliminate negative thinking and overcome all sorts of challenges along life's path.

With the help of Internet technology, you can keep track of customer buying patterns, convert one-time customers to continuity customers and serve your buyers with each new product you make available. Brian Tracy is the consummate professional speaker producing a continuous stream of information products every year. Those products reach out around the world in different languages ​​and make contact for him. Those buyers have their companies bring him in to speak at a high rate of bookings and rebookings. Bureaus follow suit.

As long as you do not abuse the privilege of speaking when promoting your products and services with or without permission, it's an added benefit to your appearance. If you get a reputation of pitching your product rather than delivering your designated speech, it's the kiss of death.

You may wish to give away a set of your products to the organization that hires you to speak. It may be used in the company library for everyone's benefit and it will promote good will with meeting planners and bureaus.

9. Introduce yourself to speakers bureaus.

The most prominent and busiest bureaus have lots of speakers but they are always seeking more buyers, that is, organizations that hire speakers. Remember – bureaus represent the interests of their buyers, not the interests of speakers. The exception is when bureaus have exclusives with speakers, meaning they handle all of the speaking engagements for a speaker regardless of the origin of the inquiry. In industry terms, they have an exclusive with the speaker.

So, while bureaus may have lots of speakers, they are open to reviewing new speakers and speakers who represent new ideas.

The primary reasons that influence speaker selection are facts and third party endorsements about the speaker. Facts may be industry distinctions such as sales awards, top producer rankings, honors you've received, your educational background, books you've written, courses you've taught, your charitable affiliations, your military service, years you've been a professional speaker, articles about you or articles or special reports written by you.

Third party endorsements are clients that have benefited from your expertise. These may be a series of letters you've received, one or two sentences from various individuals who have hired you in the past, quotes about books you've written, quotes from top producers who have used your sales strategies to increase their personal production , etc.

The International Association of Speakers Bureaus offers an online directory of member bureaus that you can view without being a member. Once you get to the website, click on "bureau locator" and then click on "submit." (You do not need to complete the form.) You will have a list of approximately 165 member bureaus with their contact info right there in plain sight! Thank you, IASB.

You can contact any bureau any time, but I offer a word of caution. Look at each bureau site and see if they have established a protocol for new speakers who wish to be represented. If they do, it's a straight forward form that you can complete. Otherwise, ask the receptionist for the name and email address of the person at the bureau who receives new speaker submissions.

Most speakers bureaus do not charge an upfront fee to represent you.

If you would like some help when introducing yourself to bureaus, join eSpeakers. It's the single most helpful tool in booking speakers that I have used in 27 years. If you're a member of eSpeakers, you may enjoy one of their services immediately by having them do an eBlast about you and your expertise to all of the speakers bureaus.

The eBlast invites a bureau to take a look at your biographical material on eSpeakers. Any bureau that desires to add you to their website can have it done in a matter of minutes when you are listed on eSpeakers. You can easily have your speaking calendar, bio, presentation topics, fees, your promo DVD, photos and appearance documents uploaded to eSpeakers, and that makes it possible for speakers bureaus to access your information, place holds and book you.

In addition to making it easy for bureaus to review your expertise, you also make it easy on yourself. Once you're listed on eSpeakers you can have all of your materials, including your video, added to your own website. You can easily update your speaker profile yourself! Meeting planners will be able to learn all about what you have to offer and view your video right on your website.

One of the best features is that you will be able to access your calendar any time and from any place to check changes that have been made by bureaus and to make changes, as they occur, in your schedule.

In closing, my best advice to you is to continue to promote yourself and your service without relying on bureaus. Use the nine (9) action steps you've just read, work on serving others and pretty soon, you'll get a call from a bureau. It's predictable.

How to Create Customer Loyalty

Every business is aware of the need to obtain new business. Yet a growing number of companies are also realizing the importance of keeping the business they have already gained.

Loyalty Programs, Reward Schemes and Customer Relationship Management are all common examples of the increasing importance of forging closer relationships with your existing customers to help ensure they stay with you well into the future.

There are sound commercial reasons behind this shift in emphasis. One only has to consider the expense incurred in gaining all your current customers, or the cost of gaining new customers to replace them, to realize the importance of getting the best possible return on the investment you have made in building your customer base.

This guide shows how you can identify your key customers and target your efforts towards keeping them through a range of promotional ideas.

Who are your key customers?

Pareto's Principle states that an incredible 80% of your business will come from just 20% of your customers. These figures may sound extreme, but carry out the exercise for yourself and you may be surprised by the results. Some of the names in your top 20% may also be unexpected but these customers are the key to your business and should be a main focus of your Customer Loyalty program.

Another key area of ​​your customer base which may be overlooked is your customer retention rate. Whilst you may be successfully winning new customers, how many are you losing without realizing it? Slowing customer defects from a negative to a positive state is why loyalty and reward schemes were first launched in the highly competitive supermarket sector.

Take a look at a list of your active customers this year and compare it to previous years. Who is missing and why? Some customers will always be lost through natural wastage, but others may leave because they are dissatisfied with your business. Finding out why can help you identify other potentially high risk customers.

As well as the top 20% and high risk customers, do not forget about all the others. How much effort do you put into winning more business from each existing customer?

What can you do to keep them?

Developing a simple Customer Loyalty program may not be as complex or as costly as you might think. Much of the program can be based on simply refocusing your attention and efforts onto your top 20% or high risk customers.

Here are some simple ideas for activities which you can undertake to help forge closer relationships with your customers.

Set Customer Targets

Look at each of your existing customers and set them an individual sales target. For the top 20% of customers, if you can achieve a small increase it will have a far greater impact on your business. For high risk customers, your target may simply be to keep them while the majority of other customers may have larger increases. Then consider how you will achieve these increases in business – are you going to sell more of your existing products / services, increase prices while maintaining volume or sometimes introduce new products / services.

Organize Internally

Allocate key customers to different members of staff, so that someone is responsible for providing a great service to each. If you do not have many staff, at the least put a list of your top 20% on the wall so you are reminded of everyday of their importance to your business.

Establish a Loyalty or Reward Scheme

To make your top customers feel special, set up a special VIP customer loyalty club. Customers included in the scheme could be offered priority service, special discounts, offers, exclusive product lines and many other benefits. Membership could be based on achieving a minimum level of business, to give smaller customers a target to aim towards.

Give out branded gifts

Make sure all your most important customers get something from you at least once a year in the form of a branded corporate gift. This could be anything from a branded pen, to a mouse mat, desk set or briefcase, depending on the budget you can set aside for each customer. A small thank you can go a long way and provide a permanent reminder of your name.

Maintain a high profile

Keep promoting your name out in the wider marketplace through high profile advertising and PR, to help reassure your existing customers that they are dealing with the best. If you sell your products or services through a reseller, you could also consider promoting to their market as part of a 'push / pull' strategy designed to activate demand from your customers' customers, or 'pull' products through the supply chain rather than you have to 'push' them onto your resellers.

Get face to face

One of the best ways to build better relationships with your customers is to meet them face to face. If your promises could be of interest to your customers, in a manufacturing business for example, then why not hold a customer open day? This would give an opportunity to explain more about your company to a captive audience, launch new products and gain valuable feedback from your customers.

Stay in contact

One of the most important things you can do is to stay in regular contact with all your customers. Regular communication shows that you care about their business and provides a valuable opportunity to get your message across. You could communicate using a regular customer newsletter or magazine, direct mail, or emails linked to new content on your website.

Things You Should Know About Social Media For Businesses

If you're running a small business and you think that you do not need social media for your business, I think you should reconsider this mindset if you want to succeed in whatever is it that you are doing. Whether you are a start-up or a small business, taking advantage of the benefits of social media for businesses is the next big thing you and your entire team should look into.

In fact, a recent study conducted in the US suggests that more than half of sales in retail are affected by the Internet. This means that more than $ 200B of sales will come from online advertisements and promotions of different types.

So if you wish to take advantage of this prediction, you need to do something in your current advertising strategy and redo your crappy marketing campaign. There's only one way to do this: make use of the power of the Internet.

The Problem With Small Business

One of the problems with most small businesses across the world is their relationship to adapt to the latest trends in marketing and advertising thinking that they do not need it. While it is true that traditional marketing is still fine, this alone does not guarantee sales and overall success for the business. For high chances of success, for a start, you can begin launching your campaign and at the same time, do the traditional advertising like newspaper ads, magazine, and yellow pages.

If you think social media for businesses is not the thing for you, you might as well reassess your business' marketing and advertising approach. Being able to go where your clients are, is a very primitive concept in marketing and this is probably the whole point of social media: bringing your business to your clients.

Plan Your Social Media Strategy

If you have finally decided to consider Facebook or Twitter as a part of your business process, especially in reaching out to your clients, there are things that you need to be familiar with in order to succeed. For those who are new to social media, optimizing your accounts for business purposes is very different from the usual tweaking that you would normally do on your personal accounts.

Probably one of the most effective strategies in optimizing your profiles for business purposes is to identify your audience. Knowing who are your intended readers is very cruel to your business success as it will save you from all the unnecessary problems that you can avoid had you identified your audience before launching your campaign.

Successfully Grow Your Business in Spite of Bad Economic Times

The recent downturn in the United States economy is concerned to most citizens, especially small business owners. It is possible that the shaky national financial situation could lead to a loss of interest in certain products and services with a resulting loss of revenue for some businesses, but this does not need to be the case for your company. The following suggestions can help you bolster your small business against the current sluggish economic environment.

Promote Your Business to the Masses

Press releases and guest appearances on local television and radio shows can keep your business name in front of your current and potential customers without costing you anything but your time. Use these media opportunities to give up-to-date and meaningful information to your audience about your business and what your products and services can do for them. Volunteer to submit an informational article to a community newsletter, magazine, or newspaper. Most publications are constantly searching for interesting news pieces, and this will be an excellent chance for you to demonstrate your expertise in your field and give your business greater visibility.

Use Downtime to Build Business Relationships

The cornerstone of every successful business is the quality of relationships built over time. With the constant demands of operating a small business, there is often limited time to devote to establishing solid business relationships. If your business experiences a slow period, use this to your advantage and reconnect with your business associates. This is an excellent time to either initiate or strengthened relationships, particularly those with existing or potential investors. While other businesses may struggle with their financial issues during this uncertain economic period, you can reinstate your financial backing and, in turn, your business credit profile, which is one of your most valuable assets in good and bad financial times.

Improve Your Business Processes and Customer Service

Even wild successful businesses have room for improvement. Take an objective look at all aspects of your business and determine if there are any adjustments you can make to operate more efficiently or give your customers an even higher quality service. During tight economic times, consumers are more cautious with their money, and a business that stands out as a reputable, dependable leader will attract and retain more customers. Most consumers are willing to pay a little extra for products and services, no matter what the national economic outlook, if a business consistently beats them with respect and is sincere about meeting their needs.