4 Strategic Moves That Will Help You Outsmart Your Competitors Online

With more and more businesses taking to the internet to market their wares and with customers becoming more savvy and knowledgeable about making buying choices, your competition is no more some distant walk across the street or overseas. Your competition is only a click away.

In one word, competition is stiffer now more than before!

So, whether you’re a veteran or you are just starting out; whether you’re a blogger, a small business owner or even a network business owner, knowing how to outsmart your competition is one thing you must learn and master if you truly want to thrive in the marketplace today.

Now, if you are thinking of outsmarting your competition the first thing you need to do before making any changes to your own business is to analyze your rival’s approach to online activity. Once you’ve done this, you can start to make improvements to your own approach.

In this post I want to share with you a few ways you can expertly research your competition and beat him to the game!

Interested, right?

Then let’s go…

How to outsmart your competition online

1. Make the Most of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is great for two main reasons. Firstly, it’s great for networking with people in your industry and people who might be interested in your business. You shouldn’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn for finding new clients and forging new business alliances and partnerships. But that’s not all it’s good for.

It’s also a great tool for keeping an eye on the competition. You can make sure that you keep up with them on the website and are doing as much networking and relationship building as they are. If you notice that they’re doing better than you on LinkedIn, you know you have to put in some more work.

2. Focus Your Website

Your website is the central hub of your business’s online presence. If your website is wrong, then your whole approach to your online presence is wrong too. One of the biggest problems a lot of business websites face is an overabundance of information and a lack of focus on the important things.

If people can’t navigate your website smoothly and easily, they won’t stick around for very long. They’ll be tempted to head to your rival’s website instead. Customer Web Design is a form of web design that focuses on the needs of the customer. This is exactly what you need to get people coming back for more.

3. Think Outside the Box When Marketing Your Brand

Taking the conventional path when marketing your brand online might be tempting and safe. But doing something that is a little more unconventional can reward you greatly. People don’t latch onto boring, safe ideas. The marketing campaigns that get people talking are the ones that are out of the ordinary.

Think about the last thing you saw go viral. It won’t have been a boring, generic marketing campaign. To make your brand stick in the minds of potential customers, you need to reject the tried and tested methods and ask yourself what will capture people’s imaginations. Only then will your marketing campaign really take off.

4. Take More Risks

There are other ways in which you can take risks as well. Playing it safe will only ever get you so far in the fast-moving, innovative world of business. This is especially true of the online business world. Things are changing all the time and people are pushing things further with each passing month.

Of course, I’m not telling you to be careless and haphazard in your approach to work. That’s not a good idea either. But you should also look for new ideas and methods of reaching out to people and developing your products. Make sure the risks are all calculated and planned out before you take them.

Conclusion

Of course, getting ahead is really not the end of the game. While these tips will help you get a head start on the competition you will need to keep innovating to make sure they don’t catch up. You know once you are ahead those behind will also be fighting to beat you to the game. So, start now but never stop innovating.

LinkedIn Marketing: 33 Quick SUCCESS Tips [INFOGRAPHIC]

LinkedIn, over the years, has become one of the best social media platform for B2B businesses. With over 347 million users, nearly half of which are very active, it is one site that any wise business owner, especially service to service or B2B businesses, should consider seriously.

But beyond claiming your company profile on LinkedIn, you need to know how to effectively use the social site to market your business. For example, when should you post on LinkedIn? What type of content should you post? How long should your updates be? Etc.

Ethos3 recently created an awesome infographic which you will find very useful is you want to market effectively on LinkedIn. There’s so much to learn from this infographic and I advise that you print it out for future references.

Please enjoy:

LinkedIn Marketing: 33 Quick SUCCESS Tips [INFOGRAPHIC]

5 LinkedIn Marketing Tactics That Will Help Boost Your Online Visibility!

LinkedIn marketing tactis
There is no doubt that marketers are today maximizing social media sites to interact with customers/prospects and growing their businesses in doing so. This is one of the reasons why many are rushing to create social media profiles for their businesses on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

But amongst these different social media sites, LinkedIn stands out for one reason – the site is built for the entrepreneur! While others like YouTube and Facebook were built on the platform of entertainment and friendship, LinkedIn has its roots in business; with a special focus on the professional crowd!

In this article I want to share with you a few ideas on how you can use the LinkedIn site to drive your online visibility and enhance your business profitability.

So, let’s get started.

1. The Group Announcement Feature

This is one of the ways you can greatly expand your reach on LinkedIn. Though there are other gains of creating a LinkedIn group this feature stands out. It is a powerful feature for announcing strategic events that are relevant and timely to your target audience. You can announce events such as an exhibition, webinar or even a white paper or ebook you are giving away free. Used correctly, it is a great tool for strengthening and maintaining mindshare with your LinkedIn communities.

using LinkedIn to boost your business

2. Make Your Connections Valuable For Your Business

Every wise business person desires highly targeted traffic to their offerings and this you can find on LinkedIn. You’ll be able to find new customers, suppliers, partners, experts and other people who are valuable to your business on the site. The secret is in first defining your target audience.

Once you have decided on this, start by browsing the networks of your connections. Then using the advanced search option, join groups that your target audience are already in or would likely join. You can also create an alert with your searches. This will let LinkedIn send you an email every week with new prospects.

3. Showcase Your Expertise Using The Help Forum

Question and answer sites over the years have helped marketers to drive traffic to their businesses. But one thing that separate answering questions on LinkedIn from other online Q&A sites is the fact that these site are filled with faceless individuals who post anonymous answers with different reasons.  Answers on LinkedIn however come from professionals with real profiles attached to them. This makes these answers more real and believable.

But since LinkedIn rested its Answers feature back in January of 2013, many marketers thought that was the end of a valuable making feature on LinkedIn. The truth is that there are still a few other ways to do this. One such way is through the LinkedIn Help Forum. By simply browsing the help forum and then answering member questions you’ll be able to siphon a part of that traffic to your profile and business site.

4. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

The main purpose of this is to position your LinkedIn profile so that when people use the search option on the site they will easily find you. A few ways to optimize your profile is to add relevant keywords to the headline, summary and the specialty section of your profile. You should also edit your public URL, and customize your website listings by choosing the “other” option when setting up each website listing. Also use relevant keywords to describe your websites instead of the “my web site” offered by LinkedIn.

How to optimize your linkedin profile

5. Make Your Profile Publicly Visible To Everyone

Apart from optimizing your profile as in #4 above, it is important that you make your profile public by choosing the “my profile photo is visible to everyone” option when uploading your profile photo. Not doing this may prevent potential customers from finding you when they search the site.

People search on LinkedIn

Conclusion: Indeed LinkedIn is a great site to find potential customers but creating a profile is not enough. To maximally utilize the social networking site for your business gains you need to carefully plan your strategy and work out your plan. If you’ll put these tips into use they’ll greatly help boosting your online visibility and ultimately your business success.

Are you using any of these tactics in your marketing efforts right now? Share with us in your comments below.

Generate Qualified Leads on LinkedIn With A 5 Minute Daily Plan! [INFOGRAPHIC]

5 minutes LinkedIn marketing plan infographic!There is no gainsaying that in the past couple years social media marketing has grown to a point where it is not about “IF” you should jump in but “HOW” you need to go about social media marketing as a business!

It will interest you to know that presently, social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity online! More and more people now spend their time on the web on social media sites. Many savvy businesses seeing the marketing potential in this trend have jumped in body and soul! As at today, many have created social media profiles on different networking platforms but unfortunately, many of these profiles are far from achieving anything for such enterprises.

It has become clear to many of these enterprises that if you truly want to make any headway with your social media marketing efforts, setting up a workable strategy is definitely something you must consider. This is why this LinkedIn marketing strategy infographic from the good people at Bluewire Media is something you should take seriously.

The infographic is about growing your LinkedIn networks to produce qualified leads working a 5 minute daily marketing plan. The strategic plan is divided into 3 sections for beginner users, intermediate users and advanced users.

Carefully study this infographic, you will definitely get something from it no matter your level of experience on LinkedIn.

Enjoy!

5 Minute LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Infographic

This 5 Minute LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Infographic is produced by Bluewire Media
Over to You: Do you have social media marketing plan specifically designed for LinkedIn? Which of these strategies are you presently using? Share with us in your comments below!

Facebook, Linkedin, Google Plus, Twitter: Which Is Helping To Drive More Traffic To Your Blog?

Driving traffic using social media sitesIn the past couple of weeks I’ve read different reports from researches by different marketing groups on how small businesses are using social media. As expected, there is a slight difference in the different reports depending on indices used by the groups.

While one thing was common among the reports – that is, more and more small businesses are increasing their budget and use of social media for marketing – two are clearly at variance on the social media platforms these businesses are using.

One of the groups reported that while 90% of small businesses are on Facebook and 70% are on Twitter the report says, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest are being ignored by these businesses.

The other group, on the other hand, reported that this year (2012) has witnessed more and more small businesses turning to LinkedIn!

Now, that is something I couldn’t reconcile!

However, these reports have made me to once again re-evaluate what impact social media is playing on my blogging career.

I must say my use of social media had been for one purpose, to drive traffic. I rarely do much socializing on the social media sites. Most of my engagements are on my blog. Platforms like twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are simply used for pulling in traffic from the social media sites while the engagement is on the blog.

Now, from my own statistics, I know that LinkedIn has proved more useful in driving traffic than any other of the social media sites.

I’ve been on Facebook for over two years now but I must say, for me it is the worst traffic source. May be, it is simply because I spent less time on the platform while the users of Facebook kind of love it more socializing on the site.

When Google+ launched, I jumped at it knowing the SEO value of the site; and I must say it has also proved useful as I have witnessed a good number of traffic flow from the platform.

The worst so far is twitter. I’ve tried various tactics but all just seem as useless as doing nothing! For over 3 years now that I’ve been on the platform I cannot really point to any significant stat showing that the site has pulled any traffic to my blogs. For me, the noise on twitter is simply drowning. I’ve read various blog posts and ebooks on how to drive traffic using twitter and have tried a few of them but the result has remained the same. Though, I’ve not in any way abandoned the platform but I really spend any time on it other than tweeting every new blog post whenever I publish one.

Now, from my experiences and what these groups are reporting about small businesses using Facebook and Twitter more than the other social media sites for their business marketing, I’ve been wondering. I’m beginning to think that there is something wrong with my strategy.

And so, I’m bringing this issue before the community today for further discussion.

Here’s what to focus on:

1. Do you agree with the report that shows small businesses are ignoring Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn?

2. What is your own experience in using social media for your marketing efforts?

3. Which of these platforms is helping you to drive more traffic to your blog?

Feel free to share with us. If you can offer a few tips that are helping you, we will be grateful.

So, let the discussion begin!

The 3 Scientific Steps to Using Social Media for Online Selling!

Selling on demands tact and wisdom. Not just because no one likes to be sold to, but because media has an established culture of “no-selling allowed.”

It’s unfortunate that because of this “red flag” on social media selling, many persons find it really difficult to make any good returns from their social media efforts. This account for the frustration that many have with social media because no business person wants to devote any time and effort to anything that will not bring any returns.

Now, selling on social media may be difficult but not impossible. It simply requires you finding some ways to make your social media connections to buy. In this article I want to present you with a simple 3-step-tactic which, if strategically followed will result in outstanding success.

The simple strategy is built on providing valuable, education-based web on your main site or and then using social media to create awareness of this content. Once you are able to build a level of trust through your valuable content, selling to this engaged connections become much easier.

So, let’s get on with the 3 proven Steps To Using Social Media For Selling

1. Create A Content Based Primary Site Or Blog

This is where many small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) are getting social media selling wrong. They simply concentrate their social media marketing efforts in creating and building a following around a social media profile.

But this is wrong. It will only frustrate you. Remember, pushing sales messages to your connections right on social media sites is seriously frowned at by many. In fact, this may lead to many cutting off their connections with you.

However, building your own blog or site, filled with informative and educative content, gives you a platform to showcase your expertise and to further strengthen your relationship with your social connections. Once they are motivated to click on your links and visit your blog or site, they will be more open to a deeper connection with you which will lead to building the trust that is necessary for converting both suspects and prospects into paying customers/clients.

So, if you do not have your own primary site or blog for your business, it’s time to get one. This will also give you a way to take control of your intellectual properties on social media since most of your generated content will be housed in your own site and not the social media site.

Social media selling graphic

2. Create Content That Redirects To Your Primary Site Or Blog

So, you have thousands of followers on and thousand likes on , right? But how many of these are truly connected to you as a business? Remember, social media is simply about socializing while your business is about creating customers to help you make a profit!

Your business getting involved with social media is not a social affair. That is simply a way to a means! Your goal is to turn your social activities into creating a profit for your business.

No matter how this may sound, it is the truth all the same!

So, as you socialize on the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, , Google plus, etc. intersperse your interactions with content that is aimed at funneling part of your social media friends to your primary site or blog. This is actually the basis for social media marketing in the first place.

No matter how much they rave about your offerings on the social media sites, the number of these friends and followers who would click on your links and visit your site is the true indication of how much you’re engaged with them. It’s also an indication of how successful you can be with social media selling.

3. Capture Leads And Strengthen The Relationship

This is actually a step that will lead to other steps. But for the purpose of this article I want to present it as the final step. One thing that is sure is that pushing sales messages at your social media connections on their first visit to your site or blog may produce some sales, especially if they are already passionately engaged and sold on your offers. However, in most cases they will simply turn away and never come back again.

The best thing to do therefore, is to have in place a system to further build on the relationship. This is where capturing their contact details is important. Have something valuable to give away free. This could be your valuable content whereby you ask them to subscribe to your exclusive newsletter for future updates. You can also offer a free downloadable report that requires their providing their contact information.

A good lead capture system is an important aspect of your primary blog or site. If you don’t have a way of capturing your visitors leads, you should get one right away. This will become one of your most valued online asset – a database of prospective clients and customers which could determine your success or otherwise.

BONUS TACTIC:

Provide More Education-Based Content While Promoting Your Products And Services

Ok, as stated above your site visitors may not buy on their first visit. Besides, today’s internet savvy buyers desire that you provide them with much information that will help them in making a buying decision. Capturing their contact information as stated in 3 gives you the opportunity to both make them come back again and also to ensure you provide that needed information that will help their buying decision.

This is where your business wisdom and expertise comes in. But unfortunately, many business persons get it wrong here. Your email list is not a platform to blast off marketing messages all the time. The purpose is to entertain, educate and then sell. Where every email you sent out is basically for promotion and selling, your list will be unresponsive and many will quickly unsubscribe.

Instead of sending only marketing messages, create a series that is aimed at educating and informing your prospects. This will warm them up to your products/services when you introduce them in your emails. Selling at this level is much easier as they have a certain level of trust in you and your product/service.

Marketing takeaway

Social media marketing and social media selling must be strategically infused if you want to successfully sell on social media. Positioning yourself as a leader and authority in your target market through your web content is very important. It is therefore imperative that if you’re not very good at creating web content or you’re simply lack the time to create a constant flow of content to update your social media accounts or your personal blog or site, you should hire a professional web content writer to do this for you. Never overlook your own primary blog or site. You success or otherwise actually depend on them.

I’ll appreciate it if you will help promote this post by sharing it with your friends and social connections. Your friends and social connections will love you for sharing with them! 🙂