Youíve done your homework. Youíve created your marketing plan. You know about your target audience. Now is the time to get into their space. The question is how? First is by invitation. Make darn sure you are invited, never intrude. This means nixing the spam, no matter how inviting the bulk mailers make it look, drop it like it a bad idea. Which it is. Be smart. Have some pride in yourself and your reputation. If your competition is doing it, thatís all the more reason not to. Spam will get you one thing and one thing only, trouble accompanied by a terrible reputation. Flames, disconnected, pursued by courtesy zealots, and very little sales. By the time the opposition is done with you, youíll wonder why you went into business in the first place. So, resist. Stand your ground and get an invitation before you sell. Hey, which is going to work better? Tackling your client to the ground to listen to your pitch or getting an invitation to present your wonderful e-business idea? Hmmm, not too hard to figure out.
So, how do you get invited to your target buyerís party? Itís really kind of simple. Increase your Credibility and Like-Ability. Increasing your credibility means becoming an authority and giving some of your time to supplying useful information to the masses. Itís amazing how easy this can be. Letís try a test of the credibility factor. Do these next steps and see what happens.
- Find ten newsgroups that center around your target buying audience.
- Create an email tag that advertises your business for you.
- Listen for one week to the conversations in those newsgroups.
- Begin participating by offering useful information about the questions and topics being posted. Donít advertise your business, this is what your email tag is for. Just participate responsibly by offering your expertise. Be a leader, be the voice of reason, and supply useful information.
- Now make a list of ten ezines that target your buying audience.
- Write three informational articles. Donít write a glorified ad about your business. Write something useful that pertains to your business. Something the reader can actually take out and use.
- Submit to the list of ezines.
These seven steps alone, done every week, will create a flow of email with questions about your business or targeted traffic straight to your Web site that will increase sales momentum which pushes your business forward.
So, now you have increased your credibility. Expand on that. Once you have buying clients, ask them to recommend you to three people they either do business with, or friends that would be interested in your product or service. Invite every customer to subscribe to your newsletter and encourage them to forward that newsletter to two other people. This is called word of mouth advertising and it works to accelerate sales. Once you have the momentum, never drop the ball. Keep it rolling every week and watch your goals become realizations.
Now for the Like-Ability. Get personal with your clients. Be friendly, real and personable. Create a comfort zone for your customers to reside and always, always make them feel welcome. The first place to place the welcome mat is with your Web site presentation. Is it easy to load? Does it take a special gizmo to view? Ever wonder about this technique? Web sites that make you download a program so you can view their Web page. Whatís with that? Itís like telling your customer to go home and change clothes before coming through the door to shop. How effective can this possibly be? These little things antagonize people, they donít welcome them in.
You also create Like-Ability by answering your emails in a reasonable time frame. This doesnít mean you should be answering your email every 15 minutes, but you should be checking it at least three times a day if your doing business online. Be polite, be friendly, and use your emoticons. Email is extremely sterile, so punch it up with friendliness and emotion so your customers can see you. You can actually learn to paint a picture of who you are by how you write. Put yourself into your correspondence in upbeat, friendly ways and you will win people over.
Answer your business phone responsibly. What? Donít have a business phone? Get one. Itís a cheap investment for a great image. Then answer the phone with a smile in your voice. Answer professionally with the name of your company and a welcome. This will ease the mind of your customers and bring them squarely into your corner. Remember you have four seconds to make the first impression and the first words out of your mouth solidifies it. Make sure the first words are friendly, inviting, and put your clients at ease.
Itís not that complicated to get invited to the party if your willing to give a little with a smile. And cyberspace invitations are tickets to success.
Sandra Stammberger is the owner of the Affiliate Support Network, the resource solution for every entrepreneur wanting to propel their business forward. Membership in ASC provides each member valuable resources, information, and tools for creating dynamic success. Visit today at [http://www.affiliatesupport.com/get.html]