Monthly Archives: June 2011

How to Build Your Social Networking Empire: 3 Tips to Get More Friends

One of the first questions people ask me about social networking is how to find more friends. After all, a big part of social networking (when you’re doing it for business that is) is to find more prospects. And if you don’t get some friends and followers, you’re not going to accomplish that. (Not to mention the fact that the whole point of social networking is being social, and without friends or followers that will be tough to do.)

So how do you find friends and followers? Below are 3 general tips that will work on all social networking platforms.

1. Find people yourself. Yes this is as simple as it sounds. Go out and friend or follow people. Chances are they’ll eventually follow or accept your friend request, and then you’ll start building your list.

The downside is it’s time consuming for you. It takes more time than you might expect to search and check out profiles. (And you don’t want to do this willy nilly. You do want to make sure the people you’re friending or following are in your target market or you’re wasting your time and energy.)

Plus some sites, such as Facebook, have limits on how many people you can friend in one day, which makes the process take even longer.

So yes, this is a good strategy to get the momentum going, but I wouldn’t rely on it as a long-term strategy.

A much better way is to get your target market to come to you. How do you do that? Well…

2. Be visible. In other words, whatever social networking site you’re focusing on, log on and do stuff on it. Post updates, post comments, ask questions, tweet, etc. If people see you around, then they’ll start coming to you.

You can also use many of the automated tools to cross-feed the different social networking platforms into each other. So, for example, you can feed Twitter into Facebook, your blog into Facebook and Twitter, and Twitter and Facebook into your blog. All that cross-pollination means you don’t have to recreate the wheel — you can choose where you’re posting for maximum effect.

3. Be a friend. What does it mean to be a friend? Well, friends help each other out, right? So, make sure you spend some of your time helping out your social networking friends. Maybe you promote one of your friends’ products or services or free teleclass. Maybe you give a testimonial. Maybe you answer a question or give some free advice with no strings attached. Maybe you provide really great content. Think about how you can help someone else and do it.

So, do these tips sound familiar? They should. They also work in the offline world. If you want friends in the real world, what do you do? You go out and meet people. You’re not going to make very many friends if you spend all your nights holed up in your house on your couch watching Law and Order reruns.

You make yourself visible in your community so people will see you and introduce themselves to you. And the more you do for other people, the more that goodwill will come back to you.

This is really important to keep in mind. Social networking is just like networking in the real world. Yes, it looks different online. Yes the tools you use is different. Yes the etiquette is different. But if you come from a place of truly trying to be a good social networking pal, then everything else will fall into place. If you come to social networking looking for a shortcut to building real relationships, then you’re probably going to be disappointed with the results.

5 Tips to Get More Results from Your Marketing Materials

The moment I decided to specialize as a direct response copywriter (which means you get a response directly from the marketing materials, there’s no middle person involved, like a sales rep) I knew there would be one thing that would determine if I would be eating steak or eating mac and cheese.

And what’s the one thing? The results I got for my clients.

Therefore, improving results became a pretty big focus of mine. You might even call it a passion. And that’s why today I want to share 5 tips that can help you improve the conversions of your marketing materials. (Conversions means the number of people who buy — how many people convert from leads to buyers.)

1. Know who you’re talking to. If I hear anyone say “women are my potential customers” or “anyone with skin is my target market” (yes, that really was a direct quote from someone who sold Mary Kay or Arbonne or something like that) I will send my border collies (both of them) to your house and force you to play fetch with them until your arm falls off. Seriously, the quickest way you can end up with the most dismal results imaginable is to try and talk to everyone. Come up with a specific customer — the more specific the better — and make sure your marketing materials speak directly to that customer.

2. Make sure you write benefits, not features. This one is probably the hardest one to “get” but also one of the most critical. People buy benefits, not features, so if you only talk about features you’re just asking for people not to buy what you’re selling.

So what is the difference between features and benefits? Features are a description of a product — for instance, if we’re talking about a diet pill, a feature would that the product is a pill. A benefit would be the solution the product provides — in this case, losing weight.

As much as you possibly can, write about why someone should buy your product. No one buys diet pills because they like taking pills, they buy them to lose weight. Think of the solution your product or service provides and write about that.

3. Work on that headline. David Ogilvy, famous ad man and author of Confessions of an Advertising Man, has said that people make the decision to read your marketing materials based your headline.

Your headline should: a. speak to your potential customers, b. contain a benefit, c. be so compelling your target market is compelled to read further. That’s a lot to ask for from basically a handful of words. So don’t rush the process — take as much time as you need to create the very best headline for your particular piece.

4. Don’t forget the call to action. You’ve got to tell people what to do next. If you don’t tell them what you want them to do, chances are they won’t do anything.

Don’t assume your potential customers know what you want them to do. They don’t. They can’t read your mind. Nor do they want to. They’re busy people. They don’t have the time or the energy to figure things out. Tell them what to do next, or don’t be surprised when they don’t do anything.

5. Use P.S.’s or captions. Postscripts (P.S.) are the second most read item in a sales piece. What’s the third? Captions. (The copy under photos, diagrams or other illustrations.) Now that you know that, think of the ways you can use either or both of those items in your pieces. Maybe you put a special offer in there or you highlight a particularly compelling benefit. Or you tell them again what you want their next step to be. Whatever you do, don’t waste that space.

If you even do just one of these tips, you should start seeing better results. Work on all five and you might be amazed at how much your results improve.