Inspirational flame of the Olympics

As London revels in the global spotlight of the Olympic Games, it’s hard not think about how much blood, sweat and tears that went into hosting the Games. When the games were originally given to London back in 2005, the Olympic Park site was nothing but barren and forgotten industrial wasteland in the heart of East London. But since that announcement 7 years ago, it has been worked on and has provided a refreshing breeze in Stratford and the East End. This breeze, though, can be taken from the Games and it can be applied to any business.

The first lesson that we can take from the Games is always have a specific end goal when preparing or planning something. The London games started preparing as far back as 1997 to bid for the Olympics which not only gave the organisers time to plan every single detail, but it always allowed to keep re-evaluating methods to help them reach their potential end goal. This is something that any business should do when starting a new venture or campaign. Take the marketing and sales industry for example.

Every marketing campaign needs to have targets that need to be met at certain points. Therefore, evaluating what needs to be done early and preparing several different methods to achieve this will certainly bring success to that campaign and company.

The London Olympics have also provided a reminder to everyone that there is potential in any struggling or forgotten item. Before the Olympic Park was constructed, the site was a run-down industrial site that hadn’t been used in years, but in just 7 years, it has become a state of the art sporting and cultural centre. This is something we can learn from as any struggling business can re-invent itself and become a leading figure in their industry. It may mean that there are some cuts and re-structuring needed but as long as those who are i charge can keep their heads above water and stay enthusiastic, then it’s possible to rejuvenate any struggling company or business.

Enthusiasm and passion is perhaps the strongest and clearest message that anyone can clearly see from the Olympics. During that fortnight, thousands of people would have volunteered to help everything run smoothly and millions would have drawn together to support their country day in and day out. This passion is something that can be carried from the stadium to the office as keeping workers enthused and motivated about their job will give them more drive during the day. This itself can significant help improve performance and the way jobs are carried out. Alongside that, a positive and motivated workforce can also help a business earn a better reputation in comparison to some of their industry rivals.

So whilst the Olympics are on, it wouldn’t hurt to take a minute and think about what messages could be taken and passed on from the Olympic Games. After all, success stories that feature someone or something going from zero to hero are something that most people can relate to and aspire to be at some point in their lives and it will certainly help improve spirit and drive within your life.

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What Are The Advantages of Having a Business Mentor

When entering any new industry or business, it can be quite a scary feeling. It can sometimes feel like you’re out depth or it’s difficult to get your mind focused at their new company. Fortunately, there is always usually someone who has been it that position before and they are able to help you settle in and get used to our new environment. It can really help someone find their footing and get to grips with their new environment but why is it so important during those first initial weeks?

During the first couple of weeks in a new environment, it can feel like everything is rushing at a million miles per hour. Having someone there to show you the ropes during the first week can be super important. Normally, most companies have their own way of doing business or tasks so the mentor can help a new team member learn how that company operates and get familiar with it fairly quickly. This can be really beneficial as it helps the new person get used to the way the company works and also learn possible techniques that can help them thrive in their new position.

It’s also useful having a mentor to help learn a new technique as they can help you learn from any mistakes that you made. Let’s be honest, we’re always going to make a mistake or two when we first start something new and a mentor can help us realise why we made that mistake and how to avoid making the same mistake in the future.

Besides helping with professional matters, having a mentor can really provide personal support to new members of a firm. After all, it’s always a little nerve-wracking starting somewhere new as you’re not likely to know anyone in the firm so having a mentor who acts a friendly face can help you settle down and feel comfortable in a new setting. On top of this, a mentor is likely going to be a senior figure in the company and is likely to know other colleagues within the firm so they can help introduce the new recruit to other people and form new working relationships.

In the end, it can be really beneficial for someone to have a business mentor as it can help someone acclimatise both professionally and personally to their new firm. If the mentor performs their new role well, then it means that that the new individual can grow within the company and could even become a mentor themselves in the future to new members of their team.

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2011 was such an Amazing Year!

Around this time of the year I like to look back at the year and contemplate what I have achieved and also learned and how I would imagine my future, what goals I would like to set for 2012.

I sincerely believe it will help you as well to see what can be achieved in a relatively short space of time and might give you a little bit of push to follow me on my path and ultimately, take action!

I myself really enjoy reading similar blog posts, especially from people I think highly about. Leaders and key motivators of our time, and key influencers of the business world.

I had many great achievements this year, some of them I never imagined to achieve this fast. First and foremost I have got to know some amazing people in the Internet Marketing circles. Some of them I consider good friends by now. I am really proud to be in contact with Armand Morin, Mark Anastasi, Kavit Haria, Mili Ponce’ and Paul O’Mahony, Sam Bakker, just to name a few.

I have never imagined that I will be standing on the stage in front of 700+ people presenting my social media strategies, less then half a year after I started my online marketing career. This whole experience led to my first major workshop in the UK in Feb 2010, what was followed by many others around the world (New Zealand, Australia, KL, SG).

I had my first major ClickBank product launch called the Facebook ATM, I have learnt an awful lot during the process, it was a great fun but also a giant work, overseeing and managing the whole process, the technical challenges, the servers crashed twice under the heavy load of visitors and so on, but overall it was a great fun. I have got to know so many great JV partners whom I keep contact daily. I am sure you will not be surprised if I say that I am already planning to launch a crazy awesome product in the new year.

I am really proud of my coaching and seminar clients as well, most of them started making income online using my Social Media Strategies, already launching products (this is mind blowing), setting up online and offline businesses. I never thought this before, but it is honestly one of the best feelings ever to read their feedback, emails and testimonials.

I have started providing Social Media Services to some major players of the UK and International property industry, a government scheme (what I am not allowed to share with you yet) and also supporting many local bands, small businesses and non profit charities.

Plans for the future?

oh, I love planning ahead, I believe this is what an artist feels looking at the empty canvas and imagine the brilliant painting will suddenly appear as the result of his hard work.

I am the painter and my life is the canvas, so lets start painting:

– You know I am already big on outsourcing, but I have a great idea of how I can actually automate the outsourcing. It is a major task, I have a team of programmers working on it already.

– I am also planning to get even closer to my coaching clients, helping them with not just advice and up to date strategies, but setting up a team of helpers they can turn to in any topic of Online Marketing.

on the personal level, I have a huge list of places I would like to visit in the new year and spend more time to play my newly picked up sport activity: badminton :)

Goal Settings:

I am sure you have heard the importance of goal setting so many times from so many sources, so let me just close this blog with a small but very valuable observation:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Confucius

Whatever daunting your plans looks like, whatever huge task is in front of you, everything can be broken down into small chunks. Chunks what are manageable, easy to do and make the whole process simple. Never forget this when you set your goals.

and always Take Action! take that first step…

Hope see you in the next year on one of my seminars, webinars, talk to you on Skype or welcome you on my mailing list. I  would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for your support,  feedback and kind words.

In closing, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous and Very Happy New Year!

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Impressions or Clicks – Which Is cheapest?

The only way an advertiser knows for sure whether clicks or impressions gives the best return on the advertising spend is by trialing the same ad on both systems.

Impression-based advertising displays a set number of impressions, or placements in a given time. Bidding 50 cents for an impression-based advertising campaign means paying 50 cents for 1,000 impressions. Any clicks you get are free. When all the impressions are delivered, the advertising stops.

Clickthru advertising guarantees that the only time you pay for advertising is when a user clicks your ad. Bidding 50 cents per click, means you are charged 50 cents every time someone clicks your ad—regardless of whether it is the first impression for your ad or the millionth. This is the advertisers favourite way to make sure the required number of prospects hit your marketing pages in a given time.

Sometimes, you can get the same marketing result for less money by opting for one payment method over the other.

If you want 50 clicks per day, but that costs 50 cents for each click, you have to spend $25 per day. You may find that you can get roughly 50 clicks per day by budgeting $15 for 30,000 impressions a day.

The same goes for impressions. You may want 30,000 impressions, but the cheapest way to do it may be by bidding 50 cents each for clicks.

To find out, you need to know how many clicks you get per 1,000 impressions by trailing the ad and then tweaking the delivery system to get the best deal.

You need to have web analytics set up on your landing page picking up your Facebook ad click thrus to work this out.

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Don’t look back in anger

Don’t succumb to the whispers of that devil sitting on your shoulder – Facebook etiquette insists on a standard of behaviour. Breaching those standards can make your reputation nosedive online.

Think before you post. Don’t post in anger and always check what you have written before going live. Here are some more bad moves you could regret:

Don’t spam

Your business will look bad and you risk a Facebook ban. Show respect to your fans.

Don’t post links to your business on other people’s walls

Informative and relevant posts will encourage people to find out more about you. Put your links on your business information pages.

Don’t get up close and personal

You’re on Facebook for business, not pleasure. Separate your professional self from your private self and do not tarnish your brand.

Don’t weigh down your profile with apps

Your business pages should all deliver your marketing message in a subtle way. Apps that are not relevant just distract your fans and give the wrong impression.

Never wage a cyber war

That’s what your blocks are for – banishing someone who bothers you from your personal space. Having a row in public is not good for your business credibility.

Always consider your customers, your potential customers, business contacts, and potential business contacts – how will they view what you are about to do?

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Communicating With Your Followers – Part 2

Projecting the right image

If you are setting yourself as a professional, credible business, then don’t post a family snapshot as your profile  picture.

Some grainy, out of focus snap does not inspire confidence, even if you are trying to look cool.

Family snaps are often funny at the time but that stupid pose looks just that to someone who wasn’t around at the time to get the joke.

Set your profile up with a professional photo.

A pro portrait will be taken with the lens at eye level with the subject looking in to the camera and smiling –  remember that is smiling not grinning or giggling.

Put your business in the picture with a great photo

These images are sometimes called ‘h&s” or ‘head and shoulders’ because they are close-ups. When you take profile pictures, take one looking straight on to the camera, one looking to the left and one looking to the right.

Stand in front of a plain, uncluttered background so someone looking at your profile picture is not distracted by visual ‘noise’. Don’t wear heavily patterned or unflattering clothing.

The page profile picture is 198 pixels wide and 126 pixels deep roughly three units wide and 2 units deep. Take your photos so they crop to this size without losing any detail. Don’t take smaller images and pull them up to fit as they will pixelate and look ‘blurred or ‘blocky’.

If you want more casual images on your site, then the photo page is the right place for them – keep the profile picture professional.

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Communicating With Your Followers – Part 1

Setting up a neat fan page and adding a little content is unlikely to build credibility with your fans on Facebook.

Half a billion users means Facebook has a lot of time wasters, dud profiles, poor pages and tricksters who seem to offer the world but deliver nothing.

Under the circumstances, no business should be surprised that the best Facebook returns come from converting time and effort invested in developing content.

Always consider your pages from a prospective customer’s point of view – everything you say and do should  promote trust and confidence.

No content is better than looking shoddy, cheap and unprofessional.

The place to start is to find a bunch of Facebook fans that want to write on your wall.

The writing’s on your Facebook wall

Encourage your fans to exchange opinions and information by posting to your page wall to make your page look busy to new visitors. If they say a flurry of different people having a fun time, they will want to join in. Show some caution here. You need to temper comment and communication with a need to make sure your fans are not advertising.

Nothing will turn your fans off as quickly as blatant advertising. You need to promote a safe haven for fans out of the spotlight of marketers and advertisers pushing a hard sell.

Make your policy about writing on the wall clear – and send a polite warning to fans that abuse your trust and  authority. Don’t forget to practise what you preach as well by avoiding advertising if you write on someone else’s wall.

Reward regular posters

Some pages run contests for regular posters – like who can make the most sensible posts in a week or a vote for the best post of the month that go in to the post of the year award.

Just make some rules in the event or box where you announce the contest.

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Basic requirements for a Facebook marketing campaign

Back to the future

Once you determine whether you can improve or whether you’ve maxed out the benefits of your efforts, you’ll  know what you need to change.

Changes can come in the form of increased/decreased advertising, demand generation from e-mail marketing or other sources, more/less regular communication, better coordination with other web properties, or a different type of messaging altogether.

Revisions are OK and a natural part of the process. Rarely does a social media presence launch without any revisions. You should expect to go through a few rounds of the entire

Facebook marketing process before you figure out the sweet spot where customers respond to your efforts.

Diversity of opinion and strengths

Most successful marketing projects are well executed across several criteria – like the campaign meets customer needs while reflecting the core values of the business.

The value proposition of the product or service is communicated effectively.

The design of the campaign is well done, and the brand elements are elegantly integrated.

Communication with customers is effective and fits the needs of the campaign. Numbers are captured to reflect the success of the campaign, and your colleagues instinctively know how and when to act to make modifications. What we’ve described is, in simple terms, a successful marketing campaign.

Yet few people have skills across all these areas to be a one-man or one-woman marketing machine.

This takes a combination of different skills, and they rarely manifest in a single person. You need some overlap of  responsibility so a lack of initiative or skill in any person does not take down your campaign. You’ll also gain a  diversity of opinion that can make the project run more smoothly.

Now that you know the basic requirements for a Facebook marketing campaign, it’s time to get started.

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Your Facebook To Do List – Part 2

Updating content

Sourcing content is only half the battle. Once you have the right content, you must consider who posts and when, and who responds to feedback from fans and customers.

Your business needs a stylebook and chain of command to impose consistency on your Facebook page.

Take a local newspaper – it’s not produced by accident, a team of backroom staff checks spellings, deal with  correspondence from readers and makes sure the output matches the editor’s style and format.

A busy social networking site needs the same back office organisation.

Tracking metrics

Your back office team needs to handle some inward facing task as well as dealing with your content and fans.
A key task is managing and monitoring metrics. Facebook has some built in analytics with Insight, but you also need to link your Facebook activity with online sales and web site traffic.

The problem is this data is spread over several applications that are more than likely managed by different members of your team.

Establish a web metrics routine early on that sets out what metrics team members need, who collates the data and who sees the end result.

It’s no good if your web team are the custodians of analytics data when your marketing team needs the information as well.

Analysing and reviewing results

After your social media presence has run for a period of time, you’ll have a rich set of data that should tell you what you need to know about your Facebook campaign.

Success may be an absolute goal such as signing up 2,500 Facebook fans within a set period or reaching an additional 5,000 unique visitors for a website during a month. Progress against these goals will need to be judged based on all the relevant data.

The important point is the goals must be measurable. You must benchmark a starting point, set a goal and measure how your Facebook activity is progressing towards achieving the objective.

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Your Facebook To-Do List – Part 1

Executing your Facebook strategy to give your business a successful social networking presence involves  following a relentless five-step workflow:

• Setting up/adjusting your campaign

• Sourcing content

• Updating content

• Tracking metrics

• Analysing and reviewing results

Now, return to step one – adjusting the campaign for better results.
The work involved in each step is not often significant, but the aggregate can be wearisome, especially if you are running a campaign across separate social networks or managing of multiple web sites. To help with a better  understanding of what is involved at each step, breakdown the tasks:

Setting up or adjusting your campaign

The workflow starts with a concept— the idea that will drive the campaign and link the results to your business objectives.

Your business needs to find a way of engaging with your audience that stands out from the rest. This is the one key part of a campaign that is often best outsourced to a creative agency that contribute unconventional ideas that may resonate unexpectedly with your customer base.

If you outsource, don’t interfere with the creatives but do make sure you task the agency will a specific brief to come up with a variety of ideas for you to consider.

Don’t look for one great idea but a few concepts that can drive your final decision. Don’t forget you make the final decisions – the creatives can recommend but the choice is yours.

You must choose an idea that fits with your experience and expectations for a brand or product that you have to manage.

Sourcing content

Content is the lynchpin to successful social media. With all the noise out there, you need to have an interesting and meaningful voice, and any communication with the market place has to be regular and relevant.

This can be articles, guides, pod casts, videos, music, and so on.

The frequency, type and volume of content means deciding whether to outsource, share or provide your own.
You can repurpose and update content created for other reasons or commission new content.

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