Archive for September, 2010

Why You Should Be Using A Keyword Selector Tool

It’s the Holy Grail of bloggers and webmasters:  Obtaining the #1 spot on a Google search.  When someone searches for something like ‘Home Business’, you want YOUR website to be at the top of the list because that equates to A LOT of traffic to your site.  Even making it on the 1st page will result in quite a bit of traffic.  Generally, people don’t go any further than 3 pages before they revise their search criteria, so you can see why it’s so sought after.

So how can you improve your odds of getting to that coveted 1st page…or even the #1 spot?  By using search engine keywords.  But not just any keywords…it takes a little bit of research to determine the right path to take.  And that’s where this post comes in.  This may be old news for some of the more experienced individuals out there, but my mission is to provide valuable information to both experienced individuals, as well as those who are just starting out.

Let’s say you have a blog and you want to improve your odds for getting listed on the 1st page for a certain topic.  To make this more realistic, I’m going to use this exact post as an example so you can actually see what’s going on.

The first thing you are going to want to do is to make sure your title contains 1-2 keywords, or a keyword-phrase.  This is the first step.  So how do we choose the right search engine keywords?  There is a tool you may or may not know about called Google Adwords Keyword Tool.  This is a great tool to use when you are trying to figure out what search engine keywords to use.

Using it is an extremely simple process.  Click on the link above to get to the site.  Once out there, all you need to do is enter a couple words or phrases which relate to the topic you are writing about.  In this example, I’m writing about keywords…so I entered ‘keywords’ and ‘adwords’.  Then just click on the Search button and it will return several pages of related words and phrases which have had searches recently.

That’s the first decision you need to make…what to search on.  Once you have the list, the next big decision comes up:  what to use.  You might think that if I’m posting an article on keywords, that’s what I would want to use in my title, right?  Not necessarily.  You need to take a look at the three columns returned for each word/phrase:  Global Monthly Searches, Local Monthly Searches, and Local Search Trends.  This data is going to lead you in the right direction.

Looking at the Global Monthly Searches column for “keywords”, I see that it has over 1.2 million searches.  Wow…that sounds good.  Think of all the traffic I’ll get.  But here’s the problem.  There may be a ton of searches being done on that word, but there may also be a ton of other more popular websites using that same word.  And their Google ranking is going to be higher than mine.  Which means, I’m probably not going to make it on the first page.

The secret here is to not be greedy.  When you are first starting out, your site probably doesn’t have much traffic.  So what you will want to do is look for a keyword or phrase which is somewhere in the 4,000-8,000 Global Monthly Searches range.  But don’t stop there…you also need to look at the Competition meter and pick something which doesn’t have much competition.  Less competition + low monthly searches = better odds that you’ll get placed on the first page.  Will you get millions of hits?  Probably not…at least not right away.  But the secret is, you want to start out slow.  Start building a base, and if you are providing good content, people will come back and will pass your site on to others interested in the same subject matter.

The other item you can look at is the Trends column.  This tells you how that particular word or phrase is trending.  Perhaps it is becoming a hot topic and is beginning to trend upwards, but the competition is fairly low.  That’s the money shot.  Going back to our example, if you take a look at my title you’ll notice I opted to use the term “Keyword Selector Tool” within the title.  If you do a search on that term, you’ll see the monthly searches is almost 10,000…a little on the higher side, but still acceptable.  The competition is a little less than half and the trend, while on the lower side, is holding steady.

Once you have determined what keywords or phrases to use in your title, you have the 1st step complete.  But we’re not through yet.  You can use the same tool and technique to find other relevant words and phrases to use throughout the body of your post.  You don’t need to spend hours upon hours trying to figure out the very best words to use in your body, just pick a few to focus on.

The final part of the equation is the description of your blog.  If you are using WordPress, you should install the All In One SEO Pack and utilize this to the full extent.  Here, you plug in the title of your post and then a description of it.  This is where you should add in some more of your keywords.  After the description, you can actually enter a few specific keywords related to your post.  When you publish your post, the title, description, and keywords are submitted to the search engines.  Likewise, if you are writing an online article, the technique is the same.  But remember, do NOT overuse keywords.  It’s best to limit yourself to 5 or 6 main items to focus on.  One of those keywords should always be your name.  Remember, you also want to brand yourself at the same time.

To see how I have been successful at branding myself, you can take a look at my video web tour which outlines my specific home business opportunity.  You’ll notice this it is actually me conducting the tour.  I’ve conducted some trial-and-error research on this, using only text, videos with actors, and videos with myself.  And from what I have seen, using videos of yourself has seen better results.  I believe it makes it more personable and people feel as though they can relate to you better.

So hopefully for the less experienced individuals out there, this helps to clear things up a bit.  And for the more experienced users, perhaps you picked up on something you weren’t aware of.  If you have any other techniques, tips, or tricks, please add a comment so others can benefit from it.

6 Steps To Inviting Prospects To Your MLM Opportunity

So you think you have an outstanding home business to tell people about.  But how do you get prospects to watch the presentation of your opportunity?  Network Marketing expert, Tim Sales, has come up with an “Inviting Formula” consisting of 6-steps designed to increase the chance of a prospect to take a look at your opportunity.

1.  Greet.  Before you start, you actually need to meet and greet someone.   This could be a phone lead, a referral, or someone in the grocery market.  The key here is to simply have an open conversation with the individual.  In this step you should NOT discuss your particular opportunity.  You are only having a conversation with someone about the weather, your local sports team, or a book they are reading.  You want that individual to open up to you and begin to talk freely.

2.  Qualify.  Your intent here is to move the conversation in a particular direction so that you can discover what the person needs, wants, and does not want.  Afterall, this should be the basis of your prospecting…helping people.  And to do this, you need to find out what that person is looking for.  It could be extra income, a desire to quit their job, or maybe buy a new boat.  But you need to know what they want so you have an idea of how you can help them.

3.  Invite.  Now that you know what your prospect is looking for, it’s time to invite them to look at your opportunity.  However, you don’t want to just force it upon them.  You need to show how your opportunity can help them attain their specific goals.  For instance, if your prospect is looking for more time with their family you would show how your opportunity can help them achieve that goal.  In this case you may say, “Mary, I know exactly how you feel.  Family is everything.  You know…I have something you may want to take a look at that could help you get to that point.  Would it be worth an hour of your time to get some more information?”  Here, you are acknowledging Mary’s “want” and then structuring the invitation to your presentation around that “want”.

4.  Handle Questions and Objections.  Normally, the prospect is going to have some questions about what it is you want them to take a look at.  Probably the most common is “what is it?”.  Let’s go back to Mary.  If she happens to ask, “What is it?”, it’s best to not go into the actual opportunity right there.  Instead, answer back with something like, “well, it’s a little difficult to give you the full details in a short amount of time.  Would tomorrow evening work for you?”.  This way you are answering her question, but then steering it back towards setting up an appointment.  Another common objection is, “Hey, is this one of those pyramid things?”.  To which you could say, “Absolutely not…pyramids are illegal and I simply do not promote them.  When would be a good day and time to get together so I can show you what this is about?”.  Again, you are answering the question, but then steering back towards setting up an appointment.

5.  Close To Action.  This step can go hand-in-hand with the previous step.  Once you have handled all the questions and objections brought up, you want to nail down a SPECIFIC day and time to discuss your opportunity.  The sooner the better.  You’ll notice the word “specific” is in all caps.  That’s how important it is.  Agreeing to “sometime Thurs night” isn’t specific enough.  It needs to be 9pm on Tues, for instance.  This could be an invite to an online presentation, a hotel meeting, a visit/call to their house, or even a dinner appointment.  Personally, I think you are going to see better results with some type of an in-person meeting.

6.  Follow-up.  This can be a 2-part process.  If the earliest you were able to get an appointment with the prospect is a week away, you could use this step to touch base with the prospect a day or two before the actual appointment, just to make sure they remember said appointment.  But the main purpose here is to follow-up with your prospect after they have viewed your presentation.  You want to get their thoughts on what they saw.  Ask questions like, “What did you like about what you saw?”, or “Do you see why I’m so excited about this?”.  Always keep it positive.  Not everyone is going to be interested, and you need to acknowledge that.  But your intent here is to show them how it could help them achieve what they are looking for.  “Mary, can you see how this could eventually allow you to spend more time with your family?”.

My advice would be to role play with a friend, family member, or member of your team until you have a good grasp of these steps.  You don’t need to be perfect right away, but practice makes perfect.  If you follow these steps, you just may see an increased number of prospects willing to take a look at your opportunity and signing up.

There is a way to shorten this list slightly.  If you have an online opt-in page or web tour, you could use that as both your greet and qualify steps.  Especially if your page includes a video of yourself.  If your prospect actually sees a video of you presenting the opportunity, this may count as a “greet”.  And if the prospect likes what they see on your website or web tour and they decide to opt-in or contact you, then they are fairly qualified.  However, this doesn’t completely eliminate these two steps, it just makes them a little easier to get through.  If you would like to see an example of how I achieve this, you may want to take a look at my web tour to see how I accomplish this.

Stop Buying Leads! Tips For Finding Targeted Leads

How many people do you know who have gone the route of purchasing leads?  Whether we’re talking about phone or email leads, odds are you know someone who had tried.  In fact, you may have tried yourself.  If so, how did they work out?  Personally, my experience with them has not been good.  So what I am going to do is break down what I have tried and go through the results I have seen.  Then I’ll provide some alternatives.

Over the years, I have tried both purchased phone and email leads.  With regards to phone leads, I’ve gone through local leads, real time local leads, targeted leads, and phone interviewed leads.  With the email leads, I’ve purchased targeted leads to use for email blasts.  So let’s go through each of the phone lead types in case you are not familiar with them.

Companies gather leads several ways, but the most common I have see are lead capture pages.  A company may have a website targeted towards people looking for a home business, for example.  If an individual finds the website and likes what they see, they will fill out an online form to receive more information.  This becomes the lead sent to you.  Leads can contain a varying amount of data, such as name, phone, address, best time to call, interest level, and amount of money they are willing to spend.  Keep these points in mind.

When you purchase local leads, generally you enter your area code when ordering.  The company you have bought the leads from will then send leads your way which are in that same area code.  Usually you receive these the same day, or maybe the next day.  Real time local leads are the same thing, except they are sent to you immediately after the individual completes the online form.

When you order targeted leads, you can specify what target audience you wish to communicate with.  If you are selling supplements, you would probably target individuals who are interested in health.  This is supposed to get you highly qualified leads.  Going one step further are the phone interviewed leads.  Here, when an individual completes the form, a representative from the lead company will phone that person.  This is supposed to ensure the phone number is valid, the person actually did fill out the form, and they are still interested in the opportunity.  Obviously, this should result in a very high quality lead.  Afterall, the company has already done the legwork of qualifying the lead for you.

In all these cases, my experience has not been positive.  Regardless of the lead type, I have never received an order, nor had someone signup in my business.  With the local leads, there have been too many times where the individual never filled out the form or was no longer interested.  The phone interviewed leads had the best results with regards to actually speaking to someone about my opportunity.  However, what I discovered is the lead data I received was not very accurate.  On the lead form, I might see they have $1000 to invest in a business, but when I call and discuss the opportunity with them, I discover they have little or no money.

Generally, my personal feeling is that these are people who are looking for a “get rich quick” type of business which requires little or no money to start.  That said, the opportunity you have may be what they are looking for.  And as I always say, just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.  If you decide to try leads for yourself, first do a search for companies and then do a search on that specific company.  For instance, you may find ABC Company sells targeted leads.  However, when you do a search on ABC Company, you find several complaints.  So do your research before buying.

So, odds are your upline has told you to buy leads are start calling to grow your business.  But if you decide buying leads is a waste of time and money, what do you do?  There are alternatives.  And if you were planning on spending money for leads anyway, these are probably better methods.

The first, and probably best, method is to look into Facebook ads.  Facebook is the #2 site on the internet and setting up an ad is very simple.  You setup the ad yourself, and they allow you to target a specific audience extremely well.  Going back to the supplements example, you could target an audience living in your state, between the ages of 25-and-55, who are interested in health.  When those individuals log into their Facebook account, at some point they will see your ad.  Now, the cost is a little high on these types of ads, but you only have to pay when your link is clicked.  In addition, you need to get pretty creative with your ads, as Facebook is notoriously picky about what types of ads they allow.  Google Adwords is another option, and is very similar.  However, Facebook ads seem to be overtaking Google Adwords.

StumbleUpon is another social media website which allows ads.  However, this is more cost effective than Facebook.  You are still able to setup an ad which targets a certain population, and the cost is very low.  But instead of paying for every click on your ad, you pay for each time your website is displayed, or “stumbled upon”.  The cost is 5-cents/impression, but you need to make sure your webpage captures the readers attention right away.

Another method is to start visiting forums and posting quality answers to question posed on the forum.  Usually, forums allow you to include a link to your website within your signature.  If you show yourself to be an expert in a certain area, you may receive targeted traffic to your site.  And the cost is free.

Another suggestion is article writing.  I’ve only used EzineArticles myself, so I can only speak to that.  When you create your article, you can select an area the article pertains to…for instance, health or maybe home business.  In the ‘About the Author’ box you can give a brief description of yourself and include a link back to your site.  Make sure you explain why you are in a position to be writing the article in the first place.  Again, if people like what they read and begin to trust what you have to say, they are more likely to go to your website.

And finally, I want to mention YouTube.  Even though my last post was specifically on this, it bears repeating.  YouTube is the #3 site on the web.  Not only that, but you have the additional advantage of people actually watching you discuss something, rather than having to read it themselves.  If given a choice between reading and watching, generally people will choose to watch and listen.  Use this to your advantage, as it is very powerful.

You’ll notice that the alternative suggestions I have offered are the same suggestions I had for driving traffic to your website.  What you are trying to accomplish here is to brand yourself as an expert.  Someone people can trust and will actually seek out.  This has the effect of becoming the “hunted” rather than the “hunter”.  People who seek you out for a business opportunity or products are already qualified.  Otherwise they wouldn’t be contacting you.  From there, it just becomes a matter of answering their questions and closing the deal.

If you would like to see how I put these branding techniques to use, or if you are interested in taking the next step towards rat-race freedom, please take my free video web tour and let me know what you think.

Top 10 Suggestions – How Do You Increase Your Web Traffic?

You’ve spent hours creating your new website or blog.  You have important information, products, or services to share.  Now how do you get people to actually find your site?  Here are my Top 10 suggestions to get traffic to your website.  And not just any traffic, but quality traffic.  And in many cases, it’s free.

  1. Social Media.  Facebook is the #2 site on the internet, behind only Google.  If you have a website or blog to promote, you need to be on Facebook.  But don’t stop there.  You should look at joining other social media websites such as Twitter (#12), MySpace (#30), LinkedIn (#27), and Tagged (#196).  To show you how popular these sites are, let’s look at some comparisons.  ESPN (#66), NBC (#1877), MTV (#551), and Disney (#495) are all household names, yet their website rankings are lower than all the ones I just listed, except for Tagged.  And even there, only ESPN beats them out.  Even social media sites which are not ranked very high can still be beneficial.  So why join these sites?  Because it is a way to drive free traffic to your websites.  Once you join, you will probably need to establish friends/connections on the site.  Try looking for people who share an interest in whatever you are trying to promote.  Look for individuals who belong to groups related to your area and add them.  You’ll want to build a good base of “targeted traffic” for your posts.  And when you post, make sure you are providing beneficial information, not simply “pimping” your website or products.  This will turn people off QUICK.
  2. YouTube.  The #3 site on the web.  Just like Facebook, if you are serious about promoting your website, products, or services, then you need to have a YouTube account.  Recording a video is a simple process.  Think of it as a visual blog entry.  Instead of typing your post, you are simply recording yourself talking about it.  And don’t worry…you don’t need to memorize a script to record a video.  My personal preference is to use a teleprompter so I can just read what I have to say.  Take a look at my intro video on this page…I’m using a teleprompter.  Specifically, I’m using a product called PromptPCLite, which you can download for free here.  By recording a video, you are branding yourself as a person, not just a writer.  People are also more likely to stay on a page which contains a video.  One of my upcoming posts will specifically be about YouTube, so I won’t go into the details here.
  3. Ping.FM and Onlywire.  Once you have joined some social media websites and have established a good base of friends/connections, now you need to get your posts out there to start driving quality traffic to your site.  But if you have joined a dozen social media sites, it can become pretty time consuming to post on each one of them.  Instead, consider signing up for Ping.FM or Onlywire.  Once you join, you simply connect their service with all of your social media accounts.  When you are ready to post something, simply log in and post one time.  It will instantly be posted to all of your accounts, thus saving you a lot of time.
  4. Linkbacks.  One method the search engines use to determine your SEO ranking is by looking at linkbacks to your site.  Essentially, having links to your website spread across the web.  You can begin the process by joining sites such as linkreferral.com.  Once you join, you can add your website to their directory.  Now, here’s where the magic starts.  You might pick a category with 10,000 other sites in it.  However, it is possible to jump from the last few pages to the FIRST page…for free.  All you need to do is visit the sites of 30 other members and give an honest 2-3 sentence review of 5 sites.  This has two benefits.  First, you get to see what other people are doing.  Who knows…you may get some fresh ideas.  And in the process, your site moves to the front of the line.  And second, other people also want their site on the first page or two, so they are also going to be visiting sites and posting reviews.  Your site WILL be one of those sites.  So, not only are you getting the benefit of having a link on linkreferral, but you are also getting traffic driven to your site.  And in the process, you may find that one of those reviewers likes your site enough to add a link on your site.  And while you are reviewing sites yourself, if you find one in the same area as yours, send the owner a message and ask to exchange links:  you add his and he’ll add yours.  Also, make sure you add your blog to the blog directories out there.  This gets you more free publicity and gets your link out in more locations.  Three I suggest are:  BlogExplosion, BlogHub, and Blogged.  You can see ads for all of them in the sidebar.
  5. Forum Posting.  You can find forums all over the internet.  You can do simple Google searches to find forums.  For instance, if you are promoting a health blog, do a search on “health forums”.  Another good one is Answers.com.  Now remember, when you post to a forum you want to provide benefit and/or information to the readers.  If the forum allows a signature/reference/about box, here is where you can include a link to your site.  Otherwise, usually you can include it within your profile.  This method gets another link to your site on the web for the crawlers AND gets your site more exposure.
  6. Article Submissions.  There are plenty of article websites out there.  Personally, I like ezinearticles.com, and if you are going to choose just one, this is the one I would recommend.  If you are a blogger, then you are essentially writing articles already.  It could be as simple as doing a copy/paste of one of your blog posts and creating an article about it.  Trust me…you do not need to be an expert writer to write articles.  In the “about the author” box, you can give a brief description of who you are and include a link to your site.  Yep, another link on the web.  Plus, these articles do pretty well on the search engines.  But most importantly, it has the effect of…….
  7. Branding Yourself As An Expert.  I’ve been leading you right to this point.  If you are providing beneficial information in your social media posts, forum posts, and article submissions, people are going to start looking to you for more information.  In other words, they will think of you as an expert in the area and seek YOU out.  And as a result, they will trust what you have to say and look forward to your next post or article.  Thus creating a dual effect:  not only are they more likely to visit your site, but they are also more likely to pass the information on to other people they know, resulting in more traffic to your site.  The intent here is to provide information that is so beneficial that it goes viral.  Friends recommend to other friends, who recommend to other friends, etc.
  8. Advertising.  This one you need to be careful about.  There are LOTS of scam sites on the web promising you “guaranteed” web traffic.  Take my advice and learn from my experiences…stay away from any site where you need to pay for guaranteed traffic.  This includes email leads.  I have tried several of these “services” and not once have I ever received any benefit.  Sure, I’ve gotten traffic…but I’ve never received one opt-in or sale from that traffic.  Now, that said, not ALL advertising methods are the same.  You could get business cards to pass out.  Or take a small ad out in a PennySaver type of newspaper.  These are fairly inexpensive.  Now, if you do want to pay for traffic, then I would suggest the last two points I have to make:
  9. Facebook Ads.  This is starting to overtake Google Adwords.  But there’s good news and bad news.  The good news is that you can really target the market you want the ad to appear to.  If I want to show an ad to people who are between 25-and-55 living in Wisconsin who are interested in home business and health, I can do it.  The bad news is that ads are going to cost some money, but are cheaper than some of the other alternatives out there.  And as I said, they can be highly targeted.  There are also some issues with actually getting your ad approved to be shown on Facebook, so it may take some trial-and-error.  And lastly,
  10. StumbleUpon.  If you haven’t heard about this, it is another social medial website.  But I didn’t include it in that section because it serves a dual purpose.  First, as a social site…and second, as a cheap advertiser.  The premise is simple.  Join for free and install their toolbar (if you want to).  People on the site are called “Stumblers”.  While on the site, you can “Stumble” to a random website based upon your preferences and interests.  Now, if you have a site to promote you can add it to their directory.  In which case, at some point another Stumbler will “Stumble” on your website.  More free traffic.  If they like the site, they can share it with other Stumblers.  Now, here’s where the advertising comes into play.  You can purchase ads from StumbleUpon for a mere 5-cents/click.  You fund your account with an amount you wish to spend, then indicate how many clicks you want every day.  I have seen GREAT traffic results from using this service.

These methods have seemed to work best for me.  Now, just because they work for me doesn’t necessarily mean they will work for you as well.  But considering the fact that everything other than the paid ads are free, they might be worth trying out.  And if you have personally seen good results from using other methods, please feel free to share them by posting a comment.

If you would like to see an example of how I successfully brand myself and promote my opportunity, take a look at my capture page.  And if it grabs your interest, take the video web tour where I explain the opportunity.  Like everything else I’ve recommended….it’s free.

Why Do People Fail at Network Marketing Online

You may have heard the statistic that 97% of network marketers fail.  But WHY do they fail?  And how do you become one of the 3% who achieve network marketing success?  It is important to identify why network marketers fail so you can prevent yourself from joining their ranks.

In the Home Business Videos link at the top of this page, I have compiled a few outstanding videos specifically geared towards home business and network marketing.  One of those videos is the one below, presented by Tim Sales.

Mr. Sales is a professional network marketer and has helped countless individuals achieve that network marketing success we look for.  In the video clip, Mr. Sales explains why network marketers fail.  When you watch the video, pay close attention to the comparison he gives between network marketing and golf.  It’s quite an eye opener.

If you have been struggling at network marketing and are ready to finally succeed,  you may find it beneficial to take a look at my free video web tour which explains our opportunity.  Your personal information is safe and is never resold.


Fast Tube by Casper

Remembering 9-11

Rather than posting a new tip for building your home business, I decided to step away and instead spend some time to remember the heroes and victims of 9-11.  Like other historical events (Berlin Wall coming down, Shuttle explosion, etc), I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on 9-11-2001.  I sat at work trying to get onto the internet to get as much info as possible, but it was nearly impossible because everyone else in America had the same thought.  I finally walked across the street to a local retailer with a friend to watch the events unfold.  We got to the electronics section and picked a TV to watch…just in time to see the first tower come down.

We went back to work, but not much work was getting down…by anyone.  That day was a turning point in my life, as it was for many other Americans.  Over the next several hours, days, weeks, and months I was in awe of the amount of patriotism that sprang up in the U.S.  Not to mention the outpouring of support from around the world.

So on this infamous day, take the time to thank a vet, remember those affected, praise the heroics of the first responders, the innocent victims, the surviving family members of all the victims, and the heroes of Flight 93.

NEVER FORGET!

LET’S ROLL!!!

GOD BLESS THE U.S.A

Home Business Tips – Attending Trade Shows

Trade shows are events which allow businesses to market their products and services to a variety of individuals.  These can be setup in locations as small as a school gym, or as large as a convention center.  The question becomes:  is it worth your time to setup a trade show booth?  That’s exactly what I want to discuss.

Over the years, I’ve participated in my share of trade shows.  So what I want to do is to relay my experiences with them and provide you with some firsthand knowledge to assist you in deciding if it is something worthwhile.

There are 3-types of trade shows I have participated in:  Health Fairs, large shows setup in a convention center, and smaller local shows at schools.  The main advantage of trade shows is the traffic they usually generate.  I say “usually” because there have been trade shows with very little traffic.  In both of these cases, they were smaller, local trade shows.  Obviously, the more traffic at the trade show, the more people you have coming by your booth to get information and the more contacts you make.

Depending upon the size of the show, there will be a different cost.  A smaller show may not cost much, but the side effect is that it may not generate much traffic either.  A larger show which advertises the event would probably generate a significant amount of traffic, but you can expect to pay more for that traffic.  So you need to weigh the costs involved.  Personally, if you are just starting out you may want to consider a smaller trade show to “get your feet wet”, as it is a completely different type of marketing.  Think of it as speed-dating for your home business.  You need to spend an adequate amount of time with each contact to generate interest, but not too much time so you miss out on making other contacts.

If you decide to setup a trade show booth, I would recommend not going overboard.  You will usually be given a 6′ table to use, so make sure you cover it with at least a nice table cloth.  Add some literature to the table, but not too much.  You don’t want to overwhelm the people coming through.  I remember the first couple we did.  We had so much information on the table, people really couldn’t figure out what we were trying to promote.  Less is more.

If you sell some type of food product, try to have free samples available.  Individuals who attend trade shows LOVE free samples, and if you have good food samples the word will spread.  If you are selling another type of product, try a small display of some of the items you offer.  For instance, if you are in nutritional supplements you may want to setup a small display of various bottles.

Another MUST HAVE for your booth is some type of contact list.  Maybe you have a newsletter and would like to give people the option to join your mailing list.  However, the best results I have seen is to have some type of giveaway.  Put out a fishbowl, slips of paper, and a few pens.  Then put up a sign advertising that you are giving away a product or service.  Remember, attendees LOVE free stuff.  But this has an added benefit…when people sign up, you obtain their contact information.  You just generated a phone or email list for the small cost of whatever prize you are giving away.  To make that information more valuable, include additional information on the sign up slips such as interest in your products, overall interest in your industry (health, jewelery, books, etc), or even if they would be interested in hosting a party (if that is something you do).  Basically, any information you feel would help you “close the deal” should be included on the slip.

Remember, your main objective here is to make your booth visually appealing.  You want all those people walking through the trade show to be drawn to your booth.

If your booth is setup right, and the traffic at the trade show is decent, you should be drawing quite a few visitors.  I’m not going to lie to you.  There will be some people who will only want to enter themselves in your drawing.  At one trade show I actually had a lady come through with address labels.  She told me flat out that the only reason she came to shows was to enter all the drawings.  She pasted her address label onto an entry form and moved on to the next booth.  UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you be rude to any individuals like this.  You want to treat everyone with respect and be pleasant.  I know this should be commonsense, but it bears repeating.  The last thing you want is for word to spread throughout the show that “someone at the so-and-so-booth was very rude”.

As people come up to your booth, try not to be to intimidating.  Many times, they just want to see what your booth is all about.  Think of how you feel when you go to a store and are constantly hounded by salespeople.  That’s a perfect example of what you don’t want to do.

Instead, make them feel comfortable as their guard is going to probably be up.  You don’t want to jump right into a sales pitch.  Bring up something unrelated to your booth such as the weather, something they are wearing, or how the day is going.  At my last trade show there happened to be a Brewers game going on at the same time.  When someone would approach our booth, I would simply ask “Hi, how’s it going?  Say, do you happen to know how the Brewers are doing tonight?”.  What this did is drop their defenses.  You were no longer someone trying to sell them something, you were just a person they were having a conversation with.  You would not believe the number of times I would finish a quick conversation with someone and they would then say, “So, what have you got going on here?”.  There’s the opening you want.  You now have their interest.

The last item I want to bring up is actually the next point in that conversation.  When they ask what your booth is about, don’t go into great detail.  Give a very brief statement that creates some interest, followed by a question directed back at them.  You want to keep the conversation going.  So for instance, “Well, I market natural products for people with high blood pressure.  Do you know anyone like that?”.  This has two effects:  First, you are giving a very quick synopsis of what you are doing there, and second, you are trying to keep the conversation going w/o putting them on the spot.  If they don’t know of anyone, then you try to keep the conversation going with another question.  But as I said before, you don’t want to spend TOO much time, otherwise you’ll miss out on other opportunities.  You’ll be able to tell within the first couple minutes whether or not they’re interested.

Hopefully this has given you some insight into the world of trade shows.  Whether or not to attend one is a personal choice, but I think it’s worthwhile trying at least one time.  If the cost is a little high, maybe consider splitting the booth with another individual or two in your organization.  Not only will it be cheaper, but you’ll be able to make more contacts.

If you have attended a trade show yourself and want to relay your experiences, please feel free to add a comment.

Scott Huff is a professional network marketer and personal branding authority.  If you are interested in our unique opportunity and being part of our team, please take our free video web tour.

4 Tips to Save Time in Your Home Business

It’s one of the most common objections you receive from a prospect.  And it can dramatically slow down your home business expansion.  Time.

How often have you received the “I just don’t have time” objection from a prospect?  How often do you find yourself pressed for time to fully work your home business.  Sometimes life gets in the way and you don’t have time to update your blog, write an article, record a video, or spend the amount of time needed with your prospects or new partners to grow your home business.  Or maybe you still have a regular job (as I do) and need to juggle your job, family life, and your home business.  Don’t forget to fit sleep in there somewhere.

What if you had more time?  What if there was a way to save time doing certain tasks, thus freeing you up to perform other important tasks?  And, what if these tips were easily duplicated so you could show others in your downline how to become just as efficient.  Wouldn’t this have the effect of growing not only your business, but also the business of others under you?

Here are 4 time saving tips I have discovered and utilized in my home business:

1.  Autoresponder Software.  If you are not using  autoresponder software yet, you need to give it some serious consideration.  An autoresponder allows you to put your email marketing on autopilot.  When someone signs up for your blog or newsletter, they are immediately added to your autoresponder contact list.  Likewise, you can manually add emails to your contact list.  Then all you need to do is setup specific email campaigns or newsletters within the autoresponder software and specify who is to receive them.  As an example, you may want to create a Welcome Message whenever someone signs up on your blog or opts-in to receive more information about your business.  If you have a newsletter, you can get it setup and simply schedule it to go out to your list on a specific day and/or time.  And just as important, you can view vital statistics to see how many people are opening your emails or clicking on links within them.  This information can then be used to create more effective emails and newsletters.   One of the more popular autoresponder software packages out there is AWeber.  You can try it out for free by filling out the form on the ad in the lower right of this page.  This saves you the time of sending individual emails to everyone.

2.  YouTube Videos.  If you are using a blog as part of your sales funnel, you know how time consuming it is to keep your blog updated with valuable information.  It takes time to get your thoughts together.  It takes time to type those thoughts into your blog.  For some of us, it takes A LOT of time to get that typing done.  But there is an alternate.  Instead of spending 30-60min updating your blog with text, think about using a video instead.  Your setup time is practically the same, but instead of having to type in the information you simply record yourself talking about your points.  The video can then be uploaded to YouTube and used within your blog.  Not only does it save some time, but it has the added effect of personalizing your site.  This technique has become so important that my next blog post will cover this topic in more detail.

3.  Get The Word Out.  There are millions upon millions of people who are using social media websites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  If you are not using these sites to promote yourself and your business, you’re missing out and behind the times.  And if you are using them, great!  But you may not be using them to their full potential.  Though these are the four major sites out there, others are available.  Some you may not even know about.  In fact, you may only be using one or two of them because it just takes too long to log into every single site out there and post your material.  If you could post 1-time and have it automatically post to all your other social media websites, that would probably save you some time.  Well you can.  There are two sites which do just that:  Ping.FM and Onlywire.  I would recommend signing up for both to ensure you are hitting all the available sites out there.  Now, there is going to be some setup time involved as you’ll need to create an account for all these sites and possibly get people to follow you.  But once that is complete (it should only take a couple hours), you are now able to post something once and have it automatically post to 10,20, or even 50 other sites automatically.  Think of the time savings there!!!  Not to mention the increased reach you’ll have.  Another double-benefit.

4.  Schedule Your Time.  The last item has nothing to do with special software.  There’s no secret tip or trick.  It’s simply setting up a schedule.  If you have something written down specifying when you are going to reserve time for specific tasks to grow your home business, odds are you are going to be better at keeping that schedule.  For instance, if you want to keep your blog up-to-date (and you do, as the search engines will find it easier) then schedule time every day or every other day to post new content to your blog.  It could be in the morning, over your lunch hour, or in the evening.  Just as long as you have the time scheduled and you hold yourself accountable to keeping that schedule.

If you are not utilizing these time saving tips in your home business, you need to start.  3 of the 4 tips are totally free, the exception being AWeber.  And even that has a free trial and is not very costly once the trial period is over.

If you have other time saving tips, feel free to post them here.  And if you are looking for a home business where you will get the training and information necessary to succeed, please take our free video web tour and see if our opportunity might be for you.