It used to be, the only way to win at acquiring customers was to buy as much advertising as you could afford. The more you spent, the higher the results. That is and was the traditional advertising model that worked for a bricks & mortar business. Today the game has changed, yes traditional ways still work, not because it’s effective, because it’s what older generations prefer it, and they still have the money.
It’s easy to reach a traditional buyer, just run enough ads on traditional advertising vehicles, and you’ll get their attention. Today the customer with money is getting younger by the minute, and we need to market to them differently. We have to make offers that make us extremely uncomfortable. It used to be, if you wanted to get the greatest reach, you ran radio & television ads, newspaper has never had the same reach. You could run 30 second ads on radio for $30 a piece, but to get the frequency for it to be effective, you had to run more than 3 spots a day. The minimum would be 10 spots a day, because the life span of a radio ad is much like a Tweet on Twitter, about 20 minutes. So to have a successful customer acquisition campaign you had to spend significant amounts of money. The same held true for television, but at a much higher cost, not to run the ads, but to make the ad. Customer acquisition campaigns can also be considered branding campaigns, but they are different.
Today we have the Internet, we can reach more people via the NET than we could with radio & television together, for FREE! I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, I am wondering why there is still such resistance to it. The resistance has the power to kill your business, and you the business owner must guard against it, not succumb to it.
The challenge with having such great reach on the Internet isn’t the cost, it’s being found, and being heard. Hence, we have a new kind of advertising vehicle like Google, Yahoo & Bing. These powerful search networks have really just adopted the traditional way of advertising for the Internet. If you want to be found, land on the first page, you now have a sufficient budget to have that desired result.
Today you can purchase qualified traffic, which, if you speak to them the right way, will become newly acquired customers. The same challenge you had with traditional mediums, holds true with digital ad networks, you need to dedicate resources to get the desired results you’re looking for.
The secret to customer acquisition today, is by leveraging and Open & Free Business Model, where free is the driving force. Like the resistance, free has the same problem, for reasons unknown to me, entrepreneurs and business owners can’t seem to wrap their brains around free. We understand loss leader concepts, but not free, I suspect the fear of giving something away and not getting paid is far greater than we would like to believe.
Companies that have figured out how to use free, have also figured out how to generate revenue because of it. Companies like Google, Spotify, Skype, Vimeo, Twitter, Evernote, Grooveshark and many more. These companies have proven free works, and they have mastered acquiring customers, they have mastered list building to the 9th degree. It does work, but we seem to have more reasons not to use the model. Whatever the excuse is, it’ll work.
You want to get more customers, give them something they want….for free, and then figure out how to monetize your new customers. The old business models are in the genre of win-lose, the open and free business model is about win-win, where everyone benefits. Mater giving products and services for free, and you will have an entirely new market to sell to. The concept makes sense, it just sounds and feels foreign.
FREE is not the enemy, free is your best friend, learn to embrace free, figure out where free fits in your business, because free is the secret to customer acquisition.
- The Definition Of The Open & Free Business Model (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – Build Small Loyal Communities (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – Create. Differentiate. Deliver. (owengreaves.com)
This past week I went to a number of networking events with great anticipation, I just knew I was going to meet someone who was going to grab my attention. The reality is, someone did grab my attention, in fact, many people grabbed my attention, for the wrong reason’s. I must state up front, I do not do things right all the time, in fact, I do more wrong than I do right, at least that’s what my wife tells me : )
Have you ever gone to a trade show and chatted with business owners with a booth? Have you attended networking events where you meet someone for the first time and they start to pitch you immediatly. You feel almost violated, they hand you their card, and there it is, staring you right in the face, the one thing that makes that little voice in your head start crying. It’s at that time I start to question business owners strategy of free.
There are many services you can use that are free on the Internet, some are valuable, and some are not, that’s the way of the world. As I told a writer at one of my workshops, they were concerned that anyone could write and become famous. That was bothersome for that person, I showed her how she could write a book, publish it and sell it on Amazon for virtually no cost. At that point she started to scream. I also shared with her, crap doesn’t sell, so who cares if a million people get published this week, if it’s good writing it will sell, if it isn’t…guess what, it won’t.
Let’s get to my point, your strategy of free needs to be well thought out, why? Perception is everything. For example, using free email services like GMail, Yahoo, MSN and so on, are great for learning how to master email, great for learning to see a bigger picture in yur technology strategy, they are not good for PR.
I went to one networking event recently and there were some 40 people in attendence, I got 22 business cards, half of them were using free email services, worse yet, they were using there ISPs domain name. If you are in business, invest in your own domain name, ensure that your email address on your card is using it. There are many businesses that block GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo and the like because of fraudulent uses. Having these email addresses on your business card tells me you aren’t serious about being in business, right or wrong, that’s the perception most will have with you and your business. If you are using @shaw.ca or @telus.net, you might as well be using a Hotmail account or any of the other free services in my humble opinion.
Using free services may not always the best decision for your business, especially free email services. Let me re-phrase that, publishing these free email services on your business card may not be the best decision for your business. Also, putting an email address of email@example.com is another item you may want to re-think. The info email address is a haven for SPAMMERS, they love that email address.
I know I may sound critical and coming off hard on this strategy of using free email services, but using these services is one thing, publishing them as your primary email service for your business is not good for your businesses image.
I am not suggesting these companies that provide these free services are bad or good, they help many people who may not be in a position to have their own domain name. I do recommend using these services, primarily for private usage, not as a public tool to reach me.
So I beg of you, think long and hard on the strategy of using free services, and how you will use them. The strategy of free should not be taken lightly. Email is only one of the many free services you can use, I’ll touch on more in future blog posts. Good luck, and feel free to contact me for further insight on the Open & Free Business Model.
I’ve been watching the traffic for my Blog increase at an astounding rate over the past few months, and it happened in a very subtle way. I want to share what I did with you because I want you to succeed in driving traffic, which I hope, will allow you to make money through your Blog too. I make no promises as your results will most likely be different than mine, why, because you are not me.You will use the following eight ways in the way that only you can use them, because, you think differently than I do. I don’t use all Eight Ways so that should give you hope. Let’s get started and see if I can get you to think like me.
Internet. Business. Profit. To fully integrate these words into a successful merging you will need another word. Traffic. Every article you will find about making your site or company successful would always include the importance of generating traffic. My site is no different. So, we all know that in the core of it all next to the LIST (but that’s another report), traffic is the most essential thing to a successful internet based business company. Aside from ensuring that you have a great product to sell, and you have your company’s internal organization well taken care of, it’s time to generate traffic.
If you already have a site and you think you’re not getting enough traffic that you’re supposed to be getting, then its time to consider your options. If you are contending in these very competitive businesses, you should always be a step ahead of your competition, increasing your traffic flow should have been done starting yesterday.
Timing is essential, that’s an old adage known to everyone. But with generating traffic, you should always be on your toes and be a day ahead of everyone. Never think of today and tomorrow as a starting point for making your site traffic laden, it should always have been before you opened the doors to your site.
Some of these hot tips require an investment so be sure to read the fine print before committing to any pay for services. So, to help you out in generating more traffic for your site, here are eight ways to increase your traffic.
8 Ways To Increase Your Traffic
1.) Invest in good advertising with search engines
Google’s Adwords and Yahoo’s Overture provide great advertising schemes that are very truly popular and assures great traffic. Although with this surefire way to increase your traffic would cost some money. While some would shy away from spending money to increase traffic, it is imperative in this case to do so because Adwords and Overture is the top surefire way to increase your traffic. You could see for yourself the success this search engine advertising methods have reaped rewards for so many companies. Lots of site’s feature these advertising system and many have signed on to reap the benefits.
2.) Exchange or Trade Links with other sites
With exchanging links with other sites, both of you will benefit from the efforts both of you do to enhance your sites traffic. When one site features another sites link, they could provide one another with the traffic one site generates. The efforts are doubly beneficial because it would seem like both of you are working to generate more traffic. The more links traded with more sites the more traffic could be expected.
3.) Use Viral Marketing
Viral marketing allows you to spread the word about your company and product without any costs, if there is, low costs only. This is a marketing method that can be quite productive; you can attach your company’s name, product or link to a certain media such as a funny video, entertaining game, an interesting article or a gossip or buzz. With this method, people get infected with the creativity and entertainment of the medium that they will pass it on to many people. Youtube is the mainstream delivery of video content these days. There are others but YouTube is #1 as of this writing. Online Web Radio & Television has come into mainstream as well.
4.) Search and use proper keywords or keyword phrases for your sites content
Search engines look for certain keywords that they would show in their results page. In doing so, having the right keyword and keyword phrase is a high requirement in ranking in high in search engine results. You could write your own content or you could hire someone to do it for you.
5.) Write Articles that can lead traffic to your site
Submit articles to sites that would contain the same subject that your site deals in. If you sell car parts write press releases and articles about cars and car parts. Attach your sites description and services at the end of the article as well as the link. You can also outsource your article writing if you don’t have time or feel your not creative enough.I recommend you use article services but the best is building relationships with other high traffic sites that will link back to your articles on your site.
6.) Join forums and form online communities
Capture a market and show your expertise and credibility. When you’ve found a good foundation for your site, people will trust you and your site and will pass on to many people their trust. Traffic will certainly increase because they know that you can provide what they need.
7.) Offer Newsletters.
If many people know what you are about and your existence is shared with many others, you will find a loyal traffic that can provide you with more traffic by recommendation. If you arouse the curiosity of your customers they would be pushed to help you with your traffic.
8.) Social Media Networks
Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed, you can also create your own Social Media Network but that’s another article. I’ve been writing about some of these networks on my Blog so be sure to visit. http://blog.owengreaves.com
I’m personally sold on Social Media Networks and I use Twitter as my primary network and be sure to follow me @owengreaves . Also read my article on how to get 1,000 followers in 10 days. Ten Days To A Thousand, I actually got 1,400 followers in 14 days but your results may vary depending on how much time you have to invest in developing your network. There are others who who got more in shorter spans of time but that’s not the point. Oh and these Networks I mentioned are FREE!