Email marketing

10 things I’ve learnt the second time round

Read and forget this list at your own peril. I have spent a serious amount of time learning these insights and I strongly suggest you take them on board. Here are the 10 things I learnt when launching my new business HiveEmpire.com.

  1. There are still big $’s to be made in Australia – niche markets are great to start in but if you want to make big $’s in Australia you have to own a major category eg cars, finance, jobs, real estate and hotels. You might think that there are already too many competitors in your market. What I have learnt in Australia is that realistically, most businesses in Australia aren’t that great. No one writes about Australian companies in the major blogs and tech sites. They don’t break the mould, they don’t innovate that well and they tend to just sit and let their market share crumble. Most big Australian companies got big because they were the only option. You can still make big money in Australia if you are willing the persist and fight. How did Virgin steal so much market share from Qantas. If you have ever worked with Qantas you will know why. They are SLOW, OLD and have so many dead wood people NOT-working in their business! I’d prefer to compete with Qantas rather than a quick and nimble company. Make your business nimble and give the customer another option. There are always rebels in every customer base!
  2. If you loved your first biz, you will marry your second! – All of your ideas are clearer and the path to growth is easier the second time round. I learnt fast from my first business and made the mistakes quickly! I learnt what worked and just replicated a lot more of that. If you are thinking of starting a business, just do it. Start small and make $1, its damn addictive. I challenge myself always with any new niche we enter to make the first $1. After that it’s easier to know what is required next –> make $2. πŸ˜‰
  3. Staff are everything – If you want to create a very profitable business you need profitable employees. The easiest way to get this is to hire motivated employees that can manage themselves to achieve results. This has been my most important fundamental focus second time around. Developing a process for this and knowing who you want to hire have been 2 of my best upgrades to my second business. The 3 key suggestions I have here are:
    1. Don’t hire average staff, or you will end up with an average company – Wait and slow down, before hiring. It’s better to just wait that much longer rather than hiring the wrong person. You don’t actually need to hire a person if you are smart and just optimise the systems you are using at present.
    2. Ask more questions not less. The impact of who you hire impacts your other top performers in your company. Hire poor quality people and you say something to them. Hire high quality people and you breed greatness into your organisation.
    3. You can’t motivate people – You can only hire motivated people. Don’t bother with motivational programs, just hire a motivated person. Do some personality profiling to figure out if a person is motivated or not and you will save yourself a lot of time from creating motivational programs and talking to staff members to motivate them. If someone slips through your process. Talk through it, perhaps they aren’t suited to your company and would be better working in a big organisation where they want slow moving and predictable employees. They will like it there more and you will have helped them out. Stop trying to motivate the average staff member in your company and just replace them instead.
  4. Read More – If you are an achiever you will probably have a small, old and outdated television and a large library of books which you have read and used. I always look at the size of someone’s television and the size of their library in their house. It always gives me a good signal. I read a lot, but try and speed through boring parts in the books these days. I find that reading slow in key areas and implementing ideas is crucial but speeding past stuff that is boring and non relevant. I don’t read fiction, only non-fiction and there is usually a book about any area of business that you are operating in. Read it. My suggested Readings:
    1. HR = Top Grading – learn a rigorous hiring process. I read this book on my Babymoon, greatest book on HR I have ever read.
    2. Business Management = Rework – By the guys who made 37signals. A great book which has helped me a lot.
    3. Motivation = 4 hour work week – Read this fast as it won’t all apply to yourself. I use it more as a motivational tool.
    4. HR and Business Strategy = Good to Great – Bit of an essay, but if you want to build a business bigger than in 4 hour work week, this will help you make a great one.
  5. Outsource everything you can – time is the currency. I have literally put my entire life on the internet and pretty much outsource everything. I havent been into a supermarket in 4 years. Supermarkets are time hell, pay the $7.50 and get it delivered instead of spending 3 hours in a supermarket. Key insights to outsourcing a business process:
    1. Test first with a contract or hourly model then lock in good suppliers with retainers.
    2. Start small – just outsource 1 part of a process, then add to it. Either with the same person or with different people so that you keep core business secrets with yourself.
    3. Document it or they will f**k it up – Assume zero intelligence. Prefer that they don’t think as opposed to wishing the outsourced person would think. You want a reliable simple thing done, over and over again. You don’t want a business strategy for taking over the internet.
  6. Make a simple business – if it’s simple you spend less time producing and more time marketing and improving your product. If you can’t explain your business to someone else in less than 60 seconds, it’s too complex. Simplify it. Do less, specialise and earn more. My business is so simple, we compare credit cards, home loans or savings accounts. That’s it. We just spend all of our time marketing it and improving the product. My previous business was a very smart business, it needed smart people. But, I think I prefer the simple business these days. How do you make a simple business in your niche? Just do the core, really, really well.
  7. Meetings, Emails and telephones, instant messenger and Facebook are trying to kill your business – If you want to be part of the crowd, using the aforementioned tools is a surefire way to make that happen. I have taken active steps to kill these distractions in the business. Four practical tips to dealing with these items of distraction:
    1. Meetings kill productivity – Avoid meetings at all costs. Meet if you are going to make a decision. Meetings sap away time which you could use to be productive and make money. I personally only have 2 meetings per week and they are a maximum of 20 minutes each. Set your meeting times for unusual time increments and start them at unusual hours like 10:17am to ensure you finish your meeting quickly.
    2. Emails and telephones are poison – Only open your emails twice per day. If anyone in your organisation has responded to an email faster than 1 hour, they are spending too much time reading and waiting for the next email. That is just communicating, its not actually getting work done. Read your emails twice per day, preferably on your iPhone while you are commuting. Emails are time poison. At Hive Empire, we don’t have telephones. There is no need. We don’t even have business cards. Email us to communicate and we will reply in a timely manner. Nothing is really that urgent.
    3. Instant messenger – This is the perfect tool to collaborate with when you are working with people overseas. We have several overseas team members. But most of the time there aren’t many things that couldn’t be done over email. Email helps you think out your ideas and formulate them into a productive communication. Instant messenger is a distraction and kills peoples ability to focus and deliver productive work. When you get distracted from your work you essentially lose money. Kill the instant messenger and you will see an increase in profits.
    4. Facebook and Twitter are productivity hell – The walled garden of Facebook is the ultimate time killer. Ever noticed how often someone updates their Facebook or Twitter status? This number of updates is inversely proportionate to their profitability. Kill your Facebook account and only read the twitter updates from your business colleagues when you are waiting for someone or something to happen. In actual fact, if you want to be even more ruthless with your time management, kill your twitter aswell. No piece of information is really that important that you won’t eventually find out.
  8. Great things come to great businesses – you can tell how great your business is going to be by how relevant the current business headlines are to you. If you have nothing to do with it, you’re in the wrong market. If the news is relevant, you are going to be a great business because your market is newsworthy and there is growth potential. I prefer big markets as opposed to small ones in Australia. The small ones aren’t big enough to sustain many businesses, unlike in American where niche markets are really big. I used to work in niche markets with small customer bases, there was little scale and little profit. If you are a niche best of breed biz in Australia you have to go global to expand. Be courageous and challenge a big market in Australia. You will be surprised as to what happens. We started our homeloanfinder.com.au site during a credit crisis, mortgage brokerΒ  meltdown and credit licensing. It didnt bother us because we know its a long haul and its a big market, so all we need is a slice to be profitable.
  9. Say no – this time around I’ve learnt to say no to things I don’t want and not grin and bare it. It comes with confidence and experience. Play it slow when you are unsure and wait for a better option. How to say no without actually saying no:
    1. Price – Put the price up so high that you would be ok to do it if you were paid that obscene amount of money.
    2. Refer – Give the work to someone else. You would be amazed as to how referring things come back to you in spades.
    3. Say nothing – Don’t respond to someone who is opening a dialogue with you that you don’t want to engage with because you know they are going to ask you to do something you don’t want to do. Ignoring people is rude, but not opening a dialogue to a broadcast request is different.
  10. Be persistent – In my previous business my Joker card was that I was persistant. I literally just stuck it out and kept picking up the phone. This time I’m the same and I know it’s what makes me win. The most important times to be persistent:
    1. A customer turns you down – If a customer won’t do business with you, wait, they will leave and you can do business with the new person.
    2. You don’t have enough business – Keep marketing and selling. Someone will buy eventually if you have something worthwhile to sell. Pick up the phone and dial your most important prospect.
    3. You don’t have any good staff – Fire someone and hire someone else. Why wait, just do it. It’s not really that bad, stop putting it off and start realising your business potential.
    4. Too much office politics – Fire the politician, no matter how good they are.
    5. You don’t make enough profit in your business – Stop doing unprofitable things and do more profitable ones. Isolate the profitable things and transition to just doing that, and that only.
    6. You don’t have enough time – Stop doing things which take up a lot of time and deliver little output. If you only had 1 hour in a day to do all of your work, what would you do and what would you not do. Outsource the things which are mindless and repetitive and just do really profitable things all day.

Let me know what you think?

Here is a presentation I did about this post.

Online business

God Created the Internet to Market your Business Online

God created the internet to market your business online – get that firmly entrenched in your mind … and when he created it what he wanted you to have is thousands of visitors to your site.

To achieve this you’ll need a strategy to get quality traffic to your website and drive sales.

An effective online marketing strategy is more than SEO, email marketing, or even optimising your website. It involves a number of activities that, when combined, result in a dramatic increase in sales.

Over seven years Fred Schebesta has learnt the essential secrets to online marketing success.

If you’ve ever wanted to get a handle on online marketing and make a powerful impact on your business, here is your chance. With only ten places available for this seminar, participants learn from one of Australia’s best and awarded online marketing experts – Fred Schebesta.

You will get hands on experience that will improve you online marketing abilities and enable you to start marketing like a professional online marketing agency.

You can get a sneak preview of Fred Schebesta’s 11 Online Marketing Secrets Seminar below, watch Fred as he explains the fastest way to grow your email database:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ICjnlkeJMo&rel=1]


Learn Internet Marketing from Fred Schebesta, limited places available.

Online marketing

5 things to check daily with your marketing

These are 5 things I check daily for clients and for our businesses:

1. Number of Sales – I check signups/sales/leads or whatever the metric that all marketing is determined on for a particular client. With Laser Sight Centres its all about laser eye surgery bookings. How many today versus yesterday.

2. Website traffic – I check my blogs traffic almost daily. I check the following metrics:

  • Recent camefroms – What webpages did people recently come from
  • Recent keywords – What keywords did people type in to get to my blog
  • Amount of traffic – The actual volume of traffic that went to the blog

3. Signups to email database – I check signups to email databases almost as religiously as number of sales. Anyone who downloads your whitepapers/signs up to your list or any other way you are capturing interested peoples email details are interested. The more interested people you are speaking to the better.

4. Search engine listings – I type in my clients main search engine keywords every 2 days. I couldnt tell you how many times I have typed “laser eye surgery” into Google!

5. Competitive Search engine listings – I always check at the same time on the natural listings to see how my clients competitors are going on the engines and if they have decided to bite the bullet and just buy up the keywords. If they are already buying up keywords, I check to see what they are running for their landing pages and what their ads are saying.

What do you check?

Conversion

Online Marketing Strategy – Email List Creation #2

Welcome to the second instalment of Creating an Email List. To recap: you have a little website and some channels pointing to it, sending you web traffic. Converting website visitors into database signups is the key now.

First let me flag 1 thing: although I have written about acquisition channels it is advisable to setup your conversion pages before you start sending traffic to your website. Traffic is expensive and although the internet is still the wild, wild west right now, it is going to get more expensive. In the good old days late night TV advertising spots were FREE. But not now. It is currently the big gun. One day the web will be too. And then it will cost you. So let’s get our practice in while we can..

What is Conversion?

Website Conversion is getting your website visitors to give you their email address and allowing you to contact them. In these days of heavy spamming, that sounds like a pretty tall order but if you give people the content they want, they’ll be begging you for more.

Think about the kind of content that you would like when you signup for emails. I already do this. I am a big fan of internet marketing and so I signup to some really niche specialists: some on blogging, some on affiliate and some on adsense. These emails keep me enthused. They keep me passionate and help me to keep learning. I challenge myself and subscribe to the theory of always learning and these emails are my tool to do that. So, when I visit others’ websites and see that I can signup to their email list I do it. Because I know it will help me to develop.

Now I also like other things – like music – and I signup to this cool Music Review website which sends me a newsletter all the time and keeps me up to date with the latest music. I subscribed to a lot of others but The Elevenmagazine crowd just have this raw energy about them that just keeps me reading each week.

Lets have a closer look at this website:

ElevenMagazine.com uses calls to action to entice users to subscribe to their database.

2 calls to action are on the ElevenMagazine homepage which entice users in. The basic “Subscribe here” call to action on the right hand side is the ever present call to action to get the user to subscribe. The second call to action is the current promotion that is running in the header where you can win a CD just for subscribing. So not only do you get great content but also a chance to win. These are 2 great ways to get subscribers in and not just let them click off from your website.

Get them in before they leave

The key idea here is: that when users visit your website they are looking for something. The worst thing you can have them do is click on and click off – what I call, “go to the moon” (the little blue moon in the previous diagram.) I always suggest putting things in place that convert these users into signups. The more compelling and enticing your offers, the better you will convert.

Next post I will give you some tips on that conversion page and what increases and decreases conversion.

If you enjoyed this content and want to be reminded of more just signup below. I will also throw in a reminder of my up coming in-person seminar I am holding in Sydney.

Online Marketing Sydney Email Reminder

Don’t miss this chance to improve your online marketing. For a limited time I’m offering you:
* FREE online marketing tactics. Free is always good isn’t it? πŸ˜‰
* Early bird ticket offers to my seminars to save you money
* Email reminders of online marketing strategies so you’re the most up to date

Name:

Email:

Your privacy is 100% secure. I personally hate SPAM and will never spam you.

Fred Schebesta
15 Barr Street, Balmain, NSW, 2041. Call me anytime 02 9818 7300

P.S. If you have any problems or want to discuss something just post a comment and myself and the other readers will help out.

Previous Post
Online Marketing Strategy – Email Listing Building #1

Conversion

Online Marketing Strategy – Email List Creation #1

The following post is all about building an email list. I am going to do a few posts on this topic and give you examples of how to build a list up.

Laying the Online Marketing Platform

The Online Marketing Strategy for this email list building needs a solid platform to start with. Key elements of this include:

1. Website – You need a website to online market. Its really tough to get list signups without a website. Key things here are a reliable hosting platform to server your websites content and a content management system to enable you to manage your content. Or better you have a great Agency on retainer and you just get them to do all the work! πŸ˜‰

2. Database (eCRM) – A database can be as simple as a signup form or a little more complex like an eCRM to capture customer details. We use a simple system for our clients that can capture any detail from any type of form and store it in a database. It also allows you to easily export the list out of the eCRM into Excel. I love playing around with data in Excel because it makes it really easy to see whats going on. Complex online database queiries leave me personally confused and I much prefer the good old Excel.

3. Email Sending platform – When it comes to sending bulk emails I cringe at Outlook BCC’ng. Any professional marketer needs a decent piece of software. We use quite a few different platforms and it all depends on what you are looking for. You get variation in: Deliverability, reporting, cost of send, ease of use and Technical support. To some degree each of these elements comes at a different cost, I personally go for the low cost solution because I know what I am doing and I just need a bulk mailer.

The Online Marketing Strategy

At first this diagram seems a little bit too simple. But on closer inspection and throughout the next few blog entries I will go into a lot more detail about each box. For now I am going to talk through the whole strategy and discuss the flows.

Acquisition Channels

The first thing that is required is to acquire traffic through to your website. The channels I have flagged here are very low cost and effective for trialing any online marketing. Lets look at each one:

Email – Email here refers to email lists that you have already compiled, Other peoples email lists and purchased email lists.

WOM – Word of mouth is always a key element of any marketing and happens naturally when after you get enough buzz around something. A great way to spread WOM is through email as it travels really fast. I also bundle Website blogs, forum posts and articles written about you in this category as someone else is spreading the word of mouth through the online medium.

PR – Public Relations is all about getting into the press and building your profile. You need to get your articles into the media and ensure you have a link in the articles pointing through to your website. Article PR is a great way of doing this and I will go into more detail about this in a later post.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing (I have bundled SEO and SEM together here) is the bread and butter of any online marketing. If you want to drive targetted traffic to your website start with the search engines and work from there.

The key here is to drive these traffic acquisition channels into a website and get the user to take an action. The best actions are ones that result in that person signing up to the database.

Next post I will go into more detail about the website and converting that user into a database member.

Next Post about Website Conversion into Database

Did you find this useful? I am putting on an in-person seminar soon. You can signup below for early bird offers and updates to the online marketing tactics:

Online Marketing Sydney Email Reminder

Don’t miss chances to improve your online marketing. For a limited time I’m offering you:
* FREE online marketing tactics. Free is always good isn’t it? πŸ˜‰
* Early bird ticket offers to my seminars to save you money
* Email reminders of online marketing strategies so you’re the most up to date

Name:

Email:

span style=”font-size:85%;”>Your privacy is 100% secure. I personally hate SPAM and will never spam you.

Fred Schebesta
15 Barr Street, Balmain, NSW, 2041. Call me anytime 02 9818 7300


Related Articles

How to Build an Email List Part 2

Online customers

How to Solution Sell with online marketing

So you want to sell something from your webpage? Do you want to get your user to take some sort of action? Well your going to have to sell it to them in a way that they understand.

There are 4 steps in selling anything (real estate, entreprise IT, cars, vacuum cleaner..) it doesnt matter what the service is everyone buys in the same way.

4 steps to selling on a webpage

1. Need – Establish the need of the user. “Do you want to stop wasting your money with phony print advertisements and start making sales with online marketing?” The need for the user to get into online marketing and start making more and better sales has been established.

2. Solution – Now that you have that need, I have a solution for you. “The easiest way to learn about online marketing is to attend the Fred Schebesta seminar. You will learn ..” Provide a solution to the persons need (sometimes called problem) and by some fluke your solution is the service that you provide.

3. Reason – Give me a good reason as to why I should do that? “One good reason why you should learn from Fred Schebesta’s online marketing seminar is you will be able to increase your sales effectiveness and conversion rate of your website.” The reason as to why you should buy my solution, to your problem.

4. Benefit – The benefit to you of doing this. “The benefit of this to you is that you will decrease your marketing costs and also be able to target a new online user base.” The benefit of fixing your problem, with my solution.

Answer each of these 4 items in detail and communicate them clearly and you have yourself a well presented sale. Whether or not someone buy depends on how well you targetted your message to your audience and whether that person has that problem.

I read a famous salesperson who came upon a customer, he said “Hi Mark, are you satisfied with your printing company and could we be of any assistance?”
Customer, “No, we are fine.”
The salesman, “Would you say you are satisfied?”
Customer,”Yes.”
The Salesman, “Well here are 2 telephone numbers of my clients. Call them and ask them how they feel about their printing company. I am sure they will tell you that they are ecstatic! Now, could I have any opportunity to discuss how we can make you feel ecstatic about your printing company?”

The Salesman went on to make a sale and a retained customer for life.

How could you use this information in your business?

Advertising

Fosters goes 100% online and cuts TV off the…

In a world first Fosters have announced they have removed ALL and I repeat ALL of their TV from their marketing spend and have moved it to online. Let me just clarify, they are not spending a single cent on TV advertising and are instead spending all those bags of money online. That passing fad online thing just caused you to get fired Mr and Mrs media seller working on the Fosters account. Orrhhh did technology catch up with you.

GOOD, now you can see what it feels like to work for peanuts because no one likes your wears. And us online marketers can feel what it was like in your plush offices and with your tasty coffee machines and personal assistants.

Fosters couldnt reach enough of its 21-25 y.o male market with tv so its changed lanes. To the good guys. It will be using heavy.com as its primary vehicle to reach the audience.

And as Aaron O. Patrick of the Wall Street Journal (Yes “The Wall Street Journal” this is online, that newspaper is online, why not read it?? Or cant you find the website. SFIOG (Search for it on Google)) says more markets will get the guts and go this way.

Online marketing strategy

Forgive me world for I have marketed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAGr3mVVUwE&search=microsoft%20ipod

This clip rocked me a bit. Sometimes I feel this over marketed way. We produce these things and dont really think about what the end result is.

I really really appreciate how hard it would have been for Apple to roll out that packaging. Its clean simple and stands out in this marketing infested product category.

My respeck goes out to da peeps over at Apple. Having said that I am typing on a Microsoft platform, using internet explorer and I was sent this clip from outlook.

Online marketing strategy

Internet Marketing Angel

Internet marketers like myself have gotten a bad reputation from people abusing the system. Like call centres, telephone marketers, mail bombers, lawyers and advertising guys in general! Internet marketers have gotten this reputation very unfairly. Like most professions there are the couple that stir the mixing pot and ruin the mix. Recently the Australian Advertising Federation is trying to clean up the poor perception of people in advertising and I was thinking how could internet marketers clean up their backyard?

Here are my 3 ways internet marketers get a bit dodgy and cause a bad name for us IMs:

1. Abuse databases – Using a database that hasnt been checked or updated in a long time causes grief. Client “We found this database with all these email addresses in it from 2003, I put a couple of other email addresses I have collected along the way aswell. Can we email our newsletter out to it, aswell?”. Bad internet marketer “Hey the more the merrier!” Good internet marketer “Probably best to email them to see if they are still keen to hear from you.”

2. POP UP – I know that Australian (Canadian) made a mint from popups. But I hate that stuff. And I know every else does too. Its annoying. Its frustrating. It just makes you want to hunt down the little x button. Hey people click on it. But thats because you cant find the button to close it down.

3. Websites with nothing but Google ads on them – These websites annoy me. They are offensive. Its like walking into a movie theatre and just watching advertisements. I know the affiliate marketers love to do this stuff. But at least spend a little more time and put some relevant content on there. Give me a little bit of value to watch your ad.

So from one internet marketer to another, please help us.

Lovingly always,
Your internet marketing angel