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DISCLAIMER: The FTC requires me to let you know that I may be compensated for products or services recommended. In many cases I am recommending my own company's services, so it's kind of funny to have to spell this out, but I do get paid by some of the companies whose ads are on the site. I ONLY list ads for companies that I use and fully endorse.

Archive for the ‘marketing’ Category

Who Is Representing Your Company to the Public?

Recently I received an email from an organization with a message that did not seem to represent the organization well. I also noticed that the person who sent it added their picture at the bottom of the email, and it made a little more sense. This email was sent to business owners in an attempt to solicit them for a business membership, but it was worded like it was written by someone trying to be “hip and trendy” which did not seem best to reach this audience. Because I can’t keep my mouth shut (so says my wife) 🙂 I responded to the email and let the CEO know where I thought his message went wrong. I never respond out of arrogance, and my sincere goal was to help this organization and I am friends with one of the principals. I hope he receives the message well, and considers who his audience is and most of all, who is the best person to craft messages on behalf of the company.

Think about your company. Do you have the right person, team, or company in place to create or maintain the public image that you want? If not, now is a good time to think about it. If you are marketing with the wrong message, you are wasting time and money, and missing out on opportunities. Stop and ask yourself how you are represented in the following areas:

– Press & Media Relations
– Social Media (blogs, social networks, etc.)
– Email Marketing

It’s not practical for the business owner to be involved personally in each of these aspects of marketing, but it is critical that a business owner, know that his or her company message is being created for the right audience at the right time and through the right channels.

If you need professional help or an analysis of your current strategy, I’d love to help you. Feel free to contact me for a consultation to see how I can help you increase your profitability by having solid company communications.

Marketing @ 30,000 Feet

So on my recent trip to DC, I figured I would shoot some video from the plane. There is no real audio, but it made me think of how much I dislike flying. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be in other places, I just don’t love getting there. I have several choices to make whenever I travel. The first, is will I have a good attitude in spite of all of the hassles of flying. If I do, the outcome is that its a better trip because my wife is happy when I complain less (imagine that.) The other choice is what am I going to do with all of the time. My wife can sleep on a plane, however I cannot – unless it’s International business class with a bed. I choose to market at 30,000 feet.

Now that most planes have Internet access, it makes it even easier, but if you don’t want to pay the fees, there are still several things you can do. Sometimes is nice to do the things you never seem to have time to do such as:

1. Reading. I am reading Dave Ramsey’s new book, EntreLeadership. I don’t care what you think about Dave, this is a must read. In fact, I only read it at the encouragement of a mentor of mine, and I am glad I did.

2. Business Planning. Maybe it’s time to update your business plan, or reflect on how things are going according to the business plan.

3. Writing. I usually get lots of writing done on flights. Anything from working on my latest book, to web content to blog posts.

4. Web Development.
If you are inclined to do actual web development work, or content development, this might be some focused time in which to do it.

5. Paperwork. Instead of saying “accounting” I will just say paperwork. I am a big fan of outsourcing your accounting, but if for some reason, you feel the need to do your own, be my guest, but do it at your own risk. Your time is far better spent working on growing your business.

And now, for the very anti-climactic video…

Are You Throwing Away Your Marketing Dollars?

There is a trend that I am seeing too much lately, and that is large companies with large budgets leaving Search Engine Marketing out of the Marketing Equation. In a day and age where over 80% of people looking for products and services start on the web, the obvious solution to the marketing dilemma is Search Engine Marketing.

Sadly, many companies foolishly rely on their brand name alone and fail to reach out to new audiences that are searching for what they offer. These same prospects end up giving their money to a more savvy competitor that knows how to use the Internet to their advantage. Or even worse, some of these companies heavily in media channels such as TV and radio and neglect Search Marketing. Don’t get me wrong; TV, Radio, Motorsports Marketing, Direct Mail Marketing, and other means of business promotion, have their places, but it should never be at the expenses of the most optimal marketing channel available – Search Engine Marketing.

Let me ask you which makes more sense; pushing out your products and services to the masses and capturing a fraction of a percent of your audience, or tailoring your message to those already looking for your business and capturing a few percent of that targeted audience? The answer is obvious and if you don’t know how to make the second part happen, you are at the right place. I have been helping businesses effectively do this since 1999.

The better news is that optimizing your marketing budget is just a phone call or email away and doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. You can reach me at 800-453-9290 or akirlew@akaim.com and I would be more than happy to discuss how to maximize your marketing dollars. In the midst of a challenging economy, that alone could make you the “hero” at your company.

Stay tuned for my next blog post on “why you should NOT spend money on your website”. You can subscribe using the subscription form to the right and you will receive future posts via email.

Make it a great day!

~ Anthony

How to Get Your Competition to Send Their Prospects to YOU

Have you ever found a great article online, one so good you wanted to send it to someone only to find out that it was written by a competitor in your field? This happens every day and with the massive growth of Social Media, people are sharing lots and lots of information. Every now and again, I will read a great article, and as I am about to promote it, I realize that I am going to promote the competition. Sure you can argue that they aren’t competition, you own your market, etc, but the fact remains in the eyes of a prospect from the standpoint of find you online, you are competitors.

So what’s the bottom line? You need to have a voice in your industry or you will be left behind. Some excellent ways to do this are:

1. Blogging. If you don’t have, get one. If you don’t want one, then guest blog for someone in your industry.

2. Writing Articles. Ideally on your own website, but there are plenty of places you can promote your work online and off line.

3. Get in Front of People
. Speak at conferences or offer to do free seminars for local Chambers of Commerce, local church business groups, or anyone who will listen to you. If you need to get some speaking experience , I recommend checking out a local Toastmasters group.

I hope this was helpful and I look forward to hearing your success stories. If you want to subscribe to my blog, please use one of the RSS buttons or the email form on the right.

Shouldn’t every employee be an evangelist?

So this blog just hasn’t developed feet on its own yet, and that is because I am just overwhelmingly busy these days with work and family (I know that’s not what you are looking for). At my old company, we used to ask ourselves where people found time to blog – and I still ask that question.

Anyhow, in response to Matt McGee’s Search Engine Land article on Hiring an Evanglist I propose that companies take a different approach and that is to instill company loyalty such that every employee becomes an evangelist. I know it won’t work simply in every industry, but we are in an information age where people talk, email, blog, use Social media and the like and if they are passionate about what they do or who they work for, that can create more buzz for the company. Of course, you may have to hold a few informal sessions on training people how to think like a corporate evangelist, and you will only get participation if you have their loyalty (which comes from creating a great work environment).

Few people enjoy what they do for work, and I think that is where the real problem lies. If every company did their best to make their employees truly feel part of a team, or that they held a valuable and desired position, I think the results would be amazing. I happen to work for such a company; I work with amazing people (smart, hard working, and genuinely nice people) and a great management team. I recall one time as I was leaving for the day, one of the VP’s thanked me – my response was (he just thanked me for doing my job). That may seem simple, but it says a lot about a person, management, and a corporate culture – and you would be surprised at how many people feel that they are unappreciated.

Employers & Managers, try doing something nice for your employees, try just being nice, smiling, or thanking them (for starters). You may get interesting responses, as many will think something is wrong with you at first because they aren’t used to seeing that kind of gesture. It will cost you far less than hiring someone to put on a good face for your company and will energize a team of ready, willing, and able evangelists.

One of the best investments a company can make is in its people and creating a great work environment – given that we spend most of our time working.

Feel free to send this to your boss as either motivation or appreciation 🙂

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