Here are three sites that are incredidbly useful, incredibly easy to use… and free (or at least offer a free version). And yes, amazingly, I have peppered this post liberally with amazing adverbs. Just to confound my critics.
- Weebly. Create a free website and free blog.
- Changing Minds. As marketers, we are in the business of changing minds. That’s what we do. There is a lot of information at this site about the subject of… well… changing minds. I don’t necessarily endorse everything here, I merely point to it.
- Linoit. A weird but very cool new way to manage projects, this has to be seen to be appreciated. Chris Brogan, thank for the tip.
7 book recommendations that might be a little off the beaten path…
- Words That Work, Dr. Frank Luntz. Brilliant on at least 3 different levels.
- Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster. To avoid being the man who built his house on sand.
- 2o Master Plots, Ronald B. Tobias. If you think fiction has nothing to do with marketing… well, you’re not thinkin’ very hard, sunshine. I’m not encouraging lies, either; I’m pointing you to the power of stories. This book shows how they’re built.
- Presentation Zen, Garr Reynolds. Simply rocks. Do NOT give a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation until you’ve read it.
- The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life, Steve Leveen. The best marketing book I know of that shines more by example than by its overt message. Them that have an ear, let them hear.
- The Book of Proverbs, King Solomon. It’s a best-seller – for a really, really long time.
- The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand. I don’t agree with Rand’s militant Atheism, but find her philosophy of economics to be sound.
In case you missed anything this week, here’s a recap of posts…
FIRST, I stirred up a BIG hornet’s nest with my post exposing how you are getting scammed by the “gurus”. Check it out, and add your voice to the discussion: How The Gurus Make Their Money
Then, here are the rest of my posts from this past week.
Find The Speed Pass In Your Business
How I Get Paid
Get Your Value From Past Info-Product Purchases
The Simple “4-Legged Stool” of Internet Marketing
Jump in – and enjoy!
In case you missed anything this week, here’s a recap of posts…
What If Atlas Shrugs? Why government should get off the back of those who make the wheels of commerce turn.
Work On What Works. How much time do you waste every day – and what does it cost you?
Planning Produces Profits. The road to profit increases may be less traveled – but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Creating Wealth Is Not An Individual Sport. Why entrepreneurs are not “bad guys”.
What’s New? Wondering why your life hasn’t changed? This is the answer.
Yep, Constant Reader, I have a potpourri of profitability and productivity for you – with a Pug thrown in for free. Here is your week in review, with super-convenient links from the blog…
There is so much cheap (or free) stuff available, and lots of it is so good, I intend to make this a semi-regular feature (unless I get loads of reader feedback saying “no thanks”). Here are 5 cool tools that you can really use – and they’re all super-cheap… or free.
(NOTE: This is an update of a previous post… enhanced with video. Please be sure and let me know what you think of this “multi-media” approach, okay? It’s quite a bit of work, and I’m happy to do it if you think it’s worthwhile.)
[flashvideo file=http://rayedwards.s3.amazonaws.com/x11Video1.flv image=http://rayedwards.com/images/forge.png /]
Every piece of your website is a link in the sales chain.
Each link leads to the next, and at the end of the chain is the sale – and profits for you and your business.
Of course, as we all know, any chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
One way to get quick sales boost is: find the weak or broken links in your sales process and strengthen or repair them. And almost every website has at least a few week or broken links. I’m not just talking about hyperlinks, here… I’m talking about any crucial part of the sales process.
No website is perfect – no website is ever optimized fully. There’s always room for improvement. In most websites I look at for clients, there are some basic fixes that can pay off in a big way.
Here are three examples of things you might want to do on your own website:
- Fix Broken Links. The most obvious example is actual broken links. These are frustrating at best for your visitors, and for many it will kill the sale instantly (“if they can’t get their links fixed, what must their product be like?”).
- Remove Inconsistencies. In the world of direct mail, there’s a proven response boost when the message on the outside of the envelope matches the message on the headline of the letter inside; the reason this is so is, we are wired to respond positively to consistency. We like getting what we expect. Even seemingly small inconsistencies send a subconscious signal to your prospects that all is not right. Some specifics to look for: different typefaces or look & feel on your pages; lack of consistent layout from one section of your site to the next; jarring differences between your major sales pages (opt-in page, salesletter page, order page, thank you page). Get fanatical about consistency.
- Remove “Mind Stoppers”. Some things just cause us to “stop our mind” when reading a website. For example, strange or unnatural wording can cause us to stop in the flow of reading and ask “What? Huh?” Even though these “Mind Stoppers” may only cause a pause of 1 or 2 seconds, they interrupt the flow of your sales message. Avoid “Mind Stoppers” at all costs. The best way to find them: read your copy aloud, to another human being, in a natural tone and at an easy pace. Then have them read it aloud back to you. In each case, mark any section that causes you to pause or stumble. Re-write those sections and remove the “Mind Stoppers”.
When you forge stronger links in your “Sales Chain”, you’ll increase your sales results. And that means more profits for you and your small business.
Back in my radio days, one of the shows I was in charge of was a morning radio team.
And this particular morning team had a regular feature where a couple of psychotherapists woud come on each week.
When I say a “couple”, I mean it. They were actually a COUPLE, and they were both actually THERAPISTS (can you imagine the dinner table conversations?).
Anyhow, I knew this couple only as characters on this particular morning show. “Judith and Jim” was how I knew them. And I knew only their voices.
Fast forward a few years later.
I had left the radio business, and was at an Internet Marketing seminar.
During one of the presentations, I noticed this couple sitting near the front, and I noticed they were asking lots of questions. And their voices sounded familiar. And their names were… Judith and Jim.
We connected for the first time in person, and we’ve been friends ever since. (Okay, so it was “funny” as in “coincidence” and not funny as in “LOL”).
To continue my story…
You might want to get this book ($15) by Michael Port.
I don’t make a dime for recommending it to you.
I just think this is a book worth reading. Brief story:
I read this book as a favor to a friend (the author).
I did it to be courteous.
Frankly, I was going to speed-read the book just so I honestly could say that I had read it. I am a busy guy, and I had a lot of other books that were higher on my “need to read” list.
I rapidly skimmed the first 5 pages or so.
Then I stopped.
I went back and starting reading more slowly.