newspaper-154444_1280Our theme for this week has been tools.   Each new tool we have featured has been something that will be a basic and necessary part of your arsenal as you shoot for laser targeted visitors for your website and create a fan base of loyal and enthusiastic followers for your brand, your product, your service and most importantly, YOU.

Today we will talk about the benefits of press releases.  In the beginning of the press, thousands of years ago, it was the town crier or a public official who would read announcements in the village square or the bard who would sing or relate stories, legends and news at public events.   The marketers of the time knew that the best place to set up their market stall was as close to the bard as possible because the bard drew an audience.

Then along came the printing press.  The first printed news was called a broadsheet.  On it was news and (TA DA) advertisements of local businesses.   Benjamin Franklin was well known as a publisher of a small newspaper called The Pennsylvania Gazette and within it were many of the famous inspirational quotes and maxims he is known for still today.  Of public interest were new businesses in the community and reviews of plays, community events and (indeed) local gossip.

Fast forward to our current day.  How many different ways do we get our news?  Radio, television, newspapers, magazines, blogs, news sites, video sharing sites such as YouTube, mobile phone alerts, etc.  Getting your content listed by or on a news site can be very beneficial, just as when our ancestors tried to position their booth close to where public announcements and the storytellers were.

Press releases are a way to get your content seen by the people who create the items of interest on these different types of media at no cost.  It is important to recognize that there is a format for a press release.  Here is a great tutorial about how to create an effective press release. 

The benefits of press releases:

  • You may be contacted by a newspaper, radio, television or web reporter to interview you and put your business in front of thousands or even millions of people who have a direct interest in what you are doing.
  • Press release distributors send your link out to hundreds or even thousands of internet news outlets, most of whom will post a link to your website on their page.   These websites are the 500 lbs gorillas most of us would never stand a chance at ever getting in front of.
  • The search engines love news.  It is considered very high quality and valuable content, so the links to your website are given high priority in the search engines.
  • The search engine algorithms give high points for high quality backlinks to your website and thus boost your ranking in the search engine, giving your website a better chance at that first page ranking every website hopes for.

There are two press release distribution websites I recommend.

Both of these outlets provide a quality service.  PR.com has a no cost option.  PR Web does not.  However, if you are going to pay to promote your site, buying a press release is probably one of the best investments you can make.  I recommend you do a press release at least quarterly.  If you can afford it, once a month is even better.

So what should you write about in your press release?  Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Stop The Presses”.

 

stock-exchange-680583_1280Want your blog to get noticed?  This week it’s all about the tools.  Do you have a tool folder in your internet bookmarks?  If you don’t, I would like to suggest that you start one.  I use my tools folder a lot every week.  I have lots of different kinds of tools for networking, social media, promotion, traffic, etc.  Today, you might want to add a trending sub-folder to your tools folder in your browser’s bookmarks.

Trending tools allow you to find out what’s new and hot under discussion on the internet.  Pretty much every thing that is sold or discussed online is tracked in one way or another.  Using trending topics as part of your posts in social media, on your website and in your blog can put a spotlight on you at exactly the right time.

I expect I will end up doing a class on this, but this post may tide you over for now and will be a helpful addition to your “writer’s unblocking kit”  you will hear more about in class number 4.  Knowing what is going on out there in cyberspace and what people are looking for is very helpful and may give you that elusive, mythical beast – the viral post or video.

Including exact wording lifted from a viral post or video in the title or in a bullet point in a post will attract eyeballs you may have never gotten a chance at.  When using the ideas and wording you get from trending posts, you might want to consider the following:

  • Stay on topic: The search engines have algorithms that recognize a title that has nothing to do with the topic of your post and you don’t make friends of new readers that way.  If they come there thinking the post is about Harry Potter and it is about How to Compost, you aren’t making any friends and they won’t come back.
  • Tie it in.  Somewhat similar to the last post, make sure the content in your post has an actual correlation to the title you used to beckon them in.
  • Do trending searches within your topic.  It will save you wasted motion sifting through celebrity posts and sports when your topic is How to Train Your Dog.
  • Remember that list of keywords?  Put them into the search parameters to see what shakes out.
  • Always keep your ideal client/customer/recruit in mind as you do these searches.  What are they looking for?  Get into their headspace.

So where can you look to find out what is trending in your industry?  Lucky for you I made a handy dandy little list to make it easier for you.

hero_evernoteOne of my absolute favorite cross-platform apps is Evernote.  This handy dandy notebook app is so incredibly versatile and I promise you, you will find it not only useful, but once you start using it, you will find more and more amazing ways to use it to become more productive.

Step one is to install it on all of your devices, your computer, your phone and any tablets you may own.  Once you have done this, you have now linked all of your devices in a way that will seem like magic.

Did you ever get an idea for your business while having a conversation, watching a presentation or just sitting on a plane or any situation where you are away from your computer?  Enter Evernote.  Whether you have wifi in that area or not, Evernote is there on your phone or tablet waiting for you to take notes.  But WAIT…THERE’S MORE!!!!  You can record your voice on this lovely little app or a conversation to replay later.  You can take a photo via Evernote using your phone’s cam and add notes to it.  This is great while shopping.  If I see something that interests me in a store, but I am not there for that purchase at the moment, I use Evernote to take a photo and add a note as to which store, the price and even what aisle I found it in.  I can even email my notes to someone else in real time.

Now here’s the cool part.  When I do all of this on my phone or my tablet, the next time I get on my computer, all of the notes, photos or recordings are right there on my computer.  I didn’t have to download it or sync it or any of those things.  Evernote automagically updates all changes you have made in documents and you have instant access to anything you have created in it on any device you have it installed on.

Here are some of the things I do with Evernote:

  • Write down business ideas as they occur to me when I am away from home
  • Create blog posts
  • Notes for talks and presentations
  • To do lists
  • Notes from client conferences when I am on the road
  • Take a photo of a business card while networking and add notes about what we discussed
  • Brainstorm

I would love to hear from you about how you use Evernote.  Feel free to comment below.

To get your free Evernote account, Go HERE.  To add it to your mobile devices, you can get it free from the App Store.

 

So now that we know how important the right tool for the job is important, it is time to introduce you to your very first marketing tool.

You will be spending a lot of time with this free tool.  If you are wise, you will make time at least once a week to play with it and take notes.  This tool is exploratory in nature.  It is going to help you find your tribe, that ideal customer we discussed in our last class.  It will help you think like your customer and give you insight as to exactly what they are searching for.

Some people use this tool for SEO.  Some people use it for inspiration in creating their next product.  Some will use it to design their internet marketing strategy.  Some will use it to spark their muse, to write blogs that are more to the point.  Some will use it to design brochures, presentations and website that push every hot button their customers might have.

Do I have your attention yet?  This tool is as important to your business as a hammer is to a carpenter or a wrench set is to a mechanic.  And the cool thing about it is that is is free to use.  I don’t see how it can get any better than this.

Over time we will introduce you to many amazing tools that will help you to work smarter while you are working harder.  Here is the recording to Class 3.

 

Here is the slide with your homework for class 3. Each week we give you action steps that, if you make time to follow them will lead you closer to your goals of creating a marketing empire for your business or project. As we said in Class 1, a true entrepreneur does what they need to in order to succeed, including learning new skills and making time for the important things that pertain to their business.

Regardless of how amazing your product or service is, regardless of how profitable your marketing opportunity may be, without marketing, nothing is sold and no profit happens. Just knowing how to market your business online will avail you nothing, if you do not put what you are learning into motion. So, do your homework.

class 3 homework