All posts in July 2008

  • White Papers: #1 Lead Generation Technique

    By: Shama Hyder This is the first in a series of interviews I will be doing with experts in various fields. This interview is of particular importance because I personally believe using white papers to market-especially in a tight economy is a fantastic idea. Our guest for this post is Steve Hoffman, a Marketing Communications expert. His firm, Hoffman Marketing Communications, Inc. specializes in White Paper writing. What makes white papers such a good marketing tool? Steve: Good white papers give readers useful information that helps them make decisions. Many readers would rather learn something and make their own decisions, instead of reading marketing fluff. This is especially true when business people have a lot riding on their decisions. Since this is what readers want, giving them what they want benefits the company that provides the white paper. Good white papers help companies establish themselves as leaders in their particular field. It shows readers that the company knows what it is talking about. So the reader is impressed with the company’s knowledge and leadership, and they want to know more about what the company offers. White papers are a pretty compelling way to get prospective business customers interested in what…

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  • Online Video: The Next Big Thing

    By: Shama Hyder Online marketing…and marketing in general is an attention game. Whoever can get your attention and hold it wins. Keeping within this train of thought, online video is truly the next BIG thing in the attention game. And it isn’t a fad. The more “virtual” we get-the more people crave face-to-face connection. Here is what you need to know about using online video in your marketing. 1) 60% actually finish watching one – compared to the 20% who finish reading an article. (Hey buddy, finish reading this one at least!) 60% is a HUGE number when it comes to marketing and capturing attention. Will this eZine one day be turned into a video? The time may come… 2) All businesses can use it- Often in online marketing, I will say that the effectiveness of one tool doesn’t necessarily translate well across industries. Blogging may work for one business, but not another. Video isn’t like that. Even accounting firms can use video! 3) It’s getting simpler to use by the day- Video used to be a very difficult endeavor. You had to be a film major to really work a camera. Today, it couldn’t be more simpler. Want a…

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  • How I Have Used Twitter in the Past 30 Days…

    By: Shama Hyder So, there is a lot of speculation about Twitter and it’s real purpose. Is it a total waste of time? What do people actually use it for? Here I will briefly chronicle how I have used Twitter in the past 30 days… Hired an Intern. Shared a movie review-after going to view what several of my friends recommended. Gave marketing advice Received mutiple referrals when I asked for an esthetician in Dallas Got interviewed by a top blogger Scheduled a talk with a potential JV partner Got contacted to join in on a panel at BlogWorld Got MUCHO advice from pet owners about raising our new mascot. Shared all blog posts (attracted traffic and readers to the blog). Invited more folks to join the Marketing Mastermind group on Facebook. And this is just what I remember off the top of my head! = )

  • Asking Past Clients for Referrals-Best Practice Tips

    By: Shama Hyder Recently, we decided to launch a referral campaign for one of our clients. They have just opened a new office in Texas, and would like to get the word out to past and present clients. Since we don’t specialize in direct mail type pieces, I turned to the one man I know who is the best in his field. Dean Rieck of Direct Creative. I asked: Are there any best practices when doing a direct mail piece to current and past clients asking for referrals? As copywriter extraordinaire-I thought you might have some insight! Dean replied: I’ve always taken the straightforward approach when asking for referrals. During a phone conversation, I’ll just tell them that referrals are important to me and that I’d like the client to feel free to recommend me to others. I’ve not done this in a direct mail piece, but if I did I’d be just as upfront. Maybe send a few business cards and say that while I’m choosey about clients, I know a referral from that client would carry a lot of weight. That way I get in flattery while asking for a favor. I might also send them a gift,…

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  • Help: Name the Puppy and Win a $100.00 Gift Card from K9 Cuisine

    By: Shama Hyder I love my job. = ) Running a virtual company has its perks, and when you have amazing clients-it makes the job EVEN better! A new member has joined our After The Launch team-an 8 week old male Maltepoo (maltese and poodle mix). He is the 2nd official mascot (the 1st is a 2 year old cat named Chuchi). The puppy was originally named Bubba, but it doesn’t seem fitting. So, we are hosting a contest! Name the puppy and WIN! Suggest a name for the puppy in the comments. If we choose that name, you will win a $100.00 gift card from our client K9 Cuisine. Best part-they offer FREE shipping! = ) This contest will close on July 21, 2008, and a winner will be announced! Winning Name: SNOOPY! Thank you for submitting all these WONDERFUL names. It was a tough choice, but something about a dreamer pup from another era fit well. Winner will be contacted directly.

  • Welcome Robert Middleton Readers! Please Read On…

    By: Shama Hyder Today, many of you will stumble upon this site and blog thanks to Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Robert is a mentor and colleague. I recently took part in his 3rd marketing coaches certification program. Marketing is such a field that you MUST constantly keep learning, and Robert is just full of great information. This post is meant to help guide you through the site, and address some questions I have already received… What do you do? Our company does 2 main things: 1) Serve as a virtual marketing department for companies who don’t have the resources for an in-house one or who need extra help. 2) Train small business owners and independent professionals how to be marketing rock stars in their own right. I LOVE what I do. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that technology and marketing are second nature to me. My gift and contribution to the world is that I can sift through the myriad amount of new technology, information, and resources to find the gems that truly work for businesses. Where does Robert’s Marketing Ball fit in? Robert’s marketing ball provides the perfect structure for us to 1)…

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  • Ranking Social Networking Sites: Which Ones Make the Cut?

    By: Shama Hyder Fellow blogger and reader, Mark Salinas, asked this question: “I have yet to explore the world of Facebook or Myspace for that matter. I guess with so many different avenues or options if you will…..what are the advantages of Facebook vs. any other? Does it have a stronger presence with Google, is an easier interface to navigate through, is the infrastructure reliable (unlike Twitter)?” Mark-Thank you for the fantastic questions. These questions keep coming up in my presentations and speaking engagements as well. They have led to this article! LinkedIn- *** Pros: A professional crowd, great place to get and give recommendations, allows for an interactive online resume. Cons: Too static-can’t make out a person’s personality, can’t reach out with ease, level of interaction between members is fairly low. How to Use it: LinkedIn gets 3 stars. Not a great marketing or relationship building tool. Use it to build a “professional resume” online and get feedback from colleagues, clients, and bosses. Spend no more than 30 minutes a month. MySpace- ** Pros: Well established, huge number of users, flexible. Cons: Lot of musicians, kids, and hippies (okay, so that’s an exaggeration and not necessarily a con-but it’s…

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