Monday, July 28, 2008

Marketing on a Budget

A successful marketing plan doesn't have to include an athletic superstar, prime-time placement, state-of-the-art computer graphics or a massive budget. Being resourceful and smart can be just as effective.

Business promotion doesn't have to cost a fortune. Often, it's the personal touch that seals the deal. Here are ideas gathered from marketing experts to help you make the most of a slim marketing budget:

Use Press Release Power

You might not realize it, but reporters sometimes need you as much as you need them. The key to getting their attention is coming up with a newsworthy item that is concisely written.

* Peg your release to real events, such as fundraising drives or a new service your business offers. Don't be witty to amuse yourself the idea must have a concrete purpose.

* If you can't figure out why your company might be newsworthy, ask your friends what they find interesting about your company.

* You can also utilize your built-in research tool your customers. If you have an offbeat idea, bounce it off them or have them fill out a short questionnaire. Ask them why they use your business.

Think Differently

Concoct an event to draw media coverage. For instance, a Japanese restaurant could create the world's largest sushi roll and advertise its record-breaking "sushi queue."

Put A Face On It

Placing your photograph on your business card creates a personal relationship, even if they don't know you. Not only will people remember your name, they'll remember your face.

Print The Praise

If someone says, "You do a great job," say, "Thanks, very much, that means an awful lot to me. I would appreciate it if you would write a testimonial letter." Then make the testimonial part of your promotional package.

Borrow A Message

When you see an article on a subject that might interest your clients, send them a photocopy with a note that says, "I thought you might be interested in this." You're making a personal connection with a client and associating yourself with the authority quoted in the article in the process.

Think Outside The Box

You don't have to outspend your competition, you just have to outthink them. Some examples: Buy a billboard ad every other month for a year. Chances are, the billboard won't be replaced on the off months, so you'll get more exposure at no extra cost.

This concept also relates to how you run your business: Always try to figure out how to give your customers something they can't find elsewhere, such as a children's play area at a restaurant.

Try The Old Faithfuls

Don't dismiss time-honored solutions that increase your company's community profile, such as sponsoring a charity event or outfitting a local little league team. You'll get your name out there, and that's what counts.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Freebie Force Review

Well, It had to happen, curiosity sometimes is a bad thing, but in this case it is a good one.

It is safe to assume that we all are always trying to get a good return on our investment. We would not be good business people if we did not; and with the high cost of groceries, gas, and everything that we use on a daily basis, it is harder than ever to find a good investment.

Enter Freebie Force. Freebie Force is an old fashion MLM Company in which you recruit people, your people recruit people, their people continues to do the same, and as long as most of them remain active, you get paid.

What is the product? Somehow; the company finds a lot of free stuff, which is why it is called Freebie Force, from software, to college classes, to detergents, you name it. So, you log to their website, and check out their offers, I spent 45 minutes, doing it and got about $400.00 worth of items that I can use. Guess what? I send for those items.

So I invested about $10.00, and in return, will receive about $400.00 worth of goods that I would otherwise buy. Not bad.

When you sign in, they will advertise the opportunity to make money filling out surveys, if this for you, go right ahead, otherwise, keep on going to the goodies.

As with all MLM systems, you get what you put in. So, if you want to make money, make sure to advertise the program to your friends.

Ops, I almost forgot, here is the link:

Do make sure that you watch the short video.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

10 Marketing Tips

1. Print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. People read postcards when the message is brief. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your web site and generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.

2. No single marketing effort works all the time for every business, so rotate several marketing tactics and vary your approach. Your customers tune out after awhile if you toot only one note. Not only that, YOU get bored. Marketing can be fun, so take advantage of the thousands of opportunities available for communicating your value to customers. But don't be arbitrary about your selection of a variety of marketing ploys. Plan carefully. Get feedback from customers and adapt your efforts accordingly.

3. Use buddy marketing or social media marketing to promote your business. For example, if you send out brochures, you could include a leaflet and/or business card of another business, which had agreed to do the same for you. This gives you the chance to reach a whole new pool of potential customers.

4. Answer Your Phone Differently. Try announcing a special offer when you answer the phone. For example you could say, "Good morning, this is Ann Marie with Check It Out; ask me about my special marketing offer." The caller is compelled to ask about the offer. Sure, many companies have recorded messages that play when you're tied up in a queue, but who do you know that has a live message? I certainly haven't heard of anyone. Make sure your offer is aggressive and increase your caller's urgency by including a not-so-distant expiration date.

5. Stick It! Use stickers, stamps and handwritten notes on all of your direct mail efforts and day-to-day business mail. Remember, when you put a sticker or handwritten message on the outside of an envelope, it has the impact of a miniature billboard. People read it first; however, the message should be short and concise so it can be read in less than 10 seconds.

6. Send A Second Offer To Your Customers Immediately After They've Purchased Your customer just purchased a sweater from your clothing shop. Send a handwritten note to your customer thanking them for their business and informing them that upon their return with "this note" they may take advantage of a private offer, such as 20% off their next purchase. To create urgency, remember to include an expiration date.

7. Newsletters. Did you know it costs six times more to make a sale to a new customer than to an existing one? You can use newsletters to focus your marketing on past customers. Keep costs down by sacrificing frequency and high production values. If printed newsletters are too expensive, consider an e-mail newsletter sent to people who subscribe at your Web site.

8. Seminars/ open house. Hosting an event is a great way to gain face time with key customers and prospects as well as get your company name circulating. With the right programming, you'll be rewarded with a nice turnout and media coverage. If it's a seminar, limit the attendance and charge a fee. A fee gives the impression of value. Free often connotes, whether intended or not, that attendees will have to endure a sales pitch.

9. Bartering. This is an excellent tool to promote your business and get others to use your product and services. You can trade your product for advertising space or for another company's product or service. This is especially helpful when two companies on limited budgets can exchange their services.

10. Mail Outs. Enclose your brochure, ad, flyer etc. in all your outgoing mail. It doesn't cost any additional postage and you'll be surprised at who could use what you're offering.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

There are no impossibles

There is nothing impossible

There is nothing impossible in this world for someone with determination, an open mind, and the will to succeed.

There was once a very rich man who wanted to give his fortune to his three daughters, so he went to see his lawyers and ask how could he be sure that his daughters would be well taken care of.

Once there, he realizes that the laws of our great Nation (not to mention most of our politicians, our media, and lawyers themselves) are downright insane. Email me if you want a more in depth explanation of this statement. I love our Nation, but our politicians make me wonder daily.

The complexity of our legal system, tax laws, and probate, are just ridiculous. But the bottom line is that when the Maker calls you in, you better have your affairs in order.

Your beneficiaries will get be receive:

1. An introduction to an insane, and tedious legal process to get their inheritance.

2. The privilege to give an enormous amount of money to an attorney who is on his or her way to be a multi millionaire, because of our insane legal system, and the gullibility of his or her clients.

3. The unsavory task of paying a huge amount of taxes to the government, which amounts to double taxation (you hopefully paid your taxes on time) since they got you when you made your money, and now they are taking some more of your hard earned money from those whom you tried to help.


So, the old man, I don’t need to tell you, is not happy at all.

The old man asked his over priced lawyers if all of that bunch of nonsensical laws and procedures were all explained in their legal library behind their desk. The lawyers said yes, and the old man proceeded to ask them if they would allow him to spend a bit of time everyday on their library. Cursing under their breath, they said yes, they did not want to loose such a good client.

The old man, burry himself in books for the best part of a week, after which he told his lawyers that they need not concern themselves with the task of arranging his affairs any longer. Seeing that MONEY was escaping their grabby hands, tried like crazy to dissuade him to no avail.

The old man decided that he was going to throw a grand party to celebrate his retirement. Music, alcohol, food, his lawyers, all the sycophants that usually follow a rich person around wanting their money, his daughters, their husbands, everything and everybody was there.

He ask the musicians to take a break, and grabbed the microphone. He proceeded to thank everybody for being there, and God for all the magnificent opportunities and blessings bestowed upon him: His wife, his daughters, his business, his friends, and his fortune…

He only lamented that his daughters had chosen scumbag, crooks, unethical, and dishonest pieces of #$%^ individuals to marry.

Everybody was surprised since they thought that he had approved and respected the men his daughters married.

The party lost its festive atmosphere, and everyone went home. A few days later, no one was surprised that these three men were suing the old man.

The trial was long, and the three men got it all, they of course shared it with their wives, children, and even forgave the old man, whom they gave a very generous allowance to live the rest of his life.

His daughters, husbands, and children received all of his money, and he did not have to pay taxes, or the lawyers to distribute his wealth.

There was no mortality taxes, income taxes, state taxes, or any other taxes involved, since money earned from a damages law suit is usually, tax exempted.

Here is the bottom line, it is not the circumstances that are preventing you from being rich, it is yourself.

Once you realize that you have all the tools needed to succeed, and you believe in yourself, you can achieve any goal, and become the person that you want to be.

It is determination, an open mind, and the will to succeed what will make you or break you.

WHAT WILL IT BE? Will you be a star?

It is up to you.

On the words of Larry the Cable Guy: Git er done….

Lets talk SEO

Thousands of servers ...billions of web pages.... the possibility of individually sifting through the WWW is null. The search engine gods cull the information you need from the Internet...from tracking down an elusive expert for communication to presenting the most unconventional views on the planet. Name it and click it. Beyond all the hype created about the web heavens they rule, let's attempt to keep the argument balanced. From Google to Voice of the Shuttle (for humanities research) these ubiquitous gods that enrich the net, can be unfair ...and do wear pitfalls. And considering the rate at which the Internet continues to grow, the problems of these gods are only exacerbated further.

Primarily, what you need to digest is the fact that search engines fall short of Mandrake's magic mechanism! They simply don't create URLs out of thin air but instead send their spiders crawling across those sites that have rendered prayers (and expensive offerings!) to them for consideration. Even when sites like Google claim to have a massive 3 billion web pages in its database, a large portion of the web nation is invisible to these spiders. To think they are simply ignorant of the Invisible Web. This invisible web holds that content, normal search engines can't index because the information on many web sites is in databases that are only searchable within that site. Sites like - The Internet Movie Database , - IncyWincy, the invisible web search engine and - The Complete Planet that cover this area are perhaps the only way you can access content from that portion of the Internet, invisible to the search gods. Here, you don't perform a direct content search but search for the resources that may access the content. (Meaning - be sure to set aside considerable time for digging.)

None of the search engines indexes everything on the Web (I mean none). Tried research literature on popular search engines? AltaVista to Yahoo, will list thousands of sources on education, human resource development, etc. etc. but mostly from magazines, newspapers, and various organizations' own Web pages, rather than from research journals and dissertations- the main sources of research literature. That's because most of the journals and dissertations are not yet available publicly on the Web. Thought they'll get you all that's hosted on the web? Think again.

The Web is huge and growing exponentially. Simple searches, using a single word or phrase, will often yield thousands of "hits", most of which will be irrelevant. A layman going in for a piece of info to the internet has to deal with a more severe issue - too much information! And if you don't learn how to control the information overload from these websites, returned by a search result, roll out the red carpet for some frustration. A very common problem results from sites that have a lot of pages with similar content. For e.g., if a discussion thread (in a forum) goes on for a hundred posts there will be a hundred pages all with similar titles, each containing a wee bit of information. Now instead of just one link, all hundred of those darn pages will crop up your search result, crowding out other relevant site. Regardless of all the sophistication technology has brought in, many well thought-out search phrases produce list after list of irrelevant web pages. The typical search still requires sifting through dirt to find the gold. If you are not specific enough, you may get too many irrelevant hits.

As said, these search engines do not actually search the web directly but their centralized server instead. And unless this database is updated continually to index modified, moved, deleted or renamed documents, you will land yourself amidst broken links and stale copies of web pages. So if they inadequately handle dynamic web pages whose content changes frequently, chances are for the information they reference to quickly go out-of-date. After they wage their never ending war with over-zealous promoters (spamdexers rather), where do they have time to keep their databases current and their search algorithms tuned? No surprise if a perfectly worthwhile site may go unlisted!

Similarly, many of the Web search engines are undergoing rapid development and are not well documented. You will have only an approximate idea of how they are working, and unknown shortcomings may cause them to miss desired information. Not to mention, amongst the first class information, the web also houses false, misleading, deceptive and dressed up information actually produced by charlatans. The Web itself is unstable and tomorrow they may not find you the site they found you today. Well if you could predict them, they would not be god!...would they?! The syntax (word order and punctuation) for various types of complex searches varies some from search engine to search engine, and small errors in the syntax can seriously compromise the search. For instance, try the same phrase search on different search engines and you'll know what I mean. Novices... read this line - using search engines does involve a learning curve. Many beginning Internet users, because of these disadvantages, become discouraged and frustrated. Like a journalist put it, "Not showing favoritism to its business clients is certainly a rare virtue in these times." Search engines have increasingly turned to two significant revenue streams. Paid placement: In addition to the main editorial-driven search results, the search engines display a second - and sometimes third - listing that's usually commercial in nature. The more you pay, the higher you'll appear in the search results. Paid inclusion: An advertiser or content partner pays the search engine to crawl its site and include the results in the main editorial listing. So?...more likely to be in the hit list but then again - no guarantees. Of course those refusing to favor certain devotees are industry leaders like that publishes paid listings, but clearly marks them as 'Sponsored Links.'

The possibility of these 'for-profit' search gods (which haven't yet made much profit) for taking fees to skew their searches, can't be ruled out. But as a searcher, the hit list you are provided with by the engine should obviously rank in the order of relevancy and interest. Search command languages can often be complex and confusing and the ranking algorithm is unique to each god based on the number of occurrences of the search phrase in a page, if it appears in the page title, or in a heading, or the URL itself, or the meta tag etc. or on a weighted average of a number of these relevance scores. E.g. Google ( uses its patented PageRank TM and ranks the importance of search results by examining the links that lead to a specific site. The more links that lead to a site, the higher the site is ranked. Pop on popularity!
Alta Vista, HotBot, Lycos, Infoseek and MSN Search use keyword indexes ? fast access to millions of documents. The lack of an index structure and poor accuracy of the size of the WWW, will not make searching any easier. Large number of sites indexed. Keyword searching can be difficult to get right.In reality, however, the prevalence of a certain keyword is not always in proportion to the relevance of a page. Take this example. A search on sari - the national costume of India ?in a popular search engine, returned among it's top sites, the following links:? of the Scottish Crop research Institute ? -a health resort in Indonesia? - The South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy Cooperation and DevelopmentPretty useful sites for someone very much interested in knowing how to drape or the tradition of the sari?! (Well, no prayer goes unanswered...whether you like the answer or not!) By using keywords to determine how each page will be ranked in search results and not simply counting the number of instances of a word on a page, search engines are attempting to make the rankings better by assigning more weight to things like titles, subheadings, and so on.Now, unless you have a clear idea of what you're looking for, it may be difficult or impossible to use a keyword search, especially if the vocabulary of the subject is unfamiliar. Similarly, the concept based search of Excite (instead of individual words, the words that you enter into a search are grouped and attempted to determine the meaning) is a difficult task and yields inconsistent results.Besides who reviews or evaluates these sites for quality or authority? They are simply compiled by a computer program. These active search engines rely on computerized retrieval mechanisms called "spiders", "crawlers", or "robots", to visit Web sites, on a regular basis and retrieve relevant keywords to index and store in a searchable database. And from this huge database yields often unmanageable and comprehensive results....results whose relevance is determined by their computers. The irrelevant sites (high percentage of noise, as it's called), questionable ranking mechanisms and poor quality control may be the result of less human involvement to weed out junk. Thought human intervention would solve all on.

From the very first search engine ? Yahoo to,, Magellan, NetGuide, Go Network, LookSmart, NBCi and Starting Point, all subject directories index and review documents under categories ? making them more manageable. Unlike active search engines, these passive or human-selected search engines like don't roam the web directly and are human controlled, relying on individual submissions. Perhaps the easiest to use in town, but the indexing structure these search engines cover only a small portion of the actual number of WWW sites and thus is certainly not your bet if you intend specific, narrow or complex topics. Subject designations may be arbitrary, confusing or wrong. A search looks for matches only in the descriptions submitted. Never contains full text of the web they link to - you can only search what you see titles, descriptions, subject categories, etc. Human-labor intensive process limits database currency, size, rate of growth and timeliness. You may have to branch through the categories repeatedly before arriving at the right page. They may be several months behind the times because of the need for human organization. Try looking for some obscure topic....chances for the people that maintain the directory to have excluded those pages. Obviously, machines can blindly count keywords but they can't make common-sense judgement as humans can. But then why does human-edited directories respond with all this junk?!
And here's about those meta search engines. A comprehensive search on the entire WWW using The Big Hub, Dogpile, Highway61, Internet Sleuth or Savvysearch , covering as many documents as possible may sound as good an idea as a one stop shopping.Meta search engines do not create their own databases. They rely on existing active and passive search engine indexes to retrieve search results. And the very fact that they access multiple keyword indexes reduces their response time. It sure does save your time by searching several search engines at once but at the expense of redundant, unwanted and overwhelming results....much more ? important misses. The default search mode differs from search site to search site, so the same search is not always appropriate in different search engine software. The quality and size of the databases vary widely.

Weighted Search Engines like Ask Jeeves and RagingSearch allows the user to type queries in plain English without advanced searching knowledge, again at the expense of inaccurate and undetailed searching. Review or Ranking Sources like Argus Clearinghouse (,eBlast ( and Librarian's Index to the Internet ( They evaluate website quality from sources they find or accept submissions from but cover a minimal number of sites.

As a webmaster, your site registration with the biggest billboards in Times Square can get you closer to bingo! for the searcher. Those who didn't even know you existed before are in your living room in New York time!Your URL registration is a no-brainer, considering the generation of flocking traffic to your site. Certainly a quick and inexpensive method, yet is only a component of the overall marketing strategy that in itself offers no guarantees, no instant results and demands continued effort for the webmaster. Commerce rules the web. Like how a notable Internet caveman put it, "Web publishers also find dealing with search engines to be a frustrating pursuit. Everybody wants their pages to be easy for the world to find, but getting your site listed can be tough. Search sites may take a long time to list your site, may never list it at all, and may drop it after a few months for no reason. If you resubmit often, as it is very tempting to do, you may even be branded a spamdexer and barred from a search site. And as for trying to get a good ranking, forget it! You have to keep up with all the arcane and ever-changing rules of a dozen different search engines, and adjust the keywords on your pages just so...all the while fighting against the very plausible theory that in fact none of this stuff matters, and the search sites assign rankings at random or by whim.

"To make the best use of Web search engines--to find what you need and avoid an avalanche of irrelevant hits-- pick search engines that are well suited to your needs. And lest you'd want to cry "Ye immortal gods! where in the world are we?", spend a few hours becoming moderately proficient with each. Each works somewhat differently, most importantly in respect to how you broaden or narrow a search.

Finding the appropriate search engine for your particular information need, can be frustrating. To effectively use these search engines, it is important to understand what they are, how they work, and how they differ. For e.g. while using a meta search engine, remember that each engine has its own methods of displaying and ranking results. Remember, search strategies affect the results. If the user is unaware of basic search strategies, results may be spotty.
Quoting Charlie Morris (the former editor of The Web developer's journal) - "Search engines and directories survive, and indeed flourish, because they're all we've got. If you want to use the wealth of information that is the Web, you've got to be able to find what you want, and search engines and directories are the only way to do that. Getting good search results is a matter of chance. Depending on what you're searching for, you may get a meaty list of good resources, or you may get page after page of irrelevant drivel. By laboriously refining your search, and using several different search engines and directories (and especially by using appropriate specialty directories), you can usually find what you need in the end."

Search engines are very useful, no doubt. Right from getting a quick view of a topic to finding expert contact info...verily certain issues lie in their lap. Now the very reason we bother about these search engines so much is because they're all we've got! Though there sure is a lot of room for improvement, the hour's need is to not get caught in the middle of the road. By simply understanding what, how and where to seek, you'd spare yourself the fate of chanting that old Jewish proverb "If God lived on earth, people would break his windows."

Happy searching!