Thursday, July 29, 2004

I guess one of the biggest things that happened this week was the outage slowdown on Monday.

One more reason NOT to put all the eggs in one basket.

Till Monday hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Using the information you gathered from yesterday - now do searches for those things.

Try to get at least 10 good urls for each item. Make sure to save these since you'll be using them next week. Don't worry about the page rank of the site etc. Just get the links.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

We have your ideal canidate (or fish) - now we need to learn some things about them.

1) What hobbies do they have.
2) What books and magazines do they like to read.
3) What websites do they visit.
4) Where do they like to travel.
5) The more you can learn about them the better.

Try to make a list of 10 or 20 different things they like / like to do.
If you have trouble with this step then open your mouth and ask the fish. :o)

Monday, July 26, 2004

Last week we talked about the "ideal" fish - this week we're going to talk some about locating those fish. Friday we'll be off to feed the fish :o) - so this weeks blog will run thru Thursday. Tuesday and Weds. we'll talk about fish finding, then Thursday we'll wrap up the week.

Some news of note -

Google (GOOG) hopes to raise 2 Billion (yes that's a B) with their IPO.

What do you think they'll do with all that cash...

Friday, July 23, 2004

Almost the weekend - make sure that you do something enjoyable.

You've figured out what your ideal customer is - now do some research on what other folks have found. Search google for "customer demographics [ your field ]. Example - "customer demographics fishing". You should be able to find some interesting reading on what other folks have found. Make sure to save into your favorites any that are useful.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Got the ideal customer - should include -
Gender, income, ... etc. Something like -

Female, housewife, family income of 50-60 k, stay at home mom, enjoys daytime tv.

Now we'll expand just a bit. Increase the income up and down slightly. Broaden the occupation a bit, and hobbies as well.

Example -
Female - family income 40-70k, doesn't work, enjoys television. Next week we'll talk a little about things to do next.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

So why do we need to get a clear picture of the "ideal fish" (or customer).  The main reason we need to know this is because everything else depends on getting a clear understanding of that fish. If you're having trouble finding the clear picture of your fish then do some research.

a) Ask friends and neighbors who are prospects of your product.
b) If you already have a site then conduct a survey / research with your current customers.
c) Ask some of your competitors - don't be surprised if some folks won't share things with you but you will be surprised a few will.

If you can't get really narrow, then get as narrow as possible (till tomorrow anyway, then we'll turn things upside down a bit).


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Even before we go fishing we need to know exactly what type of fish we're looking for. What you say we just want to catch any fish.... wrong. Just like our website traffic, we want ideal visitors. So what exactly is our ideal visitor?
1) Must need what we're selling (or our services).
2) Must want what we're selling now (needs and wants are different but we'll take about that later).
3) Must have the means to buy it.
So today think about your "ideal visitor". What do they look like? Where do they live? What is their job? Where do they hang out? What do they read? How old are they? How much money do they make? etc. The first ideal visitor we want to be as narrowed down as possible.
Tomorrow we'll talk more about our visitor.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. Haley had her first fishing trip and although she didn't really 'catch' any she did get to reel some in. Speaking of fishing, think of some ways that we can apply that to internet marketing. What would you do if none of the fish are biting. We'll talk more about it tomorrow.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Happy Friday.
Hopefully everyone has some great plans for the weekend.
Couple of notes that may be of interest.
Atlas has created a paper on how your rank on the first page affects the amount of traffic that you get. You can get the pdf file by clicking on the link below.
A nice place to ping your blog can be found below -
A nice CSS tutorial can be found here -
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Did you get a chance to think about some complementary things for your site. Besides the story on Build a Bear - we saw another excellent example of this at the beach.

During one of our adventures we went to an amusement park called the Pavillion. A couple of good ideas from these folks included:

1) They had a variety of rides for young and old.
We've been preached to for a long time to focus on a niche. But is your niche too narrow. It could be. You may get more traffic if you expand (a little at a time) horizontally and vertically. Let me explain - say you have a fly fishing site and just sell the flys. You could expand horizontally by perhaps selling - fly fishing poles, a fly fishing guide, fly fishing trips. You could expand vertically by selling other types of fishing products.

2) Almost all of the folks that worked in this small park had a smile on their face.
Do you smile when you talk to your customers on the phone (it is really hard to be a grouch with a big grin on your face). Do you make it easy for people to contact you if you have questions. Do you answer emails (no matter how dumb) with a great attitude and smile on your face.

3) There was only one way out of the park - through the gift shop.
Do you remind people gently when they leave of your latest offer - do you include possible complementary gifts when they are shopping. If not you're missing out on additional sales.

Hope that gives you some more ideas.

Till tomorrow,
Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Todays assignment is to think about ten things that would go well (or complement) your site. Example - if you have a dog site (say you offer dog toys) - you could:

a) Create an ebook on dog training.
b) Create an online obedience dog course.
c) Tape your course and then sell it...

That should be enough to get those creative juices flowing. Tomorrow we'll talk about some things we learned on our vacation.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Did you get a chance to list some of your fears.

When we got to the beach my daughter Haley was very afraid of the ocean and would only venture out to about her ankles. Each day we would go down to the beach and she would practice her "surfing". By Thursday she was standing in waist deep water (to her)... she looked up at me and said "Dad, the waves just aren't big enough today."

So what can that teach you about facing your fears?

Remember the first time you got behind the steering wheel of a car. Do you pay it any attention now... it's just like walking.

1. Start slowly. Break down your fear into small slices.
2. Make sure that you repeat that action daily.
3. In a week it'll be just like driving a car (or surfing).

Haley Riding Waves at Myrtle Beach

Monday, July 12, 2004

The weekend went too fast. We had two bar-b-q's. I must say that I really enjoy a good grilled steak. We also rented the movie Paycheck and I must say that I give it a 9.5 out of 10. It has one of the best chase scenes I've seen.

This week we'll be resuming our series on Marketing at the Beach. For homework for tomorrow I want you to list five things you're "afraid" to do in your business. Whether it is cold call, give a speech etc., list them and we'll be talking some about fear tomorrow.

Till then have a good one.

Friday, July 09, 2004

This week is all messed up - Tuesday I thought it was Monday. Yesterday I thought it was Friday... go figure.

Have you ever downloaded something free and found at that it is filled with spyware. The links below may help you to find some good freebies without the added baggage. As always though make sure to run those spyware checkers after you install anything.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday.

MSN is in the process of bringing out their new search engine results - currently they use Yahoo. You can test what your results are at the following link -

You can read some more details at the article below -

Build A Bear -

During our vacation we visited a shopping center / outdoor mall called Broadway on the Beach. My daughter Haley has more stuffed animals than I can count but she decided that she wanted a Build A Bear (although she ultimately chose to build a stuffed dog).

Advertising -

How did Haley know about it - she saw several kids walking around the mall with boxes, which were the new bears homes, and what the new animal was placed in.

The Process -

The buying process was more of an experience than a process. We stood in line outside the door (again another good advertisement, after all if folks were willing to stand in line then it must be worth it).

We then stepped inside the store with about 10 other folks at a time and got to choose which animal that we wanted. Samples of the finished product were on display and prices varied from about $20.00 to $40.00 or so. Haley choose a dog, then we had the choice of adding sounds. Samples of the sound could be played (try before you buy). Haley of course chose a bark.

Next stop was the stuffing station where Haley got to stuff the bear. She put a tag into the dog so if it was lost it would be returned to her at no cost (added value). After stuffing the dog we gave it a bath (with compressed air and a brush (which by the way they sold the brushes - which Haley of course had to have one).

About half the store was dedicated to accessories for the stuffed animals - clothes, dog toys, brushes etc. The whole time I observed no one just had something stuffed but at least a handful of accessories as well.

Customer Care -

Everyone in the store was friendly and went out of their way to make your feel special.

Back end sales -

As I mentioned everyone had at least as many accessories as they could hold.

Follow up -

In order to get a birth certificate Haley entered her information on one of several computers that were setup - Name, address, age, email address etc. I'm not sure of what their follow up schedule will be but I'm sure they will be doing something.

Hopefully that you gives you some ideas on how to improve your own business.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. We had a great time, Friday we went to my cousins for steak and fireworks, then Sunday we traveled a couple of hours to a family get together (swimming, good food and fellowship). Although we worked yesterday today still seems like a Monday for some reason.

This week we'll be continuing the talk on Myrtle beach and some things we learned there.

Tomorrow we'll be talking about Build A Bear and also some thoughts on MSN and there new look. Till then hopefully you are rested.


Friday, July 02, 2004

So have you thought about some ways to put your visitor at ease - how about the following.

1) Include your best testimonial on your landing page - make sure to include additional 2 or so testimonials on each additional page. Then make sure to have a page dedicated to all of the testimonials.

2) If you belong to the better business bureau make sure to include that on the front page / check out page as well.

3) Make it easy for folks to contact you by having contact information on every page.

4) Offer a way for folks to get to know you better either by a newsletter, blog, free product, information etc.

5) Make sure any guarantees you offer are listed on the index, product, check out pages.

6) If someone contacts you with a question etc., make sure to email them promptly.

Hope everyone enjoys their holiday weekend. We'll be back on the blog on Tuesday.


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Myrtle Beach

This is a picture from our balcony on our vacation.

We drove for about 11 hours to get to the beach. We drove mostly at night, that way everyone slept most of the way except for me (which is a good thing because I was driving).

When we got to the condo our "bellboy" was an elderly gentleman who had retired and found that he was bored sitting around the house. He was great. Gave us numerous hints and tips on things to do on the beach as he loaded up the pile of luggage we had. Instantly we felt at home which made a great first impression. This got me to thinking.

On your website how are you making a good "first impression". Do people feel good when they visit or are they instantly lost. Spend today thinking about how you can make a good impression on your site and tomorrow we'll give you a list of ours.