Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 31, 2009
Twitter as a tool in itself is fascinating but the number of tools people are making to work with Twitter is completely staggering! Almost every day I hear of a new Twitter tool to help you conglomerate your tweets or link to some other social networking site. Here I will list all the Twitter tools as I discover them and provide a little explanation of them. Pick and choose what Twitter tools will help you the most.
Twtpwr.com Twitpwr.com (corrected) is Joel Comm’s program for rating your Twitter influence by monitoring the Twitter traffic you generate + users you refer + how much traffic THEY generate. Submit your url for tracking.
Whirl.org is a desktop application to let you know if someone is Tweeting you without your having to visit Twitter.
Tweetdeck.com [My Favorite So Far] This tool is much more my style. It opens up to a full screen and shows your current Tweets, replies and direct messages in 3 separate columns. I can have Tweetdeck up all day on a separate screen and just occasionally scan through tweets–kind of like IM.
Twollow.com follows tweets for you by keyword sort of like how Google Alerts works.
TweetLater.com schedules tweets to hit peak times that your followers are online.
Twitterific is a widget for MAC’s that allows you to view and post tweets without the use of a web browser.
Digsby.com helps to manage all your social networks from one software.
Twinkle offers a way to manage tweets from your cell phone – tapulous.com/twinkle
Twitbacks.com helps you make a nice Twitter background for your profile free.
More coming for sure!
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 30, 2009
You know, with the economy and unemployment rate as it is…I say, this is a time to “strike while the iron is hot!” In order to excel in business you want to pay attention to detail, keep your eyes and ears open to opportunities, and get help. Think for a minute about all of the “Greats” out there….Tiger Woods, Zig Ziglar, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Tony Robbins, Roger Federer…what do they all have in common? Perseverance, they don’t rest on the laurels of success, they KNOW that practice makes perfect, etc. How often do WE take take that approach in our business?
I have a YouTube clip of a very famous guitar duo, Rodrigo y Gabriela, here. Check it out – [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF8nhSj0WzM&feature=related[/youtube]
“Since its original release in Europe in February 2006, ‘Rodrigo y Gabriela‘ has been one of the great word-of-mouth success stories in recent music history. With over 500,000 albums sold worldwide (300,000 in the U.S.), it has helped to establish Rod & Gab as one of the most exciting live bands on the planet.” http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=520741
I bring “Rod & Gab” up because they were not born into this success. They worked hard, practiced, walked through the doors of opportunity and keep waking up and doing it all over again. When approaching your business, what are you doing every day that is productive, honing your skills, or getting your product or service more into the public’s eye?
Here are a few things to consider this Friday:
- Are you hitting the snooze button every time your alarm goes off, or do you wake up on time?
- Is goal-setting a part of your business planning, or do you want to make “as much as you can”?
- Do you keep up with the latest news in your industry, or do you only hear about it when it’s too late?
- Are there to-do’s on your list that have been there for more than 3 weeks, or are you good at getting tasks done in a timely manner?
- Do you recognize your employees and take care of them so they want to stay, or do you throw tasks at them expecting them to just do it?
- Have you bitten off more than you can chew in business, or are you growing at a steady and upward-moving rate?
- Do you have a desire to grow and excel at what you do, or do you think you mostly know what it takes to be successful?
- When you think about your business are you energized and ready for more, or are you bored and exhausted?
- Have you paid attention to what your weaknesses are and tried to improve them or get help, or do you feel they aren’t a big deal?
- Do you listen to what your client wants, or do you only do what you think is right?
Maybe a lot to think about on a Friday, but why even waste one day. In that one day, your competitor could have been more productive than you, and gained 3 new clients – clients that could have been yours. I keep saying “Do more than fine in 2009″…for a reason.
I would love to know what you do every day, or what you’ve done recently to better your business or yourself. What gets you excited to wake up in the morning. Why do you choose to excel in your industry? Drop me a comment so we can see what’s out there. Who knows, maybe you’ll inspire someone to take Action in their business!
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 29, 2009
Last week I walked you through the ins and outs of the top Social Media site, Squidoo. Since it’s one of the top 500 most visited sites in the world, I thought you (and your company) would benefit from such a great marketing tool. We had a little contest on who could come up with the best Squdioo lens promoting their business, product or service. Sandy Dixon, owner of Interior Arrangements is our winner!
Sandy’s company opened it’s doors in 2002 and is a nationally known success center for training people on the ABCs of starting and maintaining a professional real estate home staging career. Sandy is a former Realtor® and sales, marketing and training executive. Interior Arrangements also offers redesign/staging workshops for both existing business owners and those looking to start a new career.
Sandy designed a Squidoo Lens is titles “Sell My House Quickly and For a Good Price!” It’s a grabbing title with a few good keywords in there which will help her with getting ranked in the Search Engines like Google, MSN, and Yahoo! In the introductory module she grabs visitors again by pulling in the state of the economy “Home Staging Sweeps the Nation as the Foreclosure Rate Soars to an All-Time High!” The economy is a very hot topic, and she used that to her advantage. This is a great way to trigger emotions in your visitors…
One of the challenges in writing copy is that it is very difficult to get inside of your customer’s head and view the problem or solution from THEIR side of the table. This is where market research comes in handy. How about a quick copywriting tip?
- One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is to stop looking at your product or service as a means to make you money (that will just naturally happen if you market it the right way). Instead, start looking at your product as a solution to a problem. What problem does your target customer face every day that would make them want to buy YOUR product versus any other product of its kind? Switching the way you approach writing will boost sales and give you repeat business.
In Sandy’s Squidoo Lens, she continues her post by providing 3 great tips to selling your house quickly – something that a lot of people will be interested to read. “Lists” are such a great way to approach writing. You could do a lens on “The 7 Reasons Why x Is Better Than y”, or “3 Reasons You Have to Switch Mobile Providers Today” – etc. Lists make for an easy read, and with the world in such a “rush” people appreciate you catering to their busy schedules – WHILE giving them valuable information.
And last, it’s always a good idea to add pictures or video into your posts – even for your blog. For example, if you visit Sandy’s blog at www.StagingTutor.com – you will see she usually tries to add examples of what she talks about, in picture form. I usually always have an image or video in each of my blog posts. Don’t you think it makes what you’re reading more interesting and helpful?
Shoot me a comment and tell me about your blog (give me the URL too). I’d love to see how you guys are using information like this to build your business.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 28, 2009
HereNextYear formally announces its Ultimate Blog Setup Package.
“We’ve long recognized that 90% of all business owners really don’t need a traditional Web site (traditional meaning individual HTML pages built with Dreamweaver or other HTML editors or coding). They just need a good custom blog setup. Our answer is the Ultimate Blog Setup Package,” says president Marty Dickinson.
The package will include custom design, setup, and administration of 23 key plugins (little add-on programs that bring additional functionality to the blogs).
Training by phone and ongoing support throughout this annually renewed program is considered an extreme rarity in this industry. Dickinson comments, “The main reason why so many blogs are unsuccessful is due to lack of training and having someone to go to when you need answers about blogging.”
HereNextYear expects to install more than 20 blogs per month over the coming year suggesting that the content management software used for the Blog is so easy to use that anyone with the ability to use Microsoft word can use blog software.
Checkout all the details at the HereNextYear
Ultimate Blog Setup details page.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 27, 2009
WAIT! Don’t take one look at the title of this blog post and run in the other direction. The thought of “getting organized” to some is worse than chores – worse than paying bills even! 2009 is all about the little things you can do in your business to stay alive, and thrive!
First, if you understood WHY being organized can help your business, then maybe you would be less resistant to do something about it. With the downturn of the economy, people are losing jobs or their businesses left and right. “Sprint-Nextel is eliminating about 8,000 jobs in the first quarter… Caterpillar will cut 20,000 employees, contract and agency workers… Home Depot says it’s cutting 7,000 jobs and closing its smaller Expo chain as the recession continues to batter the housing market.” MSNBC.com, 1/26/2009
I don’t add those figures in to scare you. I mention them to motivate you. Now is the time to make an extra personal effort; now is the time to stand apart from your competitors. If you get organized (and I’ll give you a few tips below), then you will have a capacity to pay attention to the details of your business. If you say you are going to call your client today, then make a note, and no matter what (!), call them. If one of your best customers at one point mentioned that they liked bumper stickers about puppies, write it down and send them an out-of-the-blue thank you card with a puppy bumper sticker enclosed. How many of your competitors do you think would do something like that?
We all know that word of mouth advertising is the MOST powerful form of advertising there is. Why not use that fact to your advantage? The more you treasure your customers, and let me know it, the more they will give you repeat business. 2009 is *not* about the making “quick buck” – it’s about going back to the business basics that work…doing work.
So, how do you get organized? how do you make a difference? Well, practice makes perfect. Here are a few tips to get you started on the right foot:
- At the end of the day, no matter how tired you are or how much you don’t want to, clean up your desk. Put all of your files and papers in a stack, round up your pens and pencils and put them in a holder, and throw trash away. You will be amazed at the difference when you show up to work the next morning – you won’t dread your to-do list as much, and you will find motivation to tackel the tasks ahead.
- Do not wait to get organized until you “have time”, because guess what? That time will probably never come because you will always find something else that’s “more important” to get done.
- Hate to throw anything away? Well, you’re not alone, but there is something you can do about it. Filing papers is essential. Don’t let your contracts, invoices, and to-do lists pile up a foot tall. Office Max is your friend – or you can even find no-cost ways to get organized…you just need to get creative. Use old mail packaging boxes to store old papers and store them in a closet, for example.
- Make groups. People remember things in 3′s – and this rule will help you immensely down the road. If you are the type of worker that can’t find what you need for a meeting that is minutes away (which makes you late), then this will help. Divide your to-dos, papers, etc. into 3 stacks. (Note: you should only have to do this once, then maintenance is the key.) A stack of things to tackle *today*, a stack for the *week*, and a stack for the *month*. This will save you tons of time from having to look in all of your papers for one thing you need.
- A VERY helpful tool for those of you who are hopeless in the organization department. Go to Smead and click on the “Get Organized” button. They have a system in place to help any type of worker in any situation. You fill out a 2 minute questionnaire (no, you don’t have to give up contact info to see the results – it’s free) and the results will give you tips to get organized based on your working environment and behavior. Yay!
That should be enough to get you started. The only question left is….when will you make time to separate yourself from your competition? To make an impact on your client list? To boost your business sales?
How about today?
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 26, 2009
As many hours in a week as I’m working in front of a computer, I’m truly blessed to be able to be involved with my son’s basketball team. Last Thursday through Saturday, he played 6 games in his second tournament of the year and his team eventually won the championship! What a memory.
Throughout the competition, I kept hearing the parents complaining about the officiating (just like at NBA games!) and booing the coaching staff. I even tweeted right from the game a few times how disgusted I was at the audience’s participation.
What particularly caught my attention was the seemingly repetitive comment parents of players on the losing teams were making. They tried to justify their imminent defeat as the end of the 4th quarters drew near by saying as if almost programmed, “It’s only a game.”
Why do so many consider organized sports to be “just a game” I always wondered? Isn’t more? Isn’t any game or competition we are in simply “experience” to draw from later?
And, if we didn’t have that additional experience, whether we win or lose, where would we be then?
My friend, when it comes to our businesses and life in general, we play many games don’t we? Some we write off as “just a game” and others we consider far more important to be major tournaments. My hope is that you look at every game you play in your life and business to be thought of as valuable experience you must earn so that you may one day too hold your trophy of victory so high in the air that it won’t even fit in the picture!
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 23, 2009
Being in the Internet Marketing business for 13 years, I have come across quite a few clients who are weary of the Internet because of their “lack of technical skills” when it comes to computers. Well, I am here to tell you that you don’t have to be a know-it-all to make money online! And that is what Website Waves is all about. I want to hand you the tips and techniques I have learned in my career so you can make a splash in this giant pool of the World Wide Web.
That said, I have a little secret weapon for all of you Internet Marketing newbies. The Traffic Manifesto written by Ross Goldberg is a must read if you are just getting started online and don’t know how to juggle all of the different social networks, or which article submission sites are the best to be featured on, or if you don’t know what a Squidoo lens is. This eBook is also a must read if your business is on a slippery slope due to the economic downfall of 2008. Going back to the basics and learning the simple and FREE ways to get traffic to your site, could just be the answer to your income worries.
In Ross’ sales letter for the Traffic Manifesto, he says, “I spent 3,547 hours learning how to generate massive traffic so you won’t have to“. In my experience, you have to be careful who you trust in the sea of top Internet Marketers. I like to make sure the people I follow are genuine people that really WANT me to get results. Ten days after waking up from a coma, Ross was told he would never be able to walk again. He spent his time learning the ins and outs of driving traffic on the Internet while working ruthlessly at physical therapy to hit his goal of walking again – which he achieved. (Great job Ross!)
So, what is in this Manifesto? How about URLs to hundreds of article syndication sites, and dozens of press release syndication sites, podcasting directories, top social networking sitesm blog and RSS feed sites, affiliate program directories sites, video sharing and social bookmarking sites – 131 pages of how tos and links. Ross outlines 79 different ways to drive traffic to your blog or website – and most of them are free methods.
You might have seen the Manifesto selling for $97 which offers a range of bonuses, but I tracked down the same Manifesto selling for only $37 to save you a few bucks if you decide to get yourself a copy.
If you consider yourself technically challenged, or need to boost sales for 2009, check out the Traffic Manifesto here. If you already own a copy, or have seen other Ross Goldberg products and have an opinion, leave me a comment and tell me what you think. I’m thinking it’s here to stay!
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 22, 2009
As a web designer and Internet Marketer, I hear this question from my clients all the time: “How do I get more visitors to my website?” Well, what if you could promote your company, product, service, ideas, or controversial thoughts on one of the top 500 most visited sites in the world, for free? Do you think that would help? Squidoo is hot, hot, hot – and it’s time to jump on the Web 2.0 bandwagon.
What is it? Squidoo offers its users a way to publish subject-specific individual webpages. Let your creative juices start flowing and just think of the possibilities. There is not a limit to the number of “lenses”, or pages, you can create. You could make one for each product you offer, one for all of the affiliate products you market, one to promote your blog or website – the possibilities are endless!
Now is not the time to add this to your long list of to-dos and come back to it later. This is easy to learn, fast, and can get you more exposure today if you let it. Listen up; here are a few things you should know:
- You can set up your account for free at www.Squidoo.com in less than 60 seconds
- You can add photos, video, ebay auctions, Amazon products, Flickr photos, Google AdWords, links to your site or blog, and so much more! (Hint: Most of those are profit-producing additions)
- Requires little to no on-going work
- Anyone can add content by using Squidoo’s simply WYSIWIG editor (just like Word)
- Traffic will find you! Yes, you heard that correctly. You are creating a page which is a piece of Squidoo’s giant network – one of the top sites in the world!
Similar to other top Social Networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, you can create your own Squidoo profile, become a fan of other lenses, drop comments, and join groups. Check out my lens “Save My Business”. This top Social Media site even has their own lingo – you can become a Squid Angel or Giant Squid Greeter based on your involvement. A great example of a Squidoo lens (and one to help you learn the ins and outs of this opportunity) can be found at here.
Getting more visitors to your website doesn’t have to take hours and hours, and cost you hundreds of dollars. We will continue our exploration of free, easy, networking and business-boosting opportunities in the coming weeks at Website Waves – so check back or Subscribe to my Feed. But in the meantime, drop me a comment and share the URL to your Squidoo lens. For the lens that is most unique, out of all comment submissions, I will write a blog post on your website’s product or service and give you some extra exposure. I’ll pick in 7 days – let’s have some fun with this! Good luck…
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 21, 2009
This list of the most important social bookmarking sites will be added to throughout the year. So, let this serve as your official location for discovering social bookmarks and social bookmarking web sites. As we hear of new social bookmarking sites being added, we will post them here and when a more accurate description of each social networking site gets edited, you will have the most up-to-date description available.
Yahoo Buzz (Buzz.yahoo.com)
Unlike social networking which are groups of people who share interests and interact through social networking web sites, social bookmarks are collections of websites that have been flagged by users. You might have found a Web site you wanted to come back to later and “bookmarked” it in your browser. That’s what social bookmarks provide…a way for you to keep track of Web sites you want to visit later while also showcasing those preferences to other Web site surfers.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 21, 2009
This list of the most important social networking sites will be added to throughout the year. So, let this serve as your official location for discovering social networks and social networking web sites. As we hear of new social networking sites being added, we will post them here and when a more accurate description of each social networking site gets edited, you will have the most up-to-date description available.
Myspace.com – Certainly the most visited
Facebook.com – Winning my vote as the most interactive
Linkedin.com – Best for building business connections
Squidoo.com – A great add-on to your primary social network
Bebo.com – Good for those who like to share thoughts about movies, entertainment
Bahu.com – Only if your 25 or under
Zorpia – Focus is on meeting people Internationally
Netlog – Focus is Europe
Twitter.com – The wonder of 2008
Classmates.com – Not the best for business building but it IS social networking afterall
Xanga.com – Networking community for bloggers
Xing.com (Europe, Germany, China)
Ryze.com (for business)
Meetup.com – Growing by leaps and bounds, a must-watch
And, let’s not forget forums of course. Participating in forums is one of the greatest places to spend your marketing time because people read your posts and want to know more about you. So, they visit your Web site through a link provided on every forum posting you make.
Do you have a favorite social networking Web site that’s not listed here? Let us know and we’ll post it. Simply post a comment and a description.