10 Questions for Online Marketing Companies

By Angela Benson

Online marketing companies are distinguished by price, media relationships and their in-house engineering and software resources. What small business owners may not consider when looking for a marketing firm are the results and online marketing strategies that the firms use.

Money Paid Doesn’t Equal Online Marketing Success

For example, some online marketing companies combine SEO, pay-per-click ads, social media marketing and link building to help rank websites and get small businesses in front of prospects. Others use bots to generate website traffic. You don’t want this, unless your ego demands to see numbers-numbers-numbers (even if the numbers don’t matter and never lead to a single sale).

Even if they charge a fortune, working with online marketing companies doesn’t always equal more leads, website traffic and sales. I learned this the hard way, and this, despite the fact that I’d done my homework, researching SEO and online marketing and learning what works and what doesn’t. I don’t want to see you have the same “money paid / success didn’t come” experiences that I did.

So, before you sign a contract with an online marketing agency, ask a representative these 10 questions:

  1. Tell me about 10 clients who your online marketing agency took from less than $100 sales a month to $1,000 or more sales a month.
  2. What are the top three niche markets that you see best results in?
  3. How many times have you marketed websites for a client like me? (Just because an online marketing agency got winning results marketing automobiles doesn’t meant that the agency can help you attract thousands of book readers/buyers.)
  4. If you do link building, how many of the sites that you will link my website to rank in the top 100?
  5. What types of inbound online marketing strategies do you use?
  6. Why did you start your online marketing firm?
  7. Share five sites that you use to publish guest posts at. (Marketing agency reps may not share the sites’ URL, but they could give you some background on the sites, including topics/themes covered at the sites, how long they have been working with the sites’ owners and if the sites are trusted leaders in their market.)
  8. How will I receive weekly results reports and what’s included in the reports?
  9. Who should I contact if I have questions about my particular online marketing plan? (Get an email address and telephone number.)
  10. How many links, blog and guest posts, paid ads and social media posts will you complete for my small business each week for me with my marketing plan?

    Also ask online marketing companies to outline their different plans by price. Before going with a higher priced plan, consider trying out the basic plan. If results with the base plan are good, you might consider a higher priced plan. But, again, test the results. Pay attention and learn, so that you can complete more online marketing strategies on your own.
Posted in Growing Business | 1 Comment

What’s The Connection Between SOI, John Legend and Atlanta’s Real Housewives?

fashion designer diane linstonMEET Diane Linston:  Diane Linston is a faithful believer, a risk taker and a visionary. She is also one of the most talented fashion designers in Ohio. She has been advancing her Styles of Imagination (http://www.stylesofimagination.com) fashions for years. Her company is the only African American female manufacturing company in the Cleveland/Maple Heights area. Diane Linston’s designs are elegant, trendy and attention getting. For her work, Diane earned a feature in the 11th anniversary edition of “Who’s Who in Black Cleveland”.

She has been featured in more than 20 magazines and has appeared on several television shows. She keeps her eye on the prize. Two medical setbacks couldn’t stop her. This powerful business owner and fashion designer has worked with movers and shakers like actress, Jazmin Lewis; the mother of internationally renowned singer, John Legend; The Real Housewives of Atlanta,  Dwight Eubanks and mayor elect, Annette Blackwell. Keep reading to find out what inspires Diane, how she started her business and what she does to get the word out about her designs.

WMI:    What were you doing before you founded Styles of Imagination?

DL:        I was working in retail as an assistant merchandise planner with Things Remembered. I had just graduated from Virginia Marti College of Fashions & Art with a degree in fashion merchandise & fashion designs. After a year of working at Things Remembered, I felt that it was time to branch out on my own.

WMI:    Tell us what inspired you to start your business?

DL:    I have worked in many retail stores throughout my career. I worked at Saks, Lane Bryant, Paul Harris and WalMart. I know how to operate a retail store. I know how to merchandise a window. I was traveling to different events as a vendor, selling my clothing. That’s when I knew that it was time to start my own fashion company. I found a storefront less than five minutes from my home. It was in the right location.

WMI:    Fashion isn’t an industry that you can run a business in totally on the Internet. What was the process like of starting your own fashion company?

DL:       If you plan to have a brick and mortar store, you need to have a visible location where there is enough parking. It needs to be a location that customers can find easily. If you have a nice sized window, you need to make sure that your window is merchandised well. If you don’t know how to merchandise your window, seek an intern from a fashion college to help. Merchandising your window is very important. Keep in mind, that you need to put money aside for advertising. You can have the best boutique, but, if no one knows you’re there, it’s useless.

To get the word out about my fashion company, I passed out fliers at a nearby grocery store.

WMI:    Do you work runways, create designs or do you make clothes based off of specs that designers send you?

diane linston fashion lineDL:   I am the fashion designer. I design and create my clothing. I have a staff. We do everything from making the pattern to sewing the sample. Then we go into production to get the orders into other boutique stores.

WMI:    You’ve faced life challenges. How do you stay motivated and keep your business going when you’re dealing with health challenges?

DL:      Yes; I have faced many health challenges. What people don’t know is that I live with Teflon on the left side of my head. I have a severely damaged nerve that cannot be repaired. I had what is called trigeminal neuralgia. This is a disorder that effects 1 out of 15,000 people each year. (How could I have been so lucky). I had brain surgery in 2011. The nerve was so damaged, it caused one of my arteries to get wrapped around my blood vessel.

As I am writing this, tears are rolling from my eyes. I thought about taking my life, because the pain was so horrible. I told the Lord that if I was given quality of life again that I would tmake a difference in this world. I have not let the Lord down. I pray every day as  I speak with God. Then, I meditate as I allow God to speak with me and give me direction. You have to believe with a positive attitude. I am passionate about what I’m doing. I eat, sleep and drink my dream. I speak it into the universe.

WMI:    Congratulations on opening your showroom in 2015. What was that process like?  

DL:       Thank you. It seems like there’s not enough time in the day. It was hard finding good help.  The demand became overwhelming. It was as if we couldn’t create enough merchandise within the day. Things were selling that fast. I’m also on the road a lot.  I have to make sure that everything is in order before I go out of town. I developed a production line to make the creation of the clothing flow easily. It’s been a year and things are still crazy.

WMI:    What is the N.G.U. collection and who are these designs for? 

DL:        N.G.U. means Never give up. My collection is for the women who dare to dream, the women who will never give up. I cater to the lady with class and style, a woman who has confidence. N.G.U. is for women who want to be seen

WMI:    How were you able to get the N.G.U. collection in 15 stores across America?

DL:        I started to do trade shows like the Atlanta Mart. I would Google boutiques that I thought would be interested in selling my clothing. In the business, this process is called “going fishing,” fishing for new clients.

WMI:    Who are some of the designers you admire?

fashion designer diane linston signature fashion designsDL:       Kimora Lee Simmons, Gianni Versace, Pierre Cardin  and Patrick Kelly. If you’re looking at the KS /GV collection back in the early 90’s — OMG – their collection is totally me. The Pierre Cardin collection back in the 60’s was something futuristic. I have been told that some of my designs are futuristic.

WMI:    Social media networks, press releases, interviews, etc. provide a myriad of marketing opportunities. Share three to four specific marketing strategies/action steps that small business owners can take to get more exposure for their products.

DL:      If you’re working on a shoestring budget like me, you might have to be your own PR person and create your own press releases. Reach out to your local newspaper or local magazine. Send them a press release. Let them know that you have a story to share. Local media is always looking for a good story. If there is a local TV talk show in your city, send them a press release. They might schedule you for an appearance. Also, social media is the thing right now. Post about your business on social media. Every business should have a website.

Create an email marketing list. Let your customers know what you are doing. Keep them up date.

WMI:    To keep your business going, you have to generate cash inflow. Tell us about two to three effective cash inflow generating strategies you’ve found effective.

DL:      I get a lot of sells through my Facebook page. If you can’t afford a storefront, a website is a must. I also sell my N.G.U. Designs by Diane Linston on Amazon.com and do very well. I have heard that Etsy works from some people. Additionally, look for local spots to set up your merchandise. For example, you can call your local hospital, church, etc. to introduce your fashions. And search for women conferences on line. Another resource is Event Brite.

WMI:    What’s next for Diane Linston? Where do you see yourself and Styles of Imagination three to five years from now? 

DL:       Styles of Imagination plans to be in about 20 more stores in the United States within five years.

Posted in Feature Business Leader Interviews | 1 Comment

Map Out 2017 Successes

By Monica Sampson

2017 successes

Picture by Shon Carrera at Wikimedia Commons

It’s a new year. 2017 successes await you if you start taking actions that align you with success. Start now. The first step to 2017 successes is to commit to taking action.

This means that you cannot stop at positive thinking, repeating positive affirmations or fantasizing about what it will feel like to reach your goals. Dr. Steve Maraboli said, “Don’t just sit and wait for magic to happen. The magic that turns dreams into reality is YOU. When you are inspired by a dream, create a good plan. Creating that plan turns your dream into a goal. Then, take action!”

Passion, plan and action create 2017 successes

Action is a must in this world. You can’t just think-think-think about what you want. Even a great magician has to actually reach inside a hat and pull the rabbit out. A rabbit doesn’t come out of a hat simply because a magician thinks about a rabbit coming out a hat.

It could be why Dr. Steve Maraboli goes on to say that, “Live your life in a way that will bring that dream, that goal, to life. The magic is you.”

To map out 2017 successes, review your 2016 accomplishments. Major corporations don’t do this during employee performance reviews for nothing.

You need to see where you are. You need to see what you have accomplished, what you tried to accomplish and where gaps between the two are.

Now let the past go and look ahead

After you review your 2016 successes and identify areas for improvement, focus on the 2017 successes you want to experience. Get out a sheet of paper or computer.

List the top three successes that you want to experience this year. You really need to be passionate about achieving these goals. It could take weeks or months of consistent action and thought to manifest a goal. Inner passion will fuel you forward.

Stick to three successes as doing so helps you to focus. For example, you might write that you want to visit your adult children three times this year, gaining their genuine invite. Other goals might be to lower your blood pressure 20 points and to increase your business profits by 12 percent.

Build on your 2017 successes

Beneath each goal, write out at least 10 specific actions that you will take to manifest these 2017 successes. For instance, to lower your blood pressure by 20 points, you might:

1. Stop sprinkling salt on food
2. Eat clean salads (not add salad dressing to vegetables)
3. Walk 1 hour a day
4. Drink 4 to 8 glasses of water a day
5. Meditate for 15 to 20 minutes a day
6. Write in a journal at least four days a week
7. Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night
8. Use a fitness watch and track your exercise and deep sleep
9. Take your blood pressure once a month to see if the actions you’re taking are working
10. Reduce or eliminate fried foods from your diet
11. Read at least one new article a month on blood pressure to discover new ways to lower your blood pressure
12. Spend time with family and friends each week (good social connections improve our overall health)
13. Every half hour, for 30 to 60 seconds, visualize my blood pressure readings being 20 points where they are now

Stay open to the Creator’s word

Stay open to hearing and obeying our Creator. Insight on what you need to do to achieve 2017 successes could surface to your conscious mind seemingly out-of-nowhere. Speak positive affirmations to yourself if you start to feel as if your efforts will never pay off. If you keep going, something will happen.

Actively visualize yourself doing what you want to do. But, also take actions — lots of it! If your desired 2017 successes align with your authentic passions, you’ll want to do the work. In fact, it may not feel like work. It may feel like what you love to do, what you were born to do!

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Posted in Staying Motivated and Inspired | Tagged | 2 Comments

Your Personal 2016 Successes

By Monica Sampson

2016 successes

Found at Wikimedia Commons – Photo is in the public domain

Congratulations on  your 2016 successes! You’re getting ready to cross the finish line and head into a brand new year.

Newness is inspirational! Newness is powerful! It makes you feel hopeful, as you may be feeling with 2017 only days away. Yet, just because the year, a relationship, job or house is new doesn’t mean that you’re in for significant, rewarding change. Your personal 2016 successes point to what you’re set to achieve in 2017.

Because of this, before you sit down and map out your 2017 goals, review your personal 2016 successes. Look back at your personal successes in 2016 with honesty. You won’t benefit now or in the future if you lie to yourself.

What are your best 2016 successes?

Following are specific questions you can ask yourself as you take a look back at 2016. Don’t skim over the questions. Also, consider your long term personal goals when you think about the questions.

  • Did my happiness and peace expand during 2016? If I struggled with feeling stuck or stagnant during 2015, did I have fewer days or instances where I felt that way in 2016? Why?
  • Was I faithful to my own mind stillness and mind awakening exercises in 2016? After I wrote down that I would meditate for at least 15 minutes a day at the start of 2016, did I do that? Did I sit still for at least 10 minutes after morning and/or evening prayer? Why not (again, be honest with yourself)
  • My financial savings grew in 2016 (yes or no)? Also, how did my saving grow? For example, did my savings grow because I spent less. Did I build personal wealth because I switched my accounts to lower interest accounts or worked another job?
  • Or did my savings grow because I experienced more business growth. I generated more personal wealth because I invested in my IRA more or got a raise at work or a combination of these or another activity?

Other ways you got on track in 2016

Your health is a direct connect to your energy. What health related changes did you make to position yourself for greater 2016 successes? Can you say that your:

  • Health improved for me spiritually, mentally and physically (yes or no)? Why? Did I exercise more, lost 15 pounds, eat more raw vegetables, cut back on my sugar or salt intake and/or cut back on worrying?
  • I followed my dream and started my own business in 2016? This is one of my big 2016 successes, as I’ve wanted to operate a business since I was 15.
  • Thanks to partnering with the right marketing agencies and sales specialists, I grew my company’s bottom line by 31%, one of several 2016 successes? If you work for an employer, how did you help the area that you work in grow? (If you’re not interested in helping the business that you work for to grow, why are you staying at that organization?)

More areas that impacted your 2016 successes

It may take one to two hours to complete the review of your 2016 successes. Don’t rush yourself. As you continue your review, ask yourself the below questions.

  • Instead of giving myself dozens of reasons to stay at a job I know I don’t like and know that I don’t find fulfilling, one of my 2016 successes found me applying and interviewing for a new job. I applied for jobs in my passion field. I even worked an internship in my passion field to give myself enough experience to nail a permanent, full-time job in the field?
  • One of my 2016 successes saw me saying good-bye to a toxic, abusive relationship. I also enrolled in a course at a community college, joined a book club and started keeping in touch with family and friends at least once a week to replace the relationship with more positive connections with others (yes or no)?
  • I got the help that I needed for a challenge that I’ve been dealing with. I stopped lying to myself and gave myself a chance to heal, so that I can be happy?

The above questions are general, in nature, covering personal relationships, work, finances and spiritual, mental and physical health. Because there are many facets to the experiences that you have in this world, it’s smart to review each area of your 2016 successes.

If you conduct a review of your 2016 successes before you map out your 2017 goals and the steps that you will take to reach those goals, you can spot areas that you need to focus on. You may also see just what held you back in 2016. You can also spot your strengths.

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Posted in Staying Motivated and Inspired | Tagged | 2 Comments

How to become a full-time freelance writer

By Monica Sampson

By 2020, nearly half of Americans may earn their income freelancing. Companies like Lyft and Uber are already having an impact on the contractor or freelancer population. Declining job security is also driving the move from traditional to freelance employment. An in-demand role within the contractor community is that of the freelance writer.

Full-time freelance writer expectations

Flexibility attracts many people to freelance writer jobs. So too does a love for creating stories. The thing is that many freelance writer jobs rely on research, stats and advertising or sales copy. It’s this that some journalists find challenging when making the shift from newspaper reporter to online freelance writer.

Writing for the web is different than writing for newspapers and magazines. Writing for mobile devices produces an even greater shift. Clearly, even if you’ve written for traditional medias, you’re in for change as you start to work as a full-time freelance writer. Below are steps you can take to ease the transition.

Steps to life as a full-time freelance writer

If you’re starting out as a freelance writer who’s never earned an income writing, the following steps could save you hours of mistakes and hundreds of dollars. To successfully transition into being a full-time freelance writer:

  • Decorate an at-home office space. Use this space solely for freelance writing. A desk, chair, computer, printer and telephone are key items to add to your work space. I’m a big fan of working at a desk that faces a great outdoor view. It’s also a good idea to have a back-up laptop just in case your main computer goes down.
  • Tell your family that you’ll be working from home. But, don’t just tell your relatives that you’re working from home. Set work days and work times and stick to them. Stay free of guilt when telling people “no” when they ask you to babysit, dog sit or run errands during your work hours.
  • Focus on your writing. If the television distracts you, turn it off. Save social media and email checking until your lunch break or at the end of your work day.
  • Build a freelance writer website. Data to add to your freelance writer website are your bio, writing samples, freelance writing projects you’ve completed and a list of clients you have written for.
  • Market your online writer portfolio. Social media sites, YouTube, Vimeo and online directories are places where you can market your online writer portfolio. Press releases are another way to let prospective clients know that you’re looking for business.
  • Definitely tell your relatives, friends, neighbors and former colleagues know that you’re seeking freelance writer clients.
  • Set up freelance writer job alerts. Create job alerts for keywords like “freelance writer” “copywriter” and “marketing writer” at job boards. Popular job boards include Indeed, CareerBuilder and ZipRecruiter. LinkedIn is another excellent job board source.

More steps to becoming a full-time freelance writer

  • Create a LinkedIn profile. Speaking of LinkedIn, take the time to build a writing specific LinkedIn profile. Publish writing blog posts to this LinkedIn profile to market your freelance writer portfolio. Reach out to entrepreneurs. Let them know how you can help grow or deepen their customer base.
  • Search for freelance writer jobs every day. Journalism Jobs, Freelance Writing Gigs, MediaBistro and Craigslist are good places to find freelance writing jobs.
    Build a writing clientele of at least 12. Market your work until you get at least 12 paying writing clients. Why? Clients will come and go. You’ll have some writing clients who’ll work with you for three, four, five years or longer. Other clients will only need your services for two, three or six months. Having at least 12 clients helps to keep your income flowing.
  • Negotiate competitive prices. Use your self-confidence to negotiate competitive freelancer rates. Earn competitive rates and you could earn $60,000 or more a year writing 40 to 50 hours a week.
  • Keep good records. Record how much time you spend on each project. This will help you to negotiate rate increases. It also helps you to determine which clients are the most profitable.
  • File and pay quarterly taxes. Pay quarterly Social Security, Medicare and income taxes. It’ll save you a financial headache at the beginning of the year.
  • Backup writing files. Keep a backup file of freelance writer work. A removable disk should work. Just plug the disk into your computer and download a copy of client articles, blog posts, press releases, infographics and other content that you create.

Other steps to become a full-time freelance writer include continuing to learn. For example, as a freelance writer, you could get Google and HubSpot SEO and content marketing certifications. Research new online marketing, advertising and writing for mobile app strategies, analytic tools and trends.

Posted in Employment and Finding Jobs | Tagged | 1 Comment

10 Easy Ways To Fire Sales Into Red Hot Mode

By Ericka Simpson

red hot sales tags

Wikimedia Commons Pic by Web Design Hot

Would it be accurate to say that your passion as a new business owner forced you to fire sales into red hot gear? Remember when you destroyed every idea that you wouldn’t make it? You didn’t wait for marketers to find you.

How it all changed

You performed market research feverishly, logging hours at your local library or searching the internet for demographic details on your target audience. If you were releasing a new book, you stopped by every local bookstore within a 30 mile radius of where you lived. Pushing fear aside, you walked right up to the customer service desk clerk and asked, “What do I need to do to get my books in your store?”

Your fire sales up efforts paid off. You got your products in mainstream stores. Online sales were strong. Then, several months or maybe even a year or more passed and your sales declined. Despite your efforts, it seemed impossible that your products would sell as fast or in as much volume as they once did.

Forget that each product has a life cycle and, when sales drop off — even if you don’t completely give up — you’ll slow down. You’ll start to doubt yourself and your work. What happens next shouldn’t surprise you. That’s right. Your sales limp along and then completely give out. But, your talent and your ability to produce didn’t change. So, what changed?

Your passion changed. Your belief that you will succeed changed. That shift altered your marketing, advertising, word-of-mouth and lead generation efforts. Like a tsunami forcing its way across a small town, your dwindling passion and belief flattened your sales.

What now?

Fire sales without breaking the bank

Read these 10 easy steps. Take action on at least three of the steps to fire sales into red hot mode.

    • Ignite your passion. Like a relationship that’s gone stale, you once had so much passion for your products or services that you thought about them all the time. You allowed slow or no sales to dampen your passion. Get that passion back! Recall why you started your business. Without judging if you’ll generate a lot of sales or not, imagine the benefits that your products or services will bring to others. Remember in vivid detail how good it felt to speak with someone who benefited from what you created.
    • Get fresh with your market research. Discover changes in your target audience. Does a larger number of your target audience now use Instagram versus Twitter or Facebook? Has 15% or more of your target audience moved from single family homes into apartments? If so, create a list of apartment complexes near your business. Don’t just pass brochures and flyers out at these apartment complexes. Speak with managers at the apartment complexes. Share the benefits of your products or services. Ask if you can host a seminar or give out samples. Definitely, create a sign-up sheet and get contact information on each person who comes to the seminar or receives a free sample.
    • Get out of the store. Get outside and start talking with people. Build your brand on and offline. Introduce yourself and your business to newcomers, passersby and the curious. Hand out flyers, catalogs, brochures and leaflets to each person who you speak with.

Start taking more action

    • Create a video channel. YouTube and Vimeo are leading online video platforms. Schedule a new marketing video release at least once a week. Test the market. You may get your best results by releasing a new marketing video early on a Tuesday morning. Or you might grab your biggest successes by releasing a new marketing video on a Friday or Saturday evening. Stick to the schedule. Avoid going weeks without publishing a new marketing video.
    • Attend large public events. Cultural and community festivals attract 25,000 or more people. Choose festivals that align with your business. For example, if you sale custom designed hub caps, you’d be smart to attend auto shows.
    • Get on the telephone. That’s right – the telephone. Conduct three to four online radio interviews a week. You may become a regular on one of the shows. To fire sales, you could also host your own radio show. Tie the show in with your other marketing efforts. This means, that you’ll add the dial in numbers and URL for the radio show on your packaging, including shopping bags.
    • Build a talented team. Triple, quadruple and more your reach by building a talented team. Assign each team member a detailed function. For example, a team member could be responsible for video productions, while another team member handles finding and registering you to attend large public events. Another team member could handle website and packaging designs.

Try ads and learn from sincere feedback

    • Run ads. Select ads that yield significant reach and that fit within your budget over the long term. As a tip, magazine ads can easily cost $5,000 and up, depending on the size of the magazine’s readership. Price out ads that align with your business. Plan to run the ads consistently, issue after issue, for at least four to six months to get the most out of the ads. Why? People generally need to see an ad 20 or more times before they take action.
    • Value feedback. Face it! You’re going to get feedback on your products, services and overall business operations. Work on your self-esteem, if you must. But, don’t run from fire sales activities because you don’t want people to discover you and give you feedback. Make changes based on consistent feedback that you receive. Another thing to face! You’re going to have to sharpen, enhance and change your products or services to stay apace with local, regional, national and global changes. It’s that or go the way of the dinosaur. Choose the latter and you could feed your ego by telling people how big or great you once were.
    • Practice awareness. You can meditate, take long outdoor walks or jogs, bicycle or hike. The key is to spend time each day tuning into your real Self. It knows which way you should go. It knows what you should be focusing on or doing right now. It can help you to live a rich, balanced life that extends beyond business and sales.

More ways to fire sales

More fire sales actions include blogging. Don’t just use SEO driven keywords when you blog. Use words that stir up people’s emotions. People say that they are dead, but, you can still get traction with press releases, especially if you develop relationships with media contacts. Newsletters, email, coupons, paying for online social media marketing services, educational seminars, cross selling with other businesses, public speaking, mobile trucks that showcase your products or services and late night television ads are other ways to fire your sales.

Build an annual calendar and chart your fire your sales course early. Write down specific actions that you will take each day. Don’t be vague. For example, write down that you are going to schedule social media posts at Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, ScoopIt and MySpace once a month using tools like Buffer or HootSuite. Take at least one action a day.

Posted in Growing Business | 1 Comment

These Awesome Press Releases Pack Sales Punch

By Ericka Simpson

Awesome press releases don’t just inform readers. Great press releases pack a recognizable sales punch.

I’ve seen the numbers of listeners at radio shows like Off The Shelf skyrocket after the radio show ran a press announcement for only two to three shows in a row.

Features in awesome press releases

Read these following important elements that are not only a part of awesome press releases but that can give your next releases a rock solid sales punch.

  • Must read headline. Add words that trigger emotion to your press release headlines. Buffer shares headline formulas. Smart Blogger, Freelance Writing Gigs and My Quick Idea are spots where you can get great words to use in headlines.

  • Focus on the advantages. Introduce readers to your products’ or services’ advantages right away. Share the name of your new products or services from the beginning. If you’re sending a press release to announce an event, give the name of the event, location and date and time immediately. Then, go right into the benefits that people will gain from using your products, services or by attending your event.
  • Expert backup. Awesome press releases include snippets of a testimonial or feature interviews from one to three industry experts. Thanks to social media, you can reach out to experts for testimonials and short, concise interviews directly from your computer. Don’t force people to rely on your word alone. Give them more proof that what you’re saying is accurate.
  • Inform and educate. List three to five major benefits about your event, product or service. Keep each item to five to six words, to force yourself to be as clear as possible. Use a paragraph of your awesome press releases to present this information. Write for industry insiders and novices.
  • Be honest. Elections prove how critical it is to be honest. Be honest about your pricing, service delivery turnaround, shipping costs, product guarantees and return policies. Set high goals that you and your team can consistently produce.
  • Be prepared. Prepare for consumer response. Staff up to handle customer orders and telephone calls. The last thing that you want is to send a press release that gets national exposure only to discover that you don’t have enough products on hand to meet customer demands.

Make your press releases better with these elements

  • Add amazing visuals. Forget stock images. Take pictures of your products yourself. Shoot for originality. To highlight your services, consider using professional models. Because they are your pictures, make the images work for you. Use the original pictures in videos, blogs, articles and on your website and social media pages. Definitely add the original pictures that you took yourself to your press releases. Top press release distribution services let you upload pictures when you’re submitting your news announcement.
  • Keywords. The right keywords are a must. Awesome press releases need to be found. Professional writers can help you write press announcements using targeted keywords.
  • Videos. Create a video so readers can see your products in action. Add a link to your video in your news announcement.
  • Contact information. Absolutely do not skip this step. You’d be surprised how many people do. Include your contact information at the bottom of your awesome press releases. Details to include with your contact information are: the name of your company, mailing address, website URL, phone number and a short one-paragraph summary of your business.

Decide on the right press release distribution service to pack the most sales punch. Distribution services that have an international or national reach could yield the best results. Also, keep regional and industry specific press release distribution services in mind. Key is to alert media experts to your latest products and new services regularly, at least once a month. Another important key is to choose distribution services that have real and valuable relationships with actual magazine and newspaper reporters, media writers and digital news professionals.

Posted in Growing Business | 1 Comment