The Ultimate Internet Image: Social Media, Sales and Marketing Part I

The merging of a comprehensive social media marketing strategy, also referred to by many as Web 2.0 marketing, with an overarching, inbound marketing campaign is crucial if our goal is to fully optimize advertising and marketing strategies online. The Internet marketing campaign, both in terms of monetization and branding, must reflect an understanding as well as a synthesis, an integration of the various tools, applications, and platforms available and necessary for an effective inbound marketing campaign. In order to achieve the ultimate Internet image, in other words, in order to effectively brand yourself and your product, you must pursue and implement a program designed to optimize the best Web 2.0 has to offer with various other “new media,” Internet marketing techniques (e.g., email marketing, on-site marketing, affiliate marketing, free advertising, etc). In order to fully exploit the growing popularity of social media generally, and certain social networking and video-sharing sites specifically, it must be understood that there is a major sift underway, a transition taking place on the Internet today. While I have addressed this transition at some length in previous articles, I will review and also discuss the various usage trends evident on the web, particularly as they relate to new media and online business.

Social Media and the Twitter Hawks’ Promise!

Social networking sites are myriad, with more popping up every day. Social bookmarking and video-sharing sites are just as plentiful. That being the case, it is imperative we understand the transition and the trends underway and ongoing if, as Internet marketers, we wish to take advantage of the veritable gold rush underway on the web today. However, a word of caution! While I use the phrase gold rush, I must add a caveat. Without the proper understanding, preparation, and an intelligent, well thought out inbound marketing strategy, the online campaign will come up bust every time.

Vanishing: Attrition and Social Media

There are marketers disappearing as fast as they appear, 60% attrition from Twitter at last report, because they simply do not understand the intricacies, the balance, and the psychology underlying this rush to gold. Certainly it is true that not all of the 60% are or ever were marketers but the drop off is illustrative of just how fast the attraction and the luster fades. Interestingly, certain social media sites have come, and others gone, while you read this article, some fading into oblivion and others popping up to take their place.

The Twitter Gold Rush

Many of the Twitter marketers (i.e., Twits, Twitterers or Tweeple) find out quite rapidly that a simple link doesn’t convert as well as the Twitter Hawks, I term I coined to label those individuals selling the dream, the “picks and shovels” to Tweeple looking to cash in on the Internet version of the California Gold Rush or was it the Alaska Gold Rush? Many soon discover it takes more than a metaphorical pick and shovel, meaning the latest load of rehashed and replayed Twitter marketing “stuff,” a lot nicer than the four letter word I was considering for a lot of it, from one of the myriad of Twitter marketing “gurus,” some with almost no followers and following even fewer…but they are experts? The Twitter Hawks out there are just waiting for the next 49er to come along, dreaming of gold and panning for it on Twitter, facebook, or perhaps YouTube.

Twitter and Four Letter Words,br>

I mention Twitter because it is illustrative and symptomatic of a much deeper problem on the web generally, and within social media specifically. I am speaking of what rests at the very base, in fact is the basis of any effective marketing campaign, online or offline traditional brick and mortar, anywhere in the world, and in any field. The problem has to do with a clear lack of understanding of the sales process. Yes, we call it all kinds of fancy names in order to avoid saying the “S” word, that four letter word everyone hates. You see, S…E…L…L…is the ultimate four letter word! “I can’t SELL!” “Do I have to SELL anything?” “Will it involve having to SELL something?” “I didn’t know I’d have to SELL anything!” The best one, “He just wants to SELL me something!” The list goes on and the italicized emphasis placed on the four letter word doesn’t do the disdain, the utter contempt, the revulsion and/or the fear associated with the word justice. But it the best I can do.

I am certain you can hear people in your mind as you read the quotes, these are real and I have heard them all, so have most of you. Have you ever uttered any of the above quotes? Certainly! We don’t like to be S…O…L…D…we like to buy! The irony here should be immediately apparent. In order for you to buy anything, someone else has to do that four letter word to you. Interesting!

The S…A…L…E…and the Sales Process

We refer to the sales process, selling and sales, in many different ways, some are: online business; Internet marketing; inbound marketing; new media marketing; old media and/or outbound advertising; and, just about anything else but what it is, a S…A…L…E!
Significantly, what many are talking about when speaking of sales and marketing is getting someone to take out their wallet and plunk down some cash. Interestingly, a sale is more than just an action and a transaction, much more! You see, you are selling when you get someone to donate their time, listen to your teleseminar, follow your tweets, check out a favorite quote, read a book you recommend, click on your link, join you on LinkedIn or facebook or friendfeed, etc.

It’s About Selling!

So, whatever you do, wherever you do it, most of it is selling. Sometimes sales is about cash, occasionally a lot of cash! And that may actually retard the selling process, we will talk about why in a upcoming article, but selling is not about the cash, it never is, never has been. Cash is a byproduct of the sale, small letters and no emphasis. Sales is about what makes sites like Twitter and facebook and the hundreds of others popular, it’s about the connection, the relationship, the bond that forms before most sales are ever made. Let me say that again…

…it’s about the connection, the relationship, the bond!

Tweeple, the S…A…L…E…and Self

Unfortunately, many Tweeple, in fact most people new to sales, advertising, and marketing simply do not have what it takes to make a sale, much less a S…A…L…E! There is a secret to selling and I am going to share it with you here. I’m going to share it with you so you too may have the success I have had over the years, as a direct result of selling. Yes, selling! You see, life is a sales and marketing process, all of it. If you are successful at selling your self, you will find a mate. If you are successful at selling your self, you will get a good job. If you are successful at selling your self, your kids will listen to and respect you. If you are successful at selling your self, the youth soccer team you coach will listen to you…and they may even win a game or two. Get the idea? Life is a sales process, every hour or every day…sales!

The Other Four Letter Word!

Did you notice something else? S…E…L…F…is also a four letter word, one just as detrimental to the sales process as the word S…E…L…L! So, get your S…E…L…F…out of the sales process and make your prospective client’s self-interest your focus!

The Secret and The Close…Another Four Letter Word

Oh yeah! The secret? The secret is two-fold and you have the answer above. The secret is that there is no sales process! If you attempt to S…E…L…L…anything, you will fail. Yes, you may close the S…A…L…E, and close should be another four letter word. A lasting relationship, one built on a connection and a bond, means you will have a steady client, referrals, and repeat business. The close? Closing someone leads to cancellations, an unhappy client, and clients focused on one thing, price! The price fixation is never a good situation, always a bad S…A…L…E!

It’s About 3 Things!

Selling is about what? Yes, that’s right! The sales process is all about the connection, the relationship, and the bond. I have always been an unconventional salesman. I have never followed a sales script, never. If an employer wanted me to follow a script, the script I followed was an exit script. Why? You already know the answer! I made a connection, that connection led to a relationship, that relationship led to a bond, and the bond allowed for trust, the trust enabled the sales process to culminate in another relationship, one based on a relationship combined with self interest, the client’s self interest…not my S…E…L…F, and certainly not because I made a S…A…L…E!

Internet Image and Social Media

Inbound marketing is a process, it begins with a connection, the connection leads to a relationship, the relationship leads to a bond, and once a bond is formed, another type of relationship builds, a mutual one, one profitable to both parties. Social media is an integral component in the connection/relationship/bond building model, but just one aspect, one ingredient. In fact, there are several key components, all necessary if a traditional brick and mortar business is making the move to an online presence or an Internet marketing concern is stepping up its Internet image. In either case there is one absolute, social media is about the connection and the beginnings of a relationship, to achieve the next component, the bond, the business, offline or online, will require additional steps to ensure its success. In the upcoming three articles we will deal with the various aspects of social media, social bookmarking, and video-sharing sites. Next, in Part II, we will discuss the various social media platforms and how to best integrate them into what will become the ultimate Internet image!

Contact The Ultimate Internet Image for a free comprehensive analysis!

Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.
216-712-6526
Skype: johnzajaros1
johnz@ultimateinternetimage.com

What is The Ultimate Internet Image & What Do We Do for Online & Brick & Mortar Businesses?

The Ultimate Internet Image is a consulting and training company with one goal: Your complete satisfaction!

We are involved in and focussed on the various social media networks and social bookmarking platforms. Additionally, we are involved in developing an innovative, complete, and up-to-date strategy to keep pace with current trends and in order to assure you achieve The Ultimate Internet Image. We have just signed on a brilliant new programmer, already involved in creating social networking software geared towards simplifying and streamlining your online marketing experience. UII is focused on future, innovative applications development. The Ultimate Internet Image International is orientated towards marketing novices and newcomers, as well as seasoned marketing experts and software developers looking to stay abreast of the latest trends in inbound marketing.

Finally, The Ultimate Internet Image is an Internet marketing agency, an inbound marketing consultancy, and a digital marketing mastermind. UII can meet all of your web-based design requirements and assist you in meeting and overcoming your unique Internet application development challenges and concerns. The Ultimate Internet Image is also a full service SEO specialist, skilled in attraction and integration marketing, as well as various advertising strategies using Web 2.0 and social media networks and platforms.

Internet marketing is once again in a transitionary phase, shifting from a traditional, website centered approach, to a more complete and holistic blog and social media strategy. As discussed previously, this also entails a dynamic shift from an outbound, advertiser driven approach to consumer driven, inbound marketing. It is imperative both online and traditional brick and mortar businesses stay on top of this latest trend. UII will help you better understand and implement the various strategies necessary to achieve the ultimate online business presence.

Remember:

Your Success is our Success!

We look forward to serving you in the near future.

Call, Skype or email for a free consultation today!

Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.
216-712-6526
Skype: johnzajaros1
johnz@ultimateinternetimage.com

The Ultimate Internet Image: The Changing Face of SEO and the Transition Underway in Internet Marketing

How to Develop an Ultimate Internet Image Through Advanced Search Engine Optimization – SEO

As an Internet marketer or simply as a traditional brick and mortar businessperson attempting to build traffic to your website, one of the key ingredients necessary for an ultimate Internet image is an effective SEO strategy. SEO, for the uninitiated, is search engine optimization and means, quite simply, developing an online strategy that will enable search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, ASK, and the myriad of others to find your Internet real estate, web property, your website and/or blog. SEO is more of a process than a single action and it takes time and an intelligent, well thought out strategy requiring time, patience, and yes, money. However, if the SEO strategy is developed properly, and with an eye towards long range goals, in other words getting to page one of the various search engines and staying there, a holistic approach to your ultimate Internet image and your inbound marketing, search engine optimization strategy is required.

Why Inbound Marketing and SEO?

Why SEO and online, inbound marketing as opposed to a traditional offline, outbound advertising strategy? Well, there are a number of reasons but one of the main reasons is there has been a shift, a transition from outbound, intrusive advertising to a customer/client driven, inbound, new media approach to marketing. Why? Quite simply it has to do with the emergence of the search engine and the ability of prospective customers to initiate the search process and seek out marketers, particularly businesses offering the service and/or products they require. There has been a transition from the consumer as a passive recipient of advertising messages to the catalyst in the process, seeking out and finding merchants online, via the various search engines competing for their attention, and their business.

The Importance of Page One

So why SEO, why not some other form of marketing, some other Internet image building strategy? Significantly, it has been demonstrated that as many as 80% of all individuals initiating a search on the Internet by way of the various search engines, “Googling” as it is commonly referred to, do not actively record where they have been or the web addresses they have uncovered. It has also been demonstrated that individuals engaged in a search rarely go deeper than page one, on any search engine, and almost never deeper than page two. Interestingly, many times the prospective client initiating the search, instead of going on to page two or page three, will simply types in a new search term or phrase, referred to as keywords or long-tail keywords, and continue on rather than going deeper into the search engine result pages or SERPs. As a result, it is critically important to get to page one on the various search engines as soon as possible if you want to have a chance of being discovered.

The Cost: “Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later!”

While SEO may be expensive initially, the long-term costs when weighed against other forms of marketing and promotion may in fact be the most cost-effective way to promote both online and traditional brick and mortar businesses. The main drawback to SEO, if you can call it a drawback, is that it generally takes time. Search engine optimization may also be expensive, at least initially, but in terms of a long-term marketing strategy it is relatively inexpensive. When compared against PPC or pay per click advertising and traditional, outbound marketing strategies like the Yellow Pages, television and newspaper advertising, SEO is in fact a pretty good deal.

SEO Chops Shops: When the Price is Too Good!

Of course there are what I refer to as SEO chop-shops. But beyond mentioning them, and reminding people of the age-old adage, “You get what you pay for,” I am not going to say a whole lot about them. The results you get from such sources, I won’t even dignify them by calling them specialists, are generally impermanent and, interestingly enough, may end up causing you your good name and your ranking. So take care when considering price alone as the determining factor because the adage is true and the cost may ultimately be much higher than anticipated to undo the damage caused by these “experts.”

When Old SEO was Enough

To continue, for a long time search engine optimization consisted of making sure a website, blog, or both, was keyword rich. Optimization included a keyword appropriate domain name or URL, an optimized website or blog title, the appropriate meta tags, an optimized description, and a solid linking strategy. While there are other components, these are the main ones traditional SEO specialists concentrated on, in fact many still do. We will cover each of these in an upcoming article but for now suffice it to say, these were considered the necessary ingredients, The Holy Grail of SEO.

The Changing Face of Internet Marketing and SEO

Interestingly, there has been a change in optimization strategy and in what is now referred to as new media or inbound, Internet marketing. Significantly, traditional SEO is simply not enough by today’s standards. Old search engine optimization strategies are certainly not enough to get to a search engine’s first page, and stay there. In today’s competitive world, a holistic marketing strategy must be engaged if one is to achieve a lasting presence and The Ultimate Internet Image. In subsequent articles we will cover this in greater detail but for now, what I refer to as a holistic marketing strategy is one that includes not only traditional SEO methods, but e-mail marketing, blogging, video marketing, social networking, social bookmarking, and a comprehensive branding strategy developed with one goal, getting to a search engine’s page one…and staying their! In the next article in this series we will discuss, in great detail, the various ingredients necessary to achieve a solid ranking and The Ultimate Internet Image, an online marketing strategy employed to not only get you to page one but to keep you there, long-term.

Transition and The Ultimate Internet Image!

The transition from traditional, outbound, old media marketing to an innovative, inbound, new media strategy is the focus of The Ultimate Internet Image, a new venture created to serve traditional brick and mortar businesses and Internet marketers alike. The Ultimate Internet Image focuses on an inbound marketing strategy while realizing that there is still power and usefulness in some outbound marketing media platforms. The UII marketing strategy creates a synergy, a synthesis of the old media with the new media in order to create a marketing plan designed specifically for the individual client, not a cookie-cutter, one size fits all approach so commonly seen online.

The Ultimate Internet Image has offices in Maine, Florida, New York, Minnesota, Ohio, and Illinois, with more opening every week. We welcome you to explore the ultimate opportunity, as a client or as a director and owner. Contact information is available at The Ultimate Internet Image’s blog, listed below.

We invite you to discover what it means to offer The Ultimate Internet Image!

For more on this topic: The Internet Marketing Quest Revealed

Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.
216-712-6526
Skype: johnzajaros1
johnz@ultimateinternetimage.com

How to Build a Hub For Your Inbound Internet Marketing Campaign – Blogging and Social Media

How to Build a Hub or a Linchpin for Your Inbound, Internet Marketing Campaign – Blogging and Social Media Marketing – The Ultimate Internet Image!

There is a transition occurring today in the marketplace from an outbound, old media marketing strategy to an inbound, new media approach presents an interesting, challenging, and even profitable environment for business owners willing to incorporate and even embrace current transition. The shift from old to new, outbound, even intrusive marketing to an inbound, customer/client driven methodology appears to be profound and lasting. The current economic trend is challenging, and that’s putting it mildly. Yet even the most experienced entrepreneurs and Internet marketing specialists are grappling with the right strategy, the right combination of tools, necessary to survive this downturn. In order to survive, businesses must adapt, rethink, and redesign their current approach to advertising and marketing. As a result of our current economic challenges, businesses are finding it increasingly important, imperative, to develop and strengthen relationships, not only with prospective customers, but with their established customer base as well. Engaging in a relationship building strategy with customers they have already done business with at some point in the past is one of the most effective methods for improving a business’s overall profitability, while decreasing advertising costs. It is the established customer/client base, combined with a successful relationship building campaign that includes a number of tools and marketing platforms, that will ultimately lead to not only survival in the current economy but prosperity…in spite of it!

The Emergence of the Weblog!

The emergence of the weblog (web log) or blog, blogging in today’s parlance, revolutionized the way individuals communicate on the Internet. Significantly, what was once considered to be solely a social communication vehicle, almost a means to “gossip” on the web, quickly became the darling of the Internet for individuals and businesses alike. Today, everyone from the neighborhood grandmother talking about her most recent trip back east to see the grandchildren, to The Ford Motor Company and Skittles are blogging and the reasons are myriad. Blogging allows a connection between participants unlike anything I have witnessed in marketing to date.

Marketing History: A Flashback to Bobby and Billy!

In my 54 years I have weathered several recessions, a number of presidents, including a resignation and an assassination, and a couple of attempted ones, the Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King marketing masterpiece, the “New Coke” marketing debacle, the ultimate political spin of the Clinton Presidency, and the annual marketing bonanza also known as the Super Bowl. However, I have never witnessed anything like the emergence of the “blogosphere.”

The Blogosphere? What the Heck is the Blogosphere?

The blogosphere? Well, if we use Technorati’s definition “The blogosphere is the collective community of all blogs.” How many? As of Technorati’s August 2008 report on the state of the blogosphere there were 133 million blogs indexed by Technorati since 2002, with 1.5 million per week being added per week since then. Surely Technorati’s numbers have changed vastly in the last year but the fact is no one really knows how many blogs exist. There is however one undeniable fact, the blog is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

The Demographics of Blogging

The face of the average blogger is a difficult one to perceive. The numbers grow and the demographics shift but the average blogger is male, over 25 years old, 50% of all bloggers are over 35 years of age, married, college educated, with an average yearly income of over $50,000, and 48% live in North America. Four out of every five people blogging, known as bloggers, identify themselves as personal bloggers. Interestingly, there is a great amount of overlap between bloggers, professional, corporate, and personal, with many designating themselves as two out of the three or all three. Almost half of all bloggers noted that they have had or continue to have multiple blogs, 60% of all bloggers having two or more years of blogging experience, with the average tenure being three years. Female bloggers make up 34% of active bloggers, males make up 73% of all bloggers in Asia, and the youngest blogging population seems to be in Europe, with half of all respondents being between the age of 18 and 34 years of age.

The Emergence of Social Media

With the emergence of social media, and the realization of the power social media marketing offers, including the mini-blog phenomena Twitter and facebook, the blog has maintained its pivotal role as the “hub spot” from which an increasing numbers of companies, from the mom and pop corner store to Fortune 100 corporations, are building inbound, Internet marketing campaigns. The blog offers the ideal platform for relationship building. Connecting with prospective clients, as well the current customer/client base in a way no other medium offers, the combination of the blog and various Web 2.0 platforms is both organic and dynamic. Blogging is a crucial component in any “new media,” inbound marketing strategy. Added to the blogging hub, the social media or Web 2.0 campaign offers an innovative and forward thinking approach to prospective customer and established customer relationship building never before offered in this way by a marketing strategy.

What the Heck Happened to the Website?

So, what happened to the website? Well, first of all a blog is a website! Yes, it is a website, and it’s not, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. Internet marketing has experienced a transition, a revolution of sorts, from the traditional website to the fresh and organic approach of the blog. The blog should be an integral part of any online marketing strategy. Blogging not only provides useful content for a business’s target audience, it also builds relationships and strengthens the connection between current customers and businesses engaged in this useful marketing strategy. The business blog has virtually, and literally, replaced the conventional website as many company’s primary customer/client communication vehicle, and rightly so. The combination of other media, along with the blog, as in the case of social media marketing mentioned above, offers an inbound marketing strategy, cost-effective and profitable, short and long-term.

Weather the Storm and Prospering in the Current Economy!

The question every business owner today must ask: “How do I develop a marketing strategy that will allow me weather the current economic storm?” The fact is many of the traditional marketing strategies, also referred to as outbound or old media advertising strategies have been replaced by inbound, new media marketing methods, with impressive and lasting results. The cost of new media marketing is substantially less than most traditional, outbound methods engaged in by traditional brick and mortar businesses today (e.g., television, radio, newspaper, etc.). Given the current economic climate, this certainly seems counter-intuitive. During a time when businesses large and small are struggling to stay afloat, it would seem prudent to engage in any strategy that promises to increase traffic while decreasing the cost of doing business. Additionally, the reduction in the cost of doing business associated with an inbound, new media marketing strategy is generally accompanied by an increase in revenue and an improved and strengthened customer/business connection. The benefits of the new media, inbound strategy are derived solely due to the blog as the central component, the linchpin or hub, driving the entire program and making the entire business more profitable and even prosperous, regardless of the current economy…or perhaps because of it.

Why UII?

The transition from traditional, outbound, old media marketing to an innovative, inbound, new media strategy is the focus of The Ultimate Internet Image, a new venture created to serve traditional brick and mortar businesses and Internet marketers alike. The Ultimate Internet Image focuses on an inbound marketing strategy while realizing that there is still power and usefulness in some outbound marketing media platforms. The UII marketing strategy creates a synergy, a synthesis of the old media with the new media in order to create a marketing plan designed specifically for the individual client, not a cookie-cutter, one size fits all approach so commonly seen online.

Where Do I Find UII?

The Ultimate Internet Image has offices in Maine, Florida, New York, Minnesota, Ohio, and Illinois, with more opening every week. We welcome you to explore the ultimate opportunity, as a client or as a director and owner. Contact information is available at The Ultimate Internet Image’s blog, listed below.

We invite you to discover what it means to offer The Ultimate Internet Image!

Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.
216-712-6526
Skype: johnzajaros1
johnz@ultimateinternetimage.com