Send in the Clones - What Every Business Owner Needs


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By Carl Weiss

Français : Michael Keaton au festival de Cannes
Français : Michael Keaton au festival de Cannes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A few years ago there was a movie with Michael Keaton call "Multipilicity" where Keaton plays a guy who has too many tasks to complete and not enough time to get them done. His solution is to have himself cloned and have the clone take care of one of the takes. The movie was hilarious as we see Michael clones have the same issues as he has so they decide they too need help. Soon the first clone decided to get a clone help too and you end up with clones of the clones and a watered down Michael Keaton personality.


Say what you will, cloning is alive, well and thriving.  Everything from a sheep (Dolly) to an Indian buffalo (Mahima), to a well to do couple’s deceased Labrador Retriever (Sir Lancelot), have been successfully cloned.  One outspoken Harvard geneticist has even claimed that scientists could clone a Neanderthal if they had an “extremely adventurous surrogate mother.”  While scientifically possible, thus far human cloning has remained taboo and even mentioning it brings a storm of controversy, with everyone from the scientific establishment to the religious right weighing in on why this is a bad idea.  But putting ethics aside, how many business owners would jump at the chance of having a carbon copy of themselves to help around the office? 

Business Can Use Clones (via Automation)


Face it, the hardest part of hiring is the training of new employees.  Even once trained, most employees can never attain the same level of competence, motivation and enthusiasm that the boss does.  That’s why most companies spend mountains of time and money training and retraining staffers.  But what if the founder or owner of a business could climb inside a Xerox machine, press a button and spawn one or more clones of him or herself.  When one considers the increased productivity and profitability that would result, do you think they would fret over the ethics of the process?  I for one can think of several prominent billionaires who would leap at the chance.




The problem is that notwithstanding the video below, this technology is not yet available.  But that doesn’t mean that the fundamental motivating factors are not of paramount importance to every business owner and manager on the planet.  Let’s face it, there are never enough hours in a day to accomplish all the tasks we need to get done.  Add to this the fact that the most expensive and limited commodity to the boss is their time.  It doesn’t matter how capable and motivated you are, there are only so many appointments and texts and conference calls that can be performed in any given day.  Add to this the fact that as the boss a percentage of your time is spent dealing not with prospects and clients, but babysitting your staff and putting out the fires that crop up on a regular basis in every business.

But what if there was a mechanism or technology that would allow any business person the opportunity to be in two or more places at the same time.  Plus, what if this same technology could take some of the burden off your back when it comes to training or retraining new hires and existing employees.  Would that put a smile on your face?

Automation - The ABC for Your Business



Aproaching Automation
Aproaching Automation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When most people think of automation they think of robots.  What they don’t realize is that the Internet offers a number of ways to automate tasks that are repetitive .  Take training, for example.  For the most part educating employees about products, services and sales tools is one of those pig-in-a-rut tasks that is repeated at most businesses ad nauseum.  The answer to this situation is to clone the task via video.  Why repeat the same process over and over when you can do the job once, record it and hand it out to employees, prospects and clients like Christmas cookies.  Yes Virginia, you need to train your clients and prospects to buy more products and services.  Whereas in days gone by you would need to create and ship a DVD, today you can email a YouTube or employ a QR code to deliver the lesson.  Mission accomplished.

In today’s content-rich online environment, generating a database that you can send a monthly newsletter to at the push of a button isn’t just good business, it makes good sense since it automates and multiplies your efforts at the click of a mouse.  (It’s also another place to embed those videos.)  Companies today need to stay lean and mean.  So instead of becoming top heavy by taking on more and more employees, you can create a legion of clones using such things as blogs, videos, podcasts, and social posts that will work 24/7 to do your bidding.  As an added bonus, these clones not only have the ability to reach out and touch thousands on prospects and clients, but producing and optimizing them works to help move you up on the search engine’s food chain, since all search engines love content.

Start Making Your Clones Today!


In this article, I used the word "clone" to symbolize how you can automate many parts of your business. By automating some of your business processes with online video and many other internet applications, you will be able to achieve greater efficiency and increase profits like never before. These processes can be used to automate a sales demonstration, education customer, train employees, filter applicant, provide customer support and so much more.

So what’s not to like about clones?  They never get tired, don’t call in sick and they never ask for a raise.  When you want them to travel to distant points on the globe, they won’t whine about flying coach.  When they get in front of a prospect, they are always daisy fresh and can produce the perfect pitch every time.  So, if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, stop hiring, start cloning and send your top gun in on every pitch.  You’ll thank me later.  All of you.


If you would like to find more articles like this type in your key phrase in the search box at the top left of this blog. If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below.  If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century", fill out the form below.





Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.com.

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Teams Win in the Search Engine Game


Listen to internet radio with workingthewebtowin on Blog Talk Radio


By Carl Weiss

REI's Internet Marketing Team: Twinkie Roast Day
REI's Internet Marketing Team: Twinkie Roast Day (Photo credit: jcolman)
I often use analogies when I talk about advertising and marketing. Words like war, battle, game and winning all come to mind. Like most Americans, I enjoy a good football game. The rules are well-defined. We have professional referees keeping the game honest and of course, you have the players and their performance that makes winning or losing happen. In contrast, the search engine game has unpublished rules, Google is the referee throwing hidden flags and there are lots of players are trying to cheat the system.

For those of you that watched the NFL Playoffs on Sunday, when it comes down to making or breaking a championship season, it all comes down to which team can implement their game plan the best.  When you boil it down, the Internet is also a game played on a local, national and sometimes worldwide playing field.  Like all games, there are winners and there are losers.  The winners are the fortunate few who can be found on page one of the major search engines.  The losers are those firms who are buried so deep that you need a backhoe to unearth their web presence.
With more than 300 million websites online and another 130,000 sites being added daily, is it any wonder that it’s getting harder and harder to generate online exposure?  The sad fact is that what used to take a couple of days to generate a page one search engine result, now takes four to six months, even if you are playing the game to win.  Of course, the problem with most businesses is that not only don’t they have a winning formula, they don’t even know how to get onto the playing field.  So, if you absolutely, positively need to devise a game plan that can enable you to work the web to win, you better get your game face on.

Is The Playing Field Level? Let’s look at The Google Search Stadium

Working the web is not a game for wimps.  It takes guts, determination, brains, brawn and staying power.  We’re not talking sandlot ball.  We’re talking the Super Bowl.  With millions of dollars at stake for the victors, this is the kind of no-holds-barred game that’s played on a worldwide basis and is a gold mine for those who know how to play to win.  Just to give you an idea of the scope of the World Wide Web, in 2012:
  

  • ·         More than ¾ of the world population was online.
  • ·         The US audience alone topped 239 million.
  • ·         Mobile users in the US topped 139 million.
  • ·         There were 106.7 million Smartphone users in the US.
  • ·         Some 72.8 million shoppers made purchases using mobile devices.
  • ·         83.9% of those online made at least 1 online purchase.
  • ·         Holiday eCommerce sales were 42.3 billion, up 14% from 2011.


Needless to say, big businesses dominate the Internet, chiefly due to the fact that they have the manpower and the means to saturation bomb the web.  They can afford to hire a legion of web designers, bloggers, social posters, Videographers and online PR specialists that make sure that their products, services and brands all have page one presence.  Seeing this, most small business owners think that there is no way that they can afford to compete with, much less best these corporate leviathans.  But what most don’t realize is that they don’t have to go head to head with multinational corporations, unless they are selling their products and services globally.  With the advent of geotargeting, the game isn’t played exclusively on a global basis.  If you are selling locally, there are a number of ways to generate front page online exposure that can create leads or sales. 

Do You need a Team to Win Today?


The TNC Digital Marketing Team: July 23, 2008
The TNC Digital Marketing Team: July 23, 2008 (Photo credit: jcolman)
Rule number one in playing to win online is, “Stop acting like it’s 1999!”  What I mean by that is this. The day of the set-it-and-forget-it web presence has come and gone.  If you expect to get on page one simply by sheer presence alone, you’ve got another thing coming.  First of all, where the search engine spiders go, so go web developers.  Sure, back in 1999, there were no such things as blogs, streaming video or social networks.  More importantly, everything a business needed to jump onto page one was present on-site, (in and on the pages).  Today, only 25% of what the spiders use to grade your site is on-site.  Fully 75% of that which makes you or breaks you online is off-site, (no on your website) .

The second make or break factor is frequency.  In other words, not only do the spiders look to see whether you are blogging and posting socially.  They are also grading you on the quality and frequency of your posts.  If you want to get into the game at all, you have to be willing to post a blog on at least a weekly basis and you need to post socially daily.  While this may seem like a lot of work, once you have developed the habit of posting regularly (or are willing to pay someone to do it for you), it only takes about two hours per week altogether.  If you aren’t willing to perform these tasks, then you aren’t even in the game.

Here Are Some Special Teams That can Make or Break Your Efforts!


Special Response Team of th US Mint Police
Special Response Team of th US Mint Police (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Even performing these tasks will not automatically rocket you onto page one.  Depending upon how much traffic and therefore demand is generated by the keywords you seek, it can take four months or more to generate page one performance.  Also let’s not forget the competition. If the key words you seek are highly contested, you and your team will have to work even harder to leapfrog the competition. Of course, just as with the NFL, the use of special teams can sometimes score all on their own.  In the case of the web, there are four ways to jump the queue and generate a page one result in 30-days or less.

1.      Pay-Per-Click – You can always buy your way into the game.  For a cost of anywhere from $1 to 25$ per click, you can generate a page one results literally overnight.  Before you reach for your credit card, you must realize that all you are going to generate for your money is a click.  Not a sign up or a sale. Also understand that pad ad’s only generate about 25% of all clicks and they are not trusted as much as organic positions on page one.
2.      YouTube – Since being acquired by Google in 2006, it has been possible for a properly optimized video to jump onto page one of the world’s most popular search engine. 
3.      Blogger  - Google is gaga for blogs. Just as with YouTube, Google also owns its own blog, Blogger.  This means that just as with YouTube, a properly optimized blog can quickly wind up on page one.
4.      Social Networks – Guess what, Google also owns a social network, named Google+.  While many pundits have claimed that G+ is little more than a virtual ghost town, Google shows that more than 100 million active users ply this network monthly.  More importantly, since this social net has the word Google right in the title, what do you think this means to the probability that a properly focused post can wind up on page one?

The Coach and Quarterback are Difference Makers 

Of course, just as Tom Brady found out on Sunday, you can’t win by yourself. You’re not going to be able to just get all the points all by yourself.  If you want to win the big game, you need a formula that can stand the test of time to get you through the entire season.  And you need a quarterback who can adapt on the field when what was working stops. Adapting to conditions and competition is critical. You also have to be better than the competition and hit them where they an’t.  

Today’s rules require that a company consistently and continuously provide relevant, timely and useful content. Google requires traffic generated by useful and meaningful information. You must provide meaningful social media post. Google wants to see relevant and useful blog articles that have comments on them. It wants, meaningful, educational and entertaining videos that engage followers. Content, content and more content is what Google wants to be fed. Google rewards companies that are rated positively by their customers. It demotes companies who get poor reviews. Honest efforts to provide meaningful content on a regular basis that is matched to relevant keyword will get you a first down every time. What it takes is a continuous effort to provide meaningful content on a regular basis that will eventually win the game. 

If you would like to find more articles like this type in your key phrase in the search box at the top left of this blog. If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below.  If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century", fill out the form below.





Carl Weiss has been helping companies formulate and execute winning online strategies since 1995.  His company W Squared Media Group offers one stop shopping for all your online marketing needs.  You can also hear Carl’s online radio show, Working the Web to Win, on Blog Talk Radio every Tuesday at 4pm Eastern.  
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21 Century Email - What's New, What Works, What's Scary


Listen to internet radio with workingthewebtowin on Blog Talk Radio


By Carl Weiss & Hector Cisneros

Man with No Name
Man with No Name (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of my favorite western movies is the “Good, the Bad, and The Ugly." You may recall Clint Eastwood is one of the good guys in this movie. He personifies the western hero we want to come to the rescue. On the other hand, you have Lee Van Cleef who plays Clint’s not-so-bad partner and Eli Wallach, who plays the Ugly partner. These three characters personified all the attributes of the Western hero/anti hero. 

Since WWW also stands for the Wild ,Wild West, we can think of email as a major hero/antihero that has popularized the internet. While email has been a godsend and a money saver for business, at the same time it has cost us billions and has made many of us really really mad.

For more than a decade email marketing has gotten a bad reputation due to spamming.  But what many savvy businesspeople fail to grasp is that fact that email marketing can be one of the best tools available to promote their business and reel in the fish. 

What’s New (and Not So New)


The good news, email is still mostly free.  On top of that, email newsletters and direct email marketing is still mostly free! If you are like most business owners, then you spend a considerable amount of time and money trying to create qualified leads for your sales staff.  Having owned, operated and/or managed a number of thriving businesses over the years, I have come to appreciate the fact that many forms of lead generation provide great results. This includes leads generated by newspaper ads, coupons, yellow page ads, and direct mail. While these forms of lead generation systems have proven to be effective  at making our phone ring in the past, they have also proven time consuming, hard to track and expensive. 
Email Icon
Email Icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Take direct mail, for instance.  With the cost of a first class stamp currently at 46 cents apiece, designing, constructing, stuffing and mailing a single circular from one business to another is going to cost you a minimum of $1..  So if you want to send your mailer to 1,000 businesses, this is going to represent a significant financial risk.

What Works (and Works Well)


Sending the same offer or newsletter via email on the other hand won’t cost you more than the time it takes to craft the offering.  While there is a right way and a wrong way to go about creating a legitimate email database, if you belong to networking groups, attend business functions, or in other ways come into contact with potential customers, getting permission to send them a monthly newsletter is as simple as asking permission. 

gmail_drive
gmail_drive (Photo credit: chrisdigo)
You can also include forms on your website, landing pages and social networks that allow interested parties to sign up to receive your white paper, e-book or newsletter at the click of a mouse.  Providing a way to let your prospect opt in is just another way of connecting with them. 

Opt in data bases are even better than purchased databases because these prospect want to receive your information. You can increase your bottom line by expanding the distribution of your newsletter via email. By automating parts of this process, you can to touch prospects with less effort, lower cost and greater frequency. Best of all your opt in database can also up the ante by getting your existing customers to sign up as well.  

Creating a newsletter is a snap, since there are websites such as constantcontact.com, icontact.com and mailchimp.com that provide a low-cost service that includes everything you need to construct newsletters, invitations and offers, all via their template driven system.  Want to send out a birthday or holiday greeting to those on your mailing list?  Try jibjab.com a website that contains hundreds of customizable e-cards and video cards that you can send to as many people in your database that you would care to, for a flat $9.99 per year.  We recently sent out a series of holiday video cards that were a huge hit because they were humorous and because we added our staff’s headshots into the action. (If you haven’t seen this site you don’t know what you are missing.)

Best of all, all of the above mentioned forms of online promotion are cost effective and spam free.  If anyone receiving your newsletter wants to opt out, all they have to do is click a link on the newsletter to be removed from your mailing list. Of course, that doesn’t mean that spammers do not exist.

What’s Scary! Really Scary?


Courtesy of www.everything-email.com
The bad news is this; there is no end in sight for spamming! Anyone who receives email usually receives tens or even hundreds of unsolicited emails every day.  According to cyber security firm Symantec, in 2012, 72.89% of all email received worldwide was considered spam.  While most of us employ one form or other of spam filter to keep from being buried alive by spam, Symantec recommends a few other ways to reduce the amount of unwanted emails coming your way.

Some Simple Ways to Stop Email Spam

This topic deserves a standalone blog post, so we’ll highlight the most important points only:
1.      Do not give away your primary email address when registering online. Use a secondary or special address for registrations.
2.      Unless you are a salesperson, don’t include your email address in the public profiles visible by everyone.
3.      Choose an email address which is difficult to guess.
4.      Never respond to spam emails such as by asking to unsubscribe – this will confirm your email address validity rather than unsubscribe you.
5.      Use a spam filter on your computer or in your corporate network.
6.      Use the “Report spam” option within your email client so that you never receive emails from this sender again.
7.      Update your anti-viral software on a regular basis.


The problem with spam is that there is no way to legitimately take your name off the spammers email list. 
Funny Internet Spam for eMail and Websites is ...
Funny Internet Spam for eMail and Websites is Spicy (Photo credit: epSos.de)

EMAIL SPAM - The Ugly Truth

Not only are spammers raking in millions of dollars, so are the companies who sell them their lists.  Add to this the fact that a number of freeware and free apps are being used to collect email address illegitimately. Some are even being used to infect the computers, tablets and Smartphone’s of unsuspecting consumers and business owners worldwide. This ugly truth is becoming more than a nuisance, it’s epidemic.  It is threatening all our livelihoods.  Governments have been woefully inadequate at protecting consumers. They have done a poor job of going after and prosecuting these spammers, hackers and cyber criminals. However, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can do to defend yourself.
Is there Anything You Can do About Unsolicited Commercial email?
Unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE) can come from various organizations, companies or be the product of ‘computer viruses’. Companies or individuals can get your e-mail address from the web. Other sources exist such as marketing lists that you sign up to that often get passed between companies. Unsolicited commercial e-mails generally also come from outside the US. Many of these UCE originate from countries like Ireland and those in European Union. This means that it is quite difficult to stop the occurrence of UCE as it is a global phenomenon. Generally, there is little that you can do to prevent unsolicited commercial e-mails being sent to you.
Here is what you can do if you receive UCE
In the vast bulk of cases of UCE’s  emails, the e-mail headers is not valid.
Nice Viagra Spam eMail
Nice Viagra Spam eMail (Photo credit: TwisterMc)
·         E-mail headers may be forged so replying to the e-mail merely results in you sending UCE to the innocent person whose e-mail address was forged.
·         It is not advised to respond to an e-mail address to "opt-out" of a list unless the address is from a recognized organization. These e-mail addresses may also be false or are used to confirm that the unwanted e-mail was originally sent to a valid and active e-mail account.
·         Responding to a web site that supposedly lets you remove yourself from the list is also not advised. This is because once you access the web site your details are logged. You could also you be exposed to pornography.
It is possible to determine the location (rather than the user or the e-mail address) from where the e-mail was sent. If you are able to look at the e-mail headers, you will then be able to determine the IP address of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) whose services were used to send the e-mail. Finding out exactly where UCE has come from can be difficult and time consuming.
If you have determined the location of the sender of these mails, then it may be possible to send an e-mail to abuse@isp to complain about the e-mail. However, adult e-mails are not illegal in many countries including Ireland. If you do succeed in sending an e-mail complaint to abuse@isp and the material is illegal in the jurisdiction it originated in or in breach of the Acceptable Use Policy of the sender's ISP, the ISP can disconnect the sender. However, it might be unable to tell you the name of the sender due to international data protection regulations. In many cases, the sender just moves to a different ISP and starts the process again.

Just like the characters in the movie, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" email has a way of showing us the best and the worst the internet has to offer. Email has save billions of dollars for businesses worldwide. It has also cost billions in return. While email can be a two-edged sword, it can also be a godsend to businesses looking for a way to increase their exposure. It allows you to engage an ever-growing audience and survive the tough financial times that are upon us today.  It can save you money and allow you to touch your clients and prospects in a very cost effective way.  Just bear in mind that the when it comes to working the web, only the good guys play by the rules. 

If you would like to find more articles like this type in your key phrase in the search box at the top left of this blog. If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below.  If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century", fill out the form below. 


Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.com.

Hector Cisneros is COO and director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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