February 2009


Earlier, I was reading this post from Seth Godin:

Three Things You Need If You Want More Customers

In it, he breaks down in broad but simple terms the three things you need if you want more customers:

1. A group of possible customers you can identify and reach.
2. A group with a problem they want to solve using your solution.
3. A group with the desire and ability to spend money to solve that problem.

As thirty day challengers, the first thing we hear about in Ed Dale’s “Symphony of Four Parts” is the market research, and this ties into it beautifully.

We learn about identifying our market, refining our keywords/phrases with Market Samurai and narrowing things down to our “phrase that pays.” We look at the numbers and work within those numeric parameters to make sure our “phrase that pays” is viable.

Then, we build a blog or site around it and see if we can get ranked fairly quickly and get traffic.

Once we have the traffic, we can test to see if they will “convert” – or buy whatever we’re offering.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – and when it doesn’t work – I have to ask myself…why?

Sometimes, it’s easy to lose site of the customer…I like doing the research, looking at numbers – working within established parameters.  It’s all very logical, comfortable – numbers are so easy to define…  But I’ve come up with a couple of duds over the last six months.  And I think it’s because I get too into the science of it and forget all about the fact that I’m trying to turn a searcher into a satisfied customer.

Maybe I can get ranked…I can even get traffic – but in the case of my duds, I could have saved myself a lot of time had I simply filtered my “phrase that pays” through the three items above.

In both cases for me, I was able to satisfy number 1 – Market Samurai is AWESOME for that.

For numbers two and three, I think it just takes asking yourself those questions about your phrase, like this:

If my phrase is “how to report credit” AND the niche I’m trying to market to is “small businesses with in-house credit accounts who need to report their accounts to the credit bureaus, but don’t know how” – I just ask myself if my solution will help them – and if they have the desire and ability to spend money to solve the problem identified or implied by that phrase…

As it turns out – it will – and they do.

Now, If I was marketing on a local level only – I may not be able to get enough customers to support that business.  But because of the way we can leverage the internet, we can target and reach a large group of potential businesses who need to solve that problem.

And that spells success!

So – in YOUR efforts to build YOUR internet business, just remember to keep your customers in mind.  As you do your research and identify keywords/phrases with potential – filter them through the list of three things above.  You’ll likely save yourself some money, time and a lot of effort…

Hug your kids – as of the 14th of this month, I’ve got a NEW one to hug!

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Not more than a few minutes ago, I sent a tweet about not having set up Flock properly on my Mac.  I’ve been running a virtual PC side-by-side on my Mac with a program called Parallels – it’s like having two computers in one.  Well, I’m trying to use the PC less and less – and migrate all of my activities to the Mac side of things.

I realized I haven’t been using Flock on my Mac much and needed to set it up “thirty day challenge” style.

While I was at it, I thought I’d share a few other add-ons that I love…here they are:

Scribe Fire – a blog editor that integrates with your browser.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1730

Session Manager – saves and restores the state of all windows in your browser

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2324

ColorZilla – Advanced Eyedropper, Color Picker, Palette Viewer and other colorful goodies

http://www.colorzilla.com/firefox/

CoolPreviews – Allows you to preview the target site before you actually click the link.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2207

Feedly – a different way to view your RSS Reader feeds

http://feedly.com/

FireFTP – an FTP client for your browser

http://fireftp.mozdev.org/

Rank Checker – allows you to check your Search Engine Rank for multiple pages, multiple keywords/phrases across multiple search engines…

http://tools.seobook.com/firefox/rank-checker/

I hope you end up liking these add-ons as much as I do – and more importantly, I hope you find that they boost your productivity 🙂

I read this post earlier: http://blogmaverick.com/2009/02/03/my-idea-to-help-the-economy-and-the-credit-crunch/trackback/ – it’s about Marc Cuban’s idea for economic stimulus. Go read it and come back – it’s great…

Go ahead…

I’ll still be here…

Did you read it?

Okay, now – Marc Cuban’s concept is simple. Encourage people to save – and encourage banks to lend. That will stimulate the economy. Awesome…

But I think there’s a fundamental problem.

What about the people who have little or no money left to save?
What about the people who’ve lost jobs or taken pay cuts?

And what do you do with the $900 billion stimulus package congress is working on right now?

Here’s a thought: Instead of using ALL of that money to completely bail out failing corporations and banks – bail out the American taxpayers who are hurting.

How?

Take the last three years tax returns (gross income) from households that make less than say – $150,000 annually. (This number could be based on tax brackets or even regionally based depending on average-per-capita incomes.) But for this post, let’s keep it simple.

Average those gross income numbers and divide by three – give that amount to each household as money they can deposit into a savings account at a bank of their choice.

(Banks can compete for your deposits with interest incentives – and for one to three years, interest on these accounts could be tax free, just a thought…)

Back to the “how” part…

By way of example, take these three made-up gross income figures:

2006 – $77,000
2007 – $68,000
2008 – $56,000
————–
Average – $67,000

Divide by 3 = $22,333

Take that amount $22,333, which should be about 4 months worth of income – and give it to this made-up hurting American household so they can deposit it into savings.

This approach would help the American citizens who need it most, put money back into the banking system and with 4 months of income in savings – it should stimulate consumer confidence and spending.

To KEEP the money in banking system, put some stipulations on the money. For instance, put a percentage into a certificate of deposit or some other instrument that slows down access.

That would allow people who are in a bind to catch up if they need to and still have something left in savings.

What should the cut-offs be?
What should the percentages and averages be?
What should the stipulations be?
Would things have to be figured out on a per household basis?
(Well, taxes are – so maybe this could be too?)

As to the rest, I don’t know – I’m not an economist, I’m not an accountant.

I’m just tired of seeing big failing corporations and banks get handed billions of taxpayer dollars only to overpay execs, give out billions in bonuses and plan lavish parties for the people who helped get us here in the first place.

Your thoughts?