2010 | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral

Yearly Archives: 2010

Social Media Marketing and Affiliate Marketing

Social Media Marketing and Affiliate Marketing are both growing by leaps and bounds as businesses seek out new ways to reach their ever-fragmented audience. Those who implement these new methods quickly will gain market share from others. Murray Newlands has been sharing what works and what doesn’t for years. I’m publishing this guest post from him inviting my readers to benefit from discounts for Affiliate Summit West and Social Media Marketing Las Vegas.

Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas January 9-11, 2011 includes the panel Dominating Your Niche With Blogger Outreach with Murray Newlands along with Chris Brogan, John Chow, Eric Schecter, Greg Rollett and Jonathan Volk on the first day of Affiliate Summit.

Expected to sell out, you can still get tickets to Affiliate Summit West as this was written. Save 10% on any pass level by using Discount Code ASW11GROW10.

January 12, 2011, the day after Affiliate Summit West at the Flamingo LV hotel, Influence People offers Social Media Marketing Las Vegas. Save 10% using Discount Code iem26.

In a recent survey done by SmartBrief and Summus Limited and profiled in Social Media Examiner’s post on Social Media Trends, businesses surveyed indicated where they are with their Social Media strategies:

“It takes time for companies to incorporate social media effectively. The data identified a 2-year mark where businesses begin to gain confidence in their social media activity.”

Social Media proficiency is critical to affiliates, merchants, businesses and agencies alike. These two coinciding events can put you on the fast track to increased success online IF you take action now.

Five Buck eBook

No, I’m not blogging here again. Yes, I did quit blogging consistently here on this blog. I’m just announcing a new eBook I wrote. It’s called the Five Buck eBook: 100+ Ways To Save Money Using Fiverr.com. It’s totally free, and you can download it right now here.

Imagine being able to build an online business or brand without having to figure out how to do it all yourself, AND only having to pay a fraction of what you would normally pay to have someone else do it for you?

The way we do business on the Web has changed dramatically. I remember back in the late 90’s how difficult it was to do just about anything Web-related. If you wanted to have a website, you had to spend a lot of money (relatively) for a domain name, and then a lot of money for hosting as well. Then you had to find someone who actually knew how to write html code and do a web design, then convert it into a website for you. Not to mention you had to pay an IT person to maintain and setup your email accounts and your webhost.

Whew! A lot of work, and a lot of cost!

I know, I started building websites in 1995. As a matter of fact, I built some of America’s very first Fortune 500 websites back in those early days, all by hand in html (before tables existed), and without any guidebooks or resources to help me get it done. If you wanted to do it, you figured it out, and we did! We were specialized for sure, as not many people in the world could do what we did, which meant that we could dramatically overcharge for everything. For example, in 1999 we could charge you $20,000 for a 5-page website design and build. Today, you could get the same thing done for $500 and as you will find out, sometimes even only for $5.

I remember seeing the writing on the wall about 10-years ago when a site called TemplateMonster.com appeared. On that site, you could (still can) buy a pre-built templated web design for about $50, on average. Yep, those designs were as good, or better, than the custom designs we were selling for tens of thousands of dollars. How do you compete with that? I didn’t want to, so I became an online marketer instead of a web builder.

Since then, things have only gotten better, or worse, depending on your perspective/occupation that is. Technology and creativity and the power of the reach of the Web have made it much easier for all of us to find success online, and that’s why I created this eBook.

For years I heard people tell me that “I can’t build a website because I don’t know html”. Or, “I can’t afford to have a logo done or a website designed.” Or more recently things like, “Wordpress is too complicated and who has the time to figure out all this social media stuff.”

Sound familiar?

Sure, some of those things are still difficult to figure out. Much easier than they were years ago, but nevertheless, still difficult, especially if you’re just starting out as a Web professional (which is pretty much most of you reading this).

Ok, now for the good news and the reason why you’re reading. The times have changed (for the better) and there’s never been a greater time than right now to be able to smartly, and cost-effectively, get what you need done to create and run a successful online business.

Introducing Fiverr.com, a website where you get stuff done for you for $5.00 at a time. Need a logo done? Hire someone for $5.00 to do it for you. Need WordPress installed? $5. Want someone to make a short video to promote your business that you can put on YouTube? $5.00.

You get the idea. Everything’s $5.00. No more, no less. People from all over the world submit things they’ll do for you for $5.00, and then you decide to buy from them or not. Fiverr.com connects both parties together and takes a cut of the action (I’m told it’s $1.00 for each transaction, and that comes out of the seller’s cut).

This eBook was written to show you 100 (or more) of the very best business-related items you can purchase on Fiverr.com. So without further ado, here is that list. Please note, at the end of this eBook you will find even more Fiverr tips and thoughts.

By the way, I’ve got more free stuff for you on my free stuff page.

I’m Quitting Blogging

Sometimes you have to say things out loud to make them real. I’m quitting blogging. There, I said it.

My blog at JimKukral.com has been active since August 2001. It has gone through many, many transitions. I’ve written thousands of blog posts. It has been great. It has helped me get an audience and helped me build a brand. I love blogging for what it has brought me.

But I’m quitting it. Here’s why.

About 3-4 years ago I quit blogging for a year. I was bored with it back then too. So I committed to doing a video every day instead of blogging. And I did. I produced hundreds of videos over that year and because of it, a lot of things happened for me.

1. I became VERY good at being on camera
2. I learned how to shoot and light sets
3. I learned how to edit video using multiple programs
4. I developed a thing called the Online Video Toolkit which has brought me thousands of new friends and fans, it’s free.
5. I sold thousands of Flip video cameras as an affiliate
6. I became known as an expert in online video
7. I learned how to market on YouTube
8. So much more

So essentially, when I quit blogging and started making videos instead, I gained a ton.

I’m ready to do that again. This time, it’s eBooks. So from this moment on, instead of writing a blog post, I’m going to write an eBook instead. Some of them will be free. Some of them will be paid. But all of them will be eBooks.

Why? Because frankly, I have more to say at this point in my life and career than what can be put in a blog post. And Twitter and Facebook give me my outlets for instant publishing.

But the biggest reason is that I don’t believe that writing blog posts is doing anything to further my business or brand. If I can push out 12 eBooks of high-quality in the next 12-months, I firmly believe that those will do more for me than 1,000 blog posts.

So to make sure you understand. I don’t think blogging is dead. I simply think it’s dead to me for now, again. How can you learn when you’re stuck doing the same thing, over and over? You can’t. Something’s gotta give, and new commitments have to be made. This is mine.

Now I’m off to write this first eBook. I think I might call it “Stop Blogging: You’re Wasting Your Time (if you want to make money that is)”

Wish me luck.

Seven Marketing Automation Growth Trends

Marketing automation is one of the fastest growing segments in the CRM market. It wasn’t that long ago that people weren’t even sure what marketing automation was or how it functioned. Now, the tables have turned and marketing teams are aggressively seeking out these systems. Clearly, the marketing automation industry has a strong tailwind at its back. So where is this tailwind coming from?

The B2B sales environment has changed drastically with the introduction of the Internet to the personal and business space. Companies are finding that it is increasingly challenging to reach potential prospects, and they are changing their sales and marketing tactics in order to cope. There are several specific trends that are driving the adoption of marketing automation, making it an essential addition to any organization.

Software Advice, a free online resource for software buyers, outlines seven macro trends that they believe are pushing the growth of marketing automation.

1. Buyers want valuable content.
The traditional marketing jargon needs to be replaced with original content that provides value and education to the buyer. Marketing automation has tools that enable marketers to share a steady stream of information with prospects, keeping their product at the forefront of the buyer’s mind.

2. Buyers are hesitant to engage over the phone.
Sales professionals are constantly facing the issue of decreased sales engagement. Features in marketing automation software such as lead nurturing enable marketing to “warm up” buyers until they are ready to be passed on to sales.

3. Buyers require marketing accountability.
Traditionally, marketing ROI was difficult to measure on positioning, collateral and brand building. Marketing automation empowers the marketing team to define their contribution to the organization as a whole with sophisticated analytics and reporting capabilities.

4. A down economy results in longer sales cycles.
When money is tight, people are less inclined to buy. Sales professionals are faced with more and more prospects that are more risk-averse than ever. Marketing automation tools such as drip campaigns and lead nurturing helps to build relationships and trust, which loosens the buyer’s grip on their purse.

5. Consumerization of B2B sales processes.
B2B buyers want their sales process to mirror that of their B2C exchanges. They demand clear and concise pitches, simplified pricing, quick implementation and ease of use. They also want to interact with sales as little as possible. Marketing automation supports self-service sales interactions.

6. Marketing channels have transformed.
With the advent of the Internet, the way we communicate has drastically changed. This means that companies also have to change the way they market. With marketing automation, marketers can use multi-channel marketing campaigns to reach potential customers wherever they are in the web-o-sphere.

7. SaaS is the preferred deployment method.
Due to the high number of relatively new entrants to the marketing automation space, many of these vendors are built on a modern, software-as-a-service (SaaS) architecture. This deployment method enables users to get up and running faster than with traditional on-premise models. Also, with subscription pricing, the marketing team can easily add a digestible line item to their budget, as opposed to getting approved for a big capital expenditure.

For more information on these trends, please visit the original blog post on Software Advice.

Grow Your Business The Smart Way

I just accepted a speaking gig in Washington, DC on Nov 5th for the GrowSmartBiz show. You should come.

Looking to Grow your business?

The Washington Business Journal and Network Solutions are proud to host the 2nd annual GrowSmartBiz Conference and Trade Show.

This event will bring in hundreds of executives from various industries throughout the region. We will be joined by leaders in small business to share their knowledge and experience on today’s most relevant topics, and over 50 exhibition booths will be available to visit throughout the day.

November 5, 2010
8:30AM – 4:00PM
Renaissance Hotel, DC
999 9th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

I LOVE shows like this because they bring the best small businesses out. I expect about small business owners at the event, which makes it a nice size, but not “too” big if you know what I mean. The smaller size allows for a more intimate setting where people can really connect.

If you don’t go to many shows like this, you should. These shows are the ones that you will always enjoy. Hope to see you there. So, will I see you there? Maybe we could have dinner.

Sound Off: Facebook or Twitter?

The question I often get asked by clients is: Which one will work better for me in terms of building my brand? Facebook or Twitter?

So I’m asking you. Please share your opinion, and explain why, using the tool below (not in the comments). When you do, your opinion, photo and link to your site will be included in the post. The deadline is next Tuesday, the 12th.

By the way, before you ask me, the tool I’m using to collect the data below is called Blog Stampede.

Blog Stampede Review: Want More Content & Traffic?

Mike, the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, is a smart man. I love his brand, and his book and now his new service called Blog Stampede. Essentially, it allows you to create content for your site based off of other people’s tips. And… get traffic to your site.

I think the best way to show you is to well, show you. Here’s a video I did explaining how it works. Get your own copy today.

If you want to see it in action on my blog, just go to this post and leave a tip.

Share Your Tip: Best Advice To A Successful Vegas Trade Show Experience

As you may or may not know, my two favorite trade shows are Affiliate Summit & Blogworld. Each of them takes places in Vegas once a year. (Affiliate Summit has two yearly events, one in Vegas always and one on the East coast). Blogworld is next week, are you coming?

So I go to Vegas at least twice a year to a trade show. Because of that, I’ve learned a few lessens and come up with a few tips for others about how to best travel and spend your time while you’re in town.

But it’s time to hear from you. Ever been to Vegas for a trade show? Here are the results of this question.

By the way, before you ask me, the tool I’m using to collect the data below is called Blog Stampede.

I Know You Hate Popups… But They Work & Here’s Proof

Skip this all and watch the review below if you want.

You know, it’s tough sometimes to do the right thing for your business. Case in point, if you could get a 250% increase in subscribers (leads) for your business would you do it? Yes, you would. But what if it meant you need to use a popup on your website or blog? You’d still do it?

You should. Look, this is a business. Your blog, your website. You’re doing this because you want to make money, or you want to get more leads, or more publicity. Or all of those things. Why wouldn’t you use the best tools and techniques needed to accomplish those goals?

Because YOU hate popups? Because your audience supposedly hates popups? C’mon…

Let me try to change your thinking right now. Unless you’re publishing for fun, you’re in business, and popups work. No, I’m not talking about popups that have blinky ads for free iPads in them. I’m talking about popups that help people subscribe to your email list. Having an active and robust email list is like having a lead funnel for your products or services or updates. It makes sense to get as many targeted potential customers as you can on your email list. So your job then is to do whatever it is you have to do to get those people subscribed to your content on your list.

Many people don’t do this, and it’s to their detriment. You’re never going to be able to really grow your business without a strong, targeted email list. What I see a lot of people do is put the email signup box (I use Aweber and love it) on their site, maybe in the sidebar or something. That’s great, you NEED to do that. However, if you really want to make your email list grow you need to take it a step further, and this popup I’ve been using called PopUp Domination really does work.

Note: It’s not just for WordPress. They have a standalone version.

Why does it work? For one, it’s beautiful. I’ve used popup tools for years, and unless you were able to really customize them, they just looked pretty boring and ugly. PopUp Domination comes with pre-built templates that are really beautiful and usable. You’ve probably already seen my popup if you’re reading this on JimKukral.com. That was done using PopUp Domination. The other reason popups work is if you have a great offer. For example, nobody is going to join your email list just because you say so. You need to incentivize them. With PopUp Domination, you can easily build in a headline and bullet points of your offers, along with a space to put an image of an ebook, or white paper, or an image of you or whatever. That way when the reader sees it it makes sense and gives them a compelling offer instead of just “join my list”. That won’t work.

Here’s a demo of my popup setup in action.

It’s pretty nice, and it works great. Highly recommend it. Buy it here. And yes, that’s an affiliate link. I only promote products I use and love. This is a winner.

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