Archive for December, 2009

AWeber makes great changes for coaches.

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 | technology with No Comments »

Okay, I’ll admit it.  I’m a HUGE fan of AWeber.com.  I’m an affiliate for a reason (and yes, the links I use in this post will be my affiliate links)!  They have a great system that I wholeheartedly believe in when it comes to e-mail/permission marketing on the internet.  They GET the strategies and continue to build their system to match. Their latest changes to the system are no exception.

If you use AWeber, I think you will find the new forms features are very useful!  In fact, you may not need a survey program anymore.  That’s right, AWeber now has a way to create surveys.  Woo hoo!!  Did I mention that I’m excited about these new features?  Okay, so I’ll quit gushing and I’ll give you the low-down on what’s possible with the new features.

1)  You can create templates for forms or use pre-made templates that draw attention to the form.

2)  You can customize the templates to include your own fancy graphics, including a different submit button.

3)  The 10 field limit is gone!  There is now a 25 field limit…way better and much more usable for a survey.

4)  When you add in the US Address it’s only considered ONE field.  So, you don’t waste fields with address information anymore.

5)  You can use radio buttons, text boxes, check boxes, comment boxes, selection boxes, date boxes etc…

6)  You now have the option of a branded thank you page.  You don’t have to create your own custom thank you page anymore.  AWeber has a very nice template that adds your banner to it automatically, if you choose to use it.  It doesn’t include whitelist information, so I would still recommend doing your own, but if that’s not an option, use their branded page.

7)  You can pass information from the form to the thank you page without having to know how to play with CGI variables.  So, you can now create one generic thank you page, but for each form it will update the thank you page with specific information.  So, your thank you page can now have your subscribers name, the name of the list they signed up for, or the answers to all the questions in your survey.  So, you only design it once, but for each person who sees it, it’s customized.

8)  Aweber can host it for you.  If at all possible, your forms should live on your domain on your website.  This gives you google credit.  However, if that’s not an option for you then AWeber will now host the form for you.  No copy/paste into your website.  Just send people directly to a page on AWeber’s site and your form will be there.

All of these improvements are going to make surveys and information gathering so much easier for those of us who want to collect names and e-mail’s with it.

I do have a few changes that I’d still love to see.  My biggest is being able to put punctuation in the field names.  At this time, no question marks are allowed and when I do a survey, I REALLY want the question mark at the end of a question.

Now, I did notice that this is so new, AWeber hasn’t updated their knowledgebase with the new functions.  If you’ve ever played with a form in AWeber before, you can do it again.  Just go in and try to create a new one.  See what your options are.  It’s well laid out as you go through the process.

So, what do you think?  Do you like the new changes?  Are you ditching your survey program?  Please leave a comment and let us know what your thoughts are.

Successful marketing for coaches in 2010.

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 | Implementation planning with No Comments »

2010As you reflect on your year and plan the next one, are you looking at your marketing?  It’s easy to look at business goals, but one of the main ways to reach your business goals is going to be marketing.  So, it’s important to make sure you investigate that side of your business too (along with customer service and a few others).

I’d like to propose a way of looking at your marketing that you may not have considered before. Get your journal, a notebook or a few pieces of paper out and get ready to write (don’t Ugh me!!  You want to be as successful or more successful next year, right?  Then write this stuff down!).

Start with a big picture view of your business from this year.

What was your big accomplishment this year?

What was your favorite part about working in your business this year?

Write any thoughts that come to your head down…no need to sensor, everything you write is RIGHT!

Now, break it down into smaller parts.

What goals did you reach or exceed this year?

What specific tasks, events, or projects allowed you to reach those goals?

What marketing did you do to support reaching those goals?

Which parts did you enjoy the most?

Write it down…remember, everything you write is RIGHT.

Gotta take the negative with the positive.

It would be nice to continue on with all the things that went right this year, but stopping to look at what went wrong can help you shape things for the next time.  So…

What didn’t go so well for you this year?

If you had it to do all over again, what would you do differently?

What marketing tasks would you skip or add this time?

Now, take all of this and apply it to next year.

Success usually means whatever you did worked!  So, use it again and tweak it so that it works even better next time.  Use what you learned from the projects that didn’t go so well and use it to beef up what DID go well.  Also, focus on the successful strategies that you enjoy doing (you are most likely to follow through if you enjoy it!).

What business goals would you like to reach in 2010?

What marketing strategies from this year are going to support you in reaching those goals?  (make  a list)

What new marketing strategies do you want to add in? (add to the list above)

What do you need to do to make each marketing strategy successful?  (make a list for each strategy, including answers to the below questions)

Who do you need to help you?

What materials do you need?

What systems need to be in place?

What technology do you need?

Finally, calendar it all out.

Get a marketing calendar.  Put all your ongoing marketing tasks in first.  Put the date you need to have materials/content created, then when you expect to have the final completed.

Then add any one time projects you want to do.  Mark a “start date” and a “launch date” or “finish date”.  You may want to have several other milestones in there mapped out, depending on the project.

Now you have your year of marketing planned out and ready to go. As you go through your year, go back to your notes from this exercise and check in to make sure you are keeping in mind those things that WERE successful in 2009.  You may want to make notes about these things as you go through 2010, so you have it when you are ready to plan 2011.

Get creative if you want with sticky notes, colored highlighters or whatever you want to play with…get your crayons out if you want.  It might just make things more fun!

So, what do you think?  Are you going to do this?  Let us know how this method works for you in a comment.

Today is the day FTC regulations take effect. Are you ready?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 | Marketing with No Comments »

spreadsheet

Have you seen it?  The Federal Trade Commission (the FTC) has made new regulations specifically for marketing on the internet.  The new regulations take effect today, so you may want to consider paying attention if you haven’t been already.

What’s the big deal?

The BIG deal is your testimonials, claims about effectiveness, affiliate marketing and programs may not be up to snuff with the new regulations.  Now, I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t really speak to what you need to do in order to be in compliance with the new regulations.  However, I can point you in the direction of some resources that will help you get there.  You may want to contact your lawyer to be certain, but these resources will get you started.

1)  The official FTC announcement - http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm

2)  Blog post by Kevin Houchin (who IS a lawyer), explaining the basics. - http://houchinlaw.com/?p=468

3)  Interview with Kevin Houchin about it. - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/askjamesholmes/2009/11/10/internet-business-blueprint-with-james-holmes

4)  FTC Toolkit, with checklists and step-by-step info. on what you need to do, created by Kevin Houchin and Joel Comm (internet marketer) - https://www.sitecompliant.com/

If you are not yet compliant, don’t panic!!

They aren’t going to go down a list alphabetically and start fining people $11,000 immediately.  They don’t have that kind of time.  There are A LOT of USA websites out there.  I read one article that predicted (not fact!) that they most likely won’t come after you unless there are certain amount of complaints against you.  So, you don’t have to fix it all right this minute!  However, I do suggest you get yourself into compliance as soon as you humanly can.  That way you aren’t at risk anymore.

I think these new regulations are a great thing for internet marketing.

They are going to hold all of us accountable for being transparent.  They will also promote honest marketing, which has been lacking in several internet arenas.  So, I’m all for these new regulations.  Like you, I need to get into compliance myself and I’ll be working on that this month.

What are your thoughts?  Are you in favor of these regulations?