Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
Two Great Softwares, I Great Price!
As you may know I have partnered with Palo Alto Software to produce a marketing planning software based on my Duct Tape Marketing System and book. The software is very practical and functions more like an action planning tool than a document creation tool. It is called Marketing Plan Pro powered by Duct Tape Marketing and early reviews have all been very positive.
I’m also a fan of ACT CRM software from Sage. There are lots of choices in this category these days but ACT!2009 is still one of my favorites for small businesses.
So, have I got a deal for you! Palo Alto has bundled these two great titles and is offering the bundle at $150 off the price to acquire the two separately.
Buy Marketing Plan Pro and ACT!2009 for $150 off
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Become a Duct Tape Marketing Coach in 2009
Join the Duct Tape Marketing Coach Network and become part of a network of small business consultants and coaches across North America that are discovering the tremendous power behind the Duct Tape Markteing Brand, Tools, Programs and Systems.
Let our brand open doors and help you take your business to the next level. We are looking for marketing professionals with a passion to serve small business.
Join me for a live Discovery Session and get a start on making 2009 the best year ever. Enroll for an upcoming session here
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Building Client and Referral Communities
Two of the most important words in the marketing world are Content and Contact. I think the best lead generation is done by providing tons of great content – the best lead conversion is done by providing the right kind of contact. Put content and contact together and you not only have a powerful business building strategy, you have a customer loyalty and referral generating machine.
In my opinion, the best way for small business owners to take advantage of the craving for content and contact is to form communities around products, services and ideas. I think this idea is really at the heart of the unreal growth of social communities like LinkedIn and Facebook. People are desperately looking to connect.
Helping people connect in business terms may not be exactly the same as helping teenagers connect online, but the principles bare a striking similarity. The following examples illustrate some easy ways to help prospects and clients gain a deeper connection with your organization.
It’s just lunch
I have experienced some pretty fascinating results every time I have brought groups of clients together, even to share lunch. Business owners are starved for contact with their peers – the daily grind just makes this too hard to find. Facilitating this is a great service that any business can offer.
Peer to peer education
Current clients are probably more prepared to explain the value of your service to a prospect, including the limitations. Hold “focus groups” made up of several existing clients and several prospects. Let the current clients explain, in a non selling environment, what your service has meant to them, what could be better, how to get more from it. Sit back and learn.
Natural word of mouth marketing
When you deepen a relationship with a client by opening up your contacts and clients to them, you will find that they will begin to naturally (not sales motivated) talk about what you do that matters to them. You cannot purchase that kind of conversation.
Bringing client or other resources together and allowing your clients and prospects to take advantage of those resources is a great way to build community and loyalty. Hosting lunches or even teleseminars with other leading experts is a great example of this type of community building.
What if you put together a group of like minded businesses, all focused on the same target audience, and you created a local online community, including a blog that each member of the referral group contributed to. This group could easily generate and educate leads in a way that would allow everyone to win. A semi-formal referral and co marketing strategy is that you would need to make this take off locally.
Creating client and referral communities is very satisfying way to build a business. The pressure that some business owners feel from the need to sell is virtually eliminated. Any business or independent professional that takes community building on as a primary marketing strategy and then sticks with it, can dominate an industry.
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John Jantsch is a veteran marketing coach, award winning blogger and author of Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide.
He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small business marketing system. You can find more information by visiting http://www.ducttapemarketing.com
You may reprint this article in its entirety if you attribute the article to John Jantsch and include the information about the author above.
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Free Social Media for Business ebook
You know I’m a big fan of the use of social media for marketing a small business. Having said that, I’m really a fan of social media done right for small business. That means that some of the tools won’t be right for you, the ways others use some of the tools won’t be right for you, but the power contained in the new way people expect to communicate - and therefor you must learn to communicate - is something that every small business must come to understand.
Standing out and marketing a business takes work, but many of the social media tools make that work much easier and, for the small business that gets that, creates a tremendous competitive advantage. In my ongoing effort to help small businesses understand, prioritize and use social media tools, I teamed with Microsoft Office Live Small Business on a new very practical e-book called Let’s Talk: Social Media for Small Businesses. It is available for download for FREE.
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Reality Check - Guy Kawasaki
Few people can cut throught the crap like Guy Kawasaki.
In Reality Check Guy outlines essential actions that every business needs to take to outsmart, outmanage and outmarket their competition.
This is an inspirational read. More on the book here . . .
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The Best of the Hightone Years - Buddy Miller
Buddy Miller is often referred to as the musician's musician for his studio play and producing.
He and his wife Julie are a great songwriting and performing team and this record, packed with guest appearances is collection that you should have.
More on it here . . .
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