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Two MUST Follow Rules for Online Marketing Success

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Rules for Online Marketing Success

There are two must follow rules for online marketing success that every individual, organization, and business must follow if they want to be successful online.  As much as a person can try to avoid the reality of these rules, the longer they procrastinate in addressing them, the more frustrated and unable they will be to produce the successful results they hope for in their online marketing efforts.

IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW THESE TWO BASIC RULES, YOU ARE SUNK.

It doesn’t matter if it is a thriving brick and mortar business or someone just out of college that needs to present themselves professionally by having their own website with their resume, if you don’t follow these rules for online marketing success, you are sunk.

Rule One for Online Marketing Success

The first rule for online marketing success is that you must have your own domain name and your own self-hosted website where people can find you. Using a social media profile, fan page, or business page (as Facebook offers) is like working out of the trunk of your car on the information highway (the Internet). Just as having a physical place of business for a local business in your community is important, having a legitimate address and place of business on the Internet is equally as important. You need a place of business on the information highway if you want to be seen as a legitimate individual or business, regardless of what you are promoting or selling.

Rule Two for Online Marketing Success

The second rule for online marketing success is that you MUST have a way to get traffic to your website if you want to promote who you are and what you have to offer with the world. This is an essential mandate if you are at all serious about being successful online, whether for making money or just promoting yourself or you cause.

Making Marketing Online Work for You

It may have been through any one of several ways: a search engine, advertising link, social media network, webinar, phone application, or even a referral from one of our customers or affiliates, but the fact that you are reading this right now means that you found this website out of potentially millions of other websites that offer the very same technology products and services that we do.  Think about that for just a moment. Want to know why you found our website? You found it as a result of an online marketing strategy that led you to us.

  1. We had a website with information on a subject you are interested in, and
  2. We had a marketing strategy for marketing online to those who need our products and services.

The point is that if you want to be successful in the 21st century, you must include technology in your plan for success. You must have a website (your address on the information highway) and you must have a marketing strategy to get your message, cause, or business opportunity promoted to the world. Would you like to find out how we can help you in finding success marketing online? Does the idea of increasing the power of your personal or business brand and your income or business revenues interest you? We can help you in your online marketing success if you feel that your efforts are not paying off for you.  Contact us today and find out how.

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Planning Your Website for Success

Posted by on in Website Help | 0 comments

 

Having a website in the 21st century is a large part of an individual’s or a business’s  overall success.  Whether your desired reach is to your local community or that of being on a global stage, having a website can help insure your success in building your brand and getting your message out to those you want to reach. Because a website is so important, properly planning your website for success should be a top priority for you, whether you already have a website or not.

Planning your website for success does not have to be a long and drawn out process. It’s just a matter of answering some basic questions. Most of the questions are things that you may have already thought of – whether you have a website or not. Unfortunately, for most people who want to have an online presence, they never take the time to think through and write down what is important to them and their goals for utilizing the Internet for their success. This is where companies like ours become very helpful to you. We understand what is needed and how to best make it happen for you in an economical way.

We can help you gain an understanding of what is important, why it is, and how to use it to your advantage. A good place to start however is by getting what you have in your head about your website and how you want to use the Internet, written down on paper. Once you can do this, you will have the guidelines you need for making your website development and marketing decisions.

The following questions are what every website owner must answer if they want to have a successful website. Your answers will become the basis of what your content will be, how you will present it, and what you will provide in the way of a call to action for the visitors to your website. While many of these questions may be questions that you have already answered in your mind, taking the time to write out your answers in detail can be a big help in seeing your Internet presence has a successful outcome for you, your business or your cause. Having a clear understanding of what you want and how you want your website to be will also help you by providing a reference source for you or the individuals that you may have helping you in your marketing efforts.

  1. What is the main purpose of the website?
  2. If the website is for a business, organization or cause, what is the vision and mission statement that you want the world to understand about the reason you are doing what you are doing?
  3. Is there a specific group of people or prospects that you want your website to target, either locally or globally?
  4. What is the most important/main information that you want to provide to a visitor to your website that will give them an accurate, in depth understanding of the “who, what, why, where, when, and how” of what you do, promote, or provide to the world?
  5. What products or services will you offer through your website?
  6. Will you accept payments through your website or is your website strictly for information purposes only?
  7. Will you collect visitor information through a lead capture page so that you can build a relationship with them leading to the fulfillment of the main purpose for your website?
  8. Will you be using an email marketing campaign that will be integrated with your lead capture page or registration process?
  9. Will your website provide constant updates or additional information related to your website’s purpose through that of periodic articles on subjects of interest?
  10. If you plan to collect visitor information, what will be the compelling offer you will provide in return for their basic contact information?
  11. Do you want your website to provide an immediate call to action that will require a visitor to register while they are on your website the first time?

Having the answers to each of these questions are important when planning your website for success. Planning is after all, is a significant part of success in anything you do. If you have not already done so, take some time to answer these important questions as completely and as articulately as possible. Your answers will provide you a very good foundation for the successful development and/or redevelopment of your website, and ultimately aid in the success of your online marketing success.

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Is Offshore Outsourcing a Viable Option?

Posted by on in Outsourcing | 1 comment

 

Everyone has an opinion about offshore outsourcing.  Outsourcing is either praised or cursed by those who talk about it.  Either way, it is a life saver for companies seeking to remain profitable in today’s highly competitive business environment where every dollar must count.  Or, it is loathed as a major cause of economic difficulties for those struggling to compete against companies that use outsourcing.

Either way, the fact remains that the world is now tightly joined through technology and as a result, the world as we know it, and how business is conducted will never be the same again.  If you have any need for labor that is not dependent upon physical location as to where you benefit from that labor, the question that you must ultimately answer for yourself is, “is offshore outsourcing a viable option?”

The Dirty Little Secret

There is a dirty little secret about offshore outsourcing that top administrators of most major corporations don’t necessarily want made public, and that is simply this.  They don’t want the public to know that every possible labor related cost that can be outsourced to offshore outsourcing firms is on their list to outsource.  Government restrictions or not, government incentives to hire locally or not, there is no amount of money that can be thrown at a business to keep them from wanting to outsource their labor related costs where their profits are directly related to labor costs.  Offshore outsourcing increases the bottom line and there are no ill side affects from using offshore outsourcing  for any labor related services.

An Ideal Opportunity for Small Business

Virtual Assistant Facility in Philippines

It used to be that only large corporations could afford to utilize offshore outsourcing as a way to reduce their labor costs, but today, there is as much opportunity for small business, even a single individual, to utilize offshore outsourcing as a way to speed up production time, increase productivity, and stretch an ever-tightening budget for those things that are necessary to compete in the 21st century.  With companies like Wal-Mart who outsource 80% or more of it’s product manufacturing by some accounts, small business must learn their tricks and trade secrets if they want to remain in business in the 21st century.

Offshore outsourcing can be the deciding factor of whether a small business will be able to compete or not now-a-days.  one of the areas where small business can save huge amounts of money is through that of outsourcing their back office and IT needs, and customer support services – all three which are a part of the 21st century business, whether you are a company of one or you are a company of 1,000.

Keep in mind that almost every major corporation (almost, because there might be a few remaining)  that depends upon competitive pricing in order to compete, have been using offshore outsourcing alternatives for as long as 20 years now.  And, since the rise of the Internet and the ability to access and utilize data and services via the Internet,  IT, back office, and customer support services have been outsourced to offshore outsourcing firms.

Is it a realistic alternative for you and your business?  Truth be told, every administrator that has ever had to face budget cutbacks in business where labor costs are concerned, or to find ways to be able to be more competitive in the market place, has considered offshore outsourcing as an alternative to rising labor costs and related expenses.

While major manufacturing companies were the first to realize the dramatic savings associated with offshore outsourcing, accessibility to offshore outsourcing has never been easier for individuals and small business who want to take advantage of the significant savings associated with offshore outsourcing, especially for back office, IT, and customer support services.     Take the automobile industry for instance.  With unionized labor costs holding most of America hostage – especially in the automotive industry – there has been a mass exodus from having parts to cars built in America.

Technology is no different

This is especially true with technology.  The cost of a programmer in the United States for instance is about $75/hr. with 7 to 10 years experience (degreed or not), even though you can find some unemployed programmers nowadays that might work for as little as $30/hr. if they are desperate.  Programming, depending on the level of talent being used, can cost as much as $500/hr for top level programming, i.e. building source code, complex databases, and high end enterprise systems. In places like India and the Philippines, a top level programmer that is college degreed with 7 to 10 years experience is about $25/hr.

If you were a company administrator and knew that a programming project that had to get done was going to take approximately 200 hours of programming, would you rather pay $15,000 for that project in programming expense or $7,000?   IF you have been wanting to have a Website for your business and price has always been the issue, you have no excuse for not having a Website.  Using an offshore outsourcing firm (like ITfamilyGroup for instance) will allow you to have a very functional AND AFFORDABLE Website built, and up and running in not time.

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Securing Your Computer and Website (Pt1)

Posted by on in Your Computer | 0 comments

It’s time to take that week off and head to the beach. The car’s packed, you are on the way. You bolt out of your front door and completely forget to lock it. Or maybe you just went to your favorite coffee shop (smoothie shop for you health nuts like me). In all the excitement of getting your spinach mango protein smoothie, you parked your car and left your back windows down with the keys in the ignition, and your wallet laying in your seat for everyone to see when they walked by your car. You’re thinking to yourself, “I would neverrrr be that absent minded…”

Truth be told, most of us would never forget or overlook such obvious blunders to our welfare, safety, and security. The precautions that we would take are obvious everyday security measures – lock our doors as we leave, close and lock our windows, and certainly not leave our windows down in our car with the keys in the ignition! Ok, so meanwhile, back to your Website. You have a Website; it’s your home on the Internet. It is where everyone that is anyone who wants to compete in the 21st century will be in the near future – online, with their own domain name and their own personally hosted website.

So, think of your Website as your physical house. If your Website is your house, then a search engine is the city, and all of the people who are using the search engine are people out in the community walking or driving around the streets of the city. Unfortunately, just as in the real world, there are those that are looking for houses with windows open or a door that is not fully closed – prowlers, who if given the chance, will break in and steal whatever they can find while you are not home. An Internet prowler is no different. They are looking for ‘loot’, and do not care about your wellbeing, and they will not stop until they rob you if they can.

Of course, everyone that has any sense and uses the Internet knows that cyber-crime is the fastest growing crime in the world. It’s not hard to become a cyber-criminal since most crimes are committed against websites (Internet homes) that have not been adequately protected. And let’s face it. If two middle school boys who were bored one day after school could hack into top secret computers of the military, then chances are someone equally as bored could happen across yours or mine, and do or take whet they wanted to. It’s not rare, but rather frequent nowadays to hear about someone’s website having been hacked into, someone having their passwords stolen, some worm or trojan virus that steals all of someone’s personal and banking information.

It’s life in the 21st century. It’s craziness to think that 30,000,000+ people a year have their identity stolen worldwide. It is huge business! And eventually, even you will have to deal with something like this happening IF you do not take the necessary precautions to prevent it. If you are an individual that runs an eCommerce business, you have even more to lose, in that if your Website gets hacked, you could end up exposing your users and customers to identity theft and your Website’s reputation will be completely ruined. In many cases, you are required by law to have a minimum level of security in place to protect consumers who use your Website. Hint: This is what SSL certificates are for.

Ok, so, now that we know that it’s just a matter of time before we ALL get hacked (half way serious here), what’s the good news? The good news is that if you are willing to apply some basic precautions in managing your website, you can prolong, if not completely avoid becoming a part of the statistics associated with identity theft. Here are the immediate must do things to put in place once you start to self-host your own website. Don’t get too overwhelmed in looking at this list. Some of them are handled by you hosting company, BUT, it is important that you ask your hosting company to be sure. Otherwise, defend yourself.

1) Get Virus Protection and keep it! The first line of defense is a good virus protection software program. I recommend that you find someone that subscribes to Consumer Reports and see what the best software is that they are recommending. The top four Security Suites that I recommend are AVG, Norton, McAfee, and Avira AntiVir. I presently use Avira. I can tell you that even if you have a great anti-virus software package you can still get infected since virus attacks can be by newly released viruses. One of my sons was victim to just such a thing on his laptop after visiting a gaming site that ultimately infected his computer without his knowledge (and HE is an amazingly conscientious Internet user). I think he is still working on fixing his laptop.

2) When you start to self-host your personal Website, change your FTP Passwords often. FTP (file transfer protocol) passwords are what you use to access the Internet from your computer to upload website files to your website. I recommend that you change them every few weeks, depending on how often you are accessing your website’s administrative control panel (the place where you maintain your website). Because viruses are all the time being written to steal passwords, then sell them off to the highest bidder on the black market, with you changing your passwords regularly, by the time they get sold or the perpetrator has the time to use it (them), they will have already been antiquated (out of date). Yes, I agree, it’s a pain, but it is one of the first and best line of defenses against hackers. I personally use a series of random alpha-numeric passwords that are 16 characters long and they are rotated weekly between the Websites that I personally own, but then I tend to be a bit over-protective since I own a company that provides Web development and hosting services.

3) Keep your security patches updated! If you are a Windows Operating System computer user (a PC user, not a Mac), you are familiar with the term security patches. Updating them seems to be an ongoing process, but these security patches are mandatory if you want to successful in protecting your computer from MAJOR security risks! Most Trojan exploitations come through computers that are older, and/or for one reason or another are un-patched with the latest security patches from Microsoft. I suggest that if you are a Windows operating system user, you set your updates to automatic AND still visit the Windows update website regularly to do a manual update. This is in the event your system has a Trojan that slipped by your software and turned off your Windows updates. I personally check for updates every three or four days myself on my own computer, even with my automatic updates turned on.

4) Update your software patches often. We all have personal computers and enjoy the benefits of all the software that make our computers do the things we want them to do to make our lives easier for us. I personally have close to 50 unique programs that I have purchased or had given to me as a reseller of the software that software vendors wanted me to market for them. One of the biggest mistakes of busy people, or better put, impatient Internet users is that of not updating their software when they receive notice that there is an update for it. THIS IS HUGE! I am not sure why, but it just seems to be some sort of mental block in the mind of many people I know that says ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,’ mentality. Software, in order NOT to be broke, must be updated IF it is at all accessible via the Internet (which by the way, 100% of it is unless you disconnect your Internet connection).

I remember hearing of one client who was his own Webmaster had an old version of Adobe Reader that got infected through a PDF virus that made its way to his Website. Some very bad security problems occurred as a result. He seemed clueless how it could have happened, not thinking that viruses (hacker created) could find their way on to his Website via a software program. To him, having a program that was two years out of date with security updates was a less than wise decision on his part to allow that to happen. Turns out that he would get these ‘important update notice’ messages from Adobe that he continually refused since he was too busy each time to deal with it, and finally turned off his notifications for the updates so he would not be interrupted. Bad mistake! Bad. Bad. Never Not let your software updates have their way with your computer.

Lot’s of the latest viruses on the market are targeting software as a way to access your computer and/or Website. How are you doing so far? Have you taken these precautions yet? If you have an hour or so, and you have not gotten these fundamental tools in place for your protection, I want to encourage you to address them as soon as possible. If you do not know how to do these things, be willing to pay someone to help you get them done for your.

You will never regret the time investment in protecting your Website and your future success as a result of protecting your personal information and the information of those who visit or use your Website. In Part 2 of this series on Securing Your Computer and Website, I will talk about some additional precautions that someone who wants to have a secure and trusted Website must consider and implement. It will deal more so on the web hosting company’s responsibility side, and what you can to do to be proactive in protecting your investment of time and money and livelihood in doing business online. If you don’t take anything away from this blog post but one nugget of truth, it would be “Update always, and often.”

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