Welcome! I’m Simon Reynolds.

My goalFrank Underwood is to add more value to your world than you ever dreamed possible by giving you tools that you can immediately use to improve your business and life. Translation?

I’m here to make you rich.

Before we go further, let’s redefine rich, shall we? Because the rich I’m talking about reaches far beyond toys and cash.

Rich means unlocking your spiritual potential, nurturing your health and happiness and using your unique talents to change the world.

I often say if Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Oprah and Jay-Z had a love child, it would be me

There’s a theme I’ve been hearing from brands and retailers lately. The time has been spent, the vibrant fan base has been built, and it’s time to generate some real return on our social investments – but how?

Well, we know it’s not a question of volume. After all, there’s no shortage of content being created by brands of all shapes and sizes. Most have someone in-house managing social media full-time, and they’re tweeting, posting and pinning with the best of them.

It’s not an “information overload” question either, contrary to what many experts have been suggesting. In fact, according to new research, “the high volume of information available these days seems to make most people feel empowered and enthusiastic”.

The daily deluge of updates from friends, family, news networks and brands doesn’t look to be scaring customers away, but it’s not generating the return anyone expected either. It seems the question, then, isn’t the quantity of posts in social, but rather the quality of what’s being posted. The social customer is unique, and they need to be marketed to in a way that’s sensitive to their needs. What’s the message you’re sending them? Are you promoting product in an exciting and engaging way, or just keeping the customer in touch with your brand? If the goal is to drive product discovery, encourage deeper product exploration and create brand affinity and loyalty (and chances are one of these goals exists for every brand today), it’s about what you say, not how many times you say it.

by Matt Kaludi on October 9, 2012

Something big has happened to social media.

In case you hadn’t noticed, social media is big – and getting bigger all the time. What was once the domain of just a small number of people is now everyday currency in and outside of business. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc are now familiar channels for many of us. Now 23% of all the time we are online takes place on social networks and blogs. Internet users are now spending more time on Facebook than on any other web brand combined (Source: Nielsen).

Business is quickly catching on to the potential, with recent research showing that a third of companies in the UK now put up to 20% of their marketing budget into business social networking (Source: Regus).

Why many businesses still aren’t getting it

Social media’s growing profile can make it look like a relatively simple way to generate leads. Social media was the leading emerging channel for lead generation in 2010 (Source: Hubspot Marketing) and many companies already see it as the next step in attracting more customers. But the reality is a great deal less simple. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • More noise: As the business take up of social media increases, so does the marketing ‘noise’ – making it even more of a challenge to stand out.
  • Missing links: Many businesses have the drive, but lack the strategy. They see where they want to get to in terms of income or leads, but they’re missing the crucial links to make social media work truly effectively for them.
  • Minus the strategy: The returns of social media can be tempting. After all, the proportion of UK companies successfully winning new customers through social networking activity rose from 33% in 2010 – to 41% in 2011 (Source: Regus). But many businesses are still engaging in social media activity without a long-term strategy, often creating initial interest, but failing to convert it into sales.

by Matt Kaludi on October 8, 2012

Your email opt ins are directly affected by your landing page – and there are multiple factors that go into a successful page. If you’ve been relying on a sidebar opt in form for the majority of your email marketing subscribers, it’s time to up your game. With a landing page devoted to gathering email addresses, you can take your list to the next level and start seeing the multiple benefits of email marketing.

A great landing page gives you a targeted URL to send prospects to so you can build your list. If you’re sending your social media traffic or article backlinks to your homepage or even your services page, you may be muddying the waters and making things too complicated for your prospects. A streamlined landing page will help you boost opt ins and get better results from your traffic.

by Matt Kaludi on October 8, 2012

Okay, show of hands.

Who else is sick and tired of marketers who view social media as nothing more than a source of free traffic?

You know the type.

  • They have dozens of niche blogs, pumping out an endless stream of crap content they pay writers five dollars per post to produce
  • They DM us all kinds of lame affiliate offers on Twitter
  • They have a gang of buddies who help them push inappropriate content to the front pages of Digg, Delicious, and Reddit

No, they’re not going to destroy social media or anything as dramatic as that, but it’s still pretty ugly. These marketers have become like leeches, bleeding people of trust and contributing nothing in return. And it’s time for it to stop.

So, I decided to take a little time off from our usual marketing tips and write a good old-fashioned open letter (a.k.a. rant), telling them how it is. No, I don’t think it’s going to change the minds of any hardened spammers, but it might open the eyes of a few businesses who don’t know any better.

Let’s get started:

Dear Mr. Marketer:

The Social Web is not your “traffic honey hole.”

Yes, we understand you’re just trying to run a business. Yes, we know social media is the biggest marketing opportunity in the history of mankind, and you’re just trying to get your piece of it. Yes, we are aware that social media marketing is endorsed by many top Internet marketers, and they’re making millions off it every day.

But we’d like you to stop, or at least change the way you’re doing it.

We’re not going to give you another self-righteous argument about how you can’t make money with social media. We’re not going to sermonize about the pitfalls of sleazy marketing. We’re not going to tell you you’re ruining opportunities for all of the other marketers out there who are trying to do things the right way.

You’ve probably heard enough of that, and it doesn’t matter anyway.

No, the honest truth is that it’s just a bad business strategy, and eventually you’re going to get burned. Sure, you can make a few quick bucks, but over the long term, trying to manipulate social media to get free traffic for your business just isn’t a sustainable strategy.

 

by Matt Kaludi on October 8, 2012

Everyone is always talking about how important it is to start a blog, grow a brand, write quality content, guest post on other blogs and so on… All of that is great and it is all necessary, but how many people are going to continually start new blogs without a business model? It happens every day and it’s going to keep on happening for many years to come.

In this post I am going to tell you why you should start your own coupon based blog, how other people can build the site for you, make money with it and then even sell it for a nice pay day after a few months time.

First Things First, Start the Blog!

It’s a coupon blog… it’s not brain surgery. There are already millions of coupon blogs out there, you just need to figure out how to do it better and get your content in front of the right audience.

You can come up with your own site design or use a pre-built coupon theme like what AppThemes.com has to offer. You can even outsource the process and hire someone to add daily content for you, or you can also use datafeeds from merchants on ad networks. In the end it’s still about updating often with new coupons and content that people find useful.

by Matt Kaludi on October 8, 2012

Blogging interviews are a cool way to improve your blog stats and you don’t need to be as gab a Charlie Rose or Piers Morgan to pull it off. Hey, it’s not TV, there’s no producer to pressure you to make every air time count. Still, you have your blog visitors to think about and just like TV, blogging interviews should not be in any way boring. In fact, you have all the time to be creative with your blog interviews – so ask the right questions, edit out the kinks and make sure to present the interview as an enjoyable and informative piece of web entertainment.

Set your standards high, it doesn’t hurt, but whether you decide to shoot the blog interview on your own webcam or with a HD camera- it doesn’t matter- what matters is that the interview flows smoothly, interesting enough for users to watch it till the end.

by Matt Kaludi on October 8, 2012

As bloggers, we’re all about producing quality content, right? At least, we should be… Anyway, producing this quality content is about a lot more than just finding an idea, some keywords, writing a post around them, and finally publishing it for the whole world to see.

There are also some things you have to do right before hitting the publish button to give your post this additional head start. So here’s my list of 8 of those things.

1. Check for “you”

A well put-together blog post refers to the reader directly by using one of the simplest words in the English language – you.

Now, this is something your high school teacher most likely told you not to do. Talking to readers directly was considered one of the biggest sins you could make in your writing at school … not for blogging, though.

Include direct references whenever it makes sense. This creates a personal connection with your reader and makes your post seem like you’re talking to them in person.

by Matt Kaludi on October 8, 2012

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