Saturday, December 31, 2011

Marketing Tip: Find and Flaunt Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Are you having trouble getting sales?

A little while ago, someone asked me how to brand his website.

His website was selling products that are available in many other places on the Internet.  In other words, he did not offer his website visitors a compelling reason to return to his website, much less generate enough enthusiasm for his visitors to DEMAND to their friends to visit HIS website.

So I asked him and other people what he could do to make his website different than most other people trying to sell the same thing that he is.

We call this his Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

What is a unique selling proposition?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Guest Blogging: An Intriguing Idea

While using LinkedIn, I saw a request asking people to guest bloggers.

Since seeing this, I keep thinking about it.  Honestly, I've only had a short back-and-forth conversation with the person who made this request, but I keep thinking about it.

Why should I consider guest blogging?

I don't really know this answer, but I know why it intrigues me.  Potentially, there are some really good benefits to doing this.

1. More Experience for You

Some people are natural writers, but most of us aren't.

So how do we become better writers?

There are several things that we can do, but the most obvious one is to practice.  The more we write, the better we likely will become at it, especially if we're trying to improve.

Plus, we'll force ourselves to learn about more topics.  Ever "have to" write about something, but you didn't really know about it?  What did you do?  You probably researched that topic to keep yourself from looking foolish in writing.

We become more experienced quickly by putting ourselves in positions to get more experience.

Guest blogging for an audience that does not know us will force most of us to write better.

2. More Exposure for You

More people will see your expertise, your insight, and your personality.  Even if people never meet you in person, much like when we see people on television, they feel like they sort of know you--even though they don't.

The more places that you share your insight, the more people will feel like they know you.

Would most people rather do business with someone they know or a so-called expert that they don't know?

Guest blogging should help you better known with more people, especially if you guest blog in front of the right groups of people that you are targeting.

Ultimately, I cannot guarantee that you will benefit from doing this, because I have not done this, yet, but my logic tells me that it is a good idea for you to try--and me, too.

I'll give you updates on how well it does or does not work for me.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Markting Idea: Branding Yourself When You Have a Common Name

How can you market or brand yourself on the Internet?

It is pretty easy to do if you have a less common name, like I do (Chris Wechner).  Mostly, I can put up things, and I just have to work to try managing which of all of those things people see on Page 1, Page 2, and possibly Page 3.

I commented on some of this earlier.

New Opportunity

Recently, someone approached me about marketing his own website, using a search phrase of his own name.  For example, John Doe wants his website, called, to rank on the keyword search phrase "john doe."

The problem is that John Doe is a really common name.  That means there could be a lot of competition.

In this specific person's case, he is competing against a somewhat well-known (but not too popular musician, an evangelist, and a former actor.

The Problem

So this person has a business, but the service that he provides is not nearly as mainstream as these other things.

So he might not ever leapfrog over these people.

Is it worth the fight?

Sometimes, we go into a fight, and we know that we can win.  Other times, we know to avoid a particular fight, because we know that we have no chance of winning.

Then there are times when we don't really know whether we can win the fight.  At that point, we have to decide whether it is worth the hassle and effort--and risk of losing--to determine whether we want to start fighting.

Within the Internet world, the risk of losing is not physical.  Nobody is going to punch us.  Nobody is going to send us into our room for punishment.

We only risk losing our time and energy.

So if we think that a "win" will help us make more money, become more marketable, or allow us to do something else we really want, GO FOR IT.

Just start fighting.  You won't always win, but the worst consequences are not very bad--I don't think.

This is true, only if you REALLY want it.  Otherwise, don't bother.  You'll just quit when things get tough, anyway.  (Note: We all have areas where this is true.  Don't beat up yourself for not caring when you really don't.  Just walk away!)

The "Fighting" Plan

However, if you DO really want to win this battle of ranking for your own name (when you have a common name), here are some things that I would do.

1. Look at the DOMAIN (URL) of my own website.

Does my website URL (Domain) have my name in it--somewhere?

Ideally, you can get, but you might have to append something to it, like

Is the website a

The website does not have to be a dot-com, but it will probably help you.

Yes, you can get things like or, but those usually compare less favorably to a URL.

Don't even bother getting something like or

With enough work, you can possibly get these to rank, also, but why purposely give yourself extra work.

2. Look at my own website.

Do I have my name all over the website?

Many people create their own website, and barely mention their name.  They might have their name in the URL, the Title, and possibly somewhere in the first paragraph--if not the first sentence.

Remind Google that this webpage is about John Doe.  Mention John Doe plenty of times.  When it comes to helping Google index your site for what you want, Google still needs a lot of help.  Give Google that help--list your name many times throughout your website pages.

3. Check my backlinks to my website.

Do you have lots of backlinks from other websites to your website page?

Are these links coming from places that are associated with things and ideas that really represents you, or are you a muscle man getting all sorts of links from things like goat breastfeeding sites?

It really helps if several of these other websites are also about you--with your name mentioned lots of times within them.

4. Check the anchor text to my backlinks.

When you see backlinks to your website from other websites, what types of (anchor text) words are being used to link to your site?

Do you have anchor text like "John Doe" or "John Doe is a great body builder," or do you have mostly links that say things, like "Click HERE?"

If you own the websites with these backlinks, start changing them.

If you don't own the website, see whether you can contact the website owners to have them make some adjustments.  You can't control what they put on their websites, but do what you can to let them know that it is important to you.  They certainly aren't going to change anything to help you if they don't even realize what help you need.

Doing these things will not guarantee that you'll take back the search results for your name.  For instance, you will probably never overtake "Michael Jordan" or "Michael Jackson."

However, you will be way ahead of most of your other competition, especially if you are just competing against many other amateurs.

How many of these other people are willing to do these things I just suggested?

The most important question is whether YOU are willing to do those things.

Is it really that important to you?  Is it really worth the fight?

If so, you just got the coaching that you need.  Good luck, and remember to protect your face.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Marketing Tip: Don't be a Know-It-All - Ask Your Client Questions

I read some things to remind me of a simple but often overlooked point.

Seth Godin, the author of The Purple Cow and seeming 1000 other books, wrote a simple blog post: Q&A.  Within it, he mentions that people tend to be good about answering questions, but many of us really are not good at asking questions.

The Question
I asked myself, "Why is that?  Why are many people more excited to answer questions than they are to ask them?"

Quickly, I realized something.

Knowing the Right Answer
In school, we were rewarded for having the right answers.  People looked at us as though we were more intelligent, even though we just happened to know that specific answer.

These people got rewarded with higher grades and more respect from their teachers.

Giving the Wrong Answer
When we did not know the answer, we usually suffered some form of penalty.  Either we got a lower grade, or we felt humiliated.  School was not the place for wrong answers.

Asking Questions
When we ask questions, we are admitting to the world that we do not have the right answer for something.  We did not give a wrong answer, but we showed the world that we were not intelligent enough to know that answer.

Asking Questions-Another View
The schools give us one message during our early years, the years where we form many of our lifelong habits, attitudes, and self-image.

Here is another view that many people never are able to realize.

Asking questions is the quickest way to transfer yourself from someone who does not know the right answer into someone who does.

You have to intelligent to know what you do not know.  You have to be smart enough to know how to word your question so that the other person can provide you with an answer that fills you with the knowledge you are trying to get.

Quite honestly, it takes a pretty intelligent person to ask questions.  Dumb people simply are not capable of this.

Ask Your Clients Questions
I have seen people with a lot of intelligence go into places and already know what needs to be done.  They start giving direction immediately.

They could be right.  They might be giving all of the right direction.

However, most of these people forget one thing.

They are experts with marketing, business operations, or whatever else they were hired to consult.

The client is the expert with his or her own problem.  The client has all of the answers.

As marketing consultants, we need to ask the client the questions.  The client can give us the answers so that we can act intelligently.

How can we act intelligently if we do not have all of the information?

Don't be a know-it-all.  Ask your clients questions.  Show them how smart you really are!

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Internet Markting Tip: Niche Phrases: You Might be Wasting Opportunities to be Seen

This advice tip will not work for every type of keyword search phrase, but it could be a gem for those of you who are trying to dominate tiny niche phrases.

Tip: Use Many Types of Sites to Promote Your Business

This is good advice, anyway, because you want as many backlinks to your website as possible.  However, for niche phrases, there is an even better benefit.

Using more than one type of site could provide backlinks, but they also provide an additional chance to be a "page" representing you or your business that ranks on Page 1 of the search engine results.

What are some different types of sites that could land on Page 1?
  • Account Profiles
  • Directory Maps
  • Classified Ads
  • Press Releases
  • Videos

These will not always rank, and it is important to notice what types of sites seem to get ranked more highly.  However, many people do not think of these.  Other people are too proud to use these resources.

That's fine with me.  I'll just take my easy path to page domination.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Why I prefer using LinkedIn over Facebook

Many people ask me why I dislike Facebook so much.

I mostly use LinkedIn, even though it somewhat uses Web 2.0 technology, it is not used as social media, really.

Facebook vs. LinkedIn: Quick Explanation

Facebook is, by far, a more powerful marketing tool.  Many more people use it, and plenty of people have fun with it.  It TRULY is social, and that is why so many marketers want to tap into that population.

LinkedIn is more professional networking (interacting) media than it is social media.  It is largely known as something boring, compared to Facebook.

My Personal Frustration with Facebook

My biggest frustration with Facebook comes with the social part.  We have "friends" who are not at all interested in my business.  These people do not need nor want to see my marketing posts.  It just does not fit them, and I don't really like burdening them with those types of posts.

There are people who I met through something professional who have become legitimate friends--not all of them, though.  I do not want many of these people seeing my personal posts.  They would be much different than the posts that I want most of my business associates to see.

For me, LinkedIn works a lot better. It might not for you. Definitely, I am not in the majority about the way I feel.

I am less confused about the messages that I can send to most of my LinkedIn "Connections" than I am about what I can send to my Facebook "Friends."  I know that many of my LinkedIn Connections will benefit from certain types of posts.

Only some of my Facebook Friends will appreciate my professional insights.

There are only some others--many different "Friends"--who appreciate my personal sense of humor,  frustration, random insight, or anything else that I want to share on a human level.  Frankly, there are only some of these things that I WANT some of these Friends to understand.

My REAL Problem with Facebook

Several of my Facebook Friends do not understand the boundaries of what needs to be shared publicly.

Only some of my Facebook Friends respect these boundaries between what they want to post or comment versus what I want some of my business associates to see.  I do not do anything illegal (outside of speeding occasionally), but I want to select what parts of my private life become public.  Overall, I'm pretty open about many of my flaws, but I would like to choose what I show and when I show them.

Facebook Friends do not always allow that to happen.  Honestly, many times they don't even realize it, because they are sharing something general that many more people see than they take time to realize.

I could see me doing that to someone else--unknowingly.

Plus, there are people who know you from different walks of life.

Facebook makes it so easy to communicate that it confuses boundaries between different groups of people that I know.

Am I the only one?

Like this post?  Other posts you might like are

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Facebook is Great Today - What might hurt it tomorrow, though?

Facebook truly is great.

Anyone who knows me personally will wondering whether I took any unauthorized medication.

I make it clear to anyone who knows me that--personally--I cannot stand Facebook.  On my personal website, I even clearly state that I will not answer Facebook messages.  Truthfully, I probably don't even know to read them since I do not go into Facebook hardly ever.

So why am I saying that Facebook is great?

Facebook is great, because of 3 reasons, if not more.
  1. Convenience
  2. Causal Comfort
  3. Free Entertainment
  4. Valuable Advice & Opinions (Reviews)
1. Facebook is Convenient

Facebook allows you to update a ton of people at one time.

How many people do you know that only send event (party, speaking, etc.) invitations ONLY through Facebook?

I bet you know, at least, one person.  You probably know a lot of people who do it.

Me, too.

Why would they do this?  It's convenient.

First, they can just send out one (1) notice, and they have informed everyone they want.

Second, you do not have to remember nor look up anyone's email address, because all you have to do is select their name.  Facebook will connect everything else for you.

2. Facebook is Casual

Hardly anyone on Facebook cares about people using proper grammar or paragraph structure.  In fact, you probably are taking yourself way too seriously on Facebook if you share too many things with paragraphs.

It also seems like hardly any topic is taboo.

I hear people make fun of other people giving updates of their children going to baseball or cheerleading practice, but it seems like these posts get comments.  I certainly don't see anyone getting offended enough to write something in protest.

If we do not want to participate inside of a conversation, we do not have to respond.  Since the post was to all of us--not just one of us--we will not offend anyone when we don't respond to a topic that does does not interest us.

3. Facebook provides free entertainment.

Facebook is brilliant about finding new ways to keep people coming and staying within Facebook.

Anyone heard of Farmville?  That might be yesterday's game, but Facebook always has more interactive games.

The best part?

They are FREE.  You can spend countless hours alternating between playing Facebook games and communicating with your group of "Friends."

4. Facebook provides more trustworthy advice and reviews (opinions).
{Note: SEO Internet Marketers  definitely need to read this part.}

While Google keeps finding ways to improve their search results, they still are handling web pages of content that most people created themselves or hired other people to create for them.

We never really know whether a "review" that we see is honest or biased.  Plus, most of these reviews that we read come from people we really do not know, even if it happens to be a well-written objective review of the product or service.

There are lots of people finding ways to "game the system" on Google and other search engines.  (As internet marketers, we do this all of the time--even if we are trying to provide good quality content white hat techniques.  We're still trying to find ways to make Google pick our site first.)

Most people posting things and commenting on Facebook are people giving their honest thoughts.  They are not trying to market anything.

If they hate something, many people will gladly share their disdain after spending their hard-earned money on something crummy.

To the other extreme, people generally are not going to say something nice about a product or service, unless they feel like they spent their money or time really well.  People are excited to get genuine bargains, and many of these people want to seem like someone "in the know" by sharing this great deal amongst their friends.

Sure, there are people who "cheat the system" within Facebook, but you can get a much truer read on market research, because so many people are giving honest opinions about things.

So what might hurt Facebook?

Facebook exploded, because it really was an innocent social device.  People could share information efficiently for free.

However, where there are gobs of people, there are predators.

They came to visit us on TV and on the radio.

They are....BUSINESSES.

Business are great.  They provide jobs, develop new products, make it easier for us to buy things we want, etc.
We usually watched TV for the shows--not the commercials.  However, the TV stations could not continue to operate without income from these advertising sponsors.

Eventually, that created a market for people to pay extra money to watch TV stations that did not show any commercials.  (Ironically, even they were advertising on the standard TV stations.)

Fast forward to today's time, many of us enjoy using Facebook.  It is sort of like TV, because it provides us with entertainment that is free of charge to us who are using it.  There are games to play.  It is easy to communicate with your friends, even posting pictures and videos are easy to do.

There are lots of things to bring people to use Facebook.

A New Pattern Developing on Facebook

However, I can see something developing that could create "pollution" on Facebook.

Already, there are Facebook Ads, which are similar to the sponsored ads that you see on the top or side panel of Google search results.

Facebook is sort of tricky with these, too.  Many of these ads sort of blend with their own promoted products.  So you might not even realize that you are clicking on something unrelated to Facebook.

Facebook is a database, collecting information about you and the topics that make you respond.  So these Facebook Ads can really tempting to click.

That is both good and bad.  If you are interested in something genuinely, that is terrific that Facebook makes it so easily available for you.

The Bad Pattern

I see something else developing, which is not very good.

I see companies bribing people to "Like" their Facebook Fan Page.

Some business provide mainstream service which fit this model well.  Great restaurants create enough passion that people might feel compelled to "Like" a specific restaurant.  You might be able to say this about other things, like clothing stores, jewelry stores, or even car washes.

I respect the feature which allows people to vote (Like) for something that they really like.
However, I lose my respect for a tire place making "deals" that they will give you a 10% discount if you "Like" them.  Unfortunately, search engines seem to be rewarding (and encouraging) this type of behavior.

These types of bribes will obliterate the honest reviews that people using Facebook come to value.

If these bribes become too mainstream, we will eventually have to ask whether that person really LIKED the service or just enjoyed the benefit of the bribe the sponsoring company provided.

It won't be long before there are people who are hired to act as though they are a regular person who likes (or hates) all of these different businesses.

I do not blame the businesses for leveraging models presented to them.

I just hope that Facebook does not deteriorate into something like television, a polluted media that people enjoy but don't respect.

Hopefully, Facebook will continue to be a place where we hear something really good about people and businesses doing the right things, and people know that they can believe them.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Marketing Tip: SEO Tip: Add Surrounding Cities That You Service

I'm in the middle of a project that has me making a TON of searches, and I am making several realizations.

One is something that should be obvious, but I keep seeing websites that do not have this (including mine, occasionally).

If you have a business and service people within your town--PLUS from surrounding towns, list these towns.

It's true that most of the nearby customers will figure out these towns for themselves; however, it makes good SEO practice.

If you want people to find your business when you list it, include as many words as they are probably going to type so that search engines (like Google) will know to associate your site with search phrases involving your city AND these other cities.

For example, if your business is located in Appleton (Wisconsin), search engines will not know to associate Kimberly WI, a town less than five (5) miles from Appleton--just across the river--with your business, even though you often service people from there.

*** For those of you who are unfamiliar, you can check it on Google Maps HERE. ***

The search engine sees "Kimberly" and does not really know to connect it with "Appleton."

They do within their map listings, but the search engines do not.

Make it easier for the search engines to find you and include the places that you legitimately service.  (Don't keyword stuff, but list places that you truly service.)

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Marketing Tip: Google Keyword Tool: Search Counts: A Common Mistake Peolpe Make

This post is not likely to get a lot of traffic, but it should, because the information contained within this is important.

The Google Keyword Tool is a really cool tool that Google provides to help its Google Adwords customers.  However, it also can really help people marketing to rank on organic searches--not just PPC (Sponsored Ads on the top or on the side).

The most common use for this tool is to determine the number of searches each keyword phrase is getting each month (search count).

Most people use this tool and think they have all of the information, but they are probably wrong.

COMMON MISCONCEPTION:  Google does not give you the whole picture.

Well, at least, there is a default setting that leads people to incomplete conclusions.

What default setting do I mean?

The search counts that most people see when they use the Google Keyword Tool is the Broad Search Count.

Why is it a big deal that Google's tool is giving me a Broad Search Count?

Google's tool has three (3) different search count types.
  1. Exact Search Count
  2. Phrase Search Count
  3. Broad Search Count

So what is the difference between these search counts, and why does it make a difference?

I will explain each with an example first, then I will try to define it.

1. Exact Search Count

Example Search Phrase:  cars for sale

The Exact Search Phrase Count ONLY includes the number of times that people are typing "cars for sale" and NOTHING ELSE.

Google ONLY includes:
cars for sale

This is a TRUE count, or it is as true a count as the accuracy of the data that Google provides us.  We just have to do our best to trust them, because it IS the best the we have.

Potential Value: Getting the exact number of searches for our specifically targeted phrase.

2. Phrase Search Count

Example Search Phrase:  cars for sale

Google Counts the number of times that people search "cars for sale," but it also includes other phrases.

Google also would include:
cars for sale in Detroit
cars for sale 2011
Michigan cars for sale
red cars for sale
red cars for sale in Michigan

Notice that the phrase "cars for sale" is included within each phrase, but there can be words in front of our phrase, behind our phrase, or both.

Potential Value: Determining which additional keywords we might be able to rank in addition to our main targeted keyword.

3. Broad Search Count

Example Search Phrase:  cars for sale

Google Counts the number of times that people search "cars for sale," but it also includes other phrases that are similar, but the wording does not have to be exact.

Google also would include:
car sale
car for sale
cars that are for sale
selling cars
cars to buy
automobiles for sale
car selling tips
...and much more

Notice that the phrase "cars for sale" is part of this, but Google will count anything it "thinks" is related to "cars for sale."  It tries to decipher the meaning of the search phrase.

Potential Value: Determining which overall topics have potential to research in more detail.

Actually, this is probably the first step you should take, which is likely why the Google Keyword Tool makes "Broad" search count the default selection.

Parting Advice

Just make sure that you KNOW which count you really are getting: Broad Search Count, Phrase Search Count, or Exact Search Count.

Otherwise, you might make an SEO plan that makes sense only based upon numbers that are not what you think they are.

Most people using the Google Keyword Tool THINK that the phrase "cars for sale" is being typed over 6 Million times.

What is the "real" search count?  450 THOUSAND (0.45 Million vs. 6.12 Million).

THAT is a HUGE difference!  Do you think that difference might affect some planning?

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Marketing Tip: Do NOT Waste Your Websites--Any of Them

As marketers, sometimes we experiment.

When you experiment enough, you will have some failures.  Actually, they're not failures; they're experience-based information about what NOT to do.

Yeah, they're failures, but that's a good thing.  If you're not failing, that probably means that you're not trying--at least not trying hard enough.

Within the process of trying new things, some of these experiments involve us building websites.

These "failed" websites can still be valuable.


Besides the lesson you learn from making a mistake, which should not be undervalued, but it is not what I mean, there is a an important function they still can provide you.

How can a messed up website help me?

One word...BACKLINKS.

Yeah, that's right.  Backlinks.

Backlinks from this website might not be highly valuable, but they still provide "free" backlinks.  Don't pass up this opportunity.

Backlinks to your sites are great.  Don't turn down a backlink that only you have to "approve."

Hopefully, you will have more productive websites than mistakes, but don't be afraid to fail.  Be afraid to waste any website that could help another website.

Leave your backlinks.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Marketing Tip: Market Research: First Analyze Your Competition

Have you ever tried to start "market research," but you didn't know where to start?

Truthfully, there is not any one true way to research your potential market.

When you are stuck in the beginning, one thing you can do is look at your competition.

Sometimes, you will know who is your competition, already.  If you are starting a low-price hamburger business, most of us don't have to think too hard to list McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's.  Locally, we might have more places, but there is not too much research required to find these guys.

What about less obvious businesses, though?  How do we find our competitors then?

Google (or some other search engine) will tell you.

For instance, if you plan on going into business making flour, I would start with a couple of searches.

In fact, that is exactly what I did.

1. First Search-Check for Easy Grabs
My first search was "flour," but that did not lead me to any companies that MAKE flour.

So I realized that several places SELL flour, but I wanted to find places that MAKE flour.

Sometimes, this works, and it can work really well.  This time it didn't.

2. Next Search-Include Product and Action

So I decided to search for "flour makers."

While typing that, Google suggested "flour manufacturers."

3. Look for Companies and Lists of Companies

Now that I have a specific search result, now I look for places that make flour: flour manufacturers.

I try to see if any obvious companies jump at me.

I saw three (3) companies...
Savorit Limited (
M/s Atom Rice Mill (
Henan Kingman M&E Complete Plant Co. (

I write down the NAMES and WEBSITES for these companies.

Mostly, I see several lists on the search results.

4A. Check out Company Lists

So I checked out the first list on the search result page.

The first list had a lot of places in China.  They may be my competitor, but I know that I probably cannot compete with them.

I saw one list that mentioned US companies in the title:
Fibred (
Rohrer's Mill (Did not find website)
Young's All Purpose Breading and Batter Mix (

None of these companies websites are on the list, but I looked up these easily enough.

After taking a closer look at Fibred, I'm not sure they even make flour.  It seems like they make soy products.

So at this point, it looks like we have four (4) local US competitors.

4B. Add Local Town, Region, State, or Country in Your Search

In this case, "local" competitors are US competitors.  Other times, it might be regional, state, county, state, or even neighborhood.

My next search is "flour manufacturers united states."

Google suggests "flour manufacteres usa."

I select the list that is titled, "USA Flour - USA Flour Manufacturers - Made in USA"
Website: (

Here I find more companies that make flour.

5. Research Competing Companies

To research the competing companies, I would
A. Visit their website
B. Google search their company name

Here are things I would check:
  • What they sell
  • Where they are located
  • How they market
  • Any difference that I notice immediately
  • Check Reviews of Company

Essentially, I want to know whether I have competition and if I can compete.  The most important thing I want to know is whether I have a competitive advantage over these other companies.

That will not complete your market research, but it will help you get started.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Good Question: How do I know when it is SPAM?

I was reading a LinkedIn post, and I noticed that someone with a responding comment asked a very good question.

How do you know when it's SPAM?

You will not always know, for sure, when something is real or something is SPAM.  In fact, that is part of what makes SPAM really frustrating.  You don't always know what to take as truth versus something else.

There are some things that make it obvious, and these should cover the majority of the easy-to-see cases:
  1. Unrelated to Topic: People leave comments on a website (blog, social media post, forum thread) that do NOT relate to the site's topic.  A person does this (or hires someone else to do this) so that they can leave a website link on their comment to leads people to their site (a backlink).  This can also be done for "points" awarded by some social media platforms when you leave a comment.
  2. Related to Topic but Unrelated to Post: People leave a comment that relates to the topic but is not really a response to the post.  For instance, "This is a great post about real estate.  If you would like to buy real estate in France, go to (link)." within a website that sells real estate in Mississippi (USA).
  3. Keyword Stuffed Articles: Something that is not officially SPAM but looks and acts a lot like SPAM is when people write articles that are only meant to support their website.  These articles seem to only contain certain keywords while offering no real informational value about the keyword related topic.  Again, they do this to get a backlink from this "article" to the website they are promoting.

Essentially, SPAM is pollution, except that it is "junk" that interrupts "real" information that is on the Internet.  Without it, we would not really need to "filter" things that we read on the Internet; it would always be good, reliable, and match well to what we are researching.

People SPAM to try tricking search engines, like Google, into thinking that their site is more valuable (for a specific search term) than the other websites.  Therefore, their site gets listed at the top or a lot closer to the top of the list than it really deserves.

It is sort of like stuffing the ballot box at a voting booth.  You "won" because you got more votes, but many of those votes were phony.

SPAM makes the Internet a worse place, but the search engines keep awarding people who SPAM.  Otherwise, they would not spend time doing it.

People find a way to "cheat the system," until Google finds a way to catch them doing it.  At that point, these people might get "penalized" for doing it, and their website might rank a little lower.  However, until that time, they are getting rewarded--unfairly.

As marketers, we are all guilty of it, but hopefully, we do not resort to SPAM tactics too much.  The Internet is really awesome, and I hope it stays that way.  It already is "uglier" than it was even 5 years ago.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Marketing Tip: 1 Way to be an Expert

How can you be an expert?  It's probably not as hard as you're making it.

I just browsed through the website of someone I know.  This person is AMAZING, and this person is really amazing at a lot of things.

THAT is the problem!!!

How can being talented be a "problem?"

While there might be more than one answer to that, the answer that I'm providing here is that PEOPLE are the problem.

The Frustration
You see...People get confused.  People are not as smart as you.  People just understand what you do.  People are not clear about when they should call you.

The Reality
People also pay your bills.  So you have to respect the limitations of these same people, who aren't as smart, don't understand, and aren't clear.

When we go to the gas station, we are probably getting gas.  Our mission is clear.  While we're there, we might pick up other things, but we know they're (usually way) overpriced.  That's okay, because if they did not have gas, we would not have gone to the gas station in the first place.

Can you think of any other examples?  Leave a comment...

How does this relate to marketing?

Don't confuse your customers.

Make it clear for them WHEN they should call you.  Make it clear what problem you are going to be the best at solving for them.

While they are buying your "main" service, they might buy other things from you.  In fact, once they start looking at you more closely, they might always buy the other products or services that you offer.

However, you would not have gotten them in the door without them "knowing" that you are the expert in solving their original problem.

Heavily market one (1) of your talents, and the business for the rest of your talents are likely to follow.  Good quality work does not usually come from poor quality work sources.

If you were forced to market only one (1) of your talents, which one would you choose?

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Marketing Tip: Authority Website: 6 Ways to Make Customers Return to Your Site

How would you like for people to revisit your website often?  (Stick around for some tips to that answer.)

In my last post, "Your Website: Is it a Sales Site or an Authority Website?" I suggested that people tend to revisit authority websites.

They often return to websites that they perceive as being fun or is a great resource.

Sites like Facebook are fun.  You have your "friends" and give updates to each other.  You post your message one time, and many people (your "friends") all receive the same message.  It's easy and fun.

Sites like Wikipedia are great resources.  Even though self-authored entries are vulnerable to factual accuracy, overall Wikipedia is a great resource to find just about anything you want.  Sometimes, you only get a little bit of information, but other times you can get a whole lot--in just one place.

THAT is what we call an Authority Website.

Here are some ways for you to make an authority website for yourself:

  1. Include Useful Links: Have a list of other websites that might need or find helpful while on your site
  2. Frequently Update Your Blog: Give helpful or entertaining updates to lure them to return
  3. Host Useful Tools: Include onsite tools that make people's lives easier (mortgage calculator) or more enjoyable (fun, addictive game)
  4. List Resourceful Phone Numbers: If your visitors often need to call other places, have a list and make it easy for them to find, especially of different government agencies.
  5. Post "How To" Information: Write tips or have videos that show how to do things, either what you do or helpful ways to use what you sell.
  6. Categorize What You Offer: Have a breakdown of what you sell or things that relate to it.  The more "complicated" this is, the fewer other places people have to get the info that you have to offer.


In the end, you want to provide an experience that your website visitor will appreciate.  You also want to provide a resource that they WANT to remember and revisit.

Good luck turning your website into an Authority Site.

Note: I submitted an article that goes into more detail about each of the six (6) tips.  I will include a link to that article once it is published.

ADDITION: Here is a link to that article: Click HERE.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Your Website: Is it a Sales Site or an Authority Website?

Your website might be making you work harder at marketing than your competitor!

Why might that be true?

Let's take a look...

Build a Website, They Will Come...
Many people think that they just need to build a website, and people will find them.

Market a Website, and Traffic Will Come..
Other people realize that they need to actually MARKET their website, but many of these people still get frustrated about their website not ranking well on the search engine results.

When we take a look at the website as an outsider, we notice something.  It is simply a website that tries to sell us something.

If a website only lists facts about a person or company, then people might visit you one (1) time.  They decide to buy, or they decide NOT to buy.  Either way, the website probably does not provide a new visitor a reason to keep returning to your website.

How can we change that?  Are there any websites that people return to see often?

Yes...Absolutely.  Consider social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

ActiveRain is a HUGE site for many real estate agents and brokers to visit on a regular basis, and Zillow is a fantastic reference for anyone involved in the buying, selling, or researching homes that are for sale.

Have you only visited Google one (1) time?  Of course not; it is too valuable of a resource.

What do these "popular" websites have in common?

Each provides a reason to return to it.  Either the website is a great resource, constantly changes, or is just plainly fun.

How many websites that promote companies are a great resource?  changes at all, much less change often with fresh, relevant material?  fun?

Almost none, barely any, and don't make me laugh!

Let's take a look at a comparison of Sales Websites vs. Authority Websites.

A sales website is often little more than an online version of a sales brochure. People might visit one time, and they see what you have to sell and they either call or they do not. They usually never visit the website again. These can be very good, but they are a one and done approach to marketing online.

An authority website is considered to be a resource. In fact, it is so resourceful that people tend to bookmark (favorite) it, because they want to keep returning to it. It is so resourceful that people want to tell other people about it. While you still have to do your own marketing, other people tend to help your marketing efforts through return visits and referrals.

If you want more people to get excited about your website, make your website more exciting.

We can't all have fun websites.  Sometimes, it just does not make sense--nor dollars.

However, you CAN find ways to turn your website into a really neat resource for people you are targeting.

On the next post, I will offer up things that you can do to turn your website into a bigger and better resource.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Marketing Tip: Recommend People Who Deserve It

This marketing tip is an easy point to understand, but it must not be easy for people to implement.

Find someone you admire and recommend him or her.

What does that have to do with marketing?

It takes commenting to another level.

If someone left a glowing recommendation for you, would you not look to see who left it?  Would you not try to see where that person might know you?

Make a recommendation; make a good first impression toward a connection.

I am not suggesting that you give phony recommendations.  People who are average or just provide average level service are not NOTEworthy.

However, the people that ARE noteworthy deserve that note from you.

Plus, don't you want to try aligning yourself with people who are extraordinary, rather than just simply ordinary?

Bonus:  You separate yourself from many others, because so few people are willing to write recommendations.

So you market yourself as someone who takes initiative, and you leave that impression on someone who is impressionable.

If that person is impressionable, do you think that you might have a better chance of having that person notice what you do?  If you're good, do you think they might be more likely to recommend you?

How can you give recommendations?

Here are a few ideas:
  • LinkedIn: Use the Recommendation feature within LinkedIn
  • Website: You can visit their website and write up a recommendation (if there is a place on the website for this)
  • Social Media: You can make a point to blast out a post so that your network of people see
  • E-mail Blast: You can send out a mass e-mail to people on your list
  • Personal E-mail: You can write up a recommendation and send it.  Express permission for that person to use your recommendation with your name and company.
Not only is it a "nice" thing to do, but there are many "nice" benefits to doing this.

Now, go find someone to recommend and make that good impression.

You will be one of the few who do, and you will soon be known for doing it.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Review: WCCCD Event: Bill Rice: Keys to Building an Effective Website

Bill Rice of Kaleidico spoke at the Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) event this past Friday (12/9/11).

Bill has talked with the group a few other times, and this guy is dynamite EVERY time.

Bill gave good advice about general SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but he mostly focused on his suggested approach for building a website using WordPress.

Bill is especially good at making the seemingly complicated a lot simpler.  He breaks down things into smaller, more manageable action chucks so that they do not seem so overwhelming.

He also fields questions like to professional that he is.  No matter how unique the question, he keeps his composure emotionally, and finds the answer to the concern they really had, even if the question was verbalized differently.

He discussed Sales Funnels and how that applies to the way you approach building your website.

He warned us that most people spend way too little time on the About Us page, even though it is one of the most often read pages within a website.

He did a good job of summarizing what every webpage should have on it.

One of the best reminders from Bill?

The people who are MOST likely TO BUY from you ARE the people who ALREADY bought from you.

Therefore, you should always capture their e-mail.  People generally only visit a new website one (1) time.  Position yourself so that you can keep in front of their attention, especially if they want information that you have to offer them.

I traveled over an hour (almost 1-1/2 hours) to hear Bill Rice speak, because I already knew that he IS that good.  If you have the chance to hear him speak, he is worth rearranging your calendar.  He is not just good; he is amazingly worthwhile.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Review: WCCCD Event: Rosh Sillars: The Future of Social Media

Rosh Sillars of Synectics Media spoke at the Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) event this past Thursday (12/8/11).

I never heard Rosh speak before that evening event, but I left wanting to hear more of him.

It seemed like he was a non-stop genius idea machine.

This guy is a well-respected photographer AND an amazing internet marketer.  His ideas kept coming quickly and with a fury.

He gave us examples of how he got speaking engagements using Twitter.  In fact, one of his engagements was in Australia.  He made a connection through following someone on Twitter, and he asked if he could help.  Within five (5) minutes, this key, influential guy of a large organization responded with an invitation.

He gave us SEO advice.  He gave us suggestions about how we even answer the question, "What do you do?"

He emphasized the importance of serving people, and being social while using Social Media--not always begging for attention toward yourself.

If you ever get the chance to hear Rosh Sillars speak, you would be wise to rearrange your schedule to see him.  You will be glad you did--definitely.

He is very pleasant while offering tremendous insight.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Review: WCCCD Event: Chris Wechner: How to Brand Yourself Online

I spoke at the Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) event this past Thursday (12/8/11).

I discussed ways to brand yourself online.

In summary, here were my main points:
  • Good branding helps you market and sell.
  • You can brand yourself online or offline.
  • Your Online Branding can be (a) Advertising Methods or (b) an Interactive Networking Approach.
  • Not all branding is good branding.
  • Since you will be branded, anyway, you might as well take an active role in shaping your brand.
  • Branding takes time and work, but the rewards can be worthwhile.

I have to give a shoutout of thanks to Wayne McDonald, who took so many different pictures of me.  I only meant for him to take a few shots, but he took a ton more than that, and I'm glad he did.

Looking at so many different pictures of myself, I realize how much I move around the stage and how often I use my hands.  They're never in the same position twice.

I have not decided, yet, whether that is a good or bad thing.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Marketing Today Makes Business Tomorrow

When you first open a business, it seems like you have all of the time in the world.

Many of us do the little things to help get us started.  We spend a lot of time doing things to try getting business for ourselves.

However, once we start getting business, we get busier.

That is not a coincidence.  Just look at the root word for each word business and busier.  The root word is busy.

Being in business means that we are trying to get busy, which is a good thing.

It can, however, lead to bad habits.

Many of us become so busy with our day-to-day work that we forget to do the things that got us here.

Once we take care of today's customers, what have we done to get tomorrow's customers?

For most of us, the answer is "Nothing!"

If we put forth Nothing toward marketing to get customers tomorrow, guess how many customers we will probably have tomorrow?

Tomorrow is not a literal term here.  If you market 900 days in a row but skip one day, you will probably not find yourself with a sudden vacation day.

On the other hand, if we take off 100 days from marketing, do you think that our business will grow?

If you said, "Yes," to that question, you are probably living in denial.

There is so much competition who IS marketing, why compete with silence?  It just doesn't make sense, nor will it make you dollars.

No matter how busy you are, make sure to do SOME marketing every day.  It does not have to be a lot; it builds on itself, but you have to do something.

Skip marketing for enough days and all you will have is a story of a business that, at one time, was doing really well.

Keep the fire burning, and find time to market.  No matter how busy you are.

If you don't have time, find someone who has time to market for you.  When it's done correctly, it's an investment--not a cost.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Profiles Matter - Take them seriously!

I got a reminder just today about how everything you put on the web has a chance of being found.

When I typed my name into Google, I see all sorts of profiles.  I put some time and thought into SOME of those profiles.

Unfortunately, there are plenty that I have not...and they show on Page 1 of Google for my name.

I would expect that on some older ones; however, this happened on a profile that I created just this past week.

I used that profile to test something, and I did not take it very seriously.  Unfortunately, someone will seriously find that, and they will not have to look very hard.

You're always on stage when you type things on the Internet.  Expect that you will be found.

If you don't like the message that your "goof-around" profiles deliver, make sure to clean them.

Going forward, take them seriously.

Obviously, not all of them will show on Page 1, but as many as 10 of them will.  That's enough for me to start taking these profiles more seriously.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.