When I was in college back in the 90’s earning my marketing degree, the focus was on marketing tangible products rather than on marketing services. As a result, my understanding of unique selling proposition (USP) was based on marketing a product. In this post, we will focus on your USP for marketing services as a service professional.
The description for USP in one of my old advertising textbook is: The unique selling proposition, or the differentiating features, of every product advertised; a concept developed by Rosser Reaves of the Ted Bates advertising agency.
However, according to a recent article I read by Peter Vogopoulos, co-founder of Firepole Marketing, if you are a service provider, your USP is you. Peter says, “You are the only variable that cannot be replicated. Your competitors can have the same hours, offer the same products, get certified from the same place, offer the same result, same, same, all the same as you, but they can never be you.” Click here to read the entire article.
For nine years I have been scratching my head trying to figure out what is unique about our Internet marketing services. Why should someone retain our services rather than work with Billy Bob and Associates. I was working from the premise of what I learned at Arizona State University; marketing a tangible product.
According to Peter, we have to connect to our potential clients on a personal level. When we bring our true values and attributes to the table, someone will like us and be inspired to do business with us.
According to Bob Bly, who is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets,” that in addition to your intangible USP, your personality, service professionals also have a tangible USP. Bob says, “The tangible USP is the visible, quantifiable differentiator between you and your competitors. Because it can be seen, felt, described, and grasped, the tangible USP is the one you feature in your marketing copy.” You can read Bob’s article by going here.
So, based on the concept developed by Rosser Reaves if you are advertising/marketing a product, you have to come up with differentiating features as your USP. Peter Vogopoulos says be you, and Bob Bly suggests be you, as well as create a tangible USP for your marketing copy, which differentiates you from your competitors.
What are your thoughts on unique selling proposition? We would love to hear what you think. Leave us your comments below. Come back next week for more Internet marketing tips.
Last week we began discussing the basics of email marketing and how it can drive traffic to your website. This week we continue our discussion focusing on autoresponders, as well as some of the more popular email marketing software companies.
Autoresponders can be designed to send out information to your list at specific intervals. For example, if you are sending out a series on a specific subject; for example, How to Use Facebook Part I, How to Use Facebook Part II, How to Use Facebook Part III, etc., you can schedule each part of the series to go out consecutively on a weekly basis.
Another function of autoresponders is, it will send out the series based on when your site visitor opt-in to your list. For example, Sally submits her email information on Monday adding her name to your list. You can configure the autoresponder to send her Part 1 as soon as she opts in to your list. Part II will be emailed to Sally seven days later, Part III 14 days after that until she receives all parts of your series.
It doesn’t matter when someone signs up to receive information from you, the autoresponder will keep track based on when your visitors opt-in. It is all automated!
You can also offer your site visitors a free gift for opting in to your list. You can configure the autoresponder to automatically send them the gift as soon as they opt-in.
Contact Management Companies:
Some well known contact management/email marketing software companies are AWeber, iContact, VerticalResponse,Constant Contact, IShoppingCart and MailChimp. They provide the software you will need to execute your campaigns, as well as implement autoresponders. The contact management companies also provide you with the codes you need to add the signup form or box to your website and/or blog.
Email marketing can convert your mailing list to clients. Which email marketing software are you using or would recommend? Come back next week for more Internet marketing tips!
A mailing list is the engine that drives email marketing. Without a mailing list, you can’t implement email marketing campaigns.
A mailing list is generated when website or blog visitors opt-in to your mailing list giving you permission to send them information. How this is done is to add a signup form or box to your website or blog inviting visitors to fill in their names and/or email addresses. Email marketing campaigns are possible without a visitor’s name, but an email address is required. Without email addresses, you cannot send out email campaigns.
The purpose of email campaigns is to keep your name and business name in front of your potential clients attempting to convert them from potential clients to paying clients. When they opt-in to receive your information, they have gone from a “cold call” to a “warm call.”
The type of information you electronically send to your mailing list can be an e-newsletter, a major announcement about your business or services, a series on specific topics (more on this in the autoresponder section), or to inform them of company news.
Your email broadcast can be sent out weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. It depends on what type of information you are sending to your list. E-newsletters are generally emailed monthly and a series on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
Email marketing is another Internet marketing strategy you can use to drive traffic to your website. Are you currently using email marketing to promote your services? Come back next week as we continue discussing email marketing, including autoresponders.
When you have a business website and are trying new ways to increase your Internet website traffic, blogging is a great way to get noticed.
Blogging is a good way to express your personal thoughts about various subjects that pertain to your business. You can write about how to market your business or how to increase the number of customers. You can also blog about why you started your business. Your readers’ comments are a good tactic to get ideas about what to change and/or what to write next. Show your readers that you are listening to what they have to say by responding to their comments.
It is vitally important to have a well-written blog. Always use proper grammar, and spell check your blog post before you post it. Using the proper SEO (search engine optimization) keywords will increase your ranking on the search engines and that will increase the amount of readers to your blog site. SEO keywords pop out at your readers in your blog, and it is always helpful to have hyperlinks, links and/or pictures to drive your readers to your website. These are good steps to take to boost website traffic.
When you promote your blogs with catchy titles on various social media networks, it will attract readers to your blog site. If your blog site is part of your website, your readers will be more inclined to visit the rest of your site.
Another way to boost website traffic is providing Internet marketing services offering to write blog posts for other businesses. It’s a terrific marketing tool for businesses that want to have blogs on their site but do not have the time to write. With blogging there are endless ways to boost your website traffic one blog post at a time.
This is a video that I included in my newsletter for my subscribers. I give an overview of the content in the November edition, which focuses on social media marketing. Following is a transcript that I included with the video on YouTube.
Hi Rita Cartwright here, with another month edition of our newsletter.
Social Media Marketing Facts
We begin this newsletter with some interesting facts on social media marketing.
Critical to Your Internet Marketing Strategy is Keyword Research
And following that is a video on the importance of keyword research to search engine optimization and to your internet marketing strategy.
Women Empowering Women – Is Networking Alive And Well In Internet Marketing For Women?
Following that is an article on women empowering women in the internet world. And this is done through joint ventures with each other and also through networking.
Social Media Marketing in 3 minutes
Next is a video on how critical social media is to your business. And also in this same video, you will learn the secret formula of how to become success online.
Using Social Media Boosts Website Promotion
Next is an article on how you can add your website links to social media sites in order to promote your website. These links are also known as backlinks or inbound links. They are simply links from somewhere else back to your website.
RJ’s Internet Marketing Services Video Trailer
Last but not least is a video trailer on our services and how our services can help you with your internet marketing. More information can be found at http://rjsinternetmarketing.com.
Instructions for Non-Subscribers on how to Subscribe to Newsletter
By the way, if you happen to be watching this video, and you are not a subscriber of our newsletters, scoot on over today to our website and sign up today. The sign up box is on the right-hand side of the screen. When you do sign up, you will receive a free copy of our e-book, “Online Marketing Tools for Today’s Small Business.” You will also receive a 5-part report on working with a virtual assistant.
As usual, thank you for your continued subscription. I hope that this information will be beneficial and useful for you in your social media marketing. Thank you.
This is a video trailer showcasing the benefits for entrepreneurs and small business owners of outsourcing their Internet marketing to virtual assistants who provide Internet marketing services.
In a recent survey I conducted, the respondents cited that lack of time and procrastination were two main reasons why they were not doing Internet marketing or completing the tasks. In my last blog post, I mentioned that 54% of entrepreneurs and SMBs (small and midsize businesses) are using Internet marketing to market their products and services. Therefore, if you are an entrepreneur, you can’t afford to put off your Internet marketing if you want to compete. If you don’t have time or you are procrastinating, outsource your Internet marketing to a Virtual Assistant who specializes in Internet marketing.
A Virtual Assistant can post your micro-ads to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. S/he can submit your articles to article banks. S/he can create your blog and post your blog posts, as well as keep up with the maintenance. A Virtual Assistant can create your website and maintain it. S/he can take care of your e-mail marketing campaigns. Imagine how much time you will have to focus on your business if you outsource these type of Internet marketing tasks.
Whatever the problem or situation may be, don’t put off your Internet marketing one more day. You can’t afford to.
If you are an entrepreneur or small to midsize business owner who is not using Internet marketing services to market your products and/or services, you are missing out on potential clients and customers.
According to a recent article in Marketwire, eight out of 10 consumers shop online at least once a week. As you know, if you are trying to get your sales message in front of your target market, you have to hang out where they are. Apparently, they are online; therefore, the best method to deliver your message is Internet marketing.
Social media marketing is a form of Internet marketing and is one of the most popular strategies to use. Wikipedia’s definition of social media marketing is “Social media marketing is a term that describes use of social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other online collaborative media for marketing, sales, public relations and customer service.” Social bookmarking (Stumbleupon, Digg, Technorati, etc.) and social media sharing (YouTube, Flickr, etc.) are also included in social media marketing.
In a recent article Forbes.com stated, “Fifty-four percent of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are using social media to promote their businesses, double the number using these sites in December 2009, with 35% posting daily updates to sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, a new study found.”
Other forms of Internet marketing are e-mail marketing campaigns, article marketing, teleseminars, webinars, and podcasting, to name a few.
As you can see based on the article on Forbes.com, your competition and colleagues are using Internet marketing services to inform their target market that their products and/or services exist. So, if you want to compete or capture some of the target market, include Internet marketing in your marketing plan.
Internet marketing costs little to no money; however, it is time-consuming. If Internet marketing services is not your service offerings, you should outsource this task to a Virtual Assistant who specializes in Internet marketing services. In turn, you will be able to focus on your services and/or products, as well as your clients.