The Power of Possibilities
Copyright 2007 by Lori Osterberg
Did you know the one thing that holds most people back is the simple fact
that they think too small? What separates the average business owner from the
super successful isn’t her timing or her resources. It’s her ability to think
bigger than others, and take action on the things that will create the biggest
Take for instance the typical small business owner in your area. Go into any
local shop and ask them how many customers they have from out of state. Chances
are it’s a very small percentage of their business. Yet with the power of the
Internet, any local business – selling products or services – can change her
business model from being a small local provider, to a small business with huge
profits and paying clients around the world.
And it’s easier than you think. I know; I’ve done it myself.
I was one of those pioneers. I purchased my first computer in the 1980’s.
Remember Prodigy? I dialed in almost every day. So when the Internet began
coming on strong in the early 1990’s, I jumped in with both feet, and brought
our business online.
What I found was an incredible opportunity.
I started out as a small business owner, operating a photography studio, and
servicing people within my local area. It was a traditional studio, offering the
standard portrait and wedding services. With two people, we opened a commercial
location, and began contacting people within a 10-mile radius. But I knew there
had to be a better way. And I found it on the Internet.
Thanks to a powerful online marketing strategy, we found success quickly.
Within 3 years, we shut down our traditional studio, and began operating a
virtual studio online. Our clients changed from people in our local area looking
for traditional portraiture, to people all over the world falling in love with
our virtual wedding studio, and flying us in to their location.
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No longer were we stuck selling to the people that resided in our local
community. We established an extreme niche market, and went to where our clients
were. We raised our prices substantially, and began living the life others only
dream about. By changing the way we thought about business, we changed the way
we looked for clients. And our profits followed.
You too have that power. By changing the way you think, you can change the
way your business operates. The possibilities are out there. But thinking
differently can sometimes be difficult. It involves stretching out of your
comfort zone. It involves creating changes in your business planning. And
sometimes these changes can be difficult.
Start by asking yourself some basic questions.
“How can I take what I do now, and sell it to people 1000 miles from me?”
“How do I change my marketing materials to sell to people I may never meet?”
“How well do I work with technology? What do I need to learn?”
These questions will allow you to think beyond your local area, and start
discovering ways of doing what you do anywhere in the world. People all over the
country are looking for the services and products you sell. You just need the
tools to get your information in front of them.
When you expand your target market beyond your local area, and go worldwide,
you also add another dilemma to your planning process:
“How do I market to the thousands of people added to my new target list?”
When you decide to take your business to a much larger market, it’s
imperative that you focus on who your exact customer is. As a small business,
you can’t afford to market to the world. Defining who your perfect customer is
becomes crucial. And knowing how to reach them becomes vital.
Your customer can no longer be defined by simple phrases, such as:
- Single female between 25-50 years old.
- Married female with children under 18.
Instead you have to get into the mind of your client, and define them as
precisely as possible. Start with the simple phrases. Then add in the detail.
The more you know what interests your customer, the easier it is to reach them.
Consider a customer definition such as:
- Single female between 25-40 years old. Enjoys traveling, and prefers to
take short, exotic vacations 2-4 times per year to places such as the
Caribbean, Europe, Australia and the Fiji Islands. Holds an executive
position in the corporate environment, or owns the company. Spends 2-3 weeks
per month traveling for business, and holds tens of thousands of frequent
Using the above customer description, I can begin finding many ways of
targeting this customer. I can consider building up referral partners with
travel websites that cater to young singles flying into exotic locations for
short trips. I can find networking groups that cater to small business owners,
or buy lead lists or place ads in magazines such as Inc. or Entrepreneur
magazine. I can consider creating a relationship with airline magazine editors,
and advertise or get an article placed as frequently as possible.
Obviously, I could continue with many more ideas. But you get the point. The
more details I can use to define my perfect customer, the easier it is to
determine methods to reach them.
By changing the way you market yourself, you can expand your business in ways
that will take your business to new heights.
Open up your mind to the possibilities. You might be surprised at what awaits
About The Author
Lori Osterberg has created three successful businesses in the past 10 years,
and along the way discovered the secrets of taking a local small business and
turning it into a worldwide success. She now shares this passion with people all
over the world, and speaks, writes and mentors on using technology to grow your
business – and stay small at the same time! Receive her FREE ezine at
Top 10 Reasons to Use a Blog to Publish Your Ezine
Copyright 2007 by Denise Wakeman
Blogs are the hottest thing going these days when it comes to marketing on
the Internet. A blog is a delivery medium. Here are 10 reasons why you should
deliver your ezine articles via a blog.
1. A blog is web based so you can update and post new articles anywhere,
anytime. It's a dynamic medium that can be updated on a moment's notice.
2. Subscribers can subscribe to your RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed and
have your content delivered straight to their desktop. This delivery system
bypasses spam filters and readers get exactly the content they want.
3. No web site to mess with. It's very inexpensive way to set up a web
presence for your ezine. There are several sites where you can set up a free
blog and others are very reasonably priced for the massive exposure you can get.
4. You can set up links for ads and your affiliate programs in side columns
so you don't have to include them in your ezine format.
5. You can set up a subscription form and send emails to your subscribers
when new content is added.
6. Blogs link to other blogs which helps you create a viral marketing system
and increases your exposure in search engines. Search engines LOVE text based,
fresh content that is highly focused (key word rich).
7. You can use your ezine blog to become a trusted expert for your
subscribers, by filtering content for them so they don't have to visit hundreds
of web sites.
8. You have an instant archive of all your articles. When you post an
article, a new page and permalink is created. People can share that link with
others and be sent directly to the article being referenced.
9. Readers can comment on your articles, which creates rapport and trust
between you and your subscriber. Comments also add rich content to your site and
again, helps your ranking in the search engines.
10. The bottom line is this: using a blog can help you attract more visitors
who become subscribers and then eventually become clients.
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For an ezine publisher, a blog compliments and can significantly ease the
delivery of your ezine content. Essentially, like any web site, you have to
promote it and encourage people to add your site to their RSS feed (that's
another subject) or subscribe for updates through a subscription form. That's
why I put a subscribe form on my site – subscribers and get updates in anyway
they want. You still need to submit to search engines and directories to drive
traffic. If you already have an ezine subscriber database, my advice would be to
post everything on the blog and then send a weekly email, or whatever your
normal publishing schedule is, informing your subscribers when new content is
Marketing is done in a conversational way and via the links on your blog.
Announcements can be posted on the blog and to one's list. I see the blog and
ezine database as complimentary...working together to increase your exposure and
make it easier for people to get your information and build relationships.
About The Author
Denise Wakeman is Chief Implementor of Next Level Partnership, a company
dedicated to partnering with you to take your business to the next level. Denise
has nearly 20 years experience in small business administration and management.
She has specific experience in leveraging Internet marketing systems to create
awareness, build customer loyalty and increase the bottom line. Visit Denise's
http://www.biztipsblog.com to get tips and tactics for taking your business
to the next level.