Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mobile Marketing Website: 5 Easy Steps to Get Started

Are you thinking about mobile marketing? Wondering how you can use mobile marketing to connect with customers?
The good news is that mobile marketing is not too complex.
Here are five things you can do to get started in mobile marketing. Once you’ve mastered the steps below, you’ll see that mobile marketing is a great way to open up new revenue streams for your business.
Ready to get started?

#1: Set up your mobile website
This is actually easier than you might think. One option is to use the automated systems offered by many companies. Essentially, they take your existing website content and auto-format it for a mobile screen.
WordPress has some plugins that do a pretty good job of this and ThisIsMyDomainUSA has an automated system that does it, too when you buy a .mobi domain. But for the best user experience, I recommend you focus on one of the options outlined below.

Your mobile home page should have a clean and simple design. On the left is the standard 60 Second Marketer home page seen on a smart phone. On the right is the mobile version of the site.

Option number two is to use one of the many plug-and-play platforms offered online. These companies actually create a separate mobile website that is completely independent from your regular website.
Just Google “How to set up a mobile website” and you’ll find a number of companies doing this. There are some good organizations offering these plug-and-play systems, but there are also some real losers, so do your research before you choose a company to work with., and all seem to have good solid platforms to work from.

You can build and manage your website quickly and easily!
A third option is to add a simple line of code onto your existing home page that “sniffs out” the screen size of the person visiting your site.
If the person visiting your site has a screen that’s more than 600 pixels wide, they’re probably coming from a PC and are directed to your regular site. If the screen is smaller than 600 pixels, they’re probably coming from a mobile device and will be redirected to pages designed for a smartphone screen.
Out of these three options, the third option is the best approach. Just ask your web designer to do a search for “mobile website redirect code” and they’ll find plenty of options like this one on

Redirects are a critical step in ensuring your website is search-engine friendly.

#2: Claim your business on location-based platforms
You should claim your business on location-based platforms like Foursquare,Gowalla and Facebook Places, especially if you have a brick-and-mortar location.
Claiming your business just means that you’re raising your hand to these services and saying, “I’m an official representative of XYZ business and want to be listed on your platform.” Claiming your business is similar to calling up the phone company to get a free listing in the Yellow Pages, only now you’re reaching out to these location-based services instead of Ma Bell.
Once you’ve claimed your business, you can start using these platforms to run mobile promotions. For example, Chili’s ran a promotion where everyone who “checked in” to their locations using Foursquare got free cheese dip.
Better still, Chili’s improved on the promotion by making it so that anybody who checked in at another store within 200 yards of Chili’s got the same offer. Yup, you heard right—if you checked in at the florist next door, you got a digital coupon for free cheese dip at the Chili’s a few steps away. Brilliant!
Users can unlock the free appetizer coupon at participating restaurants by checking in at Chili's through Foursquare.

#3: Immerse yourself
You can’t fully understand mobile marketing until you use mobile marketing. So when you get through reading this article, grab your smartphone and mess around with it—check in on Foursquare, buy some shoes using the Zappos app, do a voice search using Google Voice Search—just get comfortable with all your smartphone’s nooks and crannies.

The Google Voice Search App lets you speak your queries without pushing any buttons, and also lets you do local searches without specifying your location. Faster web search with fewer keystrokes.
When you’re ready to take a deeper dive into your smartphone, download theStarbucks mobile payment app and use it to pay for your next cup of coffee. That way, you can look even cooler than the guy who ordered the “double whipped mocha Frappuccino with a twist of whatever to go.”

You can pay for your Starbucks drink using the Starbucks Card Mobile app!
The more you use mobile media, the more you’ll see that it’s really not all that complex. It’s just the newest marketing channel in a long line of marketing channels introduced throughout the last several decades.
Tip: For smartphone overachievers: 1) Download LinkedIn to your smartphone, 2) enable your Bluetooth function and 3) open up the LinkedIn application. In the LinkedIn app, you’ll notice an icon with two people shaking hands called “In Person.”
Find someone in your office who has LinkedIn installed on their smartphone, then “bump” your phones together. Ding! You’ve just used Bluetooth to exchange your LinkedIn profile without having to type a word. LinkedIn's app allows you to bump smartphones to exchange information.

#4: Run a mobile ad campaign.
A mobile ad campaign is great for all kinds of companies, but particularly good for companies that have brick-and-mortar locations. After all, if you own a restaurant, wouldn’t you want to have an ad pop up when someone searches for “restaurants near my house”?
Mobile ad campaigns can be bought on a cost-per-click basis, a cost-per-thousand basis or a cost-per-acquisition basis.
Sound confusing? Don’t worry—just visit any of the most popular mobile advertising platforms (like Millennial Media, iAd from Apple or AdMob from Google) and they’ll walk you through the distinctions and how to use the services.
AdMob provides innovative solutions for brand and performance advertisers, effective distribution for app developers and revenue opportunities for mobile site owners.

Qlixite's QR Code
#5: Scan a QR Code.
QR Codes are those little barcode-like squares that are popping up all over the place. For an in-depth introduction to QR Codes, you can check out How QR Codes Can Grow Your Business.
QR Codes (or their closely related cousins EZ Codes, Microsoft Tags, SPARQCodes, etc.) can be scanned by smartphones. Once scanned, they drive you through to mobile web pages that offer discount coupons, bonus content, special offers or some other additional content.
How to download a QR Code reader to your smartphone:
 Turn on your smartphone and open your web browser.
 Visit or and click the link that says “Download QR Code Reader”.
 Launch the app and hold your phone’s camera up to a QR Code. The app will automatically scan the code.

Bottom Line
By now, you’re probably realizing that mobile media really isn’t that complex. It’s just like social media or email marketing or organic search, the only difference is that the delivery mechanism is a smartphone or a tablet computer instead of a PC.
These are just five of the ways you can kickstart your use of mobile marketing. There are probably dozens more.
What are your thoughts? What mobile marketing tools have you tried out that you’d like to share with our readers? Leave your comments in the box below.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Create A Small Business Plan Outline

Every business needs a business plan - no matter how small!

What information needs to be in your business plan? What is the order of information that will make the most sense to lenders and investors? You can answer these questions with the business plan outlines provided below.

What are the standard elements of a business plan? If you do need a standard business plan to seek funding — as opposed to a plan-as-you-go approach for running your business, which I describe below — there are predictable contents of a standard business plan outline.

For example, a business plan normally starts with an Executive Summary, which should be concise and interesting. People almost always expect to see sections covering the Company, the Market, the Product, the Management Team, Strategy, Implementation, and Financial Analysis. The precise business plan format can vary.

Is the order important? If you have the main components, the order doesn’t matter that much, but here’s the sequence I suggest for a business plan. I have provided two outlines, one simple and the other more detailed.

Simple Business Plan Outline
  1. Executive Summary: Write this last. It’s just a page or two of highlights.
  2. Company Description: Legal establishment, history, start-up plans, etc.
  3. Product or Service: Describe what you’re selling. Focus on customer benefits.
  4. Market Analysis: You need to know your market, customer needs, where they are, how to reach them, etc.
  5. Strategy and Implementation: Be specific. Include management responsibilities with dates and budgets. Make sure you can track results.
  6. Web Plan Summary: For e-commerce, include discussion of website, development costs, operations, sales and marketing strategies.
  7. Management Team: Describe the organization and the key management team members.
  8. Financial Analysis: Make sure to include at the very least your projected Profit and Loss and Cash Flow tables.

Build your plan, then organize it. I don’t recommend developing the plan in the same order you present it as a finished document. For example, although the Executive Summary obviously comes as the first section of a business plan, I recommend writing it after everything else is done. It will appear first, but you write it last.

Standard tables and charts

There are also some business tables and charts that are normally expected in a standard business plan.

Cash flow is the single most important numerical analysis in a plan, and should never be missing. Most plans will also have Sales Forecast and Profit and Loss statements. I believe they should also have separate Personnel listings, projected Balance Sheet, projected Business Ratios, and Market Analysis tables.

I also believe that every plan should include bar charts and pie charts to illustrate the numbers.

Expanded business plan outline

Here’s an expanded full business plan outline, with details you might want to include in your own business plan.

1.0 Executive Summary
1.1 Objectives
1.2 Mission
1.3 Keys to Success

2.0 Company Summary
2.1 Company Ownership
2.2 Company History (for ongoing companies) or Start-up Plan (for new companies)
2.3 Company Locations and Facilities

3.0 Products and Services
3.1 Product and Service Description
3.2 Competitive Comparison
3.3 Sales Literature
3.4 Sourcing and Fulfillment
3.5 Technology
3.6 Future Products and Services

4.0 Market Analysis Summary
4.1 Market Segmentation
4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
4.2.1 Market Needs
4.2.2 Market Trends
4.2.3 Market Growth
4.3 Industry Analysis
4.3.1 Industry Participants
4.3.2 Distribution Patterns
4.3.3 Competition and Buying Patterns
4.3.4 Main Competitors

5.0 Strategy and Implementation Summary
5.1 Strategy Pyramids
5.2 Value Proposition
5.3 Competitive Edge
5.4 Marketing Strategy
5.4.1 Positioning Statements
5.4.2 Pricing Strategy
5.4.3 Promotion Strategy
5.4.4 Distribution Patterns
5.4.5 Marketing Programs
5.5 Sales Strategy
5.5.1 Sales Forecast
5.5.2 Sales Programs
5.6 Strategic Alliances
5.7 Milestones

6.0 Web Plan Summary
6.1 Website Marketing Strategy
6.2 Development Requirements

7.0 Management Summary
7.1 Organizational Structure
7.2 Management Team
7.3 Management Team Gaps
7.4 Personnel Plan

8.0 Financial Plan
8.1 Important Assumptions
8.2 Key Financial Indicators
8.3 Break-even Analysis
8.4 Projected Profit and Loss
8.5 Projected Cash Flow
8.6 Projected Balance Sheet
8.7 Business Ratios
8.8 Long-term Plan

Business plan outline advice

Size your business plan to fit your business. Remember that your business plan should be only as big as what you need to run your business. While everybody should have planning to help run a business, not everyone needs to develop a complete formal business plan suitable for submitting to a potential investor, or bank, or venture contest. So don’t include outline points just because they are on a big list somewhere, or on this list, unless you’re developing a standard business plan that you’ll be showing to somebody else who expects a standard business plan.

If you need help with your Website Design, Social Media Marketing and Business Strategy - give us a call (800) 596-6218!

How to Choose A Good Website Domain Name?

In the modern world of the Internet, where people automatically turn to the Web for information, your domain name needs to be unique to you to actively lead people to your business. Customers have short memories; they will not memorize an unrelated URL. Keep it simple for your customers and visitors and uniquely related to your business. Here are some useful answers...

What is a Domain Name?

Just to make sure we're all on the same page here, a domain name is the web address that leads people to your web site. Just the same as your home address, web browsers will direct people to your site via your domain name which ususally starts with 'www.' and ends with .com, .net, .co, .biz, .org etc.

Should My Domain Name Match My Business Name?
In most cases....yes! Example: If my business name is Bloomin Flowers then my website domain name might be or This makes it easy for people to find my website just by searching for my business by name. You want your site to be easy to find and easy to get to. Many new businesses search for and secure their domain name before officially naming their business for this reason.

Not every domain name matches the business name, surprising but true.Suppose those domain names for Bloomin Flowers are taken already. So instead I get which is my initials but rather obscure since it doesn't delinate what my business is. What happens when my customers type in Bloomin Flowers in a search engine. My competitors' sites will show up first and if I haven't actively made my website search engine friendly, my site might not show up or be recognizable.

What if I can't Match my Domain Name to My Business Name?
Your domain name choice may be already bought and could be a lot of time and money to get ownership of it. You have to determine how important the one you want is and how much you may be willing to spend to buy it from the party that already owns it. Check up the "whois" information for the domain, and contact that person listed to see if they're willing to sell it.

On the other hand, if you're just starting out, you might prefer the cheaper alternative of trying to obtain a domain name first, and then naming your website (or business) after the domain that you've acquired. This may seems a bit like putting the cart before the horse, but that's the reality if you don't want to lose out on the Internet.

Sometimes adjusting the domain name slightly will allow you to get a domain name that matches your business without having to pay extra. Here are some factors to consider...

Abreviations versus Keywords
Domain names can be of any length up to 67 characters. Some argue that shorter domain names are easier to remember, easier to type and far less susceptible to mistakes. Plus if you work with your initials alot you can incorporate this into your marketing. Example: www. for a business called Really Cool Designs by John. It's increasingly difficult to get short meaningful domain names because most have been sold already. If you manage to get a short domain name though, the key is to make sure it's a meaningful combination of characters and not hard to type and remember

Others argue that a longer domain name is usually easier on the human memory - for example, "" is a sequence of unrelated letters that is difficult to remember and type correctly, whereas if we expand it to its long form, "", we are more likely to remember the domain name. If you have a tagline that you use often, it can be positive to use that as a domain name. Long domain names that have your site keywords in them also have an advantage in that they seach better in the search engines. This is the key to being found on the internet, can the search engines find your company.
Try to avoid extremely long names verging on 67 characters. Aside from the obvious problem that people might not be able to remember such a long name, it would also be a chore typing it and trying to fit it as a title on your web page.

Hyphenated Domain Names

• Cons

1. Hphens are easy to forget when typing a name. Many users are used to typing things like but not They'll probably leave out the hyphens and end up at your competitor's site.

2. When people recommend your site verbally, having hyphens in your domain name leads to more potential errors.

• Pros

1. Search engines can distinguish your keywords better and thus return your site more prominently in search results for those keywords occurring in your domain name.

2. The non-hyphenated form may no longer be available. At least this way, you still get the domain name you want.

Different forms of Domains with plurals: the and my
Very often, if you can't get the domain name you want, the domain name registrar will suggest alternate forms of the name you typed. For example, if you wanted, and it was taken (of course it is), it might suggest forms like:

and the like, if they were not already taken as well. The question is, should you go with one of these options?

If you take the "the..." and "my..." forms of the domain name, you must remember to promote your site with the full form of the name. Otherwise, people are likely to forget to affix the necessary "the" or "my".

On the other hand, do not take the plural form of the domain name (eg, if you cannot also get "", since the chance of the visitor failing to type the "s" in the name is very great.

Domain Name Endings or Extensions
What if you cannot get the “.com” domain but the “.net” or “.org” or others are available. Are these others ok for domain addresses? The answer is not as simple as you might think and should fit your business needs based on some of the features covered below.

.com - the most popular and widely recognized domain extension in the world. It usually pops up first in search results and people are more likely to type it over any other ending. May be registered by anyone. Get it if you can!

.net - used frequently when the .com version of your domain name has been taken. Widely used for internet infrastructure as well.

.info - associated with websites that provide information as opposed to sales. This can be useful for businesses who publish articles and is recognized world wide.

.co - this is a new extension that provides people options if their domains are taken in other widely recognized domain extensions. International recognition and easy to remember.

.biz - made specifically for business and ecommerce sites such as online stores.

.org - popular extension for non-profit and non-commercial organizations as well as highlighting a business or companies charitable features.

.mobi - can be easily viewed on a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet.

.me - usually reserved for blogs, online resumes or portfolios of an individual

There are other domain extensions that relate to specific countries as well as one's that must be a qualified group to obtain (Example: only an official school can get a .edu extension or government agency use .gov etc)

Can I Have More Than One Domain Name?
Absolutely! Multiple domain names can point to the same website. In fact if you are a new business it's best to secure your domain name with multiple extensions to protect it from a competitor. You can create other search word filled domain names to point to your website but it's a good idea to make sure the domain names are relevant to your content so as not to draw negative attention from search engines.

The best idea is to get your domain name first....before you even make your business offcial! If you're already in business, follow the above hints or seek help from a marketing strategist who understands search engine optimization and establishing a professional web presence.

QR Codes Mean Quick Response for Business

Qlixite's Website QR Code
A QR code (abbreviation for Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.

Common in Japan, where it was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. The QR code was created to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.

Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR codes now are used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users (termed mobile tagging). QR codes may be used to display text to the user, to add a vCard contact to the user's device, to open a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), or to compose an e-mail or text message. Users can generate and print their own QR codes for others to scan and use by visiting one of several free QR code generating sites.

QR codes storing addresses and Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards, or almost any object about which users might need information. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader application can scan the image of the QR code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the telephone's browser. This act of linking from physical world objects is termed hardlinking or object hyperlinking.

Google's mobile Android operating system supports QR codes by natively including the barcode scanner (ZXing) on some models, and the browser supports URI redirection, which allows QR codes to send metadata to existing applications on the device. Nokia's Symbian operating system is provided with a barcode scanner, which is able to read QR codes, while mbarcode is a QR code reader for the Maemo operating system. In the Apple iOS, a QR code reader is not natively included, but more than fifty free apps are available with reader and metadata browser URI redirection ability. With BlackBerry devices, the App World application can natively scan QR codes and load any recognized Web URLs on the device's Web browse this for compliance.

The use of QR codes is free of any license. The QR code is clearly defined and published as an ISO standard. Denso Wave owns the patent rights on QR codes, but has chosen not to exercise them. The term QR code itself is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated.

Standard QR code is the QR code standard for applications that possess the ability to handle large scans. A standard QR code can contain up to 7089 characters, though not all QR readers can accept that much data.

Use in Marketing

Recently, QR codes have become more prevalent in marketing circles and have been integrated into both traditional and interactive campaigns. Media where QR codes have been deployed include: billboard ads, guerrilla marketing campaigns, in-store displays, event ticketing and tracking, trade-show management, business cards, print ads, contests, direct mail campaigns, websites, email marketing, and couponing just to name a few. QR codes are of particular interest to marketers, giving them the "ability to measure response rates with a high degree of precision" allowing for easier ROI (return on investment) calculation, thus helping to justify spending on marketing budgets. QR codes also have been used at trade shows and in conferences.

For years marketers have seen the success of QR codes internationally, but in 2011 QR codes might finally be taking hold in the U.S. as prominent endorsements from Target, Best Buy, Macy's, and Post Cereals are exposing the codes to a broad swath of consumers.


A QR code was used to promote Lupe Fiasco's album, "Lasers." The album was launched in the center of San Francisco with a massive QR code which allowed fans to scan it with the Redlaser technology in order to order the album early.

The hip hop collective OFWGKTA used a QR code when they played on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon instead of an album artwork which Jimmy Fallon usually presents. The code redirected to a site on the groups homepage.

QR codes have been used to interpret natural and historical points of interest on nature trails and walking tours, adding to or replacing expensive signs.

QR codes are not necessarily new to the world but they are growing ever more prevalant in the United States. As a small business owner free innovative technology can make a difference between staying in business and growing your business. Have questions about how to integrate QR codes and other technology into your marketing plan? Give us a call 800-596-6218 and connect with the Small Business Experts!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How to Make 30 Second Commercial Magic

Would it surprise you to learn that most business people do not have a 30-second commercial (otherwise known as an elevator speech)? In my travels, even those at the highest level have not completed a few versions to suit any occasion in which they might be asked the age-old question, "What do you do?"

It is not only prudent but truly crucial that you be able to simply and quickly describe what you do and who your target audience is no matter the occasion. The purpose of your 30-second commercial is to tell who you are, who your company is, and what you do. In addition, it asks one or more power questions, makes a power statement that shows how you can help others and ends with why the prospect should act now.

Tips for Creating Your Personal Commercial

Follow your plan. When you write a business plan, you prepare the executive summary last because you can't effectively summarize something you haven't already thought out. The same holds true with your personal commercial. Write your personal business plan first. Then, align your personal commercial with your mission and the roadmap you have developed for achieving it.

Make it memorable. Apart from the need to exchange pleasantries, you tell other people what you do for two reasons: they might have a need for your services or they might know someone else who has a need for your services. In either case, they should remember enough of what you told them so that they think of you when the need arises. To make your personal commercial memorable:

o Use an energetic group of words that leaves them wanting more!
o Avoid using industry jargon unless it's absolutely necessary.
o Talk about benefits... "I help lawyers find ways to win more business from existing clients."
o Speak slowly, audibly and clearly.
o If possible, personalize it -- for example a trademark attorney speaking to someone who has expressed concern about cyber squatters might say "I protect companies from cyber squatters," in addition to saying "I am a trademark attorney."

Keep it simple. Test your personal commercial on a seven-year-old. If they can't understand what you do, then you need to do some editing.

Have more than one version. The level of detail you provide at a cocktail reception is often very different than the detail you provide during a client meeting. You need to be prepared with at least two (preferably even three versions) of your 30-second commercial. The first version is quick--perhaps one or two sentences. The second version is as long as one or two paragraphs and should expand on the information provided in the first version. For example, you might expand on your responsibilities or explain in greater detail what your firm does. The third version lasts one or two minutes and could include further explanation of the second version as well as key clients, case studies and other information relevant to the current audience.

Primary Goal of the 30-Second Commercial

To develop a series of sentences that take 10-30 seconds to articulate, sharing how you add value to your customer's business and life. The purpose isn't to tell the other person everything that you do. It's to keep them from saying: "So what!" "We've already got something like that." "We're all set." or "Good-bye!"

30-Second Commercial Outline

Name and Title ... Hi, my name is Honorée Corpron, Visionary, Business Strategist and Performance Coach.

Company Name ... My company is Honorée Enterprises.

Creatively say what you do ... I work with CEOs, senior level professionals and entrepreneurs to achieve profit-doubling growth in 60-80% less time than it would take them to do it on their own.

Insert your Power Question ... Wouldn't it be great to be able to reach achieve more goals in the next 12 months with support than you could achieve on your own in the next decade?

Insert your Power Statement (how you help) ... I think I might be able to help you. Let's get together to discuss ways to implement systems and strategies into your business to help you be the most effective and efficient you can be, all while maintaining balance in your life.

Why the prospect should act now ... Would you like to schedule a brainstorming session, or have lunch or coffee to see if I can be of assistance to you?

Creating your 30-Second Commercial. First, list five ways you improve your clients' business, save them money or money, and/or help them to get more of what they want. Then list five reasons why people do business with you. Combine the most important elements into your 30 Second Commercial.

Power Questions
The Power Question qualifies the prospect and sets up your response. Use these five questions when formulating the Power Questions in your 30-Second Commercials:

1. What information do I want to get as a result of asking this question?
2. Can I qualify my prospect as a result of this question?
3. Does it take more than one question to find out the information I need?
4. Do my questions make the prospect think?
5. Can I ask a question that separates me from my competitor?

Here are some lead-ins to Power Questions that will expose areas of need:
o What do you look for ...?
o What have you found ...?
o What has been your experience ...?
o How do you propose ...?
o How have you successfully used ...?
o How do you determine ...?
o Why is that a deciding factor ...?
o What makes you choose ...?
o What is the one thing you would improve about ...?
o Are there other factors ...?
o What does your competitor do about ...?
o How do your customers react to ...?
o How are you currently ...?
o What are you doing to keep ...?
o How often do you contact ...?
o What are you doing to ensure ...?

Using some of the lead-ins above, as necessary, make a list of 25 Power Questions that make the prospect think and give you the information you need.

Combining all of the necessary elements in creating your 30-second commercial, along with mastering your Power Questions will assist you in attracting more of the clients and customers you want to work with - and they'll know exactly why they should hire you right away!

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