Friday, September 16, 2016

Publish Articles on the Huffington Post

Yeap you can do this, too.

Here's is mine mentioning our group:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/57dc26aae4b0d5920b5b2a71?timestamp=1474047127020


How this was done and what impact it may have-- we'll talk about it Wed. Sept 28 at 7 PM
See you there!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Relevance of Maslow's Hierachy of Needs to Business


Baltimore Online Business: Join Our Free Workshop in Arbutus, MD

Join our free seminar held at and sponsored by the Arbutus Library in Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland.

Please join us on in the Arbutus Library Meeting Room, more details below including an outline of the session
September 14, 2016 and 28th at 7 PM (Wednesdays)
October 11 and 18th at 7 PM (Tuesdays)
November 16 and 30th at 7 PM (Wednesdays)
December 7 & 14th at 7 PM (Wednesdays)
January  4, 2017 & 25th at 7 PM  (Wednesdays)



Section 1: Core Materials (a subset of these in each session)


What Online Business is and what it is not

  • Money on autopilot. Is it a myth or reality?
    • How to make it a reality
    • Other strategies
  • Digital products and services vs. physical products and services
    • Music, ebooks, software, videos, and virtual services (example Fiverr)
  • Welcome to the Virtual Organization
    • Virtual assistants
    • Partner companies, suppliers
    • Outsourcing your tasks and sourcing your services and materials nationally and internationally via the internet
  • Scams and how to spot them

Basics to Get Started

  • Why do you want an online business?
  • How to find your niche: What and how are you going to sell?
  • Hand-on: what to sell?
    • how to use Google like a ‘hungry’ entrepreneur
    • personal interests overlapping with customer needs & wants
    • talking vs. doing: what customers say they want vs. why they actually pull out the credit card
    • Hidden Google commands and how they reveal business opportunities
    • Quick market research using free online tools and methods
  • Consumer behavior online and how it differs from the ‘physical’ world
  • Online tools to locate real business opportunities
    • How to distinguish real from fake and the ‘numbers trap’.
    • Bing’s and Google’s Keyword Planner and other research tools

The Psychology of Business (these bits will be ‘thrown in’ as we go)

    • Hurdle #1: The top reason why you don’t have an online business already
      • You!
      • Motivation & achievement drive
      • Fears: fear of poverty, rejection, failure, etc.
      • Procrastination
      • Limited support network
      • How to get started “mentally”
    • Is lack of funds a hurdle or an excuse?
      • Doing it alone vs. teaming up
      • Venture capital vs. self-funding
      • Time vs. money.
    • Time commitment
    • Razor sharp vision
    • Enthusiasm and determination to do whatever it takes
    • Hurdle #2: What we call “School damage”
      • (Expecting to be/)Being told what to do vs. being a self-starter
        • How to change behavioral patterns
      • Not speaking up / waiting until ‘permitted to speak’ vs. the ‘loudest kid in class’
      • Initiative
      • The Intrinsic Learner vs. ‘bulimic learning’
      • Self-talk, thinking patterns, and internal belief system: a double-edged sword
      • Scheduled, structured, routine time management imposed externally vs. complete freedom (and necessity) to manage own time
    • The psychology of the customer / consumer
      • in what “mental state” do people coming to your website? ready to buy? just looking? ooops, wrong place!
      • quick and concise please
      • the entire truth… when would a car sales person mention that this specific car is “rather small”?
      • the analytic customer, the impulsive buyer
      • emotional reasons or practical reasons for buying: wants to solve a problem at hand?
      • why s/he buys: money, feeling secure (not wanting to lose something), to be liked, prestige, power, popularity, recognition, buying “cutting edge tech”, dating sites (affection needs), self-improvement
      • Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs
      • a need has to be fulfilled / a problem has to be solved
      • how people “tick”: “I see what you mean”, “I hear what you are saying”, “I feel your pain”
      • free!!!! freemium tactics
      • make him/her comfortable, welcome, feel important, show you understand and empathize, show your appreciation
    • The psychology of selling
      • what do you want to sell and why? do you love it / are you obsessed with it / are you an expert? Are you a “likable” character / personality?
      • who do you want to sell to and why?
      • who do you not want to sell to and why?
      • how your website is perceived
      • what the hell is this?
      • what are you selling?
      • who are you?
      • why should I listen/read?
      • why should I believe this?
      • how much does it cost? (show price or not? make prices easy to find?)
      • “protecting” the visitor from his/her own biases
      • is there a win-win? is this a “good deal”?
      • The mindset of the visitor before he ‘enters’ your website and how it matters
      • Hot, warm, cold, and useless traffic
      • what happens at the sales transaction
      • why everyone hates salespeople
      • selling vs. consulting
      • the tone of your writing and how it affects your audience’s perception of your company
      • visuals and how they affect perception, especially online
      • listening vs talking and phone consultations
      • why books, people, and websites are judged by their cover/packaging, and how it relates to online business
      • trust factors: why should the visitor trust you? How to establish trust quickly
      • user testimonials, security seals, money back guarantee, buyer protection, etc.
      • solving the buyer’s problem or perceived problem
      • the buyer’s perception of price. risk, and value/worth
      • will you be around tomorrow?
      • will you run away with my money?
      • will you help me when I’m stuck?
      • hidden fees and other traps (will you rip me off?)
      • pricing, reputation, time in business, customer list, referrals, appearance (web site + product), other product or service characteristics
      • how product is received: speed, packaging
      • bundling
      • size matters: why perceived company size is very important
      • comparisons with other products / services / offerings and substitutes
      • who does the comparison? You or the buyer?
      • closing the sale (web site vs. on the phone or via email)
      • buyer personalities: apathetic, highly motivated, the analyzer, the friend, the Nazi, the social butterfly
    • What is a business, especially when it isn’t brick and mortar?
    • How to set up your internet presence
    • Legal status considerations
  • How to set up web domains, web hosting, web design, WordPress
  • DIY or outsource? Where to find help on a low budget
  • Company formation vs. sole proprietorship: fundamental legal differences and potential repercussions
    • S-corp, LLC, etc.
    • Company address and how it matters
  • Strategically protect your current employment (things to do and not to do)
  • Limit your liability and protect your wealth
  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights and infringements. How to protect your property

Marketing

  • Who is your potential customer? categorize
  • Where is your potential customer? Where are they hanging out? How can you get exposure?
  • What does your customer want and need?
  • How can you place customer ‘bait’ strategically to attract potential customers?
  • How to find out how your potential customer approaches the internet with his/her wants and needs
  • How to do marketing online efficiently on a very low budget
  • Google
    • your friend as well as your worst “enemy”
    • the Internet’s gatekeeper
    • traffic monopoly
    • Google-related statistics that all online marketers should know
    • How Google turned the “free” internet into a competition
    • Google: a mainly text-based marketing machine
  • Quality vs. quantity of online traffic
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    • How to work with search engines effectively
    • Keywords and their critical importance in online marketing
    • What to do and what not to do
    • Link building
    • Avoid Google penalties and rank your online business presence over time
    • Building multiple sources of company exposure
    • The anatomy of a successful web site and page from a SEO perspective
  • Google AdWords
    • Opportunities
    • how to burn $1,000 in a second: probably the biggest small business trap on the internet
    • Background info: what Google does not want you to know
    • Google’s only real money source and how/why Google became big in the first place
  • Google and You
    • How people (customers) use Google (interesting statistics)
    • How search results are ranked
    • Ads versus ‘organic results’: Trust factors
    • Eye tracking studies
    • Page position and click through rates
  • Google vs. Bing/Yahoo
    • Crucial technical differences
    • Different Audiences
  • Content Marketing
    • The truth about Google and what Google really wants
      • Will you receive what you want by giving Google what it wants?
    • How you can get “free” traffic for a long time
    • How to capture this traffic and convert it into a customer relationship
  • Social platforms and how to exploit them for exposure
    • LinkedIn: Get exposure and draw traffic to your website
    • Online Forums: make people aware of your solution without being a spammer
    • Blogs: get the attention of industry influencers. Advertise on specific blogs that your target audience is likely to visit
    • Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and similar platforms
    • Danger: Is it worth all that money and work? For some types of businesses yes, for others no.
  • Mobile internet users vs. desktop PCs, how it differs by industry and why that’s important
  • Testing:
    • How to measure whether a marketing strategy really works
    • Keeping track of progress and compare to alternatives
    • How to prioritize your time
    • Quickly trash ideas that don’t appear work
    • Be willing to re-test: when to pull ideas out of the trashcan
    • Your time is your biggest asset
  • Negative SEO: online ‘warfare’ between competitors

Internet Marketing Hands-On: “Dissecting” a Competitor’s Online Presence

Group agrees on a subject/product/company and we look at:
  • Who and where they are
  • Which tools to use
  • What information to collect
  • How to crunch the numbers and make meaning
  • How to “distill” keyword phrases you can use in your own marketing strategy
  • Uncover traffic sources they likely use
  • Where and how they advertise
  • Discover their partners so you can contact them directly
  • Discover what kind of “bait” and schemes they use
  • Estimate how much money they make / whether they are successful
  • Success indicators
  • Signs they are in trouble
  • How to spot high competition indicators for specific markets
  • Who their competitors are
  • Find out what customers really want and think by reading your competitor’s product reviews
  • What insights we can get through their social media campaigns

The “Mechanics”

  • Payment processing and order fulfillment
  • PayPal, Amazon Payments, Virtual Terminals, POS terminals, and order processing
  • Order fulfillment centers, ex. Amazon Fulfillment services and other options
  • DIY: shipping nationwide USPS, UPS
  • The mechanics of selling online and where to sell online
  • Discuss different platforms like E-bay, Amazon, etc.
  • versus selling on your own website
  • check payments, purchase orders, credit card payments, bank transfers
  • costs and commission fees

Dangers

  • What to watch out for: traps, scams, legality, liability, fraud online
  • Fake ‘marketing’ and incompetent SEO companies
  • Your own health: Burn-out, depression, internet addiction, stress, family & friends
  • Competition
    • How online business is “too revealing”

“Top Secrets”

  • How to communicate with customers efficiently online and offline
  • Tips for web design, email communication, phone orders, live chat
  • Proven strategies to grow your online reach
  • How to build a fan base
  • Trust online and how to establish it quickly
  • A/B testing: because no one has all the answers and things might be different than they look like
  • Using AdWords as a research and survey tool
  • How to cover tracks to protect against competitors
  • Book recommendations and online resources
  • you want “loyal” customers, not satisfied customers. they need to become obsessed fans of your brand
  • Service and top-notch, exceptional service. Be your own customer. Empathy, willingness to work as long as it takes to fix a problem or help a customer. Help even if your company can’t help->refer.
  • Guerrilla marketing: look for unusual opportunities for low to no budget exposure, online and offline
  • Make more money by offering: better quality, better service, knowledgeable staff, locally sourced materials/products, environmentally friendly solutions, made in USA, better guarantees, essentially making the customer purchase risk free, financing, and finally by being a pleasant partner to deal with (fun, helpful, reliable, honest, accessible).
  • you have certainly heard: “don’t compete on price”, the complete rule is actually “don’t compete”
  • striving for continuous improvement (yourself + your business), the infinite cycle of:
    • measure
    • improve
    • test

When?

July 27th at 7 PM and
August 3rd and 17th at 7 PM
September 14, 2016 and 28th at 7 PM (Wednesdays)
October 11 and 18th at 7 PM (Tuesdays)
November 16 and 30th at 7 PM (Wednesdays)
December 7 & 14th at 7 PM (Wednesdays)
January  4, 2017 & 25th at 7 PM  (Wednesdays)

Location

Arbutus Library in Baltimore, Maryland.
Website: http://www.bcpl.info/arbutus
Map and directions: