Friday, October 30, 2015

SQUIBDrive | FREE Cloud-based Flash Drive for promotional marketing.

SQUIBDrive is a new hybrid technology taking the old traditional USB webkey and flash drive technologies and creating the world's first digital marketing webkey flash drive, called a SQUIBKey.  SQUIBDrive is a cloud-engagement-based webkey flash drive marketing and analytics application that is fast on the rise of replacing promotional USB flash drives and web keys that cost companies 3-5 times more than what the new digital cloud-based flash drive, SQUIBDrive platform offers marketeers and marketing agencies for their clients.

SQUIBDrive allows a client to disperse digital assets such as videos, documents, music, and promotional incentives via it's patent pending innovative marketing platform. Not only can targeted consumers plugin with a webkey, but they can now access digital media ready to play, read and download marketing information for free or paid.

Full administration and analytics are provided to monitor squib drive campaigns with the ability to grant permission to digital assets, direct visitors to promotional micro sites with the ability to remotely reprogram and customize each visitors experience.

SQUIBDrive is the engine behind the SQUIBkey experience and has a lot more to offer than just another USB device that gets tossed and lost. SQUIBDrive has pioneered a new frontier in permission-based marketing and has a lot more to offer over the long run. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

New! SQUIBcard™- Interactive USB Loyalty WEBkey Card

Monday, December 28, 2009

Outsourcing: Making Smart Hiring Choices

Outsourcing Secret #1: Making Smart Hiring Choices

"Delegate, outsource, build a team."

It’s the message drilled into so many entrepreneurs who are ready to grow
big. But what happens when the team you have is causing you to spend
too much time micro-managing – and you’ve literally become an
overworked manager?

It’s hard to be the focused on achieving your big vision and making
money when you keep getting pulled down into the weeds. Hiring other
people to help offset your weaknesses is supposed to help you grow, not
make you resent having people to delegate and outsource to.

So what the heck went wrong?

Oftentimes it starts when you are ready to grow. Think about what’s
happened at your business over the last few years. You start out, you have
a certain goal or mission, and you know you have a certain budget to
invest in your growth, so you hire someone who meets your budget and
can do a satisfactory job of completing the tasks.

Then it happens.


You take off at lightning speed – orders fly in, new programs are created
that serve your high-end marketplace, customer service challenges arise
more frequently, the level of detail management required has increased
and your expectations have escalated to a whole new level.

You grew…but:

Did your team’s approach change with the evolution of the role?

Did your infrastructure shift to handle the expansion?

Did your systems and procedures progress with the increase in demand and quality?

Well, when I’m working with an entrepreneur’s business as their coach, I
evaluate many different parts of the process to uncover the real problem.

Often it boils down to one of four areas (or a combination of them):

1.    The skills and competencies of the team don’t match the role as it evolves.

If you experience a lot of breakdowns, miscommunications, or a regular
inability to complete the task on time, and as the saying goes, you may be
trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip.

You can’t expect someone whose is new to internet marketing to be a
whiz at getting savvy squeeze pages up in a day. It’s an unrealistic
expectation. Often when we outsource and delegate tasks in the beginning
we hire for the current needs versus hiring someone who has the ability to
expand and grow as you do.

This issue can be resolved if both parties are willing to identify the gaps
and create a plan to increase the team members skills.

ACTION: Educate your team on your new vision and how the role will change in order to achieve new goals. Meet with each team member to decide if they are willing/able to fulfill new role.

2.    The systems, procedures and technology necessary to perform at optimum speed are not up to date, creating tension and frustration for the person responsible.

For three years we knew we had a poor system for managing customer
purchases and lead follow-up. But the investment and time it would take
to fix the problem kept it on the back burner.

This year we knew to make the leap we desired we’d have to bite the
bullet and make it happen. The result is less duplication of effort and more
marketing efficiency. Not having the ideal CRM system over the years
caused so much frustration, angst and breakdown between my fast-paced
team that the cost of NOT upgrading the system became too great.

ACTION: Assess areas of breakdown, frustration or inefficiency. Invite your team to share their insights too. Then make a list of what needs to be upgraded and prioritize based on budget, time and cost. Don’t forget to evaluate the cost to NOT upgrade as well…

3. The contractor or employee being delegated to does not have the habits and behaviors necessary to sustain growth with the new role.

A heart-breaking moment is when the entrepreneur recognizes that their
breakneck pace cannot be sustained by someone on their team. Or, when
after repeated breakdowns, we finally realize the reason why certain tasks
are always late is because the person doing them is not a good time
manager or is distracted with multiple priorities and can’t focus well.

The good news is that habits can be changed, if the team member is
willing. I’ve found that just like us, our support teams are bombarded with
requests, changes and conflicting priorities so creating a new system to
handle time management can often resolve the problem.

It’s important to create a time frame in which the necessary changes must
take place, then be willing to end your working relationship if they can’t
make the shift. In order to grow you must have a team that can keep up.

Keep in mind – if one person in the equation is not happy, then it’s not a
win-win and neither of you will be happy over the long run.

4. The preferences, needs or attitude of the team
member are not aligned with the business today.

A client of mine had a major breakthrough in my Virtual Team Building
TeleBootCamp when she recognized that she had hired an online business
manager (OBM) whose vision for himself was being a well-known
internet marketing super-star.

When she finally realized that, for the level of growth she was
experiencing, she needed full-time contractors dedicated to HER vision,
she breathed a huge sigh of relief and let the OBM go.

Another client was struggling with an intern straight out of college who
was bright and promising but routinely was confused and overwhelmed
by trying to take on more responsibility. After probing through the
diagnostics, we uncovered the intern really wanted to be on the road in
more of a sales job vs. being an admin type person.

You can’t change someone else’s preferences, needs or attitude – and if
their focus is not in alignment with yours, then it may be best to let them
go. Using this four step diagnostic tool will help you separate your
emotions from the facts.

Many of us become friends and grow attached emotionally to our support
team (that’s quite natural) but you have to remember – you run a

If the team member is not a positive impact to the bottom line, you can’t
afford to continue to invest in them. As this excellent unknown
contributor has said in this quote, “If you think hiring professionals is
expensive, try hiring amateurs!”

It’s our job as entrepreneurs to have the best talent we can invest in to
propel our mission forward!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Protect Your Images and Bandwidth with .htaccess

Protecting Your Bandwidth from Being Stolen!

.htaccess files are lovely, lovely things. They do exactly what the name implies: control access to your files. About six months ago, I had problems with a bunch of l33t brats 'borrowing' my bandwidth and using a few of my photos on message boards.

So I decided to take their toy away.

A lovely thing about .htaccess files: if you place them in a directory, the conditions and permissions you set up affect all subfolders of that folder. So, if you want to protect all your images, just drop a single .htaccess file in your main images directory, and all subfolders are taken care of.

Here's the code that I'm using for my .htaccess file:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://YOURSITE.COM/.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://WWW.YOURSITE.COM/.*$ [NC]
ReWriteRule .*\.(gif|jpg|swf|xml|flv)$ – [N,F,L]

It's a good idea to do both and Also, if you know of any other sites that you want to allow to use your images, be sure to add in a line for them in this file.

If the http_referer doesn't match one of the strings you've provided in those lines, the image request will result in a 403 error.

To use this code on your site…

Make sure you can see hidden files (files beginning with a .) with your FTP client. (It's really hard to edit or delete files you can't see.) Paste these lines into a blank text document, save it as .htaccess, and upload it to your images directory.

That should be all!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Using Facebook Traffic to Drive Brand Loyalty

The Big Brands Do it. Why Can't You?

WebProNews recently covered a study from Chitika, which found that Facebook was the most valuable social media tool for driving repeat readers to content sites. The study was based on 33 million unique users across Chitika's publisher network in September. It compared the number of visitors coming from major traffic sources Digg, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Twitter, to the number of times those visitors came back to the referred site. Visitors that went to a site four or more times in one week were considered loyal users. By a wide margin, Facebook led the pack in providing loyal traffic. 20% of all visitors from Facebook visited the site four or more times per week.

"We've received the most clients from Facebook than any other social media website," a reader commented on the article. "Although we've received slightly more visitors from Digg and Stumbleupon, the viewers have not converted into customers the same way they had through Facebook."

Loyal Readers - Where they come from
There has certainly been plenty of talk about how Facebook can drive traffic, but clearly there are still a lot of people struggling with just how to go about doing so.

"Why am I not getting this?" another reader asked. "Blogs I've done are boosting my Google, Yahoo, and Bing ratings and getting traffic to my web site, but I'm not getting how Facebok can do this."

Comments like these are not uncommon, and to be fair, this one was made prior to Microsoft's announcement of a deal with Facebook (Google has been rumored to be in talks with Facebook as well).

But not all traffic has to come from search, although Facebook exposure can certainly contribute to that as well, if nothing else, than simply through promotion leading to links.

When a Facebook user frequently checks for status updates, he/she is likely to see new posts made from Facebook Pages he/she is subscribed to. This means creating a Facebook page can have a great effect on page owners. Making readers aware of the page is key as well. Luckily Facebook has a widget called the Fan box, that you can put on your site, which can lead new visitors directly to your Facebook page.

Facebook has also just updated another important widget - the share button. Now it will provide a live count of shares, as well as analytical information. You can find out how people are sharing and engaging with your content, and gain further insight into how your stuff is doing with the Facebook community (and adjust your strategy accordingly).

Traffic is a common goal, but it is not the only one. Going back to the topic at the beginning of this article, brand loyalty is a big one.

A representative for Stuzo Group, one of Facebook's exclusive development partners, shared some interesting case studies with us, looking at how they created branded applications and fan pages for brands like Doritos, Budweiser, Smashbox, and Purina.

"When Stuzo works with these brands, the goals that they have most often in creating these promotions is to increase brand loyalty and recognition, boost traffic to their website, and drive sales," the representative said. "These goals all go hand in hand, and explain why Chitika's study was so valuable; hits to a website are great, but they don't mean much unless they contribute to brand loyalty and positive recognition of the brand." (emphasis added)

A common theme among the case studies provided by Stuzo is that they all present clear objectives for what they want to accomplish with Facebook. For example, Budweiser's were:

1. Create brand awareness through a strong fan base and social channel opt-ins

2. Incentivize users to engage with the brand on a regular basis

3. Convert new customers and drive increase in sales

Budweiser Facebook page
Budweiser went the route of contests and competitions (which are viral by nature). According to the case study, this has resulted in:

- Hundreds of thousands of Unique Pageviews

- Sustained high level of brand engagement by all measurements

- Significant, continued growth in Budweiser’s Social CRM and social channel opt-ins

Budweiser is just one example of a big brand finding success through social media, and through the use of Facebook in particular. As I recently discussed, you can find new and interesting ways to integrate social media into your own plans by looking at some of the brands you use yourself and how they employ different tools. This helps you to put yourself in the customer's shoes and determine the things that work and the things that don't.

What You Can Learn from Amazon to Increase Holiday Sales

By Chris Crum - Wed, 10/28/2009 - 1:11pm.

Don' Lose Out to the Competition

There is a reason Amazon is widely known as one of the biggest retailers online (if not the biggest). The company knows what it's doing.

Amazon has appeared in headlines recently for a number of reasons, and a fair amount of them are related to different things the company has been doing to increase its sales as the holiday season approaches. While as a small business, you don't likely have the clout that Amazon does, they do employ strategies that you can learn from in order to potentially increase your own sales.

1. Mobile Payments

Earlier this month Amazon launched its own mobile payments service. I don't expect you to launch your own, but it may be in the best interest of your online store to at least offer some kind of mobile payment option. People are using their phones more and more these days to shop online. You should be accommodating that.

2. Same Day Delivery

Also this month, Amazon revealed a new shipping option for some of its products to some markets called "Local Express Deliver." What this is, is essentially same-day delivery. A customer orders the product and they get it to them on the same day. This will be an attractive feature for procrastinators.

This will not always be feasible, but for local businesses, it may be more so. Whether or not you can offer same-day, you should offer as many options as possible. And if you can do same-day, I don't see why you couldn't charge more for it. Amazon certainly does.

3. Focused Landing Page

Amazon has put out a "Holiday Toy List". This is a list of the top toys and games that the company expects to sell during the holiday season. They have a dedicated page for these items that they are promoting. This makes it easy for customers to find the things they are likely to be looking for.

Amazon's Holiday Toy List
Why couldn't you do the same thing? Look at the products you offer that people are most likely to be interested in for the holiday season, and draw their attention to them with a focused landing page. Then promote that page accordingly.

4. Ultra-Competitive Pricing

Amazon and Walmart have been engaged in a price war over bargain books. Walmart started by offering pre-orders of highly anticipated books at a very low price, and Amazon immediately started offering the same deal. Walmart then lowered its price, then Amazon did the same.

Amazon and Walmart Price Wars
Don't forget to do some research to find what your competitors are charging for products that are the same or similar to what you are selling. You may not be able to take it to the level of Walmart and Amazon, but you should at least be aware of what competitors are charging. If it's less, there's a good chance the business will go to them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How to uninstall VMWare Fusion from a Apple Mac computer

I had been trialing VMWare Fusion on the Mac, and although it was working fine, I thought I would reinstall it because my Windows XP had viruses I could not remove. I backed up everythign to my Mac drive and removed the VM Windows XP Profile and dumped the Mac trash. (5GB)

I wanted to remove all traces of VMWare Fusion as I like to keep all of my computers as uncluttered as possible, and here is the best way of doing it.

1 Power off all running virtual machines, and quit VMware Fusion.
2 In the Finder, open the folder Macintosh HD/Library/Application
Support/VMware Fusion, and double-click Uninstall Vmware Fusion.
3 When you are prompted to confirm, click Uninstall.
4 Enter your administrative password to begin the uninstallation.
When the uninstallation is complete, a confirmation message is displayed.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Natural SEO vs. PPC Adwords Advertising

Natural SEO vs. PPC Advertising

According to the results of the iProspect Outsourced SEO Metrics & ROI Study (PDF link), 35% of the surveyed organizations that promote their web sites with natural search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click advertising recognize a higher return from SEO.

This compares to just 11% of marketers who report that PPC ads produce higher ROI. That means that three times as many webmasters who can measure the ROI of each method recognize a higher ROI from natural SEO than from PPC advertising.

search engine marketing surveyShould you use PPC or SEO to market your web site?

The study confirms that you shouldn't focus on paid search engine advertising. While pay per click can be a good addition to your normal web site promotion activities, you'll receive a better return on investment (ROI) with natural search engine optimization.

Many webmasters that are new to web site promotion choose only pay per click advertising. Optimizing your web pages for natural search engine results involves a lot more work but in the long term, you'll receive a much better return on investment with natural search engine optimization. The numbers speak for themselves.

How to get a better ROI with your natural search results

To get a positive ROI with your natural search results, it is very important that your web pages are optimized for high search engine rankings. If your site is NOT optimized for natural search engine optimization it's costing you search engine real estate (placement), branding exposure, sales and bottom line... profits!

"Title TAG" (in red). This home page does not contain the basic requirements to get listed on the SERP’s. In the screen shot below pay notice to the:
  1. Poor keyword title optimization.
  2. No Metatags for Title, description and keywords.
  3. No SE Rankings.
importance of meta-tags
It is equally important that your web pages are optimized for the right keywords. You will only get a positive ROI from natural search results if you target keywords that attract web site visitors that are interested in buying your products.

Details on how to find the best keywords for your web site can be done through our Natural SEO Service with guaranteed first page placement. We optimize your sales letter page working with your content editor and develop S.m.a.r.t.™ SEO pages that are built around high traffic, niche market keyword phrases to capture your target market.

How to get a better ROI with pay per click advertising

Getting a positive ROI with pay per click advertising also depends on the keywords you use in your pay per click campaigns. In addition, it is also very important to use the right text in your PPC Google Adwords. Upon a brief analysis of an adwords campaign on "natural cure for diabetes" we noted a number of improvements that could be made using the text in this PPC ad.

In the screen shots below, we looked at one of your ads in comparison to a competitors correct use of text in adwords. The search phrase is “natural cures for diabetes” was searched.

google PPC adword advertisements

  1. Note the ad titles. Ad 1 does not induce excitement and is redundant. This ad title uses keywords that do not need to be used in an adword campaign to get high ranking. Remember, you pay for your keyword phrases and assign an ad to them. The ppc ad should display your main keyword, as PPC Ad 2 does and should invoke an exciting statement like “Diabetes Breakthrough”.
  2. PPC Ad 2 targets "persuasive buying points" in the ad text that are key points to interested buyers, ie., controls blood sugar, Free shipping, Helps Fast!, Safe & Natural and GUARANTEED. In PPC Ad 1, there are no "persuasive buying points" mentioned.
  3. The next parameter is the URL at the bottom of the ad. PPC Ad 1 attempts to use the keyword “Natural”, which has been stated in the Google Search when the prospect typed in his search “natural cures...”, so there is no need to be redundant, use that space for something more advantageous like a phone number for tracking your PPC adwords campaign. Notice PPC Ad 2 strategically makes ample use of their ad opportunity to expose to the prospect their 1-800 number for PPC Ad tracking! Very smart use of an adword.
  4. Overall, PPC Ad 2 is more persuasive and more powerful and ranks on the first page of the adword column of the keyword search.
  5. One more piece of criteria is, for example, the domain name of the URL you choose to use when selling an ad. The domain name denotes an informational news site on first impression. Your URL allows you the opportunity to expose your product brand name. Try using your product brand name in the URL (or domain name) when using PPC. Even if buyers don’t click immediately, the targeted market who browse repeatedly under the popular search phrases containing the keyword “diabetes” will begin to trust your product the more they see the name of it show up on the SERP’s and PPC ads.

Use the wrong texts or keywords and you can pay a fortune on pay per click ads without getting something back.

If done correctly, pay per click campaigns and natural search engine optimization can both contribute greatly to your bottom line.

7 Step Action Plan for Guaranteed Top SEO Ranking iNETready Will Do for You

  1. iNETready's SEO Service will decide with your Content Manager on the search phrase your page(s) to rank for. It is possible to rank the same page for several searches. We focus our efforts on a single search term to increase the power of each of your links.
  2. iNETready's SEO Service will title your page with a variety of phrases you want to rank for. Your page title is prominent in search results, so we add additional descriptive words that will make humans want to visit your page.
  3. iNETready's SEO Service will create a headline on your page that confirms the promise of your title. (This goes for adword text writing as well.)
  4. iNETready's SEO Service will work with your Content Manager on your page content primarily for humans, but we use complete search phrases and separate the words in your phrase into the body of the text. This will help both humans and search engines to understand what your page is about.
  5. iNETready's SEO Service will create links to your page using link text that contain high traffic keyword phrase variations. We’ll place these in natural places for these on your page, ie., the menu, footer links and links within your the text of your sales content.
  6. iNETready's SEO Service will We get external links to your pages that also use variations of your search phrases. This will help not only your rankings, but will also garner visitors from these other sites.
  7. iNETready's SEO Service will "Rinse and Repeat" meaning, no site is ever “done” - only “better”. So we continue creating content working side by side with your Content Manager, linking it together and getting links from other sites.