Monday, March 31, 2008

Be Afraid, Be very afraid of scaring your customers

Be Afraid, Be very afraid of scaring your customers

This is an an excerpt from The National Post Monday Small Business Section on March 31, 2008 by George Torok.

The two masters of business are fear and greed. You probably know that greed fuels a bull market and fear darkens the bear. But are you aware of how important these two emotions are to your business? Business is about people and people are ruled by emotions. Fear is the most primal and powerful emotion. How do emotions affect the buying decisions of your customers?

Read the rest of this article at the National Post by George Torok.

Read the National Post for more short marketing articles from George Torok. Watch for feature articles on marketing.

George Torok

Marketing Author

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The sixties

The sixties - a time frame or mindset?

If you are a fan or child of the sixties than you will love this website. I did. I consider myself a child of the sixties even though I hit my teens in the late sixties. I was too young to get to Woodstock but I enjoyed the music a few years lator. It's not where you were but where you believe you were.

This site awoke some fond memories and stoked some chills.

Every once in awhile you come across a website that strikes you - and this one did.

Nostalgia is a powerful motivator.

George Torok

Child of the Sixties

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Danger - marketing can be fun

Power Marketing Tips 01 - relaunch 2008

If you were a past subscriber of my Power Marketing Tips then now is the time to resubscribe. Today the new version was launched. It has s new simple look and more importantly it will publish every two weeks. So you can count on regular marketing help. Below is an excerpt from the first issue.

Subscribe to Power Marketing Tips here

Marketing can be fun - but don't be fooled by that aspect

Marketing can be fun or it can be boring. In either case it is the results that count not your enjoyment level. You should enjoy your business but don't judge the value of your business investments on your enjoyment. Creating new ideas and holding special events can be fun. However the boring side of marketing might pay off more for you in the long run. Evaluate your marketing investments by examining your return on investment.

Base your marketing on systems.
Marketing systems will pay off greater than marketing madness. Systems are a means to an end. The system is not the end. Therefore create the system, refine the system and automate the system - but focus on the end.

A system is composed of three things:
1. It is based on a principle.
2. It is a process.
3. It must be persistent and consistent.

Systems are not feel-good whims. They are planned, methodical and regular.

Apply this three-step processes to summarize your marketing systems:

Every time (event) happens I do (action).
I do this because (principle).
The results are ____________

To ensure that the boring things happen consistently you can automate using technology, delegate to staff or outsource to a service provider.

Keep on marketing - especially when it is boring.

George Torok

Power Marketing

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Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" when you register for the free Power Marketing Tips.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Check your website load time

Analyse your website - Free tools

Here is a good set of free tools to analyse your website.

Of particular note is the "Load time test". It tests how long your website takes to load and tells you where the delays are.

Of course you might not realize how slow your own website is because after your first visit it is cached in your computer. So you can be fooled into thinking that your site is faster than it really is. I was surprised when I tested one of my sites with this tool.

The site is Submit It

Here is an excerpt from the page of free tools.

Time for a tune-up...
The below tools (and to the left) are listed chronologically to assist you with site preparation and testing. Website preparation and testing are your first steps to reaching those magical top positions in major search engines (actually there is no magic, just hard work... learn more).You can use our tools as often as you like and even place them on your website to offer free web tools to your viewers and generate traffic (Add MiniTools to your website). We also ask you to help us keep an almost nine year old (June 23rd) Submit Plus tradition absolutely free by displaying one of our (buttons) on your website... So, let's get started!

Link Popularity [Low link popularity = Low ranking... Check it Out!]

Load Time Check [Good loading time = happy surfers/spiders... Check it Out!]

Test Your Meta Content [Major engines still reply on Meta Tags!... Check it Out!]

Spider Simulator [See what engine spiders see... Or don't!]

Generate Meta Tags [Improve or create new Meta Tags... You need them!]

Alexa Ranking [Archived info and web traffic information ]


Free Web Tools - Submit Plus

Test your website

George Torok

Marketing Expert & Author

Motivational Business Speaker

Get free MiniTools for your website - Submit Plus

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Domain Stats Tool

Domain Stats Tool

Here is another free tool for checking your website or those of your competitors. Just type in the url and it will tell you the age of the domain, links and pages indexed by the three major search engines.

Take it for a spin. Warning - it seems to take about 30 to 60 seconds to return the results.

George Torok

Domain Stats Tool

Enter Domain Name

Marketing your Website to the Search Engines

List of Best and Worst practices for designing a high traffic website

Here is a checklist of the factors that affect your rankings with Google, MSN, Yahoo! and the other search engines. The list contains positive, negative and neutral factors because all of them exist. Most of the factors in the checklist apply mainly to Google and partially to MSN, Yahoo! and all the other search engines of lesser importance.

This checklist is the most comprehensive one that I've seen. Yet it is written in a format that is easy to scan and simple to understand.

As I continue to learn more about improving my own websites I will post some of the best gems that I discover on this blog for you.

George Torok

Marketing Speaker

Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing

Friday, March 14, 2008

Code Talkers

Code Talkers - Deceivers

Have you noticed that some (many) companies talk in code?

They say things that make you shake your head and think - "What the hell was that about?"

Why do you think those companies do that?

My theory is that they belong to one of the following three categories:

1. They don't know any better. They are just plain ignorant. (But could be educated)

2. They are deceitful and greedy. They say things they don't mean because they want the sale. (At least you know where they stand.)

3. Combination. They don't know and don't care. (This is the worst type.)

Here is an good example of code talking. I found this text on a website. The name of the company has been changed to XXX. Go ahead and read this statement and then decide how you feel.

Do you understand what they do?
Do you want to join them?
Would you recommend this company to your best friend?


XXX is committed to becoming the largest Distributor based company in the world. Our emphasis is on being a responsible, innovative business partner providing real wholesale value on each product we sell and at the same time offer an up front income opportunity that far exceeds the conventional methods. We believe ultimately that this new Wave in the ever developing world of network marketing is the future and our commitment is to continue to stay light years ahead of any of the followers.

So what the hell does that mean?

What did they promise?

What can you count on?

And how many "light years"?

Yep - people and companies do say stupid things.

George Torok

Power Marketing Tips

Marketing Speaker

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Website Marketing - Directories

Website Directories

Of course you want the search engines to find your website. You can submit your website to the search engines which simply invites the search bots to visit and crawl your site. Search engines are automated with little human interface. Theoretically the bots are constantly crawling the Internet and will eventually find every website. But who can wait? So submit your "invitation to crawl" to search engines.

Web directories are a different animal. They will never find you because they will never look for you. You need find them, knock on their door and sign their guest book. They will eventually read your entry in their guest book and might list you in their directory. There are both paid and free directories and many do both. You pay to get listed faster and more prominently. In most cases a real live human will review your entry before they list it. It is not near as automated as the search engines. Some say that the human element ensures that the listings are more relevant.

A directory listing does something important that the search engines do not - the directory listing is a permanent (subject to delisting) link to your site. And remember the search engines like your site if there are a lot of incoming links.

So for that reason you should submit your site to the search engines and list it in the directories.

Where can you find directories?

The Open Directory Project seems to be the best directory in which to list and it is free so that is the first directory in which to list. Plus many other directories use the results from DMOZ - including the Google Directory. You just need to look through the directory to find the best category for your site. Invest a little time to get this one right. It is worth the effort.

Yahoo Directory
Yahoo was originally a directory before Google convinced them to get in the search engine business. Then Yahoo bought Overture to have a search engine. The Yahoo directory costs $299 a year to be listed. Perhaps at one time it was worth it - today I don't think so. I'm sure that more people search on the Yahoo search engine than the Yahoo Directory.

There seem to be thousands of directories. I believe it that is worth while being listed in some of them. I suggest that getting your website listed in the first half dozen directories is a primary priority. After that - add your website to directory listings over time when you have the time.

Here is a helpful resource to find more directories:

SEO Company
This company is in the business of SEO and they have compiled a comprehensive list of hundreds of directories including helpful information such as directory page rank.

George Torok

Power Marketing

Marketing Speaker

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Marketing Principles: Funeral Wants

Marketing principles: Funeral Wants

People buy what they want not what they need.

That is an important and powerful marketing principle. Yet it is one that many entrepreneurs get wrong because they are too busy deluding themselves with the myth of needs.

The marketing myth is that you should find a need and fill it. That is a delusion. Instead you should focus on wants.

People don’t buy what they need.

I have some clients in the funeral business. This business is a good example of one built on wants not needs. Who really needs anything that the funeral business offers? Yet they are a vital service – because people want what they offer.

I remember when my grandfather died. My dad and I visited the funeral to make arrangements. As we examined the caskets in the basement display-room my dad commented to me, “Well he didn’t have much when he lived so we might as well do something nice for him now.” Nice meant expensive funeral. Tell me the logic in that. What does that have to do with needs.

Wow – that statement floored me. My grandfather never had a real vacation in his life. Vacation for him meant travelling to the "old country" to visit relatives and deliver gifts. He came to Canada at the age of 48 after the second world war with nothing. He lost everything he owned in the war. He established a new life in the new world with his wife and son. He learned a new language. He worked in Canada as an unskilled labourer. He owned his own house. He died at age 79 without debt. He was an honest man who never complained.

And when he died my dad, his son, thought that he deserved a "nice" funeral.

The cost of a funeral is reported to be the third largest expenditure for the average person. The first two are house and car. The average cost of a funeral in North America is between $7,000 to $12,000. However that might be leaving some things out.

It can go much higher. The costs for a funeral might include the funeral home, cemetery, ceremony, printed materials, entertainment, hospitality and grave stone.

If you select cremation, the least expensive option, you still need to consider an urn, (cost $500 – $3,000) and maybe a storage niche.

The purpose of this article is not to question the need for the funeral service. I have clients and friends in the business. And I respect what they do. The purpose of this article is to point out to business owners that you should not depend on “need” to fuel your business. Instead focus on want and how you can market to the wants of your clients. Wants have more to to with emotional needs than real needs.

George Torok

Marketing Speaker

Marketing Consultant

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Submit to Search Engines

Here is a free and simple tool to submit your website to about a dozen of the main search engines. I've used it for some of my websites.

It's free and easy to use.

George Torok

February is Gone

February is a Funny Month for Marketing

We made it through February again. On a personal level it can be a strange month. In the northern hemisphere winter usually rebounds after some “warm” days in January. We get fooled into thinking spring is close.

On a business level we are into the second month of our business plan. We might be wondering what the New Year will look like. It’s early in the year so we might be both optimistic and uncertain.

From a marketing standpoint we are well past the Christmas crush, the New Year’s specials and the Super Bowl celebration.

A ton of money has been spent in the last two months and most folks are just hyped out.

So February seems to sneak by most marketers. February 2, Ground Hog day gets little attention. Valentines Day is a surge for flowers and lingerie. Presidents’ Day in the USA gets some attention. The newly established “Family Day” in Ontario, Canada attracted more whine then celebration. And Leap Day was almost unnoticed – except for those born on February 29.

Yep – it’s hard to get excited about February. No problem – it’s gone.

Say hello to March!

Now March is more promising. Snow is melting,. Easter is immanent and spring is just around the corner. Schools are celebrating with March break. St. Patrick’s Day is becoming with green beer. The Ides of March bring out the Shakespeare scholar wannabes.

And of course if March doesn’t work out there is always April.

Seize the month!

George Torok
Power Marketing