Join us for this concise and complimentary 20 minute webinar and learn about open source websites with built-in content management systems. These allow business users (without coding skills) to make updates and changes, add or delete video and images, add new pages or create landing pages.

Is your business (insurance agency, law firm, CPA firm, any B2B business) tired of these common website challenges?

  1. Updating your website is difficult
  2. Simple website edits become major problems
  3. Your website is not a top priority for IT
  4. Your hosting provider charges high monthly fees
  5. Website analytics and traffic are not measured
  6. Adding or deleting video or images is problematic
  7. It’s difficult to add new pages or custom landing pages

You can take control of your website, edit content, change images and even add web pages without technical assistance – its easier than you think. Open source websites with integrated content management systems can now be completely branded, allowing businesses to take control of their website, without ongoing costs.

Join us for this brief, complimentary and educational web seminar. Learn how advances in content management systems have created an opportunity for turnkey websites that are simple to edit, and easy and inexpensive to maintain.

Date & Time: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 12:00 PM – 12:25 PM EDT

To Register: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/724879105


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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, Insurance SEO, Law Firm Marketing, Virtual Business
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15 Facebook Facts – $66 Per User

  • Posted on July 17, 2012
  • by Alan Blume

As Facebook approaches the billion user mark, let’s examine some fascinating facts about the social media phenomenon.

  1. It’s estimated that Facebook will hit 1 Billion users in 2012
  2. February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched “Thefacebook”, originally located at thefacebook.com.
  3. Membership was initially restricted to students of Harvard College, and more than half the undergraduate population at Harvard registered within the first month
  4. in 2004 Napster founder Sean Parker became Facebook’s president. It received its first investment later that month from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.
  5. On October 24, 2007, Microsoft announced that it had purchased a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million, valuing Facebook at approximately $15 billion
  6. In March 2011, Facebook reportedly removes 20,000 profiles a day from their site for infractions like spam and inappropriate content
  7. About 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  8. People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  9. There are almost 1 billion objects that people interact with
  10. An average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
  11. More than 250 million people per month engage with Facebook on external websites
  12. An average of 10,000 new websites integrate with Facebook every day (since social media  plugins were made available)
  13. More than 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook
  14. There are more than 250 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices
  15. Facebook’s current Market Cap is about $66 billion (that would be about $66 per user this year).

Assuming these estimates are correct, that would place Facebook in the hands of about 1 in every 7 people globally. Facts were gathered from a variety of sources including Facebook, Wikipedia and other internet sources

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Law Firm Marketing, Soical Media Marketing, Virtual Business
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For almost a decade, I’ve enjoyed the flexibility and increased productivity of a work from home office environment, conducting all of my business virtually and efficiently. In fact, my entire team is virtually based across the US. So it came as no surprise that a recent study concurred with this sentiment, as many people now consider themselves to be more productive when working away from their traditional offices.  In a recent Puget Sound Business Journal article, Todd Bishop discussed the Microsoft Telework study, “Sixty percent of respondents to the Microsoft Telework survey – conducted among 3,600 employees in 36 cities nationwide – say they are actually more productive and efficient when working remotely,” Microsoft says today said in a summary of the findings. “With less time spent commuting and fewer cubicle ‘drive bys’ causing distractions, respondents say, more time can be spent on the task in front of them.”

Boston, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Atlanta were listed as top telecommuting cities, while Seattle didn’t even make the Top 10 list. This was a tad ironic, as Microsoft is pushing their virtual tools including many of their cloud based solutions. Notable was Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Yammer, a collaboration solution that would play well in the virtual business market. Microsoft said that only 41 percent of the companies responding  had established policies for remote working, offering a large and untapped user base for virtual tools.

While millions commute in a stressful and limited productivity environment, virtual workers begin their day with minimal effort and in many cases at their preferred and optimum starting time. This should mean less gas, less pollution, lower costs, less stress and improved productivity. For those companies and jobs which can accommodate a virtual “telework” program, sooner is better, especially with all the new cloud computing tools available today.

For more information on virtual business visit Sell More & Work Less or Your Virtual Success. For B2B Marketing visit StartMarketingTech, and for law firm web marketing visit JurisMarketing.com.

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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, emerging business, Home Office Business, Law Firm Marketing, Virtual Business
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20 Terrific Twitter Tidbits

  • Posted on July 2, 2012
  • by Alan Blume

20 Twitter Tidbits

Exponential and pervasive are two words that come to mind when thinking of Social Media in general and Twitter specifically. Take a look at some of the Twitter milestones over the last six years.

  1. Twitter was created in March 2006
  2. Twitter’s origins lie in a “day long brainstorming session” that was held by board members of the podcasting company Odeo. While sitting in a park on a children’s slide and eating Mexican food, Dorsey introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group.
  3. The first Twitter prototype was used as an internal service for Odeo employees and the full version was introduced publicly on July 15, 2006
  4. The original project code name for the service was ‘twttr‘, an idea that Williams later ascribed to Noah Glass, inspired by the name of the social media image website ‘Flickr’
  5. The team finally settled on the name ‘twitter‘, which means ‘chirps from birds’ in essence ‘a short burst of inconsequential information’
  6. In 2008 there were only 3 million registered users
  7. In Jan 2008  there were only 8 employees
  8. In 2009 there were 8 million registered users
  9. In 2011 there were over 400 employees
  10. 60% of all tweets come from third-party apps
  11. There are over 100,000 Twitter apps
  12. In March 2010 the average number of tweets people sent per week was 350 million.
  13. When Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 there were 456 tweets per second (TPS), a record at that time.
  14. The current TPS record is 6,939 tweets per second set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day
  15. There were 572,000 new accounts created in one day (March 12, 2011)
  16. There were 460,000 new accounts per day created in February, 2011
  17. In March 2011 there are an estimated 225 million users
  18. 25 billion tweets were sent on Twitter in 2010
  19. 100 million new accounts were added on Twitter in 2010
  20. The first unassisted off-Earth Twitter message was posted from the International Space Station by NASA astronaut T. J. Creamer on January 22, 2010

For more information on insurance agency digital marketing, or law firm web marketing visit StartUpSelling.com or JurisMarketing.com.

Tidbits were collected from a wide variety of sources including Twitter and Wikipedia.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency SEO, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Law Firm Marketing, Soical Media Marketing
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Varying Your Video for YouTube and Social Media Marketing

  • Posted on June 21, 2012
  • by Alan Blume

YouTube, owned by Google since 2006, boasts some truly amazing stats. According to their website, over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month. Additional notables include:

  • Over 3 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
  • 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views or around 140 views for every person on Earth

How can you optimize your content for YouTube? Strength is represented in numbers and variety. Once you have created your YouTube channel (optimizing it for your target prospects) for your organization, populate it with compelling content across multiple video mediums. For example, you can use PowerPoint Vlogs, talking head recordings (using video from your own laptop), Skype recorded videos, professionally shot and edited videos and recorded webinars. Some samples of these are below:

  1. Skype Interview: http://www.youtube.com/user/StartUpSelling?feature=watch
  2. Vlog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtkNGVvSFlk&list=UUQ7tWBf-b2PIbAppmvpJhHg&index=3&feature=plcp
  3. Production Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_HGQ6xKKN8&list=UUQ7tWBf-b2PIbAppmvpJhHg&index=6&feature=plcp

Once you’ve added videos to your YouTube channel and website, leverage these for your social media marketing campaigns. Tweet, Pin, Like, Link and push your video out to your market. Make sure your website links and call to action is prominently noted on both your channel and each video. Vary your video and vary your content. Educational videos are best, and one of the fastest growing areas of YouTube relates to “How To” videos. Whether you’re discussing how to best insure a business, how to defend lawsuits or how to ensure driver safety, video is a great way to reach your target markets. For more information on insurance agency digital marketing, or law firm web marketing visit StartUpSelling.com or JurisMarketing.com.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Law Firm Marketing, Soical Media Marketing
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Last week we spoke with an organization which invested in a “digital marketing platform”, a website based solution that theoretically addresses eMarketing, SEO, multimedia and other forms of web based marketing. So, why did this CEO want to speak with us? To roughly paraphrase them, “We have all these tools but don’t know what to do with them.” We’ve heard this story many times, from many organizations.

Last year, I wrote a blog entitled, If Someone Hands You a Scalpel, It Doesn’t Make You a Surgeon. The gist of the article was as follows: There are many powerful marketing tools now available, everything from eMarketing engines and Search Engine Optimization Tools to ePublishing and Web Seminar Software. Any of these tools can be very helpful to your business, but placed in the wrong hands, they can be of limited value or even detrimental to your success. Not long ago, a CEO mentioned to me that they were sending out tens of thousands of emails through their eMarketing “platform” and they could do so easily and inexpensively. Unfortunately, their email “blasts”, resulted in no response. This is a good example of placing the aforementioned scalpel in the hands of a layperson. Sophisticated technology in the hands of untrained (or under trained) employee is a recipe for failure, regardless of the ease of use of the application.

Before investing in a digital marketing platform or product of any type, make sure your organization has the time and skills to properly use these tools. Just because a fifteen year is able to drive a car (which is a pretty simple device to use), doesn’t mean you want them behind the wheel. You may want to think of insurance agency digital marketing, or law firm web marketing in the same way.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Law Firm Marketing
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Your Elevator Pitch And Your Web Marketing Initiatives

  • Posted on June 11, 2012
  • by Alan Blume

Question: What does your elevator pitch have to do with your web marketing?
Answer: Everything

Your elevator pitch should include your value proposition, and your web marketing initiative should synthesize these througout your website, your eCollateral, your eMarketing and your Social Media Marketing Initiatives. If you are having difficulty articulating your value proposition or elevator pitch, try this. Create a recording of yourself reciting your value proposition and elevator pitch. You can do this using PowerPoint or your laptop/tablet video. How does it sound? If it isn’t succinct (20 seconds for a value proposition and under a minute for an elevator pitch), try it again. When you think it sounds good, have a colleague listen to it – or to you performing it live (or both). When you’re satisfied that it is working, check all of the web marketing materials describ3e above, and make sure they synthesize what you’ve said, into words that your prospects can readily understand.

Insurance Agency Marketing Law Firm Marketing Marketing for Tech Firms

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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Law Firm Marketing
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Your Elevator Pitch and Value Proposition

  • Posted on May 31, 2012
  • by Alan Blume

Let’s begin with a simple definition of these terms. Wikipedia defines value proposition as follows: A value proposition consists of the sum total of benefits which a vendor promises a customer will receive in return for the customer’s payment. And it defines an elevator pitch as a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service, or organization and its value proposition. One would be expected to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes highlighting unique aspects of your service or product in a way that excites others. In other words, you should start with your value proposition, because even your elevator pitch will include your value proposition.

Some years ago, I met with the executive team and senior managers of a Silicon Valley software company. I asked each of the dozen people I met to provide me with their company’s value proposition. At the end of the day, I met with the CEO and asked him about his company’s value proposition. He was surprised to learn that I received a dozen different versions of the company’s value proportion, the majority of which were dramatically different from his iteration. This is quite common with companies, and is an important place to start. Your sales and marketing efforts are built upon a well articulated and easily repeatable value proposition. If you cannot communicate your value proposition in 30 seconds or less, or stumble when trying to express it, it’s time to write it down, rehearse it and communicate your value proposition with everyone on your team. Once that is done, turn it into an elevator pitch, about one minute in length. Practice makes perfect, try repeating both of these in monthly management meetings and sales meetings. And lastly, does your website effectively convey your value proposition? If not, it’s time to refine your site. Your website should convey your value proposition quickly and professionally, leveraging text and images.

Insurance Agency Marketing Law Firm Marketing Marketing for Tech Firms

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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, Law Firm Marketing, Virtual Business
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Websites And Your Call To Action

  • Posted on May 23, 2012
  • by Alan Blume

Websites And Your Call To Action

Congratulations, an important prospect has just arrived at your website. What would you like them to do now that they are visiting? Though there are many nuances to a website user experience, certainly a Call To Action is of primary importance. Yes, you need to ensure your website is professional, that it conveys your value proposition and that your content is current and relevant. That said, you need to optimize your chance of engaging with this prospect with a prominent, above the fold, Call To Action. Your CTA may vary based upon your business, but some examples of CTAs include:

  • Join Us For A Webinar
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter (blog, bulletin, feed, alerts, etc.)
  • Follow Us On Twitter (FB, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Watch Our Video
  • Get a Quote (Estimate, Demonstration, Presentation, Etc.)
  • See Our Solution (Short video, PPT, Recorded Webinar, Etc.)

Whatever your CTA, make sure it is prominent, highlighted, above the fold and preferably redundant. And ask yourself this simple question, when an important prospect visits our website, what do we want them to do? Once you have your answer, make it easy for the prospective client to accomplish this. I’ve visited many attractive websites that fail to accomplish this simple, but very important task.

Insurance Agency Marketing Law Firm Marketing Marketing for Tech Firms

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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, Law Firm Marketing
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Our New Websites

  • Posted on May 15, 2012
  • by Alan Blume

 

 

 

 

We’ve been so busy helping clients update their websites, that the time had come to update our own. StartUpSelling has multiple divisions, and we’re pleased to announce that all of our websites are now updated, and invite you to visit them:

StartUpSelling – Insurance Agency Marketing

StartMarketingTech – Web Marketing for Technology Companies

Juris Marketing – Law Firm Marketing, Web Marketing for Lawyers

 

 

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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Law Firm Marketing
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