How to Get Free Advertising in the Yellow Pages

I actually stumbled across this technique completely by accident when searching for a home cleaner in the Yellow Pages. There was a large full page display Ad and when I called it, the phone number had been disconnected.

At first I thought I had called the wrong number. Then, when I called it again (double-checking of course to make sure I had the right number), all I got was the “beep-beep-beep” sound that confirmed that the number had been disconnected.

I was amazed to say the least. Here, a company had spent $30k to place a full page Ad, only to have the number misprinted? Surely it was an error. So – I did a little digging out of curiosity only to find the cleaning company had gone out of business.

Bingo.

I couldn’t believe my luck. That particular edition of the Yellow Pages still had six months to run, and surely there were going to be plenty of people calling that number. So – I immediately contacted the phone company and bought the number.

Two weeks later, I created a joint venture with another cleaning company and took 20% of the resulting sales. All we did was set up a separate phone line to handle these new inquiries so we could track the results. Not only did we get new business, we also had repeat customers of the bankrupt business calling and we managed to get over 50% of these people to do business with us.

Talk about easy money!

Now, of course not many businesses who place full page Ads (or even half page Ads) will go bust throughout the year. However, if you look long enough you will find 1 or 2. A more systematic approach is to subscribe to an insolvency site that publishes new bankruptcies. When you are notified of a company gone bust, you can then check if they have an Ad in the Yellow Pages first, then buy the number once it’s disconnected. In my experience the phone number is almost never sold when a small or medium sized business is put in liquidation.

Also, there are lots of unpaid listings in the Yellow Pages that get disconnected or no longer apply to that business. The reasons vary, but usually the smaller businesses are operated out of home and when the owner moves or sells his or her business the number sometimes doesn’t get changed over.

Of course, there’s nowhere near the same amount of value in unpaid listings but they do still work. Otherwise they wouldn’t be there. My advice – don’t pay more than $50 for phone numbers that are in unpaid listings. –Marcus Maclean

If You Own a Service Business, Forget Advertising

Strangely enough, almost every business out there at some point in time will turn away potential customers, despite the fact they’ve paid thousands of dollars in advertising to get that customer to call. The reasons why businesses do this varies, but in the service industry, most of the time they’re just too busy, or their service is too expensive.

This true fact creates an amazing opportunity to quickly, cheaply and effectively increase sales by simply taking the business your competitor doesn’t want or need or can’t cope with.

There are two ways to do it.

ONE: When your competitor has so much demand they literally cannot keep up, you could offer to do the jobs they can’t do (for lack of resources or labor) and pay them a referral fee. For example, a panel beater might be fully booked up for the month but a customer needs a job done urgently. Rather than kissing the sale good bye, your competitor might as well give you the job and take a cut.

In my experience, many owners don’t like this idea for the simple reason that their name is on the line. After all, if a customer comes to THEM and they point them in the direction of a competitor who botches the job up, it’s THEIR name that suffers.

So, it’s important when you approach a competitor that you are confident in the quality of your service and you have a track record to prove it.

TWO: Almost ALL service businesses will refuse jobs from time to time because a customer is haggling them on price. In my experience, I have NEVER come across a business that doesn’t deal with the dreaded price shopper.

If you do offer a lower-cost service than your competitor, and you’re willing to deal with these types of customers if only to get the sale, you could offer to have them refer their price shoppers to you.

A word of warning though. I would only use this method in slow periods when you really need the money. Or if you are able to offer a lower-cost service and still make good margins. The only one fatal flaw in this technique is that you’ll often attract the annoying customers who complain and never pay on time. But if you need the money – it’s worth it. — Marcus Maclean

Article Marketing Blog Help

Article marketing is said to be a great way to generate money online in this day and age. It is actually being used by authors to promote their books or ebooks as well as it is also being used by businessmen in marketing their products and services. But don’t you know that you can also use article marketing even if you are not a certified author or businessman? You simply have to come up with good quality article contents which you need to post on your own website or weblog. As a matter of fact, one of the best ways to be a successful article marketer is by being aware on how to do the article marketing blog.

A blog is actually a web page or site which can serve as your personal journal wherein you can write anything and everything that you want. You can write your personal views and opinions about some things which can be of great help to other people. In point of fact, you can create your own blog and use it for article marketing purposes and gain extra cash eventually. You only need to make sure to arm yourself with some of the basic article marketing blog tips. The following are some blog help tips which you can consider to be successful in the realm of article marketing:

• Place your blog on a main website. This is essential in order to easily acquire more web visitors. You can actually choose a keyword or keyword phrases that would best describe your page and make your chosen keywords to be your blog’s title. You also have to see to it to create a URL for your own blog site.

• Link your blog to all of your articles. This is important in order to acquire greater traffic. All you need to do is to include your blog’s URL to all of your written articles. Furthermore, you should make sure not to publish your articles instantly on your blog. You only have to write on your blog some little explanations or remarks regarding your articles, its purpose, as well as its basis and link it directly to your original website.

• Do the link exchanging. Exchanging links works in a way wherein you are going to include on your blog the lists of online article directories, sites, newsletters, or even other blog sites which publish your articles. This is in fact another way on how to generate web visitors and traffics through other useful sites.

• Put a comment box on your weblog page. This is somewhat helpful in order for you to be aware on how people respond to all your written articles either on your blog site itself or to your original website. You need to accept all kinds of comments whether good or bad and consider all those comments when it comes to improving your blog, website, and articles to attain success in the realm of article marketing.

Indeed, you can use a blog in order to do article marketing and gain instant cash. You only have to keep the aforementioned article marketing blog tips in mind in order to ensure success in the long run. After all, the tips mentioned above are believed to be truly helpful and can be done without much effort at all.

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Should You Guest Blog?

Plan and simple, yes you want to guest blog, but you want to be picky about the sites you are guest blogging on. I say this because you want to make sure your blogging on a site that is actually going to help you get target traffic to your site. You don’t want to waste time and energy creating a blog post on say SEO (which is your specialty) on a blog that is dedicated to preserving Barbie. The point of guest blogging is that it is a win win for the webmaster and the guest blogger.

I am sure that you are not really interested in what guest blogging does for the webmaster at this point. You want to know what it is in it for you. That is the focus on this post. So here we go, the first benefit of guest blogging is that you get instant exposure to your blog. Let’s say that you just launched a new site that you are really excited about and you know offers great benefit to visitors. You want traffic now, not in a few weeks or months. Find an authority site or other site that is reputable in your niche, contact the webmaster and offer to guest blog for them. You blog post will offer informative content and a plug about you and your website.

The second benefit is that exposure you gain. If you don’t have a business that you are trying to promote, but skills you want to offer to hire… guest blogging can help you there as well. When you guest blog on a site, as I said above, you get to do a little blurb about you and what you do, and from there you can direct people to a place where they can learn more about you.

The third benefit and reason as to why you should try to guest blog is that you get a link back to your blog. We have talked in the past about how important back linking is. This is a great way to increase your rankings with links from reputable sites.

Notice that I have mentioned reputable sites. You want to look for sites that have a good ranking, because you know that they are getting traffic. You also know that they are getting crawled by the spiders on a routine basis and that what they say on that website is trusted by people in the niche you are addressing. You don’t want to waste your time blogging on a site that isn’t getting more traffic then you currently are, or worse yet, they are not getting traffic at all.

There are a few rules that you need to keep in mind in regards to your posts. You want to make sure that your post fits into the category of blog you are posting on. Remember, Barbie isn’t going to care much on how to SEO optimize. The blog post that you create must be original and unique. You can’t post an article that you wrote and posted elsewhere.

Also, we are talking about your reputation so you really want to post only articles that you have written. If you are going to farm out the blog posts writing then make sure that you have proofed what is said in the article. The last thing in the world you want to do is make yourself look bad or the website you are guest blogging on.

Finally, when you guest blog if you are going to use a link in your post, it must be a link that is related to the website you are writing for. You should NOT use your own affiliate links. This is just poor taste and not only will the webmaster kick you to the curb, it will get around in the industry that “type” of person you are and you will have a hard time getting another guest blogging spot.

Neil Bartlett is the founder of MyIMCoach.com. My IM Coach provides aspiring Internet Marketers with Tips and Techniques for getting started and/or improving their marketing skills. To learn more INSTANTLY grab his FREE report “How To Make It Online”

Free Marketing and Free Advertising For Your Business

We all know that marketing and advertising is essential if one wishes to build a successful business. No matter how great your product is or how fantastic your company is, if no one knows what you are or what service you can provide then you are effectively invisible. So once you have your business you need to tell the world about it and this is where your marketing and advertising comes in.

Now before you rush out to spend a fortune on marketing firms let us look at some very simple and free ways to promote your business. This will of course assume that you have a company website. If you do not then you should design one or have one designed for you. These methods may sound simple and they may sound incredibly obvious yet they are tools that can increase traffic to your company website and can draw much needed attention to a particular product that you are trying to promote.

1) Articles

Sounds simple enough yet article writing is an often overlooked form of advertising. It is great for highlighting a particular product or service. Obviously the main body of the article would feature the service being offered and would list all the reasons why this service is essential and why this service can be best provided by your business. The article would also contain links to the particular page on your site that features this service or product. The beauty of the article is that you will on most occasions be allowed to provide links to your business within the author’s biography box at the end of the article. Once your article has been written you can then submit it to online article sites and to article directories. Traffic to your company website can be generated by this form of advertising and your monthly visitors will increase as you add more articles.

2) Forums

Forums are great at generating traffic. However, this must be approached correctly or you will loose much needed credibility as soon as readers think you are a “spammer”. There is nothing worse than seeing an endless stream of one line postings promoting a business idea. No matter how good the offer may be or how genuine, people will switch off. A site such as Yahoo Answers can be invaluable. You will look for a relevant question and give a good answer. Only then will you throw in a link to your website. Again just posting something like “click here for a good business solution” will provide no immediate help and will turn visitors away. However, if you present a good answer that provides real time solutions you can then add your link from a “to find out more…” perspective. Your credibility will thus increase as readers see that you are offering genuine help. Again any biographical information will provide links to the company website.

3) Incoming Links

Now this is specifically geared toward generating website traffic but at the same time it can increase your company profile and credibility. Maintaining a page of business links just for the sake of it does not do much for your page rank. This is especially true if the links are irrelevant to your business. Even relevant links are not that helpful if they are there just as a reciprocal token. If possible try to gain inbound links from respectable websites such as university or other educational websites. Anything coming from a government website would be beneficial too. Again you would present yourself to the relevant organisation and give them a good reason for them to link to your company website. What would they benefit from the link and what would their visitors benefit from seeing a link to you? Try to avoid link farms for they just provide a list of irrelevant reciprocal linking that do nothing for your page ranking or your credibility. In fact they will do more harm than good.

4) Company Blog

The use of a blog is great for keeping your current customers up to date. Here you can provide latest information including new product releases or new projects that the company is starting. One must never forget the customers that you have and a company blog is a great way of keeping them in the picture and remaining loyal customers.

Here we have looked at only four possible marketing and advertising methods, yet they are four methods that can be very successful in the long run. They will also cost you nothing except perhaps the odd paid listing in a good directory.

All of this will take time to establish, however when these methods have been used for some time you will reap the benefits. Always maintain your credibility though and of course your enthusiasm and your patience.

John Hewitt is a full time freelance writer. He has worked in many fields including music, the restaurant industry, film work and as an RSPCA animal welfare officer. If you would like to see more of his articles and poetry then please visit http://www.john-hewitt.com and feel free to sign up to the RSS feed.

Finally Put an End to Procrastination

Procrastination can be the biggest reason for failure in any area of our lives. We all have within us the tools and techniques to combat negative thinking, to override old thought patterns and to rewrite who we are for a more successful and abundant life. Yet the only thing that can stop us is delay in using these tools. The same can also be said for what may seem like more mundane projects associated with work or your home life. So now is the time to start or to finish those projects and break free from the chain of procrastination.

Being a procrastinator is something that you develop in life. You were not born a procrastinator and at any time you so choose you can switch this habit around and become a productive dynamo! The first step could be an intense examination of why you procrastinate and why you have become the procrastinator that you think your are. The beginnings may perhaps be a strict childhood and your procrastination is a rebellion to those days of rules and conformity. You may have been discouraged from manifesting your ideas or perhaps you were told “that will never work, so there is no point in trying “. A lack of confidence is thus rewarded by a procrastinating nature therefore proving that “they” were right.

Of course you may have had the perfect upbringing and have been exposed to a plethora of opportunities. This then leads you to self sabotage your goals for what could be an unlimited number of reasons from lack of self worth to guilt of success. Yet instead of focusing on the problem let us take a look at a simple solution to procrastinating that I recently developed to get my article writing back on track.

Firstly create a list of jobs or activities that you have put off through procrastinating. Start off with the simplest or least time consuming and then work down from there. Your list may look like this:

1) empty my waste paper basket

2) tidy up my office drawer

3) shred my papers

4) write that letter

5) reply to my emails

6) write 2 articles

7) start my novel

You can see then that you have gone from emptying your waste paper basket to starting your novel. This is a simplified list however, it is important that you write on your list even the simplest of actions. You will then become encouraged as you draw a line through that first item and then the second. This will fuel your optimism and your sense of achievement and will start to override your tendency for procrastination. We will see physical results for your actions and subconsciously you will start to learn that you are productive and you will start to identify yourself as an achiever.

This incredibly simple method will start to rewire how you think and feel and as it becomes habit your procrastination will slip into the background until it hold no more power over you. You can do it!

John Hewitt is a full time freelance writer. I have worked in many fields including music, the restaurant industry, film work and as an RSPCA animal welfare officer. If you would like to see more of my articles and poetry then please visit http://www.john-hewitt.com and feel free to sign up to the RSS feed.

Exhibition Display Stands

Exhibition display stands play a very important role for a successful exhibition. They are available in various types, designs and styles. They are inexpensive and easy to install.

If you are taking part in an exhibition and want to promote your company’s product in best way, it is essential to choose the best marketing and advertising strategies. You need to work a lot to make your exhibition display attractive and different from the crowd of other exhibitions. Exhibition stands are the best way of creating a different atmosphere for your exhibition.

Different kinds of exhibition display stands

There are various display stands, which can be used in your exhibition to give it a different and stylish look:

  • Brochure stands are the best way of presenting your product, its services and sales message to the interested buyers. Brochures, fliers and catalogues with eye-catching colors, designs and messages are in great demand now days. Brochure stands are very reasonable and easy to use. Brochure stands are durable as they are made up of metal that withstand the rigors of exhibition.
  • Banner stands are another exhibition stands that are used in various trade shows, exhibitions and displays. Banner stands are compact and light weighted which makes them easy to install. These banner stands are available in various styles and sizes. Graphical banners are also a good way to display the products and services of your company.
  • Hanging displays is another way of attracting the customers even if they are far away from your booth. They are available in various styles and sizes. Some of the very common styles are triangular frame hanging display, circular frame hanging display and quad frame hanging display. Use of hanging displays makes a good impression on the potential customers and attracts them to visit your booth.
  • Conferences, exhibitions and presentations often prefer Pop up Stands as they come in large variety and styles. Pop up stands are dynamic solution for promoting the products of your company. They are light weighted and are available at reasonable cost.
  • Trade show truss systems provide you everything you need in a portable Truss Display, are extremely versatile, innovative, are a great value for your Trade show dollar and extremely quick and simple to set up.

Factors influencing display stands

While choosing an exhibition display stands, various factors are considered such as the size of the exhibition, re-usage of the stands and the budget. Depending on your requirements, you can choose the display stands.

What you need to have a successful exhibition

Higher efforts you make to your exhibition, higher profits you will earn. The way you present your exhibition display stand shows how creative and successful you are as a company owner. Though standing in an exhibition is not at all an easy task, but with your creative imagination, you can make your exhibition successful. You should plan about your exhibition in advance, so that you can make use of quality display stands thereby working on your advertising, marketing, and cataloging the products. This helps makes it easy for the customers to choose the best products in a hassle free way.

Thus, you must have come to know the importance of exhibition display stands and why they need to look attractive. They are the best source of increasing traffic on your booth resulting increased sales. — Fred Jafarzadeh

Graphic Display Systems

With a quality graphic display system, one can easily manage the display of goods. Get the best graphic display system and enhance your product marketing.

Need to have a sophisticated yet appealing display system

When there is a time to create an appealing and promoting graphic display system for your exhibition or trade show booths, it is imperative to have a professional, attractive and conveniently assembled and disassembled display system. Each person may be concerned with making the trade show backdrop a versatile one along with adding extraordinary and catchy graphics.

Trade shows are a great chance to exhibit different products and services offered by a business and that too in the most effective manner. The main aim of such exhibits and graphic systems is to draw the attention of various prospective customers. Displaying one’s products at an exhibition or trade show in an effective manner will definitely help to generate various new leads. Therefore, it is highly imperative to ensure that the display systems added are of high quality graphics and other appealing messages.

Displaying one’s products through graphic display system can also contribute in reconnecting with the old customers along with getting a new customer line at the very same instance. The color scheme and type of the products highlighted on the display systems along with the nature of business play a vital role in the overall designing of the exhibits at a trade show. There are various modular graphic systems also available that helps in acting as a stand-alone banner for displaying various products and services of a company thereby establishing the uniqueness.

Excellent graphics to be added in display systems

Well-designed graphic displays can be efficiently used in order to display the brand name and logo of the products. This will definitely contribute in more sales and better branding. Standard graphic displays are very famous and are generally found behind the podiums at most of the trade shows or conventions. The folding frames of such standard displays are normally made of aluminum or fiberglass tubes. The entire frame is brilliantly covered with various display and graphic panels in order to provide the visitors the best of display systems and grab all their attention. These graphical displays can be showcased in various color combinations and then laminated for complete protection.

There are printed graphic display systems as well that does not involve any extra graphical panels to be attached on the frame. These display systems are widely admired and demanded as they have the brilliant facility of creating a highly professional and sophisticated backdrop. The fabric used in such printed systems is both flexible as well as durable so that they can be conveniently folded and unfolded.

Promoting one’s business through graphic display systems

The fabric banner graphic display systems are the best low cost solutions in order to create a graphical wall, serving as the back of any trade show or exhibition space. Various messages, images and other promotional items may be added in these display systems in order to hold the interest and attention of the customers along with promoting and describing the company’s goals, motto or services. It is important to have rugged, innovative and patent designed graphic displays that are completely backed with a lifetime frame guarantee feature in order to ensure a trouble-free exhibition time.

For more information contact Capital Exhibits for all your Graphic Display Systems http://www.capitalexhibits.com or call 866-730-3746

History of the Infomercial

When television was first getting started many shows were actually created by their sponsors in order to have a medium to promote their products and services. The entertainment value of the show was secondary and the goal of selling a product or service was primary. However, the FCC eventually got involved and placed limits on how much advertising could actually take place within a television show. As a result, sponsors creating programs to advertise their products were done away with. This was not quite an infomercial, but it was certainly the pre-cursor to this type of advertising.

It is believed that the first North American infomercial occurred in the 1970s on XETV based out of San Diego. The program was a one-hour advertisement on Sundays on homes for sale in the local area. The FCC limits of 18 minutes of commercial time during a one-hour show did not apply because it was actually located in Mexico despite broadcasting its programs in English and to an American audience.

Commercial content that was highly regulated in the 1950s and 1960s found a new atmosphere in the 1980s when the Federal Communications Commission eliminated many of the regulations that had previously been in place. In 1984, infomercials truly got their beginning because there was airtime that could be used for their sole purpose. Perhaps the very first true infomercial was for the Ginsu Knife. The format was created by Barry Beecher and Edward Valenti for this very purpose.

Teleshopping, which is similar to the American infomercial, began in 1979 and became very popular in the UK during the 1980s. The television time that is frequently sold for infomercial advertising is sometimes purchased by televangelists to air their messages. Politicians buy these time frames, too.

In the beginning, infomercials most frequently were shown really late at night and very early in the morning as opposed to going off the air. However, over time stations found that airing infomercials at other times of the day could be quite profitable and now it is more common to see an infomercial during the morning, daytime, and even during early prime and prime time. Some stations do nothing more than air infomercial programming 24 hours per day.

One of the largest media buying agencies for any infomercial and DRTV spot is A. Eicoff & Co. of Chicago

Advertising and Effective Promotions

In any economy, the most important aspect of a business is their marketing mix. For small businesses and large corporations alike, it is important to get your name out and build brand equity and awareness. Although everyone is feeling the pressure of limiting expenditures, it is important to remember the old saying, “You have to spend money to make money.” You must spend, but spend wisely. It is important to continue to attend tradeshows, advertise and keep your product or service fresh on consumers’ minds. It is also essential when performing everyday business endeavors, such as sales calls, to keep watch on your brand message and alignment. To strengthen the message of your brand you must employ the basic marketing mix. Advertising and more specifically promotional items are key component to a business’ marketing mix.

Promoting new or existing products will strengthen your brand in addition to boosting sales. Promotions can also be the most cost effective way to maintain and build brand awareness. The key to promoting is to integrate the promotion with the brand identity. For this to be effective, you must work with companies that will offer unique items relevant to your product. Many companies like to leave customers or prospects with something they can keep on their desk or reuse. In this case, personalization is a key factor when choosing these leave-behind items. If it is personalized, they will continue to see your companies name and become more subconsciously familiar and aware of your brand. This familiarity will cause the consumer to become more comfortable with your product, which works in your favor for both a high impact and low impact purchase. An example of the perfect promotion comes from a local Pittsburgh bank. During the opening of 10 new branches they gave new account holders customized paint can coin banks filled with chocolate chip cookies. This was brilliant for a number of reasons. Not only was it a nice gesture for the patrons, but also after the treats are gone it will be reused. This gives the promotion holding power. The idea of a coin bank is also inline with the brand position of the savings bank.

Small inexpensive gestures that set you apart from the competition are going to leave a lasting impression on consumers. Smart marketing and advertising are important to a company’s growth. Low cost advertising tools that integrate your brand identity are the most effective way to continue to compete in any economy.

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