Test ADWAY BULK SMS for free

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Adway SMS offers the best and the most effective bulk SMS gateway in Nigeria. You get to enjoy lots of premium features that include the following;

  1. Send bulk SMS for as low as N1
  2. Send bulk video SMS
  3. Send bulk SMS from your mobile phones
  4. Schedule SMS for future delivery.
  5. Our customer support staff are available 24/7

So, if you are planning to meet up with your marketing targets, use Adway SMS.

Our in-house specialists will guide you on how to send the right messages that attracts customers. Check out our platform on http://adwaysms.com/


Adway Video SMS is a new way to advertise your business, products or services with ease. The unique thing about this service is that it displays your message in animated videos. You can then send to thousands of your prospective customers.

Adway Video SMS is created in order to give customers an idea about your products or services. An informative movie that will certainly impress the viewers and make your products and services attractive.

Adway Video SMS is helpful for various profitable and non- profitable organizations including banks, hotels, real estates, entertainment, etc.

Adway Video SMS works with all smart phones, androids, ipads, i phones, etc.



* Used to promote products and services

* Used to highlight importance/benefits of products and services

* Used to pass vital information across to your prospects

* Can be used to guide customers on how to use your products/services.

Check out sample video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljinrolayP0


Now that you have the information about ADWAY SMS, are you ready to try it out?


  1. Register on http://www.adwaysms.com
  2. Buy SMS credits on Adway SMS
  3. Request your video to be packaged by sending a mail to info@adwaysms.com or call                  NOTE: This may attract additional charges.
  4. A link to your already packaged video is sent to you.
  5. You can now include your video link in your bulk SMS campaign.






graphic designing, Uncategorized, web designing

Why Your Temperament Matters More To Your Portfolio Than Your IQ

I often hear from many new investors who fear that they don’t have the intelligence or aptitude to make good long-term investment decisions.  They somehow have the impression that the best investment returns only go to the class valedictorian or the town heart surgeon.  It’s simply not true. temper Your temperament plays a much larger role in your ability to successfully manage an investment portfolio than your test scores or educational background does.  In fact, being too clever can be detrimental if it causes you to become overly confident and take risks that you would have otherwise avoided.

In his classic masterpiece, the 1949 edition of The Intelligent Investor, legendary portfolio manager and scholar Benjamin Graham went so far as to say, “-in the investor’s own mind and temperament – there is likely to be an urge, frequently unconscious, toward speculation, toward making money quickly and excitedly, toward participating in the moods and aberrations of the crowd.  Let us repeat, therefore, that the genuine investor in common stocks does not need a great equipment of brains and knowledge, but he does need some unusual qualities of character.”

When I help my own friends and family invest their own money, there are a few rules upon which I constantly hammer, lest they ever forget them.  These rules are much more important to good portfolio management than an ability to calculate the value of complex derivatives or do advanced pension accounting.  Learn them, and consider using some or all of them in your own life to reduce risk and give your capital a fighting chance at compounding successfully for long periods of time.

1. Never Concentrate Your Entire Net Worth In One or Two Asset Classes

Each asset class has its own advantages and disadvantages.  Disciplined portfolio management requires knowing what they are.  Stocks beat every other asset class in the long-run on an after-tax after-inflation basis, but they can fluctuate wildly in the short-term.  Bonds can provide stability if the duration is low but they can lose real purchasing power if the inflation rate increases.  Real estate produces more cash flow than the other asset classes, but can’t grow in real terms near what high quality stocks can and often require leverage, which introduces additional risks.  It is probable that, if you have at least a few hundred thousand dollars in assets on the your balance sheet, all three should be playing a role in your family’s finances.

2. Don’t Lower Your Standards for Safety and Return Just Because Values Are Hard to Find

When stocks, real estate, or bonds are overvalued, or credit quality has diminished, or other risk factors have been introduced, it can be a temptation to give up and buy something for the sake of activity.  Don’t fall for this trap.  Bubbles always inevitably pop and, in the meantime, there are always intelligent things to do.  Even Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most brilliant men to have ever lived, was sucked into the speculative frenzy that was the Dutch Tulip obsession.  Stick to your convictions.  Stick to your demands.  If you are risking your hard earned savings, you should be able to sleep at night knowing what you own, why you own it, and that you got a fair price and terms in the transaction.

3. Keep Your Costs Low So You Have More Capital To Compound

Every penny you pay in fees, commissions, spreads, and service charges such as the mutual fund expense ratio makes an enormous difference to your net worth.  A percentage point here or there may not seem like much during the journey, but because of the cumulative effect of the awesome power of compounding, it can add up to hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars in future wealth lost; cash that founds its way into the hands of bankers and Wall Street executives rather than your own family.  It’s a needless tragedy that can be avoided with a little bit of diligence.

In some situations, fees can be worth the cost.  If you have no idea what you are doing, approaching a highly regarded, conservative team of financial advisors who keep you from wiping out your capital, doing permanent damage to your net worth, is a tremendous bargain!  Typically, the absolute maximum you should be paying a portfolio management team at a private bank or wealth management firm is 2% of net assets per annum.

4. Never Buy An Asset You Can’t Explain to a Kindergartner

If you can’t explain how an asset generates cash in two or three sentences, in simple enough terms that a kindergartner can understand it, you probably shouldn’t be making the investment.  Life is full of uncertainties but, to the degree such things can be controlled, there is no reason you should be introducing them to your family’s income statement and balance sheet.  Sure, this means you might pass on some amazing opportunities once in awhile.  More often, it will keep you from losing your shirt.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett once told a story in an interview of his reaction upon reading the Enron annual report and 10k.  He said that even he, one of the most experienced and talented securities analysts on the planet, couldn’t make sense of the financial statements, which lead him to believe someone didn’t want him to understand the figures.  Even though everyone else loved the company, he passed, never buying it for himself or his firm, Berkshire Hathaway.  It’s a powerful defensive strategy that you should seek to emulate in your own life.

5. Your Turnover Should Probably Be Very Low

Your investments should not be protean. One of the major reasons was covered in a recent article I wrote that broke out the compounding advantage you can gain by thinking of deferred taxes as a sort of interest-free loan with few of the downsides of debt.

Some Final Thoughts on Portfolio Management Strategy

Though far from comprehensive, this list is a good starting place for those of you who want to do a good job protecting your funds.

For more tips, visit; http://beginnersinvest.about.com

graphic designing, Uncategorized, web designing

8 BULK SMS Marketing Tips Sure to Bring Results

SMS Marketing is about to explode (if not already). Are you already taking advantage of sending timely text messages to your customers? Well, if you are just starting out, here are 8 excellent tips that will surely bring in results.

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SMS is one of the fastest growing ways to reach out to your customers. Most text messages are read

within just minutes of being sent, because most people carry their mobile phones everywhere, so SMS is a highly effective and personal way to contact your customers. SMS messages are best kept short and sweet, which makes them the perfect format to send quick reminders, coupons and updates.

1. Don’t be childish… Avoid using ‘text lingo’

If you think that sounding like a teenager will make you seem cooler, hipper and more in the know, then you’re sorely mistaken. In fact, most of the people you’re reaching out to aren’t teenyboppers but adults with expendable cash. Unless, of course, your products and services are entirely directed at the high school set, then by all means.

For the rest of us, however, talking like a Wizkid fan doesn’t offer anything to you to gain, but everything to lose.

Sure, text lingo is today’s shorthand and it is quicker to type out. But, as a savvy professional, you have all of the time in the world to create your SMS message. You’re not communicating in real-time with your customers over text and because of that, you don’t need to chat as if you are.

2. Stick to a Single Message

With all of your other promotions running, it seems natural and almost mindless to stick in several different sales into your SMS marketing. Remember that you’re limited to 160 characters, and that, smsquite frankly, isn’t a lot of space to write.

Keep your focus on one message at a time. Not only are you using every character available to get across what you’re pushing, you’re also not confusing your subscribers with multiple messages.

3. Time Your SMS Correctly

The beauty with text message marketing is that there isn’t much of a delay from when your message is sent and it’s opened by your subscriber. As a rule, text messages are opened faster than emails. Perhaps it’s due to the incredibly personal way of communicating: you’re message is in their pocket or purse.

Look to the time and day that your customers are most active with your SMS.

Though each business is different, in general, most people are more inclined to act on marketing messages later in the afternoon towards evening and often on the weekends.

So, send your messages at the top three days and times and watch your conversions soar.

4. Make it Easy for Customers to Purchase

It’s important that with any marketing strategy – especially, SMS – that cashing in your promotions is quick and painless.

If you make your customers jump through hoops to get their 20% discount, they’ll just as soon turn it down instead of using it.

A note about promotional codes: ensure that they’re easy to remember. For example, SHOE20 is far easier to remember than SHOE4892034, especially if the discount is 20% off their next purchase of shoes.

5. Link to Your Other Promotions

As long as your message remains shorter than the 160-character maximum, you’ll be able to link to your online life. But, don’t over do it because you’ll waste valuable space on the other end.

So, the best thing to do is offer links that are relevant to your promotional message. Further, set up a directed landing page that offers more information regarding your deal as well as additional links to your main website and social media pages.

6. Start Your Message with “Action” Words

Action words are nothing more than verbs, and starting off sentences with verbs makes for more lively prose and cuts to the chase faster. Verbs save precious character space by replacing a whole bunch of unnecessary words. Also, verbs inspire action on the part of the customer.

Consider these action words to start your message with: buy, sell, jump, run, save, spend, purchase, stop.

Whatever action you want your customers to take, start your message with that.

7. Write Short Sentences

By nature, text marketing doesn’t support long and winded descriptions of your promotions, products and services. You only have 160-characters to get in, get out and get it right.

If you tend to write nicely worded sentences, then try breaking them a part.

Short sentences do many things for your text messages. First, they give your subscribers plenty of space to forward your message to their friends and include a personal message of their own. Second, short sentences force you to get to the point quickly and efficiently. Third, writing short sentences actually improves the way you write.

8. Use “Sentence Case”

Writing in sentence case is like not writing in text lingo. They essentially go hand-in-hand. Why?

Typically, with text lingo, CAPITALIZATION comes along for the ride (think “UR”). There is a special place for capitalization in text message marketing, namely to highlight an action like a SALE. But, using capitalization throughout your message is poor form. Its exceedingly hard to read on a small screen.

Incase you are looking for the best platform to send bulk SMS and get results, try; http://adwaysms.com/



graphic designing, Uncategorized, web designing

18 Internet Business Ideas To Make Money Online

Starting up a business is by no means an easy task. If you want to learn how to make money online, you need to have good business ideas, but you also need a great marketing plan. The good news is with a domain and hosting, alongside some basic skills, your ideas can become a reality. Each of the internet business ideas below are competitive niches, so make sure you go in with all guns blazing!

1. Become an affiliate

Learning how to earn money online as an affiliate isn’t easy. But there are lots of people worldwide that are making over $1,000,000 a year doing it. Most will not be a successful unless they have some formal help and training. Affiliate stores are web stores where people purchase items on a site, but through a third party.

Amazon is one of the most popular affiliate programs in the world, but it really shouldn’t be considering the commissions are so low! It’s not just Amazon that you can affiliate with; there are 1,000 affiliate programs to choose from. Although Amazon can be lucrative, there are some much better options out there, allowing affiliates to earn up to 75% commission in some cases! Work in your own time

  • Build multiple sites
  • Work in your own time
  • Focus on product niches that you have an interest in!


Affilorama is a great resource for anyone looking at starting their journey in affiliate marketing. The email marketer’s best friend is their email list; you have to have an email list! I use Aweber to collect subscribers.

2. Start an ecommerce store

At the forefront of the internet revolution has been ecommerce stores. Nowadays you can get an easy to use, fully functional ecommerce store design for as little as £500; then you just need a domain and hosting. Of course, how much you profit depends on your methods and effectiveness of marketing which might include:

  • Print media
  • PPC (pay-per-click)
  • SEO (search engine optimisation)
  • Networking
  • Event sponsorship
  • The list goes on…!

SaleHoo is a great resource when it comes to finding suppliers and learning how to sell online!

Example – Zappos

You might not have even heard of Zappos, an online shoe store. Well, that goes to show how big the internet really is and how big your online business could be. Maybe it might even come to close to the acquisition of Zappos by Amazon for a reported $900,000,000.

3. Earn Cash From Blogging

Starting a blog isn’t as hard as you think. All you need is hosting and a domain. To make money online from a blog you need to gain large amounts of traffic from a specific niche. See how I do it here. You can earn cash using:

  • AdSense
  • Selling banner advertisements
  • Affiliating to sites such as Amazon & eBay (see #2)
  • Offer premium services or member areas

Example – TechCrunch

TechCrunch is a popular Web 2.0 blog and makes a reported $200,000 per month. Originally started by Michael Arrington, it was eventually acquired by AOL for a reported $25,000,000. There is money to be made by blogging and it’s cheap one of the cheap and easy home based businesses to get started with.

4. Sell on eBay

Selling on eBay successfully is not easy. You need to be able to able to target a niche where the profit margins are high and competition is low. If you pick the right product (particularly unbranded products) you have a chance to import items and make huge profit margins. SaleHoo is awesome for finding suppliers.

Example – Linda’s Stuff

There are some extremely large sellers on eBay. Take “Linda’s Stuff” as an example, with around 150,000 items online and nearly 350,000 confirmed sales.

5. Train and mentor

Perhaps you have a specific skill set that you could teach. There are hundreds of skills that can be taught over the internet, especially due to the fact that services like Skype are free.

You might have to offer a free service now and build a freemium model (offer free accounts with limited features, then charge for upgrades) for the future in order to make some large amounts of cash. It’s one of the good business ideas for those with extensive amounts of knowledge. You could:

      • Teach a language
      • Offer marketing training
      • Help improve writing skills
      • And more!

Example – Code Academy

Although it is only in the early stages Code Academy is going to be one of those online training centres that really stands out from the crowd. More than one investor has seen the potential that is has with the Academy getting over $12.5m in investment within the first 12 months, including investments from Richard Branson and Yuri Milner.

6. Become a drop shipper

Drop shipping is fairly similar to running an affiliate store. You act as the mediator without ever touching the product. The difference between a drop shipper and affiliate is that the sale with drop shipping websites is not completely managed. You might have to set up systems to automatically make a purchase with your drop shipping company, in order for it to be sent directly to the end consumer.

Example – iPhoneStore

There was a sale confirmed on Flippa a few years ago for iPhoneStore.com. It was producing nearly $30,000 in revenue every month and sold for $90,000.

7. Paid blogging

With over 350,000,000 websites on the internet, there is a huge demand for content. If you have experience or skills relating to writing, offering a blog posting service could be for you. Lower paid projects might start at around £1 per 100 words, with quality focused projects being in the £2.50-10 per 100 words range. Sites like People Per Hour and Elance are great for picking up paid writing gigs, without actually having a website.

8. Become a virtual assistant

A virtual assistant is a great job to have if you want flexibility. You’ll be able to maintain multiple clients at once which mean you can easily fill gaps in your week or work overtime if you need to. A virtual assistant will generally charge £15-20 depending on the specifics of their job role. Expect to be assisting with tasks such as blogger outreach, product listings, research and responding to emails.

Example – HM Virtual Assistant

Check out the story of a Mother that managed to fit her work around being a parent here.

9. Offer web design

Nearly every company is now looking to build a website. In fact, even those companies that have a website are looking to make sure that theirs looks bigger and better than the competition. You can learn how to earn money from home with practically no investment and this is certainly one of the best business ideas for someone wanting huge amounts of flexibility.

You can learn the basics of coding on CodeAcademy and do specific online web design courses to build up your skill set. Sign up to freelance sites such as People Per Hour and start building up your portfolio! This portfolio might even lead you into a high paid job!

Example – City College Brighton

Many of the students from City College Brighton have gone on to be successful freelance web designers, and you could do the same!

10. Deal in domains

You’ve heard of antique dealers and even car dealers, but what about dealing in domains? Domains are internet real estate and like real estate they could be considered as an investment. Don’t just buy any domains, spread your risk with a portfolio and make sure you hold out for the highest price possible.

Learning how to connect with the end consumer, rather than other domain dealers, will enable you to get the highest price possible for your domains.

Example – Domaining.com

If you are not familiar with some of the prices that domains have been sold for, then the all time list here is worth looking out. Checkout hotels.com, which went for $9,500,000! One of the highest domain sales back in 2012 was silver.com which sold for $875,000.

11. Outsource

How about setting up a business that focuses on outsourcing? Most successful service providers on the internet find that they need external help at some point. They might have a blogging client that requires logo design. They might have a guest posting service client that needs web design . Instead of actually providing the services personally, you could outsource and take a profit margin of your choice! Make sure you learn how to outsource first!

Example – Copify.com

Copify is an example of a company that uses outsourcing. They source writers and they source clients. They connect the dots to create an online business deal and take their profit margin.

12. Trade currencies

Every day, there is a huge fluctuation in FX markets. If you have a combination of technical and fundamental analytical skills and some cash flow, you can become an online currency trader. Places like www.forexfactory.com are great for learning the basics. Remember, this is leveraged cash, so if you make the right decisions, you have a chance to profit big! At the same time, the risks can be high if you don’t have a money management strategy in place.

Example – Bill Lipschutz

Bill Lipschutz is considered to be one of the best FX investors of all time.

13. Build apps

Again, CodeAcademy will give you good grounding in coding languages. Expect to train for 12 months before being able to build apps that are going to achieve lots of sales. There are a few options when it comes to building apps…

      • Bespoke basis for clients
      • Sell based on a fixed fee (multiple licenses)
      • Charge a monthly fee

Example – Summly

Looking to hit the jackpot? Checkout this recent acquisition by Yahoo! to buyout Summly for $30,000,000…from a 17 year old!

14. Offer telemarketing

Telemarketing services are great for appointment setting as well as creating warm leads. More and more companies are looking to outsource their marketing efforts and this is where you could fit in. Telemarketers charge £15-30 per hour depending on the size and type of operation.

Example – DM Concepts

DM Concepts is a telemarketing company that has managed to achieve some fantastic statistics. The higher quality the service you offer, the more you are going to be able to charge!

15. Create videos

UK spend on online video has seen 13.5% year on year growth, and now exceeds spend on TV advertising.  (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) Hundreds of statistics like this have meant that businesses have to produce videos. Well, they don’t have to, but if they don’t, they are going to be missing out. Video platforms are just another avenue to acquire potential consumers. You can offer video packages from £50-5,000 and beyond. Select your target market and market to them effectively.

Example – Old Spice

If you can couple video production with the ability to be creative, you can make videos go viral. If you can do that, your £500 video is going to be worth £5,000 or even £50,000 to a client. Checkout the results from the Old Spice video campaign!

16. Manage social media profiles

Social media is an important part of any online business. The problem? Time! Most business owners simply don’t have the time to be involved with Twitter, LinkedIn, Face Book and other sites, in a pro-active way. That is where you can help.

If you can engage clients and build up attractive social media profiles, then you will be able to attract clients, which makes this a service with value. Again, these projects are posted on freelance sites such as People Per Hour and Elance on a regular basis, so you can start building up clients straight away! Check out these amazing statistics for LinkedIn!

Example – Clorox Bleach

If you can consistently provide companies with successful social media campaigns and improve their profiles, they will pay. Clorox Bleach had some huge success with one of their recent social media campaigns.  

17. Create valuable resources

The sites that hold the most value on the web hold the most valuable content. Face Book holds information about what hundreds of millions of users. YouTube possess millions of funny, educational and controversial videos. If you can create a website that focuses on offering valuable resources, then you just might be onto a winner.

Remember, you can offer the freemium model mentioned previously if there is no scope to achieve high advertising revenue. You could even be teaching others how to make money online, while doing exactly the same thing for yourself!

Example – Shopify

Shopify is a great example of the freemium model. By offering some applications for free, they get exposure for their whole business. Since the company was founded in 2004, they have acquired 30,000 customers, including Pixar and the Foo Fighters. Their revolutionary “build-a-business” competitions in the past have produced over $70,000,000 in revenue for over 14,000 entrants.

18. Translate

There are over 300,000 translators in the world for a reason; they are needed. In a world where more and more companies are using outsourcing, those that speak other languages are indispensable. Whether you are negotiating deals for an import-export agent or replying to company emails, there is work out there.

There are opportunities to work part time with small companies by networking on freelance sites, or to set up professional translation services using remote call centres and Skype.

Example – Cloudwords

Cloudwords is one of the many companies that is taking advantage of the $30billion that is spent worldwide on translation related products or services.This is one of the more complex work from home ideas out there, simply because from day 1, it’s likely clients will be small to medium sized businesses trying to negotiate deals abroad. The market it is there, now you just need to find your niche.


graphic designing, Uncategorized, web designing

How to Make a Video Ad that Converts by Tim Parker

If you aren’t using videos to advertise your business, you’re missing out. Besides looking at pictures of cats, most people spend a significant portion of their internet time watching videos. Learn how videos can be an affordable and effective way to market your business.

how to make a video ad
Image source: Graphicstock.com

The stats are in and they prove what you might already see—if you want to make a standout impression, do it with video. According to the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report for 2013 ad revenue for the year totaled $42.8 billion. Internet advertising was $12.1 billion of the total in the fourth quarter—an increase of 14% from the third quarter and up 17% from the fourth quarter of 2012.

Internet advertising is exploding. If you’re not using digital marketing as part of your strategy, you’re missing out on a huge and growing market.

Internet search revenue made up 43% of all digital advertising revenue but that was 3% lower than in 2012. Display advertising, advertising seen on websites, represented 30% of the total—an increase of 7%. Within the display advertising category is digital video. Making up 7% of the category, it became the fourth largest format in total digital revenue last year.

But it doesn’t take a bunch of stats and high-priced studies to prove the point. If you have a school-aged child, ask them what they and their friends do on their phones for content consumption. The answer is likely, video. Pursue your Facebook newsfeed and count how many videos you see. There’s no denying that digital video is growing and you need to be there.

RELATED: How to Grab Your Audience’s Attention with Video

It’s WAY Too Expensive

Not true. Who has the time or money to put together a video when there are so many other things to do? There’s no denying that it’s either going to take time, money or both to make this happen but what if you saw a better return on your time and money with one video than you did with a dozen text or print ads? Although it will take money, it’s not as expensive as you might think.

With that in mind, let’s lay out what a good video looks like.

1. It has to be entertaining- It doesn’t need to be the next Hollywood blockbuster but if people aren’t entertained, you won’t accomplish your goals.

2. Would people watch it again and share it with others?

3. Does it solve a problem? Is there a problem your business is trying to solve for its customers? That’s what your video should do.

4. Does it flow well? The beginning is the headline or the hook—the reason people should keep watching. The middle is the meat—the main content, and the end is where you make the sale.

5. Does it have a call to action? The “end” of the video is the call to action. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re moving in for the hard sell. It could be asking the viewer to subscribe to an e-mail list, donate to a cause, or even nothing other than introducing them to your brand.

The Value-Priced Video

If you don’t know anything about producing a video, you might want to hire somebody but there are plenty of hobbyists who could help for low cost. If you do it yourself, here’s how to do it.

1. Use quality equipment. Believe it or not, a newer mobile phone will work just fine. That old VHS camcorder? Don’t wipe the dust off of it for this project.

2. Do it outside. The secret to a great video is light—a lot of light. There’s no better way to find a lot of light than by heading outside. Watch for shadows (a bad thing) but other than that, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re outside.

3. Use a simple background. No need to get all artsy. Simple, solid colors. No patterns, moving shapes, or anything fancy.

4. No cool effects. Video editing software has all kinds of bells and whistles for you to try. Just say no. Keep it simple.

5. Simple edits. Try to film the video straight through without having to stop and start. That will keep the editing process to a minimum. The more you have to cut and paste, the worse your first couple of videos will turn out.

6. Keep it short. For the web, videos under 3 minutes are ideal. Every rule has its exceptions so feel free to experiment but on the web, everybody has a short attention span.

7. Compress your video. Video editing software has all kinds of options you can choose for the format of your video. Use mp4 with the H.264 setting if available. Click here to learn more about video formats.

RELATED: Video Marketing Mistakes That Cost You Sales

Speaking of video editing software

There are a lot of options available but one of best at a low price is Adobe Premiere Elements. This is a stripped down version of Adobe Premeire, the package used by many of the biggest movie studios. Starting at $79.99, this is the perfect package for beginners and later, if you decide to upgrade to the professional version, you’ll already know the basics.

Bottom Line

Video is growing fast. If you aren’t using it as part of your marketing efforts, it’s time to start. A professional-quality video will cost you but with all of the tools now available for a reasonable price, you, or somebody you know, can probably put a video together for a minimal cost. Head over to YouTube and look at some of the videos there. Then—copy their format.

graphic designing, Uncategorized, web designing

11 MONSTROUS Small Business Marketing Mistakes and How To Avoid Them by Susan Carter

Marketing is an important, and often expensive, part of keeping your business alive and thriving. Be sure you aren’t wasting time and money on any of these 11 small business marketing mistakes.

confused cartoon monster
Image source: BigStockPhoto.com

Small business owners and self-employed professionals can increase marketing success by avoiding these business-sabotaging errors.


MONSTROUS Marketing Mistake Number 1: Sinking a Fortune Into an Unproven Product

Is your business idea built on market research or a hunch?

Entrepreneurs often fall in love with their products or services before they determine if there’s a real market, and they throw fistfuls of money into the venture. If you, your spouse, your uncle, and your neighbor think you’ve got a winning idea, that’s simply not enough qualified input to run to the bank and drain your savings account!

Avoid this mistake by:

  • Conducting your detective work (research).
  • Testing your business idea with the real marketplace.

MONSTROUS Marketing Mistake Number 2: Believing That “If You Build It, They Will Come”

Do you think you have a product or service that will practically sell itself?

Trust me – you don’t.

There is a misconception among small business owners that, with the right product or service, your customers will simply “find” you when you open your doors for business. Whether you have a marketphysical storefront on a corner lot in the busiest part of downtown, or a graphically pleasing online storefront offering easy access to your hot products and services, your customers will not find you if you do not market to them.

The day you open for business is the day you put on your “marketer’s hat” and never take it off. You must consistently move product, or schedule service time.

To stay in business you must profit.

To profit you must sell.

To sell you must market.

The good news is that, with a marketing strategy, you take the control out of your potential customers’ hands and put it into your own. If you have a product that will “practically sell itself,” then your marketing job will be easy. Just remember that the job must still be done.

RELATED: 20 Ways to Get Word of Mouth Marketing

Avoid this mistake by:

  • Defining your niche market and USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that differentiates you from your competition.
  • Developing a marketing action plan and strategy to reach your niche market with your USP message.

MONSTROUS Marketing Mistake Number 3: Trying to Reinvent the Wheel

Marketing is an age-old practice with some very basic principles. Yet, I’m sure you’ve read many marketing information products that stress the importance of being innovative and creative with market2your marketing efforts. It’s easy to get caught up in the innovation process and forget that the REAL focus should be on results.

Avoid this mistake by:

  • Emulating success instead of trying to create something completely new. Please note that I am not saying, “copy” what others are doing. Look at the basic structure of a tactic, campaign, advertisement, or event and use the same formula as a basis for developing your own tactics.
  • Realizing great marketing ideas are used over and over again with just the right twist to make them fit a specific business. Focus on results, and choose imitation over innovation to create your own twist on a proven, winning technique.

MONSTROUS Marketing Mistake Number 4: Over-Preparing and Doing Nothing

The fear of failure can be powerful. So powerful that we do everything we can think of to prevent it. Yet, there is a point at which we are so busy preparing, organizing, and researching to prevent failure that we never get around to the actual marketing of the business. Here are two things to

  1. Activity is not productivity.
  2. In order to sell a million of something, you have to sell the first ONE.

Avoid this mistake by:

  • Doing something! If you believe in your business and have done your detective work, it’s time to dive into the marketing pool. Start small, track results and build from there.
  • Not being afraid to make a mistake. Mistakes are the entry to success. At the very least, a failed promotion means you have SUCCESSFULLY determined what promotion does not work. And, to learn what does NOT work is a valuable tool in getting you closer to discovering what WILL work.

So, go ahead. Fail a little. It will make your eventual successes even sweeter.

RELATED: 10 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Selling

MONSTROUS Marketing Mistake Number 5: Boredom

When I was working for an ad agency many years ago, I had one client that was running an extremely successful ad campaign. After about six months, I received a phone call from the client.market3 He wanted to develop an entirely new campaign. When I asked, “why?” he simply said, “I’m bored with the one we have.”


That client may have had the money to spend on a new campaign due to “boredom” but you and I usually don’t. Yet, I’ve often seen my small business clients switch promotions for the same reason. This is detrimental to your business!

“Losing money” is a reason.

“Boredom” is not.

Avoid this mistake by:

  • Remembering that, what is old to you, is new to an untapped target market. If you have a promotion that is consistently getting you results, stick with it until results show you its time for change.
  • Testing new promotions without abandoning the current one. Then track results. Never swap a current promotion with a new one that hasn’t been tested.
MONSTROUS Marketing Mistake Number 6: Relying on Networking to Generate Sales Leads

Joining the Chamber of Commerce and schmoozing at association meetings can put you in contact with vendors and possible joint venture partners, and will be invaluable exposure for you as a community supporter – but it will rarely generate substantial sales leads.

Everyone else who attends these “meet and greet” assemblies is there to do the same thing you are. You may be able to make some valuable contacts for future ventures and promotions, but market4one-on-one networking is time-consuming and results are unpredictable.

Avoid this mistake by:

  • Treating networking opportunities the same as any other marketing tactic. Track results by determining your costs and measuring your payback.

RELATED: 5 Simple Networking Follow-Up Strategies 

MONSTROUS Marketing Mistake Number 7: Doing What Your Competitors Do

It’s important to be aware of what your competitors are offering, but do not let it dictate the strategy you use for your own business.

If your competitor wants to be the low price leader, let him. Don’t try to become the “lower price” leader. Chances are this will lead you to financial problems because it will thrust you into an ugly price war. If your competitor wants to tout low prices, then you focus on value. Bargain hunters market5don’t necessarily want the lowest price. They want the best VALUE. Make what you have to offer something of value.

Avoid this mistake by:

  • Finding an unmet need or want of your target market, and fill it to differentiate your products and services from your competitors.
  • Giving customers a reason to choose you over your competitors. Define your USP, and identify your niche market.

MONSTROUS Marketing Mistake Number 8: Not Targeting a Specific Market

If you believe your market is “everybody,” you will struggle to attract people who will buy from you. The value of target (niche) marketing is one of the toughest sells I make to my clients. They understand the logic of it, but the “fear of losing a potential customer” gets the best of them.

Avoid this mistake by:

  • Viewing the practice of niche marketing as inclusive, not exclusive.

Think of your business as part of a person’s support group. It’s logical to say, “Everybody needs a support group so my business should attract everyone.” But, will it? People – your customers – want to go to a support business that understands their specific concerns, needs, and wants. Make sure you ARE that business by targeting a niche market.

MONSTROUS Marketing Mistake Number 9: Targeting a Market You Can’t Reach or One That Can’t Afford You

Targeting a niche market is the smartest way to market. Yet, targeting a market that is too specific will limit your ability to succeed long term. For example, a market that might be too specific would be: female pilots under the age of 35 who fly ONLY New York to London flights. That’s a pretty narrow market to sustain your business in the long term unless you can capture the ENTIRE market with a product or service that has a high profit point and customers need to use or replace it often.

In that same vein, a market that is begging for the service or product you have but cannot afford it will also be a business impossible to sustain. Never compete for someone’s rent money. Your target market must have the means to buy your products and services.

Avoid this mistake by:

  • Creating your customer profile to identify characteristics of your potential buyers,
  • Identifying a niche market,
  • Examining the long term potential for new and repeat sales.

MONSTROUS Marketing Mistake Number 10: Focusing On Acquiring New Customers Instead of Promoting to Current or Previous Customers

When you first start a business you have little choice but to focus on gaining new customers. The cost of finding those new customers can be expensive, which is one reason it is so important to really target a specific niche. However, once you’ve made just one sale, you’re ready to start looking at other marketing options.

Wouldn’t you like to:

.. slash your marketing costs by half or more?
.. reach proven buyers for your service or products?

That little goldmine of proven buyers available to you “on the cheap” is already yours in the form of current and previous customers.

Any respected marketing guru, past or present, online or offline, will tell you that the biggest asset your company has is your customer base.

Avoid this mistake by:

  • Realizing that, when a sale is finalized, it is the beginning of your relationship with that customer, not the end.
  • Offering additional products or services to current customers. If you don’t have your own to offer them, then develop a referral, joint venture or product bundling program so you can reap profits from your already-interested (and buying) customers.

MONSTROUS Marketing Mistake Number 11: Not Systematically Following Up on Leads

The least expensive part of business is making the sale. The most expensive is generating leads – finding the people who are interested in what you have.

Once you find people who express an interest in what you have to offer – whether they buy from you or not – you MUST develop a follow up system that will keep marketing to those interested prospects. A person who has expressed interest in your products and services is far more likely to eventually buy from you than someone who did not respond at all!

Avoid this mistake by:

  • Curbing the tendency to become obsessed with generating more leads until you have exhausted the ones you already have.
  • Developing an easy, systematic follow up for leads, designed to convert a “maybe” into a “yes.”

For more business tips, visit: http://www.businessknowhow.com

graphic designing, Uncategorized, web designing

Ways to Increase Your Freelance Writing Income in 2015

Do you want to know how you can earn more income with freelance writing in 2015? Do you have a New Year’s goal to reach or a personal goal to increase your earnings?

So here we have even more ways to increase your freelance writing income in 2015:

Skip the shortcuts and just work hard- Stop trying to find a way to make quick cash or “get rich quick”. Stop looking for your big break or your miracle and just put in some good, old-fashioned hard work. It will pay off for you.

Break free from content mills- It’s a controversial idea for many freelancers who have gotten sucked into the idea of content mills/content farms but I assure you, no good will come of it. The time that is spent writing tons of cheap paying articles every week for a content mill could be put into marketing yourself and finding high quality clients and connections. What if you could write one article a day for $200 instead of 40 $5 articles to earn the same amount?

Let go of your doubts- One thing that holds many freelance writers back is the doubt and the fear that they are not good enough or that they will be rejected. Here’s one thing you need to know about freelance writing- there WILL be rejection. But it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. It just means you need to keep trying, or to hone your skills, or to apply for positions more fitting to your skills. Get rid of the doubts and believe you can do it.

Send query letters- I cannot believe how many self-professed freelance writers today don’t know what a query letter is. Seriously, this is not meant to be mean but the query letter is one of the single most important tools for a freelance writer and today they are easier than ever before. Few publications want SASEs and you can just email your queries with ease. If you don’t know what a query letter is, put that at the top of your list to study and learn how to craft them well.

Get out and meet people- It’s easy to be a hermit when you work at home but networking in real life is a great way to increase your income. I have business cards and I even give them out when service and repair people come to my house (Make the most of every situation!). I have been hired by a man who trimmed down a tree that was growing into my fireplace, a plumber that came over for a minor toilet repair and even a cleaning service. Those are just examples of people who came into MY home. When I am out and about and people ask what I do, I just give them a card and explain. Many have called me or referred me to others who later hired me.

Increase your marketing- This goes along with the last point but it’s more important than you might believe. So many writers say they don’t have time for marketing but if they did a little more marketing, they would have more time because they would not have to work as much. I rarely seek or apply for jobs anymore. The only time I apply for a job is if it is a very unique, interesting position or project that I really would like to be a part of. I get more than enough work through my writer website and word of mouth referrals. In fact, I get more than I am able to do myself and often turn down work and refer potential clients to my writer friends. I say, “There’s more work than there is Lisa.” That means there is plenty of work there for you as well.

Join a solid writer’s community- Another way to earn more money is to join a solid community of writers who are focused on finding or continuing success themselves. You can network, share advice and ideas and learn from one another. But this only works when you are in a solid community of successful writers. Sadly, the forums of your frequented content mill are not going to give you what you need to succeed. If anything, these communities will just hold you back and make you believe there is nothing better out there for you.

Use promotional products – You should consider getting a magnetic car sigh, brochures and business cards or promotional products such as pens that help advertise who you are and what you do. Print your website URL, phone and other info on these items and spread the word.

Take care of your health- This is an easy one to neglect if you’re busy trying to make money (especially when you don’t have enough money). But you need to be sure you get out and exercise, eat a healthy diet, get proper sleep at night and take at least one day off the computer a week. When you take care of your body and brain, it keeps working properly for you. You will avoid burnout, produce better work and be happy with the results.

Learn to master LinkedIn- This networking site is not just for people looking for traditional jobs. Freelancers can make the most from LinkedIn as well. You can reach out to publishers, to companies in your niche and others who may need the skills you have to offer. When you build a solid, professional profile for yourself, people will also reach out to you and they’ll be ready to treat you a lot better than someone on some bottom-feeding job board.

Keep an ideas list at all times- There’s no better way to stay fresh and excited about your work than by keeping an idea list handy and writing down the ideas when they come to you. Trust me, you are going to have plenty of clients and gigs to fill up your time so keeping all of those ideas handy will give you many great resources to fall on when you need to pull some ideas out of the hat.

These are just some of many ways to increase your freelance writing income in 2015. Do you have any tips or ideas you want to add? Have you made any resolutions to increase your earnings this year?

For more tips, visit http://socialmediasatisfied.com

graphic designing, web designing

8 Signs Your Business is Growing Too Fast

Business growth and expansion is always good – unless it happens too quickly. Yes, too much business growth can actually be bad especially for startups and small businesses, and rapid, uncontrolled business expansion can have negative repercussions in the short as well as the long-run.

I know, it makes no sense and actually sounds counter-intuitive, right? Because businesses exist to make more money and grow with the passage of time.

And while expansion is always good, what smart business managers and entrepreneurs should look and strive for is ‘controlled expansion’.

Here are signs that your business is growing too fast, and things might be getting out of control. These are some of the most common problems associated with startups, and it is essential to know these signs, because uncontrollable expansion is the easiest way to go out of business!

Sign 1: Your business expenses outweigh your revenues

When money going out of your business is more than what’s coming in, you know you’re in trouble (or headed towards it at full speed)! For a business, cash-flow problems can stem from rapid expansion because a growing business translates to growing business costs. When a business expands, so do it’s expenses, and if cash going out of your business is more than what’s coming in, you might be forced to borrow and take on debt, which is never a good thing. Ideally, a startup should be self-sustainable, which means that all business expenses should be catered for through it’s revenues.

Sign 2: There’s a growing number of customer complaints

A increasing number of customer complaints and negative feedback is one of the biggest signs that you might have to step back and reassess how you’re doing business. A small business with a small number of customers, for instance, can easily provide individual attention to each one of them, and produce tailor-made solutions for them. When a business grows, however, it may be forced to cut corners, which results in an increase in customer complaints. Above all, such a business fails to address these complaints.

Sign 3: Your employees are overworked, and unhappy

Are you overworking your employees? Are your employees unhappy and as a result, are productivity levels slipping? If your business is growing uncontrollably, naturally a large proportion of that burden – or added burden – will have to be borne by your employees. To keep up, they might find themselves working late, for instance. This usually results in a dip in productivity, and a rise in employee absenteeism and turnover – all of which can have a negative impact on your business. You may find yourself occupied with hiring and training new staff, when other much more sensitive and important aspects of your business might need your attention.

Sign 4: YOU are overworked and unhappy

If you’ve been working 24/7 in order to manage your business and keep up with the demand and the ever-increasing needs of your business, you might be overworked as well. The truth is that along with your employees, you too need time to relax and overworking yourself will just make you hate what you do. So if you’ve not seen daylight in a while, and find yourself working 80-hour weeks, you might end up getting burnt out before you know it.

Sign 5: Your suppliers and other vendors can’t keep up

Often times when a business grows too quickly, suppliers, vendors and other partners might get caught off-guard and hence may  not be able to keep up with the increased number of demand for raw-materials and other resources essential for the functioning and running of your business. In such cases, it might be a good idea to add to your list of suppliers, or get in touch with suppliers who might be able to cater to your needs in a better way.

Sign 6: Your infrastructure, systems, and process are redundant/can’t keep up

As we just saw, growing business demands and needs can place an immense amount of pressure on your employees, on you as well as on your suppliers and vendors. Moreover, it can also render your business processes and systems completely redundant. Lack of proper infrastructure (or investment in) can run your business into the ground. You might, for instance, need to invest in new hardware and software. Over-the-counter software might not be adequate, and old hardware systems may not be able to cope with the increase in demand – hence the need to invest in better software and hardware solutions. In addition, business process – the core of your business – and how your business runs may need to be overhauled.

Sign 7: Your emphasis shifts from quality to quantity

So here’s the deal, demand is on the rise, and supply just can’t keep up. What do you do? One of the biggest red-flags for expanding businesses is when they start prioritizing quantity over quality. Your customers will notice this shift in priorities, and you will end up losing business. Never lose sight of what makes a business successful: it’s emphasis on providing quality and good value-for-money.

Sign 8: You start losing customers

Customer retention is essential, and something that we’ve spoken about at length before. Your business’s ability to keep existing customers, while adding profitable ones, is a benchmark of it’s success (or inversely, it’s failure). If your customers start feeling that they’re not being given proper attention, their complaints are not being handled properly, and that there’s a dip in quality of your products and/or your services, you might end up losing customers. This will negatively affect business expansion, and it might be time for you and your team to step back, take a breather, do a bit soul-searching and see why you’re losing customers and what you can do to win them back.

For more tips, visit; http://smartbusinesstrends.com

graphic designing, web designing

How to Pick the Best Color Palette for Your Project (with 5 Color Resources) by Kristina Zmaic

There’s no doubt that color plays one of the most important roles in how your brand is perceived by your audience. I could talk about color theory and color psychology until I turned blue-in-the-face, but what’s the quickest and easiest way to start exploring color palettes?

One useful tip is to start with a photo or illustration that really speaks to your brand. Starting with a photo is a great way to pull a palette of colors without having to rack your brain. If you’re a Photoshop user, simply drag your photo into the program, create a series of shapes and use the color picker to define their color. (Also, for those of you that have a Mac, you have a DigitalColor Meter built right in that will give you hex colors!) Here’s an example of a quick color palette created from a photo in Photoshop (this took literally 5 minutes):

Quick Color Palette

So how can you create a palette without expensive, fancy programs? Here are some FREE resources that create awesome color palettes:

Color Palette Resources

1. Color Scheme Designer

Color Scheme Designer.com

This tool is easy to use, which means that you can create multiple palettes quickly. Starting with one color, Color Scheme Designer will allow you to create anything from a Monochromatic color palette to a Tetrad in one click. If you’re unfamiliar with any of these terms, you can click on “Help” and turn on tool-tips that will display an explanation of each part of the interface. This tool not only provides you with a color palette, but also a mock-up of a sample web page in a light and dark versions of your palette — a feature to be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s nice to see everything working together.

2. Colour Lovers

Colour Lovers.com

This site is a bit more analog in its use, but offers a lot of visual inspiration. Colour Lovers provides a collection of curated colors and color palettes, as well as patterns submitted by other users. Each color is labeled with its hex value for easy use in your own CSS, or even to bring into Photoshop for your mock-ups. This site is SUPER VISUAL and is very much community based, which allows you to join and submit your own color creations. If you are struggling with creating your own palette, this site is great for sparking inspiration.

3. Adobe Kuler

Adobe Kuler.com

This tool has a really clean, easy-to-use interface with a variety of features. Adobe Kuler allows you to search color schemes by color, concept, hex values tags and more. You can also explore themes and most popular palettes to spark some inspiration, or generate your own palette from scratch.  Creating a custom palette begins with selecting one color (in a similar way to Color Scheme Designer), or you can even upload your own image to eye-drop a palette from! This tool is a bit like a combination of both Color Scheme Designer and Colour Lovers, offering visual direction while functioning as a robust custom-color-making-machine.

4. The Day’s Color

The Day's Color.com

Sometimes it’s nice to just look at color inspiration that someone else has curated to get inspired. The Day’s Color is a simple site created by Nigel Evan Dennis inspired by things that surround him daily – whether that’s a song by Tame Impala or HBO’s True Detective, Nigel finds colors everywhere. Luckily for us, he’s put together a beautiful site to inspire us all.

5. 0 to 255

0 to 255.com

Even when you get the perfect palette down, once you start designing you may notice that certain colors might be too dark or too light to work within your project. Color palettes don’t have to be so static, there should be some wiggle-room for tints or shades of your colors. You might want to have a bright blue button with darker blue text, but maybe the dark blue isn’t in your set palette. 0 to 255 is a great resource for finding the right tints and shades. Just enter in your main color and the site will generate a spectrum of lights-to-darks of your specific hue. You’ll never have to worry again that the color you chose is greener or purpler than your desired tone.

Keep it Simple

There’s no need to have a hundred different colors for your site. Try to pick one really strong, recognizable color and work from there. There are plenty of brands who have a pretty neutral palette with a single pop of color. Your main goal is to make your brand recognizable, so when in doubt: Less is More. 

Want to learn and explore a bit more about color and color theory? Sign up for the Web Designer Blueprint or the Skillcrush 100 class.

graphic designing, Uncategorized, web designing

Testimonials Made Easy: How to Get Endorsements That Sell Your Business

Customer testimonials are one of the best ways to generate new business. Some 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while 52% say positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business, according to the Local Consumer Review Survey.

But many small business owners are unsure of how to go about getting customers to express their praise. Even most happy customers won’t think to spontaneously provide testimonials. Mark Faust, founder of Echelon Management, has developed an approach to snagging testimonials more easily by taking a page from business guru Peter Drucker — the depth interview.

Finding Depth

A depth interview is a loosely structured interview, where both the interviewer and interviewee have flexibility to change direction and explore different points. For market researchers, depth interviews are usually coupled with quantitative research to add insight into people’s behaviors, attitudes the perceptions.

It is basically an open-ended approach to exploring how customers feel. A sample depth interview is provided in Drucker’s book The Five Most Important Questions Self Assessment Tool.

“This has always been a required part of Peter Drucker’s strategy process, but few companies do it,” Faust says. “You must talk to a representation of customers every quarter. You ask about what they are most happy about and where there are opportunities.”

Questions to Ask

Faust approaches customers by saying: “We’re making some calls as part of our innovation and service improvement initiative, and I’d just like to ask you about how things are going in the areas we work together on and what you’d like to see in the future.”

Among the questions to ask:

  • What are you most impressed with from what our competitors or the alternatives are offering? (Then just listen, as they usually will meander toward what the competitors could improve.)
  • What would you most like to see us innovate or improve and, specifically, what new service or product offerings would help you grow your business and improve the results of what you do?
  • How could we help you to grow or improve your business?
  • Ending on a good note, “What have we done that has most impressed or surprised you?”

Faust says “most of my depth interviews revolve around ‘the good, the bad and the new…and the difference between the new.” By that, he means if the areas of concern were improved, finding out what would it be worth to the customer.

Getting Testimonials

During the depth interview process, Faust always get some great testimonials from customers, but then he rephrases their accolades in better wording and asks them to monetize the value of the benefits. That’s key; tying a number to praise makes the comment pop.

After the customers read his version, their response is often, “Wow, you said it better than I did, but that is exactly right!” Faust then asks: “Well, can my client use you as a reference? I doubt you’ll ever get a phone call, but you might. Would you be willing to say the same thing to their prospects?”

Then he adds the customer’s cell phone and sometimes email to a sheet with a dozen such testimonials. “That one sheet of testimonials, built around a top area of concern, often becomes one of the top selling tools for the organization,” he says.

The Four Benefits

Faust says he has never conducted initial depth interviews for clients with revenues over $20 million and not found over $1 million in new business. Here is what happens by following this process:

1. Existing customers are illuminated about the benefits and monetized value they did not realize you delivered.

2. They are resold on your business.

3. They inform you of wanted benefits you may have missed.

4. They are primed to provide referrals.

And, of course, they provide testimonials that will make even more companies want to do business with you.

For more tips, visit; https://sparkbusinessiq.com