5 Useful Skills to Learn for 2016 Success

Being an entrepreneur is something that a lot of people dream of becoming. It’s a great dream to have and there are so many avenues open to the person who’s willing to put in the effort to make the business succeed.

Part of succeeding means being honest about areas that you feel you lack in, such as advertising, writing, social media, etc. To be good at what you do means that you have to engage in continuing education.

It’s important that you do this because in the world of entrepreneurial pursuits, not growing in knowledge can kill your business. Strategies change and so do business models and you have to be able to keep up.

This is something that can be good for you as you discover things that can take your business to a new level. Not only will being part of continuing education in your business prevent boredom from setting in, but you can also find things that will feed your motivation and keep you excited about the business.

1. Polish Your Writing Skills for Content Creation

When you’re creating written content for your business, you want to let who you are shine through in your voice. Your life’s experiences are what makes you unique.

It’s what helps your audience to be able to connect with you. Your writing should be as unique as you are. It should be something that’s 100% you. If you take writing from other people and plagiarize that as your own, you risk a couple of things happening.

First, it’s not going to be fresh if you’re copying content from someone else. Second, plagiarizing is morally despicable and can hurt your business. Once people learn that you’ve plagiarized something, your reputation is ruined online.

People don’t want copycat information. Plus, if you do it, your actions can subject you to fines and other penalties because it’s against the law. With the passing of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the works that people write and put online are protected.

When you write, you need to write material that’s engaging. When you write in such a way that your audience can connect with you, it’s easier to develop a business relationship with these people.

They will invest their time and money in someone that they feel they know over someone that they don’t. When you write in an engaging way, you’ll be writing things that others find interesting and they’ll keep returning to your site to see what else you have to say.

Many marketers have built huge careers simply because they knew how to engage an audience with their words. Whatever you write needs to be well-written.   

You need to know how to formulate your thoughts and come across in a logical manner. If you write in a way that’s confusing and unorganised, your audience will label it as rambling material.

Your spelling and grammar should be good and what you write should be free of typos. Everyone makes mistakes, that’s a given. But if you’re constantly churning out writing that’s full of bad grammar and spelling mistakes, it will make you look unprofessional.

At the same time that you need to be sure your writing is free of grammar and spelling mistakes, you don’t want to write in such a pompous way that you come across as talking down to your audience.

Write in a tone that reads like you’re sitting across from the person having a cup of coffee and conversation. Your material should also be up to date. If you’re always writing about things that are a few beats behind the information that’s fresh, people will turn to your competitors to get what they want.

Coming up with content yourself might not be a talent that you naturally possess. However, it can be learned. Take the time to assess your writing skills. You can analyze your shortcomings with writing content by being honest with yourself.

If you find writing a chore and you hate it, you’re not really going to want to give it your best effort because you just want to get it over with. If you know you struggle with grammar and spelling, you can either take some refresher courses, adult education courses, or you can outsource to someone else – even an editor for simple proofreading!

2. Improve Your  Social Networking

Social networking opened up the world for entrepreneurs. You can reach out online and have access to people thousands of miles away, in different countries and different time zones.

It’s made doing business faster and easier. Plus, it’s a great tool for building relationships. Like any tool, though, you have to know how to use it well in order for it to perform for you.

There are too many people who come across as uninteresting, too business focuses or too standoffish and an audience doesn’t feel a connection to those people.

These are the entrepreneurs who languish in relative obscurity while their competition builds thousands of followers. You have the ability to make social networking a powerful tool if you use it right.

When you’re online, don’t retreat into yourself. Don’t clam up and let self-doubt have a field day with you. This is what happens when that internal thought track tells you that you’re not interesting and that people don’t want to hear what you have to say.

Don’t sign up for social media and then stay behind the scenes. That defeats the purpose of having the accounts to begin with. Once you sign up with various social media sites, start to engage with people.

That’s how you build your audience, your mailing list and basically your business. Let people feel as if they know you, as if they have a peek inside your life. Share both personal and business stuff on social media.

Personal doesn’t mean that you air your dirty laundry. Don’t get on there and talk about your uncle getting drunk every holiday and dancing on the table. It’s okay to share things like photos of pretty flowers that you took or a picture of your dog.  

You can start conversations about foods that you like, about a movie you recently saw or a book that you read. Some social networking sites are better than others depending on what your niche is.

For example, Pinterest is a good platform for someone in the wedding or fitness niche. You can post pictures of weddings and wedding accessories. Or you can post workout gear, before and after shots, or pictures of workouts.

Facebook is good for niches that use videos or tutorials and you can create a group dedicated to that particular niche – such as pets. You can share information about dog products, how-to train videos etc.

Google+ has a lot of tech people, a lot of professionals. It’s not used by the baby boomer crowd as much. So this would be a good social media site for niches that are into information products.

When you post on social media, pay attention to which ones get the most interaction. If you post a video and then a picture, if one got more interaction and more views, then you know what the audience prefers.

The timing of your posts is important too. Don’t push any sales or information when there’s a national crisis going on. You’ll look insensitive. Likewise, you can use stats to tell you when your audience is most active on the site.

3. Bring Your Advertising Efforts Into a New Day

Advertising is something that never stays the same. All you have to do is look at the advertisements from 20 years ago to see that focus changes, attitudes have changed and people have changed.

What was cutting edge and worked then won’t work now. If your advertising methods are more than six months old, it’s likely that they’re out of date. You can’t use old, outdated advertising strategies – not if you want to bring in today’s audiences.

Even though it’s a powerhouse social media site, there are still many entrepreneurs who don’t take advantage of using Facebook for their business advertising.

That’s a huge mistake because currently, there are over a billion people on Facebook. You can’t afford to overlook those kind of numbers. Advertising on Facebook is fast, easy and gets your business in front of a huge audience.

Make sure you know what the purpose of having the ad is for. For example, let’s say you want to gain new subscribers. Then define your objective by using the ads tool.

You’ll be given choices like promoting your business page, boosting posts or having ads that will lead the audience to your site. In the ad manager, you’ll be able to custom pick your audience according to where they live, their age level, what their shopping interests are, and so on.

You’ll also be able to set a budget based on how much you can afford to spend. You can also use retargeting. This is an ad method that uses cookies that are placed on websites.

Many times people visit a site and don’t stick around. What these cookies do is they track the visitor’s Internet visits. When this visitor heads to a different site, your retargeting service can follow the cookie trail.

Then your ads will appear in front of these visitors at another time on a different site. Retargeting works to land potential buyers because your ad appears again and they remember your site and their original interest.

They head back to your site and buy this time, giving you a boost in your ROI. With ads, you’ll want to analyze them. By monitoring them, you can measure what you’re spending on the campaign versus what you’re gaining in new customers or revenue.

Follow the information on your ad tool dashboard in Facebook to tweak your ads. You may find that you need to change location or gender or other things that can improve how your ad performs.

4. Get Brave and Start Video Marketing and Live Streaming

If you want grow your business and increase sales, then you need to be part of the video marketing world. Video marketing helps you connect with people and build an audience right on your own blog.

Videos are popular because of the depth of the connection that’s available. With certain ads (and even text) on your site, you can’t grab an audience with storytelling the way a video can.

Videos are more personable. Your audience can see you or visualize what you’re talking about if you’re showing how to do something. Because we live in a visual world, people tend to relate to videos over just reading something.

You can have a lot of success with video marketing because you can make them personal and fill them with tips or advice that can help your audience. Not just that, but your videos will have additional value over just a “buy me” sales pitch that the audience reads.

They get to see that there’s a real person behind the product or the information. They’re able to put a face with the name or with the brand. What this does is remove that wall of anonymity even though they won’t know in depth personal information about you.

With videos, you become a storyteller and you can literally captivate an audience and in some cases, create a viral marketing tool. When you use videos, they help convert the tire kickers into solid buyers more so than if they just read the sales copy.

Live streaming is an excellent way to market because you get to interact with the audience and there are several platforms you can use to do this with. One of them is Blab

On this platform, your audience can join you once they’re accepted and you’ll be able to see what they want to ask you. It gives you and the audience the ability to have a conversation in real time that goes below the surface.

It builds trust and enables you to discuss ideas, offer solutions and it’s great for getting feedback from your audience. Periscope is a live streaming app that lets you broadcast in front of an audience.

You can build a tribe, meet your audience and build a business by increasing sales. You’ll get greater exposure for your business with each broadcast. It gives you real time access to customers almost as if you’re having a face to face meeting with them.

This allows your audience to feel as if you’re authentic – and that in turn builds trust. People can use Meerkat with their mobile devices connected to social media to connect with their audiences.

With live streaming, what you’re seeing is what your audience sees. They can comment as they watch and you can reply back. It’s an instant connection and interaction.

Plus, the Meerkat platform lets you share the video and then it alerts the audience with a link. You can immediately have a thousand people watching your video.

5. Convert Better By Improving Your Sales Copy

You need sales copy in order to have sales of your product. But not all copy has the potential to convert. Sometimes there can be something missing that causes your audience to move on without ever making the purchase.

If you notice that people are landing on your page but they’re not buying, that’s a good sign that they need a little more convincing because your copy isn’t compelling enough.

You need to analyze how people are responding to your page. If you have a high bounce rate, it’s time to make some changes. While you certainly don’t want to copy your competition, if they’re successful, then you do want to check them out to see what it is that they’re doing right.

It could be that they’re doing something with their sales copy that you’re not doing. Or maybe they’re not doing something that you are. Either one of those could be something that you can tweak and see if you get better results that way.

Locate some of the competitors in your niche and go over their site carefully. Make notes of how they persuade an audience. Check out their ratio of sales push to advice.

How personable are they? What topics are they talking about? How often are they talking about new things? Study how much or how little detail they give about their product or information.

Could it be that you’re giving away too much? Or not giving away enough information to hook a person’s interest? What is your competition’s sales to personable ratio of information on their site?

How fresh is their site content? Once you’ve compared your copy to a competitor that you know is successful, you can make some changes on your own. One way to do that is to use split testing. 

With split testing, you create two copies of something like your sales letter. Copy A would have one headline while copy B would have a different headline. Then you would send your sales letter to your email list so that half your list gets copy A and the other half gets copy B.

Then you can see which headline was more effective. You can figure that out just by looking at your data. You can check your colors, formatting, and even font this way to see how it impacts the buyer’s final decision.

You can use split testing to send traffic to two separate landing pages and then you can see which one performs better. You can use video on one page and plain text on another.

To keep from getting overwhelmed by all of the possible changes you can make, only implement one change at a time. You can also make a hybrid sales page – using both video and text on your copy to attract your audience.

If you want to test this, you can use video in split testing and send half your list video and the other half text. Then compare those results to a hybrid mix, where you combine different media formats on the page, to appeal to more potential buyers.

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