Tag Archive | "Golden"

7 Golden Rules for Hosting Webinars that Engage and Convert

Webinar shock. Familiar with it? Probably not, because I just made up the term. But you’re probably familiar with Webinar…

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The 5 Golden Rules Of Expectation Management And Why You Can’t Ignore Them

If you have a good memory, you may recall a few weeks just before Steve Jobs passed on, Apple stock dropped a good few percentage points. It wasn’t because of Steve’s death that brought the valuation down, because that was factored into the stock market years ago when he first began to get sick, it […]

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Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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7 Golden Rules for Hosting Webinars that Engage and Convert

Webinar shock. Familiar with it? Probably not, because I just made up the term. But you’re probably familiar with Webinar Shock’s sister term, Content Shock. It’s the idea, first described by Mark Schaefer, that we have entered an age in which “exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.” In
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Phil Robertson: Killed Duck Dynasty’s Golden Goose?

Duck Dynasty was on top of the heap. Of all the reality shows about millionaire duck hunting families, it was the king. It was the Number One reality TV show in cable history.

Then Phil Robertson did an interview in GQ Magazine. The piece is old news now, but just take a moment and remember where you were when you first heard that the long-bearded patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan had done an interview in GQ.

In said interview, Robertson said some things that alienated, offended, and disgusted many people.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

Perhaps Phil thought he could be just as comfortable speaking his mind with a GQ writer as he was in front of the cameras for his own show, forgetting that there was no editing team, forgetting that GQ readers are, by and large, not his tribe. It is highly unlikely that those offended were die heard members of his fan base. But the hammer came down nonetheless.

After a highly-publicized bit of blowback, Robertson was suspended from his own show. Then his fans rallied the troops, and he was asked back after only nine days suspension. It looked like the gravy train was back on track for Robertson and family. After that outpouring of fan support, things were likely better than ever. Or so most thought.

The numbers tell a different tale. Last year, the folks at Nielsen said that Duck Dynasty had about 12 million viewers. Now, seven months after the GQ kerfluffle, they have only about one-third of that audience. Even the season premiere was way down.

Where did everyone go? One theory is that it is no longer popular in mixed company to say you watch Duck Dynasty. Sure, the guys sporting ZZ Top beards and wearing camo to walk around the mall aren’t going anywhere. But folks who may have been watching the show at its peak, but don’t want their friends to think they are homophobes, they’re long gone.

Of course, there is still the merchandise licensing. All those Duck Dynasty t-shirts, ball caps, beef jerky, and other such paraphernalia that netted the Dynasty team $ 400 million last year are still there. There is the possibility that they may lose some if they get the losing end of a lawsuit over one of their catchphrases. But there’s still a lot of money coming.

A&E says they already have the next season of Duck Dynasty in the can. And they are considering spinoffs, which is where many reality shows come from.

Maybe Phil killed the goose/duck that laid the golden eggs, but they piled up a lot of eggs before he did.

Image via YouTube


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Customer Relevance: 3 golden rules for cookie-based Web segmentation

The Internet has become more adaptive to the things we want, almost to the point that it seems as if sites are directly talking to us and can almost predict the things we are searching for – welcome to cookie-based segmentation. So read on for three best practice golden rules of cookie-based segmentation you can use to aid your marketing efforts.
MarketingSherpa Blog

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The Oscars Consider Product Placement As Stars Prepare to Live Tweet the Golden Globes

THE 85TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS(r) - Seth MacFarlane will host "The 85th Annual Academy Awards," broadcasting live on Oscar(r) SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013 on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/BOB D'AMICO)It’s award season in Hollywood. The People’s Choice Awards handed out their statuettes last night. The Critic’s Choice Awards air tonight, and Spielberg woke up to the news that his film Lincoln has more Oscar nominations than any other movie (12).

Now the networks have to figure out how to pay for all this glitz and glamour.

The 85th Annual Academy Awards is doing well this year. AdAge says that ABC usually gets around $ 1.65 million and $ 1.8 million for a 30-second commercial and this year they’re coming in on the high side of those numbers. Could be because of the buzz surrounding this year’s host Seth MacFalane. The Family Guy creator is known for his sharp stabs at pop culture and his inability to self-censor as Slate pointed out after this morning’s Oscar announcement ceremony.

In the less than 10 minutes it took to announce the nominees, MacFarlane managed to insult his co-presenter, belittle the achievements of several nominees, and make a Hitler joke. He introduced Emma Stone as “the star of the new film Gangster Squad,” making a show of reading off a cue card, before breaking off to question: “I’m not sure you’re the star. That seems more like an ensemble piece, right?” A moment later, he added of Stone, “some say she’s better than Meryl Streep,” before stopping to ask, “Who says that?”

It’s either going to be the best Oscar presentation ever or the most embarrassing train wreck ever produced. Either way, MacFarlane is going to draw a crowd and that makes advertisers excited enough to open their wallets a little wider.

Since the full inventory of ads is nearly sold out, Christina Kounelias, chief marketing officer for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says they’ll be looking for other ways to bring in more ad dollars, including “weaving sponsors into the program.”

“I’d like to think we’re more flexible,” she said regarding the prospect of ad messages integrated into the main event. While the Academy has to “be realistic about it” so as not to lengthen an already-long evening and not distract from the awards process, “we are open to working with people in a number of ways.”

I’m overcome with images of Meryl Streep presenting in a gown made from recycled KitKat wrappers. Give me a break. What happened to the old days when you could just say, this portion of the Oscars was brought to you buy INSERT BRAND HERE and be done with it. Do I really need to see Tom Cruise, cruise on to stage in a new Chevy Cruze?

The 85th Annual Academy Awards is set to air on February 24.

Tweeting with the Stars

This Sunday, the stars will have a dress rehearsal in the form of The Golden Globe awards. They’ve partnered with Twitter to present a collection of live Tweets from the event. Here are a few of the more interesting personalities.

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus @OfficialJLD – Nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series
  • Sofia Vergara – @SofiaVergara  – Nominee for Modern Family
  • Nina Garcia – @NinaGarcia
  • Marlon Wayons – @MARLONLWAYANS
  • Ra Ra Riot – @rarariot (I admit I have no idea who this is but I love the name)

And many, many more. Twitter will be aggregating all of their feeds on one page, so you won’t miss a single shot of the food at the after parties.

Ah, the good life.

Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion

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The 10 Golden Rules to Attracting Authority Links

Posted by neilpatel

In the world of link building, getting an authority link to your site/blog has been one of the most important aspects of growing your blog. Back in 2009 Page Level Link Metrics and Domain Level Authority Features accounted for over 46% of your pages own authority:

In 2011, that percentage has dropped, but only by 4% [42.58%], suggesting that link building will continue to be a critical factor to your blog/website’s success.

But we pretty much know that not just any link will do. The better the site the link is coming from, the better the link.

That’s why your link-building campaigns need to be built around attracting authority links. But how do you do that? And what exactly is an authority link? Let me explain.

Absolute and relative authority links explained

There are two types of authorities. There are the absolute authority sites like Huffington Post, The Daily Beast and Google’s blog. These sites are also labeled “informational” authorities versus navigational authorities like DMOZ.

On the other hand, you also have relative authority sites. These are sites run by bloggers or webmasters that are authorities in a niche. Bloggers like Robert Scoble, Dooce or Mashable are authorities in their markets. While the link juice they’ll give you if they link to you is not as high as what an absolute authority site could give you…they are definitely worth attracting.

But how do you actually get a link from these sites? Here are the ten golden rules to attracting authority links.

Rule 1: Write content that attracts Editorial In-content Links

The most fundamental tactic of attracting authority links is to write content that is worth a link. What does this content look like?

  • Cornerstone – this content fills an obvious gap in the web information world that you fill with expert advice, detailed posts and well-reasoned arguments. This content will also define you, so it’s important to establish up front what your blog/site is going to focus on. This is also a large portion of the content you share.
  • Personal content – About a quarter or less of the content should contain personal stories about yourself that helps your readers to understand who you are and where you come from. My How Being a Patel Made Me Somewhat Successful is a great example. It stays within the cornerstone content of the site, but it gives you a peek into my personal life.
  • Spicy content – This is a small fraction of your content and is made up of controversial posts you write about. Typically you attack a high-profile idea or person or explain why something popular is really dumb. These are for linkbait purposes typically, but generally also give your readers an idea of who you are.

Building up a blog/site with this kind of content will take time, so you may not pick up a natural authority link out of the gate. Better yet, once you have a solid archive of content, approach these authority sites and ask for a link. Give them a good reason, which could be one of the following:

  • You wrote about the author and now he might be interested in sharing with his circle the blog post that you published.
  • You wrote a post that works well with a series that he wrote our compliments it. You could even critique something he or she did, which might spark an across-blog debate. If that sparks a firestorm of other responses…then you’ve won!

Rule 2: Fix other people’s broken links

Links die all the time. People shut down website or pull web pages. When these documents or sites vanish all the links pointing to them are dead.

For example, if you work through a web page by a publisher who links out a lot and the page is a few years old, you are bound to find at least one or two dead links on that page. Work through the entire site and you could find dozens.

Mashable is a good example of a site that links out a lot and will probably have a lot of dead links on older pages since they tend to report on startups that don’t always last.

You can easily solve this in 2 ways:

  • Manual – Make a list of all the dead links you find, then approach the author of those pages. It’s better if you focus on one author/one person and offer several options for content instead of having to contact different authors for each dead link. That can become an administrative nightmare.
  • Link validator – Use a tool like the W3C’s Link Checker to find dead links on a website or blog. It’s pretty easy to do. Here are the steps I took to check Mashable.

Drop link into sub form:

Choose your options:

Click “done” and then wait 644.47 seconds:

You can then work your way through the status report:

From that report you can build a list of dead links, the pages that need to replaced and the authors you can approach if it is a multi-author site like Mashable.

Rule 3: Create a desirable image library

If you have high-quality images on our site, you can use those images as an incentive to get people to link to you. Imagine you have a gallery of large, high-resolution pictures…well, then offer a contact form that allows a person to grab the file and linking code right there on the page.

You don’t have to go all out like a photl.com:

Or freepixels.com:

But more like a Haw-lin:

The last site specialize in photos, for you though being a content publisher looking for ranking juice, you could build a sub-domain devoted to photos like these.

Here’s what you have to do, though.

  • Hire a decent amateur photographer – If you are not a good photographer and to keep it inexpensive you could hire a local photographer who is good but not really good to charge outlandish fees.
  • Use your phone – Now a days, however, most cameras on smart phones can take high-quality photos. It’s often the skill of taking a good picture…like having the right angle and light…that a decent photographer should know about. In any case, the better the photos, the more likely you will get interest in the images.

And to help you benefit fully from this tactic, keep this in mind when building a library of images:

  • The higher the quality of each image the better link building potential these photos will have.
  • Search out affordable ways to take pictures. This could mean hiring a inexpensive photographer or buying a decent smart phone with a great camera.
  • Each image should be posted on its own page.
  • The delivery service should be as easy as possible. Test different set ups and use the one that makes adoption easy.
  • Add images on a schedule, whether one a day or once a week.

Rule 4: Offer to write a column or do a guest post

Giving a publisher practical, highly-researched content as a guest post is a great way to get links to your site from him or her.

Keep in mind this tactic typically be easier to pull off for those relative authority content sites than absolute authority sites due to their blogging policy. But if you have a guest posting strategy that involves focusing on building links, traffic and exposure via guest posting on a select few relative authority sites, you’ll eventually have an arsenal of content that you can pitch to the absolute authority sites.

Some authority sites like Open Forum or Huffington Post have so much need for content that you can usually get a post on there. But you typically still have to provide a portfolio of posts so they can understand what level of writing you are at and not just someone off the street.

Here are some resource to help you write, submit and get published guest posts:

Rule 5: Go to where your target audience hangs out

As bloggers and people of the internet we often forget about all of the face-to-face connections that can provide us with valuable links from relative or absolute authority site publishers.

For example, travel to conferences and hook up with some of the people you want to influence and convince to link to your site. Don’t be a pest to these people, but hang out, be cool to them, and then leave them alone for the rest of the events. You then need to go to the after-event event at the bar. This is where you can make things happen by simply buying them a drink or two.

If you really want to take it to another level, offer to take them out for dinner and pick up the check. During that dinner suggest they link to you in some purposeful way…perhaps you offer to create an infographics or a beginner’s guide.

But even if you don’t get some agreement like that you can say as you grab the check, “No, let me get this. You give me a link or something.”

That way the person thinks, “A $ 50 dinner for a link? You got it.”

Rule 6: Fill gaps in content

As I mentioned above, when you are talking to content publishers, ask them what content they are missing…and offer to create it for them. It could be a video interview of Guy Kawaski or a periodic table of the fundamentals of link building. It could be an idea they’ve had for an ebook.

Whatever it is, offer to create it for them.

Once you create the content you will get the credit as a link back to your site. Make sure you offer content that you can create professionally and will attract people who are in your target audience. Creating a weight-loss calculator for a site when you are in real estate will drive traffic to your site…but it will be the wrong traffic. You might as well done nothing.

Rule 7: Contact big media at the right time

When you are trying to attract the attention of big media sites like CNN or The Economist, knowing when they publish their content is important.

For those sites who are less tied to a content schedule, like a Drudge Report, you will not need to know when they publish their links because they do it pretty much as the story breaks.

Still, having some kind of bead on when that time is will improve your chances. Here’s a guideline to follow:

  • For many absolute authorities like the one I mentioned above, you can be certain that they will plan Monday’s content on Sunday.
  • Around 6:30 am to 9:30 am, the media staff will put together a list of their top 15 stories for the day. This is the news list. Contacting them during this time is more likely to influence their decision even more than if you called or emailed them the day before.
  • The next step for the media staff is to present the completed list of news stories to a team who will then decide which stories will get front page billing. This usually happens around 9:30 am to noon. This is your last chance to send anything. Do it now, because unless you have something spectacular, sending anything over after 1 pm will end up in the trash.

And even if you do get coverage…it won’t be a lot and it probably won’t be a link. Late content entries are typically reduced to the show that doesn’t impact SEO at all.

8. Approach government or education sites

A sure sign of an authority site is a .edu or .gov. This could be a link from a college like Harvard or Stanford or a link from the White House or Usability.gov. Getting those links are not always easy.

One example is to look for ways you can register accounts with these institutions. For example, Harvard has The Harvard H20 Playlist Project. It’s simply a series of links to books, articles or content that hopes to spark content.

Simply create a playlist and add a link to a useful post inside your site.

Creating meaningful, researched content or break an interesting story and these sites might naturally attract these sites might link to you. Examples of content that you could write that might actually grab their attention include:

  • Write a solid, thorough review about one of their programs, pulling in information from historical data sets, current events and future predictions. This will likely catch their eye.
  • Sponsor a student event. This will not cost very much.
  • Volunteer to be a guest speaker for graduates.
  • Approach their business school and offer to be a case study.

The kind of content you could create that would attract a government link could be:

  • Create a community page/sub-domain on your site that supports some club or event in your city.
  • Create content that supports some sort of charitable cause.
  • Put on an event. Not only the .gov sites will approach you, but the local press will do so as well.
  • Run for an office in your community. The commitment is usually low, so it’s not like you will be consumed with it.

In some cases you will just have to approach these institutions. When you do, you are more likely to get an answer however, and a positive one at that, if you inspect their site, identify the content gaps and then offer to fill them.

Again, it’s going to be important that you have something to show that you can pull off the content professionally, so don’t try this tactic until you have a good catalog of posts in your archives.

9. Buy links without penalty

It’s no secret that buying links violates Google’s policy and the penalty can be very stiff. So you may be wonder why I’m suggesting you buy links.

There are ways to buy links that will not be a violation of Google’s policy. Here are two:

  • Donate to a charity – Depending on how much you donate, some organizations will display you name and donation amount on their sites.
  • Offer to pay influential bloggers to post on your site – The content is simple. Give an authoritative blogger some kind of incentive like cash to write a post you can post on your site. In all likelihood they’ll link to it once it’s published.
  • Fund research – Sometimes when you fund research projects people will link back to your website to show people who provided them with the funding. It’s their way of saying “thanks” and showing appreciation.

As you can see these examples are based on an exchange of value between two people and their websites that can relate to the relevancy of content…so it’s an ethical way of buying links.

Rule 10: Know the difference between a good and a bad site

Finally, one of the most fundamental rules to link building is knowing the difference between a good website and a bad one. This might sound obvious but it’s sometimes easy to get tricked into asking a site that looks like an authority but is in reality spammy.

What are the elements that determine if a website is a bad one? Here are five ways:

  • Negative PPC – If you come across a site that has SEO links based on pills, casinos or porn, then it’s not a good site to get a link from.
  • Link overload – Also avoid sites that have a high link-to-content ratio. Anything above 20% links to 80% content is probably too high.
  • Keyword stuffing – Some sites that rank high in search engines will be notorious for keyword stuff. You’re first clue is the title description. If it looks like someone treated it like a keyword meta tag, they are probably employing spam techniques elsewhere, too. Perhaps it’s in the footer, behind images or in the source code.:
  • Ad overload – These sites will be like a sore thumb when it comes to the number of ads they have. They’ll have ads down both sidebars, above the header and multiple times throughout the content.
  • Poor content – Another clue this is not a great site is the low content-to-ad ratio. This one can be tricky because even absolute authority sites can push the limits when it comes to displaying ads. Look at Marketing Pilgrim, for example:

Ads easily dominate 2/3 of the real estate. But it’s a legitimate website with pretty good content. If that’s the case, then evaluate the copy. Is it well written, heavily researched and specific? Is there an author attached to it? Is there a convincing author bio page? These are all elements you need to look at to determine whether you should write a guest post for them or not.
  • Poor design – Does the site look like they used a free theme? Are the fonts irregular in size or shape? These are usually signs that someone has not spent anyone on the site…which is a signal they could be spammers.


Trust me when I say that you will not be wasting your time if you invest it in attracting authority links to your website or blog. Remember: nearly half of what determines the rank of your site is based upon the types of links driving to your site. Hopefully this guide has given you the tips and the tools necessary to help you succeed.


About the author: Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions.

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The 5 Golden Rules Of Expectation Management And Why You Can’t Ignore Them

You may recall a few weeks just before Steve Jobs passed on, Apple stock dropped a good few percentage points.

It wasn’t because of Steve’s death that brought the valuation down (it was factored into the stock market years ago when he first began to get sick), it was because the market expected something and then didn’t get it.

Each year Apple holds a conference. Every event is exciting because of new product announcements, usually revealed during the CEO presentation, which before his death, was always handled by Steve.

The speculation this time around was the expectation of the announcement of the iPhone 5. Unfortunately for Apple’s stock, instead of the iPhone 5, they received the iPhone 4s, an upgrade to the phone already on the market. The industry was less than impressed with this and thus stock was sold.

Only Apple insiders will know how much Steve’s pending passing impacted what announcements they made at that particular conference. Maybe they didn’t want to release a big announcement like a completely new iPhone knowing that Steve was going to die soon. Then again, knowing when someone is going to die is not easy to plan for in your schedule.

Whatever the case, the market expected something and got something else. Disappointment was the result.

Managing Expectations When Blogging

I remember one of the very first pieces of advice I gave to bloggers when I first started my blog tips newsletter. I was often asked -

How many blog posts should I write each week?

My typical response was as many as you can, aiming for one per weekday during the start-up phase of your blog. To be truthful, I don’t think it is possible to provide too much good content. The restrictions usually come from people’s abilities to keep producing. The challenge is figuring out what you can maintain and whether that will be enough to make your blog a success.

The key point I passed on was to manage the expectations of your readers. Humans are very much pattern based. We form habits easily and don’t like disruptions to what we become used to.

If readers learn from you that you will publish something new every day, they will visit every day looking for what is new. If you publish every day then start doing it once a week, inevitably disappointment will be the result. It’s important to find a balance and then stick to it.

Early in my blogging I stuck to one article a day and I had no problems doing so because I had so much to write from all my previous experiences, and the time to write it. As my blogging matured I slowed down my writing schedule, publishing three articles a week on average. Eventually I dropped down to one per week.

When I transitioned I did it slowly. I didn’t publish five articles in one week, then only one the week after. I slowly adjusted so not to make any “bumps” in the road disrupting my passengers.

While blog post frequency is important, it’s not nearly as critical as managing expectations when it comes to product delivery. Let’s take a look at how expectations matter in this area of online business…

Managing Expectations In Product Delivery

When people are paying you money for something and they don’t get what they expect, that’s when they reach for the refund button.

Gideon Shalwick and I were talking about one of his recent product launches. He mentioned that despite making it very clear that this particular product was going to be released sequentially and you would not get access to everything up front, some people bought expecting everything immediately, and consequently sent him emails asking where the rest of the content was.

Gideon and I both use and teach a system of sequential content delivery (usually in an online course model) because it allows you to get to launch quicker. You don’t need to have the entire product ready to go from opening day, you only need the first lot of content. From there you stay one step ahead of your members, creating the next module or lesson the week before they are due to receive it.

I use this exact method for all my programs and it works well. Gideon also uses this method with great success.

So what went wrong this time? Communication wasn’t quite clear enough. Despite telling people that it was a course delivered over a period of time, a few people still expected to have the entire course available to them from day one, rather than receive it sequentially.

This highlights the key challenge with managing expectations. You may think you are clearly outlining what to expect, including clear descriptions of what is going to happen and how things will be delivered, yet it won’t necessarily be enough. Some people will make assumptions and not read your explanations, and then be disappointed when they don’t get what they expect.

So what can you do to minimize the chance of mis-communication and manage the expectations of your customers? Read on and find out…

The Challenge Of Preconceptions

The challenge when managing expectations comes down to two variables -

  1. Communication
  2. Preconceptions

To make things especially challenging, each person has different preconceptions based on their unique experiences. If they took an online course and paid a certain price to receive certain information, they are very much using that experience as a benchmark for what they expect from you if they buy your course.

To make things worse, we aren’t even necessarily comparing apples to apples. Someone may become your customer with their benchmark for preconceptions coming from what they studied at university or college in the offline world. In this case they are comparing offline academic training to your online course. Hardly an adequate comparison, but unfortunately impossible for you to control.

Everything including price, format, content, style, length, level of difficulty, to even simple things like what font is used on your webpages, comes with baggage. What people expect is based on what has come before.

The difference between what they expect and what you deliver will determine your level of attrition, and whether what you put out there gains traction and succeeds or disappoints and flops. Success really comes down to understanding what people want and making sure they get it exactly how they expect to get it.

Using Expectations To Your Advantage

Expectation management isn’t just about you avoiding damaging errors, it also represents a fantastic opportunity. The most successful products, blogs and even businesses succeed because they exceed expectations in unexpected ways.

If “normal” is standard and you deliver something so much better than normal, you win. Taking Apple as an example again, one of the reasons they have done so well is their operating system is so much more reliable than the main operating system that people use – Windows.

Windows, while a capable operating system, has many issues that people have come to accept as normal. The fact that the “blue screen of death” was so common in earlier Windows versions that it became a running joke, demonstrates how much people’s expectations had dropped, to the point where consistent errors were considered normal. This was certainly not desirable, but accepted enough that people continued to use the operating system even with the obvious flaws.

Enter Apple OS.

Apple’s operating system had some obvious improvements. It was simpler and it was “cooler”, but I suspect the main reason people were so impressed was because it worked without the errors that Windows had. No blue screen of death. No viruses or need for virus protection and no regular frozen screens. These things were considered “normal” for computers running Windows, so when something came along that lifted the standard to just “error free” that’s already a vast improvement, exceeding expectations.

I noticed something similar to this when it came to providing customer service in my businesses. Thanks to the proliferation of online companies that are so big and so reliant on using FAQs as customer service, simply having someone respond to an email is better than normal.

Ever tried to contact Paypal or Google via email? Yeah, not an easy thing to do. You tend to get the runaround, redirections to help pages or bulletin boards that no one on staff ever responds to.

I understood that when dealing with customers, people love having an email they can send to get help from. They also love it when the email they send is replied to (go figure!). What is interesting is that the email reply doesn’t need to necessarily solve their problem, it just needs to be some kind of acknowledgement. Someone saying we know you exist and have this problem and we are going to help you.

That’s why for all my products I’ve used a simple email address as the main method of support. By doing something you think should be “normal” – responding to emails, my customer service stood out.

So How Can You Apply These Lessons?

There’s a lot you can immediately apply to your business from the ideas presented in this article. Here in my opinion are the most important applications –

  1. Expectations are based on what has come before. Because of this it is important you have an awareness of what is accepted practice in your industry and how you can do better. Review how people currently solve the problem your business solves, and find a better or unique way to do it. Sometimes just being more reliable or simpler than what is currently accepted, even if the outcome is the same, can be enough.
  2. Don’t assume everyone knows what is going to happen next. Managing expectations is about saying what the customer will experience after they buy from you, or what people will receive when they join your newsletter, or pretty much any variable where you present something and invite people to participate. Review how you describe what people will receive and ask yourself if you have done a good enough job explaining what is going to happen next.
  3. When feedback starts coming in from your audience/members/customers, it probably points to a difference between what you said was going to be delivered, how that was interpreted, and then what was delivered. This kind of feedback is incredibly valuable because it challenges your assumptions and spots your weaknesses. Don’t ignore it, but also be careful not to assume one piece of feedback represents the majority. You can never be certain, so collect enough data before making any changes.
  4. If you are looking for new industries to break into, look for markets where the current businesses, either due to laziness, or a lack of competition, or bureaucracy, have set standards that can easily be improved.

    Richard Branson is fantastic at doing this. He finds markets where expectations are kept low because all the current options do things the same (inferior) way. Virgin enters the market with a more valuable/better/more exciting option to stir things up, and often in a short period of time is a market leader or significant player. Don’t be afraid to highlight your strengths by pointing out the competitions weaknesses. This works for politicians all the time.

  5. Your goal as an entrepreneur is to identify a need, present an offer using the language your target market uses, make sure the offer is delivered how people expect it to be, and then go to work finding more customers. It’s important to manage the offer and deliverability of that offer, otherwise any marketing you do is wasted.

    Do this wrong and it’s like spending money to buy traffic consisting of people who want to buy a new motorcycle, when you sell new scooters. The difference may be considered subtle, but I doubt a person wanting a new motorcycle will be happy when a scooter turns up.

Don’t Over-Manage Expectations

Despite all this emphasis on managing expectations, it’s important to be relaxed about the process. We are dealing with the greatest variable ever – human beings – so if you are seeking a perfect understanding of what people expect, you will forever be frustrated.

Needs change. Markets evolve. People wake up in the morning wanting something different from the night before. If you attempt to anticipate all of this you will drive yourself crazy.

All you need to do is know enough and explain enough to keep customers happy, or keep your email list or blog growing, or meet whatever goal you have. There is always room for improvement, so know what is “enough” for your own needs.

In other words, manage your own expectations before you begin managing those of others.

Yaro Starak
Managing Expectations

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Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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