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Debt Consolidation Online – 3 Things To Watch Out For

Debt Consolidation Online – 3 Things To Watch Out For

Looking for a debt consolidation service? There are hundreds of companies out there who can help you consolidate your debt into one low-interest monthly payment. However, you need to beware of scammers! Some unsavory folks will simply try to take your money by making promises of debt consolidation–and then they don’t deliver on those promises. So as you’re browsing for Debt Consolidation online, remember to watch out for these three things:

Outrageous promises

“We’ll wipe your credit clean in less than 3 days!” “We’ll get your interest rate dropped to zero percent!” These types of outrageous promises are a sure sign of a scam operation. Any legitimate debt consolidation company will make reasonable promises and claims about the services they offer. Look for companies that offer help, assistance, and guidance–NOT miracles.

Spam, telemarketing and junk mail

Be wary of any service that solicits your business, especially with cheap marketing tools like email spam, telemarketing and junk mail. (Fliers on a community bulletin board are even worse.) In general, it should be you who seeks out their business, rather than they who contact you. Television commercials are an exception, however. They are generally acceptable advertising since the company is not contacting individuals directly, but is rather targeting a broad audience.

Exorbitant fees

Don’t pay any company an up-front fee before they’ve even looked at your case! Sometimes called “client assessment fees,” some companies will charge you $50 or $100 just to review your paperwork for a few minutes–then they shuffle you out the door! Although it’s not unusual to pay a debt consolidation service an initial fee plus a monthly fee, you shouldn’t be paying exorbitant amounts. Shop around so you know the current rates for this type of service, and walk away from any company that seems to be gouging you.

Although a debt consolidation service can get your interest rates lowered and help you get a handle on your finances, it’s always smart to be wary and on the lookout for unscrupulous scammers. Before you sign on with any company, make sure you check them out with your local Better Business Bureau.

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The Biggest Employment Change of All – Becoming an Entrepreneur

The Biggest Employment Change of All – Becoming an Entrepreneur

For many of us, change can be a scary thing. When we are children, there is nothing better than meeting new friends and going to new places. But, when we become adults, change can be something that is less than appealing.
From finishing school and going on to college or university to getting married and having children, our lives are nothing but life changing moments.
Sometimes the one change that is the hardest to deal with is the change in our employment status, and one of the biggest career changes is the decision to go from being an “employee” to being your own “boss”, becoming a self-employed entrepreneur.
For those that have that overwhelming desire to be a small business owner, the entire journey to success is something that creates a sense of energy and fulfilment. The roads that are followed bring an abundance of information, continually adding to the entrepreneurial process and spirit.
Visits to local small business centers can provide a wealth of support and encouragement. There is always flyers, newsletters and experienced staff to assist you with any questions or concerns.
Another avenue that can be taken to contribute to your business’ success is becoming involved in networking groups. Most groups conduct weekly or monthly meetings, some more formal than others, which allow small business owners to share with each other their stories and experiences. It can create alliances that will benefit each business owner.
For myself, a small business owner in Southern Ontario, Canada, the road to being an entrepreneur included the participation in the SEA (Self Employment Assistance) Program sponsored by Human Resources Development Canada.
The SEA program offered, and is still offering, myself and my company a wealth of information and support. This program is available all across Canada. In Southern Ontario it is available in Brampton, Orangeville, and Toronto, as well as numerous other communities. The program consists of 10 weeks of in-class instruction which is performed by successful small business owners. The support then continues for one year with monthly networking meetings with the rest of the participants and one-on-one appointments with an instructor.
Although this program is only offered in Canada, there are similar programs offered in most other areas, whether you are in the United States or anywhere else in the world. Check your local phone book or small business magazines for more information. For myself, the decision to become self-employed was something that just felt right at the time. I had spent a number of years running my father’s lawn care company from my home. During that time, I had helped friends, family and acquaintances with everything from typing projects for them to designing their marketing material. So when the time came for my dad to retire, it just seemed natural to do what I had been doing for many years….providing word processing and desktop publishing services Then, with the increase in the use of the Internet, I learned to design websites.
So, if you are thinking of starting your own business, it is recommended that you do plenty of research. You have to see if the type of business you want to start is viable in your area. Is there a need for your product or service by the people or businesses in your community? Whether you will be looking for funding or not, you need to do a business plan. In the process of putting it together, you will have a better understanding of what you are doing and where you are going.
If you need help with certain aspects when building your business, such as promotion or putting together influential marketing material, there are many companies that specialize in taking some of the pressure off of your shoulders. Not all will be listed in the phone books yet, so you need to keep your eyes and ears open for mention of these companies.
Remember that not all small businesses are overnight successes. It takes plenty of work. Long hours with very little reward in the beginning. But, each time a new client or customer comes on board, you will feel butterflies in your stomach and a smile on your face. Use that feeling of exhilaration as your energy source and combine it with other relevant information that you acquire. Knowledge isn’t power…Action is!

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Finding Your Niche in Magazine Publishing

Finding Your Niche in Magazine Publishing


Magazine publishing is a multi-billion dollar industry.
What other industry could you find that caters to every niche of market there is? It is no wonder that careers in magazine publishing would be as prolific as the type of magazine there is. Here’s an overview of the different type of professions for anyone who considers making a career in this industry.

Editorial/Writing

For anyone who has flair for writing, a career in magazine publishing is an easy one. A good start is to work as an intern in a magazine publishing company. Though this is the least fabulous of all the positions, it will provide you training and connections in the industry. It would also be helpful if you would have a folio that it always on hand. One may also start in an entry-level position as an editorial assistant. Aside from writing, rewriting and copyediting, certain office duties may also be asked. You could then work your way up to being an associate editor, managing editor, executive editor and finally, an editor-in-chief!

Marketing

If you are meticulous, could communicate well and could convince people into an idea or a brand in ways other than writing, then you could have a spot in marketing. Through marketing, you make sure that you make your market hear what the magazine wants them to hear. You must then know how to harmonize the behavior and trends of your market with your publications. This may involve overseeing the sales, the distribution of the publication as well as what kind of articles goes into the magazine.

Production

This is the actual production of the magazine. You must be very keen with the details, the deadline and the technology that goes with it. Production is used to be associated with machineries and heavy equipment. However now, production goes beyond the tangible paper and ink. Online publishing have changed the way magazines are produced. Production now also involves a great deal of information technology skills.

Design

Other than writing, you could also channel your creativity by being involved with the design of the magazine. Magazines rely heavily on the aesthetics, not only for sales, but also as an alternative way for expression. The design of the magazine also helps it to turn into a brand. Magazines like Time have a signature red border on its cover while the National Geographic has a yellow border.

Sales

Just like any business, magazine publishing also has a concern with sales. However, there is more to it than simply being able to sell. You need to be charismatic, diplomatic and to have integrity. Building good relationships with your clients is important. Aside from people skills, you also need to develop your analytical skills in studying market reports and sales. You have to know how will your ads will be effective to your magazine and its market.

There are many career paths to choose from in the magazine publishing industry. You may have a proven ability for writing or graphic design but a university degree would be, if not mandatory, extremely helpful. Keep in mind that magazine publishing also involves corporate work and that companies do want to present a professional image to the market.

Just make sure that the degree that you’ll be having or is already pursuing is relevant to the industry. If you are still undecided of which field to choose, it is highly recommended that you take an internship in a magazine publishing company. You may not start out glamorous (think Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada) but you’ll definitely learn a lot. In time, you’ll learn the tricks of the trade and you’ll be on your way to the top.

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Seven Home Based Business Ideas

Seven Home Based Business Ideas

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What kind of home based business should you try to start? After all, in these days when companies all over the world are down sizing or outsourcing, even the most highly educated and well trained workers may find themselves out of a job!

Used to be that if you got a job with a major company, or a state or local government job, that you were set for life. Handsome pensions, medical care benefits for yourself and family, union protection from unethical mean or desperate management, all of this and more helped to create a sense of security for American workers.

Now the worm has turned, and many well educated and well trained people find themselves at the mercy of bean counters and buyout artists, shady politicians trying to make their bones at the expense of the workforce, why a friend of mine who worked for a catholic church (and did a good job in my opinion) was sacked just the day before the Christmas holiday! The recent contract negotiations between the New York Mayor Bloomberg and the Transit Workers Union is another perfect example of why you should consider starting a home based business to protect your income, and your family’s security.

You might say, ” What have I got to offer?”. Well everybody brings something to the table. Do you enjoy photography? Why for goodness sake, you can make some money on the side doing weddings, school events, even free lance photography for your local newspapers!

And by the way, do you know anything about Direct Tv and satellite dishes? Just that the digital signal is great and that you can get a free dvr for as litlle as $19.95 per month? Well then you can get a free affiliate account and make up to $105 for every deal you sign up. And there is no customer service or follow up required.

Ladies who like makeup? Well just sign up with Mary Kay, invite a few friends and colleagues over for a make up party, and before you know it, you can be raking in the dough! One of the wealthiest women in my home town is a Mary Kay rep. It’s the magic of residual income, and the beauty of sharing in the revenue of everyone who you recruit to join the Mary Kay network.

But what about web based businesses? Is there a way that you can have products to sell, promotional materials, and an automated customer service solution where you can watch the money roll in and not have to know a thing about web hosting, shopping carts or web design? There sure is, and they provide a free ten part course, where I learned about just such an automated affiliate income system!

It’s called firstpromotion, and it utilizes the ClickBank Marketplace to help you create a cash churning 24 hour a day residual income machine. You can customize the portal to fit your desired look, even to the point of deciding which categories or particular products you want to feature. They offer the option of having your portal served by them, or having a domain name hosted with them, or on your own web site.

Let’s go back to the example of wedding photography. Utilizing the above referenced system, you can have a web portal based on your affiliate id that will pay you you! say you are assisting a wedding photographer, taking second shot, to gain experience and get your name out. Just have a business card with a link to your customized wedding portal, a phone # and your email, which you hand out at interviews, wedding reheasals, meetings, evan at lunch with colleagues and friends.

That’s method # 1 to take your own skills and interests and turn them into income opportunities. It’s a prime example of affiliate marketing, which is probably the main method work at home business entreupners use.

The products which are offered through the above income system, are generally downloadable digital products. But you can make some decent money selling real products as an affiliate. All you have to do is join Commission Junction, BeFree (they have merged now), ShareASale or Linkshare. They are affiliate marketin networks which offer you access to hundreds even thousands of legitimate real world merchants, all of whom offer ready made promotional materials with your id embedded.

However, you do need at least one website to qualify for the above affiliate programs. You can get a free site, or you can find cheap easy web hosting just to get you off the ground! Once you have your site you can use pay perclick advertising to promote the real life products available from CJ and Linkshare, as well as serving Adsense ads on your pages, to offset, and sometimes even profit from your google Adwords campaigns!

Just what is google Adwords? Well if you haven’t heard, it is a fantastic easy and cost effective (if you are careful) method to get the word out about your product, affiliate product or any website you choose!

You write teny tiny clasifiied ads, and link to either your site, or an affiliate site that you have a relationship with, and you can watch the cash roll in on a massive passive income stream. It’s not as easy as 1-2-3, but if you have a knack for writing copy that grips, and you have identified a good converting site, why by golly, you can literally be making, 10s, hundreds, even thousands of dollars a day using google adwords.

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The Publishing Business

The Publishing Business

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Publishing is a fascinating business and the process that goes into the making of books and newspapers is an interesting one.
These days, with the world of digital information and the internet upon us, the scope of publishing now also includes websites, blogs and the like.

From the business perspective, publishing isn’t just printing literature or information but also the development, marketing, distribution and even promotion of the printed works. It is not as simple as it may seem.

The publishing process begins with the written work or the copy. Many aspiring and unpublished writers often submit manuscripts to publishing houses in the hopes of seeing the light of print. These end up in a slush pile which editors sift through, and the great majority of these contributions are often rejected. Usually, book and magazine publishers commission copy from known and established writers, and unsolicited works have a slim chance of getting published. The prudent thing for a writer to do to get published is to first submit a query or a proposal. It also helps if you have a literary agent who has access to major publishers.

Once a publisher accepts a work, then negotiations with the writer or his agent begin on how much to pay the writer for “intellectual property” rights and “royalty rate.”

Once commercial and legal issues are settled, the next step is the editorial stage where writers are asked to rewrite or improve their manuscripts before they get to publishing editors who do further editing on the work.

The next stage is called prepress and that’s where design and artwork (including photos) are decided. Other processes are typesetting, dust jacket composition, deciding on paper quality, binding method, casing as well as proofreading. Once done, the work can now proceed to printing. It is interesting to note that most major magazine and newspaper publishers have their own printing presses, but book publishers seldom do.

The publisher’s work doesn’t end with the publication of the book. This is followed by advertising and other marketing tasks, including distribution. There are times when the publishing process up to the printing stage is handled by a separate company or individual before selling the same to the publishing house. This is known as book packaging.

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Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses

Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses

DUSSEHRA 2017 – Paramahamsa Vishwananda
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I have been running a small business for nearly ten years and have used various forms of marketing ideas to help promote my services and to attract new customers.
In this article, I write about these marketing strategies which I hope will benefit the people who read it.

When I was twenty-three, I had what I believed was a good business idea. I was going to offer a speech coaching service as I had managed to overcome a speech impediment and believed that the techniques which had helped me could help other people as well.

It is all well and good having an idea but if no one knows about the service you are offering, it is basically worthless. I had no real business experience and was unsure on how to proceed. By reading a number of books on marketing for small businesses, I managed to find some potential routes which could help me to get started.

Direct marketing

This was one of the first areas I tried. I had a small leaflet produced which explained the speech coaching service that I was offering and then with the help of some friends and family, went around my local area delivering them. This was not as successful as I hoped it would be, however I am sure that this area of marketing could work well for other types of business.

Newspapers

I then decided to speculate to accumulate. I contacted a number of the local newspapers in my area and paid for an advertisment which would appear on a weekly basis. This advert would reach quite a large number of people and even though this was quite an expensive form of marketing, it did work for me in the early days.

Open days

I wanted to expand the area that I was going to offer my services. I decided to hold an open day or presentation in various parts of the country which would help to promote my business.

This was successful as newspapers were happy to report this open day free of charge, as it was a local event which would be of interest to their readers.

Yellow pages

I advertised in the yellow pages for a number of years but their prices just seemed to increase to an unrealistic level. More and more people now have access to the internet and I believe this is where they are more likely to search for the services they require. Yellow pages or as it is now called Yell, has become more expensive when in reality probably less people are using it.

Advertising in the yellow pages did prove successful for me for a number of years however, and is certainly an area of marketing which could work for other small businesses.

Websites

I paid a company to design and build me a website around seven years ago and this has by far been the best marketing investment I have made thus far. I have worked hard to promote this site and it is now doing well in the major search engines.

Radio and television marketing

This is an area of marketing which I have not tried as yet as it is very expensive. I have heard from other sources that advertising on the radio or television can be very beneficial for certain businesses, if they can afford the initial outlay.

I am sure there are many other ways of marketing a small business and I will seek them out in the future for my own business.

The above ideas are what I have learnt about and as you may have read, I have tried some of them myself with mixed success. Every business is obviously different and it is basically a form of trial and error to find which ones will work.

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The Two Facades of Internet Marketing—Profit or Bankruptcy for your Home-Based Business

The Two Facades of Internet Marketing—Profit or Bankruptcy for your Home-Based Business

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The information superhighway—or what we commonly know as the Internet—is built as a network of reliable information resources. With the Internet used in conjunction with computer system applications, the transmission of useful information is faster, more accurate, and such information can be accessed by almost anybody who needs such information for their personal use and other purposes it may serve them.

That is the Internet before on its early years of existence. Its rapid development, along with the clever minds of webmasters and Internet geniuses, paved the way for the innovations that changed the way we live in this world. Internet is not just for pure information dissemination or transmission of useful data—it now changed the way we do business in the 21st century.

The business community nowadays is now bombarded with many opportunities of earning through the Internet. The traditional conduct of business such as getting necessary permits from the city or state government, building physical structures as the ground of business, and advertising through local newspapers and large billboards on interstate highways is now held at the helm of the Internet. You need not visit the licensing division of the city or state government, find stalls where you can offer your products or services for sale, or advertise your business through local newspapers or large billboards.

All you need is your personal computer connected to the Internet, some effective market strategies, some funds, and some self-confidence that you will succeed on conducting business over the Internet.

Internet marketing offers sudden boost on your home-based business for several reasons.

1. As previously mentioned, you do not need to secure necessary permits from city or state governments or find structures for your business. You just need to create a website for several dollars (site design template and domain name registration), and you now have an online shop where you will be able to display your products or services for sale. In fact, you have the chance of getting clients outside the area of your business operation.

2. Advertising your products or services for sale through the Internet is relatively cheaper than advertising through local newspapers and large billboards. Advertising your home-based business online can attract more potential clients compared to local advertising. Moreover, you can also earn additional revenues for your home-based Internet marketing business from advertising the products or services of other Internet-based marketers through advertising affiliate programs.

3. The Internet is not just for Internet-based marketers who have products or services to sell online. In fact, there are various home-based business opportunities over the Internet that do not require products or services to sell, such as joining an affiliate marketing program, writing articles for online marketing websites, reading and responding to paid emails, answering paid surveys, and others. There is just a wide array of earning options for you over the Internet.

Because of the huge opportunity provided by the information superhighway, millions and millions of people are now getting online to promote and conduct their home-based Internet marketing business. Moreover, there are now hundreds to thousands of stories about individuals who have already made millions of dollars online and still making hundreds to thousands of dollars within weeks.

However, just like the traditional business, there are also hundreds to thousands of stories about individuals who have lost almost everything through Internet marketing because of several reasons. First, they failed to plan their home-based business carefully. Without proper marketing strategies on what type of home-based business they want as well as how they will promote it resulted in losing the shirts of their back instead of getting a new one every now and then.

Second, they failed to understand the basics of Internet marketing. All they know is that Internet is a “pool of thousand to millions of dollars”. Despite of the opportunities given by the Internet to aspiring online marketers, their success will still depends on how they will handle their business over the Internet. You will just be as good as a “fool” if you do not understand the fundamentals of Internet marketing—it has still two faces: profit or bankruptcy.

The Internet provides a huge opportunity on earning substantial amounts of revenues for your home-based business. However, the success or failure of your Internet marketing business will still depend on how you want it to happen. The choice is yours to make.

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How to Become a Successful Independent Artist or Songwriter

How to Become a Successful Independent Artist or Songwriter

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By far the most important skill to have if you wish to become successful with anything, is ATTITUDE.
An old Chinese proverb once said, “90% of the journey towards success is over once you have stepped outside your front door. ” The reason many people fail, is because they’d rather stay in and watch the TV.

Of course, that first step outside is a philosophical one. As a musician or songwriter, you spend the vast majority of your time being creative. If you think that writing a great song, or playing an instrument well, is the hardest part of being a successful artist, you are wrong.

Despite all the skills you need to know and perfect in order to make your music shine, these pale into insignificance compared with the hard work and other skills you will need to learn in order to record, market and sell your art successfully.

Fortunately, most creative people also seem to excel at other things. The term “Jack of all trades” could quite easily apply to most musicians or artists. After all, the first thing most artists have to learn, is how to find time for their art whilst running a home AND holding down a Day Job in order to pay the bills! It is therefore not unusual to find musicians who are also Physicists, Engineers, IT Professionals or Teachers, to name but a few.

Most of these people are quite content to keep music as a hobby, at least whilst bringing up a family. However, we all get to a stage in our lives (usually once the kids have grown up and left home), where we want to cease working for a “Living”, and instead, work for our own “Satisfaction”.

There are few things in life more satisfying than being admired for something we created. If our creations also manage to influence others, then it is even more rewarding.

This “first step outside your front door” is taken when you decide to pause from the creative aspect (the ideas), and take a positive step towards learning new skills, or employing others who can do those things for you.

There has never been a better time in the history of mankind, to take those steps, either by yourself, or with others who would help you.

–Where you used to have to pay for tutoring, or buy books, in order to learn the techniques of songwriting, or playing an instrument, you can now find scores of articles on the Internet (like this one!) that will help you for free.

–Where you used to have to save up a considerable amount of money to pay studio costs and hire session musicians to make a decent demo recording, you can now find all the necessary tools, and even the musicians, on the Internet who would help you for little or no cost at all.

–Where you needed to sign a record deal in order to be able to afford a producer and a master quality studio, you can now buy your own PC and some music software, and collaborate with a producer online, who will give you the capability to make radio-ready recordings.

–Where you needed a record company with a huge advertising budget to market and sell your recordings, you can now (with some hard work), market and sell your CDs to the Whole World for next to nothing.

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The Music Industry doesn’t like the changes that the Internet has brought to the business. Digital media can be freely copied by anyone with a PC, anywhere in the World. No longer do the record companies just have to worry about the CD pirates who manufacture illegal copies to sell on the black market; they also have to now worry about every PC-literate man, woman and child, making their own copies too! This has led the music industry into a perpetual fight against filesharers (making enemies of many consumers in the process), instead of embracing the business advantages that the Internet brings to us.

The Music Industry still believes that 8-16 year-olds buy most of the records, so they are still catering primarily for that market. Recent industry figures are telling a different story, and the secret is the “Baby Boomers”.

Yes … The same people who created the above market perception in the 70’s by buying the largest proportion of records ever, whilst they were teenagers, have now grown up! The largest age group to buy CDs TODAY, at 26% of the population, are over 45. Not only that, but they still like the same kinds of music as they did then. So there is no need to change your art to fit today’s teenybopper market if you aren’t that way inclined.

Now that we know the secret, we also know that the next big thing in music, isn’t going to be another form of Hip-hop, Techno, or R’n’B; but a return to real music, such as was made during the 60’s and 70’s. However, we’ll be creating it with modern tools on a Home computer DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) system, instead of in a multimillion pound studio complex!

So, whilst the Music Industry is still hesitating by trying to shun the new digital era in favour of antiquated business models, hardware in the form of CDs, and markets that still only cover limited territories; we can now jump ahead of them onto a more level playing field, find our own markets, and sell to the Whole World with only a simple website!

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? … Well, that is the first hurdle you will face. So many musicians think it is easy, that there are millions already doing it! So to be successful you will need, like any other business, a proper business plan.

CONCLUSION

The road to being a successful independent musician, begins with ATTITUDE.

You need to find enough time in your schedule to drop the guitar & scoresheet and use your creative energies towards developing a proper BUSINESS PLAN. This means taking a step back and listening to your music through Joe Public’s ears. You need to think up a business name, logo, and short slogan that encompasses what you are, and what your music is trying to say to people.

Register your business “name” by buying a domain name that suits you as soon as possible.

Pages on free MP3 sites and Free domains do not give you a professional image. You MUST have your own site, or at least something that offers you a unique look and features of your own. If you want people to find your music unique & special, then you also need an image that is unique and special. That goes for your email address too. Genuine business people don’t use their Hotmail, AOL, or Yahoo addresses for formal communications.

Make sure all your paperwork is in order.

If you are planning on making an eventual living from your art, you will need to be registered as a business or as a self-employed sole trader. You need to make sure your tax and income are all accounted for, so you may have to buy yourself an accounting package, or learn to use Excel Spreadsheets, or employ an accountant. There is also a lot to learn about how copyright systems work and whether you feel you need to form your own publishing company, record company, or register your copyrights with an agency. Much of this will depend on the laws of your home country. Alternatively, you can sign a non-exclusive deal with a small independent label or publisher to handle all the music-related paperwork for you.

You need to either take the time to develop some basic web design skills, buy ready-made templates, or employ someone to design a site for you.

Make sure your logo and colour scheme is fluent throughout your site, your stationery, your CD artwork, and any other communications device, such as email. Make sure your site includes some way of gathering a mailing list, such as a response form or a “double opt-in” form of registration.

Plan a marketing strategy.

Marketing is all about finding the right market for your product. This may involve a certain amount of consumer research. This can be expensive, so use the Internet as much as possible to find groups of people who like similar music to yours. Try to find out other things about these people so that you can get a clearer picture of who would be interested in your music.

Plan a promotional strategy.

Gather contact lists of magazines, local newspapers, TV and radio stations. Plan an 8-week promotional strategy leading up to the release of your CD. Use any press, or airplay you get as a news item on your website. If you have some money to invest, plan a set of concert dates in local venues for dates close to any publication dates. Plan a poster or postcard campaign. Contact local charities, hospitals, schools and shops, in fact anyone who might be prepared to play your CD in a public place. If you want local record stores to stock your CD, you will also need barcodes and counter display boxes. Use the mailing list you have been gathering from your site to promote any news to your fans with a regular newsletter. Offer free tickets to gigs, or run competitions for free CDs. Use your fans as extra leverage to increase the momentum of your promotional campaigns.

Don’t under-sell yourself.

Make sure that any music you decide to give away as a promotional MP3 is different in some way to the music you are selling. E.G. It will either be an early un-mastered mix (demo), or a different mix, or a song you are never going to release for sale. Otherwise, make sure all samples you make of your records, are either short clips, or low-fi mono samples. The price you set for your releases should never be too far below that of major record company releases. Your price tells your customer what “stage” you are at in the business. Price yourself too cheap and you are more likely to lose customers because they will automatically assume you are an “amateur”.

Make yourself and your CD easily accessible to your fans.

Always answer any emails promptly. Check your emails at least once a day and reply to any new enquiries immediately. The average time expected by most people for a response by email is 12-24 hours. Do not SPAM. Make sure you only send bulk emails to people who have opted into your mailing list, and if anyone wants to opt out, make sure you delete them straight away (not several weeks and 10 disgruntled emails later!). To contact businesses, you will need to write individually and personally to each of them. Always use a business “signature” with your artistic or business name, slogan, web site address, and possibly your telephone number, on every email you send. If you have released a CD, make sure you add the link to that too! If you have had your CDs duplicated professionally and are barcoded, you can also expand from selling them in internet stores such as iTunes, Amazon, and CDbaby, to high street stores. You must also sell them from your own site or at least provide links to the stores where they are available.

Never stop “Networking”

Carry your business cards with you at all times. At every conversational opportunity, if someone happens to mention music, or gigs, make sure you advertise yourself as an independent artist. If you have a modern mobile phone or MP3 player, make sure your latest CD is on it! You never know who you’ll bump into in the supermarket. The first thing someone will ask when you mention you are a recording artist is “What kind of music do you play?” If you have your MP3 player with you, you won’t even have to answer! (This is always a difficult question for an artist). You can just play it to them! Also make sure you frequent all the music-related newsgroups, forums, bulletin boards, MP3 sites, chat rooms etc. at every opportunity.

Finally, my “Promotional Tip of the Week”

Familiarise yourself with all the P2P filesharing systems that the music business hates so much. You can use them to your advantage. Make ads or lo-fi samples of your music or CD and label them like this…

John_Mckeon_Friends_SoundsLike_Simon_&_Garfunkel.mp3

Make copies labelled with every well-known artist you think you sound like, and keep all the files in your shared folder. Then, whenever you are logged onto the service and someone searches for music by these well-known artists, your music will be on their list of results!

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A Quick Guide To Get You Started With Mobile Marketing

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Source: Flickr

Are you looking for a new way to reach potential customers from their cell phones? Are you wondering how the popularity of mobile devices changes marketing? Keep on reading! This article will provide you some essential tips on marketing to people on mobile devices. It’s information that any modern marketer should know.

Design your site and messages with mobile marketing in mind. Loading speeds will likely be much slower than on a computer, and the screen is much, much smaller. Design your website with these considerations in mind, and also consider a dedicated site for mobile use. This consideration will make people more likely to buy from you, since they can view and use your site comfortably.

Mobile marketing is a different kind of marketing because it is not a strategy, it is an objective. You cannot force people into this kind of marketing so your goal should be on the end result, the objective to get more customers involved and support your business as opposed to trying to force it on them

When undertaking a mobile marketing campaign keep in mind that most people look for businesses in their area. Include keywords in your campaign that let’s a potential customer know your local business location and then target the largest audience possible.

For all of your product sales and information, you want to set up a link for a mobile-specific landing page. All phones need to be able to use a mobile friendly page, and you want that link to be very easy to find so that your customers can bookmark them directly on their phones and visit often.

Do your research. Understanding how mobile marketing works is the most important step to take before you get into it. Search for other marketing campaigns, and see which ones worked out well, and which did not. Having this information to back you up can put you on the successful track to marketing well.

Getting a webcam and setting up a Skype account to have a face-to-face with your customers is a great way to handle mobile marketing if this fits your business. Not every person out there wants to be that personable in business, but if you have affiliates working for you or some seriously loyal customers, this is a good move to stay in contact with them, in a personal way.

Convince people to opt-in to your mobile marketing efforts by offering coupons, discounts, and promotions. People won’t want to miss out on discounted prices, so they will be willing to give you their cell phone numbers. Remember not to abuse this act of goodwill; overdeliver on your promises to provide value.

It’s important to take advantage of the opportunities that mobile marketing provides. Most people have their cell phones on them at all times, which means the window of time in which you can reach your audience is greatly increased. Look to the tips in this article as you work to develop new strategies for marketing. They’ll help you think with mobile devices in mind.

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Is Your Storefront Business Missing Out On Your Easiest Customers? Fix The Problem Quickly And Easily:

Is Your Storefront Business Missing Out On Your Easiest Customers? Fix The Problem Quickly And Easily:

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Source: Flickr

You run a store front business. You’re always on the lookout for simple and immediate ways to get more potential customers though your door – because more walk-ins gives you the best chance of more sales.

If you’re advertising in the local paper, you’re doing business the hard way – and you’re probably spending $20-50 for each new customer. And most other forms of advertising are a serious and slow investment.

Store front businesses should first be targetting those walking or driving by their store – and in many cases this is literally thousands of people every day.

These people are a store front business’ best chance for a quick rise in sales, because they’ve already made it to within a few paces of the door – and all you have to do is reach out and bring them just a few more steps.

Yet most shops do little more than put their business name above their door in the futile hope that this will attract customers. And, sadly, even displaying your goods in the front window does little to really motivate potential customers.

But a bright, attention grabbing banner across the front of your store can create huge interest – and draw in your best sales prospects.

For far less than 100 dollars.

And so a new website aims to make it quicker, cheaper and easier than ever before to woo these ‘easiest all all’ customers through the door of the astute managers’ store front business.

www.custom-outdoor-banners.com has a simple 5-page guide to how you should design your outdoor banner to attract new customers – with links to websites on which to design your banner online, then order by credit card and have it shipped to your door.

The free, 5 page guide covers the basics of choosing your colours, writing your message, and putting it all together in an outdoor banner that really brings people in.

It’s the guide to boosting business that every store front owner should read, and it may be the cheapest and most effective advertising that you’ll do this year.