How to Locate and Analyze Your Target Customers in Just a Few Hours Using Free Web Resources

Analyzing target customers is an expensive, time consuming process if you approach it in the traditional way. However, if you have been reading this series of articles for the Online Marketing Guerilla (OMG) you will know that we can find everything we need to know in just a few hours using free web resources.

The OMG does not waste time, money or effort on anything that doesn’t directly help them to achieve their objectives, so here is how you can locate, analyze and understand more about your target customer groups than your competitors. Throughout any research, you should be looking for what to exclude until all you are left with is pure gold to your business. With practice you can do this in a matter of a few hours, not days.

What you need to know about your customers is:

– Where do they spend their time when they are online?
– Where do they go and what do they do when they are offline?
– What needs and problems do they have that you can help them to solve?
– How are they currently satisfying their needs?
– What do they like about the products they are using?
– What do they dislike about the products they are using?

Use or adapt these questions as column headings in a spreadsheet to enable you to organize the information you are gathering from the following free web resources.

1. Go to Google Blog Search and type in the topic you are looking for, being as specific as you can with search words so that you go straight to directly relevant content. Look for blogs with the highest numbers of readers and check the advertisements and any links that the author recommends, as many of your potential customers will be clicking those links and buying the products being advertised.

2. Research what articles are being read on your chosen subject. Go to about.com and ezinearticles.com, both of which are rich in expert content and carrying links and advertisements that you need to check out.

3. Go to big-boards.com and Google Groups and look for forums with high membership and comments and again follow the links and advertisements. Select groups worth joining and become part of the discussions so you are actually talking with your target customers

4. Go to YouTube and type your topic into the search box. Look for high numbers of viewers and clips that carry sponsored ads and links embedded in the clips themselves. This is the latest upcoming information source that your customers are turning to.

In just a few hours your spreadsheet will be full of valuable information. Go through it looking for anything you can exclude and it will be easy to make decisions about where you are going to place your own ads, blogs, articles and videos so that enough customers will see them and click your links to enable you to achieve your objectives.

 

The Top 5 Web Resources Guaranteed to Improve Your Business Results!

As business owners, it’s crucial that we understand how to utilize our resources to the fullest. Fortunately, the technology and tools that are available to entrepreneurs today has really leveled out the business playing field in so many ways. We now have access to simple, cost effective ways of reaching our target markets and communicate through multiple mediums with our customers. However, if you are one that finds using technology – let alone finding what types of technology to use – overwhelming, you are not alone! There are so many web resources out there – free or low cost – that it can be a daunting task to know what you’re looking for.

I have profiled The Top 5 Free Web Resources that are a must have for all entrepreneur’s. These are not social networking sites, but sites and services that provide free or cost-effective ways of doing things that used to be out of reach for many entrepreneurs on a low budget.

Elance.com

Elance.com provides a way for any business owner to access talent and services from the convenience of their home office. You can search thousands of freelancers from all over the world and find a virtual employee who meets your needs. Services range from web development, copy writing, billing, virtual assistants and more. You can review, communicate and pay for your services directly through Elance.com. Elance allows you to expand your business without the costs and management needed to bring on full-time employees.

I’m currently using Elance to work with a web developer in India. We communicate via Skype – generally I see changes to my website within 1 day of my request. It’s fun, cost effective and I get results fast.

Lulu.com

A published book can be a great way to become known as an expert in your industry. To many, the idea of publishing a book can feel like an intimidating task. However, thanks to Lulu.com, anyone can become a published author!

Lulu.com is a do-it-yourself publishing service that allows for you to print one or thousands of copies of your book. They also provide you a Free ISBN so that you can be listed and sell your book on amazon.com. The process is simple to do with their book templates and book cover wizard. Click to see a demo of their services.

One tip – don’t let having the “perfect” book stop you from publishing. You have all the time in the world to perfect and write about your unique methodology or idea. But if you’re interested in getting a book written quickly, consider doing a compilation of success stories from your clients or writing your own success story. It could be as short as 20 – 50 pages! Let the creative juices flow and don’t let perfection stop you from becoming published and known as an expert in your industry. The whole point is to get published and get known. Your more developed books can come over time.

Hootsuite.com

Hootsuite.com is a must-have tool to manage your social networking. We all know that social networking is an extremely powerful way to communicate and build relationship with our clients. Yet managing five or six different social media sites can be so time consuming that we tend under utilize this powerful tool. Hootsuite.com is a web service that allows you to update multiple social media sites in one click! They even have a free application for your smart phone so that you can easily update all of your sites on the go. You can upgrade to their Pro account and for $5.99/month utilize tools that track and report on user activity, etc. I love to login to one place and see posts and updates from all of my social media sites. I also love that they have an embedded tool to shrink long URLs – making it easy to post “tiny” URLs to your Twitter and other page updates.

WordPress.com

So many business owners make the mistake of paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a “fancy” website, yet they aren’t getting the traffic and results they’re looking for. WordPress.com is the resource to build a professional, cost-effective site. If you have even limited technology background, then WordPress is the perfect way for great results with a do-it-yourself approach. However, if you’re like most of us and creating a website alone is an overhemling task, I recommend hiring a web developer (check out elance.com) and having them create the template and design for you. Then, it’s easy to update content whenever you have changes!

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is an amazing resource to communicate with your clients or potential clients. While it’s the only resource listed here that has a monthly fee, I highly recommend it as a way to grow your outreach, and quickly. Constant Contact is a tool that supports regular communication with your clients and potential clients. Their email marketing software is easy to use and gives you the ability for regular communication with your email list. Their event marketing software allows you to track and market events you’re hosting. Through their event marketing tools, you can create a webpage that looks like part of your website. From this page you can track how many people view the page, what the response is to your event, etc.

I leverage this tool in many ways and really like the way that I can track how many people open, view and respond to my newsletter articles. If you haven’t already tried email or event marketing online – get started now and start to see real results in your business.

Taking advantage of the vast amount of resources on the web is a must-do for any small business owner. The trick is knowing which tools to use, and how much time and money to invest in them. If you’re just getting started with your online business, I highly recommend taking the time to investigate my Top 5 to start seeing results quickly!

Julie is a business coach and consultant devoted to helping organizations create sustainable, successful businesses. She works with clients who are ready to take their business to the next level through her coaching and consulting methodologies.

“One of my unique gifts is the ability to see what’s going on in an organization at a root cause or systemic level and work with my clients to create a very solid strategy to address the issue.”

Julie has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Bentley University in Waltham, MA. She brings 10 years of business experience to her work. Prior to running her own business, Julie was responsible for a successful global team at a high-profile Fortune 500 company. Her work focused on corporate sustainability, where she served as a catalyst for change and saved her company hundreds of thousands of dollars by finding inefficiencies and implementing cost-effective solutions.

In addition, Julie is a student of the world renowned Barbara Brennan School of Healing. Her in-depth study of human energy consciousness gives her tools to listen to her clients at deep levels. This unique gift gives her the ability to very easily assess what’s going on with her clients and coach them to success.

 

Online Travel Agent Secrets That Saves Clients 100s to 1000s of Dollars Off All Travel – Part 2

More massive travel savings are always given to the best planner of travel. The best planners use a travel agent. Question, who do you think would get the best rate on an all-inclusive travel package to Jamaica, you or the travel agent? Nine times out of ten, the travel agent wins. Why is that, you ask? They’re the professionals of the industry, and no matter how many times you’ve already visited, received published discount rates, shared laughs with the host of the hotel, it doesn’t amount to power of a true travel professional.

One phone call to the front desk, and travel agents discounts are eagerly rolled out the travel professional, no questions ask. But here’s how you can benefit! An excellent travel agent can offer you some of these same perks that can save you hundreds easily. Here’s more travel agents secrets revealed.

Early Bookings: Lets be real, 50 percent of travel is done within a months’ time of planning. So you are never getting any good specials unless rooms need to be filled to max out vendors(hotels,cabins,etc,) sales. A travel agent has immediate excess to this information, so that you can save up to 60%, from just 2 weeks planning.

Avoiding Fees: Since the increase of fuel has rapidly affected all parts of our global economy, being educated about the extra charges for luggage, bookings fees and how to avoid these fees alone are priceless. Did you know as of now, cruise lines will charge you extra fuel charge per day ranging from $2-$9 per person. Airlines are charging $15-$50 for extra luggage, and each airline is different. Travel agents can inform you on which airlines charges the less, and even ways on how to avoid those fees altogether. Think you can do better than that, within minutes?

Negotiating Prices. Travel agents book hotel accommodations for major companies with hundreds to attend, so they get special rates given to them all the time based on credibility. Therefore, having your personal travel agent negotiating a family vacation package for 5 at the same hotel he/she has just booked an event for 200 people sounds quite rewarding as appose to you fussing, trying to get a $20 discount. Me personally, I would let the travel agent do their job, I couldn’t win that argument without those expertise.

Often, online travel agents get bombarded with travel promotions and sometimes have to choose a guess of their choice to go on a 5-Day Carnival Cruise for $90. Wouldn’t you want to be a good personal friend with an online travel professional and ask him/her, “are their any travel promotion you have going this month”? My email inbox probably has over hundreds of offers like this right now.

Simply stated, whether it’s airline travel discounts, Disney travel discounts, student travel discounts, or just a family vacation package, you want the best for your money. Work personal with a good certified travel agent, and you’ll always get the best deals, period.

You Can Become A Travel Agent

Everyone wants to have a career that suits them, and one that makes them happy. There are many things that you can do with your life, but if you become a travel agent, there are so many benefits that you are going to get. If you want to succeed in life, you know that you have to have a job that you can rely on.

Among the many important aspects of getting a good job are factors such as having a job with good benefits, having a job where there is room and possibilities for growth and advancement, and having a job where you can go to work each day and get 100% job satisfaction. If you become a travel agent you can get all of these things. If you become a travel agent you will find that you have a full time job where you are clearly able to get all of the benefits that are awarded to people with full time jobs. Iincluded is health insurance and other insurance policies, and also being able to save for your retirement, which is equally as important. You can also get other benefits as well.

If you become a travel agent you can find that you will simply enjoy your job because you are going to be helping people to make great travel arrangements and get the most out of life. You will find that if you become a travel agent you are going to work in a great atmosphere with other happy people as well. However, the best thing about the chance to become a travel agent is that you have so much room to move upward. You can find yourself in a situation where you can easily work your way from travel agent to owning our own agency. This means more money for you, of course.

See The World

Another great thing you will discover if you become a travel agent is that you are going to be able to do lots of traveling of your own and do it at great rates. If you are able to become a travel agent you can go just about anywhere in the world and you can go there for very little cost. There are almost unlimited benefits to being a travel agent. It is also very easy to become a travel agent. You can apply for a job with a local travel agency and you’ll find that it is very simply get yourself certified so that you can become a licensed travel agent.

Imagine a life where you can help others make great travel arrangements and decisions, and where you are going to be able to actually help people. Not only that, but you’ll find many great things if you become a travel agent. You can travel for free to many places, and if you work in this exciting field you’ll find that not only can you get great discounts for being a travel agent, but that just by being one, you are going to know where the best places are to get great deals on travel.

These are just a few reasons why it is a great idea to become a travel agent. The options are just unlimited: work in your home town, travel to other places, work from your home or even offer travel services on the internet. Regardless of where you go you’ll find that there is a need for this type of job. Whatever you do, make sure not to underestimate the power of being a travel agent. This is a career field that you should think about getting into, especially if you love to travel and if you feel that this can be a great way to spend your life. I mean who wouldn’t want to receive discount flights all around the world?