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Search Engine Conversion Optimization (SECO) Made Easy

Eight Quick Tips. By Sandra G Corbin Managing Director Strategy Consultants (c) SC 2014

You have a website and social media channels. Everyone says they are great but you don’t just want lots of views.  You need sales. So how can you convert those views or survey results into retention and ultimately sales of your product or service.

A good SEO strategist will add value to your business,  reduce the bounce rate and ensure that your return on your investment leads to purchases.
SEO companies and consultants use tools to analyze who is visiting your site or social media. They can even find how visitors arrived at your page, what was viewed as well as what were the barriers to closing the sale.  In other words assess user behavior.

A good firm will be able to look at the key performance indicators (KPI) that will show you why utilizing the new methods they implemented worked.

Here are 8 quick tips you can use to assist website and social media visitors into customers or clients;
• Make the journey easy for your visitors through a sales funnel process
• Identify customer needs and Offer content that spurs action
• Monitor and measure analytics
• Identify and erase barriers – for example is the site difficult to navigate
• Make sure that your message is clear
• Ensure customers understand the value in your offer
• Make sure endorsements are on your site
• Make sure that it encourages your visitors to convert others to utilize your services

With exciting web content, a dynamic design, impressive layout, ease of use you will significantly create a better user experience.

However, this is just the beginning of the search engine conversion process.

If YOU found Search Engine Conversion Optimization (SECO) Made Easy – Eight Quick Tips useful.

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As featured in The Barbados Business Authority, “Sales and PR course a success!”

The Bricks and Mortar of Public Relations

Amongst some of the most unusual projects we have handled is public relations for a Construction companies. Construction companies?, I hear you exclaim.  Yes, that’s right you read correctly Construction companies.

The main reason a construction company will hire a Public Relations Consultancy is to assess, then adapt its reputation in the market place.

Often this involves outreach public relations within the local community.
When I first approached this sector around eight years ago in Barbados there were only a handful of companies in the sector. You could literally count them on one hand.  All were locally owned. I successfully increased awareness and goodwill. I had my team even made presentations to win contracts on their behalf. We successful brought our campaigns to a close.
Over the years the consultancy went on to address other business sectors to increase our client base. However, I noticed a shift in the construction marketplace.

Whilst the local companies (part of their business plan was regional growth) scanning the region winning awards for their innovative structures.

Construction companies from other territories entered the Caribbean, in particular Barbados from the USA with the financial backing and prepared to launch sustained branding and marketing campaigns. Many used internet marketing tools.

What was noticeable is that smaller Barbadian contractors and artisans entered the market place at the same time utilizing word of mouth as their marketing tool. This is all well and good but some discounted the value of an agency to their peril. As a result many are not longer with us as they were unable to defuse negative situations, reports of shoddy workmanship, fees and no work, many of which were untrue. The odd one or two sort to solve the problem in house in the event of a pr crisis.

My company ethos was that Strategy Consultants always believed that no matter the size of the construction firm correct public relations positioning would give these companies the competitive edge.  Today it’s  living proof that effective public relations and marketing can help to grow the smallest firm.  My initial work with Moorjani Construction now called Moorjani Caribbean is a prime example.

It’s easier to shift public perceptions, develop credible contacts and develop the positive opinions of potential clients if you have a well-known name of good standing. This means your name has influence and you would be able to overcome negative media images should they occur.
For example, recently a construction company owner was in a tussle with an organization over a rental arrangement whereby he stated that he had creditors to pay and had locked the building as a result of non-payment. This publicity although it seemed to solve the immediate problem he perceived may cause other issues in future. It really is important to start goodwill before problems occur.

I would like to hear from you so if you have started a new business in the last year. If you’re a small business, with a product or service or even a personality with a talent anywhere across the globe with an amazing story or tips about how you made it,  just send your story to me today!
Perhaps you have invested a new process, won an award, gained even a larger project or even donated to charity by taking something like the ICE bucket challenge.

Let us help you share the good news!
What makes a successful campaign through a public relations consultancy is that it should be able to help you to write releases, network with local and international trade and mainstream media contacts plus teach you how to talk to them so that your message gets across.    Even better the consultancy should be able to organise your social media work utilizing the internet to at least double awareness as well as helping you with a sales presentation so that you clinch that all important deal.
I term it as the mortar of public relations ceiling the bricks (product/service/personality) of construction to create a solid campaign.

The Bricks and Mortar of Public Relations.

However, The process is the same for any industry, sector or personality.
Building awareness and goodwill is the key to public relations success.
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Selling Across Virtual Borders

VIP Global Business Persons – Cultures – Selling Across Virtual Borders

As a consultant in business with offices initially located in Barbados; I am finding increased evidence of people from other lands unaware of the yielding need to embrace the cultural norms of the business environment they are about to explore. No longer are we just within, we are out.  Out there, skimming the global virtually reality for business whether we are a small island developing state entity or part of the top three countries.

A top business man; a colleague of mine who I admire greatly for his tenacity told me of his adventures climbing up that proverbial ladder a few months ago. His story was like a rocky sledge-ride. One of initial misfortune as a child, culminating into twists and turns, until fortune smiled on him, landing him in the right place at the right time. This breakthrough occurred when a wealthy family seeing his great potential assisted him financially to climb the career ladder from motherless poverty to becoming a partner in a well-known accountancy firm. Finally, spotting a huge gap in the market he opened a successful chain of stores across the island. So successful was he that he purchased properties now rented to other flourishing businesses.

Our fields are similar to a point at least. However, my public relations and marketing service includes selling on behalf of the client.  

He reminded me of the numerous unsolicited emails he received daily posted by professionals from various parts of the world. They were hours away courting him as far abroad as India stretching to the expanse of Italy to seek his corporate representation services. Many of my public relations contracts were businesses that were importing or exporting something which calls for sales.  Or hospitality which hired tourism reps consultants.

The import/export side of business hinged on the individuals skill to convince the local buyer to purchase their product or service.  He was also went to great lengths to point out that he only takes on contracts from those who have traveled exclusively and have an appreciation of the Caribbean Business Environment.

Many high profile travel consultants would assume that to gain hard earned cash is to acquire fees, paid upfront in full rather than broker deals. Meanwhile, top importer/exporters would expect a marketing team to deliver world-class in store marketing promotions with no or little budget. Not realizing that the marketing spend should be heavily reliant on promotions as that method drives sales in the Americas and Caribbean.  A method often assisting the product to outstrip the sales of its perceived competitors.

Additionally, many business people landing from other countries in Barbados would assume that as part of the English speaking Diaspora, it would mean business as usual. However, it is not that way.

I will give you an example. To be honest, when I walk around the island I am acknowledged as a fairly well-known figure by my counterparts and many members of the community. I may also be recognized by some in areas of London that I conduct business, national media persons and amongst the Afro-Caribbean community there. If I intend to be a household name in China it becomes whole new thing. Whereas I’ve had clients in Barbados over the years that just hand me the keys to sports cars to drive while mine is at the mechanic. Maybe if I went to the deepest part of Borneo they might just send a standard taxi to undertake transfers on my business trip there. I would not take offence as that might be the best they have. In fact, they may not send anything at all as they may be paying me professional fees. Transfers may be seen as part of that fee. Furthermore, it might not be part of their culture to provide add-ons.

In the early 80s I enrolled on a Media Studies Degree and Post-Graduate studies through the University of East London (UEL) and The London College of Printing now known as the University of the Arts.

The University of East London was one of the first colleges to provide such a course which included the topic of Globalization.

Globalization was seen by traditionalists as a area of study that did not have any relevance let alone value when compared to the likes of Physics and Law. Today Globalization Theory has become an accepted part of the academic hierarchy championed by founding fathers such as the late Professor Stuart Hall of Birmingham University/The Open University based in the United Kingdom. Hall discussed notions of cultural identity. The discourse left us wondering if crossing borders and cultures would in fact have us retain our identity in the mist, just blend in or simply disappear. Could cultures co-exist in this new world of new media, liberalized communications and increased access to travel?

Today, over 20 years later my take on it is this;  you see if you are to communicate and seek new consumers at a multicultural level.

Firstly, you must realize that consumers have access to news about your/our product or service via the internet good or bad before you hit the  ground running.

Secondly, it is vital that you get a grip on the level of accessibility and availability of resources relevant to your business needs in that environment. For example staffing, suitable office space, speed of doing business as well as the business culture under the surface.

So here are just five of the tips I recommend should be embarked upon when Selling Across Virtual Borders.

1) Try to keep things on a level and not get carried away by your own PR.

2) Think like a Guerilla Marketer. Create a Competitive Advantage with Criteria Words, is a tried and tested way of selling. It’s a method created by award-winning speaker and best-selling co-author of six of the legendary Guerrilla Marketing business books, One of the world’s TOP 5 Sales and Marketing Speakers, for the past five years consecutively my dear friend Orvel Ray Wilson.

3) Think outside the box by being open minded.

4) Operate in that culture by blending it parallel to your own unique characteristics. Be considerate of your hosts local community and neighbourhoods.

5) Hire the services of a consultant from that region even if it’s only on an ad hoc basis. A list can be provided by your hosts embassy or simply by surfing the net for company sites with credible references.

Of course I am one.  We forge a buffer and help you to avoid the arrows and pitfalls. I’ve always been a networker. I am fascinated by what makes people tick. I enjoy seeing people live out their dreams and do exceedingly well. Having spent over 25 years in the field of developing businesses  through media, public relations, marketing and sales. People ask me why I do what I do. Simply put I love it!

A childhood friend reunited with me recently via facebook. She remarked, “I always knew you would make it and be world famous. I’ve always, seen you as a VIP global business person or someone that would be in the press.”

Having my business located in England and Barbados and now working Internationally by selling my services across virtual borders. I would say that yes, she is partially right I could be considered a VIP global business person but I’m living in an internet driven decentralized world, where local culture still matters immensely.