How to add an irresistable freebie to your site with Mailchimp & WordPress

Freebies are a fantastic way to build your list to gain credibility and to establish your expertise through sincere knowledge shared with your target market. We discuss creating your freebie in some of my presentations, but this article discusses how to set it up all up to integrate with your website once you have the freebie created.

First, you’ll want to log in to your WP Dashboard and add the pdf (or other media) to your media library. Note where the file is located as you’ll need this to insert into your confirmation “thank you” page and you “final welcome email”


Next you’ll open a new tab in your browser and log in to your mailchimp account -Find the name of the list you are building (if you have more than one…you should try to have as few as possible and use segmentation, but business models vary and you may have more than one MailChimp list) and click on Sign Up forms and then General Forms.

Adjust the wording in your confirmation “thank you” page and you “final welcome email”  to include the link to you media file in WordPress.

Now go back and click on embedded forms and grab the code for your list – you’ll want to copy it from here and then go back to your WordPress Tab. You’ll need to click to Appearance and then Widgets and then choose the best place to host your sign up form – common places include the header and top of the sidebar. You may also want to save the code in a draft file so you can do an easy copy and paste when you want to add it to a post or page.

Need more help?

Feel free to give me a call about coaching or training possibilities to help translate this into something that will help you promote and grow your small business.


Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Website and Increase Sales

A good website can be a great tool for boosting your sales. On the other hand, a poorly made website can turn customers off to current and even future products. Here are some tips to creating a website that will help you, rather than hurt you.

1. Consistent look. Have you ever noticed, while every page of a magazine looks slightly different, there’s generally a consistent organization, color scheme, and overall look to the whole magazine? This helps users who read the magazine find exactly what they’re looking for quickly and easily. In the same way, if you keep your web pages consistent, your customers will have an easier time finding things.

2. Test different browsers. So, you’ve set up your website and it looks exactly how you want it. Then your customers start getting upset because they can’t find items, figure out how to order, or even see simple parts of your page. The likely problem? Their browser. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone uses the same program to surf the web. It’s recommended that you design your page so it can be seen well on most, if not all Internet browsers.

3. Support. While it’s great to have an awesome website, if it goes down or has other technical issues, you’re not going to be making any money off of it. Plus, it will probably upset your customers as well. Once you get your website up and going, be sure to keep it going and get issues and bugs worked out as quickly as possible.

4. Keep it simple. Your site should look good, and can have some special features, but if it’s too complicated or the colors and designs are just too much, you’re likely to lose customers. Try to keep it simple with just a few special touches. Keep it appealing without being overwhelming.

5. Keep it coming. It’s great to get information from a website, but it’s a pain to go check for updates all the time. Keep your users updated by adding a newsletter or RSS feed. This is a great way to keep them updated and introduce new products.

6. Get feedback. Running a business is all about helping the customer, so why not improve your site by asking your users what they want. You can add a quick survey or just a suggestion box to the side of each page.

7. Make searching easy. If you have a lot of information on your website, try adding a search box so visitors can easily find what they’re looking for. A search box will help them find what they want and keep them coming back in the future.

8. Have content. If your website is mostly links and advertisements or sales pitches and products, there’s not going to be much on there to inspire people to stay at your website. You have to have quality content on your site. Plus, if done right, good content can also help you get links and go up in the SEO rankings.

9. Have discussions. Almost any website can be benefited by adding a message board. This is not only a great way to answer people’s questions and keep them coming back, it can also be a great way for your customers to get to know you and trust you as an expert.

10. Have fun. If you don’t like your website, and don’t like working on it, it’s going to show through in your work. Just because a topic might be able to make money, doesn’t mean you will find it interesting. Try to create websites that you have an interest in and want to keep going.

Build a Great Website that Works

It seems like everyone and their mother (and grandmother!) has a website these days. That’s why it’s important to be able to build a quality website to help promote your business and sell your products. Here are ten quick tips to help even a novice build a quality site.

1. Know your audience. If you watch the latest hot cartoon and then watch reruns of shows from the 60s, you’re probably going to see not only commercials for different products, but they’re going to be totally different styles. In the same way, a website whose audience is older shouldn’t have things that will appeal to teens or a younger generation. Knowing your audience is the first step to meeting their needs.

2. Keep it simple. Simple websites are not only easier to navigate, they also load faster so your customers don’t get frustrated waiting to find what they’re looking for.

3. Ask for feedback. Always have a way for your users to send you feedback. This will help you make changes your customers want to keep them coming back, and even recommend you to their friends. You can put feedback boxes or questions on different pages, or you can add a message board with a feedback section.

4. Don’t branch out too much. It’s best to focus your website on one area or product. If you offer several different products or types of products, you need to have several websites to promote them so visitors aren’t bombarded with things they don’t want.

5. Be consistent. Make each page the same format, font, color, etc to keep visitors from getting confused at where to find what they’re looking for.

6. Be readable. Not only do you need a font that’s readable and colors that don’t hurt the eyes, but it’s also extremely beneficial to have correct spelling and grammar. Customers aren’t likely to stick around if they think you’re lazy or don’t know what you’re talking about.

7. Add RSS feed. Many people keep themselves updated by using RSS feeds instead of checking websites constantly. By adding a RSS feed, you can not only catch these users, you can also tailor feeds specifically for their interests. (Honestly, this may only apply if you have geeks in your target audience…only bloggers and online marketers seem to have any interest in RSS feeds anymore, but just in case I’m wrong…)

8. Keep it current. Besides the danger of having out-of-date information, pages that are updated more often get visited more often, and give you a better chance of keeping more customers.

9. Make things easy to find. Everyone wants things fast, and adding a search box or an easy site map will help them find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.

10. Have fun. Ultimately, if you do everything right, but your site is just like every other well-made site, you still may not be able to make money off it. Your site needs to have something unique that reflects who you are and what you can provide.

The Benefits of Setting up a Twitter Feed

The main goal in most businesses is to attract as many customers as possible. With Twitter, you have the ability to continue having contact as long as you have either a cell phone with texting ability or an internet connection. And one added perk, it’s a free service!

However, it has been shown to have limited results in small towns and rural areas within Canada. This may change and your customers may be different, but it’s been difficult to tap the local marketplace via Twitter with quite the same results as Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube. That’s not to say it can’t be useful – but you’d be well advised to get a professional social media assessment before jumping into Twitter unless you already love it.

If you do love it, or it’s well advised for your market – here are some quick tips on getting started and a few things you can do once you’re established.

The signup process for Twitter is pretty much the same as for any other social media or networking service. It requires providing certain information in order to open an account. Once that is accomplished you are able to send short messages or “tweets”.

As an instant communication tool, Twitter can be used for many purposes. We won’t list all of them here, but some include:

* Notifying customers of new products available.

* Directing traffic to your business website by notifying customers of new or upcoming sales.

* Asking for feedback about various items such as the new look for your website, or to get answers to your crucial questions.

* As a business management tool. Not only can you connect your staff to one another, but you are also able to keep certain tidbits of information confidential.

* Setting up meetings on short notice, while finding out within minutes when everyone is available.

And this is just the beginning! There are so many more ways in which you can use Twitter to not only your personal advantage, but that of your business as well.

Twitter can be used with your cell phone. This is again another quick setup to deal with. Once you have signed up for a Twitter account, simply look for the “Phone & IM” link on the “Settings” page to enter your cell phone number with your area code, and hit “Save”. Following this you will check the box beside “It’s okay for Twitter to send txt messages to my phone. Std. rates apply.

Twitter will send you a text message informing you the procedure worked, and you may now start sending Tweets from your cell phone.

It’s the same principle for RSS feeds. Your first step is to sign up for a Twitter account. Once that has been accomplished, it’s time to decide on the direction you want your Twitter account to take before using RSS feeds. You don’t want to be losing your audience as a result of being inconsistent with your posts.

Once this is established, you need to create a Twitterfeed in order to Twitter with any RSS feed. There will be a prompt for you to use “OpenID”. You will find a button to click at the right side of the prompt for logging in. The menu will then expand to show services such as Yahoo or Flicker which will enable this process for you. If you don’t have an OpenID already, you will need to sign up for one at any of the locations found in the menu. If you do have one, paste the URL in the space provided, and then click “My Twitter Feeds”.

In order to start adding feeds to your list, select “Create New Twitter Feed”. Paste in any URL whose feed you wish to follow. This is normally achieved by right-clicking on the RSS Feed icon found on various internet pages. You can now select Copy, and Paste into the URL space as you did before.

With all of these steps accomplished, you will be running with the flow of Twitter. Your business will be synchronized and everyone will be up to date on the important aspects of the day. And they won’t have to be called one at a time, or even be in the same building to do it.

Twitter Explained

You could walk into a room full of Twitter users and ask the question “What is Twitter?” The likely reaction would be a room buzzing with any possible number of responses. Not because these different people don’t know a thing about Twitter. Quite the contrary as a matter of fact, Twitter is so multi-functional all of the responses are true to each and every person’s own experience. Let’s look at some of those different uses. Twitter is…

> …a miniature blog. Not all people wish to blog in long posts. They would rather just provide people with a tiny one or two lined update of what is going on throughout their day. Blog posts often take a lot of forethought and creativity, whereas with Twitter you can just post something along the lines of “eating supper then taking kids to soccer.” The maximum number of characters in your Twitter posts is 140.

> …an outlet for making new friends. You can search for people with similar interests or hobbies, and request to follow them. They then decide if they will allow you to or not. This is the one spot you are urged to use with caution, however. If the “follower” causes any discomfort or actually seems to be “following” you too closely, it may be prudent to block them from following you.

> …news on the run. If you watch the news on television, normally there is a news ticker rolling across the bottom of your screen. This is where the headlines are posted throughout the broadcast. With more people using the internet for obtaining their news information, a ticker such as the one found on television was needed for internet users. This just happens to be another great use for Twitter. The news media of the internet has embraced Twitter as the news ticket of the blogosphere, as it is more immediate and faster than blog services.

> …social messaging, being somewhat of a cross between a blog and instant messaging. With this resource we are now able to follow people as well as have people follow us. Even via your cell phone, you can still keep up to date with all Twitter members. It can be used to let people know where you are so you can meet up later in the evening, remind people of a meeting at the office or even keeping your friends up to date on sales, sports events or concerts coming up.

So, you know that Twitter is like a miniature blog. Do you realize what this could mean to your small business? You can now make sure everyone on your team is “following” or receiving updates from one another. You can send messages or “tweets” to one employee or all of them. You can create different aliases depending on the area of the business is involved if you wish (sales, inventory, website etc.). You can decide to send messages to your entire staff, or just certain members to which this particular situation applies as well.

With this micro-blogging tool, you can be accessible to all of your employees when they need you, and vice versa. Handy and versatile, are you ready to make running your business easier? And this is only a few of the many uses. You can also use it as a learning or teaching tool.