Odile Faludi, Freelance Writer, recently caught up with Phil Polson, Author, Proven Online Profit Process.
Over some sandwiches and coffee I asked him some simple questions regarding his latest book.
Being naive and not really up to speed with the online process, I was fascinated by some of his responses. This has led me to feel compelled to share this interview with the LinkedIn community.
I feel there are so many myths surrounding “online presence” that finally there is some clarification. It also re-confirmed to me why I have chosen Phil and his team to create my web presence.
It gives me great comfort - it’s a mindfield!
The interview took the form of a Q & A.
Why does your book go through an online process?
In any form of sales and marketing following a process is essential. That way you can easily adapt, adjust and modify the process as you go. Working to a process means that you are doing things in a sequence (just as you would if you were baking a prize winning layer cake) by that I mean such things that keep on advancing and enhancing your desires. This means you can scale up online more quickly.
What does it mean to Own Your Online Niche?
The riches are in the niches. Identifying a niche that you fit into and can provide solutions for that are better than anyone else has is how you own a brand. Even the smallest of businesses can do it. The internet is a dark and murky place where the unsuspecting can easily fall for any promise.
Your prospective online clients have all experienced this so we recommend that you develop and use strategies that promote your own pre-eminence!
How does someone begin to establish authority in their field?
The first and most important question is ‘Who is your ideal client?’ Then you might ask yourself, what is your desired outcome long term? Who are you? What do you want? What do you need?
The outcome is that you:
- Become the most viable, most trusted advisor anyone online can turn to;
- You can’t just sit there and wait for money to fall into your hands; you need to offer some value first. For example, we offer Free download for 'Proven Online Profit Process' in the form of an ebook and ideas sessions; and
- I detailed in my first book, Sales Drive – The definitive ‘no-brainer’ street smart guide to Sales Stardom how I have always strived to elevate in people’s minds by referring to our clients as clients because that suggests that they always come back again whereas, a customer generally only buys once.
Professionals have clients – the corner store has customers.
To really get into your client’s mind you need to love what they do and what they produce, not love your own business.
- You need to serve them better than anyone else does that way your client will have a moral obligation to deal only with you because you deliver more or better than others do.
Once you have answered the question ‘Who is your ideal client?’
Then you need to answer, “how can you add value to their lives, or their business or their family?” It is all about perception. Build for your prospective client. Do they like what they see, do they like how you present yourself and your offers.
Phil shared this story: I went to an international rugby game a few years back with my cousin in Brisbane Queensland Australia; he is from the deep south of New Zealand’s South Island.
It was mid-winter and the temperature had dropped to 20 degrees Celsius (68 F). Being acclimatised at that time to the sub-tropics I was sitting there with my big coat on a scarf and gloves thinking how cold it was.
He was sitting there in a t-shirt saying how warm and balmy it was. He was more fun to be around than me - perception!
How do you create this perception?
Well, is your online presence fun to be around online? Or are you a bit chilly. How do your potential client’s perceive you?
You emphasize target audience and the importance of community.
How does that factor into marketing online?
This ties back into your niche. Be a welcome supplier, willing to talk with and help before you ask for money to change hands. That takes time and effort so the community you build online is important. It acts the same way the old real market place, the village square used to. It creates word of mouth which is the best form of any marketing.
A referral generated client buys more, buys quicker, negotiates less and refers more people.
Good salespeople online and offline often offer two price options: one with referrals and one without referrals. They promise to seriously over deliver in exchange for the expectation of at least two qualified referrals from them for quality people from within their circles.
You want a multitude of ways to sell to people ... online platforms can make you even stronger in your niche to your target audience.
It’s all about how you make an offer! You can frame an offer to that potential client. Your offer can really change your online business, to say nothing of your life. Improve your offer and improve your business! We are now living in the age of attention, especially online everyone is trying to get your attention, your mobile device could be even vibrating in your pocket or your handbag, right now with someone demanding your attention.
We all want more website traffic.
Can you explain search engine optimization in a way that readers can understand?
When someone sits at their desktop or uses their laptop or sits at the bus stop on their mobile device and they type in a search for something that they want answered online they use a search engine, often that search engine is Google!
Google wants to provide the searcher with the very best, most accurate, most relevant answer that they possibly can so they match the search with all their data.
The data speaks to Google robots that continually look at the data you are providing them ( Google) via the content on your website. The content is summarised by you in your selection of relevant keywords. If you have the exact word match that searcher using the Google Platform is looking for then Google will direct that searcher (its client) towards you – simple.
But you need to play by Google rules to comply and have any hope. On a page with 500 words of content these keywords need to be positioned as exactly as Google require.
Too many and they will consider your site to be spamming and mark you way down the list. Spot on and they will promote your site up the order. The best match gets the top spot on page one right under the Google Adwords.
How do know the best keywords?
You don’t – you might think you do – but you don’t! Google does.
So they provide a tool that tells you the best most relevant words to run with. We research up to 1500 words just to get the right 3 or 4 that we run with. When looking for keywords start with the offer that you are going to make in mind. You want that offer to be an irresistible one, then refine it down so people who reach you from the search can easily understand it right from the get go.
Remember it’s not about you; it's what you'll deliver to your prospective client that counts. Their search is simply a problem that they want an answer for. - Any problem is really a question that's unanswered ... What's their problem? What's the search question likely to be?
Keywords are vital. Don’t rely on hope in your online marketing. That’s like holding your hands out in the dark hoping something valuable will land in them.
Social media is so time - consuming. How do you make it manageable?
Easy, use an online social media management system. I like Hootesuite and Hubspot.
What should you measure and test?
Everything you do online in an attempt to make a sale should and can be measured. In short, measure and split test everything - its all about the metrics and Google provide all the tools free for you..
Given everything we discussed today, what are the top three strategies you suggest our readers focus on to build their online business up?
1) Team work is my number strategy No one person can be 100% right 100% of the time. Phil said:
When interviewed once the famous rockers from the Rolling Stones, Ronnie Moon was asked who was the best guitar player out of himself and Keith Richards he claimed that he was by far the best."
Then Keith Richards was asked and he replied with words to the effect that the truth be known we are both pretty average but together we are the best."
2) Look for partners to collaborate with That will give you a combined power much greater than you have on your own. In the book,
Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill described the concept as a Master-Mind Alliance – it is still very powerful, as long as you can and do add maximum value to the partnership. I have spent a number of years now building my online team of internet sales and online specialists.
Our team certainly don’t have all the answers but we sure know where to go online to find them. This approach also allows you to be more flexible. Rigid thinking is yesterday’s way. Just be a bit more innovative and edgy.
3) When it comes to web design and creative work forget ‘pretty’ go with content and sales and marketing strategies that have stood the test of time
Forget about building a web presence to impress your competitors (they don’t pay you) forget about impressing the boss or their partner. They built the Titanic to be pretty and to suit a target market. At the time it was the pride of the White Star Line. But… they got it wrong under the deck in the bowels of the ship. Down where no-one from the public goes very often.
That’s where we focus a huge amount of time and energy.
We don’t want you to finish up with a ‘Titanic’ web presence. We want you to have an Olympic Track where the whole world runs on."
I really enjoyed this interview with Phil Polson because I learnt a lot about a subject that I find perplexing. I hope it too has given you some fresh knowledge.
About Odile Faludi
Odile is a passionate freelance writer and a business development consultant. She is trained in “Crucial Conversations” through VitalSmarts.
They have helped 300 of the Fortune 500 realise significant results using a proven method for driving rapid, sustainable, and measurable change in behaviours.
Odile runs workshops in Sydney, Australia, teaching Business Development Managers, Start-up Entrepreneurs and Sales teams’ how to initiate client conversations, the modern twist on cold calling.
Request a course outline. Program available via SKYPE.