Why Blog

If you’re business still doesn’t have a blog, you’re missing out. Blogs are a great sales tool: they prove your expertise in your field and bring in new customers from search engines, social media and links.

The Why

It’s getting harder to find a company that doesn’t have a blog, and that’s a good thing. Each company (and even each employee) has a different voice, and one worth contributing to the blogosphere. Blogs have many benefits:

  • Improve your website’s SEO
  • Establish your brand as an expert in your field
  • Provide useful content to potential customers
  • Introduce your products to customers who wouldn’t find them otherwise
  • Show you’re web savvy, which gets a lot of respect from consumers Read More

Top 20 Sales Professionals on the Web

Lead411 has been in the sales game for almost 10 years now and prior to being CEO of Lead411 I was a sales professional myself. I have read numerous sales books and I continue to follow twitterers and bloggers on the web. All this being said, I feel I have the correct background to provide a quality list of the most well known sales professionals on the internet. The list has been taken for the most famous sales authors, bloggers, and/or twitterers that have that most followers. Please see below.

Art Sobczak http://www.telesalesblog.com/
Cindy King http://cindyking.biz
Craig Rosenberg http://www.funnelholic.com
Dave Stein http://www.esresearch.com/
Doyle Slayton http://salesblogcast.com/
Eric Blumthal http://twitter.com/EricBlumthal
Ian Brodie http://www.ianbrodie.com
Jeb Blount http://www.salesgravy.com/
Jeffrey Gitomer http://www.gitomer.com/
Jill Konrath http://snapselling.com/
Kevin Eikenberry http://blog.kevineikenberry.com
Mac McIntosh http://www.sales-lead-experts.com/
Marc Benioff http://www.salesforce.com
Neil Rackham http://neilrackham.com/
Paul Castain http://yoursalesplaybook.com/
Peter O’Donoghue http://www.salesdnaltd.com
S Anthony Iannarino http://b2bsalescoach.com/
Shane Gibson http://www.closingbigger.net
Tom Hopkins http://www.tomhopkins.com/
Tom Ziglar http://www.tomziglar.com

BlogRadio Interview

This interview was conducted with Tirrell Payton, Co-Founder of BlogRadio.

Q. What does your company do?

A. With so many blogs out there, it can be difficult to find the time to read all of your favorites. With BlogRadio, you can take the blog with you and listen to it on the way to work, while exercising or on your home computer.  It turns any blog into a podcast.

BlogRadio allows you to listen to any blog, any time, anywhere. By using streaming technology, users can access their favorite blog RSS on their desktop or mobile device. BlogRadio is currently available on Nokia and Android phones.

Q. Who are your competitors?

 A. There are few companies doing exactly what we’re doing, but BlogBard and BuzzVoice are two that convert text to speech.

Q. What marketing tactic has given you the highest ROI?  What percentage ROI do you get back on this?

We submitted our company on several app listing sites, like Smashing Apps, MakeUseOf and FeedMyApp. We’ve gotten a lot of traffic from these sites, since apps are still really hot in technology. We’ve also seen a loyal following through our Twitter account, where we update on news on the company.

We don’t yet have an ROI, since we are a not revenue positive yet, but brand awareness has served us well. In fact, we were chosen as one of MobileBeat‘s 20 finalists for their startup competition, which means we will be presenting in front of investors next week at the MobileBeat conference.

Also partnering with companies in tech, mobile and auto industries is helping us expand into new formats and possibilities, so we’re excited about that.

Q. What percentage of your marketing budget are spent on the following?

  •  Advertising – 0%
  • Social Media Marketing – 40%
  • SEO – 10%
  • Public Relations – 40%
  • Direct Marketing – 0%
  • Other – 10%

To download BlogRadio, visit the site here, and to keep up with the latest news on the company, read its blog.

How to Drive Traffic to Your Site from Other Blogs

Pay-per-click ads didn’t work for you. All the magazines you reached out to about your product aren’t returning your calls. You’re stumped at how to create interest and drive traffic to your website.

Have you considered blogger outreach?

Bloggers are today’s journalists. They’re talking about news and brands that matter to their readers. Unless you reach out to them, they won’t know about your products. So get a plan and connect with bloggers in your industry.

Step 1: Find the Blogs

In a sea of millions of blogs, it can be challenging to find the ones the most relevant to your industry.  But by doing a simple search on Google, Alltop or a number of other blog directories, you can find the top bloggers in your field.

You’ll need to define what kind of traffic you want for the blogs you work with. It will change from industry to industry (obviously there are many more visitors to popular tech blogs than unicorn blogs), but a good rule of thumb is:

  • Blog should have PageRank of 3 or higher
  • Blog should have at least 1,000-5,000 unique visitors per month

Setting up standards helps you weed through to the better blogs. Create a spreadsheet that includes the blog URL, blogger’s name and email and even a link to a relevant blog post.

Step 2: Get to Know the Blog

The biggest mistake companies make when it comes to blogger outreach is not reading the blog. Sounds simple enough, right? But people get in a hurry, list several blogs, and when they contact the bloggers, find out they don’t write about products, or publish press releases, et cetera.

Spend some time reading posts on each blog. Read the About page to see if the blogger has a policy about writing about products. They may have a fee to do so, or a process you need to follow. You’re ten times more likely to get mentioned on a blog if you follow protocol and show you’re paying attention.

Step 3: Contact the Blogger

Despite the negative comments on sending a form pitch, I have to admit, I start with a template. But I modify it to cater to the particular blogger I’m reaching out to. The key to the letter is that is addresses why the blogger would want to work with your brand, and it shows you’ve researched their blogs. Here’s an example.

Dear Sarah (NEVER Dear Blogger):

I read your post on iPhone apps for teachers, and was pleased to find some I hadn’t heard of. I thought you might be interested in sharing another app with your readers.

The Apple-A-Day app helps teachers keep up with their lesson plans right from their iPhone, and means they’ll never leave important resources at home.

If I can get you a trial of the app, or more information for your readers, please let me know. We’d love to work with Teachers’ Blog.

Sincerely,

Mortimer Snead

(FYI I made up the example below, so don’t go searching iTunes for this app!).

As you can see, the letter is short and to the point. Sometimes I like to include a few bullet points about the product to better catch a blogger’s eye. Don’t put a press release in the body of the email. If you have it published online, link to the release. It’s better for the blogger to come to you for more information than to cut and paste your release. 

After the Pitch

If you don’t hear back from the blogger, follow up a week later. Often emails get trapped in Spam Land.

As you find bloggers who are interested in your product, coordinate getting them a product to review, and to give away to their readers. Keep track of when you send items so you can follow up to see if they’ve posted the review.

Also, use your website’s analytics to see what blogs are sending traffic to your site. Help the bloggers out by tweeting and sharing the post on Facebook.

Lead411′s News and Tips Blog has been launched!

blogWe launched our official blog today! Our mission for this blog is to provide news and tips to sales & marketing professionals inside small to medium sized businesses. We have a lot of knowledge in this area as we are a startup ourselves and we already track news on a daily basis with our Lead411 alerts.  We hope you will continue to stop by and see our new content. Segments will include

  • News on Sales/Marketing companies
  • Tips on Marketing Online and Off
  • CEO Interviews focused on their Sales/Mktg efforts
  • Tools of the Day

Read More