The secret strategy of getting referrals


How To Double Your Business By Cloning Your Top Clients

Are you ready for the secret? There are two parts to it. First you have to ask. Second you have to ask often.

Here is a list of great referral marketing ideas:

  1. Referral research method

  2. Getting Married philosophy

  3. Non- verbal referral communication

  4. Up front referral business

  5. Competition target method

  6. Clone your best clients method

  7. Centers of influence referrals
The first idea is to do research on selected referral targets. Show your client or center of influence the ideal client profile that you are looking for or targeting. Let them know that you are constantly trying to improve your business to help people achieve their financial goals.

While clients are happy with the services they receive, you would like to interview potential prospects to conduct research on what our marketing, communication and advice that you help people with and the perceived value. Ask them for names of people in your unique profile purely to do market research.

You want to let them know that it will greatly help identify and target your ideal prospect. Then call these referrals and you will be amazed at the amount of
information you can gather about your target market.

How they network, the clubs or associations they belong to the type of advisors they work with and how they network. Along the way the people who you conduct research on may provide referrals to you directly.

The next referral strategy is the getting married philosophy. Think for a moment if you were to marry someone new, who would you want to meet that is associated with that person to find out more about them. First you may meet their parents ( a movie was made about this), you might want to meet their friends, colleagues at work and possibly their neighbors.

We’ll ask your client, 'Now that you have become a client of ours, have you talked with anyone in your family, at work or your friends about us'. Chances are if they just moved a large investment account to you, they at least tell their best friends.

In their center of people close to them they have the ability to send friends and family your way as referrals. Talking about it up front may make it easier to refer these people to you. You can ask if any of these people, family, friends, colleagues at work should need your help that you are more than happy to accommodate their needs. While they might not fit your ideal profile, usually birds of a feather flock together and their friends will be similar to their profile. Get married to your clients. At least help the people around them.

...keep reading at Financial Advisor Marketing

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So disappointed with Apple

iPhone AC Adapter

Be very careful with your iPhone adapter. I recently purchased a new 3GS iPhone for my wife and the AC adapter starting sparking from both the end plugged into the outlet and the end that plugs into the phone. The phone was not connected at the time and it happened as the AC adapter was being unplugged from the outlet. There was a recall months ago and Apple replaced them with adapters with a green dot. Note that this AC adapter has the green dot. I contacted ATT and they basically put me in touch with Apple support who made an appointment for me at my local apple store to have the adapter replaced.

Attached is a picture of the "fried" adapter. Dont know if you can tell but the end that connects to the phone has melted a bit. We were fortunate enough that no one was hurt.

So disappointed with Apple!

D

...via email

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Shhhhhh... this is top secret

The Secrets of Bill Gates' Portfolio

Bill Gates owns about 700 million shares of Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) -- 713.1 million to be exact. His cache of Microsoft stock is worth a tidy $18.7 billion. Every time the price of Microsoft moves up a penny, Gates' wealth grows by $7.1 million.

Well, big surprise there, right? You knew Bill had a pile of MSFT shares. So did I.

But Gates holds huge positions in other companies. Forbes, which recently pegged Gates' wealth at $50 billion, alluded to some of these other holdings. I'm not going to gloss over the details. I'm going to tell you exactly what the richest man in the world owns.

By poring through SEC records for Gates -- as well as his personal holding company, which manages his investments -- I've come up with a list of 19 holdings in addition to Microsoft.

Some of them, like ethanol and coal companies, may interest you. The losers might surprise you. Some holdings, such as a $350 million stake in his close friend Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, you might have been able to guess.

Let's take a look:



...keep reading at StreetAuthority

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Yahoo's lap dancers make all the wrong moves

Company issues apology for racy entertainment for developers in Taiwan

Yahoo has apologized for its use of scantily clad lap dancers to entertain mainly male software developers and engineers in Taiwan last weekend. The Internet search company Monday acknowledged its politically incorrect step.

"I wanted to acknowledge the public reaction generated by the images of female dancers at our Taiwan Open Hack Day this past weekend," said Chris Yeh of Yahoo's Development Network on the company's blog.

"Our hack events are designed to give developers an opportunity to learn about our ... (programming) and technologies. As many folks have rightly pointed out, the 'Hack Girls' aspect of our Taiwan Hack Day is not reflective of that spirit or purpose. And it’s certainly not the message we want to send about our values here at Yahoo! Hack Days are about making everyone feel welcome, including women coders and technologists."

...keep reading at msnbc.com

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Companies are dumb

Most Companies are Dumb When it Comes to Customer Intelligence

Despite most firms indicating their involvement in customer intelligence efforts, the lack of sophistication of said efforts–and the siloing of the data–is holding back many businesses, according to a new report from Forrester.

The Intelligent Approach To Customer Intelligence report reveals more than 80% of companies say they use market research, direct marketing, and web analytics, as part of their customer intelligence. Yet, despite this, only 25% of companies have any idea just how beneficial that data is to their business. Forrester submits that there are three levels of sophistication–when it comes to customer intelligence–and most organizations are barely scratching the surface ...

...keep reading at Marketing Pilgrim

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In the midst of an existential crisis

Oliver Stone Throws A Tantrum About The Internet At Terra Speaking Engagement



Last night, Guanabee attended a speaking engagement for which director Oliver Stone was paid, ($75,000, according to one Terra employee), to speak with Terra CEO and founder Fernando Madeira about the future of the internet. Terra, in case you don’t know, bills themselves as a, "leading entertainment, news and sports hub for U.S. Hispanics". Which is why it was somewhat surprising when Stone proceeded to tell his host, and all the internet entrepreneurs in the audience at The New Museum in Manhattan, what a "disaster" the internet is. As the conversation wore on, it became clear that we were in the presence of an aging and angry man coming to terms with his growing irrelevance in the face of internet entertainment culture. Basically, Stone doesn’t believe anything (video or otherwise) on the internet can be called art because "it’s not the way [he] grew up". It’s not what he calls, "watching a movie". He then summed up the internet thusly: "These kids" "jump in a pool" [and video tape it] and "call it a movie".

...keep reading at Guanabee

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Google loses the first position to Microsoft

Internet Users Grow by 20% in Latin America. Which Online Destinations are Gaining Ground?

The number of Internet users grew substantially in the three main Latin American countries during the August 2008 - August 2009 period, according to figures released by ComScore. Argentina is the country that grew the most with an annual growth rate of 29% to 11 million users, vs. 22% in Brazil to 31 million users and 14% in Mexico to more than 13 million users.

What online destination are taking advantage of this growth, which ones are laging behind? Google and Microsoft continue to be in the top position in most Latin American countries. Both media properties’ number of unique users grew by approximately 20% (see the tables at the end of this article).

Mexico is the only large country where Google loses the first position. Microsoft sites lead in Mexico with a difference of over 400,000 unique users over Google.

The Brazilian market, by far the largest one in Latin America, continues to be in the hands of local players. UOL and Organizacoes Globo. However, Brazil Telecom, Terra and Yahoo are growing at a rate of 20%, twice the rate of the leading local players.

...keep reading at Portada Magazine

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Hispanics... yes, they ARE online

An Overlooked Niche: Marketing To Hispanics Online

There is no doubt Hispanics are online. And for most of them, the Internet is about connecting with their friends and family and keeping in touch with the latest happenings in their world. However, advertisers have fallen short in actively targeting this portion of the population, in particular with search marketing. Marketers are missing a golden opportunity because Hispanic online users are prime candidates for responding to a search marketing campaign.

According to eMarketer, 52% of U.S. Hispanics are online, representing about 23 million in 2008. And that number will only grow. The U.S. Hispanic population is the most rapidly increasing demographic group in the United States and ranks as the number one minority group. In some cities and states, this minority group has even become the majority. The same may someday be true for Hispanic users online. It is estimated that number of Hispanic Internet users will surge between now and 2012 and surpass 29 million.

And they aren’t novice users. Half of the U.S Hispanic online population has been using the Internet for more than three years. This demographic knows eBay, knows Google and can surf the web with the best of them. With 27% of those 23 million Internet users going online everyday, there are plenty of opportunities for marketers to reach out and connect with this group.

Online and ready to purchase

Hispanic online spending was expected to make up 11% of all online spending in 2007 amounting to about $12.8 billion, according to Jupiter Research, expected to increase to $21.6 billion by 2011. Plus, online Hispanics are more desirable to advertisers than their offline counterparts. They earn more, are better educated and are more likely to own a home. And most of them are searching on Google. Google claims that it holds 72% of the Hispanic market share, followed by Yahoo! at 17% and MSN at 2%.

...keep reading at Search Engine Land

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SEO, anyone?

Would Your Company Be A Good SEO Client?

Organic links – the ones that just happen are typically driven by things like public relations, brand awareness, unique content, existing exposure, and social networking. In competitive markets, some aspects of the evolving SEO field should be baked into the core of the company’s DNA. When you get interviewed, you have to know to ask for links. If you are in competitive markets and are operating at scale, it is unlikely that you will have your SEO be your contact point for all media relationships.

Profitable client projects

Some client projects are a slam dunk; where after a half hour of research, you see opportunities (including site structure, page titles, on page optimization, competitive research, and content ideas) that guarantee a multi-thousand percent ROI. SEO is the most explosive and has the highest returns when there is an already successful company that is in the game, but has not given a second thought to SEO.

All of the footprints (customers, customer interactions, customer lists, word of mouth marketing, organic links, a traffic stream outside of search, etc.) that comes along with having a successful company, works as a foundation which helps the SEO efforts boost the site even higher into the search results. As a bonus, those existing footprints on the web are also the hardest for competitors to clone. Once you have them, you have a lasting competitive advantage.

It is easier to take a website from page 2 or 3 of the search results to the top than it is to start building from scratch. In fact, many of the smartest SEO practitioners are willing to launch a site that is half done just so they can get it a few links and get it aging. Google likes old websites, so that is what we should give them.

Brutally ugly client projects

Conversely, the worst websites to work for (especially as client projects) are those which are not unique, those that are brand new, and those that tend to be thin on content. Why? These sites have no footprint on the web. And if they are to build one, it often requires aggressive push marketing, and is moving counter to the trend in search. Matt Cutts recently went so far as making a video recommending not trying to rank a thin ecommerce site.

Worse yet, many of the thin sites are to remain thin because the owner is a blow hard who is unwilling to change. These are the types of projects that have a less than 1% chance of being profitable and enjoyable. Any SEO who has taken on a dozen or more clients, should be able to spot the toxic client types and turn down those opportunities before they become headaches.

Read more at Search Engine Land

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Sue Facebook, I could use the money

Times Are Tough, Why Not Sue Facebook?

Once upon a time, Google was the company to sue. Now it seems to have passed the mantle to Facebook, which is facing an entertaining array of bizarre and quixotic lawsuits--many of them filed in the last few days, and with little legal merit. ([Above], Facebook's new HQ in Palo Alto.)

The headliner: Phoenix Media, maker of personal and dating-service ads used by 200 newspapers nationally, is suing Facebook for patent infringement. What's the alleged infraction? The lawsuit says that Facebook copies Phoenix's patented "method of creating and sharing a profile page." The company hasn't said how much in damages it will seek, but if it doesn't win against Facebook, it can always sue every single other Web 2.0 Web site on earth.

Read more at Fast Company

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Click here to see your ad in mysterious places

Pros and Cons of Online Ad Networks

Convenience and reach come at a price

Ad networks hold wide appeal for both publishers and advertisers. On the content provider side, they offer an easy way to sell a large amount of inventory—even if the revenue per impression is typically less than with direct sales.

On the advertiser side, according to a worldwide study by Econsultancy and the Rubicon Project, the main benefits of using ad networks are increased reach, flexible payment models and lower costs.

Read more at eMarketer

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US Hispanic SEO Market

Implications Of Yahoo Microsoft Search Deal

Yahoo and Microsoft's recently announced a search partnership where Microsoft's newest search engine, Bing.com, will power Yahoo's search functions while Yahoo handles ad sales. The deal will not be fully consummated until some point in 2010, but it is important to understand the ramifications for the Hispanic online market today.

The US Hispanic Search Market Before the Yahoo Microsoft Partnership

Just as Google dominates the global search market, Google currently controls the lion's share of the U.S. Hispanic search market. According to my not-so-scientific estimates (see below), Google controls close to 47% of the U.S. Hispanic search market. Not only is Google.com the most popular site among U.S. Hispanics, Google has also been very savvy in establishing partnerships with leading Hispanic publishers to power their search functions. These partnerships include, but are not limited, to AOL.com and AOL Latino, Fox Interactive Media (most notably MySpace), Univision.com, Terra.com, Batanga.com, Starmedia.com and Impremedia.

I calculate that Yahoo currently holds about 27% of the US Hispanic search market. The majority of its U.S. Hispanic search volume comes from Yahoo.com (the second-most popular site among Hispanics) in addition to Yahoo en Español. From a partnership perspective, some deals of note include Yahoo's integration with Mexican media giant Televisa's web portal, EsMas.com, which is very popular among Mexican Americans, and also with Hispanic Digital Network's array of niche Hispanic websites.

Microsoft is in third place with 13% of the Hispanic search market thanks to the third-most popular site among Hispanics, MSN.com and MSN Latino. Microsoft also picks up Hispanic searches from it's partnership with Facebook which reaches close to 8 million U.S. Hispanics each month.

Ask.com rounds out the top four with 13% of the Hispanic search market.

Read more at MediaPost

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Advertising slump O-V-E-R


Things seem on the up and up for Google

Surrounded by the cutest woodland creatures you ever did see in a technicolor green forest, Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said that we’ve sailed through the worst of the advertising recession. As the words left his mouth, a rainbow appeared and sprinkled candy down on all the orphan children below.

Read more at ADOTAS

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Interesting perspective from a fellow Latino growing up in a "white Long Island"

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on growing up Latina in a white L.I. town

Journalist Soledad O’Brien, the host of the two-part CNN documentary "Latino in America," premiering Oct. 21, has written a companion book covering not only the stories of Latinos across the country interviewed for the special — from actress Eva Longoria Parker to Francisca Abreu, a 15-year-old mother in the Bronx — but her own family’s immigrant tale.

O’Brien, 43, is the daughter of a black Cuban mother (Estela Lucrecia Marquetti y Mendieta), who left Havana in 1947, and a white Australian father (Edward Ephram O’Brien), reared in a town called Toowoomba. In the book, released yesterday, she shares her experience growing up with five siblings in Smithtown, L.I., "a mixed family in a single-race town."

Read more at New York Daily News

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