Monday, November 23, 2009

Turn up the heat

One extra degree can make all the difference
At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils.And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam they created an Age!
The Industrial Age.

For those missed this month’s “Tea” Wayne May spoke at the offices of the Jersey Shore Small Business Incubator on the topic of “212.” For those that are not familiar with what an Incubator is…
Business incubators are programs that nurture start-up businesses by providing hands-on management assistance, access to financing, and exposure to critical business or technical support services. They typically offer shared office services, access to equipment, flexible leases, and space all under one roof.
What other way to turn up the heat than sharing resources and information. This also helps get the work out about there own businesses.
Readers may have already heard me go on about the Urban Myth that states “People are afraid of Success” I have found that to be completely untrue. But as in all cases of Urban Myths there is a small kernel of truth way down deep. The actually phrase should be “People aren’t afraid of Success. They’re afraid of the extra work Success brings!"
Which leads us right back to the topic of the last “Tea”, going that extra step. We may be hot but we are not passing that threshold and entering that phase change that allows us to obtain “Exponential Results”.
How many businesses stop just short of that phase change, that one extra degree? For the businesses that are 212 and want to take that leap into the phase change I will be orgainizing a new BNI Chapter in the Belmar Area. The first meeting which is just an informational meeting and will be on January 6th, 2010. If you are interested either email me or call me at 732-988-4044.
Be seeing you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What's the best way to grow my email database?

"I need to add more names to my in-house mailing list, the more the better right?" I hear this a lot!

Buying Email Addresses Can Buy Trouble
A purchased list is not composed of people who want to receive your emails. Many addresses belong to people who didn't read the fine print in the privacy policy when they registered for an account, participated in a survey or entered a contest.

Nurture Your In-House List
These are the people who want to hear from you and are interested in what you're sharing or selling. Building up your email marketing in-house list takes time but will generate the greatest benefits with the fewest risks (bounces and black listing).

Here are two simple steps you can take today to attract more email subscribers:
1. Add an invitation to subscribe on every page of your Web site, not just the home page, and in all your email, including messages such as order confirmations, shipping notices, payment reminders and even invoices.
2. Create a FaceBook Fan Page with a standing subscription invitation. Promote it in your email messages and on your Web site. Update it frequently with fresh content such as FaceBook only news and offers.

I will be speaking on this and other topics at my next FREE Guerrilla Marketing “Tea” October 23, 1 – 4 PM. It will be hosted at the Sixth Avenue House B&B in Asbury Park. Call 732-988-4044 to reserve a seat.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Missed Opportunities

This past weekend Ocean Grove had its Fall Festival. It was a great day! Lots of food and interesting “Autumn” things on display and for sale. My wife and I walked over to Main Street (Got to get my steps in. That’s over 2000 steps one way. Thank you Dr. Wells!). We also decided to check out the special Pumpkin flavored treats at one of our clients (Barbaric Bean).

Walking around checking out the vendors I ran into a member of one of my Networking Groups and another former member. I was surprised to see both as they never mentioned that they would be attending, never mind have a booth each. I believe this was a mistake as that Networking Group has over 40 members. Since both of them have family orientated businesses it would make sense to have over 40 additional people (families) stop over at their booths.

An announcement at the weekly meeting, an email or a blurb in the Jersey Shore Community Information Bulletin would have resulted in more people knowing of their involvement. All of these methods cost nothing except a little forethought and effort. Getting the Booths most likely cost some money so a little extra effort would have increased their rate of return. This is right out of Guerrilla Marketing “Maximizing your Effort.”

I will be speaking on this and other topics at my next FREE Guerrilla Marketing “Tea” October 23, 1 – 4 PM. It will be hosted at the Sixth Avenue House B&B in Asbury Park. Call 732-988-4044 to reserve a seat.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Low Expectations the curse of Businesses & Organizations

The other day I was speaking with a client of mine who belongs to a business networking group with me. He has mentioned at the last several meeting that he was desperately looking for work. Since we have a new leadership team taking over I asked him what he thought of the past administration. He admitted that they had done a “great job.”

When I questioned him on his meaning of a “great job” the answered I got was very vague. I pointed out that the past leadership team did not meet a single goal of theirs and that the membership fell from 50 to 41 during their tenure. The number of guests fell. The only guest in August was mine and of the two in September, one was mine.

The only Special event that was planned was a Visitor’s Day and that never happened. This was to introduce our group to a large number of potential members. Oh, did I mention that every meeting the President actually attended she was late. So after pointing out these facts I asked my client again if he thought they, to use his words, did a “great job?” He responded well if you’re going to bring that up they did an “OK job.” Shaking my head I ended the telephone call pleasantly and went for a stroll with my wife, Karen, along the beach.

On this stroll I recounted this conversation to her. She summed it all up by stating “Don’t you get it! Of course they did a great job; they did not rock the boat!!!”

Lightning struck, bell starting ringing… well not actually, but it dawned on me that was the answer. For most people, my fellow networking members included, that was the most important goal of the group. “Don’t rock the Boat! Even if we are losing members and not making any money (business) that’s OK as long as no one expects anything of me.”

How low have our expectations come? Long around, we see it everywhere; Politics, friends, family, business partners and even ourselves. Low expectations are driving this economy. We need to raise the bar a little, just a little to start. Have our members and ourselves do just what was promised to when they/we joined the organization. Goals are a large part of this.

I will be speaking on goals at my next FREE Guerrilla Marketing “Tea” October 23, 1 – 4 PM. It will be hosted at the Sixth Avenue House B&B in Asbury Park. Call 732-988-4044 to reserve a seat.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rookie Mistakes!!

The "Twitter II" Tea and Talk last week went very well. Tim Cusack is a great speaker and the topics varied from Twitter and Face Book to Guerrilla Marketing!

The Mistake
This morning when I pulled out all the business cards I received at the Tea I noticed a big problem. I found one of the attendees had a card with an incomplete email address and a phone number that was not working. So I figured hey typos happen, let me check out his website to get the correct number. And.. you guessed it... No website listed. I think he handed out that same card to everyone at the tea. Thank God he was the guest of a regular attendee so I will have to get hold of her to let him know he is hurting his business with these new cards.

The Cure
In the software world from which I sprang... Test, Test and Test again. What this means for the small business or self employed person is proof read it and then let a few others do the same. Tell them to find an error! Your friends will love pointing out that you made a mistake. Trust me they will find them. Better them and you your prospects.

In times past, I have known business people to pay for a newspaper or yellow book ad and accidentally place their competitors website address in it. They were similar addresses and the sales-person did not know (or cared). I have all my clients fax or email me the proof to check it over for Technical details, if nothing else it's just another see of eyes looking at it before it goes to press.

To help business owners from making these rookie mistakes Lone Keep Internet will be hosting the next Tea, October 23th, at the Sixth Avenue House in Asbury Park. The topic of this tea is Guerrilla Marketing the easy way. For further information please email me at or call 732-988-4044. Remember these "Talks and Teas" are FREE just call to reserve a seat.

Monday, September 21, 2009

How to Increase Website Traffic - 2 Methods of Advertising Online

Why do websites fail? One of the main reasons why many online businesses/causes fail is due to the lack of traffic! Traffic is the lifeblood of the Internet. If your site does not generate enough quality traffic you eventually will be out of business. Here are a few methods on how to get more traffic to your website.

Social Networking
The first method is social networking. There are many different social networking sites; some of my favorites are and I get a fair portion of my free organic traffic to my website from these social networking sites. Join these sites and add your site url to your profile and begin generating more traffic.

Free Advertising
Local eNewsletters are a great way of free Advertising and is a chapter right out of Guerrilla Marketing. Submit interesting information about your business, your cause or even yourself to email newsletters. One such Community Newsletter is the Jersey Shore Community Information Bulletin (JSCIB) that my wife Karen Jarosz sends out twice month. Local events are listed as well as local websites of interest. She also has a section called "From Local Readers." This is a great way to let people know about your website. The JSCIB has over 10,000 subscribers so the likelihood of increased traffic is good.

You can subscribe to the Jersey Shore Community Information Bulletin by adding your email address to the subscription box on this page or by visiting

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Will the Internet Save my Business?

Will the Internet Save my Business?
The short answer is NO! But it will help you grow your business.

What I mean by that is if you are looking to jump onto the 'Net as a last resort to try to get sales to save you business it won't work! Heresy you say! I just got off the phone with a prospect. Months ago he wanted to promote his website, use Adsense and basically turn his internet presence into a source of revenue. He complained about the cost and work necessary to do that and never pursued it. Well as I always do, I keep track of prospects (some finally come to their senses) and followed up with him after a few months. He is out of business and moved to Michigan.

I have a number of stories like this. Now if you apply the lessons learned and you have a plan and means then yes, it can help your business grow.

Lone Keep Internet hosts FREE seminars on this subject and more... The last few have been on Social Networking. The next one will be concerning Twitter on September 24th in Asbury Park, NJ. If anyone wants to join us email me

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Is customer service still needed in this age of the Internet?

After reading "Inside the Magic Kingdom" by Tom Connellan I realized that Customer Service is what distinguishes Companies from each other. So I started thinking which of the Internet companies have I used and continued to use based on their Customer Service.

Before I begin let’s examination how an Internet based company can lend itself to Customer Service. The first and only way is by Communication. Now that Communication can take several forms; a phone number with a live person or without, surveys and just regular emails keeping you informed. What it should not be are line items on your monthly credit card statement, or an avalanche of trial offers via the post or emails!

I will cover two good examples and several bad examples. By the way I warned the bad examples that I would be using them as "Bad Examples" and still no response… Go figure!

Good Examples: – They tell you when a movie is received and when it shipped with an estimated arrival date. Great, but real Customer Service is what they do when something goes wrong! I did receive a damaged DVD once and on their website is a place to report it. Once it was reported they shipped a replacement even before I sent the damaged one back. No questions, No Problems. Another time the shipping center that we normally deal with did not have a requested DVD in stock so they sent the next one in my Queue, while they searched and found the requested one. They shipped both and informed me of the issue via email. – A small firm that sells Toy Bears. Roz likes to list her telephone number on the site so she can speak with her customers whether they have something good to say, a question or a problem.

Bad Examples:
A certain "Professor" – First they charged my credit card the wrong amount after 4 months I am still waiting for my $75 check. Needless to say I cancelled the account once I found out that they would be billing me monthly. I guess I missed that in the fine print. Still they charged me for shipping on the second month. When I called about that the representative blamed it on the previous person I spoke to and I believe the account got cancelled but I am still waiting for that refund too! Now when I call, it’s becomes a game when I’m bored, they place me on hold until I hang up or take my number (Due to large a large volume of calls) and will call me back. Guess what. Still no call back. So will I ever recommend this company to my friends or my clients? – This company is the most frustrating. They have not taken any money from me but have hurt my company’s reputation, which I guess is about the same thing. One day I got a Google Alert that a new page was indexed that mentioned Lone Keep Internet on it. I took a look and found a person listed who has never worked for my company as being the Vice-President! I emailed him and about this error and did not receive word from either. So I placed my profile hoping to make myself legit in their eyes and still nothing! Turns out there are 19 Co-workers listed on their site of which only one is real and she did not create her profile there. Someone else created it for her! They have no phone number listed so no human contact and they have not responded to my filling out their support requests except to find out if I wanted to upgrade my account to a paid account?!?!?!!?

State of New Jersey – Don’t even get me started! This website is supposed to make it easier to deal with the State. If anyone has found it easier concerning any kind of problem let me know and I will do an entry on that!

So in conclusion "Is customer service still needed in this age of the Internet?" The answer is yes but as in Brick & Mortar Businesses most do not have a clue on how to do it…

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Internet Marketing - What is PPC ?

Pay Per Click, or PPC, is an Internet advertising model that uses search engines, advertising networks, and content sites to display your text ads - matching the type of business that you have or the type of products you are promoting.

With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keywords or keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. Basically, you the advertiser pay a rate you specify for every visitor who clicks through from that site to your web site. Such advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads, and appear adjacent to or above organic results on search engine results pages, or anywhere a web developer chooses on a content site. Each unique keyword phrase has its own bid price. You set the budget.

Although many PPC providers exist, Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter are the three largest network operators, and all three operate under a bid-based model. Cost per click (CPC) varies depending on the search engine and the level of competition for a particular keyword or phrase. Successful PPC advertising, managed by a certified expert, ensures that your text ads reach the right audience while your business only pays for the clicks your ads receive.

What is the key to an effective PPC campaign?
The key to effective PPC campaigns is in your keyword strategy and the quality of your visitor analytics. Many companies set up their PPC advertising campaigns without much planning or monitoring of daily results. Campaigns need to be structured so that unproductive keywords can be filtered out and high performers improved upon.

Popular keywords are associated with particular solutions in visitor’s minds. Your ad’s appearance is not a certainty when you’re trying to sell a specialized niche product under a general common search term. A sophisticated keyword or key phrase and ad copy strategy will be needed.

To maximize your PPC advertising performance, you must bid on the right key words or keyword phrases, write persuasive ad copy, and have a well-written page to have them click through to. If you know how to attract the prospect and deliver them seamlessly to a solution they need, you’ll be achieving a valuable sales rate. The number of words you can use in your ads is restricted so writing attractive, persuasive text ads is much harder than you’d expect.

To find out more about PPC and related Internet topics join us at my FREE “Branding” and Tea seminar on May 29th, 1 – 4 PM. It will be hosted at the Sixth Avenue House B&B in Asbury Park and the Keynote speaker will be Craig Gunter of INCA Graphic Production.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Internet Marketing - What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is basically a fancy way to say “Doing things to improve your website rank with the search engines”. Technically it is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to your web site from search engines via "organic" search results. Typically, the earlier a site appears on the search engine results page (SERP), the more visitors it will receive from the search engine.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. The high-level way to describe what SEO includes is On-page vs. Off-page.
On-Page optimization are things that you do to the pages on your website (such as Title, Description and other Meta Tags and Visible Copy)
Off-Page optimization are things that you do externally to your website pages (in-bound links from other websites, Social Networks, etc)

What will make your SEO campaign a success?

To have a successful traffic-generation plan you must completely investigate what your website already has with an internet marketing expert. You must first make sure you have all the appropriate tags, keywords, and coding done correctly on your site before adding anything else. You must optimize this invisible area (the code) of your site so that search engines will find you. Links are also an important aspect of traffic generation. Make sure you are linking to and from other relevant sites and that your internal links have keyword-rich text. Remember, building traffic takes patience and consistent action.

To find out more about SEO and related internet topics join us at my FREE “Branding” and Tea seminar on May 29th, 1 – 4 PM. It will be hosted at the Sixth Avenue House B&B in Asbury Park and the Keynote speaker will be Craig Gunter of INCA Graphic Production.

SEO ‘lingo’ - what do all these terms and abbreviations mean?

  • Inbound links: Also know as external links, which occurs when other sites link to your site. It’s generally accepted that a big factor in search engine algorithms (see below) is the number and quality of inbound links pointing to your site.
  • Keyword: A word or phrase that is typed into a search engine. Site owners typically want their sites to be visible in the search engines for specific keywords that relate to their product or service.
  • Link building: Since inbound (external) links influence a site’s organic rankings (see below); many site owners will undertake the process of link building. This can consist of explicitly asking other sites to link to them, or encouraging inbound links by creating valuable content or tools, posting product reviews or forum comments on other Web sites, or partnering with relevant sites.
  • Organic ranking: The position that your Web site appears in the unpaid listings of the search engine results, which typically take up the majority of the page.
  • Search engine algorithm: A complex formula that search engines use to compute how to rank site A over sites B to Z. Apparently they are made up of thousands of unique factors, but we will likely never truly know since Search Engines make a habit of not disclosing details.
  • SEO: Search engine optimization involves undertaking activities to make your site rank higher in the search engine results. Often it involves attempting to intuit how search engines rank sites and applying industry best practices.
  • SERP: Search engine results page, which is the page that comes up after you perform a query in a search engine.
  • Sponsored listings/ads: The text ads that typically appear along the periphery of the SERP, such as along the top and the right hand side. Advertisers determine which terms they want their ads to appear for and compete with other advertisers to achieve top positioning

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Promotion and Tea Seminar

Good Morning!
We had a great "Promotion and Tea" seminar last week at the White Lilac Inn in Spring Lake, NJ. The weather was great, the Inn was beautiful and Mari was a great host.

We covered a lot of material ranging from Social Networking to Branding. As a matter of fact Craig Gunter, INCA Graphic Productions, gave a great spot on Branding in Print and how that related to your website. Good Job Craig!

I presented an ebook I found on "Personal Branding for the Business Professional" by Chris Brogan. If anyone wants to see what they missed you can download it at