Step 5 (pt. 6): Driving Traffic: Offline Free
Avish: Alright Fred, when we talk about information marketing, we all think about online stuff, I am talking about websites, but there are a lot of offline tools you can use to provide bids as well, correct.
Fred: There are, yes, both free and paid.
Avish: Let us talk about some of those, and let us start with the free stuff, because obviously, if you can avoid paying.
Avish: So, let us start with publicity, and we have started talking about publicity in the online world, but let us talk about a little bit more in the offline world.
Fred: Yes, in the offline world, getting press and publicity is an art, and there are some people who have figured out how to do it really well, and so if you are, you know, again it fits in with who you are and the type of person you are. Generating press and publicity is usually the result of doing something that the media will glom on to that is clever, different, unique, funny and crazy. And the way that you do this is you issue press releases, and press releases can be issued offline as well, but again this is something that you can do by, and still to this day people are faxing press releases to the various media outlets. So what I would suggest to everybody listening to this program, is to get hold of the names and the numbers of the various different individuals in the media that would be relevant for their topics. So for example, you are local, you are local CBC affiliate, you know finding out what their number, so that you can send something over or fax something over, a press release, to do that, but again press releases are the way, media release is I guess is really the term now. And again we should send people to Burt’s site, publicityseminar.com, if they want to learn more about how to do this, but again that is one of the ways, you know you can do online press releases and you can do offline press releases, but in order to get the coverage, you got to do something unusual, different and funny, so they will find it newsworthy.
Avish: Ok, got it. So that is one way, using press releases, another way of generating free offline publicity is speaking.
Fred: Yes, every time you get a chance to speak to a group, no matter if it is a large or small group, you are going to be able to drop your website address and over time this can be incredibly effective, especially if you end up speaking to larger groups of people. But any group of people, it is much easier to promote something one on many than one on one. So anytime you get a chance to put yourself in front of a group of people, especially in a speaking situation where you can prove that you are smart, intelligent and articulate, that is an opportunity to do it. By the way, speaking can not just be at a speaking event of some sort, but it might also be a seminar. Anytime where you can get a large number of people together where they can hear you talk and reference of website, and that is why it is key to look into some of the steps that we talked about domain names that easy to spell and easy to remember. So again speaking, whether it be speaking at a speaking engagement or at a seminar also very good to do.
Avish: You actually built a lot of your business early on and your list from that method, right?
Fred: Yes I did, I mean I did for many, many years. I spoke at these continuing education centers, primarily in New York City, where I would conduct classes for anywhere from 10 to 30 or 40 people. I did them every month and I built up a large group of people who knew who I was and many of them whom are still on my list today.
Avish: So, definitely worth pursuing. If you want to do more with speaking, do you have some resources for them?
Fred: Absolutely, they should go to a speakingexpert.com, that is where they should go. And that will help give them a lot of additional free resources on the how-to of the speaking process.
Avish: Ok. Let us talk about another one which sounds so simple, but just personal contacts.
Fred: Yes. You know a lot of people are sort of shy to promote what they do to other people in their personal network. I would encourage you to not only just — and again whether you standing in line at the grocery store or speaking to friends, there is always the opportunity to promote something that is of value, if it is appropriate for that particular group. So, if you are dealing with your own personal contacts, just make sure that what it is you are promoting to them would be something valuable to them, not just beneficial to you, because lot of times you will send people to a site, that is friend, and they will say, well this is nice, why is this good for me. So, think in terms of what is in it for them, and if there is something that is in it for them, then it is perfectly appropriate to promote at your own personal network.
Avish: I guess along the same lines, just having a business card that has your website on it as well, right?
Fred: Yes, and again with that, your website should be on your business card and often times there might even be something, an offer, on that business card for something of value for free that will compel people, because business cards ending up themselves usually do not produce a lot of people visiting your site. But if you ask them to come to your site in exchange for something of value of the business card, that is a good way to go.
Avish: Alright, it makes sense. What about teleseminars and even webinars, which I guess are online, tell us something in that category.
Fred: Yes. You know, anything that you can do. And later today I will be doing my weekly JV partner webinars. And this is something that I think everybody should consider. Because first off, there are now a lot of, in terms of the teleseminars. There are free teleseminar services, and I do a lot of webinars and tele seminars, you know things which you can do both on- and offline, but here we are talking about offline. So, teleseminars are still extremely popular and with freeconferencecall.com, you can set up a line for free and generate, you know get people on your list to come to some, basically like a speaking engagement over the phone, and so you can get people to show up for free to hear about a given topic that is of interest to them, usually if it is good, they will tell their friends, people show up and they listen and it gives you an opportunity to promote yourself, again one on many rather than just one on one.
Avish: Have you found that a one-off tele seminar or webinar works or you think it is something that needs to be done repetitively and consistently?
Fred: I have seen both work. A one-off tele seminar, about a topic that has a lot of interest for people and that is very timely, can be successful, but in my case, and I think that in the cases of most of the people, listening or reading transcripts to this program, they probably are best served by making sure that they do something on a regular basis, because doing that on a regular basis would generally attract a larger and more of a following than doing just a once-off, but not like you should not do once-off as well.
Avish: Ok. What about referrals. Is it different from personal contacts?
Fred: Well, it is in a way. Basically within your personal contacts, you will also want to ask people directly, if they know anyone else. Basically people are shy sometimes to ask people for referrals, doing so will hurt your business. If you have got a great product and great program or great service, whatever it is you are offering, within your network or personal contacts ask people if they know anyone else, so that your personal sphere can be expanded outside that small group of people, or that group of people you know, into a much larger group that will include people they know.
Avish: Alright. So, it is really just as simple as asking?
Fred: Absolutely yes. A lot of times people are scared to ask. What you need to know is, all that they can say is no. So, asking is not a bad thing and if they say yes, it could result in a lot more people visiting your site.
Avish: Ok. The next one I want to ask you about is interesting, which is pro bono work, which means working for no fee. What do you mean by that like, what are some areas and how is that going to help your business?
Fred: No matter what field you are in, there will be areas that you can sort of volunteer your time, effort and energies. And by doing so, one of things that people who volunteer always get is they get recognition usually, because they usually, you know, they are not paying you, so recognition. Recognition can come in the form of various things, they might put your website and website address in their news letter, they may mention it when they introduce you as one of the honored guests at something, lot of things, anything you do for free usually comes with a very, very basic understanding of quid pro quo. What you get in return? You get to be mentioned and have your website prominently displayed and/or spoken about in any of those kind of groups.
Avish: Ok, that makes sense. What about teaching classes, what do mean by, you mean like teaching at university or what is that?
Fred: I mean teaching classes anywhere, a lot of continuing education classes like I did in New York City worked out very well. But any time you have a chance to teach a class for free or even for a little bit of money, do it, because you are getting exposed to people. Usually they have a catalogue that they put out and that catalogue usually lists the classes as well as the instructors and maybe even the instructors’ websites. So, I would be doing any and all of them you possibly can.
Avish: Ok. The final free offline method I want to talk about is joining associations.
Fred: Yeah, I think by joining certain associations, again there might be a small fee here for some of them. Joining associations allows you to network with people in your field. And again if we are talking, say for example, lot of group of speakers, you know you got the American Society for Training and Development, The National Speakers Association, some of these are paid associations, but the amount of pay is minimal compared to the amount of exposure you can get. So, really this section might be titled free or almost free methods of online — driving traffic to your site online. So, I would encourage people to look into associations that are targeted very, very specifically to the group that you are trying to reach and to consider joining them.
Avish: Now, when you say join, you don’t mean just join, you mean join and active like, attend a network?
Fred: Yes. Your point is well taken. Just joining and getting a listing in the directory for the association is not going to be sufficient really to drive a lot of traffic to your site. I would rather see people join and become active in the groups, and that way they will have a lot more traffic coming to them that is very targeted. So, yes, do not just join and do nothing, join and get involved.
Avish: Yes, it seems like a trite question, but as a NSA member, a lot of people to ask me about it, like seriously asking me if just joining would help them because they would be on the website, but no, you got to do something with it.
Avish: Great. That is what I have for free offline. Is there any that I have missed that you can think of?
Fred: I think that is pretty much it, but again those are bunch of different possibilities, many of which everyone here should consider.