5 Steps to Keeping Your Blogging Resolutions for 2013

This year I will…

This sentence is familiar to everyone. Just after those midnight toasts, everyone shares their goals for the coming year. On the personal side, you may vow to lose weight, to exercise more, or be nicer to your neighbors. And even though you may not mention it over champagne, you have probably thought of similar resolutions for the coming year.

While most people have abandoned their New Year’s resolutions within just a couple weeks, you want to make sure that your business goals are not so easily pushed aside.

A sound business leader knows the value of having goals that help you and your team focus your everyday actions into long term results. Your goals probably include everything from annual revenue to customer retention to successful product and service launches.

If you are interested in content marketing and understand the immense value of internal marketing driven by dynamic blog content, then you definitely need to set some goals for your blog this coming year.

Here are 5 steps you can take to setting and implementing a successful blog strategy for 2013:

1. Review what you did last year and ask yourself:

  • What were the most popular posts in terms of number of comments, shares, and reads?
  • What totally flopped?
  • What did you have the most fun writing about?

2. Look ahead to the New Year for any major events, launches, or updates that are already in your calendar.

3. Take the successes and failures of the past year and the new stuff your business will be doing in the coming year to formulate a list of new blog categories and post types you want to focus on this year.

4. Determine if you will be the sole blogger, if your staff will contribute, or if you will be seeking guest bloggers. This gives you an idea of how many writers you have and reasonable amount of posts to commit to on a weekly basis.

5. Take all the categories, bloggers, and date specific information to create a master editorial calendar. You can fill in more details as the months go by, but getting a sound plan formed will help you stay on target.

Now, all that’s left to do is start writing! And remember, if you get stuck and feel like your content marketing and blogging resolution is about to flounder, pull out that editorial calendar and the lists you made, and let them inspire you to keep blogging.

Whatever your 2013 blogging goal is, put it somewhere you can see it every day, track your progress towards it, and stay focused on reaching your goals.

Changing Birth Demographics = Life Insurance Sales Opportunities

A January 2012 report from Demographic Intelligence indicates that the highest increase in the U.S. birth rate is occurring among college-educated women 30 years of age and up.

The study also predicts that insurance companies and agents should benefit from the increase in birth rates among an educated and affluent demographic group who – still feeling uncertain about the stock market – are looking for safer long-term investment options.

LIMRA, a research and consulting firm for the insurance and financial service industries, supports this contention, noting that total sales grew 4 percent in 2011 in new annualized premiums – only the fourth time policy sales have risen in the past 30 years.

LIMRA expects that in 2012 and 2013, life insurance sales should rise 28 percent. This is in large part because 46 million “Generation Xers” (born 1965-1981) are spearheading the increase in households with young children. Additionally, 76 million “Millenials” (born 1982-2000) are now entering their family years.

Although the economy is improving and people are buying life insurance, they are playing it safe with whole life instead of universal or variable universal coverage. Whole life premiums increased 9 percent in 2011 from 2010, marking the sixth consecutive year of positive growth. Many are turning to whole life because it pays high guaranteed rates of 3 percent – at least two percentage points less than the crediting rate paid on cash value.

“The biggest driver of growth was whole life,” said Ashley Durham, LIMRA’s senior research analyst. “It’s the only product to produce positive growth in each of the past five years.”

Helping Customers Make the Right Choice

Insurance agents should pay close attention to clients with growing families. It’s important to make these clients aware that:

  • Whole life insurance is a good risk alternative to the stock market.
  • Purchasing whole life insurance when their children are young gives their investments the greatest time to grow.
  • Whole life insurance gives families the opportunity to build a nest egg they can tap through a policy loan if necessary.

Additionally, agents working with a Managing General Agency (MGA) are best equipped to take advantage of this and other market trends – and best serve their customers – by having access to:

  • The latest research and data to help them stay “ahead of the game” and grow their businesses.
  • The right sales techniques to ensure they are effectively bringing these opportunities to their clients and selling them through.

2 Great New Year's Questions for Your Clients

Welcome back to the office, how do you feel? Overwhelmed? Under pressure already? If so, then you’re not alone. Most company’s management and sales teams are under immediate pressure already to begin accomplishing their new goals and sales targets. In fact, this pressure is also felt in the accounting department, the marketing department, and everywhere else. You can probably feel it in your company, too.

As you speak with your clients and prospects this week, realize that they are all feeling this pressure as well. While this may seem like a bad thing, it can actually present a great opening for you. Here’s how you can handle the companies and contacts you speak with this month:

After talking briefly about the holidays and new year’s celebration, start with question number one –

“So ________, what are the top 3 initiatives for your department has this year?” Then hit mute and take notes.

If they need a little help here, use layering questions like:

“And what was your revenue like last year?” Or

“What percentage increase are you asked to produce this year?” Or

“What are you doing differently to accomplish this?”

“What do you think is most needed for you to succeed at that?”

After you’ve listened and asked layering questions and taken notes on the three initiatives, ask the second question –

“And how can I help you accomplish that?”

Once again, hit the mute button and take notes. If you get an, “Ah, I don’t know,” then once again use layering questions like:

“Have you heard of my new sales training program (product or service) called ____?” Or ask a good assumptive question like:

“How much of a budget do you have per quarter for sales training?” Or,

“How big of a role do you think increased sales training is going to play?” Or,

“If you could wave a magic wand and get three resources to help you accomplish your goals, what would they be?”

Now I’m sure you can come up with a few of your own questions here, but you get the idea. The point is to ask questions and LISTEN to your prospect’s response. Remember, your clients and prospects have all the information you need to make a sale, and they will almost always tell you IF YOU ASK QUESTIONS AND LISTEN TO THEIR RESPONSES. This is where your mute button comes in. Happy selling in 2013!

Your 2013 SEO Game Plan – Follow These Instructions for More Traffic and Sales

Search Engine Optimization is predicted to be an over $2 billion industry until 2016. In 2012, the algorithms and results of markets have been changed, and see how we determine that is going to be changed in 2013.

The popularity and exigency of SEO and the blend of search, site, and social is driven by progress and incorporation of technology. It also renders a chance to calculate our search and integrated marketing efforts for the best results. There are a few useful tips and a Game Plan that can help you to build and, in particular, to compute your Search Engine optimization campaigns during 2013.

There are various ways to establish an enterprise SEO campaign. However, the task may initially seem to be a little apprehending for many business campaigns.

Site

Your site must be considered as the nucleus of your SEO strategy. Your business marketing campaign wants you to determine each topic of your SEO strategy. This adds pages, keywords, group keywords, backlinks and social signals.

  1. Financial ratio: Each ratio that counts success as defined by you and your business results, aims, and sales conversions like downloads, surge rate, revenue and return.
  2. SEO variables – Each variable that impacts and/or equates these metrics.

  • Traffic – visits, page visits, organic keywords
  • Links – Domain- and backlink-based
  • Rank – Placing for volume based and long-tail terms and branded vs. non-branded
  • On-page – all type of tags such as title tag, Page Headings, link title
  • Social – Signals, Likes, +1’s
  • Content – density of keywords, copy, titles, ratio of text to content and so on

Time Difference – Prove you have the skills, devices, and resources to measure these over a period of time so you can analyze performance, realize trends, and carry out suitable actions.

Organic Search

Google strives its algorithm for promoting unique contents and demote sites that are focused on gaming or evolutionary algorithm. Google updates such as Panda and Penguin indicates that these short-term search tactics are over now.

Link Building Strategies

Your all link building strategies are customized to follow 100 percent white hat practices.

Comprehension of new SEO methods is highly important. Keeping up with innovation is a time and resource management tasks.

Local and Mobile

Google’s recent updates about social outstanding and local search differentiate an important shift which has now focussed towards mobile search. The mobile adoption rate has been significantly surged in the recent years.

Mobile search has also become more local now because results can be varied by location. Thus, your SEO technology must ensure to deliver delicate SEO success metrics and location based variables.

Global

Many SEO campaigns also require to target global audiences. Global ranking is top priority for different businesses. Not only it does accelerate your marketing ROI but also globally retains your brand online.

Sales Still Not Closed? Here's What You Can Do

It’s a burning question so many entrepreneurs ask each day. While you worry about the bottom line of more growth and profits, it’s difficult to figure out exactly what you can do to close your sales before the fiscal year ends.

If you have unclosed sales, here are four tips to close the deal and increase your cash flow before 2013 begins!

Rarely resort to the hard sell: Salespersons who are too pushy will not see many conversions. There are few times when you should use the hard sell. When it comes to closing your sales this year, try implementing a surprise, time-sensitive bonus for prospects on your list who have not said yes to your offerings. This will provide incentive and give a sense of urgency. However, you should never use a “now or never” approach. Just because someone says no once doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in your other products and services.

Know what prospectives need: If you’ve implemented a long-term nurture, and you have not yet seen a conversion, you may have missed a pain point. As time is a factor here, contact a perspective who has not given you an answer and explain how you offer solutions to their problems. The chances are, the prospective wants to say yes, but isn’t sure you will alleviate their concerns.

Know how to overcome objections: If someone hasn’t converted, they may have objections about a number of things-from cost to overall effectiveness. The best way to overcome objections like these is through word of mouth promotion. Your business has few greater assets than your previous customers. When you can, direct your prospective to a satisfied customer. If you get a great review, you’ll make the sale.

Automate your business: Simply put, the best thing you can do to close your sales is to put your business on autopilot. That means you can increase productivity and make daily operations a fluid cycle. When you remove the burden of daily routines, you can put all your focus on your sales.

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.” William Clement Stone

Business Tip from Tracey: Don’t forget to collaborate with your employees. While you construct the vision for your business, make your team an essential part of the process. When you involve your employees in planning and goal-setting, you plant the seeds for shared vision.