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Are you using Facebook ads to promote your business?

Are you going broke using pay per click ads through Google?

From experience, I can tell you that it’s very easy to burn through $500 to a $1000 and not see any real return on your investment.

The main issue for me has always been the inability to narrow the audience enough to reach exactly who I’m looking for.

Over the last couple of years I’ve become a great advocate for Facebook Ads.

I’ve used them for clients and I’ve used them for myself.

In one instance I used them to help sell my own house – by targeting folks who lived within 50 miles of Toronto, between the ages of 25 and 35, who were married and “liked” Toronto.

Yes, I was able to get THAT specific. Better still, I was paying $.40 per 1000 views. So over the course of 5 days, I was able to drive 100 clicks through to my virtual tour page for less than $20.

So how can you use Facebook ads for your business?

There are few ways to do this. The first is to advertise your products and services to a specific region and demographic or you can use it to build your brand or target a specific company.

If you are a speaker, ask yourself who it is that you need to reach? The audience? Sure. But does the audience do the bookings or sign the cheques? Nope. You need to reach corporate planners, event planners, and anyone else who is likely to pick up the phone or send you an email.

So lets try a little experiment by creating an ad:

This ad is targeting folks in Canada, United States and the United Kingdom, who are older than 27, and like: event planner, corporate events, event planning or conference organizer

This ad is targeting 22860 people and it costs $.41 per thousand views.

So for $10 a day, this ad may be viewed well over 24000 times!

Building your brand and targeting specific companies

Facebook ads are also great if you want to work for a specific client or you want to reach people at a specific company.

As an example I randomly chose Research in Motion as a company someone might want to target. Using the same geographic regions of Canada, US and UK, I was given 4500 folks who work for RIM and are currently using Facebook. The cost for that ad? $.20 per 1000 views.

This can work for any company. You can also use Facebook ads to target current clients with new promotions!

So go ahead and experiment a bit. Facebook ads are an inexpensive way to get acquainted with online advertising.

Thinking about marketing your own one or two-day seminar?

Have you ever organized a public seminar or event?

It’s not easy. Let’s assume you have a great full-day seminar that’s ready to go.

You’ll still need equipment, a venue and some savvy marketing strategies to fill your room and make you a bit of money.

Equipment is easy to rent if you don’t have it. And finding a hotel with a conference room – that will keep the coffee flowing and provide some snacks – shouldn’t be too much trouble.

It’s the marketing that will make or break you.

Over the years I’ve been involved with organizing a few marketing campaigns for one and two day seminars.

Here is a quick cheat sheet for professional speakers who want to try this out, but don’t know where to start.

The first question to ask yourself is how big is your list? Do you have 500 people? 1000? 10,000?

If you’re like most speakers your list is probably made up of connections from all over the world. And even if it’s 100% local, you shouldn’t count on a lot of those people attending. Cost, scheduling and a host of other factors will keep most folks from signing up right away.

So what you should do is think about moving beyond your list, by using some social media and interactive marketing to reach out to a wider audience.

Set Up a Few Free Webinars

Start with a series of free one hour webinars. Send out emails to your list encouraging folks to participate in discussions that are timely, and not coincidentally, happen to relate to what you will be be addressing in your live seminar.

The great thing is you don’t even have to be there in person! You can pre-record these webinars so you don’t have to turn down real speaking engagements. Click here to learn more about automating your webinars.

At the end of each webinar, talk up the upcoming seminar, while pitching the next webinar.

Also, encourage folks to tell friends and colleagues. If your webinars are any good, you should see attendance increase.

After each webinar, send out a follow-up email where folks can get the slides by signing up for your email list. This is important because you are now growing your list.

And don’t forget to offer group pricing and early bird discounts.

Topical Videos

This is something professional speakers don’t do enough. Create a series of short videos to go out to your list once a month. Relate the topics of your videos back to your upcoming seminar. They don’t have to be long. In fact they should be really short – no longer than 3-5 minutes.

Again at the end of each video, have the date and venue of the upcoming seminar.

Dedicated Seminar Website

Creating a simple WordPress site for your event is a great way to market it – without destroying the brand of your main site. If you’re a professional speaker who works large conferences with audiences made up of middle to senior level management, the last thing you want to do is dilute your main website’s message with single event taking place at the local Holiday Inn.

The website should have all the videos and information about the event, along with ways to register. It should also be fully integrated into Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter for folks to “share” it.

A blog that’s updated weekly about the topic and the event is also a great idea. Remember, this is a marketing site – not your main showcase – so there is no shame in promoting at every turn.

Social Media for Seminars

Create a Facebook Fan Page and make sure your blog is set to automatically update Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Yes, it’s that simple.

Email Marketing for Speakers

This used to be the most important way to reach contacts. But with so much crap showing up in all our inboxes everyday, marketing emails are just as likely to be deleted as read.

But some of them will be read.

Start your campaign months in advance with clear pricing and an early bird discount. Encourage folks to spread the word and join you on Twitter and the Facebook Fan Page. Send it out monthly, then bi-monthly, weekly, and then a few days before the event for last minute attendees.

These are just a few tips. If you are interested in doing your own seminar and want to set some of this up, just let us know.

Some completely attainable goals for 2011

Whether you do it yourself or hire someone else, here are ten completely attainable marketing goals for 2011 that will help you take your business to the next level.

  • Take a look at your site from the viewpoint of a visitor. What is it you’re offering them? That’s the reason they are there and that’s the only reason they will hire you.
  • Invest in a bit of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). How much is your time worth? Should you really be the one looking for keywords and trying to figure out how to get a better placement on Google?
  • Install Analytics on your site. Find out how many folks are actually coming and set a realistic goal for improvement.
  • If you have videos, create a custom YouTube Channel. How many folks come to your site compared to YouTube? Build the channel bring your content to a whole new audience.
  • Link all your social media together. Whenever you send out a newsletter, publish a blog post or update your status – let it show up everywhere automatically.
  • Create a podcast and update it once a month. You’re a speaker. Speak.
  • Try a webcast.
  • Look into POD (print on demand) services that will get your books onto Amazon sites across the world.
  • Turn your books into ebooks through Smashwords.com. They now provide content for the Amazon Kindle, Sony e-reader and Barnes and Noble Nook.

These are all perfectly reasonable goals to get you charged up for success in the new year.

As I said, you can do all this yourself. But it makes much more sense to have a professional do the job. Click here and see what I can do for you.