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How to create a customer network

When building a brand for your business, it goes without saying that a network of customers is synonymous with success. However, when measuring the initial success of a start up business,the number of sales is not always the real indicator of creating a spiderweb of customer networking channels.

The initial measure of success for a startup business can come from the total number of visitors or ‘hits’ on a landing page,the total amount of views of a certain product, etc. What translates that figure from vague acknowledgement of your company’s purpose and goals to public recognition of your business being a necessary commodity in your discipline, is the conversion from a minor interest in your company to a commitment; from just visiting your webpage to signing up.

This commitment can come in a variety of forms which promote your business and the services you provide through an ‘out of the box’ or alternative forum to just straightforward advertising:

  1. Newsletter – produced monthly or weekly with advice, instruction or promotional materials
  2. Podcasts – a weekly or monthly series which can often be in the form of a lecture or guest interview
  3. Mailing list – a platform for you to send promotional material relating to your business, partner businesses or relevant organizations

How to Increase the Conversion Rate in your Business

Many entrepreneurs embarking on an online career find themselves embroiled in a cacophony of mailing lists and forums and blogs and promotional press releases which they make available to anyone who will visit their website. Although maximum exposure of materials seems like the best option to make the general public aware of your company, it can in fact, be a hindrance to progression.

1. “If you Only Want People to do One Thing, Only Give them One Thing to Do”

James Martell, host of the Affiliate Buzz on WebmasterRadio.FM spoke of a conversation he had with a highly successful online business man, explaining that the key to having people sign up to a mailing list, newsletter or any other customer network, is to only provide them with one option. By reducing the initial landing page to merely options of ‘sign up’ or ‘sign in’, potential customers are forced to join the network in order to proceed. In a StudioPress themes review, they found that the most successful websites were those with the least cluttered home pages.

A clear example of this is when Tammy Morales, an affiliate businesswoman promoting an online scrapbooking company, found that her conversion rate never exceeded 1%. Despite all her efforts to direct customers to her forums,her mailing list and her podcasts, she found that no matter how many hits she encountered, she couldn’t increase her conversion rate. She found that when she reduced her homepage to nothing but registration to her newsletter, her conversion rate increased to an average of 10%, peaking at 20% on certain days.

2. Test your Popularity

There are many tools available online nowadays that can test which pages on a business website are the most successful landing pages. The most renowned of these tools is Google Website Optimizer. Through running an experiment unseen to customers, the tool can work out which page is most successful and set that as the major landing page.

3. Backlinking

Promotion and advertising have been proven for many decades to make for successful brands. In order to promote your brand as a reliable and recognizable entity, backlinking is a crucial step. This means that in order to place your brand in the public eye, copies or your website link need to be displayed on websites renowned and recognized within the field your company is aimed at.

There are three main ways to put this action into motion. Firstly, creating a network link with renowned companies will allow you to become ‘friends of the business’. This opens your company to the possibility of being featured on their website as a supporter to their cause. 

Secondly, business sponsorship of public causes can place your enterprise in the public eye creating the chance for featured sponsorship recognition on their websites.

Lastly, social media is an invaluable tool,whereby featuring your products through photography, posts and blogging allows for you to create a profile which includes your link, whilst also working with media that will organically spread your website link through reposting.

About the author: Emily Jenkins is a freelancer who built her reputation from a WordPress website built after doing research using many online sources such as www.shopwpthemes.com. This initial success caused by an acutely succinct website, allowed her to expand her writing to provide advice to other businesses on how to create a successful start up company from the initial set up.

70 Comments

  1. Samuro
    Samuro November 4, 2012

    1. A value chain is the sequence of activities that begins with raw materials.

    What result does a value chain end with?

    Select one.

    A. Operations and logistics
    B.X Delivery of products or services
    C. Supply and demand
    D. Outsourcing or insourcing

    2. What happens when an effective value chain is created?

    Select one.

    A. Customized products are standardized.
    B.X Profit margins are increased.
    C. Total quality management is not required.
    D. A mission statement is developed.

    3. Industry and market analysis, competitor analysis, and social analysis are examples of which step in the strategic planning process?

    Select one.

    A. Analysis of mission, vision, and goals
    B.X Analysis of external opportunities and threats
    C. Analysis of internal strengths and weaknesses
    D. Analysis of management implementation

    4. Skilled management, positive cash flow, and well-known brands are examples of which component of the SWOT analysis?

    Select one.

    A.X Strenghts
    B. Opportunities
    C. Weaknesses
    D. Threats

    5. What denotes skills or expertise in an activity that constitutes the roots of competitiveness in an organization?

    Select one.

    A. Opportunities and threats
    B.X Core competencies
    C. Products and services
    D. Strategic values

    6. According to Michael Porter’s competitive environment model, how can suppliers influence strategic planning?
    A. Suppliers can reduce manufacturing time and increase product quality.
    B.X Suppliers can reduce the threat from substitute products.
    C. Supplier can reduce technological, demographic, and legal threats in the environment.
    D. Suppliers can reduce the numbers of new entrants in the market.

    7. A company offers unique products in its industry to create a competitive advantage.

    Which type of strategy is the company using?

    Select one.

    A. Valorization
    B. Standardization
    C.X Differentiation
    D. Customization

    8. Happy Inc. is a leading provider of family entertainment and BCD is a broadcasting company with news, cable, and entertainment networks. Happy Inc. recently acquired BCD in hopes of boosting its primary business of family entertainment.

    Which type of corporate strategy is represented by Happy Inc.’s purchase of their distribution network?

    Select one.

    A. Horizontal benchmarking
    B.X Strategic alliances
    C. Networking
    D. Vertical integration

    9. A local business has provided services to its customers for 40 years. The business’s mission is “To give our customers the best service in town.” The owner of the business has had a long-standing dream to franchise the business and become the best provider of its service in the United States.

    What describes the owner’s dream?

    Select one.

    A. Strategic management
    B.X Strategic planning
    C. Strategic vision
    D. Strategic mission

    10. What is the first step of organizational strategic planning?

    Select one.

    A. Developing internal strengths
    B. Developing external opportunities
    C.X Developing a strategic mission
    D. Developing operational goals

  2. Nick
    Nick November 4, 2012

    In the bottom right my icons say I’m not connected to the internet even though I am…it says that I have Local Area Connection (1 and 2…don’t know why it made a duplicate) Wireless Network Connection 3 (Don’t know why it made a 3rd when I can’t see the 1st or the 2nd) and I have a 1394 Connection 2 (don’t know what happened to the first one) Let me just say that my Motherboard is an ASUS P5K3 Deluxe Wi-Fi Edition…it has given me more headaches than all the hangovers I’ve experienced…I hate their customer support, tech service and RMA department. Moving on…so I get all these random new generated networks. Don’t know why. How do I fix this? And how come I can’t create a new network place so that my roommate on the same connection (he may be wireless and I’m Ethernet but still the same router box). All I want to do is fix it so that I don’t have these dead icons as well as have a network to share files
    I did this and was still unable to create a network :/

  3. Spider Pc
    Spider Pc November 4, 2012

    I have this project which i am working on, (A Social Network) And I’m very optimistic about it, And every single person who sees it’ Always reply with positive reactions. I already have the logo, Scrips and everything, The only problem is i need lots of money for this project’ How do i let companies or at least investors’ Invest in my project, ?

    They’re are lots of entrepreneurs working on project with the help of people investing in it.
    Even Mark Zuckerberg had help from a big investor who invested millions in Facebook in the Beginning.

    I know probably most of you is going to say, That i won’t have a chance with my Social Network next to Twitter, Facebook Etc …. But i know for sure that mine’s is way different with a whole other plan.

    Which is something very unique

    For example, BOKU
    $55 million

    Founded in 2008, The company creates software that helps online merchants process payments using a customer’s cell phone number in place of a credit card; it then takes a small cut of each transaction. Big customers include Facebook and Electronic Arts.
    Has raised $42 million in venture capital.

    And Popchips
    $45.7 million

    Makes unique potato chip snack that contains less than half the fat of fried potato chips.
    Which Raised $6 million in August 2011.
    Celebrity investors include Ashton Kutcher, David Ortiz and Sean Combs.

    And more other projects, How do i find the right place to promote the project and find interested people or companies to invest in it >?

    Thank You

  4. MAK & CHEESE
    MAK & CHEESE November 6, 2012

    I want to create a Web site that chronicles my life…but not a blog. I’d use words, lots of photos, documents, etc. I’m looking for either a Web hosting company that has very easy software to build a site or purchasable software that I can use and then load onto an existing hosting firm. I have no Web site design or HTML experience. This isn’t for day-to-day postings but a general document (hence, not a blog) I also want to ensure that the Web site can stay up indefinitely and not go down because the hosting company is sold or goes out of business. What is my best option?

  5. Matthew David
    Matthew David November 10, 2012

    I am an Independent Representative for a telecommunications company and have been trying to figure out a way to sell a product/service to people who want to great service for low cost. However, I cannot create flyer’s because I can’t use the company’s logo. Also, there are many gated communities in my neighborhood that do not allow solicitors. What should I do?

  6. Mathew
    Mathew November 11, 2012

    I’ve always loved to doodle in class. Lately people have been asking me to make them something. So I started to think… Maybe I could earn some money off of creating something I love to do. So anything can be useful to links to emails to even addresses.

  7. sick_mick_101
    sick_mick_101 November 11, 2012

    Which statement best explains the initial success of pioneer species in succession and then their eventual replacement?
    A. Pioneers can’t coexist with other species so they quickly die out.
    B. Disturbed areas have no balanced ecosystem so only pioneers can survive.
    C. Pioneers colonize quickly, but can’t compete with larger, slower-growing species.
    D. Only fungus and algae can pioneer disturbed areas, and they are easily replaced

  8. RichT
    RichT November 11, 2012

    COLDFUSION WEB DEVELOPER
    Talented goal oriented individual with over eight years experience creating data-driven accounting, human resource and ecommerce solutions for customers on various platforms.
    ?Innovative approaches to problem solving.
    ?Hands-on experience leading all stages of system development efforts, including analysis, design, development, implementation and support.
    ?Outstanding leadership abilities; able to coordinate and direct all phases of project-based efforts while managing, motivating, and leading project teams.
    ?Adept at developing new applications that push the limits of current technology.

    CORE COMPETENCIES: Coldfusion MX, Coldfusion Components, Microsoft SQL, Web Services, Web Application Design, Development, and Support.

    * Platforms: Microsoft Windows® operating systems, Linux (Red Hat, CentOS, Fedora), and MacOSX
    * Networking: TCP/IP, FTP, SSH, HTTPD, SMTP, POP
    * Languages: Cfeclipse, Macromedia Studio, Notepad++, Aqua Data Studio, SQL Tools
    Help me use yahoo answers to find my dream job!

  9. Mackenzie P
    Mackenzie P November 14, 2012

    bodies? How do we get one title and not the WBO, IBF, WBA, and WBC…we the paying customers have to have a way to make that happen.

  10. Tyler H
    Tyler H November 14, 2012

    Hello,

    I am a French NATIVE speaker and I have completed a master in France. I want to teach French (private lessons), what is the best way to find customers ?

    Thank you very much.

  11. x_blind_x_gamer_x
    x_blind_x_gamer_x November 14, 2012

    Should companies be able to eavesdrop onto social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn to look at posts and target there marketing onto peoples opinions. Is this an invasion of privacy or a good way to collect information

  12. Dark_LovexXx
    Dark_LovexXx November 14, 2012

    I would like to get info on companies that can create a perfume! Meaning manufacturing a perfume? Please provide info on that!

  13. Muzahid
    Muzahid November 14, 2012

    Intellistars for the standard definition version of the weather channel, and Intellistar 2’s for the high definition version of the weather channel for the local conditions and local forecasts? I don’t work for the internet provider, I am a former and future customer of there’s. I am just trying to help them out. They already have their headend finished. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  14. davemc74656
    davemc74656 November 14, 2012

    I live in South Florida and have a background in customer service, office, and legal work. I would prefer not to have direct contact with customers. I would like to start a business where I can bring home at least $3,500 a month. This is after paying taxes and business expenses.

    I know that there are an innumerable types of businesses, but I would like some ideas. Thanks!

  15. Bryant B
    Bryant B November 15, 2012

    How can I create a buzz and word of mouth advertising with out using, vouchers, print media, flyer’s Internet, social media, website, or google adds etc? I have all those and am looking from an innovative idea. Any ideas folks?

  16. toast
    toast November 16, 2012

    I travel in my work. I sometimes plug into LANs at customer offices. These customers are people we sell services to. I have private company info on my laptop, including things like proposals and pricing info that the customer shouldn’t see.

    Will a good firewall like Komodo prevent the LAN administrator from looking on my HD?

  17. Disrae
    Disrae November 18, 2012

    I’m looking for a site that I can create custom t-shirts for work. I need a variety of t-shirt colors and be able print different names on each shirt. They also need to have something on the front and the back. I know about District Lines but I’m not 100% sure on how that works exactly so if you have some info on that, that would be awesome as well. But any other sites where I can make a small order of different t-shirts for the lowest price possible would be great.

  18. Cpt Excelsior
    Cpt Excelsior November 18, 2012

    I have a motorola surfboard cable modem and on my available wifi networks on my ipod it shows up as ‘Motorola’ but it is locked. Where can i find the password to unlock it?

  19. easton j
    easton j November 19, 2012

    The following is an excerpt from Lucent Technologies’ Management?
    Executive Summary
    We design and deliver the systems, software
    and services that drive next-generation communications
    networks. Backed by Bell Labs
    research and development, we use our
    strengths in mobility, optical, access, data and
    voice networking technologies, as well as
    services, to create new revenue-generating
    opportunities for our customers, while
    enabling them to quickly deploy and better
    manage their networks. Our customer base
    includes communications service providers,
    governments and enterprises worldwide.
    We have three segments organized
    around the products and services we sell.
    The reportable segments are Integrated Network
    Solutions (“INS”), Mobility Solutions
    (“Mobility”) and Lucent Worldwide Services
    (“Services”). INS provides a broad range
    of software and wireline equipment related
    to voice networking (primarily consisting
    of switching products, which we sometimes
    refer to as convergence solutions, and voice
    messaging products), data and network
    management (primarily consisting of access
    and related data networking equipment
    and operating support software) and optical
    networking. Mobility provides software and
    wireless equipment to support radio access
    and core networks. Services provides deployment,
    maintenance, professional and managed
    services in support of both our product
    offerings as well as multi-vendor networks.
    Beginning in fiscal 2001, the global
    telecommunications market deteriorated,
    resulting from a decrease in the competitive
    local exchange carrier market and a significant
    reduction in capital spending by established
    service providers.This trend intensified
    during fiscal 2002 and continued into fiscal
    2003. Reasons for the market deterioration
    included general economic slowdown, network
    overcapacity, customer bankruptcies,
    network build-out delays and limited availability
    of capital.
    We believe that the market for telecommunications
    equipment has stabilized
    and is starting to grow in certain areas. The
    growing demands of enterprises and consumers
    for additional services tailored to
    their needs is creating the need for a new
    convergence of networks, technologies and
    applications.
    Required
    1. Using the Consolidated Balance
    Sheets for Lucent Technologies for
    September 30, 2004 and 2003, prepare
    a common-size balance sheet.
    2. Evaluate the asset, debt, and equity
    structure of Lucent Technologies, as
    well as trends and changes found on
    the common-size balance sheet.
    3. What concerns would investors and
    creditors have based on only this
    information?
    4. What additional financial and nonfinancial
    information would investors
    and creditors need to make investing
    and lending decisions for Lucent
    Technologies?

    LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
    CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
    (in Millions, Except per Share Amounts)
    September 30, September 30,
    2004 2003
    Assets
    Cash and cash equivalents $ 3,379 $ 3,821
    Marketable securities 858 686
    Receivables 1,359 1,511
    Inventories 822 632
    Other current assets 1,813 1,213
    Total current assets 8,231 7,863
    Marketable securities 636 —
    Property, plant, and equipment, net 1,376 1,593
    Prepaid pension costs 5,358 4,659
    Goodwill and other acquired intangibles, net 434 188
    Other assets 928 1,608
    Total assets $ 16,963 $ 15,911
    Liabilities
    Accounts payable $ 872 $ 1,072
    Payroll and benefit-related liabilities 1,232 1,080
    Debt maturing within one year 1 389
    Other current liabilities 2,361 2,393
    Total current liabilities 4,466 4,934
    Postretirement and postemployment benefit liabilities 4,881 4,669
    Pension liabilities 1,874 2,494
    Long-term debt 4,837 4,439
    Liability to subsidiary trust issuing preferred securities 1,152 1,152
    Other liabilities 1,132 1,594
    Total liabilities 18,342 19,282
    Commitments and contingencies
    8.00% redeemable convertible preferred stock — 868
    Shareowners’ Deficit
    Preferred stock—par value $1.00 per share; authorized shares:
    250; issued and outstanding: none — —
    Common stock—par value $.01 per share;Authorized shares:
    10,000; 4,396 issued and 4,395 outstanding shares as of
    September 30, 2004,and 4,170 issued and 4,169
    outstanding shares as of September 30, 2003 44 42
    Additional paid-in capital 23,005 22,252
    Accumulated deficit (20,793) (22,795)
    Accumulated other comprehensive loss (3,635) (3,738)
    Total shareowners’ deficit (1,379) (4,239)
    Total liabilities, redeemable convertible preferred stock
    and shareowners’ deficit $ 16,963 $ 15911

    * 1 month ago

  20. Miguel M
    Miguel M November 22, 2012

    How can I create a business using services such as youtube, twitter, facebook, and other social networks to structure it to where it’s profitable? I have seen success stories, but I haven’t seen the actual process.

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