The Passing Lane: Passing the Competition Online by Marnie Perhson

Issue #12 Monday, December 7,1998

About the Author:

Marnie Perhson
Marnie Pehrson, founder of C.E.S. Business Consultants and the
International Association of Computer Professionals, develops products that help computer professionals market and manage their businesses.

She is author of
How to Run a Successful Computer Training Business,

How to Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business

Keeping Your Sanity in a Home Business.

Marnie also develops business plans, marketing strategies, financial projections, & proposals for Internet projects. Her plans and strategies have garnered clients an average of $100,000 each in seed capital.

Marnie lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children .

C.E.S. Business Consultants
Ringgold, Georgia
TEL: 706-866-2295


Survey Reveals Subtle Sales Secret

A research company (Jupiter Communications) recently conducted a survey of 2,200 Web surfers and found that 80% of them trust online news as much as news from other sources for both accuracy and editorial integrity. They also found that these web surfers don't object when advertising is imbedded in a news story or editorial column. For example, if a button to order the book follows a book review, the web surfer not only finds this unobjectionable, but even helpful.

Two incidents on my own Web sites would seem to corroborate the Jupiter survey results. About a year ago, I signed up with Amazon and created a bookstore on my web site. Six to eight months went by and I sold no Amazon books at all through them. I subsequently started conducting interviews with marketing professionals, accountants, business strategists, etc. and I asked these professionals what books and web sites they would recommend people visit for more information. I linked the books they suggested to Amazon, and suddenly I had sales. Not monstrous amounts, but there were actual book sales.

Another example of this is when I was interviewed by iVillage about my Keeping Your Sanity in a Home Business course. In the interview they placed a link to the web page for the course. As a result, there was a substantial increase in sales of the course for as long as this article was run.

Being interviewed on industry-related sites and including links to your e-mail and web addresses in the interview is a great tool for building your business. It gives you credibility and utilizes the subtle sales techniques that produce results on the web. A few strategies for getting interview coverage for your business include:

  • Volunteer for interviews. Many times on business mailing lists or message boards, you will find requests for people to interview on various topics. Volunteer anytime your experience matches the article topic.
  • Ask for the interview. If you have a product or service to sell, you can contact e-zine editors whose publications match your target market. Offer to either write an article or be interviewed for their publication
  • Write your own interview. Create a question and answer interview on the most commonly asked questions you receive in your business. Place this on your own web site and/or submit it to e-zines and other industry-related web sites.

Perhaps the reason this interview method produces results is because web surfers see it as a credible and more discreet referral rather than a direct sales pitch; it's more like news that they can trust.

Text Copyright © 1999, Marnie Pehrson. Part of the original Sideroad.
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