Archive | December, 2009

Can’t Decide on a Domain Name? Buy One Get One Free!

We all have great business ideas! I’m serious, I have this list of businesses that I can’t wait to get off the ground. Of course I’m not sitting on my hands about it. In fact, I just registered one more business before the close of this year!

For me, one of the most difficult decisions of all is deciding on a domain name for a new business of mine. Man, it seriously stresses me out sometimes. This is the domain name that you will be telling all of your friends, family, and business associates about. This little domain name will often be the first impression your customers will get about you before they even see your website. This is the domain name that you will be launching a serious marketing campaign around. And once a viral marketing campaign is underway, there’s no turning back.

I was thrilled when I got an email this morning from Network Solutions letting me know that they’re running buy one get one free sale on domain names! Now, instead of having to decide between the two finalists for a company web address, you can just register both and sleep on it without worrying that someone else might register the other one overnight.

Yep. Buy one domain and get one free. Pretty awesome. Anyway, here’s a banner that you can click on to get your free domain name. . .

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Creating eBooks Covers Is Easy! Here’s how I do it.

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The Truth About Online Marketing

eCover Created by eCover Generator

Hey gang! If you’ve been wondering how to make ebook covers, this is the blog post you’ve been waiting for. There’s a piece of software I’ve been using over the years that creates covers for my eBooks, digital audio files, and special reports. So, I thought I’d share it with you. It’s the same software I used to create the eCover to my audio book, “The Truth About Online Marketing: Confronting the Biggest Mistake” that you see to the left there.

This software creates eCovers for reports, books, software, and CDs. You upload the pictures or create them using the software, then you simply choose the size, angle, and shadow of the images. The software does the rest and “presto” you’ve got slick covers to your ebooks!

You don’t have to be a design genius to use it. The software was developed so that anyone can use it right away. After you get the software, you simply download the file, double click it to install it, and it’s ready to do the hard work for you.

What does this mean for your business? Well, first of all you don’t have to pay a graphic designer big bucks to make 3D images of your ebooks. And, secondly, now you can give a professional look to all the information you’re selling or giving away to your website visitors. The software is called eCover Generator. Enjoy!

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3 Months of Free Website Hosting!

It was hard for me to believe this one! I was just sorting through my emails when I saw this offer that I had to spread the word about. 1&1 is giving away 3 months of free hosting through December 31st of this year! If you’ve got a website or blog that you’ve been thinking of launching, now is definitely the time. With 3 months of free website hosting, you can basically launch a bunch of websites and test the marketing for 3 month without any risk. You’ve got nothing to lose when the hosting’s free. Pretty awesome if you ask me. I’ve never seen a deal like this so I had to share it. Here’s the special banner that’ll get you the discount. Enjoy!

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“What Web Design Software Do I Use?” Much More Than a Question

One question I’m often asked is, “Hey Nate! What software do you use to design your websites?” By nature, most entrepreneurs are hands-on people and like to try to do things themselves first. Hey, I’m no exception to the rule. In fact, as I look back on the growth of my business, there are certain things that I definitely shouldn’t have done myself, such as licking 2,000 stamps for a direct mail campaign. Yeechhtt! Gross! It’s an interesting cycle we go through as we search for the most economical way to effectively grow our businesses. From what I’ve seen, the “What web design software do I use?” question is part of every entrepreneur’s search for the perfect low-cost website. You’re not alone in that search. Here’s how it goes. . .

Most entrepreneurs and small business owners quickly come to the realization that they need to a website. Here’s how the process goes. And, hey, I’ve been through this cycle myself so if this describes you, I’ve been there myself.

I love stories! Let’s take an entrepreneur named Jane, and follow her through her search for an aggressive online presence. Jane is an accountant with her own small business and has decided she needs a website.

First, Jane goes to all the do-it-yourself website creation companies out there where you pay anywhere from $10-$60 per month to create a website for your company with pre-built templates. She signs up for an account and starts shuffling through the templates, and picks out nice one with a blue background and a picture of an office building at the top of the page. It doesn’t really represent her business and she can’t put her logo on the page but she feels it’s good enough.

Jane spends all of her spare time for the next week and a half trying to learn how the template builder works and trying to get her website to look just how she wants it. On day 10, she’s run out of patience and decides to leave it how it is and hope for the best. She’s a little hesitant to send prospects to the site because it’s kind of home-made looking and doesn’t really represent her business but she does it anyway.

After a couple weeks, Jane’s business has been stagnant, and she’s thinking it’s because she’s sending her prospects to a cookie cutter website that looks like everyone else’s home-made cookie cutter website. So, she starts to look at other do-it-yourself website creation companies to see if there are better templates out there. . . maybe the $19/month company has better templates than the $10/month company. So, she makes the switch. . . and goes through the same cycle of choosing, learning how it works, and trying to customize it with no results.

It’s at this point that Jane starts thinking that maybe she should look into getting a custom site done. So she talks to some web designers and asks the question, “What web design software do you use?”. Well, from her previous two experiences with building websites, Jane thinks that professional web design software will build her a professional website.

So, Jane buys the same web design software that the pros use. It’s kind of expensive but she figures it’ll be worth it. Well, after downloading the software for 4 hours, she installs in on her computer. Then, after opening up the software, her face goes white as she quickly realizes that the software is not going to build the site for her. In fact, it occurs to her that asking a web designer what software he or she uses is like asking a car mechanic what tools he uses, buying them, and hoping the tools will fix the car for her.

Now, she has decision to make. Does she spend the next couple months learning how to use the software and basically learn to be a web designer while her accounting business suffers? Or, does she hire someone to just build a professional site for her?

Jane goes on Craigslist, asks friends, and family members, and starts looking for the cheapest web designer she can find. After all, she just spent all her money trying the home-made site services, and buying the expensive web design software, plus her business has been suffering from the time she’s been taking to sort out the website. So she finds the discount web guy who says he’ll do her site for $199 and make it perfect. Well, unknown to Jane, the $199 web guy is a college student that build his brother-in-law a website for his tree cutting service once and that’s about it. So the cheap web guy builds Jane a site that looks almost as good as the do-it-yourself website she had build herself months ago. She bites the bullet and pays the guy.

Well, now she’s back where she started. She now has a homemade looking website, expensive software she’ll never use, a dragging business that she hasn’t been giving proper attention to, and a big fat headache. Now, Jane has a decision to make. Should she hire a trusted professional to build her site exactly how she envisions it or keep her “new” website that looks like it was built in 1992?

As humorous as it may seem, believe it or not, this is a very real and very common scenario my friends.

Had Jane, simply hired the right person to build her site from the beginning, she probably would have had her site live online in about a week with no problems. She would have saved about $1700 on website creation software, do-it-yourself trials, and bottles of ibuprofen. And who know how much money she lost by minding her website instead of her business. Had she hired the right person, her site would have been clean and professional right from the start and she would have been able to confidently send her prospective clients to her website for information.

Wow! What an adventure!

So the moral of the story is. . . before you launch a new website or get an old one upgraded, talk it over with a professional web designer that you can trust. A good web designer will be able to take care of your needs a let you know know what your best options are within your budget regardless of whether or not he or she gets your business.

I know, I know. . . you still want to know what web design software I use don’t you?

Well here it is:

And, of course, there’s no way I could end this post without a plug for my web design and SEO company: Integrity Online Marketing – a Honolulu web design company

Peace.

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Are You Forgetting Face-to-Face Networking?

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn happen to be some of my favorite social networking websites. It’s great to keep in touch with friends, family, and business clients through the internet. In fact, you’re all invited to join my social networking groups. (For LinkedIn, use email nate@nateburgoyne.com). Just be sure to include a little note about yourself with your requests.

However, I think we all may be forgetting that face-to-face networking is still an important part of lead generating. This morning I was invited to attend a business networking group here locally and I’m excited to be part of it. I met some great like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs that are willing to work together to grow each other’s businesses.

There something special about meeting people in person, especially when you see the same people at different venues and different networking events. You remember their smiles and personalities.

One of the greatest things about being small business owners and entrepreneurs is that, in most cases, we are able to choose who we do business with. In fact, for me, when I meet a new potential business contact and start get to know him or her, I’m really trying to make the decision of whether this person and I will be able to connect and work effectively together toward a common goal.

While, all of this trust can certainly be developed online over several weeks of Facebook updates, the same connection can take place in about 30 seconds or less in a face-to-face meeting.

Happy networking both online and off!

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