An In-depth Article: Why Google+ is Great for Local Businesses

Learn the full breath on the different features and tools Google+ has that will help your Local Business succeed. 

An in-depth article: why Google+is great for local businesses

by Carlo Barbosa

ESTIMATED READING TIME:  12.68 Minutes

When local businesses talks about Google+, it’s often ignored as just another Facebook. A ghost town and another untested avenue that may not bear fruits as many small local businesses experienced with other social networks.

Well who could blame them?

In a study conducted by Manta last April 2013, It surveyed more than 1200 small business owners and asked if they’ve seen any  return on their investment from their social media activities. The results were truly underwhelming.

69% of small business owners surveyed said that they didn’t see any ROI from their social media activities and of the remaining 31% that did see any returns, only 30% generated ROI of more than $2,000.

I won’t dare speculate that what they’re doing are wrong.

From my own experience, small business owners often talk more sense than “experts” I’ve encountered in the past. The internet has an abundance of resources about social media that practically anyone has the  capability to  learn what’s right from wrong regarding how they should handle their social media campaigns.

My take on this is simple.

The reason why most small local businesses fail in converting their social media activity to hard cold cash or even build awareness to say the least, is that most of their ideal customers won’t even bother searching for them in Facebook or Twitter much more letting them in their social lives.

They simply ask Google…”Where’s the nearest plumber?”

If your local businesses rely heavily on search engine like Google to get more leads  back to your website either through organic (Free) or by Adwords (Paid). Then Google+ may prove more valuable than Facebook or Twitter.

To top it off, from a local customers standpoint, a review from yelp or Google has far more social proof than a superficial like on a Facebook Page or a seemingly huge following from Twitter. Likes and followers count by todays standard can no longer be a reliable measure of social proof since you can get those by a pennies worth.

Google+ isn’t just another social media site created to compete with the giants such as Facebook. It was mainly created  to tie in all of its products and services (Search, Gmail, Android, YouTube, Google Maps, etc) to provide its users a far richer experience in using their products.

Treating it as just another “Facebook” is no longer a proper description due to its heavy integration and influence with all of its services. In fact, it  already became synonymous with Google itself. As long as your ideal customers, their friends and family are using any of Google’s products and services. Their decision will be affected by whatever information you put on Google+.

So first of all, what’s really in it for your Local Business?

 

  1. Google+ helps your Local Business be seen by the right people at the right time.

 

There is no denying that in order to have a sustained flow of visitors to your site you need to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But ever since Google made it clear that the time to game the system has already ended, many are wondering what’s the safest way in order to get that most coveted keyword your ideal customer will type on their search box.

So here comes Google+.

Well, what’s most interesting about Google+ Is its ability to influence the results it retrieved when users goggled it. In a 2013 study by Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting, He found out that  Google+ impact search results in several unique ways.

  •  People who follow you are more likely to see your business in their search results.
  • People who follow ANYONE who +1’s your post are more likely to see your business in their search results.
  • People you exchange Gmail’s with (probably your past or potential customers)  are  more likely to see your business in the search results. Note: This part is still largely debatable but there have been some studies made suggesting a correlation.

David Amerland, best-selling author for his book on Google Semantic Search, said that having an active presence in Google+ is probably the quickest and safest way any company can rank their websites after the Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird update.

If that isn’t enough for you to believe me. Larry Page, Google co-founder and CEO, said it himself “If you ignore Google+, Google Search will ignore you.”

 

2. Having an active presence in Google+ makes you and your business stand out to Local Searchers.

 

Google+ per se is like your high schools ID and report card merge into one. Like it or not, whenever your customer is searching for you (your business), they’ll see your grades whether it’s good or bad.

Here’s the thing when your marketing through the internet. You can’t convince your customers to buy from you. What you can only do is provide enough information so that they’ll convince themselves. So you might as well try to do the extra effort to make your business shine.

 These are the key features that you really need to know about.

  •  Google My Business

Just recently Google launch “Google my Business“. Their new unified dashboard that combine their full suite of services to help overwhelmed entrepreneurs in managing their online presence.

This is basically just an all-in-one tool that replaces the previous Google Places for Business, Google+ Local, and Google+ Business.

 If you already have an existing Google Places or Google+ Local Pages, it will be automatically upgraded to a Google My Business account.

What you can do with this new tool?

  • Easily update and manage your business information on-the-go using their Android  and IOS app.
  • Read and respond to reviews found not only in Google+ but also “Reviews from around the Web”
  • Share with current or potential customers important news regarding your business through Google+.
  • Monitor engagement for your Google+ post and other various information using Insight.
  • Convenient tool to add new photos and virtual tour to help your business stand out to your competitors.
  • Provide quick access to AdWords Express and Google Analytics.

OTHER POST YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED: Tips and trick for small businesses in winning mobile.

  • rel=”author” (Google Authorship)

If your local business already have a blog in placed (or I hope you’re at least considering it) to keep your customers from leaving your site and keep them intrigue to continue viewing other pages like your products or services. Then the Authorship mark-up is perfect for you.

What Google Authorship basically do is it link the content you’ve written to your personal Google+ profile providing credit to your work and  provide a probable protection against plagiarism.

Google Authorship as seen in SERP

 There are already countless studies made proving that strong first impression is crucial when landing a new customer and a good photo surprisingly does that. According to a case study conducted by Search Marketing Agency Catalyst, the number of Click-Through Rate (the percentage of people visiting a web page who access a hypertext link) increased by 150% after the authorship mark-up was added. Amazing right!

 Other benefits are:

  • Provide more opportunity to get more followers in Google+.
  • Allow an easy way for readers (potential customers) to engage with you through your Google+ profile.
  • Easily measure how well your content is doing. Just go  to google.com/webmasters and login with your Google+ username. Then just click the “Labs” at the left hand panel of your dashboard and then click “Author Stat”.

 NOTE:  By the time this post was publish, Google decided to remove the Photo and the number of followers in the search result page in order to provide a cleaner looking design to mobile searchers. 

Anyway, I decided not to edit this section just for the glory of it since I’ll never know if Google will decide to bring it back. Plus, according to Mark Traphagen, your photo will still appear on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) of your followers. 

Also, don’t come to the conclusion that authorship is no longer needed because it’s still an integral part of your SEO. You still have the other benefits right?

  • rel=”publisher” (Google Publisher)

Now don’t be confused by its name.  It’s not only meant for newspaper or magazines but for Local  Businesses as well. It’s basically similar to Authorship but instead of  linking your content to your personal profile it link your website (most of the time from your homepage) to your Google+ Local Page.

Doing this verify your brand with Google and Google Users since just about anybody can create a similar page impersonating your business online. I guess you want that to happen right?

It also displays your logo, your most recent post, and other relevant business information. This is really beneficial most especially when your customers are already further in the buying process evaluating their choices, looking for reviews and testimonials, and comparing prices with your competitors.Google Publisher as seen in the SERP

  •  Google+ Reviews

I’m quite sure you know why reviews are important for your businesses. Basically more reviews equals more customers but why focus on getting reviews in Google+ and not pile it up in your own website.

Well it all comes down to trust. Nowadays, consumers are so well-informed that they can smell BS miles away. They rather trust reviews and testimonials coming from third-party websites than be bamboozled by  sweet bogus reviews found in most business website.

Good Google+ reviews not only help you converts your leads at the same time help your SEO rankings. Simply put if you don’t have reviews and your competitors does, of course Google will rank them higher since showing the “best” business first will improve their user satisfaction. For instance Google Maps is already saying it outright that the “highest-rated Businesses near you” will be retrieved whenever you’re searching locally or through mobile.

  •  Google Business View (Virtual Tour)

“See Inside” what a way to invite your customers to explore what you have to offer and put your business on the map.  Now Google is offering the power of its Street View Technology to give businesses a complete 360° panoramic view of your business establishment to let your customers experience what you have to offer before leaving the comfort of their chair.

Business View appears whenever a customer directly Googled your business name  as well as in Google Maps and Google+ Local Pages. You can also Link and embed it in your  website attracting potential customers who visit your site.

Many businesses are already adopting this technology like Hotels and restaurant, Real Estate companies, boutiques and department store to stand out against their competitions and enhance their local online presence.

The price usually varies depending on  the Google Certified Trusted Photographer you commissioned but would typically range from $300 – $1500 so contact them now here.

 

 

 3. Google +’s Hangout   and Hangout on Air (HOA) can be an effective tool in Content Creation , creating Brand Awareness and customer service.

Hangout on Air (HOA) is basically Skype on steroids. It’s a free a video conferencing platform offered by Google where you can host live conversations with friends, colleagues, or even customers then broadcast via your Google+ profile page or your YouTube channel or embedded those videos directly to your website offering more value to your customers for future use.

Some companies are already innovating with using Hangout and HOA by using it as an extension of their customer service program offering valuable information about their products and its proper usage and a way for them to immediately handle customer complaints. Now with the release of the “Google my Business App”  handling certain issues can now be done via Hangout.

Another idea I’ve come up with is to invite local influencers, or  a fellow local entrepreneur and do a HOA together. Talk about your community. What does it need most? What are its problems? How can your businesses help solve those issues? Find out how you can make what you are trying to sell relevant to your community as it shows that your willing to give up time on something bigger than you business.

Why?

Simply because the best way to succeed in your local businesses is first to succeed in winning the hearts of your community.

Oh before I forget…

Try making a video transcription of your HOA adding in some of your target keywords as this would provide more content for your site and improve your website SEO. Content is king!

 

4. It’s a great alternative to Facebook since fewer people are now seeing your post.

Since its IPO in 2012, Facebook has now gradually been decreasing every pages reach and pushing you to advertise instead. More and more of your fans are no longer seeing your post in their news feeds and according to a Time magazine article Facebook is eventually planning to reduce your page’s reach down to 1% to 2% of your total fans. To add salt to the wound, your fans might not be real at all as exposed by this documentary by Veritasium. Yikes! If that isn’t enough for you to set up a plan B or C. I don’t know what is.

If Facebook works for you and your bottom line, I guess there’s no harm spending a few hundreds dollars or thousand if your willing to take that risk in promoted post but it would be a huge mistake to put all your eggs in one basket. Try to diversify your marketing mix in order to get higher returns.

I’ve just read this really funny break up letter by Eat24 to Facebook which I think perfectly encapsulate how most businesses are now feeling towards Facebook’s latest  changes. If you do have time, try reading it and also what happened after they took down their Facebook page. It’s so funny because it’s the truth.

 

5. Recent Studies shows aside from YouTube,  Google+ boast the best visitors to visit a website.

You read that right, Google+ boast the best visitors to visit a website  aside from YouTube.

This isn’t really a surprise to me since Google+ isn’t used to catch up with your friends or stalk your ex.

It’s for you to explore your interest, hobbies and connect with people who share your passion or network with your industry peers. It’s more like a marriage between Pinterest and LinkedIn.

So people are generally  interested in learning what their circle shared and interact with their peers in various communities.

This study was conducted by Shareaholic last September 2013 – February 2014 where they surprisingly collected data from over 200,000 websites with a reach of more than 250 million unique visitors each month and found out that aside from YouTube, Google+ users are the best visitors to visit a website based on 3 key areas:

  • Visit Duration – How long do they stay viewing your website.
  • Pages per visit an – Do they browse other important pages like products or services.
  • Bounce Rate – Percentage of visitors who immediately leave your website without viewing other pages.

It turn’s out that Google+ users on average, spend more than 3 mins in the site their circles shared, visited 2.45 pages and a bounce rate of 50.63% which is slightly higher than Facebook users who spend only about 2.12 mins on each page. Browsed an average of 2 pages per visit with a bounce rate of 56.35%.

 

Final thought:

Ok now, What I’m trying  to do is not convince you that this is your silver bullet. I also don’t know if you’ll regret it later. Google+ like Facebook and all other internet marketing technique you’ve might tried so far is but merely a tool. How you use it will determine whether it’ll be effective or not.

“if you do what you always did, you will get what you always got”

So don’t be afraid and try it out, since finding success isn’t always easy.

 

Make my day and tell me what you think! 

If  ever the post helps you clarify thing regarding the topic it would mean the world to me if you share it to your friends, family, and colleagues who would also be interested. Thank you and God Bless!

 

 

Tip’s and Tricks for Small Businesses in winning Mobile

By Carlo Barbosa

Businessmen winning on Mobile

Image credit: Darron Birgenheier

In his keynote  speech at PubCon Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Search Spam, said that a website with no mobile implementation might take some ranking hit in 2014.

 He was pretty clear that with the significant increase in mobile traffic, not having a mobile-friendly site will seriously impact the amount of mobile traffic Google will send you.

 “If your website looks bad in mobile, now is the time to fix that” he said.

 So why is it having a mobile friendly site so crucial for Small Local Businesses in 2014?

Well, according to a study commissioned by Google, 67% of mobile users said that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service, 69% expect businesses to be within 5 miles of their location, 55% want to purchase within the hour and 83% wants a purchase within a day.

Mobile users are always on the go, busy with their life.  They want to find relevant information as quickly as possible whether it be as a brief product description , your contact number, address and reviews to your product or services.

 Failing to address their needs at the point in time when your customers go online before making their purchase is a serious disadvantage to your company.

 In their 2012 study, Google reported that 61% of mobile consumers have switched to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile website experience.

 It’s understandable why many small local businesses still fail to address this issue mainly because of lack resources.

 So let me help you.

 I hope the list I’ve made help you improve your website and succeed winning you customers.

 If installing some of the plug-ins listed scares the hell out you. Consider hiring someone from odesk or elance to help you with the installation process but I believe you really don’t need to. Just watch the youtube videos on how to do it as it won’t take you too long.

 1. Use a Responsive Website design

A responsive website design is basically a website that adjust your content depending on the mobile device your customers using giving them the most optimal viewing experience.

 Wordpress provides  a number of free and paid themes that would definitely not broke your budget. David Moth made this amazing list of Free responsive wordpress theme you can use.

I’m recommending this simply because:

  • It provide Consistency. People nowadays use multiple devices, going back and fort before arriving at a conclusion on what to buy. A responsive website helps you be more consistent in the eyes of your customer as you no longer need a separate site just to cater mobile user.
  • It provide a great user-experience.
  • It’s easier to manage since you only be doing SEO in a single site. 
  • You can focus your budget more on creating content than maintaining your separate mobile site. As the saying goes “Content is King.” 

 2. Highlight your best value proposition

This should probably be a no brainer but you’ve be surprised by how many small local businesses fail to distinguished themselves from their competitors.

 Believing just because you have a far better fancy looking website than your competitors doesn’t necessarily mean they will pick up the phone and choose you.

 So what is a Value Proposition?

 A Value Proposition is basically a sentence(s) which consist of the most logical and believable reasons why your customer should choose you against your competitors.

 Your customers aren’t mind readers nor do they have the time to figure you out. You need to tell/show them  front and center that what you’re offering can do the job they’re looking for.

 A good why to start is to brainstorm with your staff and identify at least one aspect  of your business your better than your competition. Peter Sandeen wrote this incredible article in Kissmetrics.com in creating your very own Value Proposition.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

3. Consider using a plug-in called WP Mobile Splash Page Editor

If your website currently don’t have an efficient landing page for your mobile customers. This plug-in is sure to solve that.

I love this because you can add various call-to-action buttons that triggers the native phone function (Phone, email and directions) of your customers making it easier for then to reach you in second.

It simple to use. Styling and editing are a breeze. It’s incredibly fast with hardly no effect to your SEO.  You can also add links to your product page, testimonial and to your various social media accounts making it easier for your customer to recommend you.

WP slash page editor for mobile devices

4. Optimize Content for easy mobile viewing and enhance user experience.

  • Write entertaining headlines as most users use their  phone to fight boredom.
  • Create links and Icons that are touch friendly. Due to small screen size. Many mobile users find it hard to click Call-To-Action buttons so just make it bigger so it’s easier for your customers to click it.
  • Don’t forget to use your keywords (words you expect your customer to type in to find your post) in the title, file name of the images you’re using and the body of your post.
  • Favor close-ups and medium shots for your video or photo gallery. Wide shots in a smart phone doesn’t look pretty.
  • Don’t use video that doesn’t play on smart phone. Example. iPhone’s doesn’t play flash video. 
  • Use big fonts that are easy to read. 
  • Embrace the white space in your post as it is the most pleasing to the eye. 

Make my day and tell me what you think! 

If  ever the post helps you clarify thing regarding the topic it would mean the world to me if you share it to your friends, family, and colleagues who would also be interested. Thank you and God Bless!

How Remarkable People Use Commenting to Leave an Impression

by Carlo Barbosa

The biggest obstacle to success is how to be remarkable.

Do you love what you’re doing?

Are you content with being good and great just seems too hard?

Have you ever stop, wonder, and asked yourself these questions?

You may be wondering why I’m even asking this but you see I truly believe that being remarkable is the result of your love for your work and an endless desire to improve your craft.

I may still be young but I’ve already encountered my fair share of remarkable people, and somehow they all share this trait.

They live a life with a certain degree of standards, with passion and love that is so unique to me that I can’t help feel like a moth to a flame.

So what does it all have to do with How Remarkable People use commenting to leave an impression.

In his commencement speech in Stanford, Steve Job once said “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

You see passion is the greatest fuel for a remarkable person and a remarkable work. They do it because they love it not because someone told them to. That positive mindset is what allows them to give remarkable comment. It’s not necessarily be remarkable to all, but remarkable to someone who would truly care and listen about your niche.

They made sure that their comments are worthy to be “remark upon”, that their words hold weight, or simply it has that something extra. You don’t know what it is but still, something he wrote captivated you, made a huge impression on you, and they leave you wanting more.

They leave you wanting more. . .Just imagine done routinely and religiously leaving a remarkable comment in popular blogs, websites or social media sites related to your niche that attract tens of thousands of readers that wants to learn more about you, your brands, and your company. Commenting perhaps one of the perfect vehicles to showcase your expertise to your potential customers.

Sadly a lot of us, yup that also includes me, can be described as unremarkably average individual. Leaving forgettable and boring comments that no one would care, or like having a good Filet Mignon for lunch on the new restaurant across the street, after an hour you’d forget it. The next day, you’d go for the Pad Thai serving at the next.

Sometimes it pains me to see remarkable people doing remarkable in the things they love. What do they have that I don’t? Then it hit me. I lack passion. Passion enough to persevere, passion enough to grow into many things, and passion enough to innovate.

Being remarkable is hard, I mean extremely hard, but at some point remarkable people such as Steve jobs weren’t what they are now. They’re just like you and me, an unremarkably average individual.

So what do say, want to give it a try? Anthony Robbins once said “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” So I’ve made this short list of how remarkable people leave an impression through commenting so we, the unremarkably average majority, my find it in our heart, muster the courage not so we can fake it till we make it, but so we can fake it until we become it.

1. They leave Valuable Insight.

It can be a statistic giving by an authority on the field or it can also be a counter argument, criticism against the facts given or relevant information if the content of the article applies differently in different locations or scenarios.

Whatever it is, it should deliver value, cut to the chase and use surprising or provocative insight that gives the reader more food for thought.

2. They ask thought-provoking questions.

They use open-ended questions that not only stimulate discussion but also encourage the readers to offer answer. And even if the answers are not usable or even appropriate, knowing possible answers enables you to ask additional questions that is greatly appreciated by most as this provide more engagement and community building in the blogs, websites and social media sites your commenting on.

3.They give Tips or advice on how to use the information effectively.

They give tips or advice based on how to use the information effectively based on their experiences.

It is those experience that give’s credibility in the comments they give. They’ve “been there, done that” their words holds so much weight that people believe and trust them.

Experience is often compared to be the best yet harshest teacher that it is wise learning from the mistakes of others so you can save yourself from a lot of pain in the future.

4. They accept the risks of expressing their personality, views and perspective.

From the wise words of Seth Godin’s “Not everyone appreciates your efforts to be remarkable. In fact, most people don’t. So what? Most people are ostriches, heads in the sand, unable to help you anyway. Your goal isn’t to please everyone. Your goal is to please those that actually speak up, spread the word, buy new things or hire the talented.”

Putting yourself out there, expressing your views and beliefs, and standing out can be risky. Some people may judge you or even reject you. But expressing your personality, views and perspective is not sin but a requirement in the pursuit of remarkability. Say more what you want to say, do more of what you want to do, be more of who you are, and others will notice and remember you.

5. They Proof read before they post.

No Businessman or a potential customer would ever trust a person who can’t even check whether his spellings are right or wrong. Poor grammar and spelling in comments are signs of lack of attention to details and sloppy work. In this age of competitive business, it is crucial that all aspects even its comments present a positive image for the company as first impression really do count.

Make my day and tell me what you think about the post! God Bless.

How Effective Commenting Improve Your Brand, Web Traffic and, Rankings

by Carlo Barbosa

"Either comment worth engaging or create something worth commenting."

Commenting on others peoples blog or website is probably one of the simplest form of creating communication channels and driving traffic back to it,  but considering the amount of time and effort needed for it to become effective, it’s often considered inefficient and a poor strategy as most businesses often implement it by spamming other sites.

Still, why do you think many successful bloggers or businesses still use this tactic?

Because once done properly, it becomes one of the most powerful weapons in a bloggers arsenal in driving traffic to his blog or website, building credibility in his niche, established his brand and, cultivating strong long lasting relationship with its readers and Industry Influencers.

Imagine done routinely and religiously, say 5 times a day, you’ll have 1825 healthy organic links in a year that will drive traffic to your blog or website which may then turn into leads and conversion.

 

So what should be your objectives?

 

A. To establish credibility and build Brand Trust.

Comments aren’t only used to express ones opinion but also establish ones credibility in his niche.

Giving bite size informative comment is probably the simplest way you can show your expertise in a given field, establish your brand and in turn build trust to your potential customer or key influencers.

So why does building Trust and one’s personal Brand so important?

In a study made by Carlos Flavián and Miguel Guinalíu, Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, University of Zaragoza, entitled “Consumer Trust, Perceived Security and Privacy Policy: Three basic elements of loyalty to a web site” there finding state that “an individual’s loyalty to a web site is closely linked to the levels of trust. Thus, the development of trust not only affects the intention to buy, as shown by previous researchers, but it also directly affects the effective purchasing behaviour, in terms of preference, cost and frequency of visits, and therefore, the level of profitability provided by each consumer.”

So how does effective commenting in turn establish consumer trust?

The more people regularly encounter your name in prominent blogs, the more insightful your comments are, and the more they will perceive you as an expert in your niche. That level of familiarity is often one of the greatest factors when you’re just starting establishing trust with your target readers.

Your opinion reflects the level of knowledge’s you hold and the amount of experiences you have about a certain topics. It allows the readers or even potential costumer a sneak peak of what they can expect from you, your brand and your site.

With time, practice and persistence you’ll be able to grow that level of trust people will associate whenever they hear your brand.

B. To Improve SEO and drive traffic back to your blog or website.

With all the latest Google update from Panda to Penguin and now Hummingbird, Commenting is shockingly still considered one of the most relevant techniques in creating backlinks necessary in ranking high for any search results.

But obcourse too much can be a bad thing. So here’s some friendly reminders.

  •  Use your real name and picture if not you may be deemed a spammer.
  • Comment manually. Using automated tools might  raise red flags to search engines that your manipulating their system causing you to be penalized or worse, your website being de-indexed.
  • Just take note to comment only on “QUALITY SITE” related to your niche.

Here’s a really nice video from Google’s head of Web Spam, Matt Cutts explaining the topic more. Also you can check this spectacular article by David Arnoux where they actually made this compelling case study about the effectiveness of commenting. I hope you enjoy it!

C. To Cultivate a strong long-lasting relationship with Industry Influencers

Aside from building trust, allowing you to cultivate strong long-lasting relationship with Key Influencers, whether they are in the top, middle, or low levels, is probably Effective Commenting strongest point.

By frequently commenting on their blogs will not only let you build a higher level of credibility needed before starting any brand promotion campaign but also give you a more concrete perspective of what motivates them, the topic they love to write, and the type of content their readers respond to, allowing you to craft a perfect pitch irresistible to your key Influencers. It’s probably a hundred times more likely Influencers will respond to your request if they already heard from you.

Connecting with industry influencers has a lot of perks as it allows you to “piggy-back on their success”. It allows you to tap into bigger streams of people who would expand your reach giving more traffic back to your site.

But bear in mind, you’re not the only one hungry for their attention. Instead asking “Muhammad” to move the mountain, first figure out how “Muhammad” can piggy-back on your success. Let them realize that your brand has value to them as much as they have value to you. Only then can both of you have mutual long-lasting relationship.

D. To improve one’s craft.

I have to admit that I don’t know everything about online marketing but commenting somehow help me improve my knowledge and perspective in many ways. You see due to my obsessive nature to give out the best in everything I do (in this case commenting) it allowed me to better understand my niche.

In every article I’ve read, every forum I’ve joined, every comment I’ve given, I try to read as much about the topic first so I could bring something new to the table, something useful for the readers. Time and time again it surprises me how this simple yet effective process allowed me to broaden my knowledge, my expertise and in turn earn respect in the web community I joined.

I also have to admit that this process was a pain in the ass at first.

I thought why make life miserable and just go with the flow, write what you feel and believe whatever I wrote is awesome hence it’s on ly inevitable that hordes of people will want to know me.

Then I woke up, not having a single person wanting to click the blue line under my name.

I then came across this research by Psychology Professor James Uleman of New York University, he said that “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, judgments are being made and impressions formed all the time. The impression you create may affect future opportunities, collaborations or other important matters.”

Opportunities do not happen merely of luck. More often than not, it is the result of your hard work and dedication for your craft.   The more you bring your best foot forward, the more you and you brand will benefit from it in the long run.

Make my day and tell me what you think about the post! If you’re a blogger or a website owner, can you share surprising moments you’ve experienced brought by you giving or receiving thoughtful comments.