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How Do We Reach The Right People?

online visibilty selling entrepreneurs google searches writing post items for free turn-key system

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#1 funkshui

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:06 PM

NoteMote.com is a free website, in beta release, designed to be a worldwide marketplace for people that are passionate about their products and services. It is a turn-key system that allows people to: post items; services; blog, imbed YouTube videos; post recommendations and sell directly from the site.
Not long after posting individual content, Google picks up keywords and themes from the any one of the active pages.
As an example, a search results on Google for the following come up on the first page.
“Specialty wines Denver” brings up City Wine on the first page.
“Jazz funk band” Funk Shui, also on the first page.
Our challenge is in finding people who want to gain greater visibility online, that have products to sell and services to post who are also willing to write. It just seems like a lot of work goes into convincing people to do a bit more than fill out a profile and leave it at that.
Is our message muddy?
How do we reach the right people?
What is it that we are missing that may be obvious to you?

Thank you,

#2 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:54 PM

Certainly seems like something that would be beneficial. I may sign up, try it out, and see if there's any reason hidden away that might be problematic. Will get back to ya.

1. Signed up. Waited and waited for confirmation email. Asked to have it resent. Never showed up. Not in spam or anywhere that I can see. I imagine that's not solving the question you asked since it sounds like the problem is people not adding more than a profile, which means they got the confirmation email. But maybe it's part of the problem. Maybe by the time they get it, they've lost interest. Will add more if I ever get it.

#3 tam

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:59 AM

Hiya!

First impressions, I don't like the look of your homepage. It's a bit jumbly. I, and I think a lot of people, find it tricky to design my own websites. Telling other people what's wrong or building something for someone else is fine but doing your own is always just more difficult. If you feel like you have that issue or just that's not your area of expertise then it might be worth having someone produce a template for you. I don't really see anything that makes your site uniquely you - the graphic looks a bit like a stock image and you don't seem to have a logo? You need an identity that is recognisable as you.

As part of that you need to tell or show me on the front page what it is you do. Remember people hitting the homepage won't have had the benefit of reading your post about what you do, they need to know fairly instantly. Try printing off your homepage and asking a few random people what their first impression is of what the site is about. If they don't give the answers you want, go back and change it until they do.

Okay, getting started...

I'm drawn to the search box, so try it out and you land me in google search results? Whoops, I got distracted and I'm off browsing the web elsewhere!! Don't throw your visitors away! :)

So, I resist the temptation to muck about in google and click register... but whoops, did I click the wrong thing? I've gone to a totally different website. It looks nothing like the first. Were you just forwarding me to an affiliate, is this somewhere dodgy... I'm feeling puzzled and a bit nervous and now you want my personal details? Keep your template/style consistent across your website of visitors get confused.

On the register page, loose the giant warning about copyright - I can't upload anything on this page, so save the front & centre warning until the page I can.

I've still no idea what the site is about, because I went straight from search box to google, to this form. I see you've helpfully put some links on the right for more information. But wait, they aren't links! Just generic claims with no details... how will signing up help me build a client base?

I'd suggest looking at sites that sell a service or even something like software and how they present information about their product service. Then think about how someone would move through your website and what information they want at different stages.

Take www.mailchimp.com for example, first up recognisable identity and consistent style/colours, most common questions i.e. pricing, features, support are prominent links at top of page, big sign up button (going to a simple form), and what they do summed up in one sentence. Have a look at other sites and see how they go about convincing you to sign up and what puts you off :)

Tam

#4 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:43 AM

In addition to a site that is ready to receive (and hold) visitors, you have to reach out to people with your message. That means YOU have to do your market research and find people who are trying to promote their products and services and then create content for them that will draw them in to your site.

One thing you might consider doing is offering your visitors a newsletter in which you feature newly launched sites. Archive the newsletter on a section of your site so that people can find it.

Don't just slap something together. Put some thought into it. You want to have a regular newsletter, maybe once a week, but no less often than once a month. If your service takes off you won't be able to feature every new site but at least by creating a message that provides value to your members you're doing something.

I think you should also offer more than one theme. One-design-fits-all doesn't really work well. If you allow people to skin their accounts, they'll be able to differentiate themselves more quickly.

You might also consider giving your users sub-domains rather than folders. This requires a somewhat different technical approach but sub-domains would protect your community from low quality members and give you just a little bit more value to offer.

Instead of promoting a typical Google search I think you should just offer a Google Custom Search that only indexes your own site. This search tool (which I would place on search.notemote.com) would be a shopping channel for your users.

The site itself will draw more users as they come across its useful features.

Your forum is empty so it's probably not a good idea to launch with it. I would add a forum later after the community is started.

Instead, you should create a blog and write something interesting each day about how your service helps people and how people are using your service.

#5 A.N.Onym

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 08:45 AM

funkshui, welcome to the forums :wave:

Do you currently monitor and analyze your visitor activity on your site?
Do you see/know, where your visitors have most trouble navigating or using your site to submit/share their content?


You might as well read the website review guide on our forum to get more out of your request to review your site :)

#6 funkshui

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:39 AM

Hi All,

Thanks for the responses.

Yura: we do analyze the visitors that come to the site and have seen why they have moved on in large part because there were some coding issues. For the most part, they have been resolved. We have also worked really hard to help with the editor page and are still making changes so that uploads, publications ... are very intuitive.

Tam: We are going to follow a lot of your suggestions. I think they're very insightful and certainly most needed. The problem that we have is that the site offers so much i.e. visibility, a store, an eventual community :) that it's difficult to sum it up in one sentence. If you can come up with a suggestion, that would be greatly appreciated. As to the logo, we used to have one that included a musical note the idea to being a play on words i.e. everyone has got a voice and are singing praises about their own creations. Unfortunately, some found it to be a great design while others thought it was a site exclusively about music.

Michael: We did not want to take the 'choose your own template' approach because this is more of a marketplace where the focus is on services, products and goods than it is about helping members create a unique identity. We're highly reluctant to offer too many options because we have seen, during testing, that some have chosen a florescent purple background and bright green lettering. Obviously, they will never sell anything!! As to subdomains, please clarify what you mean by "sub-domains would protect your community from low quality members and give you just a little bit more value to offer". Also, would this something like: michael.notemote.com vs notemote.com/michael? Finally, your suggestion of a newsletter is perfect; we will definitely begin doing this.

dazzlindonna: It's possible that the password has been misspelled. If you would kindly attempt to do this again, that would be great. I just registered on one of my yahoo test accounts, and the email registration came back immediately.

Again, many thanks to you all.

Andreas

#7 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:44 AM

Can't sign up again. Says I already have. Won't let me log in. Says username/pwd don't match. Won't let me retrieve my password info via forgotten link. Says info doesn't match. I could use a different email address, but I'd rather not. It's an address set up for me for a client site, and it's the one that I should use.

#8 funkshui

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:05 PM

here's your 'site' url: http://www.notemote.com/ir
you will need to change the password; your site name is: Intellect Resources

#9 tam

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:08 PM

Glad to be helpful :)

I think you need a whole identity, including a logo. I don't know what you budget is like but some of the crowds sourcing services can be very low cost options.

I think you are doing a better job of explaining to us, than you do on your website. For example "a worldwide marketplace for people that are passionate about their products and services" makes more sense than "the new wave of building name recognition by using the best in internet technologies to help you note & promote" which is full of buzz words without saying anything.

I would grab a bit of paper and write down your main offerings as bullet points so
  • search engine visibility
  • a store
  • community
plus any others, one or two words each and no more than 7 in your list. Now under each, add a sort explanation (2-3 sentences) of what/how you provide that (no buzz words!) so for community you might say that "We allow like-minded small business owners to meet and exchange ideas in our lively forum'.

This will then become the basis for your 'features/what we offer' page.

Once you've written this (no cheating) you'll hopefully find it easier to put together a sentence or two that sums up what you've written - like writing the conclusion of an essay. You can then use that on your homepage with a link to the more in depth information.

Tam

#10 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:34 PM

Michael: We did not want to take the 'choose your own template' approach because this is more of a marketplace where the focus is on services, products and goods than it is about helping members create a unique identity. We're highly reluctant to offer too many options because we have seen, during testing, that some have chosen a florescent purple background and bright green lettering. Obviously, they will never sell anything!! As to subdomains, please clarify what you mean by "sub-domains would protect your community from low quality members and give you just a little bit more value to offer". Also, would this something like: michael.notemote.com vs notemote.com/michael? Finally, your suggestion of a newsletter is perfect; we will definitely begin doing this.


In my opinion, the solution to the bright fluorescent problem is to not offer bright fluorescent templates rather than to not offer multiple templates. However, it's your business and you have to make the decisions that allow you to provide the best possible service to your customers. You're in a better position to gauge what is best than I am. For the record, I was only thinking of a very small number of templates.

#11 A.N.Onym

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:34 AM

Like Michael said, I think your best bet would be to:
- identify your target audience: who are your people, what do they do, why did they decide to use a 3d party platform, rather than starting their own blog?
- identify their needs, worries and problems:
  • why do they need to share their content on your site?
  • given that they chose your platform rather than a standalone site, how can you help them?
  • what if they decide to move on to their own site?
  • what can you do for your visitors that it'd make your platform better, than running a self-hosted site?
- identify those problems and solutions for different customer types that are interested in:
  • data, graphics and research
  • social proof: reviews, successes of others, recommendations
  • what they and your platform can do to them and other people
  • how your platform can help them solve their problems right now
- then propagate this knowledge throughout your site strategy, structure and individual page elements.

If you identify who your people are, you'll instantly know or will be able to research easily:
  • where they reside online
  • how to approach them
  • what you can do for them
  • and how best to build the site for their purposes and abilities.

For example, on your homepage, you could:
  • articulate the reasons to use your site more clearly: what is it exactly that can you help me with and *how*?
  • describe who needs to use the website and how is it different from having my own site? why should I go with you, rather than focus on my own site, which I have full control over?
  • list the guarantees that I'll get the best service and that it'll be better, than running my own site?
  • show what I need to do and how it works and what and when I can get it, if I get start now?
Try to write that in a persuasive, concise manner, while formatting the text for readability with:
  • left-hand alignment
  • lists
  • shorter sentences and paragraphs
  • calls to action with a few benefits
and you might get better results not only with conversion on your homepage, but with your site development and promotion in general.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 26 January 2012 - 02:39 AM.




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