Nov 09

CORRECTING and REPLACING Catchpoint Welcomes David Swanger as Chief Marketing Officer

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov 8, 2018–Please replace the release with the following corrected version due to multiple revisions.

The corrected release reads:


Catchpoint™, a pioneer in Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM), today announced that David Swanger has joined as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer. Swanger brings over 15 years of strategy, product, and marketing leadership experience to the role. At Catchpoint, Swanger will extend the company’s leadership in DEM by helping business and IT leaders better understand DEM’s power as a core enabler of their digital transformation strategies.

Swanger has led marketing for several category-leading products and companies in SaaS, Service Oriented Architecture, Cloud, Big Data and Security. He previously served as Vice President of Product Marketing at Medidata Solutions and held senior roles at Rackspace, Oracle, and IBM. Swanger has also worked as Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver, teaching courses spanning Technology Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Marketing.

“Business and IT leaders are unified in building digital transformation strategies to drive differentiation and growth. At the same time, the adoption of cloud, containers, and ephemeral services is making it harder for IT leaders to get the observability they need from traditional monitoring tools,” comments Swanger. “Catchpoint’s advanced DEM platform provides the visibility needed to ensure digital transformation products are rolled out successfully.”

Catchpoint’s DEM platform includes the largest and most diverse monitoring node infrastructure, in terms of sheer number (more than 700), node type and geographic reach. The platform is powered by a proprietary NoSQL In-Memory database enabling the fastest, more accurate performance monitoring data collection and analysis available in the market, for end users in virtually any corner of the globe.

“On David’s first day here, he received a welcome gift: Gartner’s designation of Catchpoint as one of its ‘Cool Vendors,’” says Mehdi Daoudi, CEO and Co-founder of Catchpoint. “We’re very happy to have him on board to help us communicate Gartner’s assessment that we offer monitoring diagnostics largely absent from the rest of the market.”

Catchpoint’s DEM platform has been adopted by many of the most respected technology, e-commerce, and content companies. Notable customers include Google, Microsoft, Comcast, LinkedIn, L’Oréal, and Priceline.

“We take it for granted that when we visit our favorite websites and apps, they will work seamlessly. IT leaders know that meeting digital performance expectations takes careful planning and monitoring from the true end-user perspective,” adds Swanger. “No matter the application—whether customer-facing, on-premise, in the cloud, on mobile devices or delivered via SaaS—Catchpoint’s monitoring solutions can be trusted to help organizations rapidly pinpoint and ultimately solve performance and availability problems faster than ever,” adds Swanger.

About Catchpoint

Catchpoint is revolutionizing end-user experience monitoring to help companies deliver amazing digital experiences. Our platform provides complete visibility into your users’ experiences from anywhere – and real-time intelligence into your applications and services to detect and fix issues faster. We are proud to partner with digital innovators like Google, L’Oréal, Verizon, Oracle, LinkedIn, Honeywell, Priceline, and Qualtrics, who trust Catchpoint to improve their brand experience and drive their business success. See how Catchpoint can reduce your Mean Time to Detect at

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CONTACT: for Catchpoint

Kristina LeBlanc, 508-930-5636


Frank Cioffi, 415-893-1570



SOURCE: Catchpoint

Copyright Business Wire 2018.

PUB: 11/08/2018 02:02 PM/DISC: 11/08/2018 02:01 PM

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Nov 07

Internet Marketing Company, fishbat, Explains the Importance of Social Listening Tools

PATCHOGUE, N.Y., Nov. 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — As part of their mission to teach companies how to maximize sales in a digital world, internet marketing company, fishbat, explains the importance of social listening tools.

No business exists in a bubble. Big or small, when a company has customers, there’s some sort of discussion going on online that can provide valuable insights that can be leveraged to increase growth.

Discussed below are some of the benefits of social listening when it comes to promoting a brand.

Monitor Brand Health. Social listening goes deeper than simple social media monitoring, and can provide a pretty accurate picture of the types of discussions going on regarding a business across social networks. While many businesses keep an eye on their mentions and discussions going on, on their own pages, the fact of the matter is that a lot of information regarding any company never reaches them directly – and those discussions can have a significant impact on brand health, for better or for worse.

Social listening tools give marketing and PR teams an idea of how the company is perceived as a whole, rather than in a world isolated to the company’s own social handles. These tools give an incredible amount of insight when managing company reputation.

Learn What Customers Really Want. While surveys, discussions with customers, and monitoring trends can be a great way to determine the best path for a company to take, they are limited in their scope in a way similar to traditional social media monitoring. As the name suggests, social listening pays attention to what the customer is saying, and those socializations can be the key to staying ahead of the competition and continuing to release products that dominate the market and receive a favorable reception. “The customer is always right” definitely applies in this case, and companies that take note of what customers are looking for in a product or service will excel where many operations fall short.

Optimize Online Content. The benefits of social listening are readily apparent from a PR and product development perspective, but they can also help an enterprising company plan out online content in a way that best appeals to the market. Taking the same feedback that would be used to shape the customer experience and applying that to the development of advertising campaigns and web content publishing, can take a simple discussion surrounding a company’s brand and use it as a central part of an ongoing marketing strategy.


fishbat internet marketing agency is a full-service firm that takes a holistic business approach to their clients’ digital marketing programs. The fishbat team understands the importance of business principles just as well as the nuances of the latest digital technologies. fishbat offers every digital marketing service available from digital marketing research and planning to brand development to website and asset creation through social media management and search engine optimization programs – all custom calibrated for both B2B and B2C businesses.

Media Contact: Scott Darrohn, fishbat Media, 855-347-4228,

SOURCE fishbat

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Nov 06

Q&A with Affiliated Distributors: Industrial distributors must build e‑commerce

For 35 years Affiliated Distributors Inc. has helped independent industrial distributors that collectively do $38 billion in annual sales do a better job of building and keeping their respective businesses viable.

Now to help its more than 500 community members—in industries that range from bearings and power transmission, building materials, electrical products, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to pipes, valves and fittings (PVF), industrial, plumbing and decorative industries—continue to survive—and flourish—Affiliated Distributors is embarking on a high-profile, multi-year e-commerce initiative.

The task is complex and hardly easy. Some industrial distributors need lots of help just getting started with e-commerce, while other distributors need aid in taking their respective B2B strategies and websites to the next level.

In this QA report B2BecNews conducted in October, Caroline Ernst, vice president of eCommerce Solutions for Affiliated Distributors, discusses the organization’s new e-commerce initiative and why building a database of 3.8 million SKUs is a top priority for helping its industrial distributors get going online.

Q: Why is Affiliated Distributors making B2B e-commerce a priority?



Caroline Ernst

CE: E-commerce is the fastest-growing sales channel in today’s professional market, and AD has invested in the tools and resources to provide our members with access to rich product content, fully integrated web store options, and the support they need to make it happen.

AD eCommerce Solutions leverages AD’s scale and community to enable members to achieve their e-commerce objectives and win in an evolving digital world. AD’s size and scale allows us to buy SKU production capacity rather than a pay-per-SKU model.

Q: What are the top 5 strategic priorities for B2B e-commerce, and why these?

CE: Know your customers’ customer. A question we ask customers is what do you expect when you visit the distributor’s site?  The answer is typically to purchase a product, for self-service (request a quote, download an invoice) or for product discovery.


  • Once you understand your customer’s intent, make it easy for them. It’s the buyer’s job to be on your site, so make the experience intuitive.
  • Product content should be accurate, enhanced and normalized. Marketing content should tell the brand’s story.
  • Measurable strategy. Ensure that you are tracking to measure your objectives. If your goal is to drive 10% of sales through the online channel, ensure that your analytics captures total sales, the number of items per order and average order value, among others. If your goal is enablement through 24/7 self-service, assign a value to each action such as for logins, live chat, and downloading an invoice.

Q: What is your time frame for rolling out your B2B initiatives? What’s first and what follows?

CE: Our program has three offerings:

  • Our collaborative financial investment enables us to deliver millions of SKUs of attributed data that members can acquire for pennies per SKUs rather than dollars. What makes our model unique is the involvement of our members and supplier partners as we consumerize the millions of SKUs. They are involved every step of the way, from defining taxonomy to providing feedback and improvements on product content.
  • Our WebStore services allow our members to get quickly up to speed with an e-commerce platform and integrate with a variety of enterprise applications including for seamless checkout, full account management capabilities, and the ability to offer promotions, deals and coupons, and be mobile-responsive for contractors on the go.
  • We provide the guidance our members need to craft an e-commerce strategy that fits their goals and their way of doing business. We can also help streamline their e-commerce workflow, integrating a member’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and their web store with our e-commerce platform. From training and digital content mapping to developing launch plans and a digital marketing strategy, we ensure that members start off strong and stay that way.

Future programs will depend on what our members want and need. All our programs come from requests for our members. We have built a solid foundation and are ready to take on whatever our distributors need in the future.

Q: You are building a universal database of 3.8 million products as one of your core building blocks for B2B e-commerce. What will this database do for e-commerce and why is it needed?

CE:  Our collaborative financial investment enables us to deliver millions of SKUs of attributed data, so that AD members can acquire SKUs for pennies rather than dollars.


Q: What are your top challenges in developing a comprehensive e-commerce program for 500 members representing 3,800 branches across multiple industries with combined annual sales of $37 billion?

CE: Creating a digital branch requires different ways of doing business. Our customers, the distributors, are in various points in their e-commerce journey. Our greatest challenge is to meet each of them where they are and move them forward to thrive and win in an evolving digital world.

Q: How are you overcoming these challenges?

CE: Our team has regular one-on-one meetings with each of our distributors to meet them where they are and help them into the next stage of their e-commerce journey.

Q: How far along with B2B e-commerce are your distributor members?


CE: Our distributors’ e-commerce journey spans the spectrum from gaining executive buy-in and creating a digital strategy to driving 25% of total sales.

Q: You represent different industries ranging from bearings and power transmission, building materials, electrical and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to pipes, valves and fittings (PVF), industrial, plumbing and decorative industries. That’s a diverse mix. How are you developing a B2B e-commerce program that may represent the unique needs of each vertical?

CE:  What makes our model unique is the involvement of our members and supplier partners as we consumerize the millions of SKUs. Our volunteer leadership within each AD division are involved every step of the way, from defining taxonomy to providing feedback and improvements on product content. While we leverage our size and scale to keep the program affordable, we respect divisional differences and follow the lead of our members to ensure deliverables match their needs.

Q: Where do you expect your B2B e-commerce program to be in one year and in five years?

CE: The program will continue to grow to meet members’ evolving digital needs. In the last three years we have built a 3.8 million product database with data for an easy customer experience. We will build on this foundation to add new products and update pricing and add digital assets to active products.  Once the foundation is built and more automated, we can expand beyond foundational content to add greater value to members’ digital experience.


Q: Are all AD distributors and manufacturer suppliers participating in the new e-commerce?

CE: Most of our distributors and suppliers are participating in e-commerce in one way or another. E-commerce is a crucial part of strategies.

Q: How many are resisting and how are you encouraging them to get involved?

CE: Our program isn’t for everybody, and that is OK. We do encourage all of our community to get involved. We host monthly educational webinars and e-commerce is a regular topic at all our meetings.

Q: Is the e-commerce strategy leading to incremental sales for AD overall? Any figures?

CE: It is a bit early for us to have data on incremental sales.

Q: What kind of online marketing services/product launching assistance, is AD offering participants? Any results?

CE: We offer one-on-one support for each of our distributors to help them launch their digital branches and facilitate the best practice sharing among our members through online forums and at our annual e-commerce summit. So many of our members are doing lots of innovative marketing strategies and it is invaluable for them to learn from each other. We also host monthly webinars that cover topics that range from email marketing to matching and mapping content.

Q: Will there be a portal? If so can, participants customize web features for their customers?

CE: While our content is platform-agnostic, we leverage our scale to offer pre-negotiated Unilog CIMM2 platforms to our members. Our members have complete control over the web features that are of importance to them.

Q: Are there particular online applications like product configurators or how-to videos helping to drive sales?

CE: Creating efficient buying experiences is the top priority for our members’ digital branches, that can include saved lists, requesting a quote, product comparisons, product videos, invoice management, custom pricing, and easy-to-find products.

Q: How is e-commerce helping distributors stay relevant and connected with customers and market demand data as manufacturers go more direct to customers?

CE: Independent distributors already have a competitive advantage in product expertise, customer intimacy, and creative supply chain solutions. Having a digital branch allows end users that want to transact online to do so, without forfeiting the trusted relationships they have with their independent distributors.

Sign up for a complimentary subscription to B2BecNews, published 4x/week, covering technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is owned by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes, Internet Retailer and Internet Health Management. Follow Mark Brohan, director of B2B e-commerce research, on Twitter @markbrohan.

Follow us on LinkedIn and be the first to know when new B2BecNews content is published. 

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Nov 05

Sharon Schappacher: The ABCs of affiliate marketing – Petoskey News





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Nov 04

The internet security company Dug Song is betting on

Dug Song knows a good internet security thing when he sees it. And he thinks he has seen it in Ann Arbor-based Censys Inc., which spun off from the University of Michigan in October 2017 and formally launched in January.

Censys continuously monitors all of a company’s devices and equipment that connect to the internet or are part of the internet of things. IT staff at companies can use Censys to discover new threats and assess their possible impact.

Song has helped fund the launch of Censys and sits on its board of investor advisers, which also includes his co-founder at Duo, Jon Oberheid, and H.D. Moore, a nationally known IT researcher, programmer, entrepreneur and now venture capitalist.

Duo closed in October on its $2.35 billion sale to San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems Inc.

In 2003, Moore created Metasploit, a network security tool that evolved into the Metasploit Framework, which tested computer systems for vulnerabilities and issued warnings about software vulnerability and the need for patches. It was bought in 2009 by Rapid7, a Boston-based publicly traded IT security company that provides vulnerability-management solutions.

Moore has been dubbed the computer industry’s “most important white-hat hacker.”

Having Song, Oberheid and Moore as investors and advisers is an important validation for Censys as it continues to raise what it calls seed funding, plans to go out for a much larger A-round of equity capital and gets the word out in the marketplace about its capabilities.

The company grew out of a previous software tool developed at UM called ZMap, which discovered or provided analysis of some of the most significant worldwide Internet vulnerabilities, including FREAK, Logjam, DROWN, Heartbleed and the Mirai botnet.

Song said Censys solves what is becoming an ever bigger problem as companies and their workers get ever more connected to ever more devices.

“To protect yourself, you have to know what to protect, but you often don’t know where all your data is. It’s a big problem,” said Song. “What they’ve done that differentiates them is they’ve brought academic rigor and created tools to scan on a much more scalable basis and at a much cheaper cost. There’s a lot of research around it.”

Zakir Durumeric, Censys’ chief technologist, was one of the researchers at UM who helped spin it off. He is now an assistant professor at Stanford University. The other academic co-founders are David Adrian, the principal engineer, who is a Ph.D. candidate at UM whose research focuses on computer security and cryptography; and J. Alex Halderman, the chief scientist, who is a professor of computer science at UM.

The CEO is Brian Kelly and the COO is David Corcoran, both serial tech entrepreneurs.

Both Kelly and Adrian worked for Duo Security. Kelly was Duo’s principal product marketing manager from 2012-2015, and Adrian was an intern at Duo in 2013.

After Kelly left Duo, he joined Nutshell CRM, an Ann Arbor company developing software for customer-relationship management, as vice president of product, then in 2016 co-founded Ann Arbor-based Third Rail Group Inc., a software consultant firm, with Corcoran.

Corcoran has been a principal at Fort Wayne-based Digital Cowboy/Big Throttle Ventures, a consulting and investment firm in tech startups, since 2013, and was a mentor for the Techstars incubator program in 2016 and 2017.

Kelly and Corcoran have been partners off and on since 2006. In 2006 they co-founded TrustBearer Labs, a Fort Wayne software security company, and ran it until 2010, when it was sold to VeriSign.

After starting Third Rail, Kelly said he and Corcoran wanted to find a company to focus on, invest in and run.

“We threw stuff against the wall. ‘What kind of company do we want to do?'” said Kelly.

Song introduced them to the UM team that became Censys’ co-founders.

Last summer, Kelly and Corcoran had a series of conversations with the technology transfer office at UM. “They said, ‘We think this can be big, but we don’t know what big is,'” Kelly said.

The two of them decided Censys would be their next thing — hopefully a next big thing.

“We wanted a company in Ann Arbor with a lot of technical differentiation, a company with real science behind it, not just a better way to do a spreadsheet,” said Kelly.

Drew Bennett is the associate director of software licensing in UM’s tech transfer office.

“The work these guys had done in the lab initially is what got us excited,” he said, referring to the three researchers.

“Alex [Halderman] has a very strong reputation as far as security is concerned. He’s got a very good reputation, especially, in voter security. The other thing that is very compelling is having a very experienced management team with significant business capability,” said Bennett, referring to Kelly and Corcoran. “The thing you have to worry about with startups is: Do you have the right guys driving it? Sometimes the technology is fantastic, but you really struggle to find people from a business standpoint to come in and run it. The management team has a good track record and knows what needs to be done.”

Bennett said that as the internet of things becomes ubiquitous, with nearly every electronic device in the home or office, from TVs to refrigerators to coffee makers, connected to the internet, “there are more access points for threats,” and consequently more need for technology like Censys.

Censys is on the radar of local venture capitalists.

“It has a team and advisers with great startup DNA,” said Jim Adox, managing director of the Ann Arbor office of Madison, Wis.-based Venture Investors LLC. Venture Investors invests in health care spinoffs from universities, so Censys isn’t a likely good fit for Adox, but he is impressed with its technology and management.

“Censys is building a really interesting analysis tool for enterprises. The company has been taking a very interesting and successful approach to showing what sort of exposure an enterprise might have and then walking in with solutions,” said Adrian Fortino, managing director of the Ann Arbor office of the Houston-based Mercury Fund. “In fact, anyone can check an IP address on the Censys website and see how bad things are.”

The IT world was well aware of Censys’ predecessor, ZMap, which launched in 2012. Censys made its evolving technology free to users after its search engine began operating in October 2015, and by 2017 it had about 50,000 registered free users. A lot of that was likely driven by a story posted on Dec. 4, 2015, in the online version of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review.

The piece by Tom Simonite began:

“Early this week the Austrian security company SEC Consult found that more than three million routers, modems and other devices are vulnerable to being hijacked over the internet. Instead of giving each device a unique encryption key to secure its communications, manufacturers including Cisco and General Electric had lazily used a much smaller number of security keys over and over again.

“That security screwup was discovered with the help of Censys, a search engine aimed at helping security researchers find the internet’s dirty little secrets by tracking all the devices hooked up to it.”

The company has about 60 paying customers now and hopes to be at 100 by year’s end. Kelly said the company landed its first contract of $5,000 in December, a month before its formal launch.

The company moved into its newly renovated second-floor headquarters on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor in early September. It now employs 14 and plans to add to head count by the end of the year.

Kelly said the company finished raising what he called a pre-seed round of capital in January and hopes to announce the closing of a seed round soon. He said the company had raised several hundred thousand dollars but declined to say how much of that was the pre-seed round or if any of that was part of the seed round. The pre-seed round included Song, Oberheid and Moore.

Kelly said he plans to begin raising a much larger Series A round later in 2019 or in 2020.

For Song, Censys’ spinoff, funding and quick customer adoption is particularly resonant as a regional success story. He raised many millions of dollars at Duo, much of it from Silicon Valley venture capitalists eager to have him move the company to California. An avowed fan of the Midwest and Ann Arbor, he repeatedly declined.

“Brian’s first company was created in Fort Wayne. He came here for Duo, and then he started his new company here. We’ve become a virtuous ecosystem here, and I hope to see a lot more things to come. At the end of the day, Duo is a great company to be at, as well as a great company to be from,” he said.

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Nov 03

7 Free Digital Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Image credit: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

The internet has opened the door for people who want to turn their small businesses into multimillion-dollar companies. You don’t even have to spend money for these essential digital marketing tools.

Before the World Wide Web, marketing was challenging. You had to rely on TV, radio or print to get the word out about your company. Now, digital marketing has taken over. Advertising has blown up in a big way, and there is an overwhelming amount of marketing content out there.

It’s your job as a business owner to cut through the noise of other advertisements and create eye-catching digital marketing. We’ve determined seven of the top free marketing tools you can start using today to make your small business boom.

1. WordPress

If you need a content management system (CMS) for your digital marketing, look no further than WordPress.

The options are nearly limitless with WordPress. You can create your website from scratch using the intuitive drag-and-drop system. The folks at WordPress make it easy to build a website with a storefront, add detailed information about your company and vision, and even include a full-fledged blog so you can market with high-quality content and SEO keywords.

Perhaps the best part of WordPress is the tens of thousands of plugins you can add to your page. Plugins have a wide range of features, including monitoring analytics, customizing your theme, adding a contact form and much, much more. 

Editor’s note: Looking for online marketing services for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.

2. Canva

Online ads are now the norm for most people. Looking for help developing your newest ad campaign with images? Canva can help you build amazing ads with its easy-to-use yet feature-rich image creator. However, Canva can do so much more than just create ads. You can use it to develop images for your social media pages, your website and more. You can even compile and import important data and use it to build custom charts. If you can dream it, you can create it.

3. Google Search Console

The way your website ranks on Google is vital to your success. You want to always make it to the first page, ideally near the top. Luckily, free tools can steer you in the right direction. Google Search Console, formally Google Webmaster Tools, is an application that helps website owners determine the rank of their website. Once you link your account to the search console, you can track your keywords and page views. Use this information to learn when and how to market your page for even more views.

You can also use this tool to find errors that are holding your site back. The console will not only point out the errors to you but help you fix them. This is a must-have freebie for all small business owners.

4. Ubersuggest

Part of your marketing plan should involve targeting SEO keywords that relate to your niche. Keywords are important because they allow you to reach a specific target or people with a specific need. Essentially, the goal is that when people type the keywords you pick into Google, your website pops up near the top of the list. For example, if your website sells pet supplies, you may want to target “best treats for cats” in your blog posts.

Ubersuggest allows you to enter one keyword or phrase, and it will give you a bunch of words that you can use in your blog posts. This free tool can also help you learn more about SEO and how it relates to your marketing plan. It’s certainly worth your time if you’re new to digital marketing.

5. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

Besides having good keywords, you have to deliver quality content if you want a strong, reputable digital marketing presence. Sometimes it can be hard to write high-quality content if you don’t know where to look. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a free application that allows bloggers to link up with sources to deliver trustworthy content with reputable sources. You simply sign up, look for sources that have information relating to your niche, and get writing! You always want to make sure the topic you choose will interest your audience, but having a solid source is a great start.

6. Mailchimp

There’s no question that one of the most important parts of your digital marketing plan is your sales emails. You need a reliable free tool that can help you reach more people and get conversions. All of your bases are covered when you use Mailchimp for your email marketing. You can create eye-catching, informative ads that go out to your mailing list in a matter of seconds.

Many people love the fact that you can create a wide variety of email types aside from simple marketing letters. It’s possible to send customized welcome letters, “abandoned cart” reminders, product recommendations and more.

7. Hootsuite

Finally, you have to cover your social media presence. Hootsuite is designed to keep track of all of your social media pages in one place. You can go through and schedule upcoming posts, including articles and marketing posts, making it easier than ever to reach out to your audience. Hootsuite also allows you to track both competitors and influencers in your niche.

The intuitive layout gives you easy access to all of your profiles and the people you wish to track. You can stay up to date on influencer information, see what your competitors are up to, and ensure that you’ll never have a post go out late again.


There’s a wide range of tools out there to help you develop a killer digital marketing strategy. We’ve introduced you to some of the best here. Use this information and these resources to start building up your marketing. Always consider your company’s niche, how your audience likes to communicate and what you can do to reach the most people. It may take some time to get the marketing ball rolling, but once you get some folks interested, you’re on a straight path to success. Keep your head up, keep pushing, and keep marketing!

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Nov 02

How to Launch an Online Coaching Business

Work from home? Control your own schedule? Impact people across the world with your product or service?

Internet marketing is on the rise for a reason. It gives you the ability to scale your business to a global level without forfeiting your personal freedom. Still, there’s one question that still prevents entrepreneurs from entering the online space: “Is it really possible to make a living off the internet?”

Related: The Complete, 12-Step Guide to Starting a Business

Not only is it possible, it’s lucrative when done correctly. We live in the Golden Age of internet marketing. Thanks to social media, everyone can get in front of a camera and pitch their idea to the masses. Good enough, right?

Not quite. These days a big idea will only get you started; it’s what you do to bundle and package that idea that matters. Here are the three steps you need to take to launch a profitable online business.

Flesh out your idea.

Of course, before you create your product, you need an idea. Your idea must solve a specific problem that a specific group of people face. Make sure you establish that before you move forward.

Now, before you begin creating your product, you need to write your sales copy. Your sales copy (or sales video, if that’s what you prefer) should be enticing enough to take prospects from “I’m interested in this” to “I need to buy this now.”

But, why write your sales copy before creating your product? Too many entrepreneurs write copy that promises a lot but delivers next to nothing. When you write your copy before creating your product, you build the blueprint to create a product that satisfies your customers’ needs — without overpromising.

Your sales copy should address the prospect’s problem, explain how your product is the solution to that problem, and include a list of bullet points that summarize the benefits of your product. Make sure you nail the first 500 words — easily the most read section of your sales copy. Finally, always create a sense of urgency or people at home won’t be motivated to buy your product.

People always ask me, “Well, what if I’m not a good writer?” That’s OK. Just say your pitch out loud, record it and send it to an online transcribing service. For a relatively inexpensive price, you’ll get your sales copy written out for you. Just review it, copy it and paste it to your website and boom — there’s your sales copy!

Related: How to Start a Business With (Almost) No Money

Build the “know, love and trust” factor.

Most people believe you need to sell prospects first, then deliver results. But, what if you flip it? It’s much easier to sell someone once they know, love and trust you as an authority in your space, rather than selling them on your product before they even know if you can deliver the results you’re promising.

That’s why the most successful internet marketers — including myself — give away boatloads of free content via blogs and videos. Granted, the stuff we give away for free could easily be packaged together into a high-priced course, but that would be short-sighted. You don’t want prospects to buy from you once and move on — you want them to become long-term paying clients.

See, you deliver free quality content to your prospects, then they take it and implement it into their businesses. They start to see results in advance, which leads them to trust you more and more. Soon, they begin to crave more knowledge from you, and their willingness to pay for your products and services increases.

Eventually those prospects become your most loyal clients. They buy your front-end products, your upsells and your flagship products — all of which I’ll get to in just a second. But, before you get that far, make sure your prospects know, love and trust you before you worry about selling them anything.

Related: 12 Low-Cost Business Ideas for Introverts

Create your front-end product and upsells.

Once your copy is written and you’re building the know, love and trust factor, your next move is to create a front-end product — a product that’s easy to sell. This could be an ebook, a membership site or a course that comes with follow-along videos.

Now, you might be tempted to charge a high price for that product. Here’s the thing: Most of the money is made on the back end. I’ll talk more about this in a second, but for now just remember that the front-end product is not the final product you’re really trying to sell them. I — along with many of my fellow internet marketers — don’t mind breaking even or losing money on front-end products because I know I’ll more than make my money back with my flagship product.

Instead, your aim should be to use that front-end product to upsell them instead. So, after they purchase your front-end product, offer them three different upsells. An upsell is a higher-priced product or service you offer a customer after they’ve bought something from you. These upsells should be done-for-you, and they should enhance the front-end product by making it easier to understand or more efficient at getting results.

Why are upsells so important? Besides adding value to your front-end product, you’ll be able to recruit more affiliates to promote your business. An affiliate promotes your product to their own audience for a commission fee. If you make money through upsells, affiliates will choose to work with your business over your competitors because you can pay them higher commissions. The payoff? You get more traffic going to your webpage and ultimately more bottom line revenue.

Related: 63 Businesses to Start for Under $10,000

Move them to your flagship product.

That’s how you set up the front end of your online business. But, what about the back end? Remember I said that most of your money will be made on the back end and not the front end?

That’s why you need a flagship product to pitch your clients once they’re done with your front-end product. But, what in the world does a flagship product look like?

It could be high-end coaching sessions. It could be a spot in your exclusive mastermind group. It could even be a suite of software that teaches them everything they need to know about their industry. The front-end product is a way to get your clients through the door; your back-end product is the money-maker product, the one they’re more likely to buy once they’ve already purchased something from you.

I’ll give you an example. People will often find my products online. Usually when they finish using those products, they’re still hungry for more knowledge and advice. At this point, they’re considered qualified leads for my mastermind program, so we make sure they know about that program and how to become a member of it.

That leaves you with one problem: How do you send marketing emails to every single person that buys your front-end product/upsells? It’s basically impossible, unless you’re in front of your computer screen 24/7 (which I’m sure you’re not). Fear not, because it’s actually easy to do when you use an autoresponder system to send out all those emails on your behalf.

It’s simple: When your clients purchase your front-end product, the system automatically sends them emails from you. That way, you can build a sequence where you give away even more of your best free content before sending them an offer for your flagship product. By the time they get to your flagship product, they’ll be so confident in your expertise and results that they happily pay the higher price for your higher level of service.

That’s the simple science behind converting your prospects into clients, and your clients into fiercely loyal clients. It’s how you sell your highest-priced online programs without running into any of the typical sales objections. Follow these three steps and start building your own online business empire today.

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Nov 01

Internet Marketing Agency, fishbat, Shares the Importance of …

PATCHOGUE, N.Y., Oct. 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — In order to help businesses take full advantages of one of the most profitable times of the year, internet marketing agency, fishbat, shares the importance of influencer marketing during the holidays.

When it comes to successful marketing, there are some basic guidelines that most companies follow to increase sales – such as search engine optimization, social media management, and other forms of traditional advertising. However, the holiday season comes with a potential for sales that many companies fail to take full advantage of.

Influencer marketing is a valuable tool in general, but it’s especially useful during the holiday season. Listed below are a few reasons why this underappreciated marketing strategy can pay off in a big way for businesses at these specific times of the year.

Influencers Have The Trust Of Their Followers. Perhaps the biggest reason why influencer marketing is so valuable in general is that they have a reputation with their followers. As some of the most active posters on social media, these internet personalities have built a brand around themselves and their lifestyle, and any opinions they have hold a good amount of clout with their fans. Any product that an influencer associates with their name starts off with a more positive reputation that companies can build off of in order to drive sales. With the holiday season being one of the biggest times of the year for consumer spending, this benefit for reputation and exposure is heavily amplified.

Excellent Return on Investment. Many businesses associate product endorsement with major brands forming partnerships with celebrities, so it can be easy to discount influencer marketing as expensive and out of reach for smaller companies. In truth, there are thousands of influencers with thousands of followers that can still provide a significant increase in traffic and sales – all for a very accessible price. Rather than paying for an ad on a social media site that makes billions of dollars off of paid advertisements, companies can pay a drastically reduced amount directly to smaller influencers and see comparable or better return on their investment.

Effective Holiday-Centric Promotion. The two points above apply to influencer marketing at any time of the year, with the holiday season simply amplifying the effects and making it an irresistible opportunity for companies to promote their brand. However, just like with any other form of advertising, there are some unique ways that influencers can capitalize on the hype surrounding the holidays to promote a product to their fans.

Something as simple as a “holiday shopping list” can be extremely effective at positioning the company as a go-to destination for gift giving. When done well, this sort of promotion also comes across as organic and personable in a way that traditional advertising often fails to match. An advertisement that feels like a recommendation from a friend is often much better received than a sponsored post on the user’s timeline. Customers are far more likely to seek shopping advice from those they know than from a company promoting their own products.

Online marketing firm fishbat is a full-service operation that takes a holistic business approach to their clients’ digital marketing programs. The fishbat team understands the importance of business principles just as well as the nuances of the latest digital technologies. fishbat offers every digital marketing service available from digital marketing research and planning to brand development to website and asset creation through social media management and search engine optimization programs – all custom calibrated for both B2B and B2C businesses.

Media Contact: Scott Darrohn, fishbat Media, 855-347-4228,

SOURCE fishbat

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