The 24.Karat Mark.eter New.sletter
Bringing you a w.ealth of o.pportunity
and kn/owledge to help you su.cceed!
 January 13, 2005

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In this Issue
$$  Top Sponsor Ad
$$  Table of Contents
$$  Publishers' Notes
$$  Quote of The Week
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$$  Your Subscriber Ads + Contest
$$  Feature Article -  Costly Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid
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$$  2nd Feature Article - Home-Based Business Owners Should Be 
     Reading Regularly! A Primer on Where to Start and What to Read - Part 1
$$  Ezine Gallery
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 ** Publisher's Notes:
Welcome to all - current and new - subscribers to The
24 Karat Marketer!  Thank you for subscribing to our
Have I said lately that I hate computers? lol  I want to
apologize to everyone that had placed ads, etc.  With the
crash that I had on Sunday... I lost all data. 
But, one good thing came of all of this!  I found a new
browser.  It works great, doesn't have the security holes that
IE has, and doesn't allow POPUPS! Yayyyy!  I have the link for
it farther down... in the 'download of the week section'.
The special of the month for february, is going to be the 'buy one
get one f*ree' for $5 special again.   The link to purchase this is
Oh, have I mentioned that as of January 4th, The 24 Karat Marketer
has been online for 4 years? WOW!

Have a great week!
Thank you!

 ** Download of the Month
FireFox... the browser you can trust!
** Quote of the Week!
My future starts when I wake up every morning... Every day I
find something creative to do with my life.
    Miles Davis (1926 - 1991)
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 ** Feature Article
Costly Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid
by Elizabeth H. Cottrell, IAHBE Staff Writer
Here at IAHBE, we believe in “accentuating the positive,”
but sometimes it’s important to know what NOT to do,
especially when it comes to spending your hard-earned
marketing/promotion dollar. Many small business start-ups
fail because of poor use of capital. So informing yourself
about the pitfalls to avoid is vital if you want to be one
of the survivors!
Examples of bad advertising are all around you. Pay
attention to ads from other companies and notice the ones
you like and the ones you don’t like. Most savvy marketers
have a “swipe file” where they keep ads, newsletters, and
marketing ideas from others to use as models for their own
The following list of 10 Marketing Mistakes is subjective
and the order is not significant. Other authors will have
their own list, so take the time to peruse our resources
below and take advantage of the wealth of marketing
information on the Internet.
MISTAKE #1: Forgetting to present a professional image
“You only have one chance to make a good first impression.”
This may be a cliché, but it’s the truth. Potential
customers will make a decision whether to call you or buy
from you based on the most trivial details. If your written
materials (business cards, flyers, brochures, printed ads)
are sloppy and homespun, readers may assume that your
services or products are equally substandard. If your
personal appearance is not clean and neat when you go out
of your house, some will jump to negative conclusions about
the quality of your business. If your young children answer
your business telephone or if callers are distracted by
“family noises” in the background when they call, your
image may be tarnished.
At the risk of getting too basic, please don’t forget to
provide complete contact information on every promotional
item that you produce. An ad, pencil, mug or T-shirt
imprinted with your business name without a phone number is
not maximizing the money you spent. If you have a Website,
its URL should always be used. If you have a slogan, use it
consistently so that prospects will begin to associate it
with your business. Create a consistent and professional
image, and it will become a foundation for business growth.
MISTAKE #2: Focusing on yourself or your company instead of
on your prospect or customer
This is probably the most common—and most
preventable—marketing mistake that businesses make. In
their ads, they talk about themselves, their product, their
service, their length of time in business, yet they fail to
address what their product or service can do for their
customers. Can you save your prospect money? Can you solve
a problem they have? Can you make their life easier or
their own business more profitable? That’s what a potential
customer really wants to know: “What can you do for me?”
Never forget this.
MISTAKE #3: Emphasizing the wrong elements in your ads or
promotional literature
What stands out in your ad when a reader is perusing the
newspaper or scanning a Website? Far too often, it’s your
company name or your fancy logo. The rule of thumb for a
written ad is to grab the reader’s attention first—with a
compelling headline and a supporting sub-headline—then
provide details elsewhere in the ad or provide an easy way
for them to get more free information.
Our Acme woodstove will keep you comfortable for pennies a
Writing good ad copy is a complex topic about which entire
books have been written. If you feel this is an area of
your business that needs improving, make it a point to
learn more about it from Internet experts or your local
business library.
MISTAKE #4: Cutting your marketing budget during slow times
It’s such a temptation--when your sales are down and so
many of your expenses are beyond your control, you think
the only place to cut corners is in your marketing budget.
Yet this would be cutting off the very best means for
bringing new customers into your business, and without a
continuous flow of new customers, your business will
eventually shrivel up and blow away.
Keep your marketing campaign steady and consistent. When
cash flow is tight, consider moving to less expensive—and
perhaps less traditional—marketing venues, but never cut
off your marketing all together. If a dairy farmer started
reducing the amount of feed he gave his cows, he would soon
start seeing a reduction in milk production and a
deterioration of his business. Don’t let temporary cash
flow shortages put you into a downward business spiral.
MISTAKE #5: Not giving prospects a compelling reason to
take action
Even if you have gotten your prospects’ attention and
convinced them that your product or service can provide a
solution for them, you must motivate them to take action
immediately—before their attention is diverted to something
This can be done by offering such incentives as discounts,
rewards/bonuses, or “limited time” offers. You’ve probably
seen television shopping ads that do this beautifully:
“Order today and we’ll also send you an additional…or two
for the price of one...or free shipping, etc.” Give your
prospects a compelling reason to act now, and you’ll
greatly increase the chance that they will do so.
MISTAKE #6: Neglecting current customers
Keeping your current customers satisfied so they will give
you repeat business is much less expensive than getting new
customers, yet so many business owners neglect this
powerful fact. These simple activities can help:
· Stay in touch with your customers through mail,
newsletters, or phone calls.
· Follow up after you’ve made a sale to see if they are
· Return phone calls promptly.
· Correct problems immediately.
· Ask for testimonials and keep a file for future use in
your marketing literature (See Mistake #7 below). One
testimonial from a popular or influential member of your
community can be more effective than many other ads
Negative comments from dissatisfied customers can severely
hurt you, so keep your customers happy!
MISTAKE #7: Not using testimonials in your marketing
Building credibility is one of your main tasks as a
business owner, but this can be tough when you’re new and
have no positive track record. Using testimonials in your
marketing materials can be an extremely effective way of
gaining a prospect’s confidence.
Whenever you get positive feedback from a customer, ask if
you may quote them. As mentioned in #6 above, keep a file
of these and use them in your next ad, flyer, or brochure.
Failure to do this is wasting a free and powerful marketing
MISTAKE #8: Not offering a guarantee
The fear of being dissatisfied or taken advantage of is
frequently the underlying reason why prospects do not buy,
yet many small business owners fear offering a guarantee
because they believe it will encourage more returns.
Marketing research has shown that the increased sales from
offering a guarantee will more than offset any increase in
percentage of returns. Anything that converts prospects to
customers more easily is to your advantage, and a customer
who knows he can return something he doesn’t like is much
more likely to make a purchase in the first place.
MISTAKE #9: Not testing your market and tracking your
Far too many business owners believe that their product or
service will be snatched up by thousands of customers
without having done the market research to support this
belief. They spend thousands of dollars promoting
something, only to find that the market is not what they
thought or that a modification would have greatly improved
the product’s marketability.
Use the Internet to look for published information on
products/services like yours. Get free feedback from chat
rooms. Take surveys (your local business school may have
students who will design and conduct a survey for you as a
project for a very reasonable fee). Put together a focus
group composed of prospects from your target market.
Virtually ALL effective marketers track their ads and
marketing methods so they know which ones pull and which
ones don’t. You can easily spend thousands of dollars on
promotions that aren’t producing results, but if you don’t
know which ones they are, you’ve wasted money. Ad results
can be measured by using a code of some sort. Direct mail
results can be measured by using response cards or coupons.
As in market testing, surveys and focus groups can also be
used to provide marketing feedback. Think about how you can
track your results when you plan a marketing strategy.
MISTAKE #10: Not diversifying your marketing methods
Plan your marketing budget so that it covers as broad a
range of marketing methods as you can afford. When you use
only one or two methods, you could be severely limiting
your exposure to the maximum number of potential customers.
Direct mail, print, radio, and Internet ads are important,
and sometimes TV and magazine ads can be effective if they
are carefully targeted and professionally done.
Don’t forget less obvious ways of promoting your business:
· Get involved with community organizations and charities.
· Network at chamber of commerce gatherings or business
· Offer yourself as a speaker or presenter--find out if
there is a speaker’s bureau in your area.
· Offer low-cost or free seminars.
· Throw a party to celebrate your opening, your business
anniversary, or a national holiday.
· Insert small flyers in every bill you pay.
· Sponsor local teams.
· Participate in local discount cards.
· Partner with other small businesses to put on an event or
sponsor an activity.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
You have undoubtedly noticed that many of these marketing
mistakes are related to one another. Almost all result from
a basic failure by the business owner to put herself in the
place of the potential customer. The Golden Rule applies in
business as well as in personal life: treat others the way
you like to be treated. If you make a regular effort to
think about how you’d feel about your business or your
marketing methods if you were a prospect, you’ll often be
able to correct your own marketing mistakes.
Imbriale, Robert, “The 10 Most Costly Marketing Mistakes
and How to Avoid Them,” Home Business Magazine Online:
Gordon, Kim T., “Steer Clear: Your marketing materials sell
your company image to the world.”
Business Start-Ups magazine - January 1999:
Moran, Gwen, “To Err Is Dangerous: 8 marketing mistakes you
can't afford to make,” Entrepreneur magazine, October,
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 ** 2nd Feature Article
Home-Based Business Owners Should Be Reading Regularly!
A Primer on Where to Start and What to Read - Part 1
by Yank Elliott, IAHBE Staff Writer
Why do you, a home-based business owner, need to read
anything at all? You already know enough to start your
business, and you don’t have time for anything else.
To start with, you're likely among the 86% of new-business
owners with no business experience at all. That alone means
you need to read about taxes, legal issues, business tools,
marketing, finance, and customer relations. This is in
addition to learning all you can about your products.
The Internet has opened the information gates to one and
all. However, there is so much information in cyberspace,
one person can easily become overwhelmed and get nothing
from it. Besides, much of what you find online turns out to
be useless and irrelevant--take SPAM for example.
A major problem with this information overload is a
resulting loss of focus.
For example, when you are on the Internet doing anything at
all, what happens? You're flooded with pop-ups, pop-unders,
and all manner of banner-type pages you did not ask for.
Casinos and lotteries are all over the place, as well as
offers for low-priced university degrees, long-distance
phone services, and low mortgage rates.
These distractions, combined with a lack of
self-discipline, make it hard for many of us to concentrate
on our main reason for being on the Net: our business. We
waste too much of our limited time chasing information
online and trying to look at everything.
As hard as it may be, you must stay focused on your
business and put aside these distractions. You'll find that
a little practice at this will make you much more
Keep in mind as well that finding good sources of the
information you need on a regular basis is no accident. In
addition to Websites, there are still books, magazines, and
newspapers. Remember them?
A good place to begin is to determine the subject areas in
which you need more knowledge and/or areas in constant
change. Then, pursue information on these topics on a
regular basis. Some resources may come in the form of daily
updates, but you'll find most of your information in weekly
e-zines and e-mail newsletters.
Below, you'll find a list of Internet links to many common
areas of business knowledge that you, as a home-business
owner, should check out regularly. (To get you started,
I've included only a few information Website sources, but
there are many, many more out there). Note that many of
these Web pages list suggested e-zines, and you should
subscribe to all that interest you. You can always opt-out
later if you change your mind.
Subject Area: How to Market
Discover a comprehensive list of links to free online
information (articles, e-books, and tutorials) on marketing
and many other small business subjects
Subject Area: How to choose products
Here’s one source
(http://www.smithfam.com/news/1products.html) of
information about products you can sell. The site includes
links to products and articles by many experienced Internet
marketers. While you’re at this site, click the E-zine link
to peruse the archived articles from the free Internet
Marketing Newsletter, or click the Subscribe option to sign
Subject Area: How to use Internet tools
A. E-mail
Be wary of spamming by ensuring that your list of e-mail
recipients are double opt-ins. One source
(http://www.optinfrenzy.com/lbinfo.html) for double opt-in
help is a software program called Optin Frenzy. It offers a
quick and easy way to build a BIG, CLEAN, and above all,
RESPONSIVE list of subscribers. Prices vary, depending on
the size of your order.
B. Autoresponders.
This article
offers a lot of information about autoresponders, as well
as a review of one popular program called ProAutoResponder.
C. Websites.
There are many URLs dealing with Website design and
development; this one (http://www.web-source.net/) will get
you started.
D. Word Processing Programs
This site gives a lot of mostly free tips about MSWord
(http://www.mvps.org/word/). If you use another program,
visit your software product’s Website. Your local community
college may be another excellent source to learn about
these valuable tools.
Subject Area: How to write
A. Articles
You will find a lot of writing help at this site
(http://www.editavenue.com/writing_tips_award.html). It
includes links to prize-winning Websites that specialize in
writing tips.
B. E-books
This page (http://www.ebooks-made-easy.com/) has everything
you’ll need to get you started if you want to create and
promote your own e-book; check it out!
C. E-zines
Most marketing experts will tell you that a newsletter or
e-zine is essential for establishing and maintaining a
relationship with your clients or customers, as well as for
promoting your products or services. Here’s where to go for
basic e-zine hows and whys
D. Advertising copy, headlines
Writing good ad copy is essential to your marketing
success. Read these
(http://www.promotionbase.com/article.php/753) ideas on how
to do it effectively.
Subject Area: Marketing campaigns
A. How to design a campaign
You'll find many articles
(http://www.wilsonweb.com/webmarket/) on marketing on this
Web page. Look for them under the Promotion category, third
column from left, second category down.
B. How to track results
This site
discusses several ways to track your ads so you can know
which ones to continue and which ones to drop.
Subject Area: Accounting and management
A. Time
Be more efficient with these ideas
(http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs/homemgt/nf172.htm) time
B. People
Have you considered hiring telecommuters
This article discusses why you might want to consider
hiring a staff and why telecommuters might be the answer.
C. Customer service
If you neglect this business function
(http://www.customerfocusconsult.com/articles.htm) you’ll
have no business at all! This link provides a comprehensive
list of links on Customer Focus, Customer Service, Customer
Loyalty, and People in general.
D. Financial
In the U.S., the Small Business Administration
(http://www.sba.gov) is the place to start to learn about
starting, financing, and running your small business.
E. Tax and Legal
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s page
(http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/index.html) for small
businesses and the self-employed provide valuable tax
information for the home-business owner.
Subject Area: using software
A. Free net tutorials
Here's enough (http://www.freeskills.com) information to
keep you busy until next year! Besides many free software
tutorials, this site also provides links to online courses
at a reasonable cost.
B. Forums
This is (http://www.softwaretipsandtricks.com/) only one of
hundreds of discussion areas where software users share
tips and suggestions and answer each other’s questions. You
can find an answer to just about any software-related
question here.
Subject Area: Opportunities for additional income sources
A. Network-MLM, Affiliate Programs
You will find many possible businesses on the pages
of this Home Business Directory.
B. Mail Order
Find out about this (http://www.henroy.com/mailinfo.htm)
popular home-based business. Free articles tell you why and
how a mail-order business can be profitable.
C. Franchises
This site discusses many franchises
for home-based entrepreneurs.
D. Other
Check out this Web page
(http://www.thefrugalfamily.com/page12.html) for some
unusual business ideas and cottage industries.
Part 1 of this article introduced you to some of the top
business issues and topics available online. The next
installment (Part 2) will cover other business resources
available offline in magazines, books, and newspapers as
well as some other Internet resources. Look for it in a
future MoneyPak later in the year. And don't forget to
check out the monthly e-mail business book review that
comes with your IAHBE membership.
Above all, remember that because your time is limited, you
MUST decide what information you need to know now. Place
priorities on reading and learning to designate subject
areas important to your business. Then, leave the rest.
It is suggested that you use this article as a flexible
guide. For example, here’s one way you can use many of the
“How To” articles you'll find that contain lists (like this
1. Print it out so you can manually arrange the priorities
of items and delete information you don’t need.
2. Next, copy the printed article to whatever text editor
you use (i.e., MSWord, Notepad. etc.). Make additional
changes and move items around to meet your needs.
3. Schedule a little time daily or weekly to pursue the
"how-to" items important to you.
It's important that you do these things regularly. It's
also vital that you make reading about your business a
habit. In this way, you can form habits that will help
ensure your home-business success, improve your time
efficiency, and get only the important information you
For your review, here is a list of the resources mentioned
in this article and in the order they were cited:
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