Ask Entrepreneur - Marketing

What percentage of my net or gross profit should I put toward advertising?

Is there a general rule of thumb to follow for this?

How can I use MySpace to affiliate?

If I were to market an affiliate's product with MySpace, how would I go about it? Would MySpace offer me the layout, or would I have to do that? What action should be taken (blogs, comments) to make money? If I decide to start a blog, what do I post about?

In these tough economic times, what are some inexpensive and creative ways to market and expand your business?

I currently own a drapery workroom business. Because of the poor economy, I was recently forced to layoff my office help. I seem to be spending so much time working on small details and I don't have time to do the marketing.

My workroom deals with interior designers and I can ship draperies just about anywhere.

How should I market to high-end consumers?

I am trying to sell high-end, handmade confections for weddings, parties and gifts. A website is currently being created, but what are other methods of advertising to the high-end consumer?

I need to raise my employees' communications/presentation skills for a project dealing with the medical profession. What steps can I take to make them sound more professional on the phone?

This is a B2B phone conversation speaking to medical offices and personnel with a goal of speaking to the main physician.

How much traffic do I need to start selling direct advertisements?

My site is still rather new and it has a specific niche in targeting only college/university students. Currently I'm running Google AdSense as well as a few affiliate networks and am also using the Right Media Exchange to place and rotate relevant ads. It's working OK, but the payouts are rather low. I have the time to sell directly (over the phone), but I'm wondering whether my traffic is too low to appeal to local advertisers. I get 350 unique visits per day and 10 page views per visit (targeted audience). Are my numbers too low to sell direct, and should I just concentrate more on growing traffic?

Can you give me some clear strategies for selling my educational workshops to skeptical Swedish music high schools?

Greetings from Sweden! I am an American trying to sell my music business workshops which offer qualified music career guidence to music and performing arts high schools. After presenting myself and my educational services to the principal of a music and fine/performing arts high school here in Sweden, he asked me to come back in a couple of weeks to present my proposal to a decision-making

Where can I find free samples of proven sales letters of introduction to my services?

I want to generate a library that I can draw from on my computer after calling a prospective client, so that I can e-mail instantly after the call.

What is the best way to generate leads for my cash-back shopping portal?

I own I love the business model but am having trouble generating leads so I can show the site to them. It is an MLM, and a number of people are turned off by that form of selling. But it's a great product and a true money-maker. You are basically promoting shopping online with the largest retailers and getting cash back. Can you offer suggestions?

Are there ways to generate extra revenue beyond our everyday hotel business?

We are the concierge department of a large and expensive hotel. We have been asked to find ways to generate some type of income for the hotel since we are one of the only nonprofitable services offered. We struggled with some ideas like creating our own gifts for guests to order to go to their friends and family while staying on our property. We've also held a few wine tastings in order to generate ticket, parking and alcohol profit (needless to say, they thought the idea was great and let banquets take over). What other suggestions can you offer to get the ball rolling?

How can I get boutiques to carry our leather goods?

I own a niche market company that produces beautiful Italian leather goods. We sell three out of four boutiques we get an appointment with. But 90 percent of boutiques we call won't let us in the door or return calls or e-mails. Also, the boutiques that do buy never reorder unless we visit them again personally, which is expensive and time-consuming. How can we get through the door and how can we get reorders? We have a great website for retailers, but they don't order from it.

How does a sole proprietor make money selling a talking head educational video to schools?

I run a home-based mental health education business and make live presentations in schools. With a business license in health services and some reputation in mental health, I tried to get paid for my [i]Insight and Summary of Major Mental Illness[/i] copyrighted script in a video. Teachers say they have no money, and the Department of Mental Health is uncooperative, at least for now. I need to get past the volunteer speaker role of a guest educator and get paid for my expertise and story. The video plan saves travel and I can work a day job that has benefits if nothing else. Is there any way to get a sponsor, or whom do I approach in getting my reputable work compensated? I'm for profit, have a book coming out in January and am not affiliated with any school or county department as of yet.

With the economic downturn how do I find new business as a mortgage associate?

I am based in Alberta, Canada, and consumers are nervous due to the U.S. problems the media has been highlighting for months now. How do I get people to respond to my ads and how do I create a buzz about my services in my local community in these tough economic times?


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