2006-10-11T12:17:43-07:00With the assistance of Liz Strauss from Successful Blog, I wrote a post about maintaining Network Neutrality. If you are not familiar with the Network Neutrality issue, this is a good place to start. If you know about this issue,... With the assistance of Liz Strauss from Successful Blog, I wrote a post about maintaining Network Neutrality. If you are not familiar with the Network Neutrality issue, this is a good place to start. If you know about this issue, please leave a comment at the end of this post. I am always interested in you point-of-view. Large telecommunication companies and cable television operators have lobbied Washington very hard to eliminate Network Neutrality which would prevent them from blocking certain content from your Internet account and charging a surcharge for access to other content, like this blog!The lobbyists have been successful in getting their bill passed in the Senate, but there is still a chance to defeat the legislation in the House. One of the challenges with with bill is that it contains considerable jargon and technical language. Most Congressional representatives do not understand this language and have just accepted the lobbyists' recommendations to eliminate Network Neutrality. Below, Scott has stripped away all the jargon and technical language and has distilled the issues to a 3rd grade show-and-tell level. Click here for more detailed information about Network Neutrality, it's potential impact on travel sites like mine, and the pending legislation in Congress. "So, class, please put away your crayons. Art period is over, and here's Scott with our first show-and-tell this afternoon. He's going to explain why Network Neutrality is so important to your future and especially to your promotion to the 4th grade. Here's Scott . . . Thank you, Miss Francis. The Internet is a worldwide collection of millions of computer hard disks that are connected to each other by wires and radio signals through millions of little boxes called routers. The companies that own the wires, radio signals, and routers are called service providers or network administrators. They sell connections to the big network that includes the Internet. The big network, which includes the Internet, also includes telephone calls, cable TV, and things like NASA's communications to our astronauts. When you close your eyes and think about this big network of computers and routers connected to each other by wires and radio signals, you might see something that looks like a spider's web. This is how the Internet also became known as the Web or the World Wide Web. This is also why many Web site addresses begin with the three letters, W W W. To allow the Internet be able to exchange data all over the world, these hard disks and routers speak one language so they know where the data is coming from and where it is going. This language is called a protocol and it is specifically called an Internet Protocol or IP. Freedom of speech, which is an important part of the Constitution of the United States, is also one of the founding principles of the Internet. This means you have the right to create and send any data you want from one computer's hard disk to another's using the wires and routers of the Internet. Data includes things like E-mail messages, pictures, games, movies, and songs. Of course, you should be careful because some bad people use the Internet too. They also have the right to practice freedom of speech, but your mom and dad can set the router in your home to block data and protect you from these bad people and their data. The network administrators who own the wires and routers in between the sending and receiving computers cannot control the type of data that is sent. They can only control the amount of data that is sent each second. This is called bandwidth and is part of the cost your parents and our school pay a service provider to be conne[...]
2006-09-12T10:01:22-07:00You said I should not use Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo, or other public e-mail domain names, but instead have a personal domain name. Does that also apply to Gmail, too? Yes, you want to promote your brand rather than the brand...
You said I should not use Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo, or other public e-mail domain names, but instead have a personal domain name. Does that also apply to Gmail, too?
Yes, you want to promote your brand rather than the brand of an e-mail provider -- including gmail. One of the great attributes of gmail, however, is you can use it to send and receive email from your own branded domain name. It's a great e-mail tool and it's free!
For example, yourname.com and your-name.com are already reserved, but you could reserve yournametravel.com or your-name-travel.com or yournametravelexpert.com or any other combination and assign that domain name to an e-mail server and access that server and your new e-mail account through Google Mail (gmail). You can also use Outlook or other e-mail readers, but gmail is free and available through any computer that has Internet access (Internet Cafes, etc.).
Through "YOU! the Brand.'s" we reserve domain names, setup email accounts, create personal blogs, and add posts to those blogs and generally help you sell yourself, your knowledge, your expertise, and your experience so you can then serve your clients as a destination and experience consultant rather than a price quoting reservation-maker
2006-09-04T13:33:08-07:00Successful travel professionals know marketing is an ongoing practice rather than a one-shot project. It becomes part of their daily routines. It develops into a habit. It's like brushing their teeth or fastening their seatbelt. They do it because they... Successful travel professionals know marketing is an ongoing practice rather than a one-shot project. It becomes part of their daily routines. It develops into a habit. It's like brushing their teeth or fastening their seatbelt. They do it because they like the results. But, how can you tell good travel marketing habits from hype, fluff, and froth? What are the key components of successful travel professionals' marketing practices? And, most importantly, how do you get started? All this and more is the foundation of YOU! the Brand. and the focus of this post. Valuing AccomplishmentThe first step in building successful daily marketing habits is to prepare yourself to be ready to change your daily practices based on results. Too many travel marketers confuse activity with results or commotion with accomplishment. When you hear yourself saying, "I'm too busy to . . .," you should remind yourself to stop and look at the results you're achieving. Successful travel marketers are never too busy to stop, check their results, make small adjustments, and move forward.Become Known as a Travel Thought LeaderWhen airlines paid commissions, travel agents were reservation-makers. Back then travel agents had information about schedules, availability, and prices that travelers didn't have. Then came the Internet and on-line reservation-making Web sites. Travelers learned they could make their own reservations. They also found they enjoyed the do-it-yourself part of travel. When travelers discovered they could make their own reservations, travel agents began transitioning into travel professionals who managed travelers' aspirations much like professional financial planners managed their clients' portfolios. There was no longer any value in making a reservation. Travelers could and wanted to do that themselves. The new value offered by travel professionals was delivered in the form of knowledge, experience, advice, and recommendations. Travelers were attracted to travel professionals who they perceived as travel thought leaders. Thought leaders are individuals or organizations who have a deep understanding of their business, the unique needs and wants of their customers, and their marketplace. Successful travel marketers make sure they do something everyday to let their customers and prospects now they are travel industry thought leaders. YOU! the Brand. blogs give you a perfect platform to share your travel stories and showcase your travel knowledge and expertise. Best of all, you don't have to write every day. Professional YOU! the Brand. copywriters place 2 or 3 image-building posts every week on your blog which takes the pressure off you and lets your contribute when you have time and are motivated. Sell Yourself FirstWhen you look at the travel marketing landscape, you see specials, deals, sales, and last minute bargains. In general most of today's marketing strategies present product features at a low price. The only way to distinguish your product in this marketplace is to offer more features and a lower price than your competitors. Since travel professionals, in most instances, do not own the travel product's inventory, there is a price point limit. This gives the advantage to the travel service provider or supplier. To combat product-price marketing, you need to promote something travel suppliers cannot offer. The solution is YOU! YOU! are unique. Your travel experiences are different from everyone else and the way you apply those experiences to each of your customers is special. A YOU! the Brand. blog gives you a m[...]
2006-08-21T07:28:31-07:00Better . . . Faster . . . Cheaper . . . Solutions that grow your business Are you interested in finding new clients? Do you have a travel specialty or a passion? Tired of losing sales based on price?... Better . . . Faster . . . Cheaper . . . Solutions that grow your business Are you interested in finding new clients? Do you have a travel specialty or a passion? Tired of losing sales based on price? Are you known as a travel expert? Are your clients Web savvy? Do you have some good travel stories? Are your clients shoppers? Do you have clients who are raving fans? If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, get ready to learn how to use personal blogs, e-mail, and branding to grow your travel business.. Your Brand Sets You Apart Just like the brands of Williams-Sonoma®, Lexus®,, and Starbucks®, set them apart from their competitors, YOU! The BrandTM sets you apart from your competitors — especially large online Web sites. It also improves your search engine ranking, especially in Google®. Your Brand Tells Your Clients What You Do We know from a recent consumer survey that clients want your: knowledge experience one-stop convenience personalized itineraries recommendations Your brand projects these attributes to prospects and clients. Your Brand Attacks Rebating & Discounting Clients frequently see little difference between travel products — one curved shower rod in a hotel bathroom looks just like all the others. This prompts clients to focus on price.When this happens your client is focusing on the wrong product. Before receiving a price quote, they need to know you and the value you offer them.YOU! The BrandTM sells you before selling travel products. Your Brand Builds Loyal Relatioships Most travel brands focus on destinations, products, and agencies, yet travelers buy from people — like you.YOU! The BrandTM fills this gap by branding you — as an individual. After all, clients relate to you and they buy from you. From 38,000 Feet . . . YOU! The BrandTM combines blogs, emails, domain names, and interesting consumer content into one easy-to-use branding system. What's a blog? Isn't branding painful? All that and much more will be presented in the following sections. Blogs The term blog is a contraction of two words: Web and Log. A blog looks like a Web site and has a Web address (URL) just like a Web site. You enter a message about an interesting travel topic and visitors to your blog post their comments and reactions.By adding a new and interesting topic three or more times each week, your visitors routinely stop by your blog. Every time they visit your blog their image of you is reinforced and you are placed top-of-mind. This is the power of brand management.If you don't have time to write about something new and interesting three to four times each week. That's fine. We suspected as much, which is why we write and post the blog entries for you. All you have to do is send people to your blog and take credit for some interesting and lively conversations. My most recent blog post is below or you can click here to visit my YOU! The BrandTM blog. [...]
2006-01-01T11:00:00-08:00So, how much does all this cost? YOU! the Brand. (tm) includes an attractive and professional looking blog, a minimum of two to three blog posts per week, a personalized domain name, a professional e-mail account using your blog's domain...
So, how much does all this cost?
YOU! the Brand. (tm) includes an attractive and professional looking blog, a minimum of two to three blog posts per week, a personalized domain name, a professional e-mail account using your blog's domain name, plus marketing tips and tricks designed to help grow your client list and your business.
All this costs $39.95 a month on a month-to-month basis. If you pay for a year of YOU! the Brand, (tm), we pass on our accounting department's costs savings so your cost is only $30 a month or $360 a year. There is a one-time $50 setup fee to obtain your personal domain name, setup your blog site, and configure your e-mail account. Should you wish to terminate your YOU! the Brand. (tm) agreement, your domain name is yours to keep and use for other Web sites or e-mail addresses.
2005-12-31T23:00:00-08:00Is there a referral program? There is now! This is a great question that just became a great idea. This also demonstrates how "YOU! The BrandTM" listens to your questions and quickly responds. It also exemplifies how Viral Marketing (word-of-mouth)...
Is there a referral program?(image)
There is now! This is a great question that just became a great idea. This also demonstrates how "YOU! The BrandTM" listens to your questions and quickly responds.
It also exemplifies how Viral Marketing (word-of-mouth) works.
Effectively immediately, one free month will be added to your subscription for every referral from you that completes three months of their subscription. Refer 12 colleagues and you receive a free year! Deal?
2005-12-31T23:00:00-08:00What if I paid for an entire year and want out before completing the year, do I get a refund? Of course. This is a business not a burglary! We want you to subscribe to our products because they work...
What if I paid for an entire year and want out before completing the year, do I get a refund?
Of course. This is a business not a burglary!
We want you to subscribe to our products because they work for you not because you're prepaid for a full year.
If you choose to end your "YOU! The BrandTM" subscription for whatever reason, just give us 30 days written notice and we'll refund the unused balance on your account, less the initial $50 setup fee. Your domain name is yours to keep whether you subscribe to "YOU! The BrandTM" on not.
2005-12-31T23:00:00-08:00Can I write my own blog postings, all the time or just sometimes? We thought you would never ask! Of course. The daily blog postings created by "YOU! The BrandTM" give you the assurance that there is a daily reason...
Can I write my own blog postings, all the time or just sometimes?
We thought you would never ask! Of course. The daily blog postings created by "YOU! The BrandTM" give you the assurance that there is a daily reason for your clients and prospects to visit your Blog. If you write additional posts, you're just making your blog more interesting for your clients and improving your blog's Google page ranking. As Chicago politicians urge; post early and post often!
2005-12-31T23:00:00-08:00How is my domain name selected and how much input can I have on that? You have total control over the selection of your domain name, unless of course someone has already reserved it. In other words, don't dilly-dally, dawdle,...
How is my domain name selected and how much input can I have on that?
You have total control over the selection of your domain name, unless of course someone has already reserved it. In other words, don't dilly-dally, dawdle, or vacillate!
When you subscribe to YOU! the Brand. we complete a pre-installation interview with you to design and set-up your Blog site and e-mail account. During this interview we explore your domain name options and secure one that best supports your desired brand image.
eSMART Communications, the parent of YOU! the Brand., is a Web domain name reseller. This makes it easy for us to help you search for just the right domain names that supports your brand. You can even visit our reseller site and register additional domain names that reflect your travel expertise and specializations.
Your "YOU! The BrandTM" domain name is included in your subscription, but if you want to secure additional domain names, we sell .COM registrations for $9.20 (including the ICANN fee) per year. That's hard to beat!
2005-12-31T23:00:00-08:00Does this compete or replace my agency's Web site or my consortium's Web content? Not at all. In fact "YOU! The Brand(tm)" was carefully designed to compliment and enhance existing agency and consortium Web content. Your "YOU! the Brand. (tm)...
Does this compete or replace my agency's Web site or my consortium's Web content?
Not at all. In fact "YOU! The Brand(tm)" was carefully designed to compliment and enhance existing agency and consortium Web content. Your "YOU! the Brand. (tm) blog can link readers to your Web site and your Web site can link visitors to your "YOU! the Brand (tm) blog.
These links also improve your ranking in various search engines.