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October 11th, 2008 admin

The concept of internet marketing is considered by many the new paradigm in value interchange. I personally think that retail sales online will probably grow exponentially over the next 2-5 years. Why? If we consider the state of the economy and the high levels of consumer debt in the american family, we probably would think that purchases based on low cost are going to take a whole new meaning. As we all know, the internet is the right channel for this strategy.

In my opinion, the shifting of local purchasing and impulsive buying, will be radically exchanged for more programed savings-based purchases online. What this means is that the United States will cease to be the place that we use to know.

The economy in third-world countries, where spending and debt are reduced, is not a “walk at the park” for everyone.  Having a harder competition for jobs and for clients translates in highly trained middle classes with a severe increase in poverty. Not to mention criminality.

The creation of jobs is, in my opinion, the only way to slow down the decline of the American capitalism as we know it. Most people would agree with me that the average American is in trouble. According to the Plastic Safety Net survey (http://www.responsiblelending.org/press/releases/page.jsp?itemID=28011726) the following things are true:

* $8,650 is the average credit card debt of a low- and middle-income indebted household in America.
* 59 percent of respondents were in credit debt for longer than one year, with an average length of just over three and a half years.
* Seven out of 10 low- and middle-income households reported using their credit cards as a safety net—relying on credit to pay for car repairs, basic living expenses, medical expenses or house repairs.
* One out of three households reported using credit cards to cover basic living expenses on average four out of the last 12 months; households that reported a recent job loss or unemployment, and those without health insurance in the last three years, were almost twice as likely to use credit cards for basic living expenses.
* 20 percent of survey homeowners had paid off some credit card debt with a mortgage refinance in the last three years, reducing their home equity $12,000 on average. Further, these households still had average credit card debt over $14,000. As a result, they were carrying 18% more debt than homeowners who had refinanced a mortgage but not paid down credit card debt—even though their incomes were almost identical. In other words, they were trading unsecured credit card debt for higher mortgage debt secured by their home.

This, made sense when 1. mortgage debt was at a lower rate than credit card debt and 2. home values where appreciating at a higher rate than the cost of financing that home.

20% of Americans have refinanced their homes in order to pay, partially, their consumer debt. It is going to be impossible for this 20% to pay their consumer debt and therefore the only option is bankrupcy. Even more alarming is to understand that some of this people will have to compite harder to preserve their jobs: lower payed jobs.

The solution: There has to be a complete change of the American mentality; is it going to happen? Do you think that advertisers will stop associating pleasure to buying new stuff?

Alex Centeno MBA.

10 Cheap ways to get new clients: For Freelancers.

September 30th, 2008 admin

Some of the ideas might be awful, some of them might be worth it. But here is a compilation of ideas on how to get new clients:
1. Ask people you know for names of potential clients. Contact these people and ask for more names.
2. Create a wish list of businesses you would want to work with, then start making phone calls. Briefly ask the right person if they hire freelancers and offer to send your services information.
3.Mass mail postcards. Find a business list of your business location. Design a strong looking postcard and a clear call to action.
4. DON’t DO SPEC WORK. This is actually one of the best recommendations that I can give you. Even though it won’t get you clients per se, it will certainly will make you avoid non-clients (anti-clients). The anti-client is the person that poses as a client, smells like a client, walks like a client but never carries its checkbook. You don’t want to do business with anti-clients, period. Honestly, this is here more to remind myself of this than anything else: DO NOT MEET, DO BUSINESS, TALK, OR INVEST ANY OF YOUR TIME WHATSOEVER WITH AN ANTI-CLIENT. Doing work for “free” is not the right way of getting the right kind of business. You may consider doing free work for charity or because you want to, but don’t use it as a technique to get new business. The easiest way to avoid the anti-clients is to ALWAYS ask for 50% upfront to start. That way the risk is divided 50-50 (which is fair). If you encounter an anti-client: run the other direction! and I mean fast! run for your life! run as if he/she was a lion or an african crocodille.
5. Cold emailing. (FREE) If you find a particular website that you would like to redesign, then find out the right persons email address and write a clear, to-the-point email that presents the “why” they need to hire you.
6. Create business cards ($25) that don’t have your name but that have your businesses name and services information (including contact information) on it. Then “accidentally” leave this business cards everywhere you go: coffee shops, restaurants, bookstores and basically anywhere where people sit down and then somebody else takes their place.
7. When you see a group meeting like for example: “The 50’s and older ladies group meeting at Starbucks”. Try to find out who the organizer is and then provide him or her with your information, then offer to pay for a free coffee or free cd or something ($5-$10) in exchange for sharing your information with their peers ( they get a free gift, you get advertising that looks like a referral from a person that has created raport).
8. Kick the dead horse. (Free to $100 per referral) When you do a job, try to find ways to advertise based on that job. So for example if you designed a site, then try to put a link back to your site in that site. Once you send the last invoice or receipt try to include a coupon on the receipt for a 10% or 20% discount for another project. Offer a $100 dollar bonus for a successful referral of a new client or something of that sort. Ask for their permission to send eventual emails to advice about the software and techniques they used on their project, and then use those emails to do so but also to promote even more your services and promotions. Ask for a testimonial –if they are a happy client– and then post it in your website, then send them an email showing them the location of the testimonial with their name. In the testimonial page make sure to include new promotions.
9. Create a COOL (make sure is a cool shirt by asking random people if they like it) tshirt with your brand. Then give it as a free gift to your clients ($10 – $20 per shirt). You can also give your tshirts as the gifts to the groups that we were talking about before.
10. Create stickers ($60-$100)with your website on it and go for a run. Then “accidentally” drop the stickers on the floor.

Nanobots, Nanotechnology and the Future of our Economy

September 28th, 2008 admin

As my birthday flies away I have been in contact with the theory of Molecular Bots or Nanotechnology. Just the thought of what could happen is very weird. Think about it for a second: Getting an injection that can make you dive without going to the surface or carry oxygen in tanks. Hendrik Shon started the whole thing even though himself was perhaps an impostor. Read the rest of this entry »

Search Spiders or Search Spy-ders?

February 14th, 2008 admin

Google
Today, checking one of our client’s indexation I noticed something fairly interesting. Yahoo Search had indexed a page that is found only by following the completion of a form. Now, this might not sound weird to most people, but for the savvy SEO this might mean a vast set of hypothesis.
Read the rest of this entry »

301 Redirection in Apache using htaccess file

January 28th, 2008 admin
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10 Easy Tips to Get Visibility on Google Search, Yahoo and MSN

November 29th, 2006 admin
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Thank you for your interest in registering with Merkados' Intermarketing Digital Media Resources & Strategy Information. In order to access some of our premium content and downloads you are required to provide your personal name and valid e-mail account. This information is only used by Merkados to send occasional information about additional digital media products, services and resources that may benefit you. We will never sell or share your information with anybody - ever.

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