This is not my typical blog post, but I felt compelled to write it because I sincerely wanted to share the one thing I was scared about in my professional life being a stay at home mom and how I tackled it.
If you are anything like me the term SEO gives you a massive headache, there are so many ways to analyze and optimize your site to better reach customers that it can leave you spinning.
Now, I do not claim to be an SEO expert oh that’s Search Engine Optimization, but I do however, understand the importance and relevance of it for your business. What I do - is give people honest simple advice for their small business.
So here are 3 simple tasks you as a small business owner can do today to optimize your website and social media pages to ensure people can find you.
Recently, I was trying to make a purchase for additional services at a place I frequent.
I went up to the nice lady at the front desk asked a few questions, got a quick response but still had a few more follow up questions that would have led to me pulling out my credit card to make my purchase.
But before I could finish asking, I got the one finger in the air signal to hold on.
The phone rang, so she proceeded to answer it versus finishing up with me, I waited one minute got side tracked with my phone and decided to leave as she was taking too long. At the time of this interaction, it all seemed harmless, as the people at this business are usually helpful.
After a day, this interaction lingered with me (my marketing hat on) and made me think, that was not good customer service for the business.
They missed out on an immediate $1100 sale to take a phone call, which also made me wonder, who is more important, a customer right in front of you, or some guy or girl on the phone?
My strong advice to business owners, being on the receiving end of this, I strongly suggest to never let a customer who is right in front you walk out the door.
It is far easier and better business to make a sale to this person than to take a phone call. Leave it to voicemail, or answer the call and place the person on hold for a reasonable time. I also hate being on hold too long.
Now that I’ve had too much time to think about this, I am debating whether I want to make this purchase, ever!
Have you had this happened to you?
Whether it’s in life or business we all need a strategy to get where and what we want.
You can say, it’s like a road map to creating and delivering the life you seek personally or professionally.
For some, it can take a long time to figure this out and one can spend a great deal of time and energy on useless tactics or guys that reap no rewards.
For others, they know what they want and they go for it!
It's kind of like dating.
In my experience, most women, no matter how much of a free spirit, free love type they claim to be, deep down want a stable, honest, reliable relationship with a man they can trust and feel a sense of security with.
However, their strategy to this ultimate goal can be flawed and they do the same things or in this case date the same type of guy over and over again expecting different results, the true meaning of insanity!
To help solve this insanity and shed some light on developing your marketing or dating plan, here are my 5 tips for creating a successful plan whether you are seeking love or a marketing success.
1. Determine who your target is, whether it’s looking for the ideal partner or the perfect customer, you need to understand who your target customer is, where they are and how to attract them to what you are selling. Please note ladies, do not target the same type of douche bag guy to date over and over again, branch out try different methods to meet the right guy.
2. Know what your unique selling proposition is and communicate it effectively or in this case it should be your personality, values and beliefs, don’t lead with your cup size or superficial assets to find the right guy for you.
3. Make sure you have clear quantifiable objectives in your marketing plan and stay focused. For instance if you want a decent guy, do not go on several dates with a guy who is not right for you. Trust me you are not going to be the one to change him.
4. Identify the steps you need to take to get what you want, this is the most important part of creating a strategy. You must lay out a step by step plan as to how you are going to meet your goals. Keep in mind you may need to adjust your tactics as you go, so be fluid in your decisions not your bed mates.
5. Finally assess the risk and outcome of your decisions and always measure your results against your objectives. If not you do not measure your results, then there is no point in creating a plan and executing it. In doing so you have a better chance of success in business and dating.
In conclusion, I hope you found this fun analogy helpful and it gave you a different perspective on how to determine your marketing strategy with dash of dating advice thrown in.
Once you have a plan, I guarantee you, it’s a lot easier to obtain your goals, but keep in mind be fluid in your thinking and stay true to your purpose and adjust accordingly but do not sacrifice your brand integrity.
As a small business owner, you cannot afford to turn any customers away and must always put your brand forward.
Let’s face it we don’t have big budgets for massive brand building campaigns so every little bit we can do to create a better customer experience goes a long way.
And from experience, I’ve noticed these 5 essential customer service elements are not always met, and it’s a sure way to lose business. These are:
I hope you found these tips helpful to deliver a better customer experience. Contact me with any questions. Thanks.
There are so many tools and resources out there to help you run your business, but who has the time to decipher which ones will work the best. For me, I like to keep it simple, my everyday marketing online needs are covered by these 5 basic easy to use digital assistants.
They help me create, mail and share to get the job done.
1. Canva - do you need free great looking images for your social media posts, emails or blogs? Try Canva, it provides images with the proper sized dimensions for any of your online needs. In addition to pictures, it has great layout templates to help you customize your masterpiece with text or your own images. You can also purchase images for only $1 if the free ones aren't doing it for you. Check it out and use it for free at www.canva.com
2. PicMonkey - this is mainly an image editing tool. There are some free images, but not enough to choose from. The editing features are excellent with lots of choices for text, overlays, backgrounds, collages and more. You can use it without signing up or sign up for a reasonable membership fee and have access to additional features and layouts. A very easy to use image editing software especially if you are new at editing pictures. Check it out and use it for free at www.picmonkey.com
3. MailChimp - this is my favorite email provider. The templates and layouts offer a variety of choices for any type of email you need to send out. The list sorting feature is very versatile and allows you several practical ways to sort your emails, for example by last name, email address, location etc. You can send to various types of lists you create by using these filters as well. The templates are beautifully designed, have all the social media plugins you need and is mobile friendly. Importantly, you can send 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers for free. Check it out and use it for free at www.mailchimp.com
4. Dropbox - are you on the go, need to share files with others and want to access to everything while you are with clients anywhere ,anytime? Then Dropbox is a very practical solution for you and your small business. It is easy to download or login from anywhere to gain access at anytime. Store your files in the cloud, and only share what you choose to with the ability to remove file sharing access at anytime. You can also download Dropbox on your phone, or as a folder onto your computer and the folder automatically gets updated whenever you make changes online. Dropbox provides 2GB free space and you can buy more as you need. Check it out and use if for free at www.dropbox.com
5. Fiverr - so you don't have the time to do any of this yourself and have a very limited budget ,then try Fiverr to get a logo, Facebook cover, flyer, email header and just about anything done for only $5. The Fiverr site makes it very affordable and easy to use. It's free to sign up and you can review hundreds of providers before selecting the one that best suits you. Keep in mind you are paying $5 so you may not always get exactly what you are looking for, but I've gotten some great work from these guys at a very affordable price. Check it out and use it for free at www.fiverr.com
Spring has sprung and we are into the second quarter of the year, can you believe it!
Are you thinking about what the next quarter holds for you and what you want to achieve? I know I am!
For some of us, it is time for a fresh start, a time to evaluate our goals and how we are going to achieve them. I personally find it easier to set objectives especially when I have a big project, but as a routine I make a habit of setting daily objectives to avoid getting distracted from my end goal.
Now, by definition objectives are a specific result that a person or system aims to achieve within a time frame and with available resources. In general, objectives are measurable, specific and easier to measure than goals. That is why I like them!
For me, as a Marketing Consultant, defining my marketing objectives is an important part to creating successful programs that drive results. Do you always create objectives before starting any marketing program?
Today, I would like to share with you my:
5 tips on how to create clear objectives to turn your marketing ideas into reality!
1. Make your objectives quantifiable: having a clear quantifiable objective in either number of units to sell, a percent increase to obtain or sales revenue to generate will give you a specific goal reach. For example: I want to sell 10 units this month.
2. Set a clear time frame: having a start and end date to anything helps, so do the same for your marketing program. Knowing how much time you have to realistically achieve your goal is a great motivator to completing any project.
3. Strategize: understanding how you are going to execute against your objectives is crucial in achieving success. Once you know what you want to achieve be sure to create a step by step plan so you and your team are on board to turn it into reality. Your plan should outline every detail possible and have contingency plans. A simple calendar outlining your strategy from start date to end date will keep everyone on
4. Set a budget: nobody wants to waste money, so setting a budget is the best way to stay on track. You will know exactly what your return on investment is.
5. Measure: Last but not least measure your results, simply review your objectives and determine if you achieved them with the resources and tools utilized. Most importantly ensure you were able to achieve the best ROI possible.
Thanks for reading, I hope you found this helpful!
Download your free objective planning template here.
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I found a great article with smart tips and techniques you can use to give your business a fresh start for the New Year. Here are 10 essential tips you can do, however, do not feel you need to this all at once, pick 3
critical ones and start from there. My favourite one is ofcourse: UPDATE YOUR MARKETING PLAN!
10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Small Business
1) Organize Your Accounting Monthly. Do not be one of those business owners who scrambles to get all of your accounting done so that you can get your in one month. Know your numbers by the 15th of every month so that you understand how much profit is in every sale.
2) Leverage Technology to Save Time and Money. Take classes to learn how to use your smartphone, tablet or laptop device. If small tasks make you crazy, there really is an app for that.
3) Check Your Keywords. If you are using a content strategy to build your social media footprint, it is only as good as your keywords. They can change over time, so use WordTracker.com or Google’s keyword research tool to make sure you are up to date on your target customer’s search habits.
4) Update Your Marketing Plan. Develop your 30-day sales goals and then develop your marketing action steps to accomplish your goals. If you need twenty sales in a month, figure out how many phone calls, emails, blog posts, tweets, videos or Facebook messages you need to post to generate enough leads per week to close your required sales. It’s a lot easier to manage your business finances with this kind of sales and marketing plan.
5) Upgrade Your Customer Experience. Make your customers love to call you. Retrain your team in customer service procedures. Think of at least three ways to boost your customer experience. Can you shorten your shipping time? Upgrade your packaging? Add more freebies with upsell products? Or create a loyalty program? Do a few things.
6) Go Mobile NOW! There are a large number of adults who only access the internet from a smartphone. You need to make sure that your customers can find you online with a mobile device. Upgrade your website so that it is mobile ready which means simplify your website.
7) Look For Growth Opportunities. If you don’t grow your business, you could get left behind by a competitor. You should make sure that you stay on top of trend data in your industry. Did you notice a potential opportunity with your customers that you could leverage this year? Is it time to go international? Is there a new niche you should pursue?
8) Create a New Giveaway to Build Your Email List. Social media is great for brand awareness and lead generation, but email is still king to close a sale. Each year it’s best to create some new content that is
helpful, juicy and shows you are invested in your target customer’s success. They will need to give you their email address to access things like a sample product, white paper, free audio download or webinar
9) Mind Your Data. Use your Google Analytics to learn more about your regular website visitors. What content do they share the most? How many pages do they click per visit? What is your bounce rate? What
are your best traffic referral sources? Also look at the activity in your shopping cart and track conversions overtime. Then use the information to give your target clients more of what they want.
10) Try One New Thing in Social Media. If you have spent the last year or so dominating on one social media platform, it’s time to add one more site to your regular social media mix. Pinterest, Google+, BlogTalkRadio and YouTube are great options to consider.
Do you have any more resolutions that you are working on in your business for 2013?
Repurposed from: Melinda F. Emerson
Date Attended: Thursday May 17, 2012
Speakers: Michelle Villalobos, Jessica Kizorek, Mike Michalowicz, Anette Nathan, Lisa D. Sparks
1. ASK or you won’t get what you want. As women, much less entrepreneurs, I think we struggle with this one. We we are used to the idea of taking care of others and everything around us that we forget to ask for what we really want. Don’t beat around the bush, just ASK!
2. Define your style, what makes you unique, learn how to package it and sell it. This one, I think is easier said than done. I know I struggle with it. We all have great qualities to offer and as marketer I too make this mistake by wanting to talk about all the great features and benefits a brand/service has to offer, but there is only so much room on a flyer. It is important to spend time on this exercise to truly understand your brand, your truth so that you can communicate it confidently and comfortably. Practice your pitch as often as you can and on different audiences and try different versions until you get where you want.
3. Different is better. This is a great way of positioning yourself to stand out from your competitors. The key learning here it that your “name is magnetic”, so use it to create a call to action that people will remember.
4. Under promise, over deliver. It’s important that your customers are always satisfied by your product and service, so why set the bar too high when you know you cannot deliver. Instead be realistic, give yourself enough wiggle room and provide a reasonable expectation. Then over deliver by either handing in that proposal early, finishing the job sooner than they expect and cheaper than
5. Think of email marketing in terms of campaigns. This a great way to think about your email marketing programs versus struggling each month on “what to write”. Create a campaign based on a theme or news that has an ongoing story to tell. It’s
important to take the time upfront to think it through, plan it out and then execute each month without the added stress.
Hi my name is Farzanah. I am a marketing pro with 10 + years of experience in marketing management and a busy mom dedicated to helping small business owners improve their marketing with copy writing that transforms their online visitors into taking action.