The Best Business Advice I Ever Got!

“You can always make more money, but you can never make more time” was the best business advice I ever got.

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That business advice came to mind as I recently decided to scale back considerably a marketing activity that was consuming way too much of my time and not producing the desired results.

 

He went into detail with a few ideas to help reclaim stolen time which included changing our relationship we have with time. Think about it we protect our money from being stolen, or wasted, why not guard our time also.

 

The words we use to describe time or lack of it results in increasing our stress making us less productive, and went into ideas on changes to make in the words we use.

 

Cut out the drama is my favorite, you know what I mean, your cell phone rings and looking at the caller id you know it is gonna be drama, so don’t answer it make um leave a message. And when you do tied up in a 30 minute conversation that should have taken 4 minutes get away, however you can (don’t you have another meeting 😉  ).

 

Another techey tool I use that saves me about an hour every day is HootSuite, HootSuite is social media management dashboard,  In addition to it’s Free version, that can manage up to 5 social media platforms. HootSuite also offers a Pro version to help you manage multiple (100) social networks from one dashboard (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+).

 

I have been using HootSuite for over 2 years, I actually use the pro version which is less than $10 a month (saves me a hour a day) to manage my multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook Business (Fan) pages as well as LinkedIn, Google + and my personal Facebook timeline all in one place with one login.

 

No I don’t have 100 platforms but in addition to multiple Facebook business (fan) and multiple Google + business pages I also belong to over 30 groups or communities on Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn. That I post to, while I never always post every post to all 30+ because not all post would be relevant to all communities or groups but I can send and monitor all feeds from one location.

 

It is important to start your day with positive, inspirational and motivational thoughts and ideas for you to excel and achieve success, fortunately there’s a FREE APP to help you with that.

Small Businesses Moving to Online Marketing

Small and medium-sized businesses are beginning to realize that digital and online marketing are necessary in achieving success. In the past, many small business owners had ignored online marketing, and they lost business as young and middle-aged customers flocked ethernet cableto competitors that are online.

A new survey based on data from 300 small and midsized businesses in the third quarter of 2012 was recently published by BIA/Kelsey, a distinguished local-media research firm. One of the top findings of the survey was that 40 percent of these businesses are planning to increase their budgets for digital marketing sometime in the next year.

The survey also reported that the online channel rated as the favorite among the small businesses surveyed is Facebook. Over 52 percent of businesses used Facebook for promotional purposes, which puts it above most other forms of marketing, such as the following:

• Newspaper advertising – 31 percent
• Community sponsorship – 27 percent
• Email marketing – 25 percent

While I strongly agree of the importance of utilizing social media for your business, I certanly wouldn’t suggest it consume the bulk of your marketing resources.

Social Media does not generate significant ROI in my experience. Facebook Likes, Google +’s or a mention in LinkedIn are not reliable ROI metrics to measure. While an important part of your online marketing strategy,  I consider Social Media not so much of a sales function but more of a marketing department function, where brand awareness and consumer education are important.

I believe the greatest ROI generating activity is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). By far and away, SEO produces the lowest cost per lead, the largest volume of leads and the best leads in terms of quality. The drawback with SEO is that it can take some time to get to the ranking.

In the interim, use PPC, especially for high-value, short term campaigns. In my opinion, think PPC for the short term and think SEO for the long-term better quality leads.

Keep in mind, with your online marketing you are building a complex and long-standing infrastructure that, will grow with time and effort. As important as quality relevant content is also consistency in posting new quality relevant content.

As I have mentioned, you must devise a online marketing strategy and you must use the best resources of what today’s technology has to offer.

Why Make Email Marketing a Part of Your Online Marketing Strategy

Email updates and newsletters aren’t a new idea. But, in today’s highly digital consumer landscape, email marketing is often recognized for it’s ability to create loyal customers, boost Cool Mountain Townrevenue and support long-term growth. When companies use email advertising strategies effectively, they can develop stronger relationships with clients.

As an integrated part of an Inbound Marketing approach, email marketing is used to reach out to your prospect list, promote your latest content offers and attract those prospects to your website to download.

Along with social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, email marketing is an opportunity to provide prospects with valuable content and turn those prospects into leads.

In terms for effectiveness of Email Marketing, the numbers speak for themselves:
According to Direct Marketing Association, email marketing had an average ROI of $40.56 in 2011.

Email is the preferred method of commercial communication by 74% of all adults online
(Merkle “View From the Digital Inbox 2011).

eConsultancy’s sixth annual Email Marketing Census, 2012, found that the vast majority of companies (70%) rate email as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ for ROI.

On average, each U.S. Internet user engages with 11.8 brands via email, more than Facebook (9.4 brands) and Twitter (7.9 brands), according to ExactTarget “Subscribers, Fans & Followers: The Social Profile” 2010.

At least 64% of U.S. Internet users want marketers to target them – to demonstrate a knowledge of the types of products or services the recipients like in their email marketing messages. (e-Dialog “Manifesto for E-mail Marketers: Consumer Demand Relevance” 2010)

The companies that are winning the email marketing game are the ones who are not sending the same message to everyone. Know who your customers are and deliver emails based on their interests and habits. They will get a better response, and allow you to send more emails effectively.

As with any online marketing campaign, it is vitally important to be able to track results.  If email marketing is not something you’re currently doing, then start, you can track deliver-ability using AWeber.

Facebook Change – A New Reason For Local Businesses To Get A Facebook Page

Not every local business has a Facebook page, I can’t believe I am still running into some businesses that don’t have a Facebook business page, but they all have a new reason to get one: Facebook has announced Facebook Nearby that turns it into a local business search engine.social gathering

What is even more alarming to me than a local business without a Facebook page is that while Facebook recently announced that there are more than 13 million Facebook Pages. Recent reports by Recommend.ly found that 70 percent of the Pages it studied aren’t actively posting.

“Page inactivity is also shown in engagement rates and the use (or lack thereof) of cover images”. Recommend.ly  also says “64 percent of Pages have no cover photo and 83 percent never participated in conversations on their Pages. have suggested that as many as 70 percent of Facebook Pages are inactive”.

Is it any wonder why most owners of small businesses say their  Internet marketing campaigns fail to deliver a positive ROI (Return on Investment).

The Nearby tab Facebook announced, on Facebook’s iOS and Android apps will still show your friends’ local activity, but it now also has the capability to offer search and discovery of all local businesses in the immediate area. This will also put Facebook in more direct competition with the likes of Yelp, Foursquare and even Google+.
Do you have the time and talents yourself or in your organization? If not, you will have to hire new employees, or contract out services, which may be more cost effective.
Whether you are interested in advertising your business on Facebook, or you need someone to manage your social media campaign for you to free up you time to run your business, we can help

Email, social media, and mobile should Rank at the Top of your Marketing Priorities for 2013

With smart phone penetration breaking the 50% barrier in the U.S., having email delivered to their phones and nearly half of all Facebook users accessing their accounts via mobile devices, it is clear that email, social media and mobile will increase in importance as a marketing channel.

The strong ties between email marketing and social media are reason to increase marketing in using email to drive growth in their social media channels, such as corporate Facebook and Twitter.

More than half of businesses see Facebook as the most valued social media channel for marketers, as well as Twitter and YouTube. Depending on the type of product/service offered by the business, Instagram, LinkedIn. Google+ and Pinterest may also be valuable channels for marketers.

As with any marketing campaign, it is vitally important to be able to track results, the following short video shows how you can track deliver-ability using AWeber.

Get your email marketing stated today using AWeber.

Statistically Your Social Media Marketing Efforts for your Business are a Waste of Your Time.

Most business owners I talk with, that use social media for their business, tell me their social media marketing efforts are not profitable and a waste of their time. Almost all of them are managing your social media marketing efforts themselves or have an employee handle it.

Some businesses are in denial about the need to truly embrace social media. Research finds that 72% of businesses that use social media do not have a clear set of goals or a clear strategy for their social media platforms. Some businesses, apparently are not convinced that social media is anything more than a fad or a temporary phenomenon and are unwilling to invest the time and/or resources to acquire the knowledge to manage their social media activities correctly to achieve positive results or make the investment to hire professionals to manage it for them.

Seriously I am really talking to Businesses that still don’t have a Facebook Business Page.

I can’t believe I am still running into some businesses that don’t have a Facebook business page.
Recently I was talking on the phone with a business owner and asked if her social media marketing activities were profitable for her business. Her response was not at all. She has a Facebook business page she said but it was just a waste of time. While we were talking about the details of  her social media marketing activity I was searching for her companies Facebook business page, what I found was just an account in the companies name, no business page.
Your personal page is not a place for your business posts, no wonder she had no results, most of her friends probably blocked her posts so no message was getting out.
Promoting your business on your personal page ( even if it’s your companies name personal page ) is only going to irate your friends and they will hide your posts or unfriend you so they don’t have to see your posts anymore. You end up posting and only you can see them.
With a Facebook business page you can promote your business with integrity as those friends, prospects, customers and anyone else that likes your Facebook business page will see your posts in their news feed but they know it is a business page and expect that, and are ok with that, so they will not be upset with you.

A well run Facebook business page will reflect well on your business but an abandoned page with unanswered questions, comments and few updates can reflect very poorly. Some things to keep in mind when manageing your Facebook business page:

 

  • Stop thinking social is just for marketing people.

A company that tries to keep social confined to Marketing is going to miss out on the big picture. Probably one of the most exciting things going on in the social media right  now  is  how we are on the verge of expanding social across every facet of the organization as a core communications tool. In any area that involves interaction between people, social is relevant and makes sense as an efficient tool for that interaction.

  • You better start to acknowledge that social is going mobile.

Even while many businesses continue to argue over the need for and value of social media at all, a second revolution has been well underway that’s likely leave any company still interacting socially like then did 20 (or even 5 ) years ago several steps behind. And that is the shift of social usage to mobile devices. Effective campaigns, design and content should be crafted with mobile in mind. The customer is showing you where they want to engage and you as a company are absent, you are already losing and may not even realize it yet.

  • Don’t fear change

There’s the fear social will be a passing fad. Yes, it is true that individual platforms may come and go, but human beings have always used available technology to connect and always will.

  • Don’t fail to resource social

As I mentioned many businesses proudly tell me they’re doing social, but as I dig deeper I find a different story. Most companies have approached social with varying levels of seriousness, but that seriousness can usually be directly measured by the financial and human resources allocated to it. One of the biggest, and most common mistakes I see small business social media marketing, do it your selfers make is they have no consistency in their posts.  If you post an update on your Facebook business page, “whenever you remember to” or “whenever you have time to” you’re going to have a problem with engagement. And don’t make the mistake of being too self promotional! Just update your business page wall with news relevant to your industry or relevant to living in your area. You have to understand that social media marketing is not like the “old school” marketing ways of years ago (traditional media ex: tv newspaper etc) and that your Facebook business page isn’t a big commercial for your business in the traditional “interruption marketing” sense. People hate those pages with passion and block their updates.

Don’t make these mistakes, if you don’t have the time or resources to do your social media marketing yourself, then we can help you with your social media marketing.

Next year 47.3 percent of big businesses will be spending more on social media and digital marketing in local neighborhoods. Small businesses owners, take heed and figure something out!

Social Media Dead Already?

It’s clear to me that the way that we communicate and share information as a culture has definitively changed. As such, social media is dead simply because EVERYTHING is social media.
Even if you have no mobile device, and you decide that you don’t want to participate in social media, chances are that someone has photographed you with a mobile device and that image is on Facebook. Case in point: my parents are 74 years old, the only 2 people I personally know without a Facebook account, but their pictures are on Facebook, they are talked about on Facebook. And if you own a business the chances of social media happening to your brand are even greater. The question is are you involved in the conversion or are you not even aware of what is being said?
It’s 2012, there are over 1 Billion people on Facebook, the average Facebook user is 40.5 years of age. Twitter generates 1.6billion search queries per day. I think it is safe to say your customers and prospective customers are there. Are you?
Most business owners I talk with, when thinking about social media are constantly looking at outbound social efforts. Only concerning themselves with lead generation. But listening to what customers are saying about your brand on social media channels is critical. Your company better be listening to what customers are saying on social media channels, because customers aren’t saying things anywhere else.

So does the future hold for social media? Social media will be bigger than websites, call centers and become the number-two way to engage customers (the number one way is still sales reps).

Social media is dead simply, because everything is social media now. We’re surrounded by social media every day in every way. Your business will either actively engage in this phenomenon or become obsolete. You’ve been warned.

If you don’t have the time or resources to cross promote your business through email marketing, Facebook  advertising and social media marketing yourself, then we can help you with your social media marketing and cross promoting though varies channels

Set Up A Blog For Local SEO & Social Media

Use WordPress. It already has a lot of search engine optimization basics baked-in. No other platform is as flexible with all the plug-ins, in my opinion. Host your WordPress Blog at GoDaddy.com. GoDaddy hosts all my wordpress blogs, and the setup was seamless.

  • Integrate your blog as part of your website. It could be in a dedicated subdirectory or it could be set as a subdomain.
  • Use catchy blog post titles. Put yourself in the shoes of a person who is casually surfing the Internet. Will your blog headline stand out among the hundreds of others.?
  • Make your RSS feed obvious, above the fold, and preferably use the orange RSS icon.
  • Use images in your posts. Images capture and hold the attention of your reader.
  • Structure your blog posts for easy scanning. Use header tags, lists, etc. Avoid long sentences and long paragraphs. Making sure you have plenty of white space makes for an easier read.
  • Keep your posts short and concise.  250-500 words is a good number. People only have so much time.
  • Use social media at a minimum,  Twitter and Facebook or LinkedIN depending on your industry. You’ve GOT to be out there.
  • Use Hootsuite to pipe your latest posts into Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + and other social networks. In addition to it’s Free version HootSuite also offers a Pro version to help you manage multiple social networks from one dashboard (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+). I have been using HootSuite for over 2 years to manage my multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook Business (Fan) pages as well as LinkedIn, Google + and my personal Facebook timeline all in one place with one login. However, Twitter should not replace RSS.
  • Put relevant keywords into your blog’s title. Use All-In-One SEO to have more control over the titles across your blog.
  • Post frequently. Once a day is fantastic, I usually try to post every 3 days. However, once a week might be a bare minimum.
  • Be consistent. This should be number 1. The reader will know when you are putting up something new and will give them a chance to make you a reading habit. Don’t make them work and don’t wear them out.
  • Use Analytics. I personally use Google Analytics

Why go though all the effort? Because according to Mindjumpers “ Social media sites and blogs reach 80% of all U.S. internet users”. and “Social networks and blogs account for 23% of all time spent online — twice as much as gaming” also according to Mindjumpers. According to Social Media B2B “B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms”.

Keep in mind, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Blogging takes time. SEO results from blogging takes time. If your expecting to see immediate results from blogging you’re in for a rude awakening. Keep in mind, with online content marketing you are building a complex and long-standing infrastructure that, will grow with time and effort. As important as quality relevant content is also consistency in posting new quality relevant content.

When properly implemented, blogging, can be a game changer for your business. However, you can’t simply throw caution to the wind and hope everything plays out the way you’re wishing. Instead, you must devise a blogging strategy that uses the best resources of what today’s technology has to offer.

Most Small Business Internet Marketing Campaigns Fail to Deliver a Positive ROI (Return on Investment)

90% of small businesses are on FaceBook, 70% are on Twitter, yet most owners of small businesses say their  Internet marketing campaigns fail to deliver a positive ROI (Return on Investment)

“Does your small business have a social media marketing strategy that takes time and effort but find you are in the same boat?

If your business puts more time, effort and money into its social media than the returns warrant, then it’s time to reconsider your internet marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to make bold changes regarding your social media strategy.
Like any business activity, social media marketing needs to provide some sort of return – don’t  waste resources on it simply because everyone else is doing.
Ultimately, a poorly implemented and ineffective social marketing strategy is a waste of time and money.

I am not advocating that small business dumps social media marketing. What I do suggest is, given that the majority of all Internet traffic still originates with search and that mobile is expected to outstrip PC Internet access in the next year or so, my advice is small businesses, focus on building a high quality content based Web presence by blogging, video, podcasts, etc.and use social media to share, and tweet about your new posts and present interesting facts to your friends, followers.
By focusing on creating high quality content, not only will you build high quality organic traffic from the search engines, you will also be in a position to demonstrate your authority and build trust.
Almost all the business owners I speak with on a daily basis that say they are not having any or little success with social media marketing are attempting to do it themselves, and as a general rule because of time limitations are very inconstant and in many cases are simply doing it wrong which is doing them more harm than good.
Most business owners today understand the importance of having a social media marketing strategy, Facebook has become a home to 1 billion users and brands are well aware of the fact that their target audience is spending a lot of time here. but social media marketing can be very time consuming

Facebook marketing success for example is not easy and has become more difficult than it was one or two years ago. Some reasons for that are:

First of all, social media users are more experienced in using social networks than they were a couple years ago.Too many posts, photos and comments are often the a reason why users now carefully choose how they spend time online (with friends and engaging with brands). There is trend of unlikes right after a Facebook contest on particular fan pages is over. This means that brand must be more creative in their approach and plan for other strategies with attractive awards.

Secondly, People use social media as a place to connect with friends. Most of them do not want to hear about products promotions and watch advertisements. Companies cannot and should not apply the same tactics as in the traditional “old school” marketing.

What do you think, you can develop a great strategy to sustain valuable social media presence on your own? If you don’t have the time or resources to do your social media marketing yourself, then we can help you with your social media marketing.

Whats Your Content Marketing Missing?

Content marketing, is more than the latest buzzword. It’s a way to increase traffic to your website and convert to new customers. The reason blogs might position better than a standard website to increase traffic is because blogs are modified ( new content added) more often than full websites. Search Engines love to discover new content, so their interest in your website may be powerful due to the new content you are making available.
Keeping it simple is probably the best advice and for that reason this post is short and sweet on the topic of how to ensure your great content attracts, engages and converts.
Content marketing requires a great deal of effort if you are doing it right. Constantly coming up with new, fresh topics, certainly isn’t the easiest thing in the universe to constantly come up with new topics about which to write, especially if you write as you should, on a regular basis. One of the best ways to approach the writing and coming up with new topics is that you pay attention to what other people are discussing online. Another is to address questions or concerns your encounter on a daily bases talking with prospects and customers.
Effective content marketing is really about creating information that’s useful for specific audiences and with certain outcomes in mind.  While context is often satisfied, the question of finding it is usually underestimated. I’m talking about optimizing for search engines. There are also promotion channels such as email, cross linking from existing content, Facebook advertising and social media marketing.  Are you creating content that’s so good, people will want to share it with others? Have you made it easy for them to share?
If you don’t have the time or resources to cross promote your business through email marketing, Facebook  advertising and social media marketing yourself, then we can help you with your social media marketing and cross promoting though varies channels