Friday, March 28, 2014

Top Posts for March 2014

Wow, another month has come and gone already. Here's a look back at the top posts for March 2014.

Best Benefits of Blogging for B2C Businesses
Blogging offers numerous benefits for both B2B and B2C businesses. Often, blogging is underutilized because business owners feel it isn't relevant to their business's niche, such as retail stores. This couldn't be further from the truth. No matter your niche or industry, blogging for B2C businesses is effective as it offers that personal touch customers crave. It provides them a reason to stay engaged with your business other than just when they want to make a purchase. They will keep coming back to your site time and time again; thus, developing brand loyalty.

Publishing News: New Publishing Platform on LinkedIn
Have you heard the news? LinkedIn has unveiled a new publishing platform in addition to many new features. LinkedIn now offers the ability to publish blog-style content to draw new users to the site and to encourage existing users to consider the site as someplace other than a career-seeking platform. This new feature was set in place as LinkedIn strives to become the hub of professional lives, including news, highlighting projects and networking with peers.

Best Tips for Effective Email Marketing
As many business owners become more reliant on mobile and social media marketing, many now consider email marketing to be a trend of the past. Yes, in a sense email marketing has faded from popularity, but it's still an effective form of marketing when done correctly. And, since many of your competitors probably aren't utilizing the marketing strategy due to it being "old fashioned" you'll be one step ahead and reach a larger audience than your competitors by combining email marketing with social and mobile marketing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Publishing a Book When You Can't Write

Many people have a great story idea in their head or a life experience they'd love to share as a book. But, lets face it, not everyone is a writer. You don't want to give up your dream, but how can you tell your story so that it will actually produce sales? If you aren't that great of a writer or you don't know where to start, you aren't out of options.

The first thing you need to do is consider your options. You can still tell your story and then hire an editor to clean up your story for publication. Or, you can work with a ghostwriter to help tell your story.

Now that your story is written down, how do you go about publishing your book? Again, you have two options. You can either try to submit to traditional publishing agencies or you can self publish. There are pros and cons to each. With a traditional publishing company, it can take a long time to get your book accepted and published. Of course, self publishing is quicker and easier; although, many people are concerned about the cost to self publish. When I published my first book, it didn't cost me a penny because I did it myself. Even if you don't do it yourself, it's much cheaper than you'd think and quicker than going with an agency.

Now, if you do go with traditional publishing, you need someone to help you with your query letters to ensure your letter and book stand out from the crowd. Plus, they will be able to help you choose the best publishers to target.

If you think self publishing would be the best fit, you'll either need to learn how to format your book correctly and upload to the sites or hire someone to help you. You also need to think about the cover. It's best to hire someone who knows what they are doing because no one will buy a poorly written book that isn't formatted correctly.

Next comes marketing. How and when do you begin marketing your book? Generally, you want to start marketing your book 3 to 6 months before the release date. Now, you need to start thinking about press releases, blog tours, reviews, websites, social media accounts, trailers, and everything else that goes along with marketing a book. Yes, it is a lot of work, but it's absolutely essential. Yes, it is also overwhelming, that's why it's a great idea to hire some one who can help you do it correctly.

It's better to spend the money to get the job done right because you book sales will end up paying for what you invested and then some.

Everyone has a story to tell. Many just don't know how to get it out or how to get it published. Don't give up on publishing a book when you can't write or don't know how to market it. I can help you get your story told. Contact me today to learn more about my publishing and book promotion services.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Top 5 Marketing Mistakes for Your Local Small Businesses

Top 5 Mistakes Hurting Your Local Business.
Small business owners often understand the need to market their business to beat their competition; however, many aren't fully sure just how to go about it. Some implement marketing strategies, but just don't seem to produce any favorable results. Why? In order to truly succeed and beat your competition, you need someone who knows what they are doing and understands the current age of marketing as there are many simple mistakes you might make.

If you've been trying to handle your marketing on your own, but just can't seem to pull ahead, you may be guilty of making these top marketing mistakes for your local small business.

1. Not Listing with Local Directories
Listing your business in the phone book is only one step. Nowadays, hardly anyone eve uses the phone book, so you really need to make sure your local small business is listed on as many online directories as possible. If you're only relying on the phone book to attract customers, you're missing out on a huge profit potential.

2. Lack of Google Local Page
A Google Local Page is an invaluable tool to utilize. Not only will a Google Local Page help with your website ranking and SERP visibility, but it's critical for local businesses. Google Local pages tie into Google Maps, both of which are important for mobile marketing. I can't stress enough the importance of a Google Local Page.You NEED a Google Local page to even be on the same playing field as your competitors.

3. No Website
Yes, there are still many small businesses who don't have a website. If you don't have a website, your business basically doesn't exist. Everyone turns to the internet and Google to find businesses and services to meet their needs. If your business isn't showing up on the search results because you haven't created a website yet, you're a mile behind your competition.

4. Poor Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing involves so much more than creating a social media account and ignoring it or only throwing up self promotional statuses. You have to engage and connect with your followers with diverse posts to help build your brand loyalty and recognition. Many local small business owners feel they don't need social media marketing. That simply couldn't be further from the truth. But, social media marketing is only effective if you do it correctly. Therefore, it's often best to hire someone who knows what they are doing.

5. Avoiding Mobile Marketing
The world has gone mobile. More searches are made from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, than those that originate from a computer. You have to keep up with this changing technology. Your website needs to be mobile optimized and you need to fine tune your marketing strategy to include mobile marketing if you have any hope of beating your competition.

Missing any one of these aspects while marketing your local small business will hurt the success of your marketing plan. I guarantee, if you correctly avoid these top 5 mistakes for marketing your business, you'll see a huge difference.

If you need help with any of these 5 top mistakes, feel free to contact me. I'd be more than happy to help you determine a course of action to help your business thrive.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Best Benefits of Blogging for B2C Businesses

Blogging offers numerous benefits for both B2B and B2C businesses. Often, blogging is underutilized because business owners feel it isn't relevant to their business's niche, such as retail stores. This couldn't be further from the truth. No matter your niche or industry, blogging for B2C businesses is effective as it offers that personal touch customers crave. It provides them a reason to stay engaged with your business other than just when they want to make a purchase. They will keep coming back to your site time and time again; thus, developing brand loyalty.

One of the biggest mistakes B2C businesses make is the fact they don't interact with their customers. They are so focused on sales and making a profit that they forget to make their customers feel valued. They simply try to sell their products without ever really putting any thought into what else their customers need other than the product. No one likes to feel as though the only reason someone is interested in them is for their money. This is exactly how customers feel when you aren't engaging them in other ways.

This is where the benefits of blogging for B2C businesses come in handy. With a blog, you steer away from that sales pitch a bit. Instead, you can focus more on providing your customers with important information, which of course can be entwined with the products you sell. Your customers enjoy blogs because it provides them with the information they crave, as well as makes them feel more important that simply a dollar sign. Plus, customers are more likely to share this information with their friends-- drawing in even more potential sales.

Probably the greatest benefit of all is the fact you give people a reason to return to your website and interact with your business, not just when they need to make a purchase. A blog gives your customers a reason to keep coming back to your website, not just when they want to make a new purchase.

Your websites traffic will be increased, as well as your sales. Most importantly of all, you'll build brand loyalty, pushing your business ahead of your competitors.

Use the benefits of blogging for B2C businesses to give your customers what they crave. As a result, you'll take your business to the next level.

Need help creating blog content or establishing a blogging strategy? Contact me to discuss your options.




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Publishing News: New Publishing Platform on LinkedIn

Have you heard the news? LinkedIn has unveiled a new publishing platform in addition to many new features. LinkedIn now offers the ability to publish blog-style content to draw new users to the site and to encourage existing users to consider the site as someplace other than a career-seeking platform. This new feature was set in place as LinkedIn strives to become the hub of professional lives, including news, highlighting projects and networking with peers.

Many people believe the new publishing platform on LinkedIn was created as a result of the site's growth slowing. In addition to the new platform, other features have been released over the past several months, including the Influencers, purchasing Slideshares and acquiring the news reader Pulse.

LinkedIn is also becoming more mobile friendly as the company reports its mobile growth to be far greater than the desktop engagement. However, the exact numbers remain unknown as the mobile data for the site isn't widely monitored.

No matter the reason behind the new publishing platform on LinkedIn and it's additional features, whether it's due to losing momentum or keeping up with competition, the site needs to keep up with the change currently going on in the social media and website world.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the growth of LinkedIn is slowing? Is the new publishing platform and effort to stabilize the site?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Best Tips for Effective Email Marketing

Email marketing is a cost effective and successful form of marketing.
As many business owners become more reliant on mobile and social media marketing, many now consider email marketing to be a trend of the past. Yes, in a sense email marketing has faded from popularity, but it's still an effective form of marketing when done correctly. And, since many of your competitors probably aren't utilizing the marketing strategy due to it being "old fashioned" you'll be one step ahead and reach a larger audience than your competitors by combining email marketing with social and mobile marketing.

Often, email marketing is more effective than social media and mobile marketing because it provides a more personalized experience. We all know the relationships you build with your customers are critical. Customers want to feel heard, valued and important. Customers don't want to feel like a number or a potential dollar sign. They crave that personalized experience; thus, building brand loyalty and repeat customers. By utilizing email marketing effectively, you'll give your customers that personalized experience they crave.

Effective email marketing provides a more direct line of communication with your customers, turning that improved line of communication into sales. It's also very cost effective when compared to mobile and social marketing. Basically, your email marketing campaign will pay for its self as you transform the conversation into sales.

Effective email marketing takes time and a carefully thought out plan. If done incorrectly, email marketing comes off as spam and an overall waste of time for your customers. No one wants their email inbox to be full of junk, so give them something they will want to read. How do you do this?

First, you need to start with a strong and informative subject line, yet keep it as short and to the point as possible. Personalize the experience for your customer by referring to them by name. These two simple things will help build the relationship with your customers as they are more likely to trust you and not consider you to be a spammer.

The message you deliver in your email should hold it's own unique voice that will appeal to your readers. You don't want to come off as a robot so keep it real and human. When delivering your message, keep it informative and niche specific with quality content. As a result, your business and products are more likely to be shared via referrals and word of mouth.

Most importantly of all, you don't want to send out too many messages. People have enough emails to go through as it is. If you send out too many emails, your customers will get annoyed and simply delete your emails without even opening them. So, avoid the overflow. Limit the number of emails you send and utilize the tips above for a cost effective email marketing strategy.

To learn more about email marketing and how it can benefit your business, contact me to discuss your options.