Even if you’re unsure of what you want to do, in what industry or what to call it. The number one way to own your business is to create, manage and improve your sites and systems. You cannot improve or evaluate something that isn’t happening.
I can’t tell you how many people come to us looking for one solution and end up realizing where all of the gaps in their business actually are. This isn’t your fault that you’ve missed this…sometimes you just need someone with an outside eye to help out. You might not even be aware some solutions existed.
Opportunities are problems in search of solutions-Denis Waitley
The FIrst challenge is…
Figuring out what you need and why. Like social media and website pages for instance. You either ‘think you need it’ or ‘think you don’t.’ But this isn’t about YOU. This is about your clients and potential clients. Where do they go to read reviews? Where do they go to view your portfolio? Where do they go to book a call or service with you?
Then there’s the days you find all of your eggs in one basket…and the basket was tossed around in the trunk of an off-roading pickup.
Whether working for yourself or a MLM (Multi-Level Marketing: Arbonne, MaryKay, Senegence, Herbalife, etc.) never assume they will be around forever. They are just as susceptible to going bankrupt or shutting down as anyone else. They could get reported, blocked or shut down.
Did you know it’s actually illegal to do business on your personal facebook page?
How many times were you added to a LipSense Facebook page only to silence notifications or stealthily sneak out a few weeks later? *Raise your hand with me.*
Using a company’s branding on your personal page or creating platforms not only drives people away from you but it’s also against Facebook Terms of Service to do business on your personal page. If the attraction of an MLM or owning your own business and freedom how are you protecting it? If you were reported or had your page taken down, what would you do? Where would you go?
How do you avoid losing everything you’ve worked so hard to build? I repeat.
Create your own website. If you like the freedom, the structure and the support then establish a website page under your name or your business name.
Own your own business. Do not depend 100% on any platform or business. If something goes down, keep your business going and serve your clientele base.
The second challenge is
Interaction. If you’re blaming the algorithm (ugh, please don’t) for not showing your content to your people then increase your MEANINGFUL interaction. Block out 10-20 minutes a day to COMMENT, READ, AND MESSAGE real life people.
Avoid mindlessly going through and tossing emojis but supporting someone. Make it a goal to interact with 10 people while you’re online during your Netflix shows. Business and Pleasure.
Treat your social media as if it were a Spotify playlist. The more people see you post, like it, interact and comment, it will help boost you.
A man’s glove should show what he has done not what he hasn’t. (I do not own the rights to this photo)
The THIRD challenge is
…One I’m going to toss in because you should hear it. Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you should or need to. If it feels overwhelming or tedious, hire someone to help. Hire someone better, faster or smarter than you. What can you outsource in your business and in your home?
What is important for youto focus on? What are the things youwant to be known for? What do youwant to be really freaking good at?
Chase those. Focus on those. Protect your business. You’re obviously doing something that you’re passionate about for one reason or another so OWN IT.
Time is running out! March 31, 2019 marks the LAST DAY this year that you’ll get 50% off your Branding + Positioning Strategy. You get a targeted audience, research-based marketing proposal and stunning logo. Claim it now!
You had a business idea. You hire someone to craft a logo.
Boom. You’re Done.
Nooooo, not quite. At least not if you want to make an actual impact!
Creating a brand that lasts is about creating a logo that will look great on every platform but also EVERYTHING that goes out into the world. The words you use, the copy on your sales page, the photos and videos you share and even the packaging used for your products.
While there aren’t any hard and fast rules to advertising and marketing there are some basic formatting and style guidelines we follow, recommend and adjust.
Start with words and phrases. What are words do you keep repeating when telling people about your business? If a client were leaving a rave review what would they say? If they were telling a friend what was so great about your service what would they say? Think of descriptors, morals, values, strengths and the pillars of your business. Write an opposing column of what you dislike or want to avoid as well.
Add colors. What colors do you like? What don’t you like? Can you NOT STAND orange? Remember this is about the business and not YOUR personal preferences but we also don’t want to create something you wouldn’t enjoy seeing 24/7. Do you want texture and watercolor or is your business looking for clean and crisp lines? There is a lot of psychology behind what colors (even shades) are being used in your brand.
One of the biggest struggles we business owners have is figuring out what WE know and say vs what others would create or pull from about us. Do they understand the language you’re using? Do they understand the systems and processes? How can we simplify the copy and streamline the process?
Is what you’re putting out there all cohesive? Is your Facebook the same as your Instagram the same as your YouTube? Is that same logo or a resemblance of your branding on your packaging and printed materials or did you do something different everywhere? The idea is that if someone were say Red Car Branding or ‘Oh, I can’t remember the name of the company but it had a red car.’ that it would still be easily identifiable.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what you started with but how you evolve. If you are afraid of evolving, growing, experimenting, playing the game or putting yourself out there then YOU WILL LOSE.
The one thing you can always count on is change.
Think of evolving into the realm of social media. You must adapt, even if you think it’s annoying, to show up where your potential clients are. DO NOT be one of those complainers who drones on about the algorithm changes. It sounds like a cry for help. Stop blaming the algorithm for your crappy content performing poorly! Guess what I don’t do when I see those posts asking me to like and comment? Like and comment. Do better than that!
I’ll end with a few thoughts from Jillian Michael’s audiobook. There is a difference between quitting and surrendering vs. letting go and being open to opportunities. Be open to a chance that you might not even be aware of yet. Be open to changing your tagline, changing your colors, setting up a new social media account or investing in a marketing team.
Show up and refuse to give up.
Time is running out! March 31, 2019 marks the LAST DAY this year that you’ll get 50% off your Branding + Positioning Strategy. You get a targeted audience, research-based marketing proposal and stunning logo. Claim it now!
By now you’ve seen me post a lot about branding, marketing and business positioning. So why is it talked about so much? Why is it so important to your business?
Let’s take the example of Walmart v. Target. Why do more people prefer going to Target even though they charge more for products? There are several factors in their marketing efforts like calling their customers ‘guests’ and creating an experience of higher quality products. Walmart is known for their low prices which attract a certain clientele. How have these competitors fared against each other? Target has figured out the formula combo:
Right Thing. Right Time.
Wrong Thing. Wrong Time.
Right People. Wrong Thing.
Wrong People. Wrong Time.
You get the idea. Target is able to charge higher prices for their products because their marketing efforts were placed to the right people, on the right platforms at the right time. They create a focus on whattheir clients are looking for. They use store displays, language and campaigns that elevate their client’s status.
What are you doing in your business that elevates your client’s status? Is it something they’re proud to repeat to their friends? To wear? To say? To bring others in on or brag about?
When you hire a service provider or purchase a product, let’s talk a blender or house painter for example, what do you think when comparing prices?
you get what you pay for. or do you?
Do you question the value and quality of the lower-cost blender compared to the higher-cost blender? Do you automatically assume you’ll receive higher value for the higher cost? Psychology of people spending money. If you plan on charging more for your products you better have a website and online presence that reflect your business.
Now reflect those same viewpoints on your own business? Do you not believe you’re worthy of charging that much? Do you bend and sway and adjust prices for everyone or do you believe what you create and sell is worthy of selling and paying you for your time? Do you think because you can’t afford those big-name advertising agencies that you don’t have anything worth sharing? You don’t have the need for a social media account or website? You don’t have a need to grow your audience?
These are limiting beliefs and lies you’re telling yourself!
Your job is to effectively overcome those objections with your clients, too. No one is exempt from putting themselves out there to best serve the people who need what you have to offer. Your business is not exempt from what is working for everyone else. The proof is in the numbers. The best way to succeed is to MODEL the behavior of what other successful people have done. Let’s take an experience we’re all familiar with.
discipline over desire
When you were a kid, you may not have FELTlike doing something your parents told you to do but you still had to do it. These days you might not FEELlike working out but you still have to do it. You might not FEELlike doing laundry, grocery shopping or cleaning but that doesn’t change the fact that you need to do it.
You might not FEEL like marketing, social media and self-promotion are things you want to do but you NEED to do it or else 1) You won’t get paid and 2) Your potential clients won’t find things they’re in need of and looking for.
If you have tried, failed and tried again to figure out what to post online or who your ideal target audience is, you are not alone. You might have tried replicating a sales system or social media strategy you saw work well for someone else but became discouraged when it didn’t work. Maybe it was even a little overwhelming?
Don’t worry, my sweet digital friend. Just as they have formulated a plan to market a product to a specific audience at a certain time does not mean it’s right for you and your business plan. During our Branding + Positioning Strategy we customize an approach that puts you in an optimal position to market yourself. Would your products work better printed in a magazine or filmed in action on a video? Should we sign you up for a podcast interview or would a collaboration with influencers work better? You might have heard great advice but tried implementing it at an unsuccessful time in your business.
time to re-evaluate and implement
If you find yourself creating 80% new material when you really only need to create 10% new material and can re-work or republish other content with a new email campaign structure. When you re-evaluate your efforts and your results you can see where your struggles are. What’s received a great reaction? Where were the mistakes made? What can you outsource?
Maybe you think of social media as a draining time sucker? Is that really what you should be focusing on when you haven’t even honed in on your own audience or done ‘enough’ elsewhere?
Overcoming the mental hurdle of a scarcity mindset will earn you more money in the long run. Investors search for more than one portfolio to invest in. Multiple revenue streams provide steadier income. Outsourcing your business tasks creates more opportunities for you to do what you enjoy in your business and brings a fresh pair of eyes with innovative ideas to your business.
You can also watch this video posted with the spark notes of everything we just talked about.
Let me know if you have any questions. If you found this helpful please share with your business friends!
While I wouldn’t say we will be featured on How I Built This any time soon, I would say the clientele base has consistently grew, I was able to bring in partners to help with my workload and I’ve been establishing more features essential for this Marketing & Branding agency to continue flourishing.
Did you know the average age of an entrepreneur is 40-45?
And maybe that paints the picture of an old white guy out making sales pitches or your friend’s dad who owns his own landscape business.
Maybe you’ve been in a similar situation?
In my case it was a 24-year-old at her kitchen table who was being “secretly” phased out after promising talks of a ‘well-earned’ promotion….on my birthday. I know, ouch, right? haha!
But in 100% honesty, I wasn’t upset. At all. I felt an odd sense of relief and freedom. I felt it coming and used that as the deadline for taking a big idea I had in mind and making it come to life. While studying public relations and interning at an advertising agency I fell in love with the strategic creative process of creating a brand and communicating with that brand’s audience.
I married an Army officer which meant we would move around frequently and I felt this would be an easy degree to find a job with.
I was always a minimum of 1-1.5 hours away from any influential, hiring agency which put me in a 100% insurance sales position surrounded by unethical activity (hell on earth) and then a timesheet-based work system where I had no influence in compensation no matter where I worked.
I decided to create the agency where I would ideally get to do everything I loved, bring in talent to help me serve those businesses and we could all work from home, wherever we moved. And it happened.
Now that we’ve been doing this for a while it’s time to do what I do for any business that comes to us for help. Evaluating my positioning and creating a S.W.O.T analysis. I also wanted to evaluate income, expenses, what I was outsourcing and when to raise my rates (and by how much). If you’re finding yourself in a similar situation I first want to CONGRATULATEyou on taking the leap! Freedom and management over what your time is worth is invaluable. Second, I want to show you what I am doing, what things I look for in small businesses and how you can evaluate where you’re at right now.
This stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This might be the least intimidating approach for you to begin with and it’s easy to come back to with addition thoughts. Whether you prefer pen to paper or to process quickly on your laptop, let’s talk get to a few questions.
Brag on yourself, girl! What makes your business unique? What do you offer that no one else has? Figure out how to display and communicate those strengths in your visual branding, your copy writing, your messaging and stay consistent with it.
What new business did you gain this year? What were the reasons you got that business? Specifically pick out the clients who were your big ticket buyers, the people who downloaded your freebies or the one and done buyer. How can you make them return customers? What is the next up-sell for them to invest with?
For many people the reason you had business or referred/repeat business will be your company’s strength. Hone in on that and find what you can do to enhance that experience.
What business did you lose this year? What were the reasons you lost that business? If you’re looking at this before you even launch, use this as a quarterly and annual review to benchmark your business.
Common weaknesses or pitfalls I find are:
Streamline marketing approach and cohesive posts to brand. Your profile photos are all different, your links are broken, people don’t know where to go…much less what to ask for. Help them out! If you aren’t consistent people will get confused. What do confused people do? Leave.
You need reviews: I’ve worked with extremely successful realtors who only had 30 reviews and they DEFINITELY sold over 30 homes. Customers see reviews=validity which is why they’re vital to your business. This is a common hurdle to overcome so I get it; for some this is a big ask. Offer free or discounted services in the form of a coupon in exchange for leaving a review. If you’re just starting, ask people you’ve worked with before to review your character or knowledge in your field.
You’re missing a post-sale follow-up system. What do you do once they buy? Are they on an email list? What’s the next step for them? Are you sending thank you notes, shoutouts online or appreciation events? Even if that person won’t buy from you any time soon, they know someone who will.
Time to evaluate those strengths and weaknesses and turn them into opportunities! I would almost guarentee that no matter what you do, you’re not just selling a physical product but also teaching people a skill they can use the rest of their life.
What can you showcase to prove you’re reliable, reputable and prepared to do this? What unique aspects are there in your personality? Look at your cold marketing locations as well as brainstorming new approaches. We’ve got some great ideas for you to use.
Are you trying to break into a popular market? Make a reputation in a tough-sell business? Are you short on time, supplies or money? Threats don’t always have to be a bad thing. They could be your competition, your rivals or someone you’d like to emulate. Observe what they’re doing and figure out what the top performers are doing in your industry.
goals are gold
Have you heard of S.M.A.R.T. Goals? S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Your goal should NEVER be to ‘Raise Awareness’ because…great. What an impact. Instead how can you measure that? EX: We will deliver 500 informational pamphlets on sustainable farming at the Farmer’s Market and get at least 30 email sign-ups by May 15, 2019.
If you don’t know where you started or where you’re going then how do you know how you are doing? Screenshot your social media page’s stats (you should have your business metrics set up already) and save it under the date in a folder on your computer. Each 21 days (when they’re available) or as often as you’d like screenshot the numbers and save them.
Short-term and long-term goals are probably what got you excited about doing what you’re doing in the first place. Play a little! Even if you don’t reach your goal, adjust and keep moving. You only fail if you give up.
Money, money, monnaay!
Cha-Ching. The good stuff. Even if you’re not in it for the money, cash flow is what keeps the tech moving, employees paid and gives you the chance to contribute to your family.
Look at the differences between your one-time transactions vs. return business. How many are there and what products did they purchase? What can you add or how can you build upon that? What’s getting you closer to that overall goal?
Graphic created for past client’s campaign
What evergreen content do you have that can sell without you working hands-on? What were your rates? Should they stay the same or more than likely increase? How can you pay someone $100 and you get $200 instead of 50/50? Find what you can do to maximize your time and always pay those who help you fairly.
In the beginning, I figured out my prices by setting my annual salary goal, broke it down by what I would have to make a month, what that would mean my hourly rate was and from there my popular offerings at the amount of time they would take. Even now I am really seeing that it’s working to reach and include my target audience but my income doesn’t reflect the overall time put in. I was originally not charging for calls or management aspects like emails and research which is a huge piece of the puzzle. In the future I will raise rates to help cover that.
As an entrepreneur you’re likely hit with the realization of working without applause or recognition. There won’t be an awards ceremony at the end of the year in front of the entire company. There won’t be someone rewarding you with a raise, increased commission or that fat, juicy bonus.
Your ego aside, how are you thanking those that are making your dreams come true? How are they speaking about you? What are they sharing? Not only does this provide free marketing, pretty pictures and content or make you feel good but it also gives you a chance to shout-out your work and supporters. If you post asking for engagement and traction, are you interacting back? If you’re asking them to buy, would you buy or support them? Did you give them free content or extremely valuable services FIRST?
Post your portfolio work with a brand, make a list of the women-owned businesses on International Women’s Day or share your favorite food vendors before holidays. When you bring them business, they appreciate and return the favor!
These are just a few of the main steps to get you started on your evaluation and I hope it encourages you to dream bigger, work smarter and turn those weaknesses into opportunities. If you need an outside eye or would like an evaluation on your brand, reach out for a helping hand.
Tapping vs. Scrolling.
Unless you have been living off-the-grid in the boonies or on a tech strike you have probably experienced the addictive world of smart phones.
Gone are the days where you have to press the key three times to get the letter C. You don’t have to turn around your phone to get a selfie; simply tap the screen. Social media sites like Facebook are now an app on your phone so you don’t have to wait until getting off the bus at 4 p.m. to run to your computer room and log on.
Every one of my clients will tell you I recommend they focus on *two platforms for their audience: Facebook and Instagram. For obvious reasons, right? That’s where everyone is, including their target audience.
How do we know who their target audience is? We research and create a Branding + Positioning Strategy! For the month of March 2019 we’re celebrating our One Year Anniversary by giving you a FREE Discovery Session PLUS 50% off your Branding + Positioning Strategy.
Knowing WHAT you are selling, WHY you are selling it and WHO is buying it is just as important as learning WHERE to connect with them and WHEN.
That’s a lot, right?
Yes. It is. Which is what makes hiring someone to do your marketing so valuable. By taking a strategic approach you are making the most out of your time and efforts as possible in order to reach your desired outcome.
Photo by Ahmed Aqtai on Pexels.com
Now that we have all of that figured out, how do we gain you traction? How do we bring in that attention and attract them to your site?
By optimizing and creating content that will perform the best where you are putting it. Are you creating videos? Current and relevant events? Giving massive value before ever asking anything of your audience?
Because we prefer to tap rather than scrolling. As if having the world at our fingertips at an instant wasn’t enough industries are now recognizing ‘thumb-scrolling fatigue’ by creating more ‘tap-friendly’ material and platforms.
Tap to expand this text.
Tap to change your face filter.
Tap to turn the sound on or off.
Tap to like it.
Tap to go to the next Instagram story.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Knowing this I encourage you to update and test your outreach strategy. Instagram highlights and stories alwaysget more views than your regular posts and way more interaction. Stories have kept more than 400 million daily active users and 39% of Instagram users have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Instagram Stories.
By sharing moments throughout my entire day, I am able to let people in on business and personal updates without worrying about something 100% permanent to leave on my page’s account. They’ve provided me an outlet to share on their app more than just once a day.
Stories also take up the entire screen whereas posts take up a smaller portion. People are on stories while watching Netflix or doing some other activity. Because people love to see the page refresh and a bright pink ring around your profile image it’s important that you are on there every day.
Wondering what to post? Test out anything and everything! People are likely to tap the sound on when you are energetically speaking and adding interactive elements.
Are you posting beneficial information? Sure your cat is cute but if I always know what I’m going to see I will likely stop visiting. Is what you have to share interesting? I’m not encouraging you to be someone different than who you are or spend thousands on trips to ‘stay interesting’ but adding a humorous touch, unique twist, thoughtful prompts or new visual effects like filters can add interest to a ‘basic’ post. Are you incorporating the interactive polls where people have fun choosing and viewing the results instantly? Are you adding music so they can tap the sound on to hear it?
The results show that an Instagram Feed with additional ad text results in the lowest cost per lead due to the highest conversion rate.
Instagram Stories gives the best click-through rate and cost per click.
Last but not least, you’re not too good for locations or hashtags! Take up that 30 hashtag block limit. Make it relevant to what you want to attract or what you are posting. How much competition would there be on #fitness versus something like #WomenWhoLift? Narrow yourself down and find that balance to expand your outreach
I hope a few of these tips, free guide and discounted offers helped you out! Make sure to follow us on Instagram below or any of our other social media to see what we’re testing out. Let me know how this works out for you!
Does going live on Facebook or sharing selfies on Instagram with ironic captions make you cringe?
Something I regularly run into when presenting my clients (and, let’s be real, myself) is apprehension to putting themselvesout there.
Even though people are buying YOU and who YOU are, people still believe they don’t belong on their pages. It can be a delicate balance of posting online as a professional being transparent and open with their brand or just another high school girl’s IG feed.
When we conduct a Branding + Positioning Strategy we find a brand’s personality and voice. We don’t completely re-brand and change what you have; we enhance it. When you nail down your product, audience, your WHY and your goals these usually come quite naturally.
Who is the ideal customer you’re speaking to? No, not just who you currently have but who you WANT to be your clients. Who are they, what do they sound like, what do they like to read and where do they consume content? Do they prefer visual consumption on YouTube or do they prefer audibly listening to you on podcasts?
While I encourage you to push your boundaries and play around do not force yourself into a medium that you’re uncomfortable with. For some people they really struggle with long-form writing like blogs but others love being able to write out their thoughts. Find what works for you and I promise the message you want to put out there will come through.
Can you use fun and flirty language to talk to your makeup babes or do you need to be starch collar professional for your law office? An agriculture company be too stuffy with ‘kindest regards’ and too hokey with ‘y’all’. This is an excellent balance to match your voice with your brand’s archetype. Finding a copywriter and marketing professional to help post for you will allow you to interact and focus on your business while you work IN your business.
Just because you have multiple personalities doesn’t mean you can decide which one you want to show! Our goal is to find the best way to communicate using that personality and how best to translate your most authentic self.
Let’s look at the angle of speaking as a personal brand or on behalf of a brand as a representative. Just because you cuss in real life doesn’t necessarily mean you have to censor yourself for the Disney channel but make it tasteful and be mindful of your audience. If you share audible content, add a disclaimer at the beginning of your video or podcast. Offer your audience the chance to listen or read later when they’re out of public or the kids are napping.
Also refrain from using words that are commonly offensive or derogatory vs. something you would find in church or broadcasting. When in doubt, leave it out. Remember there is a time and place to speak to your friends at a bar and being an approachable business person. You can’t go spend money at the bar if you’re driving your clientele away!
When deciding on your brand’s personality (or are curious about your own) I recommend you take the FREE 16personalities.com quiz to get an idea of your brand as an actual person. You can also take Myers-Briggs or go the more traditional advertising route and decide your brand’s archetype.
Finding your brand’s archetype will allow you to decipher the nitty-gritty like fonts, colors, posting style and infusing that personality in your marketing materials, imaging, branding, logo and voice. You can have some fun playing around with holidays or special occasions. like your brand’s anniversary, but your #BrandPersonality should stay consistent.
If you watch any of the Airbnb shows like Instant Hotel or Stay Here you’ll recognize they do this with locations. Find a color, a personality, a marketing opportunity and you create a profitable destination to stand apart from your competition. What do you expect from a vibrant New York condo vs a romantic wine country cabin vs a luxurious, high-class home in Malibu? They’re consistent with their branding and create an experience their clients can share.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Feel free to evolve your brand but the most important thing is to stay consistent! Consistency is key. I recommend trying something for a MINIMUM of six months and adjusting based on your audience’s reactions. The thing you want to avoid is changing so often when people refer to you, the potential client gets confused on who they are looking for.
If you need clarity on finding your brand’s voice and personality, just ask. We’re always happy to help!
We want to see beautiful photos, watch motivating videos and see professional, clean posts in person and online.
You may not think the font, colors or editing you use is important but it is.
You want to know why?
87 percent of consumers purchase a product solely based on how it looks.
94 percent of first impressions are design-related.
75 percent of potential customers confessed to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.
Social media, websites and online presence are more than likely the first impression someone will have of you; make it a lasting impression.
You know why clearance sections are in the back corners of the store? They want the regularly priced items up front, they want the pretty display up front, the neatly folded clothes up front…the disorganized, pile of clothes with the small, white, boring sign above it.
When an area is too busy or confusing humans avoid it. Chaos and messy areas are distracting to your senses (clean your room!) and you will never get your message across with the ‘noisy’ distraction of a mess.
If your site is bland it looks neglected.
If it’s all over the place you look irresponsible.
If you have incorrect grammar, spelling or punctuation it looks careless.
No matter the season or occasion, people hop on Pinterest to plan their next celebration.
There are several tools you can use to post across multiple platforms. Buffer,IFTTT and Hootsuite are some I have used and enjoyed.
In order to track your progress and impressions you will need to establish a business account on Pinterest. Here is a quick guide on how to do that. You can either ‘rebrand’ and change your current page or create a new one; whichever makes more sense for your business and products.
Next, make sure your boards are organized into Holiday Recipes, Christmas Decor, etc. For examples on how to do this check out popular brands like Target, Crate and Barrel or other popular brands in your field.
You will also want to make sure your images and headlines match up with the season as I mentioned in this blog. Get your pins out earlier than the season as people want to prepare. December 1 is not the time to start sharing Christmas decorations. October 31st is not the day to share Halloween makeup. Be there before your audience is.
How are they performing?
Pinterest Analytics serves as valuable market research to watch for traffic and what performs well (or poorly) so you can adjust accordingly.
Pinterest is not my sole source of clients but it does allow business, self help and marketing searches to pop me up. I include visually pleasing photos that include my website so they can return to my page and not use my work on other pages. My travel guides, book club and
Using my page as an example, I can find my page’s analytics in the upper left hand corner.
I have 57.3k monthly viewers, 1,414 followers with 2.6k of monthly engagement and I can see what photos or materials were saved from my website or regular uploads.
Business accounts are FREE so you literally have nothing to lose by trying this out. You start by answering five simple questions telling them about your business and make sure all of your contact information is setup correctly.
I have the easy view of my stats once I log in to my account and I can promote the page if I would like.
If I wanted to click on my monthly stats it shows my stats. This is helpful to see when I had a boost, what was posted or what time of day, weekend/day, and more valuable information so I can maximize my reach in future posts. If something performed poorly I might try switching the photo or, as some people do, publish the same material with 2-3 different cover photos and see which performs best then.
I also get sent regular business page emails about which pins were performing best and how many impressions they received. The one I recently received let me know
“93% of people say they use Pinterest to plan purchases. As a brand, creating boards helps you get your products or services in front of Pinners. Pick a theme, like dinner recipes or summer outfits, then add some Pins.”
Here’s a screenshot from another email breakdown.
While not all of my pins are created by me I can see what people follow me for my most popular impressions and start to create material for them if I would like.
I highly encourage you to switch over to a business account on all of your main social media pages and, even if a site isn’t a main traffic control, it can always give the opportunity to lead people back to your site…or you can just nerd out on numbers and demographics like me.
If you need help setting up business accounts on any social media account, let us know. We are happy to help get you the marketing results you need!
As a business owner, how are you planning to compete in the marketplace against the noise of large, corporate companies?
If you’ve completed a Branding + Positioning Strategy with us then you know who your target audience is, how to speak to them and where to interact with them.
The unique position you have as an entrepreneur, small business owner or the town’s only boutique is the attention to detail, the local supplier, the sense of community, the benefit of supporting a family vs. a large corporation.
You may offer homemade ornaments, goodies baked from scratch or customized clothing.
Maybe it’s a service you offer. Landscaping companies who hang Christmas lights or do cleanup. A cleaning service prepping for the guest’s family visit. A decorator ready to deck the halls for any office party or set a table for a home gathering.
Ho-Ho-Hold On….Even if you weren’t planning on incorporating holiday marketing in your strategy, you need to. Too busy or overwhelmed? We are here to help.
What you offer is just as unique as how you market it. How you market your product or service needs to match the effort you put into your work. Otherwise, how will it get into the lives of those who need it?
I have put together six ideas to bring joy to your holiday marketing strategy (and to your customers.)
ADVENT CALENDAR. Most manageable is a 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar. Each day, at the same time, publish a photo or video with an offer that’s good for the next 24 hours. You may also choose to do a full 24 days and you can enter whoever answers a fun holiday trivia question correctly to win one big prize. Other ideas could be the instant winner, the refer-a-friend tag or a discount on a future purchase.
E-COMMERCE. E-Commerce sales take the lead in all orders and more than 20 percent of those sales take place during the holiday season. more than half of the sales traffic is done via mobile. Is your site optimized for mobile screens? Another great idea is to ‘decorate’ the platforms your customers will see. Think of the Coca-Cola polar bears and Santa. Incorporate a new cover photo, cover video, profile photo, and effects to your platforms. Do you have an up-to-date website? We can help.
#HASHTAG. Market research can lead you to find the most frequently used hashtags for search engine optimization (SEO). #WishList2018 can be added to your feature items or #HolidayCheers for your wine, beer or spirits. The more creative for your special offers, the more buzz. You can also turn famous songs, stories or rhymes to fit your business’s theme. Have fun with it!
Packages. Make it simple. Make it easy. Creating gift boxes, packages (or another creative name) is a great way to group similar items at a few different price ranges for your customers. If they can order a basket for an outdoorsman, a teenage girl or a newborn it’s a one stop shop. Showing these off as Gift Guides For… allows people to imagine who they could gift the package to. Bonus points if you include giftwrapping in the price!
North Poll. Conducting polls about Christmas cookie shapes, favorite songs, least favorite movies, holiday drinks, decor styles, etc. gets interaction from your customers. By including your shop’s tag or website on the image, every time the image is shared it’s circulating to new audiences and people will look you up from the original source.
Santa’s Cause. Tis the Season to give back. At the beginning of the month announce a cause near and dear to your company’s heart. If you have a brick and mortar you can hold a warm clothing or toy drive. Enlist your employees and their families to ring bells for the Salvation Army. A portion of your sales can go toward an organization or you can accept Christmas donations (trees, wreaths, decorations, etc.) to give to those in need. I recently saw a story of a family unable to EVER have decorations or a tree because of their financial priorities. A simple Facebook post by a family friend gave them a beautiful Christmas and no Christmas decorations or trees were tossed in the trash.
Until you’ve decided to launch your business or needed a business facelift you probably weren’t familiar with what logos actuallycost.
You may know it’ll take a couple rounds until you get what you want, you may have a team or creates a concept for you and handles the budget or you may be researching the investment for yourself for the first time.
While working at an advertising agency we created brands frequently and incorporated their style into everything we did: colors, fonts, voice…if you want to learn more about creating a brand, read this. One of the first, and most important steps, in branding a company is creating a logo.
A logo is the first impression people will have of your business. If there were no words or text to accompany your logo, would you be able to identify what the business provided? It’s important to stay cohesive and consistent in your logo and branding efforts.
Logos will be the face of your company and we all want to put our best foot forward. Your logos and emblems appear on your social media, profile pictures, business cards, stationary and much, much more. You can read the difference between logos and emblems here.
If you’re a small business looking for a professional and reasonably-priced logo design prices will start at $100. You can expect a grad student, a graphic designer or other digital creator to create a simple, but effective, design for at or around this price. Intricate patterns and complex lettering may increase the price of the logo. This could include foil, watercolor or interactive logos.
Usually this will include a meeting to discuss specifics, client wishes and a design concept for your designer to work off of. They will present you with the first draft which should include 1-5 options in a variety of colors, layouts and examples of what the logo will look like on different materials and backgrounds. You will want to see what it looks like on black, white, print and web.
The designer usually offers 1-2 revisions so the initial meeting is extremely important to maximize the revisions. Feel free to give them reign to play as that’s what they’re meant to do; create an artistic vision you probably didn’t think of. They will also offer an outside perspective as a ‘potential client’ which is important for you as someone who isn’t elbows deep like you are as the business owner.
What they see is what a client, who knows nothing about your business, will see. If it’s between you and another business what will set you apart? Experience, ability to communicate WHO you are and WHY WHAT you provide is better than the competition.
Local Collaborative’s prices are affordable, consistent and transparent on what we offer. You will receive high-quality, invested service from collaborators just as passionate about creating and representing your brand well. If you are budget and time conscious, this is a great option for you. If you would rather spend your time your way than your money on numerous expenses, this is for you. If you want high quality for a low to mid-range, this is for you!
While we bill on a project-based spreadsheet, we do have hourly options for any extra needs or revisions other than those included. We offer several years experience and guarantee you’ll be proud of sharing your new logo with a fresh brand. Let’s get started!
If you’re a larger business or looking for an agency or other freelancer prices are likely going to start at $300 going upwards to $2,500. Yes, you read that right.
Obviously any amount of money is an investment in your business but businesses change and evolve. Having an affordable option gives you the satisfaction of becoming ‘official’ and the flexibility to change and evolve. We offer guidance every step of the way without gouging your profits.
Local Collaborative has helped numerous businesses create their branding, providing a vision and template on which they can return to and improve upon. If you’d like to check out our portfolio of work, click this. Since working with these clients we teamed up with a graphic design grad who is just as passionate about creating logos. Megan Meyer has provided design, printing and marketing services for numerous happy clients and they return to her for her creative style and clear vision. If you would like to learn more about our logo and branding process, schedule a quick FREE call!
You’re sitting there, starving for something to eat but you definitely won’t be making it. You click open a new tab and start searching for delivery, clicking anything over four…ok, settle for three stars. You start skimming through reviews to see who actually has the most authentic street tacos and if there’s a photo; even better, you’re going there.
You’re driving down the long winding road you take to get home every day, singing every word to that song you just can’t stand and DA-DUNK you’ve hit a pothole and hear the dreaded rumbling of a flat tire that (of course) had to bend your frame and throw off the alignment.
Time to look for a trusted shop who will accept your insurance, replace the broken pieces without overcharging you and get it all done in a timely manner. Bonuses include filling your tank or washing up. How do you know what to expect?
If there’s anything we’ve learned by living in a mega-connected world it’s that every person has the ability to speak their mind. Some welcome; some not so welcome.
The first place a client is likely to go after being overcharged for their manicure, a shotty job on their plumbing or an expensive wedding earring that broke like a twig on the big day (…….) is to the vendor’s social media page. Here you can leave an in-depth review on your experience: the good, the bad, the ugly.
Why are businesses so eager to ask if your pet had a great time at their vet appointment if they know it could potentially lead to a nasty, exposing comment?
Because word-of-mouth is the number one referral. What you’ve turned out to subconsciously view before taking any considerable purchasing action is to hear from others like you.
People who also had the same combo skin and were looking for a great facewash.
People who also went to that movie theatre and found gum under their seat.
People who are on the same path to a similar fitness goal and worked with that trainer.
There is comfort in numbers and there is comfort in knowing what to expect.
So how do you, as a business owner, provide your customers with an experience they’ll want to rave about?
The more ‘stars’ and/or higher ratings you have will bump your business to the top of a potential customer’s Google search. The higher up you appear, the more click-throughs you receive, the more business you close, the more sales you make. The more attention otherscan draw to your business, the better.
Provide an experience they’ll want to talk about. A meal, a service or a simple exchange is all about the experience. People are craving connection and experiencing something shareable. What stickers, backdrop or colors can you use that are photo-friendly? What fun hash tag can they include on that photo? What is a unique way to bring the check to the table? Can you provide a surprise to the service that you don’t advertise? (A car wash, a gas fill, an air freshener, items to hang the photo, a welcome home sign, a journal with a thank you note, etc.) If you need help brainstorming some creative ideas, let’s talk.
Provide the social proof. Get legit! Every business is out for a certain purpose; usually to help, to entertain or to please in some way. Even if you have ONE review it’s proof that you’re in business and someone actually went there. Instant trust and often a deciding factor. Photos and videos you provide are meant to be aesthetically pleasing but coming from the smartphone of a client is the raw, real image of what to expect. ALWAYS respond and thank someone for leaving a review.
The gift that keeps on giving. When asking someone how their experience was, thank them for coming and ask them to share their experience online. Some people offer a giveaway or another small gift as a way to say thank you. DO NOT BUY the review but incentivize. For example, if someone gives you a kind review, interact with them in public and automate a thank you email with a 10% off coupon for their next visit. They will keep spreading the word about you and you’ll reap the benefits of repeat and new business.
You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Similar to #3, people need to be told what to do. If you don’t ask for referrals, if you don’t ask for a review, if you don’t make it clear what you want then they’re probably indifferent to leaving a review, regardless of the great time they had. Every bit of feedback you receive, positive or negative, is feedback you can use to improve your business. Once you ask is it easy for them to find and use? I’ve started leaving great reviews for companies but they wanted me to keep going and going and copy/paste my review on multiple platforms…it’s too much. Have them review you on Facebook and you can copy/paste it to your website.
Get the employees in on it. Like a bonus structure but without the pushy perfume lady. Make it easy for customers to see your employee’s name and be able to shout them out online. It brings a personal touch to your company, makes the client feel like they can come back to see a friend and praises the employee for a job well done which will add fuel to the fantastic customer service fire. Encourage employees to leave a review online. You can add a light-hearted competition, a day off or another perk for every milestone of reviews.
How, can we as customers, leave a constructive review?
Whether good or bad you might still want to talk about it. Unless there was a glaring issue, I usually avoid leaving a poor review. In many cases that is someone’s job or how they’re paying for their daughter’s dance lessons. There’s no reason for me to ruin their dream because it wasn’t the best food I have ever had.
How can we help these businesses out?
Leave a review. Sounds simple but even just sliding the stars to the right without copy is better than nothing at all!
Be specific. Can you include a name of someone who helped you? Did they have ‘good beer’ or did they have ‘the best IPA I’ve ever had! Try the Piggyback Peach when you visit this brewery.’ These keywords help the business’s SEO by pulling up the most relevant keywords. The more matches of closely related search and content pairs up to provide the best result. If someone is looking for the “Best restaurant for girls night out” and you wrote a review saying “Best spot in town for a girls night out” it’s like the internet angels are singing.
It’s a visual world. Include photos and videos of what makes this place unique or what you most like to look at. If you order drinks based on their cool-factor, post a photo with the type of drink you’re enjoying. A beautifully plated meal. A well-lit back patio with live music. The menu. The ambience or the outside of the building. Help patrons get an idea of what to expect and what to look for.
Is your business taking advantage of this branding opportunity? Do you know what your highest performing SEO keywords are? I can help.
Having said that, if you’re still leaving a ‘negative’ review make sure it’s filled with constructive criticism. Businesses then have a chance to respond, apologize or compensate. Pay attention to how they respond.
Did you talk to the business? Things happen. People have off days. If possible, talk to the business before you go public. The service experience doesn’t end once the transaction goes through. If you’ve given them a fair chance to reply and correct the problem then give credit for their attention to fixing the problem.
Keep to the facts. What happened, not what you interpreted. Did you just not like the shade of white she painted your walls or did she do it ‘because she was lazy’? Is she really bad at haircuts or just botched yours because ‘she thought you wouldn’t tip’?
Keep the emotion out of it. If they were providing a personal service such as a lawyer, doctor, masseuse, wedding planner, etc. and acted in a blatantly unprofessional manner then this is important to report. Say what you need to say while realizing slander and libel are very real things.
They’ve lost my business. So? If they lose the $20 you’d spend on the next visit would they really go in the red? If a stranger is reading your review and has no clue who you are is that helpful to them or is it just dramatic? A simple “I won’t be returning” or “I might go back here in the future but only as a last resort” is more helpful for patron’s to decide how they stack up against competition.