I consider myself lucky these days because I only have to keep my own work "plate" full, but in my past I did have staff and contractors that relied on me to keep them busy. In those days I was very busy feeding the pipeline, so when I saw this great resource from Constant Contact I thought I should share. It's also helpful for those individual entrepreneurs like me - we still have a pipeline, it just may not be as big. I appreciate the calendar in this piece. While it is really one of those "duh" marketing opportunities, we often are so busy preparing for a key event or recovering after
It happened again, I became too busy with clients to pay attention to my own business! My goal to blog regularly went right out the window. I'm adding it to my task calendar so I (hopefully) make time for it going forward. So what have I been up to? One client is rebranding so I've been updating his marketing assets - website, videos, print materials, etc. I took over blogging and social media for another client. They have a lot of great content but it wasn't being used well. As we create new and revise previous messages we're cleaning up the website to match the message. I've been
Here's a great deal on the best email and social share tool on the market! Take 30% off of Constant Contact for 3 months using promo code WINTER18 at checkout. If you need help creating an effective plan to quickly make use of all that Constant Contact has to offer, contact us! We would love to help you get off to a great start.
Is email marketing right for you? Constant Contact, a leader in email marketing, talked to hundreds of small business owners from a variety of industries - from restaurants to financial planners! From those conversations they assembled 31 reasons why email marketing works. Visit this link and scroll through their feedback! But can it really work for you? Many small business owners are already using email marketing—and are writing their own success stories. Take a closer look at email marketing, and you'll discover tips to: Boost Sales and bring in customers on a slow day
People like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with, and email drives new customer acquisition and purchases. Plus, you own your list and are able to contact customers and prospects on your terms. Take 2.5 minutes to watch this video and learn how to build your contact list. Ready to get serious about building your email list? Have a look at Constant Contact's helpful sign-up tools. Options include traditional website forms, sign up forms exclusively for WordPress and Facebook users, pop-up forms, sign up forms as Landing Pages. and Text to sign up!
Almost 90% of people currently check their email on a mobile device. It's more important than ever to choose the right email template. Constant Contact offers a large number of beautiful email templates that reflect your branding - while looking great on mobile! Learn how 10 small businesses and nonprofits are using these templates and email marketing to succeed. You're sure to get some ideas of your own and learn to create stunning emails that get results. Increased Foot Traffic A single email drove 400 customers to the Wine Station for an event on a day that usually sees about 40 cust
I have several clients who are bloggers in addition to offering client services, but have a very hard time coming up with fresh content on a regular basis. I helped one such client by scouring his past blogs and refreshing them for reuse. I first evaluated the website traffic and stats to see where people were spending the most time. The activity showed the blog was not getting the traffic it should. That meant the great material he had written over the years was read only once, the day it was published. The fact that he is a provider of business services means that he has a "certain s
Here's a tip for a marketing plan that works for you - without taking all of your time: Segment your mailing list. Start your planning process by thinking about your customer base. Who are they? What motivates them? And how can you reach them effectively? Go beyond the sending basics and look for opportunities to target messages to different groups of people on your list. By targeting a smaller group of customers, your message is more personal and therefore, customers are more likely to engage. By segmenting your lists you should see open rates and engagement improve. Who can argue
It's important that your email marketing campaigns look great and deliver results. As a Constant Contact Solution Provider, our marketing services will save you time and worry. We're your experts—let us do the work for you! Build a customized marketing plan based on your goals Post, tweet and share your email campaigns on social media Manage, segment and grow your contacts list Track, analyze and adapt campaigns based on results metrics Create emails that reach your audience wherever they are Learn what your customers want Leave your email marketing to us! Contact
Tip #1 - don't think of it as an email "Blast"! As a Constant Contact Solution Provider, I think email blast is a dirty word. Your readers aren't all the same so it's important to be sure all your email campaigns have a focused, personal message. Start by segmenting your lists into smaller groups based on their interest or contact type. Segmenting has other advantages as well, we will discuss this in a later blog. Read these 5 Tips for Your Next Email Blast for tips that will help make sure your next campaign is relevant, valuable, and important to your customers. When
Are you wondering if email marketing is for you? Does it still have impact? Have you considered these facts? Email marketing returns $40 for every $1 spent. 91% of US adults like to stay in touch with companies they do business with. If you're already using email marketing, this isn't news. Here are five common email marketing misconceptions: All email is spam People don’t like reading emails People can’t unsubscribe You need special expertise or training Email isn’t as effective as social media Read this article to clear up these misconceptions: 5 Email Marketing Mis
Running a discount during the holiday season is a great way to draw customers into your store and boost sales during this busy time of year, but it’s not the only way to offer something of value to your customers. If you want to run a successful holiday promotion, without discounting your product, consider one of these ideas: Free gift wrapping - There are a lot of folks out there who absolutely despise gift wrapping! Some have a natural touch for it, while others just can’t seem to figure it out. Free gift wrapping is a really nice gesture that will make your customers’ lives a li
It’s a busy time for your business. Who has time to create and send emails? Your email management tool should allow you to schedule now (or even earlier in this busy season) and cross that task off your list. Once you have a plan in place for the messages you want to send, get started creating your messages and schedule them in advance. If you have a series of emails to send out — maybe to promote a holiday fundraiser or highlight five of your top selling products as gift ideas — you can set up an autoresponder series. Set up the messages you’d like to send, choose the right send
Posting to social media can be sooooo time consuming. Twitter only allows so many characters, images might not display the same in different accounts, links show up differently, it's not easy to cross-post quickly and make messages effective. Often my clients end up ignoring one channel in favor of another, so they miss people. I have several clients who are now using social media management tools, so when I saw this article reviewing some of the top tools, I thought it was worth sharing.
The first time I heard the statement "I serve at the pleasure of the President" was on West Wing back in the early 2000's. When I started my Virtual Assistant Services business, I thought about that statement and realized it represented the way I work with my clients. I know a lot of things, I have a lot of experience, and I have a lot of advice to offer on what you should do and how you should do it, but in the end what I do for your business is what you want me to do.* When we begin work, I learn from a client what they want to achieve, I tell them what I think the best way is to achie
There are so many different ways to list your business online, it can be very confusing. Whether we like it or not, Google is king. If you can master the way your business appears on Google, you will be on the road to cleaning up your online presence, because a lot of the other search tools pull their data from that Google listing. I could take you down the road of cleaning this up in my brand management services, but this article hits the high points: 3 Easy Steps to Link Your Google Accounts & Boost Local Search Marketing - Manta
If you rely on networking to grow your business and reputation, you need to take some time to update your LinkedIn presence and take advantage of some of the new tools they have available. And it's not just for individuals anymore - you can now create company pages and showcase pages for your products and services. This article offers a nice summary of some of the new features you will find: How to Stand Out on LinkedIn With Visual Content Need more help?
A few years ago we were in need of some tree trimming at our house. So I asked a neighbor who had a large pine cut down if she would recommend the company she used. She was very excited to tell me how impressed she was with their work, and even passed the company name, phone number and contact person. I called them, had great results, and have used them several times since. You may be missing your best marketing: testimonials and quotes from your current customers! When a customer or client sends you an email with a positive thank-you, what do you do with that compliment? Here's an ide
You have a great idea for a business. You have a business already, but you want to add a new service. You have a business already, but you aren't experiencing the growth you need. Here's a question, did you analyze your market and its needs before you started down this road? Sometimes what we think is an opportunity is clouded by our enthusiasm. The old "Rose Colored Glasses" problem. Or, in reverse, you don't see an opportunity because you aren't looking closely enough at the market. This article has a really great, concise outline of the steps you MUST take before you invest in a new
A while back I talked about the value of live seminars and workshops. While I still prefer in-person events, there is tremendous value in webinars if you do them right. The biggest advantage of a webinar is their reach. Never offer a webinar only one time - if your webinar tool does not allow you to record and manage your recorded webinar, you need to find a tool that does. I recommend and use GoToWebinar for this very reason. It has a very easy interface for sharing a recorded webinar, gives you great insight into who watched, when they watched, how many times they watched and how int
Home-based businesses are on the rise, but if you're like me you don't want your client or random salespeople showing up at your doorstep. When you create your business profile on Google, do you really want a photo of your house showing up in the search? Here is the best way to list your home-based business on Google: How to List Your Home-Based Business on Google
My husband asked if I wanted to go to a restaurant down the road from us that offers a very unique menu, and it changes seasonally. We go there a lot for brunch and that menu is generally predictable, but we don't often go for dinner. They also have daily specials including delicious soup, so I was curious to learn that day's special, or at a minimum, the current season's dinner menu items. As little as five years ago I may have pulled out the phone book and called them, or just taken my chances. But it's 2017 so I pulled out my phone and looked them up. I didn't find the daily special, but I
I like webinars for conveying new information or training, but I really LOVE workshops and seminars. In some ways they seem "retro", like receiving paper mail. When participants take time out of their busy day to physically appear at a location for the purpose of learning some new skill, experience a new product or to network, you know they are really interested in what you have to share. Take a minute to read this author's experience: Why Seminars Still Work
I'm always learning about new (or at least new to me!) tools for creating video. Here I am playing with the Corel FastFlick tool that came with the purchase of a different Corel product. This shows the fun we have trying to take "family photos" each Christmas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-Ndk8j7JfI
I regularly make videos from PowerPoint presentations for myself and for clients. This process includes creating the PowerPoint, writing the script, using Camtasia to capture the video and voiceover, editing the video and publishing. Check out our YouTube channel for a few examples.
A local non-profit wanted to promote their Humane Education program to local schools, but they needed to update their advertising materials. I created a trifold flyer as they requested. It was very popular as a printed, hard copy flyer to insert in mailers and hand out in person to prospects. But as an attachment in an email it was not as attractive - most people don't print an attachment and then fold it appropriately, so it didn't represent very well. I suggested we reformat the trifold into a one page flyer for use as an email attachment.
A client had an existing e-commerce solution that needed updating, including adding new products. I entered products from printed catalogs, scanned artwork from provided images or collected them from sites provided by the vendor, and edited the images to fit the parameters allowed by the e-commerce tool.
A client was subscribing to a communications package that offered a simple website tool. She wanted to use it to create a basic, brochure site for her company listing her "vitals" - location, contact information, what they do, etc. We set up the site using the available tool. It wasn't terribly flexible but we were able to incorporate all of her branding and colors. In addition, I cleaned and matched other online listings (social media, Google, Manta, etc.) and added a link to the new website in all locations.
A client had several websites created using several different tools and wanted them all merged into one. The website required a secure portal and unique URL’s for easy access to separate sections of the site. It was a very complicated process, but I was able to migrate all of their websites into one Joomla site with a secure portal with several levels of access. Prior to migration I cleaned all of the site content to remove old and redundant information, updated graphics and created a relationship with Happy Dog Web Productions for ongoing Joomla hosting, support and service. Do you
I have a client who is a representative of a product line and he wants his training materials to include his own branding in addition to the brand of the company he represents. I worked with him to recreate the materials with his company’s look while retaining the brand guidelines required by the parent company. Do you have a similar need? Complete a Project Request Form!
A client wanted to use a CRM that was not really meant for their industry, but it was part of a larger software piece they were selling so it was available for them to use at no extra charge. I mapped their sales and customer service processes and created workarounds so they were able to use the tool successfully. Do you have a similar need? Complete a Project Request Form!
A client purchased a Point of Sale system and was not able to implement it properly themselves. I came in and assessed the work that had been done, fixed what was done incorrectly, and got them up and running on schedule. I then stayed on to complete the entry of new products and create a repeatable system so they would be successful going forward. Do you have a similar need? Complete a Project Request Form!
I worked with a company who was looking for a new CRM solution to manage their sales and services operations. I researched and presented several options to them, they selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM as an addition to Office 365. After mapping their processes and incorporating best practices, I implemented their system, cleaned and imported all of their data and trained everyone. I stayed on until it appeared they had everything under control. During this time I created training videos for any new hires and moved their reseller of record to PowerObjects so they could make use of their ong