If you haven’t heard already, Instagram launched a new service called Stories. Is this just a blatant ploy on Facebook’s part to steal away Snapchat users? YES. However There are a Few (Not Insignificant) Differences.Read more
One of the first things I do when working with a new client is get their team all together and talk to them about the company, what matters to them and most importantly, how I can help them get where they want to go. The challenge here is that while folks often have a gut level idea, they can't tell you what it is. Not only that, many times members of the leadership team do not agree on these fundamental points and don't even know it. Which is why it is important to have a clear set of goals, objectives, strategies and tactics.Read more
If you have a brick and mortar store your business just got a gift from Niantic in the form of the surprise super hit Game Pokemon Go. If you are lucky enough to be a gym or PokeStop (or are near one!) you have seen the folks driving by, walking by and just generally loitering. Hopefully, you have even seen a nice bump in business as folks discover you or just pay you a visit while on the hunt for that Scyther. On the other hand, if you are not one of the lucky few you might be wondering how to get in the game.Read more
When you started your business one of the many things on your to-do list, was get your website built. That line item on your "start my business" checklist seems like a no-brainer right?
Of course, you need a website! How many times have you heard, "If you don't have a website you don't exist!"? So, you labor over the site. You struggle and finally get the site live, and then what?Read more
February is just around the corner. It's the month of love and overspending with about $19 billion spent in the name of love in 2015. The time of year when love is awesome, and we buy big red puffy hearts, lots of chocolate, perfume, lingerie, flowers and expensive dinners. Which if you look at the numbers makes you think it's a no-brainer! You've got to do SOMETHING for Valentine's Day. Are you planning a Valentine's day promotion? Do you have red hearts all over your products, store or website? You do? Points for planning ahead! Just one thing. How is your valentine's themed month making you stand out from the crowd?Read more
This week I had a little project that was well within my skill set, but a bit outside of my normal work. I took the project on with full faith and confidence that I could do a great job at it... and then I started it. Ummmm yeah, the number of iterations of pure crap that I did was depressing. I set aside my computer and walked away more than once. (maybe more than thrice) The only reason I didn't throw in the towel and call my client and apologize for letting them down was that I had already cashed their deposit.Read more
Years ago I was listening to a renowned chef talk about how she cooks at home. I actually don’t remember the context it was so long ago… but what I do remember was that her advice to all home cooks was to always have a pot of water bubbling on the stove. Which seemed incredibly odd to me at the time. If I am not boiling something… why would I have a pot of hot water on the stove?Read more
There is a lovely historical theater in my neighborhood. It has a gorgeous neon sign, historically significant murals and statues and a glass and neon ceiling. It's amazing. It's also at the center of a huge fight right now. Over the last few months, it has been on one Facebook drama after another.
It has been painful to witness.
It's not just the worry that the community might lose this lovely gem that is painful. As much as that hurts its even worse to watch a smart businessman fumble the communication ball over and over again.Read more
Yeah so you know you need to get on social media, but beyond opening that Twitter account, you have no idea what to do. Here are a few things you can learn from big brands and their big advertising budgets.Read more
I was listening to the awesome podcast "Death, Sex and Money" today and heard the amazing story of Simone Bruni the "Demo Diva" of New Orleans. I was struck by how she took the experience and skills she did have to build a business in a field she knew absolutely nothing aboutRead more
If you are using Pinterest to promote your business, you might be tempted just to open a Pinterest account and get to pinning. Especially if you used Pinterest before you began to promote your business.
Stop it right now.
Pinterest offers you a robust and awesome option with their Pinterest for Business accounts, and you need to be taking advantage.Read more
One of the pervasive myths about Pinterest is that it is fundamentally a way for businesses to sell their products. This myth might lead you to believe that if you sell a service that there is no place for you on Pinterest. However, that’s not really how Pinterest works. To understand how you can use Pinterest to promote your services, you need to understand how people use Pinterest.
Pinterest describes itself as a visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas.
Notice that there is no mention of buying or selling anything. The platform enables discovery and ideas, not products and services. So, how does that help you? No matter what your business is, you have ideas and inspiration to offer potential customers. The key is to put their needs and wants first.Read more
Are you considering jumping into Pinterest? Good idea! Pinterest is a hugely popular site and could be the place for you. Maybe… depends on what you do and how you sell.Read more
Let's be honest. As much as you might want to believe that your product is unique. It isn't. Your product is still AWESOME. You just need to be sure that your potential customers know that. To do that, you need to know what is out there and how you compare.
The Competitive Analysis
The activity of scoping out your competition is called a competitive analysis. Sound like you need and MBA to do it, right? You don't. All you need to do is observe and quantify your observations.
Why do it?
- Gives you the information you need to plan for the realities of your business environment.
- You will understand your business capabilities and vulnerabilities better.
There is no other activity for a small business that is more common than making a logo. Sadly there are so many crappy logos out there because good logos are complex beasties.
What you need is a logo SYSTEM. Not a logo. Think of this as all the pieces and parts that you use to identify your business. All the elements you use are based on the core logo, creating variations in color and shapeRead more
Of all of the activities you do to market your business, blogging may be the most daunting. It takes time to write and let's be honest, not everyone enjoys writing. You might even say you are not a writer. (Not true, btw!) You might also wonder if anyone is listening, interested or cares about what you have to say. Don't let that stop you!Read more
You and I and your Mom know that your product is amazing. We know it in our heart of hearts. Sadly, not everyone else is as convinced.
So, why should they buy from you? I see you there, shrugging your shoulders at me. Does this question leave you stumbling for an answer? That’s ok. I’m here to help!
Your customer has an infinite number of choices, but fundamentally they all boil down to three basic types.Read more
Finding the time to market your business can be the most challenging part of marketing. If you are like many other small business owners you do a little bit of everything. You are manufacturing, shipping, bookkeeping, operations, and more. Some of you even have a full time job in addition to your small business. This makes it difficult to find the time to do any marketing. You are not alone 55% of small business owners list “Time to get everything done” as a huge challenge and another 30% list marketing expertise as a “huge challenge”.
Fortunately, there are some tools out there to help you make the most of the time you have!Read more
I was looking at all the awesome responses to my survey today. (You have taken my survey right?!) I noticed a bit of trend. Some of you are struggling with content.
Quick primer. In the context of marketing your business, content is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and words in order to acquire and retain customers. The form this content takes can be pretty much anything. News, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos… anything.
The engine that drives your marketing efforts is content. The source of this content is your knowledge and everything happening around you. The single most important thing to remember is that you do not lack for information.Read more