5 Digital Marketing Trends That Work Wonders for Small Business

Smart Simple Marketing - Small Business TrendsIt’s tough to keep up with digital marketing trends, isn’t it?

Every day there seems to be a new “must-have” app, new software programs, and new ideas about how to use digital tools to drive profits and win customers.

A lot of these trends come and go, while others become staples of any solid small business marketing strategy.

So how do you know what to pay attention to, and what to ignore? And how can you tell the difference between fly-by-night trends and new techniques that will really give your business a major boost over time?
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Quality vs. Quantity: Which Relationship Marketing Style is Best for Your Company?

Magnifying glass showing relationship wordHow you communicate with and engage your customers is the most important aspect of your business and your brand. After all, it is in building long-lasting connections that you build long-lasting businesses.

Just like your overall marketing strategy, your relationship marketing style does not come in a one-size-fits-all package.

Relationship marketing focuses on customer retention and the quality of engagement of the customer with your brand. Following is an overview of the two main relationship marketing styles.

Which one is right for your business? Read more about Quality vs. Quantity: Which Relationship Marketing Style is Best for Your Company?

5 Ways to Stay Organized and Be More Productive With Your Marketing

Marketing ProductivityIt’s not easy to stay organized and be productive when you’re running a small business. Chances are you spend most of your day wearing different hats, taking meetings and calls, dealing with clients and customers, putting out fires – you know, running your business.

No wonder marketing so often ends up an afterthought – the thing you do when you miraculously find a bit of extra time, or when a slump in sales necessitates swift action.

But what if you could not only get organized, but actually stay organized long enough to reap the benefits of increased productivity? What if you could establish some best practices today, for increased sales tomorrow?

While it may seem overwhelming, it’s not as hard as it looks. Here are 5 simple ways you can stay organized and be more productive with your marketing: Read more about 5 Ways to Stay Organized and Be More Productive With Your Marketing

7 Ways to Build Profitable Relationships with Your Email List

Social media is no longer the exception when it comes to small business marketing – it’s the rule.

So why are so many marketing experts turning up their noses at Facebook and Twitter, and instead focusing on email marketing?

The answer is simple: email marketing is the #1 way to build profitable relationships with your customers.

By making email marketing your top marketing priority, you’ll be able to cash in on relationships that are infinitely more intimate than those cultivated on social media.

After all, receiving a personal email in your inbox is a lot more meaningful than glancing at a post on Facebook that’s been shared with 800 other people.

So how can you tap into the power of email marketing?

By following these 7 steps, which will show you how to monetize your email list through relationship building.  Read more about 7 Ways to Build Profitable Relationships with Your Email List

7 Easy Ways To Get Customers To Buy Again

It is 5-10x cheaper to engage a past client than it is a new one. On average existing clients spend 67% more than a new one! Here’s how to stay in touch authentically with your clients and build repeat business.

Our FREE toolkit will help you with the details:
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Why Planning Is The Most Important Step In Your Website Design Journey

Young woman feels guilty and sorry for situationYou would think that getting a website that works would be as easy as finding a designer you like, telling them what you want and badabing badaboom you have a client magnet! Unfortunately that’s not the case.

The problem is that most small business owners take a “looks” approach when they start their website design.

They pick the colors, they have a vision for ideas that they want to convey with imagery, and they have some ideas for sweet doohickies that will make it all cutting edge… and that’s it.

What they’re missing is the functionality and strategy that needs to go into their design.

It’s kind of like hiring a contractor to build you your dream house. You tell them the colors, the finishes, the number of rooms, and that you really really want a hot tub in the back. He shows you some pictures of what he’s going to build, you oooh and ahhh, and tada he builds you a house!

But when you move in, things aren’t so ducky. Sure everything looks pretty, but your front door opens into the bedroom, the hallways look more like some kind of maze, and you don’t have enough room for any of your furniture.

In short, it’s just not functional. When visitors come they’ll initially be impressed by the curb appeal, but when they get into the house they won’t know what to do with themselves.

Just like a house, your website needs to have a strategic plan behind it before you build.

Creating that strategic plan can be tough for busy entrepreneurs because even though you understand your customers and have great services, you are probably not a web strategy expert (unless that’s your specialty). And what you think might be logical (just like your contractor thought), actually doesn’t translate into something functional that’s going to bring you results.

So how do you create a winning plan for your website?

On Thursday January 29th at 11am PST / 2pm EST I’ll be hosting a FREE webinar with my friend and colleague Holly Chantal of The Land of Brand® where she’ll be showing us exactly how to plan a website that attracts your ideal prospects and engages them right away.

Register NOW to join us:

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How to Get New Clients…When You Didn’t Follow Up Like You Should Have

It’s happened to the best of us. You had a hot lead, right in the palm of your hand and you dropped the ball.

All is not lost! Here’s how to re-capture the opportunity and turn a mis-step into a win!

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5 Simple Steps To More Clients Within 90 Days

Problem: “I don’t have enough clients”

Solution:

Paying clients are the lifeblood of your business. When you are faced with the fact that your client load isn’t what you’d like it to be, the first reaction might be to panic.

Instead of allowing fear to paralyze you, use your energy to take these five simple action steps:

  1. Commit to focusing on JUST client attraction for a period of 90 days – This means ALL of your marketing is solely focused on getting clients. Not working on increasing your Twitter followers. Not showing up at your local community chamber of commerce event “just because”. Not sending out random emails to your list.

 EVERYTHING you do needs to be focused on getting new clients in the door.

  1. Decide on whom you’re going to target – You can’t be all things to all people, especially if your goal is to enroll a few new clients over the next 90 days. Choose ONE target market and get clear on whom within that target market is your ideal client. (Our toolkit can help you: “5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom”.)

Since you don’t have the same marketing budget as Nike, you need to be CRYSTAL clear on who your perfect client is so you can spend your time, money and energy wisely. Get as specific as possible – write down a complete persona with your client’s age, gender, family structure, job, needs, personality traits, problems, goals and preferences. The more specific you are, the easier it’s going to be to find and engage the exact people you want to business with.

NOTE: Choosing your target market and creating an ideal client profile does NOT lock you into one type of client for forever. This also does NOT mean you say no to prospective clients who don’t exactly meet your ideal client profile. Choosing a target market and focusing your marketing on a specific ideal client profile will help you to get better results, in less time, with less effort.

  1. Choose specific marketing strategies to meet your goal – Depending on how long you’ve been in business and who you are targeting, you want to focus on 2-3 specific marketing strategies that will connect you with prospective clients.You’ll get much better results if you consistently focus on 2-3 key strategies (i.e. networking directly with your target market, following up with past clients, buying leads pay-per-click ads, etc.) than spreading yourself too thin and too wide.

Where is your ideal client already “hanging out” online and offline? THAT is where you need to focus your marketing efforts.

  1. Be consistent – Marketing to get clients does NOT work when done haphazardly. If you don’t have enough clients that means you have plenty of time to focus on marketing.Choose a dedicated time each workday and invest that, preferably at the start of your day, in taking action on the 2-3 marketing strategies you’ve chosen.

Don’t leave this to chance. Book an appointment with yourself on your calendar, take that appointment seriously and follow-through. Your business and your bank account will thank you.

  1. Track, track, track! – As you start taking action on your marketing plan, you’ll see what’s working and what’s not. Track every detail – email opens, click through rates, the email inquiries you receive, which prospects convert to clients and what they buy.The more information you collect within a 90 day period – the LESS work you’ll have to the following quarter. During the following quarter you can then simply focus on what worked and keep getting the same, if not better results.

You can completely transform your business within the next 90 days. I’ve done. I’ve helped countless clients do it. And you can do it too.

Don’t stay stuck in a place of fear and overwhelm. Just take the first step and keep looking for solutions.

You’ll be amazed at what kind of results you can create with a little focus and consistency.

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Goal Setting That Actually Works: How To Achieve More In 2015 (Part 3)

Achieving goalsWhy do so many small business owners set goals and fail to accomplish them?

As we’ve seen in Part 1 and Part 2 of our goal-setting series, one of the biggest reasons for failure has to do with setting goals that are simply too big.

Instead of declaring what you’d like to achieve in 2015 over the course of 12 months, it’s much more effective to break up goals into manageable 90-day cycles.

Once you’ve set 90-day goals as recommended in Part 1, and broken those goals down into manageable action steps as recommended in Part 2, the next step is monitoring your results.

In Part 3 of our goal-setting series, we’ll show you the most effective ways to track and measure your results to ensure you’re well on your way to achieving everything you’re dreaming of for a great 2015. Read more about Goal Setting That Actually Works: How To Achieve More in 2015 (Part 3)

Goal Setting That Actually Works: How To Achieve More In 2015 (Part 2)

Goals setting button on keyboard with soft focusIn Part 1 of our 3-part series on goal setting in 2015, we covered the importance of creating 90-day cycles in order to achieve your goals throughout the year.

Remember that for most small business owners, huge, sweeping goals and/or changes don’t stand the test of time. Goals are much more likely to be realized when approached in smaller 3-month cycles.

In Part 2 of our series on goal setting in 2015, we’ll show you how to break 90-day goals down into prioritized action steps. Read more about Goal Setting That Actually Works: How To Achieve More In 2015 (Part 2)