#1 Constant communication with your audience
Keeping your customers informed is integral to the ongoing success of your business. A lot of times when people purchase something online, they don’t think about the business again after that. So an email keeps you at the forefront of their thoughts. Also, it lets your customers know that you are thinking of them and that they are important. What is really great is when someone signs up for your email list. This means that they are committed to receiving emails from your business. Now you are the one to feel important.
This allows your business to gain more views and will enable it to flourish. When you add a blog to your business, the chances of this happening double. So, let's dive deeper into how a blog is an excellent way to boost your SEO optimization.
Search Engines Love Fresh Content
Updating your website frequently shows search engines that your website stays relevant and fresh. The primary goal of a search engine is to give up-to-date results on what is currently the best option when someone searches for something specific. As you know, the other parts of your website remain pretty stagnant and don't need many changes once set up. This is where blogging comes in. You want the number one spot when someone searches for a product your business carries? Start blogging at least once a week. This will keep you seen as relevant and move you quickly up the search results page, and eventually, there you will be, number one!
5 Important Ways to Attract More Sales
1. Offer a freebie to entice new customers
When you're starting a business on a small budget, giving away free products doesn't seem like the best business strategy. But this is one case in which you can make more money later through inbound marketing.
Why should I use Google My Business?
Not only does a Google My Business account that is verified and optimized help you rank better
I hope you find the following information useful and helpful as you embark on the digital marketing for your small business. If you have any questions on the following content, you can contact us anytime via the method you choose HERE..
1. Critique your Website
Your website is your online location. It's your store front (whether you have eCommerce or not). It should look professional and appealing on computers, tablets, and mobile. When your potential customers are cruising around virtual Southern Minnesota, this is where you want them to stop.
There are several different options to build a basic template website of your own or you can have someone do it for you. Wordpress and Weebly are options for building a website on your own. If you truly want it to look good, you will likely need a bit of HTML understanding, but you can create a decent website of your own for free. If you are technically inclined, there are several popular freelancer websites where you can find someone to design a website for you at a reasonable price or you can keep it local and search for a web designer in your area.
Your brand is also very important here. It should be transparent to your vision as a company. I am a giant advocate for placing as much of your prices online as possible. If you have set prices, there is no reason you shouldn't be able to put your prices out there unless you are embarrassed of them, unsure of them, or they are ridiculously inflated. I recently found a fitness facility nearby run by a giant brand that I will not mention. They did not list their membership rates on their website. Using the contact us page, I asked what they were. 2 days later I had not received an answer, so I sent them a Facebook message from their very active Facebook page. They had integrated a Chat that gave sample questions including "What is the cost of your services?" 24 hours later I had not received a response. Normally, at this point I would give up. I was pretty determined being finding a place in that town was necessary, and their website and social media "looked" great and they were operated by that big brand. I called, the gal had the information I wanted, but she had to put me on hold to go get it and wasn't super friendly, then advised me they would be closing in a few months. Was I surprised after the experience I had so far? Not one bit.
Most consumers want to do a majority of their assessment of a company and its products/services online. Making them call you for information in a poor attempt to negotiate a better price or simply because it may need updated once in awhile is lazy and shady. Your potential customers will see thru that and run. If they "need" you, they will reluctantly deal with you, but only until something better comes along.
2. Get Found
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is going to become your favorite acronym. Or, possibly one you love to hate. Either way, there are a few basic best practices you can use to help your case in terms of where on the results page you land when others search Google for your services.
Go to Google.com right now and search whatever you want. There may be text ads that pop-up on
the top or bottom of the page that are notated with "Ad". There are also possibly small ads with pictures that show up in the right-hand column notated with "Sponsored". These cost money. (That's another article.) Let's stick to what's essentially free.
There are 10 results that show up on that first page (and every page after that, for that matter) outside the paid ads. When was the last time you went to the second page of your search results? I'd feel pretty confident betting on it being awhile, if not never, unless you are in a line of work or school requiring some serious research. The goal, obviously then, is to fall in the top 10. (Most research shows that even falling below the top three makes it much harder to be clicked, but let's start with a goal of top 10.)
Who are your customers? What's your target market? What do you solve for them? These are questions answered within your full marketing plan (also another article). What are your customers searching to, hopefully, find you? These words are your keywords and your best friends. Tons of tools to use to identify your current common keywords and phrases as well as suggestions. Once you've identified them, use them on your website, especially within Titles and Headers (also handy to know a bit of HTML here to really embrace this).
3. Embrace SMM
Depending on your industry, the ideal platforms to be on may vary a bit, but really, everyone should be on Facebook. And based on the way the trends are moving in the way of video, YouTube is a good choice for everyone as well. If you're specifically B2B or in a recruiting industry, LinkedIn is a good choice. Twitter is also a popular choice. Other popular options include TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest round out the Big 8.
If you are starting from scratch on Social Media, start with one of two and research and test the best times to post in order to get the most engagement. Be sure to align your website with your social pages and vice versa. They should have a similar "feel" to them, but address their own audiences. This will come in time or with the help of a professional, but the key to using these is coming up.
4. Build Value
Based on those questions in #2, is where you should be focusing when building the content for your website and social media. This should be information that provides some of the answers to the problems that your customers have. My favorite example of this is a mechanic shop. A mechanic providing valuable content for their customers online might show a video tutorial on how to change your oil, an infographic for changing your tire, or take a poll and share finding for the safest car for your new driver. Most customers would still go to that mechanic for bigger projects like part replacement and maybe even their oil changes, but will build trust and show their expertise thru providing that valuable information for free.
Here's an important point: so many new small businesses are afraid of "giving away the goods" for fear they are missing out on money. However, in place of money, you are receiving gaining trust, building a following, and even possibly gaining recommendations and testimonials. This is far more valuable than one purchase.
Did you know that the average person has 350 friends on Facebook and when 1 person follows your company, you then have access to their friends? Did you also know that Facebook is the 2nd most visited website in the world, second only to Google? Facebook is a special search engine. Many users use Facebook as their search engine because they can see if their friends "Liked" the results. Wouldn't you rather try out something you already know your friend used and had a good experience with then ratings from strangers or none at all? Don't you think the long-term ROI on the efforts you put in to the valuable content you "giveaway" far exceeds that one potential "buy" you gave up? Think about it. It's kind of like the difference between companies that send you a note before a free trail ends or before a renewal is due versus those that bank on your forgetting about it to make a buck.
Find out what your customers need from you and give it to them! Do what you do best and spread it over the internet, strategically. You may not see immediate results, but if you don't see a change in sales in 3-6 months, you're doing it wrong.
This is something you can miss that will count as "doing it wrong." If you're not being consistent with your communication and valuable content sharing, you're not staying relevant. Being from small town southern Minnesota, I can personally testify that there have been several times I didn't try a local small business because they either didn't have a website, didn't have a Facebook page, or they had a Facebook page but hadn't posted anything since 2014. This is like telling the world "We are not listening!" "Call us to find out the times we are open and then drive to us to find out what we offer!" "You do the work!" "Our business is not important to us!" If your "location" online doesn't look clean and interesting, I don't want to imagine what your physical location looks like. You cannot convince potential customers to pay attention to you by interrupting them screaming "Buy this now!" or "Call us today!" Attracting consumers by building trust through an open conversation is the key to your efforts. This will return for you several times over in benefit over time.
Remember that fitness center story from #1? You can be consistent in content, but fail at consistency in communication. Nowhere on that website did it mention they were going to be closing. Obviously, nobody is consistently checking their email or facebook messages. Marketing is no longer a "talk at them" process. Its not "selling." You are starting a conversation about your industry. You are attracting consumers to your knowledge. You are maintaining conversations over time and building trust. From that, you have a lifelong relationship if you continue to nurture it.
The other piece of consistency is the posting on your social media. There are automation systems that can help you post across your pages. This allows you to sit down for a day and work hard creating and researching valuable content for your customers and scheduling them over the following weeks to post so you don't have to go on each page everyday. Note: Check the email that your website's contact us page directs to and all messengers everyday. If you choose to use these automation systems, it is vital for you to push all messenger communications to your phone so you see them real-time. The more consistent and timely you are in your responses, the more trust you will build with your followers.
6. Build Your List
Email marketing is the most important thing you can do for your business. There are several systems available for email automation. These are user-friendly systems that help you to create landing pages to solicit email addresses from your customers, help you create professional emails to send to your customers on a regular basis, and keep track of the success of the calls to action you placed in those emails.
MailChimp and Constant Contact are just a few and have very different abilities. These can also integrate with the social media marketing automation system you choose from above. So do your research on what will achieve what you desire and take advantage of any free trails and free versions you can so you can get used to what you like and works well for you.
Get started by having an official email address for your company. Pay for one and direct several aliases to your main email. For instance, with G Suite you can create email@example.com and aliases of social, billing, bill, mary, and so on, and direct them all to go to your primary email of firstname.lastname@example.org to respond from. This is perfect for the new small business that wants to look like a Pro. Go to https://goo.gl/Q2jYYd and use Promo Code 9AJ6YRX9LH43AW4 for 20% of a Business Plan thanks to our affiliate relationship!
I always struggle with whether to start or end here. Nobody wants to talk about statistics and analytics right off the bat, so I end with it. That being said, this is not really a step-by-step list, but rather a cycle. Without being aware of the traffic to your website and social media pages, it is hard to set goals or understand progress. There is also an abundance of free information to pinpoint and market to specific people who would love you before they even know you, if you know what tools to use, how to extract them, understand them, and use them.
Each social platform has its own way of assessing and tracking analytics or "insights." Get used to them. Google Analytics is a free tool you can use to track your website traffic and who is visiting. There are plugins for this on Wordpress and its pretty easy to add to Weebly websites. If you have your website designed, have your designer add it. The code is added to the back-end of your website in order to read the data.
Google Analytics has its own academy you can go thru for free in order to learn how to run your own reports to pull out the information you want. You can also consult with someone like us or possibly your designer in order to set up reports for you, if necessary.
A few times, I mentioned the order of these tips. The truth is, this is a cycle. A circular, never-ending list to revisit and reassess. The most popular social media platforms change. SEO algorithms change. It is a cycle to continue in order to stay a successful small business in southern Minnesota, or anywhere you might be.
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This morning, I got out of bed at 8:17am and was immediately swept with guilt.
How could I sleep so late?
How dare I waste precious hours I could be devoting to my business or our home while our girls were still sleeping.
My husband had arrived at work this morning by 6am. How could I be so unfair?
This is exactly what my self-talk was straight out of bed.
I had gotten the girls asleep by 9:30 last night and read for awhile before dozing off, having set my alarm for 6am.
I had hit snooze for 2 whole hours! I’m so lazy!
Thankfully, quite quickly, my brain snapped back with reasoning. I was up at 1am for quite some time soothing my 4 year old who had had a night terror and wet her bed. She was screaming, we were changing pajamas in the dark, and I was pulling bedding off her bed after tucking her into ours (next to our 2 year old who had climbed in sometime prior). Then, spent most of the remainder of the night curled up at the foot of the bed trying to sleep like the family dog. No wonder I was tired.
were these excuses? Was I justifying my being lazy?
Isn’t it incredible the things we put ourselves thru for no reason?
I got to thinking…
I have just spent an additional 20 minutes worrying about justifying my failure to meet my self-established expectations to myself!
Not only that, but I started my day with negative and self-sabotaging self-talk of which was not benefiting myself or anyone else.
Why is that?
Do I feel guilty for running my business from home full time while my husband goes off to a job each day he may not love?
Do I feel guilty for having a job I love when so many don’t?
Have I read one too many “How successful people live life” articles that tell me I need to get up every day at 4am and spend 2 hours exercising and meditating before I get to work?
I’m not arguing that a morning regimen is or isn’t the key to starting your day right. I also don’t believe that in most cases you can be successful while sleeping in or doing whatever you want for the most part.
I commit a large amount of work to my business. I have mentors. I work night and day.
However, if you are pushing yourself to constantly do something that is only bringing you stress, I do not believe that is a weakness you need to commit to overcoming. I agree with Dean Graziosi in that you have to double down on your strengths.
If you are giving it your best effort, truly giving it your best effort, than progress will be made.
Forcing yourself out of bed at 5am every day to workout will no doubt bring you some progress. You may or might not get used to it and learn to enjoy it. OR, you might see faster and more consistent performance if you workout during that hour in the afternoon after work before you make dinner. Only you can make that decision.
But, as Les Brown so eloquently tells us, “Someone else’s opinion does not need to become your reality!”
Push yourself. Do your very best. Recognize what is necessary and what just sounds good. Work hard. But do not talk down to yourself. Do not start your day with disdain for yourself. Do not sabotage.
You will never accomplish great things while you are beating yourself up. Believe in yourself!
If you haven’t read it yet, Millionaire Success Habits by Dean Graziosi has a chapter that guides you through writing down your current story. The story that might be holding you back and keeping you from your best self. Then, it guides you through writing your new story. The true story. The true future. He’s been giving it away for free. I suggest you grab your copy! TheBetterLife.com
You may have heard us jargon-y marketers talking about Landing Pages. You may or may not know what they are, but it is likely you have seen one.
A Landing Page is a web one-page for a specific campaign or offer with a solitary Call to Action. There are several different types of Landing Pages, but ultimately they are all geared to steer the audience in one direction or guide them onto the next step in a funnel toward purchase.
Here are the different types of landing pages:
A Splash Page could be defined as a front advertisement page. It is giving you the option to take part in something, but has a clear exit from the page. A "continue" or "skip" is common. This is typically a page used as the gateway to the website you are intending to view. Below is a classic example:
A Squeeze Page is most commonly a pop up on a relative page that is meant to capture information of the viewer. It has minimal text and often offers something in return for information. In this case, a Free Planner in exchange for an email address:
There is only one option or exit. Enter the email and press the one button or click X (or in some cases, "no thanks.") Squeeze Pages are used to entice a new visitor to hook into the brand and start being nurtured into a qualified lead (someone likely to be ready and willing to purchase)
Lead Capture Page
Think non-pop-up and often, but not explicitly non-offer Squeeze Page. A Lead Capture Page is not a pop-up, but rather a full page devoted to collecting information for a lead. The information gathered also tends to be more. Rather than just an email and possibly name. A Lead Capture Form will often ask for full name, phone number, email address, and more. The visitor is willing to fill out this information because they have come to this page with the intention of wanting more information on your product or service or with the express intention of seeking communication with the company on what they have to offer.
These pages can, in theory, be used at any of the funnel stages, but is more likely to be avoided at the first stage. The visitor is more likely to be attentive to such a page when they have already been qualified as interested and involved in the right industry or lifestyle or has been qualified as a sales lead who is looking to try out the product or service.
Above is an example from Hootsuite that gives the option to download a report that qualifies the need for the service they are also providing a demo of. You can click on either button and the same full lead capture form pops up asking for information including: full name, business, title, industry, company revenue, phone number, email, and more.
A Click-Through Page is a bottom of funnel page that initiates the user process. The audience on this page knows who you are, what you offer, and needs what you have or something similar and is in the decision phase.
The Click-through Page might lead you to applying for a loan, inputting information on an insurance quote, starting a free trial of an online software, or leads you right up to a sale by even taking payment info for when the free trial runs out or may offer you a discount if you buy now.
This is the hardest one to optimize. Where the other pages are often to-the-point and might be able to be entirely read without scrolling or with just a few turns of the mouse-wheel, a successfully optimized sales page is almost painfully long. It is basically a 5,000-word click-through page with everything you can possibly say to sell the product or service. There are several options to click-through to the payment page and buy now through-out. Many times you don't see the price until you scroll all the way to the bottom or click-through.
This page is optimized to speak directly to the customer you are targeting and appeal to their very need for what you have to offer. It will highlight testimonials, examples, what they will get out of buying, what is included, why it's important to them. Here is an example of a comparison from Instapage:
Landing Pages on Point
There are many options for where to get started. We mentioned Instapage above. Leadpages is another. And, there are MANY.
It is important to understand the benefit of using landing pages to guide your audience thru the sales funnel as well as the benefits of landing pages for tracking, reporting, and analytics on lead generation and conversions so you are able to optimize your sales cycle.
I’m Jonelle Prokopchak, owner and creator of the trademarked fitness method called Zen Barre®️. I own a yoga studio as well as an online barre certification company. I help other women get certified to teach Zen Barre classes so they can help women feel good about themselves.
Your bio says: Through the creation and practice of Zen Barre®, she fuels her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for human services. Jonelle believes the fitness journey empowers and inspires by connecting the mind, body, and soul. She utilizes this holistic approach in her practice, teaching and methodology of the Zen Barre®. When not teaching or furthering the Zen Barre® curriculum, Jonelle is a Speech Language Pathologist.
Where did you grow up? What was life like? Did you have an entrepreneurial family member? Is there anything looking back that started as a kid that lead you into what you do now?
I grew up in a small community called Dallas,PA. YES there is a Dallas somewhere else besides Texas. 🤣 I came from a family of entrepreneurs. My grandfather started a company that my father currently owns and runs. There was boss status in this blood well before I came along. Growing up I had no idea what I wanted to do- but I always had that drive to helps others.
Hello! I’m Ashlee and I am a Holistic Nutritionist and Wellness Influencer with Simplholistic. I work full-time at Simplholistic to create protocols, recipes and videos that help women live a seamlessly healthy lifestyle. Women’s hormones and gut health are what I specialize in, particularly autoimmune disease.
I grew up in Alaska with my mom, brother and sister. My family was pretty broken and lacked ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirits. We lived paycheck to paycheck but my sweet mom did everything she could to watch us soar and excel. Looking back, all of the hardships and financial suppression brought me to where I am now. We can play the victim in life but I prefer to use my difficulties as rocket fuel!
Where it all began:
When I was 16, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Celiac Disease and a host of other immunological deficiencies. I knew NOTHING about nutrition or alternative medicine so, NyQuil and antibiotics it was. It didn’t take long for my body to start shutting down. Luckily - shortly after - I found the world of holistic healing and changed my life forever. I enrolled in college for nutrition for myself and couldn’t put the books and research papers down. Since then, I have healed myself (still working on it!) and helped thousands of women to remove the barriers keeping them from being well.
The Passion behind the business:
My job is incredible. Each day I get to see “infertile” women become pregnant, PCOS clients gain their energy back and highly immunodeficient women get their livelihood back. I get to facilitate healing for women all around the globe and watch them KICK BUTT once their back to their best selves.
The Motivation on the hard days:
My clients, followers and family members. I believe God gave me this gift and unique ability to retain massive amounts of nutritional and scientific data for a purpose. If I decided to throw in the towel, who knows how many women would miss out on being well.