November 22, 2014

Improve the Visibility of Your Small Business . . . on a Low Budget

Improve the Visibility of Your Small Business

Image Courtesy of Mapichai/FreedigitalPhoto.net

Guest Post by Diana Smith

Are you looking for inexpensive ways to improve the visibility of your small business and grow your company, but have a limited budget?  The following basic marketing strategies will help accelerate your efforts:

Reward Your Customers to Improve the Visibility of Your Small Business

It’s harder and more expensive to win a new customer than to retain an old one. For that reason, focusing on a customer reward program is an ideal, low-cost solution. Create a loyalty program that you can actively promote to encourage your best customers to buy your products.

Offer Promotional Items

A sound way to promote your small business is by giving away items that advertise the name of your company. Here are some examples:

Pens are an excellent and affordable way to get passed along to other people. Give the customer more pens, well-writing pens, and ask her to pass them to others.

Notepads are an inexpensive way to promote your business. They are useful to your customers, and sheets of paper are commonly shared with colleagues. Every page could be a marketing tool that can easily get passed on to others.

A t-shirt or a tote bag is a perfect fit for every body and every budget and a fun way to have your ads walk everywhere and attract more customers.

Website URL imprinted on a promotional item is an effective way to promote your business. If the URL stands with any other text it will surely stand out much more. Try capitalizing each word in your domain name in order to bring out the company name. Also imprinting the words in different color can be effective.

Mouse pads are a cheap solution and almost guaranteed approach to encourage people to visit your website.

Coffee mugs are another inexpensive way to get noticed.

A keychain is a way to make your customer think about your business when they are in the car.

Calendars are a practical means to attract more customers because people keep them visible for an entire year on their wall or desk.

Balloons attract attention and others often ask:’’ Who sent you the balloons?’’ That’s a fine way for your marketing message to go far. 

Send Periodic E-mails

Using email to maintain and increase a customer relationship is an optimal and low-cost way to increase sales. A successful technique involves sending an (non-selling, often informative) email as frequently as twice a month to a specified list of members who have agreed to receive e-mails from your company.

Participate in Marriage Mail

Marriage mail is when an offer is packaged with those of other advertisers so that every included piece contributes to the total cost of delivery. No mailing lists need to be purchased. It’s an inexpensive method for sending your ad or a coupon with other advertisers locally.

Develop Relations through Media

Lower-cost advertising that also has good results are ‘’do it yourself public relations.” It requires an ability to adapt stories with an individual media market on your list. This could be achieved by distributing a press release with your contact information and the name of your company which will improve search engine optimization for your website, create backlinks and drive traffic to your online storefront, all of which improve the visibility of your small business on a low budget.

This, by no means, is an exhaustive list of ideas to promote your company and improve the visibility of your small business, but it’s certainly a start to keep it to of mind so that your customers are sure to remember your business at the time they need your services.

 

___________________________________________

Author bio:

Diana Smith is a business coach and part-time writer interested in topics related to marketing and advertising. She writes about new marketing strategies and low advertising possibilities. Useful information for this article has been kindly provided by Cubic Promote.

5 Easy Starting Points to Generate Business Publicity (for Leads)

Business Publicity

Guest Post By Casey Haslem

 

To compete in the new marketplace, your business needs exposure.  One of the best ways to do this is to generate business publicity . . . even on a small scale.  Thankfully, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to get that publicity.  You do, however, need a practical marketing strategy if you expect to have some success. By consistently implementing a variety of no-nonsense marketing objectives, your business can begin to acquire enough of the limelight to effectively generate leads and prospective customers.  Here are five easy starting points:

Coordinate a workshop for business publicity

Host a complimentary workshop through your local education program, small business association, or chamber of commerce. Structured properly, a workshop can pull in numerous participants.  Additionally, you can distribute online press releases about the workshop, or offline via local television networks, which can provide the basis for targeted business publicity.

Pitch your story to newsletters

Newsletters are always on the lookout for fresh, modern content. Since newsletters need original information continually, tell them why their readers would enjoy and benefit from reading more about you and your company’s services. If and when they accept your piece you’ll receive free business publicity for your company. Ensure that you look into the most recent editions of the publication you are trying to feature in. Be aware of their specific writing style and see to it that your press release conforms to their standards of publishing.

Become visible online

Many, and I dare to say, most consumers are browsing the web to discover what they desire in your area. These consumers utilize search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Increase your online visibility by partnering with a company that provides cost-effective local online marketing solutions for small businesses. You may also want to consult with someone knowledgeable about SEO as well to ensure the main search engines find you online – whether it’s your presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or your own website or blog.

Partner with a local charity

Give back to the community and gain recognition and business publicity through charitable acts. Consistently recycle the retained earnings into your local community and the social consciousness will increase the fiscal latitude of your business.  Unplanned opportunity will follow.

Learn from the competition

Mimic the steps your competitors have taken to garner business publicity. Learn what makes your competition’s brand stand out. Determine why their most loyal consumers are attracted to their brand. Analyze the competitor’s sign, design and marketing messages. Determine if the trademark is consistently located on the packages, labels, vouchers and products. Compare and contrast the differences so that you will know how to approach the consumer.

 

Don’t wait.  Start integrating some of the above-mentioned methods.  If you use these approaches consistently, before long you should begin to see an increase in the number of leads coming to your website or your brick and mortar business.

 

—————————-

Author Bio: Casey Haslem – is a young writer whose hobbies include reading, painting and pretending she knows how to write a book. She loves meeting people and making new friends. Writing opens up a whole world of new ideas and possibilities for her.

Discover the Secrets to Attracting More Ideal, High-Paying Clients – A Free Webinar

how to find new clientsJoin me on June 6, 2013 at 1:00 p.m., at Fabienne Fredrickson’s free Client Attraction webinar and discover the step-by-step formula for attracting ideal, high-paying clients.  Getting clients doesn’t have to be a frustrating struggle anymore. Yes, it can be that easy to attract the types of clients you want to work with, and you will be able to do so quickly and consistently.

This is the ultimate shortcut, ‘step-by-step’ system that removes all the guesswork, waste and frustration out of consistently attracting all the ideal, high-paying clients you need, once and for all (even if you’re starting from scratch) . . .

Register for the free webinar by clicking HERE.

Want to Create A Winning E-mail Marketing Campaign? Make Sure You Grasp the Basics of Email Marketing First

email marketingSeventy-seven percent of small business owners report that e-mail marketing increased their revenue and that $1.00 spent on e-mail marketing $40.00 in revenue.* Many businesses are smartly discovering that e-mail marketing can be a vital part of their business.  It’s a great way to keep in touch with customers and to invite them to special deals for your freelance services (or products, if you have any). The information and tips in this article will explain some of the practices you should engage in or avoid to ensure the success of an ongoing e-mail campaign.

1. Rather than purchasing or renting a mailing list, build your own from the ground up. You can do this by including opt-in forms on your website or blog, gathering business cards at conventions or other industry events, and encouraging your subscribers to share your e-mails with others, which can garner even more subscribers. Of course, I would suggest creating a downloadable piece of content, preferably with instructional information that your target audience will find of value to them. The idea is to trade your free content for their e-mail addresses.

2.  Always get permission! Unsolicited e-mail is not welcome, and in certain cases, can get your ISP blocked. The last thing you want is to be branded a spammer.

3.  Be especially careful when crafting your first three e-mails to new customers. A new customer should get an introductory e-mail inviting them to join your marketing list. Once they accept your invitation, the next e-mail should tell them about discounts or special offers they can expect to get now that they’ve signed up. The third e-mail should contain their first newsletter and their special offer.

4.  Make certain that it is easy for your recipients to opt out of receiving further e-mails. Not having a way to opt out can cost you customers since some of the people who wish to opt out might like your business and your products. They may simply wish not to receive e-mails. The process that you put in place should include asking for feedback as to why they are opting out. The information you receive can help improve your campaign.

5.  Try to make it as easy as possible for customers to unsubscribe from your e-mails. By not making it simple, they will feel like you are being too pushy and may be turned off from your product or business. Give them the option to opt out from some of your e-mails or all of them.

6.  Everyone knows that e-mail filters are getting more and more strict. Graphics and other things included in e-mails are blocked out, so a reader might not even see what you are trying to say. Therefore, a good piece of advice is to use plain text with a hyperlink to your site.

7.  Utilize engaging e-mails and target customers who are inclined to use or share knowledge about your services. Make sure you are also soliciting feedback from them. Getting feedback from targeted customers is key to knowing what you can do to make your marketing strategies even stronger and more effective.

8.  What worked for you before might not work for you the next time around. That is why it is vital to always look into new e-mail marketing strategies. Learn from others in your business niche, and always try out new methods to add to your arsenal of what works for your business.

It is a well-known fact that the use of the Internet has opened up an entirely new way for businesses to interact with customers. E-mail marketing is one of the most effective ways to keep in touch with loyal customers and to reach potential customers. Use the techniques and tips from the article above to create an e-mail marketing strategy for your business.

*Aweber Communications

There Really is a Content Marketing Crash Course with More Value and Info than You’ve Ever Dreamed Of

Content Marketing - SEO sign board

Are you sick of saying “This year I’m going to increase my revenue,” but still haven’t figured out a way to do it? Is being in a better financial situation than you were in last year on your list of personal goals?

Making more money in your small business than you did last year is quite possible. The answer is to find a way to dazzle your prospects, wow your customers, and bowl over competitors. The answer dear readers, is content. Content, as you may have heard, truly is king, and MarketingProfs University’s Content Marketing Crash Course will give you a hands-on plan for creating lead-driving, business-building content that connects with customers, again and again. You’ll learn everything from what changes to make in key marketing efforts, like customer engagement, to how to create content that drives sales.

 

Register Now

For each class, you’ll have access to:

• the class lecture (streaming media)

•the slide deck (PDF)

•the audio track (MP3, so you can listen to the lectures on other devices)

•a transcript (PDF)

•and a “cheat sheet” (PDF)

In addition to the above tools, as a Content Marketing Crash Course student, you’ll also receive close to $1,000 in FREE course materials and More!

There aren’t many places where you’ll get practical, information-packed, real-world, proven tactics with expert guidance from a leading and respected marketing authority in a crash course.

The Kickoff class broadcasts December 6, 2012

Register Now

 

 

 

 

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Need More Qualified Leads for Your Freelance Copywriting Business?

If you’ve got a website or blog and want to generate more leads for your freelance copywriting business, you’re in luck. Optimize your website to get found by more prospects and convert more of them into leads and paying customers with HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing software.

300x250 Trust

Need More Qualified Leads? Use HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing System. Try our FREE 30-Day Trial!

Inbound marketing (attracting people to your site) is the way small businesses that are in-the-know think and act. But, of course, if you’re not a tech geek, online marketing and web design are tough, if not impossible.

Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing System has revolutionized the ease and power of what your freelance copywriting website or blog can do and be. As you’ll find out in a moment, Hubspot’s marketing software is more than just a mere traffic generator. If you simply follow Hubspot’s system and use their tools, you’ll find yourself ahead of 90% of other freelance copywriters who are still living in the ancient times.

Why spend massive amounts of time searching for and then researching the most practical ways to optimize your first freelance copywriting website. Hubspot will do that overwhelming legwork for you!

HubSpot’s software gives you everything you need to make marketing that copywriting clients will actually love – earning quality leads and loyal customers in return.

Inbound channels, unlike outbound channels, produce higher quality leads. Learn how you can make your marketing efforts more inbound. Receive a Free Marketing Assessment From HubSpot!

HubSpot utilizes the platform for inbound marketing to help you:

  • attract qualified visitors to your website with remarkable content
  • convert your website visitors into leads and then into customers
  • analyze your online marketing efforts

What is HubSpot? HubSpot software:

  • helps you get found online by more qualified visitors.
  • shows you how to convert more visitors into leads.
  • gives you tools to close those leads efficiently.
  • measures and improves your marketing.

HubSpot’s inbound marketing tools incorporate website design, website and blog content, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, lead conversion, and web/marketing analytics.

Sign up for a FREE 30-day trial of Hubspot’s all-in-one software! There is no risk, no obligation and no credit cards needed for this trial. Drive qualified leads. Convert more leads to customers. HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Software: Free 30 day trial!

Are Your Networking Efforts Failing? Don’t Worry. We’ve Got Your Foolproof Networking Blueprint Right Here

Although this post was written with freelance copywriters in mind, it can apply to other freelancers.

One of the most promising methods for generating leads for any freelance copywriting business is networking.  But, like anything, in order for your presence at a networking event to work, you can’t pussyfoot around.  You have to go for the gold! To go for the gold, you have to know what you’re doing.  Sadly, so many people who say networking is an “okay” marketing practice don’t achieve the great results that are begging to be achieved because they are – plain and simple – going about it in the wrong way.

Lead Generation

Successful networking takes planning. Don’t get nervous, it’s not rocket science.  Nor is it too time-consuming, but you do have to be committed, and you have to be willing not to take short-cuts. People who do that are kidding themselves and are the very folks who complain that “It’s not working.”  Of course, it’s not working – for them!  Showing up and handing out your business cards, or attempting to sell your product or service to people you meet while networking is a sure-fire way to alienate potential business contacts.  Your goal is to cultivate a community of evangelists, to experience the same money-spinning outcome that master networkers experience.

Networking is about crystallizing relationships, establishing trust.  It’s about communicating that unforgettable core message about your freelance copywriting brand that your fellow networkers HEAR and REMEMBER so that when a copywriter is needed, it’s YOU they remember to refer. It’s about being the answer to their financially driven prayers, their problem solver.  You want it to be your business card they’re fumbling through their briefcase looking for. THAT’s what you want. That’s why you network.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have people lining up to work with you, people willing to wait until you have an availability to work on their project?

I’ll answer for you. Hell yeah!

Now, let’s talk about “the how.”

How do you virtually guarantee that networking leads to continued success for your freelance copywriting business? Answer: You Prepare.

 STEP 1 – Find Out Who’s Attending the Event – The ultimate purpose of networking is to build your business. While, as you will learn later, anyone can be a great referral source, you still want to make a point of talking with people whose businesses are complimentary to your freelance copywriting business.  For example, that graphic designer on the list of attendees, the ad agency owner or the digital marketing manager may have overflow work for you in the near future.  Of course, this is certainly not something you will bring up at the event. However, it is a subject for which you should be well-prepared to discuss for as long as they like, if they bring it up.  Since, in all likelihood, everyone will be wearing name tags, it probably won’t be too hard to spot them. Often, networking hosts ask that you write your company name on your tag as well.

If the event has a website, check it out to see if there is a picture of the person and send it to your phone or print it and tuck it away somewhere.  Try to find out a little about their business, so you can make meaningful commentary (one or two points only; don’t be over-the-top).  Read their reason for attending the function, if it’s posted, so that your contribution to the conversation can stay within those parameters.

STEP 2 – Craft Your 15-second Promise – Some people refer to this brief description of your business as the “elevator pitch.”  This introduction is something you share with business people you meet when they ask you what your business is about or what you do.  I prefer to call this story a “15-second promise.”   The most efficient way to tell your story is to include your freelance business’s brand promise in the spiel.  Your brand promise is what all of your customers experience when they work with you.  It’s why your customers like working with you.  It identifies what potential customers should expect from all transactions with you.  Your brand promise is who you are.

The other component of the 15-second promise is a very streamlined, four-sentence case story, featuring a true statistic that highlights the way your copywriting improved a client’s business. Stories are compelling. They give the listener a visual.  It’s provable, and it says to the listener, “that could happen to your business if you stick with me.”

When you sit down to develop your brand promise, keep in mind, it must be: clear, compelling, concise and credible.

Hi Stacey, my name is Ron. I am a graphic designer. What do you do? 

Hi Ron. I write marketing material that helps companies attract customers. For example, I crafted a brochure for a day care center that helped them increase their enrollment by 100% in a couple of months. And then the city forced the school to create a waiting list.

STEP 3 – Ask Good Open-Ended questions, Listen While You Let Them Talk – This simply means asking questions that begin with “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” or “how.”  The idea is to generate a conversation that demonstrates to the person that you are interested in hearing about them.  Ask them, “How can I help you?”  and “What can I do for you?” They will get around to asking about you.  The best way to learn more is to let them talk.  The more they talk, the more you learn how you can help them, or the more you learn about ways their business and/or who they know complements your freelance copywriting business goals.  Don’t pre-judge.  Sometimes you discover invaluable things. They may know just the type of person you’ve been looking to connect with.  You never know who another person knows or what they know just by looking at them.

STEP 4  – Write a Memory-Jogging Note on the Back of Their Business Card – After the event, you will follow-up with all the people you met that day.  While at the event, casually jot down notes on the backs of the business cards you receive. Write something that will help you remember who that person is.  Write something you can insert in an email that will show them they made an impression on you, perhaps something they said or alluded to.

STEP 5  – Follow-up that Night  – After the event, take an hour or two, while the event is still fresh in your mind.  Open a file with the function date, the name and place of the function and create a spreadsheet for it.  On that spreadsheet, add the contact information from each of the business cards. Go to their about page or linkedin page and copy a picture onto your spreadsheet to help you remember them months afterwards.  Also on the spread sheet, add the notes that you jotted down on the backs of their business cards.  Add any more information  that you recall them mentioning, particularly the answer(s) they gave when you asked “how can I help you…”  Then write a “Nice to Meet You” email to the people with whom you made contact.  Add a brief piece of info from the card (not everything you remember)  into your email so that it has a natural sounding flow and does not sound staged when you read it aloud to yourself.  Every email should be original. Do not use a boilerplate email. Someone at the event may forward your email to someone else you met.  You don’t want that next person to see that they weren’t important enough for you to take five minutes to come up with an original thought.

STEP 6  – Reach Out 6-8 Weeks Later  – Six to eight weeks after the event, send something complimentary, non-solicitous, that could help them with their business or with their copywriting.  Remember, your spreadsheet will have notes about them and about areas where they need.  Take an hour or so (as part of your marketing schedule) and go through mailings or postings you’ve received that include webinars that may interest them or some other function that may help them with their business.  Go through your emails to see if someone asked you to refer someone with their expertise and make an email introduction.  This will come back ten-fold!   At the conclusion of your email, you can say , if they have any questions, they can email or call you.  The idea is to stay fresh in their minds – in their minds as that helpful writer they met.

Networking is a great, low-cost marketing approach for building your business and expanding a client base for freelance copywriters, making this career a rewarding journey. However,  like anything, you have to work it.  And, as far as my experience has shown me, it is certainly one of the best ways, if not, the best way to build your freelance business.   It works, but you have to do it consistently.  Make it a regular part of your marketing strategy if you want to get serious about freelance copywriting.  You will see the fruits of your labor.  I’ve seen the benefits of networking.  I’ve had waiting lists of my own as a result of networking, to the point where I needed to take a hiatus from networking because I got a bit overwhelmed with incoming work.  Do it wrong and you’ll miss. Do it right and you’ll hit.

 

BONUS: Below are Links to Three Trusted Sites You Can Use to Find Networking Events:

Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups.

LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site

Eventbrite features an increasing amount of free networking events.

P.S.   Want to learn about networking? Learn how to network so that you get great results from it and feel authentically yourself the whole time.  World-renowned Fabienne Fredrickson shares ALL of her secrets in The Secrets of Master Networkers Manual.


P.P.S. Fabienne Fredrickson, The Client Attraction Mentor, is founder of the Client Attraction System®, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to attract more clients, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. Audio CD by mail and receive her weekly marketing & success mindset articles on attracting more high-paying clients and dramatically increasing your income, enter your email address below right away.

Free Training Call Tonight (February 22nd) – Attract All the High-Paying Clients You Need

This phenomenal training call is brought to you by Fabienne Fredrickson, the founder of Client Attraction. 

For those of you who don’t know, Client Attraction has been ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies for 2011! And it’s identified among the Top 100 for fastest-growing women-owned companies.

 

Join Fabienne Fredrickson tomorrow – FREE tele-training on how to quickly attract all the high-paying clients you need- http://bit.ly/wfVn6w

How To Get Experience as a Freelance Copywriter

Breaking into the field of freelance copywriting does not have to be as hard as some veteran copywriters may have you believe.  You have to be a bit creative, but finding those first few assignments does not have to take forever.  As I tell all new copywriters I come into contact with, give your services away. This way you can gain experience and begin to build a reputation.

One organization that is often looking for pro bono copywriters is the Taproot Foundation (http://www.taprootfoundation.org).  Taproot is a non-profit program that began in 2001.  It provides free marketing (including copywriting services), design, technology, management or strategic planning resources. In other words, it makes “business talent available to organizations working to improve society.”

Taproot has offices in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C.  They provide millions of dollars in services annually. Their goal is to enable organizations to address local social issues.

Chicago
205 W. Randolph, Suite 1220
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 635-1127
chicago {at} taprootfoundation.org

Los Angeles
1000 North Alameda Street, Suite 224
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 625-7701
losangeles {at} taprootfoundation.org

New York City
1271 Ave. of the Americas, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10020
(212) 522-6794
newyork {at} taprootfoundation.org
*Office of the President

San Francisco Bay Area
466 Geary Street, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 359-1423;
bayarea {at} taprootfoundation.org
national {at} taprootfoundation.org
*National Headquarters

Washington, D.C.
1612 K St. NW, Suite 505
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 626-8563
dc {at} taprootfoundation.org

Increase Your Visitor’s Interest In What You’re Selling . . . Refocus the Text on Your Website Pages

Freelance copywriters have a great deal to offer business owners – large and small.  In this Internet-happy market, this is where your website is supposed to work for you.  Yet, many copywriters sometimes forget this simple bit of wisdom:  Focus on the customer, not you – the copywriter.  Anything you say should mirror what you think your potential target customer would want to know in order to decide if you are the right copywriter.

They want to if you are the right copywriter for them.  Your website should tell your prospects how they will benefit by hiring you.  How you save them time.  Show them that you can capture the attention of the market they wish to sell to.  Prove to them you have the experience or know-how to write blog posts for them that will drive traffic to their websites.


The copywriting program you graduated from is neither here nor there. These are business owners (not law school admissions directors).  They are looking for writers whose web pages say:

• Can you sell their stuff to their customers?

• Do you have skills to change their customers’ minds about something?

• Can you assist in their social media efforts so that they can raise their company profiles and generate more leads and more clientele?

• Can they afford you?

•  Do you have the credentials that demonstrate you can do the job?

Your website content should show and tell your potential customers these the answers!