Don’t Get Caught by Surprise

What happens when you do not know your audience? When you are speaking to the wrong customer, you are likely to get caught by surprise and taken for a ride … like this guy.

Man Flipped by Car

What is Your Target Market?Determine to whom you are trying to sell. If you are selling pest management, then determine if your main customers are realtors, college students, landlords, or families. Drill deeper. If you are selling to landlords, determine if you are focusing on low budget or high budget properties. Are you selling to landlords with one property or to large property management companies? Base your target market off of where you believe you can find the most profitable and highest mass of customers. Look to the future. Your targeted market today may well determine the actual market in six to eight months. Ensure that your target market matches your company and its values. For example, a pest company that specializes in environmentally friendly pet management will want to target customers with a desire for environmentally friendly pest management. Do not waste time advertising products that do not matter to your target customers.

Target Your Marketing Channels?Once you have established a target market you can begin targeting your marketing channels. Look at all of the different channels through which you currently market your services. Consider billboards, radio advertisements, KSL.com, Craigslist, television commercials, newspaper classifieds, social media and print advertisements.

Hobbyfarms.com was looking to promote a pest management blog post through Pinterest. To do so, they pinned an image of a praying mantis gorging himself (or herself) on a tasty juicy cicada. Needless to say, this campaign has gone nowhere. Why, because it was aimed at the wrong audience. Know the markets that your marketing channels reach and act appropriately.

Target Your Product and Service OfferingsHyper focus your products and services to your target market. If you are looking to sell pest management services to large property management companies, be sure that you offer consistent treatments that are easily called upon by tenants. If you are aiming your services at environmentally conscious mothers, ensure that you offer safe, green, and effective services.

The Most Overrated Social Media Metric
(Convince & Convert)

Do you sell advertising on your website? No? Then why are you so excited about your website traffic?

Wikipedia Appears on Google More Than on Bing
(Search Engine Land)

A new study suggests that Wikipedia gets better visibility on Google than it does on Bing. While that may not surprise much of the SEO industry, it contradicts what some Google employees have previously said, as well as another recent study on Wikipedia’s search visibility.

CBS Connects Social TV Platform Wants to Connect Fans and Stars
(TNW)

CBS.com has just launched a social TV platform called ‘CBS Connect‘, Lost Remotereports. According to the media company, its new site aims to be “a new social hub connecting fans with each other and CBS stars.”

Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd
(Learn More)

If you want more business, you have to find a way to stand out. From website design to SEO and pay-per-click to marketing strategy, let Webmix Marketing help your business stand out from the crowd. 

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Twilight, Hipsters, and Going Local

The last couple of years have embraced many interesting and unique trends. From pastel overcoats, plaid shirts and fake glasses to Vampire movies to businesses going local, the last few years have been a buzz of trends. Some of these trends are great, like the recent effort of many businesses to connect directly to their customers through social media. Other trends are neutral, like the obsession of many to dawn wizard robes and cloister around a cinema until midnight. Some trends, however, can be detrimental, even dangerous. An example is the trend of some small companies to ignore the role of technology in business.

The introduction of the Internet, email, social media, texting, SEO, and Google Places has all but shattered the traditional small business landscape. A small landscaping company can no longer depend on word of mouth to grow business. It now has to consider what customers say about their work online. So much of the customer facing aspects of business is now being done online (everything from customer acquisition to customer follow up), those businesses left out are doomed to irrelevancy until they make a change.

Below is a list of the top 5 ways to embrace technology and make it a resource rather than an unrealistic burden or a competitive disadvantage.

  1. Use the right tools
  2. Don’t waste time trying to manage multiple social media accounts or code a company weekly email newsletter in HTML when there are tools out there to make the job easier. Hootsuite, TweetDeck and GrabInbox are excellent resources that help users manage multiple social media accounts. MailChimp is an email newsletter service that is not only free if you have a list of less than 2,000 contacts; it is also painfully easy to use.

  3. Know when to walk away from a trend
  4. Not every technology is worth pursuing. The companies that make technology a resource know how to be selective and focus on the most potent and applicable resources. Consider, for example, foursquare. Foursquare is a powerful social media technology that allows users to interact via location. While many small businesses have grown by embracing the foursquare market, many more have tried and failed. Companies located in rural areas have little to gain from this location based social network, and should focus their time and attention in other areas.

  5. Make technology your tool, not your master
  6. A new technology has to jive with your company’s culture, budget, and resources. Do not start pressuring your company’s different departments to create and post exciting videos just because someone told you video is key to getting your company noticed online.

  7. Make time, but not too much time
  8. Tools like SEO, social media, email marketing, and text advertising can require a significant investment of time. Given the huge return these tools can provide, it is worth investing time into adopting them into your company. Beware, however, the temptation to invest all of your time into these tools. Remember, at the end of the day these things are just tools to make it easier to reach your customers.

  9. Outsource
  10. You don’t have to do everything. You are an expert in your industry, not in Internet marketing. There are many aspects of Internet marketing that you can outsource to those strange souls who eat, drink, and breath PPC, SEO, and CTR. You can hire an expert to build your website, manage your social media accounts, or run your company’s blog. Focusing on your area of expertise is always a good policy.

Technology is nothing new. It has been changing business since the beginning of time. Businesses have always had to adapt, and that is what has made business the most dynamic, enduring, and influential practice in the history of the world. Businesses today that hide from these changes will fail. As Charles Darwin states, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

The Big Doubt Over Facebook
(WSJ)

Facebook Inc. is planning to start its roadshow to pitch its stock to investors on Monday, but some advertisers are frustrated with the social-media titan. Drew Dowell has details on the News Hub.

Bing Strips Down Results Page To Make Google Look Like “Search Overload”
(TC)

While Google keeps cramming its search results pages full of tools and social content, today Bing confirmed with me the full roll out a redesigned search results page that completely clears the left sidebar, and replaces the tabbed header with a cleaner set of links. Bing’s Facebook integration is also more subtle now, instead of plastering names and faces beneath Liked results.

10 tools that will make you a Twitter power user
(TechRepublic )

Twitter can be powerful for professional networking and collective intelligence. Here are ten tools that can help you become a Twitter power user and take full advantage of Twitter for business and professional use.

Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd
(Learn More)

If you want more business, you have to find a way to stand out. From website design to SEO and pay-per-click to marketing strategy, let Webmix Marketing help your business stand out from the crowd. 

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I Had a Party But Nobody Came

Why it Matters
The 21st Century might someday be known as the age of social networks. From Facebook’s launch in 2004 to Pinterest’s closed beta arrival in 2010, social networks have changed the way the world works. With so many social networks in the mix, why should anyone pay attention to the emergence of one of the most recent networks, Google+? Google recently announced that 150 million people had ‘upgraded’ to Google+ in the last year. Facebook and Twitter took years to bring on just 20 million users, while Google+ does this monthly. For Google+ the numbers are there, but the interactivity is lacking.

What Google+ Can Do For You
As a Google product, Google+ has the ability to directly affect Google search results. This is a big deal for companies hoping to get noticed online. Google search takes into account Google+ posts, something that Google does not do for Facebook posts or Twitter feeds. Companies can leverage talk about their products or services into higher search rankings by moving those conversations to Google+. Another advantage of using Google+ over Facebook for small businesses is the ability Google+ gives to segment messages to different audiences. This allows companies to focus their marketing messages to specified audiences in a way that they never could before.

What Google+ Will Not Do For You
Google+ is a party that Google threw but no one attended. The chatter on the social network is often non-existent, enveloping its users in loneliness, depression, and an acute sense of rejection. In fact, Google+’s time on site fell from 5.1 minutes in November down to 3.3 minutes in January. Google+ is not likely to increase the chatter around your brand, introduce your company to new customers, or give you greater access to your current customers. Google+ does not allow companies to initiate a relationship with other Google+ users; rather individuals must find and connect with a company’s Google+ page on their own. Google+ is also very compartmentalized, which makes it difficult for users to browse topics and happen to run across an appealing brand.

A Look at Who is Doing it Right
Is there anyone out there actually using Google+ to grow his or her company? Photographers, possibly Google+’s largest niche demographic, have established a strong presence in the search engine’s social network. This has opened up all sorts of opportunities for the photo industry on Google+. JarvieDigital Photography is one such success story. By sharing his best work and plugging in to conversations on Google+, Scott Jarvie has both grown his clientele and gained a reputation as a thought leader in his industry.

Another small business Google+ success is Best Made Company, a tool company focused on providing outdoorsmen with a better axe. Best Made Company has used its Google+ page to share outdoor photos, YouTube videos, inspiring stories and statements, and Dutch oven recipes. The result? Over 125,000 followers on Google+, higher Google rankings, and more customers.

Be Inspired by Technology, Not Irritated by It
(Bruce Clay, Inc)

Got a few minutes to be inspired by technology today? Can’t stomach another how-to post or dramatic Google-focused news story — or is that just me? Monday started off feeling a bit more “Mondayish” than I would have liked, and I’m sure many of you are feeling the same way (quiet down, eternal optimists). If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to become caught up in the details of this tactic or that strategy to the point of losing sight of the bigger picture. That’s why I love TED Talks and it’s also why I love technology — because it’s part of something bigger … even if I have to be reminded ever so often. Today, I found the inspiration I needed in some very moving, tech-focused stories via TED Talks, and I wanted to share those with you.

95% Of Independent Restaurants Don’t Have Mobile Sites, Only 40% Have Online Menus
(TC)

Restaurants just love to put Flash intros with auto-playing music and animations on their front pages. If you are trying to look at one of these sites on your mobile browser without Flash, chances are there is no way to bypass the animation and get to the information you want because the complete site was designed in Flash.

Embracing Your Extrovert in Business
(outspoken media)

I am an extrovert. You might be as well. And, if you’re not an extrovert, you probably have to communicate with one in business and in life. What follows is a deeper understanding of this gift of gab in the hope that extroverts can find the focus we need to accomplish great things, and introverts can learn to manage your expectations when faced with communicating with one of us.

Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd
(Learn More)

If you want more business, you have to find a way to stand out. From website design to SEO and pay-per-click to marketing strategy, let Webmix Marketing help your business stand out from the crowd. 

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The Dark Side of Sales

Does sales leave a bad taste in your mouth? Overly aggressive salesmen, cheap as-seen-on-tv infomercials, and secretive multi-level-marketing companies have given sales an undeserved image as gimmicky, dishonest and pushy. The reality is that sales is the greatest tool producers have to share their products or services with the customers that want those products or services. As the saying goes, nothing in business matters until a sale is made.

What is Sales?
Sales is the connecting of goods and services with the people that want them. Business owners all too often think of sales as a one-way street. The reality, however, is that sales is a tool for the benefit of sellers and buyers. Good salespeople learn how to convey the value of a product that the potential buyer had never even considered.


Why Do Sales Matter?

Sales is the lifeblood of a company. Every department in an organization functions to either drive sales or increase the profitability of sales. This means that when sales stop coming in, the rest of the organization will eventually be forced to shut down. Doubtful? Consider Blockbuster, the 20th century dinosaur of video rental. When sales slumped due to technological shifts in the mid-2000’s, Blockbuster quickly skidded to a stop, filing for bankruptcy in 2010. It did not matter how fantastic was Blockbuster’s logo, its accounting department, or how many great titles it shelved, because no one was buying. Small and medium sized companies that put an emphasis on sales will see the results of this effort in every aspect of the company.

The Dark Side of Sales
Sales bad rap is in part deserved. Too many salespeople push for hard sales, leading their customers to solutions they do not even want. Once a sale has been made, many salespeople are quick to disappear, building a wall of gatekeepers between them and the customer. This is the dark side of sales, and it is not a good long-term strategy.

Do Sales Right
There are two ways a company can avoid the negative stereotype attached to sales. First, a company can avoid selling at all costs. The company can rely 100% on referrals from past and current customers. This option may look appealing, but it is likely to stem the progress of a growing company and suffocate the life out of a stable one.

Second, a company can implement good sales practices. These include sales training for the staff (particularly any customer interacting employee), setting consistent messaging and details about company products or services, and ensuring adequate post-purchase follow-up.

June 12 SLC Internet Marketing Training
(SLCSEM & GetListed)

GetListed is bringing its traveling seminar to Salt Lake City this June. Learn Internet marketing basics tailored for business owners. Register by May 15 to save $40 with the promo code “corpall.”

Top 10 Tech This Week
(Mashable)

Tech took to the air this week, and the result was spectacularly fuel-efficient airliners, a speedy trip from New York to Beijing in two hours, and even birds flying through space in pursuit of their porcine nemesis. Step into the cockpit with us as we fly through that maelstrom and a lot more on this week’s Top 10 Tech.

Bedbugs Can Infest Your Office, Too
(Philly.com)

Add bedbugs to your list of potential occupational health hazards. A new report reveals nearly half of the employees of a U.S. government office in Tennessee were bitten by the blood-thirsty invaders while at work.

Are Apple and Google Playing HTML5 Chess with Facebook?
(Forbes)

The mobile web is broken. Big time. This week at the Breaking Development Conference in Orlando, some of the smartest minds in web development gave presentation after presentation about missing APIs, unresponsive images and load times from hell.

Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd
(Learn More)

If you want more business, you have to find a way to stand out. From website design to SEO and pay-per-click to marketing strategy, let Webmix Marketing help your business stand out from the crowd. 

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Timid Salesmen Have Skinny Kids

The other day I was watching a class of sales students compete in a sales competition. The students were sharp, polished, and well prepared. They were quick to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of the products that they were pitching. The students responded empathetically to their buyer’s concerns, using the concern as a means to highlight the key benefits of the product. All in all, the students’ sales were magnificent. The bad news … not one student achieved a sale. Each student nailed the entire sale, but then failed to close. In fact, one student had the buyer telling them how much he wanted to buy from them, but got so lost proving how good the product was that he never got around to closing the sale.

Sales is all about closing. A powerful close will often make up for a mediocre sales pitch, and a weak close can ruin even the most powerful pitch.

Do Your Homework
Proper preparation will make a close smooth and natural. Prepare by getting a firm understanding of the buyer, his or her ability to pay, the industry, and appropriate pricing. Put together a basic contract before you even go in to the sale. It may be worth having that contract on hand. One never knows when they will meet a buyer who is ready to buy right now. Predetermine the price and service that you will offer. This helps you avoid looking foolish trying to guess how much you charge or skimming down a service offering in front of the buyer.

Be Direct
The potential for rejection can be paralyzing. Many salespeople dread asking the simple question, “Will you sign?” Stop beating around the bush elaborating on the products features or hammering the service’s potential value to the buyer and get a commitment to buy. Avoid shortchanging yourself. You can be in control of the close. If the buyer is interested, ask for the full price and full cooperation. Be clear in presenting the product or services potential and limits. Undersell and over deliver is a good policy, especially in the hyper connected small and medium business arena.

Finish the Close
The moment buyer starts talking about how much he or she needs your product is the right time to close. You do not have to answer every objection or quell every possible concern right off the bat. Ask for a solid commitment to buy and then schedule the next steps. These next steps should be within the week. If you wait too long to follow up, the odds of losing your client skyrocket. Have the buyer commit to a time to sign the contract. Also, if you are selling a service arrange at least one pre and one post job meetings. This will help you solidify the details of the arrangement, answer any concerns, and secure additional work.

Spotify launches Play Button for websites to stream music
(the guardian)

Spotify has unveiled its latest attempt to beef up its streaming music service’s web presence beyond its desktop application. It’s called the Spotify Play Button, and provides website owners with a way to stream songs, albums and playlists from Spotify without making users leave their sites.

Why most business strategies fail
(CBS)

The biggest mistake CEOs make is thinking they have the answer. The biggest mistake chief marketing officers make is thinkingthey have the answer. It’s ironic because they’re the people who are supposed to know the answer. If not them, then who?

Email Marketing: Why Segmentation, Analytics, and Integration are Essential
(social media today)

It really doesn’t matter if you’re offering your own product online, if you’re an offline merchant with an online presence, or if you’re selling your services to offline merchants. If you’re not taking advantage of all available marketing channels by using an email marketing system, you’re leaving money on the table.

Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd
(Learn More)

If you want more business, you have to find a way to stand out. From website design to SEO and pay-per-click to marketing strategy, let Webmix Marketing help your business stand out from the crowd. 

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Increase Your Speed

This week in the chilly snow covered mountains of northern Norway, a Norwegian tow truck driver, Arnt Ove Brattbakk, was trying to tow a semi away from a 200-foot cliff. As this tow truck moved forward, the semi suddenly jackknifed and began sliding off the cliff. Thanks to some quick thinking, the tow truck driver managed to jump out of the truck moments before it plummeted down into the ravine.

Lorry drama in Norway

A quick reaction can save your life, as Arnt Ove Brattbakk would certainly attest, but quick reactions can also save your business. One of the biggest advantages that small and medium sized companies have over large corporations is their ability to react quickly. By improving your company’s reaction time, you can make your company’s small size a real advantage.

Consider the following situations and your ability to react quickly and decisively in each.

Customer requests or complaints

Customer recommendations

New industry trends

Customer referrals

Industry price changes

Replacing employees

Take Polaroid as an example. Polaroid was the leader in home photography for decades. In fact, like Kleenex, Polaroid was a term synonymous for its product. With the advent of digital photography, however, came the Polaroid’s demise. The company was slow to react to industry trends and technology changes, leading to its bankruptcy in 2005. Reaction time matters.

There are three steps that you can take, today, to give your company the ability to react quickly and precisely.

1. Communicate with your customers regularly.
Consistent communication with your customers, either through email newsletters or more personal phone calls and emails, keeps you in the loop to what your customer base is thinking. Consistent communication also makes it easier for customers to come to you with questions, complaints, or referrals. It also establishes a direct link with your customers, so that you can respond to them immediately and through a channel with which they have become comfortable.

2. Organize your office operations
Train your front desk and office staff so that they know how to respond to customers, and so that they know what type of information needs to be quickly passed on to their managers. Teach these employees to listen. They are your front liners, and you may be surprised by how much they already know about the direction of your industry and how your company fits in that industry.

3. Automate processes
Build quick and accurate reactions into your company by automating difference processes. Invest in a good CRM software to organize your office’s interactions with its customers. Set office procedures to respond to different situations. This will allow your office to respond immediately to questions, complaints, and referrals. For example, train the office staff to send a ‘thank you’ card to every client that refers a friend. By automating these reactions rather than following an ad hoc method that changes from day to day, you will quicken your responses and ensure that none of your clients get missed.

Racing legend Mario Andretti once declared, “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” Many small and medium sized business owners often feel the need to maintain absolute control on every aspect of their business. Some do this at the expense of their customers and their business. Simple things like automated processes, an organized office, and consistent company-customer interaction are often overlooked, but they are vital to the future growth of any company.

Project Glass: Google Shows Off Augmented Reality Spectacles
(Huffington Post)

Being a four-eyes has never been so cool.
Google on Wednesday morning unveiled a YouTube video teasing its augmented reality eyeglasses, a pair of spectacles that interacts with what you’re seeing and acts as a smartphone, day planner, turn-by-turn navigation system, camera and more.

7 Useful Pinterest Tools to Supercharge Your Pinfluence
(Mashable)

Several fun third-party sites and services have piggybacked on Pinterest‘s impressive success, some of which can help you get more out of the pinboard-based social networking site. Whether you want to measure your Pinterest influence, pin website screenshots, or create good-looking text-based pins, these seven services are well worth bookmarking for future reference.

25 Unbelievable Pictures Of The Tornadoes That Hit Texas
(BuzzFeed)

Multiple tornadoes touched down across the Dallas/Fort Worth area causing extensive damage yesterday. These pictures are pretty insane, especially the ones of the hail and semi-trucks.

Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd
(Learn More)

If you want more business, you have to find a way to stand out. From website design to SEO and pay-per-click to marketing strategy, let Webmix Marketing help your business stand out from the crowd. 

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The E-mail Newsletter Blank Canvas Dilemma

Five months ago I wrote an article about how to implement an effective e-mail newsletter campaign. In that article I stated that the most important aspect of an e-mail newsletter is the e-mail’s subject line. This is true. There are, however, other vital aspects of an e-mail newsletter campaign. One of the most key aspects is the newsletter’s content.

Many a determined business owner has set a goal to keep in touch with his clients through e-mail newsletters only to get mired in the frustration of a blank canvas (or blank word document). There are many superficial ways to make your e-mail newsletter stand out, like giving the e-mail newsletter a custom layout, demonstrating a clear and concise purpose, targeting the right audience (you can segment and send different e-mails to different customers with most mass e-mail programs), and including pictures and video. None of that matters, though, without some content around which to build the newsletter.

We have put together a breakdown of ideas that you can use to escape the curse of the blank canvas.

1. Share professional instruction

Give Tutorials
Tutorials are a fantastic way to highlight your product or service and give your customers free instruction. Consider walking through the basics of how your solution works. A pest management company, for example, may consider breaking down the details of fumigation or spotting bed bugs. For a more powerful tutorial, consider putting together a short and simple video. This is a valuable opportunity for you to showcase your expertise and solidify yourself as an expert.

Share information from industry experts
Gain credibility by standing on the shoulders of giants. Share quotes, videos, or concepts introduced by experts in your industry. Once you have these gems, add your thoughts on the expert’s advice.

Give an interview
Nothing says, “I’m an expert” like your own interview. Put together a quality video interview and send that out to your e-mail recipients. Use the interview to demonstrate your expertise, knowledge, and likeability. Do not forget that people buy from people they like.


2. Talk about your industry and company

Address industry conversations
Tap into the current events and current debates sweeping your industry. Is there a new process, service, competitor, or company that everyone is talking about? Get into the conversation by addressing your take on things in your next e-mail newsletter. This is a fantastic way to demonstrate your relevance and introduce customers to your company’s way of doing business.

Talk about best practices in the industry or in your company
Are there some basic best practices that every company in your industry ought to be following? Walk your customers and potential customers through these best practices. This is an opportunity to arm these consumers with the knowledge they need to choose a quality company (yours) to service their needs.

Highlight your niche in the industry
What makes you unique in your industry? How do you stand out from your competition? Communicating your unique selling point to your customers is as simple as telling them. You unique selling point could be anything from customer service, speed, reliability, to environmentally friendly. As long as you can demonstrate a clear and relevant contrast between you and the competition, you are communicating your unique selling point.


3. Interact with your customers

Share contests and promotions
Contests are a great way to involve your e-mail recipients. As the recent $640 million lottery news bonanza proved, we love to win things. Contest ideas can include random giveaways, picture or video contests, or trivia questions.

Ask for feedback around an industry topic
You certainly have some great advice and opinions to share, but do not ignore the valuable insights of your audience. Get your readers involved by asking for them to share their insight around a particular industry topic. Follow through and share the responses in an e-mail newsletter.

Share promotions
Promotions! Everyone likes to feel like they are getting a great deal. Fuel that emotion by occasionally sharing discounted or free services. Promotions are a great way both to introduce potential clients to your company and to stay in the minds of your current clients.

Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs
(CNBC)

Titled “The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs,” the article looks at Jobs’ career and how he made Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world. In it, Isaacson asserts that Jobs “belongs in the pantheon of America’s great innovators, along with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Walt Disney.”

Exclusive: Pinterest Co-Founder Paul Sciarra Is Leaving The Company
(Startup Grind)

Multiple sources inside the company confirm that Pinterest co-founder Paul Sciarra is leaving the company within the next week or so. Paul was one of the original founders of Cold Brew Labs (established in 2008) with Ben Silbermann which incubated Pinterest and other products. Ben and Paul knew each other while attending school at Yale.

A is For (Google) Analytics
(Amber Meadows)

I’ve decided to devote 30 days of blogging madness to sharing everything I’ve learned about blogging and to give you tips on how to have a better blog, become a better blogger, and ultimately become more successful.

Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd
(Learn More)

If you want more business, you have to find a way to stand out. From website design to SEO and pay-per-click to marketing strategy, let Webmix Marketing help your business stand out from the crowd. 

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Should I Use Pinterest?

Pinterest is the Internet’s latest and greatest social network. You may be wondering what more a social network could offer after the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, FourSquare, and LinkedIn. Pinterest, it appears, is making its mark as the social network of images. Pinterest grew 36% from January to February, and it is now the 16th most visited website on the Internet. In addition, Pinterest accounts for 3.6% of referral traffic, just .1% less than Twitter.

Should I Use Pinterest?
Before you decide to follow the hype and get your company on Pinterest, there are two important factors to consider. First, is your audience on Pinterest? Second, does your product or service ‘fit in’ on Pinterest?

1. Is Your Audience on Pinterest?
The first factor to consider when determining if Pinterest is for you is your audience. Is your audience on Pinterest? The average Pinterest user is a 25-34 year old middle class woman with children. If you have a service or product that in any way attempts to target this group, then you ought to seriously consider delving into Pinterest. On the other hand, if you are trying to sell Ferrari’s to wealthy 60-year-old men, keep advertising in Golf Digest.

2. Does Your Product or Service ‘Fit In’ on Pinterest?
Most Pinterest users visit the site to get DIY craft ideas, learn new recipes, and exercise their imagination with new fashions and designs. If you are selling an actual product, something that looks unique, cool, interesting, or fun, then Pinterest may be for you. If you are selling a service, then jumping into the euphoric pinning and liking may be a bit more difficult. Some companies may be able to share images that relate to their service. For example, a landscaping company could post beautiful pictures of their work. Other services, like accounting, may be more difficult to market on Pinterest.

How Do I Get Started?
Getting started with Pinterest is as simple as visiting www.pinterest.com and requesting an invite. You should get a response in your email within a few days, at which time you can create an account for your company. The next step is to get out and start taking photographs.

Tips
Pinterest is a social network dedicated to PICTURES. Keep image descriptions short and to the point. Focus on posting compelling, quality, catchy images that will lead viewers to click through to your site.

Link your photos to your check out or purchase pages. It is imperative that a Pinterest user who clicks through on one of your images is sent to a webpage with a clear call to action.

Include more than just pictures of your product. Do not feel bound trying to find new ways to take a picture of the same product over and over again. Pinterest is a community, where all types of interesting and unique photos can be used to drive users to your site.

Finally, keep your eye on the prize. While Pinterest is a fantastic new community that is growing at an unbelievable rate, remember why you are using Pinterest. Your business is about sales, so do not get lost in all of the sharing, pinning, and commenting. Ensure that you are spending your time in a way that is leading to company sales.

YouTube launches “one click fix” to improve the quality of your videos
(TNW)

When we’re trying to capture something really funny, awesome, or downright amusing with our camera, the video quality is the last thing we’re thinking about. Capture the moment is the goal, and if you do it right then you might just have the next “viral” gem on your hands.

10 Steps to Make Your Employees Smile
(Inc.)

I normally use a lot of examples, metaphors, and random pop culture references when I talk about company culture. But sometimes you just have to realize that good rules to live by don’t necessarily need a picture or analogy. Here are the 10 things I always do, without fail, to make employees smile.

13 Brands Using LinkedIn Company Page Features the Right Way
(HubSpot)

Let’s take a look at some of the admirable use cases of the main LinkedIn company page features to inspire you to give your LinkedIn company page a little more love. You want to leverage LinkedIn’s lead gen potential for your business as much as possible.

Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd
(Learn More)

If you want more business, you have to find a way to stand out. From website design to SEO and pay-per-click to marketing strategy, let Webmix Marketing help your business stand out from the crowd. 

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Three Levers to Move the World

There are many measures business owners use to judge the state of their company, including the number of employees, the number of visits to the company website, and the number of leads sitting in the pipeline. The most important measure, however, is a company’s profitability. Profitability is the underlying purpose of every business transaction, and it is the easiest method to gauge the success of a company. How, though, does one increase a company’s profitability? There are three financial levers that, when managed correctly, will increase a company’s profitability.

Lever One | Raising Prices
Raising your prices can be an excellent way to raise your company’s profitability. Many business owners are self-conscious and insecure about the value of their services, which leads them to undervalue their work and provide unnecessarily discounted prices.

There are a couple of signs that indicate a company’s prices are too low. The first is that a company is spending all of its time juggling customers, unsure of how to fit everyone onto the calendar. In spite of all the activity, this company is struggling to maintain a positive profit margin. Another sign is a company that continually adds services to its customers. Such a company is likely giving far more to its clients than the clients are paying to receive.

There are a few risks that come with raising your prices. Many of your customers may be very comfortable with their current business arrangement, and a sudden price change is likely to upset at least one of them. Any price changes must be presented and explained to your customers in a way that shows them the future benefits they will enjoy because of the price increase. You also run the risk of raising your prices so high that you cannot acquire new customers. This is a very sensitive lever that must be placed in just the right position to maximize your company’s revenue.

Lever Two | Lower Your Expenses
You do not have to simply rely on raising your prices to increase your profitability. Consider lowering your expenses. It is always good to reconsider your business activities and determine which ones are contributing to future growth and which activities are not. Ensure that all activities eventually create a positive ROI. Many companies spend too much time and money on projects, customers, or services that do not contribute to the company’s growth.

There are several potential drawbacks to lowering your company’s expenses. The first is that expenses are limited. You can only cut out so much before you run out of expenses to eliminate. The second is that too much expense cutting may make yours or your employees’ work miserable. That is certainly not the goal. The third drawback is the risk of eliminating the wrong expenses. Certain expenses are not providing immediate returns, but are instead investments that will yield increased revenue in the future. Cutting or avoiding these expenses will limit your ability to grow and leave you wondering why you cannot break out of your current revenue expectations.

Lever Three | Sell More
This is the biggest and heaviest of the three levers. Lowering your expenses and increasing your prices both carry mostly short-term results. Increasing your sales is a lever that you can pull that will have a lasting impact on your business for years. There are many ways to increase your company’s sales.

You can begin by evaluating your company’s value proposition. Do you have clear and concise company goals? Determine how your company’s services fit in its industry. Other ways to grow your company’s sales include consulting with a professional marketing firm, begin working with an advertising agency, rebuilding the company website, speaking at or writing for relevant trade associations, and hiring a sales manager.

6 Strategies For Dealing With Uncertainty In Business
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Randomness and uncertainty play increasingly greater roles in determining business success, largely because of rapidly evolving social networks. Here are six strategies that can help your business remain stable as the tides shift.

12 Hard Work Quotes
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Working hard is essential to life.
I firmly believe that almost anything is possible in this life, if you’re willing to back your dreams with hard work. I’ve seen miracles accomplished again and again, by people who understand hard work’s value and importance.

54 Pearls of Marketing Wisdom
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The inbound marketing experts at HubSpot along with Jeff Ente of Who’s Blogging What have just published an outstanding collection of social media insights, 54 Pearls of Marketing Wisdom by “26 of the world’s best marketing experts.”

Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd
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If you want more business, you have to find a way to stand out. From website design to SEO and pay-per-click to marketing strategy, let Webmix Marketing help your business stand out from the crowd. 

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Finding Your Niche on Miami Beach

Niche: a) A situation or activity specially suited to a person’s interests, abilities, or nature b) A special area of demand for a product or service.

Going out of Business Sign: a) The sign a company without a niche is destined to place on its door

Companies that find a profitable niche succeed, while those companies that do not fail. This is a hard and fast rule. There are no exceptions.

Consider Miami Beach, Florida. Miami is the home to over 2.4 million residents and three professional sports teams. There are hundreds of hotels and more than 800 buildings in this bustling city. In 2008, Forbes ranked Miami the #1 Cleanest City in America. It seems like Miami was a city destined to be a symbol of luxury and comfort, but Miami was not always this way.

Lets go back to 1910. Miami was little more than a fishing village. The only visitors to Miami Beach had to come by ferry. There was no Miami Beach hotel, so these visitors only came to visit for the day. The beaches for these visitors were not much to look at either. Instead of vast white beaches, the coast was a tangled mass of mangroves. But then Carl Fisher found a niche for Miami Beach as a premier getaway for wealthy industrialists from the north and Midwest. Fisher built five hotels, dredged Miami Beach’s coast to give it a pristine white sandy beach, and built up a net worth of $100 million.

World War II and air conditioning were two factors in the explosion Miami Beach’s 1950s growth. Once again Miami had found a new niche, this time as the country’s ‘feel like a star’ getaway, where visitors could escape their mundane everyday life and walk the beach, see flamingos, and shop the newly built mall. Miami kept this niche up through the mid 1990’s.

Today Miami maintains a niche as a retirement paradise, where 17.02% of the population is over 65. Time and time again, Miami has reinvented itself to fit a niche. This has led to economic growth and a bustling community that is the 6th densest city in the United States.

Take a lesson from Miami Beach and determine where your company fits in your industry. If you run a pest control company, do not do everything for every customer. Find a profitable niche and follow it. Consider focusing on bed bugs, snakes and spiders, or rodents. Explore other niches like fumigation, eco-friendliness, or safety.

Do you own a local bed and breakfast? If so, then part of your niche has already been chosen for you, your location. Develop your niche further by building a reputation around your food, amenities, nearby attractions, or the history of your bed and breakfast.

Finding a niche may appear limiting at first, but it will allow you to focus on doing one thing very well. Your customers will respond with passion as they see you throwing your energy behind serving their specific needs and wants. Like Miami, your company will fare well when you grow it around a profitable niche.

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Insiders find every aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) fascinating. But the real world doesn’t. An SEO professional may live and die by every algo update and latest social signal split-test, but please know that the non-SEO world couldn’t care less.

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(HubSpot)

Email is a powerful marketing channel, but it’s also one that presents many questions and difficulties. In its 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, MarketingSherpa surveyed 2,735 companies and asked them to rank the significance of 12 common email marketing challenges. In this blog post, we will focus on the top five challenges and suggest some ideas through which you can address these issues.

Small Business Marketing Tips: Marketing Your Restaurant From The Inside Out
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When was the last time you invited people over for dinner or a party at your home? For most of us, before the dinner or party, we get our house in order. It may be cleaning, flowers for the table or mowing the lawn–we’re all going to do something extra to impress our guests. Marketing your restaurant is no different.

Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd
(Learn More)

If you want more business, you have to find a way to stand out. From website design to SEO and pay-per-click to marketing strategy, let Webmix Marketing help your business stand out from the crowd. 

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