5 LinkedIn Marketing Tips to Grow Your Business

5 LinkedIn Marketing Tips to Grow Your BusinessLinkedIn is a great way to grow your business, gain exposure, set yourself apart from your competition and be seen as an expert by your peers. It’s time to put your fears aside and jump in with both feet! Here are 5 marketing tips to grow your business on LinkedIn.

1. Review & Update Your Profile Often

Keeping your profile updated is important so that prospective clients know that you’re active online. Things often change, sometimes quickly, in your business and it’s important to document those on your profile. The same is true for your profile photo and your headline. Add links to articles, lead pages with free reports, and show photographs of your office and more. Really beef up that profile and make it stand out.

2. Build Your Network

On LinkedIn, you make connections instead of friends or followers. Your network is important to the growth of your business because it’s full of prospective clients or those who can recommend your products/services to friends, family, or colleagues. Be selective with who you add to your network, however, to make sure you’re building a quality network.

3. Publish Articles

Consistently publish articles to your LI profile to gain exposure. Once you do this, your original content becomes a part of your professional profile. It’s also seen among your connections with a notification. Publishing on LI helps you been seen as an expert in your field, helps you grow your following and again sets you apart from you competition.

4. Leverage Endorsements

Endorsements are like reviews of your products/services so be sure to leverage them. Take some time to put together a comprehensive list of skills and experience you have and add them to your profile. Your connections will be able to endorse or confirm that you, in fact, possess those skills and experiences, which will increase your visibility within the network.

5. Participate in Groups

Search and join groups that contain like-minded people and your target market. Be sure to interact on a regular basis to build a rapport with the other members. This is a great way to position yourself and your business as an expert in your niche and you’ll build credibility along the way.

Social media marketing is constantly changing, making it hard to keep up with the latest. That’s where I come in. I keep up with all the changes so you don’t have to. Contact me today for your consultation to see how I can help market you and your business effectively on LinkedIn.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

How Should I Email My New Potential Clients or Patients?

Email Marketing, Amanda BrazelThis is a question I often hear from my clients as well other business owners that I speak to, so I thought I would take the time this week to introduce a nice script that you are more then welcome to use for your own.

Taking the time to write emails is time consuming and can lead to just sending over quick one liners, which does not lead to good marketing for your business. Therefore I recommend having a script that you can cut and paste.  With that said, I also believe you should ALWAYS personalize the email a bit to each person that emails you.

So, here is the script that I recently created for several clients. I hope you find it helpful. Feel free to take the mold and then make it your own for your specific business.

 

Hello,

Thank you for reaching out to Chapel Hill Psychotherapy.

We are happy to give you more information about our practice as well as schedule an appointment should you decide to do so.

First and foremost you will find that our therapists are caring, down to earth and very comfortable to work with.

All of our patients are seen on time and we have scheduling availabilities on Saturdays if you are unable to be seen during regular business hours.

Our waiting room is very homey, comfortable and has complimentary beverages for you to enjoy before your session. There is even a space for your child to play in the event you need to bring him or her with you.

Like many private practices we are out-of-network, which means that when you come to see your therapist you pay the amount due at your appointment. From there if you like, we will provide you with a claim for your insurance carrier and depending upon your benefits you may receive a partial reimbursement for your appointment. Again there are many factors that play into your reimbursement for services. We suggest that you educate yourself on what your plan is. Many times you must meet a deductible before benefits are activated.

The initial appointment is a full hour and your investment is $150. From there you may want to continue with a one-hour appointment for $165 or you can choose a 45-minute appointment for $125. The choice is up to you.

Our specialties are in:

Our first available one-hour appointment is on _________________________ or I have some other times at __________________________ and ________________________.  Please let me know which time works best for you.

We are also always open to speaking on the phone before you come in or to schedule your appointment. Please feel free to contact us at our Durham office at 919-555-5555 or our Cary office at 919-555-5555. If you’d like to speak on the phone first, please feel free to let us know some times that work best for you, so our therapist is available to speak with you.

Thank you again for reaching out to Chapel Hill Psychotherapy. We’d love the opportunity to work with you. What would be a good time for you to begin?

***A few key points…always remember to HIGHLIGHT YOUR BENEFITS of working with you and end your email with a question. (They will feel like they need to answer you.) 

If you have any questions about your specific business, please feel free to reach out to me. I am always here to help.

#soarwithamanda

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda

Amanda Brazel

 

New: SUPER COOL Feature on Facebook!

New and Improved sign letering.

Facebook just released a brand new feature.  It’s AWESOME!!!  Instead of just being able to reply you can now leave a private message to anyone that posts on your business page.

This is going to be great for gaining new sales and creating a deeper relationship with your fans. Take a look to see what I mean.

When you click message a box pops up like below. Then you can type your private message below.

Here are a few reminders…don’t engage in negative banter. Keep it professional and light. Be genuine and not too over the top salesy. Take your time to write a good message. Remember this could be a potential lead and you don’t want to blow them off with a quick note. Take your time and show them you care.  Okay, enjoy the new feature and be successful!!

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#soarwithamanda

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda
Amanda Brazel, Social Media Marketing

 

13 Ways to Supercharge Your Instagram Marketing BIG-TIME!

superchargeINI LOVE INSTAGRAM Marketing! It’s by far my favorite social network. It’s the first network I check every morning after kissing my husband, hugging my kids and making my first cup of coffee.

I’ve developed amazing friendships with people I’ve never met, I’ve forged partnerships, and have also connected with other colleagues in my niche that have helped my business.  In addition to business, I’ve found great products that I’ve bought and honestly I would never have found those products otherwise. So, simply put…I LOVE Instagram. I love Instagram as a business owner and I love Instagram as a consumer. It’s easy to use and it’s so much fun especially when you use it in a manner that really serves your followers as well as your business.

So, here are some pretty awesome tips that are going to help you super charge your Instagram marketing.

1. Create a Dynamite Bio That Grabs Attention:  I know you’ve heard it before, but still I see so many folks with out a great bio. Your bio is valuable real estate that tells folks about who you are, what you like and/or what your business is about. This is basically your message to the world, expressing why they should follow and connect with you.

Personally, I use my Instagram account for personal and business together. I post many personal photos in order to let people get to know the real me and I mix in my work with inspiration and helpful information that serves others.

Here is an image that reflects how to create a dynamite bio that really grabs attention. Again, YOUR bio should speak about what YOU want it to reflect. This is also something you can change. I’ve changed my bio many times. I enjoy changing it up and bit and find it fun, especially as my likes and new hobbies change. So, play around with it. Make sure you use the extra bolded text and note that it’s NOT a repeat of my name. It’s what I do and my profile user name is my personal name. I also use emoticans to have fun (I love to have fun) and they make, what you LOVE stand out. Remember, people will follow you based on what you love. Like attracts like.

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2. Exercise Patience & Don’t Start Inviting Followers After First Setting Up Your Account: Instagram will ask you right away to start inviting folks to follow you, but I recommend you wait and have patience. You can do it later once you are all set up and ready to go. Remember first impressions only happen once and first impressions matter.

So, understand that there are many steps that you will need to set up before you invite followers. Again, first impressions only happen ONCE!

a. As I said above, you need to create your dynamite bio. Make sure you have your secondary name that is different from your profile name and be sure to list our what you love and what you do. There are many many ways to make your BIO stand out. Take time to look at other popular folks that have very large followings on Instagram to get ideas.

b. Then you want to take several photos in order to make sure that when folks see your profile they know immediately what they will be seeing from you if they decide to follow you. Again, first impressions only happen once!  ***One note here that is very important…as the amazing Instagram expert Jenn Herman says, “A picture says a thousand words – so what do you want your Instagram photos to say? What do you want your Instagram message to be?”  I recommend you read her blog post about creating your photos around what you want your Instagram message to be. You DO NOT just want to start taking photos and throwing them up without any thought or strategy.

3. Follow Your Competition:  It’s a great and wise move to follow your competition or the power houses in your industry or niche. This was you can connect with them, learn from them as well as praise them. Social Media can be very generous and even though it may be your competition…in many situations they may even share your content or products. So, don’t be afraid to follow and praise your competition.

4. Repost or Share Photos with Repost App: Download Repost App on your smartphone. This will allow you to easily repost other Instagram followers photos and share them with your audience. Of course this will get the attention of the person’s content you’ve shared. This can do wonders for your business. As I said earlier, Social Media can be very generous when practiced authentically and ethically. This only helps your business and brand when you recognize and celebrate others.

Download the Repost App to your smart phone and then connect it to your Instagram account. From there you can repost photos easily. It’s like sharing on Facebook or Retweeting on Twitter. This credits the person’s photo and allows their followers to learn more about their business or person you are reposting.

Here is a repost of Woof Gang Bakery here in our local community. I love dogs and I love helping local businesses grow!

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5. Manage Your Followers: Download one or both of these apps, Insta Followers or Followers. These are paid for apps and they will help you manage your followers. Many folks will start following you just to see if you will follow them back and once you do follow them, they will then quickly unfollow you. So, these apps help you unfollow those folks that are just looking to gain followers but not have a reciprocal relationship. The other purpose for this app is overall manage who you are following or not following as well as other helpful information. Have fun investigating and playing around with them.

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6.  Be Creative: Stage your photos, declutter spaces, and pretend to be a photographer (if you’re not one). People LOVE high quality photos and now with smart phones and fun Instagram filters you can make photos look amazing. I always LOVE looking at Shane Barker’s foodie photos and he’s not even a chef or a photographer. Oh, he makes them look so mouth watering.

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7. Be You: #BEYOU – Kim Garst says it best with her new book. It’s so important to be yourself, be authentic and be genuine with who you are on Instagram as well as other social media platforms. People will be attract to YOU naturally. Remember LIKE attracts LIKE and many people like to follow someone for a while before they become more invested in them. They want to see the REAL YOU before they buy a product, but once they do get to know you, they start to love you, trust you and become loyal to you.

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8: Grow Your Followers Super Fast: This is my #1 tip for growing on Instagram super fast.Typically what I do is find someone that I love to follow that also works in my niche and has a much larger following than I do and then I take a good peek at who they are following and who follows them.  I go through their fans and then pick and choose who I want to follow and connect with.

So, for example…let’s say that you have a small company that sells children’s clothing online. If I were you I would look up other very popular complimentary businesses that have huge followings like Zulily, Hanna Andersson or the like. Then look at who is following that business.  Click on their name, scroll through their photos, like several of them (be genuine) and then give them a follow too.

What happens is your Instagram profile will GET NOTICED because you gave them 3-5 likes on their photos and followed them. If they love children’s clothing and they like your style, than chances are they will start following you too. BAM!  Do this little by little everyday and you will have a massive following before you know it.

(Now, one thing you definitely DO NOT WANT TO DO…is write a comment to them plugging your clothing and telling them to check you out…that is called SPAM and feels so ICKY.) Be casual, be genuine and like what you like.  Believe me, if you have cute clothing and a great business people will want to follow you and ultimately buy from you as well. Hopefully you get my point here. If you want to learn even more than I recommend you read about my other blog post called: Grow FAST On Instagram With These 6 Tips.

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9. Tag Big Brands & Get More Fans: It’s simple. Tag BIG brands in your photos here like Dear Lillie did and get new fans when those big brands repost your photo and give you a HUGE shout out. Make sure you are following that brand or person first, then you can tag them. ***Note, don’t be obnoxious about this. Be genuine and use it on occasion, otherwise this could back fire and annoy them. For example, I tagged the famous Kim Garst in this blog post and on Instagram, but now if I did that everyday I think I would start to irritate her and begin to look like a spammer.

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10. Grow Your Email List: In my opinion, building your email list is still the best way to sell your services and products. My husband and I have been working with Internet businesses since 1998 and guess what…EMAIL is still the most effective way to bring in sales. So, take it from Sue B Zimmerman, another instafabulous Instagram expert and show off your opt in page and entice your fans to sign up to receive helpful information about your business. This is a perfect example of how to do it well.

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11. Ask Fans to Photograph Your Product, Post it to Their Profile and Use Your Special Made Up Hashtag: For example, here I am! Glowbio chose to feature my photo after I bought their product and featured it on my Instagram profile with hashtag #GGS (short for Glowing Green Smoothie.) I LOVE their products and buy them several times a year. I actually even found them on Instagram.  I always feel so refreshed after I do a cleanse with Glow Bio.

However, that aside, this is a great way to get more exposure for your brand, bring more followers on board and even sell more products when you ask your fans to show off your product on their own profile.

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12.  Announce Your Blog Posts: Get more folks over to your blog by posting a photo of it and letting them know where to find it. People especially liked the candles in the background here, so have fun with it and be creative.

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13. Get Personal: Share behind the scenes or get personal about who you are or what your business is doing. It’s just like celebrities.  People love to see them dressed down with their Starbucks or shopping at the farmers market. So, show your personal side and let people in…even with BIG personal surprises like this one. Someone has a baby bump and her name is Jenn Herman. Jenn is an Instagram expert too, so if you are not following her I recommend you do!  She is instafantastic!

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So, start getting creative and having fun with  your Instagram marketing. Have fun, get creative and learn more!

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this post and if you have a tip that can help other super charge their Instagram Marketing, please share it in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

#workwithamanda

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda

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Vital Business Information You’re Most Likely Not Tracking, But MUST!

vitalMost business owners are going through the motions when it comes to business and they are not tracking very important information.  This information is crucial when making decisions about your marketing budget as well as knowing where you desperately need to improve or what you are doing very well in your business.

Here are many pieces of information you need to know in order to be more effective and successful.

Tracking #1. How did you hear about our business? Obviously this is important and hopefully I don’t have to tell you why. Also, don’t be afraid to get more specific…when they say they found you on a Google search, ask them what words they searched for. Get enough information as you can without being annoying and going on and on.

Tracking #2. If your new client chooses to work with you; ask them what made them decide to work with you?  Asking this question will give you a great deal of information that will help you know what you are doing well as well how you can position yourself and market your business in your niche better.

Tracking #3. If your potential client did not choose to work with you; ask them what they are hesitant about? Again, this information is very helpful. It helps you learn where might have gone wrong or it may help you learn other objections that you will need to learn how to overcome when talking to potential clients. Usually it means you’ve lost or never gained their trust. Your potential clients need to TRUST YOU and believe you can deliver what you say you will. This is so important. But, again that is usually the reason, however there are always many possible reasons, but the point is, you will never know if you don’t ask.

Tracking #4. What is your average sale? It’s important to know what your average sales are per client/customer/patient?  This is helpful information when making decisions especially when it comes to marketing. How much are you willing to spend in order to acquire a new client pr patient?  Remember information is power, especially when you implement it.

Tracking #5. On average how much do your clients spend with you per year? This is a very important question to understand and most business owners have no idea the answer to this question.

However, when you figure out what this number is, it sure does put the importance of every phone call into perspective. For example, one of my client’s average sale for each client per year is worth $1600. So, each time the phone rings and you or your staff is speaking to a potential client, that client is worth $1600 to your business each year. That makes the phone call feel a little differently, doesn’t it?

This helps you understand how important it is to maximize these phone calls. In a future blog I will share with you how I was able to close 85% of my sales on the phone with a very special process that is authentic, genuine and easy to use.

Tracking #6: What is your retention rate? This is a great question. Your retention rate basically tells you how many clients are staying with you and how many are leaving you.  One of my client’s retention rate is 85%.  This means this business is doing a fantastic job at maintaining and keeping their clients. You can always improve your client’s experience, but it’s good to know what you are already doing well or what you need to improve on to make their experience better.

I once heard a very successful business owner say, what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get improved on. I love that quote, because it’s so true. If you are not measuring or tracking certain aspects of your business you will never know where you can improve. It’s just like golf or any other sport. You want to examine your shots that go well and your shots that don’t.

So, start tracking and do some digging in order to find out where you need to place your focus.

#workwithamanda

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda
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12 Do’s and Don’ts that Help You Become an SEO PowerHouse!

SEO, Amanda BrazelYour website is a crucial tool in your online marketing toolbox and it should be treated as such. A successful website isn’t one that’s thrown together at the last minute; it needs to be well planned and fully functional. This includes a number of things especially SEO. Here are a few do’s and don’ts of SEO to help your website.

DO create valuable content for your readers. The purpose of your website is to interact with your visitors and eventually convert them to paying customers or clients. A great way to do this is by giving them valuable content to consume at their leisure by way of your website. Your blog is a great resource for valuable content and should not be ignored. Be sure to post at least one blog per week. When your content is valuable, it will be worthy of sharing on social media, which also increases your SEO.

DO optimize your website for mobile users. Approximately 80% of people use a mobile device to access the internet today, which means you’re missing out if your site isn’t mobile-friendly. If you’re on WordPress, be sure to choose a responsive theme and do not activate the Jetpack mobile theme in the back end.

DO write naturally! Although you’re an expert in your niche, you want to write your content in such a way that you audience can understand. For example, if you are a Psychiatrist and write your content as if you were speaking to another Psychiatrist, the conversation may be above your audience’s head. So, using simple plain language can be very helpful. The key here is to talk to your audience and not at them.

DO choose your keywords carefully. Your keywords are what the bots pick up when they crawl your website for searches. They should accurately describe your business and must be included in a successful website. For instance, if you’re in the business of landscaping, some of your keywords would be “landscaping” “gardening” “planting” and so on.

If you want Google or any other search engine to pick up your site, you need to have these keywords in your meta description and meta tags. Think of the meta description as your website’s mission statement. It should include your most popular keywords in an organic way.

Meta tags are the main keywords for your website. Although each page and blog post will have its own keywords, you want to use the most popular keywords in your meta tags.

Do blog, search engines love fresh, unique content. That’s why it’s important to keep content fresh and consistent. Our clients that regularly blog are at rank their competition. So, it’s important to keep your content up to date, fresh and constantly coming. must keep a steady blog filled with new information every week. Customers also prefer websites that have fresh content verse ones that don’t post any content about their industry or niche. If your site hasn’t been updated with new information in over a year, you can bet someone else’s will and their search engine rankings will be higher than yours.

Do be active on social media:
 Google considers your social media influential, therefore the more quality content you share and the more consistent you share it, Google will determine that your website is more valuable than other websites in your niche and industry.

Do spend time on Google +. Google + love Google +.  This is pretty obvious: Google DEFINITELY factors in your presence on Google+. So, it’s recommended that you take 10 minutes each day to spend on your brand’s Google+ page, whether it’s to post something on your business profile, or posting your content into Google+ communities. Be sure to post the content you want to be ranking for Google+ to prove to Google that you are worthy of positioning high in their search engine. (Source Hootsuite)

DON’T overuse your keywords because it makes poor SEO strategies obvious. Overusing your keywords tells everyone that you care more about your page rank than you do providing quality, relevant content. It’s just not good business.  Again, use your key words, but speak naturally. For example, let’s say your keyword is “music”. You want to be sure to use this work sparingly throughout your content to ensure that your content reads well. You don’t want to include your keyword in every sentence. As long as you use your keyword a few times throughout your content, your SEO will benefit.

DON’T buy links – ever! It should be obvious as to why this is a BIG fat DON’T, but just in case you don’t know, it’s because Google will list you as black hat. This is the dark side of SEO, a side you don’t want to be a part of, and search engines will most likely list your site as spam.

Buying links is when you pay others to link to your website. This also includes gifting products or services in exchange for links. It’s not good practice and it’s in direct violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, which means you’re listed as participating in a link scheme.

DON’T think SEO is a waste of time because it definitely isn’t. There are a lot of articles on the web today saying the opposite but SEO is still an important part of your website strategy. How will people find you if you don’t use SEO? They won’t.

DON’T set it and forget it! In the same way you have to keep your content fresh, you have to do the same with your SEO. If you don’t already know, search engines are constantly changing and new websites are popping up every day. All of this affects your ranking in the search engines, which means your SEO must be updated regularly to keep up.

Again, SEO is a VERY crucial aspect of your marketing especially now in the digital media world we live in. Therefore, we recommend that you either take a course, learn from experts or hire/consult with an expert to help you. Your website should work for you and SEO helps it do just that.

Is your website Search Engine Optimized? What do’s and don’ts do you recommend? Do you know need help optimizing your SEO, blogging and social media marketing?

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda

#soarwithamanda
Amanda Brazel

 

Improve Your Social Media Marketing by Answering These 11 Uncommon Questions.

Amanda Brazel, Social Media MarketingSocial Media Marketing is a remarkable tool that has radially changed the way we do business and marketing. However, I find after talking to business owners on a daily basis there is still a great deal of confusion. So, I’ve put a list of 11 questions I recommend you honestly ask yourself and seriously consider the answers as you either tweak your social media strategy or clearly define your strategy before you dive in.

So, here we go!

1. Do you have a clear concise message that can be easily understood in a matter of seconds? In today’s world things are moving at a very fast pace and you only seconds to communicate your message to your potential clients on your website as well as your social media channels. Before you embark on your social media marketing make sure you are clear about what your message is or ask your social media manager to help you create one. This might be your tagline, or a quick and fast description that speaks from the customer’s perspective. For example, ‘A Modern Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Practice for Adolescents and Adults That Focuses on Exceptional Patient Care.’

2. Is your website easy to navigate and user friendly? Your website’s overall appearance and presence is essential to your success for your SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING. It’s like building a restaurant. Your website is like the restaurant and your potential customers are expecting a certain look, feel, and of course quality food and service. Make sure your website conveys the right image for your business and brand before you invest in social media marketing.  Social Media Marketing does many things for your business. One aspect that your website helps with is by driving traffic to your website and if your website is out-dated, hard to navigate or if folks can’t even understand what you offer…folks will leave quickly and all that time and energy into your social media marketing goes to waste.

3. Is your product or service in demand? Here is a little story to illustrate this point. I was helping a woman that was selling beaded jewelry. Unfortunately, she could not understand that the quality of her jewelry was not in high demand, nor were they priced in such a way that she could ever make significant money from her time and efforts. So, it is really important to take a good look at what you are selling and make sure it’s it’s in demand and meets the needs of your potential client or customer base.

4. Is your product or service highly competitive and if so, what makes your service or product stand out? There are many markets out there that are just saturated and this makes it hard to compete. For example, Mortgage Brokers, Real Estate Agents, Therapists, Insurance Agents, Avon Representatives, Mary Kay Representatives, Essential Oil Representatives, Health Coaches etc. This means your service, brand personality or product will REALLY need to stand out from your competition otherwise your social media presence will just be added to the noise and overlooked.  It’s VITAL and CRUCIAL that you use your creativity, think outside the box and utilize the many tools at your exposure to promote yourself and your personality. The ideas for using social media to grow your business and expand are endless, when you get creative and strategize.

5. Why should consumers work with you or buy your product as opposed to your competitor? It’s important to be crystal clear why people should work with you over others. This should be obvious and evident on your website as well as your social media marketing.  How can this be obvious; your social media marketing is highly active and engaging, you respond to your fans/audience promptly, you have 5 or 5 star reviews on multiple social media websites, the language on your website uses benefit language and again comes from their perspective and not yours.

6. Do you have a marketing budget? Every business should have a marketing budget?  You MUST market your business in order to bring in new business. If you don’t have a marketing budget then you have to get what I like to call your hustle on. I’ve done it before and I’ve created a very successful business from nothing, so I know it can be done and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Once you get your hustle on, grow and have revenue coming in a portion of that revenue must go to your marketing budget. Now, if you have a marketing budget already, that is great! It’s said that your marketing budget should be 20% or more of your revenue. Now, if you know me…one of my mottos is that “Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, but it must be effective.” You can market for a $1.00 a day on Facebook. That might not be much, but for that little a day you can still increase your reach and grow your fan base. So, learn how to market effectively and invest in your business. It’s vital to your increased success.

7. What other forms of marketing have you implemented besides social media? Social Media Marketing is a must in today’s day, however it is definitely recommended that you have 6-10 different marketing channels feeding your sales funnel at all times. Don’t ever put all of your marketing energy and money into one basket. Many business owners did that with Facebook and then once Facebook started their pay to play policy folks found their main funnel for marketing plummeted and they found there revenue dropped by half or more. So, diversify your marketing and don’t put all of your eggs into social media marketing.

8. What are your goals for social media marketing and how will you measure your success? The key here is to define what you consider to be success FOR YOU! It’s different for everyone. Some people expect an immediate ROI.  Some people want a HUGE following.  Some want both etc. If you do not define what success means to you and your business it can drive you crazy. So, define what success means to you and be realistic. There is a lot more to social media then just making immediate sales in my professional opinion. It’s developing a loyal following through the right branding, strategies and offerings. It’s driving traffic to your website. It’s improving your SEO. It’s establishing yourself as an authority in your niche and so much more.

9. Do you know what a social media marketing manager’s role is? Many business owners don’t quite understand the role of a social media manager and they expect this person to be responsible for SALES and so much more. For example, I had a recent potential client reach out to me about Instagram marketing. I had to explain to them that as their social media Instagram Marketing Manager I am responsible for managing their Instagram Marketing, engaging with their fans, growing their fan base, creating dynamite giveaways and contest campaigns as well as using tried and true strategies that generate more interest as well as leads to their website. However, the part a social media manager can not control is what your website looks like, how fast or long it takes your customers to receive the products they order, and your social media manager definitely has no control over the quality of the products or customer service on your end. So, as you can see there are MANY aspects of business that make it successful or not and your social media manager only has so much control. They have to do their job/part when it comes to knowing what strategies work and how to market, but you as the business owner also have to do your part.

10. Are you looking to use social media ONLY as a way to receive an immediate ROI or do you understand the long term benefits of a social media presence? The truth is that social media marketing definitely serves as a way to drive more traffic to your website as I mentioned earlier. It’s just like Google Ad Words, however social media marketing can do so much more that Ad Words or Print Ads can not do. It’s about developing strong and loyal relationships with your followers and fans. Showing your fans how you handle problems or obstacles (which do happen) and the better you handle it, the the more loyal they’ll be. I like to look at social media in this way for smaller businesses. In many cases it is just like as if your business was a small celebrity or music band. They have a following and that should always be in the back of your mind as you are creating strategies and running campaigns as well as posting content on your social media profiles. Your fans are what drive sales and your business success.

11.  Do you understand each social media platform and which one your business should be present on? Again, I love talking to business owners and I also get a giggle about what they say to me. Often times their friends have told them something or the business owner has made their own conclusions about social media based on barely using it personally. Sometimes they are partially right, but usually they have a lot to learn. So, before you dive in yourself…think about hiring a consultant, have them examine your business and speak to you about your goals before you embark on diving in. This can save you a great deal of wasted time, money and energy. It’s vital to understand your resources as well as what platforms will give you the most for your time, money and effort.

Please feel free to ask me any questions or reach out to me via email for a one-on-one consultation if you feel that will serve your best interest.  You can reach me at clientcare@amandabrazel.com

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda
Amanda Brazel, Digital Marketing, Social Media

 

50 Low & NO Cost Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business!

50 Low or No Cost Marketing IdeasMost businesses that struggle and tell me their stories of why they can’t be more successful are usually because they believe they do not have enough money to market their business or marketing their business is too hard.

In today’s economy many small businesses are struggling to get a foothold and the honest truth is it takes hard work and quality skills to get new business.  It’s tough out there and I get that. I really do. But, don’t give up like so many do. Stay tough, learn new skills, practice and put yourself out there. You can do this.

Today as the new year starts I wanted to write you a blog that could help you understand how you can really make amazing things happen for your business when you know all the ways in which you can market it with little or no cost.

Yes, every business needs capital however I know first hand it’s possible to start a business with very little money. For example, my very first business I started with only $200 and within  3 months I was completely booked with clients and within 6 months I was hiring my first 2 employees. Anything is possible if you have the right mindset, product or service and put elbow grease/skills into your marketing.

Now before I share with you my ’50 low and no cost marketing strategies’ I want to make my favorite statement…“Marketing does not have to expensive, but it does have to be effective.”

Here’s my case and point. I worked with a client in Canada. He was paying $12,000 per year for a bill board ad. Before he spoke to me he didn’t get 1 phone call or lead from that ad. After we worked on the ad and made a few minor tweaks he re-did the ad and within the first week he had 4 new leads and 2 new clients. That is what effective marketing can do for you whether you are spending big bucks or nothing at all.

50 Marketing Ideas For Under $200

  1. Referral Partners: Free or for % of sales
  2. Networking Lunches: $50 or less
  3. Business Cards: $50
  4. Email List Renting: .50 per email or $200 per 1000 emails.
  5. Start a Referral Program and reward clients/patients that refer you
  6. Email Your Current Clients: FREE
  7. Door to Door:  Put bags together and deliver door to door. $3.00-$5.00 Per Door 
  8. Ask Regularly for Referrals: FREE 
  9. Facebook Ads: $2.00-$5.00 per day and drive traffic to your website or event.
  10. Car Magnets: $40
  11. Link Exchange Partners: FREE
  12. You Tube Videos: FREE – No Cost Video Marketing Works
  13. Pinterest: FREE
  14. Bags of Gifts and Information: Put small bags together and distribute, for example: Photographer: Deliver enough for preschooler’s parents. Mortgage Broker: Deliver to a Divorce Lawyer or a Financial Advisor.
  15. Local Fairs/Events: $200
  16. Host a Free Educational Evening: Cost of Materials (Do it at home or at a friend’s/client’s.)
  17. Radio Spot: FREE
  18. Publish E-zine Articles: FREE
  19. Podcast: FREE
  20. Webinars: FREE (There are free services or you can buy Go To Webinar for $100)
  21. Publish LinkedIn Articles: FREE
  22. Pre-Recorded Messages on Phone Message: $15 + $39.95 per month
  23. Blogs or Guest Blogs: FREE
  24. Hire a Santa Claus, Partner with a Photographer and Host a Family Event (Easter Bunny)
  25. Internet Ads on Various Websites: $25 – $200
  26. Text Marketing: $50 for 1 Keyword + 500 Texts
  27. Display Post Cards in Local Businesses: FREE to Display $40 for 100 Oversized Postcards
  28. Local TV Show Segment: FREE
  29. Silent Charity Auctions: COG or Services
  30. Write an E-Book: $100 for technical help
  31. Write Magazine Column: FREE
  32. Write Local Newspaper Column: FREE
  33. Volunteer for an Event: $200 or Less
  34. Google Ad Network Browsing Ads: You set price.
  35. Bing Pay Per Click: You set price.
  36. Yahoo Pay Per Click: You set price.
  37. Free Samples: COG
  38. Talk to People: FREE
  39. Mastermind Groups: FREE
  40. Free Website Business Listings: FREE
  41. Share Buttons on Website: $50-$100 (Cost of labor)
  42. Flyers: .49 per flyer
  43. Throw a Party at Your House or Friend’s/Client’s Home: $200
  44. Do Direct Mail Yourself: $40 for 100 Large Post Cards + .49 to mail each piece. Mail a Small Amount of Cards Each Week. (Mail them to referral partners or people that can refer you.)
  45. Street Signs: 15 Street Signs for $200 (DirtCheapSigns.com)
  46. Some Business Conferences: FREE or up to $200
  47. Car Window Decals: $20-$40
  48. Farmers Markets: $20 (one-time) or $125 per year.
  49. Ask Friends & Family to Refer you: FREE
  50. Word of Mouth: FREE

Any one of these marketing strategies can bring in more business…if you understand how to use the tool in the right way. The more successful you are at using the tool, the more successful you will be at attracting new business.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Know who your target audience is before you choose which strategies you will use. Some of these ideas will NOT work for your business, but most of them will.
  2. Have a clear concise message that will move people to take action. Don’t clutter your materials with information that is not important.
  3. Have a specific call to action. (Call Now to Receive a FREE Consultation or Visit this Website to Receive a Free Gift or Giveaway Contest, etc.)
  4. Use Benefit Language. Talk about what results your clients will receive from using your business. Talk to your potential client from their perspective and not yours.
  5. Repetition, repetition, repetition.
  6. Get PASSIONATE about marketing! The more passion, the more energy, the better the return on everything in your life.
  7. Read this blog post about: Weak at Marketing? Learn 5 Key and Crucial Marketing Power Tips That Create Success!

Do you have any specific questions about your business and how to use one of these low cost or no cost strategies?  Feel free to comment below and ask away. I am here to help you.

You Can Do This,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel, Digital Marketing, Social Media

5 Digital Marketing Mistakes and Solid Solutions for Small Businesses!

dm-mistakesHave you ever watched someone in public just walk right over money and not even see it? I watch business owners do this every single day when it comes to their current and potential clients/patients and these are usually the same business owners that are always singing the blues that they want more business.

So, today I want to remind you of several mistakes you might be making in order to shake things up. This way you can get your focus back on track and start generating revenue for your business.

Digital Marketing Mistake #1: You don’t consistently email your current clients. Honestly I still can’t believe that in 2014 local businesses are still not cultivating a consistent relationship with their current clients via email. Many businesses don’t even collect emails. It truly blows me away and these are usually the same businesses that want more business, but they don’t commit or make the time to invest in this part of their business.

Obviously this is a huge mistake. Let’s look at this way, if you already have clients then you have revenue right in the palm of your hands.  It’s much easier to acquire more business or repeat business from a current client than it is from a new one.

Now if you happen to be one of those businesses that have very high dollar clients/patients like Contractors or Plastic Surgeons, and your clients only use you once or twice in a lifetime…these clients are the best form of marketing you could ever have. Invest in getting video testimonials and providing them with additional information that helps your business stay on the forefront of their mind so they will refer you. A well taken care of client can be worth $20,000 or more of free advertising, so don’t waste it.

Solutions: Email your clients at least once a month with valuable information about your industry. Give them something that will help them, don’t just pitch to them or ask them to buy from you. Ick, that is just tacky.  Also, don’t just send specials.  Give them value, show them you care, help them with other problems they might be having in relationship to their problems.

For example, one of my clients is a Psychiatrist and each month we send a monthly newsletter with very valuable information on various topics. We aren’t just asking their patients or contacts to make an appointment and spend money with them.  We give value and we show them that we truly care about them.  ***One more note here….please don’t convince yourself that you have no time to do this. You do have time and if you still feel that you don’t, either find it or hire someone to help you.  This is imperative for a thriving business.

Digital Marketing Mistake #2:  Your brain convinces you that other tasks in your business are more important. We all do it, but some take it to the extreme and they get all wrapped up in tasks that really never get you ahead. The key here is to stop doing that. If you can pay someone $10-$15 an hour to do the work you are getting caught up doing in your business, you need to stop immediately and either delegate or hire someone.

Your work should be focused on $1000 an hour work and that my good friend is writing emails that enrich the lives of your clients or hiring someone that is highly talented in this arena. Think about it, if you sit down for an hour and write a useful and helpful email to your current clients or patients along with an invitation to reach out to you for services then you are doing $1000 an hour work in that moment. However, on the contrary if you are filing paperwork or twiddling your thumbs doing busy work you are getting no where.

Solutions: It’s so important to change your mindset, stop the excuses and delegate, so you can focus on bringing in real business. STOP THE MADNESS OF BUSY WORK AND RETRAIN YOUR BRAIN! Hire a virtual assistant, hire someone local that can help you part-time until you can hire someone full-time, ask your spouse to help out a little, plan your day better so you are more focused on money making tasks and work on your business instead of always in it. You can do it.

Digital Marketing Mistake #3: You only email your clients when you want business. Recently I had a client that just couldn’t grasp this concept and all he would do is email his clients his latest special or ask them directly for business. This sends a very clear message and that message is that the business owner only cares about the business owner. You need to stop only sending marketing emails and send emails of value that enhance the lives of your clients or patients.

For example, my team and I write a monthly newsletter for one of our clients that happens to be a doctor.  Each month like clockwork their clients receive an email on the 1st of each month. In their monthly newsletter they receive fresh and current information.  We share important practice news that they need to be informed about along with a cheerful and warm message.  They also receive helpful articles that enrich their lives as well as the lives of their family. In addition to those articles we have buttons that are linked to their website for more information, or to schedule an appointment and each and every month folks click that button and schedule an appointment.

Solutions: So, if you truly want to create an amazing business that keeps giving and giving to you then you need to also give to your clients and patients.  This means adding value to their lives instead of just always asking them to come in and spend money. So, start thinking about ways that you can give back while also reminding them of your helpful services.

Digital Marketing Mistake #4: You don’t have any way to capture emails on your website. In today’s digital era it is crucial that you offer free reports, free e-books or white papers that inform your potential clients or patients as well as help you generate quality leads. So many folks are still not taking advantage of this awesome lead generator.

Think about it, you’ve worked hard to get traffic to your website and you might have even paid good money to do so, but you don’t have a clear call to action that will get them going from a cold lead to a very warm one. Yes, you might have a section that says enter your email for a consultation or to have a question answered, but you are missing the fact that people will give you their email in exchange for very valuable information even if they are not quite ready for that consultation yet. They might just be intrigued at the moment and are thinking about it.  When generating reports or free e-Books for potential clients/patients, this enables you to then start building a quality relationship with a new potential clients or patients.

The truth is that someone might be interested in your services, but they are not quite ready to by yet. For example, someone that is interested in plastic surgery usually takes up to 7 years before they actually have that surgery performed. That is a lot of years and in those years as a plastic surgeon you could be cultivating a relationship with this person by sharing valuable information with them on a monthly basis about the procedure they need, the costs involved, the financing that’s available, the testimonials that you have from other very happy patients as well as demonstrating what kind of doctor you really are. Otherwise they are probably going to keep looking around until they are absolutely sure they are ready and you might be out of their mind by then.

Solution: So, go beyond the common email request for a consultation and create a free and detailed guide or report in respects to what you offer and then consistently connect with those folks that have given you their email.  Once you get that email you can create an automated sequence that emails them once a month or even once a quarter. This is a fantastic way to continue the relationship.

Still not convinced this is worth your time and effort…let’s do a little math to illustrate the power of this. Let’s say over a seven year period a plastic surgeon collect 500 emails that is roughly 71 emails per year (not a lot) and then let’s say that over that time 10% of those folks actually have a procedure done with the average cost of that procedure being $10,000. That is an additional $500,000 in revenue.  WOW!!  I don’t know too many business owners that would shrug off $500,000 in additional revenue. 

Now let me ask you this? Do you think it’s time to sit down and write out that report or hire a professional to do it for you? 

Now for the final mistake.

Digital Marketing Mistake #5: You actually have a FREE report, e-Book or other way of lead generation and you are doing nothing with your list of leads. I see this one all the time too.  The client did the hard work, but they have no automation or follow up system for reaching out to their leads they’ve collected and instead they are spending money on other forms of marketing to get new business, meanwhile they have a huge pile of leads right at their feet.

The truth is this, it’s not the job of the potential client or patient to remind themselves about your business.  It’s the business owners job to remind the potential client or patient. Don’t neglect your leads that you already have and keep looking in other places for business.  That is like having a stocked refrigerator of food and saying you have to go out and find new food to eat or you’ll starve. That makes 0 sense as you can see. So, if you do have a huge or even small pile of leads, create a strategy, write out a plan and them implement immediately.

Solution: Create an automated sequence and set that up in your email campaign manager so you are consistently interacting with your clients. It’s imperative.

I hope you found this blog article helpful and if you did please feel free to share a flare with your network.  I know everyone in business is always looking for more business and this is a very solid way to do it.

Also, if you need help with your digital marketing strategy please feel free to contact us. We are here to help you thrive!

Cheers, Love & Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel, Social Media Marketing

 

4 Ways to Humanize Your Social Media Marketing Approach!

177002246There is nothing better than relating to other humans in a genuine, kind, and honest way on and off line.

So, here are 4 ways to humanize your social media marketing approach that will help set you apart from your competition as well as create a more loyal following.

1. Be Real: It’s important to be yourself and show the real you on Social Media. This is far more powerful than trying to be someone else. So, be authentic, don’t lie and show your audience the real you.

2. Be Honest: Don’t hold back or be afraid to share some personal stories that make you look vulnerable. It’s okay to share your struggles and challenges with your audience. This significantly humanizes you and draws your fans in. People want to work with people that are real human beings. You don’t have to tell your deepest darkest secrets if you don’t want to, but take a page from Oprah’s book on this one. She is pretty honest about her life and that creates strong loyalty among her fans.

3. Be an Inspiration: There is a saying, either your life is a cautionary tale or an story of inspiration. Be an inspiration to others. Show people that you can still be happy amidst challenging times, inspire others to live a healthier, happier and more meaningful life by leading the way through example.

4. Be Consistent: Get clear about what your mission is and be consistent. This will help you brand your business and be more recognizable. For example, I offer social media and web design services but I am also known for uplifting and encouraging business owners. This is something I do consistently. So, no matter what your brand identity is…be consistent with what you share. This makes you even more believable and when you have something to share that pertains to your business more people will listen.

When you humanize your brand on social media you stand out and you create a loyal following.  Your following will be like your friends and family.  You can do this by sharing photos, personal blog posts, status updates, video and more. Be creative and let people in. You will be glad you did.

What other ways do you suggest humanizing your approach on social media marketing?

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
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Amanda Brazel | Digital Media Marketing Done For You
clientcare@amandabrazel.com