Monthly Archives: October 2016

How to Build a Successful Small Business Brand

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Developing a brand for your small business may seem overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a huge budget for marketing. Fortunately, building a successful brand for your small business can be accomplished without breaking the bank! Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Understand brand power

A strong brand provides your small business with power and advantage. Taking the time to create a brand that generates an immediate and definitive relationship with your customers is the goal of successful branding.  When people see or think of your niche industry, their immediate thought should be your business brand.As your brand wields its power, your business can also benefit from Google’s SEO benefits.

Unique brand style and voice

Know your brand’s style and voice, and keep it clean and simple. This will help people to quickly recognize and remember your brand logo. Learn to find the balance between simplicity and showcasing your business and what it stands for. Avoid ambiguity and phrases that have lost their wow factor. Use clear imagery, language, and a smart logo.

Protect your brand

Monitor your brand to protect it from being copied in part or fully. Be proactive in monitoring how and where people use your brand. If not protected, you may find yourself fighting with competitors who’ve taken your brand and adjusted it slightly. You may find websites using your logo without linking back to your business. Worst case scenario, you could find yourself pursuing legal action for brand infringements.

Be consistent

From your website to your social media presence, make sure that your brand message remains consistent. This will prevent confusion among your customers and prospective customers. This consistency needs to incorporate your products, services and brand presentation (name, logo, design, marketing, etc).

The more consistent you are in your message, the more familiarity people will have with your brand, which can help generate trust. Trust can help convert prospective customers into loyal customers!

Always add value

Regardless of the level of your success, be sure to keep maintaining excellent customer service and creating good products. Continue to analyze your products and services for what distinguishes your business from that of your competitors. Scrutinize your brand from all angles to ensure that you are giving your customers benefits and value.

The more value you add to your brand through products, services, and customer care, the more likely your customers will remain loyal and share your brand ideas and product to to their friends and followers!

Ways to Market Your Business with A Small Budget

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Marketing your business does not have to break your bank. With some creativity and ideas on maximizing the benefits of the Internet, you can keep your business brand at the forefront of your customers’ minds!

Capitalize on social media and networking

Networking is the backbone of business success. With commitment and patience, networking is a great way to build business relationships and find new clients and customers.

Along with networking, maximize on social media by creating a Facebook Group and Facebook Page to broaden your sphere of influence and generate traffic to your site. Simultaneously, join other Facebook or LinkedIn groups within your niche as a way of contributing relevant information and advice. This will help establish you as a trusted expert in your field.

Have a riveting pitch ready

No matter where you go, opportunities for marketing your business will arise. Be prepared to grab the attention of your listeners by creating a riveting pitch. Research studies have shown that an adult will decide within six to eight seconds if they’re interested in an advertisement or pitch. As a result, your pitch needs to be skillfully crafted to grab their attention within those few seconds!

Freebies, coupons, and discounts

Encourage people to sign up to your email listing by offering a coupon, discount or freebie. This is a quick and clear call to action for visitors to enter your advertising funnel. Research has confirmed that offering coupons is a successful method of expanding customer base and generating return visits.

Articles and all things blogging

Find those magazines within your industry that accept guest articles. Once you have identified those magazines, write articles for them as a way of promoting your business. Your article should establish you as an expert in your industry, while your author bio will promote you and your business.

The same can be done for guest blogging on other people’s blogs or websites so you can expose your work to a new audience. Your author bio should hold a back link to your site to encourage more traffic.

As you follow blogs, leave thought-provoking comments as a way to get the blog owner and audience’s attention. This will continue to establish you as an expert in your field, generate more traffic to your site, and hopefully create more opportunities for guest blogging or article writing!

Hire seasonal staff now to beat the rush

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For many hiring managers, holiday seasons are stressful as they search for qualified candidates to meet their seasonal staff volumes. With a few simple tips, you can get started on finding the seasonal staff before the holiday season arrives!

Hire early

With most companies hiring in November, beat the holiday rush by posting your seasonal openings in September or October. Doing so will give you more time to find those employees who are more qualified and meet your company standards.

Use the right sources

Find the recruiting channels that are the most successful in targeting seasonal job seekers. This may be a career site, niche boards, referrals, college recruiting, or display ads.

Update your job postings

If you’ve previously used written job postings, edit the information to ensure that the job description is accurate and current. Specify the job as seasonal or temporary. Be sure to give clear expectations and other job information.

Prioritize previous seasonal staff

The previous seasonal staff may plan on working for you this season, so let them be the first candidates you contact. This will help streamline your hiring process while providing ample time to recruit similar quality candidates.

Invest in talent community tools

For those businesses who recruit a lot of seasonal staff members, investing in software to help hiring managers organize their candidates will streamline the hiring process. Such software will assist managers or recruiters in collecting and managing candidates’ details in one location, making it easier to contact previous seasonal staff or leverage them for future referrals.

What to look for in candidates

Although you may have decided to begin hiring early, carefully scrutinize each candidate and look for the qualities that best meet your criteria. As you assess the candidates, evaluate their personality style to ensure that the person you hire has the right personality for the job and company culture. Also, be sure to check references. Those who have had previous work or internship experiences should be able to give you a list of previous employees who can confirm their performance, character and professionalism.

The ABCs of Crowdfunding

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Fundraising today has become revolutionized with the increased popularity of crowdfunding.  Corporations, small businesses and individuals worldwide are finding access to much-needed funds thanks to organizations like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe and more.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding focuses on appealing to the masses for a small donation.  These donations may be $10, $40, or $100.  Depending on the person planning a campaign, a reward may be offered in exchange for a donation.  Either way funds are raised and products are launched.  For start-up businesses this works well since they now have customers who are invested in the business.

How it works

For crowdfunding to work, a clear goal and deadline are essential.  From here the creator of the crowdfunding project advertises the campaign ensuring a highly active social media presence.  Once the deadline is met funds are transferred into the creator’s account.  Once the creator receives the funds they issue out the reward where applicable.

Crowdfunding and social media

Successful crowdfunding is linked to social media presence.  The more of an online presence you have, the higher your chances are of having a successful campaign.  That being said, crowdfunding can be successful for people with a smaller social media presence provided they have a network of family and friends willing to donate and spread the word.

Tips to a successful crowdfunding campaign

Besides having a project, deadline, and time frame, a successful campaign needs to have a few more essentials behind it. To help ensure a successful campaign follow these five tips.

1.  Have a small network of friends and family willing to participate in the campaign.  These friends and family can donate and share your campaign on their social media networks.  The more people who know about your campaign the more coverage it receives.

2.  When it comes to rewards be creative and imaginative.  Think outside the box.  What will draw people to your campaign?  A spa voucher or a holiday in the Alps are a couple of suggestions. Vary your rewards according to the different donation sizes.

3.  Pitch your idea well.  How you pitch your idea is key to successful marketing. Include in this pitch how the donations are going to grow a business or fund a personal campaign. A video with a clear call to action will give your pitch that added professionalism.

4.  Show that you are personally invested in your campaign.

5.  For the majority of your campaign, live online.  A high social media presence is essential