Sharing my thoughts and tips on marketing, mindset & business.

How to Market on a Budget and Stay Afloat During the Pandemic

What do you do when business is slow, and profits are down?

If you think that the answer is “stop marketing,” then it’s time to think again. While it’s true that marketing might seem to be less essential than other areas of business, the truth is that a solid marketing plan could spell the difference between success and failure.

Not convinced? It turns out there’s research to support the idea that marketing is critical during a recession. A Harvard Business Review study looked at the performance of 4,500 businesses during a recession. It found that the companies with the most forward-thinking attitudes – in other words, those that didn’t engage in drastic cutting of their marketing budgets – performed the best both during the recession and in the long term.

This evidence doesn’t mean you should go on a spending spree, buying ads left and right. What it does mean is that smart marketing should be your focus. Here are some...

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Your Next 30 Days In Marketing…

Marketing in a time of economic crisis is no joke. But you already know that.

Let’s face it: it’s difficult, at best, to know how to handle your marketing when unemployment numbers are high, spending is low, and uncertainty is everywhere you look.

And yet, for all that, marketing is a must if you want your business to stay afloat.
For your business to survive, it’s a must to come up with a marketing plan that’s:

  • Practical
  • Affordable
  • Achievable
  • Effective

If you can’t do that, then you may find yourself struggling.

The good news is that we’ve done some of the work for you. Here’s your 30-day marketing plan to reopen your business.

Week 1 – Preparing to Reopen
Reopening your business should be guided by recommendations from the CDC and local officials. You may have specific guidelines to follow and safety measures to implement. You should put those in place first before you do anything else.

Once you’ve selected a reopening date,...

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Navigating the Reopening of Your Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic

small business owners Jul 05, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the United States both medically and economically. Many states have begun to relax their lockdowns.

It remains to be seen what impact reopening will have on the number of cases, but it’s an economic boon to the owners of small and medium-sized businesses.

That said, how do you reopen?
What can you do to keep your employees and customers safe?
Is it reasonable to reopen or should you wait?

So, let’s get into it. Here’s what you need to know to navigate the reopening of your business.

What Are the Key Considerations for Reopening? 
If your business is in a state where reopening is an option, you’ll still need to think about the logistics of reopening before you decide to move ahead. Here are the primary considerations:

  • Your state’s guidelines for reopening
  • The nature of your business
  • The safety of your employees
  • The safety of your customers

State guidelines for reopening can vary widely based on a variety of...

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What to do Now? Resources for Small Business Owners

small business owners May 18, 2020

If you own a small business, you might struggle to be profitable even at the best of times. The current COVID-19 pandemic has dialed up the stakes for most businesses in the United States and around the world. Non-essential businesses have closed their doors in an effort to halt the spread of the virus, and there is no clear end in sight.

There is a glimmer of good news. There are many resources available to help small business owners in this difficult time. Some are resources that were already available in some form but have been retooled to fill the changing needs of small business owners. Here are some resources and tools that may help you.

US Chamber of Commerce
The US Chamber of Commerce has created a comprehensive guide for small business owners that includes links to many useful resources, including:

  • Loan and grant programs for small businesses
  • The Paycheck Protection Program, which is a key provision of the CARES Act that was recently passed by Congress
  • A to-do...
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Your Website Redesign Checklist for 2020

Is your website in need of a facelift?
Even if you’ve spruced it up in the past couple of years, it might be outdated.
And, if that’s the case, your website’s lackluster design could be hurting your business.

The key to a successful web redesign is understanding what the latest trends and tools are. Here’s what you need to know.

Website Redesign Checklist  
Let’s start with an overview of what you should be looking at. Then, we’ll drill down into some of the specifics, including my recommendations for the best tools to use for your redesign.

Here are the steps to follow for your redesign.

  1. Audit your existing site. It’s important to make an impartial accounting of your website as it is now to determine whether you need to invest in a redesign. Your review should include:
    1. A review of your Google Analytics to see which aspects of your site are still performing up to your expectations, and what things need improvement.
    2. A look at your...
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How to Target Local Customers Using Geolocation Marketing

Local businesses have special marketing challenges. Namely, it’s your job as a business owner to make sure that the people who are most likely to patronize your business – the people who live in your service area – know what you have to offer and where to find you.

One way to accomplish that goal is to use geolocation marketing. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Geolocation Marketing?
Let’s start with the basics. Geolocation marketing is a type of marketing that’s location-specific. By that, I mean that you can connect with potential customers who are near your business and target them directly with offers and ads.

The benefits of geolocation marketing are clear:
  • You’ll have access to a highly targeted audience of people who are likely to frequent your business
  • You can attract new customers by reaching out to them with offers that appeal directly to them
  • You can learn about the shopping habits and preferences of your existing...
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Hey Google: Should Businesses Take Voice Search Serious?

Voice search isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s more prevalent than ever before and that’s not going to change. The latest stats show that by 2020, at least 50% of all searches will be voice searches.

Even more surprising is this nugget of information. Digital transformation leader Gartner anticipates that in the same time frame, 30% of all searches will be screenless, as well.

Screenless searches most often involve digital assistants such as Alexa, Cortana, and Siri. Experts anticipate that the voice speaker market will exceed $30 billion by 2024.

Put these facts together and we can draw one, inevitable conclusion:
Companies that fail to optimize for voice search now will lose business to companies that embrace the trend.

So… what do you need to know about voice search right now? How can you optimize your site to ensure that you’re grabbing your share of voice traffic? Here’s what you need to know.

What Are the Differences between...
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5 Simple Ways to Judge your Marketing Success

When you’re running a business, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with everything you need to do. A lot of business owners look at marketing as an afterthought. They’re focusing on other things.

That attitude’s a common one – but it’s not a great idea to ignore marketing.
And while you might not have a ton of time to spend on marketing, there are a few basic marketing metrics that you should have at your fingertips all the time. 

In fact, not knowing them can negatively affect your business’s profitability over time.

#1: The Size and Demographics of Your Audience
Your audience, whether they’re subscribed to your email list or following you on social media, is the pool from which you’ll attract most of your new customers. It’s also representative of the people who’re most likely to buy from you even if they’re not in your audience now.
There’s no denying those things are important. You should always know...

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What You Need to Know about Voice Search and Your Customers

Voice search is everywhere these days.

You’ve heard about it before, but it’s long past time to think of it is something to worry about in the future.

The future is now.

As of 2019, 20% of all Google searches are voice-activated – a number that’s expected to leap to 50% as early as 2020.

The statistics around voice-enabled gadgets like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, are even higher. Only 18% of US households owned one as of 2018. By 2022, it’ll be 55%.

What’s that tell us? Voice search is here to stay. It’s growing – and businesses who don’t embrace it now are going to be left scrambling in the very near future.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to embrace voice search and recognize that optimization is not optional. Here’s what you need to know.

Voice Search vs. Traditional Search 
There are two key differences between voice search and traditional text-based searches. Understanding them is a must if you want to...

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New Marketing Opportunities on Instagram (that Small Business Owners Will Love)

What’s Instagram to you?

If your response is something like “a platform to share selfies” or “something my kids use,” then guess what? You’re missing some exciting marketing opportunities for your business.

The truth is that more small businesses using Instagram for marketing than ever before. And the best part?  It’s easier to get started than you’d think. 

All you need is a mobile phone and a strategy – and we can help with the strategy part.
You may not know that Instagram has some very cool features that local businesses can use to connect with their existing customers and attract new ones. Here’s what you need to know.

Instagram Has Millions of Users,  Insert Millions of people
Instagram isn’t as big as Facebook – but so what? As of 2018, there were more than 77 million active Instagram users in the United States, and one billion users worldwide.
That’s a lot of potential...
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