4 Content Marketing Trends for Business Owners in 2017

As we approach 2017, it’s interesting to think about where we’re headed in the coming year when it comes to marketing our business.

All business owners want to stay on top of their game by being prepared for what’s ahead but in today’s fast-changing world, what does that look like?

Below are some content marketing trends you’ll want to prepare for when marketing your business in the coming year:

1) Incorporate More Social Media Graphics, Infographics, Visuals and Videos. Since your followers are 80 percent more likely to read your content if you use coloured visuals, this area needs to be built up more across your social media channels.

The popularity of visual content will only increase, so you must be prepared. Using Facebook live is still a hot commodity so be sure to dive into that opportunity too!

2) Build a Team. 60 percent of marketers in one survey said content creation was their biggest challenge last year.

To overcome this obstacle, get a team of people to help make content development and publishing easy. This includes having a good writer and social media specialist.

3) Tap Into Influencers. 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations where only 33% trust ads.

Consumers have begun to tune out traditional ads and increasingly connect to their social networks to guide their buying decisions. That’s why connecting with influencers is so important.

What is an influencer? “Influencers are people with significant networks (followers, readers, etc.) who can speak to a broad range of products and services with the ability to sway opinions in their favor.” – Jess Estrada.

Identify influencers to reach out to in your industry. Follow them on social media and see where you can strike up a conversation.

4) Drive Content Marketing Leads into a Funnel. High value content is one thing, but if you don’t build in a strategy that continues building rapport with prospects in the right way, you are leaving money on the table.

Content Marketing is a highly effective way to segment your audience and send them targeted follow-ups and offers, instead of adding them to your main email list.

Creating an Effective Content Marketing Plan for 2017

One of the biggest mistakes I have seen businesses make is they jump into content marketing without a strategy. While trying to appeal to their target market, they slap together a couple of eBooks and free offerings and hope it will be enough to drive sales.

The first step to making content marketing really work for you is to have a solid, smart content marketing plan in place.

Make sure you outline the following essentials in your content marketing plan:

• Understand Who You Are Marketing to. Before starting any kind of marketing strategy, it’s vital you understand who your ideal target market is. There’s no point in investing your time and money into marketing when you don’t have a clear understanding of who you want to buy from you.

• A Comprehensive Review of Past Efforts. Review your past content marketing efforts and results from 2016. This helps you to see what was most effective, what wasn’t, and develop a plan to improve for next year.

• Set Goals and Benchmarks to Determine Future Campaign Success. Having a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish and what that will look like is important.

Do you want to develop awareness? Are you working to build brand loyalty? Are you educating prospects? Want to increase engagement with your tribe? Are you increasing sales and profitability?

• Develop Content Ideas that Align with Sales Goals. Here’s some example sales goals:

o Boost sales of Mega Fit Bootcamp by 25%.
o Get 50 new leads a month into our sales funnel.
o Create an eBook on Sales Tips for People Who Hate to Sell to drive leads to the funnel.

• Plan a Content Marketing Calendar with Dates and Deadlines. Create an editorial calendar that clearly lays out your dates and deadlines so you can easily prioritize your efforts. This eliminates the “what do I write” problem.

It also makes it much easier to work ahead on content and delegate to team members.

I hope you’d enjoyed these highlights, stats, and facts to help you prepare for content marketing in the coming year.

How to Take a Solo-Entrepreneurship to the Next Level

5 Members Every Growing Business Needs on Their Team

Many businesses begin as a solo-entrepreneurship. With one person who has a vision, passion and skill that compels them embark on a journey so they can make a difference in the world and build a successful business along the way.

But the truth of the matter is, no one can build a successful, thriving business singlehandedly.

One person can’t possibly possess all of the skills needed to carry out day-to-day business and marketing operations. Not well anyway.

As solo-entrepreneurs build their business, it’s a natural progression to surround themselves with a support team in order to avoid becoming stagnant and making costly mistakes.

After all, they simply don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to charting new territory in the business world.

When I began building my team years ago, I started by hiring people who offset my weaknesses.

Being a generalist in the web development/online marketing field made that a bit tricky because there was a lot that I could do myself. But as technology evolved and I got busier, it became clear in order to expand my business, I needed to bring in qualified resources so I could provide more value to my clients.

We all have strengths and weaknesses and if we want our business to be successful, it’s important to have others on our team who are more capable at certain tasks than we are.

The challenge is to be honest enough to be able to admit where our skills fall short and where we could use help in offsetting them.

I had a conversation with a visionary client the other day after he realized his business was in a state of disarray due to him trying to manage it all himself (or hiring the wrong people for the wrong reasons to help him). He was asking who he needed on his team so he could better focus on what he was good at. So below is a resulting list of what I shared with him.

Here’s 5 essential team members and resources every solo business person needs when they are ready to grow to the next level:

1. Financial Person

Someone to take care of the bookkeeping, tax filings, payroll etc. This person doesn’t need to be on the payroll, just have someone available that you can outsource this work to so they can free up your valuable time and let them do what they do best.

2. Legal Representative

It’s always good to have access to legal advice, especially when it comes to creating contracts and even for debt collection.

3. Administrative Assistant

This type of person can end up being a hugely valuable resource on your team that will free up a ton of your time so you can focus on your business instead of all of the little details.

Here’s a brief list of what this type of assistant can help you with:

1. Calendar management. Have your assistant set up your appointments for you (or use an automated service like Acuity.)

2. Team or project management where they are responsible for ensuring delegated tasks are done accurately and on time.

3. Customer service liaison where they take care of all client questions and concerns.

4. Email management where they can manage your inbox for you and delegate to appropriate team members instead of you being the middleman.

5. Affiliate management. If your business includes selling online programs where affiliates and other partnerships are involved, an affiliate manager can keep everything organized and running smoothly.

Depending on your type of business, you can probably think of many other areas that an assistant could help you with including doing personal errands if they are local.

4. Social Media Manager

Let’s face it, social media is a big time drainer. But in today’s marketing world, it’s a necessity for every business to have a social media presence.

Even though you do not want to delegate all social media activities to others, a social media manager can help by creating and scheduling daily posts, being a customer service representative, posting news and updates, sharing blog articles, uploading YouTube videos and much more.

Qualified social media managers can also take on the marketing tasks of creating and fulfilling promotional campaigns including Facebook ads.

5. Website & Marketing Team

Notice I didn’t say a “website guy or gal” as in a single person. There are many different components that make up a website and it’s rare one single person can be really good at them all.

So having a website team as a resource will ensure all of the areas that are needed to create, manage and promote an effective website are in place such as:

• Website programming/development and maintenance
• Branding / Graphic Design
• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) including Google Ad Words campaigns
• Marketing and Copywriting for writing and sending newsletters, marketing campaigns, blog articles and other promotional needs
• Video editing
• Audio editing and processing

Every business is different and these roles are the essentials for new entrepreneurs but can easily be added to depending on the industry you are in and the type of business you want to create.

It also doesn’t hurt to have a business mentor or coach to help guide you through all the different areas that you might not be thinking of too.

So if you are a solo-entrepreneur and are getting overwhelmed or too busy at trying to learn and do everything yourself, perhaps it’s time to consider the benefits of having someone on your team who can support further growth and sustainability for your business.

The first step is determining your weaknesses and finding suitable people to offset those.

The second step is to take action. And if you’re wanting a web and marketing team who will be your trustworthy champion every step of the way, consider eVision Media as that valuable resource you’ve been needing.

10 Marketing social media tactics boost holiday sales

This the season for holiday sales!

Shoppers are flocking online in search of gift giving ideas. According to Mashable, “65% of shoppers tap social media looking for the perfect gift … and two out of three shoppers purchased a gift they found via social media.”

So what are the best ways to cash in on seasonal sales with your business?

Whether you are a service-based business or sell products, here’s some suggestions to get in the spirit with holiday sales.

1) Learn from the Ghost of Christmas Past
Look at metrics from last year’s holiday sales. What products were bestsellers? Which promotions created the biggest lift in sales? What special offers were a total bomb?

Discover what worked and didn’t so you can capitalize on it when you plan this year’s promotions.

2) Make a Holiday Social Media Cover Image
Decorate your social media business pages with a specially designed cover image. It’s the perfect place to announce special holidays promotions and deals.

Be sure to create one for all of your social media accounts.

3) Use Holiday Hashtags
Twitter shoppers may use hashtags to find their next purchase. So take advantage of hashtags to get discovered.

Some popular hashtags include: #blackFriday, #diy, #holidayssavings, #stockingstuffers, #holidays, #Christmas, #Hannukah, #Kwanzaa, #NewYears

Need ideas? Here’s 106 Hashtags for the Holiday Season http://www.trainingauthors.com/106-hashtags-for-the-holiday-season/

4) Create Social Media Graphics for Promos and Deals
Everyone loves getting a great deal when holiday shopping. Make festive graphics promoting special promotions that make purchasing the perfect item irresistible.

Deals can include:

• one day only,
• limited quantity sales,
• buy-one-get-one free,
• special discounts or holiday coupons.

Consider offering a “12 days of Christmas” promotion with a special deal each day!
Canva makes it easy to make custom holiday social media graphics.

5) Boost Sales with Free Shipping
Consider offering free shipping for holidays gifts. Create highly visible buttons or banners promoting it on your website.

Or you can boost the order size by offering free shipping on orders over a bigger dollar amount such as $100.

Studies show that shipping costs are one of the biggest deterrents to making a purchase online so this one tactic could result in big returns for you.

6) Offer Gift Ideas
Holiday shopping can be frustrating when you don’t know what to buy for the person who has everything. You’ll want to promote your bestselling gifts.

Make gift buying easy by sharing gift suggestions like:

• 5 gifts for mom,

Then offer links to purchase each of the items you mention on your blog and on social media.

Better yet, if you have a blog, write articles based on these topics and refer to your products within the article with links back to the purchase page.

7) Write Reviews
If you offer one of the hot new products of the season, consider writing and posting a review about it on your blog. In this review you could mention your own offerings that would be a great gift accompaniment.

As an example, do a review of the top three smart phone accessories for Mom this Christmas and share pictures of them with a red bow on them along with a side-by-side features comparison. Then mention how your offerings go great with these gift ideas while including links to purchase.

You could also incorporate your Amazon affiliate link for those products

8) Suggest Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Help idea stumped shoppers by offering suggestions for small items for everyone on their shopping list!

Write a blog post with the hottest stocking stuffers for the season. Share daily stocking stuffer ideas on social media using hashtags like: #beststockingstuffers2016 #cheapstockingstuffers #stockingstuffersforwomen

9) Reward Loyal Customers
Offer to give a $100 Gift Card to a randomly selected customer caught posting a picture or video with your product on social media. Set up a campaign having them use a special hash tag like #christmascountdown.

This can help your promotional campaigns to go viral as customers share on their timeline and family/friends see their post.

10) Share Holiday Spirit
Connect to the spirit of the holidays in your customer’s hearts. Engage your customers by asking them their favourite holiday tradition.

Get people to interact with your brand by asking them to share:
a. Their most-loved family recipes from Thanksgiving or another holiday event.
b. What their most loved Christmas song is.
c. DYI Christmas decorating tips.
d. Easy gift wrapping suggestions.

Five Key Characteristics of Goals That Motivate

As a leader, you want to set clear and achievable benchmarks for your team. Consider these five key characteristics to create goals that motivate!

1. Clarity

Clear goals are SMART:

Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound. When a goal is clear and specific, people know what needs to be done and what is expected. Included in clarity is communication-make sure to leave the door open if questions arrive throughout the process of completing the goal. Making goals clear is not just for the employee-it also helps you, the leader, to know what to expect and when to expect it.

2. Proper Assessment of Task Complexity

For goals that are highly complex, we have to be sure to give people sufficient time to meet the goal and provide the time to practice or learn the skills that are necessary for success. The purpose of goal setting is successful achievement, so you have to be careful that the conditions around the goal support that success rather than stifle it. Be sure to give an employee access to any information or individuals that can help them along the way.

3. Feedback

Incorporating feedback into the goal setting process allows for expectations to be clarified, difficulty to be adjusted, and recognition given. In particular when a goal is long-term in nature, it’s important to set benchmarks that help people gauge their success and see their achievement. It is also helpful if you can create an open feedback line to ensure communication about the given task does not go stale. If there is a question or misunderstanding, you want it to be addressed!

4. Commitment

For goal setting to be effective, the goals need to be agreed upon and understood. While this doesn’t mean you negotiate every goal with every employee, there is value in engaging the people working towards the goal in crafting it. When we help to create the stretch goal, we are more connected to the challenge, and more willing to commit. The harder the goal, the more commitment is needed.

5. Challenge

We are often motivated by achievement, so we’ll judge a goal by how difficult we perceive it to be. If it is too easy, we won’t give it as much attention and energy. However, it demands us to stretch ourselves in order to achieve the recognition of a job well done, we are more likely to be motivated to excel. Challenging ourselves and others is one of the key ways to encourage growth and set employees up for leadership in the future.

Creating goals that motivate (rather than stifle or exhaust) can be difficult, especially when the tasks at hand are complex or in uncharted territory. By considering the five key characteristics of goals that motivate, you can create an environment of enthusiasm and set your team up for success.

10 Essential Website Update Hacks to Help Boost Sales

When was the last time you updated your website?

It saddens me to say that I have many clients who have all but abandoned their website once it was launched. They either get too busy to think about it or worse, don’t realize how important it is to the success of their business.

Remember your website is out there promoting you and your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long. So if you’re one of those people that never gave your website a second thought once it went live, then please keep reading.

First of all, your business website is not a static brochure.

It should be a living, breathing document that is an accurate reflection of your business. But it’s easy to get caught up in the daily activities of running your business and forget to review your website regularly.

If you can’t remember the last time you did a website update, let’s just say you are overdue.

Here are some of the top things you need to do to update on your website to keep it running smoothly and ensuring you are not sending your visitors to your competitors:

1) Broken Link Check. If you have any kind of hyperlinks on your website, there are bound to be some that are broken. Broken Link Check is a free service that reviews your site to notify you of broken links that need fixing.

2) Customize Your 404 Page. Speaking of broken links, if you have a link to a page on your own site that no longer exists, it will direct visitors to what’s called a 404 page.

This page is created as a default page whether you use WordPress or some other means to build your site. And it looks ugly so it’s important to customize this page and make good use of it.

You can have your webmaster ensure it matches the look and feel of your website and put a custom message on there, directing people back to your home page, show how to connect with you on social media, and offer an opt-in freebie to capture the lead.

3) Fix Typos. Nothing looks more unprofessional than having typos on your web page. Often they are hard to spot yourself because we read what we think it should say instead of what is actually there.

Typosaurus is a great free tool to help you spot those pesky spelling errors and get them fixed ASAP before you turn off any more visitors. Those first impressions are powerful and count towards whether someone will buy from you or not.

4) Improve Navigation. Keeping website navigation simple and intuitive is important. You want customers to find all the most important information without having to hunt around and look for it.

Keep it simple: Use clear wording that your visitors will understand. And consider drop down menus to keep like pages grouped together and organized.

5) Ensure Mobile Responsiveness. If your website is not designed to display well on smart phones and smaller screens, it’s costing you traffic and valuable leads.

Many potential customers do their searching on their devices in between appointments, while watching TV, and pretty much all the time. We are often asked to convert older websites into being mobile friendly (or it is often time for a whole new look and feel) so the same could be done for your site too.

If you haven’t checked and ensured your website is mobile friendly yet, put it at the top of your to do list! Every day you don’t, it’s costing you sales.

6) Update the Staff Page. Turnover happens so it’s important to regularly review your staff page. Check to see if you need to add new hire, remove old ones, and update bios and headshots.

7) Correct Contact Info. Make sure your address, email, phone, and fax numbers are up to date. The last thing you want is a potential client trying to reach you and are getting a wrong number!

Add a link to your business on Google Maps too so people can find your business easily.

8) Add Social Links. Place social media icons that click to your business channels prominently on the home page so prospects can connect with you that way.

Also be sure to put social sharing links on your blog so people can quickly and easily share your blog content with their social media followers.

9) Update the Look and Feel. Has your ideal target market or brand image changed since you last updated your website? Or perhaps it’s time for a fresh new look that is more up to date?

I encounter many websites that look old and deserted. The immediate impression I get is that the business is either shut down or they don’t care about the professional impression they are giving their visitors.

So if your website was built more than 3 or 4 years ago, the chances are good that it’s time for a new, fresh look that positions your business in a better light.

10) Copywriting Update. It’s important to review the content on your website. Is it too long? Is it truly compelling? Does it have proper calls to action? Is it really reflective of your brand message?

The text and images on your site are extremely important when trying to convert website visitors into paying customers.

It might be time to hire someone to take a look at the copywriting on your site and ensure it’s giving the right message to the right people.

If it’s been a long time since anyone has reviewed your site, let eVision Media review it and share ways we can help you boost conversion rates, update your look, and create a better user experience. Contact us today to discuss.

Purchasing a Business in the UK

The decision to purchase an established business should never be taken lightly. It is important for any individual involved in the process to be aware from the outset, the extent of work which will be involved, although instructing a business lawyer can ease this burden it will never remove it entirely. The purchase of a business/ company involves many areas of law including employment law, commercial property law, and of course many aspects of company and business law.

One of the key advantages of purchasing an established business is that it can offer greater security. This security is offered through the possibility of a loyal customer base, a business and marketing plan that may already be in place, and also the need for that particular product or service in the market area has already been proven.

However, there are many risks which are often associated with purchasing an established business, one being that it will involve a certain amount of due diligence to be undertaken by yourself, and also your business lawyer.

A key concern for many individuals purchasing a business is that certain contracts/agreements may already be established by the current business owner. These contracts and agreements will range from supply agreements to employment contracts. This will be a key consideration for many individuals purchasing a business, as they may wish to renegotiate the terms of these contracts to make them more suitable for ongoing business requirements. This is something which an experienced business lawyer would be able to advise on, and they should be able to assess whether the existing contracts are burdensome or in your favour, and whether they should be renegotiated.

Once an individual has decided to purchase a business, it will be the responsibility of their business lawyer to ensure that due diligence is undertaken thoroughly to ensure that their client is protected. Due diligence is an important process when purchasing a business, and will involve your commercial lawyer determining if the person/ business has legal title to sell the company/ business, whether they have legal ownership of all the assets, and whether there are any outstanding regulatory or litigation issues which should be addressed.

There are several different avenues for purchasing an established business which include purchasing the assets of the company, or alternatively purchasing the shares in the company. You should take tax advice on which structure will be the most tax efficient. Tax is one of the main factors/ considerations in determining which structure is the most suitable

Boost Your Business Up With Facebook

Facebook is not just one of the best social media but also a best place for business. Especially for online business. If you have an online store, then Facebook advertising is your way to go.

Recently, I have started an online clothing store. As it’s online based and I don’t have a physical store hence I know that digital marketing is suitable for me. I narrowed it down a bit more. I chose Facebook for marketing. Surprisingly, I am doing great. Let me break it down a bit on how powerful Facebook marketing is. Yes, I did have to present the page in a beautiful way. I had my designers to create stunning cover images and Facebook post templates. Yes, they are good reasons to get great sales but you need those good advertises to reach out to right audience and Facebook is your ultimate partner in that. So I started my page and right after decorating it, I started boosting post. I added $25 for boosting a post for a week. Thank goodness, I did it. I was out of stock in 5days. Well, I started with about 120 shirts. The boosting worked so well and as soon as I was out of stock I decreased the boosting. When the boosting was $25, I used to get about 12-15 sale per day. When I set $5, I was getting 2-3orders per day. So this just explains how effective Facebook boosting is. What I love about boosting is, you can cancel, increase or decrease the payment whenever you wish to.

One thing you should watch out for is, what you are boosting. Make sure it’s very interesting so that people are forced to have a look at your page. Increasing Facebook like is not a bad idea. When people will see you have about 10-15k likes then they might consider it to be a popular of safe place to purchase things. You must know that, increasing Facebook like can be costly. But the rate is not same all over the world. For example, if you set USA as target it will cost you a lot, however, if you set country like Bangladesh as target then you can get many like in very less price. The difference is, these low cost likers might not get you sale but they can come handy as I mentioned that people can feel safe when they will see that a page has many likers.

When you put an ad on your Facebook page, make sure the post is precise and gives a clear message what is the post about. Present things in pictorial form if you like. Pictures and videos attracts more people than a regular post. For boosting post, make sure the image contains not more than 20% texts. You can use the image overlay tool to make sure that the image is eligible for boosting.

To sum up, I would say that, Facebook will make your business stand out only if you use the Facebook advertisement. I heard many people, trying to be partner of popular groups even paying some money to show their advertise on those pages, but trust me, it’s not even close what Facebook can do to promote. So shake hands with Facebook to grow your online business.

Creating An Effective eNewsletter That Gets Read

7 Important Format Components to Include In Your Information-Based Newsletter

I sign up for a lot of digital newsletters. Mostly because I anticipate one of these three benefits from being on that person or company’s list:

1. Receive details on sales and discounts
2. Be entertained or inspired
3. Learn something of value

Most people are like me and will gladly provide their name and email address for at least one of the above benefits.

I’ve written a lot about the reasons WHY an entrepreneur or business should be sending out regular newsletters and today’s article focuses on the 3rd reason provided above – creating information-based newsletters that your subscribers will love.

What To Keep In Mind for Your Newsletter

First, here’s a few tips on what you want to be thinking about as you compose your next email send out. You’ll want to:

– Offer something of value; be informative.
– Lose the sales-pitch, aim to educate instead. Aim for 90% educational content and 10% promotional. (The exception to this rule is if you are a B2C company that sells products where people are signing up to receive special discounts to subscribers.)
– Be personable; let people get to know, like and trust you.
– Be concise .
– Be consistent .
– Use a compelling subject and opening line.
– Adhere to Anti-Spam and CASL laws – ensure it’s easy for people to unsubscribe while using a trusted newsletter service provider.
– Use graphics, headings and white space to make the newsletter visually appealing and easy to read.

So before you dive into writing, it’s important to plan your newsletter to get optimal results.

Here is a summary of the components that should make up your value-driven newsletter:

7 Important Format Components to Include In Your Information-Based Newsletter

1. Begin With a Personal Note

In order to build a “know like and trust” factor with your readers, you want to give them some insight to who you are personally. I’m not saying you have to share what you ate for breakfast that morning (unless nutrition is your business!) but do share something casual or interesting that your readers would love to know more about.

If you feel uncomfortable with sharing personal information, then share what seminars you’ve taken, what books you’ve read, what hobby you’re into – anything so people make a connection that you are a human being just like them!

Include a photo pertaining to what you’re talking about if you can as this enhances the relationship building you want to achieve.

2. Have a Client Showcase/Raving Fans Section

This can be in the form of showcasing new clients or a way to post client testimonials who are your raving fans.

Make this section more than just a couple of sentences – you want this to be more a short case study that details the benefits of what you did for a client and why they are so happy with your product/service.

Have a photo of the client and link to their website so it becomes a win-win scenario and they get good exposure for writing you such a rave review.

3. Include a Feature Article

When it comes to providing something of value to your readers, this should the main feature of your newsletter.

There are a couple of ways to do this and I suggest you give them both a try and monitor your results:

1. Place the full article in the body of the newsletter OR
2. Have just the first couple of paragraphs of the article in the newsletter and then link to the full article that is also posted in your blog. This serves a couple of purposes:
1. Sends people back to your website and
2. The article posted in the blog is great for search engines and can also be posted to your social media sites at the same time.
Be sure to add a note at the bottom of your article inviting readers to repurpose it in their own newsletters or website and/or share it to their social media followers.

Give them a short paragraph that must accompany the repurposed article that provides a call to action for the reader to go to your site and get your free giveaway or sign up for your newsletter.

4. Add a Schedule of Where You Will Be

If you do presentations, talks, webinars, podcasts, demonstrations or anything where the public could come and see or hear you, add this section that details the dates of these events and what you’ll be doing.

If you are wanting to showcase yourself as an expert in your industry, include other events such as attending seminars, high-end coaching sessions or travel destinations.

5. Have a Promotional Section

Just because we don’t want the newsletter to be salesy doesn’t mean we shouldn’t let our subscribers know what we have to offer.

In fact, I highly recommend adding such a section to your newsletter so you don’t become known as someone who ONLY provides valuable content and then when you DO want to promote something, they will leave in disgust! (Yes, I’ve learned this lesson myself.)

So create a section that is either image based or text and image that provides enough information to compel people to click and read more about your offer.

6. Provide Recommendations

This section can be used for you to recommend something you would find of value to your readers. This can be a book, a recipe, a service or product… whatever you wish!

If possible, you can use this opportunity to become an affiliate of the item you are promoting and gain commissions on any sales that might come of it.

7. End With Your Bio/Profile

Conclude your newsletter with a section at the bottom reminding your readers of who you are. Craft a concise “20 second elevator pitch” that speaks to the problems people have that you can solve for them.

Finish with a call to action by contacting you for a free ‘get acquainted’ session or whatever your free offer is.

Many clients shy away from writing a newsletter because they don’t know what to write about. Here’s a suggestion: think about a question a client asked you this week or think about an interesting idea you came across you want to share with your readers.

Start writing down what you want to say – don’t worry about the grammar, just get your thoughts onto paper. Once that hard part is done, then flush out the rest of your newsletter by following the formula above.

Writing a consistent newsletter does take commitment and I know it took me a few years before I got serious with my commitment of delivering valuable content to my readers every Tuesday.

9 Reasons Why Social Media Has Become An Epic Fail for Your Business

Stop wasting your time; here’s what you can do right now to turn things around.

Wish you were getting better results with your social media?

Many entrepreneurs I talk to are frustrated they aren’t seeing anything come of their social media efforts. They’re ready to give up, thinking it’s all been a huge waste of time.

This is when I tell them social media marketing isn’t as easy as creating and posting content. Indeed, there’s much more that goes into making social media marketing work effectively for a business.

So if you can relate and feel like you’re spending hours on social media and think it’s all been an epic waste of time fail, then it’s time to take an honest look at what you are doing.

Social media is a prominent advertising, marketing and lead generating tool for businesses today but the trick is being strategic about your efforts.

Keep reading the rest of this article for ways that you might need to get more strategic and turn your efforts into a profit-making endeavour.

Here are nine common mistakes business owners and entrepreneurs make with their social media:

1) You Aren’t Relevant. It’s really important to know your audience (aka your ideal client) and choose posts they will find meaningful and useful. Stay on topic within a range of subject matter they care about.

For example if you have a work-at-home-Mom Facebook page, posting a story about potty training tips is a little off base. Yes, it’s a parenting article, but it’s not about home business.

2) You Don’t Have a Plan. It’s really important to map out a social media marketing calendar and decide what are you promoting and when. Ensure you’re posting when you know the most amount of followers will see that post.

Be sure to write articles and social media posts that are in alignment with your sales goals and ones that you know your ideal target market would appreciate reading.

When the stars are aligned, magic happens.

3) You’re Following Someone Else’s Blueprint For Success. You know your target audience better than anyone. What works for one social media guru may not work for you.

It’s OK to get ideas and strategies, but the real test is when you try it. Look at your analytics and see if your posts get the engagement and response you desired.

Do what works for your business, not what you think is working for someone else.

4) Your Metrics Are Not Specific Enough. What is your social media goal for a campaign you are running? Is it brand engagement, visibility, website traffic, lead generation or sales?

Each goal will be measured with different tools. Use the right tool to measure the metric that accurately reflects your achievement for that goal.

5) You’re Too Promotional. Don’t turn your social media accounts into a non-stop, 24/7 promotion for your business.

It’s important to offer a good mix of value-oriented posts that are sprinkled with some calls to action. If you promote too heavily, you’ll turn off your audience and they will stop following you so make sure the bulk of your posts truly engages their interest.

6) You Never Post Original Content. Fans are attracted to you because of who you are and what you know. They want to hear from you and see your original articles, freebies, surveys, quotes, and graphics.

So give them something just from you instead of always sharing other people’s content.

7) You Aren’t Engaging With Your Audience. Posting and leaving without interacting with your followers is a sure-fire way to tell your followers not to bother commenting again.

Monitor your pages and respond quickly to comments. Write posts that ask readers opinions and thoughts and get engaged with the conversation.

Social media has great potential to be a two-way conversation. Be inviting, open, responsive and build relationships with your fans.

8) You’re Not Patient Enough. Rome wasn’t built in a day and social media won’t make you a millionaire quickly either.

Social media marketing is part of a “Relationship” or “Inbound” marketing strategy, which is based on the premise of developing relationships with your followers over time.

With this methodology, comes trust that once someone has grown to know, like and trust you, they will then be much more willing to purchase from you. It all takes time. Patience and consistency is the key to social media marketing success.

9) You Don’t Have a Team To Help You. If you’re doing your social media all by yourself, it may be time to delegate some of that task as part of your marketing team.

A social media specialist can help you create a strategy, develop themes that align with your business, curate content, schedule posts, monitor comments and mentions, and analyze the results.

Your social media team may also include a graphic designer to make social media graphics, a content curator/poster, and an analyst. If you want to dive deep and boost your results, a team will help you get there faster.

Social media is a powerful way to build your brand exposure but going in with no strategy is akin to throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping something sticks.

If you need help with your social media efforts, ask me about how we can help you or consider joining my monthly Social Blast membership group where you will learn proper strategies that will turn your failures into triumphs. Learn more about Social Blast here.

What is Business Matchmaking? Why is it important?

If you are part of a small and medium business (SMB) and have never heard of Business Matchmaking, then this is the right place for you to get started. So, what is Business Matchmaking? Business Matchmaking is a networking event typically hosted by a non-profit organization or educational institute with the purpose of connecting small businesses with major corporations and government agencies.

Many SMBs are constantly challenged by figuring out ways to increase their revenue and find means to connect with major corporations and government agencies. The Business Matchmaking event is a prime opportunity for SMB’s to meet with various potential customers and have a guaranteed time slot to present their products and services.

How does the Business Matchmaking work?

The event producer or host creates a matchmaking event, either as a part of a bigger trade show/expo or as a dedicated matchmaking event itself.

Types of Matchmaking events:
Open – Sellers (SMBs) make the appointments
Semi-Open – Sellers make the appointments, but the buyers need to approve them
Closed – Buyers (Major Corporations/Govt. Agencies) make the appointments based on their procurement needs with no input from sellers
Custom – Event admin can mix and match the above options to customize an event that works best for them.The setup of the event includes information about the type of #b2bmeetings that will take place, how many appointments each small business is allotted, and the duration of each appointment.

business logo, marketing material, social information and any other related videos about their business. The event administrator initially opens up the event registration for buyers and sponsors of the event. Buyers not only provide their profile information but also highlight their current and future needs about who they are targeting to meet. Once there is an adequate pool of buyers, the registration is opened up for SMBs.
SMBs are asked to purchase a ticket for the event during registration. They are then required to update their profiles with detailed information about their business, personal image,
It is important to have a complete and well written profile to maximize potential buyer meetings.

Scheduling meetings can be done based on the type of the event that the administration chooses to conduct. Event management software companies facilitate buyers and sellers in logging in, updating their profile, and scheduling appointments.
Sometimes, an event administrator might decide to create matches on their own while only giving buyers and sellers the power to update their profile. On other occasions, they will allow either buyers, sellers, or both to personally make schedules on their matches.
Matching can be done by allowing buyers and sellers to search profiles and filter companies based on criteria such as NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes, commodity codes, business categories, diversity type, revenues, size of the company, and geographic location.
Scoring – Some softwares also assign a score to each matching criteria and then sort the companies with highest scores on top, making it easier to identify potential matches
Auto Scheduling – The event admin can also decide to schedule on their own while allowing buyers and sellers to provide their preferences. Based on buyer and seller preferences, the Business Matchmaking software automatically generates matches and schedules appointments using an algorithm with no conflicts
With the addition of a Business Matchmaking App, buyers and sellers can directly make appointments onsite to fill any last minute cancellations. The app increases productivity to completely fill the event schedule.

On the day of the Matchmaking, the event admin typically organizes tables, assigns table numbers, and labels each to identify the matchmaker (buyer).
Buyers are checked in and handed their schedules along with a profile of each SMB they will be meeting with. Sellers are checked in and handed their individual schedules along with a directory of buyers and their needs. The check-in and ticket validation process itself can be automated using a check-in app.
Matchmakers typically remain stationary at their table while SMBs move from table to table meeting with the buyers found on their schedule, similar to a speed dating event.
There are plenty of opportunities not only to meet with potential buyers but also to network with peers and build lasting business relationships.