As a small business owner, you have to make the most of your resources especially in terms of marketing. Traditional marketing can be a total drain on your funds, but thanks to social media marketing, getting your business promoted to a wider set of audience, even with budget constraints, is now achievable.
Following are some tips on how you can effectively use your social media accounts to build awareness for your brand, drive traffic to your site, grow your list and, ultimately, increase your profit.
1. Generate anticipation. If you are launching a new product or service, you can use social media to generate anticipation. Post sneak peeks of your big event, one chapter of your eBook or post links to pages promoting the product before the launch date.
Part of a successful launch is the level of anticipation you are able to stir.
2. Offer incentives to your social media friends or followers. Engage your social media audience by offering discounts and incentives. Say, if you’re launching a new product or hosting a new event, like the upcoming MACsWomen Perfect Pitch, you can give them a 10% discount if they send you a private message or reply with your #businessname included in the message.
You can also limit the offer to add a sense of urgency to it. Limit the promotion to the first 100 replies you receive, for example. What we are doing for the MACsWomen Success Summit is offering a 100-dollar discount for all early registrations.
Not only will this show that you value your loyal audience, you’ll also generate more awareness for the product or event.
3. Grow your opt-in list. As mentioned in this article, the best way for you to grow your list is by offering people valuable giveaways. You can achieve this through social media by leading people to the giveaway with a link that sends them to the opt-in page.
So instead of the usual “Sign up for my opt-in list” which is not very effective, post a message that offers them real value: “Looking for some passive income? This free report shows you how you can make an extra $100 in a day.” Include the link to your opt-in and you’re all set.
4. Publish valuable contents. Use social media to drive traffic to valuable content on your blog. You basically tell your audience that you have a solution to a certain problem or information that they can use, then you add a call to action that directs them to a page which contains the solution or information you promised them.
Your call to action can be as simple as “Click here to learn more..” or “Click this link to find out..”.
5. Identify potential business partner or investors. Social media is a great channel for identifying potential partnerships and connecting with them. If they work in a business complimentary to yours, you can approach them with a partnership offer.
Likewise, as you establish your presence and attract attention on social media, businesses or individuals will approach you with partnership opportunities.
Home Business Ideas for Entrepreneurial Women
Are you interested in starting your own business? Or perhaps you are currently in between jobs and are looking for a little extra revenue? The great news is that entrepreneurial women can start a successful business from the comfort of their own homes. There are endless ideas to starting your own business, and what type of business you start depends on your interests and skills. We here at MACs Women want to help you find a successful business that you love, so here are several business ideas to get you started!
Everyone has a blog these days! If you have knowledge or experience about a particular topic, start blogging about it. It can be anything from sewing to cooking to technology reviews - if you know your facts, chances are you will acquire some regular followers. You can then sell advertising space on your site and earn a little extra income.
Call Service Representative
If you have a clear speaking voice, good communication skills, an Internet connection, and a phone line, then being a call service representative may be a good choice for you. Hiring yourself out as an independent contractor for customer service is a great opportunity to become your own boss.
If baking or cooking is your passion, start perfecting your recipes and selling them at local farmer’s markets. Personal chefs also can be very successful, catering to wealthy, health-conscious clients that have no time to cook but want to eat good, healthy food.
If you have a design background or even just an eye for creating a well-designed site, web design is a great way to work from home. Nearly everyone wants their own website, but not everyone knows how to make it happen. Building your own web design business can be lucrative and fun.
If you like organizing parts of your house for fun, this may be the career choice for you. Create a website and start offering your organizational skills to friends, family, and neighbors. Most people would rather have someone else organize their messy closets than do it themselves.
A virtual assistant is similar to an office assistant except - you guessed it - you can do the job from anywhere. Your tasks may include emailing, scheduling, and research. You could even hire your services out to several businesses and create a virtual assistant agency.
Retro is in style, and many people want a vintage feel to their homes. Scour garage and estate sales for old furniture, refinish and repair it, and then sell it for a profit. You can even make an Etsy account to ship some of your creations further away and expand your business.
Parents are always looking for their kids to learn new things, and playing a musical instrument is a popular choice. Teaching music lessons out of your house is a great way for you to earn a little extra income.
If you are fluent in a second language, you can start a translation service for businesses and individuals. Translation is highly sought after in today’s global marketplace, so in a few years you may have your own translation business!
There are countless options for entrepreneurial women who want to work from home. Be creative and think about what you enjoy or something you are good at. Odds are that you can create those things into a fun and successful home-based business.
Do you have a home-based business or are thinking of starting one? Learn more about business and connect with other entrepreneurial women at the annual MACsWomen Success Summit.
If you’re a website owner, I know just how much you want to maximize engagement and conversion on your site. You may think that adding more elements and widgets is the way to go, but it’s not. Adding widget after widget of elements on a page is the shotgun approach to boosting your site’s engagement.
If you put too many links, banners and flashy elements on a page, these will distract your audience and decrease the chances of your calls-to-action from getting clicked.
Here are some effective ways on how you can increase your site's engagement:
Of course, how simple you should make your web page will depend on its purpose. If your main goal is to sell a product, then it’s best if you streamline the page so that your visitors can focus on the marketing message and the call-to-action. If you have a content site, then having banners, menus and links can’t be helped. Just make sure that everything you put on your site is streamlined.
Branding is one of the most effective marketing strategies there is. It basically occurs when something – color, graphics, taglines, personality – becomes universally associated with a person, a company, or a product.
What comes first to mind when I say: “Just Do It.”
Yes, that right there is branding.
So, if you’re thinking about building a brand for your business, here are some points to keep in mind:
Know what to brand. When it comes to marketing your business – do you brand your company, your products? Or do you brand YOU?
The answer is simple: If your business relies on your personality and skills, say, a consulting business, your customers should see you and your business as one. You would therefore focus on branding you.
If, however, you’ve created a business that greatly depends on selling a product, then focus your branding efforts on that product.
Be consistent with your branding. This applies to your logo, your color scheme and even your company-speak. If you have a business blog and your posts have been always informative and friendly in tone, don’t adapt a sarcastic and critical tone on your next post. This will confuse your customers or audience; suddenly, they’re no longer sure who you are.
If you really need to change your logo or any major branding element for your business, make sure you do it gradually. Check out how the logos of these famous companies evolved over time.
There are many ways you can incorporate consistency into your branding campaign:
Build a community. A successful brand is one that’s trusted by customers, and building a strong community for your business can help you achieve this.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are great platforms for community building, so is your blog. You can also extend the trust you’ve earned for your brand offline by participating in local live events like fundraisers, charities and workshops.
Don’t lose your branding identity even when making discounts. Value and price can help define your brand and differentiate you from others in the market.
Don’t dilute your brand positioning by lowering your prices too much. Promotion is a way to reinforce your branding campaign, so make sure that you’re not hurting your brand identity with indiscriminate discounting. Try offering more instead of slashing too much off your price.
Over to you..
What are your branding strategies? Have you employed any of the points mentioned above? Do you have any more tips to add? Please share your thoughts and comments below, we would love to hear them.
Note: This is the second installment of our 3-article series on how to leverage social media to grow your business. You can find the first article here.
The beauty of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is that they let you get in front of your audience in an instant. And using a scheduling tool to schedule some of your updates ahead of time will ease up the pressure of going online several times a day just to tweet or post something.
Whether you pick Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule and automate your posts, you will need to have an effective posting schedule. Your main goal here is for your updates to be sent out at times when your followers or friends are most likely using social media – but how do you determine which times are these?
You need to get to know your customers really well. Say, if you’re in the food business, you may want to ask yourself these questions:
When do you need to post about your promos and discounts? If you have a special group discount on Fridays, announce it the day before so that customers can plan ahead with their friends or co-workers for a group lunch or group dinner.
It is important that you spend some time analyzing your ideal customers’ behavior prior to setting a posting schedule on your social media platforms. But considering the behavior of your ideal customer alone is not enough. You should also collect data and use insight tools like Tweriod to help you.
Over to you..
How about you? Do you update your social media accounts several times daily? Do you do it manually? If not, which tools do you use and how did you come up with your scheduling strategy?
If you want to share any social media tools that have helped you manage your social media better, please don’t hesitate to comment below. We’d love to have your input.
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Bad habits can impede your productivity big time. So if you’re a serious entrepreneur who wants to see serious results for her business, it’s about time you break free from bad work habits that are slowing you down.
1. The habit of multi-tasking. Are you the type that points your finger to something or someone when a task doesn't get finished on time? “The office printer is currently under maintenance so it’s not my fault if I can’t have these urgent documents printed.” See, if you’re not going to take responsibility of your actions, who will? The printer?
There will be a lot of unfortunate circumstances in your journey as an entrepreneur. So no more excuses, just get your stuff done. Take the document to a print center.
2. The habit of checking your email ‘crazy’ times a day. How often do you check your emails? Every 5 minutes? 10 minutes? You’re wasting your time. Stop checking your email too much because this will only hinder you from focusing on things that you need to work on. Schedule an email time and do all email-related tasks within that time-frame. Say, 30-minutes of email time before you start your day, 10 minutes midday to check/attend to urgent emails, and another 30 minutes before you go to sleep.
3. The habit of having too much news time. There are too much news in a day especially online and you can get tempted to read on for hours if you don’t learn to control yourself. The best way to get effectively and efficiently updated with the latest goings on of your industry and society in general is to subscribe to the RSS feeds of top online news & business magazines. Then read them in one sitting, once a day.
4. The habit of not cleaning your desk. Yes, I know you tell people a pile on your desk is how you do things – it’s a system of organizing things that works best for you. It’s organized chaos. Guess, what? Piles are actually signifies procrastination – an excuse to avoid organizing. They slow you down. They are not the best way to store your most important documents. So ditch the piles.
5. The habit of not exercising. When things are too stressful and too hectic, you probably skip exercise because you simply don’t have the time. It’s actually at times like these when you need exercise the most. A good work out has the ability to boost your motivation and energy level.
6. The habit of doing things haphazardly. When you don’t have the focus, you end up with a half-done task. Or if you are too hasty to finish a task because you want to save time, the quality of your work suffers. BIG mistake – you may need to do the job all over again until you get it right. So if you want to save time, do things right the first time.
A strong social media relationship is just as much about listening as it is about talking. It is therefore important that you listen in to what your target audience is talking about and joining in on the conversations by offering helpful tips and information.
Hashtags are very helpful in finding conversations – especially those about a special event like a business summit, small business week, social media conference. Though Twitter popularized the use of hashtags, it is also used on other social networking platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Vine.
Sample of hashtags:
In most cases, searching a keyword with a hashtag will give you all social media posts or updates that include that tag.
Why use hashtags?
They not only provide you with a convenient way to see what everyone is saying about a particular event or topic, hashtags also allow you to take part in the conversation.
Let’s use #MACsPerfectPitch as an example.
Now that you know the importance of hashtags, how do you follow them as conversations happen in real time? Following are two helpful tools to help you do just that:
Like any other relationship, your social media relationship with your audience requires thoughtful attention. Learning about the behavior of your fans and followers is the first big step to building a strong social media relationship.
So what exactly is the big deal about connecting and networking with other women? What does it do for you and your business in the long run? Well, that’s what we’re here to tell you! Here are a few reasons why networking with other women can help your career and business.
1. Networking for your business.
It helps. Period. Every female entrepreneur and businesswoman will tell you the same thing. Networking events help a business promote itself and its products, generate new customers, and meet potential contacts and business partners.
2. Gain confidence.
Confidence in yourself and your business is a necessary element for success. If you don’t believe in yourself or your product, you aren’t going to attract people who will want to work with you. Attending a lot of networking events and business summits will push you to find your confidence as a businesswoman and an entrepreneur.
3. Connect on a personal level.
Let’s face it – though women are an important part of the modern business world, it’s still a male-dominated industry. So chances are that you or other women in business have faced challenges in navigating the world of business. Talking with other women who have experienced similar issues can be a relief. Only other women can truly understand what you go through – so share, and maybe you’ll get some tips too!
4. Become a true leader in business.
A true leader influences and inspires others by doing what they are good at. It is especially important for female business leaders to motivate the young girls and women who will become the business leaders of tomorrow. This model is especially important in today’s society, where more often than not the media portrays women as fighting against one another to get to the top. It’s important that we break down this stereotype – working together is the key to success in any field. The more women in business network and connect with other outstanding women, the more successful and inspirational you will become. This will help more women excel in what they do, and having many women in positions of business and leadership will help inspire the next generation.
Are you interested in meeting other entrepreneurial women? Do you want to expand your network and strengthen the foundation of your business? Then join us at our annual MACs Women Connect Summit on the first Saturday in October!
Go to www.macswomensummit.com and register now!
If you have a newly written article posted on your blog, it is given that you’ll initially share it on Facebook, Twitter or G+ once it’s live, but how do you go beyond that?
If you’re like me, producing a blog post almost every day of the week, then the following are tips on how you can effectively repurpose your blog posts so that the contents you are creating are maximized and shared across different social networking sites and online platforms.
Turning blog posts into pins. This is a very simple strategy that you should be implementing. All you need to do is include one high quality photo in your blog post and you’re good. Pin or upload the image to your primary business board on Pinterest, or create a board just for your blog, like we do here, and then add a short description of the photo by grabbing a few lines from your blog post. Make sure that you set the source link of your pin to your blog post. You can share the photo as well on Facebook, G+ and Twitter.
Turning blog posts into tweetables. Have you shared photos with quotes on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook? Well, you’re basically sharing a tweetable and you don’t need to be a graphics designer to create one.
First, pick a catchy phrase from your blog post – this will serve as your quote. Second, look for a free image that would go well with your phrase or quote, and third, use mobile apps such as InstaQuote or Overgram to put the two together. You can also use photo editing software like Photoshop if you want to.
Again, you can post this image across different social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Instagram or G+. You can even share them on photo sharing sites like Imgur.
Turning blog posts into tweets. If your blog post is a “listicle”, you can just pick each item on the list as a tweet. Of course you have to make sure that the tweet is under 140 characters and it includes a link to your blog post.
Taking this blog post as an example, I can come up with these tweets:
Maximize your content by turning blog posts into pins. (add link to the article here)
Maximize your content by turning your blog posts into tweets. (add link to the article here)
Turn your blog posts into presentations. Take the major points/takeaways from your blog post and turn them into slides. Once finished, upload your presentation to sites like slideshare.net, authorstream.com or powershow.com. You could also pin each slide to Pinterest.
Over to you, how have you repurposed your blog posts? Share with us in the comments section below.
As a business owner, we know that you have gone through great lengths to develop an effective marketing strategy, attracting the right customers and retaining them. Following are some simple, yet effective marketing tips that you can add into your overall strategy.
1. Include a professional signature in your emails. It’s even better if you can add a photo of yourself in the signature, especially if you are in the PR or marketing industry. People like to see that there is a face behind your emails. It adds more credibility as it reinforces that you are standing behind what you say.
2. Reach out to past clients. Don’t forget to market your new products or an upcoming event to past clients. A simple email would do. They can be your easiest source of conversion as the cost of acquiring them and marketing to them would be less than what it would be if they were new customers. Plus, you don’t have to really educate them about your business and brand, they know you already.
3. Repurpose your marketing materials. As we have mentioned in this post on the different ways you can repurpose your blog post.
Repurposing is not just limited to content – you can also repurpose topics and ideas. You should have an ‘evergreen’ folder on your computer where you store all evergreen topics you have created throughout the years. If you have an evergreen topic that you can pull out anytime, add fresh ideas or spin it in another perspective so that it’s fresh again, you don’t have to spend so much time looking for new topics to write.
4. Mine the comments section of everything. Don’t just read interesting posts, comb through the comments – often that’s where you’ll find the golden ideas, below the surface.
The best way to do this is to pick authority niche sites. They’re the ones likely to generate a lot of informed, knowledgeable comments.
5. Transcriptions. If you’ve been invited to be a guest on a podcast or radio show, you can have the whole thing transcribed and brand them with your company name and logo. You can then give out the transcribed version as a downloadable bonus or you can turn it into a report.
6. Offer discount coupons. If you have just launched a new product, which you believe is a greater version of what’s currently existing on the market, but you’re having difficulty marketing it because people are too comfortable using the old one, your best move is to offer free samples. Or you can give people discount coupons!
It only takes one excited customer to tell her friends, “Wow! Got a huge discount for the new XXX and they’re really easy to use compared to my old one!”
We love hearing from you, please share your comments with us below.
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As an online visibility coach, I help my clients get results through proper planning and positioning of their businesses online to generate visibility, attract clients and profits.
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