10 Tips on How to Avoid Getting Your Email Overlooked

In the age of SEO and social media marketing, one type of marketing still reigns supreme in terms of online conversions: email marketing. But email is so widely used by businesses that unless you know how to write a stellar email, your emails are likely to get lost in the overloaded inboxes of your prospects.

There’s nothing worse than managing to convince someone to give you their email address, carefully drafting a sales email and sending it only for you to check the stats and see a low open rate.

So here are 10 tips on how to avoid getting your email overlooked and make sales instead:

1. Use a sender name that’s familiar

Prior to even starting on the subject line, it’s important to consider what name will appear in a recipient’s inbox when they receive an email from you.

Because people are so wary of spam, even if you write an amazing subject line with amazing content, if your sender name comes up as a company name or your job title you won’t see a very good open rate. Instead, you want to use a sender name that’s more personable like your first name. If you feel your first name isn’t enough you can put your first name “from _____ company.” That way people get an idea of the email’s contents but it’s not like getting an email from a complete stranger.

2. Keep the subject lines short

Your subject line is one of the most important parts of the email. Think of it as the headline of your email— the few words that will convince a recipient whether or not to read the body of the email. With many people using email on their mobile devices these days, you need to consider that a long subject line will likely be cut off.

Reserve the longer sentences for the body of your email and focus on getting the main point across in the subject line. Try to limit it to no more than 70 characters.

3. Keep the subject line concise

Because your recipients are already flooded with emails everyday, your subject line needs to get right to the point of the email. You do want to entice the recipient, but if you’re too vague, they’ll likely skip right over your email.

For example, “We’ve got an offer for you!” sounds interesting but it is also vague. Think about how many other email marketers have offers for their recipients… it’s every single one of them!

What is the offer? Think specifically about how this email will benefit the recipient.

A better subject line than the example above would be “Seize the chance to win tickets to the #1 summer festival.” In this example, the topic of the email is clear and to the point. There’s no guessing games, and it’s still enticing to open.

4. Use personal language

Just like how you want to be personable in the sender field, you also want to make the rest of the email personal. Don’t talk about your subscribers list or use language referring to a group of people. Speak as if you’re having a one-on-one conversation.

Emails that include the first name of the recipient in the subject line have higher clickthrough rates than emails that don’t (The Science of Email Marketing, 2014).

This is just one way you can make the email more personal and stand out in the inbox. You can also personalize your emails by referring to specific locations either in the subject line or in the body of the email. For example, sending location-specific offers or deals.

No matter what you decide to do with the subject line, always use “you” or “your” in the body so it still sounds like you’re addressing the recipient directly.

5. Use action-oriented verbs

Your email marketing is essentially a series that should lead your recipient through a sales funnel to a call-to-action that eventually encourages them to buy. That’s why it’s best to use verbs that encourage the recipient to take action.

Subject lines that start with action verbs are more enticing because they instill excitement and engage the recipient in the present moment.

An example of a less actionable subject line might be: The circus comes to town
An improved, actionable subject line is: See the Greatest Show on Earth this weekend only

The second example uses “see” to give the reader an instant sense of what they can do, as opposed to the first example which sounds more like an objective news report.

Using actionable verbs throughout the body of the email is also more appealing as they maintain a vibe that encourages the recipient to take action.

6. Create a sense of urgency for more clicks

Phrases like “today only,” “right now,” “available until 5 p.m.,” or “1 day left” build a sense of urgency. It puts a deadline on the actionable verbs.

Subject lines that create a sense of urgency and exclusivity can give a 22% higher open rate (HubSpot, 2016).

Timing these urgent emails are great for clicks too. For example, sending an email on a Friday afternoon with a subject line “Where to get the best happy hour deals this evening” is very relevant to a recipient in that moment and is far more likely to be opened.

Don’t hold back with the language of urgency in the body as well. Reminding the recipient that they have limited time to take advantage of your offer will encourage more clicks.

7. A/B test your subject lines

Different subject lines will work for different businesses. That’s why it’s best to experiment a bit with which subject lines your email list is most receptive to.

A/B testing is a sure fire way to track with certainty which of your subject lines work best for your specific audience.

Figure out what your audience likes— do they like subject lines that include their name or just addresses them as “you”? Perhaps they prefer a line structured as a question. Continue to test your audience and tweak the subject lines until you find the ones that give you the best open rate.

8. Nurture your prospects before you sell

If a recipient gives you access to their inbox, you need to be considerate of that. It’s not an invitation for you to flood their inbox with sales copy. That will put you on the fast track to the junk mail folder.

You need to nurture your prospects until they’re ready to buy. Give your recipients a reason to trust you, become a source of information. If you’re friendly and helpful, your prospects are far more likely to become buyers. If you’re designing an email automation campaign, write three nurturing emails to send first, then two calls-to-action.

9. Make calls-to-action clear and direct

When you’re asking your recipients to take action, you only have a couple chances before they find it annoying you keep asking them to do something. It’s important to be very clear about what you’re wanting prospects to do.

Make it so easy for the recipient of the email to follow up that even the most technologically-challenged people could take action. Remind your readers why it’s in their best interest to buy and tell them directly what you want them to do next.

10. Insert multiple links in the body for calls-to-action

It makes it even easier for people to take you up on your call-to-action if you place multiple links to the same page within the body of the email. This will make it even more unmissable for your reader and super clear about the action they should take.
Conclusion
Don’t fall victim to the boring and forgettable email promotions. If you’re putting effort into email marketing, make sure that they’re personal, concise, and clear about the action you want them to take after you’ve established credibility with your recipients. With these tips, you will be sure to see more conversions out of the inbox!

Why You Need Visuals in your Marketing

In just the past year, we’ve seen some big changes to the popular social media channels that we know and love. Facebook came out with Facebook live, and more recently, Facebook stories. Twitter recently launched a live video feature, Instagram came out with live video and IG stories, and Snapchat came out with lens filters, stickers, and memories. Are you starting to notice a pattern here? It’s all about the visuals.

And for good reason, too. Humans are visual creatures. We’re incredibly better at remembering pictures than we are at remembering text. This is partially because reading is so inefficient for us. Our brain sees words as a lot of tiny pictures, and it takes time for our brain to read those words and then process them into images we can understand.

But when we see images, we process them so much faster. In fact, according to a study by Brain Rules, when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. But if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. So the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is really not some kitschy, cliche phrase— it’s the truth. The fact is that we simply process images faster and more efficiently than we do text.

Source: Mammoth Infographics

 

So if you haven’t started using visuals in your marketing strategy yet, it’s time to evolve with the times. Last year, 37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging at 38% (Social Media Examiner, 2016). The hard truth is that if you aren’t using visuals in your marketing, you’re losing.

So here are some different visuals you can incorporate into your strategy, and how to best use them:

Images

When writing a piece for your blog or some other form of content, splitting up the body of text with some relevant images is a good way to keep people engaged with what you’ve written. In fact, articles with images get 94% more views than those without, according to marketer Jeff Bullas. Keep in mind that people’s attention spans are shorter than ever and text-heavy content is more difficult to get through.

Images are also important to use on your social channels. Studies show that Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement than those without images (BuzzSumo, 2015) and tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images (Buffer, 2016). Regardless of the social platforms you use, make sure you’re including relevant images on any posts you make.

You can get creative with your images too. These don’t just have to be your classic photo taken by an iPhone (although those work just fine). They can be memes, which are just images paired with humorous captions and widely embraced by Millennials. And it’s easy with tools like Meme Generator.

 

Or they can even be screenshots. Often, screenshots are a good way of visually explaining how something works— be that your product or service, how to sign up for something, etc. It also builds trust between you and the viewer. It makes them feel like they’re sitting right there with you looking at your computer screen and the internal workings of your business. You can even draw on screenshots and point out specific things in the image. Awesome Screenshot is a handy tool for this.

 

For the sake of not infringing on copyrights, but also to add your own branded touch, it’s best to use your own original images. There are tools out there like Canva which allow you to easily create unique and engaging images for free. You can also use good quality photos for free from photo-sharing sites like Flickr. But if you do use someone else’s image, be sure to credit them with the rights to the image.

Video

Videos are steadily on the rise for the most effective form of marketing. By the year 2020, video marketing will make up 79% of global internet traffic (Tubular Insights, 2017). Videos are altogether more engaging, entertaining, and captivating to viewers.

And there are plenty of different types of videos you can create to amplify your brand voice and add extra value to your marketing:

  • Tutorial videos – 4x as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it (Animoto, 2015)
  • Animated voiceover videos
  • Product demonstrations
  • Customer testimonials
  • Webinar

Whatever you choose to do, make sure your videos make sense with what you’re doing as a brand. A Moz study shows that posts with videos receive nearly 300% more inbound links. Just like with images, include videos in both your content marketing and social media marketing strategies.

More than 60% of marketers and small business owners said they plan to increase investment in video marketing in 2017 (Animoto, 2016). Make sure that you are one of those marketers.

Live Video

As I mentioned in the beginning, all of the most popular social platforms seem to be updating to integrate the live video feature. You might ask: “Why live video and not just traditional pre-recorded video?” Well, live video is far more interactive. You get to engage with the person speaking in the video, right there in the moment. This is an incredible opportunity for marketers in every industry.

Facebook users spend three times more watching live videos than they do watching traditional videos (Animoto, 2016), and the equivalent of 110 years of live video is watched on Periscope, the Twitter-owned live video streaming app, every single day (Periscope, 2016).

Not only is live video more interactive, but it shows a sort of rawness and transparency that traditional video doesn’t. It makes the broadcaster seem considerably more human and accessible. And that, for viewers, makes brands much easier to connect with.

Infographics

Infographics are an awesome tool for visually depicting complex statistics and data in a digestible and compelling way. Designing a good infographic does take a bit of skill, as the layout and design is crucial in making the content understandable to the viewer. But by combining the right colors, shapes, and fonts with the most important, accurate, and contextually relevant information, you can turn the most boring statistic into something exciting.

Bloggers in particular are a big fan of infographics. The best infographics are shared and circulated around the internet at a high rate, which means a lot of publicity for the brand that produces that infographic and heightened credibility for you.

Conclusion

You absolutely must include visuals in your marketing. Visual content hits the human brain faster and harder than any other form of content out there, leaving a greater residual impact on your brand. If you can create quality visual content that engages people and you promote it consistently, your brand is guaranteed to grow. Whether it’s images, videos, or infographics, start integrating more visual content in your content and social media marketing. It’s not a suggestion— it’s a must!

How to Improve Your Facebook Marketing: Part 2

Last year, we shared tips on “How to Improve your Facebook Marketing.” We offered eight tips to really get your business moving on Facebook. Let’s review, shall we?

• Make a Facebook Business Page. Essential for your branding on social media and comes with great built-in analytics to measure the success of your Facebook marketing.

• Post 5 to 10 times weekly. A great frequency for keeping your audience engaged without wearing out your welcome on their newsfeeds.

• Include photos and links in your post. Visuals are more tempting to click-on, and links make good teasers.

• Keep most lines of text short. Shorter lines of text are more digestible than longer lines of text.

• Have a goal for every post. Each post you create should have intent. Text posts, link posts, and photo and video posts each yield different types of engagement.

• Have calls-to-action and contests. Motivate your audience to engage with your business, and simultaneously generate leads.

• Use Facebook data wisely. Keep your eyes on your Facebook Insights— often!

• Always continue to experiment. Social media is living and breathing. It changes quickly, just like people. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new!

Now that we’ve reviewed the tips from Part 1, are you ready for more?

Let’s talk about ways to further optimize your marketing on Facebook…

1. Provide unique and valuable content

This may seem obvious, but there are so many brands on Facebook using stale or recycled content that simply doesn’t appeal to their audience. You may feel pressured to just keep getting content out there so that your page doesn’t look inactive. But remember, that quality will always beat quantity.

Always keep your audience in mind when you create content. What will interest them? What will add value to their lives? What does your business offer that others don’t? If you can create real value for your audience, you not only establish yourself as an expert but you’re halfway through the sales process.

2. Use Audience Insights

Studying your Facebook Insights regularly is essential when it comes to finding which posts your audience best respond to. The Insights also provide valuable information about who your audience is. This helps you target your content and create formats that work best for the people who are already engaging.

Maybe your audience likes photo posts and doesn’t like text posts. That is data-led understanding of how to best engage your audience. Pay attention to the feedback you are getting on your page. This should serve as a measure for constantly optimizing your content.

3. Boost Posts

Facebook offers a really easy way to put your posts in front of a more targeted audience, and can show up higher in that audience’s feeds. This can increase reach by 50% or more.

But it’s also important to know which posts are boost-worthy because there is a small cost to boosting. Posts that promote a product or service offered by your business are obviously a good idea to boost. But also, posts that direct people to your website or promote a limited time campaign your business is running.

4. Email Acquisition from Newsfeeds

Many Facebook marketers will have call-to-actions all over their Facebook pages.

Contests and calls-to-action are great as custom tabs on your Facebook page, but it’s likely that many great leads out there aren’t ever going to see these tabs because they aren’t visiting your page. That’s why meeting the users where they spend the most time on Facebook— their newsfeeds —is optimal.

A program called ActionSprout allows you to reach Facebook users by offering a button to encourage direct action right on their newsfeed. Users can click a “Sign,” “Support,” or “Demand” button on your post and they will be redirected to a page to complete the action.

This is a fantastic piece of software to integrate into your Facebook marketing efforts because it so easily supplies calls-to-action!

So these are just a few tips to keep you going. But always keep in mind that Facebook, like all social media, is an ever-changing medium. Our social media marketing efforts should always be intended to direct users away from the source and to our website or blog. The purpose of social media marketing, when it all comes down to it, is to generate leads.

Keep experimenting on Facebook to see what works for you. You will never know what works best until you try! But until then, we’ll be here to offer a helping hand with your social media marketing success.

How to Improve your Twitter Marketing Part 2

You may remember last year when we published “How to Improve your Twitter Marketing (Part 1).” After a year of advancement in social media marketing, we’re back again with another five tips for you to best market your business on Twitter.

Experiment with Twitter ads. Similar to Facebook ads, Twitter can promote tweets with your goals, specific audiences, and budget in mind. You can select the goal of driving more traffic to your website, increasing followers, increasing tweet engagements, or increasing brand awareness. These ads can be targeted as broadly as geographical location to as specific as audience behaviors.

There is much to be tinkered with in establishing your audience. Much of social media advertising is really trial and error to find what best works for the people you are trying to reach. So get experimenting, and when your ad campaign is over, be sure to review the results so you can improve for next time!

Make lead generation cards. Did you know Twitter could do this? Twitter has a service to set up a lead card that allows you to capture email addresses and the corresponding Twitter account with a simple click from Twitter users. These are great to use in accordance with specials and deals, and will systematically increase your leads.

Don’t be afraid to share content multiple times. On different social media platforms such as Facebook, this is more often than not a “no-no.” But Twitter is different — the timeline on Twitter is a live streaming feed that does not necessarily boost things you will most likely be interested in. Not everyone is on Twitter at the same time, and most will not seek out your profile if they’ve missed a tweet of yours. So tweeting the same content multiple times will drive more engagement than if you tweet it just once. You can also use it as an opportunity to experiment with different text or images when you’re sharing for a second, third, or more times.

Check Twitter chats. This is a great feature of Twitter because the people using it are actively interacting. There are a wealth of different topics within Twitter chats and those topics related to your industry are likely to contain good business opportunities like generating leads, building relationships, and establishing yourself in the industry.

Plan ahead, create a schedule. It’s best to plan at least two to three weeks ahead in the Twitter world, particularly surrounding holidays and special events. It can also get difficult to constantly stay on top of Twitter from day to day. Planning ahead will free your time up to follow live trends and focus on generating leads.

We hope these tips were helpful! Remember, you always want your Twitter to be used as a vehicle to direct audiences to your original website or email content. Bare this in mind when you set your goals and strategize.

How Brands Are Missing Out on Facebook

It’s no secret nowadays that successful brands make the most of social media marketing– especially on Facebook.

You see advertisements every time you log on, whether they be sponsored ads or ads that pop up on the sidebar. Facebook makes sure you see them because it makes all its revenue off of selling your information to businesses.

Maybe you have even previously created a Facebook ad for your business. But if Facebook ads aren’t created with the right goal in mind, they won’t be helpful to you in bringing quality potential customers.

There’s considerably more that you can do on Facebook to maximize your marketing efforts. Here are a few tips:

    1. Make Your Website a Priority
      When creating an ad, many businesses will place focus on the metrics Facebook offers – Likes, Reach, Engagement – in order to measure the ad’s success. This isn’t wrong, but these metrics can be meaningless unless you’re driving quality traffic.What is quality traffic?

      Quality traffic is people who have a legitimate interest in your brand. These are the people who will answer your call to action and yield legitimate leads to sales. This is an audience that actually cares about you.Anyone can see a post, like it, or comment and share it. But unless your content inspires people to go a step further and make it to your website, your Facebook metrics won’t mean very much to your salespeople.But how do you actually build a quality audience? That brings us to the next tip.

    2. Create Original and Helpful Content
      Sure, sharing funny memes, videos, and photos that regularly circulate Facebook can get you more attention. But unless your brand offers content that’s original, relevant, and useful, there’s no motivation for your audience to have a genuine interest in you as a brand.

      Creating original content will provide a value to your brand for your audience. Most of this content should have little to do with your product. Depending on your industry, you will want to create content generally based around it. For example, if you are a real estate agent, you could create content answering questions like…

      a. What are some common real estate misconceptions?
      b. What is a buyer’s agent?
      c. What are some tips for first time buyers?

      With this type of content, you will be able to start creating a quality audience base that ultimately ends up at your website.

    3. Share, Promote, Build!
      Once you’ve created your content, you have to share it and get back to focusing on your Facebook metrics. At first you won’t get very much engagement. This is because most people aren’t interested in your content – but the people who are will be the people who click, and those are the people you really care about!

      Promote this content – this is what you want to spend your ad dollars on. The more value you have to offer, the higher the quality of your audience will become.

      Building a quality base that will respond to your calls to action is key in Facebook marketing.

So don’t just make your Facebook marketing about what happens on Facebook – create original content that drives people back to your website. Create actual value that will attract a quality fan base. Once you have a quality fan base, your opportunities will expand.

 

Facebook Ads: Why and How to Use Them

Surely by now, you’re familiar with the advertisements that pop up on your Facebook Newsfeed. They can appear on the right hand side or within the actual feed while you’re scrolling. Some of these ads can seem targeted specifically, sometimes too specifically, for you. If you’ve experienced this before, you have experienced the magic of Facebook ads.

 

More and more businesses are moving away from traditional advertising channels to advertising on Facebook. But why? Because it works! Facebook ads are able to target audiences that no other medium can – not even Google!

 

Yes, it’s true, not even the almighty Google has the targeting power that Facebook has.

 

The truth of the matter is that with Google, you can only advertise to the people who search for keywords related to your product. That’s a pretty limited audience and there are a limited number of keywords that you can use for any product. Then, when you take into account that your competitors will also bid on these limited keywords, Google Adwords can get pretty pricey.

 

Do you really want to be pouring money into a bidding war on an already limited audience? Maybe not.

 

Here’s where Facebook is different than Google: It doesn’t matter what your users are searching, all that matters is who your customers are. Rather than targeting web users with keywords, you’re targeting real people with jobs, interests, and personalities.

 

The Custom Audiences feature on Facebook allows you to target or retarget a very specific niche of users. This laser-focused type of advertising has proven so successful that even B2B companies are finding Facebook ads useful.

 

It’s fairly simple to create your own Facebook ad. You can go to Settings in your Facebook account and then ‘Facebook Ads Manager.’ First, it will ask you what your objective is. Do you want to promote your Page? Send people to your website? Increase conversions on your website? Raise attendance at your event? Reach people near your business? There are 12 different objectives you can choose from.

 

Once you’ve selected an objective, it will prompt you to name your ad campaign and fill in some basic information. Then you can start defining your audience. After selecting the basic demographics of your audience — locations, age range, gender, and
languages spoken — you’ll move onto the detailed targeting where you can select specific demographics, interests, or behaviors or your audience. This is where you can get creative! You might be surprised how specific you can get, and just how much of an audience each of these specifications has.

 

For example, if you wanted to target an audience that buys eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious products, you could do so by entering the drop down menu and selecting Behaviors > Purchase behavior > Buyer Profile > Green Living. This specification on its own yields a Facebook target audience of over 33 million people. Not, bad huh? You can also add Connections, or people who have a specific kind of connection to your Page, app, or event.

 

Once you have specified your audience, a little meter on the right hand side will tell you whether your audience is broad or narrow, and about how many potential users your ad will reach. All that’s left to do is to select ad placement (it’s recommended to set this on “automatic”) and set your budget and schedule. You can set a daily or lifetime budget, and you can make your ad run continuously or have a start or end date.

 

Once you’ve done all that, you create the Facebook ad, place the order, and you’re good to go! Facebook makes tracking your ad’s success easy, allowing you to customize the notifications you receive. So give it a try and watch your conversions grow! If this seems daunting or you simply don’t have the time, contact us and we can help connect your business to the rest of the world using Facebook Ads.

 

5 Ways to Digitize Your Marketing Efforts

It’s important now more than ever to visualize your company as a virtual space rather than just a physical space. The world of online modern marketing may seem daunting to some – especially those who have grown comfortable with the good old-fashioned paper and telephone methods of marketing. Fortunately, we have some tips to help immerse your business in the digital world!

 

1. Set up a presentable and practical website
A business’s website is like a virtual shop window. When people search for services and products online, much like in person, they search for something that will allow them to have the easiest and most pleasant experience possible. Thus it’s important to have an organized, good-looking website.

 

It should be easy to navigate and provide potential customers with all the information they need to know. Quickly, a potential customer will move on to another business if they find it too difficult to find the information they are seeking.

 

Don’t have any idea how to build a website? Do not fret. There are many businesses you can hire to design your website and to customize it to your needs.

 

2. Sell products and services directly online
While an organized and informative website is key, customers still may be too discouraged to proceed with using your business if they cannot order the products or services they want directly from your website. While you may think that asking a potential customer to view your website and then pick up the phone to call you is not a big deal, it’s actually still more effort than is necessary for your potential customer.

 

If you have provided enough information for the potential customer to understand your products or services and they have an idea of what they want, why not just eliminate the extra step of using the phone? Ordering online is far more convenient when you know what you want. It also requires less time from the business because they don’t have to spend so much time on the phone with customers!

 

3. Engage customers via social media
Part of what makes the internet so amazing is that you can connect with so many people in such a revolutionary way. So why not take advantage of this resource of connectivity? Building a network can be a great way to build your customer base.

 

If you are mostly involved with business-to-business sales, then LinkedIn is the place to be. This is a social network of professionals and allows you to keep in close touch with clients and associates.

 

If you are doing more B2C, then Facebook is a great starting point. Facebook is helpful for reaching out to potential customers – especially with the use of Facebook Ads.

 

Engaging people on any social media platform is key to building relationships and creating an image. If someone “Likes” your Facebook page, you can “Like” their page. Showing any sort of presence on social media at all also alerts Google that you are an active business and you will be rewarded in the Google algorithim by appearing closer to the top of relevant searches.

 

4. Tap into mobile efficiency and loyalty
With more than two-thirds of all Americans owning a smart phone, it’s a good idea to get on board with the mobile trend. Many businesses are now creating their own apps in order to build a customer base. Not only do these apps make it easier for customers to order products and services, but it also creates brand loyalty. If your customers have put in the effort to download your app—that is a notable level of loyalty! This also creates value for your business because you can more easily track these customers who have downloaded your app.

 

5. Create more valuable customer data
In this new age, tracking consumer behavior has never been so easy. When you have an online presence with a website with orderable products and services, active social media pages, and mobile accessibility – you are able to access a wealth of data on marketing and sales. This information is crucial to growing your sales. With an online presence you can determine who is buying your products, where these customers are located, how they found you, what time they ordered your product, what platform they ordered your product on, and so many other interesting and helpful information. How convenient that websites and social media have their own built in trackers for you to collect this data?! And you can always further make use of this tool by submitting customer surveys.

 

Growing your knowledge of the online world is important to understanding how to improve your marketing. We hope these tips were helpful!

 

For Entrepreneur DeVries, the Risk is Worth the Reward

MOSourceLink

Linking Missouri’s Businesses to the Right Resource at the Right Time

by Sarah Mote | Sep 23, 2015 Leave a comment


Laura DeVries, the director of communication and marketing for a St. Louis office, had an opportunity. During her 19 years of marketing experience, she recognized that small businesses and entrepreneurs needed marketing help in order to focus their attention on what they did best.

On the verge of transferring to another company, Laura instead decided to start her own business, CommCore Marketing.

Even though the timing was right and the opportunity was ideal, she had a problem. “My biggest obstacle was myself. I feared taking the plunge and failing,” she says.

Her scary moments built up fast when she became responsible for all aspects of her business. “Too many things were coming all at once and I struggled most with the technical side of running a business.”

Not willing to quit, Laura sought advice from small business owners she knew and respected. She asked questions. She asked for referrals and introductions. “Everyone was friendly, helpful and happy to offer guidance.” Laura advises anyone in a similar situation to reach out to their professional network.

Whenever doubts and fears roll in—what if the phone doesn’t ring?—Laura reaches out to her contacts again. “Take a step back and realize it’s going to fix itself, but you must be patient,” Laura says, while admitting patience can be tough some days. “Making it happen also requires setting realistic goals and being accountable to yourself.”

Working strange hours in order to spend time with the family is a great satisfaction. It’s rewarding to be in charge of her life, her business and her success.

Laura knew she was making a positive impact when she overheard one client tell a potential client that she now sleeps better through Laura’s help.

“Knowing that I’ve made that much difference for someone makes it all worthwhile.”


Ready to Get Something Started?

MOSourceLink has a network of more than 400 Resource Partners, nonprofit organizations ready to help you start, grow and scale your business. Start with our Resource Navigator to find help near you. Still stumped? Give us a call and we’ll connect you with the right resource, right now.

Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.

Link to complete article here.

On Budget? Here’s Three Ways to Spend Those Marketing Dollars

When you’re on budget and you have a bit more time to focus on marketing, there are several things you can do to grow your business’s reach.

  1. Outsource if you don’t have the time:
    It’s easy to get caught up in work for our clients, so wouldn’t it be easier to have someone else do our own marketing work? Hiring in someone to do those odd jobs that we don’t quite have the time to do is a great way to get things done. College students and recent graduates are great candidates for this type of work because they are eager to gain experience and eager to make money. Basic marketing does not require a lot of experience therefore you don’t need to hire someone who will cost you an arm and a leg. And, younger people are already adept at using technology and social media.
  2. Focus on Social Media:
    In this day and age, it is absolutely imperative to have a web presence. Nearly everything is done online now, so if you can’t be found on the web, it’s as if you don’t exist. Three of the most important social media outlets to be on are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

    1. Facebook is such a multi-faceted network that allows people, businesses, organizations, events, news, and campaigns to be followed and interacted with. You want to be not only on Facebook but active. Even the smallest interactions on Facebook remind people that you are there, and that has far more impact than not being online at all.
    2. Twitter is as close to live-action social media as we can get right now. In 140 characters, we deliver a message to the world. It’s short, sweet, and constantly flowing. It allows businesses to interact directly with people in its market and vice versa. Your presence on Twitter means that you really exist in this moment and you’re ready to do business.
    3. LinkedIn is less common-people oriented, and more professional-oriented. This is the kind of social networking you want to do in order to maintain business relationships and find new business connections. People don’t necessarily always remember your business, but they will remember you.
  3. Create a professional quality brand identity:
    It is important to always be checking up on how your brand is being perceived. Is it being perceived positively? Is it being perceived the way you want it to be perceived? Is it even on anyone’s radar? To get your brand bumping around people’s heads, you need a logo. A visual to represent your business is important because it’s an immediate and easy association to your business. Ask yourself what you want people to remember about your business and how you can represent that in a logo. Another classic way to get your brand out there is by printing business cards. You will want a design that’s easy to read and includes your logo, name, business, phone number(s), website address, email address, and physical address (if applicable). Don’t leave off your email! The less information you provide, the harder it will be to contact you and the less people will be motivated to use your business.

Marketing is all about building a presence, relationships, and drumming up business. The only way your business will grow is if you make an effort to reach out!