Starting a Business: How Bring A-Game in Your Marketing Campaigns

If you are a new startup, then it is essential that you bring your A-game to your marketing game before you even have enough experience to really know what you are doing. That is why it is essential to consider the different components of a campaign. Here are some tips on different marketing components along with basic tips you need to consider.

Television Ads

Almost 90 percent of adults see at least one television commercial every day. Therefore, it can be an important way to let customers know about your product. Using experienced TV and film actors can help deliver a powerful message. Consider which stations are most likely to connect with your target demographic.

Social Media

Social media can be very useful in building company trust as people often use it to find out more about your entity. People often check their favorite social media platforms multiple times a day, so make sure that they see you interacting with your customers when they do. Hiring a brand ambassador or influencer who already has a following can be key to building your audience quickly.

Website

Your company needs a well-organized website. With about 50 percent of all traffic coming from mobile devices make sure that it is optimized for all types of devices. Customers are unwilling to wait for your website to load, so make sure that your landing page loads in under a second. Make sure that your content is informative and well written.

Radio

Depending on who is in your targeted audience, radio can be a powerful way to reach them. Work with an experienced advertising director to create advertising that will capture the essence of your company in under 30 seconds. Then, play your ads on stations where your targeted audience is found.

Newspaper

While some insist that newspapers are dead, they can be an important factor with some targeted audiences. If you are trying to build a local business in a community that still has a newspaper, then advertising there may bring people in your business’ front door. Additionally, if your niche market has a popular newspaper, then appearing there can be a great way to build your brand’s authority.

The right mixture of each of these components depends on your targeted audience. Get to know them and you will learn where your marketing dollars will be most effective. Then, hire the best experts that you can to deliver marketing that will connect instantly with your target audience.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

How To Stand Out in a Saturated Gig Economy

In 2017, more than 57 million people worked freelance in the US as short-term talent continues to be in high demand. As we weave ourselves deeper into the digital world and Internet of Things, the necessity to stick to one job for a lifetime simply doesn’t hold much relevance. The gig economy is booming and it is here to stay. However, with many people shifting to the remote-working freelance lifestyle, you will want to ensure you know exactly how to market yourself and stand out as a professional “gigger” in order to receive top-notch jobs that provides you with consistent work.

Market Yourself to Local Stores & Small Businesses

In the past, small businesses didn’t have access to a pool of freelancers who could do a variety of small, short-term jobs  for them. If they wanted a new marketing campaign they had to be prepared to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to a major agency or learn to do it themselves. However, even in a gig economy, many small businesses and local stores still don’t understand how to harness the power of the talent they have access to. Help them unlock this power by being the go-to freelancer in your area for all small businesses and local shops. Whether you are great at programming, interior design, copywriting, or even SEO, they likely need your skills and expertise and are willing to pay you for it. Begin cultivating this network by attending local small business meetings and chamber of commerce events in order to build your reputation as the go-to person in your local area for your particular skill. The benefit here is that word-of-mouth is so powerful that once you establish yourself in-person with these people, you will likely find that your outstanding service and work will speak for itself and they will do your marketing for you.

Develop a Personal Brand

Why do you think so many people around the world know what McDonald’s is? They have worked hard in establishing a very unique and consistent brand. If you want to be successful and stand out in the gig economy, you should do the same. You can begin doing this by always putting customer service and communication at the forefront of everything you do regarding freelance work. Communicating in real time increases engagement and builds community. Try to make the central focus of each gig to be on solving a problem for your client rather than simply performing a task and always focus on increasing your online visibility to ensure future clients have access to your work as well as customer reviews.

Building a Thriving Business

In the gig economy, you are your own boss and you should think of the work you do as running a business. Ensure that you ask yourself each day how you can improve your business operations, brand and overall efforts in ensuring customer satisfaction. By focusing on quality over quantity and making an effort to be personable and even in-person, you will be able to find lasting success in the saturated gig economy without having to worry about finding clients for years to come.

Guest Author, Jenny Holt, is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

Design and Storage Tips to Make the Most of Your Small Office

Working in a small office doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort and space. If you organize everything according to your needs, you’ll be able to achieve all your tasks easily. The true secret behind being successful in a small office is in using every corner you have – by giving every inch a purpose, you can transform even the smallest office into a proper work area. It will provide you with enough storage space and different zones for every part of the working process. Keep in mind that most startups were created and ran from crowded rooms or basements, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do the same.

The color psychology

Even though you may think that plain white walls are the best solution, there’s more to that than you think. You’d be surprised with the effect that green and blue have when it comes to productivity and efficiency. These two restful colors can really boost the creativity in the office and help you tackle more tasks.

You should avoid white, beige, purple and gray because they can seriously affect your mood and even create some gloomy feelings. During working hours, you don’t want anything less than full productivity, which is why you should stay away from bright colors because they have a tendency of being disruptive.

Choose the furniture wisely

Every piece of furniture needs to be carefully picked because you’ll have no room to spare. For starters, you’ll need some comfortable office chairs and practical desks. Apart from that, if you work with clients, you’ll need an additional seating area for meetings. To avoid crowding up the space, just add two additional chairs to your desk and you’ll be able to work and have a meeting at the same time.

Working with tight space means you need to be creative when it comes to furniture, so foldable desks are all right, while those large L-shaped ones are definitely not. You don’t have room for huge furniture and everything needs to have a real purpose, not just an aesthetical one.

Think about storage

The best way to be sure you’ve utilized all the space you have is by thinking beyond the common storage space options. Many people use vertical spaces for additional storage units, and this can be a solution for small offices. Besides giving you more space to work with, these units can be a great way of keeping items close to your reach. Apart from that, you can always use your desk and add additional drawers around it which will come in handy for all your documents.

You can also use storage units to fill in the empty space beneath the window, behind the door or underneath a coffee table. It goes without saying that decluttering goes hand in hand with creating designated storage spaces. You need to throw away everything you don’t plan on using and make room for the things you’ll actually need.

Get organized

Keeping everything organized starts from your desk, and it needs to be impeccable! Create different zones to be able to keep track of every step of your working process instead of feeling lost. If you’re dealing with lots of papers, use binders to keep them separate and all in one place.

It’s inevitable to always struggle with the lack of space, so try to use the additional seating area to make phone calls, drink coffee or schedule meetings. That way, you won’t be distracted from the actual work and will always know where everything is. Also, use modern technology, start going paperless and stop piling up so many documents – maybe you don’t really need them at all and you just waste time and space on storing them.

Small spaces can be turned into the most functional and inspiring offices if you use a little bit of imagination. You don’t need a large office to be productive and finish all your tasks on time when you can do the same in a much smaller space. Being a successful entrepreneur is more than having a cool office – it’s all about finding the strength and willingness to work in any kind of conditions. Only the people who manage that end up running the most successful businesses.

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is a regular contributor on https://smoothdecorator.com.

5 Brand Strategies to Better Position Your eCommerce Business

When it comes to retail, a lot of people tend to discuss which feature or factor affects one’s experience the most. According to some, it’s the price, while others claim it’s the convenience. The reason why e-commerce is on such a steep rise is due to the fact that it is the embodiment of both of these two traits. If that is so, then there’s much money to be made in the world of e-commerce. Still, the fact that your brand is separated physically from the audience doesn’t mean that they’ll take a rational approach to evaluate your offer.

Think about it, if this were the case, then every single person online would buy from the same e-commerce site – the one that offers the lowest price. Moreover, no one would ever bother with those online retailers that don’t offer same- or next-day delivery. When you put all of these features on paper, it’s fairly easy to tell which offer is superior. So, what’s the reason for this diversity in the business world? The answer is – brand and the relationship that your audience has towards it. Here are a few tips that will help you build a successful e-commerce brand.

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Start with images and features

When people enter the store, the first thing they want to do is see the product that they’re about to buy. Think about a person purchasing the desktop computer. When they are presented with the casing, they can’t really tell if the RAM memory is 4, 8 or 16 GB. They can’t tell if there’s an SSD or an HDD inside, nor what kind of CPU or GPU is in there. However, try to sell them a machine without actually showing them the item and see where it leads you. Needless to say, this would only work with the most tech-savvy of buyers, which aren’t the bulk of your target audience.

As you can see, this brings us to the first major shortcoming of the e-commerce – the inability of the customer to see the product in person. Nonetheless, you can do the next best thing and show them a page on your e-store, portraying the item from different angles, accompanied with a short description (up to 100 words) and a list of features. All of this contributes to your ability to build trust with your clients, which is pivotal for your branding efforts. As of late, even some retail places resort to this technique. Namely, most of these places have an e-store as well as an actual store, so, if a customer comes asking for an item that’s not in inventory, they show them the product page and ask them to make an order.

Invest in responsiveness

Another thing you need to understand is that, although people online have a low tolerance for long loading time, this is even more extreme when it comes to e-commerce. The last thing you want is for the browser to freeze during the check-out stage, forcing your clients to repeat the same purchase twice or wonder in fear whether their order went through at all. At the same time, you need to make your website interactive, intuitive and visually appealing.

This is why you need to abandon the idea of making your own e-commerce website and invest in professional web development. Even in the digital world, it’s better to collaborate with local talent, which is why NSW-based e-commerce entrepreneurs need to look into web design Sydney options they have available.

Expand your mailing list

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The next thing you need to understand is the fact that email marketing isn’t going anywhere, seeing as how it’s still one of the techniques that yield the best ROI out there. According to numerous surveys, every single dollar invested in email marketing returns $44.00 of profit, which makes the ROI of 4400 percent. Keep in mind, however, that in order for these numbers to hold true, you need to make your own email list and gradually grow it. It’s important that we stress this out because there are some businesses out there that purchase email lists and then wonder why the impact of their targeting strategy is nowhere the same.

Developing a personal brand

As a small business, you won’t have much of a remaputation for people to base their opinion on. As an individual, however, you’ll already have an online presence, which might come in quite handy. Working on your personal brand may increase customer loyalty, seeing as how you’ll inspire people as well as appear relatable, at the same time. Next, it will create an aura of trust seeing as how you aren’t afraid to use your own persona and stand behind this new brand. When it comes to your business, you can always re-brand or pivot, however, it’s not that easy to erase your online footprint.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the brand of your e-commerce business can’t be built overnight, which is a bit problematic due to the fact that you need some immediate results. Nevertheless, unless you’re specializing in the retail of one-time-purchase items, you need to keep an eye on your primary objective – generation of return customers. With this in mind, it’s never wise to compromise your long-term standing for some temporary gains.

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

Building Your Brand With Content Creation

We all know how important our branding is. It’s more than just a fun novelty, it’s integral to your business’ success. Treat it as an add on or a box checking activity and you will deprive your business of its myriad benefits. A brand is far more than a catchy tagline, a pretty logo or a unified color scheme in your physical presence. Sure, branding incorporates all of those elements but it goes much deeper than any of that… or at least it should. Branding has its cosmetic considerations but it is also an encapsulation of everything your business is, everything it does and everything it stands for.

Branding makes a promise to your customers. It sets out your stall and demonstrates the values and ideals upon which your business was built. As such it is represented in every aspect of your business; operations from the way in which your employees interact with your customers to the layout of your website and the speed with which you pick up the phone. It’s in the quality of the raw materials you use in your manufacturing. It’s in the appearance of your physical premises on the outside as well as the inside. Would you want to hang your sign on damaged or rusty steel pipes? Heck no! That’s why you go to VarnerPipe.com. It’s in the ingenuity of the creative solutions that you come up with to solve your customers’ problems. Think about when you meet someone special wither in the world of work, friendship or romance. What qualities make them attractive? Sure, their physical appearance may play a part but there are plenty of beautiful people with whom we’d rather not associate. It’s their deeds, their actions, their sincerity, their beliefs or their ideals. All of these things represent that person’s character and your brand is just that… A character for your business.

Character development

So… how do we go about giving our business character? Do we give it a cute mascot? Sure, that could work. Do we build the business around ourselves, tailoring its image to fit our own? That can also work, but be aware that if you take this step, your personal fate will be inextricably tied to that of your business. If something happens to tarnish your business’ reputation, yours will inevitably be tarnished as well. A big part of lending character and personality to your business is giving your brand a voice. That’s where content marketing comes in. here we’ll look at how content creation can help to build your brand while also improving your visibility by creating an organic boost in your Search Engine Optimization.

Quality or quantity… You pretty much have to invest in both

In order to boost your SEO and improve your online visibility it’s essential that your business posts regular content. And by regular we mean daily. Does this require care, effort, dedication and attention? It sure does! However, far too many small businesses including bloggers looking to turn pro place too much emphasis on quantity over quality. As such they outsource to dirt cheap overseas content farms for generic filler content written by writers for whom English is an additional language. As such the content you post on your site may be poorly researched, inaccurate, misleading or just poorly written.

In order to get content marketing right and ensure that your brand has a consistent, authoritative voice your content needs to be entrusted to someone with an intimate working knowledge of your business and familiarity with the principles behind your brand. That means paying a member of your staff to create content in accordance with a clearly defined content strategy. You should also make the time to generate some content yourself every now and then. After all, your unique experience, knowledge and insight are your USP, and the one thing that no competitor can ever replicate. Not only will you add depth and dimension to the voice of your brand, you’ll also establish yourself as an expert in the field. If you do choose to outsource, at least entrust your content to a company that hires talented writers who will write accessible yet factually dense content specifically tailored to the voice of your brand.

Tell a story with your social media

We human beings are psychologically predisposed to love stories. We literally can’t get enough of them. We lap them up on TV, in books, in movies and even in video games. As such, your social media presence can really win over prospective customers or clients if you use it to tell a story. Instagram stories are a great example of this. By using short vignettes of video clips and / or images you can give those legions of leads out there an insight into your working processes, life on your shop floor or the testimonials of happy customers. Instagram stories in particular are great tools for small business because they are short, easy to digest and rely on economy of narrative to tell a story that resonates with the viewer.

Lights, camera… traction!

Video may have killed the radio star, but it can breathe a whole lot of new life into your business. In an era where more and more of us consume digital content through mobile devices in short bursts, video is the perfect medium for gaining traction with decision makers who may not have the time to sit and peruse a lengthy blog post.

While video creation  may require a little more in terms of time, effort and resources than writing a blog post, now’s the time to get in on the ground floor. It’s estimated that by 2021 video will account for 81% of all internet traffic. Already, there are 100 million hours of video consumed every day on Facebook alone. If you expect to retain the attention of your audience now and for the next decade, video is a medium that you’ll need to learn to embrace.

When you create great content on a regular basis, users will get a clearer idea of what (and even who) your business is. When they invest in that persona, they’ll come back to you time and again!

Your Social Guide To Using Infographics Effectively

In today’s marketing scenario, your strategy is incomplete if you don’t use visuals. Visual marketing fuels your marketing goals to help you achieve the desired results.

For marketers who are looking to present complex data in a simpler format, infographics are a blessing. Infographics are engaging and are shared 3x more than other forms of content.

They can be used to depict a process; they can be used to showcase statistics. Or present any complex information in a more user-friendly manner.

Also, infographics aren’t restricted to a particular platform. They can be placed on blogs and even shared on social media sites.

With infographic search volumes on the rise, it is the best time to pair your social media strategy with infographics and see amazing results.

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Here are a few ways to market your infographic on social media effectively:

  1. Do not forget to share your infographic on Pinterest

Many marketers commit the mistake of not looking past Facebook and Twitter when it comes to sharing infographics. Multi-channel marketing is essential to maximise the output from your infographic.

When it comes to Pinterest, infographics naturally fit into its layout. This is one of the reasons you will find a number of infographics on its homepage.

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With infographics, you can build a strong online presence on Pinterest. Focus on making your infographic more visually appealing since Pinterest is centered around eye-catching content. 

Takeaway:

Your infographic marketing strategy is incomplete if you restrict yourself to only a few social media platforms. If you haven’t already placed your infographics on Pinterest, it is a good time to do so. 

  1. Youtube offers you a place to showcase video infographics

When we talk about infographics, we generally think of static ones. However, video infographics have also become a popular marketing tool. You can create video infographics and share them on Youtube.

But the question is: what should you choose? The static option or video?

If your content focuses on details and facts or figures, then it is best to go with static infographics as the viewer needs time to absorb the content at their pace.

Video infographics can be used when your goal is to engage customers and bring more traffic to your website or persuade them to buy your product or service.

Here is a video infographic by Care to Click which is definitely much more effective in the video format than it would have been in static.

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Takeaway:

Depending on your marketing goals, you can decide between static or video infographics. If you are confused about what format will suit your marketing goals, here is a guide to help you out. 

  1. Keywords are as important on social media as on search engines

Keywords impact the searchability of your content on social media channels too. Hence you need to focus on optimising the text content that accompanies the infographic.

Make sure that you place your infographics with relevant hashtags and keywords in the caption so your audience can find your content.

Ensure that you extract a list of the most relevant keywords and tag them in your infographic post description. This will provide visibility to your infographic.

Takeaway:

When planning your social media strategy with infographics, do not forget the importance of keywords.

  1. Utilise the trending section on social sites while creating infographics

If you consider platforms like Twitter and Instagram, both come with a list of hashtags that are popular. This section is basically a list of hot topics that are being widely discussed on that particular social media platform.

Too few marketers pay attention to this particular information. These trending topics can come in handy while creating infographics and also while using keywords as a supplementary text.

Utilizing this feature can help you make your infographic more searchable on social platforms.  While it might be a challenge to find a trending topic which is relevant to your brand, you can always step outside your brand image and put something for the general public. Maybe something that tickles their funny bone? With a good campaign idea, you can even trigger a new trending topic.

These trending sections are usually tailored based on the user’s location. They can offer you real advantage when targeting your customers.

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Takeaway:

By making use of trending topics, you can create infographics which have a higher chance of going viral. 

  1. Use infographic snippets in your Facebook ads

Facebook ads allow you to target your audience in a more defined manner through Facebook ads. You can also incorporate your infographics in these ads.

Snippets of your infographics can be used in the ad images for promotion through advertisements. But make sure that you choose that part of the infographic which is appealing and doesn’t contain heavy text.

You sure have other platforms to carry out advertisements but Facebook offers you convenience plus you can advertise with a small budget.

Takeaway:

A creative way to market infographic can be through infographic snippets running in advertisements.

Best practices

  1. Facebook

One drawback of putting your infographics on Facebook is that this platform tends to resize the photos which means that if you put the infographic as it is, it won’t be readable.  Sad, right?

The best way to promote your infographic is to use a section of that infographic (the one that contains the juiciest detail) and sharing this particular snippet. Do not forget to include the link to the full infographic with the post to direct the traffic.

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  1. Pinterest

You have the freedom to post the entire infographic on this platform owing to its preference to vertical layout. To drive more engagement, create boards with relevant and useful infographics. Like Lifehack has done here:

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  1. Instagram

On Instagram, it is best to split your infographic section-wise and post it as a collection of images. Here is how it can be done:

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Conclusion

Social media marketing for infographics isn’t just about putting the entire infographic out there.

You can give a teaser through infographic snippets; make your infographic more searchable by using the right keywords and use multiple platforms to reach out to a wider audience.

Using the above tips can help you in promoting your infographics on social media.

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments.

Vaibhav Kakkar is the Founder and CEO of Digital Web Solutions, a globally trusted agency with a full suite of digital marketing services and development solutions. Vaibhav believes in building system over services, and has helped scale up agencies from scratch to niche-leaders with million dollar turnovers.

 

Turning Your Home Furniture Hobby Into a Winning Business

If you’re looking for a new business to get underway, then you could much worse than taking your existing hobby and finding ways to make money from it! One of the best – and increasingly popular – hobby-cum-businesses is home furniture. Because this is an area where limited produced pieces are often more popular than mass-produced items, you’ll be on a more level playing field with other furniture companies than you would be in other industries. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy: it isn’t! If you’re thinking of starting your own furniture company, then take a look at our tips below, and you’ll be increasing your chances of success.

Perfect Your Craft

There’s a big difference between someone who does something as a hobby and someone who does something professionally. Before you look at making a viable business from your home furnishings, make sure that you’re taking the time to perfect your craft. You’ll receive plenty of compliments from friends and family when you’re just getting going, but it’s a different matter when you start charging people for your creations. As such, you’ll want your furniture to be as perfect as possible! If that means delaying your launch date by a few months while you hit the appropriate standards, then so be it.

What’s Your Niche?

As you might have gathered, the furniture world is pretty big! And you’ll perform much better if you select a niche to work in. For example, you could focus on kitchen tables and chairs, or bedside cabinets, or coffee tables for the living room. You’re likely able to do everything, but as you’re getting started, it might be better to build your company around a specific set of furniture. You’ll also want to work on a particular style, too: are you rustic, modern, traditional, or something else?

What Do People Want?

But of course, what you’re good at making and what you like to make might not coincide with what people generally want. As such, before you sink too much money into your new venture, try to find out if there’s an audience for your creations. This is where your market research will come in handy. It’ll help to determine what people are looking for, how what you create meets that end, what to charge, and so on.

Getting Creative

Having said that, it’s important that you’re putting your own spin on your creations too. You shouldn’t just give people what they want; if you do, you’ll end up playing it too safe, and if you’re going to succeed, then you need to have something different about your products! So develop your own style, and don’t be afraid to take chances. It’s not always about meeting everyone’s wishes; when it comes to artistic pursuits like furniture, there’s also an element of showing people where they might like to go, too.

Working From Home Or Renting

You’re going to need space to work, and that’s going to force you to make a tough decision: do you work from home, or rent a space? There are benefits to both. If you work from home, then you won’t be spending money that could be better spent elsewhere on rent. If you’re working from a rented space, you’ll have more space to work and store more of your creations. All weighed up, it’s probably a good idea to rent a space. This will allow you to make extra income by hosting workshops, and will also give you a more professional look, especially if you’re “store” is located in one of those hip industrial zones that are becoming increasingly popular in urban areas.

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Source: Pexels.com

Antique Markets

When you’re in the furniture game, your best friends are going to be antique markets. These are places to not only sell your creations, but to also buy pieces that you think you can improve upon. Take a long your best creations, and you’ll soon gain a reputation for offering top-quality goods.

Getting the Word Out

You probably looked at setting up a furniture company because word of mouth was helping to get the word out about your creations, and thus you decided to make a go of it full-time. However, when it comes to making a full-time business out of was once a hobby, you’ll need more than word of mouth. You’ll want to have a website and social media channels, and also work with a furniture marketing agency to draw more people to your online presence. Of course, referrals will also be a big part of your business, so try to come up with some sort of incentive package for your clients who direct future work your way.

Use The Best Materials

You might be able to make your furniture look good, but your reputation will quickly fall to pieces if, well, your furniture falls to pieces. As such, make sure you’re using the best materials for your creations. People have no shortage of options if they want cheap but poorly made furniture; they’ll come to you because they know it’s the best, and they’ll expect you to use good materials!

The Art of Presentation

If you’re going to sell your furniture online, then you’ll need to learn the art of taking a good photograph. Look at taking an introduction to photography course, or hiring other people to take professional photos of your products.

Building Relationships

Also, don’t forget the power of building relationships! It’s much cheaper and easier to keep an existing customer on the hook rather than fish for a new one. Work with your clients, and make yourself available for custom pieces.

Final Thoughts

So far as businesses go, there are few as enjoyable, creative, and as easily accessible as selling furniture. If you have the passion to create things for their own sake (i.e. when it was a hobby), then you’ll have the necessary drive to turn it into a successful business..and especially if you incorporate our words of wisdom above.