Last Week on the Blog: Google+, Image Marketing, Blogging and More

lastweekonblog500

Here’s a quick roundup of some of last week’s posts. If you haven’t discovered image marketing, these posts will help.

Get Started on Google+: 5 Easy Image Marketing Tips

Image marketing is the hot trend of 2013. Gooogle+ LOVES images, so if you haven’t explored all the image uploading and editing options, get started.

Blogging? Get Inspired by Pinterest, Every Day

Clients are always asking me for content ideas. Often, I’ll recommend Pinterest.

Tip: explore secret boards. You can use secret boards to brainstorm projects, collect material, as reminders, as idea collectors, for your clients, and for upcoming projects.

Small Business Marketing Made Easy: 5 Free Ideas

Looking for free or low-cost marketing ideas? Think about your business first. What interests do your customers have? Market to them where they congregate. These 5 ideas will work for you.

Social Media Kickstart: Top Five Tips for Pinterest Marketing

Looking for new marketing opportunities? Consider Pinterest. This social media website is fast-growing, and addictive. It’s image-focused, so it’s perfect for advertising.

The site’s easy to use, so it won’t take long to get up to speed on how it works, and on how you can best use it for your business.

Blogging: 5 Fast Ways to Get More Business Via Your Blog

Is your blog getting business for you?

While there are many benefits to creating and maintaining a blog (credibility, find-ability, trust), few businesses bite the bullet and commit to getting business via their blog.

Let’s look at how you can put your blog to work.

Hope you enjoyed last week’s posts.

Contact me if you’d like me to cover something specifically for you.
, and on Twitter: @angee

Pinterest For Business: 5 Ways to Lure Customers Today

Pinterest
Pinterest

No small business owner has enough time for marketing — and we surely don’t have time for bleeding edge marketing, which may or may not work. Therefore few small biz owners are paying as much attention to Pinterest as they could.

Pinterest’s a recent entry into the social media landscape. Essentially, it’s an image sharing site. If you’re thinking, “yeah, as if I have time to play around posting pretty pictures”, consider that:

• Launched March, 2010, Pinterest has grown 4000% in the last six months.
• It has 17 million users a month and is the 60th most visited site in the U.S.
• Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn — combined.

To get up to speed fast, Wikipedia gives you the gist.

Interested yet?

A recent article in Forbes stated:

Realizing that you could be using Pinterest to engage with your online audience is a far different thing from knowing how. And even knowing how is sometimes a far cry from knowing how to best engage with them.

OK, you’re interested. But how do you get customers from the site?

5 Ways to Lure Customers on Pinterest

Here are five ways to consider.

1. Pin images from your website and blog

We’ve discussed image marketing. Have at it. You’ve got images, so post them onto boards on Pinterest. You can join Pinterest as a business. The site offers many different tools for business, so that you can monitor and measure engagement.

Pinterest Success Stories

 

Pinterest Business Success Stories

No images? Grab your cell phone camera, and start snapping. You don’t need to hire a photographer.  Home-made images are not only fine, but also seem more credible to viewers.

2. Pin your videos and presentations

Here’s your chance to make the most of the content you already have — post your presentations and videos onto your business boards.

Since you can share boards, ask your customers to pin too — create boards they can use.

3. What do you wish your customers knew? Pin it

I’m sure you’ve got Frequently Asked Questions on your website. You’ve got Support and Help pages too. Who reads them? That’s right — very few people.

Make all your helpful info more palatable when you pin it. Create graphics like infographics, and how-to images. (And videos.)

4. Pin fun items — make your brand stand out

Pinterest suggests:

Show what inspires you

Instead of just showing off your products, show what inspires them. Create boards for the ideas, places, people and moods behind your brand.

Getting any ideas yet? Of course you are. The point is, make your boards entertaining.

5. More fun: create contests on Pinterest

Pinterest users love contests. Who doesn’t?

Hubspot shared 8 Real-Life Examples of Engaging Pinterest Contests:

… when it comes to contests, Pinterest is a rule hater’s dream network. In fact, it wasn’t until Pinterest launched business accounts recently that the social network even had a set of official rules or guidelines for running contests, and it’s definitely one of the more flexible social networks in this respect.

Contests are easy to set up, and they drive engagement.

So there you have it. Five ways to lure customers using Pinterest. Although Pinterest won’t work for all businesses, chances are good that it will work for yours.

If you need help setting up Pinterest for your business, get in touch.

 

Get Productive: 5 Simple Steps to To Do List Mastery

To Do List

Although working from home has its benefits (no commute, for one), it also has pitfalls. I’m coaching an entrepreneur who’s getting a new business off the ground. She’s pregnant, so she’s uncomfortable with morning sickness which she says is more like “all day sickness”, and is coping with a toddler as well.

Before we started working together, Sylvia was frazzled. Her To Do List was getting longer. For various reasons, she couldn’t put off the launch of her business. She had to find a way to manage everything that needed to be done.

The following simple steps have helped her to feel in charge again.

1. Morning Review: what’s today’s headline act?

This process, creating a Daily Log, has helped me, so I recommended the process to Sylvia:

As soon as I hit my computer each morning, I create a new Daily Log note in my Journal notebook in Evernote. Whenever I think of it — every hour or so — I note the time, and what I’ve been doing.

Sylvia picked ONE task per day, which absolutely had to be done. That task was her “headline act”. If the task looked as if it would take longer than half an hour, she chunked it down, so that it had a number of sub-tasks. She could do these easily, working around whatever else was happening. (Taking little Ben to day care, errands, phone calls, etc.)

On the other hand, if she needed to attend a meeting, and that was her headline act, she created a solid block of time. For example, if the meeting was scheduled for 11 AM, with 30 minutes traveling time, she blocked off the entire morning, and lunch, for the meeting.

By giving herself lots of time, Sylvia could attend meetings feeling calm and relaxed. She could also focus on the meeting’s agenda. (See #4.)

2. Clear your email’s Inbox (and close it)

If a response will take fewer than two minutes, respond. Otherwise, turn each message into a task and add it to your calendar program.

Can someone else handle the query? Forward the message to them.

You’ll have some messages which don’t need a response. Add these to a “Read Later” folder.

Once you’ve handled your messages, close your email client.

Sylvia found that checking her email twice a day was enough. Without the distraction, she got more done.

3. Burn out the undergrowth (eliminate or delegate)

To Do Lists always grow. Trim them back every day if you can. Can you eliminate or delegate tasks? Do it.

4. Always have an agenda

Your headline act is your agenda for the day. Everything you do should have agenda, or goal. Glue a little sticky note onto your computer monitor: “Why am I doing this?” Create another note to stick onto your car’s dashboard.

The stickies will remind you that you only need to do something if you have a reason for doing it. This eliminates lots of time-wasting activities.

For example, if someone calls you to chat in the middle of your work day, you’ll be reminded that there’s no agenda, so you can call them later.

5. Sunset Review: your DONE list

Review what you’ve done at the close of the business day. Reschedule anything you need to reschedule.

Be proud of today’s achievements. Tomorrow is another day.

Sylvia’s found these five steps useful; try them.

Image

Press Releases: Not just For SEO

Press release

Have you been using press releases for your business? For a time, they were out of fashion, because Google’s Matt Cutts discounted their value for search engine optimization (SEO).

However, apparently they are still worthwhile for SEO. If you choose to use them for that. This article reports:

… we showed one case where Google not only discovers the links within typical press releases but uses the anchor text for ranking purposes.

One ranking might not make a case for their value, but SEO benefits, while pleasant, are far from the only use to which you can put press releases.

I call press releases “the gift that keeps on giving.” Here’s what else they can do for you:

* They get your company’s name in front of your customers;

* They’re “free” content for your website;

* They’re an ongoing resource for people who arrive at your website, without knowing anything about you. Create a “media” or “newsroom” section of your website, just for press announcements and news releases;

* They let you put your point of view;

* They give you credibility.

In this article, I encouraged you to make the most of your press releases in various ways, including:

* Offer your news release in PDF form, for easy downloading;

* Offer a short report, or additional information. If you’re promoting a new product, add a report on the research you’ve done, your testing procedures, or anything else which seems relevant. Once you’ve got someone’s attention, and they’re reading your release, make the most of their interest.

Press releases can be extremely valuable. They’re not an instant fix for marketing woes, but if you’re not using them, consider it. Not only can they bring traffic to your website, they can encourage your visitors to linger — some of them will buy from you.

photo credit: BrittneyBush via photopin cc