People can be lazy even when they own their own business. I think people need to get up off the couch and actually take action to fully become what they say they want to achieve. Whenever I want to learn something about web design or graphic design or learn about self improvement or how to utilize a new piece of software I don’t ask friends how they do it, I take a class or tutorial. I’m always attending seminars or webinars, tutorials, classes, listening to audio books or reading. I’m constantly researching things. I’ve gotten a reputation as a researcher and friends and family often seek me out because they know I will delve into any topic for them to assist them. Read more…
Archive for June, 2010
The Vistaprint Make an Impression Contest was launched just a few weeks ago, and already the response has been overwhelming. The stories that we have gotten really do show the creativity, desire, and passion that so many in the micro business community have. Many just want a chance to succeed, but others just want to do what they love to do on a daily basis.
We’ve gotten a number of heartfelt, truly inspirational entries and wanted to share a few snippets from them. Because the voting for the contest won’t begin for a few weeks, we can’t attribute the quotes just yet, but we encourage you to submit your own nomination and tell your story. You could be the one to win a $10,000 marketing package to jump start your business!
Recently I decided to use my talents and passion for making jewelry to start a small business. Managing my business at home has allowed me to stay at home with my 4 year old daughter. I am fortunate enough to have been able to take something I love and turn it into what I hope will be a very successful career. My dream is to open my own store when my daughter starts school and winning this contest would make that dream a reality. Read more…
Have you ever noticed the toes on a chicken? There are three main toes to be exact. The middle toe is longer than the other two. Years ago I developed a strategy in selling that worked wonders for me as I was developing new business. I call it the CHICKEN CLAW. Here is how it works. Read more…
I have been fortunate to have some great clients over the years (Microsoft, BET.com, King Features Syndicate etc., international accounting firms) and they all have been very pleased with my work. I consider myself a traditional PR pro who actually follows the tradition of reading or watching a media outlet before pitching. I have also established myself with thousands of media placements on behalf of my clients. A bad economy has led desperate, random people with no sort of media or journalistic experience to start calling themselves a publicist, I just shake my head in disgust. Read more…
No matter where you are in the life cycle of your business — just launching, made it past the five-year mark, or more established and mature — each business owner needs to have dreams (a.k.a. goals in business parlance) for where the business is headed.
One common thread that I’ve noticed in coaching small business owners, is that once there is clarity about a dream/goal there is ALWAYS self-talk in the form of doubts pulling in the opposite direction.
Here a the top 5 doubts and how to counter them: Read more…
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who after every statement you make, somehow manages to turn the focus on them? You know the type. This is the person who instead of responding to what you say comes back at you with a similar story about themselves, without even acknowledging anything you’ve said. When it’s all over, you find yourself asking if they even heard anything you said. I know a few people like this and what eventually happens is you just stop engaging in any type of meaningful conversation with them. You don’t bother trying to relate because in the end, it’s all about them.
Unfortunately, egotistic blabber isn’t just relegated to people. Plenty of businesses make the mistake of greeting new customers with a load of inflated information.
Recently, I visited a business website whose homepage was one very long list of company achievements. It didn’t help that the business is named after the person whose talents and accolades were repeatedly mentioned throughout each paragraph. After clicking through several other pages on the navigation bar, I was finally able to get a better idea of what this business offers. But the aftertaste of pretension still remains. Read more…
As the U.S. Small Business Association’s 47th annual National Small Business Week wrapped up a few weeks ago, I enjoyed the attention that was given to small business issues. Being involved in a small family-owned business, I learned a lot about the current state of small business and what we can expect to see in the future. There are many issues coming down the road, from healthcare reform to the availability of small business loans, that will affect the way we plan and operate our enterprises.
With that said, I encourage each of you to keep the momentum of National Small Business Week going as you continue to grow your small business. For those truly engaged in their small business, the idea of “small business week” is EVERY week to them. While today’s economic climate hits small businesses the hardest, it’s important the entrepreneurial spirit works that much harder to rise above and prosper. Read more…
A landing page is designed top to bottom to appeal to an audience with very specific needs and get them to perform a specific action. It’s short and to the point, from the pictures and graphics all the way to the benefits in the salescopy, and that’s why landing pages convert so well. A person is much more likely to respond to a call to action if it comes after salescopy that targets them directly, instead of more generic salescopy that may only address a few of their questions and concerns.
The tight focus of the landing page also makes it a highly effective search engine optimization tool for several reasons:
Landing pages allow for SEO supercharging: Landing pages draw traffic from the search engines because the code and copy is keyword rich, and designed to capture a very specific market. Because landing pages don’t contain a ton of copy, you can make them extremely targeted with only a few keyword mentions. You can also tag all the images and code with equally specific keywords — a formula search engines just can’t ignore.
Landing pages are testing machines! If you are looking to try out new keywords — or a new market altogether — landing pages offer let you test the response without compromising the effectiveness of your main sales site. One of the quickest ways to test is by running pay-per-click / landing page combos. You can see which keywords get the most click-throughs on the ads and which landing pages convert best.
When you get a great response, you can move the keywords to your main pages, or keep targeting your market through the best landing pages.
Landing pages are easy to track: It’s easy to measure the search engine traffic to and from your landing page, and easy to track the activity and response of the potential customers who go there. In fact, if you have a series of landing pages, you can track the response to each page to gauge which markets are most successful for you. Then you can build special features on your site aimed directly at those successful markets and using the keywords that are most effective.
Great search engine optimization is vital to your online business, and landing pages sprinkled with the right keywords are far more likely to get good search engine rankings than general, unfocused pages.
As a micro business, you know the value of marketing, especially local marketing. But have you ever had anyone help you in the production of those marketing materials? Or have you had to design your own emails, direct mail pieces, and produce your own web commercials, if you’ve done them at all?
Because you have been such loyal customers to Vistaprint over the years, the company today launched the “Make an Impression” contest, designed to help give back to the community that has helped make it a success. By telling us your story at www.1-800-Vistaprint.com/contest, you can enter for a chance to win a marketing package worth $10,000, but also promote your entry to your customers, employees, and friends. Votes count, so make sure you spread the word! For more details, please click on the video below and visit the site.