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Useful Tips to Help You Grow Your Brand’s Reach on Social Media Social Media: 5 Reasons Your Twitter Content Should Be Varied Making Use of Analytics to Maximize Business Efforts and Marketing Be Careful When Selecting Your Tax Preparer 10 Easy Budget Hacks 5 Simple Ways to Quickly Improve a Business Blog Infographic: Email Marketing Stats for 2019

MotivationandSuccess.com July 2019 FREE

Meet Marketing, Messaging, and Media Mogul Meredith Allan


Inside This Month’s Issue Marketing Calendar - 3 10 Easy Budget Hacks - 4 19 Useful Tips to Help You Grow Your Brand’s Reach on Social Media - 6 Be Careful When Selecting Your Tax Preparer - 11 Do People Like You? - 12 Meet Marketing, Messaging, and Media Mogul Meredith Allan - 13 Promote Your Small Business on a Tight Budget - 19 Review E-Commerce Practices for Efficiency and Keep Up with the Masses - 22 Making Use of Analytics to Maximize Business Efforts and Marketing - 24 5 Simple Ways to Quickly Improve a Business Blog - 26 Social Media: 5 Reasons Your Twitter Content Should Be Varied - 28 Four Digital Marketing Assets You Need to Fuel the Growth of Your Small Business - 31 Infographic: Email Marketing Stats for 2019 - 33

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Marketing Calendar Plan your marketing messages around these upcoming holidays and proclamations.

July 15th - Pet Fire Safety Day 15th - Give Something Away Day 17th - Be a Dork Day 17th - Emoji Day 19th - Hotdog Day 20th - Lollipop Day 21th - Ice Cream Day 21st - Junk Food Day 24th - Drive-Thru Day 24th - Cousins Day 25th - Hot Fudge Sundae Day 25th - Chili Dog Day 27th - Dance Day 28th - Hamburger Day 28th - Parents Day 29th - Lasagna Day 30th - International Day of Friendship 30th - Father-In-Law Day 30th - Cheesecake Day 31st - Mutt Day

National Anti-Boredom Month National Cell Phone Courtesy Month National Hot Dog Month National Ice Cream Month National Picnic Month July 4 - Independence Day (U.S.) 1st - Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day 1st - Deep Fried Clams Day 3rd - Chocolate Wafer Day 6th - Fried Chicken Day 7th - Father Daughter Take a Walk Day 7th - Strawberry Sundae Day 9th - Sugar Cookie Day 11th - Cheer up the Lonely Day 11th - Pet Photo Day 11th - Blueberry Muffin Day 13th - French Fry Day 14th - National Nude Day 14th - Mac and Cheese Day

August Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month Foot Health Month Happiness Happens Month Medic Alert Month Motorsports Awareness Month National Golf Month National Immunization Awareness Month Bargain Hunting Week - August 5-11 International Clown Week - August 1-7 International Assistance Dog Week - August 4-10 Elvis Week - August 9-17 Be Kind to Humankind Week - August 25-31 1st - Girlfriend’s Day 1st - Spider-Man Day 2nd - International Beer Day 3rd - Watermelon Day 4th - Chocolate Chip Cookie Day 3

4th - Friendship Day 6th - National Night Out 8th - International Cat Day 10th - Lazy Day 10th - S’mores Day 10th - Spoil Your Dog Day 10th - Bowling Day 10th - National Garage Sale Day 12th - Vinyl Record Day 13th - International Lefthander’s Day 17th - International Homeless Animals Day 17th - World Honey Bee Day 18th - Serendipity Day 21st - Senior Citizen’s Day 25th - Banana Split Day 26th - Dog Day 26th - Women’s Equality Day 28th - National Bow Tie Day 30th - Frankenstein Day 31st - Eat Outside Day


10 Easy Budget Hacks Many people find the process of devoting hours and hours to thinking about money, budget planning, and spending less than enjoyable. If that sounds like you, then use these 10 budget hacks to make budgeting and reaching your financial goals much easier. 1. Only use cash for spending money. You can’t overspend your budget for groceries, entertainment or clothing if you only allow yourself to use cash. 2. Keep a list of frivolous “wants.” When you want something you don’t need, don’t just let yourself buy it—write it down. At the end of the month, review your list and cross off all the stuff that no longer appeals to you. Then decide whether you can afford what’s left.

By Dennis M. Postema

3. Don’t shop sales, search them. Instead of going shopping and browsing sales, then buying things you don’t really need because they’re cheap, search for sale prices on things you know you need.

of your debt. Make this even easier by setting up auto deposits to your savings and auto payments to your credit cards.

5. Cross financial goals off your list as you achieve them. Realizing that you’re slowly but surely reaching your financial goals is the best way to stay motivated.

9. Borrow, don’t buy. Instead of buying everything you want or need, try to borrow it. From library books to outfits for a one-time formal event, there are many things you may be able to borrow rather than buy.

8. Don’t add any more debt unless it’s a real, true emergency. If you keep 4. Keep a list of your financial spending more than you goals in your wallet. Pull the earn, you’ll keep adding list out and read it anytime more debt to your life and you start feeling the itch to you’ll find it much harder to spend. reach your financial goals.

6. Try out those budgeting phone apps. But only the free ones. 10. Make your own foods. Breakfast, lunch and 7. Pay yourself first. Every dinner can all be much payday, your first step should less expensive, and much be to contribute to your healthier, if you make them savings and pay off a little bit yourself.


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19 Useful Tips to Help You Grow Your Brand’s Reach on Social Media

Social media may have started as a way to help people to connect. Today, however, it’s a powerful way for businesses to reach consumers. Whether your business is primarily online or off, you can’t afford sitting out the social media trend.

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Luckily, social media companies like Facebook offer businesses many convenient ways to target their customer base. When you take advantage of social media to improve awareness about your brand, you bring in lots of traffic and conversions. If you are to make all this happen, however, you need to do your best to expand your company’s presence on social media. What follows are ideas to help you make it happen.


Create goals to reach

Follow other accounts

To gain a following, you need to make sure that people see your account as a real and legitimate social media presence. Following the accounts of people and brands relevant to your business is one way to achieve legitimacy. When you follow them, many of them will return the favor and follow you. Gaining Build a great profile followers in this way is You need to get the basics important to creating credibility for your right before you begin account. to implement a social media strategy. You can start by checking out your Interact often with your brand’s profile to see how audience complete it is. You need Whether you’re on to make sure that every Facebook or Twitter, available field is filled in. having frequent Write a short, attractive bio conversations with your that tells the story of your followers is an important brand. Make sure that you part of establishing yourself as a presence pepper your bio with a on social media. Make few keywords relevant to sure that you appoint your business. Keywords someone to interact with can help bring in traffic. your audience in a friendly You also need to make sure that you have a great and responsive way. The more you interact with display picture and cover photo in place. Attractive your audience, the better images can improve your established you become brand’s credibility, and can as a social media fixture. help retain visitors who Figure your audience out come, making sure that they don’t navigate away. Once you begin Before you start enhancing your social media presence, you need to know what your goals are. Your aim may be to gain more followers, increase engagement, or create new leads. Defining the goals that you work for can help you form clear plans to get there.

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interacting with your audience, you need to try to understand them. It can help you improve the quality of your conversations. Platforms like Facebook have considerable stores of member data to help you analyze your audience to find out what they like. As you learn about your audience members, you’re able to personalize both your social media interactions and your company’s website to their needs. Direct users from your website to your social media accounts Every time a visitor comes to your website, it’s an opportunity to gain additional traffic for your social media accounts. You can put follow buttons and share buttons for all your social media accounts on every page on your site. Organize events Conducting events gives you a great opportunity to spread awareness of your brand and its associated social media accounts. Put information about your social media


handles and hashtags on every sign, printed booklet, or pamphlet. The more creative you get promoting your hashtags, the better the response is likely to be. Make good use of hashtags Anytime that you post content on social media, try to attach it to a couple of hashtags. You can bring in more visitors to your social media accounts this way. Get on more than one social media platform You don’t need to restrict yourself to Facebook or Twitter when on social media. You can try running an active presence on a number of other social networks, as well, including ones like Pinterest. Put social icons on your emails Every marketing email or business email that your company puts out, you can make sure that it has a few social sharing buttons. You may gain many new visitors in this way. Hand out freebies 8

When you announce freebies to anyone who comes to your social media accounts, it can prompt people to check you out. Sometimes, your freebies need to be nothing more than a coupon code for purchases on your website. Engage with your audience You need to engage your followers on a personal level. Monitor your social media to be alerted when someone says something about your brand on any platform. You should be there right away to thank them and say something interesting in response. You can also engage with followers who come to your social media accounts by setting up contests or surveys. When you engage with your followers, you make them feel that you plan to be around for the long haul. You build trust in this way. Try SEO for your social media content Search engines can see what you put on your social media accounts.

If your content has keywords connected to your business, your social media account is likely to come up when people search for those words. It’s important to optimize your social media content. Advertise offline You can advertise in newspapers or put up posters to get people to notice your social media accounts. If you have physical store locations, you can advertise your social media accounts there, as well. Be regular posting on social media If you don’t post enough on your social media accounts, your followers are likely to lose interest in you. If you post too often, it may seem like you’re spamming them. It’s important to post just the right amount to keep on top of your audience’s minds. On Twitter, engagement attains its highest level when you post three times a day. On Facebook, engagement begins to drop after twicea-day postings. Once or twice a day works for Instagram.


Interact with your audience on a personal level When you have conversations with your followers on social media, you need to make sure that you address them by name. Personalizing your conversations can help engage your followers. Address complaints When your customers have complaints about your company that they bring to social media, it’s something everyone sees. Make sure that you address their concerns promptly, and in a professional way. It’s important to remember that unhappy customers can spread the word about their negative experience.

Pay for promotions You can advertise on nearly every social media platform. Advertising helps you precisely target audience members based on demographics, interests, or location. You can perform research to find out what your ideal audience looks like and go after them. Paid promotions can help you attract more page likes, get greater engagement, and clicks for your links. They tend to be affordable, as well.

If you want to expand your presence on social media, you need to be proactive. Take initiative, talk to your followers, post interesting content, and be engaging. Not only will you keep your existing followers happy, but you’ll also get new ones, as well. As your audience begins to like Invite your customers to the way you talk, they are likely to share your posts share with their own friends, It can help to offer coupon expanding your reach even further. codes and other rewards to get people to share Building a presence on your branded hashtags social media may seem among their friends. difficult at first. Once you Asking existing followers get started, however, it can to spread the word is a turn out to be a lot of fun. good way to get new followers. 9

Motivation & Success

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Be Careful When Selecting Your Tax Preparer by Kathy Shrader

Income tax time has concluded for this year and you should ask yourself if you are completely pleased with the individual who prepared your tax returns. If the answer happens to be anything but an emphatic yes, now is the time to start looking for someone new.


The next tax season is months away but is still rapidly approaching. If you need to find someone new to prepare your income tax returns, you will want to have the time to investigate his or her background. Even if you do not prepare your return yourself, you are legally responsible for everything on your return. Therefore, it is advisable to choose your preparer wisely and check out several things before deciding who you will trust with your tax information.

as the preparer of your return. Also ask how he or she keeps current with all the changing rules and regulations pertaining to individual federal income taxes. With tax laws changing so frequently, it is important to have a preparer who takes the time to stay abreast of all the changes.

your last paystub without waiting for your W-2. This is definite red flag as the IRS does not allow returns to be prepared in this manner.

It is also wise to check the preparer’s history by checking with current clients or checking with the Better Business Bureau to see if the preparer has Make sure your preparer any complaints which offers to e-file your return. have been filed. As the Per IRS rules any paid information which will preparer who completes appear on your return and files more than ten is your responsibility it returns is required to file is certainly advisable to returns electronically. carefully choose your While the price to prepare Additionally, confirm that income tax preparer. your return is important, your preparation fee is not Furthermore, you need it is not as important as based on a percentage to feel comfortable with making sure your preparer of your refund and verify the individual you choose has the knowledge any refund will sent to you to prepare your return required to properly or deposited into your and you need to have prepare your return. Is bank account not your confidence your preparer your potential preparer preparer’s account. will do the best job and an individual who will be not share your information available year-round to It is also important to with others. answer questions or just ensure your preparer will during tax time? be available throughout It is never too early to start the year to address any finding your income tax One of the first things to questions which might preparer as you might verify is if your prospective arise from your return. If have questions prior to preparer has a Preparer your potential preparer the actual income tax Tax Identification Number is only available during preparation time. Finding (PTIN). The Internal tax season, think twice a preparer you can trust Revenue Service (IRS) because what happens if and feel comfortable requires all paid tax the IRS needs additional with makes your income preparers to be registered information? Also, tax return preparation a and have this number. absolutely do not use a much easier and smoother Your preparer will use this preparer who is willing to process. Good luck! number when signing file your return based on 11


Do People Like You? By Dennis M. Postema

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Here’s a dangerous question to contemplate: Do people like you? If not, why? Is it your personality? While you may not need a winning personality to succeed in life and business, it sure does help!

2. Am I genuine? No matter how hard you try and hide it, if you’re harboring a hidden agenda or are insincere, others will notice and they’ll consider you untrustworthy.

If you’re someone who has a hard time connecting with others, ask yourself these four important questions:

3. Am I friendly? There’s no need to be everyone’s friend, but at least try to be friendly. Likable people are easy to talk to and make an effort to connect with others.

1. Am I approachable? Do the people in your life and workplace find it easy to ask you questions or request help? Or do they tend to shy away from you, doing everything possible to avoid interaction? Being approachable is a very important trait to develop if you want to increase your personal power. Just because you’re in charge (or want to be) doesn’t mean you should be the office know-it-all or overpower everyone else.

4. Am I interested? Notice that I didn’t say interesting here, I said interested. There’s a difference. Being interested means you care what others have to say and how they feel. You listen, really listen, to the concerns of others and work to make everyone you meet feel valued.

the office right now, but you can work on changing that. Here’s how: Cultivate Your Desire to Change You can’t change unless you want to. Decide what kind of personality traits you want to adopt and then work on them. Analyze Yourself Acknowledge your weaknesses. Until you know what areas of your personality need finetuning, you’ll have no idea how to become more likable.

Make the Change Once you have the desire to change and figure out what needs changing, the work is up to you. No one can change your attitude except you. Action is the last and most important step to developing mojo Maybe you’re not the most no one can resist. well-liked person around


Meet Marketing, Messaging, and Media Mogul Meredith Allan Find out how mistakes, goals, kindness, and tenacity have driven award-winning public speaker, Meredith Allan, to achieve success in marketing, speaking, and consulting. From working with Barbara Walters on The View, hosting The Meredith Show on NBC, to helping her clients with their marketing needs, Meredith’s broad range of experience and willingness to try new things have changed countless lives—but none more so than her own. 13


Dennis: Meredith, how did you get started on the journey to becoming an award-winning speaker?

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I speak, so it’s never just about me. It’s about inspiring people and making people recognize that making mistakes is human, it happens so often, and often the greatest things come out of overcoming adversity.

everything has changed now.

Dennis: And how exciting is that? I don’t know about Meredith: I’ve always you, but when I get up enjoyed speaking for at 4:00 in the morning charity, and from a pretty and I can’t go to sleep, young age I had a passion it’s so exciting to me that for inspiring others, but I can just check through I never thought about Dennis: One of the something, and end trying to compete until a funniest things that I up reading something friend asked me to take always tell people is, “I’ve spectacular, and learn part in a speaking contest learned everything the something new at on short notice. It was for hard way. Literally the hard whatever time it may be, a Most Humorous Speech way.” In learning it the hard and then go to bed? award, and on the day of way, you’ll never forget the competition, I was that lesson. So, if you go Meredith: The other part sweating and terrified that through these experiences of that, which I love, is that nobody in the audience with feeling, whatever I’m able to serve clients would laugh. those feelings may be, and reach audiences you always remember the wherever they are. I walked away with lesson. Technology allows you to an award, and then I kept being submitted Meredith: Absolutely. Meredith on how she to compete in other And today we have speaking events. It’s been more access than ever ended up working for an amazing run and to sharing those feelings The View: extremely fun! and lessons. The fastestgrowing audience in “I had an internship in ABC’s Dennis: What is it about the world is online, so PR department when I was in your speeches that the medium we’re on is college, and I wanted to use any give you the edge in a perfect. Statistics show opportunity I could to talk to competition? that the views for YouTube Barbara Walters. I was harassing and similar kinds of video her, like following her to the Meredith: I went up increases by 400 percent bathroom just to get a chance to talk to her. I followed her around against some amazing every year. for a while, in a lot of unusual speakers in the 2017 International Public So, it’s amazing, the beauty places, and was finally able to ask her for public relations career Speaking contest, but I that technology opens advice. She said, “Well, that think I won because I was up for us, and all of the doesn’t make any sense. Why the only speaker who options we now have to would you be in PR when you made my speech about share a story. In the olden could come work on my new show the audience. I share days, it was just radio or called The View?” And, I did! personal stories whenever the written word, and


have limitless possibilities in life. Ultimately, my greatest passion is sharing incredible stories of overcoming adversity, and I get to pick from several mediums to do that. Like, today, we’re speaking live in a broadcast, and you can play it back later, and maybe people are going to catch a replay. Then, in the future, you can repurpose that into a magazine article. There are just limitless opportunities for good news to get to you.

it now. So, we can choose to see heartwarming stories of inspiration, and we can also choose to share them with the world. It’s a great gift. Dennis: Can you share a little bit about your talk, The M Factor?

Meredith: The M Factor is my life story, portrayed in a series of meaningful words that begin with M. It starts with marketing, messaging, and mindset. I think a lot of people who have a business get stuck And when you’re sitting on on what to do first. Should an anchor desk of CNN, for they do a website? And instance, you can’t control I guide people through the news that’s coming in. those treacherous waters There are fires, murders, every day. earthquakes. But we can control how we consume I tell The M Factor in

such a way that it’s not so much about me. I’m trying to share that there are possibilities for overcoming anything, and when you put the recipe of all of these meaningful things together, you can create magic in your life and others’ lives. Dennis: When we’re searching for success, how important do you think it is it to “create magic” in other people’s lives? Meredith: Kindness is universal, and it’s the most important thing. And being humble feels good. It feels good to recognize that we all have our limitations, we all have struggles, but we can overcome them. Honestly,

Meredith’s Secrets to Success “What is your morning routine? What do you fill your mind and your head with first thing when you wake up? Sometimes for me, it’s Abraham Hicks. And sometimes it’s Tony Robbins. Often it’s Les Brown, my absolute favorite.” “Business owners get so stressed about their marketing. But what I think is fascinating is that it’s the mindset that matters in the end. What is your vision for your life, for your product, for your service? And then, your marketing comes pretty easily, because you just support your dream.” 15


I don’t enjoy watching people who aren’t willing to be vulnerable and true. I design my whole series, The It Factor, around people who can talk about really hard things that they’ve overcome. I think that makes you more relatable and more likable because when people only see the finished product, they only see the success and none of what went into it.

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And let’s face it, success doesn’t just happen by accident. It takes a lot of work, often some grind. In my case, a series of huge mistakes, another big M-word that I like to share. I survey my audiences, and I always ask, “What was your greatest takeaway?” Because I’m always learning as much as they are whenever I get on stage. And the most fascinating find has been that 99.9 percent of the time, what people love most about my speaking are the mistakes—that I share them, own them, and that I’m thankful for them. I’m thankful for all of the hardship and adversity that I’ve been through. And believe me at the moment those hardships are happening, sometimes you don’t see it that way. But looking back, each

hardship has opened Dennis: How do you move up room for so many from adversity to success? extraordinary, good things to come into my life. Meredith: We create the chaos in our lives, but we I don’t wish adversity on also have the answers and anyone, and I know you the solutions. The mindset wouldn’t wish health of having no excuses has problems on your worst served me very well later enemy. But it definitely in life. I had a lot of excuses strengthens us, and when I was younger. I it allows us to come always had a dream of from a place of not living and working in only love and kindness California, but I had a fear and understanding, of the expenses, or not but obviously, we try knowing enough people. to share the love, and There are a million reasons that becomes inspiring not to live your dreams, and motivating to some but if you think about it, people. they’re all excuses.


When I found the courage to put it all on the line, to sell everything and have a fresh start, it was like the floodgates opened. Last year I had the best year of my financial life. But I didn’t feel happier because of the money. I felt happier last year because I finally found the courage to step into my dream and leave all my excuses behind. To me, that’s when the magic happens.

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morning and I said, “I love my Mama, but it does not matter what my mother thinks, or what anyone else thinks. I am going to California.” And just as quick as that, I packed up and went, sight unseen, to a place in Woodland Hills, California, and I’ve never looked back.

And it was the best decision. It’s like following your heart and your gut. You really can’t go wrong. Things haven’t always Everybody has an excuse not to do something. One been easy since I’ve been of my excuses to not move here. It is unbelievably expensive. But the bright to California was leaving side is that’s probably why my mother behind. And I made more money last then, I just woke up one

year than I’ve ever made in my life. It’s very humbling to recognize that many people don’t understand what your passion and dream is, and that’s okay because following your heart 99.9 percent of the time will serve you well. Dennis: I love that, because it reminds me of the Malcolm X quote, “If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success.” So, you just go for it, whether or not it works for everybody else. Because most people aren’t going to understand that. And the funny thing is, it all works out, in my opinion.


Meredith: It really worked out amazingly for me. The second day I got here, I met the owner of the Women’s Broadcast TV network. Right now, I’m coming to you from the Leaders of Influence mastermind in Scottsdale. It’s been pretty exciting. But at the end of the day, I believe in education, and I have a huge passion for recognizing that we always have room for improvement and bettering ourselves. If I’m serving clients all over the world and trying to infuse excellence into their marketing, their messaging, their mindset, and the power of sharing their stories, then I need to live a congruent life. So, I need to be growing and sharing continuously.

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The beauty in life is persistence and determination. When I was a little girl, I always wanted to have a TV show. I always wanted to move to California. I always wanted to be a speaker. And I wasn’t always doing those things, but I am now. It was not easy to make all of that happen. And it certainly takes time and energy to figure out what does serve you and what doesn’t, but the key is to never, ever give up.

If I could emphasize anything, it’s that even the people who love you the most could disagree with your decisions, but they might eventually understand them. I mean, my mother did not want me to move, but now, she’s living with me here in California. She’s done a Dennis: What is the best total 180. And it’s such an advice you could give an honor to see that change, entrepreneur or somebody and for her to say to me, “I who wants to be a see so many possibilities,” business leader? and to see how she’s excited about going Meredith: There are a few to a new beach every things that come to mind, weekend. but first and foremost, to follow your heart. Second, Dennis: Yeah, God’s plan when it gets scary, when it is a little bit different than feels like you’re so far out ours, sometimes. of your comfort zone that you don’t know what to do, Meredith: Exactly, and keep going. that’s okay, too. When I was a student, someone

once told me 99 percent of the world does not set goals. So, if you do, you are the 1 percent running ahead of the rest of the world. When I was little, I wrote down goals that I wanted to have a talk show and that I wanted to move to California. Literally putting these things in front of myself and writing them down allowed me to achieve all of the goals that I ever wanted early on in life. Now I get to set new goals. But I don’t know that I would have achieved as much as I have, or fulfilled so many dreams if I wasn’t clear on that vision. And it’s okay to change the vision. Sometimes you cross something off and say, “Okay, not doing that.” I thought I might get married at 30 and have kids, but that didn’t happen, so I get a new dream, and it’s going to be great. Don’t shortchange yourself, and whatever you do, never give up on your dreams. You can change them. But if you’re congruent with your heart, and you’re serving people, your story has power, magic, and grace in it. Life is short. There are no excuses not to live your dreams.


Promote Your Small Business on a Tight Budget Many small businesses struggle to stay profitable, with cost-cutting a priority in leaner times. A common way to cut costs is to strip down the marketing budget, avoiding substantial investments in riskier strategies. Reducing marketing spend can severely damage customer acquisition efforts, though, making it harder to come out of the slump. Marketing the business is extremely important, so it is worth looking for areas where you can promote 19

on a smaller budget. Thankfully, there are various online marketing strategies that won’t take too much time or investment to see results. So, what are some of the main marketing strategies you should consider? Harness Your Existing Support If your business has been operational for a while, you will probably have many satisfied customers. You may have the chance to use these customers

as brand ambassadors, recommending your business across their social media networks. You could also develop a referral service to compensate people for recommendations. In many cases, though, people will promote your business if you give them the resources to do so. Collaborate with Other Businesses Small businesses can often look at similar enterprises from a competitive


standpoint. There are, however, businesses in your niche who are not in direct competition. You may sell different products or be focused on alternative segments of the marketplace. Collaborating with other small businesses can provide you with a new audience, reciprocally helping each other to succeed. Provide Free Content

approach. Building an email list lets you message subscribers on a recurring basis, helping to build a relationship. You might sacrifice an initial sale, aiming to make more money over a longer period. The cost for an email marketing service is fairly low, so you can link a content marketing strategy to secure low-cost leads.

Affiliate marketing is effective for anyone on a tight budget as you can gain leads and customers without the initial expense. Affiliates will pay for advertising or use their own email lists, bringing in a new audience for free. Of course, you do have to factor in the commissions, giving enough reason for Create Newsworthy Items affiliates to promote you.

There are many blogs and Providing free content is news sites looking for a great way to offer value industry updates that will before asking for a sale. interest their readers. If If the consumer can see you can create something proof of your knowledge of interest to these people, and can learn something, you can receive a lot of they are more likely to free publicity. The subject trust you. You can create matter will largely depend content for a blog, while on the niche and location also publishing on external of your business. sites. Even though you may have to pay to create Local businesses could the content, the ROI is create an event in the often enough to justify the community, inviting expense. reporters and sending details and images Build an Email List to those who cannot attend. You don’t have to It can often be tempting manufacture news to get to try and make attention, but you can immediate sales, but you think about the subjects may get better results that interest your audience taking a long-term and cater to them. 20

Build Relationships with Affiliates

A substantial marketing budget can allow for quick and significant growth. Paid advertising can find leads, with sales likely to increase. You can also experiment with different techniques that may not always get the desired results. However, a smaller budget can also work, encouraging creativity to overcome budget issues. A small business can become more efficient, focusing on the areas that will bring the best results. While most businesses will want more money for marketing, working with a smaller budget can provide the focus that allows you to thrive.


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Review E-Commerce Practices for Efficiency and Keep Up with the Masses Every business needs to review its e-commerce practices regularly to automate and streamline the process as much as possible. You not only save money, but can also increase your advertising effectiveness while improving your brand recognition. While it may seem like a no-brainer, tracking your sales will tell you where they are coming from and where to implement some changes. 22


Shipping and Delivery Automate as much of the process as possible without sacrificing the “human touch.” Shipping quickly and on time is only part of the process. Include a survey that they can send back for a discount on future purchases. Track these sales to see how well they encourage repeat customers to engage with your company. The shipping and delivery process can be outsourced to other vendors, too. This would free up your staff to concentrate on growing the business. Packaging and Custom Branding Personalize your packaging so that customers know when their orders have arrived. While this increases recognition for your company, adding a coupon code for their next order would get their attention. A process like this encourages repeat business from the same package that just left your hands. The more people who see it, the more interest it stirs up in the future. As an advertising bonus, you are already 23

spending the money on the packaging, so use it to your advantage and remember to track the effectiveness of this sales campaign. Add More Reviews Reviews are a necessary part of the business on the internet. Add them regularly to show your customers that you care about their problems as well as their successes. A Customer Loyalty Sale Exclusively for those participating in new product releases can create a buzz. Loving a product is a great thing to share, but show your customers their loyalty to your brand is appreciated and recognized. Continue to Show Appreciation to Your Customers Coupons and thank you notes are a few ways that many e-commerce businesses show appreciation to their customer base. However, many automated responses end up in the spam box or the trash without being opened. Consider adding a frequent visitor benefit that grabs your customers’

attention. Maybe they have not purchased anything for a while, and you want their input. Showing sincerity and honesty will keep bringing in your customers long after your coupons have expired. Test Your Website Pages An often-overlooked hack that can save your business time and money are your page visits. Update your pages at least once a year and run your tests on the new material then. It gives you time to fix the problems or redesign a bad page before it becomes common knowledge. Not only does this protect your company’s image, but it also gives you an idea of what works quickly without wasting a lot of time and money on faulty pages. Implement one or more of these ideas to improve your online business and watch your audience grow. You may have some of them, or all of them, in place, but when was the last time you checked their effectiveness. Keeping informed can prevent profit loss and keep your customers happy.


Making Use of Analytics to Maximize Business Efforts and Marketing For businesses, Google analytics is one key tool to measure metrics and results from marketing campaigns. However, there are additional advantages it can offer to your business. Understanding how Google analytics can be used to further elevate your marketing strategy and tactics can be valuable for your business. Here are several ways to utilize Google analytics to improve your business ROI. Utilize Multiple Views 24

Google analytics can

be configured to divide your data into various perspectives and views. Changing certain displays and expanding more on select data can potentially bring to light more information that can spur you to take an action. The data view is a common one that allows information to be segmented into visual tables. The percentage view can be used to segment your data into visual graphs, allowing you to see which metrics stand out over other ones.

If you want to track the performance of certain metrics, you can organize your data into a horizontal chart. This type of chart helps you further illustrate which performance indicators are making the most impact on your website. Another valuable action you can perform with analytics is to compare metrics and timelines between each other. For example, you can segment your data into users that came in through a specific source, then compare the time periods you are looking


at to a comparable time period from a previous year. Set Up Goal Definitions An effective component of analytics is the ability to create goals. The main value of goals is to measure the results of initiatives and actions that have factored into trends with your website traffic. Goals can be defined in a variety of ways, including specific page visits, length of time spent on the website, or interactions with certain features or contact forms. When it comes to tracking sales or customer responses to certain activities, setting up goals is a notable recommendation. Create Event Triggers

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A goal or conversion can be further outlined when events are set up to trigger them. In addition, you may want to highlight specific actions that are significant to your marketing plans, even if they do not affect your final numbers directly. A submission of a contact form or survey may indicate that users are visiting and interacting with your website. Even if tracking contact form submissions

and interactions may not contribute to your bottom line, you can still learn a lot from them to tailor your marketing practice for more optimal results.

or movement in your analytics, the sooner you can take specific actions.

The power of Google analytics gives many business owners the data Develop Custom Alerts to make calculated and coordinated marketing It can be difficult to check decisions. In addition, your analytics daily, as you understanding results are busy with managing can further help you other aspects of your determine a course business. With custom of action in driving alerts, you can receive more business towards notifications on any your website. With significant changes or these custom features trends highlighted in your incorporated into your metrics. The admin section planning, you can make on Google analytics can Google analytics a bigger help you set up a custom partner in your marketing alert button, where you and growth efforts. can select the type of Consider utilizing these conditions or triggers features to make full use to fire a notification. The of the advantages the sooner you are notified of Google analytics platform any significant changes can offer.


5 Simple Ways to Quickly Improve a Business Blog

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Businesses typically understand the need to start a blog. Business sites might include important information like company information and contact details, but they don’t always have enough engaging content to draw visitors in. A quality blog can help find targeted visitors, while also being used as an effective branding tool. It is, though,

common to see blogs that are included as an addon, with little thought for the reader. The following methods can be used to improve a standard business blog, ensuring visitors spend longer on your site. Build a Plan Successful bloggers build content plans,

ensuring they maintain a clear schedule. The plan might need to be adapted, but you will have a rough idea of the type of content you are creating and when work needs to be completed. While it is common to see blogs with gaps in their publishing schedule, the most popular sites are far more consistent in their output. Your plan can also


be used to ensure you focus on certain topics, avoiding any frustration from writer’s block. Use Visual Elements Visual elements can draw visitors in, providing a more pleasing page. Large blocks of texts can be daunting for people, so using sub-headings makes the content more digestible. You can go further, though, by using images and videos that help enhance the content. A post with stats or data can be improved with an infographic. Other concepts can be assisted with related images that explain a point within the post. Develop a Style Business blogs can often be too broad in their scope, covering so much ground that readers don’t know what to expect. They can also suffer from being too generic, with no way of differentiating them from similar sites. Try to develop a style that suits your brand, whether that involves being provocative, funny, controversial, or any other 27

method that helps you stand out. You could focus on providing tutorials that help people learn or offer insights into your business. Having a particular style will help you cultivate a long-term audience.

readers into an email list or towards a sales page using a call to action. Your call to action could be a link, button, or banner that promotes something related to the blog post.

Ultimately, your blog needs to generate leads and sales for your business. Therefore, it is important to make the blog part of your sales funnel instead of just an isolated content hub. You can move

With some small changes and additional dedication, your blog can be transformed to bring new leads and customers who are more engaged from the start.

For example, you could Engage with Social Media create a tutorial for your Users blog, using a call to action to move people onto your One of the keys to a email list for further related successful blog is a high content. Your email list can level of engagement. then build the relationship Social media is an and promote your offers. important tool in gaining this engagement, with A business that takes conversations starting blogging seriously can around your blog posts. drive a lot of traffic on a consistent basis. You Simply posting links to the can gradually build up blog post won’t maximize a significant number of the response you get, articles that start to rank in but asking questions and the search engines. engaging with followers will grow the conversation. Visitors will also return to As people see that there is check out new content interest and debate about when it is promoted the topic, more visitors effectively. While blogs will visit the blog and give are common on business their own opinions. sites, they are often a supplementary part of the Use Call to Action website that is not taken Elements seriously.


Social Media: 5 Reasons Your Twitter Content Should Be Varied

Twitter is one of the most popular social media sites and one that is relevant to most brands. It’s also a platform that many businesses fail to master. This article is a look at how you should vary your content for the best success. 28

1. Self-promotion alone doesn’t work Many brands start Twitter profiles and start off with promotional tweets. They often don’t have a substantial presence online and promote these tweets every now and again. Of course, brands can pick up some traction by doing this. However, it’s not the best strategy to

build engagement. The problem is Twitter is a conversational site first and foremost. Sales ads do not tend to encourage that form of interaction. Although some selling is acceptable, mixing things up is essential if your brand will maximise engagement on the platform.


2. Remember, it’s about your audience Even if you have more to your content than merely posting adverts, there is still more to success than sharing the things you like. It’s essential to understand your audience and the things that interest them - and you’re more likely to see engagement when you post the things they like.

5. Trends play an essential part on Twitter The use of keywords and hashtags arguably plays The critical thing to remember is there is high as important a role on Twitter as any other social competition across most media site. That doesn’t industries. Social media allows brands to become \ necessarily mean you more accessible. To ensure should always use them, custom doesn’t go to your but you certainly should competition, you need to on most of your posts. make sure you are offering Things trend on Twitter much as they do on more than your rivals. Google - and it’s essential to pay attention to this 4 Variety is critical to gain Therefore, find out as and try to create content new followers much information about around trends if possible. your audience as you can Most brands have a core using tools such as Google group of fans interested You can use this to your Analytics and social media in a particular subject; the advantage to create analytics. Once you know problem with this is you content users will love. your audience, then you can only attract so many It’s also worth looking at can start creating content users with a niche focus. the trends if you’re not for them. Posting updates However, by expanding sure what to post next. By that appeal to them make into new subjects, you mixing up your content, it significantly more likely can attract new followers you will keep your they will buy products and that may not have initially audience energised and services from you in the thought about following engaged. The critical thing future. you in the past. here is you don’t want your page to become 3. Your followers will lose The same is true of bland due to creating the interest if you post the different types of content. same content time after same content For example, video time. content or a poll may not Of course, it’s crucial be the type of thing you Twitter is a fast-moving to post content that is do - but it could social media platform relevant to your audience, usually be vital to find a new that requires variety. It’s industry and brand. audience. Mixing things vital that you keep your However, the same type up in this way as long as audience in mind and of content the whole you maintain a core focus look at ways to gain new time will not engage has many benefits. Just followers. Simply put, you your audience. Your remember to have a plan be prepared to followers will have a range rather than to haphazardly should experiment with different of different interests - if go about things. types of content and you can appeal to some topics to accomplish this. of them - then you 29

have a better chance of converting them to customers.


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Four Digital Marketing Assets You Need to Fuel the Growth of Your Small Business No matter what industry your business is involved in, an effective marketing campaign is the key to setting your business apart from its competitors, and ensuring maximum growth. This is especially true with small businesses, which often have to dive headfirst into saturated marketplaces that are already filled with more well-known competitors.

marketing strategy if you want your small business to not only succeed but thrive. 1: Garnering Legitimate Online Reviews

Online review platforms are often the first place customers venture when they’re deciding where to spend their money. Comparing businesses that often similar products Sadly, it doesn’t really or services has never matter how great your been so quick and easy. business’ products or Customers can simply services may be. They have spend a few minutes to be backed by a great typing in keywords related 31

to the business or service they’re considering on Google, Yelp, or Facebook. They’re then given an extensive list of competing businesses along with a slew of reviews for every one that is worth its salt. Take advantage of these platforms by ensuring that your business is wellreviewed by as many customers as possible. The reviews must be organic and legitimate. For one thing, review platforms cutting down on paid reviews and banning businesses for


posting them. Even more importantly, customers are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to spotting fake reviews, and they’ll perceive your entire business as sketchy and dishonest for posting them. Garner as many real, positive reviews as possible by offering incentives to your customers. For example, give out coupons and promo codes to your satisfied customers for posting positive reviews on all of the major online platforms. Not only will that drastically increase the number of positive reviews your business receives, it will also help increase the number of repeat, long-term customers you have. 2: Organic Social Media Interaction with Consumers

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have to periodically post interesting content to get the attention of potential customers and bring more potential moneyspenders into the fold through increased brand awareness and visibility. Additionally, you should organically interact with your customers through online social media platforms. Keep it as formal as your industry requires, but make sure you develop at least some form of unique voice and personality for your business. Also, respond directly to the posts and comments of your audience. That will make them feel unique, caredfor, and more intimately connected to your business. 3: Official Social Media Advertising and Paid Promotion

In addition to organic If you want your business interaction, social media to stand out from its platforms offer paid competitors and establish advertising platforms that a positive relationship you can utilize to reach with your customers, new customers. These you need to build and include advertisements maintain effective social of the more traditional media profiles. It’s not variety such as banner enough to simply list your images that display your business on internet social logo and website or paid networks like Facebook, commercials before videos Twitter, and Instagram. You on YouTube, Instagram,

and other platforms. Social media platforms also allow you to pay to make your business’ more visible to potential customers. For example, if you post a status on Facebook or Twitter, you can pay them to promote it and display it at the top of users’ news feeds. You can even use these platforms to target extremely specific demographics who are more likely to pay for your business’ products or services. For example, imagine you ran a web development business that specialized in coding websites for local small businesses in New York City. You could pay to have your posts premier at the front of the news feeds of small business owners living in Brooklyn who have specific internet search histories related to the average costs of paying a website development company for building, maintaining, and hosting a site on a server for a year’s time. 4: Local Marketing in the Digital World That leads into the next important asset you have to utilize in the world of


digital business growth: local marketing. Of course, local marketing is mostly important for traditional brick and mortar stores as well as digital small businesses who target customers and clients in their local marketplaces. Without doing so, you’re simply leaving money on the table from potential customers who are easier to reach than ever. In doing so, you’re directly limiting your business’ potential short-term and long-term growth. However, even if your corporation operates on a national or international

scale, it’s important to establish and maintain a positive local profile. It can lead to future opportunities in growth in a myriad of ways. Your business may one day be featured in local news stories, for example, which is essentially free advertising for you. If that happens, you want the local perception of your business to already be established and positive. Most businesses are also best-known in the local marketplaces in which they are based. A positive local image can set your business apart from your competitors and bring

in a multitude of new customers. The Future Is Digital The digital marketplace can no longer be ignored, no matter what industry your business operates in. It once may have been a niche place only for futureminded, forward thinking consumer, along with tech geeks and computer nerds. Now though, pretty much every consumer is online, and you need to reach as many of them as possible if you want your small company to succeed and grow to its maximum potential.

Contrary to popular belief, only two Founding Fathers signed the US Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The majority of signers penned their signatures on August 2, 1776. July’s birthstone, the ruby, is often associated with contentment, love, passion, and integrity. Interesting fact; The only natural gemstone that is harder than a ruby is a diamond. July Milestones: • July 2nd, 1937 - Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight. • July 4th, 1939 - Lou Gehrig, gave his famous “The luckiest man on the face of the earth” speech, and announced his retirement from major league baseball. • July 7th, 1947 - The Roswell incident, a reported crash of an alien spaceship near Roswell in New Mexico • July 17th, 1955 - Disneyland was dedicated and opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California • July 20th, 1903 - The Ford Motor Company shipped its first car. 33


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