Category: Business Building.

As the third installment of my “Blog Traffic Series” articles, I want to really touch upon how important it is to integrate social media marketing into your website or blog. If you missed the first two “Blog Traffic Series” tips, you can find them HERE.

Social-MediaAs a social media marketing professional, I know what social media marketing can do for small businesses. Simply put, it’s a very easy way to market your blog beyond just your website presence. It’s what every small business and large corporations are using to market their products and services. And if you are not implementing some type of social media marketing into your marketing plan right now, then you are missing many opportunities to increase your blog or website traffic, ultimately leaving money on the table.

If you are not implementing social media marketing in your business, you are leaving money on the table.… Click To Tweet

If you are not sure what social media platforms to implement into your business, then I would suggest you start with looking at what the trends are for social media marketing for this year and go from there. You can read what the latest trends are by checking out a recent article from Forbes called the “The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2015”.

Once you choose and create your business profiles on the social media platforms that you feel comfortable with, then your next step is to connect these platforms to your blog. One of the easiest ways to promote yourself on your blog is to strategically add a Facebook and Twitter icon on your site somewhere. Most people add social media icons to their website sidebar. The best placement would be to make sure they’re above the fold when someone is visiting your website (i.e., what’s immediately visible to the end user). I’ve got a great resource of where you can grab some really nice icon images on this site, Icons, etc.

And if you are comfortable adding plugins to your site, and if you use WordPress.org, here is a list of plugins that I use to connect social media to my website and my client websites:

  • Facebook for WordPress – allows you to have a Facebook comments box, a recommendations box, a “Like” button and a share button
  • DiggDigg – provides you with a floating and/or anchored share box that you can add to your blog posts or pages (it’s what I have positioned on ALL my blog posts)
  • Twitter Widget – allows you to list your tweets on your site sidebar
  • Better Click to Tweet – allows you to add a 140-character tweet within your blog posts or pages, making it easy for a visitor to tweet your statement or quote, leading back to your post or page
  • Revive Old Post (formerly known as ‘Tweet Old Post’ plugin) – allows you to tweet and re-tweet old posts in an automated cycle (great way to promote your old posts over and over again!)
  • Buffer App – Buffer allows you to strategically schedule your posts and tweets so they are posted whenever you want them to be released

And if you want to add a LinkedIn, Google+ or Pinterest pin button to your site, you can find those resources here:

Lastly, I want to share my favorite social media resource sites that provide great information on the latest trends and tools that you always want to be on top of. Here they are:

  • SocialMedia Examiner – my top pick for all things social media!
  • The HubSpot blog – they have three social media guides to help you get a jump-start on social media marketing
  • Mari Smith – she knows everything you need to know about Relationship Marketing

After reading this article, and you still have no clue how you want to integrate social media marketing into your website or blog, please feel free to contact me for a no obligation consultation to discuss how I can help you kick-start your social media marketing plan for 2015.

Until tomorrow…(Day 16 of The Ultimate Blog Challenge)

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blogschangebusinessSo you’ve got your website built and you have a blog tab set up on your navigation bar, but where do you go from here? I know as part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, the challenge is to blog everyday through the month of January. For some, it starts out as a good intention, but there will be people who will give up and not be able to finish the challenge. Guess what? That happened to me. Matter of fact, it was January 2014 that I got up to Day 14, then I didn’t post anymore. So much for reviving my business when I know that when I do post to my blog, my site traffic increases!

So really, what is the big deal to blog anyway if you’re in business for yourself? Here are 3 reasons why (There are many other reasons, but I don’t have room in this post to list them all! LOL):

1. Your blog is the cornerstone of your business that deserves your expertise

Simply put, anything you write as a blog article, is in your voice and it shares your expertise in your field of business. Regardless of our economic instability, people are still searching online for solutions. It’s up to you to be that business that provides such solutions.  Be the leader and producer of your business. When you lead and produce, YOU are the authority and decison-maker that will drive your business to success, or ultimately drive it to the ground.

One of the most unused words for continued business success, really, is consistency. If you’re consistent in reaching your business blogging goals, then this will spill over into your personal life, showing consistency in living a healthy lifestyle, setting boundaries for your clients, rearing your children, etc. In case you didn’t know, my one word for 2015 is consistency. So far, so good. 🙂

Your blog is the cornerstone of your business that deserves your expertise. #blogtip #blogboost #bizblog Click To Tweet 

2. Your audience expects to hear from you and buy from you

The more free content you provide, more likely the more clients you attract and they will want to buy from you. Now know that many people like to comparison shop online, so they will be looking at not only your blog or website, but they will also be looking at others for solutions. The more dynamic and fresh your content is, the more likely it will be that they will choose your business over the competition. That can be a tall order, but through tried and true client relationships and retention, and you making an effort to stay ahead of your competition, you will have the key to business success.

The more dynamic and fresh your blog content is, the more likely it will be that people will choose you over… Click To Tweet

3. Your blog is your main marketing hub 

Believe it or not, social media is not the main marketing strategy for your business. Sure, it’s a great way to expand your marketing efforts beyond your website, but what you should be Facebooking or tweeting is a way for your followers to be lead back to your website so they can read your content, specifically your blog articles. You should be bringing your prospective clients back to your blog, having them subscribe to your list, engaging with them, building that relationship that will ultimately convert them into a client or customer. 

Every single strategy you use to build your business should lead back to your blog. Let it do the heavy lifting for you. It’s amazing how your blog will sell your products or services if you’re allowing it to run on auto-pilot for you. 

With that said, let me share with you a simple blog strategy that will bring results:

Spend the next six months, writing two to three posts per week, every single week. Create a schedule and a system so you can stick to your weekly blogging goals. Don’t deviate from your schedule. You can download a free copy of my 2015 Blog Editorial Calendar HERE. No strings attached, no web form to complete! You can create your own weekly blog categories and determine what days you want to blog on. Don’t rule out weekends as your prospect may actually be lurking online during those two critical days.

Spend the next 6 mths, writing 2-3 posts/week, every single week. Create a schedule so you can stick to your… Click To Tweet

Be sure you have basic SEO and social share plugins installed on your site if you’re using WordPress. I recommend the All-In-One SEO Pack plugin and the DiggDigg social share plugin. Both of these are easy to install and configure so you have immediate search content that is sent to Google for indexing. 

I also recommend you tracking your weekly traffic using the Google Analytics Plugin for WordPress. After six months, I’m confident you’ll see a spike in your site traffic, more social media interaction and more leads and sales come your way.

Until tomorrow…Day 13 of the UBC

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pinterest-for-bizHere’s my second installment of Pinterest use and marketing that I want to share with you today. Yesterday’s topic was related to Pinterest marketing for your business and how you can get a jump-start on promoting your website using simple tools and plugins. If you missed this article, you can find it HERE.

Today, I want to cover how you set up your Pinterest business account and start “pinning” based on your interests and areas of expertise in your business. If you already have a personal profile account, you can also convert it to a business account with just a couple of additional steps to take. Pinterest rolled out the business account feature back in November 2012.

How to Set Up a Business Account:

Visit Pinterest at http://business.pinterest.com/
Create your business account by adding your business type, contact name, email address, password and business profile information.

Now if you already have a personal profile and want to convert it to a business page, you can go here: https://pinterest.com/login/?next=/business/convert/ Otherwise, you can keep your personal account intact and you can create a separate business account. You will go through a similar process as conversion, except you will get a chance to choose and create a new username.

convert-personal-to-business-pinterest-ss

 

Once you click on the “Convert” button, you will be taken to the section below when you can modify your existing Pinterest account details. First, you will have to select your business type.

pinterest-biz-type

 

 Next, you will enter additional details such as your contact name and business name, plus you will have the ability to edit your “About” information and website information.

pinterest-biz-profile-addon

 

Lastly, you will have to agree with the new Terms of Service agreement for Pinterest. You’re now ready to convert!

Getting Started

Once you have converted your personal account or created a new business account, you have the next four options to choose from.

STEP ONE

Verify your website. The first option is to verify your website with Pinterest. This will allow users to see your full website URL on your profile and in search results.

step1-verify-website

website-verify

 

 

To do this, you will need to either upload an HTML file created by Pinterest to your web server or add a meta tag from Pinterest to your website. If you are using WordPress.org, the meta tag might be an easier option because you will just add it to your theme’s header.php file or in your theme’s settings where it allows you to add scripts in the header. Once you have either uploaded the file or added the meta tag, you can click the complete button. For me, I was able to FTP the Pinterest-provided HTML file to my domain root folder and I was easily verified.

STEP TWO

Start pinning.

step2-start-pinning

 

If you converted from a personal account, chances are you already have board and pins to work with. If you don’t, go ahead and add the “Add Bookmarklet” to add the Pinterest “Pin It” Bookmarklet to your browser’s toolbar.

pin-it-bookmarklet

 

STEP THREE

Drive traffic back.

step3-drive-traffic-1

 

Encourage your website or blog visitors to share your images with their Pinterest followers by adding the “Pin It” button to your website. You can grab a “pin-it” button from Pinterest’s goodie page here or you can find the “pin-it” button in several social media sharing plugins like ShareThis, DiggDigg or the Pinterest Pin It Button For Images.

STEP FOUR

Grow your audience.

step3-drive-traffic

 

Pinterest has also added new buttons to allow more people to see your latest Pinterest activity. This can be through a Pinterest follow button which you can find on Pinterest’s goodie page here

pinterest-follow-buttons

 

You can also use either the profile widget or the board widget to showcase your latest pins or boards by selecting one of these on the Pinterest Buttons and Widgets page.

pinterest-widget-options

widget-activity

 

 

Follow the four steps above and you’ll be ready to grow and expand your Pinterest following.

Now your Pinterest account is open for business! Good luck and Happy “Pinning”!

If you have any comments or questions about Pinterest, please feel free to drop me a line in the “Comments” section of this article. I would love to hear what is working for you to drive traffic to your site using Pinterest.

Tomorrow’s Pinterest Topic: How to Search for Pinterest “Pin” Topics 

ideal-clientIf you happen to be reading today’s post and you are a business owner, then this is a topic I’m sure sits in the back of your mind everyday as you seek out clients or customers you want to work with. Who is your ideal client? I think if you are going to have meaningful conversations with prospects possibly having a checklist or questionnaire sitting next to your phone that you can complete while having this person on the phone or even face-to-face. 

When I first started my Virtual Assistance practice nine years ago, seeking the ideal client wasn’t at the top of my priority list. I was just looking for clients to work with me, regardless of what their niche was! I learned pretty quickly how just signing up a client or customer isn’t always the best decision for your business.  In some cases, you start working with a client and find out later that they are not your ideal client because of the problems that arise that may not necessarily be your fault, but from the client side too. A client may become unresponsive or they may become far too demanding, not adhering to the policies you set forth in your agreement with your contract. What is that? You didn’t communicate your policies to the client or prospect when you first consulted them? This is one of the things I always make sure I set up and discuss is my policies with each and every one of my clients. Your expectations and your client’s expectations are set and there shouldn’t be any question about how you plan to communicate and how you plan to complete projects and tasks for your client(s).

Here is a list of questions that I like to have nearby me when I’m speaking to a prospect to determine if they are ideal to work with:

  1. Does the prospect appreciate and value what I have to offer?
  2. Does the prospect haggle about the fee I charge for my services?
  3. Does the prospect trust me enough to be able to handle their financial management needs or the sharing of any private password information to gain access to their online or offline programs?
  4. Does the prospect feel comfortable enough for me to provide advice in personal areas of their life?
  5. Does the prospect or client allow me the personal satisfaction of delivering superior, client-centric services?

If you feel you can answer “no” to one or more of the questions above, you may want to consider not working with the prospect before you decide you want to jump in and offer them a contract. Even the slightest of uneasiness after you have spoken to this prospect could lead to doubt somewhere down the road. Wouldn’t it better to have a smaller client base that you truly enjoy working with than a bigger client list of dead-beat clients that suck the energy out of you? You want to enjoy being in the business you worked so hard to build…not dreading coming into your office everyday wondering what’s going to happen with “so-in-so” because they haven’t paid their invoice or “who’s going to slam me with work today”? That is not how you want to act and that’s not how you want to run your business. It’s your passion. Make the right decisions on who you want to work with. It may be hard not wanting to grab every dollar, at first, to keep your business running, but it’s that kind of mindset that will put your business under very quickly.

An example of me working with ideal clients is having them work with me for more than five years and I have three clients that have been with me even longer than that. Even more important is that these same ideal clients have referred me to other prospects and clients. 

Let me know what defines your ideal client by commenting in the box at the bottom of the page. I would love to hear what has worked for you!

Until tomorrow (Day 6 of The Ultimate Blog Challenge)!

Never-be-bullied-into_325x209px

I thought I would start off the first Friday of January 2014 with a shareable quote that was an idea I took from one of Michelle Schaeffer’s blogging tips. I used QuoteGarden to search the quote I liked and I used Quozio to apply the quote to one of their cool backgrounds. Pretty simple, huh? 

Well this is my first shareable quote! This quote is profound to me as it relates to how I want to live my life in a personal and professional sense. There were times in my life that I had been silenced by circumstances and I felt like I had no voice when it was time to stand up for myself. Over the years, I have gotten better with voicing who I am and that I truly have a purpose here on this earth. I can safely say that I define who I am…no body else!

As a business owner, I can also apply this quote to how I never want to be silenced by the nay-sayers who think I cannot manage my business and watch it flourish. One of the visions I have for 2014 is to expand my digital marketing business to include social media marketing training and WordPress design training. I’ve actually had training programs in the past, but I want to shake it up a little bit and make it a truly engaging and profound program for my clients. But what I need to do is to clear the negativity in my own mind and push forward with my business concept and see it through within the next couple of months. I know I can do this!

Re-read the quote above again. I would love to hear how it impacts your life today. Feel free to leave your comment at the bottom of the post.

Until tomorrow (Day 4 of The Ultimate Blog Challenge)!