How to Rebrand Your Business

There are lots of reasons a company might want to rebrand themselves. Some might be trying to market to a new region and grow perhaps, globally, while other businesses may be trying to update their image entirely. Or, it could be that there are new products and services and/or new ownership and vision.

Some of the most noticeable changes you might see when a company rebrands are those aspects having to do with visual identity. These items might include first and foremost, the company logo, then business cards, brochures, website along with the smattering of changes that will have to be made online on the various social media sites for consistency.

The less obvious, but most important changes that will, or should be made within a business during a rebrand are those related to company vision and mission from which everything else will spring. As you might know, a logo is the face of the company, but for a successful rebranding, there will have to be a lot of collaboration and research to produce a new ethos, and manage inevitable shifting in the way the business functions. Sometimes, radical and profound changes will have to be considered for a complete evolution of the company. Often, many systems that are in place need to be stripped and rebuilt from the ground up. Of course, the depth of change depends on the scope of the rebrand and new vision of those in the front seat. New market research, such as focus groups and surveys may need to be part of the rebranding process. Additionally, the budget will have to be able to withstand a windfall of expenses.

Before attempting to rebrand, it’s wise for the company to invest in some brand audits to determine if it’s even necessary to put all the time and money that into this arduous process. It may be that the business is healthy enough as it is, and maybe just a little marketing push will be sufficient. Auditing will also help to measure the scope of the project as well. Very often, a company can get away with implementing a simple refresh rather than an entirely new start in which case the logo could remain the same. In some instances, the team will want to keep the logo as it may have a good reputation or some nostalgic value that would be foolish to do away with. Also, if your business has a following, you don’t want to lose or confuse them.

Take a look at some signs that it may be time to rebrand your business.

It’s important for companies to be sure about their objectives. Why the need to rebrand? What results are they hoping to achieve? Are they prepared to sink a lot of money into to it? Realize that it will take careful thought and consideration, team work and time. PR groups will need to join with a good local marketing company to get the job done right.

 

 

How to Revive a Lagging Business

Are your revenues taking a turn for the worse? Are you losing good employees to better job opportunities at your company’s competitors? Are customers dropping like flies? If this sounds like the state of your business, don’t despair. There are ways to turn the ship around if you’re willing to do whatever it takes.

In this post, we’ll lay out a few tips to get your wheels turning again and get help get your business going in the right direction.

Get to the root of the problem
But, isn’t that the million dollar question? What IS the problem? Sometimes, what happens in the boardroom with the various board members and executives is a whole lot of shoulder-shrugging or finger-pointing. “It’s the economy,” “the Marketing team,” “our lazy sales people,” or “it’s the President’s fault,”…and the list goes on.

One way to get a clue objectively, as to the nature of the problem is to hire out mystery shoppers, or someone who can come into the environment as an unbiased “undercover agent,” depending on the nature of the business. The results will probably surprise you. We’ve been made aware recently of one company who did this and found that they wandered through the department store for 15 minutes without any associates to engage them. Not only that, the sales racks were a mess, and the workers were not only sloppily dressed but were heard complaining about their job!

It’s important to deal with the reality at hand and look at things as they are, without sugar coating to further pinpoint the deeper problems and develop a plan of action.

Educate and Sell Your Staff
To implement a new vision, plan or remedy, you have to have a staff who is on board. It’s likely unrealistic to think you’re going to be able to hire a whole new staff, retrain and cast a vision without spending an exorbitant amount of money and time in the process. At this juncture, it lacks prudence and wisdom. What would work better, is to sell your staff on a new vision and set of goals along with a clear path to personal achievements and benefits for them. If you are transparent with your employees and explain with humility, how management has likely dropped the ball along the way (for starters), you’re liable to get their cooperation and possibly regain some excitement. If the executives are not visionary or masters at selling, then they may need to be moved aside, or perhaps invite a business consultant to hold some of these conferences with them to get them up to snuff.

Get a Clear Vision
Outline your company goals, both short and long-term and go back to the drawing boards with a description of what the market needs and how your company plans to address it. If you lack the zeal to reinvigorate the vision of your business, it will be well worth the money to hire out a business consultant to provide you with new strategies and ideas that you’ve either forgotten or have never thought possible.

Re-address your niche. Most business who are struggling, do so because over some period, management has taken on too many odd projects or products and inadvertently lost their focus and target group in the process. You can’t have everyone as your target market. You must define what your business is and the services that you provide. Be specific and minimize where you need to.

Boost Morale
Take the time to listen to your employees. Find out why they’re complaining. Ask them if they feel excessively burdened or overworked. Do they feel they are underpaid? After you hold some meetings with a spirit of understanding and open, honest communication, choose to tackle these complaints one at a time. Commit to addressing each of these issues at any cost. Additionally, set one manageable team goal at a time and praise them when there is a victory before giving them another. This way, you’re building up they’re morale again step-by-step and putting good vibes back into the business air. No doubt, an increased morale will boost your bottom line.

Here is video that addresses this same issue.

 

 

 

 

2 Types of Digital Ads You Haven’t Tried But Thought Were Garbage

Have you considered Outbrain, Reddit or even Taboola? Chances are, you probably have not.

These days, it would seem that almost everyone who is running an ad campaign for their business is using something like Google Adwords or another similar service. A lot of business owners are also using Facebook ads, which is another useful but also somewhat tricky type of online ad. Obviously, these ad networks are good at producing results; if they were not, then nobody would be using them anymore, and they have been around for years now. However, they are not the only digital ad networks that are available.

Below, you will find two useful types of digital advertisements that have a huge impact but are still a small market. Giving these some consideration is something you will want to be doing, as they can be cheaper and can reach a larger audience when compared to traditional Facebook or Google ads.

1. Reddit Ads!?
The first add service that we will take a look at in this article is Reddit. Reddit is particularly useful in the advertisement industry because it has a conversation platform that allows different people that have similar interests to not only find each other but also to find each other’s ads.

Reddit is a bottomless hole of the internet, renowned for its bizarre political movements, memes, stories, gifs, and all sorts of forums such as anime or sports, and anything in between.

Currently contained within Reddit’s forum vaults are over 50,000 different communities (as of the summer of 2017) which mean that anyone who is looking to sell almost anything-anything has an audience that they can not only target but target quickly thanks to its impressive advertisement platform and meticulously categorized sub-communities.

Moreover, Reddit ads are very cheap. You can start your very own campaign for just $5 per day, and you can cancel it whenever you wish to. Even though Facebook ads are cheap, Reddit ads are even cheaper and give you a way to recycle some budget, just like Waste Focus services in Worcester, with a geo-targeted campaign that was as cheap as possible on any of the major social media platforms.

Setting up a Reddit account can be done in only a couple of minutes tops. Plus, they are so secure that they are nearly entirely foolproof! All you need to then is to sign up for your share account and copy your images, write your headline/text and set your set budget.

After a couple of days or even a week, you can cancel it if you feel that it is not generating the right amount of conversions and results that you wished for.

2. Sponsored Blog Posts!
If you are already paying for ads on any service (or multiple services), it might be a good option to consider expanding your ad plan to more ‘homegrown’ services, such as sponsored blog posts. You can also create your own if you wish, as that would certainly be a good idea, but it might take a lot longer than you think to get it properly up and running after having created the website and its respective content, even if you use SEO services.

Here is a solid example of sponsored blog posts being used to build and scale revenue as a form of ads; Vanna Belt, which is a fitness and supplement company, consistently uses sponsored blog posts to and purchases slots on them to advertise their services and products on various fitness and health websites.

This allows Vanna Belt to promote specifically to their direct audience instead of to a sweeping generalization of random people that Facebook will point their ads towards. I mean, if you are going to fitness or health blog to read up on supplements, then most likely you are looking to purchase some.

This form of ads significantly helps the company to sell their product without ineffective ads and PPC (pay-per-click) ads. PPC ads cost a good deal more and are also less efficient and convert less.

All of the unorthodox (digital) ad types here are relatively easy to get into, but they take some management and preparation, and probably a little faith as well. Aside from those (semi)negative attributes, you can still do fairly well with these ads. The only thing that is limiting yourself and holding you back from doing this is yourself, so get to it!

How to Make a Successful Sales Call

In today’s world of selling, sales people can be distracted by things like social media, email and other technologies of the day. But the phone remains ideal in making successful sales. The sales call is so critical in a sales lifecycle. It is going to help you move the deal forward and get that win.

Here are six tips to a successful sales call:

First, call prospects early or late.
Your competition is typically calling between the hours of 9 a.m., and 11 a.m., or between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. This means that the real opportunity to getting through to your prospect is early in the morning (realistically before 8:30 a.m.), or late in the evening, starting at around 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Secondly, make a clear introduction.
Whether it is a cold call (which involves calling somebody that you do not know, or have very little knowledge about, nor do they know you.) or a warm call (whereby the sales person and the potential customer have already had some form of interaction), the method remains the same. First, you have to introduce yourself, your company and the product you are selling to that potential client and make sure they realize the benefit immediately while they are on the phone or in the meeting.

Third, define the objective.
Understand why you are calling that customer. Is your call to introduce the product, to ask for another meeting, or is it to inform the client of possible updates in the deal. You need to have a clear objective for that call.

Fourth, ask questions.
Especially questioning early in the sales process; you have to understand the wants and the needs of your potential client. Your ability to understand how your solution is going to fit their needs will depend on how many questions you ask and how good of a listener you are.

Five, have contingencies.
Often, a sales person will start a call, and the prospect will be busy with what they are doing, and their goal could be to get off the phone. If they try to get off the phone, be gutsy. Hang in there by having a contingency for when they say that they are in the middle of something. By doing this, the prospect will be caught off guard immediately and is likely going to give you the time you need to sell your idea.

Lastly, this is your time to close that sale. What is key early on in the sales process, is your need to make sure more meetings are lined up, or your follow-up calls are scheduled. Later on, in this sales process, ask for when you are going to get that signed contract because that is going to make sure that you move the deal forward. Check out more tips from the successful magazine Entrepreneur.

Here’s a few more pointers for you! Good Luck!

 

5 Tips to Help You Rank Your Website in Google

When we tweak and manipulate information on a website to make a page rank higher in google, we call this “On-page SEO.”

In this short article, we’ll summarize a few tips to optimize your site for an increase in web traffic.

Your titles need a target keyword

Start title tags with your target keyword
This pointer alone can make a significant difference when trying to optimize your site. It’s also a straightforward step and something that you can easily tweak.

Since the title describes your article content, this little word holds great weight with Google. The keyword should be placed at the beginning of your title tag. For example, when you are on Google searching for your competitive terms, you’ll see the target words are always at the beginning; it makes your website relevant to what people are searching.

Article keyword placement
Place keywords in the first few paragraphs of your article, preferably in the first 100-200 words. You only need to be conscious of your writing. It’s easy for people who are ambitious in brain dumping to forget to add their keywords until long after they’ve passed their introductions! Don’t do this – introduce your topic by using your keywords. We learned this in elementary English class, didn’t we? Say what you’re going to talk about, then say it, then say what you’ve talked about again in your conclusion. There are many opportunities here to drop in your target words. This is a crucial step so Google understands the relevance of the article early on in your post. For much more in-depth information on this, check out this article.

Outbound links
Use Outbound links in your articles. This point is also a significant step in ranking your site well in Google. And it’s one step that many are not aware of, though it’s incredibly simple to implement.

Outbound links are those that you point from your website out to other sites that are already powerful in their ranking. Not only do they have power, but they are valued by Google as official websites that have been around for years. These links connect you to an established site and will, in turn, give your site “juice” or, some credibility allowing Google to assume your blog is real and trustworthy too.

Meta Descriptions
Write Meta descriptions of your site to be catchy and informational. This little summary is visible when you are on the search page  – recall reading blurbs underneath titles of listed articles as you’re doing your own searches. They should be no longer than 100-150 words and should state the over-arching topic of your article while including your target words. Viewers will glance through the google pages, and if your description is eye-catching, you’ll be the one getting the click.

Article URL
Make your article URL custom to your post by adding the keywords to them. By assimilating them into your URL, it gives Google another reason to consider your article legitimate and rank-worthy.

These are only a very few of the most basic points that you can immediately incorporate into your current blog. They are simple enough, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you see your site taken more seriously by Google.

How to Find a Good Salesperson for Your Business

When you’ve worked for years in your business allowing it to become vibrant and healthy while increasing your revenue, you’re going to inevitably be faced with a common crucial decision; your first big hire. To maintain this path of success you will have to hire responsible and driven new blood to expand that which you have worked so hard to attain.

Many small businesses fail within those formative first five years. The failure comes not due to poor ideas, or products but because of their failure to market and sell their bright ideas, and valuable services and products.

So how do you avoid the potential of a very plausible setback when you take the plunge out of the sales seat and into a manager’s seat while entrusting someone else to the job of sales. There’s a big risk when you begin to branch into the next phase of your growing company. This risk calls for your bravery and the ability to let go. Of course, you don’t do this flippantly; you must first prepare by doing your homework.

How do you hire a promising Sales person to take your place, one who cares as much about the success of the business as you do? By hiring an inept sales person at this delicate stage in the game, you risk putting your business reputation on the line at best and losing profit, and ultimately your business at an extreme worst.

Be aware in everyday life
One sensical place to start in finding a good, well-rounded and committed sales person is – yourself! What do YOU expect and appreciate when doing shopping for the difficult purchases you make. We all know what we don’t appreciate when we’ve had bad experiences in say, buying a car, for example – so avoid hiring the types of sales people with whom we don’t feel comfortable doing business. Maybe someone you are interviewing comes off pushy, overly confident in themselves, or the money symbols in their eyes take the place of their pupils causing them to be oblivious to the lack of truth in their speech. As consumers, it’s not hard to recognize honest and genuine sales people who believe in the value of their products; those who want to help improve an aspect of the consumer’s lives.

When you see a good sales person at work, let them know! Make conversation with them, ask them how they got involved in the business they are currently in – see if you can find out a little bit about them. If they’re happy to talk, you could engage them further, finding out if they are happy in their line of work or if they would be open to exploring other possibilities. If you are genuine and honest in your chats with people, there’s a good chance you could end up talking more formerly about opportunities in your business – that you’re looking for a sales person with similar attributes.

You will be surprised at how many sales people are willing to chat and how many business cards you will end up leaving. Be aware, of course, that you should keep the conversation short and succinct so that you don’t intrude on their day or show any disrespect. If you’re bright and conscientious enough to run a small and thriving business, this won’t be a problem.

Word of mouth
Word of mouth is a popular way of getting good team players, as well as customers and clients in every business sector. You can mention you are looking for a strong sales-person to your bankers, vendors and other customers. Most likely, they will be aware that when they are helping you find a good associate, they will be ultimately helping themselves.

Lastly, use ads
I say lastly because it’s less reliable than a good reputation and word of mouth, and, it’s more work to go through the stages of interviewing without some idea of what you’re getting involved in. None-the-less, with some discernment and elbow grease, you can find a good candidate. Be sure to word your ad carefully, and be specific in your line of work so that you don’t get a bunch of people who are lining up to sell Pampered Chef or encyclopedias. Also, take the time to screen them by phone first, then if qualified, have them in to present themselves. Ask them a lot of questions – don’t do all the talking – do very little. You can find out a lot from a person from listening well to their needs, expectations and energetic levels.

Those are just a few ideas but are well tried and tested. We’ve included a video to give some more information and tips on specific qualities to be on the look out:

 

 

 

Tips for Business to Business Marketing

The digital revolution is growing faster than any one of us can keep up, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. Because of the speed of the growth, frankly, it’s a big hair ball which makes trying to market B2B overwhelming, especially when you have a new start up.

In the digital age, we have to rely mainly on how each company represents itself on the web. We have little time and energy to run through the ever growing cities and explore the hundreds of new businesses popping up in every corner highrise. We can’t feasibly have the kind of human interaction we had in the past. Therefore, we have to rely on the internet and wide-range amazing benefits it offers us to grow and expand our businesses.  In our time, we have an outlet to represent our company elaborately and colorfully through various branding platforms and software. There’s really no end to the possibilities when marketing b2b these days.

Here are a few ways to help you market business using the best tools we have at our finger tips.

Online Identity
You MUST have a polished website in this digital culture. There is no going forward with out it. Your domain and website is your storefront on the street corner. There are countless creative ways to express your business and all its capabilities through a professionally designed site. Also, you could include in a section of your site, company history, daily pointers on a blog, product information, and details that far exceed that of any flyer.

SEO
Once you have a well-done website built, it’s necessary to hire a company for ranking your site in Google. Otherwise, you may have a beautiful internet site, but fail to show up in the first 20 pages of a given search. So one – build a site and two – get it ranked by a professional company to guarantee good search results.

Social Media
Another well-documented fact is that the ability to network and sell your products far and wide depends on the implementation of social media. Once you have that setup, you’ll need to delegate someone on your team to regularly update and post links from your blog to boost the visibility of your company online. Any social activity you do will increase your customer base. When your business adopts a social media spot in cyber space, you’re also allowing yourselves to have access to your competitor’s social networks. You can keep up on the market and meeting events taking place locally.

Engaging your partners online
A crucial benefit of being “plugged in” is your ability to engage in conversation with competitors, partners, and potential clientele. When you have your entire company story, images, products, mission statement, business ins-and-outs at your finger tips, you are placing yourself in a prime position to engage and sell to anyone in the world. You can design splash pages, pop-up forms and collect emails at your site to begin sending newsletters and product pages to anyone.

So, it’s only valuable in this generation to talk about business to business marketing in light of the internet. Any approach that doesn’t include the digital forum is long gone and will, if depended on, eventually leave your company in the dust. So, get on board and increase your revenue by developing a cohesive online presence for your company.

 

 

 

3 Easy Tips to Improve Your Copy

Writing good copy is an art, as well as a science and, will have to be mastered through a long journey of trial and error. To leave a vivid and memorable impression on the reader, you have to learn to be succinct, direct and at the same time knowledgeable while allowing for playful creativity.

Creativity can be a powerful tool in communicating that which sometimes represents events or experiences that transcend common-day language leaving one inspired or moved to change their way of thinking and doing things which could, in turn, affect thousands of people and their communities. One thing is sure, most would underestimate the potential good writing can do in the world of arts, business, science and the like.

Regarding business, let’s take a look at a few tips that can improve your content marketing. As with anything, you’ll have to try and develop what works for your particular business market and allow time to experiment tweaking and altering as long as it takes to perfect your marketing potential.

Here are a few approaches to effective copywriting for short daily blog posts.

Keep it honest and simple
In these times, in particular, there seems to be no patience (thankfully) for smoke screens, fake content, or overly inflated and flashy gimmicks. Keep your content simple and straightforward. Pose the benefits and facts in plain truth; you can leave out the long-winded storylines and any unnecessary defense. For example, look at Apple. Their approach of minimalism is a sure win in this age.

A friendly dialogue
You can approach your writing as if you were speaking to a neighbor or friend. In fact, appealing to basic human needs and pains with compassion will again, be more apt to reach the current consumers in our culture. Make your posts conversational and informal in a warm and calming style. Remember, this can only work if you’re a genuine business person who is confident in your product or service.

Envision a situation
Prompt your readers to envision or imagine a scenario that they would love, or love to avoid. This ability will force you to develop your creative side. You could paint a story of the potential problems if they neglected their health, car or budgets. In the same way, you could create a positive vision for them to internalize to transform their intellects, houses or bodies. If you are transparent as a writer, you’ll improve the believability, naturally. It’s nice to know people online are real and that we’re not just as mechanical as the tools we use.

So these are a few simple tips to get your wheels turning, and in no way is it an extensive list as there are multiple popular blogs out there to learn copy and content marketing ideas more in-depth. For now, these will be sufficient for writing snippets about your company news or products on a daily basis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is A Marketing Coach?

Do you have a Marketing Coach? I’m not talking about your personal coach at your local gym. I’m talking about a coach similar to athletic coaches. There are all kinds of coaches out there: relationship coaches, executive coaches, business coaches, management coaches, career coaches, business opportunity coaches, and among a host of others. And then there is the marketing coach, like me.

I am a big believer in coaches and being coached. I make my living coaching.  And that’s why I’m writing this article because the truth is there are so many people out there claiming to be coaches when they’re really not, that they’re destroying a great profession.

Unfortunately, most of the coaching programs I see aren’t really coaching programs at all. They’re more like cheerleading programs. And most of the coaches are more cheerleader than a coach. There is no real certification program for coaches although two main groups who claim to do this.

Coaching has become a “dumping ground” for anyone who wants to get paid to give advice. Maybe they want to be attorneys or counselors or psychotherapists, without having to get a license. Maybe they just don’t want to be called consultants. But just because they call themselves coaches, doesn’t make it so. Be sure to ask about the results the coach’s clients are getting the coaching.

Too many of these so-called marketing coaches and their marketing coaching programs consist of a series of sessions where the coach asks the client, “Well, what do you want to accomplish?” The client answers and the coach basically wind up saying, “Well this week, go out there and get it done.”Of course, they ask more than that and say more than that. I mean there are more words, but when you boil it all down, that’s what you get. It is not strategic and a logical path with building blocks to ensure your success.

What is a marketing coach?

A marketing coach is both your best friend and your worst nightmare. Your best friend because he or she tells and shows you exactly what you must do to achieve your goals. Your worst nightmare because, once shown, your coach makes you work, practice, more practice, build skill and actually do!  Just like an athletic coach does.  It is all about winning the game of market share and increasing sales the easiest, most cost-effective way there is…What is the difference between a Marketing Coach and a Consultant? Find out here.

Good coaches don’t make it up as they go along. Good marketing coaches have a program, systems, content, disciplines, exercises, drills. Good marketing coaches make you work, critique your efforts, make you work some more, make you do it over until you do it right.

Good marketing coaches are prescriptive and specific. I am a firm believer in doing it right the first time then you don’t have to continue to work at it.  Not that you get it right the first time.  On the contrary, focus and do it and have it critiqued and re-do until you and your target audience are happy with it then use it, test and revise as necessary.  Then move on to the next task at hand.

Fortunately, there are good marketing coaches – very good ones – out there. I’m one of them. How do you know? Because I guarantee results to the tune of at least 400% of what you pay me or your money back. I have learned that if a vendor will not guarantee results I will not do business with them because there is a high likelihood I will not get the results I want.

In the business world, I would say that is one of the measures of a good marketing coach. Is he or she willing and able to guarantee results?