Small Business Archives - Page 2 of 13

Is Everything You Thought You Knew About Marketing and Advertising Wrong? (Part I)

At Contactually, we have business owners come to us all the time needing help to grow their business, get more leads and convert those leads to customers.  It’s really what Contactually is all about. As such, I wanted invite Jason Economides, CEO of ECO Business Academy and one of our esteemed partners for some marketing best practices and tips that any business owner could use immediately.  We interviewed Jason recently, and he gave us some really great answers to some pretty pressing marketing questions. Read on to learn more! Contactually:  Hi Jason! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me today. We really value your input and know from all of the sold-out webinars we have done with you, that businesses can really benefit from your knowledge and expertise.  I know how valuable your time is, so let’s dive head first into the interview. So, first off, what do you think are the most important resources (e.g. collateral, tag lines, etc.) for a business to have when first getting started? Jason Economides:  Well, frankly – and this always sounds like a sales pitch, but it really isn’t, the first key resource businesses need to get is professional help. Contactually:  You obviously don’t mean a psychotherapist…. Jason Economides:  No!  And I also don’t mean SEO or ‘link generation’ service providers, but actually getting professional advisors who have helped businesses set up.  This is something we talked about in the last webinar I did with you earlier this year, which you can access by clicking here . Think about it this way. If you woke up one morning and decided you wanted to sail around the world, solo, in a dinghy…..What’s the...
Why It Feels Like All You Ever Do is Answer Email

Why It Feels Like All You Ever Do is Answer Email

The modern currency of productivity Email is a very sensitive subject for a lot of people. In a lot of offices, it’s become a sort of work currency, where a person with a lot of emails in their inbox is a person who is faced with a lot of work. When someone says they’ve gotten to inbox zero, the assumption is that this is a pretty huge accomplishment, involving a lot of work. I’ve had many intelligent, hard-working colleagues at other companies who never seemed to MAKE anything; as far as I knew, they spent all day answering emails. Until a few years ago, I always felt a little sheepish about this, because by comparison, I didn’t really get that much email. In fact, if you emailed me at any point from 2004 to, say, 2010, you probably got an answer in about half an hour, provided that I had an answer to give. I even developed then-harmless habits that are now a huge problem, like writing friendly (but ultimately useless) replies stating “I’ll look into it”, or reading every email I get as it comes in. In the peak of my non-email-getting career, my wife was getting twenty emails for every one I received. Email didn’t cause me stress. It was a break from my actual work! And while I always felt a little guilty about the whole thing — especially given how much everyone complained about their hundreds of unread emails — I really shouldn’t have. Why it feels like all you ever do is answer email and why some people have so much email Today, I...
Lead Generation Webinars – Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices (part 2)

Lead Generation Webinars – Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices (part 2)

(Editor’s note — Brian took some time to lay out some best practices for aspiring webinar hosts looking to generate leads. In the first part of this two-part series, we looked at the pre-broadcast tips. This time, in Part 2, we’ll tackle the during and post-broadcast parts of the process.) More simple tips for getting better ROI from your webinars. At this point, you’re ready to roll. You’ve got a good plan, a terrific partner, and you’re well-practiced. It’s showtime — but how do make sure it goes well, and what do you do after the last participant signs off? Let’s keep going from where we left off. Lead Generating Webinars Continued: 5. For game day, situate yourself somewhere quiet and comfortable Wherever you choose to present your webinar, make sure that it’s somewhere that’s quiet and comfortable, and most importantly, that has a fast and reliable internet connection. Make sure your laptop charger is on hand as well. I often choose to give my webinars from the comforts of my home office (major props to the Contactually team for giving me the flexibility to do this), where I know I won’t be disrupted by any inquisitive colleagues or vocal office dogs. This helps to keep me focused on the task at hand, and gives me peace of mind knowing that I won’t subject my audience to these external factors as well. Pro tip: I always have a glass of water on hand when I give my webinars. Talking for several minutes at a time without much of a break results in a dry throat and mouth, and nobody likes hearing someone coughing...
What is the point of using Google Analytics?

What is the point of using Google Analytics?

If you’re not using Google Analytics you’re doing it wrong. So you’ve read about how using Google Analytics incorrectly can hurt  you and you’ve learned how to optimize your Google Analytics ; but now you’re stuck wondering what the point is. You have more data than you ever imagined you needed and now? Well, now you just have a pile of data. As complicated as it may seem, incorporating Google Analytics into your website is the easy part. The hard part is synthesizing that data in a way that helps you to better understand how visitors are using your site and how to use that information to create stronger campaigns and more content that is relevant to your visitors. Google Analytics can help you do just that. There are a ton of reasons to use Google Analytics. Here are three big ones: At a very basic level, Google Analytics tells you if anyone is visiting your website and how many of those visitors are new to the site. Before you can really synthesize the data to improve your site’s visitor experience(maybe more explanatory here, like “before you can improve your site’s visitor experience”) you need to figure out if anyone is even coming to your website. And if they are coming to your website, are they staying and returning later for more information? If all of your visitors each month are unique (new) visitors, then your previous visitors aren’t returning. If all of your visitors each month are return visitors, then you probably aren’t catching enough unique visitors to help drive sales. Don’t miss a post like this… subscribe! If...
Here’s How Using Google Analytics Incorrectly Can Hurt

Here’s How Using Google Analytics Incorrectly Can Hurt

“Daddy, where does bad data come from?” I’ve written before about how much trouble businesses can get in when they use data badly. You know X, you think X means Y, you do Y, and before you know it you’re getting phone calls screaming about how you carelessly allowed Z to happen. This is a problem, but it’s not the one most small businesses face. Instead, they’re dealing with the two most common data scenarios : 1) they have no data at all 2) they have bad or inaccurate data It’s hard to say which is worse (they’re both bad), but I’m going to go with “bad data” on this one. Why? Well, when you have no data, at least you know what you don’t know. When you have bad data, you’re not only wrong, but you think you’re right — after all, you have “data” to prove your point! It’s gotten really easy to get SOME kind of quantitative feedback from things you do every day, like email, advertise, or post on social media. I got an email from Facebook the other day; something one of the guys in my band posted was “performing 85% better than all other posts on the page!”, as Facebook breathlessly told me. Talk about a useless, context-free nugget of nothingness. Good thing I don’t have anything more important than my musical career riding on it. If you want something done right… Anyways, while Twitter and Facebook will happily report numbers like this, one of the best ways to get less biased information is to set up your own analytics system for things as important as...
How to Make a Video for Your Business That Doesn’t Suck

How to Make a Video for Your Business That Doesn’t Suck

Some advice from someone who has paid their rent with video work. The number one thing I do to help out friends with small businesses is basic video work. Why? Well, first of all, video is everywhere, and a surprising number of people — a.k.a. “potential customers” — simply aren’t willing to read very much these days. In the vast majority of cases, you don’t necessarily need a video, but from a marketing perspective, not having one puts you at an immediate disadvantage. Don’t believe me? Send people to your video-less site, and wait for someone to say “where’s the video?”, or “is there a video?” You won’t have to wait very long. Second, video is a fantastic positive asset for anybody in a service industry, or space where credibility matters. A good video immediately separates you from the messy, untrustworthy world of vague websites and stock photos, and makes you “real” in the eyes of the audience. Moving imagery breaks up a big, unpleasant wall of text, and is a much easier way to convey certain kinds of information, like how things work. So yes, everybody wants a video. Why do they need me to help, though? Video is hard. High quality, well-executed videos stand out because they’re inherently compelling, but also because there are so few of them; this is because making one is really hard. I think of it this way — some things are hard because they require money, some are hard because they require technical skills, and some are hard because they require taste. Video is all of these things, although we’re making progress...