Sign Up For Weekly Tips & Advice.

Cost Effective Paid Marketing

There comes a period in every business where it is time to invest in marketing. Whether this means a new product is launched or simply that the social media pages need a boost in viewers. Regardless of the reason you are ready to pay for marketing, one thing is for sure, you want to be able to see the return on your investment. Not all paid marketing shows an immediate return. Some methods are slower than others and some methods are more rewarding than others. Before any money is spent there is one thing that should be in absolute order, YOUR MARKETING BUDGET. You need to have a marketing budget written down! The budget does not have to be complicated. Simply list the ways you would like to market, for which products or services will be the focus and what costs you are willing to spend. Only you know how much money you have, to dedicate towards marketing so every budget will be different. These parameters are set up to protect your bottom line expenses and will help you be strategic when choosing which methods to use for a maximum return. A few ways to invest in paid marketing are via Instagram/Facebook ads, Business to business ads, Giveaways, and Lead purchases.

Facebook purchasing Instagram forever changed the way entrepreneurs use the platform. A few years back when Facebook first went live with the ability for businesses to run paid ads, not many people knew how to work the system. Eventually, people caught on and Facebook ads showed big returns for not only increased website views but for actual conversion. Conversion is the rate at which a “viewing” customer becomes a “paying” customer. Facebook later installed “Buy Now” buttons directly on to business pages and upped the ante of paid marketing with the ability to be location specific with ads and include details like age and interests. Once the purchase of Instagram was solidified, IG entered the realm of offering paid ads to entrepreneurs as well. Whether IG or FB has the better conversion rate is an argument that could go on for days, both have proven themselves as worth the money. Whether you choose to run your ads on the social media channel with fewer views to gain more followers or the channel with more followers to gain more purchases you are bound to benefit.

Business to business ads is also one of the newer features of paid marketing. Business to business ads is considered when you pay another business with a larger audience money to market your business. These situations usually occur on social media channels like Instagram, where you can gain hundreds of new followers from a paid ad to another IG user. The great thing about this method of paid marketing is that if you do your research and find IG users with big followings of similar audiences to your ideal clients you stand to gain a lot of business.

Giveaways are seldom considered paid marketing, but if you factor in the costs it takes to purchase the items and ship them to your winners for free then it’s not free to you as an entrepreneur. Giveaways are also some of the best marketing methods because they help you gain followers overnight and show your customers that you appreciate them. These can also be done in partnership with other business owners which benefits both parties.

This last method of lead purchases works best for entrepreneurs that are in real estate, business to business niches and certain freelancers. There are websites like Lime leads, OSP and probate websites that will sell quality leads to entrepreneurs. If you are great at closing sales when put in front of the right person, this method is for you. Leads usually include a person’s name, contact information and their area of interests. With this information, you can contact the person via email, phone or direct mail. Although many people are reluctant to use this method because it seems like you are imposing, but if you choose to do business with an authentic leads company, the leads you receive will be of consumers looking to have their needs serviced with what you do and willing to purchase products like yours.

Paid marketing can bring a big return on investment. When used wisely and within budget, your paid marketing methods can increase your audience and sales. The key is to make a budget, stay with it and be consistent with your methods. Sales do not always happen overnight, but if you put in the work you will see the result!

Free Ways to Market Your Business

As startup entrepreneurs, your main goal is to make money. Owning your own company certainly is not ALL about making money. But in the interest of being able to continue your mission or movement, funds are necessary. A business thrive is measured by the gap in between income and expenses. In the beginning when you are launching products and growing your social media following it can be hard to determine whether you should include marketing in your budget right away. Paid marketing is amazing and can have a big return on investment. But remember, the key is to keep the gap in between your expenses and income. As you grow your expenses can and will increase, but so will your income. This is what justifies being able to hire outside help and delegate other tasks to employees. Lucky for those of you who have minimal startup funds, there are a few options to market your business for free!

Social Media

Social media rules the marketing world. For big companies, this means adjusting and getting to know their customers better to interact with their everyday lives. For startup companies, social media is a chance to grow a following FAST. For small-midsize companies, the social media craze means that launching a product or service can mean instant overnight sales, literally. The best thing about social media is that it’s free! Of course paid ads costs coins, but there’s a host of things you can do on social media to market your business that are completely free. For example, on Twitter, sharing blurbs of helpful information lets your clients know that you are THE go-to expert. These little tweets can be retweeted and reach millions of users that share the same interests as your followers and link back to your page. Every share is free marketing and puts your brand in the eyes of people you may not have encountered otherwise.

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth comes from a combination of great products and customer service. When a consumer has a bad experience, they tell everyone they know AND take to the internet to tell everyone they don’t know. But it works the same way when they have a GREAT experience. Word of mouth is a great marketing tool for companies that have a loyal consumer base. Great products inspire consumers to write great reviews and great reviews sell more products. It’s a winning cycle that you want to be a part of. Customer service also affects word of mouth. Customer service is defined as the entire consumer experience from initial inquiry to after purchase. Your packaging, website, email interaction, social media interaction, shipping etc. is all a part of your customer service. If you take care of your customers, your customers will take care of you.

Networking

Networking events are a chance for shy entrepreneurs to step out of their shell and get their brands into the eyes of the public. Some of these events are free, but not all. Taking on the free events first gives you some time to become familiar with giving your elevator speech. These events are a chance to let people get to know your brand and who you are. The best marketing is face to face conversation, where people can ask as many questions as they want and share an emotional connection to what you do. Blogging also happens to be a free form of marketing. As unusual as this sounds, it doesn’t cost you anything to write and the more information out in the internet sphere about your business the higher you will rank in the google search when customers are surfing the web. There are many beginner sites for blogging that will allow you to start for free. Blogging is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your niche and show your ideal client that you know what you are doing.

Not all marketing has to break the bank. The ways shared above to market on a tight budget are only a few. There are multiple opportunities to get your business noticed and put your products on the map. Good marketing is about creativity. Be sure to think outside of the box and take every chance available to speak about your business no matter where you go.

Creating Marketing Buzz!

iPad showing social media marketing

Anyone can come up with great ideas, but the execution is where the magic happens. Here’s how to get your marketing on point.

Marketing is all about the follow through. To create a buzz around your business you will need to put in some real footwork. Consistency in your marketing strategy can mean the difference in between 10 sales and 100. There are various pieces to creating a marketing strategy and  you can break down these pieces into three phases. The pre-planning phase, in which you’ll include the creation of the actual plan, and budget. The circulating phase, which includes implementation of the plan, analytics, and goal tracking. The last phase of the plan is one most new entrepreneurs forget; the post-campaign.

The pre-planning phase is the preparation. You’ll likely spend most of your time in this phase. In this phase, you will put together a detailed plan. The plan should include what item you are marketing, what methods you want to use to market those items and what your budget will be. Take some time in choosing whether you want to market your business as a whole or only a single product. In marketing, be specific with what you do or your results will be all over the place.

If you make a general statement and say, “I want to market everything” your scope or purpose is too large and you will get a variety of results that may or may not leave you feeling underwhelmed. A better route would be “I want to market my new digital class”. With a statement this specific, you can target the audience you want to market to. When you move through the next two phases of the plan, you can measure your analytics, and review the success of your marketing campaign. If you don’t know what methods to choose when marketing, check out our previous blog posts on free and paid marketing methods.

The circulating phase is the piece the general population sees. When we see ads on television or receive emails from subscriptions, this is the circulating phase. All your interaction with your audience happens here. During the circulation phase, it is very important to stay consistent with your efforts. It’s easy to lose steam during this phase because you are at a point where you have done a mass of work and you just want to hit the “Run ad” button and sit back and watch the results happen. Don’t give in to that temptation! There’s no “sit back” moment here. It’s all GO, GO, GO! The results from your marketing campaigns are a direct reflection of how detailed and targeted you are.

In this phase, keep track of your analytics. Details about page views, bounce rate, and average session duration will help you determine whether your marketing campaign is hitting home with your ideal clients. These are all statistics reported by Google Analytics. There are various tools you can use to measure the activities of consumers consumers on your website. Keep an eye on the goals you set for yourself in the pre-planning phase. You may need to alter your marketing strategies in the midst of running an ad to increase its performance.

The post campaign phase is mostly forgotten. New entrepreneurs run ads and gain sales from them deeming the marketing campaign a success but when you look at things that way, you won’t ever be able to measure any real progress. Success is in the details. After your run,  use a SWOT analysis. SWOT analyses are also great to do after an event or big product launch. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. These can either be separated into a T-chart or simply written on different pieces of paper.

Strengths:

In the strengths, column write down all of the things that went well. Write down your knowledge, competitive advantage over other businesses, and company culture. These are things that make your business what it is and you should keep these attributes consistent from campaign to campaign.

Weaknesses:

In the next column, write down your vulnerabilities, the things you think you need to work on. Make note of the mistakes you made, limited resources you may have experienced and what needs improvement.

Opportunities:

In the opportunities column, write down new technologies or methods you may want to try out for your next campaign. Here is where you may want to do some research and find ways to fix the things you listed in the weaknesses column. This should be filled with new things that you have never tried before. Step outside the box.

Threats:

In the threats column, write down some challenges you may foresee. This is a column that friends and family may be able to help you with. Take note of other competitors in the market, changes in consumer behavior like people looking for new products or moving in a new direction.

A SWOT analysis is a great way to get closure from a campaign. Whether big or small there is always a need to review and renew!

Failures in marketing are inevitable. Not every campaign will be a winner, but you will find your secret formula and every campaign thereafter will go off with a bang. Every business is different and everyone has a different story so marketing campaigns will vary. Even within a business your marketing campaigns will vary in between products. Remember to stay detailed, consistent, target specific, and always, always, always review your campaigns in the post-campaign phase! Reviewing your strengths and weaknesses will make your preceding campaigns stronger.

Mid-Point Check-in! Plan to Succeed. Roll Call!?

We are halfway through the year! Where did the time go? Time flies when you stay on the grind. It is time for our mid-year check-in. Hopefully, things are going well in your business and you have been reading along with us this year. We have talked about deciding what business to start, making your decision a reality, balancing your relationships and work, WordPress, branding and measuring your success. It has been a jam-packed beginning of the year.

Full of content and opportunities for improvement. I don’t know about you, but we need a breakdown and digest of what all we’ve done. We put together a checklist for you to see how things are going in your business. This will help you see what are your strengths and your weaknesses so you can take advantage of tightening things up before you go into 3rd and 4th quarter which tend to be the busiest time of the year for entrepreneurs.

Getting Started: The following items are typically completed during the startup phases, but if you’ve missed something, be sure to get it done.

  Do you have a business plan?  

  What is your niche market?

  Who is your ideal client?

  Passion behind your business?

Health & Wellness: These are not necessarily related to your business success, but you’re important too! Staying healthy is key to being productive.

  Work life balance?

  Are you stressed often?

  How often do you have “me time”?

  Number of hours you work a week?

  Feel overwhelmed? How do you plan to manage this feeling?

WordPress: This is the bread and butter of your business. Do you have the basis for a strong online presence? Let’s see.

  Do you own your custom domain?

  Is your website up and fully functional, including link checks?

  Social media linked to your website?

  Email subscription list setup?

Branding: You know how vital branding is. You’ve read the blog posts. Right?

  Specific set of brand colors?

  Brand colors consistent between your website, social media, and packaging?

  Logo

  Engaging with your potential clients on social media?

  What is your mission statement?

  Your brand story? Is it visible on your website or product labeling?

Self-Audit: Here’s where we get to analytics and see how applying everything we’ve covered this year in blogs have helped your business grow. These methods will also help your business continue to grow in the future.

  Download Google Analytics

  Review your analytics on a consistent basis

  Goals set for 3rd and 4th quarter?

  Goals written down?

  Automated any of your business processes? List them.

  What is your ROI?

  Plans to improve your ROI?

  Looking into collaborating with someone like minded?

This checklist is lengthy but covers the main points of what we have talked about during the 1st and 2nd quarter. Once this checklist is completed, your business should be almost running itself and profitable. If you ask us, it’s been a great first half of the year and we have seen a lot of you grow! We look forward to more stories, higher numbers, and bigger brands.

Setting Goals for 3rd and 4th Quarter

Setting goals are essential to success. If you haven’t read our blog on how to measure growth with analytics, click here now! Now that you have a better understanding of what types of tools you can use to evaluate your website and social media traffic, it is time to set some goals. 1st quarter we all started with big hopes and dreams. Each with a list of New Year’s resolutions in our hands ready to take on the next 365 days.

Around 2nd quarter half of you had fallen off the band wagon if you had even stayed on for that long. Now we are coming to the end of 2nd quarter and it is time to reevaluate once again. 3rd and 4th quarter are just as important as 1st and 2nd if not more. 3rd quarter is when we all catch our second wind and begin to start brainstorming and automating systems to prepare for the hot mess of 4th quarter.

There are almost twice as many holidays in the later part of the year. Holidays mean sales. Sales mean money, but also longer working hours and revision upon revision of sales funnels, website images, product uploads, blogging etc. The list goes on. To make a long story short, if you don’t spend 3rd quarter refining EVERY DETAIL of your business, 4th quarter will be nothing but a nightmare. Here are a few tips for setting goals FOR 3rd quarter AND in the 3rd quarter to get you through the end of the holiday season rolling in dough.

  1.       Analyze previous numbers

You don’t have to go into a goal setting session blindly. Look at your numbers from last year and compare. Most website platforms store analytics as well as certain social media platforms. Collect previous year numbers and even last month’s numbers to compare day by day. Before you set your goals, you need to know what to expect.

  1.       Be realistic and know your limits

When you set, your goals be realistic about how much you can take on. Especially if you are a solopreneur. Only you know how much time you can dedicate towards your business. Whether you are still transitioning from your 9-5 to a full-time entrepreneur or even if your business is strictly a side hustle. Don’t bite off more than you can chew before the food even gets to the table. Know your limits.

  1.       Super stretch goals

This is the one exception to knowing your limits. Although your goals should be realistic, you should also consider a super stretch goal. A super stretch goal is attainable in perfect conditions. In a perfect world, if everything goes right, this is what will be accomplished. Even though there is always something that goes wrong, super stretch goals are obtained through how well you adapt to the circumstances you are given.

  1.       Write it down!

Write your goals down on paper. Not typed! On paper. I stress this point because when things are put into writing they take on a life of their own. Writing your goals down means that you are holding yourself accountable. When you reach your goals it always feels better to have something to look back at as well.

  1.       Automate, automate, automate

This is a goal you need to set for yourself in the 3rd quarter. Before the holidays come you need to have as much of your business automated as possible. Your sales funnels need to be in place. The website should have a frequently asked questions page. Having a website that almost completely runs itself should be a priority goal for you BEFORE it’s too late and you’re responding to 30+ emails a day if not more.

Be a goal setter! Entrepreneurs that set goals have an immensely higher chance of succeeding than those that are just running their operations day by day. Setting goals means that you are taking control of your business and holding yourself accountable for growth and positive vibes.

Boosting Your Return on Investment

Don’t you just love those words? RETURN ON INVESTMENT. It’s a sign that the money you have put into your business is miraculously coming back to your pockets AND then some. It’s a beautiful thing indeed. One thing needs to be clear though, this doesn’t happen magically on its own the way it sounded in the beginning of this blog post. Return on investment comes from research that laid the groundwork for detail oriented projects. Excellent execution and constant adjustment are all ingredients of a good return on investment. Here are a few things you need to know about return on investment and how to boost yours as you go into the last two-quarters of the year.

(more…)

How to Measure Growth

Success must be measurable. As entrepreneurs, we are all seeking some feeling of success. Your definition may be different from that of someone else. Nevertheless, you’re chasing this undefined feeling of gratification. Success in business is meant to be measurable. When you take on a new project, release a product, or launch a website you should have goals and milestones to measure your success.

(more…)

Announcing My New Book

 

I still can’t believe it but yes I can officially say I wrote a book!!

As I mentioned the other day on Instagram, I never thought that at this stage in the game I would have written a book (myself)

Some people consider themselves writers but I don’t … it’s something I’ve always struggled with something I prefer not to do.

(more…)

Shameless!

Marketing can be scary. Not only have you started a new business or launched a new product, now you must sell it. The phrase “It sells itself!” is not necessarily true. Even brands with great products that you feel you “HAVE TO HAVE” put in a lot of time and work in their marketing. Marketing is how the product got to you in the first place! Once you have created something amazing with your target audience in mind, you then take on the task of determining how to present your creation. Success is when opportunity meets preparation. Most people will prepare themselves and wait for the opportunity. Marketing is when you prepare yourselves and CREATE the opportunity. Mindset is everything in business. A positive thinker will eventually prevail, even above the initial failures of starting a business. There are 3 components to a marketing mindset. Once you master these 3 components, you will be able to overcome any anxiety you have about selling to your ideal clients and positioning your brand for success.

(more…)

Bomb.com Pre-Launch Checklist for Your WordPress Site!

The launch is exciting! You’ve come a long way. Before you go live take some time to double check to make sure you have everything covered. Building a website on WordPress entails detail. Your branding is vital and every page should follow a consistent flow. Everything from color to use of logo needs to be checked and checked again. Even if you don’t have a lot of viewers on your WordPress initially your statistics will rise organically if your website has a great user interface. Keep your energy high and create a marketing campaign around your launch, this way your launch won’t be a flop. For ways to market your launch look at our blog series on marketing. There are both paid and free ways you can create hype around your site before it goes live on WordPress. Whether you are doing a launch or pre-launch, this checklist will ensure that your website is ready for consumers:

(more…)

1 2 3 6

Quitting your job is easier than you think.

Download this free guide to quitting your 9-5 and finally becoming your own boss.

Click here to download