Monday, September 29, 2014

5 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Your Business Writing

Outsourcing used to be a bad world in the world of business, but not anymore.  If you opt not to outsource, you’re losing money and your business growth may come to a standstill.  More businesses than ever are looking for ways to make it possible to save money by outsourcing the tasks that make sense.
One area where this is especially true is in business writing. By outsourcing this writing, you loosen up the reins and delegate those tasks to professionals. 

Here are five reasons you should outsource your business writing:   

Outsourcing produces greater results.
A common misconception is that outsourcing results in inferior quality.  That’s just not true.  If you outsource to a high-quality individual or business, you’ll get the same result – high-quality and well-written work. 

Outsourcing promotes expansion.
Outsourcing also allows you to expand your services.  If you can give your customers more, you can retain more customers.  Let professionals help you in your business writing while you tackle the areas of your expertise.

Outsourcing leads to greater revenue.
Once you expand your services, you can make more money.  Plus, you make money when your outsourced employees are hard at work – work you don’t have to perform yourself.  You can have teams working on multiple projects simultaneously which means more work accomplished without the overhead traditions employees incur. 

Outsourcing allows you to focus on growing your business.
When you outsource your business writing, it leaves you to attend to other functions such as growing your business.  It frees up time so you can network and make connections that lead to better opportunities for your business.  Sometimes it’s hard to delegate tasks when you feel like you should be doing it all.  But it’s a good idea to step back, relinquish control and trust in a professional to do your writing so you can concentrate on generating income.

Outsourcing empowers you to enjoy your business lifestyle.
Many people go into business to get the life they want:  a large salary, freedom to take vacations and more time with their family.  But soon they realize that operating a business is very demanding and they don’t have time. Outsource your business writing.  It provides you with more time to enjoy your family and take vacations.

Outsourcing can build your business and increase your revenue.  At the same time, it frees up time so you can build your business and take a vacation.  While many owners take pride in having the business on their shoulders, realize that outsourcing your business writer is a smart investment you can make that will result in long-term business success.

How has outsourcing helped your business? 

Photo via backstreetmedia.com 

Lori is a work-at-home mom living in Noblesville, a suburb of Indianapolis.  She is mom to two young children and enjoys spending time watching them grow.  Lori enjoys shopping, spending time with her husband and kids, reading, and traveling. Feel free to leave her a comment.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Are Social Media Accounts Helpful to my Business – or a Waste of Time?

As you look at your business to-do list, you may wonder if your social media efforts are really worth it, or if they’re just a waste of your valuable time. With 91 percent of online adults using social media regularly, why wouldn’t social media accounts be beneficial? I’m here to tell you that social media accounts are beneficial for businesses of any size, especially if you make it a priority to keep them active.  Focus on the big dogs of the social media network like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.   Let’s take a look at how these social marketing powerhouses are helpful when it comes to you and your business.

If you’re hoping to create a community surrounding your brand, set up shop on Facebook. It’s a good place to seek out customer feedback and improve customer service.  Plus, Facebook business pages are a great place for reciprocal communication.  Just remember that your business page needs to be monitored and
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updated regularly.

With over a billion monthly users, it’s the biggest social media network worldwide, so the chances are your target audience is out there just waiting for you to do something that sparks their interest.  Keep in mind the key to Facebook success is to make your followers feel involved.

Twitter has a fast-paced newsfeed that allows people to get real-time updates from the businesses they follow. It’s also a marvelous way for business owners to stay up-to-date on industry trends.

Twitter’s 140 character limitations per message make it a great source for sharing brief information, although it doesn’t do the job of building a close-knit community quite like Facebook.  Prioritize your time on Twitter and make your responses to questions or comments the first thing you address.  Stay consistently active, whether you’re sharing a blog post or a sale, in order to keep the attention of your followers.

A great place to find employees and show off your expertise in the industry, LinkedIn is an account worth maintaining.  The pros of this social media account include a page that takes minimal monitoring and the lack of urgency when it comes to posting.

Use LinkedIn to showcase your business and its products and services. Your business page has a section where you can post business updates. LinkedIn is also a prime place to attract employees, make business connections or prove the legitimacy of your company.

Social media platforms all require monitoring and time to keep your customers and viewers happy.  However, the time spent is well worth it.  Social media accounts are a fun and rewarding endeavor that allow business owners to share their passion with people who are seeking the products or services they offer. 

Lori is a work-at-home mom living in Noblesville, a suburb of Indianapolis.  She is mom to two young children and enjoys spending time watching them grow.  Lori enjoys shopping, spending time with her husband and kids, reading, and traveling. Feel free to leave her a comment.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Local Partnerships: Spread the Word about Your Business

Today’s environment is competitive.  That means you need to have ongoing efforts to keep your customers attention and increase your revenue.  The good news is that businesses can help one another in these efforts. Local partnerships are a low cost way to offer customers more value and grow your sales at the same time.  Combine forces to cross-promote your businesses.   Here are some ideas you and another local business can promote one another:

Take a moment to like one other on Facebook.
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Go ahead and ‘Like’ your local partners on Facebook and invite your friends to do the same.  Take a moment and post something relevant to your partners company, and tag the business name so your friends notice your referral.  This is an easy and excellent way to build a business’ Facebook community.

Create a contest. 
Contests are important as you build your community and should remain key as you cross-promote.  An idea to try:  Both you and the partnering business can post the information about a contest of your choice on your fan page.  Encourage your fans to visit the other business’ website, select their favorite product that’s offered and post the reason he or she selected that particular product.  Give a gift card for the most creative response.

Sponsor a local event.
Have an upcoming event in your town?  You and your local business partner can use this opportunity to market your businesses.  Decide which organization you’re passionate about.   Sponsor the event so your business names are featured on all literature leading up to the event, on materials handed out the day of the event and on the t-shirts participants receive upon registration.

Refer one another.
Think along the lines of a general contractor and a landscaper.  These businesses share a target audience, so this is an easy example.  The general contractor refers the landscaper and vice versa.  Both businesses can run specials together to allow for simple up-sell.   People value their time, so your customers will love the referral so they don’t have to ask their friends who to use, then call a bunch of businesses for quotes.  Referrals are a great way to share advertising and gain access to new customers.

There are endless partnerships local businesses can forge with one another. It’s all about creativity and figuring out what you hope to accomplish.  It’s really a brilliant concept- create additional value for customers without the hefty costs attached to typical marketing strategies.  It’s win for everyone involved.

Are you currently running a cross promotion strategy?  How is it working for your business?

Lori is a work-at-home mom living in Noblesville, a suburb of Indianapolis.  She is mom to two young children and enjoys spending time watching them grow.  Lori enjoys shopping, spending time with her husband and kids, reading, and traveling. Feel free to leave her a comment.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Four Components to a Great Blog Post

According to Hubspot, websites with a blog get nearly 55 percent more viewers than websites that don’t.  But if your blog is lacking, it can be a big waste of your time.  So what is a great blog post?  It’s one that keeps people interested in your content. It encourages, informs, educates and entertains your reader.  Consider these tips to make your posts more attractive, generate more visitors and get more shares.

Select a strong title.
Think along the lines of relevant and descriptive when you choose your title.  It’s considered the most important part of any post.  Think of the most common words and phrases that people use when they may refer to your product or service and use those keywords in your title.  While cute titles are interesting, you may lose your readers if they have to think of what the post may be about.  Focus on a title that’s clear and interesting to invite readers to check out your post. 
Photo resource: www.aimzo.com

Add images or videos. 
Relevant multimedia content can turn a blog article into a memorable and fun article to read.  It breaks up text, making it more visually appealing to readers at the same time.  Remember to always link back and give credit to the originator when applicable.  A little eye candy on your blog goes a long way.

Write high quality content.
Have your customers in mind to make writing quality content a simpler task. What exactly is quality content?  High quality content is information that helps your audience, gives information or advice and provides a few laughs.  Write your blog posts in a manner that addresses the kind of customers you like to serve.  This will separate you from boring stuff people find on the Web and allow you to build a community of followers who look at you and your blog as their go-to spot.

Don’t forget blog links.
Links are an essential component to a blog for a lot of reasons.  They add value to your blog by pointing readers in the direction of useful information and enhance your blog.  As you link, don’t forget to double check and make sure they work before making your blog go live.

Anyone who writes a blog likely has the goal to make it one that readers follow, bookmark for later and share with their friends.  The right mix of components can make your blog powerful.  Utilize these tips to make your blog one that readers flock to for advice and tips, and the first blog your readers recommend to their friends.


Lori is a work-at-home mom living in Noblesville, a suburb of Indianapolis.  She is mom totwo young children and enjoys spending time watching them grow.  Lori enjoys shopping, spending time with her husband and kids, reading, and traveling. Feel free to leave her a comment.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Does My Local Business Really Need a Website?

Think back to the last time you used a phone book.  Yes, they’re still in existence, and on occasion they’re convenient if you know just what you need.  But the simplicity of finding a business on the Internet with the use of search engines means that less people use phone books when they search for products and services.  So many businesses yet to have a good website, or have no website at all.  This is a big mistake you can fix.  Prospective customers are always searching the Internet for products and services.  Here are some small business website myths unveiled:

I don’t have adequate staff to maintain the website.
This concern is legitimate since a website with old content and out of date information is a poor reflection on your company.  The good news is that it’s actually really easy to update your website.  Many Content Management Systems make this task simple so don’t worry about adequate staffing.

It costs too much to create a website.
Not in every case.  There are lots of websites that can be created for a reasonable price that in turn drive new customers to your business.  It is true that the more pages your website has, the larger the investment is.  But it’s an investment that can help lead your business to success on a much
Photo Resource: cheapwordpresswebsites.com
larger scale.

I can get away with using a free, simple website.
A website that’s like a brochure – one that contains a Home page, About Us, hours and a contact us page isn’t quite enough.  It’s pretty boring and not the least bit engaging.  The web is an interactive visual medium that provides small business owners the chance to really interact with its customers.  Use sound and create a website that will do your business some good.

SEO stuff is confusing.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and yes it can be confusing if you’re not familiar with it.  However, all that it refers to is the use of words and phrases on your website that your customers would likely use when they search for products and services in a search engine.  They search for products that you offer, and because you wrote your website with those key phrases, the web will lead them to your website.  It’s that simple!  Start by creating a list of possible phrases or have an analysis of what people are searching so you know the keywords you should focus on as you create your website.  Optimized keywords will raise your website to a higher ranking on Google and Yahoo too.

As a small business, you need to take advantage of the benefits of a website.  A website provides a perfect opportunity to be there when prospective customers are searching for a product or service that you offer.  A website is a way to drive customers to your business, earning additional revenue and creating more loyal customers at the same time.

Lori is a work-at-home mom living in Noblesville, a suburb of Indianapolis.  She is mom totwo young children and enjoys spending time watching them grow.  Lori enjoys shopping, spending time with her husband and kids, reading, and traveling. Feel free to leave her a comment.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

How Blogging Benefits Your Business

Not sure if you should bother blogging?  Consider it again.  The use of blogs is spreading like wildfire as small business owners realize the power of a blog and what it can do for their business.  Essentially, blogging has turned into a marketing tool that strengthens a business’ brand in a big way.  Here is what blogging can do for you:

Establish your business.
If you want to let your customers know all about your business, and what products and services you offer,
Photo Resource: paranormalpointofview.blogspot.com
get blogging.  Blogs are the perfect way to establish your business and show your current and prospective customers that you’re an expert in your field.  Not to mention, blogging allows you to reach thousands upon thousands of people.

Increase traffic to business sites.
Blogs are an affordable and key platform that attracts new customers to your business website.  When people type keywords into a search engine, a long list of blogs will show up as a result.  However, if they type in the very words your blog used, the person will learn about your business.

Create a network of followers.
If you regularly post relevant and accurate information on your business blog, you’ll likely wind up with a large number of followers.  These followers will become customers and use your business to fulfill their needs.  Followers also churn out more followers through positive word of month that can lead to increase business opportunities and revenue for your business.

Provide Customer Support
If you seem to have the same question come up time and again, go ahead and blog about it.  Blogs are a great resource for customers as a form of additional customer support.  Write out the solutions of common problems so customers can get the answers they need directly from your blog.

Share more with your customers.
Often times, there is more to tell your customers than what is on your website.  Your blog is a great place to elaborate on specific subjects for your customers.   Instead of overloading your customers with an abundance of information on your website, use your blog to speak to clients and tell them all the extra’s.

Promote your business events.
Use your blog as a way to directly promote your upcoming events and sales.  Blogs are the perfect marketing tool for your business and serve as an avenue to inform your customers of news such as changes in your company or new products and service your business is offering.

Blogging is an affordable and simple way to benefit your business.  Just remember that building a successful blog takes persistence and patience, and that the hard work you put into your blog will pay off.

Lori is a work-at-home mom living in Noblesville, a suburb of Indianapolis.  She is mom totwo young children and enjoys spending time watching them grow.  Lori enjoys shopping, spending time with her husband and kids, reading, and traveling. Feel free to leave her a comment.
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Marketing Ideas that Help Boost Your Profit

There’s more to marketing than just sending out a few mailers.  To best advertise your business, it’s essential you think outside of the box, come up with brilliant ideas and execute them.  These six ideas can help boost your profit and make your business one that people love.

Make it Simple for Buyers
Think of ways to make the gift-giving choice easy for customers. Offer additional suggestions by price and use social media to highlight inventory that appeals to your target audience.  Offer complimentary gift-wrapping (and promote it).  This is a huge time saver and convenience your customers will love.  Online stores can offer free shipping if a customers spends a specified dollar amount as an additional promotion.

Generate a Buzz
Create excitement around your business.  Use Facebook or other social media avenues to hold
Photo via www.runapptivo.apptivo.com
contests.  For instance, if it’s near a holiday such as Christmas, ask your fans to submit their funniest pictures of the family from a Christmas past.  By getting people involved and engaging your fans, your business will become one that people enjoy doing business with.

Target the right audience.
Think about what services and products you offer.  Who is your target audience? For instance, if you run a business for families, offer something simple like a free cookie or beverage for children when they visit your store.  Learn from the well-loved restaurant Chick Fil.  This tasty fast food restaurant now offers a cool service known as mom valet where moms can go though the drive through, order and pay for their meals.  Then mom’s can park their car and go into the restaurant where the staff at Chick Fil a have the food ready at table for the family.  Talk about customer service!

Offer discounts for those who serve our country.
People who have served, or are currently serving in the military deserve to be recognized.  And they should be. Think of a way to honor those people who are fighting for our freedom.  Honor them in the form of a discounted service or product, and include this in your marketing and promotions.

Get good press.
This one may seem like it’s out of your control. But it’s not!  There are steps you can take that make sure media notices your business.  A simple way is to help the community.  Volunteer at a local shelter or raise money or food for the local food bank.  Share pictures of your staff in action or the containers of food and non-perishable items you’re taking to those in need.

Promote your business through email.  Instead of direct mail marketing, try email marketing.  It’s more efficient, saves time, reduces marketing-related expenses and is better for the Earth. Not to mention, it’s more likely to convert to a sale.

Marketing your business can be a challenge.  Coming up with innovative ideas to spread the word of your company isn’t always easy.   Think about what makes you loyal to a business.  Make purchasing from you simple and convenient, and people will flock to your business time and again.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

What is Page Rank – And How Do I Improve Mine?

Every business that has a website has a goal: for it to rank high in the search engines like Google and Yahoo.  When people go to the search engines in hopes of a product or service you offer, you want them to find your business.  A higher rank results in increased visitors, typically leading to more sales.  Now that you know what page rank is, let’s talk about how to improve it.

Photo via seomarketingprogram.com
Select the right key phrase.
Your key phrase is a critical part of getting page rank.  If your phrase isn’t competitive, that makes things a little easier.  Make sure your key phrase is in the title and in the body of your page. 

If you phrase is competitive, then you’ll need to make your site worthy of a high ranking.  Think: when you search on Google, the best sites usually rank at the top, right?  Google wants it that way, because of the Google search engine wizards refer bad sites, people will turn to Bing or Yahoo instead of Google.

Earn your high ranking.
When it comes to a high ranking for your business, it’s not about tricks.  The search engines never stop tweaking their formula, so tricks won’t do it.  Make your site worthy of a good ranking.  Attributes that make a website high quality (according to a search engine) include a page that’s relevant to the term being searched for, has an authoritative voice, share useful content, is well-established, is quick to load and has links that work.

Build a quality site. 
Figure out which sites are beating you.  Is you site better than them?  If so, you’ll likely eventually surpass them in ranking, just be patient.  If your site isn’t quite as good, make the necessary improvements and higher rankings will follow.

Seek expert help.
Seeking profession help is going to be very beneficial when it comes to making your page rank escalate.  Professionals are called SEO’s, or search engines optimizers, specialize in improving your page.  These experts know just how to help you determine which keywords you should target to get other sites to link to yours.  To help your page see more traffic and earn more sales, expert help is the way to go.

As customers peruse the search engines, it’s crucial your business ranks high on the list.  Concentrate on writing content that’s compelling and original to attract links naturally.  Focus on your own judgment of quality, and add value for Internet users and you’ll see your site steadily rise up the search engine results page.

Is your website search engine friendly?
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Five Reasons Your Company Needs a Blog

Blogging has become a household word, continuing to grow in popularity and likely extremely beneficial to your company. Even if it doesn’t seem like having a blog is necessary or even appropriate for your website, you may be happily surprised with the results. With some writing skills and the knowledge of what your company offers consumers, you could create daily, weekly or even monthly blog posts. And if writing isn’t your forte, you can hire someone to do it for you. What are some top reasons a blog is important to the success of your website?
1.   Provide Company Information and Updates: Blogging relevant industry or business information is helpful to your customers. And this benefit can be two-fold; not only are you keeping your public informed, but they will also reach out to you when in need of products or services. Customers will appreciate learning more about your company and establishing you as a good resource for their needs.
2.   Boost Results of Internet Searches: SEO- we have all heard it, but what does it mean? Search Engine Optimization is defined as the “process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid search results” and is invaluable to finding success with your company website. Blog posts can feature key words and topics that will help people find you. By maintaining a blog your name will continue to rise in the ranks when someone does a relatable internet search.
3.   Provide Hard Tracking Number Data: Blogs offer analytics that help you to see how many people are tuning in and checking out the content you are sharing on your site. This can give you a real picture of when your posts are having the most impact and also help you see if you are reaching your target audience. The data is very specific and will help you tailor your blogging for maximum impact.
4.   Maximize Your Marketing Dollars: Blogging is a relatively easy and affordable way to drive potential customers and business to your company web page. Linking key words and adding other appropriate web addresses will bring views to your site. And having archived posts means that you could see ongoing returns; an older blog entry can be accessed for years to come without needing to make any modifications.
5.   Utilize Public Relations Opportunities: Getting your company name out to the public is a top priority when building towards success. As a business blogger you will be viewed as an industry leader to many and you may be contacted for interviews. Public relations opportunities like this would help bring recognition and potential financial gains to your business.
In the end, blogging can be a fun experience, not to mention a great way to stay informed with current events and remain an expert for your product or service. How would a blog impact your business?

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Four Sizzling Summer Marketing Ideas

Summer is here so get outside and enjoy the weather.  Sunshiny days, blue skies and green grass boost your customer’s moods and they spend additional time outside of their air-conditioned homes.  That makes these warm months a great time to get outdoors and market in fun and creative ways.  We have some sizzling ideas to heat up your summer marketing campaign.

Participate in a community event.  The hot months in many towns accompany street fairs and carnivals, outdoor movie nights, concerts in the park and more.  Your chamber of commerce or city’s parks and recreation department can tell you about the events scheduled for these upcoming months.  Think about which events have potential and plan to host a booth and hand out samples of your product or show off your service.  Use a fishbowl to gather business cards.  Another way you can get your business name out there is to donate products to the event or sponsor an event.  In exchange, ask to have your business name on the marketing pieces related to the event such as programs or flyers.

Host an event for your customers.
Host a party, barbecue or even a wine tasting evening for your clients and prospects.  This is the perfect way to thank your customers, find out in more detail their needs and wants, and encourage more business.   If you own a restaurant or retail store, have a summer-themed event for loyal customers like an after-hours exclusive shopping night, or a specialty five-course dinner at a discounted price.

Fly a flag!
With the 4th of July around the corner, this is a great idea.  American flags become a landmark because they’re so noticeable.  If you have a flagpole, that’s great.  If not, think about having a flag bracket installed on the side of your building.  Don’t have a brick-and-mortar location? You can give away miniature American flags as you attend summer networking events instead.

Sponsor a giveaway.
Krispy Kreme Donuts took advantage of National Donut Day on June 3rd giving away a free donut to everyone that walked through their doors.  This gave the popular franchise the change to introduce itself to new customers and also scored some publicity countrywide.  While it isn’t feasible for you to give away something free to every American, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of this tactic.  Giveaways are an incentive for customers to do something for you.  Sign up for an email newsletter, like you on Facebook or something similar.  Wile everyone who gets a freebie or discount won’t become a customer, you will get a lot of attention.  That’s exactly what you want, right?

What creative ways are you marketing your business this summer?

Photo Resource: www.printcopyfactory.com
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Thursday, June 5, 2014

3 Easy Ways to Boost Your Online Credibility

If you have a small local business, or one that is more global, it is typically a good idea to have a shop online that offers your services and products available for sale.  So many people today actually prefer to shop online, even if they have a local store just down the road.  Wondering how to make sure those who visit your website trust you?  Use these three tactics and watch your prospective customers turn into regular customers.

Demonstrate security
Despite the ever-growing prevalence of shopping on the Internet, there’s still a risk for scams.  It is

important that your online site demonstrates how secure you keep information and how trustworthy you are to entice shoppers to choose your store over online competitors.

To show your customers that your business is one that is trustworthy, you can show the measures you can to protect their personal information.  When you have a secure page, your customers will see a lock icon in the browser.  Customers will also see that your web page URL has a ‘S’ at the end.  There are a number of ways to secure your website.

List all prices clearly
Another step to increase trust among your customers is to clearly share your prices, the costs associated with shipping.  Customers are much more likely to make a purchase if the shipping prices are shared clearly on your website.  Other information that builds credibility includes the details of your shipping and policies related to refunds and exchanges.  People aren’t going to move forward with their purchases if you leave them with too many unknown details about your prices.

Feedback from your customers
Don’t you want to hear what people say about a business and it’s products and services before you make a purchase?  Prospective customers want to hear from people who have had experience with your business.  They want to know what people thought of their products and services, and hear if people were pleased with their purchase.  Share your feedback, reviews and testimonials clearly on your website to allow your current and prospective customers to see and read.  This will encourage purchases from those who stop by to visit your website and help them feel like they can trust you.  While some negative and malicious reviews are better left unshared, a few that may be less than idea are okay to share.  Just make sure you show how you fixed the issues with your customer to ensure their satisfaction.

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from building their credibility and reputation online.  Make sure to always have a website that shows your honesty and willingness to ensure your customers are satisfied.  These three tips are a great check list to use as you make sure your website is one that will make prospective customers trust and believe in your business.

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