Investing in the Future of Your Website

Your website is much like any other investment you could make. You have to put money into it in order to get something out of it. Whether it’s the cost of web hosting, the cost of hiring a designer or even how much you’ll need to pay for advertising, money will always be involved. However, that also means that you’re expecting some kind of return on your investment.

 

If you want to create a profitable website, then you have to invest money in order for it to become popular enough to generate revenue. To do this, you need to invest in the correct people and services in order to get your business started.

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Advertising

 

Whether it’s paying Twitter to handle your social media advertisements or going for a pay per click agency, there’s several different types of online advertisement that will help you give your website a lot of exposure. For starters, let’s talk about pay-per-click. Essentially, you give a website such as Google a budget and for placing your website at the top of their search results. Each time someone clicks your websites through those links, Google charges you for that click. It’s a traditional form of online advertisement, but it’s still widely used due to its cost-effectiveness and low upkeep. The other method is targeted advertising and is generally more expensive, but you’re more likely to get returning visitors because your website is only advertised to people who have an interest in your content.

 

Writers

 

Unless you’re a talented writer with a lot to say, you’re most likely going to have to hire a freelancer writer or two in order to fill your website with content. You can do this by contacting writers directly, but the alternate option is to contact an outsourcing service that has a lot of in-house writers. You simply give them your ideas, your criteria, and then you’re delivered an article to your exact specifications without any fuss. You can then post these on your website to fill it with original and informative content that will bring more attention to your website.

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Designers

 

In all honesty, the content of a website matters way more than the actual design, making design a much lower priority. However, that doesn’t mean you can get away with making your website look terrible or defaulting to a stock template. You need to hire designers if you want to get an original website that looks great, is responsive and ticks all of the boxes of a great website. This can get expensive so it’s recommended you have this to last when investing in a new website.

 

Time
Lastly, the biggest investment of all is probably your time. Whether it’s time juggling emails with freelancers or time spent managing your website and adding your own content, you’re going to be spending a considerable chunk of each day growing your website in order to make it profitable in the future. If you had all the time in the world you could probably create a fantastic website from scratch. Sadly, the world doesn’t work that way and you’ll have to make do with hiring freelancers and spending your own precious time.

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Direct Mail: Successful Campaign Ideas

All too often, organizations focus on marketing their brands online. Sure, most people have an Internet connection and browse the Web on a regular basis. Still, that doesn’t mean that offline marketing is dead and buried! In fact, the truth is far from it! Direct mail campaigns are one of the oldest and most efficient ways to reach a target audience.

 

You have the power to capture your customer’s attention and sell them your products and services. But, that can only happen if your campaigns are successful! So, how can you ensure that you aren’t wasting time and money with the wrong direct mail marketing strategies? Here are some ideas to help you improve your return on investment and grow your business:

 

Instill a sense of urgency

 

When people receive mail that they assume is “junk mail” they will just throw it away in the trash or recycle it. But, what if you could make them open your envelope and do it sooner rather than later? One industry trick is to write something like “urgent” or “private and confidential” on the envelope.

Source: Pixabay

 

People will usually open such envelopes with a higher priority than the other mail they’ve received that day. It’s also a good tactic for campaigns where you’re only running a promotion for a limited amount of time.

Make sure your data is clean

 

Don’t you just hate it when someone writes to you, but they’ve misspelled your name? It doesn’t matter whether you have an in-house mailing list or you’ve bought one from another company. It’s vital that your data is clean before you use it as part of your mailing campaign!

 

Consider hiring a team of “data cleansers” to qualify and update any names and address that look wrong or incomplete.

 

Make your envelopes enticing

 

Don’t be like everyone use. Stop sending out plain white or brown envelopes to your potential customers! We are in 2017; we can print things out in color, you know! An attractive multi-color graphic envelope will make your mailing stand out from the crowd.

 

It pays to use the right direct mailing service to make that happen. Don’t assume that all mailing houses will offer that service. Be sure to see a sample of the envelope before you start a mass mailing!

 

Personalize your campaigns

 

You might think that successful mailing campaigns are ones where you can reuse the same content and just change the person’s name of the letter. But, you would be wrong! Personalize your campaigns to better fit the needs of your intended target audience.

 

For example, let’s say you run an auto dealership. Your campaign letter could include details of the car your customer last bought from you, and how you can offer them a loyalty discount on a new one!

 

Timing is everything
Last, but not least, time your campaigns so that they remain memorable in the minds of your audience. One example might be to send the mailings out before a public holiday. You could use the opportunity to offer a “holiday discount” if they take up your offer by a particular date.

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Guide Your Employees Toward Success

Your employees are the motor of your company. Without them, your business would go nowhere fast. So, if you want the business to succeed, it makes sense to help them succeed. It’s something every intelligent business owner should aim to do. Unlock their potential and spur them on to the best possible work for the business. The tips below will assist you when trying to do exactly that.

 

Offer Leadership That Shows Faith in Their Abilities

 

Having faith in your employees is something that is always going to be important. But having faith in them and demonstrably should you have faith in them are two very different things. You should try to offer the kind of office leadership that lets them know that they’re believed in. When that happens, they will become more confident and feel freer to take risks and do more to help the company succeed. You should encourage them to take their own way and do things the way they see fit rather than just handing down orders and telling them what to do.

 

Make the Workplace as Safe as Possible for Them

 

Your employees are never going to be completely successful if you don’t take their safety in the workplace seriously. This is something that you can’t afford to ignore, so don’t. Instead, you should take swift action to ensure that the workplace is safe and that no one is put at risk while carrying out work for your company. You can improve daily processes and upgrade the safety equipment employees use. You can even get specific lanyards that are easy to remove if they get caught in machinery; Lanyards USA has them. Take as many steps as you can to protect people’s safety at work.

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Give Them the Chance to Train and Expand Their Skills

 

Training is great for everyone. It’s positive for your employees because they get their chance to improve themselves and advance in their careers. And it’s good for businesses because they can then make the most of having a more highly skilled workforce. So, everyone’s a winner. That’s why you should give all of your employees the chance to train in new areas and learn new skills as a part of their job. It will help them to discover their full potential and help the company to succeed at the same time.

 

Encourage the Sharing of Personal Goals and Ambitions
Everyone has their own personal goals and ambitions that they want to reach. You should talk to each of your employees about this and encourage them to share their goals with you. That way, you will be able to do more to help them reach them. You will also learn a lot more about your employees and what motivates them to work hard. It’s a good thing for everyone, and it can even help to make the workplace a more positive kind of environment. Of course, it’s up to your employees whether they want to share this information or not, but it’s worth asking about.

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Improve Your Career Prospects By Becoming an Industry Influencer

Whether you are working for a great company or have a fantastic idea for a startup, your chances of success will improve by a huge amount if you can become a respected figure in your industry.

 

Industry influencers get attention. They have an enormous audience to speak to and are seen as credible, trustworthy, and worthwhile. And if you want to improve your career prospects, becoming one is one of the best things you can do in your spare time.

It can be a tough slog to get noticed for the right reasons, however, so I thought I would explore some of the tactics you should be using. Let’s take a look at some of the ways becoming an industry influencer can help your career – and how to get started making more of an impact.

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Via – pexels.com

 

Learn how to communicate

 

If you want to influence people, you have to know how to talk – and listen – to them. Not everyone is a natural communicator, of course, but is a skill you can learn. Take classes to improve your public speaking. Find out how to write in a way that engages people. And most of all, learn how to listen to people’s concerns and create compelling arguments that can help them with their issues.

 

Create and curate awesome content

 

If you want to be seen as one of the best in your field, you have to prove it. And one of the best ways of doing this is to provide people with exceptional blog posts, interesting ideas, and original thoughts. Now, you don’t have to come up with all this stuff yourself – it’s a good idea to curate content as well as create it.

 

Work on online self-promotion

 

Whether you are working for an employer or running a business, your online persona is essential if you want to be seen as an authority or an influencer. For example, for the real estate industry, you’ll find the likes of Nicolas Livsit on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and every major social channel; always updating their profiles and bringing new ideas to the table. Self-promotion is all part of the influencing game, and it’s something that you will have to embrace if you really want to get your name out there.

 

Connect with other influencers

 

Connecting with other industry influencers is part of the game, too. You tend to need an invite to start eating at the top table, so reach out to people in your industry that already have a name for themselves. For example, one of the most influential writers in the tech industry is Martin LaMonica of The Conversation. For online marketing, you might look towards the likes of John Rampton or Ann Handley. Engage with their ideas, comment on their posts, and link to their suggestions within our content. With a little luck and relationship development, there is nothing to stop you from getting quoted by other industry influencers as much as you quote them.

 

Good luck – and feel free to leave some tips of your own, or let everyone know how you are getting on!

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Drive Loyalty & Ensure Clients Keep Coming Back

Many new businesses put a huge focus on finding new customers – and for good reasons. After all, the more clients you are attracting, the more likely it is your business will grow. However, attracting new customers is expensive. You have to devote a lot of time, energy, and money into trying to appeal to them. A much cheaper way of making sales is to increase loyalty amongst your current customers, who you already are in contact with and don’t have to spend on attracting. You do, however, have to ensure they remain loyal – and I’ve put together a few simple ideas which can help you achieve it. Let’s get started with some of the basics.

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Pic from Pixabay.com

 

Up your service game

 

First things first – ensure your customer service is making a big enough impact on your customers. Every time you make a sale or get an inquiry, your service must be pitch perfect, friendly, attentive, and, ultimately, better than your clients receive anywhere else. But also, you need to ensure you keep in contact with your customers. Making a sale is one thing, but connecting with your customers is the most important part of the process. Instead of focusing on new acquisition, try sending thank you emails or messages – perhaps ask your clients if there are any issues. Maybe you could send them a discount code or offer them a deal the next time they buy anything. Don’t forget, on average, acquisition of customers costs around six times more than retention, so you have some room for maneuvering.

 

Stop trying to sell

 

Not every person that walks through your door or sends you an email will buy from you there and then. But depending on how you react to them, they could still end up becoming a customer. If you can show that you genuinely care for their needs and help them out with what they might be looking for, it can leave an indelible mark. And when that customer decides they are ready to buy, it is likely they will come to you. The truth is that when a client feels like you have their support and assistance in mind, they are more liable to talk about it with other people, which increases your potential market even further.

 

Create an application they cannot resist

 

Apps are a great way of giving something back to your customers and keeping your company at the forefront of their minds. In fact, they are so useful that many businesses utilize mobile or web application development and offer it free to their customers. It all depends on what your business offers, of course, but there are many different ways it can help. For example, let’s say you are a digital marketing agency – maybe you could produce a simple desktop app that customers use to check performance, or research industry keywords. Going in an entirely different direction, let’s say you are a baking equipment and ingredient store. Maybe your app could offer a broad range of recipes that you can create from all the stuff you sell in-store. Not only will these give customers something useful, but it will also drive traffic to your store, both online and off.

 

Reach out for feedback

 

If you can reach out to your customers for feedback, you win on two different levels, First of all, it gives you a chance to improve your business and helps you see everything your company does with a fresh pair of eyes. But it also tells your customers something incredibly important: you are prepared to listen., When a client suggestion ends up as part of the way you do business, they will feel like they have a stake in your company, and will be more inclined to use you again.

 

Personalize every experience

 

Finally, forget what you read about data – it’s the personal experience that counts for the vast majority of customers. Sure, you can use data to inform your behavior and find out what customers really want. But in the end, it’s the one-on-one experiences that will mark you out as a great company to do business with. Get to know your clients as individuals, and connect with them on a human level. The next time they consider looking into your industry, there is far more likelihood they will call you up if you go down this route.

 

How do you keep your customers coming back, or are you struggling to retain clients once you find them? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.

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Trust: A Business Essential

There is one thing that is applicable to all aspects of the workplace that is valued more than stats, marketing, and tech. Trust. It is what will build bridges, seal deals, and communicate with care. Staff needs to trust your judgement; you need to trust your staff will deliver the goods. The transactional process that we engage in as customers is the “what are you going to do for me” attitude without ever doing anything in return. Trust in business is not just on a human level either, we look for the trustworthy clients to work with, and it is something we are not too keen to dish out to anyone, and other businesses are not so keen to dish out to you too! This could be losing you customers. How can you redress the balance?

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Source: www.publicdomainpictures.net

 

We need to establish trust with our clients in a manner of ways. The cliché of honesty being the best policy is a cliché for a very good reason, it’s because it’s true. People speak of transparency in business being an admirable quality, and it’s something they strive for in their companies, and in themselves. The very notion of being open and honest, in whatever scenario, from a big client meeting to talking around the water cooler, it makes for a very easier life than trying to “big up” your business when you don’t have the goods to back it up. The same goes for things like accreditation. Clients like accredited commercial builders are contractors that you are willing to put trust in to expand your business base, or to work on your new buildings to the standard you need them to do. Being accredited is just an official statement that these people are trustworthy, and by having a piece of paper saying that you are officially reliable may sound irrelevant to smaller businesses, but these are the tools you need to get your business to the next level.

Trust as a leader is a skill that can take a lifetime to perfect, but you can get it correct now. Striking the right balance as a leader that gets work done and makes time for their staff is a difficult task, but it is one that will help to strengthen bonds between colleagues and yourself. There is a big separation between the boss and the workers in an organization, but it’s not an us versus them style situation. This again reinforces the transparency aspect. Taking on board other viewpoints and looking to your colleagues for support helps to develop trust as an important tool. Starting an open-door policy, welcoming feedback, or just making the effort to spend time with people you don’t normally are all approaches that are not just good for the staff, but it’s good for you. Start by opening up the floor to some honest debate about the state of affairs, and welcome constructive criticism about the business workings. Your colleagues want to make their working environment better, not worse. So implementing trust should be top of your priorities.

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Why Is Your Workplace So Tense?

It’s never a good feeling, that sense of foreboding in the air. Your team isn’t talking to you as much as you would like and they seem like they’re always under pressure. A tense workspace isn’t good for anyone involved. It’s stressful, it’s unproductive, and it can get in the way of proper communication. To clear the air, you need to find exactly why everyone is so tense.

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You’re using your team wrong

Simply put, if people look like they’re too busy to talk and always pushed to the wall, it might be because they are. You need to take a closer look at the workloads of your team and cut the nonsense from it. Help them manage their team and prioritize their tasks so they realize that not everything on their plate needs to be done now. At best, you could them automate or at least make their work easier with the right software. At worst, you might need to think about hiring another person. However you do it, easing the pressure off them can immediately make the office a happier place.

People don’t know they’re doing a good job

Another reason that people might think they have to push themselves so hard is because they might believe they’re not doing well enough. If people don’t occasionally get some good feedback, they might end up believing they don’t deserve it to the point that they could even fear their jobs are in danger. Simple staff appreciation ideas, from a thank you for the hard work to the occasional reward, are essential in any happy workplace. It allows people to ease up on themselves a little. It also incentivizes great work without putting too much of the ‘or else’ fear to go with it.

Some are getting away with too much

It’s not always down to how people are handling their own work, however. Instead, it might be that a few toxic influences are having too much influence on the workplace without you noticing it. People will try to get away with pressuring others, harassment, and overly competitive behavior. The ‘I-come-first’ attitudes don’t work in an environment where people have to work together. Set the example of the team player yourself, while keeping an eye out for those who aren’t following that lead.

The business is in trouble

It’s not one that you will want to recognize, but if the business is in trouble, the employees might spot the warning signs of it before you. This will put them in fear of their jobs and could have them looking for a way out. If you can’t prove that business is going to make it through the tough spell, then you should instead rally them as a team. Have them contributing their ideas and come up with a strategy to turn things around once more. Don’t just let the ship go down without anyone trying to fix the leak.

Identifying the source can make it a lot easier to clear the air and get people moving to the lively, happy workplace your business can really benefit from. Otherwise, you might have a hard trouble running it and keeping people to run it with you.

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