Business tips, strategies, and news

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Know before you buy: Behavioral vs contextual advertising

The scandals and controversies over personal data collection have been making headlines for the last few months. With the various revelations and the new European regulations, it’s possible that collecting personal data online and using it for targeted advertising might be throttled back to some extent. However, advertising targeted via users’ personal data and behavior […]

How to boost in-store sales with social media [#infographic]

By Chris Landry These days, social media is as much a part of the customer experience as any other stage of the customer journey. The statistics back this up with 74 percent of consumers using social media to guide their purchase decisions and a further 60 percent engaging with brands on social before making a purchase. […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Derek Champagne

50: Only Do Marketing That Works with Derek Champagne It is easy to get caught up in the act of swiping your card and not really knowing why, only to end up with a product you’ll realize later you didn’t even want. Marketing and pretty packaging can be deceiving, but bad marketing can make or […]

Be careful to balance design trends with your established image

There is little doubt that Millennials are driving markets today and this is especially true online. One place where their impact is literally seen is in design. Online design trends move quickly today and this is because the tastes of younger Internet users drive the changes. And, the tastes within younger consumers always change more […]

The Importance of Authenticity in Social Media

By Lindsay Dicks Have you ever viewed a Twitter account and wondered how they got several thousand followers when their avatar is the egg and they have only posted one tweet…in 2012? Or have you seen a Facebook page that only posts affiliate links, but has thousands of Likes? Chances are, these followers and Likes […]

Understanding Content Marketing: Repurposing Content

By Lindsay Dicks Content Marketing is defined as any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. Each time you update your status, write a blog post or share a photo or a link online, you are a content marketer. In previous weeks we discussed where […]

Why Localizing Email Campaigns Boosts Sales and Aids International Expansion

By Rae Steinbach A lot has been written about the value of email marketing when it comes to delivering a high return on investment and reaching international markets. And it’s all true – email still provides the best ROI of all marketing methods and is perfect for reaching audiences worldwide. What is less discussed is […]

119 Must Know Facts about Email marketing [#Infographic]

By Karthik Reddy Does market saturation drive your company to seek out the best sales tactics? Then we have great news – according to a recent analysis, email marketing can bring you up to 4400 percent increase in ROI. Which means that for each dollar invested you will receive $44 back. Mind-blowing isn’t it? Why email? […]

Ideas For Marketing Summer Sales and Promotions

  By Devin Morrissey Summer is upon us, and as a small business owner, this can make you uneasy. As we all know, sales in the summer tend to dip because many customers (and employees) tend to take their vacations during this time, and there are no major holidays in which people shop for gifts. So, […]

Want to Capture more Leads? Embed a Quiz to see the Magic

By Angela White Before we move forward and dive into the intricacies of quiz-making, let us discuss a few statistics that establish the need for online quizzes to pump up the lead generation efforts of various companies. In a survey conducted by various marketers, almost 63 percent responded that their biggest challenge was lead generation. […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Shama Hyder

47: Tips for Successful Digital Marketing with Shama Hyder If you’ve read my book, The One Percent Edge, you know that I talk about having your competitive edge be your marketing edge. The same marketing messages that worked for companies in the past, don’t work anymore. Don’t be left behind by the digital marketing age! […]

Prospects want to hear your story before they hear your pitch

I’m not an independent television producer, but I would wager that right now the holy grail among TV people is to produce a show that turns into a binge-watching sensation on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, or one of the other up-and-coming video streaming services. To me, the binge-watching phenomenon puts an exclamation mark on a recent […]

4 Most Important Content Marketing Metrics

A musician friend told me a horror story about a gig he once played. Someone in a fairly large company loved his band and hired them to provide dance music at a yearly dinner-dance party the company throws for employees. The crowd gave them a tepid response during their first set. As they were leaving […]

Understanding Content Marketing : Sharing Content

By Lindsay Dicks Content Marketing is defined as any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. Each time you update your status, write a blog post or share a photo or a link online, you are a content marketer. Previously, we discussed what content to […]

How to take charge of your bounce rate and boost conversions

We recently warned you about problems that can occur when visitors enter your website through a “side door.” If you’ve corrected those elements, there is a related attribute you need to consider: How much time visitors are spending on your site. Once you’ve fixed any “side door” issues, you can take a step back and […]

Shopping Trends: Online Or Offline? [#infographic]

By Karthik Reddy It’s not news that more people shop online than they did two decades back. Amazon and eBay have been in business long enough drawing huge profits proving just that. But what are the real facts? Which is the trend – online or offline shopping? Let the facts speak for themselves In the […]

What the Henry Ford – Enzo Ferrari feud teaches us about branding

When Ferrari was the perennial winner at the 24-hour race at Le Mans, it caught the attention of Henry Ford II and Ford decided to buy Ferrari in order to get his hands on the company’s racing expertise. However, Enzo Ferrari slammed on the brakes and rebuffed Ford. So, what did Ford do? He decided […]

Are visitors sneaking in through your website’s side door and missing your message?

Small business owners sweat over what they want to put on the homepage of their websites, but all that attention may be misguided because of a critical, but common, misunderstanding: Many – if not most – of your visitors never see your homepage. If you’ve worked hard on your content marketing and social media marketing, […]

Does Your Business Need Pinterest?

By Lindsay Dicks Pinterest is the newest darling of the social media world – and with good reason! Pinterest boasts 70 million users, 23 percent of whom use it every day. User demographics are overwhelmingly female (80 percent) and mainly from the U.S. (60 percent). The average time spent on the site is 14.2 minutes. […]

Ask a Millennial: 5 Ways to Win Millennial Customers and Their Loyalty

By Liz Greene Though I’m an older Millennial, I still share many of the same earmarks of my younger generational cohorts: I’m socially conscious, digitally native, and broke as hell. However, when I do choose to spend what little money I have, I often turn to the same companies over and over again. Despite whatever […]

Summer’s just heating up. Time to think about back-to-school marketing!

Let me give you two critical facts about back-to-school purchases: The back-to-school retail shopping season is topped only by the holiday shopping season in total sales, and The back-to-school shopping season is starting earlier every year. The first statistic above is simply a fact, but the second one could use a little explanation. If you’ve […]

Overheard in Starbucks: A digital marketing secret and sales tip

He’s an account executive for an Internet marketing company sitting in Starbucks cold calling small business prospects. Most of those he calls aren’t interested, don’t have the time to talk, or don’t need his service. But after about seven or eight “misses” he connects to someone who is willing to talk to him. He asks […]

Four ways product descriptions can make or break your business

Have you noticed how much information you get about many of the products that are being sold on Amazon? Sometimes when I just want to find out more about something, I go there first because often I’ll be able to answer all the questions I have about an item. However, the benefits of these detailed […]

Are you missing out on these online free advertising opportunities?

I’ve found that a lot of small business owners don’t know that they have free advertising credits on sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo, the various social media platforms, and Amazon waiting to be cashed in. This usually happens for one of two reasons: Someone else developed their site and took care of hosting, or The […]

How to properly feature contact information on your website

Do those TV and radio commercials where the announcer repeats the phone number about 10 times (and usually three times in a row at the end of the ad) drive you crazy? They probably do, but the ad writers aren’t pounding the phone number into your head without a good reason. It doesn’t matter how […]

Samples and the Magic of the Little Pink Spoon

By Laurie Richards As an entrepreneur, you are faced with the dilemma of how to get your product in front of the masses. For generations, business owners everywhere have faced this same challenge. In 1953, the iconic Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop introduced the little pink spoon to give its customers samples of its ice cream. […]

The secret to finding reviews that reveal actionable insights

You don’t need to pull together costly consumer panels to find out what they like or dislike about a product today; all you have to do is read online reviews. However, it’s easy to be discouraged if you start scrolling through Amazon reviews, for example, looking for the meaty, actionable insights. There is often a […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Jill Harrington

42: Updating Your Sales Strategy to Stay Ahead of Your Competition with Jill Harrington What is the secret to being successful in sales? There would probably be many different answers to that question, and many people will claim to have it all figured out.  In today’s competitive business environment, you can’t be satisfied with the […]

Embrace Chatbots and Embrace the Future [#infographic]

By Josh Wardini There has been a lot of buzz in the business world about chatbots. Will they replace apps? Can they help to increase sales? Or decrease costs? Or provide basic customer service? Chatbots can do all this and more. In fact, according to Grand View Research, the industry is expected to reach a value […]

Small business survey reveals areas to gain a competitive advantage

A recent survey of 1,794 small business owners revealed expected – and unexpected – results, some of which can help you find ways to better competitively position your business in the coming months and years. The first finding that surprised me is that well over half the respondents were women: 57 percent. Only 39 percent […]

8 Secrets for Writing Enticing Product Descriptions

By Stacey Wonder It has been a long road getting your product from the conceptual stage to the manufacturing stage. Before you can start selling there is one key component to be written – the product description. While some find this writing to be cumbersome, the truth is that it doesn’t have to be. In […]

40 Social Media Marketing Acronyms Revealed

By Lindsay Dicks In the social media universe, it is often necessary to keep your messages brief. This has brought about an explosion of Internet specific acronyms used to communicate thoughts and ideas quickly and efficiently. Whether you are new to social media or a self-proclaimed expert, there will come a time where you’re perusing […]

Transform Google into a dating app for your local business

I was reminded of one of the reasons we love the Internet recently and it’s captured in one word: Comfort. And, this is also why local businesses need to pay close attention to Google’s business questions and answers. This topic came up in a discussion of dating apps. A Millennial said that one of the […]

19 (and counting) free business tools

Are the leaders at Shopify some of the smartest in the business? If the criteria we’re using to answer that question includes the ability to create good will, I think the answer is a resounding yes. I have long admired Shopify’s collection of free photography housed on its Burst website. When most companies create graphics, […]

An illustrated guide to Facebook ad formats

Despite the turmoil that has hit Facebook in recent weeks, it remains one of the best platforms for small business advertising. And, when you factor in its sister site, Instagram, it becomes even more powerful. I’m sure you’ve been presented with the option to “boost” a post of yours to increase its reach, but that’s […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Bob Burg

Learn the Art of Influence from the Go Giver with Bob Burg Do you ever look at the world around you and wonder what is going on? It seems that no one can agree with anyone else – take Washington, D.C. for instance! A business can implode on itself simply because people can’t agree. How […]

How size matters in brand partnerships

Brand partnerships can be a great growth strategy for businesses as small as the health club on the corner or as large as Coca-Cola. But as with dating apps, you need to be extremely careful who you hook up with. One of the most important elements to consider is size. But don’t merely look at […]

SEO today: Can you take advantage of the new, longer, meta descriptions?

It was a big deal earlier this year when Twitter doubled the allowable length of a tweet from 140 characters to 280 characters. But when Google doubled the length of meta descriptions from 160 to 320 characters at about the same time, the news flew under the radar – yet that change could be far […]

Before you take your small business global

Editor’s Note: This article is courtesy of UPS Compass With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, how best to reach these untapped markets? It’s easier than ever for small and medium-sized businesses to connect with customers and suppliers around the globe. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), […]

Do Loyalty Programs Really Create Loyalty?

By  Shep Hyken Lately, I’ve been asked about loyalty programs. Any company can create a loyalty program. But, there is some confusion around what exactly a loyalty program is. A Wikipedia definition of a loyalty program summed it up well: Loyalty programs are structured marketing strategies designed by merchants to encourage customers to continue to […]

How Close Social Listening Can Increase Sales

By Devin Morrissey Every single day, people are talking about your brand or industry on social media. If you listen closely, you’ll see trends in what they dislike, what grabs their attention, and what they expect from businesses like yours. These insights can help you better target potential customers, improve current customer experience, and revamp your […]

What Myths Do You Believe About Your Website?

By Lindsay Dicks In the third article in our series about online marketing myths, we’re going to tackle the myths many people still believe about their websites! Not only are many of these pervasive ideas outdated, they can hurt your web presence! 1) Regular redesigns are imperative. Actually, regularly overhauling your website can hurt you. […]

When red ink might be a good thing: How tattoos are becoming a measure of company loyalty

Looking for a way to measure employee satisfaction with your company that’s totally up with the times? Simple. See how many on your team have tattooed your company logo to one or more places on their anatomies. The Wall Street Journal reports that a growing number of people are getting tattoos that memorialize their working […]

The language of brands

By Dan Coughlin Over the past month I’ve been enamored with the writing of Sally Hogshead, who has essentially created her own language on the language of personal and organizational branding. She began her career as a masterful copywriter for major brands. She quickly won major awards. And then on her way to mothering eight […]

7 ways to make your blog visually engaging

There’s a good chance that by the time you get to about here in this sentence, you’ll have lost interest in what I’m saying. Was I right? Well, for those of you who are still with me, the lesson here is that we all have shortened attention spans today and this is especially evident when immersed […]

Learn from Your Rivals: How To Do Competitor Analysis

By Helen Stark Knowing is half the battle. What’s the other half? I’m pretty sure it’s analyzing what you know and taking the actual steps to win the battle. For businesses it’s competitor analysis that provides you with the necessary info. A recent study of 467 marketers revealed that only 40 percent of the respondents […]

Celebrity Branding Online: Are You Speaking Your Audience’s Language?

By Lindsay Dicks The world of online marketing is evolving rapidly. Social media, SEO, video production, content marketing, and the list goes on. If you are like most small business owners, just trying to understand these various strategies is overwhelming – let alone actually implementing them successfully for your business. But despite the rapid pace […]

5 name branding lessons from unicorns

Unicorns definitely exist in two places: on elementary school kids’ back packs and among startups. It’s the second category that I’m most interested in, and today I want to look at the major unicorns to squeeze out some branding strategies. In the startup world, unicorns are companies with valuations greater than $1 billion that are […]

How to analyze competitors’ keywords so you can win the SEO game

The old adage that “knowledge is power” is more important to online marketing that almost any other endeavor – especially when you’re trying to catch up to and overtake your competitors. To get the ball rolling on this accumulation of knowledge, let’s start with a simple exercise to see exactly where you stand: Do one […]

What is Social Commerce?

By Karthik Reddy Social media is now one of the world’s best places to promote your brand, product or business. Although some people relate social media to companies who operate on the internet, social media and social commerce can be hugely beneficial for brands or businesses who have a presence outside of the internet. Facebook […]

How to spend marketing budget wisely: Invest where buyers put their trust

There are two kinds of people in this great big world: People you know, and People you don’t know. The funny thing is that we overwhelmingly trust both of these groups…at least when we’re talking about consumers looking for recommendations prior to making a purchase. According to a Nielsen survey, “consumers trust real friends and […]

Fact or Fiction: Social Media Marketing Myths

By Lindsay Dicks Now that I’ve covered some of the biggest email marketing myths, let’s go over some of the biggest social media marketing myths that persist today. Unfortunately, it seems that there are even more social media marketing myths than there are email marketing myths! One of the most pervasive is that purchasing followers […]

How to win when you’re playing ‘The Name Game’

Is the name of your business a good fit today? Will it still be a good fit tomorrow? These are important questions, because you don’t want to get stuck in a situation like, which finds itself having to run ads explaining to people that they aren’t just a purveyor of overstocked items. Although the […]

Using Social Media to Wow Your Customers

By Liz Greene As a small business owner, social media is one of the best tools at your disposal. Social media isn’t just for marketing, it can also be used to take the customer experience to incredible heights. For instance, a friend of mine recently posted on Twitter about a problem she had encountered with […]

10 reasons you need to use Instagram for your business [#infographic]

By Che Ouyang, NoHatDigital Social media has a created a new channel of marketing and outreach to consumers that it has rapidly changed the use of traditional forms of marketing. Instagram is one of the best social media platforms with 500 million daily active users. Small businesses should capitalize on this platform to connect with potential customers […]

Use my free online survey to get your website ‘report card’

Put your best foot forward. Yes, it’s a cliché, but it earned cliché status because it’s a universal truth. And, it fits in nicely with another truth that has reached cliché status: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. With those truths in mind, I want to point out that in […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Steven Pedigo

Using Economic Development Data to Plan Your Business with Steven Pedigo Where you build a business is as important as what type of business you have. My guest is an expert on economic development for businesses. Steven Pedigo is the director of the NYUSPS Urban Lab. As an expert and strategist in urban economic development, regional […]

Discover this backlink secret weapon and put it to use

I want to tell you about an important trend I’ve been witnessing the last six months and explain what is causing the trend and how it can benefit you. Dozens of business owners and experts contact me every week asking if they can contribute a guest post on my site. As you know, I like […]

How to use Facebook tagging to create marketing synergy

Synergy is one of those words that seems to go in and out of style every couple of years. People pick up on it, overuse it, and then it drops out of the current business lingo. But that doesn’t mean “synergy” disappear from your tool box of marketing strategies, even when the word itself is […]

Email Marketing Myths Debunked

By Lindsay Dicks I thought now would be the perfect time to go over some major misconceptions about email marketing, and why you still need to take it seriously as a way to connect with your clients and prospects! The biggest misconception is that email marketing is either dead or dying. While some online marketers […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Suzanne Paling

Solving Sales Problems Before Your Bottom Line Suffers with Suzanne Paling It’s easy to become complacent when things are going well in your business, but that’s not the time for you to rest on your laurels. There’s no better time to retool your business for future growth and expansion. Don’t wait until you start losing […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Dave Jackson

Should Podcasting Be A Part of Your Business with Dave Jackson Have you ever thought about becoming a podcaster? More and more people are finding out that a podcast COULD be just the right platform for their message. With all the marketing platforms available today, it can be confusing, intimidating, and overwhelming to find the right […]

Custom vs Curated Content: How to leverage the benefits of both

If you aren’t publishing a mix of custom and curated content in your digital marketing program, you aren’t enjoying all of the benefits available to you. Let’s quickly outline what I mean by these two categories of content. Custom content is anything created expressly for your website or social media accounts. Curated content is content […]

3 Strategies to Ensure Consistent Branding Guidelines

Apple has been named the world’s most valuable brand by Interbrand for the fifth year in a row, at an estimated value of $184.15 billion. While the company’s technological innovations are an essential component of this success, branding is a key ingredient of Apple’s success formula. In addition to ranking as the world’s most valuable […]

Back to Basics: Common Social Media Terms You Need to Know

By Lindsay Dicks With a constant influx of new social media platforms (and constant updates to old ones), it’s easy to get confused about the latest social media lingo. Even worse, different sites use different terms to describe the same thing, which makes it even more confusing! So today, I’m going to explain ten of […]

Social Media Marketing: Paid Vs. Organic Reach

By Lindsay Dicks There’s been a lot of talk over the past couple years over the use of paid vs. organic. While paid on search engines is commonly accepted, paid on social media is less so, and sometimes for good reasons. So, which is better on social media: paid or organic? The answer is that […]

6 personalization strategies to supercharge your marketing

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” – Dale Carnegie That truth is a cornerstone of Dale Carnegie’s timeless advice in his perennially bestselling book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is just as true – and important – today as when […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Chris Brogan

Making Your Brand Memorable with Chris Brogan Is your business truly different—or are you really doing just “the same old thing” as everyone else? What do your customers really think about you? The truth may surprise you! These are questions that every entrepreneur has to face with honesty and reflection. My guest today is here to share […]

How to take the essential first step for a successful press release

When you want to get publicity about the great things you’re doing in your business, an important strategy to follow is to “pick the low-hanging fruit” first. However, there’s a problem with this strategy: Identifying the low-hanging fruit. Let me tell you what I see happening over and over again. Business owners will have something […]

3 ways fast-growing startups are building sales teams differently

   By Keith Johnstone After speaking with many tech startups last month at the Consumer Electronics Show, the common theme among them was a desire to achieve explosive growth in 2018.  From smart cities and driverless cars to artificial intelligence, big data, CRM and SaaS, 2018 is ripe for technology companies to achieve record revenue […]

Snapchat’s shocking revival and your social media marketing

Taking the pulse of social media marketing platforms is like trying to take the pulse of runners in the middle of a race. You get one reading, then runners change lanes and pass each other, and the next time you get a reading it’s different. That is very close to the situation with Facebook, Snapchat, […]

The hidden importance of employee social media posts

If you’re at all close to your neighbors, you probably know how they feel about their jobs and their employers – especially if they either love their work or hate their employers. Today our “neighbors” extend to our social media circles and if your social media contacts have either wonderful or terrible feelings about their […]

Creating a brand identity [#infographic]

By Creating a brand identity that is memorable, easily identifiable, and sends the message you want to send is important for businesses of all sizes – even small businesses in a local market. However, unless graphics arts is special interest for you, there’s a good chance you’ll slip up on some of the fundamentals. This […]

A virtual reality challenge…that gets real fast!

By Jill Konrath Are You Ready for This Virtual Reality Challenge? It was my last day at the Sundance Film Festival. After waiting for way too long, Shari Levitin and I finally entered the virtual reality experience that people were raving about. In the midst of a dark room was an empty “stage” about 20×30 […]

How to instantly author your own e-book for just a few bucks

  “Now Gary, we can do this the hard way or the easy way. Or the medium way. Or the semi-medium-easy-hard way. Or the sort of hard with a touch of awkward-easy-difficult-challenging way.” – SpongeBob SquarePants In this quote, good old SpongeBob covers pretty much all the ways small business owners accomplish things. However, if […]

Back to Basics: Does Your Site Need a Call-To-Action?

By Lindsay Dicks The quick answer is: Absolutely! Many clients come to us without any way for people to sign up for something on their site, even a basic newsletter, so they’re missing so many opportunities to connect with new and potential clients. If you don’t have a Call-To-Action that encourages people to sign up […]

YouTube imposes strict new rules that prevent 1,000s from earning $$$

  What do you think of this headline from the YouTube Creator Blog: Additional Changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) to Better Protect Creators YouTube wants to do a better job protecting creators! Good news, right? Wrong. YouTube is cutting off the small guys from its monetization program. It supposedly wants to protect creators […]

How to conquer ‘Google My Business’ [#infographic]

By Patrick Thuot Having your Google My Business profile fully updated is of huge importance because whether you realize it or not, people are actively searching for information on your type of business on Google. Generally they are looking for basic information such as your address, contact details, opening hours but sometimes they also wish […]

How to win by putting ‘social’ back into your social media

Are you a big sports fan, or do you know any? If you’re a sports fan, you probably know that the real pleasure comes from seeing an event as it happens. Recording a game and watching it later just doesn’t create the same excitement. Even some of the shine is taken off Olympic events when […]

How to make your blog posts breed like rabbits

Wouldn’t it be a great trick if you could turn one blog post into 10 blog posts? Using a gallery post can accomplish something quite similar to that kind of magic. I know that you’ve seen these posts. They are most often used to show you the pictures of 10 child stars and how they […]

Discounts, deals, and advance access: Keys to increasing sales

Are you shooting all the different kinds of ammunition you have in your sales arsenal? I’m going to go over what I believe are three of the most important ways to achieve a sale. For the purpose of this article, I want to focus on the initial sale, so I’m going to skip upselling and […]

How to choose the right social media sites for your business

By Lindsay Dicks Unless you’ve hired a social media marketing company or designated staff to handle your profiles, you’re likely trying to figure out where you can get the most bang for your buck. After all, you’ll quickly eat up a large percentage of each day if you try to maintain profiles on all the […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Jeffrey Gitomer

The Secret to Selling When the Customer is Too Savvy To Be Sold with Jeffrey Gitomer Have you ever wondered why some businesses are able to survive and thrive as the markets change and yet others become irrelevant and ultimately fail? The key is really in finding ways of building innovation into the very DNA […]

Here we go again: Facebook edges businesses out of news feed

Sometimes I think Mark Zuckerberg sees the people and businesses who inhabit his world – aka Facebook – like dolls at a 4-year-old’s tea party. He sits us where he likes. He makes us interact with each other however the mood strikes him on any given day. Currently, Zuckerberg is in the mood to decrease […]

The lesson of the 1-legged seagull

It’s easier to reach people today than ever before in history. However, that is both a blessing and a curse. Why? Because if it’s easier for you to reach people, it’s also easier for everyone on the planet to reach people. This leads to email overload, sensory overload, Internet addiction, tech burnout, and all kinds […]

3 Business Lessons From e-Commerce Pioneers

The rise of e-commerce can be traced to a 1994 New York Times story that described in detail how a shopper made history by purchasing a “Compact audio disk” on the internet. This marked the first online retail transaction where data encryption software helped ensure privacy. Back then, the world needed a lot of explaining […]

Fully automated small biz marketing now available for $99/month

How does a $99 per month marketing campaign that doesn’t require any more work from you sound? If you reach prospects and customers through Twitter, an automated $99/month marketing program is now available to you. It’s called Twitter Promote Mode and here are some basic details: It’s recommended (read: most effective) for Twitter accounts with […]

The Link Between Images and SEO

By Lindsay Dicks Since Google made the switch to change to their Hummingbird algorithm, things have changed for images used on your site, in addition to your content posts. Luckily, though, the changes aren’t that drastic, and most of them point back to what we always urge: use images and descriptions that clearly reflect your […]

3 reasons to diversify your online marketing

Too many small businesses are one algorithm tweak or shift in the social media popularity winds away from a wiped out digital marketing program. These businesses essentially put all of their digital marketing effort into one strategy or social media platform. The online marketing world is littered with their corpses: The businesses that depended on […]

13 Tips for Increasing Your Business With Product Search Marketing

By Liam Supple Comparison shopping engines (CSEs), like Google Shopping, Shopzilla, NexTag and Bing, are filled with millions of potential customers who are looking for the product they want.  As an online merchant who sells physical products, you can use your product data to increase the number of customers visiting your website by listing your products […]

How strong are your skills in these 6 critical online marketing areas?

“Girls only like guys who have great skills.” – Napoleon Dynamite. “Skills” were the key to success with high school girls, as Napoleon Dynamite viewed his world. And, I’d have to say that skills are the key to success in digital marketing today. The problem for a small business owner is that as digital marketing […]

How to use Facebook’s ‘Pages to Watch’ tool to see what’s working for your competitors

Does your business page have at least 100 likes on Facebook? If so, you should be using Facebooks free “Pages to Watch” tool. With this tool, you can instantly see what is working for your competitors on Facebook and also measure your performance against theirs. It’s super easy to use, so let me show you […]

A lesson from Pringles: How to promote your brand more creatively

It’s always a smart idea when you can get a practical (and free) marketing lesson from a multi-million-dollar ad agency. Today we thank Pringles for picking up the tab and giving us a great example of brand-based versus product-based messaging. Recently Twitter published the findings of a study that looked at the marketing mix of […]

Are you using this clever Facebook strategy to boost your B2B sales?

Most of us have developed at least fair skills at Google searches, but for many small business owners there may be a search platform that will pay far quicker dividends than Google. I’m talking about Facebook. Searching Facebook is, in many ways, the same as searching Google – at least for people, places, and keywords. […]

Get 100s of blog topics with one word and one click

For anyone tasked with the care and feeding of a blog, the single biggest problem in the long run is brainstorming worthy topics. Further, in the perfect world, the topics you cover in your blog would coincide with the topics people are investigating on the Internet. When those two areas overlap, you increase your ability […]

The Importance of Syndicating Your Content Online

By Lindsay Dicks Creating fresh content for your site on a regular basis is an extremely important way to improve your Google Search rankings. Not only does it give you more results, but it also allows you to easily share your expertise with those searching for someone in your field. For example, if someone’s looking […]

Join me for magical mystery tour of website analytics and SEO!

Do you like a good mystery? If you do, come with me on a little journey. I won’t take much of your time and along the way we might solve an online mystery you’ve experienced. I was reviewing a list of websites that had referred visitors to my site and I found that a few […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Mark W. Schaefer

It’s Time to Innovate Your Marketing Strategy with Mark W. Schaefer One of the biggest challenges brands today are facing is to remain relevant to their market. If you feel like your company is losing ground with your customer, then it is time to innovate your marketing strategy. You can sustain your success by being […]

How to post your local business video to Google Maps

Whether you love or hate Google, you must admit that it’s a company that doesn’t let the grass grow under its feet and we’re really seeing that with its Local Guides program. For the local small business community, Local Guides can be extremely powerful. I discussed the basics in this post, but almost as soon […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Ian Altman

Learn New Sales Skills to Succeed with Savvy Customers with Ian Altman Most businesses believe their revenue is increasing. That may be true, but as the saying goes, ”Nothing happens until you sell something.” Selling has changed drastically in recent years, and you need to learn new skills to succeed. Consumers are savvier than ever […]

Stop paying outrageous web coder fees with this easy Google hack

Making sure that your business website is optimized for search engines can make small business owners feel like they’re swimming upstream against a strong current in pursuit of a destination that is constantly moving further away. Consultants and coders will review your site and make suggestions on ways to improve it and these projects always […]

Google’s version of Amazon ‘top reviewer’ and why it’s important for your local businesses

Have you seen the “Top reviewer” badge as you’ve browsed customer reviews on Comments and ratings from top reviewers tend to carry more weight because consumers feel that these reviewers are serious about their assessments. Top reviewers demonstrate a level of commitment significantly above that of occasional reviewers so they have something of a […]

You may not be targeting the right people in your social media marketing!

Have you ever had a dream where you’re suddenly in a place where you don’t recognize anyone and don’t know why you’re there? That’s essentially the environment businesses accidently create within their social media marketing campaigns if they aren’t careful. Consider this question: Are you trying to build your authority or do you want to […]

3 ways to improve business relationships over the holidays that will last for years

A) In a relationship. B) It’s complicated. How would your customers describe their relationship status with your business using those familiar Facebook terms? One of the cardinal principles or goals for businesses today, in both retail and B2B organizations, is to establish relationships between themselves and their customers (and employees, I might add). And, just […]

New study blasts common SEO beliefs out of the water

How do you answer these questions: Are you packing your blogs with keywords or painstakingly trying to get your percentage of keywords exactly right? Are you trying to make sure that the first sentence of your articles contains your keyword? Are you plugging your keyword into your headlines? If you answer “yes” to one or […]

Why a Facebook Messenger Chatbot?

By Ray Manley Anyone with marketing experience knows that no strategy works forever – especially in the Internet Age, This it’s critical to stay up-to-date with your marketing strategy. Today, the most effective online marketing strategy is marketing via Facebook Messenger. FB Messenger allows you to interact with and present information to your audience. The best part? You can […]

5 Tips for Creating and Growing a LinkedIn Group

By Lindsay Dicks LinkedIn groups can be a great way to present your expertise and thoroughly engage with potential clients. It can help your increase your influence and your LinkedIn connections. And luckily, starting one is not difficult! Pick a topic you’re an expert on. Don’t be too general, because that will make it difficult […]

127 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Video Marketing

Did you know that on Twitter videos are six times more likely to be retweeted than photo posts? That just one of the salient statistics online marketers will find useful in this infographic by Raj Vardhman that WebsiteBuilder has shared with us. Dive in and get both the big picture and a lot of granular […]

What the Great Google Cheeseburger emoji faux pas means for your online marketing

Before we pursue this relationship any further, I have to know one thing: Where do you stand in the Great Google Cheeseburger Controversy? Yes, the dust has settled a bit since the emoji hit the fan recently, but it’s worth revisiting the cyberspace kerfuffle for a few moments because I think it will help us […]

21 lead magnet ideas to pull in your top prospects

If you aren’t optimizing your lead magnets, consider yourself guilty of gross mismanagement! But before we toss out 20-plus lead magnet ideas for you to test out, let’s quickly define what we mean by the term “lead magnet.” A lead magnet is an offer you make to prospects in exchange for their contact information. Before […]

3 lesser-known online advertising platforms worth trying

Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost Small business owners can use the inspiration of that famous Frost quote and apply it to their approach to business in a variety of ways and I’m sure that […]

Want a Successful Website? Take a Tip from These Top Brands

Today, it is all but necessary to have a company website no matter what type of business you run. Regardless if you’re selling products right from your site or not, your website is a chance to put your best foot forward, allow customers and potential customers to find you online, as well as to encourage […]

What digital marketers can learn from the baseball playoffs

I’m no expert in baseball, but I’ve noticed something that happens every year during the major league baseball playoffs: When the series is on the line, managers use their best pitcher even if he hasn’t had the amount of rest required between starts. How does the manager know who is best? If you have any […]

3 special days to note in your business, social media posts

I think that no matter what business you’re in, or what your occupation is, the end of the year is always “crazy.” The 800-pound gorilla in the room is the holiday shopping season; even if you aren’t in retail, it impacts both your business and personal lives. There are, however, other events to note in […]

Easy ways to create graphics with type to boost readership, social shares

By Ray Manley There are three elements that will pull a reader into your article: The headline, A graphic with type, and The first paragraph. Of course, once you pull readers in, you have to keep them engaged. But if you can’t make the “sale” at the top, you have failed right out the gate. […]

10 Ways to Stand Out on Instagram

By Lindsay Dicks Instagram was launched less than three years ago, but it’s already amassed over 150 million monthly active users, and over 16 billion photos have been shared. As it expands, first by adding video, and then by introducing photo and video embeds, it’s becoming more and more of an asset to businesses. If […]

This one simple strategy can boost Facebook video shares 1055%

Video is the driving force on Facebook today and this is something every marketer needs to fully appreciate and leverage. I am sure many of you are embracing this fact and using video on Facebook as well as on your other online platforms – your website and various social media. An updated study by Quintly […]

10 keys to getting the most out of YouTube

By Lindsay Dicks Last time, we went over some tips and tricks for Twitter. In this post, we’re going to go over how to get the most out of YouTube. YouTube is the third most popular site in the world, and appeals to almost everyone, making it an optimal place to share your knowledge with […]

Cash in on a day bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined!

Smart U.S. retailers have been gearing up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday for months, and with most of the experts predicting a banner year, sales should be good. But, what if I told you that there’s another single sales day in November that dwarfs those two combined? There is and it’s called Singles Day. […]

7 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Photos

By George Minton In social media, photos matter! They are what everyone loves to share and post. For this reason, everyone should continue improving their skills in photography. However, everyone – particularly marketers – knows that creating engaging photos isn’t as easy as it sounds and we all want to save as much of our hard-earned […]

Tips and Tricks for Twitter

By Lindsay Dicks Twitter is the 12th most popular site in the world, and adds hundreds of thousands of new users each day. To say the least, it’s important to have a presence on the site. However, many people still think Twitter isn’t right for them. They may think they can’t make a dent amongst the […]

10 Ways to Use Pinterest

By Lindsay Dicks Pinterest is one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, but many companies are still stumped on how to use it. Which is understandable, since it doesn’t work for everyone. However, if Pinterest is a good fit for your business (i.e. any business with a “lifestyle” theme), there are […]

Persuasive headline writing: What I discovered blew my mind!

By Ray Manley Do you have a hot button? Of course you do. My wife revealed one of mine the other day when she challenged me on the cabinet where I keep our countertop oven broiling rack! I went on a (good natured) rant about why I was keeping it in the upper corner kitchen cabinet […]

How to reuse, repurpose Facebook Live videos for your content marketing

Are you squeezing all the value out of your content? Manufacturers work hard to eliminate waste, but I don’t think we’re as vigilant with our content marketing materials. I’ve written before about ways to reuse and repurpose written materials, but today I want to point out a simple and extremely productive way to repurpose videos. […]

Are you making this common SEO link building mistake? Here’s the easy fix!

Despite all the changes Google has made in its algorithm over the years, one thing has remained constant: Developing quality backlinks is great for your search engine optimization (SEO). The best way to accomplish this is to publish articles on high quality websites. I get dozens of requests every week from website owners who want […]

5 great on-the-go apps for social media posting

By Lindsay Dicks Posting on the go is a great way to show your clients what your business is up to in day-to-day life. You can post pictures from social events for your clients, informational workshops and seminars, and pictures of you and your staff hard at work. And since inspiration doesn’t always come at […]

How Online Reviews Can Help Grow Your Small Business [#Infographic]

By Megan Arevalo Having a solid online reputation is the key to success for your business. Whether you like it or not, people are reading reviews and making purchasing decisions every day. So, you’d better look reputable and trustworthy. Look through the infographic prepared by experts from Website Builder. Word of mouth marketing is a […]

Keys to engaging the perpetually connected customer

We’re surrounded by the cyber-sphere today almost as much as we are surrounded by the air we breathe. And, for many, maintaining a constant connection to this digital reality is almost as important as inhaling and exhaling. While this is true for members of every consumer demographic, it’s especially true for today’s younger consumers…and they’re […]

How Retailers Can Improve The Online Shopping Experience

By Michelle Deery Got an online shop that you want to grow? Then your store must provide a pleasant shopping experience for your customers. People love to shop online. In fact, 96 percent of Americans now shop online, with many preferring to do so out of convenience. Convenience is a huge deal. If your website […]

11 ideas for engaging emails #infographic

This infographic has two purpose: one is plain to see, the other is a bit less obvious. First, the easy to spot purpose: Communicate to you a variety of ideas you can use in your email marketing. Switching things up a bit with unexpected content will keep your readers better engaged. Check out this 11-item […]

Why you need to take Google Slides for a test drive

If you’re creating visual content to be used internally for training or other functions, or if you’re creating content to be more broadly shared via the Internet, Google Slides is worth checking out. The other major players in this area are Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple’s Keynote, and Linkshare’s SlideShare. While Google Slides, PowerPoint, and Keynote are […]

Compelling statistics drive mobile marketing surge to preeminence

I know an experienced elementary school teacher whose students are low income and many are the children of recent immigrant families. They represent what is probably the fastest growing segment of our country. However, as you can probably imagine, her students generally lag behind national averages on the various educational benchmarks. She was telling me […]

How a good NAP will boost your search engine success

Watch a crime drama on television and you’ll see that the culprits never want to leave their fingerprints behind. For a small business owner, it’s exactly the opposite! You want to leave your “digital fingerprint” so Google and other search engines can find it on as many websites as possible – especially the higher quality […]

7 Ways to Create Sharable Content

By Lindsay Dicks On the Internet, content is king. And it always will be. Whether it’s pictures, text, video, tweets, status updates, or whatever…the content you create will in large part determine the success of your internet marketing efforts. That’s why I’m always telling you to work so hard at creating content that reflects your […]

The power of Retro-New: Happy Days are here again!

Grab your boombox…or your Sony WalkMan! Cassettes are back! Have you heard the news? Many of today’s top recording artists are issuing their new tunes on the venerable cassette tape. Over the last decade, you probably heard how many  music aficionados have been buying up vinyl LPs, but right now the big thing is cassette […]

Rescue your small business from the summertime blues!

Every summer a lot of readers find an article I wrote a few years about on special summer marketing ideas. I wrote that in anticipation of the summer season but right now summer is winding down and if you’re like most small business owners, you’ve probably blasted through most – if not all – of […]

How to tweak people for fun and profit

Do you know what’s really popular? Unpopular opinions. There was a trending hashtag on Twitter the other day that reminded me of one of the best strategies to improve readership on your blog. The hashtag was #confessyourunpopularopinions. Saying something that goes against conventional wisdom or is contrary to the majority of public opinion always attracts […]

Six Common Internet Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

By Lindsay Dicks The field of Internet Marketing is rapidly changing. So, like mine, I’m sure your to-do list is never ending! Thus, spending hours each week reading up on the latest trends is a task that probably doesn’t even make your top 20. So let me help! Here are some of the most common […]

4 Things that Prevent Your Sales Success

Just now starting to settle into, yet again, another New Year and thinking about what I did just right during those spikes of success last year. We have another chance to succeed. A new year of sales goals to be met, profit margins to be increased, and customer retention rates to be elevated and hopefully, […]

Build Your Online Celebrity Status: Why Online Reviews Are Essential to Your Success

By Lindsay Dicks In today’s high-tech business environment, credibility is more important than ever. There’s an expectation that a business, in almost any industry, will have an online presence. A business that doesn’t have such a presence is going to be written off by many consumers as “behind the times” or “unprofessional.” But increasingly, we […]

Check out Bing’s video series and ad budget friendly conversions

If you could lower you online ad cost per conversion by more than 60 percent, would you do it? I’ve long heard that advertising on Bing has some advantages over Google’s AdWords program, so the other day, when I received some information from Bing, I decided to look at the platform more closely. The first […]

Use tutorials to establish authority and build relationships

The YouTube “stars” I’m most impressed by are those who have created a large following by publishing a series of tutorials on a given topic. These topics vary from how to apply make up to how to get started coding HTML to how to get really creative in your scrapbooking. I’m impressed by this group […]

Even more strategies to find business blog ideas

I’ve written and published a lot of advice on how to find business blog ideas to engage and grow you customer and prospect. I come back to this topic occasionally because it’s important and causes a lot of frustration among those responsible for digital marketing and content creation. When we can pursue a fresh, new […]

How can you best reach your customers? The merits of personas for choosing advertising platforms

By Bruce Hakutizwi You’re a business owner with an unexpected cash injection of $5,000 earmarked for marketing spend. So where do you spend it? Don’t put it all on your Facebook account or into billboard advertising, newspaper spreads, or anywhere else just because that’s what you’ve always done. Marketing spend should be allocated not to […]

Discover how U.S. ‘belts’ can simplify, inspire your marketing, product development

Need something to “prime the pump” and get you started thinking about new markets to develop, new customers that might be interested in your product or service, or new ways to adapt or market your product or service? Maybe you need a good belt! No, I’m not talking about taking a swig of your favorite […]

Is your small business ready for the voice assistant revolution?

Shopper: Alexa, put Hostess cupcakes on my shopping list. Alexa: Done. And do you know that Hostess cupcakes are on sale at Joe’s Supermarket this week? That’s an imaginary conversation, but similar to one that might soon be heard in millions of households. As voice recognition hardware and software – like Echo, Alexa, Siri, Google […]

7 Reasons You Should Start Podcasting

By Rob Cressy If you are looking for a new way to increase your credibility and awareness, build relationships, and generate new leads and dollars then podcasting is the answer. As a marketer it is important to be forward thinking and take advantage of where the market is going, not where it has been. Last […]

How to use unexpected gratitude to build loyalty

There’s no doubt that today’s younger generations, specifically the Millennials, are a caring group of people. They care about a wide range of global causes and about others on a personal level. This even guides the investment strategies of many, as Sarah Landrum covers in her Forbes article, Why Millennials Care About Social Impact Investing. […]

The Most Popular Times of Year to Buy Certain Items Online

As an e-commerce business owner, you are interested in doing everything you can to boost your sales. One way to do this is to be aware of the most popular times of the year for consumers to make certain purchases. Knowing when people are most likely to purchase items like power tools, toys, and other […]

Provide a home service? Discover how local search and marketing is rapidly changing

Any home services small business needs to be aware of critical changes in online marketing and local search. These changes could cause you to lose business overnight, or – if you take advantage of them – make you a premium provider of home services in your area. Before I get into some important specifics, let me […]

6 Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Business Blog

By Derek Miller Most companies are already aware of the value of blogging. Businesses that have a blog and publish regularly generate roughly 67 percent more leads every month than companies that do not blog. Having accepted the fact that you need a business blog, the next step is implementing strategies to help increase the […]

A cocktail or great tools for your small business [#infographic]

Winning strategies in business are a blend, just like a fine cocktail. Tactics, people, knowledge, timing, and tools are all elements in the perfect mixture. With that in mind, the folks at The Website Group designed an infographic that gives you many of the tools you can use to create your perfect blend. And, as […]

For success today, take a page out of the Philadelphia Opera’s songbook

Business leaders can learn a few things from the professionals who manage performing arts organizations. I once suggested that website owners borrow a theater company strategy to boost visitors. You see, managers in the performing arts get immediate feedback on their successes and failures: How many rear ends were in the seats? Further, some are […]

How to sell Millennials on a 15th-century Scottish game – and your product or service

In August 2014 I wrote an article titled, Can Millennial Golf Participation Get Out Of the Rough? It looks like I and many other observers were guilty of exaggerating the death of golf, to paraphrase the great Mark Twain. However, the statistics and trend didn’t look good. Participation was down and it was having a […]

The five experts you meet in digital marketing heaven

Although it originated in an African proverb, Hillary Clinton can be credited with popularizing the phrase, “It takes a village,” when she published a book by that name back in the ’90s. But not only does it apply to raising children, in today’s complicated business environment, it applies to marketing and specifically digital marketing. It […]

Try this ‘secret’ strategy to build your email list

Over the years, we’ve gone into great depth on email list building. Of course, the use of popups and similar strategies continue to be the fundamental ways to build your list. There are other places you can encourage email list signups that are often overlooked by your competitors. They probably won’t tally as many signups […]

3 brainstorming tactics for viral content inspiration

Eyeballs. Eyeballs are the most valuable commodity on the Internet. The only reason you can get free apps is because people are willing to give you the app in exchange for access to your eyeballs. Everyone is looking to get their social media posts and advertisements in front of as many eyeballs as possible. There’s […]

8 Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Your Celebrity Status

By Lindsay Dicks When it comes to personal branding, you have probably heard it said that consistency is critical. Since the objective of your branding efforts is to shape the way you are perceived by your audience, it’s essential that you broadcast a consistent message. If your message lacks consistency, your audience doesn’t know what […]

Personal branding basics: The content question

“When you come to a fork in the road – take it.” – Yogi Berra While it may seem nonsensical from a logical point of view, Yogi’s advice applies exactly to the content you must create for a successful personal brand. Your content must focus on two areas (although not in equal proportions): Your profession, […]

How to Validate a New Product Idea (Fast)

 By Gareth Simpson So you think you’ve got a great product idea. What’s next? Validating your product idea is a crucial early step in any new business venture – one that helps to avoid wasted time and money on a product that in reality, nobody actually wants. It may seem obvious, but it’s a process […]

How Millennials Are Changing the Shopping Landscape [#infographic]

Sometimes it seems that we spend as much time and energy trying to reveal the spending habits and lifestyle trends of the Millennial generation as Francis Crick, Sydney Brenner, Leslie Barnett and R.J. Watts-Tobin did to discover DNA. It is, however, understandable. This huge cohort will be steering the economy for several decades, and the businesses […]

Seven SEO Mistakes to Avoid!

By Lindsay Dicks Like it or not, your Celebrity Status starts on the web. The first thing anybody does before doing business is goes to the web. If they’ve heard about you from somewhere, they will Google your name or company name to see if you really are an expert. If they have a problem […]

Why likeable social media is crucial to your success and what to do about it

Quick question: What do you feel when you see those “sponsored” posts in your Facebook news feed? Granted, some may interest you, but aren’t most of them a bit of a turnoff? Further, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that most of us don’t really like them. The likeability factor […]

184 entrepreneur hashtags you should know, use, follow

I spent some time searching far and wide for as many entrepreneur hashtags as I could find. I then headed over to Hashtagify to find the relative popularity of each entrepreneur hashtag. While it is good to carve out a niche in the social media with one or two hashtags so you can establish authority, […]

5 things small business marketers can learn from the Google Doodle

How great would it be if something you did in your business every day of the year often created a trending hashtag? After all, trending hashtags tend to spring from unusual, extraordinary, or rare events. However, I was just checking the trends and saw that #googledoodle was among the top trending hashtags this afternoon. The […]

10 Tips for Building a ‘Marketing Brain’

By Randye Spina Prioritize Marketing. Of all the business functions you’re responsible for, Marketing is the most important. Marketing is the only revenue-producing business function there is: everything else is about cutting costs. Be proactive and consistent: when you stop Marketing, sooner or later your phone stops ringing. Begin with your website. It is your […]

The Essentials: Mastering brand advertising vs direct response advertising

One of the most important concepts to understand when promoting your business is the natural tensions between brand advertising (branding) and direct response advertising. When you receive a mailer telling you that your local Ford dealer is having a year-end clearance sale, that is direct response advertising. After the sale is over, the dealer can […]

Email marketing graphics: Opposites are attractive

I always find it interesting when seemingly opposite strategies can be successful in a given situation. We see this today with email marketing graphics. Some businesses invest a great deal of time and effort crafting beautiful emails that are loaded with gorgeous images. Other businesses are sending nothing more than the most plain, text-only newsletters. […]

Think Visually. It’s the Best Way to Sell, Persuade, Explain Anything to Anyone!

It is increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out and demonstrate unique value in today’s information and product overloaded world. It seems the more you say and the more information you provide, the less impact you have. So many buyer choices make your firm or service sound remarkably, or unremarkably, like the next. So, how […]

Women’s History Month Tribute to Pioneering Entrepreneur: My Mother!

As we celebrate women’s history month, remember the great women in your life and don’t let their work be for naught. Women have made significant progress in business, but that progress has come on the backs of women who forged ahead, clearing the way. It is our duty to keep improving and widening the path. It’s our turn to carry the torch for future generations.

Try this New Year’s resolution to boost email marketing 🔥

Let’s make a New Year’s resolution together: Let’s agree to experiment with using an emoji or emoticon in the subject line of an email marketing piece or email newsletter. Okay? 👌 According to some numbers published by Experian, 56 percent of the brands who are working with these kinds of graphic symbols in subject lines […]

Micromarketing benefits: Great rewards for a challenging strategy

A guy used to joke that he was working on selling an old bicycle inner tube for a million dollars. People would look at him and say, “You’re crazy! Who’s going spend a million bucks for that?” “I don’t know right now. But I only have to find one buyer.” That exchange captures the essence […]

The secret of a great small business team

The best leaders aspire to make those under them greater than themselves. Poor managers are fearful that those they manage may someday outshine themselves. If you want to achieve great success, you need to be the first type of leader I described. The reason is simple and I’ll give it to you in the form […]

7 excellent branding opportunities you have right now

What do Wrigley Field, Trump Steaks, and NASCAR vehicles and drivers have in common? They are all examples of opportunity branding. The ballpark where the Chicago Cubs play got the name Wrigley Field way back in 1926 to honor the team’s owner, William Wrigley Jr. The fact that Wrigley also made the popular chewing gum […]

This week in small business: How women entrepreneurs are excelling, the working vacation, and more

The experts speak in this week’s collection of curated content. The topics are many and varied: Travel tips, Instagram marketing tips, the importance of women entrepreneurs, and many more. Don’t put off reading through this…and if you tend to procrastinate, skip down to the advice from Jayson DeMers. Leadership, management, and productivity Small business owners […]

Discover the Yin and Yang of marketing alliances

There is strength in numbers and if you can form alliances with other businesses, you can grab some additional marketing strength. Earlier this year, I outlined a system and some tools you can use to find other businesses that are wooing the same social media audience as you’re trying to get onboard. Today, I want […]

This week in small business: Are you addicted to entrepreneurship?

Discover how entrepreneurship is an addiction, content marketing is more than writing, and why women-owned businesses are on the rise. – these, and more (even a movie review!), in this week’s collection of curated content. Entrepreneurship, startups, and innovation Grant Cardone says that great entrepreneurs are addicts. See if you agree. Have you heard of the […]

Train your team in these important marketing skills

Do you wonder what kind of training you need for yourself, or what kind of training you should provide for your team? The folks at Venngage shared an important infographic with me recently and for many small business owners, it can shed a little light on what kind of skills you and your team should […]

4 Ways to Build Trust with Customers That Can Transform Your Business

“Make hundreds of dollars a week just by stuffing envelopes.” Remember that tiny ad that used to run regularly in virtually every newspaper’s classified ad section? I suppose a fair number of people answered the ad, otherwise they would have gone extinct quite quickly. However, most of us didn’t take the bait. Why? Because we […]

This week in small business: Is your year-end marketing program in place?

The end is near! Yeah, I know. You’ve heard that before, but this time, it really is…if we’re talking about the end of 2016. I spotted my first “end of year priorities” article last week…and a lot more useful advice. Dig in. Marketing and sales The end (of 2016) is near so it’s time to […]

Lessons From Marketing Campaigns That Are Way Out of the Box

Your customers don’t know what they want until they already have it. Just ask Henry Ford, legendary entrepreneur and automobile industry revolutionary who coined the famous phrase “If I had asked the people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” The truth is you’ve got to understand who your customers are at their […]

How to bring your product or service to market

Books and entire business school masters classes have been built on the topic of how to bring your product to market, but my purpose here is a little different. These extensive courses and lengthy books start from the point of having an idea, dealing with patents, getting it manufactured, and all the other steps before […]

The Concise Guide to Writing a Professional Press Release

Probably the most misunderstood aspect of small business marketing is how to create and use a press release. The first thing to understand is the function of a press release, it’s simply to release information to the press corps. Press releases are, as you probably know, written documents, so let me give you one critical […]

This week in small business: Hot chili peppers, Shark Tank, automation tools, and more

In this week’s collection of curated content, you’ll a look at a chili pepper “empire,” see how to break through that stubborn SEO wall, and get a lot of information to help you automate your small business marketing. And that’s just for starters. Leadership, management, and productivity The difficulty of finding talent has been a […]

This Week in Small Business: The psychology of viral Tweets, marketing to empty nesters, when to fire…

The experts were busy churning out some great marketing advice last week. If you want to do a better job Tweeting or using direct mail to reach empty nesters, we have something for you. Marketing and sales Why do Tweets go viral? To answer that, you need to understand the psychology behind the Tweets. New […]

This Week in Small Business: Startup marketing DNA, mompreneurs, and five states that want your small business

Five states are making concerted efforts to lure small businesses, and if you’re going to start a new small business, there are four things you need to have in place. Get all the details and more in this week’s collection of curated content from around the InterWeb. Politics, government, and the economy Some states are […]

9 Small Business Gmail Plugins to Boost Your Productivity, Bottom Line

I’ve heard the rumors that email is becoming obsolete, but I don’t see it happening soon, so we still need things like the 9 small business Gmail plugins listed here to help keep you organized and productive. And hey, although I’m billing these as great small business Gmail plugins, several of them will be very useful […]

Small Business Marketing Lessons Taken from The Kickstarter World

Important small business marketing thoughts occurred to me recently when I was listening to an interview with Zach Smith, the founder of, a company that has proved very successful at helping projects get funded on Kickstarter. We’ve all been getting schooled in crowdfunding in recent years. It’s a new way to get a company […]

This Week in Small Business: 5 tasty marketing lessons from a vegan meat company!

I don’t know what this means, but you’ll find two oxymorons (friendly fraud and vegan meat) among this week’s collection of curated content. On top of that, there is great leadership, marketing, and startup advice. Marketing and sales Believe it or not, you can learn some marketing lessons – five to be exact – from […]

This Week in Small Business: Expert roundups, Shark Tank inspiration and more…

You get to mind meld the brains of a lot of the most successful people in business this week, including one article that features the advice of 110 top bloggers. Leadership, management and productivity Ideas usually aren’t the problem; execution is: How to Execute Ideas as a Small Business. More than a fourth of all […]

The Two Big Keys to Online Small Business Success

In years gone by – and this holds true for many small business owners still today – the keys to success were often relatively few and could be mastered by a single person. Let me give you a very simple example. Individuals starting a small business that revolved around outside sales could pack up their […]

This Week in Small Business: Cash in on the extensive research of others…

Ride on the shoulders of others! Read what Archana Madhavan learned during four years of non-stop data analysis. Discover what Zz Twainy found when he reviewed some 600 pitch decks! Leadership, management and productivity Don’t fly blind. Connect with a mentor ASAP – technology makes it easy. Be sure you include these seven operational details […]

Top 5 Reasons Why You Need Snapchat for Your Business

  Many social networks have made their debut ever since Friendster was launched in 2002, and people could make social connections like never before. Few, however, catapulted quite so quickly as Snapchat, which launched in 2011. Its impressive growth made some of the most popular networks quake in their shoes. While the app has not […]

Native Advertising: The Key to your Competitive Edge?

In a 2014 Copyblogger survey, nearly half of the respondents didn’t know what “native advertising” was. Are you in the group that doesn’t know what native advertising is? The survey, as I understand it, measured the general population, but for purposes of our discussion I want to break that down into two groups: Small business […]

How I Embarrassed Myself and Botched a Big Sales Opportunity

By Jill Konrath When I began working in sales, I was on a mission to get up to speed as fast as possible. I read all the sales books, went to seminars and took everything I learned as the gospel truth. One of my biggest sales opportunities at the time was a fast-growing construction firm. I’d […]

The Three Proven Rules for Email Marketing Success

We recently ran a series on how to put your sales on autopilot, and included among those three articles was one that featured several handy apps and plugins. The purpose of some of the apps mentioned – they were landing page apps – was to help website owners collect email addresses or other prospect contact […]

Trying to find your best small business growth strategy? First you need to get serious!

Which do you have more to spend: time or money? Consider that question as you plan how you will promote your small business. In very general terms, you’ll want to commit yourself to an extensive marketing effort if you have time to spend. If you have money to spend, then you’ll probably want to invest […]

3-Step Data Mining Guide for Small Business Prospects

Say you sell supplies to dry cleaners and your sales rep is going to start exploring a new territory. A good strategy would be to “break the ice” with some personalized emails that might be followed up with phone calls before hitting the bricks and knocking on doors. To accomplish this, you would need names […]

This Week in Small Business: Does your marketing look mahvelous?

Remember Billy Crystal’s old character on SNL, Fernando, and the catchphrase he made famous (You look mahvelous!)? This week’s curated content asks that question about your sales and marketing materials…and offers some advice. Marketing and sales If you’ve been concentrating on copywriting for your advertising and marketing materials, you may have overlooked design – you […]

5 Off-the-Wall Tips to Boost Your Small Business

I’m a collector. Some might call me a hoarder, but I haven’t filled my living room with boxes of unopened Hummel figurines purchased during any late night cable shopping sprees. No, I collect business tips. Usually they are big enough that they can command an entire article in this space. However, sometimes I end up […]

How to squeeze maximum value from your blog

To be successful, small business owners must learn how to get the most value out of every dollar they spend and every ounce of effort they invest in a project. However, one of the reasons many small businesses have unsuccessful blogs is because they fail to get all the value from the work they put […]

The secret to writing killer small business taglines

We devote a lot of space here presenting a wide range of marketing plans and sometimes they can be very involved and demand a lot of planning, careful execution, and even financial investment. However, when I reflect on my success, I have to give a lot of credit to four little words, my tagline: THE […]

This Week in Small Business: Untapped content marketing resources, Apple’s 22-year-old whiz kid, and more

Leadership, management and productivity UPS is getting behind Small Business Week and sponsoring a contest that will give winners $5,000 to invest in their businesses. Tired of dealing with your customers who are always asking for a “special deal”? Try these tactics. Hiring? Check out these four things you need to do before posting a […]

Creative Video Marketing and Beyond for the Small Business

Small business owners who are really focused on emerging as leaders are leveraging video content as much as possible. And although the topic is covered all the time in spaces like this, there are a few video marketing strategies that only the most knowledgeable consider. Those are the video marketing strategies I want to introduce […]

This Week in Small Business: The Rise of Messenger Apps

The evolution and increased importance of messaging apps for marketing gets a lot of attention in this week’s roundup of top articles. You need to see how your small business will fit into this new marketing world. Entrepreneurship, startups and innovation Facebooks’ Messenger app is already the second most popular app in the world, but […]

5 Ways to Boost Your Business Using the Connection Economy

I believe it was Seth Godin who, a few years ago, coined the term “connection economy.” The idea is that value is generated by making connections rather than pumping widgets out of the tail end of an assembly line. I might put a little sharper focus on this and say that for almost every small […]

Shurg Off The Winter Blues: Refresh and Re-energize Your Small Business

It’s been a long, difficult winter for many small businesses. Crazy weather patterns combined with a challenging economy makes the joy of spring a welcomed sight. As the world bursts into bright, blooming colors, creating a sense of renewal spring is here, lifting our spirits and giving us a sense of excitement. Spring is also […]

How To Be a Jedi Search Master and Generate Leads on LinkedIn

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about B2B companies successfully marketing through LinkedIn. In fact, this is such a growth area that companies like Linked In Selling are filling up a social media marketing niche devoted to this platform. If you’re not ready to sign on with an agency to generate leads from LinkedIn for […]

7 Tips to Help You Face and Conquer Your Blog Content Fears

Recently I spoke at a major small business conference about building a celebrity brand.  During my remarks, I covered myriad tips and tricks to establish you and/or your business as the “go-to” expert in your community or field.  Afterward, however, the questions I received most concerned blogging. While the majority of the SMBs in the […]

Don’t trip up on your small business tripwire marketing!

When you strip away all of the notions that we pile on top of what it takes to be successful at selling you get down to the basic fact that to be a success at sales you need to understand and act on some universal attributes of human nature. If you only focus on what […]

Small Business Marketing Ideas: A 3-Step Proactive Approach to Word-of-Mouth Advertising

Without bloated budgets and big staffs, generating and implementing small business marketing ideas is never easy. You can’t buy the communication power of a major television ad buy. However, when it comes to word-of-mouth advertising, you’re on equal footing with the huge corporations. When one person says something great about your small business it carries […]

Small Business Keys for Connecting Marketing Strategies With Sales

Business executives often use consumer preferences as metrics for marketing success because they represent a measure of brand health and awareness. However, preference models do not necessarily represent an effective marketing campaign that yields increased revenue. New research published in the Journal of Marketing Science proposes using the following four different criteria to capture consumer […]

New free app empowers small business owners

Editor’s Note:  This post is sponsored by Staples.  All the comments and opinions are my own. Let me give you some bedrock business principles and share a couple of corollaries: *  If you can’t measure it you can’t control it, and *  If you can’t control it, you can’t grow it. Those are simple enough […]

This Week in Small Business: Nothing but practical advice you can start doing today!

Meat and potatoes. That’s how I’d sum up the advice experts served up this week to help small business owners improve their operations. Virtually all the strategies are practical and things you can start doing right now. Dig in. Leadership, management and productivity Listen up, small business retailers: If you’re not delivering personalized digital customer […]

Are you missing these website design strategies that can increase conversions?

Do you remember Kevan Nealon’s Saturday Night Live character, Mr. Subliminal? It was a spoof based on the concept of subliminal advertising; Nealon would quickly mutter a suggestive phrase under his breath hoping to influence someone’s behavior. For years there have been urban legends that TV advertisers flash messages across the screen that pass by […]

This Week in Small Business: Personal growth, personal marketing and small business fundamentals

With this week’s best curated content, you’ll learn how technology is being leveraged in new ways and how you need to drop some old habits if you really want to achieve the success you’ve always dreamed about. Leadership, management and productivity The four technology trends discussed in this Heartlandblog will impact the way you manage […]

New free app empowers small business owners

Editor’s Note:  This post is sponsored by Staples.  All the comments and opinions are my own. Let me give you some bedrock business principles and share a couple of corollaries: If you can’t measure it you can’t control it, and If you can’t control it, you can’t grow it. Those are simple enough and easy […]

Use photos to improve your local small business SEO

A colleague of mine was browsing through her Facebook news feed the other day when she saw a picture a FB friend (who lives across the country) had posted. The picture was of a colorful Mexican restaurant front with a sign in the window that said, “Soup of the day: Tequila.” She recognized it immediately […]

Tips for meeting the challenge of small business sales growth

Grow your small business sales or die a slow death is probably the ultimate challenge and if it looks like your current sales team is maxed out, it’s very tempting to hire more sales professionals. How to grow small business sales is always top of mind for owners, but merely tossing more bodies at the […]

Is your small business ready to adopt ‘Facebook at Work’?

  The question of whether instant messaging and social media in the workplace are productivity killers or loyalty enhancers has been an intense topic of debate for the last several years. As 2016 rolls in, Facebook, the social media heavyweight champion of the world, is going to put its mark on the topic. After having […]

This Week in Small Business: Mining 2015 for Marketing Gems

Are we nostalgic for 2015 yet? Probably not, but we saw a few good articles last week that look back at the year to pick up some marketing and management lessons. Leadership, management and productivity Gene Marks writes a regular small business column for the Washington Post. Here he shares his favorite stories from 2015. […]

This Week in Small Business: 2015 Digital Marketing Insights, Tools, Tips and more

As we draw the curtains on 2015, we double down on data and digital marketing. We’re also still debating the strength of the economy, nationally and worldwide. Leadership, management and productivity Airlines are proving that passengers are willing to spend more after having a customer service experience via Twitter, so don’t overlook this valuable communication […]

How to Engage Generation Z

The rapid change in culture over the last decade, aided by constant technological advancements, caught many businesses and marketers off-guard when it came to talking to the generation now known as Millennials. In fact, many companies are just now adjusting their marketing strategies to cater to the age group. Those brands with foresight, however, will […]

Is Your Business ‘Moving’ or ‘Pivoting’ to Meet Customer Needs?

Remember when UPS was going with the slogan, “Moving at the speed of business”? It wasn’t a bad slogan. However, marketing experts say that when UPS dropped “Moving at the speed of business” and adopted “What can brown do for you?” as a slogan and center of its marketing campaigns, the company hit a homerun. […]

May The Force Be With You: What Small Business Can Learn From the Star Wars Marketing Blitz

It almost seems unfair, doesn’t? I’m talking about the Disney-Lucasfilm connection and therefore also the Star Wars franchise. But instead of sitting here wallowing in envy of this super heavyweight marketing marriage, let’s look at what Disney is doing to promote the upcoming and eagerly awaited installment in the Star Wars series, “Star Wars: Episode […]

How to Know When to Outsource Your Small Business Marketing

I probably don’t have to convince you that small business marketing is extremely important, so then the question becomes “Should I handle my small business marketing in-house or should I outsource it? For most small businesses the answer to that question is that you need to do both. There are certain aspects of your marketing campaigns […]

A Creative Way To Get Products in Front of Willing Buyers

Twitter is adding buy buttons. Instagram is doing the same. Amazon offers same-day grocery delivery in several markets. All of these are retail experiments to discover the ideal strategies that use technology to connect buyers to products in the systems that buyers find most convenient. It’s a very creative area in retail and one where […]

This Week in Small Business: SEO tips that work, blog post promotion, leadership habits, and more

It’s great that you’re here; it shows that you’re already doing the one thing all successful small business owners and entrepreneurs must do (see below). But with that said, there are still a lot of tips and strategies you can pick up…many of which are discussed in this collection of top curated content. Leadership, management […]

How to Turbo-Charge Customer Service and Holiday Sales with Mobile POS

This post is sponsored by Samsung Business. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was standing in line at the movie theater recently. We were running a little late and the movie was scheduled to start in just a few minutes. The line was longer than we had ever seen at that theater and […]

Need a Growth Strategy? Avoid These Epic Fails

What do startups and mature SMBs have in common? The need to develop and implement an effective growth strategy. This always proves easier said than done and that is in part due to the fact that growth strategies are rather elusive, almost like shapeshifters in science fiction. You think you see one at a distance, […]

How to Make Big Money on YouTube…Or Not

A friend who’s an avid fly fisherman occasionally posts videos of his exploits on YouTube. He’ll never forget two things about his little hobby: The time a fellow fisherman recognized him out on the stream because he had seen his videos (it happened just once), and When Google deposited $100 to his bank account that […]

How to Boost Productivity and Target Your Marketing with NFC

This post is sponsored by Samsung Business. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We’ve seen computer and general digital connectivity evolve from the days when one serial cable connected one computer to one printer, to networking via Ethernet cables, to finally losing the cables altogether with Wi-Fi. At each of those evolutionary steps, it […]

This week in Small Business: Marketing tips from big biz, how to cope with startup stress and more

Tips this week are inspired by binge viewing Netflix, writing a novel, competing with LinkedIn, becoming totally obsessed and more. Scan the topics here and dive into a few of the articles to increase your small business edge. Leadership, management and productivity Here is advice that is sooo 2015: 12 things you can do for […]

Big Business Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

By Jeffrey Hayzlett Marketing for small businesses is just like marketing for major companies. The only difference is the number of zeros in the marketing budget. The strategies, tactics, and goals are all the same though: to reach new customers, increase revenue, and build brand loyalty (and equity). How can small businesses replicate big business […]

This week in Small Business: Don’t worry, Do Relax and Don’t Miss Any of these Marketing Tips

What we can learn from the marketing of genetically modified dinosaurs is among the hot tips we found on the web over the last week. And since running a small business can be as stressful as running from Velociraptors, we also dug up some great advice on taking care of ourselves and learning to worry […]

Marketing Lessons from the Hotel Minibar

Do you remember the very first time you had the privilege of staying in an upscale hotel and your room featured a fully stocked minibar? If you were a young adult and you came from a background of family vacations spent in bargain-basement motel rooms, it was probably quite a stunning sight – a refrigerator […]

This Week in Small Business: Go to War with General McChrystal, Attend the Sage Summit via Video and Get Four Free Marketing Tools

Here’s a concisely curated collection of great small business information that was published throughout the last week. Leadership, management and productivity We use the language of war in business – rally the troops, battle for sales, win the contract – but when retired general Stanley McChrystal uses that language, he’s not speaking figuratively. In this […]

Value Proposition, Positioning Statement, Elevator Pitch? Know the Difference?

When you’re trying to sell something, you want to have answers ready for any question that may come up. It’s an impossible – but good – goal to have because if you take it seriously, it forces you to understand what you are selling and who you are selling to. Further, whether you’re selling a […]

My Quest: How to Find Out Who Is Muting You on Twitter

I’ve written once before about the Twitter mute feature. It allows a Twitter user to omit someone’s tweets from the home feed. Of course, if you’re tweeting to build your brand and do some social media marketing, you don’t want your followers muting you. That’s why you need to keep the content you post relevant […]

This Week in Small Business: Executive Extinction, Instagram and Hacking Your Way to Success

We look to the future of the C-Suite in this week’s roundup of the top business articles posted on the Internet. But we also have our eyes on the present with plenty of marketing and tax tips you can use in your small business today. Entrepreneurship, startups and innovation Will CIOs, CMOs and CFOs go […]

Create Fusion With Your Customers

By Jeff C. West In order for any business to be successful, at the very minimum, you must have three components: You must have a product or service that provides enough value to a customer that they are willing to trade their money for your product or service. You must have a sales process in place […]

This Week in Small Business: Be heard on Capitol Hill, Market on a Shoestring and Improve your EQ

Politics, government and the economy Want to get a message straight to the lawmakers who have the greatest impact on US small business? Here’s the page on the House Small Business Committee website where you can tell your story and let them know what is causing you the greatest problems. Leadership, management and productivity Are […]

Will Snapchat’s Three V’s Spell Marketing Victory for your Small Business?

They won’t give you the shirt off their backs, but they’ll sell it to you! That seems to be part of the philosophy behind some of the first forays into selling via Snapchat. While Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are putting “click to buy” buttons on social media posts, the road between posting a post […]

This Week in Small Business: Text and Email Marketing Showdown, Why You Need a Vacation, and more

Among this week’s curated articles, it’s great to see someone size up email and text marketing and see which one would emerge the victor in a cage fight. But maybe my favorite article of the week is the one that tells me exactly why I need to go on a vacation this summer. That’s advice I’m […]

21 Easy Marketing Ideas to Cap Off DIY Marketing Month

June has been DIY marketing month. I know, for many small business owners, every month is DIY marketing month. I highlighted what a few small businesses were doing a couple of weeks ago. But before June totally fades from our memory, let me share with you some ideas that I’ve been collecting throughout the month. […]

This Week in Small Business: Are your sleeping and waking habits killing your chance at success?

Leadership, management and productivity Are you getting fewer than six hours of sleep per night? It could be killing your chance at small business success. And when you get up, why not try doing these four things that successful small business owners do each morning? Small business wants to hire, but many owners are having […]

How to Use Customer Reviews to Your Marketing Advantage

Reviews — both good and bad — can help improve your brand by showing trends in customer behavior, tendencies and what products are heating up in popularity. Positive feedback strengthens your brand automatically, but negative feedback can be quite useful, as well, as your business can quickly remedy any issues customers may be having thanks […]

DIY Marketing Month: Time for Small Businesses To Break Down Walls!

June is do-it-yourself (DIY) marketing month, so let me toss an idea out to you: How about putting on your classiest office attire – suits for guys, dresses for gals – printing out some flyers for your business, attaching the flyers to your clothes and then go running in a local race. Make the race […]

This Week in Small Business: Curating content, enlightening leadership faux pas and get into a top Chinese University

Find out why Americans prefer NOT to work for a family-owned business. (Is yours family owned?) Discover what’s really important about content curating. Add these three things to your to-do list today, and while you’re at it we have six leadership mistakes you need to learn from. Leadership, management and productivity This article on leadership […]

Is Your Blog Getting Lonely? All The Tips You Need To Rekindle Your Love

Are you and your blog having relationship problems? I’ve seen it so many times. Here are the common troubles I’ve witnessed: You know you should have a blog, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet, You started a blog, but have lost your motivation and are letting it slip, and You want to love […]

This Week in Small Business: Will Your Next Small Biz Loan Come From a Hedgefund?

Leadership, management and productivity Everything in your small business needs to be in order if you want to get into the big box stores. Dun & Bradstreet’s Amber Colley lays down the fundamentals. Money management Choices! Choices! How to find the right lending alternative for your small business. And to take the options even further: […]

Three Keys to a Killer Elevator Pitch

After badly hitting a golf shot one day, comedian Tommy Smothers said, “I’m going to write a golf book: The 99 Things To Remember at the Point of Impact.” Duffing your elevator pitch can put your head in a similar place. There were so many things you wanted to say, but you had so little […]

This Week in Small Business: Learn from Street Vendors and Stanford Biz Brains

Marketing and sales Strategies, fundamentals and inspiration Ready to pick up some marketing tips from businesses far smaller than your own? Listen to what some Southeast Asian street vendors have to offer. Speaking of small, in this teeny-tiny post, Bernadette Jiwa makes the point that marketing should be invisible. Account-based marketing – the practice of […]

3 Tips for Building Massive Value When You Sell

Danny runs an online marketing company that does phenomenal work for its clients, yet he still struggles to acquire new clients that understand the true value of his services. The value of Danny’s company is unclear to prospects because he spends too much time explaining the features of his services and not enough time helping […]

Don’t Pester Customers For their Zip Code and More Radio Shack Lessons

A friend is a ham radio operator and he remembers Radio Shack from the days when it was a paradise for electronic hobbyists. He told me that at one point he hadn’t been in a Radio Shack for several years, but when he did return he thought he had walked into some kind of oddly […]

Proven Strategies For Boosting Sales With Powerful Customer Testimonies

We recently looked at the big picture of “social proof” and discussed how powerful it can be as part of your marketing efforts. Customer testimonials are one of the most important social proofs you can deploy to boost your business, and there are two critical steps you need to accomplish to be successful. You must: […]

This Week in Small Business: Avoid cyber crime, market smart and find out where the economy is headed.

Can you actually launch an Instagram marketing campaign in two hours? Are startups running down? Is ransomware the next “killer” app? Inquiring minds want to know, and that’s why they check out all of these great articles. Leadership, management and productivity Lessons in how to run a startup and small business are always being taught […]

This Week in Small Business: Learn from Game of Thrones and an Oklahoma sandwich shop

We’ve scoured the news and blogs throughout the week to bring you this lineup of useful articles. You’ll find tips you can leverage today and information that will keep you ahead of the curve. Marketing and sales Social Media Marketing Have you tried to do a Twitter chat? Brad Friedman says it’s like hosting a party […]

This Week in Small Business: Focus on Email and Market to Baby Boomers

There’s so much good news and information this week on email marketing that you should be able to give your sales a major kick in the pants. On the economic front, the new is so-so, but there are a couple of interesting items that sing the praises of the now-aging Baby Boomers. Marketing and sales […]

This Week in Small Business: Meerkat, Marketing and Much More.

Meerketing (sorry) and sales The Meerkat app seems to be a social media tool that has the potential to rise above many others. Here are three ways brands can use it and over here are another five unexpected ways it will help marketers. Steve Olenski gives us five magic marketing (free) takeaways that will benefit […]

How to Say Yes to the (Viral) Dress in Your Business

A friend of mine was at an NHL game the other day when a woman in the group behind him took out her smart phone and started to discuss the day’s major online controversy: Was the dress blue and black, or was it white and gold? Although the teams on the ice were battling each […]

This Week in Small Business: Elvis Costello, Cybercrime and Ex-Cons

From what I hear, the Irish saved civilization and they definitely made last week a lot more fun. We start out with a serving of Irish (marketing) stew before moving on to productivity, taxes, the best cities for women in terms of wage parity and much, much more. Marketing What do Elvis Costello, Guiness and […]

This Week in Small Business: Learn From The Other Guy’s Mistakes

Last week was a time for confessions. I don’t know if it was because of Lent or what, but we were treated to a number of articles where otherwise successful folks confessed their marketing mistakes. The week also treated us to a number of good insights into increasing your personal productivity as well as the […]

This Week in Small Business: Floyd Mayweather, Ben and Jerry, and Net Neutrality

It looks like we have a neutral net now – whether it’s good or bad, time will tell – but both sides are presented below. I hope it makes us more productive, but in any case, this weeks’ edition includes a lot of productivity tips you can use right now. Leadership, Management and Productivity I […]

This Week in Small Business: Rev Up Your Brainpower

Marketing Last week we learned why your landing pages should be naked and your prefrontal cortex should be pampered…and much more. Social media Jason Meyers, Founder and CEO of AudienceBloom, explains the difference between community management and social media marketing and why it’s so important. Sometimes good examples are better than detailed instructions. That’s the […]

This Week in Small Business: Learn from the big guys, compete with the big guys

There are a number Big-Biz-Small-Biz David and Goliath themed stories this week, and let’s be sure that the Bible isn’t the only place where David reliably wins! Marketing We’re always talking about thinking “outside the box.” Here are three marketing campaigns that took major risks and actually worked. If you woke up this morning thinking […]

This Week in Small Business: The Importance of Selfies to the Survival of Western Civilization and much more…

Marketing today is like the Space Race back in the 1960s. There’s more research being devoted to developing new models than ever before and that’s reflected in this week’s news. Also, pundits continue to hedge their bets on which way the economy will trend in the medium and long term. Marketing Nemo Chu outlines a […]

Stealing Recipes From Successful Growth Hackers

The label “growth hacker” is one of the terms du jour that almost everyone uses but few see eye-to-eye on. In fact, not only will people quibble about a definition, many will tell you that there’s no such thing as a growth hacker and if you ever think you’ve hired one, you should expect the […]

This Week In Small Business: Market, motivate, measure and keep moving forward!

Middle-class economics, marketing and wrestling with the continuing roll-out of Obamacare were topics of conversations last week. These stories will give small business owners and managers the background they need to stay ahead of the curve. Marketing Finally people are realizing that online advertising isn’t about page views. Far more important is how long visitors […]

This Week in Small Business: News and information to boost the financial state of the union

While President Obama and the Republican Congress argue over who has the best plan for the middle class, small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs continue to take matters into their own hands. If you’re in that group, some of these articles and news stories from this week should help you achieve your goals. Find the […]

Mixing Business with Personal is Trouble – Especially on Facebook

You’ve probably heard of gateway drugs, right? I’m starting to think of a personal Facebook page as a kind of gateway social media drug. Some years ago Facebook started letting anyone sign up for a free personal page. They also didn’t mind too much if you promoted your small business. Then they got strict about […]

Will Small Business Be the Real SuperBowl Winner?

The commercial tie-ins to major sporting events are more important – and visible – than ever and the NFL’s SuperBowl may be the biggest man on campus. Every year we breathlessly await the premieres of those clever SuperBowl ads and it takes players on the winning team about 5 milliseconds to start sporting caps emblazoned […]

Need to Meet the Mobile Marketing Challenge? Master This One Concept

One of the downsides of being involved in rapidly evolving industries that are connected at the hip to rapidly evolving technologies is a certain sloppiness in what is meant by various terms and how they relate to one another. Right now in marketing there is quite a lot of “blurring” between mobile marketing and local […]

This Week in Small Business: Don’t kill your startup and start thinking about Generation Z

Survey the news, trends and tips savvy small business owners have been following this week: Entrepreneurism and Startups 2015 style “Startups don’t die, they commit suicide” and other startup Secrets and tips from America’s coolest young entrepreneurs…illustrated! Some small business owners think creating an entrepreneurial culture is one of their most important goals for 2015. […]

12 Tips for Your Valentine’s Day Email Marketing Campaign

Valentine’€™s Day is rapidly approaching, and whether you personally view it as the most romantic day of the year, filled with love and hope, or an annual ordeal splashed with tacky red and pink decor, there i€™s no question it can have a positive effect on many small businesses. One of the best ways to […]

How to Get Your Social Media Lineup Just Right

The social media world is becoming more like Baskin Robbins everyday. While there aren’t 31 flavors yet, it wouldn’t surprise me if we got to that point pretty soon. That’s fine for users, but it can be confusing for small business marketers. I remember ballpark vendors at the entry gates shouting, “You can’t tell the […]

This Week in Small Business: Predictions and Practical Advice

Success in small business is a constantly moving target and if you want to hit it, you need to move with it. Check out this current news and information to keep yourself well positioned. Politics and Government Small business deductions as well as the corporate tax rate are issues likely to be considered by the […]

Five Hot Trends for 2015: Which Will Benefit Your Business?

Predicting trends is always risky business. However, I’m confident the five I’m enumerating here will definitely command their share of headlines over the next 12 months and beyond. But frankly, whether I – or anyone else – publish an “X Number of 2015 Trends” article is not important by itself. Any value lies in determining […]

12 New Year’s Resolutions for 2015 (Part 1 of 2)

New Year’s Resolutions are all about habits. Breaking some bad ones (smoking, drinking excessively, binging on fast food), and starting new ones (working out, eating more Brussels sprouts). Businesses, like individuals, develop bad habits over time that need correction, while success in business over the long run usually means adopting good management habits and sticking […]

Fill Out Your Holiday Sales Report Card

In the spirit of “there’s nothing new under the sun” and don’t try to “reinvent the wheel,” let’s look at what merchants, on average, did to boost sales over the holiday buying season. Consider this a report card against which you can judge your efforts this year and then use it to plan for other […]

Are You Loosening Up Your Arm Getting Ready to Throw in the Towel? Read This First

The final few weeks of the year are always a time of reflection and planning. For some of you it will be outlining marketing or expansion plans for 2015. Others may be looking at 2015 and wondering if its time to throw in the towel and move on. Here are some approaches to take as […]

Secrets For Creating a Great Plan for 2015

Did you know that December is National Write a Business Plan Month? Maybe they picked December to counterbalance all the good vibes associated with Christmas, but that’s merely speculation… I have met a few people who relish planning, but I think those who dislike it or are indifferent to planning are probably in the majority. […]

To Swag or Not to Swag – That Is the Question

Sometimes I feel like I should be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for attending the most seminars and conferences, especially when it’s the end of the day or of the event and I’m toting around a bag of “swag.” I hear that the swag bag they give participants in the Oscar awards […]

3 Ways to Rev-Up Your Marketing Campaign as the Holiday Season Hits

Here come the holidays. For some businesses, this is the time of the year that will define the income statement. Gift oriented companies will make the most of their money between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Marketing professionals will want to capture the greatest market share possible. In our Internet-driven world, social media technologies are a powerful […]

How Non-Retailers Can Make Holiday Sales

Does your business lack an obvious tie-in to the holiday season? Perhaps you’re B2B or you offer a service that doesn’t lend itself to being a stocking stuffer. Don’t let yourself get depressed watching retailers cash in on this seasonal sales “hook” with their Black Fridays and door busters; there are ways for you to […]

How To Avoid a Million-Dollar Judgment For Using a Picture

A friend of mine writes newsletters for a variety of clients and they often send him photographs and art to include in their newsletters. He always asks if they have permission to reprint the graphics. Usually the answer is “no.” When it is so easy to reprint art from almost any Internet source, it is […]

Your Personal Brand: Tips to Invest in Yourself

In these days of small businesses, worldwide clientele and instant gratification, your personal image can have a huge impact on all aspects of your business — from finding and acquiring customers or clients, to growing your company and spreading your message. Taking the time and resources to invest in yourself will not only affect how […]

Cashing in on Information When You’re Not Google

The hot commodity today is information. Look at the most visited websites in the world and our thirst for information becomes obvious. Of course Google is at the top and Facebook is next. It’s critically important to fully understand and appreciate that one-two punch of most popular websites. Google is where we go to gather […]

Be More Than Just Ready For a Harsh Winter

Are you planning for a mild winter, or a long, cold and snowy one? Before we get into the details of what I want to share with you, I’d like to ask one more question: What do you think is the most important word in my first question? If you think it’s one of the […]

Word-Of-Mouth Wins Big: Now What?

In Alignable’s poll of over 1,000 local business owners, 64 percent selected “word-of-mouth referrals” as the most effective way to acquire new customers—by a mile. In fact word-of-mouth was 3.5-times higher than the next result, Social Media. (See full poll results).  But now what?  Since you can’t simply go out and buy word-of-mouth, what’s a […]

Your Logo Is Your Introduction: Make It Good

Before your customers know anything about you, they’ve probably seen your logo. What do people say about first impressions? I’ve recently created a logo and tagline for our Outrageous Success movement. For two reasons I didn’t rush the process. First, I understand its importance and second, a good logo conveys a lot of information and […]

You Aren’t in Kansas Anymore, Dorothy: The Realities of Transitioning to an Entrepreneur

Corporate employees and small business owners may as well live on two different planets. Corporate employees work hard to meet the goals and objectives of their organizations just as small business owners do. But unlike small business owners, corporate employees never have to worry about making payroll or keeping the lights turned on. There’s no […]

Don’t Send Prospecting Emails Like This – Please!

There’s no way around it. Email has to be a core part of your prospecting strategy. Decision makers rarely answer the phone and seldom get back to you when you leave a message. But with the overwhelming amount of information flooding inboxes today, every single word in your email to a decision maker has to be […]

Be Ready For The New American Household

For the first time ever, there are more single adults than married adults in the United States. That has huge implications for our society, and since small businesses are a major component of our society, this shifting demographic – one of many, by the way – should be carefully considered when mapping out future business […]

High Touch and High Tech Helping Independent Restaurants Succeed

“Sorry, we are closed.” Everyone has seen this all-too-familiar sign hung in the darkened windows of your favorite local eatery. Although this time, it’s not just until tomorrow morning’s kitchen prep, now — it’s for good! Personally when it comes to dining out, I prefer independently owned eateries.  Why?  For starters, I think the food […]

Why You Should Meet the Business Across the Street

Connecting and collaborating with other local business owners unlocks a wealth of knowledge and business opportunities. So it did not come as a surprise to my co-founder and me when we interviewed local business owners about what they wished technology could do for them. Often the answer was simply, “Can it just introduce me to […]

5 Overlooked Social Media Tips to Boost Branding, Clicks, and Conversions

In social media, it can be easy to fade into the crowd. Staying fresh, interesting, and engaging is vital to the success of any social media campaign. An engaging and successful social media presence can be a tremendous boost to your website’s sales funnel. We’ve assembled five oft-overlooked tricks to take your social media game […]

The Small Business Expert’s social media golden rule

Watch the latest video at The Small Business Expert Susan Solovic outlines the social media dos and don’ts for small businesses that are taking customer service online.

How to Use Instagram Video in Your Marketing, Branding

We’ve already looked at ways major corporations are getting good marketing results using Instagram and discussed how you can adapt their strategies to your small business. Here I want to move away from the standard picture posting and talk a little about video and give you a quick update about the social medium. Video is […]

Blogs: Why They are Important and How to Find The Best Topics

It’s Monday morning, you have your week’s appointment calendar, notes from previous meetings, you’re set…aren’t you? What about your blog? Blogging helps your SEO and visibility and is a critical tool for small businesses. But where do you find the best topics? No Ideas…May Be a Problem I have said to many of my clients that their blog is […]

Can Millennial Golf Participation Get Out Of the Rough?

A colleague was at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville watching the final two rounds of the PGA Championship. One thing that impressed him was seeing how multiple generations of a family were watching the tournament together. He said he saw many families where the grandparents and grandchildren were golfers. However, despite his positive impression, overall […]

3 Knock ’em Dead, Sure-Fire Ways To K-O Your Customer Loyalty Program!

You want your customer loyalty program to be the talk of the industry, right? You want every blogger discussing what you did. After all, you want your 15 minutes of fame, and it’s a lot easier to get it when you’re piloting the Hindenburg than when you’re at the helm of a smoothly running business. […]

Direct Mail Marketing: Is It Dead?

The other day I got a big envelope in the mail. I knew it was a direct mail marketing piece of some kind. Although I usually toss these immediately, I opened this one up. Inside was a sample of a 39-cent pen with my company’s name imprinted on the side. It’s not exactly the way […]

If You’re Not Using This Email Prospecting Tool, You’re Missing Out

You know what I hate? Not knowing if my prospect has opened my emails … wondering if they disappeared into a black hole … and never being able to catch them on the phone. I suspect you feel the same way. That’s why I wanted to let you know about Signals, a new, free and easy […]

The Right Message to the Right Audience – Key to Small Biz Marketing Success

It’s so simple — yet brilliant.  “Any time.  On Time.  All Time Air Conditioning.” I saw this van in the parking lot of a gas station in West Palm Beach, Florida.  The temperature was in the mid-90s with extremely high humidity.  Think about what happens when your air conditioning goes out during the height of […]

7 Hot Ideas To Boost Summer Sales

We all love the summer, but it can be a rough time for business—they don’t call them the “dog days of summer” for nothing. With kids out of school and families going on vacation, the world of commerce becomes less predictable. To help you fight back, here are seven ideas to heat up your warm […]

Today’s Marketing Keeps Customers Coming Back

Traditional marketing was used to get customers “in the door.” But today’s marketing keeps customers coming back. It’s more than a marketing message. It’s a marketing experience.  More and more, the case for customer service and experience is being closely linked, if not actually one in the same, with marketing becomes stronger. The marketing department […]

How To Get Sales Success through Agile Selling

It’s rare when a new word is interjected into the conversation. Today I’m talking about the conversation that is constantly revolving around the topic of “sales” and the new word that has entered the conversation—thanks to Jill Konrath—is “agile.” In Jill’s new book, “Agile Selling,” she makes the case that keeping up with our crazy-fast […]

Turn Your Employees into Brand Ambassadors

Are your employees are your brand ambassadors? Here’s a test: Ask each employee one-on-one, “What does our company do and what does it stand for?” If you receive a myriad of answers, then you have work to do! Your employees are your brand ambassadors whether at work or during their free time. Why? Because what we […]

Are Your Followers Hitting the Twitter Mute Button?

“Excuse me, honey. What did you say? I wasn’t paying attention.” These words—or some very similar—are uttered in living rooms around the world every evening and now Twitter is bringing the same phenomena to its online world. The latest version of Twitter’s iOS and Android apps includes a mute feature. Simply put, when you hit […]

Are Customers Always Right?

Betsy Kruger heads Strategic Power, a marketing consultancy committed to empowering world prosperity, one business at a time. Business Expert Press released her book, Top Market Strategy: Applying the 80/20 Rule, in August 2011. This book enriches marketing and strategy textbooks and shows business leaders exactly how to quadruple their profit from customers. Her next book Aesop’s […]

4 Great Ideas for DIY Marketing Month

The calendar on the wall says it’s June while the calendar on my smartphone says it’s Entrepreneurs Do It Yourself Marketing Month. For most entrepreneurs every month is DIY marketing month, but as summer rolls in, we take a little extra time to consider marketing. I don’t want to highlight or honor this month with […]

A Marketer, Salesperson, or Business Developer – Which One Do You Need?

If your small business is successful, eventually you may want to expand to service more clients, offer more products, or open new locations.  But expansion cannot occur unless there are revenues and cash flow to support the operations.  In order to build clientele and make a sale, a business will need a combination of marketing […]

It’s Not ‘Either/Or’ – It’s ‘And’!

Not long ago my friend Sally Hogshead ( posted this on Facebook: “Being the best is not enough if nobody notices or cares.” She’s absolutely right. When Sally speaks to groups about how to be fascinating (and she is THE master of fascination), she often uses Jagermeister as an example. Who would have ever known about […]

8 Strategies to Diversify Your Small Business

The adage, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” holds true on every day of the year except Easter. And for many small businesses, it’s advice that should be considered quite seriously—especially in this digital age when product life cycles and customer sensibilities change more quickly than the leaves in Vermont come October. Hollywood […]

Are You Leaving Money on the Table? Break that Habit Today!

I know a couple who owned and operated a small motel in a rural corner of Northern California. There weren’t many lodging options in the area, but their facility was small and it didn’t create a very good cash flow.  Every so often they would try to find ways to increase revenue. The husband would […]

How to Choose the Best Business Card Provider

Business cards are an essential part of starting your new company, but which company is the best choice for you? For the small business, gets our vote, but let’s take a look at the details for big budgets, small budgets, and everything in between. Vistaprint MOO Local Printer Rating 4.5 stars 5 stars […]

Should You Sue Over a Bad Online Review?

One of the things you have to love about the Internet is that it’s creating new issues for us to sue each other over!  A snarled web of legal entanglements is being spun around Yelp right now. One of the issues that is being litigated concerns phony reviews. After a lawyer took Yelp to small […]

Creative Ways Small Businesses Can Use Affiliate Marketing

Small businesses are always looking for inexpensive ways to advertise; budding entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to start a business on a shoestring.  Affiliate marketing programs can be what both groups are looking for, and that’s a good thing, as Martha Stewart might say.  However, in the corner of the Internet where all the […]

Social Media: DIY or Outsource? Which is Best for Your Small Business?

Do you remember in middle school when a new fashion fad would appear and you and your fellow tweens just had to have it! Social media is a lot like that today, but I urge you to consider your goals before you jump on the bandwagon. Don’t make the mistake of doing what everyone else […]

10 Tips to Build Your Online Business

“Suppose they gave a war and nobody came?”  It’s an old anti-war slogan from the ’60s that was inspired by a Carl Sandburg quote. Today we could twist it around a bit and ask the question, “Suppose you opened an online business and nobody came?” However, ours isn’t a rhetorical question; it expresses reality for […]

Facebook Advertising for Small Business: Phenomenon or Fiasco?

The universe of low-cost targeted online advertising is growing all the time due to the explosion in social media, so small businesses have more options today than ever before. We’ve been watching Facebook develop its advertising program, especially since it went public. Unless it can invent a completely new business model, the ultimate success or […]

Internet Radio vs. Podcasts: Where to get the Most Value for Your Small Business

When the first Macintosh computers shipped with MacPaint and MacDraw, it made everyone a graphic artist.  With the sophisticated audio hardware that’s built into computers today along with inexpensive—or free—software almost anyone can start an Internet radio program. You’ve probably noted the dramatic increase in Internet radio apps over the last couple of years. Does […]

Avoid This Killer Sales Strategy at All Costs

This is the most important blog post I’ve ever written. It’s about what happened exactly one year ago today. Please read it and share it with others.  Last week a friend told me about a recent fender bender. While driving, he’d been dictating an email on his cell phone. He wanted to get a few […]

10 Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget

Famed author Mark Twain once said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” But advertising can be expensive, and in a tight economy, many small businesses cut their marketing budgets first because of cash flow concerns. However, when times are tough, it’s even more important to keep your […]

Small Businesses — the Time Has Come to Go Mobile or Go Home

Talk to people who run political campaigns and they’ll say, “All politics are local.” That’s becoming increasingly true on the Internet as well: “All browsing is local.” Well, almost. The desktop computer is being left behind and in its place is a phalanx of mobile devices: laptops, smart phones and tablets. Further, by the end […]

Is Pinterest Right for Your Small Business?

It didn’t take long after Pinterest launched back in 2010 for serious social media users to warm up to the idea. People were “pinning” cool web finds at a blindingly fast pace. However, it took a bit longer for Pinterest to figure out that it needed to better serve the business community and devise ways […]


Here are more highlights from my conversation with Randye Spina, small business marketing expert and author of the book “Affordable Marketing Solutions: Proven Techniques to Profitably Market Your Small Business” ( Signage.  RANDYE:  A while ago I saw a very expensive four-color standalone sign for a Mexican restaurant at a bus stop. The sign said […]

8 Sales Tips That Really Work!

There’s an old saying in business:  Nothing happens until you sell something.  But with a tight economy, it’s getting tougher and tougher to get your foot in the door and make new sales.  After massive lay-offs most companies are understaffed.  As a result, employees have less time and tighter budgets.  Direct mail pieces and letters […]

High-Tech, High-Touch: A Small Business Trend for 2014

My small business trends for 2014 reveal an interesting conundrum.  We all know customers demand the ease of doing business with you via high-tech so we’re all scrambling to keep up with technology.  But interestingly, at the same time, customers crave high-touch. Customers are quickly frustrated and often irritated when your business phone is answered […]

How Your Small Business Can Transform a Reluctant Buyer

Pharmaceutical companies and others end their advertisements with enough small print or fast talk disclaimers to make your head spin. I’ll put mine right up here at the top: You can’t always turn a reluctant customer into a buyer.  You’re product simply isn’t going to be right for everyone. I could list items like: *   […]

Need More Customers for Your Small Business? Sage Wants to Help.

I don’t think I know any small business owners who don’t want more business.  New research from Sage found 57 percent of small businesses want more business, but 22 percent say they have done no advertising, promotions, or publicity in order to attract new customers.  That seems counter-intuitive, but if you own your own business, […]


No matter how successful you are in your business, you can always improve your marketing strategy. Randye Spina is a leading small business marketing expert and author of the book “Affordable Marketing Solutions: Proven Techniques to Profitably Market Your Small Business” (  Here are some highlights from a long conversation we had recently about the […]

Customer Service Strategy: To Serve and Protect

I’ve been writing customer service articles for over 25 years and always appreciate comments and stories that come from our readers.  Jacques De Villiers responded to one of the articles, which was about shifting your vocabulary. The concept was if we called our customers something other than customers, how could that change the mood, feeling and even […]

5 Ways to Say Thanks This Holiday Season

Here we are in the midst of the holiday season, and many small business owners, are searching for ways to say thanks to our customers and clients.  Making the right choice is often difficult, particularly with tight budgets.  How much should you spend?  What’s appropriate and what’s not? To help you make a positive impression, […]

Is Your Price Right?

Here we are… racing towards the end of the year. I am amazed at how quickly 2013 is disappearing and excited for the unfolding of the New Year. I love entering a new year with the promise of new opportunities, new places, and new people. For the moment, however, it is time to get ready […]

Holiday Party Dos and Don’ts!

We’re smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, and if you’re like me, your mailbox is over-flowing with invitations to holiday parties.  Although I appreciate every one, it’s impossible to attend all of them so you have to pick and choose.  Personally, I like to maintain a balanced mix between pure social events […]


“I’m a video photographer who, up until now, has specialized in shooting weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other ‘celebration’ type events. A local high school recently contacted me about making a video of their school’s drama production each year.  I frankly didn’t realize there was a market for that, so I contacted other area elementary, middle […]


“My daughter, a full-time college student, has made money in her spare time making customized covers for her friends’ smartphones and mobile devices. We are thinking about turning this into a real business.  We’ve spoken to a local patent attorney and he’s optimistic we will be able to get a patent on my daughter’s design. […]

The 6 Marketing Videos Your Small Business can Create Today (Part 2)

In my last guest post here on the blog I discussed the first three types of videos that you can create to get started with video marketing as a small business. These first three ideas included: 1. The explainer video 2. How to videos, and 3. The ‘backstage pass’ video Small businesses can really connect […]

The 6 Marketing Videos Your Small Business can Create Today (part 1)

Working in the video marketing space for four years now, I can tell you with confidence that video can make all the difference in the world for your business, big or small. Engaging video content is the perfect way to deliver a targeted message and can actually make your small business appear increasingly polished and […]

What’s In A Name?

In Shakespeare’s most recognized tragedy, the star-crossed lover Juliet asks “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Now, that may have been true back in Juliet’s day. But is it still true now in today’s era of celebrity branding? Here’s the deal. Back in […]

How to Make Your Business Stand Out – Printing Trends for 2014

Direct mail can be a very effective way to communicate with customers and prospects. Whether you are trying to promote your organization’s new product launch, entice customers to visit your store or just build brand awareness, a well-planned direct mail piece can yield desired results. One-to-one marketing using direct mailers remains impactful, even in today’s […]

How Small Businesses Can Thrive 365 Days a Year

Marketing is changing. Consumers are smarter, well informed, and able to access the information they need as fast as it takes to reach into their pocket, hit one button, and speak into a microphone. Savvy small businesses have learned to adapt their marketing strategies with the ever-changing digital environment. They’re doing it with Lifecycle Marketing […]

Three Surefire Tips to Help Your Business Grow.

My dog is Chairman of the Bone at my company.  His name is Maxwell Solovic — 14 pound Shih Tzu who works in the office with me nearly every day.   Because Maxwell is still fairly young he’s very playful.   He has more toys and treats than you can imagine, but one of his favorite […]

Use How-To Videos to Attract and Retain Customers for Your Small Business

I’m going to let you in on a little secret about me, a peek at my personality, so to say.  I abhor manuals.  It makes no difference what type of manual it is, I hate ’em all.  They are rarely written clearly and concisely and you need a magnifying glass to read them.  The diagrams […]


Today’s entrepreneurs keep getting younger and younger. I just read an article in my college alumni/ae magazine about an entering freshperson who created a smartphone app while a high school sophomore, sold it for $2 million, and used it to prepay for his Ivy League degree. Heck, this kid doesn’t NEED college – he already […]

Hand-Held Virtual Office Answer to Work/Life Balance?

Small business owners spent 60 percent more time holding their mobile devices than holding the hand of a significant other according to survey results from Staples.  Yes, smart phones really have allowed work to invade every minute of our day.  But that’s not all bad.  Actually for small businesses who are embracing the new technology, […]

Holiday Shoppers are Going Mobile: Is Your Small Business Ready?

About the only smartphone or tablet application you may not encounter this holiday season is one that is capable of carrying your packages.  The marketplace has gone mobile, with everything from price-checking apps, all the way to map-apps that show you where to find that sought after item inside a particular store. In the marriage […]

Small Business Loyalty Programs Bring Customers Back

My friends refer to me as the coupon queen.  I’m always looking for a great deal.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise to you that I’m constantly signing up for loyalty programs.  In fact, last night my husband and I dined at one of our favorite restaurants and our meals were free after we […]

Win a $16,000 Sales and Marketing Makeover for Your Small Business

Could your small business use a marketing make-over?  Infusionsoft is awarding sales and marketing makeovers to four small businesses throughout this month.  If you’re one of the lucky winners, you’ll receive a complete sales and marketing make-over valued at $16,000 which includes a package of strategy, services and software, including a redesign of their sales […]

Short and Sweet Holiday Season: Make Sure Your Small Business is Prepared

You might still have a few odd pieces of Halloween candy lying around, or maybe even started planning your Thanksgiving menu. There’s plenty of time until the real buying season starts, right? After all, you tell yourself, the cash registers don’t get really get hot until the turkey gets cold. NOT this year! 2013 marks […]

When the Phone Stops Ringing

Q: “I run a small service business. The past several months have been busy enough, but I’m getting a lot fewer jobs than I did at this time last year, when my phone was ringing off the hook. I know the economy’s tough, and people just don’t have the money they used to. I’m worried, […]

The One Essential Marketing Tactic U.S. Brands Are Missing

Marketers in the US have been big believers in visual branding using carefully designed graphic standards to convey their core identity. Sound has been overlooked. In past years, the primary audio-related question facing marketers has been what music to use in a TV or radio campaign. Often an afterthought and usually licensed from popular music, this […]

Don’t be a Stooge When It Comes to Marketing

The guys I know have all been looking forward to “The Three Stooges” remake opening this month. They think Moe, Larry and Curly’s harebrained schemes, silly missteps, and thwacks, smacks and blindside attacks are hysterically funny. Heck, I don’t need to go to the movies for slapstick – I’ve got men in my life!  (Kidding, […]

Keep Your Business Heated Up As The Temperatures Drop: Create a Marketing Communications Plan

It’s only October, however, parts of Colorado have already been hit with a major blizzard.  Let’s face it, winter is just around the corner.  Snow, ice, and blistering cold temperatures often cause us to hibernate in warm, comfortable offices instead of making calls on customers and clients.  But there’s no need to wait until the […]

Want the Best Business Card Ever? Write a Book

Nearly every day, someone asks my advice on the best way to promote their business or themselves. I get the question at speaking engagements, at the office and, yes, sometimes at home. I don’t mind at all, because I’ve always got a good answer: Write a book. “A book?” some say — with obvious horror. […]

Top-Selling Indie Author Shares 4 Tips for Marketing Your Book

Building a Following is a Marathon, Not a Sprint, Says Corporate Exec-Turned-Novelist If you want people to read your book, you have to be more than a talented storyteller or researcher – you will need plenty of persistence, says Darlene Quinn, a 75-year-old award-winning novelist whose passion for the written word trumped her lucrative position […]

New Social Media Platform Helps Local Small Businesses Build Success

I’m always sad to see community business districts deteriorate into ghost towns. The once vibrant main street in my hometown is now practically deserted. The Ben Franklin store where I used to buy all sorts of treasures is a pawn shop, pizza restaurant and tatoo parlor.  (For you youngsters, Ben Franklin was what was known […]

Fake It Till You Make It? Not in Small Business!

“Grassroots” has become the go-to buzz word for everyone from political pundits to pre-school teachers.  It seems as if the only way to accomplish something is from “the ground up.”  In that dirt-driven vein, here’s another one for you: “Astroturfing.”  It has nothing to do with a football field, but it could get you a […]

The One Essential Marketing Tactic U.S. Brands Are Missing

Marketers in the US have been big believers in visual branding using carefully designed graphic standards to convey their core identity. Sound has been overlooked. In past years, the primary audio-related question facing marketers has been what music to use in a TV or radio campaign. Often an afterthought and usually licensed from popular music, this […]

Content Marketing is a Brand Building Tool For Small Business

While most small-business owners are aware of the promotional benefits of blogging and social media, reaping the maximum benefit from these platforms involves more than setting up a blog or a Twitter account and hoping for the best. Blogging software and social media make it very easy to share content and to develop a wide […]


I was privileged this week to give a keynote address on “Building a World Class e-Commerce Business” for the semiannual Sellers’ Conference for Online Entrepreneurs (SCOE) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  This major networking event, now in its 9th year, is one of the leading conferences for online retailers, wholesalers and distributors, but is an absolute “must […]

Business Lessons I’ve Learned as a Small Business CEO

I found a fascinating website while trolling around the Internet recently. It’s called Statistic Brain and it has data and rankings on all kinds of topics, from hair loss to consumer spending. The numbers that caught my eye had to do with start-up business failures. Did you know 25 percent of start-ups strike out within […]

4 Tips for Small Businesses to Make the Most of Foursquare

When you have a business with a physical location, it can be a challenge to connect your online and offline marketing strategies. Online marketing can seem less useful since it reaches a wide audience who may never visit your physical area. However, there is a great way to encourage your local visitors to share their […]

Three Reasons Why Trademarks Matter

Many clients come to me asking whether a name or design is protectable and whether it’s worth the cost.  Here’s my advice in a nutshell. 1.  STRONG TRADEMARKS INCREASE THE VALUE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Trademarks can be words, designs or the two in combination.  They are the first thing that differentiates you from your competition.  […]

Old Fashioned Networking Remains a Business Building Standard

Last week I spoke at a college alumni dinner.  My topic for the evening was networking.  Everyone talks about the importance of networking.  Every motivational speaker,small business expert, business coach, and self-help/business author:  At some point they include the boilerplate networking banter.  Personally, I think it has become so common that I’m not really sure […]

Small Business Loyalty Programs Keep Customers Coming Back

My friends refer to me as the coupon queen.  I’m always looking for a great deal.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise to you that I’m constantly signing up for loyalty programs.  In fact, last night my husband and I dined at one of our favorite restaurants and our meals were free after we […]

Find Your Small Business Sweet Spot: You Can’t Be All Things to All People

No business can succeed without a marketing strategy, but a lot of money is often spent on the wrong kind of advertising and marketing tactics.  In order to create an effective marketing plan, you need to identify your target customers.  Unless you can define who your ideal customers are, you’ll find it difficult to design […]

Is All Publicity, Good? How to Manage Negative Online Comments

“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”  — Oscar Wilde. When I started my professional career, we didn’t have email, faxes or social media.  Heck, the first television station I worked at even had manual typewriters.  Without the aid of technology, spreading the word about your small business was […]

Let’s talk social media (Video)

Susan discusses social media and small business.

Successful Small Business Marketing Starts With YOU!

Q. I’m starting a business and I’m wondering: What is the best way to get my marketing going quickly? THE Small Business Expert Says: Without knowing anything about you or your business, I’m confident you decided to go into business because you are really good at providing a particular product or service and you believe […]

Royal Baby Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

The British aren’t the only ones cashing in on the Royal baby mania.  Many U.S. small businesses are creating fun marketing campaigns around the birth of the new prince or princess too. When Prince Charles was born, my mother owned a retail clothing store.  She managed to get front page coverage in the local newspaper […]

The Most Rewarding Marketing Mistake I Ever Made

Recently, a colleague asked me, “What was the most rewarding mistake you ever made in business?” It’s a great question, and I quickly had an answer for him because it was an incredibly painful mistake. However, it proved to be an invaluable lesson that has served me well in the years since. I’m sharing so […]

Build Your Small Business Brand With Video Marketing

My career started as an anchor and reporter for small market television stations.  Even though I was an “on-air” personality, I had to shoot video and edit many of my own stories.  You youngsters out there would laugh if you saw the primitive equipment we had to use.  Big, bulky cameras, 3/4 inch tape and […]

Consistency is Critical For Successful Small Business Marketing

A successful marketing plan is built on consistent messages.  But when you’re building your business it’s tempting to want to try to be all things to all people.  Thus, your marketing messages end up being all over the map.  The result:  It confuses your customers.  (Gets confusing for you too.) Before you start to market […]

Return on Networking – the ROI of Social Media

I was never a fan of the cocktail party-variety networking scene. I will never be one to dart around a room shoving business cards into people’s hands. I prefer meaningful conversations with people, getting to know them and vice versa. But social media networking? That’s something different altogether. Done right, it’s never a hit-and-run. Rather, […]

Sam’s Club Launches 25-City Small Business Boot Camp Series

Small business owners looking for help in growing their business may want to consider Sam’s Club as a great resource.  The big-box wholesale club recently announced the launch of the Grow Your Business Book Camp Series 25 cities around the country. The Boot Camp series allows local Sam’s Club leaders to collaborate with community non-profits […]

Turn the Lazy Days of Summer into a Sizzling Success

The lazy days of summer aren’t so lazy for some industrious small business owners. Instead of spending their weekends lounging by the pool, they’re setting up tents and selling their wares at one of the thousands of outdoor festivals being held around the country each weekend this summer. Summer festivals epitomize good- old-fashioned American fun.   Despite the […]

Chase & Google Team Up to Offer Small Businesses Perks and Education During Small Business Week

National Small Business Week is right around the corner.  In celebration of the annual event’s 50th anniversary, Chase is offering exclusive product and service offers.  Small business owners who sign up for an Ink from Chase credit card from June 16th through June 22nd will receive additional cash rewards or bonus points. New cardholders will […]

Lost Sales Leads: 4 Common Problems and How to Correct Them

U.S. businesses spend billions of dollars generating sales leads only to lose more than 70 percent of them simply because they don’t make contact quickly enough, according to one study. But that’s not the only way they’re losing out on opportunities, says Brandon Stuerke, president of Advisors Edge Marketing, a specialist in marketing strategy and […]

Make Your Website Work For Your Small Business

My husband joined me on a business trip recently and on one of my free evenings, we decided to venture out from the conference hotel and find a fun restaurant to try.  As I searched the Internet I was amazed at how many establishments either didn’t have a website or had websites that were really […]

Mobile Technology Helping Small Businesses Soar to Success

Are you a hold-out when it comes to leveraging mobile technology for your small business success?  If so, you’re now in the minority which means most likely your competitors are using new technologies to increase their market share.  New survey data from Constant Contact found 66 percent of small businesses are using mobile devices, including […]

Is Social Media a Bust for Small Biz? Not in My Book

Is social media a bust for small businesses?  That’s what a recent survey from Manta , a social network for small businesses, would have you believe.  The company reported  61 percent of the small businesses responding to their survey don’t see any return on investment on their social media activities.  As a huge fan of […]

Small Businesses Prefer Facebook Over Super Bowl Ad

The majority of small businesses would prefer a large Facebook community over other marketing tools such as a celebrity endorsement or Super Bowl Ad.  That’s the conclusion of a recent survey conducted by office supply giant, Staples, Inc. Small business who responded to the survey said they recognize the power of social media in engaging […]

The Social Media Dilemma: Managing the Business Benefits vs. Personal Risks

By now, if you don’t understand the huge impact social media is having on our society today, then you must be living under a rock.  For millions of Americans, social media is a prevalent part of their personal and professional lives.  And many small businesses are learning to expertly leverage social media as an effective […]

Six Tips for Improving Your Online Storefront and Boosting Sales

Online storefronts are a wonderful way to sell goods and services, but presentation is key: too many businesses fail to market their storefronts successfully. Online storefronts have proven to be a cost-effective way to ring up more sales because they provide customers with self-service and self-ordering capabilities, which saves money and manpower. Those who don’t […]

Small Businesses Investing in Digital Marketing For Greater Success

Are you leveraging the power of digital media in your small business?  In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive market, small businesses are relying more on their online presence to connect with customers and to enhance brand awareness.  According to the 2013 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll, small businesses plan to invest as much or more […]

3 Easy Ways To Leverage Social Media For Your Business: Guest Expert Blog

Social media is everywhere and by the looks of it, it’s certainly not going away anytime soon.  This brief history of social media shows the timeline of its early beginning to present day.  The evolution of the internet shows how social media is shaping the experiences of user’s lives in day to day activities.  From […]

Nine Quick and Simple Tips to Ramp Up Your Sales

There’s an old saying in business:  Nothing happens until you sell something.  But with a tight economy, it’s getting tougher and tougher to get your foot in the door and make new sales.  After massive lay-offs most companies are understaffed.  As a result, workers are doing more with less and they often don’t have the […]

Ramp Up Your Social Media Skills For Greater Small Business Success

Social media is proving to be a big brand booster for many small businesses.  Yet a recent survey from Constant Contact found 53 percent of small business owners feel it’s an area where they need help in learning how to leverage its power to build their businesses. In order to help small business owners ramp […]

Success Stories Create Emotional Attachment to Your Brand: Guest Blog

With each one narrowcasted for a target audience, and without sounding like an infomercial, a Success Story inspires people to act. Each story demonstrates how you’ve tackled challenges similar to theirs with solutions that produced desired results.  As a retention tool, success stories remind customers of what you did for them. Brand your company as […]

Put Instagram to Work in Your Small Business

Another social media platform is taking the marketing world by storm. Instagram. Launched less than three years ago, the company has amassed a cult-like following of over 100 million users. Major brands are embracing the site as a smart addition to their marketing strategy. According to Simply Measured, 54 percent of the top brands are active on the social sharing application. The most active include: MTV, Starbucks, Burberry, Nike, Gucci, Tiffany & Co, Audi, and GE.

What Does Your Business Card Say About Your Business?

“Do you have a card?” How many times have you been asked that question when you meet someone new? Business cards are a traditional part of doing business. They have been around for years and it’s easy to take them for granted. That’s particularly true in light of of all the popular social media platforms today that in many respects could easily replace the old faithful business card. Yet the business card remains a fixture in the business world.

Google + Hangouts Helping Small Businesses Succeed

True confession — I’m a social media junkie. Kred, an organization that measures social media influence, recently placed me in the top one percent of influencers on the Internet. Many small businesses are using social media as a part of their overall marketing strategy, but keeping up with the rapidly changing social media market can be overwhelming. For example, just recently new statistics showed that Google +, the new kid on the block, is now number two behind Facebook, overtaking Twitter, in the social media world. One popular tool Google+ offers is called Google + Hangouts, and savvy small business owners are finding it as useful tool to help them grow their businesses.

Three Tips to Manage Social Media Success

Social media is an excellent way to build brand awareness for your business and to engage with your customers. Yet many small business owners often worry about the time it requires to manage their social media marketing efforts. It’s sort of funny in a way. Small business owners used to say they didn’t have the money to market their businesses, and now they say they don’t have the time. Understandably, time is money, but you can enjoy the benefits of social media marketing without allowing it to consume your time. Here are three quick tips.

Ask Before You Email: Don’t Waste a Recipient’s Time

Email marketing is an smart and effective way to build your small business. But it can also alienate a potential customer if not managed appropriately.

The average worker gets approximately 147 emails a day and deletes nearly half of them. In general it takes a little over three seconds to delete unwanted emails — over the course of a week that time adds up and eats into your productivity. Many of the emails that wind up in the trash are unsolicited which is annoying and a waste of the recipient’s time.

Reach and Teach Your Way to Small Business Success

When I ask small business owners what their biggest challenge is in today’s market, many say it’s attracting new business. That’s a challenge in any economic climate, but it’s even more difficult in tough times because most businesses don’t have big budgets to spend on marketing. One of the least expensive and most effective strategies for any business is reach and teach marketing.

Define Your Email Marketing Goals for Greater Success

With email marketing becoming an increasingly important marketing strategy for small businesses, a critical but sometimes overlooked aspect of your company’s marketing strategy is the why behind your email campaign.

Beware of Invention Promotion Scams

Do you have a great idea for a new product? Good for you, but taking a product from the mind to the marketplace isn’t easy, and it’s fraught with peril. There are numerous scammers out there waiting to play on your inexperience and enthusiasm. You may have seen infomercials on TV. These companies often cost a significant amount of money and they leave you with nothing in return.

Become a Celebrity Small Business

Traditional media coverage is no longer necessarily needed to build celebrity status. With the advent of technology and social media almost anyone can become a recognized expert — mini-celebrity — in their field. Yes, that means even you can propel yourself to stardom and fame. But it takes hard work, dedication and most of all patient.
Here are a few ideas to get you on the road to fame.

Enhance Your Sales by Knowing Your Customer

There’s an old saying in business: Nothing happens until you sell something. But with a tight economy, it’s getting tougher and tougher to get your foot in the door and make new sales. After massive lay-offs most companies are understaffed. As a result, employees have less time and tighter budgets. Direct mail pieces and letters get tossed in the trash. Voice mails and emails are quickly deleted. How do you cut through the clutter?

Six Tips to Make Online Business Big for Your Small Business

Are you ready to take advantage of this online business boom? If you’re interested in creating an e-commerce web site for your small business, here are some critical factors you should consider.

Four Tips to Kick Your Holiday Marketing Plan Into High Gear

Can you believe this is Thanksgiving week? Thanksgiving traditionally marks the official beginning of the holiday season and I’m excited. I have already hauled all the boxes up from my basement to begin the decorating process. In my home the holidays are much more than a couple strands of lights, a sprinkling of garland, and a tree—it’s a seasonal event filled with family and friends.

Online Business is Big Business for Small Biz This Holiday Season

Many people are surprised to learn that I hate to shop. it’s true. I’m not one of those women who takes pleasure spending a Saturday afternoon at the mall. But I am an online shopping junkie, and I do nearly all my holiday shopping via the Internet. And I’m not alone. Online holiday sales for 2012 are forecast to grow 12 percent over last holiday season to approximately $96 billion.

National Women’s History Month — A Salute to Those Who Forged the Way.

Every year during Women’s History Month, my thoughts turn to my mother. Why? Because my mom was a pioneer in the field of women business ownership.
Mom became an entrepreneur at the end of World War II which was unheard of in those days. The war left her a young widow, and she was determined to provide for herself. Partnering with her brother who was just returning from the war, they pooled their resources and opened a furniture store in a rural Missouri town. I’ve heard many great stories about my mother’s ability to sell! She was a dynamo, and the business thrived as a result.

Tips For Selling With Confidence!

Successful selling begins with good preparation. Before you make a sales call, take time to do o your research. Know a little history about the company and your prospect. Visit their web site. Do an Internet search using one of the main search engines such as Yahoo or Google. Look for recent press releases or other pertinent information. Pay attention to the company’s advertisements and marketing strategies. And don’t forget to check out their competition.

Smart Phones Help Small Businesses Go Green

It’s Earth Day. Think smart phones. Smart phones can do almost anything these days, from tracking your caloric intake and monitoring your tax return to entertaining you with a game of Scrabble. They can even help you go green.

Competitiveness is Off but Optimism is Up for Small Businesses

Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business just recently released their Small Business Success Index survey, shedding some light on the current state of entrepreneurs and the small business world.

8 Cheap Ways to Market Your Small Biz — Small Business Ideas!

Famed author Mark Twain said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” But advertising can be expensive. And in a tight economy, many small businesses cut their marketing budgets first because of cash flow concerns. However, when times are tough, it is even more important to keep your business brand front and center. Small business ideas to help you succeed.

Tips to Make Selling a Snap

There’s an old saying in business — nothing happens until you sell something. But in today’s economy, selling is tougher than ever before. Potential customers are under extreme pressure to do more with less money, less time and fewer resources. It’s tough to get in the door. Sales expert, Jill Konrath has the answers for […]

June is Effective Communications Month — Talk Your Way to Success

Successful entrepreneurs are great visionaries, but they also share the gift of gab. They know how to communicate their ideas in an engaging way so others can see and embrace the vision too. More simply stated, they are excellent story-tellers and evangelists for their companies.

Is Your Conference Travel Budget Tapped Out? Try a Virtual Summit.

The recession is taking a bite out of travel budgets for many small business owners. As a result, more and more of us are choosing not to attend trade shows and conferences this year. But what if you didn’t have to leave your office to participate in a ground-breaking summit offering inspiring keynote speakers, networking and great business learning events.

Don’t Create Customer Expectations You Can’t Live Up To!

Q.“Recently, I started incorporating the internet in my small business by starting a website. There’s a page where customers or potential-customers can leave questions or comments. There’s been an overwhelming amount of questions that I often neglect to answer. Do you think I should take the page down if I’m not responding to every question […]

Getting Away: Keeping a Small Business Running Smoothly While You’re on Vacation

By Jim McKinley Everyone deserves a fun and restful vacation, especially busy people such as business owners and entrepreneurs, individuals who bear great responsibility. It’s that responsibility which makes getting away and relaxing so essential. As a business owner, your energy, drive, creativity, and mental and physical health are very important to the success of […]

5 Reasons Why Keeping Your Home Office Clean And Organized Is Good For Business

By Liz Greene A looming deadline, a cramped schedule, emotional overwhelm at every level, and a thoroughly destroyed workspace. It’s utterly mind numbing (and we’ve all been there). That said, working in a cluttered and/or messy environment can negatively affect your business. I mean, no one likes working in chaos, but the benefits of a […]

The Fallacy of Multitasking

By Dan Coughlin Two weeks ago I gave a full-day seminar at the Washington University Olin Business School. Thirty-six full-time executives from 24 different organizations made up the class. We were discussing one of my favorite topics, focus and sacrifice, when a woman raised her hand and said, “You’re talking about the fallacy of multitasking.” […]

Are you slipping at your #1 responsibility? Many are.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. I’ve heard that advice in a number of different settings over the years, but it’s especially important for small business owners. So, in a small business, what’s the main thing? Put as simply and succinctly as I can the main thing in small […]

Slay the email demon with these productivity apps and strategies

Scanning, reading, responding, and deleting emails continues to be some of our biggest productivity killers, so it’s always a good idea to see if any new apps or strategies have been developed that can help us bring things under control. See if any of these will help you tame the email beast: Automatic writing There […]

The Value of Paired Opposites

By Dan Coughlin Over the past 30 days I’ve had about 35 Executive Coaching sessions. One thing I love about my work is I’m constantly learning from a very diverse group of people. One theme that is emerging for me is the value of paired opposites. Here are examples of what I mean: Feminine Traits […]

Learn to Value Your Leisure

By Jeff Davidson Leisure, as a concept for many business owners, is on the rocks. Surely, it no longer means total hours minus work hours. True leisure time – enjoying a rewarding activity free from work and preoccupation with work – is difficult for many to achieve. Why leisure time gets pinched When the shift […]

Get Serious About Parameters

By Dan Coughlin I’ve been coaching executives since August of 1997. When a pattern of behavior persists for over 20 years in multiple industries and in multiple roles across multiple organizations and in multiple countries, you know you’re on to something. This pattern of behavior is clearly engrained across societies and exists far beyond the […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Todd Palmer

44: How to Get S**t Done with Todd Palmer Do you feel like you are spending a lot of time on activity for your business, but you aren’t really accomplishing anything? If so, you’re going to love our guest, Todd Palmer. Todd Palmer is the collaborative business advisor and CEO of  Extraordinary Advisors (EA). Simply put, […]

Greater Work-life Balance Starting Now

By Jeff Davidson Virtually every small business entrepreneur, when asked, agrees that having work-life balance is a worthwhile pursuit. Yet, so few people seem to be able to enjoy it on a regular basis. Where to begin? Achieving greater work-life balance starts with making small changes. Here are a few to consider: Stick to a […]

New free online classes to boost your brain for business

I’m always on the lookout for free online courses that I think would prove valuable to small business owners and entrepreneurs. A few recently caught my eye and I’d like to share them with you. If a tech startup is in your future Technology Entrepreneurship: How to Start a New Venture. This course comes from […]

Tackle Errands Effectively to Free Up Your Time

By Jeff Davidson Many business owners have only a limited time away from work in a given week. Don’t let that precious time get eaten up by errands. Here are 10 small ways to more efficiently complete your list of tasks: Use Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday evening after work to handle errands and avoid the […]

Why the future ‘ain’t what it used to be’ by the time we get there and what that means for your business

Futurists are always wrong. That’s a rock-solid truth I’ve learned over the years. This is particularly important at our current point in human history because many of our highest profile business leaders have become futurists. This is because many of our highest profile business leaders are also technology leaders, and technological developments prompt envisioning the […]

Why women make Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary the most money

Kevin O’Leary from the popular show Shark Tank recently told CNBC’s Ali Montag that women run the companies behind his best performing investments. We often hear about “the battle of the sexes,” but I think a better approach is for men and women to stop the battle and start learning from one another. Let’s be […]

How to harness the simple – and free – secret to increased productivity: Gratitude

Could your business benefit from: Increased loyalty? Higher productivity? Fewer sick days? A positive attitude? An important key to gaining these advantages is simple…and in many ways free: Gratitude. A Harvard Mental Health Letter summarizes the findings of several academic studies on the impact of gratitude in our personal lives and in the workplace, and […]

One Percent Edge #Podcast: Susan Ford Collins

Redefining Success with Susan Ford Collins Today’s business market is a rapidly changing environment, and companies must adapt quickly if they want to thrive. You have to build success into your company and there are very specific steps to do that. Our guest is Susan Ford Collins, who is an innovation expert! The Technology of Success […]

How to Prepare for a Heavy-Use Home Office

By Emma Lewis If you are going to spend long periods of time working from home, it is a good idea to establish a specific area where you can work productively without being distracted by noise or the lure of the couch. A positive workspace can make you feel more inspired, creative and happier. While […]

Real Talk About Being a Working Mom: Here’s How We Make It Work

By Stephanie Harris Last night, I volunteered at a career fair at my daughter’s school. Knowing I’m a mom and a CEO, several young women came up to me to ask how they’ll be able to manage having kids and having a career. They shared with me that they’re pushed so hard in their school […]

Don’t Allow March Madness to Put Your Small Business At Risk

March Madness is in full swing and that means business owners should brace themselves for a dip in productivity. Survey results from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found one-third of workers will spend at least three hours per day following the Tournament during work hours.

Take Time to Learn, Reflect, and Re-energize

By Dan Coughlin January 3 – March 15 April 1 – July 1 August 15 – December 15 It seems to me that the vast majority of work happens in segments of about 70-120 days each. There seems to be a consistent cycle year after year. Those dates might differ depending on where you live […]

Women: Don’t pay attention to this oft-repeated productivity tip – it only applies to men!

Uh-oh! It turns out we’ve been pushing a bad productivity tip to half the population! A foolproof way to make more money is to increase productivity, so it’s no wonder that productivity boosting articles are always popular. However, one tip that turns up repeatedly in these articles isn’t such so great. Multitasking: Yea or Nay? […]

Being Better Organized at Home Benefits Your Business

By Jeff Davidson Isn’t this true? When you feel organized at home, it’s much easier to head into work with a clear head and with the right frame of mind. Here are some ways to foster a more organized, clutter-free environment – both at home and at work. 1. “Manage the beforehand.” Preparing for something […]

When watching pennies will cost you dollars

Do you ever come across a Facebook post and resulting thread of comments that makes you want to pull your hair out? Of course you do and I want to share a recent one I saw with you. (Don’t worry, it’s not political at all!) A self-employed accountant was having fits with his Windows PC. […]

Boost your business with these free HubSpot courses

Each month I like to point you toward some excellent free learning and training resources on the Internet. Over the last few months I’ve been focusing on MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses, such as the 52 self-paced business courses listed here. Today I want to point you toward the HubSpot Academy. HubSpot provides inbound […]

How to Measure Productivity at Your Office [#infographic]

By Laura Newcomer How much do you get done at work every day? Does our work place measure it, and if so, how—maybe using outputs and inputs? Things have certainly changed since then, but measuring productivity has gotten a little more complicated. There are a variety of factors that you can use to measure productivity, but […]

How to fill your tanks to propel you through your day

  Are you a morning person? I don’t think there’s any doubt that productive mornings are a recurring theme among the most successful individuals, so I always like to read recommendations about ways to squeeze the most productivity out of my mornings. That’s why Benjamin P. Hardy’s Medium article, 8 Things Every Person Should Do […]

Ouch! Only 1/3 of sales time is spent selling! How to fix the problem

What if you owned an auto repair garage and your mechanics only spent about 1/3 of their working hours actually fixing cars for your customers? It would be an intolerable situation, wouldn’t it? That’s essentially what a Hubspot survey discovered when it inquired about the ways sales professionals spend their time. On average, they devote […]

5 Organizing Tips When You Have a Home-Based Business

By Emma Lewis Running a home-based business has many positives. No long commute to your office space, a comfortable work environment, and the ability to get a few household jobs done when you take a break. But it doesn’t come without its challenges and organization is definitely one of them. When you have a home-based business, […]

Habits of Highly Successful People

By John Tschohl “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” – Stephen Covey To reach success, we have to strive for the best we can be in every aspect of our lives, including how we feel about ourselves, and how we treat others. One of the great things […]

When watching pennies will cost you dollars

Do you ever come across a Facebook post and resulting thread of comments that makes you want to pull your hair out? Of course you do and I want to share a recent one I saw with you. (Don’t worry, it’s not political at all!) A self-employed accountant was having fits with his Windows PC. […]

7 smart ways to streamline your work processes

By Ryan Tyson Today’s marketplace is dynamic, and sales strategies are continually evolving. Your business needs to run efficiently to help you stay competitive and profitable. If your business procedures are slowing down production and sales, it’s time to make changes. Conduct an audit of your business practices and evaluate where you can save time. […]

How to fill your tanks to propel you through your day

Are you a morning person? I don’t think there’s any doubt that productive mornings are a recurring theme among the most successful individuals, so I always like to read recommendations about ways to squeeze the most productivity out of my mornings. That’s why Benjamin P. Hardy’s Medium article, 8 Things Every Person Should Do before […]

Do this now for 2018 team-building success

Update: Unemployment claims hit a 45-year low. This indicates a tightening job marketing, which makes holding on to your good employees even more critical. I have a two-part assignment for you: Decide how many special, engagement-boosting activities you would like to organize in 2018, and Put them on the calendar…in “ink.” By “special, engagement-boosting activities” […]

A simple strategy to make more progress this year than ever before

Want to blast into the new year or the next season at your company with a real bang? Consider having an “If only…” brainstorming session with as many members of your team as is practical. Here’s what you do: Announce a week or so in advance you’re going to have an “If only…” session. Tell […]

Ouch! Only 1/3 of sales time is spent selling! How to fix the problem

What if you owned an auto repair garage and your mechanics only spent about 1/3 of their working hours actually fixing cars for your customers? It would be an intolerable situation, wouldn’t it? That’s essentially what a Hubspot survey discovered when it inquired about the ways sales professionals spend their time. On average, they devote […]

Email Bliss

By Jeff Davidson Whether you are communicating with someone face-to-face, over the telephone, or via email, text, or instant messaging, if your communication styles do not match one another, you might be headed towards problems. Considering email communications in particular, corresponding parties can misunderstand each other in many ways. To understand why, let’s review some […]

A sure-fire 3-step email inbox weight loss program

The first days of a new year are always a time to recommit ourselves to establishing beneficial habits and jettisoning things, circumstances, and relationships that are holding us back. But if the truth be told, we know that many of these efforts – in the long run – end up in failure, so I wanted […]

3 proven ways phone technology boosts your business

By Jamie Lowary The rise of the Internet has opened up new communication channels far beyond the traditional phone call. With tools like live chat, click-to-call, and online forms, consumers have more ways than ever to connect with a business. But guess what? It’s not just your Great Aunt Nancy who prefers to speak with […]

When Is It Appropriate to ‘Fire’ a Customer?

By Liz Greene We all know it’s far more profitable to retain a current customer than to acquire a new one. Perhaps that’s why so many business owners hold onto problem customers at all costs, even when firing them is the right move. However not giving these troublemakers the pink slip can end up costing […]

Workplace Wellness Guide to Improve Productivity [#Infographic]

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, employers look for any advantage they can find, and boosting productivity is at the top of their lists. Although there are numerous ways businesses can increase productivity by looking for new efficiencies and finding fresh ways to motivate their employees, many don’t realize how important the wellness of their […]

52 free self-paced business courses to fuel your success

“Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job you can make a living, but if you work hard on yourself, you’ll make a fortune.” – Jim Rohn I close my newsletter each week with a quote that I hope you’ll find inspirational. I featured this […]

Will Alexa be your next employee of the month?

Did you hear the news about Amazon’s Alexa? The company is targeting businesses to adopt the popular voice-activated assistant. Frankly, I’m shocked that it’s taken this long – but I’m not surprised that Amazon was the first to come forward in this market. We have been discussing the business adoption of voice assistants like Alexa, […]

Productivity Techniques for Busy Small Business Owners

By Devin Morrissey Every small business owner knows that one of the scariest things about running a small business, is that there is very little, if any, room for error. In a marketplace that is constantly evolving and changing, one must play it smart. Thus, a non-negotiable component for every successful business owner is making sure […]

Is YOUR value depreciating unchecked?

With very few exceptions, business owners include a depreciation schedule when they file their taxes. We become very familiar with these forms. They are black-and-white evidence of the relentless loss of value. Brian Tracy he points out that there is perhaps an even more important item that continually loses value that never shows up (at […]

This week in small business: How to beat your fears and cash in on a 1-start review

Get your productivity boosted, your hiring strategies improved, and your fears beaten into submission with this week’s collection of excellent business articles from around cyberspace. Leadership, management, and productivity Lauren Liss, who spearheads digital partnerships with companies like U.S. Card, Capital One, Uber, Netflix and others is the subject of this entry in Laura Emily […]

The ABCs (and PDFs) of moving to a paperless office

We’ve been talking about it for decades, but the idea of the paperless office still finds some resistance. However, with the dramatic increase of the use of mobile devices and virtual teams, eliminating as much paper pushing as possible is absolutely necessary to maintain a level of productivity that assures you are competitive in today’s […]

Is the 5-hour rule your ticket to greater success?

When you aren’t growing, it is virtually impossible for your business to grow. If you think about it for a moment, I believe that you’ll agree with that statement. As a business owner, you need to be discovering new opportunities and new ways to accomplish things. These both require innovative analyses of your business and […]

When you need it done yesterday, it might be a job for a freelancer

Consider this scenario: You’re just about to walk out the door when you remember that you wanted to dress up your website to reflect the holiday weekend. If it doesn’t get done almost immediately, it will be too late. However, it’s not a problem. You shoot off a quick note to your web designer and […]