The Internet is awash with free websites, applications, and tools to help you save time, increase productivity, spy on your customers, and generally do business better. Plus there are countless webinars, eNewsletters, and blogs serving up neat molecules of free advice. Practically the only thing that isn’t free is your time. Here are my tips for getting the best free advice.
More than 25 percent of small businesses don’t have a website. And that doesn’t even include the millions of businesses with old sites that look dated, aren’t “optimized” to read easily on a cell phone, and rank poorly in Google searches. If you don’t have an up-to-date site, you’re basically encouraging potential customers to go to another business that does.
While I urge you to hire an experienced web designer if you can, there are so many easy and inexpensive–even free—tools for doing it yourself that there are no more excuses for not having a current site. Yup, you can create a good-looking website without having any technical skills or knowing a lick of code. In fact, there are so many resources out there that the hardest thing about creating your own site may be choosing which tool to use.
Ready to get started? Here’s our guide for DIY Websites.
Sure, people have been saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” for at least a century, but images have never been more integral to effective marketing and communications. Facebook posts, Tweets, etc. get much more traction when they contain images. Instagram and Pinterest are two of the fastest growing social networks. Giant background images dominate website design.
What’s driving this emphasis on visuals? Millennials, for one thing. Millennials, who will make up 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, are digital natives who think in images. And the ubiquity of smart phones, free photo editing apps, and live streaming video apps like Periscope and Meerkat.
Are you ready for your close-up? If not, use our 5 tips for creating better images.
There are hundreds of labels, certifications, and seals in the marketplace. The Ecolabel index lists 459 ecolabels alone.
It can be time-consuming and sometimes expensive to get your product, company, or organization certified. Does certification matter? Will it have any impact on your bottom line? Should you bother pursuing certification?
In a word, yes. And here’s why.
We’ve all experienced it: the hipster barista too busy making snarky comments on her cellphone to take your order, the salesperson hovering over you that makes you flee without buying what you came in for, or the voice mail hell that seems designed to keep you from speaking with a human being.
A bad customer experience can go viral in seconds, yet when most small business owners think about branding, they’re more focused on their logo or tagline than their customer service strategy. Ultimately, customer service has more impact on your brand than the cool pictures you post on Facebook.
Wait, What Am I Asking For?
The purpose of a CTA (Call to Action) is to inspire your audience to take some form of action. In a sales or fundraising context, this action is also known as an “ask.” It is critical to define exactly what your goal/objective is in order to determine an appropriate CTA. Do you want a larger following online? Do you want more potential customers (leads)? Do you want existing donors to contribute more? Each CTA should inspire a specific action for a specific purpose.
Launching any type of business—especially in food—is exhilarating, exhausting, and endlessly surprising, but the more that you know when you start up, the better. Here’s some advice from friends and clients of Good Egg Marketing.
I’ve been looking at hundreds of food and farm websites as part of a project I’m doing for a client, and, frankly, some of them are giving me a headache! Too much text, too many garish colors, and way too many flashing images.
With all the free and inexpensive tools out there, every farm, small business and nonprofit can have a decent-looking website. But an effective website must not only look good–it should also answer the four questions below.
The visual aspects of your brand–your logo, website, displays, and signage–say a lot about your business or organization. Just as your tone of voice can affect how people hear your words, the images you use to express your brand can either reinforce or undermine everything else that you say and do. So put some dazzle in your displays.
The Cabot Creamery dairy cooperative makes fabulous cheese–have you tried their Horseradish Cheddar?–and they’ve also done a great job building a collective brand for their 1200+ family farm members.
The Cabot brand, launched in 1984, had a 4.5% share in the Boston market in 1990; by 2009, it owned 30% of the Boston market. At the 2013 Harvest New England conference in February, Cabot Senior VP of Marketing Roberta MacDonald shared how Cabot built its brand through creativity and smart collaboration, not big bucks. The key to success? “Share your story, share your love.”
Over the years, their logo has smartly evolved to reflect their brand story. In their initial logo, the green map of Vermont proudly reflected the company’s Green Mountain State roots, but that’s about all. They’ve changed their logo a few times since then.
The current logo uses the same typeface for Cabot. The map’s been replaced with the image of a farm, but by using the same green, the logo conveys continuity with the past. The words “Since 1919,” and the tagline, “Owned by our Farm Families in New York & New England” have been added. Now the logo really tells a story: when you buy their products, you’re not only getting a great cheddar, you’re supporting family farms.