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.
Whether you’re launching a new product, seeking social media attention, or trying to sell your new “Tarzan the Vampire” screenplay, knowing which trends are played out (cupcakes, anyone?) and which ones are still ascendant (the newly hip donut shop) is key.
Here are our tips on how to keep up with the latest trends. Although most of these examples are food-related, the principles apply to most subjects.
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.
Are you ready for your close-up? If not, use our 5 tips for creating better images.
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.
When most people purchase an expensive or unfamiliar product or service, they want to educate themselves and talk to a few vendors before buying. We’ve all been on a pushy first date. In sales, as in love, timing is everything.
If you’re willing to take the time to share your passion and knowledge with a prospective customer, not only are they more likely to buy from you when they’re ready, but chances are, they’ll come back for more. In a sense, you’re selling by not selling.
A new methodology has sprung up around the concept of “inbound marketing.” The customer is attracted to you because you’re providing them with relevant, helpful, easy-to-understand information that helps them decide whether and what to buy. This “customer-centric” approach can give you a competitive advantage, whether you’re selling in person or online.
Guest columnist Lock Whitney is an inbound marketer and a Common App essay specialist.
Almost every business wants to increase sales, but bigger isn’t always better! Good Egg Marketing doesn’t promote mindless consumption. We work with companies that provide great products or services that people genuinely want or need.
Here are a few of the tactics that the businesses we work with or admire have used to increase sales. By the way, many of these principles apply to non-profits, too.
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.
My colleague Julia Shanks, principal of Julia Shanks Food Consulting, is an expert at helping farms and food entrepreneurs create and use business plans and financial analyses to grow their businesses. She’s also a chef and cookbook author. Not surprisingly, her approach to marketing is very analytical. I invited her to write a guest article to share how she measures her marketing tactics.