Posts tagged marketing tools
"The Hub" August Preview - Selling Without Being Salesy

July is coming to a close and while I don’t want to wish away summer, I am so freaking excited for our August theme inside our marketing membership program, The Hub. This month we’re taking a little departure from our classic marketing advice (don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere) and are diving into something a little more… let’s just say… boundary pushing.

That’s right, we’re going to dive into a topic that makes A LOT of people uncomfortable, yet is necessary in any business - whether your product or service based.

Turning “Selling” into “Serving”

August is all about selling. That’s right, the “s” word that makes most people squirm and conjures up visions of cheesy sales reps and pushy techniques.

Here’s the deal though, if you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you are a sales person. There’s no getting around it. You’re constantly in a position where you have to sell yourself, your idea, your product (or service), and your business as a whole. If you aren’t doing it (or doing it well), then you’re not going to be in business for long.

It’s the reality of the situation, but that doesn’t mean that you have to jump on board with the cheap tactics or the pushy behavior. Selling doesn’t always have to give you the “icky” feeling inside. Instead, a little mindset shift can change your whole perspective and turn “selling” into “serving”.

August Masterclass

That’s what the Masterclass inside The Hub is all about this month. As a former sales rep for a few different major media companies, I consider myself a little bit of a sales expert. Throughout my time there, and my past 6 years as a business owner, I’ve sold A LOT of different things. But, the only time I’ve actually felt good about what I was selling, was when I truly believed in the product, and when I felt like I was providing more value to my customers than I was getting in return.

We’re diving deep into how you can do just that, and how you can turn the entire sales process into something you truly love.

August Guest Expert

Then we’ve invited in Sales Extraordinaire and August Guest Expert, Liza Altenburg is giving us the nitty gritty into how to close more sales. Liza specializes in coaching solopreneurs and business owners in how to create consistent, sustainable business growth (ummm… one of our favorite things here in The Hub!)

If you’ve struggled with setting up meetings, or getting in front of potential customers, and not actually getting any sales, you’ve got to watch this one. She’s got the top 3 things you’ve got to stop doing to stop sabotaging your sales process. If you truly believe in what you’re offering, then it’s probably not your product that’s failing you, it’s how you’re selling it.

On top of that, she’s got the top 3 things you should be doing if you want to close the sale. Nothing cheesy, tricky or sketchy here (do you really think I would allow that!?). We’re just talking legit ways you can frame your products/services in a better light to get people asking to buy from you.

It’s all inside The Hub this month starting tomorrow! Not a member yet? Now is your chance - Click to join for $1 for the first 7 days. You’ll get instant access to the August content, as well as our amazing archive of previous content, all for that one dollar! And then each month we’ll be bringing you new content and new themes to get your business growing.

6 Ways to Grow Your Email List

Now that we know that email marketing is ESSENTIAL to your marketing plan (and if you don’t, go back and read my previous post!). Now comes the dilemma that a lot of business owner’s face. How do I grow my email list so I have people to market to?

Today we’re breaking down some of my favorite techniques to get more engaged email subscribers, and we’re going to do it in a way that is authentic and doesn't feel slimy or salesy.

  1. Encourage current subscribers to share - Adding social share or “email to a friend” buttons can be a super simple way to get more subscribers. Giving your current subscribers an easy way to share content means you can get in front of their networks.

  2. Give away something free - This is probably the most effective way to add subscribers quickly. By offering a coupon code, discount, or even a freebie in exchange for someone’s email, you can bolster your list pretty substantially. If coupons aren’t your style, or aren't getting you the traction you’re looking for, think outside the box. Putting together a cool white page, PDF, or instructional/inspirational video series can be a great way add people to your list who are really interested in hearing from you.

  3. Create bonus content - Just because you’ve been writing a blog (as you should per our June discussion…) it doesn’t mean that you have to give away ALL your content on your website. Create bonus content based off of your blog post and encourage readers to subscribe to get it.

  4. Utilize your social media - Create a cool contest or give-a-way that requires contestants to submit their email address to enter and promote it on social. Especially if you already have a following, it’s a great tool to bring those followers over to your list. While you're at it, utilize your social channels to promote some of that gated content (that we talk about in #3), and drive more traffic to them.

  5. Find a partner - Search around for a complimenting business, blogger or influencer to help promote your brand. You can run a joint promotion, contest or give-a-way that can help increase both of your lists. This is also a great way to increase social media following and just general traffic.

  6. Go old school - If you’re a retail business or have a physical location, set up a notebook or pad and pen on your countertop. It's easy to collect email addresses from online sales, but often times we forget to ask in stores. Have a little set up and encourage who ever is working the register at the time to collect the email addresses of everyone as they check out. If you’re a service based business, you can still apply this strategy by collecting emails at networking events and expos.

If you stay consistent with your list growth strategies you will start to see some serious growth over time. The goal of this is also to see an increase in subscribers who are engaged and excited to hear from you each and every time.

And don’t forget, it’s email marketing month inside The Hub - the online marketing membership program geared towards helping you grow your business online! Get instant access to even more trainings and masterclasses to help you up your email marketing game for only $1!

Do I Really HAVE to Blog? Short Answer: YES!

Ahhh blog. The “4 letter” word that can strike fear in the heart of many business owners. You open up that word document to that big, blank, white page and see that cursor just sitting there, blinking. All of a sudden your mind goes blank, and you have no idea what to write about.

Creating content for your blog or social media sites can be a daunting task. With so many other things you have to do on a daily basis to run your business, posting to a blog can seem like the absolutely last thing on your list. You may even be thinking to yourself, “Why would I bother writing a  blog anyways?”

Here’s the deal, for those of us that aren’t fans of writing (or being in front of a video camera), putting together a blog or vlog (that’s right! You don’t just have to write it!) can seem like a daunting task. But whether you type it up, or film it from your iPhone, a blog can be super valuable for driving more sales to your store. Let’s break it down a little.

  1. It boosts your SEO - When it comes to ranking higher in Google searches, blogging is the #1 way to do it. Part of Google’s algorithm ranks websites based on how much recent content has been posted, and if the keywords in it match someones search. Writing, or creating video blogs, gives you the opportunity to add fresh content all the time, and add tons of keywords to your site. Increasing your SEO means more organic traffic (and more shoppers) headed to your website!

  2. It connects you with your customers - While customers will always love a good sale, sometimes you may not have anything going on. Or maybe you notice your email open rates, or social media engagement, going down because the only time you reach out to them is when you’re pitching them to buy something. A blog is a great way to create content that can connect with your customers, and get them talking about your brand in a unique way. Creating content around top trends, upcoming new product launches, and style ideas can get your audience excited and ready to shop.

  3. It makes you the expert in your industry -  People like to buy from brands that they trust. Creating a blog filled with great tips, advice and information builds that trust with potential customers. Not only are they more likely to buy, but they are more likely to become brand champions, promoting you to their family and friends.

  4. It makes you shareable - Getting in people’s newsfeeds is getting harder and harder these days. And only posting about selling your products isn’t going to cut it anymore. Blogs are a great way to get your name out there and shared among people who may not be in your current network.

But here’s the deal, don’t feel like you have to commit to a single format that you’re super uncomfortable with. Don’t like writing? It’s all good, put together a vlog instead! What’s important is that you’re creating value for your customers. Creating content is one of the most cost effective things you can do to grow your business. Don’t shy away from it, and watch how traffic and engagement grow!

Google My Business - The "Other" Social Media Outlet?

With the big news that Google is shutting down Google+ over the next few months, it seems like Businesses are back to using giants Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. While Google+ never really took off in the first place, many businesses are left wondering how (and if) this change will impact their business.

First things first, Google+ and Google My Business are 2 separate entities. Google+ was Google’s answer to the social media craze, thinking it would become a place for individuals to interact within “circles” of friends and colleagues. This is was they are beginning to phase out.

Google My Business, instead, is essentially a free directory listing where Google allows you to post information about your business, pictures and social media updates, as well as receive reviews from other Google users. The benefits of this platform are tremendous and those include:

  • In-depth insights into how many people viewed, clicked on, or called your business from this listing.

  • Easy "click-to-call" capabilities for smart phones. Meaning if someone Googles you on their phone a button will appear where they can call you in one click.

  • Integration with Google maps to easily show where you are located on a map when searching from a desktop, and one click access to directions when searching on a phone or tablet. 

Businesses with a Google My Business account also get several benefits in search. These range from showing up, essentially immediately, on the first page in search (on the right hand side map search section), as well as the added SEO benefits of linking your website directly with a Google property.

Now here comes the confusing part. There are 2 ways you can sign up - as a "Brand" page or as a "Location". A lot of businesses lean towards the "Brand" option as they may service multiple locations or may not be location specific. Here's the problem with just doing a "Brand" page. You don't get all the added benefits that I listed above. You are only going to show up in that Google Search Map section if you sign up as a location and verify it.

Once it's verified and running, it's important to keep you profile up-to-date with the correct information. Check in about once per month and make any changes to your contact info, hours or description as needed.

In addition, Google My Business, offers you the ability to post updates that live on your page for 7 days. These are great places to post events, sales, new content, or anything else you’d like to have Google Searchers see while viewing your profile.

So fear not business friends, while Google+ is leaving us (RIP), there are still some great options to take advantage of when it comes to promoting your business on the search platform.

8 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019

Tis’ the season for all the marketing experts out there to start making predictions for 2019. They’ve waded through the craziness that was 2018 (and a crazy year it was… cough… Facebook… cough), analyzed what happened, and used that information to try to see what is going to be important in the year to come.

There’s A LOT of information out there - so, instead of making our own list this year, we’ve read through some of the more reputable sources, and pulled out what is, in our opinion, the most impactful predictions, specifically for small businesses. We’re comparing it to what we’ve seen happening in our world, and what we believe will be what shapes 2019 in the world of marketing.

Forbes

Chatbots - We’ve seen these grow in popularity among larger brands, and chances are you’ve probably interacted with one, whether that is to ask about when a package will be shipped, or request pricing information. Not only are they getting better and more natural at answering customer service questions, but Chatbots can be great at warming prospects and setting up sales appointments. With the rise of businesses like Drift, Chatbots are becoming more and more popular (and affordable) for small businesses who struggle to keep up the influx of customer requests.

Local Influencer Marketing - We’ve all heard of influencer marketing, and have probably been exposed to a post or 2 from some of our favorite celebrities (hey there Kim K…). But on the hyper local level, the same concept can be used to make a big impact for small businesses. Seek out local blogs or influencers who reach your target demographic and geographic location.

Digital Marketing Institute

Facebook May Be Peaking (For the Younger Ones) - With all the data and political drama that Facebook dealt with in 2018, younger populations are continuing to shift their attention away from the platform. This is a great reminder to really pay attention to your target market, and put your marketing efforts into where they are. It may mean moving away from outlets you’ve used for years, and investing in new ones.

Video, Video and More Video - Video is continuing to be even more important this year and users are gobbling it up. Combining a traditional video strategy with live video can not only help engage people more with your content, but drive more organic traffic (since Google is using it as one of it’s major ranking factors).

Good Content Still Matters - I love this one (as a content marketer myself!). Creating valuable content (both written and video) is continuing to matter in the new year. Your audience has many choices when it comes to spending their money, so taking time to make their experience with you unique and valuable is going to go a long way in 2019.

Neil Patel

Voice Search - The king of search knows his stuff when it comes to SEO trends, and he’s right on point touting the importance of voice search in 2019. Between Google Home, Siri and Alexa, we are talking to our devices more and more. This means that the terms being searched are changing (they are following a more common sentence structure) and the results being shown are changing as well. Utilizing long form key phrases to match these voice searches in your blogs and content can help you continue to rank high in search results.

Podcasts - He’s not the first, and he won’t be the last to mention the importance of podcasts and audio content in 2019. As our worlds get busy, we are looking to consume content in ways that fit into our crazy schedules. Audio content that can be consumed on the go, in our cars, doing chores around the house, or while working on something else, is going to continue to be consumed in large quantities in the new year. With a lower cost of entry, it is easier now, more than ever, for small businesses and solopreneurs to jump on the podcast train, and share their knowledge with the masses.

Big Commerce

Mobile is More Important Than Ever - Mobile isn’t new, and we’ve consistently focused our efforts on ways to make content easier to consume on mobile devices (scrolling content, vertical video). But consumers are purchasing more and more from mobile devices, so making that process easier and smoother is going to become equally as important. Utilizing mobile shopping apps and social media shopping carts can be great ways to drive more mobile purchases for product based businesses.

So there you have it - the top trends we (and the rest of the digital marketing world) see happening in the New Year. Let us know your thoughts! Have you already started implementing some of these things? Do you plan to in the new year?

Hub Digital wishes everyone a safe and happy Holiday Season! We look forward to sharing more great content and tips with you in the New Year!

Video 1 of 8: Genius Content Marketing Hacks and Blog Ideas

The hardest part about creating new content and blogs is actually coming up with an idea of what to write about.

Picture it: You’ve set aside some time to write your blog. This week you’re going to actually do it! You open up your lap top, click on Microsoft Office, and that white screen pops up. Now that little curser is sitting there blinking at you, waiting for your brilliant words to come spilling out.

And… nothing is coming out. Now you’re staring at that blank screen with that blinking, mocking cursor. You’re feeling more and more anxious, but nothing is coming to mind. You scan through the inner recesses of your mind but you just can’t think of single, solitary idea. Finally, you slam your computer shut and decide you’ll try again next week.

Ok, maybe that is slightly dramatic, but it’s pretty close… #amiright?

Well, you don’t have to stress any more. For the next 8 weeks I’m brining you some genius (if I do say so myself) hacks to easily brainstorming content ideas. They’re easy, insightful and guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing.

The Tools I Love That Make Marketing Easier

Today is Valentine's Day and we're talking LOVE here at Hub Digital! And by LOVE I mean some of the marketing programs and tools that we heart and use everyday. Check out the video below to learn more about them and why I recommend them, and then follow the links below to check them out for yourself!

The tools mentions in this post:

Canva - Graphic design program filled with templates to design everything from documents, to social posts, to banner ads. Can even create animated graphics for more exposure and engagement on social media.

Buffer - If you need help scheduling and managing your social media posts, we recommend Buffer as the easier to use, less expensive option.

ActiveCampaign - The email marketing platform for those with large lists and who need more integrated automated sequences and to move contacts through different sales funnels.

Mailchimp - For many businesses, Mailchimp covers more than enough of the emailing needs of a small business. PLUS it FREE up to 2000 subscribers AND automatic sequences are included!

Zoom - If you have video conferencing or Webinar needs, Zoom can cover both and is less expensive and more reliable than it's competition.

Drift - Have LIVE conversations with website visitors or encourage them to schedule appointments with you during your off hours. Engage your customers when they are thinking about you and your business.