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Many women (and men) have a successful business that they run out of their homes. Many try to raise their children at the same time (without any help). Though it can be nice to have help, it is not always possible. Many people find that they have a lot of workplace issues when they try to raise their children and run a business together. However, with a bit of planning, anything is possible.

 

building a home business with children

Here are some tips to help you have a successful business with children at home.

Use uninterrupted time wisely.

Work quickly and efficiently when your children are at school, napping, or with friends. Be prepared and organized so that when you have time, you can use that time as efficiently as possible.

When your children are playing quietly. . .

. . . you also need to use that time wisely. Some days, you might find that you can work for a few hours. Other days, you might be lucky to be able to work for an hour or so.

Hopefully, you will have a supportive spouse. . .

. . . who will watch the children when he (or she) gets home from work so that you can have uninterrupted time to work.

Have special toys that only come out. . .

. . . when you have important calls to make. Your children will be excited to play with these toys and will hopefully be quiet when you need them to be.

Schedule play dates.

Many mothers try to find other mothers to switch off babysitting. That way, you can watch her children in exchange for her to take yours for a few hours another day. This can be a way to get free babysitting while also giving your children a way to socialize with other children.

Though it can be hard to work with children at home, it is possible. Some days, you might feel like you can do it all while other days, you might not get anything done. Hopefully you will have some help, whether you have a supportive spouse, family, or friends who will watch your children to allow you a little bit of uninterrupted time to work. Otherwise, use any time wisely and be prepared for it when the time comes.

For more information about building a successful business with children at home, contact The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website Design.

Please Note: Will Sherwood, CEO of The Sherwood Group, is in process of developing an online course with this working title: “Social Media Success in 45 Minutes a Week.”  Currently, he’s offering a 7 hour phone consultation program which includes a 1 hour phone consultation for each of 7 weeks, to help you use blogging and social media to drive the success of your business. The $2,500.00 fee is discounted to $1,750.00 while the online course is still in development.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

5 Social Networks to Watch in 2015
Quick Tips for Finding Happiness at Work
4 Tips to Help You Create a Viral Marketing Video
How to Avoid Wasting Time with Facebook and E-mail
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part 1)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website DesignThe Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

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Web Design Tips from The Sherwood Group

Santa Clarita Website Design

Your Website Should Be Responsive!

In this post we will discuss Website Design Tips for your business website design.

Web Design Tips: Find a Good Web Design To Emulate

Research great website designs that you like as a reference to provide your web designer an accurate visual of what you would like your site to be. We do recommend being realistic in your expectations, your budget will reflect what’s possible. How your webs design will look and its function should be based on what your consumers are looking for. It should convey your company branding and brand messaging, along with your marketing communication in a simple way that is easy to understand. Collaborate with your website designer to connect on your business goals and the needs your customers will have when they visit your website.

Website Design Santa Clarita - The Sherwood Group

Contact The Sherwood Group for a Web Design Consultation: Web Design Santa Clarita

When choosing a WordPress Design Theme your website layout and aesthetics will require some custom code to change specific elements. Avoid customization by starting with a theme for your website that is closest to your desired end result.

Never compromise the user experience or functionality for a web design aesthetic. Often we the business owners are too close to the business and can make decisions for our website based on our own personal preferences, when in fact we should be allowing our consumers to tell us what the website should be and look like.

Research the competition to understand:

  • What do they do right?
  • How is your company different?
  • How can you convey that message in an “easy to understand” way?
  • What is your playing to win strategy?
  • What purposes does your website serve for your business?
  • How will you win at your business goals?

Website Useability is the most important part of the user experience when they visit your website. Your website useability should be intuitive and provide value in the user’s time on site.

Is your website going to be responsive?

Website Design Tips - Responsive Websites

Responsive website design allows your website to automatically re-size to any device, whether it is being viewed on a desktop, mobile or tablet. According to Search Engine Watch 46% of users searching are using a mobile device to do it. Be sure that your website is mobile responsive, ask us how. Call Now (661) 287-0017.

Website Design Santa Clarita: The Sherwood Group

edited video goes here

If you are not planning to use WordPress and you will be designing your site using a simple out of the box website Content Management System (CMS) like: GoDaddy Website Builder/Website Tonight, 1&1 Websites, Vista Print Websites or Wix Websites, you are making a big mistake!

Contact The Sherwood Group for a Website Design Consultation: Website Design Santa Clarita

Santa Clarita Web Design - The Sherwood Group
Website Design Santa Clarita, CA
24402 Vista Ridge Drive
Santa Clarita,CA91355
(661) 287-0017

Our website design firm has been serving local business and Fortune 500 companies for over 30 years. We know what elements a great converting website should have and we would love the opportunity to speak with you about your next website design project. Call us (661) 287-0017.

 

Just a few weeks ago we posted an article titled 4 Tips to Help You Create a Viral Marketing Video. Already the article has received some really great comments from you and other marketers like yourself. Many people across several marketing groups on LinkedIn shared their perspectives regarding Viral Video creation. Here is a comment that was posted by Dan Ceravolo.

 

Viral Video Tips - 4 Viral Video Tips and Tricks

While we do agree with the large consensus of individuals that left comments stating that: 

‘Viral videos are not planned, a majority of them are organically driven by the mainstream or that the more important things to focus on when creating a video was: what is it about, who is it for, what is the outcome that your company hopes to receive by making the video, what style of video shall it be and why, how will it resonate among the viewers that you are specifically targeting?

We also love to examine some examples and expose the elements that are carried over again and again, (often reused styles) that make up a great viral video campaign.

In this follow up to “4 Tips to Help You Create a Viral Marketing Video” we will examine a few videos and see:

What worked?

Why it worked?

Who watched it?

What can we learn from the viral videos that were successful?

Let’s begin by watching the Dollar Shave Club viral video that Dan Ceravolo told us about in the comments section of the Chief Marketing Officer Network on LinkedIn.

Dan pointed out a great example of a Viral Video ad campaign that makes it easy to begin noticing the similarities and common elements that make these types of viral ad campaigns well planned and even better Viral Video Strategies.

What worked?

In the Dollar Shave Club video, the narrator’s eyes and the camera stay in sync during much of the video. This allows the person that is in the frame to remain connected with the viewer and keep communication flowing. The use of a constant changing background is a tactic that is used in video quite often and seems to keep the viewers attention very well. If you cannot change the background so easily with a moving “tracked” camera shot, taking different shots with the subject in the same part of the frame reading the same script is a solution instead. Using a short edit of the secondary shot scenes or a quick change on the camera angle when rolling (while keeping the subject in frame) will give your video a similar effect that visually stimulates the viewer to continue watching without taking our eyes away from the screen.

Why it worked for Dollar Shave Club?

This video is clever, well planned and edgy enough to resonate with the 18-35 year old crowd, after spreading virally the video had legs to continue spilling over into the mainstream and reach the 36-55 year old crowd.

The title and the tagline keeps the edginess memorable…

DollarShaveClub.com – Our Blades Are F****** Great!

The title and the tagline included information that says what it is, what it costs, where to find it, and why to buy from them.

Who watched it?

Over 17.9 million people. Mainly men 18-35 years old.

What can we learn from the viral videos that were successful?

This is not the only viral video that uses wit and edgy language or strange scene selections and a fast talking script or narration. This video uses a monologue that is delivered by one person directly to the viewer.

Sony did it in one of their not so viral videos, “Greatness Awaits.”

This PlayStation video has amassed over one million views collectively when you consider each of the many YouTube channels and alternative video locations that this video has been published on.

It follows a similar format using the frame and the subject as the constant and allowing what is happening outside the focal points to continue the change that keeps the viewer watching.

Similar tricks were used in both the “Google Please Hire Me” video by Matthew Epstein and the “Girls Don’t Poop – PooPourri.com” video.

Viral Video Marketing Strategies – Old Spice

If we look at the series of Old Spice ads that target women and the men they love, we can see the same use of subject in the frame reading a monologue while the background changes quickly to keep the viewer watching.

With over 49 million views this video reused the same style and elements, that gave it the legs to go viral, again several times in a series of follow up videos.

Old Spice has nailed the viral video on more than one occasion and it is by no accident that their follow up videos continued to get millions of video views several times over. For the most part, they kept the formula the same:

  • Write a clever script
  • Deliver great production
  • Make it serious but witty and funny
  • Make it enjoyable to watch
  • Make it something that people feel the need to share with others
  • Make it about something people think but won’t say aloud

Viral Video Strategies – The Reality TV Style

In this next set of viral videos we examine the “reality TV” approach. The videos use a style that is very raw and behind the scenes to get the message across and give it a chance to be shared. These videos also have great quality production to emulate the action packed motion picture industry TV ads marketing mainly to millennial in America.

Ken Block, DC Shoes, Ford and the Gymkhana experience come at the viewer with an “in your face” experience that you just can’t stop watching or sharing with friends.

Not only did the video filmed in San Francisco have over 70 million views on YouTube but, the Los Angeles video had 20 million views. While the coolness may have died down. The producer still went back to make the LA video follow up a dead set match to the style used in the San Francisco original.

Once again we can see fast changing edits, lots of action packed shots and plenty of what has worked being reused over and over.

When you have a winning formula…

Or as they say in the marketing industry. When you find what works, then do more of it. Rinse and repeat. Don’t try reinventing the wheel. Copy what works and apply that to your video when it is the right type of video for the right client or project.

While Ken Block’s Ford videos may be a bit over the top in production value they still do an excellent job of helping us analyze elements that carry over from video to video.

What worked?

Motion picture industry style production and execution. Both Gymkhana ads were in your face and action packed. Both followed a similar style. Lots of edits. This time no narration was used. Visually you can’t take your eyes off of it.

Why it worked for Ford & DC Shoes?

This is a very popular hot niche, even since the tragic death of Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker, there has been little sign of Gymkhana slowing down. These two videos were launched after the previous 5 videos had paved the way for the 70 million views with Gymkhana #6 San Francisco.

Who watched it?

This video targets millennial men 18 – 36 and a smaller segment of millennial women in the same age range.

What can we learn from the viral videos that were successful?

Big production is a big winner. BUT, something familiar marketed to a targeted audience by geo, e.g. Los Angeles or San Francisco helps resonate with the 18-36 crowd and has worked virally when outside of fast cars and Ken Block.

We’re talking about filming in landmark cities that have big populations and their finger on the pulse of viral.

Aside from the pure musical genius and the talent that exudes from these five artists known as the Pentatonix. The realty TV feel in the camera shots and the familiar city landscape of downtown LA make geo-centric videos easy to relate to and memorable without the big expensive production.

This video could have been shot on a few iPhones in the hills of Eagle Rock, CA in one afternoon and it still packs a punch that resonates well with local Los Angeles natives and millennial women.

Once again fast changing camera angles keep the viewers attention.

We can see that here as well in the higher production stuff the Pentatonix were involved in that reached 115 million views:

Reality TV Feel for the NASCAR Crowd

Jeff Gordon and Pepsi Max created a successful ad campaign that spilled over into a follow up video addressing one of the skeptics. Both videos show just how cool that Chevy, Pepsi Max and Jeff Gordon really are in this reality TV style viral video ad:

As we have noticed this video also has the reality TV feel, provided by the shaky cameras, the go pro footage and the fast cuts in editing the video together to keep your interest. Well done Pepsi… You picked a winner for the subject and it worked.

What worked?

Pepsi picked someone that can get the word to spread and already has a huge fan base… Jeff Gordon. Fast edits and the real nature of the act makes this go over well when it is shared among friends.

Why it worked?

It is very exciting and entertaining. And, let’s face it… Jeff Gordon is the biggest reason that it worked.

Who watched it?

NASCAR fans are the target. Mainly boys 13-17, along with men 18 – 40 years old.

What can we learn from the viral videos that were successful?

It pays to have a star that people already talk about and care about to help drive the video views up and stir media attention.

Viral Video Strategies – A Combination of Many

The “I Quit” viral video that was created by Marina Shifrin was no doubt a product of analyzing what worked for so many viral videos and incorporating those techniques into her well produced low budget video “I Quit.”

At the time this video was made, Marina Shifrin was working for Next Media Animation. This company specializes in animated videos in Mandarin Chinese that create humor and poke fun at events and news stories that are current all around the world.

Marina Shifrin had watched enough videos on YouTube especially viral videos that she could take some elements she knows have worked and incorporate them into her attempt at a video that in fact did go viral.

Marina knew that these elements do help keep your video stay in the pocket to potentially grow legs that reach millions of views and beyond.

  • A clever script
  • Delivering a great video doesn’t mean high dollar production it just needs a great storyboard, a good script and the right shots
  • Serious but witty and funny works
  • When people enjoy watching it they will share the experience with others
  • Make it something that people feel the need to share with their friends
  • Make it about something people think but won’t say aloud

As the creator the mindset must be at the level of trend-spotting or a cool hunter that’s on a mission to dissect what is working and what the similarities exist in many viral videos…

As the creator we want our video to use whit and clever ideas to position the video to a targeted audience that will love it and share it because after watching it the video they were entertained and for the viewer it seems second nature to embrace it…

Sometimes without even knowing why!

Conceptualizing, Scripting and then Producing your attempt at a Viral Video so that it can be positioned in a way (based on your production/execution)  to leave the user feeling entertained and immediately wanting to show someone that they know will “get it” is very much an intended plan or strategy. Especially when it is no longer the first “spontaneous stab” at millions of views.

For more information, contact The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website Design.

Please Note: So that your company can more easily “get found” on the web, Will Sherwood, CEO of The Sherwood Group, offers a 4 hour phone consultation package for $900.00 discounted to $750.00 when paid in advance.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

5 Social Networks to Watch in 2015
Quick Tips for Finding Happiness at Work
4 Tips to Help You Create a Viral Marketing Video
How to Avoid Wasting Time with Facebook and E-mail
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part 1)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This infographic was originally published by Marketo.

 

The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website Design: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

The Social Media Examiner shares lots of great content that can help your business grow. Here is a recent article published on the Social Media Examiner blog that was written by Rocco Alberto Baldassarre.

 

Are Facebook ads working for you?

Are you looking to get a better return on your Facebook ad investment?

To get the best performance from ads, you need to make sure they reach the right audience.

In this article you’ll find 15 ways to set up and optimize your Facebook ads.

15 ways to optimize facebook ads

Discover 15 ways to optimize your Facebook ads.

#1: Keep Mobile and Desktop Ads Separate

Use separate ad sets for mobile and desktop so you can optimize your ads, bids and conversions based on device. Ads and calls to action are likely to perform differently on desktop versus mobile, and any ad setup should take that into account.

If you’re using Power Editor, you can select the device targeting directly from the Ad Set menu.

facebook ad placement options

Use separate ad sets for mobile and desktop.

#2: Optimize Desktop News Feed and Right-Column Ads Separately

One of the best practices in marketing is to set up highly segmented ads. Separating desktop news feed and right-column ads is necessary for optimizing campaigns by device, placement and any other targeting option.

facebook ad placements

Desktop news feed ads have much larger images than right-column ads.

In the image above, you can see a desktop news feed ad has a bigger image and a different overall structure than a right-column ad. This means that the same ad can perform much differently in the two placements.

If you want to maximize your performance, you need to optimize news feed and right-column ads separately.

Facebook allows you to customize your targeting for desktops in a submenu of the Placement menu at the Ad Set level.

#3: Test Different Images

Images are the most important element of your ads and the number-one factor when people decide whether to click a post. Test out different images and find the ones that maximize your click-through rate and conversions.

Once you identify the best images, find more of the same style and keep testing. Below, look at the click-through rates to see how big a difference an image can make.

facebook ad image performance comparison

The bottom image performed significantly better than the other two images.

#4: Choose a Call to Action

Facebook allows you to select a call to action in your ads. Calls to action can have a significant impact on your click-through rate, as well as your conversion rate, and you should split test them thoroughly over time.

You can find the call to action options in the Ad Setup menu. Currently, the choices are Book Now, Download, Learn More, Shop Now and Sign Up.

facebook ad image performance comparison

Select a call to action for your ad.

#5: Segment Audiences Into Ad Sets

Different interests will perform differently within the same set of ads. As a general rule, you should group your target interests into topics and create one ad set per topic.

For instance, suppose that your target interests are:

  • AdWords
  • AdWords expert
  • Google Certification Program
  • Facebook ads
  • Facebook marketing
  • Facebook marketing solutions
  • Facebook marketing hour day
  • Online advertising
  • Digital marketing
  • Marketing online

You can identify three topics of interest and therefore three ad sets for your Facebook campaign, as shown below.

facebook ad sets by topic

Create one ad set for each topic.

This segmentation allows you to optimize based on different interests and create ads focused on topics related to the ad set you’re targeting.

#6: Install a Conversion Pixel

This is an obvious tip, but surprisingly many businesses neglect to install conversion pixels.

To create a conversion pixel, log into your ad manager and click on Conversion Tracking.

facebook ad conversion tracking

Click on Conversion Tracking to create a conversion pixel.

On the next page that appears, click the green Create Pixel button in the upper right part of the screen.

facebook conversion tracking button

Click the Create Pixel button.

Follow the guided setup to finish creating your conversion pixel. Once you receive the code, make sure you install the code in the footer of your thank-you page.

Now you can better track the results of your marketing efforts on Facebook.

#7: Specify a Conversion Code

Facebook allows you to create multiple conversion codes because you may want to track several goals on your website—such as visiting the shopping cart page and the thank-you page. Or you may simply want to advertise for different domains.

Facebook needs to know what code your ad is supposed to use for conversion tracking purposes. Hence, you need to supply one for each ad in your ad sets.

In Power Editor (or the live account if you prefer that), click on Use a Conversion Tracking Pixel at the bottom of your ad setup.

Next, decide whether to use an existing code or create a new one. You can also choose from existing conversion tracking pixels (see the red arrow in the image below) or choose an existing pixel to optimize for conversions.

existing facebook conversion pixel

To use existing conversion tracking pixels, click the button indicated by the red arrow.

The latter option is useful if you have a conversion pixel installed and want Facebook to optimize ads based on that particular conversion pixel.

For example, say you installed conversion pixels on both the shopping cart page and the thank-you page. Naturally you would want to optimize ads so you get more visits to the thank-you page.

Unless you want to optimize by clicks, I recommend setting up both of these options: the first option (the one with the red arrow) to count your conversions, and the second option to optimize for one specific kind of conversion—such as completed checkouts.

#8: Target by Behaviors

Many businesses use Facebook ads to target interests exclusively. However, keep in mind that targeting behaviors pays off more often than not.

Examples of behaviors you can target on Facebook are Training and Publications (people who buy items relating to business training and publications), Console Gamers and Primary Browser: Internet Explorer (people who primarily connect to Facebook using Internet Explorer).

To target behaviors, you need to select them in the ad set menu either in the live account or in Power Editor, as shown below.

existing facebook ad behavior targeting

Select the behaviors you want to target.

Create separate ad sets for each behavior topic similarly to what you saw earlier for interests.

#9: Target by Income

Some businesses sell products that are more expensive than their competitors’ or simply target the richest portion of the population. Facebook can be a gold mine for these businesses because you can target people based on their annual income.

To target by income, you need to go into the live account or Power Editor andenter the settings of your ad set. Click on More Demographics and then click on Income to select your desired income target, as shown below.

facebook ad income targeting

Select the income range you want to target.

As you can see in the screenshot on the left, there are many other targeting options you can use. Test the ones that make sense for your business and remember to keep your ad set structure as segmented as possible.

#10: Set Up a Remarketing Pixel

Potential customers who visited your website via any traffic source (including Google AdWords) but did not convert are most likely comparing prices and providers. By the time they’re done, they may have forgotten your business altogether.

This is where remarketing on Facebook comes in. And yes, this is one of the best ways to reach out to traffic that originally came via Google AdWords.

To set up a remarketing pixel, log into your advertising manager and click on Audiences, as shown below.

facebook ad audiences

Click Audiences to set up a remarketing pixel.

Next, click on Create Audience, and then click Custom Audience and Website Traffic in the top-right corner of your screen to start a step-by-step process to create the remarketing pixel.

Once you install the code in the footer of the website, go back to the Website Traffic drop-down menu and select People Who Visit Specific Web Pages, as shown here.

facebook ad website traffic targeting options

Select this option after installing the code in your website footer.

You can then create lists of people visiting a specific page of your website and target or exclude them from your campaign. A useful best practice is to create a list of people visiting your thank-you page and then not advertise to them since they already converted.

#11: Identify Profitable Age Groups and Genders

Not all age groups and genders perform the same. You may discover that you’re wasting your money on unprofitable age categories or that you’re missing opportunities by not dedicating enough budget to a gender that is generating the majority of sales for a given target method.

The best way to analyze age group and gender performance is to log into your ad manager and click on Reports.

facebook reports

Click the Reports option.

On the report page, set up the date range you want to analyze. Then click on Customize Columns to decide what values to report on. Under Breakdown, select Age, Gender or Age and Gender, as shown below.

facebook reports filters

Select Age, Gender or Age and Gender to filter your report.

You can make relevant strategic decisions based on the insights you collect in this report. Check it out on your account now.

#12: Test Lookalike Audiences

A lookalike audience is a list of users whose characteristics are similar to users of a website custom audience. This opens up a lot of opportunities, such as advertising to users similar to those who already visited your website, advertising to users similar to those who visited a specific page or advertising to users similar to the ones who already converted on your site.

To create a lookalike audience, log into your advertising manager and click Audiences. Once you enter your Audiences page, click on Create Audience and select Lookalike Audience from the drop-down menu, as shown here.

facebook audience options

Select this option to create a Lookalike Audience.

Next, select the source audience of your lookalike audience and the target country. Then pick an audience size—the smaller the size you select, the more targeted it will be.

facebook country targeting

Select the target country and audience size.

#13: Target an Email List

Facebook allows you to create a custom advertising audience based on email lists. All you have to do is to create a .csv or .txt file that includes one email per row and excludes any other data.

Once you have that file, click Audiences, then click Create Audience and select Custom Audience from the drop-down menu.

Next, click on Customer List, as shown below. From here, it’s easy to upload your list.

facebook audience options

Click Customer List and then upload your email list.

Keep in mind that you can also upload a list of phone numbers and then target those people in Facebook ads. The process is basically the same as the one I just described. Also, you have the option to create a lookalike audience of your newly created customer list.

#14: Test Bidding Strategies

Bidding strategies significantly influence the success of Facebook ads.

The three main categories for bidding are cost per click, cost per thousand impressions and conversion optimizer (which requires the installation of a conversion code).

Test different bidding methods to find out what reduces the cost per conversion but still gets enough volume. I recommend starting with CPC and conversion optimizer.

You can set up your bidding method at the Ad Set level in the Optimization and Pricing section, shown here.

facebook ad bid options

Select a bid type from this menu.

Whenever you bid per click or use the conversion optimizer, you can decide your maximum cost per click or target cost per acquisition, or let Facebook pick a value for you.

facebook ad pricing options

Set the pricing for your ad.

#15: Schedule Ads

Facebook allows you to segment your ads by days and hours. This option is available only with a lifetime budget and not with the daily budget option. This prerequisite is the reason why most businesses still don’t use this feature.

Lifetime budget refers to the total budget of an ad set and technically does not have a daily limit. If the campaign doesn’t have a reliable performance pattern that has been proven successful over time, this is not the right setting for you.

If you decide to use day and hour parting, you can set it up in the Budget and Schedule section of the ad set, as shown here.

facebook ad scheduling options

Set up scheduling for your ad.

Conclusion

Facebook ads can be highly profitable and drive a significant amount of quality traffic if they’re set up correctly—meaning they’re as targeted as possible—and monitored closely. Being familiar with all of the Facebook advertising possibilities opens the door to new opportunities for your business.

What do you think? Can you improve the effectiveness of your Facebook ad campaigns with these suggestions? What Facebook ad strategies do you use?Leave post your questions and comments below.

For more information, contact The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website Design.

Please Note: So that your company can more easily “get found” on the web, Will Sherwood, CEO of The Sherwood Group, offers a 4 hour phone consultation package for $900.00 discounted to $750.00 when paid in advance.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

5 Social Networks to Watch in 2015
Quick Tips for Finding Happiness at Work
4 Tips to Help You Create a Viral Marketing Video
How to Avoid Wasting Time with Facebook and E-mail
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part 1)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website Design: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

The folks at Marketo created this infographic guide for brands looking to use Snapchat more effectively. The app’s core audience is aged 13 to 25, so tapping its marketing potential is a challenging, though highly worthwhile, endeavor for organizations.

 

Snapchat Business Brand Strategies

 

For more information, contact The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website Design.

Please Note: So that your company can more easily “get found” on the web, Will Sherwood, CEO of The Sherwood Group, offers a 4 hour phone consultation package for $900.00 discounted to $750.00 when paid in advance.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

5 Social Networks to Watch in 2015
Quick Tips for Finding Happiness at Work
4 Tips to Help You Create a Viral Marketing Video
How to Avoid Wasting Time with Facebook and E-mail
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part 1)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This infographic was originally published by Marketo.

 

The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website Design:  The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

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Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

There’s a difference between being charming and being slick.  There are people who are naturally charming, like Audrey Hepburn, for example.  She burst onto the scene with her film Roman Holiday which not only won people’s hearts but also garnered her an Oscar.  Since then, her name has always been associated with charm and beauty.

 

Conducting Business, Charm and Savvy, Audrey Hepburn, Will Sherwood, The Sherwood Group, web design santa clarita

Audrey Hepburn’s Unconventional Charm

Although Hepburn was charming, she wasn’t beautiful according to the standards of her time.  In fact, she was a bit too thin, a fact that was emphasized by the fact that she often wore black.  In the film Love in the Afternoon, Gary Cooper keeps calling her his “thin girl” as opposed to all the other buxom women he tends to date.

More than beauty, Hepburn possessed that elusive quality that we call “charm.”  You too can take a tip from here and conduct business with charm and savvy without looking like you’re trying to pull a fast one.

Omit Facts Without Lying

You’ve always heard that honesty is the best policy.  But you may have found that it’s not always the best idea to be completely honest when you’re doing business.  For example, if you’re approaching two companies who are competing with each other for business, you may not want to tell them that you’re also in touch with the other.  So you do have to lie by omission.

Get Your Point Across Without Criticizing

If you don’t like something that an associate is telling you, how do you gently set them right without putting them down?  One great way to do this is by saying, “These are the good points of your idea:…What I would prefer is…”  This way, you’re agreeing that they might be halfway to the goal but you’re also steering them in the direction that you want.  You’re not lying but you’re not criticizing either.

Believe it or not, most of us do have an inner radar that makes us naturally suspicious when someone is lying to us.  Don’t lie and you won’t be invoking that radar in your business associates.

Utilize Your Strong Points: People Skills and Writing Skills

Everyone’s good at something, whether it’s business-related or not.  You need to somehow make your strong points obvious when you’re conducting business.  For example, if you’re a good writer, write a proposal telling the other company why they should use your product.  If you’re good at talking to people, make sure that you get a chance to really connect with the people you’ll be doing business with.  Sit down with them, explain things to them and answer their questions.

Utilize Your Strong Points: A Great Product and Great Packaging

If your strong point is just that you have a really good product, don’t be afraid to give away some samples so that people will be able to use it and evaluate it themselves.  If you’re good at presentation, spend some time designing your product packaging because this has a really big impact on sales nowadays.

Creativity and Honesty in Business

When you utilize your inner talent and creativity, you’re bound to charm the socks off your clients, business associates and even your employees.  In a way, this is just another way of being honest with those you come in contact with, because you’re letting them see what you’re passionate about.

For more information, contact The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website Design.

Please Note: Will Sherwood, CEO of The Sherwood Group, is in process of developing an online course with this working title: “Social Media Success in 45 Minutes a Week.”  Currently, he’s offering a 7 hour phone consultation program which includes a 1 hour phone consultation for each of 7 weeks, to help you use blogging and social media to drive the success of your business. The $2,500.00 fee is discounted to $1,750.00 while the online course is still in development.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

5 Social Networks to Watch in 2015
Quick Tips for Finding Happiness at Work
4 Tips to Help You Create a Viral Marketing Video
How to Avoid Wasting Time with Facebook and E-mail
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part 1)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website DesignThe Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

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Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

As marketers get a stronger hold of social media, they often realize that going for the major players like Facebook or Twitter sometimes isn’t the best solution. Niche social media platforms are blooming – they attract online communities truly engaged in one subject. Even if the numbers are smaller than those of social media giants, they can be just as rewarding – if you pick the right one.

 

social networks; social media; social marketing; the sherwood group; web design santa clarita; graphic design santa clarita

Here are 5 social media platforms expected to become big in 2015.

Quora (http://www.quora.com/)

This question-answer website is slowly becoming one of the most significant sources of insider information about topics ranging from Java programming to piloting a Boeing. More sophisticated and socially oriented than Yahoo answers, Quora is on its way to become a great medium for small businesses to build their brand image by answering questions as industry experts. This way, startup owners can not only add a personalized touch to the brand’s image, but also become thought leaders in their sectors, helping their startups to achieve recognition.

Fitocracy (https://www.fitocracy.com/)

A brand new social media platform that represents something more than a niche – a relatively large community of fitness fans. With a free subscription, users get workout plans that help them reach specific goals, earning badges and points for progress. They can view their progress on special interactive charts and get in touch with the online fitness community.

The platform also offers a Knowledge Center with daily tips and articles about fitness-related subjects. Since sports and fitness is a growing global trend, with more and more people getting interested in various forms of workout, Fitocracy will become a significant social media channel, perfect for fitness-oriented brands seeking new audiences.

Thumb.it (http://thumb.it/)

This is a new platform, which is based on influencer dynamics. It’s been reported as “addictive” by VentureBeat and TechCrunch pointed out that its growth rate is exceedingly fast-paced. You can ask for an opinion or address questions posted by others, add comments, click thumbs up or, something that a lot of Facebook fans have always longed for, thumbs down. There’s also a neutral button available for all those fence sitters out there.

Foodie (http://www.foodie.com/)

Ever since food images flooded Facebook and Instagram, it was only a matter of time before a special social network dedicated completely to food finally emerged. Foodie basically looks like Pinterest, only instead of pinning information about any subject at all; all cards are focused on food. You can browse through three categories: recipes, restaurants and collections.

The Collections section is a brilliant idea – it features sets of recipes for a particular ingredient (like chicken), a meal (dinner or breakfast) or a food category, like bread or smoothie. With food becoming one of the primary topics of social media conversations, we’ll probably see brands establishing their online presence here as well.

Snapchat (https://www.snapchat.com/)

It has already made headlines, but this social media platform will grow even more important in 2015. Famous for adopting and running with the culture of fast media production and consumption (videos and photos are deleted after a short period of time), Snapchat is a medium that promotes people to connect visually.

The importance of social media is on the rise. In 2015, social media networks will generate more income, become more relevant in branding strategies and offer more relationship-building opportunities than ever, fostering the creation of more specialized online communities across the web.

Author: Kelly Smith works at CourseFinder, an Australian online education resource. She also provides career advice for students and job seekers and is passionate about the Australian startup scene.

For more information, contact The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website Design.

Please Note: Will Sherwood, CEO of The Sherwood Group, is in process of developing an online course with this working title: “How to Blog Your Way to Business Success in 30 Minutes a Week.”  Currently, he’s offering a 7 hour phone consultation program which includes a 1 hour phone consultation for each of 7 weeks, to help you use blogging and social media to drive the success of your business. The $2,500.00 fee is discounted to $1,750.00 while the online course is still in development.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Quick Tips for Finding Happiness at Work
4 Tips to Help You Create a Viral Marketing Video
How to Avoid Wasting Time with Facebook and E-mail
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part 1)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website DesignThe Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

Your business is looking to launch a website, or a micro-site for an ad campaign and you are ready to go snatch up a new domain name that your company can be proud to use for their new ad campaign.

 

HostGator image

You have thought of some witty names so far and now it is time to begin shopping!

Here are ten things that you should consider in the journey to purchase a domain name for advertising your product or services:

  1.  Does the name that you are considering make sense?
  2.  What other similar names are available?
  3.  Who are those competitors?
  4.  What makes your offer different from them?
  5.  How will you be sending traffic to this new “micro-site?”
  6.  Should you buy the .com, the .net, the .org, the .co & more?
  7.  Does this new domain name need to be an exact match to terms being searched?
  8.  Does this domain name describe exactly what it is that you’re selling?
  9.  Is it easy to understand for the user?
  10.  Where should you buy, register and host the domain name?

1. Does it Make Sense?

How to Purchase The Right Domain Name for Your Advertising

Is this new domain an extension of your brand? Is it a product or service? Is it a witty campaign name? Does this new domain name convey a message to the user that visits the site, one that is simple and easy to understand???

Purchasing your new domain name should be very easy to spell. It should be easy to remember… After all you are planning to use it in advertising. You really don’t want to make it something that someone cannot remember if they need to find it again at a later time. The “phone test” or “radio test” is a great way to determine just how easy it is. If you were to advertise the campaign on the radio or call up a trusted friend on the phone and say the domain name to them, will they know how to spell it without any mistakes?

Here is a great example to help illustrate my point. I had a friend that owned a bar stool furniture business and they were doing all of their sales online. There website was called barstools4u.com.

The problem is that the website domain name does not pass the phone test…

Is it:

Barstools4you?
Barstoolsforyou?
Barstools4you?
Barstoolsforu?

Ten Steps To Buying The Right Website URL for Advertising

DON”T SEND MIXED MESSAGES!

Clearly this is an issue. There solution was to buy all four domains to point to the existing domain. This could work but it is so confusing and not easy for the user to understand. First of all you never want to use a number in your domain name when it can be avoided. Not everyone can be 99designs.com.

Marketing communication should be simple and not complex for the viewer to understand.

The bigger problem then failing the phone test was that they didn’t have a really good brand name that allowed people to make a personal connection.

My suggestion to they was to scrap the bar stools for you brand and make it personal like Monasfurniture.com. It was simple. It was easy to remember and it built a report with the user that they can attach themselves to. Certainly it passed the phone test. And, if by chance they did want a second domain name for the just in case situation, they would only need to secure monafurniture.com.

2. What Other Domain Names Might You Choose?

If you have determined a great prospect domain that passes the phone test and delivers on the easy to remember, easy to spell, easy to find criteria. Then consider the other variations. As we did when choosing monasfurniture.com. We also took into account monafurniture.com as a secondary option to insulate the brand extension or URL from future squatting competitors or domain flippers.

Maybe it could be worded better… Always consider other options. And, don’t be afraid to ask friends and family what they would research for or if they can spell it properly when you read it aloud to them. This can help you spawn more practical names that you may have been overlooking.

How To Buy A Domain Name

3. What Websites Are Competing?

The sign of a wise business person is one that can do the research. marketing and advertising always works best with precision strategies and target goals rather than the shotgun approach.

If your company is considering a new domain name for your business or for an ad campaign then truly take the time to research the competitors in the space, especially ones that are using a similar domain name.

Ask yourself how you can be different from those existing businesses.

Most importantly be sure to look at the competitors that found on the first page of Google for the keywords and phrases that you would want your website to be found for. If you don’t know your competition then you really can’t expect to beat them at a game that they have already established themselves in playing well.

4. What Makes Your Ad or Offer Unique?

Is it memorable? Is it that your product is unique? Is it the price? Is it your proprietary system? I will tell you the one unique factor that every business has and so few of them use to their advantage when trying to make a personal connection that their consumer can once and forever make with the brands that they buy from and can identify with…

Why do you do what you do?

Tell them why!

If all parts are equal and you made a side by side comparison between barstools4you and some other furniture company website…

The product is the same, the prices are competitive, they both offer free delivery…

Which one will you choose?

Barstools4u or Mona’s Furniture?

9 out of 10 will choose Mona’s Furniture! The reason why is because it makes you subconsciously feel like you already know Mona and you can trust her. Barstools to you or Barstools for you, or barstools 4 you, sounds like and feels like a discount furniture store that you could probably find in any major city shopping plaza.

If Mona has a banner at the top of her site that has a beautiful smiling face and a bit about why Mona does furniture sales, why Mona’s Furniture can help “you” the consumer and what she is so passionate about is not selling discount barstools but instead, her dream is in making your home look great and be a place that you truly enjoy spending your time in. Then she truly has picked a great domain name for her business! One that can allow her to be memorable and make a personal connection.

Something that makes her business unique!

Can you increase your website traffic using exact match domain?

5. How Will You Be Sending Traffic To The Website or Micro-site?

Ask yourself will it be paid traffic from the radio, from Google AdWords, from Facebook? Will the traffic be coming from your email list? Will the traffic need to find you organically in the search?

If you are depending on your email list for the traffic then the domain that you choose to buy must still make sense.

One of the top promoting affiliates in the internet marketing world did over $5.6 million dollars in sales, in just nine days selling a course called ASM or Amazing Selling Machines.

They picked a domain name that was easy to remember. It passed the phone test and it made sense to the type of traffic that his business had sent the link out to…

Their email list.

This was a well conditioned, very warm audience that had spent the better part of the last 3-4 years of their lives buying products from the affiliate. The consumers were accustomed to making buying decisions based on the advice and training given in the webinars that were always hosted by the affiliate.

He made this specific offer very easy for them to understand by choosing a domain name that made “the buying decision” a simple one for the consumer to have made.

The website domain name that they chose was “mybestbonus.com.”

It made perfect sense and conditioned his warm list of previous buyers to get ready to buy again. To prepare themselves for buying what would be one of the more expensive products that he had sold for the year.

My Best Bonus told the person, get ready to buy this week, because this is the best offer that I have ever made and when you buy from us today…

You will be getting “my best bonus.”

How To Buy The right Website URL for Your Business

If you’re depending on search traffic to find your site, then you may choose to lean towards buying an exact match domain, but be sure that it is still something that will pass the phone test and be easy to understand. Most importantly, if you’re depending on search traffic with an exact match domain name, do the keyword research to find the best possible options for your keywords. Then check the competition to make certain that the people doing the searches are going to find what they are actually looking for if they were to land on your page.

6. Should You Buy the .com, the .net, the .org and the .co?

I would personally recommend getting the .com everytime. The rest are really not worth much. You could buy them if you choose. registering domain names is cheap so you may decide that you want them all.

In my experience, even when I have bought each version, I end up never using the other ones outside of the .com and then decide to let them go a year later when the registrations come do again. Just remember that the .com is ideal. It is the only one type of domain that everyone in the world will know how to find, without needing to do research to find it. Dot com is the best, it has been engrained in the brains of consumers and it is the only way to really pass the test of a great domain.

Web Domain Buying Tip: Try and avoid purchasing the new .extensions like yourdomain.lawyer and such. These are very new, could be worth money to the right buyer in five years, but really are not the best options in 2015.

7. Does the Domain Need To Be An Exact Match?

How to determine if your should buy and exact match domain name

As we discussed above, if you are going to use an exact match domain name…

Make sure that:

  • It makes sense
  • It passes the phone test
  • It actually does have the right type of targeted traffic searching for it
  • It preferably ends in .com
  • It describes your ad campaign well enough that it isn’t a stretch for the user to understand

Think of this campaign from Always. The Like a Girl or #LikeAGirl ad campaign.

Web Domain Secrets - Buying the Right Domain Name

Always opted not to buy the exact match domain name for the ad campaign and instead used an extension of their main website:

http://www.always.com/en-us/likeagirl.aspx

The pros and cons of this move:

Pros:

  • They didn’t need to pay off someone that was squatting on the domain www.likeagirl.com
  • They were still successful and deemed one of the top ad campaigns in 2014
  • They were able to send the targeted traffic from this campaign to their home base the “Always.com” website (www.always.com)

Cons:

  • They had made it hard to find the Like A Girl Ad outside of Social Media
  • Someone that has a parked page with porn links on it is on their latest tagline
  • That person has secured a domain name that will likely be near worthless by 2016
  • Always is missed the chance to have the exact match for their ad campaign

The domain name www.likeagirl.com has been registered since 1999 by a company called: braintrusmarketing@gmail.com

That domain play may have been a great buy, but if they never made the sale to Always before the ad campaign had launched then they missed the opportunity to profit heavily on the domain. That domain owner probably had an opportunity to sell the site for $5,000 – $25,000 dollars.

I know of a domain flipper that actually sold FreeCreditReports.com to this company for just under $25,000 and they never even used the website. Now they have it redirect to freecreditreport.com.

freecreditreport-free-credit-report-complaint-and-review

Web Domain Buying Tip: If you are purchasing a domain name to sell to another company it is always far easier to buy local domain names that you can sell to small local businesses or companies where you the domain flipper can easily reach the decision maker that would be buying the domain name.

Too often if you cannot reach the decision maker easily as in this scenario for the owner of www.likeagirl.com. You may never sell the site at all.

For Always they missed an opportunity to own the domain that was the exact match to their campaign tagline and #hashtag and for Brain Trust Marketing they missed a huge opportunity to get rid of the domain they had purchased for an investment.

web-domain-buying-tips-for-buying-urls-and-registering-domain-names

8. Does This Domain Describe Exactly What You Are Selling?

In the case of bastools4u. You can make the argument that it describes exactly what is being sold. The problem is that it is not a domain that passes the phone test and it also is not one that would be ideal to scale.

So many domains have the “Your” in the name…

Your video expert, your local blank…

It leaves little room to be scalable.

Monasfurniture.com could be a better fit and allow scalability by spawning congruent micro-sites from the Mona’s name. It leaves them the chance to make one about Mona’s Bar Stools or Mona’s Sofas, etc.

My Best Bonus doesn’t describe what they are selling, but it does tell the people receiving the email offer exactly what they will be getting.

Have your domain give you the ability to scale while still maintaining the easy to understand phrase and following the other domain buying tips that we have explained throughout the article.

9. Is It Easy To Understand?

In the case of My Best Bonus it is certainly easy to understand and it passes the phone test. Is LikeAGirl.com easy to understand and easy to remember versus http://www.always.com/en-us/likeagirl.aspx? SURE IS!

In the case of Always the ad campaign was about making a statement that can become a viral #hashtag and it served it’s purpose. They were not so concerned with the objective of driving traffic to their website as they were with “breaking through the clutter” (a term used by many professionals in the advertising industry).

The Like A Girl campaign spawned from the interest that P&G’s Always brand had by “looking into how girls deal with the confidence crisis that happens around puberty. Everyone knows that ‘crying like a girl’ or ‘running like a girl’ isn’t a compliment, but no one takes the off-the-cuff remark too seriously or considers its damage,” said Lauren Greenfield, creator of the Always campaign and Director of “The Queen of Versailles.” The Always like a girl campaign truly had taken their first inspirations from an ad that had been run by Verizon earlier in the 2014:

The most important thing to note is that Like A Girl Made sense. And Always, (along with the help of Lauren Greenfield and the P&G way of researching their consumer wants and needs to find out what resonates with them the most) did a better job of breaking through the clutter than Verizon did trying to tell the same message.

Remember to always make it easy to understand and always consider the objectives before buying a website domain name for you micro-site ad campaign.

10. Where Should You Buy & Host Your Domain Name?

In college a professor always suggested registering your URL with a separate company than you use to host your domain name. This is good advice because it prevents one company from making changing, either your registrar or your host, a very difficult process that can lead to aggravation and frustrations.

I do not totally disagree with my professor making that claim.

However, having been in the website design field for many years i have learned quite a few things that should also be taken into account.

  1. Always buy hosting from a trusted hosting provider that has established servers in the U.S. That would be either HostGator.com, BlueHost.com, or LiquidWeb.com.
  2. Always register your domain for the longest possible time frame. This helps establish trust and credibility for the site (unless you plan on flipping the domain).
  3. Always purchase the longest duration of hosting because this also establishes credibility and shows sites like Google that you are in it for the long haul, not some fly by night domain that is here today and gone tomorrow.

We like HostGator because the offer up unlimited domain names hosted in one account for as low as 4.00 per month, when you pay buy 3 years.

Having a good hosting company that you can trust is key to ranking organically and making your life easy when launching and managing your websites, parked domains or micro-websites.

Contact us for more information to help you grow your business.

Click here to view 15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part II)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?
4 Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Grow Their Business
3 Ways to use LinkedIn Groups to Grow Your Professional Network

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Creative Agency: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

The average person spends the majority of their life working, followed by sleeping and eating, which is then finally followed by having time to do whatever else you want. With that being said, finding happiness at work is a must. If you aren’t happy at work, it can easily trickle down into your home life and your relationships with others outside the workplace.

 

Find happiness at work, will sherwood, the sherwood group, web design santa clarita

With that being said, finding happiness at work can seem like the biggest challenge of your day, but it is all about the mental attitude that someone has, and the ability to endure the mental attitude of others. Let’s face it, no matter what you do make the workplace “happier,” you will always find a Debbie Downer that wants to make you just as miserable as they are so what can you do?

Avoid negativity whenever you can.

Try to put positive spins on things that might bring you down. Whether turning a negative into a lesson that you have learned, or making that negative something that you can laugh about and move on, it is all about the mental attitude. Coworkers can influence your mental attitude by frequently venting in front of you. It is really easy to get caught up in the woe is me complaining. There will most likely never be a day where everyone is happy, but make it your mission to do something to make someone else smile and you might find the cheer is contagious.

Make your breaks ones that don’t focus on work.

Is there a book that you are reading that you can spend 10 minutes escaping into the pages of the plot, or maybe a short meditation track that will allow you to come out of your break refreshed and ready to head into what is next on your to-do list? Try to put your phone down during the break and let your eyes have some screen rest if you are at a computer all day. It is hard to distance yourself from the device that is all-powerful, but as smart as the phones are today, they also welcome a world of stress and unhappiness.

Stay away from social media while you are at work.

While it can be frowned upon to be actively involved in posting or checking in on your favorite social media sites, it is also the number one place for you to see something that takes your mood down several notches. If you are an avid poster, take the stance to only post positive or funny posts. By sharing or posting things that are negative, you allow negativity to spread. Finding uplifting, motivational, funny, or “happy” things to post, spreads that positivity.

If you have a colleague that is constantly complaining about everything…

Take a moment to tell them that you are trying something new and that you want to talk about things that are going right versus what is going wrong. Spin it so that it totally something that you are trying to do and that you really need their help by keeping things positive when around you. You don’t even have to acknowledge the complaining you have endured from this colleague. This is about you. You are allowed to let someone know that you need to de-stress and that one of the ways you want to do that is by shielding yourself from hearing things that will bring you down.

And lastly, take a moment to acknowledge all of the things that you like about your workplace.

Make a list and post it somewhere where you will see it while you are working. Make it a priority to tell others what they are doing right and you might find that they start doing the same. This isn’t something that will happen overnight, and if people avoid you because you don’t want to hear complaining…that’s a win-win. The irony of others complaining about you wanting to be happy can be something you smile about.

For more information, contact The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website Design.

Please Note: Will Sherwood, CEO of The Sherwood Group, is in process of developing an online course with this working title: “How to Blog Your Way to Business Success in 30 Minutes a Week.”  Currently, he’s offering a 7 hour phone consultation program which includes a 1 hour phone consultation for each of 7 weeks, to help you use blogging and social media to drive the success of your business. The $2,500.00 fee is discounted to $1,750.00 while the online course is still in development.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

4 Tips to Help You Create a Viral Marketing Video
How to avoid wasting time with Facebook and E-mail
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part 1)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website DesignThe Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

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Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

Not that long ago, marketing involved creating ads for print publications and maybe producing a television commercial or two. Now, with the popularity of the Internet, social media websites and YouTube, more and more business owners, hoping to take advantage of viral marketing, are using short videos to promote their companies.

 

viral marketing, video marketing, the sherwood group, website design santa clarita

Of course, not all videos are created equally—some are long and cumbersome and are ultimately not all that successful, while others achieve viral video status and go on to be viewed by millions of potential customers.

For business owners who wish to join the video revolution and create something that will be memorable—and most of all—viewed and shared with pretty much everyone on Earth, consider the following tips:

Keep the Quality Top-Notch

With videos essentially being a dime a dozen, it’s imperative that a business owner create a marketing video that not only has a great message, but is well-produced and looks really good. This is not the time for a grainy, poorly-lit video that is hastily shot on a smartphone. The video must be top quality from start to finish—this includes using an actual camera, microphone and a decent editing program to put it all together. Also, when adding effective mood makers like music, which can really add to a video when done properly, business owners don’t have to rely on extremely expensive soundtrack sources. Instead, they can visit a website like Shutterstock, where they can browse through a vast selection of music and select the stock content they want for a very affordable price.

Remember the Acronym STEPPS

Viral videos don’t just happen by chance. Instead, six key factors will inspire people to share videos with others. According to Forbes, these principles include social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value and stories, or STEPPS for short.

For example, the social currency concept revolves around the notion that forwarding a video to friends and family will make us look smart or current. With this in mind, business owners should try to create a video that will make viewers feel like they are “in” on something new and exciting and that they will feel smarter or more clever when they share it.

Make It Short and Sweet

In a world where people are accustomed to watching seven second videos on Vine and posting 140-word tweets on Twitter, super long marketing videos just aren’t going to fly. And by long, it doesn’t mean 20-minute mini-movies about how wonderful a company is; even something that is three minutes in length is pushing the average attention span. When creating a marketing video, make it as short and sweet as possible—around 45 seconds or so. This should give company owners and marketers plenty of time to say what they want to without running the risk of losing their audience.

Keep It Light

As Inc. notes, people are also more likely to forward a video if it creates a positive emotion. In general, videos that inspire happiness or laughter are especially popular and after that, clips that make people feel alert are also likely to go viral. Videos that focus on something sad or negative may still be forwarded too, but not as frequently as something that makes the viewer feel good.

In general, the least-forwarded videos are boring and monotonous. Business owners can keep this in mind when creating their scripts and focus on a funny work-related anecdote or other story that will make people laugh.

For more information, contact The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website Design.

Please Note: Will Sherwood, CEO of The Sherwood Group, is in process of developing an online course with this working title: “How to Blog Your Way to Business Success in 30 Minutes a Week.”  Currently, he’s offering a 7 hour phone consultation program which includes a 1 hour phone consultation for each of 7 weeks, to help you use blogging and social media to drive the success of your business. The $2,500.00 fee is discounted to $1,750.00 while the online course is still in development.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

How to avoid wasting time with Facebook and E-mail
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part 1)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website DesignThe Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

Every email marketer’s worst fear is that their carefully crafted message will wind up in the spam box before the recipient even clicks on it. Fortunately, knowing the science behind email marketing can help you create emails that not only get read, but lead to sales.

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This article was written by Katherine Halek, Contributor & Content Strategist for Entrepreneur Magazine and/or Entrepreneur.com

Take a look at what she discovered.

How to organize your email efforts.

According to HubSpot’s Sarah Goliger, you can improve your email marketing through six main steps:

Sharpen your goals, from simply “reaching more people” to “increasing the number of site visitors who buy.” This will give you more direction for the marketing decisions that follow.

Watch for the main types of responses that different segments of your email list have for the same email. Based on these, split the list into subgroups, so that each group will only receive content that has proven to interest them. This way, your audience sees your emails as relevant and as a result, people are more likely to click through to your landing page.

Determine from the previous results what kind of content is best at achieving your newly specified goals, and which recipients are most interested in this content.
Learn how to use personalization software, so recipients will really feel that you created your email with them in mind. (Because you did.)

Slightly modify email subject lines and content, and send the different versions to different email recipients. (For example, Group A gets a message titled “How is Your Lawnmower Doing?” and Group B gets “10 Ways to Increase Your Lawnmower’s Efficiency without Paying a Mechanic.”) Measure which test email gets the larger response. This will show you how to optimize every aspect of your design for the best conversion possible.

Step back and see how all this works for a while — then repeat the process as many times as needed. To stay ahead as a marketer, you can never stop innovating.

How to grab attention with your design.

Now that you have a good idea of the process you should follow to determine what your potential customers want, you need to focus on email design. Good design will create interest in those who may not even be in the market to buy your product or service at that moment. Bad design, if it’s bad enough, will drive away even those who are prepared to buy on the spot.

Remember, email design goes beyond just what’s in the email. Once they’ve read it (and hopefully continued to your site), every piece of content that you’ve created and every page that you’ve designed has to back up their initial positive impression. The first page your recipients see after clicking through is crucial to the conversion process. Refresh your memory of the main components to focus on before we continue.

Sometimes good design has to be shown, not just talked about. Thus, we’ve included some links that display what good design really is — along with the bad design that results when the email is not created with a unified goal. Once you have decided the thrust of your email, everything that meets viewers’ eyes once they click your subject line must match that one focus. Otherwise, you look scattered in your approach, and recipients who might have been customers will get frustrated when you advertise what they need, but you don’t show them how to find it.

Once you’ve split your email marketing list into subgroups for maximum optimization, you now have an important new category to consider: the design preferences of your target audience. Different categories of people prefer different visual design and different wording, even if the message you’re trying to communicate to all of them is the same.

Elders enjoy subdued colors, simple fonts, and pictures of multi-generational families. They don’t like ads that are overly pushy, or that boast individual pleasure above values like honor and duty.

Baby boomers don’t want to feel old yet. They enjoy marketing that appeals to an active lifestyle resembling a second youth, while still making subtle concessions to the fact that they need larger fonts and more conservative visuals. Since boomers have some of the greatest purchasing power in today’s economy, successful marketers will want to make them feel like VIPs.

Design for millennials isn’t hard to find — it’s everywhere. They want clean lines and minimal font, mobile compatibility, DIY-friendly messages, and irony that is simultaneously as pompous and unassuming as they like to think they are.
Minorities want to see themselves in more than just niche markets. They want to ads that feature people who look like them. They don’t appreciate a caricatured or stereotyped approach, or one that lumps them into a too-broad ethnic group just because of their skin color.

The whole point of making your email appealing is to get viewers to click the call-to-action button that will move them into your sales funnel. The key to designing an effective call-to-action is to reach through their computer screen and grab them. Not with flashing lights, threats or anything in poor taste, but by making the next step irresistible. Action words are huge, along with colors that stand out from their environment without clashing. Let them know there’s something in this for them, and that it goes beyond a snippet of information that they could easily find through a web search. Be unique in what you offer and how you offer it.

Lastly, your call-to-action isn’t going to do much good if it doesn’t lead to an awesome landing page. You want it to have the same kinds of elements that make your email attractive: coherent design, complementary colors, and language that is decisive without being pushy, among other components. This is another aspect of your marketing process that may require some experimental testing before you know what layout and wording works best.

(Even though this article focuses on design, not copy, we’ve found some good resources to give your writing a jumpstart as well.)

How these tips will increase conversion.

Now that you’ve got email recipients on your site, all you have to do is let the conversions begin! Actually, not quite. There are probably still some rough navigational elements that will need trial and error to smooth them out. If your landing page isn’t giving you the return that you hoped for from your revamped email design, try these suggestions to make it more user-friendly. The marketing blog at Unbounce is one of the best resources you can find when looking for strategies to increase your ad conversion. Their tips and tricks include the following:

Showing you how knowledgeable you really are on the subject of conversion.
Introducing you to more psychological tactics that make prospects stick around.
Teaching you how to listen to potential clients and make your landing page better.
Giving you the scoop on how to make people want what you’ve got.
…and more awesome inspirational pro tips.

Hopefully you now have a more optimistic approach to email marketing. It really is worth the time and trouble, and it can be done in such a way that people actually look forward to your emails. Key words: “Look forward to,” not “unsubscribe from.” Give this advice a shot and tweak your methods until your responses take off.

Contact us for more information to help you grow your business.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part II)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?
4 Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Grow Their Business
3 Ways to use LinkedIn Groups to Grow Your Professional Network

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Creative Agency:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

When you own your own business, time is precious. Many of us struggle to accomplish everything we need to do in just one day. However, we may frequently find we’re wasting time, especially when it comes to e-mail and Facebook.

 

Stop wasting time with Facebook and email, wasting time, facebook, will sherwood, the sherwood group, web design santa clarita, graphic design santa clarita

 

So, how can we avoid wasting time and still get the important work completed?

  • Check your e-mail and Facebook only one or two times a day, and at specific times. Many people check them in the morning and the evening. If that does not work for you, make checking them a reward for getting a difficult project done.
  • If you find yourself losing huge chunks of time while checking e-mails and Facebook, set a timer. When the timer goes off, you must stop, no matter what. This will help you from wasting an hour or two, when you only want to spend a few minutes taking a break.
  • If you use e-mail and Facebook for business, have a separate account for that purpose. Be sure that when you are on for business, you are in a business mindset. You are on the computer to communicate with clients and build relationships for business. You are not on Facebook for pleasure. You should still set a timer so you do not waste big chunks of your day on Facebook and e-mails.
  • If you use e-mail and Facebook for business, know what you need to do each day. Make sure that you do it. Many people and small businesses hire a social media manager so that they do not spend all day focusing on social media marketing. This saves them a lot of time because they will not be spending time commenting and posting on Facebook when they need to be focusing on work projects.

E-mail and Facebook can be complete time wasters though many people enjoy taking breaks and catching up with friends. Many people also try to use them for business, allowing them to make excuses for spending hours in front of the computer communicating with friends. With a few guidelines, like using a timer so that you don’t waste a whole afternoon that you needed to be doing something else, you can still have a successful business and spend some time using e-mails and Facebook.

Contact The Sherwood Group for more help to make your business run more smoothly!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

The Power of Visual Storytelling
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part 1)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website DesignThe Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?


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