Blog Archive

All of us have made the best of the opportunities that were presented to us. Whether we manage social media for a large corporation, were an intern at a major ad agency during college, or someone cut us a break working at their local print shop, at one time or another we’ve all had to overcome failure.

 

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With technology being such a valuable resource in our lives many opportunities that you could not have found 20-30 years ago now present themselves in seconds on your smartphones and your computer screens every minute of the day.

Knowing the way technology consumes our attention, there may be those times when you act before you think…

Enter The Thinking Room with Coach Ron Tunick

the-thinking-room

Over the weekend I read great book that a close friend had written some years ago. The book is called “The Thinking Room: A New System For Success.” Coach Ron Tunick is the author of “The Thinking Room” and he explains that to become truly successful at your trade, your craft or your industry of expertise you must think before you act.

Too often we have all had a great idea and some of us had the “entrepreneurial surge” as Michael Gerber describes it in “The E-Myth.” You jump up off of the chair that you are sitting in and with extreme excitement you decide in mere seconds that you are going to pursue that idea…

That dream… Until it makes you a huge success.

It may be a business venture or just a hobby that will produce a desired result. One that in less than 5 minutes you determined is worth consuming every bit of your free time for the next blank number of years. But did you think it through?

Have you done your research to overcome failure?

Coach Ron Tunick goes deep into several levels of succeeding from within. He explains that impulse decision making is often a recipe for disaster not success. He also teaches that if you really want to grow to a new level that exceeds your current place in your career or your business that you must take a cold hard look inside yourself and begin to develop a strong critical thinking process that can truly identify: what works, what doesn’t work, why it does or does not work and how to begin changing the things in your life that don’t work the way that you’re wanting them to.

change-is-good

Change Is Inevitable

“If you aren’t willing to change, you just won’t make it.” – Coach Ron Tunick

Tunick’s, “The Thinking Room” is a fast read that outlines the cold hard questions that you must ask yourself at the end of each chapter. If you feel like your life, your business or your health are “stuck in the ditch” then a new result requires critical thinking and a self evaluation of what your daily activities are like. The only way to change the things your unhappy with is to get comfortable looking at yourself from within.

Tunick explains that you need to make time to think. That you should be comfortable entering “The Thinking Room.” To do that you must determine where the best places are in your life that allow you the distraction free zone so that you can experience the “Thinking Room.” Find yourself a positive place where you can be left uninterrupted by distractions, hasty decisions and external noise.

Coach Tunick says that “…your ability to change and adapt is essential to your happiness, peace and success.”

He recommends that you cannot let fear prevent you from making change, not to hold on too tightly to something that is not producing the results that you desire, and that “becoming ready for change means letting go.” Overcoming your fears will give you confidence and the success will soon follow.

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Don’t Take A Leap Without Thinking

Make a list of all the positives and negatives that are in your life. Determine which ones need to change and why. Reflect on your list and then individually take each item on the list into your “Thinking Room.” That is the place where you can dissect it, analyze it and write out your fears, as well as the ideas that you have that may be the right ideas you can later use to solve the problems and allow you to form a new direction that welcomes change.

Write down these ideas that come from your session in the “Thinking Room” on a piece of paper and then take the time to research more about them. Use the “Thinking Room” to develop your ideas. Use your research to determine if the idea that you had will actually solve your problem or just waste your time. Remember that you can always take the research and your new found information back into your “Thinking Room” to reexamine your research and discoveries to determine if they are the right ideas to formulate a plan around.

The “Thinking Room” Balance

Tunick suggested that without a balance in your life, your health and your business you will always struggle to succeed. You do not have to be the expert at everything, but you can do the research to find people that are experts at something that you need help with, and then hire them to help.

If you’re someone that is terrible at accounting for your business, find someone that is great and can save you time and help you do a better job of managing your money. If you struggle to get motivated and exercise each day, then consider hiring a personal trainer. Don’t let yourself get away with just staying in your comfort zone. If you are not progressing then you are staying still in the same place.

That stagnation can never produce a result that is better than the unhappy results that you may currently be experiencing.

I challenge you to take the time to write down your list and bring it to “The Thinking Room.”

Contact us at The Sherwood Group for more info to achieving your business goals.

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?

 

You know you need to have your business on social media, but it can be SO complicated! Many businesses hire social media professionals for this very reason. Plus they want assurance that their campaigns will work, generate leads, and give them positive exposure.

 

social media sharing, will sherwood, the sherwood group, graphic design, web design santa clarita

Here are some ways to tell if your social media is working.

  • Your business page is getting noticed. It is also getting liked on Facebook and Twitter. You might want to aim for a certain number of new likes every week.
  • Your images get likes, comments, shares, tweets, etc. Though you should try for shares, any amount of likes and comments will help your business to get noticed.
  • When you ask questions, people respond to you. When you put out polls, you see a good amount of responses.
  • You use Google Analytics to see how you and your business is doing. This can really help you see what you need to do better to get more response from your marketing campaign.
  • You hire help if you are having trouble. If you need some assistance for a few months to get your social media marketing plan in place and effective, it will be worth it in the long run. You need a plan in place to make sure that you are reaching the people that you need to reach.

It can often be hard to see a response right away when you start a social media marketing campaign. However, with a little time and patience, you should begin to notice your business getting new likes and followers. You should also see your images getting comments and hopefully some shares. You should also begin to get responses when you ask questions. Stay with it. You will soon see your business grow with new clients.

Contact us for more social media help!

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

3 Essential Ways to Market Yourself on LinkedIn
5 Simple Ways to Improve Word-Of-Mouth for Your Business
15 Commandments for a Dynamic Sales-Marketing Process
Tips To Help You Decide How Much To Charge
5 Social Media Mistakes That Will Get You Unfriended/Unfollowed
5 Tips to Get More Visitors to Your Website
7 Steps to Help Your Business “Get Found” on the Web
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
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?

Whether you’re interested in business development, career advancement, or networking, LinkedIn has become an increasingly important tool for you to market yourself. The fact is, more and more businesses are checking out your LinkedIn profile instead of asking for your resume and portfolio.

 

3 Essential Ways to Market Yourself on LinkedIn, Will Sherwood, The Sherwood Group, graphic design, web design santa clarita

As you may know, your connections through friends and co-workers via LinkedIn are becoming an increasingly important source of referrals. And, it’s crucial that you implement these three ways to market yourself on LinkedIn.

1. Build A Comprehensive Profile

A LinkedIn profile is more than a resume. It is where you inform others of current projects, career highlights, and future goals, in addition to work history. You also have space to share more information about past jobs than allowable in a resume. So, building a comprehensive profile is essential for better marketing yourself. Remember your audience: What skills and experience do you want to emphasize for a particular job or industry? What “key words” will they be looking for? What information can you provide that shows your expertise? Answering these questions when building your comprehensive profile is essential for marketing yourself.

2. Keep Your Profile Updated

One of the great things about LinkedIn is that you are able to update your information on an on-going basis. Unlike with a resume, marketing yourself doesn’t have to be static. You can also emphasize or add information depending on what your current goals are. Do you have a recent accomplishment? Mention it on your profile. This is the place to toot your own horn while giving details about what you have done recently.

3. Use Other Features

But building your profile and keeping it updated isn’t enough. Using all the features of LinkedIn is important in marketing yourself. The different tools on the site allow you to use your profile for different purposes. Looking for a new job? Getting recommendations from past co-workers is important when updating your profile. Wanting to network more? Adding yourself to relevant groups is essential. Want career advancement? Send messages to people who might consider mentoring you. One of reasons LinkedIn is an important social-networking site is in the ability to update your status. This allows you to inform others you are connected to about what you are thinking about and what you find important. This allows you to stay relevant.

Marketing yourself via LinkedIn is becoming increasingly important. If you are interested in more ways to utilize LinkedIn and other social networking tools, contact us.

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

5 Simple Ways to Improve Word-Of-Mouth for Your Business
15 Commandments for a Dynamic Sales-Marketing Process
Tips To Help You Decide How Much To Charge
5 Social Media Mistakes That Will Get You Unfriended/Unfollowed
5 Tips to Get More Visitors to Your Website
7 Steps to Help Your Business “Get Found” on the Web
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
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?

 

In the digital era of retargeting and paid ads, driving traffic to your website is not enough to sustain a great conversion rate. This article will discuss several of the components that your business can address for boosting your traffic to conversion ratio.

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The reason that retargeting works so well for conversion is that the traffic is returning to see one of the following three things:

  1. The same offer that they have already seen.
  2. A similar offer that has increased in value because of a bonus or discount that was added.
  3. A new offer being presented by a familiar company/brand that the user has already shown interest in or visited within the past 90-180 days.

Where does “getting found” begin? Read the Get Found Guide

And… If retargeting is the “now” in advertising, then does SEO still matter at all?

The answer is Yes and Not Entirely.

Let me first say that “yes” SEO does matter. Organic search rankings will remain one of the many components that a well established brand can look towards for traffic.

Using Testimonials to Effectively Market Your Website

SEO is not entirely the only thing that matters because there are so many other ways to send qualified traffic over to your website.

Let’s face it, people go searching on Google, Yahoo or Bing to: solve a problem, answer a question or find a solution by finding one of three things in the search results:

  1. Information
  2. A Product
  3. A Service

We can call this the Solve-Answer-Find(SAF) equalizer. Regardless of the medium the SAF is provided on, whether it be:

  • Reviews
  • Videos
  • Social Proof
  • Website Design
  • Blogs
  • Social Media Profiles
  • Ads/Offers

The SAF that gets the initial bit of traffic is what makes retargeting possible!

Your brand must deliver one or more SAF’s before a user will consider making a buying decision. As Gary Vee recommends, three values for every offer made. Hence his book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” Gary explains that delivering value must come in multiples before a consumer will be inclined to buy your stuff.

Chris Record, creator of Dark Post Profits 2.0 believes that your company should deliver five values to the list before the buy will be made.

It makes sense…

Your prospects will need to have some interaction with your brand on at least three occasions before they are comfortable making a buying decision.

That’s where the SAF’s come in. They are the cards that your company can deal between each offer. Perhaps the 80-20 rule is beginning to more look like the 60-5 and 35 rule?

Sixty percent value, five percent offers and thirty five percent social recommendation.

Delivering information on just about any platform, using just about any medium is acceptable, as long as your target audience enjoys spending time there. It can be a podcast on iTunes, a tweet with a link to an article, a video, or the combination of many. Bottom line you need to deliver value to the right people before they will buy.

Chris Record even suggests that your business should have two lists:

  • The list of broad traffic that comes to your site.
  • The targeted list of people that continue to return to engage with your SAF

Remember that your website cannot retarget someone until they have visited your website once before.

Is SEO entirely the end all-be all of traffic?

The answer to that is no.

SEO is only one piece of the many components that make up the Sales & Marketing umbrella for a business. SEO certainly helps with becoming a trusted authority on a subject. It is one of the many ways to deliver your company’s SAF’s.

Get More Traffic by Becoming the Expert

Simply put, the more times that your website provides one or more SAF via organic SEO the more likely your website will begin to build trust and be deemed an authority in your industry or niche. That is where SEO plays it’s part.

Just about any business can buy ads that will generate some traffic to their website.

Deliver valuable information to your target demographic and if they consume it enough times eventually they will begin consuming your products.

Returning visitors are more likely to buy, which is precisely why you need to get found first before you can split your efforts between new visitors and returning visitors.

The key to great conversion starts with the fundamentals…

Learn the steps of getting your retargeting in order

The Fundamentals of Getting Found

Not everyone will buy your products or services, the most important thing is to target the right audience. When you are targeting the right people your website traffic will produce better results. The first of the fundamental steps in conversion is knowing:

Who You Are Marketing To!

If you are not crystal clear in your understand of your target consumers then your site will struggle to get found.

Step #1 – Get Found By The Right People

Fundamentally your organic SEO should be optimized for the terms that your target demographic will be searching for. Just the same as your ads should target the right people that you want to reach with your SAF’s.

Whether your site is getting found because of ads or SEO, you must find the right people to present your offers and information to (if you want the traffic that finds your website to take the next desired action).

Work Smart Tip: If you are unsure who you’re marketing to then check out the competition…

The simplest place to start when identifying your target audience is to look at the competition. Determine what they are doing right and who they are trying to reach.

This can be done by going to Google and beginning some simple searches for terms that would help your website get found by the right audience.

Let’s say that you are in the Karate School niche, you might start by looking on Google for Karate Schools in [Your City], for example:

Karate Schools Santa Monica or Santa Monica Karate Classes

There are a few things that you will want to pay close attention to:

  1. What does your competition do right?
  2. Are they beating you? If so, why?
  3. What can you learn from the competitors?
  4. If your website gets found for the same keyword phrase would the user be more inclined or less inclined to choose your company over the competitor?
  5. Why would they choose your business over the others on page one?
  6. What SAF’s are they delivering that you can model after?
  7. How does it feel to be a consumer going through their customer journey?
    And, how does it feel to be a consumer that is going through your customer journey?
  8. What does their source code tell us?

One of the oldest ways to figure out what keywords a website is using to find customers is to view the source code. Depending on your browser it may be called view page source or view source.

Not all sites have the source code organized in a way that it will tell you everything, in fact some have a sentence that says things like: “Are you looking for my keywords? I have hidden them.”

Get found online - How To Get More Traffic To Your Website

In the source code many things often reveal themselves to those with an eye for what to look for.

  • The theme they are using.
  • The code that their website is written in.
  • The plugins they have installed on their website.
  • The keywords and phrases that are used throughout the page.

This may seem boring to you but, if you are having trouble getting traffic or clients from your website, then the chances are:

A. You really don’t know you’re ideal customer as good as you may have thought.
B. You have not done enough competition analysis to learn what you need to know.
C. You have not explored your customer journey or your competitors customer journey through the lens of a potential customer.

Tips for working at home (part II)

Master Getting Found Using This Checklist:

What platforms or websites do my target consumers spend their time interacting with my SAF’s on?

__ Write them down on a piece of paper.

Not all platforms work for every business so take the time to make a list before marking a check on this line.

__ Have you done your competition analysis?

Write the notes of what you see and what you learned.

__ How can your brand be unique or different from the competition in your niche?

__ What can you learn from them to begin winning at your niche?

__ How can you develop you SAF’s in a way that the consumer will find them and benefit?

__ What platforms should you focus delivering your SAF’s on?

WRITE IT DOWN

__ How will the traffic find you?

WRITE IT DOWN

__ What pieces do you need in place to retarget the visitors that you have had to make them repeat visitors?

How to Get Found Using Retargeting

The Basics of Retargeting

There are two primary ways to retarget people:

1. Using Google Ads Network Remarketing Feature.

2. Using a software like Perfect Audience or AdRoll for Ads on Facebook and other websites.

Either option will require setting up an account and ads. Your ads will need to be working with a pixel tracking code that can track (or cookie) the users that have visited your site via ads or offers.

Once the user has come to your landing page a single time they are cookied with this code. The tracking pixel is what tells the ads network who to represent the same or similar offers to, based on the fact that they have shown interest but did not complete the buying process to the final step in the customer journey.

With Facebook’s new Custom Audience updates, facebook.com/ads/audience_insights, you can develop and build very targeted ad campaign audiences and begin sending traffic using Facebook Website Conversion Ads. Upon creating your Facebook Ad Campaign you will be given a pixel tracking code that can be installed on the page of your website that completes the desired action, most likely your thank you page.

You will need:

Your Landing Page: Any page of your website or blog designed for receiving traffic that can delivering your SAF and capture an email address.

Your Buy Page: A page one level deeper into your site that either makes the offer or gives them the SAF that you promised in your offer on the landing page.

Your Thank You Page: A simple thank you page that tells the user they have completed the offer process (hint: this is the ideal page to put your tracking code on).

Pixel Tracking Code: A piece of HTML that your ad network will provide you for your website.

An Auto Responder for Email List Building & Management: Any email list auto responder company that will integrate with the website that you own and do what you need it to do: Aweber, GetResponse, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, etc.

If the user makes it to the thank you page, then your ad network knows that they have completed the desired journey and will consider that a “conversion.”

If they fail to make it to the last step in the process then the ad network will automatically retarget your ads to the cookied users on your retargeting list.

Perfect Audience and AdRoll are the ones that would manage buying the ad spot and presenting the ads in the right places, to the right users, at the right times. To the users on your list when they are online (using any ad positions that are available in the ad networks).

Facebook and Google only make up a small percentage of all the ad positions available for purchase online. The retargeting software is what will determine where the ads should be shown, when, why, and to whom based on the tracking pixel and who has the active cookie that is on your list.

The one caveat to retargeting is that it does require your website to cookie quite a few visitors on your account list before retargeting ads can start to take place.

Now go and kick some butt, right?

Where do I begin? Read the Get Found Guide

Contact us if you want help growing your business.

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

Social Media: The Catalyst for Website Traffic
Tips To Help You Decide How Much To Charge
4 Simple Ideas to Achieve Marketing Success
5 Social Media Mistakes That Will Get You Unfriended/Unfollowed
5 Tips to Get More Visitors to Your Website
7 Steps to Help Your Business “Get Found” on the Web
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
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?

Over my years in business I’ve talked with quite a few folks who went into business without any business or marketing experience. Like most folks, they wanted to do the “work” of the business, not realizing that to STAY in business they would need sales and marketing.

 

sales-marketing process, the sherwood group, graphic design, web design santa clarita

The rule of thumb that I’ve found most helpful is to invest 20% to 25% of my time on sales and marketing. For those of you who need some additional guidance, here are the 15 Commandments for a Dynamic Sales-Marketing Process:

 

  1. List all your features that have user appeal
  2. From among them, identify the benefits you can offer to various markets and prospects
  3. Evaluate those markets to determine those that offer substantial revenue, growth and profit
  4. Further analyze those markets to determine those few segments with the greatest opportunity for long-term revenue, growth and profitability
  5. For each of those few, key segments determine who the primary prospects will likely be – those with the greatest potential to influence the purchase of your products and services
  6. Having selected those few, top prospects, prioritize their major wants and needs – the few that they most value and desire (Some may be emotional, not rational)
  7. From among these few, key desires, determine your ability to provide them vs. the competition
  8. Carefully and realistically determine your strengths & weaknesses vs. each competitor
  9. Once you’ve determined the extent of your superiority over each competitor – plus your weaknesses, if any – determine those segments in which you can best compete and prioritize those strengths accordingly
  10. Having confirmed those areas where you can best compete, develop a succinct (25 words or less), compelling Value Proposition that clearly sets you above and apart from the competition
  11. Organize, train and motivate your sales force (direct or indirect) to contact and convince those few, key prospects about your superiority, incorporating the Value Proposition in their presentation
  12. Remember: a strength where you may have greater superiority over competition, but is not as highly desired by your key prospects, may not generate as many sales as a strength where you have lesser superiority, but is considered more important by these prospects
  13. Establish and conduct a long-term Branding program that strongly and consistently conveys your Value Proposition. Avoid complicating it with less-persuasive details. Let the Sales Force handle them
  14. Assure the Sales Force is well versed in the Value Proposition, and that they know the need to educate and motivate those prospects who are most likely to be prime customers and repeat buyers
  15. As important, new developments are verified, no matter the source, incorporate them to assure the Marketing-Sales process adapts to changing conditions.

Author: Neil Mahoney has 30+ years experience in all areas and at all levels of Marketing-Sales, including: 1. Marketing Communications; Market Analysis & Planning — General Electric, 2. Nat’l. Sales Manager; VP-Marketing — Bausch & Lomb, 3. VP-Group Publisher — ABC Broadcasting, 4. Director, Consumer Products — Starrett Co.

Contact us if you want help growing your business.

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

Social Media: The Catalyst for Website Traffic
Tips To Help You Decide How Much To Charge
4 Simple Ideas to Achieve Marketing Success
5 Social Media Mistakes That Will Get You Unfriended/Unfollowed
5 Tips to Get More Visitors to Your Website
7 Steps to Help Your Business “Get Found” on the Web
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
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?

 

Make customers happy. Sell more. Those are every business’s main goals. But for both things to happen, real connections with your target audience must take place. Where can you go to foster these relationships? Social media. Here’s a look at three of the biggest social channels, and how you can use them to get more website hits.

 

Social Media: The Catalyst for Website Traffic

Facebook

Facebook is the old standby in social media, but the platform is constantly changing. Aside from regularly updated algorithms in an effort to give users more of the content they want (and less of what annoys them), new ways to advertise keep popping up too. If you want to get people to your website, Facebook ads are a sure bet.

Don’t want to go the official ad route? No problem. You can still set up your Facebook page to maximize the odds that eyeballs will be routed to your site. Analyze the content you’re currently placing.

  • Is it valuable to a potential buyer?
  • Is it engaging?
  • Is it visually appealing?

If not, strive to make all posts fit this criteria. The better the content, the more likely your customer base is to share your posts.

Make content on your website (blog posts in particular) easily shareable through Facebook and other social sites. The easier it is to click a button and repost an article, the better the odds of them doing it.

Twitter

You have 140 characters or less to get your messages out. The biggest secret: avoid being overly promotional. If all your tweets tout your products or services, you’ll lose followers and irritate the ones you keep. Instead, be a resource to those following you.

Lifelock is a good example of a company that does this well. By posting usable information about identity theft and commenting on timely news items, followers get value from reading tweets. Furthermore, Lifelock’s Twitter page also includes links back to specific pages of the business’s website. If you want to get people to look at your website, do the same. A link to your home page isn’t enough. Instead, tweet a link to your FAQs with a teaser; readers will want to know the answer and can click to discover it. If you tweet a link to a recent blog post, be specific and share website links.

Pinterest

It can be tough to come up with a marketing strategy that involves Pinterest. After all, many people just spend hours gazing at the site with no real motivation to take any action. But if you treat it as exactly what it is – a source of inspiration – you can gain traffic from the image-centric site. Create a “Blog Board,” where you pin a short synopsis of your latest blog post along with an image and link to the post. Soon enough, you’ll have an eye-catching and inspirational board with fans all its own. Or start a lifestyle board aligned with your industry. If you own pizza shop, create boards dedicated to the lifestyles of the people most likely to consume your food – sports fans, college students or couples on date night. The types of images you post will likely resonate with some of your target audience, and your Pinterest boards and website will benefit too.

When you want to drive more traffic to your website, don’t discount the power of your social media. Find creative ways to use Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to connect with your buyers, and you’ll see sales as a result.

Contact us if you want help growing your business.

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

Tips To Help You Decide How Much To Charge
4 Simple Ideas to Achieve Marketing Success
5 Social Media Mistakes That Will Get You Unfriended/Unfollowed
5 Tips to Get More Visitors to Your Website
7 Steps to Help Your Business “Get Found” on the Web
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
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:

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When you own your own business, it can be a struggle to decide if you are charging enough for your work. It can be hard to ask others what they are charging because it is often taboo to talk about prices. So, how can you decide how much to charge your clients?

 

how much to charge, will sherwood, the sherwood group, graphic design, web design santa clarita

When I first started my business quite a few years ago, I started out charging an hourly rate that was similar to the hourly rate I had been paid as an employee. BIG MISTAKE. I hadn’t taken into consideration all the non-billable and administrative time required, like quoting projects, not to mention the costs of hardware, software and other hard costs. It wasn’t until some years later, and after learning the hard way, that I learned from Cameron Foote (in the first point below) that I needed to charge 4x to 5x what I hoped to end up with. Here then are my 5 tips to help you decide how much you should charge for your services:

  • Calculate your expenses and overhead.  According to Cameron Foote of Creative Business Newsletter, you need to charge four to five times more than what you want to end up with.  This is so that you account for you other expenses, such as rent, non-billable time, overhead, taxes, software, and anything else that it takes to run your business.
  • Calculate how much you need to make. To do this, you should calculate how many hours you want to work and how much you want to earn. So, let’s say you want to work 10 hour/week and you want to earn a $100/week, you may think you need to charge $10/hour, but you still need to apply the 4x to 5x rule (above), so in reality, you should charge $40 to $50/hour to end up with $10/hour. This may (or may not) be realistic in your market. You may have to adjust your rates, depending on what people are willing to pay and the fees charged in your surrounding market.
  • Determine what others are charging. Though you can’t always ask others what they are charging, you can do an online search. Check out other websites of businesses similar to yours and see what they are charging. Though there might be some differences due to locations, you can get a general idea to base your own prices off of.
  • Determine what people are willing to pay. People are willing to pay more for certain tasks such as technical and computer tasks. Also, if you have specialized training, you can charge more than someone who is doing basic administrative tasks.
  • You have to be happy with your fees. You are going to be the one discuss your fees with others, so you have to be comfortable with them. You, alone, need to be able to talk to others about your fees so that you can close deals and get paid. Bottom line, be happy with the fees that you are charging. And be proud to state them to your prospects and clients. The better you are, the more you’re worth it!

It can be very difficult to figure out how much you should charge for your work. You need to consider what your expenses and overhead are and charge accordingly.  You should also determine what people are willing to pay and what others are charging. Lastly, you need to be comfortable speaking about your rates.

Contact us to help you grow your business.

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

4 Simple Ideas to Achieve Marketing Success
5 Social Media Mistakes That Will Get You Unfriended/Unfollowed
5 Tips to Get More Visitors to Your Website
7 Steps to Help Your Business “Get Found” on the Web
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
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?

One of the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur is learning how to market yourself.  Even though you are confident about your business, it’s not always easy to present your expertise and create interest about you and your personal brand.

 

marketing success image

In order to stand out from the competition–or just do a better job of networking–use some of the best tools to market yourself:

 

  • Develop your “elevator speech.”  Whether you’re at a conference or a neighbor’s cookout, it’s important to be able to describe yourself in an interesting way. And do it in thirty seconds. It’s a sound bite that tells people who you are, what you do, and why you do it or what your goal is. Most people never bother to create a really good summary of themselves. Get ahead of the game by taking time to write out your story, and then practice it. Include something that invites a question or comment, to get a conversation started. It will reward you again and again.
  • Get some remarkable business cards. You business card represents YOU, and people will remember YOU long after you’ve handed it to them. Make your cards memorable, and folks will hang on to them. A clever design will elicit comments. A dual purpose, such as a business card that’s also a bookmark or magnet, will make it useful.  If humor is appropriate, consider a fun fact about your business.
  • Be the original ______ (Fill in the blank).  What is unique about you? What have you done differently from others?  How will your widgets make the world a better place? People always remember a great story. Find yours and tell it with enthusiasm. Think of Steve Jobs. He didn’t sell computers, he sold “tools to unleash your creativity.”
  • Spend time on LinkedIn.  Of course you’re deep into social networking. LinkedIn can help you become an “influencer” when you spend time reading and sharing articles; following people and commenting on their posts; joining and participating in groups. Viveka von Rosen, a LinkedIn expert, advises, “LinkedIn is about building relationships, and one of the best ways of building relationships is to show your top prospects that you were listening to them.” Keep your profile current, and add your link to your business cards.

Marketing yourself–building your personal brand–doesn’t need to be expensive. It does take time, as well as consistent effort. By planning now, you’ll be ahead of the competition and on your way to success.

Ready for more business success ideas? Just contact us and we’ll help you develop a great plan!

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

5 Social Media Mistakes That Will Get You Unfriended
5 Tips to Get More Visitors to Your Website
The Five “Deadly Sins” of Social Media
7 Steps to Help Your Business “Get Found” on the Web
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
Tips for Working at Home (Part 1)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
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?


© 2013 - The Sherwood Group
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