Bueller... Bueller... Is anyone there??
How can you gather attendees to your conference when no one knows that it exists? How do you get the word out and show proof that this first time event is worth attending?
Are you finding Google is, well, not giving you the level of attention or ranking that you feel you deserve? Are you looking for that "happily ever after" moment with Google?
If someone were to approach you and say "We need a website redesign," what would that mean to you? Would you think...
Yes, the size of your profile and cover image does matter. And it can get frustrating because there is not one universal size for all of your social media accounts. So here is a list with the latest sizes, along with some great examples, because it's not just about the size, selecting the right image is important as well.
Lately this has become one of my favorite topics to discuss with customers and leads. We often get asked, which is better? HubSpot or WordPress? Should I keep my website in WordPress after purchasing HubSpot? And, my answer,
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... or maybe just in the eye of the person paying attention at the time?
Are you finding that data is being collected and used all around you? From your favorite weather app preparing you for the week ahead, to Amazon suggesting new products based on your recent purchases. Everything and everyone is collecting data to prepare you, or to inform you, or to better your experience. So, how can you use data to improve your own website?
It's only fitting that on February 29, we explore why some events only happen every four years.
Do you know what it is? Your Salespeople know the answer.
I woke up this morning and came across this on my Facebook Newsfeed...
This post originally appeared on the Cursive Content Blog, and is republished here with permission.
When I started writing website content back in 2003, business sites were nothing more than glorified online brochures, banner ads were all the rage, and “below the fold” was blasphemous.
The world keeps getting smaller, the Internet keeps growing larger, and staying on top of it all keeps demanding more and more time. No matter how small our business, in some ways we all compete globally. Larger reach means stiffer competition, and so to be successful in business and widen our customer base we must continually pursue new ways to be found, seen, and heard - never mind influential! - in an ever-growing digital marketplace. It’s daunting, but it’s reality, so we work tirelessly to find an in, be the first, get a lead.
Cut throat and cutting edge.
But it was not always this way.
(Hartford, Conn., Oct. 30, 2015) – reSET, the Social Enterprise Trust, (www.SocialEnterpriseTrust.org), whose mission is advancing the social enterprise sector, revealed the winners of its annual Impact Challenge last night at The Society Room of Hartford to a record, sellout crowd of 300.
Modern marketers know that at the end of the day, if sales aren’t happening, neither is business growth. The best marketing in the world only matters if it results in sales. I learned that the hard way and it has become my personal mission to help sales and marketing work together for the benefit of the buyer. The next generation of sales and marketing leadership are focused on their value to the buyer.
People ask some pretty specific questions on Facebook, but why are they using Facebook and not Google?
It's a question that gets asked a lot. You meet someone new at a networking event, and inevitably they ask, "So, what do you do?"
What's the right answer? How do you distill that into something that won't immediately bore your new friend?
Becoming an inbound marketing specialist for 710 Studios over this past year has been an eye-opening experience for me. People are my business- I love being with people, relating, and making connections. How fitting for me to be involved with INBOUND since it's all about the human interaction. Heather and Michael surprised me a few weeks ago with a ticket to be part of the team at #INBOUND15; I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to embrace the INBOUND movement on a higher scale.
What a day! The inspirational story of Malala, a Keynote from Brené Brown, Ph.D. (life changing), one from Dharmesh Shah & Brian Halligan (game changing), sell-out breakout sessions, a Happy Hour and a lot of talking with an amazing community of people.Here's our recap of the exhilarating day including some photos:
The last few months have been like a countdown to Christmas for us at 710 Studios and for many others in the HubSpot community. As I entered the Boston Convention Center, it reminded me of the mornings as a kid walking down the stairs on Christmas morning, each step filled with curiosity, wondering if I had been good enough this year to get any presents.
We are fortunate to have some friends and clients join us, Convention Nation and Pirie Associates. Today was a light day with some partner stuff going on, training classes, and standing room only for the day's opening Keynote - Seth Godin. For those of you who can not make it, here is what we learned from listening to Day 1 at HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Conference:
The smartphone, the internet, and GPS have changed the way we travel. You used to plan a trip by knowing your destination, looking at a map, and charting a course. Some people still do that, but many people now rely on their iPhone or built-in navigation in their car. Get in the car, plug in the address and drive. Most of the time, you will arrive at your destination, no problem. But what happens when something unexpected comes up?
It's amazing how kids can forget a simple thing like washing their hands before they leave the bathroom, but they are able to remember you telling them three years ago that when they turn six we would get them a dog. So this August, we began our search. We knew we wanted to rescue a dog from an animal shelter, which helped narrow down the process. We found a bunch in our area, I was shocked how many shelters there are within a 20-mile radius, but I understand the need. I, of course, did all my research online and quickly followed all of the shelters that had Facebook Company pages. The process didn't take long, we quickly kept seeing beautiful pictures of dogs from the Simon Foundation and because of one particular picture of the most adorable puppy we were compelled to fill out an application.
- How do I create urgency in my client?
- How do I get them to share their real budget?
- How do I get them to introduce me to the ultimate decision maker?
- How do I get them to return my voice mail message?
- How do I follow-up with Inbound Leads?
- How do I get my prospect to write my proposal for me?
- How do I follow-up if someone fills out a form on my website?
- How do I attract people to fill out a form on my website?
I was recently on vacation in Deer Isle, ME. Stonington is the next town over and has a wonderful Lobster Co-Op where you can walk down to the pier with a bag and buy lobsters off the boat.
How can you compare growing your business to a lobsterman trying to catch lobsters?
Every year for six years from 12 years-old through my teens, I attended a week-long overnight soccer camp. SoccerPLUS Goalkeeper School was an elite camp for serious goalkeepers. They brought in some of the best professional and collegiate coaches and players from around the world. As a camper, the staff could walk on water. They were the best players I had ever seen, and they also ran a tight ship. If you wanted to play beyond high school, you would need disciple and dedication, and the staff exuded that with everything they did.
The summer after my freshman year in college, I worked as a staff coach and did so for the next six years. The view from the inside was very different from the view from the outside.
Soccer is a team sport, but the goalkeeper is the one under a microscope if the other team scores. Goalkeeping is a tough position, and you need to be prepared for a variety of situations: rain, a glove ripping, needing an alternate color jersey, water in the goal mouth, sun in your eyes, etc...
One of my mentors growing up preached the big bag theory. Goalkeepers need to carry a big bag to fit all of the equipment they need to be prepared for any situation. At camp, we would do an evening lecture where he would literally bring a big bag and show all of the things he would bring to a game.
I also use the same theory when I go to the race track. I've been instructing at High Performance Driving Schools around the northeast for over 14 years. In that time, I've experienced my fair share of broken parts. Everytime I didn't have the right tool or the right spare part, I added it to my "big bag" list of things to bring for next time.
What about business blogging? Have you ever responded to the same question by email more than once? Should you consider writing it as a blog post? Do you have a "big bag" of blog posts queued up to share with prospects when they ask you a question? Are you prepared to react to customer feedback? To changes in Google's search algorithm? Do you know how often you should blog?
That's what the Hartford HUG event will cover next Wednesday.
I have a draft blog post I've been working on for a few weeks now, but I can't seem to distill my thoughts. I'm trying to write about the balance of Inbound happening online vs. in-person. Some people produce good content online, but when you meet them in person, they are pushy or "salesy". Some people are fantastic in person, but when you look them up online, they don't live up to the expectations or simply don't exist.
I read Seth Godin's blog everyday. Today, he wrote a more eloquant version of what has been swirling around in my head.
A website is just a tool. It only does exactly what it was designed to do.
Blogging, writing, and content creation have been a hot topic lately among my clients, prospects, and peers. I came across an article in April where HubSpot published benchmark blogging data from its 13,500+ customers. The article has great insights on many factors how blogging impacts website visits and leads. The key takeaway for me was that companies that blog 11 or more times per month would get at least 2-3X traffic to their website than those who only publish a handful per month. So statistically speaking, every company should target writing at least 11 blog posts per month, but how the heck is that going to happen?
What an exciting day at the Expo! Not all attendees shared the same sentiment because I got some mixed reviews as to what people thought of the show, but I'm going to sum it up as it's all about perspective. Here's what I learned from the show:
On June 4th, The Hartford Business Journal will put on the 15th Annual Connecticut Business Expo. Last year, over 4000 attendees representing over 200 industries attended the expo. It is open to the public, and admission is free, so there aren't many excuses not to attend. There is a lot of opportunity in attending an event like this, you just need to go in with a plan.
A few weeks ago, I sat down with a gentleman who has been a buyer for a government agency for the past four years to discuss his experience when making online purchases on a variety of manufacturing websites. To respect his privacy, I can't disclose his real name, so let's just call him Joe.
Joe spends a good portion of his day buying parts on e-commerce websites. While he is not an expert in web design, he is however, an expert on visiting websites and having to work really hard to make a purchase. We wanted to know what attributes of a website make his life easier, and what makes him never want to come back. Here are the key takeaways from our conversation:
I had the pleasure of attending a great mini Inbound conference on last Wednesday in Portsmouth NH. Port Cities Inbound was a joint effort put on by the Portsmount HUG and Portland HUG. I normally try to do a pretty inclusive recap, but since Adam Zais was there recording the event, I'll let him share the inclusive video recap, and I'll leave you with some really great key takeaways from each presenter.
Trust. A word that means taking a giant leap of faith, whether trusting in someone or something. To me, trust is the center of my marriage with my husband. It's where I feel most central with my family and friends. It's also the center of all of my decision making. When I am at a cross-roads of a big decision, I rely on my instinct, trusting it will guide me towards making the right choice. The same is true when it comes to making business decisions for your company. Trust yourself to take a leap that will help drive your business goals. Furthermore, try and relinquish your control and trust someone else with expertise to help with that leap.
Some questions just get me thinking. A few days ago, I was asked, "How Does Inbound Work With Companies That Are Not Online?"
This months sales accelerators networking event at HubSpot featured Tim Bertrand (@TimBertrand), SVP WW Sales & Field Ops at Acquia. The focus of the session was how Acquia grew from zero to 100+ million in sales. Tim has lead sales at Acquia since 2009. Acquia was the fastest growing private company in the United States from 2008-2013 - as defined by Deloitte in their Fast 500 study. Tim was interviewed by Andrew Quinn, the Director of Training and Development at HubSpot. A big thank you to HubSpot for hosting and for providing free pizza and beer.
Spring is finally making its presence known in Connecticut and soon we will be dusting off the lawn mower and gardening gloves or calling up the lawn service company to schedule the first cut of the season. Now imagine this spring that you decide to ignore your lawn and weeds in the gardens. You would still be able to go about your day without any problems, but what impression do you think you would be giving to your neighbors or passersby that don't know you? Does someone still live there? Why don't they take pride in what they own? Now instead of it being your overgrown and unkempt lawn, what if it was your website that you were ignoring? What kind of an impression are you giving your visitors and potential customers if you've ignored your website for years?
Another great networking event! This month's speaker was Glenn Gaudet, President & Founder of GaggleAMP, and the topic was Social Selling. Pete Caputa mixed it up a bit and let Andrew Quinn, the Director of Training and Development at HubSpot, ask the questions this time. When Andrew got a hold of the mic and started speaking, I turned to Carole Mahoney and said "Is this guy a radio personality?" I think he may have been joking around a bit, but I think he can definitely give Nick Sal a run for his money!
Ok, on to a recap of what we learned. Glenn focused on Twitter and LinkedIn as the two social media platforms to focus on for B2B sales people. Here are some tidbits from his talk:
I talk with Rick Roberge often. A couple of weeks ago, he told me that he was going to update his most read article in the past two years. Then he left for Mexico. He got back today and when he read my article, he said, "Great! Now I don't have to write it."
With more than 347 million users, LinkedIn is the most popular social network for professionals, and in turn, has positioned itself as one of the top social networks overall. Do you know if you are using LinkedIn to its full potential? In today's digital landscape, a strong LinkedIn profile is vital whether you are looking for a job or looking for new business. Here are your 10 things:
In any case, social media represents an excellent opportunity to grow your brand in 2015, even if your aren't a social media guru. Use the following easy social media tips to help increase engagement and grow your brand.
I am a huge Formula 1 fan. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. The most advanced cars, the biggest budgets, the fastest drivers are all part of the allure. The one thing F1 lacks, especially with the way the US covers the sport, is seeing the true personalities of the drivers. Sure, you see some candid moments from time to time, but mostly it’s a grand show. Driver interviews are usually conducted with the team’s PR person standing over the driver’s shoulder. For the most part, drivers are very politically correct about their feelings regarding on-track altercations such as collisions or crashes, disagreements with team decisions, etc…
I recently came across a video that transformed my impression of a driver: Fernando Alonso Documentary, Last Race with Ferrari.
I attended a BNI meeting once in 2008, but I had forgotten what BNI was all about. You can learn about BNI on their website, but the one memory that came back to me, and what I feel makes the group work, is their attendance policy and how it equates to accountability. Some people seek accountability at BNI, some at Chamber Events, I happened to choose Rick Roberge.
I enjoyed the networking opportunity and was able to reconnect with Chloe White, the Chapter VP who I went to CCSU with, and Adam Pavelchak, who I played soccer with at Bristol Eastern High School, both of whom I haven’t seen in over a decade! This was a far drive to make every Wednesday morning so I may seek out a more local BNI group to join in the future, but only for proximity reasons. This group had a lot of driven professionals! Here is a list of them along with a recap of the type of business they are seeking:
Social media can be a great tool for building your business, but it is not foolproof. There are things you can do on social media, or fail to do, that can actually hurt your business.
When it comes to social media, LinkedIn is one of the best places for professionals to connect with their peers. It is also the perfect place for businesses to build more B2B leads, announce new products and services, and research potential customers before making contact. The key to any social media outlet is a polished profile, so here is what you need to know to build an effective LinkedIn company page.
I just read an article on SI.com about my friend Paul Rogers. Paul, was the goalkeeper coach for the US Women's National Team, from 2009 up until last week where he accepted a job as goalkeeper coach for MLS's Houston Dynamo. Normally, this sort of thing doesn't garner attention, but the USWNT is heading into a World Cup this summer in Canada, and their star goalkeeper (arguable the best female GK in the world) has infamously grabbed headlines for off-the-pitch activities. Solo was just suspended for 30 days by US Soccer so, according to the article, Paul's abrupt departure raised some eyebrows.
Most adult people can speak. If you are among that lucky majority, then the truth is that you can also write, and if you want to – or need to! – then there are some very simple steps you can take that will greatly enhance your ability to do so. I am not talking about going back to school or getting a tutor (although I can help you with that if you’d like :). Rather, I am talking about making a few significant modifications to your approach to the task that will provide you with immediate results.
First, a big thank you to HubSpot for hosting, and also to Pete Caputa and his team for organizing, and thank you to Rick Roberge for taking time out of his busy schedule talking about sales to talk about sales! It was refreshing to hear that I am not alone with some of the sales challenges, but also reassuring to listen to Rick share some of the same advice that he teaches in our coaching sessions.
I was speaking with my sister-in-law Alison over the weekend, and we were discussing buying/selling houses, renovating, and how much work, in general, houses can be. She was reminiscing about her first house, a cozy Cape that they bought in rough shape an put so much sweat equity into. It was a labor of love for almost 10 years. When it came time to sell, they decided to invest some money into upgrades on the house in order to maximize their return. They completely redid the bathrooms, added new counters and a new floor in the kitchen, and when completed, it looked like a new house inside! They had no problem selling, but Alison made a comment to the effect of, "I wish we had done it earlier so we could have enjoyed it for a while."
A bright new year is upon us, and the outlook is a positive, uplifting one for our economy. According to USA Today, employers added 321,000 jobs this past November, the most in nearly two years, and 2014 is on track to be the strongest for job growth since 1999. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 36% of employers plan to increase their full-time staff in 2015, up from 24% last year and the most since 2006.
Many economists expect low gasoline prices (lowest since 2009) and rising household wealth to drive consumer spending this year. Nearly six years after the economic recovery began, "businesses are going to be confident that the economic expansion is more sustainable," says Bernard Baumohl, Chief Global Economist for The Economic Outlook Group. With more faith in the economy, people are spending more and will most likely continue to do so into this year.
With this positive 2015 economic outlook, putting your business first is imperative to match with this economic growth. Don't be left behind hoping that because of this uplifting and hopeful economic report, your business will flourish all on its own. It will only do so if you make the necessary steps to help it succeed by investing, and doing so smartly. How can this happen?
My son, John, has had type 1 diabetes since 2011 (he was two years old when diagnosed), and with learning about the disease we've found that it is constantly unpredictable. There are multiple factors that can cause John to have a change in his blood glucose level and often they are not always the same. Changes often come without warning and because our son is so young, he doesn't often recognize when he is at a low or high BG. The unknown has been scary, but also frustrating because we as parents want to make sure we are keeping John as healthy as possible.
As a mother, I am constantly reflecting on how I can help my children grow to become happy, healthy, good human beings. If I can help them with these three things, then I say I did my job well! Making that human connection with others, and listening to people is the epitomy of being a good person.
When my 4-year-old daughter stamps her foot and demands for the holiday colored goldfish instead of the original flavor, I'm taken aback and feel frustrated with how she approaches me, especially since my husband and I consistently teach our children (like every parent) how to ask politely. I have to remind her once again, "Em, how do we ask for something in this family?" Then all of a sudden a light bulb goes on in her little head and she (for the most part) sweetly asks, "may I please have the colored goldfish?"...ahhhh, a feeling of calm serenity moves through me...now I'm more apt to help and listen to her.
The benefits to having a Google+ page for your business are endless. From bumping up your SEO value, to helping drive more traffic to your website, and even creating more positive long-lasting relationships with your customers. Google+ stands out as a social media platform that will take your business to the next level and help continue it to grow.
As a business trying to stand out among all of your local competitors, you need to come out on top. Google+ Business Local page lets potential customers and current customers find you when doing a search on Google, the #1 search engine. When you have a Google+ page, Google considers its own factors, such as the number of +1s on the Google+ Business Page, to be most influential in determining ranking order.
Whether your business is a storefront, or you are an online or even mobile service, your business can reach and find potential customers. There are two ways you can showcase your business to customers based on how you can better serve them. Read below to see which one is best for your business.
You may have noticed your website hasn't been updated for a while, and/or you can't recall the last time your nursing home's website generated a lead that converted into a new resident. For one reason or another, you have come to the realization that you must redesign your website in 2015. Before you start picking out colors, layout and photos, consider these five tips to create a sales generating machine:
You know how business sometimes comes in spurts? As of late, I've had quite a few conversations with business owners that are either about to retire, ready to retire tomorrow, or should have retired already. It was eerie the similarities between them all.
Have you ever read something and wondered if the author was writing directly to you, or maybe even directly about you? That happened to me today while reading this - Hypocrisy in Sales and Business. It was a post by Rick Roberge that came across on my Linkedin News Feed. I've been working with Rick for almost 2 months, and while reading it, I couldn't help but wonder if Rick was referring to me. Was I not following his lead? Uh, Oh! Then I read the date... March 18, 2014. He had posted this 9 months ago. I was relieved that he wasn't directly referring to one of my mistakes, but the story still resonated with me. Talk about nailing your buyer persona!
As a small business owner, looking for inventive and thoughtful ways to engage with your prospects and customers online is key for the growth of your business. The use of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are staple platforms to promote your business and engage with other businesses and customers, but how can you best leverage a social media platform to increase your search ranking?
I recently received a flyer in my son's backpack for an upcoming annual PTO family skate night event. My first thought was, "NO! You won't get anyone to register with that approach!" I found out from the parent who distributed the flyers of the outcome and response. Can you guess how many people actually did register after the flyers went out? Four...out of 200 families! A day or so later, another parent took to Facebook and posted the event on the school's page, using the same flyer's graphics and information. After an hour of posting the event, they were able to securely commit 10 families and even two volunteers...and they continued to pour in that first day.
So how can this example relate to you and your small business' marketing strategy?
Last month I was in Boston, MA for a girls weekend with my best friend who now lives in North Carolina. The only part of the trip we planned was our reservation on airbnb.com. We were set up in a great spot in Boston where we could walk to almost everything or jump on the T. It was perfect since we had no set plans, except to eat some yummy food and maybe have a drink or two. As two busy mama's, it was nice to not have a plan and just explore the city. We of course, posted many of our photos on Instagram, so our families could share in our fun.
Think about the way you make buying decisions, whether it's for a product or service. It is hard to separate your emotions when making the decision. Most buying decisions people make are based on emotions. The consumer may do some research, but often times the feelings behind the decision out weigh the facts. Now think about the emotions involved in deciding to send your parent or grandparent to a nursing home.
Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a great example of Inbound gone really right. They just crossed 25 million streams from basically all organic growth through social sharing. I love the shows and the whole concept in general, and during yesterday's episode with Amy Schumer, I actually learned a great networking tip too. Starting at the 13:55 mark - http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/amy-schumer-im-wondering-what-its-like-to-date-me, Jerry Seinfeld gives Amy Schumer some really sound networking advice.
I recently was contracted to work a trade show for a former employer in Las Vegas. The expo ran Wednesday and Thursday, so I flew into Las Vegas from Boston on Tuesday, and was due to take a red-eye back to Logan on Thursday night and arrive Friday around noon. Traveling for business has some perks, like staying in the Bellagio, and having dinner at Nobu, Old Homestead, and Prime... but it is exhausting. Long 12-14 hour days on your feet, being switched-on for that whole time, time difference, travel, etc. It takes a lot out of you.
One of the main principles of Inbound Marketing is to speak to your buyer's where they are searching for information. All car dealerships, from new car mega stores to small used car dealers, have their inventory's online. The cars are typically listed on the dealer's website, and Cars.com, Autotrader.com and the like. Those are obviously staples to any car sales operation, but what about social media? Your buyers are on social media everyday, yet most dealers fail to engage those buyers, and sometimes even restrict their employees from using social media at work. Crazy right?
Last week, my husband Michael and I were speaking with Rick Roberge discussing how to expand our network. Rick said "drag them to you", by adding remarkable and relevant insight to the conversation which will encourage readers to want to learn more about you. Rick compared this approach to how I attracted Michael. I didn't yell from the other said of the room saying "Look at me!!" (very outbound), but instead I went with a more inbound approach - an innocent smile from across the room. Michael, of course, was immediately intrigued and after another glance or two, built up the courage to come and talk to me. My graceful approach worked and we've been together ever since!
The way people buy has definitely changed, so does that mean the way people look for a job has changed? I say yes. Just like almost 60% of the buyer's journey is completed before making a purchase, I would predict that the decision to apply and potentially work for a company is at least the same percentage, if not more. When I am doing research on prospects and/or companies, I don't just look through the information provided on a website. I also like to find candid information posted by others about what I am searching for. That information tends to be more powerful and credible. It's one thing for a company to say "this is a great place to work", and it is another thing for its employee's to say "this is a great place to work", especially if the statement is unsolicited.
Inbound is not just for marketing anymore. Here are some tips on using Inbound methodologies to attract better candidates:
Yup, it's about that time of year again! There is a briskness in the air and all of the stores around you have their Christmas decorations up and it's only the day before Halloween. As a consumer, this time of year is overwhelming for me. I'm always seeking the perfect gift for my family members and especially my kids. I would say 95% of my shopping is done online because of the convenience and the lower prices. BUT, the down fall is I'm not able to actually touch the product and feel 100% confident in my choice. So often, I have to take additional time reading through reviews and relying on strangers to tell me if it's a quality product. This is all well and good for some purchases, but there is still a lack of confidence in my purchase and the time it takes to gather information
A lot has changed in the world of marketing and you may have been noticing the term "Inbound" popping up everywhere. It's really becoming a movement to connect with people, with buyer's, through the use of transparency and personalization. As the buyer's process has changed, we too as marketers, sales people and business owners need to change. The days of always be closing aren't going to work anymore, it's time to always be helping the buyer because that is what will earn trust and prove valuable.
There has been this recurring problem or complaint that I hear about from other businesses and I'm blown away because it just doesn't make any sense to me. The common issue is that the salespeople and marketers do not work together towards a common goal. Not only do they not work together, they blame each other for not reaching their set goals. Sound familiar?
Recently, while I was at the INBOUND 2014 conference, I was speaking with two other inbound marketing strategists about this recurring problem in their own companies. And during this conversation, I had an epiphany, these two groups are on the same team.
Your business is doing well, but you are spending too much time on your marketing efforts so it's time to hire a marketing coordinator, right?
Last week, I was at my son's endocrinologist appointment (my little man was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 2 years old) and the doctor and I were discussing different tweaks we needed to make to his insulin regimen. We sat there discussing the different contributing factors to what may be causing my son to be having more high blood sugar readings at night. As I often tell people who are not familiar with Type 1 Diabetes, managing T1D is more of an art then a science. There is not a set calculation based on his age and weight that will show us how much insulin he should have per carb or a set basal rate. We are constantly making adjustments and will continue to do so throughout his life.
When planning an inbound marketing campaign, you first define your buyer persona(s). Based on these defined characteristics and your marketing/sales goals, you plan a killer campaign that will attract new qualified leads. But, what about marketing to attract new employees?
Recently, our customer, New England Geriatrics, a leader in geriatric mental health who hires clinicians, expressed a need to increase their number of qualified applicants. At that time, their digital marketing to find new applicants only consisted of using a job posting service. I've witnessed first hand the compassionate and dedicated team at New England Geriatrics, but no where online could a new applicant see what I was seeing. It was important to portray this work enviornment and add a human element to their digital presence. We needed to show applicants why they would want to work at New England Geriatrics. We sat down with New England Geriatrics, defined the persona of their applicants, set monthly goals, and created a custom inbound marketing plan for success.
As I peruse the internet and I come across a website with a blog (insert fist pump), I quickly click on the blog with excitement that often quickly turns to disappointment. Instead of coming to a refreshing source of information I'm brought to a blog that consists of maybe two posts with the last being posted in 2011. Boo. No bueno. Questions start running through my mind, "What happened to this company?", "Are they still in business?". Having a blog has so many benefits. I would never normally discourage anyone to remove their blog, but if you aren't ready to stick to a blogging schedule and it's been two years since your last post, I would hide that blog link until you are ready to fully commit to blogging.
In previous posts, I've described the importance of having a blog and have touched on a few points andstatistics. With my own business, I see the benefits I receive when I'm posting consistently and the immediate drop my entire website suffers when I blog less than once a week. Somedays I wish I could use Professor Dumbledore's wand and magically have my blog posts appear. I've tried it doesn't work.
Does your website have a plan for it's visitors? Back in the day when I was simply designing websites, my main focus was to create a site that was attractive to the eye and easy to navigate. Sounds pretty, but what happens when these visitors come to your website? Attracting visitors is just the first part of creating a successful website, the next phase is to create a conversion path for those visitors into leads. There are five key parts each successful conversion path must contain.
From making an end table made of old pallets to becoming a professional baby photographer, there are do-it-yourself instructions for almost everything, just search Pinterest. We live in a different world these days, where people want to use locked up creativity, learn something new, feel a sense of accomplishment or simply save money. A lot of times we truly NAIL IT, and it's exhilarating to look back at the final product with great pride. Then there are the fails, where the end result resembles something a two year old did in art class. It's ok though, we aren't all meant to be the next Martha Stewart or professional photographer. That being said, we need to be able to be honest with ourselves and know when a particular project or task is out of our reach. It's not being said we couldn't do it, but it may take us a lot of attempts and time to even get it close to correct.
Whether you are a CEO or in the PTO, chances are that at some time or another, either by choice or by mandate, you will be tasked with a writing assignment.
Yes, a writing assignment. (It’s okay. Breathe.)
Look, we live in a time, an age, and a culture that is dominated by social media, and social media is dominated by posting, blogging, emailing, texting, tweeting, retweeting… in other words, words. That means for you to create “killer content” – and that is the marketing brass ring, at least for now – you are going to have to write. I know, for many of you compulsory writing evokes dreaded memories of blue essay pamphlets, red editorial comments, and a taunting landscape of white paper refusing to be occupied. But remember, you have already overcome your high school self, and I assure you that likewise, you can overcome your uncertainty of having anything worth saying, your fear of having the ability to say it well, or both.
"We need to start using social media NOW!", have you or someone in your company said this recently? It's been a very urgent request lately at 710 Studios. And well, I agree. If your company is not using social media marketing yet, umm, I ask very politely "what are you waiting for?". BUT, and that's a big "but", before you start are you prepared? The act of being social is to communicate with others, so what is it that you have to share. And is it worthy of being retweeted or shared by others? Here are three key elements you should prepare before you jump into social media marketing for your company:
Where do you think most people go first when they feel a new ailment coming on? The web of course and the most common site is webmd.com. Wouldn't you rather be the ones educating your own patients? With a blogyou can provide education to your patients and if they are hearing it from their own doctor instead of what feels like a robot at webmd.com you will make a great impact on your patients experience with your facility.
If you've avoided social media up until now, I'm not sorry to tell you it's time you give in and start reaping the benefits. Let's think of how difficult it was in the past for a consumer to find out more about a product or service. They could only go to a search engine like Google or yahoo and dig through numerous pages of search results. It was a tedious process and depending on what you were searching for you often came up very underwhelmed with outdated and stagnant content.
A few months ago, someone close to me became ill and began showing early signs of dementia.
I watched as the family of this person struggled to get a grasp around these changes in behavior and health for their loved one. Since no one had experience with this type of life changing event I wanted to quickly find some answers and advice for the family. Luckily, I had a colleague in the geriatric field, whom I trusted and could call on for advice. During this phone call, I received expert advice for both the caretakers and the patient, answers to my many questions about dementia, and the utmost empathetic understanding of what the family was going through. After getting off the phone, I was saddened by what was to come, but at the same time satisfied because I finally got some real answers not only for myself, but for the family too.
Ok, I hear you loud and clear. You are probably right that you need a website redesign, but WHY? Let's bring it back to the beginning for just a second. Roughly fourteen years ago, I remember being in my senior year of college, as an Advertising major, and the buzz for all companies to have a website was in full force. Most companies, not all, rushed to get this thing called a “website” because that was the newest and greatest marketing tool. Remember the first websites that mirrored a digital copy of a printed brochure, which included a list of products, services, contact information and the intriguing about us page. The design of the first websites were table based and the content was informative to a point, a very short, dull point. There was limited interaction with your web visitors and rarely a reason for them to come back.
My dad retired about two years ago, after owning his own sporting good store (West Side Sport Shop) for twenty five years. I worked part time for my dad from age 14 to until he retired. I learned a lot about business from my dad, especially how to treat a customer. My dad would often bend over backwards to make sure any athlete big or small had the right equipment to excel on the field or ice. He would almost feel ashamed if we didn't have the exact size or style the customer needed. I remember one year a young boy came in and he needed a size 14 soccer cleat, which isn't a common size for soccer, and to my dad's dismay we didn't have it. Being the dedicated man that he is, my dad ended up special ordering one size 14 from Adidas, so this young boy could compete just like the other boys. Of course, each year to follow, when it was time to place the fall soccer order my dad made sure he had one size 14 on the order to ensure that if that same boy or a similar boy came in he would be prepared.
From my experience, being part of a small business is a beautiful thing. Unlike the big chain stores, small businesses are able to make real life connections that are more of an impact than being able to offer a cheap price or product. I believe with the connections you make a loyalty develops. Now I could be wrong, but I don't think you would be able to find the kind of customer service my dad offered from a sporting good store like Dick's.
I have become a digital social butterfly and I'm loving it. I use HubSpot to manage 710 Studios inbound marketing and one of my favorite tools is the "Social" area, the hub of all things social. In this fabulous social area I'm able to:
My 4 year old son was recently staying with my in-laws, and I heard this funny story about how he acquired a soccer ball. My father-in-law retired from owning a sports store and was preparing for an upcoming tag sale to try and unload some left over inventory.
My son had asked if he could have a soccer ball. Papa responded “Yes, but let me finish what I’m doing.”
15 minutes later, he asked again. This time, Papa (still busy) responded “Yes, but I have to find the right color.”
A while later my son asks, “Papa, did you find the right color yet?” Papa (still busy) responds, “Not yet, but I will.” Good consistent follow-up so far!
The other day driving home from dropping my kids off at school I was listening to the Pitch Perfect soundtrack and the "Bella's" finale performance started playing. The song is a collaboration of three songs sung by a very unorthodox and surprisingly talented a cappella group. I had listened to this song numerous times, but today the words spoke to me in a whole new way.
You've probably heard by now that your small business should be using social media to promote your products or services. Ok, but which ones and how do they work? Below is a brief summary of the top five social media tools that will help create a human connection with your visitors, leads and customers.
Could there be more hours in a day, please? This is a question I ask myself at least once a week, and sometimes more. Every day is a balancing act. Up until recently, I didn't set aside time for my own marketing. I was too busy maintaining my own customers marketing needs that I couldn't find the time for my own.
Back in August, I was fortunate to attend Inbound 2013 in Boston, MA. I was quickly immersed into a community of brilliant thinkers that brought a brighter and more connected methodology to marketing your business. As I mentioned in my first blog post, I had never been so inspired and motivated about marketing before. HubSpot provided exceptional speakers such as the keynotes Arianna Huffington (President & Editor in Chief, Huffington Post), Seth Godin (Best Selling Author), Nate Silver (Founder, FiveThirtyEight.com), and Scott Harrison (CEO & Founder, charity: water). All the attendees left excited about Inbound Marketing and were ready to take on the digital marketing world.
Without content the internet would be...EMPTY! The content that you provide about your business is the reason why people go online and start searching Google.
I recently asked one of my customers, "What's your goal for your marketing efforts?" and the customer thought for a second and couldn't provide me with a real answer. It stopped me in my tracks and I began to wonder how many other companies are just marketing for market sake. There is no rhyme or reason to marketing if you don't have a goal, and that goal needs to be backed up by a strategic plan.
Do you ever find yourself watching the news and question if the news broadcasters are human? Try watching a local news broadcast for 10-15 minutes, switch to another local news station. Don’t they all sound the same? Do you feel any human connection? Me neither.
With this being my first blog post, I thought I should get a little personal, so you can better understand where I started and now where I’m beginning. I graduated from college with a BA in Advertising in 2001 (SNHU), which was almost the worst time to do it. At that time, there were no web design or online marketing classes offered at that time. Now, if I started in 2001 that probably would have been a different story. I saw the need for them and I knew that needed to be my focus. So what did I do? I jumped into a technical college (STCC) and began my focus on web design. After completing my courses I was fortunate to get a job creating and managing websites. Thankfully, my first site is no longer available for your viewing pleasure. You have to begin somewhere, right?