Category: Internet Marketing

Getting more with the right steps online

In this digital age, when all the companies are going online and are creating a space in the online world. Getting marketing done on the internet has become one of the most integral part of marketing. It is not just a fad anymore, social media has become an important part of all the branding and marketing activities. Networking through various mediums and channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

Social media channels have changed the way a brand communicates with its audience. Also, the brand or company has various opportunities it can explore through online media. Being active on social networks gets a brand more friction and creates awareness about it in the online world.
Through these means a company and a brand has the ability to connect across borders. Social media channels has created a transparent world, where the audience from around the world can be reached without following any specific norms. The companies should concentrate on the brand building strategies to reach more audience and create a larger footfall.

The audience are also at benefit as they follow whoever they want and are not compelled to see a certain brand just because it exists online. Hence it is extremely important to get the right strategies in place. These help grow the business ten folds. One should not fret on how they are going to create these strategies. A good social media marketing agency can provide best results and this can be understood by the facts and figures that are very transparent and visible online. The social media can be extremely healthy for brands as one can get a set of audience they want as per their brand through the targeting techniques available.

When it comes to targeting the right audience the brand needs to concentrate on churning out good content. The images are mostly important as they are the first thing people see about the brand on any of the social media channels. People do not wish to see images that are not appealing and aesthetically good. It is not about uploading anything, the companies have to strategically curate the content and a conceptual graphic design helps attract more audience to a particular post.

The social media platforms help brands enhance their presence and get valuable and loyal fan following to their brand. On online channels a consumer likes or follows a page by themselves which shows their loyalty towards a certain brand. But it is up to the brand to retain their customers by providing and curating interesting content and giving back the customers something they haven’t already heard about or seen about that particular brand. Generating interesting social media content can make a brand retain their audience. The page also needs to be up to date. The active online participation makes the brand going. Online branding through social media is the easiest and the most feasible advertising options the brands can have where they can tap a huge number of people for their brand.

5 Steps to a Strong Personal Brand on Social Media

Social media is everywhere and having yourself on it can be great; however, your professionalism doesn’t stop at your professional profiles.

If you’re an influencer in your industry or the face of your business, then paying attention to personal branding is essential in your social profiles.

So how do you get personal branding working for you?

Here’s 5 steps to ensuring you have a strong personal brand that will help with your business success:

1. Audit Yourself
A quick audit of your personal profiles is a good idea so you can prune anything you wouldn’t want associated with yourself professionally. It will give you a chance to update all your profiles as well.

Make sure all your profiles are connected so users can easily see the relationship. The idea here is that you are an extension of your business and all social profiles clearly indicate to the user who you are and what you’re about.

When posting to your personal social media accounts, keep in mind your business goals and remember optics is key. When someone searches your name, what do they find? Remember anyone may repeat that search so if the results aren’t good you could lose a potentially warm lead.

2. Set Goals
Being the face of your business can also lead to you being an influencer in your industry. But that doesn’t just happen automatically. You need to set targets for yourself. And not just in terms of the metrics of measuring success but in how you will achieve the higher standing in your industry that you’re after.

Look at people already established in your niche. They may have a business profile but then on their own how are they presented? Successful personal branding should show their personal profile is aligned with the style of their business.

Once you see what content has been effective and how often your peers have been successfully posting, you can estimate how often and what kind of materials you should post.

Also pay attention to where they post and you’ll see what platforms have returned results for them. Then you’ll know where to focus your efforts.

This element and the audit can be time consuming and confusing so don’t hesitate to reach out to social media experts if you require assistance.

3. Create Your Social Media Strategy
You have your goals set and you know how often you want to post and how many new people you want to see your content.

Now it’s time to incorporate the previous steps and develop a goal-based strategy aimed at realistic growth.

Achieving your goals is a dynamic process where you will consistently evaluate your successes and refine your approach until you start seeing the results you want.

Share other people’s content while promoting your own to establish yourself as an authority in your industry and not just a self promoter.

There are various content aggregation tools available that will make it easier for you to find relevant content. And the bonus is you’ll get to read more about what you do!

Alltop and POPURLS are some favourites but there are many more you can choose from.

Try tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to help you schedule out your posts but remember to check in often for any engagement. The best thing you can do to establish yourself as an authority is to provide feedback and commentary on other users that shows you know what you’re talking about.

By making it a conversation you are becoming an influencer. Other users will see that dialogue whether its tweets or comments and they’ll see your expertise in action.

Each approach will vary but there should be consistent elements to any strategy such as choosing which platforms you are going to be able to log into on an ongoing basis and what kind of content is best suited to your industry.

4. Update Your Profiles
Having a professional headshot is a great idea for your personal branding. If you don’t have that already make sure you get one and place it as your avatar on each social media profile – both personal and business profiles.

Each platform’s profile should easily convey a connection to all others. Users should see consistency in both the visual elements and the content you’re posting.

If you’re having trouble with the various images and sizes required, it’s quite easy to set up a free account with Canva, which has predefined image sizes for all platforms and is very user friendly.

5. Hire a Mentor
It never hurts to have a third party review your profiles. While asking friends for help may seem like a good idea, an experienced, professional personal branding mentor will know what has and hasn’t worked in the past.

Look for someone who has helped others achieve a solid personal brand and reputation in their industry and contact them for assistance. But make sure they know this is about your social media presence so you get someone with relevant experience to your goals.

Top three pieces of advice for choosing a digital agency for your business

SEO and social media have been labelled the most difficult digital marketing tactics to execute, which may be the reason why around 82% of companies outsource all or a section of their digital marketing work. These investments can boost site visibility and ultimately increase ROI. This big step for businesses are often seen to be risky, which is why the process of choosing a digital marketing agency should be well researched. Here are my top 3 pieces of advice you should be aware of when choosing to outsource your digital marketing.

Tip 1: Understand every agency is different

Every digital agency differs from the next, with some specialising in different sectors like ecommerce to social media marketing. There are many agencies offering a service to aid your journey to page one of Google. However, if the agency does not meet all your goals and KPIs, it should be ringing alarm bells as this means will not be getting the best out of the agency. They should be supporting you every step of the way, meeting all your goals by creating a strategy to that will help you accomplish your overall aims.

Tip 2: Research the agency’s website and past work

When researching agencies online, their site should be a reflection on the service they provide. It is their online portfolio and represents their capabilities to interested parties, so it should be their very best work. This can give an indication of the quality of work they will provide. Furthermore, the online rankings can also say a lot about a digital agency, how prevalent are they on the internet?
A digital marketing agency website should get you excited and eager to learn more about how they can help achieve your goals. If you get bored of an agency’s website quickly, it is probably a good indicator that you should close the tab and move on to the next one.
Here is also a great place to do some investigating of their past work. Case studies, especially ones relating to your business, can prove to you that a company is credible and can be relied upon to help you get results. It is should be a big red flag if an agency doesn’t have any case studies. Even client reviews on different online platforms can help you decide whether an agency is worth investing in. Through researching past clients, it can also help identify whether the agency at hand can help your business grow.

Tip 3: Ask about strategies and reporting on campaigns

Research carried out by the Content Marketing Institute saw 40% of respondents believed strategy issues were a main factor as to why there were decreases in content marketing success. Furthermore, only 37% of had a documented content marketing strategy for their business or clients. This is a scary statistic, as a strategy should be at the heart of any campaign, as it gives focus and direction to help identify key steps needed to achieve the business’ goals.
Reporting is also essential for businesses to understand how their websites are progressing. Measuring how a business is advancing, can help promote discussion and look at new opportunities to push the business further. Not only can it work out if you are getting value for money, it can help determine what needs to be done next to improve even further. A good agency should be open and honest with results, even when they are not the best. Ask for example reports to see what level of detail and effort they put into measuring and tracking website progress.
Increasingly, businesses are joining the trend and abandoning high street shops to join the online masses. However, with over a billion websites in the world, and around 60 million internet users alone in the UK that is a huge market to cater too. Agencies offer a helping hand when it comes to navigating the new world of search and getting attention of potential customers. Researching digital marketing agencies thoroughly can help decide if they are a correct fit to your business and goals.

Deck Out Your Business Website and Social Media in Holiday Style!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; a time for celebration of the holiday season…

As we deck the halls with boughs of holly and trim the tree, it’s also time to get your business showcased for the holiday season.

This is the time to make sure your social media profiles and website are ready for the festive season.

Here’s some ways to dress up your website and social media for the holidays:

Decorate Your Website Home Page
Place your best holiday deals front and center on your website. Here’s a great example from retailer J Crew who held a “5 Days of Merry. 5 Surprise Sales” recently.

We’ve added a holiday banner to our site that provides holiday wishes from each of our team members:

Design a Customized Christmas Logo
Why not create a fun holiday version of your logo for the holidays? Google has been doing this for years. Here is an example of a past Google holiday logo:

Host Holiday Gift Ideas
Tell your customers what to buy for the person who has everything. When you make gift-giving easy they buy!

Target does a great example of this right on their home page with a gift ideas list. Listing gift ideas at different price points makes it convenient. For example Target lists gifts under $25, under $5-, and over $50.

Create Festive Holiday Content
Find fun ways to share your content with a holiday flair. For example, All Business posted a great article on “The 12 Days of Christmas Retail”

Spruce up Your Social Media Account Too!

Design a special holiday Facebook Cover Image – Show customers your holiday spirit by designing a festive holiday cover image. Our eVision Media Facebook page incorporates our brand colours and logo into our Christmas banner.

Post Family Holiday Pictures
On my personal profile, I’ve posted a picture of our cat Taz by the Christmas tree. Taz has formed min-celebrity status on Facebook.

Moreover, a lot of people can relate to what it’s like having pets and hoping they don’t attack the Christmas tree.

It’s a fun image that helps us connect with our audience.

Use Holiday Hashtags

Make it easy for holiday enthusiasts to find you by creating holiday hashtags. Some popular ones include #diy, #stockingstuffers, #holidays, #newyears and so on.

Display Holiday Hours
If you plan on taking time off for the holidays let your customers know. A graphic for social media and your website is the perfect way to remind them. Look at this example from The Comedy Spot.

So don’t be a Grinch. Show your customers your holiday spirit!
Celebrate by sharing website and social media updates that you are decked out in holiday style. ‘Tis the season. Set the mood for holiday shopping and you’ll be rewarded.
What has your business done to show Christmas spirit for the holidays? Post your examples below!

Keys to Be Successful in Business Marketing

Business marketing is when a business markets and sells its goods and services to other businesses or organizations. These other organizations may resell these goods and services or use them in their own business to support their operations. Business marketing is often called as industrial marketing or business-to-business (B2B) marketing.

The perfect example of Business to business marketing is the automobile industry. Automobile companies buy various spare parts such as tires, batteries, electronics and door locks which are manufactured independently by other businesses and sold directly to automobile manufacturers to assemble automobiles.

Even the Service industry is also engaged in large number of business to business transactions. For example Companies specializing in housekeeping provide services exclusively to other organizations, rather than individual consumers.

Business-to-customer marketing is when a business markets and sells its goods and services to retail consumers for personal use. While most companies that sell directly to consumers can be referred to as B2C companies. The business-to-consumer as a business model differs significantly from the business-to-business model, which refers to transaction between two or more businesses.

Business market (B2B) vs. Consumer marketing (B2C)

B2C marketing differs from B2B marketing in a number of key ways. A Business market has very few customers as compared to a consumer market which has large numbers of customers. A business market usually sells a customized product where as a consumer market sells a homogenous product. A Business to business transaction is a huge value transaction as purchase quantity is very high where as business to consumer transaction is a small value transaction. Price can be negotiated in business markets where as price is usually fixed in consumer market. Business markets have lengthy and complex selling process with multiple decision makers but in consumer market buying decision are simple and are made by individuals.

Keys to success in Business markets are:

1) Value creation & Customer satisfaction

Business begins with value creation. It is the prime objective of the business to create and deliver value in an efficient manner which will ultimately lead to profits. Value leads to customer satisfaction. Customer experience is an integral part of B2B marketing. The customer experience is the key brand differentiator, even more than the price and product.

2) Social media marketing

Social media marketing is when a company uses social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to market its product or services. Social media marketing is one of the best and efficient platforms for marketers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing including current and potential customers.

3) Mobile marketing

Mobile marketing is a digital marketing strategy whose aim is reaching a target audience on their Smartphone, tablets, and other mobile devices through email, SMS and multimedia messages.

Smartphone usage has increased multiple times during the last few years, app usage has also highly increased. Therefore, mobile marketers have increasingly taken advantage of Smartphone apps as a marketing resource. Marketers aim to optimize the visibility of an app in a store, which will maximize the number of downloads. This practice is called App Store Optimization (ASO).

4) Multimedia Content Marketing

Marketing using Multimedia content attracts more customers. B2B marketers are widely adopting this trend. The primary driver is the desire to make content more engaging, compelling, and shareable than just the traditional modes. The most common forms of visual content include 360-degree videos.

5) Effective Personal selling & Executive Branding

Distribution channel is the path through which the product reaches the final customer. Personal selling is the most preferred form of distribution and promotion used by B2B marketers The sellers promote the product through their attitude, appearance and specialist product knowledge. Executive Branding is when an executive showcases his professional strengths as a way to attract the customers. Executive branding is also known as reputation management. Especially in B2B environments, executive branding is now considered a necessity. Senior management must create and develop their personal brand image to attract new customers.

8 Personal Branding Mistakes that are Hurting Your Business

There’s no denying consumers crave a deeper connection with the companies they do business with. And that’s why these days having a fancy website and logo isn’t enough to define your brand.

Therefore, it’s very important to thoughtfully create a personal brand that truly shares who you are and what you stand for.

If a brand isn’t appealing to your audience or not genuine, it can repel customers. But the process of creating a brand can be intimidating for some.

So how do you avoid personal branding blunders when it comes to helping instead of harming your business?

Here’s the biggest personal branding mistakes to avoid:

1. Thinking you don’t need a Personal Brand
Whether you intentionally create a brand or not, every communication and experience you have with customers and potential customers is shaping your brand.

That’s why it’s critical to create a positive brand communication. If you don’t take time to define your brand, your message can get wishy washy. That lack of clarity will hurt your marketing efforts.

2. Using Copycat Branding.
Often when people start out in business they feel like imitating their top competitors is a good idea. Don’t imitate, instead innovate.

Accentuate what makes you unique. Differentiate yourself. Show why your differences make you a better choice.

Do this by creating signature systems, products and messaging that sets you apart.

3. Not Being Authentic.
Some people take a dress-up approach to branding. They feel like they must be something they are not in order to attract customers.

Authenticity in marketing matters more than ever before. Being honest and transparent builds trust.

A brand should be genuine and always maintain consistent messaging that is in alignment with your personality and brand.

4. Lacking Consistency.
Your personal brand promise and message should be clear with every communication.

The more consistent your brand is, the stronger it will attract followers. So as you write blog posts, eBooks and social media posts etc., make sure the thoughts, opinions and information shared is consistent with your personal brand.

Every communication should reflect your brand personality and values.

5. Not Writing Your Own Stuff.
Content marketing helps you develop leadership in your industry. Your fans want to hear from you – not the same old thing that everyone else is writing.

Every time you write it’s a communication that builds a relationship with your followers. They experience your personality and voice. Make time to write your own tips, checklists, guides and freebies for your content marketing efforts.

Writing unique articles also boost your website SEO.

6. Not Defining Your Niche.
No business can be all things to all people. It’s really important to define your target market. Period.

The more narrowly you can define your target market the better; otherwise, you risk confusing your customers and you’ll have a harder time attracting the right kind of clientele that you want to serve most.

7. Not Loving Your Tribe.
Your tribe is a group of people where an unconditional love and connection exists.

Raving fans will tell the world how amazing you are. That’s why it’s important to give special treatment to your tribe.

Find your tribe. Love them hard. Give them special offers. Allow them behind the scene’s peaks. Share advanced notice about things coming down the pipes.

8. Forgetting Quality and Professionalism.
The Internet knows all so if you make a mistake, someone’s going to catch it.

When you send a newsletter with typos or broken links it reflects poorly on your brand. When your customer has a problem and calls customer service, they want their issue resolved.

Pay special attention to your appearance. Watch the language you share on social media. Your demeanour should be humble not arrogant. Display ethical behaviour when attending public events. Answer the phone professionally.

Take these lessons to heart and keep them at the core of your personal branding strategy. Even if you feel good about your branding efforts, it’s smart to step back and take a look at your existing strategy and double-down your efforts to protect your personal brand.

Private Label eCommerce and the demand for CGI Packaging

As many health and nutrition brand managers will know; the workflow for generating product imagery has changed immensely in recent years.

One good example is the private label nutrition industry, where a constantly evolving market now demands rapid access to consumer ready product imagery at a scale previously difficult for all but the largest suppliers.

Historically, companies would require a physical studio space to photograph their products, which often came with drawbacks. Consistency is important for brands, and the physical photography process would require manually recreating exact studio conditions for each product in a range. As you can imagine, this proved to be a fairly difficult and time consuming task. One solution was to set up multiple photography studios for each product range, however the equipment costs and space limitations are a significant barrier to entry.

These days, most companies prefer to use a less physical approach. Advancements in 3D modelling and rendering software means it’s now possible to generate product imagery without the restraints of a physical studio. Unlike studio photography, whose limitations have become more costly over time, CGI prices have been dropping thanks to competition within the global freelance market. This, combined with the improved visual benefits of CGI, makes it no surprise that most brand managers now find themselves dealing with digital product artists on a regular basis.

It’s important to understand the difference here between true CGI 3D rendering and 2D Photoshop Mockups. 3D rendering involves running a computer simulation to realistically show a product within its virtual environment, which includes physically accurate lighting, reflections, shadows and colours. A Photoshop Mockup on the other hand, involves superimposing packaging labels onto a preexisting image, which often has limitations surrounding customisation options and visual realism.

The second option is still good for quick internal mockups, and they are often used by label designers to test designs, however the unrealistic lack of reflections, colour bleed, and camera customisation, renders them unsuitable for use as consumer ready visuals, especially for brands looking to maximise conversions with appealing or unique brand imagery.

The growing market for 3D rendering in the packaging industry has lead to the creation of interesting new workflows within the design world. Most 3D studios are geared towards ‘one of a kind’ projects in the lucrative worlds of architecture, gaming, or hollywood special effects, and this unfortunately means that the requirements of brand managers can sometimes go unmet.

In order to meet this need, an alternative studio arrangement is often required. One good example is Bottle Mockup, a remote rendering team that specialises in providing high end packaging visuals. Their team is comprised of networked freelancers, who operate together on a ‘virtual production line’ to quickly and efficiently produce product images for well known brands.

6 Best Steps for Your Law Firm Website Design to Achieve the Best Impression

It is true a website for such professional firm has to be formal but it also should be such that the first impression when a visitor lands on the page is quite impressing for them. Law firm website design is not a tough thing to come up but it definitely needs creativity for enhancing its SEO around the course.

Your law firm website design is sort of usually the very first impression you create on a possible client. If you’re not creating a good initial impression on customers who realize your website online, I can guarantee you that, you’re simply losing cases to your competitors because they have a proper impression with their website. A solid and skilled website presence is as common and necessary like having a fax machine, or a telephone.

Here are some steps and considerations to assist get you on your means:

Register A Domain Name

Let me tell you the basics first, that is to get a registered domain name, if you haven’t registered then it’s time for you to start. There are various choices for domain names, depending upon the costs, registering agents, etc. the only thing is that the rules applicable are the same. Having a unique domain name to call your own is crucial. Make certain you “own” your name, as against sharing somebody else’s (

Other considerations:

• Make sure it’s “dot-com”, individuals rarely recall different suffixes, such as .org, .net, TV, etc. If the dot-com you were hoping for is gone, there’s a good reason — that’s the well-liked name.

• Most people own and use multiple domain names to require you to an equivalent website. In developing your own website, you’ll begin with a “primary” domain – something like that.

While there’s no limit to the quantity of domain names used or owned several large corporations own dozens of names, to keep up management over them, I in person assume using dozens isn’t essentially needed. Some web developers can handle the domain name registration method for you as a part of the online site program and make certain to use your name for customized e-mail.

Determining A Budget

After you have registered your domain name, it’s time for you think about the cost i.e. how much would you want to spend on your website project. To be true it actually depends upon on your practice areas, type of clients you deal with, and the time factor for your project. Website developing is a continuous process, it does not have any end it has to be updated, improvised regularly.

Consider the following:

• Be sure to keep in mind that you just ought to have a budget for first-year development, and in progress costs, several corporations fail to require into consideration that there’ll be a necessity for added design, content and search engine optimization work once your initial website is free on the net.

• A website while not a long-range set up for achievement is maybe simply an online booklet, that you finish up re-creating and paying for from scratch any time you would like a brand new one.

• The most substantial start-up prices are typically the planning and development, a template style, wherever you just choose from a pre-selected list of colors and looks can be as little as a number of hundred bucks. Within the $10k-plus vary for hiring true, unique web design.

• Keep in mind that you just have to be compelled to have your website hosted on a server that you know is secure, maintained 24×7, and with a corporation you trust will be around tomorrow. As hosting fees vary from a number of bucks per month to a number of hundred bucks, many of us are burned by having sites hosted wherever a corporation merely goes out of business long, leaving you without a host, and sometimes access to your website and files.

• Search Engine Optimization is another cost-factor to keep in mind, you would like a website that’s well optimized, with re-registration, correct hand registration for major sites (that don’t settle for submissions from machine-controlled computer code or spammers), and possibly includes paid registration with major traffic players.

Determining Your Audience (Your “End-User”)

You should have a clear idea about whom you want to be your expected visitors.

You can consider these as targeting audience:

• Current Clients- Make certain that the site provides “added-value” to your current firm business. It has updated changes that need to be enlightened to the current clients and also about the changes with the firm and/or the areas of law you target.

• Prospective Clients- Show them your experience, through solid biographies, elaborated apply space descriptions, shopper references, and related-content (published works, newsletters, seminars, speaking engagements, citing cases).

• Referrals/Lawyer-to-Lawyer- Whether or not a neighbor has referred somebody, or a professional in another town or another application is trying to refer social service, you wish to back-up somebody else’s recommendation of your work the aforesaid showing of experience.

• Public Relations/Marketing- Journalists use the online to analysis stories, within which your experience or your involvement during a case would possibly bring them to your website. The positioning conjointly ought to supplement all ancient suggests that of firm promoting.

Selecting a Feature-Set

Many sites developed these days currently use database-driven technologies instead of developing sites using static HTML pages. Whereas you’ll be able to even ask them to use DB-driven sites to most because it permits for the fastest and best ability to update and maintain. The better the change, the additional possible you may do it more often.

You may select from a range of design functions, such as:

• Date show

• Scrolling marquee

• Popup menus

• Mouseovers

• Design using flash, sound

• Items to provide the developer for inclusion in style process

• Firm color scheme, logos, brochures, fonts, artwork, photos

• Make sure you have got addressed IP rights for anything forwarded to be used

Review existing sites of competitors and easily sites you enjoy for:

• Similar branding, target cluster

• Color theme, look and feel user interface, and layout

• Publishing model (i.e. HTML, database-driven)

• Quality of content

• Quality of graphics style

• Functionality (page layout, navigation bar)

Must-Have Components:

• Firm summary

• Detailed practice area Descriptions

• Detailed lawyer Biographies

• Office information (locations, phone, fax, e-mail, online form)

• Newsletters/Articles

• Representative clients

• Maps/Directions

• Calendar of Events/Seminars

Long-Range Plans

For your website to achieve success, you would like to believe however the site will be updated post-release — not simply technologically, but however, you’ll be pro-active in obtaining along content from within the firm it wholly relies on your observations and goals for the site. See however your site rates in these categories:

• Design- Does it send the proper message?

• Navigation- However straightforward is it to seek out your approach through the site, and notice what you’re probing for, is it content-substantial, informative and ever-changing?

• Interactive communication- Do you build it simple for somebody to contact you through the site?

• Freshness- Is it clear the site is updated or seems to be a static, non-changing brochure?

• Uniqueness- Is there one thing regarding you, your practice or your website that’s completely different from everybody else in an exceedingly similar practice?

• Search Engine Optimization- Will individuals notice you online through search engines, sensible meta-tags, a website optimized for the folks you look to draw in.

4 Easy Ways to Get More Referrals Without Feeling Aggressive

Non-Pushy Examples on How to Use Word of Mouth Marketing to Grow Your Business

Word of mouth marketing works.

In fact, referrals are often one of the key factors influencing someone to work with you. For us here at eVision Media, we account for about 90-95% of new business coming from referrals.

How many times do you see someone asking for recommendations on social media? When someone needs a professional, 9 times out of 10 they ask their network who they know who does what they’re looking for.

So having a referral marketing plan in place helps ensure raving fans are telling others about you.

However, while we know the importance of asking for referrals, when it comes down to it, the asking part can feel awkward or even aggressive.

But when you believe in the value of what you offer you can feel good about having others tell the world about you. When you have the right mindset and a proven process in place, getting referrals is easy.

Here’s 4 ways to get more referrals that don’t feel desperate with examples you can use right now:

1. Set an Expectation for Referrals

Before you begin working with a new client, you can condition them to think of you as someone to send business to. That can look something like this:

“I am excited to work with you. When our project is completed, I know you will be thrilled with the work we did together. If you are happy with our work would you be willing to share us with others? Your referrals are how our business grows.”

You can also mention the incentive you offer for those referrals that result in a sale. For instance we offer $100 towards any website, SEO or marketing work as our way of saying “thanks”. (See point number 4 below for more details on this.)

2. Ask for a Virtual Introduction

A really terrific way to get referrals is to ask a contact to do a virtual introduction with the prospect. Here’s how an email like that goes:

Subject: Henry and Mike – A Virtual Introduction from Susan Friesen

Hi Mark,

I’ve been working with Mike for three months and he’s done a terrific job at getting our bookkeeping up to date. I know you’re looking for a qualified bookkeeper so I thought I’d put you two together.

Mike, meet Henry from Company A. I have known him for five years and he has really made a name for himself in the industry. He’s been a really valuable to have in my circle. He mentioned he needs a good bookkeeper and I thought you could help.

Henry, meet Mike from Company B. Mike and I go way back. He is a real rock star when it comes to accounting. He makes sure our books are balanced at all times.

Here’s both of your contact information. Now reach out and connect!

Henry: 555-555-5555 Mike: 444-444-4444

3. Ask Happy Clients

The best time to ask a client for a referral is right after you finished working with them. They are excited about the results you generated and are ready to sing your praises to the world.

Here’s an example of such an ask:

Subject Line: FIRSTNAME, Quick Question.

I’m so glad you’re happy with our PRODUCT OR SERVICE. I love helping people like you so knowing you’re excited with the results made my day. Actually, it’s because of this that I was hoping to ask you a favour…

It’s my goal to help many more people like you. So I was wondering if you knew of any other people who could use my help? I’d love it if you could send a short note to them with a few kind words and asking them to connect with me?

With Gratitude.

4. Offer a Gift for Referrals

Giving a referral takes time and energy. When you make it worth their while, people are more likely to take the time to do it.

As a sign of your appreciation for their efforts, offer to give them a gift card, a referral fee, discount, or other gift if someone they refer you to hires you.

You can make a referral page on your website. Write an email to send to your clients and connections. Ask people in your Facebook groups. Let your vendors know you give rewards for referrals. Even put a teaser on the back of your business card letting others know.

Here’s some example text to use:

Get X for Referring Friends and Family: I’d love to give you [insert your referral gift here] for every person who ends up hiring me. It’s just a small token of appreciation as referrals are how we grow our business. Thanks for thinking of us!” I hope these quick and easy examples have inspired you. Referrals are by far the most cost-effective way to build your business.

Being intentional about asking for referrals can unlock the door to unlimited growth. Here’s wishing you endless referrals!

Key Steps Before Implementing an Online Marketing Plan

Part One: You Have a Website; Now How Do You Attract New Clients?

Having a website doesn’t do much for your business if no one visits it. Try these initial steps to marketing your website online.

Whether a big corporation or a solo-entrepreneurship, there is likelihood some form of online presence is necessary. And for anyone dealing in business to consumer (B2C) space, a website can even be the business.

So you get a new website build, but what about getting qualified potential customers to it?

The truth is, traffic is the life blood of any business website and not having any can be very harmful to the bottom line.

This is where on-site SEO, off-site SEO, paid efforts, content marketing and social marketing can all work together (and should) for a complete online marketing approach.

What makes one component necessary is often the ability of the business owner to perform it. That can mean hiring marketing professionals, taking the time to attempt it themselves, or having a solid budget for paid methods and experts to navigate them for you.

Ideally you want it all so all bases are covered. Many businesses have none of these tactics in place, or have them done wrong and as a result are struggling to gain qualified leads and traffic.

This article covers what you need to gain traffic to your website and next week we’ll get into more specifics of what to do once these preliminary steps are done.

Do These Three Things Before You Start Marketing

Before you start creating your marketing strategy there are three things you, or your marketing firm should do first:
1. Install Google Analytics
2. Set up Google Search Console (formerly webmaster tools)
3. Within Google Analytics (GA) set up a conversion (or conversions if you have more than 1 way to measure the success of a user’s experience on your website)

These three components are free and by having them set up, you can now measure how effective your marketing is.

These tools are great for showing you what is happening with your website traffic. While there are thousands of third party tools promising to give more insight and help you gain traffic, they are all simply more in-depth diagnostic tools who’s relevance is the promised importance of providing an edge over the competition by way of the deeper level of insight.

The argument against using them (aside from the often astronomical cost) is that Google is the one providing the tools listed above so it’s best to stick to what they have deemed of importance to your efforts with their free methods of analyzing user experience and website performance.

Another thing to do before you start is test your website’s speed. Also make sure it’s going to work well on mobile devices. Google has seen sharp and rapidly escalating mobile usage over the years and since late 2015 even have Accelerated Mobile Pages. Mobile is key to the success of your site so make sure your website loads well on mobile devices.

Key Phrases Are Your Business’s Best Friend

The next thing you will need is a key phrase list. This will be a guide on the terms you want your website to show up in the results for when searched. In the past, these lists were much firmer but since Google has grown, it can infer meaning behind words or even groups of words that lead to an implied purpose.

How to define keywords and phrases:

• Use the Search Console to check your existing traffic and see what has been searched for in the past that was clicked on.

• Check your competitor’s websites to see what kind of terms and phrases are coming up often (this shows you what they’re trying to rank for).

• Use a keyword tool to check volume of the phrases such as Google’s keyword tool.

• The best thing is to ask yourself and your team honestly what it is you do that provides value to your clients.

Your key phrases you want to rank for should all then be associated with a relevant page on your website. They should appear in the website copy (and in other on-site SEO signal spaces like Meta tags etc.).

Once you have these key components in place, you are now ready to create a marketing plan and start driving traffic to your website so your business can start reaping the rewards of your efforts.

And whether you’re focusing your business marketing on local SEO, SEO with content marketing, Adwords, or usability assistance, it’s best to employ trustworthy online marketing professionals than to attempt it yourself. Be wary of tricks or anyone unable to demonstrate the efficacy of their efforts.