Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Enlarging Your Internet Footprint

In today’s digital environment, it’s not enough just to have a website.  There is way to much competition to be expected to be found, much less get business simply by having a website.  Even corporations these days have a full time staff just to handle their company’s internet presence and social media.
But let’s talk about what a small business owner can do to increase their Internet Footprint and increase their chances of being found by those searching for them, i.e. those who are wanting to purchase their products and services.   
Here is a list of 10 things to do to expand Your Internet Footprint:

  1. First of all, get very specific about what you are offering in the way of products and services.
  2. Then think in terms of what and how the potential client would search for those products and services.
  3.  Purchase Domain Names using the search criteria from item #2.  It doesn’t matter that you have named your business ‘ABC Products and Services,’ you can have multiple Domain Names which point to your website.  I recommend that every business should have a minimum of 5 Domain Names based on how potential clients would search for their products or services.  All these Domain Names can be re-directed to their website.  It’s like putting road signs out on the internet highway.  
  4. Get listed in multiple locations.  Set up accounts, i.e. Facebook Business FanPage, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, *Google Places, YouTube, *FourSquare, *Yelp, *YP Pages, etc.  The more places your business is listed, the more chances you have of being found when people search for your products and service.  (*If you have a physical location, these are a must).
  5. Be interactive on Social Media.  Engage your audience.  It’s not enough to just set up the accounts, there must be an ongoing presence.  Depending on your business, post about what’s going on, industry trends, photos of your work, happy customers with your products, videos, surveys, ask questions, run contests, offer specials/coupons, etc.
  6.   Also, part of being interactive in social media is liking, commenting, and sharing other people’s products and services also.  Don’t just be pushing your products and services because that is a one way street.
  7. Get testimonials about how great your products and services are.  Ask your best clients to write a review.  These testimonials can be written on your Facebook Business Fan Page, Yelp, FourSquare, Google Places, etc.  Again the more positive reviews you have, the better your chances of being found when people are search for your products and services.
  8. Become the expert in your niche.  Add a blog to your website or set up a separate site.  Even better than blogging is video blogging.  Short 3 to 5 minute ‘Did you know?’ videos about some aspect of your business.  Post these on a regular consistent basis.  And when you post, make sure you announce that you have posted a new blog on all your social media sites.
  9.  Link all your sites.  Think in terms of creating a spider web.  List your social media sites on your website.  Link your Facebook Business page to your Twitter account.  Link your Twitter account to your LinkedIn account.  Also, most other accounts ask for or allow you to list your social media sites.
  10. Build your list so that you can keep in touch with your clients and prospects.  By keeping in touch with your clients, they will appreciate the follow up and will always have your contact info should they wish to purchase again or refer you.  Prospects don’t always buy the first time, but by keeping in touch and providing them with helpful information you build your credibility for future business.  I recommend Constant Contact for email marketing and it provides features to link in your social media.
Lastly, if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, hire someone to do it for you.  This list is basically many of the services I offer.  Most of these tasks are tedious and time consuming, but necessary to increase a business’s Internet Footprint.  By getting the help need, you will increase your business which in the long run will be well worth the initial investment.  Contact me today to see if I can be of help with your Internet Footprint.

In appreciation,
“Helping My Clients and Their Business Look Good”

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Reviews and Testimonials

Have you received exceptional service lately?  Did you express your gratitude to the person and/or business?  Did you write a testimonial and/or review?

Businesses love to hear they are doing a great job and it's a valuable marketing source to have those reviews posted for those who are looking for their products and services.

Typically when we need a product or service, we ask someone we know and trust.  But what if they don't know anyone, then what do you do?  You probably go to the internet and do a search and if you're lucky, you'll find a business that has reviews and ratings from multiple sources.  These reviews help to build trust, credibility, and confidence.  A business is more likely to receive calls when their satisfied clients take the time to provide this valuable feedback.

There are several sites where reviews can be left.  If you are a business owner, I encourage you to set up your profile on these sites and encourage your satisfied clients to leave their feedback.  Perhaps add these links for your business to your website, on the invoice, and/or send a request for a review.

Google Plus

Happy Reviewing,
Virtual Assistant specializing in Relationship Marketing

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Owning Your Website

Do you own Your Website, Domain names, etc. or have you trusted all the aspects to someone else?

In working with one of my clients recently, they wanted me to make some updates to their current website.  They provided me with the log in information, however it did not work.  They tried numerous times to get in touch with the company that built their site, but to no avail.  Now my client has learned the dreadful truth, they do not own their domain name, and they cannot get access to their site to make changes or updates.  This is a delemma that many businesses have after having shelled out big bucks for a website, etc.

So what should a person/business do?

Here are my suggestions:

- Make sure you deal with someone reputable and ethical
- Check their references
- Research them on the internet
- Buy your own Domain/URL names so that you own them
- Pay for your own Hosting.  Again, so that you own it and have access
- Get all your log in/passcodes for all your accounts

If you do the above, you will protect yourself from an unethical Webmaster and/or one that goes out of business. 

I work with many clients and I know they trust me, however every account that I set up for them, I provide them with all the log in credentials.  I would hate to think if something happen to me, that they would be unable to access their accounts.  As a small business owner myself, I would be very upset if someone held me hostage.

Check out the advice from my mentor and good friend Mike Stewart at www.WebsitesYouControlYourself.com

We want to help the small business owner have a web presence for an affordable cost.  We provide website services, domain names, hosting, etc.  So whether you want to learn to do it yourself or want someone to do it for you, we are here to help and we will provide you with ALL your account credentials. 

In appreciation,
Virtual Assistant specializing in Relationship Marketing

Monday, February 10, 2014

Why should we show appreciation to our clients and customers?

Often times when I write a blog I search for material from online articles and blogs.  Recently I've been writing about the 'Why' we should do things.  Usually when we know and understand our 'Why' then the how is much more doable. 

When I did a search on 'Why' we should show appreciation to our clients and customers, I didn't find much.  I found more on the 'How.'   I believe our 'Why' has to be more than to increase our bottom line.  If the perception you want associated with your business is that of friendliness, gratitude, and humbleness, then this is an area to focus some time and resources.

Showing appreciation is important, yet not all of us practice that consistently with our customers, co-workers, volunteers or connections.  According to a SoulPancake video, The Science of Happiness: An Experiment in Gratitude, showing gratitude benefits the party being thanked and the person showing gratitude as well.
Being busy is often cited as the reason there’s a delay or oversight in sharing appreciation, followed by the awkwardness.  In the video, the experiment of thanking those who had been most influential in our lives was a bit awkward for some.  However, the results were very beneficial to both parties.

Probably showing appreciation to clients and customers may seen a little time consuming.  Good habits take time and showing gratitude is no different. 

The most important part of this is that it must be sincere and communicated in a way and form that the recipient can hear.   

Keep in mind people do business with people. A strong, appreciative culture growing in your business will exude and become a part of your brand culture. That will be evident in every interaction with your customers.

People are far more willing to associate and do business with someone who appreciates and respects them. By focusing on showing gratitude, co-workers, colleagues, customers and others around you feel valued and important.

I think this quote sums it up - “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow” - Melody Beattie

In appreciation,


*Excerpts from US News article - 'How to show appreciation to colleagues and clients.'

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What does Dieting and Marketing have in Common?

It’s the beginning of a new year and most of us have made resolutions both personally and for business, i.e.  lose weight, get in shape, get organized, get more business, etc. etc.  I recently read an article that compared dieting and marketing.  If you want results you have to work hard, be consistent, find what works for you, and stick to a process over a given period of time.  Sound familiar?
Every successful business owner knows that running a business isn’t easy.  Every day there are new challenges and it’s hard to stay on top of your game when you’re juggling so many things.  So what sets successful businesses apart from the others?  I believe it’s Marketing Consistency.  
Many times we see people who want immediate results and try to get them by going to extremes by doing a lot of marketing in a single day, week, or month: sending out massive emails, posting to social media, offering special discounts and coupons, etc.  This usually has disastrous results.  They are dissatisfied because they don’t see the immediate short term results they expected.  Then they give up and do nothing which results in lots of frustration and a struggling business.  
Other times, people only remember to work on their marketing when things are slow.  It seems natural to focus on marketing at these times, however once business picks up they forget about marketing.  This results in another slow down in business which generates a vicious cycle, that prevents a small business from growing effectively.  (kind of like yo yo dieting).
So, what’s the best way to market for a small business?  We suggest stepping back and coming up with a marketing routine/plan that makes sense to you and your small business, based on your constraints and available resources; and then sticking to it.  Set aside time to market or hire someone to do it for you.  It is essential to your on-going business.
So, what and how much time do you really need to spend marketing?  
Here are some recommendations - 
Five ways to stay Top of Mind with Clients and Prospects:
1.      Reach out/follow-up to current customers/clients – Phone calls, thank you cards, email, personal visit, etc.  A satisfied client is your best referral source.  It is very important to stay in touch.
2.      Send out periodic newsletters to customers/clients & prospects at least once per month.  Include helpful tips that pertain to your business.  Perhaps offering a monthly special.
3.      Post useful/helpful information to social media at the very least 3 times per week.  Re-posting articles from other sources is OK too, as long as they relate to your business.
4.      Networking – we recommend belonging to 3 networking groups – 1 closed, 1 open, and 1 community/civic oriented.  Attend on a regular and consistent basis.  Stay visible.
5.      Blogging, particularly video blogging.  This is a great way for people to get to know you, your product(s), and services.  These videos can be posted to your social media sites and in your newsletters as well.
We believe a foundation of marketing consistency is crucial to a business.  When marketing consistency combines with great products and services, you’ve got a ‘recipe/diet’ for success and a boost to your ROI.  Even when you have more business than you can handle, it’s important to stay visible and 'Top of Mind.'  Not doing so can leave a business struggling when it could be growing.  Make it part of your routine.  Put it on your calendar. 
Still wondering how to do it all yourself?  This is our specialty.  Contact us.  We offer a complimentary 30 minute consultation.  Let’s discuss your challenges and see if we can be of help to you and your business.  Call today and schedule your appointment.
Happy Marketing,



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