Google Plus Gets It For Business

There are many more than three advantages for getting your business on Google+, but I thought I’d list a few that weren’t directly related to SEO.

We all know that social media puts a huge stress on a company’s time and financial resources.
Myths to the contrary, Social Media is not free nor easy.

Consultants tell brands to go where their clients are. It’s marketing 101.

So if their clients are on the internet, if they use Google Search, have a Gmail account, watch YouTube videos, read RSS feeds on their Google Reader or use Google Docs then yes, brands should be on Google Plus.

Google Plus pagesGoogle Brand Pages are similar to Google+ Profiles; all of the functions such as commenting, sharing, Hanging Out etc. are the same.

The differences are:

  • Pages can’t add people to circles until the page is added first or mentioned.
  • Pages can be made for a variety of different entities whereas profiles can only be made for people.
  • Pages can have multiple administrators. It has only one owner but up to 50 managers.
  • The default privacy setting for elements on your page profile is public.
  • Pages have the +1 button. Appearing under your profile, this is a way for people to endorse you. The other is to include you in their circles, of course.
  • Pages can’t +1 other pages, nor can they +1 stuff on the Web. (But like profiles, they can +1 inside Google+.)
  • Pages don’t have the option to share to ‘Extended circles’. (friends of friends)
  • Pages can’t hangout on a mobile device.

 

Why should you want to stake a claim on Google Plus Pages?

1. You can follow your fans back.

You can place them in “circles”. This is a great management tool for segmenting your clients.

For example, you can have a circle for prospects, one for geographical area, one for past sales. It actually makes for a decent CRM system as you can move them through different circles as the sales cycle progresses.

Having your brand in their circles allows you the ability to interact with them as you would on your personal Google+ profile page.

You can then follow their updates, comments on their posts and +1 them as your Page.

 

Create a Google Plus Page 

2. You don’t have to spend big bucks to get your content seen


As Google Vice President of Product Bradley Horowitz says in this video interview for Business Insider, Google’s not worried about meeting the next payroll, so there aren’t any ads now will there be sponsored posts in our streams for awhile.

As a brand, your reach is dependant on the quality of your content and promotion.

If someone likes what you have to say then circles you, everything you post will appear in their stream with these provisos:

   - That your post is shared to “public” (It’s the default)

   - That your follower hasn’t buried you in a seldom viewed circle or “muted” them.


The main difference with Facebook is that there is no algorithm that dictates who will see your content. The control is totally in the hands of the people following you.

 

3. You can do business on Business Pages

In case you haven’t heard, Google+ is Google.

All of the apps that you use for business are available on the Google+ platform, Google Drive, (docs), YouTube, Gmail (totally synced with G+) and the most heralded feature, Google+ Hangouts and Hangouts On Air.

With Hangouts, you can collaborate with clients in video conferencing of up to 10 people at a time. For educational institutions that have Google Apps for Education, that increases to 15pp.

These are virtual meetings where you can watch videos, share and edit Google documents, present a product or hold a focus group.

With Hangouts On Air, you can host your own TV style show on your business page. This is a great way to drive people to your Page. It’s a live broadcast that is publically viewable but participants must be invited.

Once completed, it’s immediately available for viewing on your Page or YouTube channel.

 

Google Plus HangoutThere are no third party apps needed to access these features or  have access to your personal information.

Your Google sign in is your key to all Google products.

Do you have a strategy for your Google+ Page?

 

Call To Actions Need To Result in Action

The call to action (CTA) is one of the hardest things to master when it comes to e-commerce. It’s relatively easy to design an attractive page, and you can write great content that gets people pumped. At the same time, it doesn’t matter how good everything else is if your CTA falls flat. If you are having a hard time getting people to buy your product, then use these tips for a better CTA.

call to actions

photo credit: hiddedevries via photopin cc


Make it Distinguishable

Your CTA needs to be distinguishable. Most websites are using CTA buttons so that users know exactly where to click to buy, sign up or do anything else that you need them to do. If you want people to perform an action, then make the CTA button easy to see.

For example, if you have a red website, then make the CTA button blue or yellow. It needs to contrast so that users know exactly what to click.

Use a Consistent Design

You also need to keep the design consistent throughout your website. If the CTA button looks different on each page, then users might get confused about what they need to click. Keeping the design consistent in terms of color and shape will improve the number of users that click the button. It will also keep users from getting confused.

Active Phrases

The CTA button needs to have an active phrase so that users know what to do. Many novice Webmasters write “Click Here,” but this can kill your click-through rate. You need to be more descriptive than this. It lets people know what to expect when they click the button, and an active phrase will persuade more people to buy from you.

For example, you can use “Download Now,” “Get Started,” “Sign Up Here” or “Show Me More.”

Multiple CTA Buttons

You might feel a little pushy if you put multiple CTA buttons on one page, but this can actually help you under certain conditions. If your Web page is long, then some users won’t want to scroll all the way down to find the CTA button. Some users want to buy now, but they don’t know how to go forward.

You should have at least one CTA button above the fold, and then another under a long page of text. This makes your CTA button more visible and accessible, and it should improve your click-through rate.

Use Every Page

Most users will skim through all of your pages before deciding to buy your product. The key to improving your sales online is to make the sales process easy for customers. If you add the CTA button to just one page, then some users may forget where it is. These users will just leave to find another seller.

Conclusion

Many website owners don’t know how to properly make and position their CTA, but you need to learn this quickly if you want to improve your conversion. Just use a good design that contrasts your website, make it easy to find and use active phrases. These few tips on a proper CTA should help you sell more products or services.

How do you use call to actions on your website? Please leave a comment below!

Sometimes You Have to go with your Best Bad Idea

Sometimes your best bad idea ends up working out for the best. Seriously, I guess the cat is out of the bag so to speak. Yes I got some of the inspiration for this blog after seeing “Argo”. Alas, I am deeper than that, okay, it goes deeper than that, but when I was sitting there in the theater and heard the line, “it’s the best bad idea we have, by far”,  I immediately finished a blog idea I had rolling around in my head. A blog idea I didn’t think was going to pan out.

Idea

What is a bad idea?

What exactly is a “bad idea”, and how can Social media help in deciding if the idea might be appealing to your target audience? Recently a client of mine called wanting to get some advice on a marketing idea that he was thinking about. He told me the idea, and I have to admit it, I liked it immediately. When I told him my thoughts, he let me know that some other mutual friends thought the idea was weird. He asked me again what I thought, and I jumped right back with, “what other ideas do you have going?”  We talked quite a bit about the pro’s and con’s that the idea presented. The more we talked, the more it became apparent that the pros outweighed the cons and the real issue was analysis paralysis. That dreaded disease that takes people out of their comfort zone, into parts unknown. Then I  was hit with, “yeah, but what if it is a bad idea.” It’s important to remember that after analyzing a potential business idea, it becomes clear that the risk is warranted - the only real failure is not executing, not at least trying.  Sometimes you have to go with your best bad idea. 

Maya Angelou said it well, “Nothing is going to work, until YOU DO!”  Not everything is going to be a home run, not even a single for that matter, but you can’t achieve either without stepping up to the plate and swinging the bat. With the addition of Social Media, businesses are offered help in navigating through the mass that is the social space,  they can grab data that can help in determining an idea’s worthiness, and value to it’s targeted, engaged audience.  It is an advantage that until recently was not available, however it should not be the end all in making that decision to go forward or not. Social Media is a tool, and needs to be treated as such, albeit a many faceted tool, but a tool in a toolkit all the same.

The Next Big Idea

I love getting my clients fired up and looking for that next big idea, and this was a great start. A short time after our phone conversation, the client sent me some slogan texts that were awesome. I have to share the best in my humble opinion…”Have you been knotty, or nice?”  A fitting question for a massage to be asking at Christmas time, wouldn’t you say? Often times a bad idea needs to be explored, and not disposed of as simply a bad idea right off the bat. Sometimes the best next big idea comes from taking the time to explore a bad idea further. All it takes is a spark of inspiration to see something through, sometimes one minor detail might be the missing link to take a perceived “bad” idea, and turn it into a great idea – and a financially successful experience.

So what about you business owners, enterpreneurs, and social media professionals out there, what BAD ideas have you explored and turned into a GREAT idea? Please leave a comment below!

If you could start over with your business, what would you do differently?

Are you thinking about starting a business or have you recently started a business? You may want to take a look at the following answers from our SteamFeed authors for some tips and advice.

Here is the question we asked some of our authors: If you could start over with your business, what would you do differently?

 

Albert Qian (@albertqian):

If I could start over with my business, I would probably be doing JUST my business instead of my 9-5 job.

 

Randy Bowden (@bowden2bowden):

I would go all-in with more confidence in myself and my abilities and not worry about failing! I already knew how to fail, doing nothing or doing something stupid because of my fear. So I would figure out exactly what I need to ensure success and go after it with greater self-assurance in my ability! Believe in success.

 

Keri Jaehnig (@connectyou):

My business has evolved from where I was in the non-profit sector, honing in on demand and what was working, to where my business is now – Online marketing for business brands, non-profits, and political candidates. What I did then has gotten me to where I am now, so no — I would not change that. If I were to do anything differently, I would have started blogging sooner. And I recommend to any small business owner not to delay in launching their blog!

 

James Oliver, Jr.(@jamesoliverjr):

Have a capable, technically-oriented, founding partner.

 

Gerry Michaels (@gettysburggerry):

I would have started sooner and definitely kept my blinders on, trusted in myself more from the begining.  If what you are doing is working, don’t stop doing it because someone who thinks they know it all tells you you are “doing it wrong.”  You know YOU best, and if what you are doing is working, build off of it. It is smart to listen to advice from others, but it is smarter to think that advice through and be sure it works within the methods that you employ. In short, don’t be afraid to believe in yourself. I lost time growing my business by trying to mold my business to someone else’s idea of what my business should be.

 

Derrick Jones (@djoneslucid)

Surround myself with more advisors and get a better understanding of the mental game. The mental game is an aspect of entrepreneurship that is not talked about enough. That is why I spend considerable time talking about it in my book.

Still have questions? Or want to give some advice? Leave your comments below.

What If You Woke Up And Your Business Was Destroyed?

It’s not a very fun thought, but what if you woke up and disaster had stuck? Maybe a flood, fire or burglary…. Would your business be completely destroyed or would you be able to keep running? In today’s podcast we are going to be discussing some basic steps to having a disaster recovery plan and how to plan ahead to ensure your business keeps on performing even in the middle of a disaster.

 

What are your thoughts? Do you already have a disaster recovery plan in place? Let me know below! :)

If you’re having trouble with the audio player you can listen to the podcast here: What If You Woke Up And Your Business Was Destroyed?

5 Priorities Every Social Media Program Should Have

I want to start this post with a little bit of clarity by defining the term “Priority”. Webster’s say’s it is something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives. One thing I have learned in life is that no matter what comes out of your mouth, your actions will always follow your true priorities. You can say this or that are a priority, but if your actions show something else, you have a problem.

social media prioritiesOne reason that many newcomers to social media marketing lack priorities is not because of laziness or lack of desire, it is simply lack of knowledge – the understanding of what tasks actually need to have priority in their day.

Often times businesses struggle with not only understanding all the in’s and out’s of social media marketing, but more importantly where they should prioritize their time and efforts. This often results in new social media marketers over pitching what they do, or worse, giving up and abandoning their social media efforts. Let’s avoid both by listing the top five priorities your social media marketing efforts should focus on each day.

These are in no particular order of importance, however all of them should be given priority and attention daily.

1) Value – Provide value to your target audience.

Your daily focus should be to deliver selfless value to your target market. How can your social media marketing provide value to your audience? Answer that question without regard to what you do, what you sell, or the industry you are in. Answer and execute that question correctly and you will see huge results!

2) Content – Have enough content and the RIGHT content.

Think of social media as a freeway. All of the cars on the freeway are content, posts and articles. You have to have enough content on the road everyday that is relevant, valuable and interesting to your target audience. You need to make sure that whenever one of your fans, friends or followers step up to the side of the freeway throughout the day, they see one of your cars go by.

3) Be Human – People build relationships with other People.

A big mistake a lot of new social media marketers make is trying to mimic the big brands. For the most part, big brands SUCK at social media. They do not do it right and for many, they don’t have to. They have spent billions on branding and marketing well ahead of the social media boom, therefore it is just another channel. Everyone else needs to do it right if they want results!

You have to humanize your social media accounts. Most people connect and build relationships with other people. Can you really have a relationship with a logo of a company you don’t even know? Of course not. Be human and approachable.

4) Respond/Engage - Social media marketing is social.

You must make it a priority to respond to mentions, shares and comments immediately. When someone shares a post or mentions you in social media, they are available and active at that moment. You need to respond quickly in order to foster a conversation that leads to relationship. Waiting for once a day or an hour later is just too late. They have moved on, logged out or even lost interest. If you aren’t utilizing mobile apps to ensure you can consistently do this, it is not a priority to you.

You also need to have a priority of commenting, sharing and mentioning your target audience frequently. Relationships are two ways. Seek opportunity to benefit your prospects by sharing their content, engaging them in conversation or simply commenting on something they post.

5) Community – Build one.

Your social media marketing must have a priority focused on building a loyal community. That community must be large enough to be effective. Find your target audience and follow/friend them. Build it and they will come does not work in social media.

As you can see, social media is highly involved. Understanding the priorities you need to have on a daily basis is the difference between being IN social media and having an effective social media marketing program for your business.

What is your biggest priority in social media? Please leave a comment below!
 

6 Types of Clients You May Not Want to Work With, and How to Deal with Them

More than likely we all come from humble beginnings as workers on the web. We were eager beavers as well we should have been, and took any client that came through our email inbox. Our eyes were definitely on the prize and had tunnel vision for the final payment or building our portfolio. Then, it happens. Almost out of nowhere. The unhappy client. We sit and ponder to ourselves, ” I made them 20 design revisions,  they finally approved the design, developed the site to their 30 page scope of work, uploaded the site to their host ,cross-browser tested it even after they broke that plugin, gave them private training,  continued to edit the design, development,  cross-browser tested it again, and they are still charging me back the full amount in Paypal…WTF!!??”.

The bad news is sometimes there is no avoiding the potentially bad client. We can edit and email to the tenth degree and it still won’t be enough. Then again sometimes bad clients don’t come in just angry form. Sometimes they are as sweet as can bee but your email conversion will say 80+ emails and you haven’t even gotten to the design phase yet. The good news is we can pick who we decide to work with, and if we do work with them how to deal with them.

Let’s look at the 6 types of clients you may not want to work with and tips on how to deal with them:

#1 They Don’t Know What They Want or They Don’t Have a SOW ( scope of work)

At first this type of client is very easy going. In fact they can come across as a perfect client because they are all ears when it comes to your ideas and your imagination can run wild with ideas.  They are just as eager as you are and can be putty in your hands…in the beginning. However, indecisiveness can quickly turn into frustration and with it, revisions. Which can lead to “cha-ching” in your online invoicing system, but not something this type of client wants to hear. This client also has the potential to just all of sudden know what they want and this typically happens once you are over budget. You more than likely will spend most of your budgeted hours in the beginning part of a project not leaving enough to actually complete the project. The clients fire and excitement can turn to hostility as they have a tendency to think you may only be after their wallet when you have to confront them on budget. I find I never even charge enough for all my project management because they like to send A LOT of emails and it is hard to just turn on your timer for every email.

Tips on how to work with type of client: When quoting their project quote a number typically double of what you normally do. This can leave room in the budget to deal with all their indecisiveness and ever growing scope of work. This will save you in the long run and avoid any miscommunication. Try, if you can to write your own clear scope of work. That way when they start changing and adding new things you can always point back to the agreed scope of work.

#2 No Circle of Trust ( They have been wounded by a previous designer/developer)

As with any good relationship trust is a key component. Obviously this type of client you are going to get more often than not, because as is the nature of this line of work. They are highly suspicious of any ideas, edits, and ESPECIALLY your invoice. They will doubt you from beginning to end, and our site- sabotaging. Meaning, they sometimes doubt so much that their finished product can wind up looking less than portfolio worthy.

Tips on how to work with type of client: Score some brownie points by starting small if you can. Do a small project for them first for them to instill some trust in you and go over the top for them. They will need hand holding and lots of details. Keep very good records of your invoice details and revisions as they will want proof.

#3 High Expectations

This particular client comes in all forms especially nice and mean. Maybe they fell in love with you because of your portfolio but they want you to “wow them” too. These types come in amped about your work and expecting you to do ten fold for them because like the title says they have extremely high and more often than not unrealistic expectations. They will always expect that their project comes first, you have no life, and if you do not email them back within 1 hour you must be slacking. Sometimes this type of client has such high expectations that when you send over a first draft and it isn’t what they were expecting instead of working through revisions they become deflated and defeated and lose trust in you instantly turning all sweetness into sour. This client can be a real red flag when it comes to getting paid and a high Paypal chargeback rate.

Tips on how to work with type of client: Google them. Seriously! I had a client like this once and I didn’t Google him. Turns out he had previously been disbarred as a lawyer from working in any state in the United States. That was a learning experience! Check out what type of person they are and what their working history with other designers is. Maybe they have burned through 3 previous designers and developers and now you are their next victim. Try to gauge their personality and not just their project. Their personality will determine whether you can deal with their over the top expectations. Sometimes these projects can turn our beautifully because they can really push you as a designer and developer, but be aware it may be difficult to get there and it may not pan out.

#4 I Need it Yesterday

Ready, set, GO! This client needs a custom design, custom theme, ecommerce, SEO, migrate their site, plus all redirects done ASAP. You think, “ok, I’m up for the challenge!”. But wait, what was that little sentence at the bottom of the email? They need it in 1 week. You think “Cha ching”! I’ll just charge an expedited rate and no big deal. This my friends is a losing battle, because while this client seems like they have their ducks in a row that scope of work will undoubtedly change, and that ETA you both agreed on just got blown out of the water and now it is YOUR fault. This may fall into the high expectations clients, but they are different because they only have one goal in mind….Going Live.

Tips on how to work with type of client: Bend their deadline into something realistic and you can both agree on. Even in they say they need it in a week suggest you don’t want to sacrifice your quality of work, and that the quickest you can do is 2-3 weeks. Which brings me to the next point. Do a date delivery range that way when they come back with edits you can give yourself more time. If they do add to the scope of work just tell them immediately this will effect the deadline and get their approval before moving forward. Open communication with this type is crucial

#5 Tight Wallet

This type is a tough one. I myself am a fru-gal , but there comes a point when frugality can become flat out cheap . Big hat no cattle with this one and they will even try to barter or let you in on being a part of their new hip company. I did bargain once with a lawyer for services actually to deal with the guy from #3, and it was the the best deal ever, but 9 times out of 10 that won’t work out too well. Sometimes they even have the grand idea of making you do a sample for free to see if they want to hire you. In that case I point them to my portfolio.

Tips on how to work with type of client: Stick up for yourself, and tell yourself you are worth your rate. Emphasis your quality of work and let them know if they want to work with you then select a service they can afford. You will not do as good of a job if you know you are not getting paid what you are worth. If they want to work with you they will come up with the money, trust me. For every person who can’t afford you there is a person who can, so remember they are not the only work out there.

#6 Verbally and Emotionally Abusive

You may laugh at this types title, but really this does exist. Abuse in any form is not ok, and it can be draining. Sucking the life out of all the other projects, and can really strike down your creative ability. I had a client one time when I submitted a proposal answered back with the most vulgar email cuss words and all. I was quite shocked and I emailed her back ( yes, it was a woman!), and asked if that email was meant for me because it was uncharacteristic. She apologized and said she was having a bad day, but if I did that when I was having a bad day I wouldn’t be in business. I quickly withdrew my proposal and decided not to work with her. She begged me to work with her but I referred her somewhere else. Just imagine this was the very beginning stages. Just imagine how she would be once you were actually working together.

Tips on how to work with type of client: RUN!!! Honestly, don’t even put up with that type of behavior. Most people don’t act this way right off the bat, but there can be signs. Look again at their personality and Google them. If you  happen to have already started working with them you can always give them an ultimatum that if they act like that again you will discontinue work and keep the money you have already worked. This will do 1 of 2 things. #1 it will make them respect you and they will stop, or #2 they will freak out. Normally #2, but it can be a blessing to not have to continue working with them even if it costs you money, because it can keep you from working on other clients projects.

Conclusion:

If you may have noticed the theme in all my tips really boils down to honesty and communication. Something I talked about in my last post, How to Succeed with your WordPress Company. Just having clear scopes of work, communication, and honesty can help you avoid conflict with all these types of clients. Don’t beat yourself however if all your best efforts to resolve an issue fails. Sometimes you cannot please everyone, and that is ok.

Now, have a good laugh and read some client stories on Clients from Hell.

 

 

Marketing Humility: What is Needed, Not What YOU Want

Well, this is not the post I was planning on in my editorial calendar. And yes I like to have a thematic calendar of posts I am planning ahead of time. It can be very beneficial in strategically tying into other efforts to help make all marketing streams generate the most impact and the right outcome.

The post I had on my calendar was going to follow the theme of my initial Steamfeed post [Shaping Your Branded Sphere]. The second post was featuring information on branding the foundation to your marketing facets with a little caveat of homework, [Brand Strategy and Development: Yes You Have Homework!]. Did you do your homework by the way? ;-)

In any regards this post seems to be more in the forefront of what I am currently working with and felt it could be helpful to some of you in your own efforts in pulling together marketing strategies for your clients.

Now to suggest that marketing has any humility would most likely be inaccurate, but truthfully, when crafted correctly, the best strategy is laid down with complete humility.  The humility is selecting the best channels for your client that gets them the results they need to move forward. Let’s review humility for a moment so that we really have it well defined in our minds.

[Humility (adjectival formhumble) is the quality of being modest and respectful. Humility, in various interpretations, is widely seen as a virtue in many religious and philosophical traditions, being connected with notions of egolessness.*]

When a client asks us to create a creative strategy for their product or service how do we start to formulate this plan?  Do we pick our old standbys, our tried and true methods we have used countless times because we know how they operate, function and their predicted outcome?  Or do we decide on the buzz-worthy, trendy new channels to grab that ‘wow’ factor and be able to include that into our repertoire for our other clients?  Here are three steps to keep your marketing strategy humble:

3 Steps [down] to Keep Your Strategy Humble:

  1. The best choice is the one that works – Where is your audience most likely to gain visibility or traction from the positioning of your messaging? How is the message delivered in that environment and directing that audience to what they need or want? Don’t go for the ‘big bang’ theory just because the entire entourage is on that path. Make it make sense and IT will!
  2. Bigger is not Better – So you have a new pony and it is doing some tricks! Those tricks are not necessarily giving your client what they need …. Sales!  More income and larger reach. Your client may just need a great ‘cardboard box’ … give it to them!
  3. It was never about YOU – Think and rethink what kind of strategic program you have put together for your client. Their customers’ needs and dynamic have to be considered here too.  It was never about how you felt or your grandiose scheme of being a big cheese on the block. Cut back that ego and see where you can perform better for your client in a much less pricey vehicle. Go for the low hanging fruit first!

So in general sometimes the strategy you think you are going to deliver is not actually the strategy that is needed. Clean off the fluff and trendy flashy methods that get a lot of hoo-ha-ha but hardly any real results (revenue).  In the end it is the trail of dollars that your clients find drifting into their bank accounts that puts the smile on their faces and not how razzle-dazzle YOU can be!

[Oh, so what was my original post? Web Presence and Visibility - Duende, check back here the beginning of November for that post and as always I appreciate you!]

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humility

 

I’m A Quitter And Darned Proud Of It!

Never give up. NEVER, EVER!
The Customer is ALWAYS right.
Remove Can’t From Your Vocabulary.

All three of the statements above? A bunch of hooey. Pretty and pretentious nonsense that has a negative impact on the way you do business and earn a living, as well as a sound and savvy reputation.

Do you have clients that:

  • Send you everything at the last possible second while still expecting you to meet a deadline?
  • Constantly tell you how busy “they” are in an attempt to excuse the fact that they dropped the ball?
  • Belittle your skills and expertise by repeatedly requesting discounts and price cuts?
  • Tell you the check is “in the mail” every month, without fail – but it still takes several weeks for the payment to travel across town?

busyIf you have clients that engage in any of the behaviors detailed above it’s time to create a plan to replace them with alacrity and fire them with the same speed. They certainly don’t appreciate you and they are not the types of clients that will refer you to others within their networks – unless it’s others as clueless and difficult to work with as themselves.

Is there anything worse than working on a project that takes up too much of your time for too little return on investment? In these situations, telling a potential client that you can’t take on the project is better for both of you. You don’t  feel pressured, rushed and overwrought and the client doesn’t get work completed with less than 100% care, commitment and zeal.

And, please, don’t get me started on the entrepreneur that says he or she CAN do ANYTHING. Design a custom WordPress theme and database? Absolutely! Ahem…never once mentioning that they’ve never designed a site in anything other than Microsoft Front Page. YIKES!

Fess up! We all have limitations, strengths and weaknesses and things we just flat out can’t do. Pithy platitudes don’t change that fact and the negative impact on your bottom line and your reputation can be nearly impossible to fix.

Honesty rules the day here, not ridiculous cheerleader chants. Be true to yourself by knowing and understanding your capabilities and your liabilities. Doing so ensures you are true to your clients.

Your Business Card: A Lasting Impression

Your business card is one of the most powerful weapons in your marketing arsenal.

Most people overlook it as an inconsequential reference tool, required for day-to-day meetings with people. But you only get once chance to make a first impression, and your business card is a keepsake for a potential customer to remember you by. It will let them know what you are capable, or not capable of doing.

“Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark!”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoIvd3zzu4Y&w=574&h=323]

In my line of work, a lot of business cards flow through my hands. I always take the card with a smile and kindly offer them a card of my own in return. Once your card has made it back to my office, I may enter your information into my contact list or even follow up with an email, but sadly for most of you, your card is now sitting on the top of my wastebasket. FYI – The logo where you got the cards for free is showing, so I can only assume that you won’t be in business next year. Why should I make the effort to follow up or enter your data?

While the information on your business card is fundamental, its appearance is paramount. Paper stock, design, and ink make a difference. No matter your business, you need to stand out from the pack and your business card should give you an edge over the competition. As with all things in life, you really do get what you pay for, so this isn’t the time to try and cut costs. Your business card should be so good that even if they don’t like you, they won’t throw it out, because it demonstrates incredible marketing capability.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YBxeDN4tbk&w=575&h=431]

Do you have a business card? How much time/resources have you spent on it in order to make a lasting impression? Please leave a comment below!

 

*This is a guest post by Jazz Rules*