The Importance of Name Boards for Business

First of all gone are the days when shops and offices would paint their concern’s name on their wall. Now even the sign boards with printed design has also gone out of the market. Here is the time for name boards and signages which comes in different latest trends along with the use of technology. There are front lit boards, back lit boards, name boards which are made using metals, there are name boards which are made using glass, there are name boards which are made using LED lights and neon lights. With all these types to choose it has become a very big and reputed market. As mentioned earlier name boards does boost the sales of the place and it also enhances the reputation of the shops/office and it has become a matter of ego nowadays. When a customer comes to a shopping area he looks all round and the first thing which attracts him is the name boards. Using LED displays and neon lights has become a trend today. The LED lights are high in density and can be viewed from a long distance. The customers very obviously will get attracted towards a name board which is very flashy and good. They don’t even look at the size of the shop, they don’t even want to know what quality of materials are, they don’t want to know the price of the product but the name boards just lures them into the place. Extra bucks should be spent on the name boards due to its importance. Never try to save money on the name boards. Neon light name boards are even better and it suits certain types of business such as hotels, bars, games corner etc. They can be visible in pitch dark and they in fact look more beautiful in dark night. This also is good for their business.

Apart from business the name boards and signage are also very important for corporate companies. Many information technology company find it as an image of the company and definitely want to make the signage perfect. They want their logos to be on their building as signage. Many would have seen that the reception and waiting area of many corporate companies have signages in the reception area. Now this is a need for a good signage with a combination which suits the interior of the company. So it is a matter of prestige. The reception area is made keeping in mind the logo, the company name style, the color combinations and the font style. You cannot just simply print a digital banner and stick it on the wall of the reception area.

What Is Classified Advertising?

Classified advertising can easily be defined as a form of advertising that is very much common in newspapers, on the internet and also various other periodicals as these may be sold and distributed free of charge. These advertisements in a newspaper are mostly short in nature as they are charged per line and also one newspaper column wide. The publications that are printing news and various other information often have these sections of classified advertisements and there are also various other publications that contain only a few advertisements. These advertisements are also grouped into categories or classes such as for sale, wanted and services. These classified advertisements are also meant to be much cheaper than the large display advertisements used by various types of businesses and are thus normally used by the business that have smaller advertising budgets.

Services

These advertisements serve a variety of people. For example just by exploring the classifieds you can gain access to a host of products and services. If you are planning on buying a vehicle, you can very easily reach out for the classifieds. If you are planning on buying a cat, a dog or a horse, you can still be able to reach out for a classified advertisement.

Also if you want to get a job for yourself, a classified advertisement is the only way to go. Apart from these, you can easily gain access to services like plumbing, an electrician and internet. These internet classified advertisements also do not typically use a per- line pricing model and hence they tend to be much longer. They are also quite searchable unlike a printed material and they tend to be local. They can also foster a great sense of urgency as a result of their daily routine structure and wider scope for all audiences.

Statistics of classified advertisements

In the year 2003, the market of all these advertisements in the US was around $16 billion which is obviously a very huge amount. All newspapers manage to make a hell lot of money from these classified advertisements and this is continuing to increase as each day passes.

As the sector of online advertising is developing on a continuous basis, there is also an ever increasing emphasis towards specialization. The vertical markets for these classifieds are also developing very quickly along with the general marketplace for these classified websites. It is one of the important tips to remember.

Three Major Elements of Creative Advertising

In this technologically driven world, media is all around us. We see messages while watching television, browsing the Internet, driving on the freeway, and even while scrolling through Facebook. If we actually critiqued and analyzed each advertisement and every commercial, would we find that most were unique and inventive or that most fell somewhere between unimaginative and uninteresting? Some advertisements are fleeting, disappearing from our minds almost as soon as they appear on the screen without leaving any sort of impact or lasting impression whatsoever. Others, however, are one-of-a-kind art forms, provoking thoughts, emotions, and memories that send chills down our spines, cause us to clutch our loved ones tighter, and tug at our heart strings. Creative advertising is not far-fetched, but there are definitely some major elements to consider when trying to convey a message to an audience that they will remember and that will make them want to buy the product. Here are three of the factors that make up a creative advertisement.

Originality

It is crucial that the ad is original. If people see a commercial that is similar to another that they have seen before, then they will just be thinking about the other company’s commercial the whole time they watch. The purpose of the ad is not to make the audience remember another company or product, it is to make a lasting impression about the company or product being promoted. Originality is also important because it surprises the audience to see a commercial that diverges from the norm. Creative advertising is all about capturing the audience’s attention through uniqueness.

Explanation

Explaining and elaborating upon the message is key, whether the explanation is through language, images, or video.

Emotional Appeal

Emotional appeal is an important aspect of creative advertising because emotions create memories. If the audience feels something while watching a commercial or seeing a billboard, they are much more likely to remember the product. Emotional appeals can be any content that makes an audience feel happy, sad, nostalgic, tender, loving, driven, cheerful, or amused. These feelings will be attributed to the product that is being promoted and may prompt viewers to buy the product when they remember the advertisement and the emotions they experienced.

Creative advertising is everywhere in today’s media-crazed society, and it is achievable if the company is dedicated to the success of the product and to the quality of the message conveyed.

Does Your Business Need To Hire An IT Consultant?

Whatever your type of business you own, you need to make sure that you’re using the latest technologies and software to provide quality solutions to your clients. Not only does using only the latest technology help you achieve your goals faster, doing so also ensures that you’re ahead of the competition. However, with the fast paced change in technology, keeping up with technological advances can be an uphill battle. Most businesses are not knowledgeable regarding technology so most of them are stuck with whatever their system is, for better or for worse.

For newer businesses, adaptation of technological advances should be embedded into their business plan. Newer businesses should make use of technology unlike older businesses. Businesses nowadays should even have their own IT department to sort out systems for the entire business. Financially speaking, hiring an IT department makes sense, wise even. Working with an IT consulting services company will provide the following benefits.

Assistance to business

Hiring an IT consulting firm is like hiring hundreds of people to do a business analysis on your company. IT consultants have experience in implementing projects for numerous companies and they know the best ways to go about it. Having learned from all their previous dealings with other companies, IT companies are experts in this field.

Your company will surely benefit from the collective experiences of IT companies. Their collective effort, expertise, and experience will make management planning and business transition a lot smoother than normal.

Streamline the process of business

IT companies will streamline your process once they are able to evaluate your entire business process. They will identify the important resources for your company and improve them. They will use proven business templates to ensure that your company will remain successful for years to come.

After an overhaul and careful study of your business model, they will be able to shorten the process quite extensively. Knowing how valuable time is to a company, it will lead to increased profit and efficiency.

Independent point of view

An external consultant will bring an outsider’s perspective to a company. The result will be an objective outlook of a company without any bias. An external company overlooking the process of another company can identify processes that need improvement.

An external IT company will help sort out many problems that exist within a company. New technologies will be implemented making work that much easier.

Utilization of proper tools

IT consultants are familiar with different tools and methods for different kinds of businesses. Depending on their expertise, they may favor using one method over the other. IT professionals will use a tool depending on the need of a company. Their experience will make them capable of giving the best advice out there.

The best IT companies will often partner up with many technology industry leaders giving them access to the best tools available. While many companies are only concerned with short-term solutions, IT companies are more concerned over long-term solutions for your company. After all, your continued success is detrimental to their business so expect something more permanent when you hire an IT consulting firm.

Added savings

Let’s face it, with the way the technology is advancing, a lot of work will become automated within the next decade. We’re already automating some of the most menial jobs out there. This is true for any company, big or small. Hiring an IT consulting company, you are able to identify which processes you can do without. You can also choose to automate some jobs to free some work load of your employees. While it may seem that you will spend more by hiring an IT company, you will actually save more in the long run.

Choosing to hire an IT consulting firm will boost the overall efficiency of any business. Use it in conjunction with a more efficient business planning and you’ll save a lot on unnecessary expenses. Clearly, there are many advantages in working with an IT company, yet not many businesses are willing to hire one. How would you know if you need an IT consultancy service?

The answer is simple.

Every company needs one. Big or small, every business needs someone who is able to work using the latest technology. By enabling a business to utilize technology, it will open up new opportunities in terms of expansion. If a business is able to function without IT architecture, imagine the possibility once the IT processes are implemented. Truly, the advantages of using an IT Consultation Company make it truly worth it.

As a businesswoman myself, I know how hard it is to innovate and improve a business. I can speak from my own experience and say that an IT consulting firm can help you get that boost you are looking for in your business.

When The Customers’ View Drives Your Best Business Strategy

When making strategy decisions, there is always a risk of taking an inside-out view, i.e. one from the business perspective, a “how” mindset more concerned by feasibility. The opposite is an outside-in view, which looks at the situation through another person’s eyes – preferably those of the customers the business is trying to serve. This “why” mindset is similar to Steve Jobs’ when he asked people to do new thing without regard to how they would make it happen.

The tendency for business leaders to choose feasible ideas over their customers’ want of the most creative ideas can unintentionally limit growth, or make it harder to attain. More often than not, this results in ‘me-too-ism’ strategies, with companies competing without any real advantage – and ultimately leading to lower growth and profits.

When deriving winning strategies, staying in touch with the customers helps to be relevant even as the market changes. This forces companies to unhook themselves from assumptions about what they can do or how they should do it and, instead, to look at where the market landscape seems to be going. The intersection between what the company does well and what the customer needs therefore increase their effectiveness in the market.

After many years of growth, mostly through mergers and acquisitions, Hilton Worldwide realised that it was no longer competing in the marketplace as effectively as it could. It decided to re-center its business strategy around one of its core brand promises, namely ‘to ensure every guest feels cared for, valued, and respected’. It meant overhauling its business strategy through the eyes of specific customer segments which could grow both revenues and profits.

One of those segments of focus is that of the Millenials, which has very specific priorities when it comes to their travel budget. Interested in fashion and design, and completely wired for the internet age, they are putting the priority on the destination of their travels rather than the properties in which they stay. They want affordable, easy in-and-out no frills hotels with basics like free Wi-Fi and breakfast. Lifestyle becomes part of the experience: a cool room, a cool lobby where they can work and socialize and have a drink.

Hilton’s Hampton Inns have been linchpins within its lower cost portfolio. These are amenity-light hotels with “select service”, the hospitality industry’s answer to Airbnb. Specific requisites include a lap desk for guests who want to work from their beds; six or twelve towels, depending on the room type; two items of artwork, preferably by local artists; and a breakfast buffet with at least one local item. The same goes for the free snack at check-in for members of the rewards program. There is also a long bar table in the lounge area, which encourages guests to use the communal space and socialize (and not feel compelled to stay in their rooms).

Hilton franchisees’ work with local designers has led to some storied and stellar Hampton Inn properties, like the one in Austin, Texas, which exhibits a design features such a large graffiti mural in the two-floor lobby, old western-style chandeliers, and an intricate wrought iron balcony on which guests can sit and look out over the city skyline.

The Select Service hotels have not only made a real value play for the customers, with substantially improved room product, but also for the owners and operators. These hotels are relatively easy to build, cheap to operate, and are proving more profitable, with margins 500 to 1,500 basis points higher than typical full-service hotels. As a result, Select Service projects drive 50% of Hilton’s total deal pipeline for new builds in 2015.

Another pillar of Hilton Worldwide’s overhauled strategy is that of the overseas Chinese travelers. Hilton launched the Hilton Huanying (“Welcome”) program in 2011, a consistent set of amenities and services to meet the Chinese traveler’s unique needs and expectations when traveling abroad. Guests are greeted at the front desk by a Chinese-speaking team member, they can find an in-room welcome note written in simplified Chinese while their rooms are outfitted with amenities such as tea kettles, jasmine tea, slippers, Mandarin television channels, and a Chinese translation service. Special Chinese breakfast dishes include congee, fried rice, fried noodles, dim sum, hard boiled eggs, Chinese tea, soy milk and other items, including chopsticks covered in red wrapping.

All of the 10 hotel brands within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio can choose to participate in the program. This also represents an opportunity for them to build brand loyalty. The Huanying program is promoted to Chinese travelers staying at Hilton Worldwide properties throughout China. Huanying messages are pushed on WeChat, and on Weibo through partnerships with Chinese celebrities and brands, as well as through a dedicated Hilton Worldwide Chinese language website.

A new business strategy developed through the eyes of specific customer segments has helped Hilton Worldwide’s turnaround from “an average performer at best” to a more aligned and profitable company, with a portfolio of 10 brands that regularly outperform in their respective segments. It now operates more than 4,500 properties and 720,000 rooms in nearly 100 countries. As of September 2015, it had the largest pipeline in the lodging industry with approximately 260,000 rooms at 1,555 hotels throughout 85 countries, including 33 countries where Hilton Worldwide does not currently have any hotels.

Where Is Your Business Heading And What Guides You?

Often the word used to describe where a business wants to go in the long run is its Strategy.

“Strategy” is often seen as the domain of the military or big business, not small business.

However, strategy and thinking strategically is even more vital for a small business.

Small and micro businesses are 10 times more likely to fail than a larger business and most don’t last more than five years (Statistics NZ). Small business cannot survive the shocks big businesses can.

No matter how big a business is, it never has unlimited resources. IT MUST MAKE CHOICES.

Firstly, what it WILL DO to be successful. Even more important is what it WON’T DO.

Many small businesses say yes to too many things and suffer from doing nothing well.

Every business exists to meet the needs of someone, typically customers. If a business does not meet these needs as well as an alternative option or competitor, those they serve will go elsewhere.

So the process to develop your business strategy needs to answer two key questions:

1. What will you do and what won’t you do now and in the future to achieve the success you seek from your business?

2. Who are your customers and how do you serve them?

The challenge is knowing what will guide you when you are faced with these questions? There are no books, rules or procedures and no expert that will provide the answers for your specific business. The “compass” that will guide you is built within the clarity around these three statements:

• “Why your business exists” (Your Purpose).

• “What your business stands for?” (Your Values).

• “Where you want your business to be in 3-5 years?” (Your Goals).

The clearer you are on these three key statements the easier it will be to make the choices about your business.

For example, say an opportunity arises to partner with someone. You ask yourself the following questions:

• “Will I remain consistent with why I am in the business by entering into this partnership?

• “Does this person share the same set of values as me?”

• “Will this partnership help me reach my goals?”

If the answer is YES to all of these then great. This partnership is worth serious consideration. If the answer is NO to any of them, tread carefully and think things through before proceeding, or you may regret it!

Think strategically – everyday!!

It is one thing to define the strategy for your business, which you review from time-to-time. What is just as important is the process of thinking strategically in the day-to-day running of your business. Strategic thinking means that you are always considering your choices with an eye to the future of your business. You are always asking yourself:

“How does this action or decision get me closer to where I want the business to be?

This could relate to the way you market your business, the type of people you employ, the logo you choose, where you locate your business and so on.

The more time you spend defining and clarifying the strategy for the entire business, the easier it will be to make decisions on a day-to-day basis.

To finish with a quote:

“If we are facing in the right direction,
all we have to do is keep on walking.”

5 Things to Consider If You’re Starting a Business

You’ve decided to do it! You have a great product or service and you want to be your own boss. You’re starting a business.

Here are 5 Things that You Need to Do to be Successful.

    1. Cash Management. You can make a profit and still go out of business for lack of cash. Plan ahead. What inventory will you need to purchase? How much do you need to have on hand? How will you collect payment from clients? How long will it take from them to pay you? Do you have a loan payment? Will the things you need (like gas) rise and fall? Can you handle it when they go up? These are all things you need to consider – things you need to understand and know how you will deal with them. If a big customer pays late, you need to be able to keep doing business. If your fuel costs double, you need to handle the increase.
    1. Keep Planning. Once you have a plan, don’t put it away and forget it. Review it – see if it’s working. Revise it. If you planned on being paid in 45 days and your customers are taking 60 days, make adjustments to make sure you have enough cash to cover your costs or, if necessary, establish a line of credit. Tracking is part of planning and planning should be a long term endeavor. The economy changes. Markets change. Prices rise and fall. Keeping track on a regular basis will prepare you to succeed even when you’re working in a changing business world.
    1. Understand Your Margins. This is what creates your bottom line. Did you cut a price so low to get a big job that it’s really not profitable? Is one of your services or product lines dragging down your bottom line. Sometimes cutting out the losers makes you a winner. You may bring in less but you make more if you concentrate on your successes. For example, a small, local fast food restaurant may find that their location by a high school is thriving, but their location in another part of town doesn’t always break even. Time for a menu change – or a move.
    1. Be An Online Listener. It’s a wired and wireless world and what your customer have to say about you can help you succeed or push down your sales. Google alerts are free and a good tool for hearing what people are saying about you on social media or review sites. Are they raving about how good you are or complaining about your lack of service? If you can, respond to any complaint and try to make it right.
  1. Be Secure. You have a lot to lose – your financial records, the personal information about your customers and employees, your future plans – wouldn’t your competitors love to know? Secure your Internet network. Have rules about employees taking home their work on an unsecured laptop or tablet. Make sure that all sensitive documents are kept safe and shredded when you are done with them. Remember, data remains on a hard drive unless you destroy it. If you release sensitive information the result can be drastic enough to shut your doors.

Plan to succeed! Watch your margins. Know if your business plan needs to be revised. Think about hiring an onsite shredding company. They’ll give you locked bins so sensitive documents are secure even when they’re put in the “trash.” They’ll destroy these documents – and the hard drives from computers you no longer use – right before your eyes. Protecting information is protecting your business!

Organize Business Data Efficiently

A business may achieve success, but data organization is what keeps it a success. Network data integration is essential to organizing and retrieving data throughout the company. It is used for managing projects, people, financial information, etc.

Data Integration Industries

It can be used for so many different purposes and it makes it easier to share information within the company structure at any point in time.

Network data integration is used in:

Retail operations

Healthcare industries

Construction industries

Big corporations

Factories

Real Estate Companies

And many more businesses

The Data Software

A wide variety of reports are generated within company data from various sources of software. The software is usually customized for the business that uses it, with ongoing tweaks and updates to improve operation and functionality.

Data integration software is often used for:

Sales data and reporting

Customer data and reporting

Financial management

Inventory management and reports

Employee performance data

And a whole lot more

Uses for Data Integration Software

The main uses of data integration software in company structures is to review past information, see current information, and forecast future information. Predictions can be a scary thing, but software helps make it a little more accurate. This is mainly because the software reviews the past, sees the present, and determines the potential future for sales, profits, inventory, employee performance, etc.

Data integration software is used for:

Analytics

Comparisons

Projections

History

Etc.

The Analytics

Analytics utilize various data to pull up reports and information for various purposes.

This includes:

Profit and loss

Sales volume averaging

Daily, weekly, monthly inventory counts per product

Etc.

Comparisons

Comparison functionality is used to see differences and make predictions with various data, depending on the business’s needs.

Example uses include:

Sku by sku data comparisons

Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly sales comparing

Employee productivity comparisons by day, week, month, year, etc.

Investment or stock comparisons within the company

Projections

A business needs insight into the future through the creation of prediction reports, generated by software that handles data analysis and mathematical calculations. Predicting is important in order to make preparations for success, whether it is for sales, employee expenses, profit and loss, or any other purpose.

Projections are used for:

Sales forecasting

Inventory preparation

Customer counting or data

History

In order for a business to succeed, it needs to look backwards, as well as forwards. Analyzing the past is a great way to identify issues, adjust budgets, predict future employment needs, and so much more.

Historical Analysis and Reporting is used for:

Sales number retrieval based on day, week, or month

Profits for a specific period of time

Employee performance data for a specified period of time

Inventory data from specific periods, such as month, week, holidays, etc.

Sku data such as sales history, inventory history, product movement, etc. for specific periods

And many other uses

In summary, network data integration is essential to business functionality and success. It helps review the past for issues, mistakes, successes, etc. while predicting future needs. It also can show current information to determine what needs to change or improve. Without this type of software and network integration, it can become a guessing game or a time-consuming task just to get what you want or need at any given time.

Critical Business Thinking

It doesn’t matter who we are, or what we do, we all have one thing in common… we all have thoughts.

Whether you realise it or not, our thoughts are so powerful… powerful enough to start the creation of new products or services. In fact everything that has ever been made or devised once was a thought in someone’s mind before it was brought into reality. It’s crazy to think that once the technology you are reading this on was once a figment in someone’s imagination…

But however good thoughts are, things wouldn’t materialise into actual products or services without action being taken to make those thoughts a reality.

So that brings about an interesting question… if everyone is having thoughts and crazy ideas about what can and cannot be done, why doesn’t every idea materialise into reality?

Well, it all comes down to action. Thoughts and visualising are fantastic tools. But they must be followed by action if they are to make a difference. So that creates two kinds of people..those who bring their thought inventions into life for the world to benefit from… and those who let their thoughts disappear into the ether never to be materialised.

The first group of people are those who take action and are generally successful. They are doers. They follow through on their thoughts with action and plans. They are optimists and generally expect to be able to make things happen. The second group are mediocre by comparison and have much more passive personalities. This second group of people either don’t believe in their own abilities, or worst still believe but postpone any action… waiting for tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes. And the world never benefits from their ideas.

Generally, everyone wants to be in the first group, because when people take action and follow their dreams and inspiration they gain confidence, they develop a deep sense of self-reliance and inner security. Whereas the people in the second group find their confidence is whittled away over time and they end up settling for mediocrity.

So how does our thinking affect our businesses? Well, it all comes back to Henry Ford’s saying, “whether we think we can, or think we can’t, either way we are right.” If we have an active personality and set of beliefs we will look for opportunities and take advantage of them when they come along. But if we have a passive set of beliefs we will hold back, unsure of ourselves and our abilities, and in doing so will inadvertently hold the business back.

The important thing to remember is that no matter how efficient and effective the processes are within a business and how they add value to the customer, we can never forget the critical importance to a business of understanding how its employees think.

Skills to Learn for 2016 Success

Being an entrepreneur is something that a lot of people dream of becoming. It’s a great dream to have and there are so many avenues open to the person who’s willing to put in the effort to make the business succeed.

Part of succeeding means being honest about areas that you feel you lack in, such as advertising, writing, social media, etc. To be good at what you do means that you have to engage in continuing education.

It’s important that you do this because in the world of entrepreneurial pursuits, not growing in knowledge can kill your business. Strategies change and so do business models and you have to be able to keep up.

This is something that can be good for you as you discover things that can take your business to a new level. Not only will being part of continuing education in your business prevent boredom from setting in, but you can also find things that will feed your motivation and keep you excited about the business.

Are Your Writing Skills Adequate for Content Creation?

When you’re creating written content for your business, you want to let who you are shine through in your voice. Your life’s experiences are what makes you unique.

It’s what helps your audience to be able to connect with you. Your writing should be as unique as you are. It should be something that’s 100% you. If you take writing from other people and plagiarize that as your own, you risk a couple of things happening.

First, it’s not going to be fresh if you’re copying content from someone else. Second, plagiarizing is morally despicable and can hurt your business. Once people learn that you’ve plagiarized something, your reputation is ruined online.

People don’t want copycat information. Plus, if you do it, your actions can subject you to fines and other penalties because it’s against the law. With the passing of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the works that people write and put online are protected.

When you write, you need to write material that’s engaging. When you write in such a way that your audience can connect with you, it’s easier to develop a business relationship with these people.

They will invest their time and money in someone that they feel they know over someone that they don’t. When you write in an engaging way, you’ll be writing things that others find interesting and they’ll keep returning to your site to see what else you have to say.

Many marketers have built huge careers simply because they knew how to engage an audience with their words. Whatever you write needs to be well-written.

You need to know how to formulate your thoughts and come across in a logical manner. If you write in a way that’s confusing and unorganized, your audience will label it as rambling material.

Your spelling and grammar should be good and what you write should be free of typos. Everyone makes mistakes, that’s a given. But if you’re constantly churning out writing that’s full of bad grammar and spelling mistakes, it will make you look unprofessional.

At the same time that you need to be sure your writing is free of grammar and spelling mistakes, you don’t want to write in such a pompous way that you come across as talking down to your audience.

Write in a tone that reads like you’re sitting across from the person having a cup of coffee and conversation. Your material should also be up to date. If you’re always writing about things that are a few beats behind the information that’s fresh, people will turn to your competitors to get what they want.

Coming up with content yourself might not be a talent that you naturally possess. However, it can be learned. Take the time to assess your writing skills. You can analyze your shortcomings with writing content by being honest with yourself.

If you find writing a chore and you hate it, you’re not really going to want to give it your best effort because you just want to get it over with. If you know you struggle with grammar and spelling, you can either take some refresher courses, adult education courses, or you can outsource to someone else – even an editor for simple proofreading!

Does Your Social Networking Need Improving?

Social networking opened up the world for entrepreneurs. You can reach out online and have access to people thousands of miles away, in different countries and different time zones.

It’s made doing business faster and easier. Plus, it’s a great tool for building relationships. Like any tool, though, you have to know how to use it well in order for it to perform for you.

There are too many people who come across as uninteresting, too business focuses or too standoffish and an audience doesn’t feel a connection to those people.

These are the entrepreneurs who languish in relative obscurity while their competition builds thousands of followers. You have the ability to make social networking a powerful tool if you use it right.

When you’re online, don’t retreat into yourself. Don’t clam up and let self-doubt have a field day with you. This is what happens when that internal thought track tells you that you’re not interesting and that people don’t want to hear what you have to say.

Don’t sign up for social media and then stay behind the scenes. That defeats the purpose of having the accounts to begin with. Once you sign up with various social media sites, start to engage with people.

That’s how you build your audience, your mailing list and basically your business. Let people feel as if they know you, as if they have a peek inside your life. Share both personal and business stuff on social media.

Personal doesn’t mean that you air your dirty laundry. Don’t get on there and talk about your uncle getting drunk every holiday and dancing on the table. It’s okay to share things like photos of pretty flowers that you took or a picture of your dog.

You can start conversations about foods that you like, about a movie you recently saw or a book that you read. Some social networking sites are better than others depending on what your niche is.

For example, Pinterest is a good platform for someone in the wedding or fitness niche. You can post pictures of weddings and wedding accessories. Or you can post workout gear, before and after shots, or pictures of workouts.

Facebook is good for niches that use videos or tutorials and you can create a group dedicated to that particular niche – such as pets. You can share information about dog products, how-to train videos etc.

Google+ has a lot of tech people, a lot of professionals. It’s not used by the baby boomer crowd as much. So this would be a good social media site for niches that are into information products.

When you post on social media, pay attention to which ones get the most interaction. If you post a video and then a picture, if one got more interaction and more views, then you know what the audience prefers.

The timing of your posts is important too. Don’t push any sales or information when there’s a national crisis going on. You’ll look insensitive. Likewise, you can use stats to tell you when your audience is most active on the site.

Bring Your Advertising Efforts Into a New Day

Advertising is something that never stays the same. All you have to do is look at the advertisements from 20 years ago to see that focus changes, attitudes have changed and people have changed.

What was cutting edge and worked then won’t work now. If your advertising methods are more than six months old, it’s likely that they’re out of date. You can’t use old, outdated advertising strategies – not if you want to bring in today’s audiences.

Even though it’s a powerhouse social media site, there are still many entrepreneurs who don’t take advantage of using Facebook for their business advertising.

That’s a huge mistake because currently, there are over a billion people on Facebook. You can’t afford to overlook those kind of numbers. Advertising on Facebook is fast, easy and gets your business in front of a huge audience.

Make sure you know what the purpose of having the ad is for. For example, let’s say you want to gain new subscribers. Then define your objective by using the ads tool.

You’ll be given choices like promoting your business page, boosting posts or having ads that will lead the audience to your site. In the ad manager, you’ll be able to custom pick your audience according to where they live, their age level, what their shopping interests are, and so on.

You’ll also be able to set a budget based on how much you can afford to spend. You can also use retargeting. This is an ad method that uses cookies that are placed on websites.

Many times people visit a site and don’t stick around. What these cookies do is they track the visitor’s Internet visits. When this visitor heads to a different site, your retargeting service can follow the cookie trail.

Then your ads will appear in front of these visitors at another time on a different site. Retargeting works to land potential buyers because your ad appears again and they remember your site and their original interest.

They head back to your site and buy this time, giving you a boost in your ROI. With ads, you’ll want to analyze them. By monitoring them, you can measure what you’re spending on the campaign versus what you’re gaining in new customers or revenue.

Follow the information on your ad tool dashboard in Facebook to tweak your ads. You may find that you need to change location or gender or other things that can improve how your ad performs.

Get Brave and Start Video Marketing and Live Streaming

If you want grow your business and increase sales, then you need to be part of the video marketing world. Video marketing helps you connect with people and build an audience right on your own blog.

Videos are popular because of the depth of the connection that’s available. With certain ads (and even text) on your site, you can’t grab an audience with storytelling the way a video can.

Videos are more personable. Your audience can see you or visualize what you’re talking about if you’re showing how to do something. Because we live in a visual world, people tend to relate to videos over just reading something.

You can have a lot of success with video marketing because you can make them personal and fill them with tips or advice that can help your audience. Not just that, but your videos will have additional value over just a “buy me” sales pitch that the audience reads.

They get to see that there’s a real person behind the product or the information. They’re able to put a face with the name or with the brand. What this does is remove that wall of anonymity even though they won’t know in depth personal information about you.

With videos, you become a storyteller and you can literally captivate an audience and in some cases, create a viral marketing tool. When you use videos, they help convert the tire kickers into solid buyers more so than if they just read the sales copy.

Live streaming is an excellent way to market because you get to interact with the audience and there are several platforms you can use to do this with. One of them is Blab.

On this platform, your audience can join you once they’re accepted and you’ll be able to see what they want to ask you. It gives you and the audience the ability to have a conversation in real time that goes below the surface.

It builds trust and enables you to discuss ideas, offer solutions and it’s great for getting feedback from your audience. Periscope is a live streaming app that lets you broadcast in front of an audience.

You can build a tribe, meet your audience and build a business by increasing sales. You’ll get greater exposure for your business with each broadcast. It gives you real time access to customers almost as if you’re having a face to face meeting with them.

This allows your audience to feel as if you’re authentic – and that in turn builds trust. People can use Meerkat with their mobile devices connected to social media to connect with their audiences.

With live streaming, what you’re seeing is what your audience sees. They can comment as they watch and you can reply back. It’s an instant connection and interaction.

Plus, the Meerkat platform lets you share the video and then it alerts the audience with a link. You can immediately have a thousand people watching your video.

Convert Better By Improving Your Sales Copy

You need sales copy in order to have sales of your product. But not all copy has the potential to convert. Sometimes there can be something missing that causes your audience to move on without ever making the purchase.

If you notice that people are landing on your page but they’re not buying, that’s a good sign that they need a little more convincing because your copy isn’t compelling enough.

You need to analyze how people are responding to your page. If you have a high bounce rate, it’s time to make some changes. While you certainly don’t want to copy your competition, if they’re successful, then you do want to check them out to see what it is that they’re doing right.

It could be that they’re doing something with their sales copy that you’re not doing. Or maybe they’re not doing something that you are. Either one of those could be something that you can tweak and see if you get better results that way.

Locate some of the competitors in your niche and go over their site carefully. Make notes of how they persuade an audience. Check out their ratio of sales push to advice.

How personable are they? What topics are they talking about? How often are they talking about new things? Study how much or how little detail they give about their product or information.

Could it be that you’re giving away too much? Or not giving away enough information to hook a person’s interest? What is your competition’s sales to personable ratio of information on their site?

How fresh is their site content? Once you’ve compared your copy to a competitor that you know is successful, you can make some changes on your own. One way to do that is to use split testing.

With split testing, you create two copies of something like your sales letter. Copy A would have one headline while copy B would have a different headline. Then you would send your sales letter to your email list so that half your list gets copy A and the other half gets copy B.

Then you can see which headline was more effective. You can figure that out just by looking at your data. You can check your colors, formatting, and even font this way to see how it impacts the buyer’s final decision.

You can use split testing to send traffic to two separate landing pages and then you can see which one performs better. You can use video on one page and plain text on another.

To keep from getting overwhelmed by all of the possible changes you can make, only implement one change at a time. You can also make a hybrid sales page – using both video and text on your copy to attract your audience.

If you want to test this, you can use video in split testing and send half your list video and the other half text. Then compare those results to a hybrid mix, where you combine different media formats on the page, to appeal to more potential buyers.