Upselling and Cross-Selling For Happiness and Profit

upsellingUpselling and its sister cross-selling do NOT have to be dirty words any more. Get rid of those images of sleazy, slimy pitch people selling us stuff we don’t need or want.

Instead, picture your organization using upselling and cross-selling intelligently and judiciously to bring you closer to your customers. That way you can use these valuable techniques to bring you more revenue, better retention and lower churn. Continue reading

5 Storytelling Techniques to Make Your Content Marketing More Fun and Effective

Content marketing can be an effective strategy to build your authority and grow your business. But for your content marketing efforts to work, you’ll need to make sure the content is engaging, interesting, and compelling for your audience.

Content marketing is not just about churning out informative or entertaining articles; it’s about creating connection with other human beings that are your customers or potential customers. And one of the most potent ways to connect with other human beings is through the power of storytelling.

Stories have always been a fundamental way humans communicate and relate to one another. Starting in childhood, stories are central to how we learn about the world, convey our own thoughts, and form relationships.

As a marketer and business owner, effective storytelling enables you to create a deeper connection with your audience by giving them something they can relate to. People see themselves in stories, they empathize with stories, and stories are both meaningful memorable to them. If you want an engaged audience, you can use storytelling to let them know you understand them, to inspire them to take action, and to encourage a sense of loyalty.

The following storytelling techniques will help make your content more fun and effective: Continue reading

Goodbye Basecamp, Hello Teamwork!

For many, many years now, Solamar has relied on the project management service Basecamp to manage our team and all of our projects, but recently we’ve begun to run up against the limitations of Basecamp’s offerings.

This is partially because the version of Basecamp we use (Basecamp Classic) is no longer the focus of the company who created it (formerly called 37Signals, now called just Basecamp). They’ve moved on to newer versions of the Basecamp project management system, and while they maintain Basecamp Classic, most of their energy is on development of their new systems.

However, their new systems weren’t really a good fit for us and so we soldiered on with Basecamp Classic. We’ve spent almost a year searching for a new project management system that would serve us well, both now and into the future.

Today, I am happy to announce that our winner is Teamwork Projects, and I’d like to spend a little time talking about it, and why we chose it. Continue reading

Cash-In on Video Marketing for Your Business

online videoIf you think online video marketing for business, specifically through video hosting sites YouTube and Vimeo, is not a major force these days, think again. “If content marketing were a high school, video would be sitting at the cool kids’ table,” according to Brafton.

If you want to be one of the “cool kids,” online video is where your business should be in 2017. Data from Wyzowl’s The State of Video Marketing 2017 report showed a majority of businesses are now using video as a marketing tool. Ninety-nine percent of this group will continue to use video throughout 2017. And 82 percent will spend more on video during the year.

Another source cites that, “YouTube has massive traffic and viewers, with over 1,325,000,000 people using YouTube. There are currently 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day—5 hours of video content every second…More than half of all web traffic after 5PM is ALREADY video traffic—YouTube, Netflix, and other companies serving as prime video platform.”

While it has a much smaller niche audience than YouTube, Vimeo is also great for online video hosting, because your audience does not have to sit through pre-roll ads.

Whichever format you use for hosting in 2017, according to Forbes, “Live video will continue to grow.” Hopefully, you and your business are cashing in on this trend with video infiltrating your website, blogs, social media, and emails. Continue reading

In Depth: New Brand from Scratch (Part 3 of 3)

BrandIn this 3-Part series, we walk through building a brand from scratch. With all the pieces together and a real live business operation ready to sell, serve, and support customers. . . it’s time now to advertise and be ready to serve customers as the brand and by it’s standards. Part 3 walks us through the big follow-through. Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

Marketing Plan

The brand marketing plan has been writing itself as you’ve walked through these steps. Now it’s time to nail it down. Decide on a budget and get the plan off to a solid start so it will manage you, rather than the reverse.

A good content and campaign calendar will span a year or more and take you from launch to sales goals to profitability. The plan may include promotions with respect to seasonality and annual trends specific to your industry. Decide up front who will be in charge of the PR, marketing plan, keeping track of the content calendar, social accounts, sponsored posts, ads, promo item inventory, trade shows, media buys, etc.  Continue reading

6 Tips to Improve Your Local SEO

Local SEOYour prospective customers are looking for local businesses like yours online. When they search for a business to meet their needs or desires, they enter terms into search engines and get a list of relevant results. Whether or not your business is among those results depends on your local SEO.

It’s true that Google knows where a user is when they search. So it will skew search results depending on where they’re located for their convenience. For example, if I’m in Atlanta, Georgia, and I search for a Bikram yoga studio, the results will show studios in Atlanta more prominently than studios in New York City.

But that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore local factors when it comes to SEO. Local SEO is sometimes considered trickier than general SEO simply because additional factors are taken into consideration. The following tips will improve your local SEO and make a positive difference in driving traffic to your website. Continue reading

In Depth: New Brand from Scratch (Part 2 of 3)

BrandIn this 3-Part series, we walk through building a brand from scratch. In Part 2, armed with a good sense of identity after the intensive self-reflection exercises in Part 1, the brand is now ready to advance to the implementation stage and make some solid decisions.

Get Real

It’s time to level-set and refer to the business plan. Let’s align your brand vision with your revenue source. You need to be able to deliver on your brand promise, which you can achieve  by calibrating your tone and messaging to what you have the time, resources, and budget to actually accomplish within a reasonable time period.

Ask yourself what’s feasible, realistic, and affordable. What can the business afford? What can my team support? How much of an authority do we have to be on this subject? How deep a level of customer service do we need to provide? Continue reading