Category Archives: Biz Support

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

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

Spice Up Your Content with Podcasts

podcastIf you want to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage, you must provide a wide variety of high-quality content, including regular blog posts. “Variety’s the very spice of life,” said Poet William Cowper’s nearly 300 years ago, and it’s as relevant today. So, you shouldn’t limit yourself to blogs.

In fact, Hubspot says that, “Although blogs are still very popular, audiences are somewhat limited in how they can consume them—you can’t read a blog at the gym or while driving, for instance.” One solution is podcasts!

Podcasting is a great way for you and your organization to connect with your peeps and personify your brand while varying your content channels, thus allowing audiences to engage with content wherever, whenever, and however they want. Podcasts are on-demand with no commercial interruptions… kind of like Netflix and other streaming services are to TV viewing. Continue reading

In Depth: New Brand from Scratch (Part 1 of 3)

BrandIn this 3-Part series, we walk through building a brand from scratch. Part 1 takes us though the planning and conceptual phases with the goal of spinning a compelling business case into an attractive and effective brand image.

To make your product or company really stand out in the marketplace and radiate with supreme power, you must first anoint it with the magic of Brand. Establishing an effective brand takes a coordinated blend of business and creative work-think. Let’s pull the team together and get a lot of input so we can realize the best identity for your business.

But first, congratulations are in order! Welcome to a rare, exciting, fun, creative, and collaborative experience. Building a brand means getting the chance to start something that could generate a ton of revenue and benefit many lives.

Whether you’re a first-timer, vet, or a company expanding into new areas, take this task seriously and consider it a great ground floor investment opportunity. Don’t be afraid to pour an abundance of time, energy, and heart into it up front. Continue reading

Six State-of-the-Art Lead Generation Ideas

lead generationThe typical lead generation process includes creating content that consumers are looking for, driving traffic to those content offers, and capturing leads using optimized calls-to-action and forms. From there, the lead can be supported, nurtured, and turned into a sale.

That’s why BOTH lead quality and quantity are so important…and why the entire process is so tough. But, with a little innovation and variety, you can turn your lead generation efforts into a lead generation machine that churns out qualified leads after leads after leads.

Here are a few tips to help fuel your lead machine. Continue reading