Digital Marketing Success with G+…Getting Started

Last weekend I joined 40 business owners invited to the first Google Blitz session held at a local site in Mountain View, CA.
The Diversity Marketing Team and Small Business Team spent over 3 hrs bringing awareness, answering specific questions, and offering resources to the group. Some Google resources shared to grow your business were, Google Apps, Free Website, Accelerate with Google, Google Adwords, any many others. Many in our group were not aware of the myriad of marketing and engagement opportunities available. So here are some quick tips from Google on getting started and promoting your business brand via G+.

Google Blitz - 2.14

SET UP your profile
Create your Google+ page at www.google.com/+/business.
Before you start sharing with your customers, select a GREAT profile photo-this is the number one way people
will recognize you on Google+. Check out a quick video to get you inspired here. Don’t be afraid to add a few extra unique photos, complete the About section including
links to other destinations where you can be found across the web.

CREATE circles and engage with your customers/audience
Use Circles to segment your visitors, customers, and even internal teams. The goal is to share the right information
with the right people. Create a posting schedule, and post at least once a day, or multiple times weekly. This will insure you
are providing fresh and interesting content to spark genuine conversation. Optimal posting times vary, we suggest to post 10 am – 1 pm.
Engage your audience by posting questions and asking for feedback. Make sure to respond actively through your comments and +’1 feature.
Regularly host Hangouts (easy to use, multi-person video chat) to have a real face to face conversation with your customers.

FOLLOW the Accelerate with Google Page
Google+ pages help you build relationships with the people and organizations that matter the most to your business. Search for the organizations
that matter most and help you grow your business online. Search for the Accelerate with Google page and follow it TODAY!

PROMOTE your Google+ Page
Spread the word about your Google + page by sharing your page with people from your personal Google+ profile, your email contacts and by posting
a link to your page on relevant blogs, websites and other social destinations. Include the Google+ badge on your site to allow people to +1 from your homepage
with +1’s on your Google+ page and ads (using Adwords Social Extensions), increasing the number of recommendations for your site.

Well that’s it for now. GO get started with G+ and have fun building your business online with these awesome resources for small business.
Are you a coach, speaker, or service provider stumped by all of this? I can help! Schedule a 20 minute business exploration plan, and don’t let 2014 go by without optimizing your digital marketing plan with G+.

Be effective in ALL you do!

Jenelle

Content is the New Currency – Business Blogging

Content is Key – Social4retail.com

Content is the new currency.  From experience creating fresh content for a business blog takes time, energy, and a plan.  Nevertheless, it is one of the simplest ways to boost website page rank, connect with target market, and spotlight current programs or services.  According to WordPress.com over 409 million people view more than 14.4 billion pages of blog content each month.  Online blogs take on various forms:

Blogging as a hobby or for fun allows folks to share and build personal community based on special interests

Blogging as a business focuses on making money via sponsored posts, affiliate links, and even e-books.

Blogging for business is a marketing strategy to gain exposure, visibility, thought leadership, and build a permission-based marketing list.  Blogging for business is a must for growing your business in 2014 and beyond.

A business blog offers value far beyond marketing…

Gaining online visibility when thousands of new websites are added to the mix every single day can be challenging.  If you want to compete seriously online and get the results you want from your website, a basic 5- 10- or even 20-page static website can be limiting.  A great way to breathe life to your current business site is to begin a business blog.

COMPELLING STATISTIC: Did you know that nearly 40% of U.S. companies use blogs for marketing purposes?  And companies that blog have 55% more visitors – Hubspot

BEST PRACTICE: Focus on content. A well-structured blog, content tailored to your ideal audience, can gain much attention.

Get ahead of the competition…

Blogging is one of the most cost effective, and easiest ways to gain visibility for your brand and get your business in front of customers.  Each new published blog post, creates an added unique URL or page to your website that can be crawled and indexed by search engines. Google loves blogs!!  A new opportunity to show up in the search listings helping your business get found is accomplished all with your blog.  If you blog once a week for a year, you will add 52 new opportunities for consumers to find you online. Twice a week for a year will net you 104 new ways for buyers who need what you’re selling to find you.  Most likely you have exactly what you need.  Share it!!  Your expertise, opinions, perspectives, stories, and resources provide a host of fresh and unique content.

BEST PRACTICE:  See more ideas on writing at http://www.copyblogger.com/blog/.

How this translates to new clients, business growth, and list building…

Remember the main purpose of your blog is to create unique content your audience loves and needs. In addition your blog will increase traffic to your website from organic search, social media, social bookmarking, links, and referrals.  Once visitors get to your website, the goal is to keep them as long as possible, having a call to action – to sign up, subscribe, buy, register, click, share, opt-in, enroll, or purchase will facilitate this.

BEST PRACTICE: Use images, bold headings and phrases, colored sub headlines, short paragraphs and smart formatting in posts to keep visitors’ attention

Why wait any longer?  Need help getting your business blog started?  Contact me TODAY for a business exploration session.

Jenelle

 

Small Business Social Media Safety – Stay Vigilant!

Recent news reports continue to be flooded with retailers customer data being stolen.  As technology advances and we become increasingly connected

staying vigilant about online social media profiles is imperative.  Social Media today blogger Irfan Ahmad shared an enlightening infographic via InstantCheckMate.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 7.59.56 AM

InstantCheckMate reports 66% of Facebook users are not aware of privacy settings and 15% of Americans have never checked their social networking privacy and security account settings.

Staying up to date on security issues and your privacy in social media takes time, but cannot be ignored.  See tips for Facebook privacy here Facebook Behind the Privacy Settings.

Are you tired of worrying and need some help with your social media strategy or community management.  I’d love to help!

Jenelle

 

 

Is Social Media a Black hole?

Social media is a black hole! – Photo Credit ukcraftblog.com via Pinterest

Social media is a black hole!  Gasp!  (clutching pearl necklace) :-)  

During a recent networking roundtable discussion business owners shared confusion and lack of success figuring out social media. The opening sentiment was expressed by a business owner stumped by the popularity and use of social media.    

If you asked this post title question of highly successful Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy World  you would get a resounding reply of, “Heck no.”  One quote from his book, “It took thirty-eight years before 50 million people gained access to radios. It took television thirteen years to earn an audience that size. It took Instagram a year and a half.” 

Social media success is truly accomplished when adding value.  It still amazes me the great relationships I’ve built with followers via  Twitter and G+.  Adding expertise, personal experience, and truly caring about your audience is paramount.  Dan Schawbel Forbes article 14 Memorable Quotes from Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,  gave a great overview of Vaynerchuk’s approach and lessons.

As the year comes to a close I’ll be doing a deeper dive into Vaynerchuk’s book.  To hear him speak further on this topic check out The Future of Social Media on YouTube.

 

Reflections – Embrace Distractions It’s Part of the Journey…

Collage-Fall Leaves 11.13

The fall season has brought on all the usual suspects.  Seasonal colds, school projects, overindulgence in chocolate and the urge to hibernate.

Are you feeling similar distractions?  Business ideas and activities continue to beckon my attention.  Though I am still accomplishing project tasks the pace has certainly slowed.

Last week author Michael Hyatt shared a similar post where he commented, “…the last week has been tremendously unproductive. Though I had big plans, I’ve not accomplished much of anything.

He had a few ways of dealing with feeling unproductive and distracted here is my interpretation in brief:

1) Acknowledge your current feelings or state of your business

2) Use it understanding why we are where we are can be very telling

3) Embrace it, life happens.  Roll with the punches and control what you can

The realities of life will always demand we stop, listen, and adjust accordingly.

Your turn, how are you embracing and managing distractions at present?

Best wishes,

Jenelle

P.S.

Photo of my 3 yr old daughter enjoying fall leaves. :-)  Gotta love it!

3 Ways to Secure your Evernote Data

In a recent post on using Evernote for tax planning a reader asked, “What about security?” Keeping our data safe in a digital world is a constant challenge and it is no different when using cloud based systems for business.  Author and speaker Michael Hyatt gave a thorough overview listing 6 reasons you can be sure your Evernote data is secure.  See post here.

To date Evernote has increased their security features to include (1) 2-Step verification, (2) account history, and (3) authorized applications which are available to Premium and ‘gratis’ account users. Check out this blog post for details.

Whenever choosing new resources for business or home it is always a good practice to check the data security settings and options.

Rock on and enjoy the long holiday weekend!

Jenelle

Paperless Tax Planning with Evernote

What comes to mind when tax season arrives?  Stress?  Frustration?  Many of us tend to feel at least a measure of increased tension as tax season approaches.  Going through a year’s worth of paperwork associated with business transactions and whittling them down to a few spreadsheets or folder items is rarely a welcomed task.  Let’s take a look at how you’re accustomed to prepare for tax season and consider how to do them the Evernote way.

evernote-icon

Tax Planning Then

The organized business owner generally keeps a properly labeled set of folders with financial documents, statements, payroll information and charitable donations archived in the office or home.  Then, as tax season arrives, these documents creep out claiming real estate on much of our desks or the desk of our tax preparer.

This can be a tedious process for even the most organized business owner.  For those that let the documentation take over, scattered paper piles, some online files, and still others at the office can really get out of hand.  Once office documentation gets to this point no doubt a hike up Mission Peak (Fremont, CA) on the hottest of summer days may be a preferred activity.

Consider Evernote Now

Invest in an affordable scanner for the office (a Fujitsu ScanSnap retails for under $500 on www.amazon.com) or check out http://goo.gl/uAL6CC – Evernote scansnap.  Connect it to your Evernote account.  Then, every time you receive a bank/credit card statement, charitable donation acknowledgement, or other financial documentation simply scan directly to your Evernote account.  Statements can even be “clipped” to your Evernote account.  These documents can all be organized into a notebook labeled ‘Finances’ or ‘2013 Taxes’.  Evernote allows you to tag each statement type if more specifics needed (i.e., Bank, Charitable Donations, Payroll).  See here Adam Dachis, LifeHacker blogger suggestions for other affordable scanning tools and suggestions on running a paperless office.

Spend most of your time outside of the office?  Most smartphones allow for a quick snapshot of receipts (i.e., business trip dinner with clients) and tagging these images with a tag like ‘client receipts’ insuring these are organized.  Evernote partners like Docscanner can improve the quality of your snapshot making it easier to search within this tool.  Camscanner has been my iPhone scanner app of choice.

Saving time and energy during tax season with Evernote will allow you to get back to business. When taxes are done, save your paperwork in the same folder by scanning it, or adding the PDF into your notebook.  Your previous year’s tax documents will be securely in one place for easy reference the following tax season.

Have you gone paperless?  If so what tools are working for you?  I’d love to hear your comments!

Be effective in ALL you do!

Jenelle

Small Business Blogging Myths to Ignore

 

From experience beginning a business blog can be a daunting task.  In fact just this week a business owner commented to me during a conversation, “I’m overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start with this blogging thing.”  Have you felt this way?  Well consider getting rid of these 3 myths that can hinder starting a blog for business or maintaining one.

Myth #1 – All blog posts need to be a decent length

You’ve heard the saying, “KISS”.  Not familiar?  Let me translate the acronym, “Keep it Simple Sweetie”.  :-)  A short yet content rich post is good enough.  It is possible to post quality information for readers without writing a novel sized blog post.  Adding a mix of both long and short posts is a great way to engage.

Myth #2 –  Blogging Takes Loads of Time

Let’s be honest, researching, writing, and posting is certainly an activity you’ll have to schedule. Though time must be allotted for these activities, planning ahead is the key to staying consistent.  Evernote has become a key tool in my arsenal to stash ideas, draft posts and get into a habit of blogging regularly.  Check out this detailed post from author, Micheal Hyatt on using Evernote for bloggers.

Myth #3 – Business Blogging is a fad…it will pass

In business don’t you agree that the only constant is change?  It is true we cannot predict the future of business marketing.  For now with the continued changes in Google’s algorithms having consistent content on your website is important to boost search engine ranking.  And don’t you agree providing valuable information to customers is never out of style.

May you blog and thrive!

Jenelle

 

Roar into Business Planning for 2014

Last night after a productive and fun local Chamber of Commerce mixer I was out of energy and needed to refocus.  What did I do?  Watch the current season of The Voice artists continue to wow us with their artistry, risk taking, and unique approaches toward music.

Olivia Henken performed “Roar” a pop favorite by Katy Perry.  Her courage to push limits as a country star hopeful and deliver an unexpectedly amazing performance made me think of my 2014 business plan goals.

lions-tigers-and-leopards-oh-my

Business planning for 2014 will need to be flexible and SIMPLE for Efficacy Plus, here are a few goals I’ll be implementing.

Plan to COMPLETE at least 3 things each day.  You read that correctly.  If overwhelming task lists are staring at you a feeling of defeat sneaks up slowing momentum and progress. Completing high importance business tasks daily gives me time and energy to focus on what is critical for that day then move on to the next priority.

Keep blogging. Companies that blog more than 15 times a month get 5 times more web traffic and 10 times more inbound leads. (from Hubspot report 2012)  During the mixer I attended a fellow business owner shared his excitement about winning a new customer because of his blog.  Providing relevant industry trends, tips, and sharing more about my brand will be a continued activity.   Reading statistics then actually speaking to REAL business owners benefiting solidifies why blogging for business is a must.

Stay active in local market.  The last quarter of 2013 has been full of new relationship building opportunities.  Many of the business owners I’ve met are looking for help with marketing and blogging.  It’s been enlightening to understand how and why providing project support for these folks will truly help them grow their brands and ultimately increase revenue

These are just a few of the items going into my 2014 business plans.  How do you plan to “roar” into business for 2014.  I’d love to hear from you!!

Jenelle 

 

 

I survived 31 Days of Blogging!

October has come and gone and I’ve completed my #blogboost hosted by http://ultimateblogchallenge.com/.  Let me share with you a few takeaways from this challenge.

Be Realistic – With an energetic and talented group of professionals I set out to blog each day during the month of October.  Being realistic about my blogging schedule and committing to posting weekly was more feasible for me.  Though I averaged a once per week post, archiving insightful news clips, podcasts, and YouTube vids never stopped.  This challenge fueled my excitement to share more tips, trends, and small business goodies as time goes on.

Find Your Blogging Rhythm – Every blogger has to find their own rhythm.  Like most things in life we need to find our road and stay on it.  The goal is to get started and stick to a schedule that works.  If our rhythm slows, adjust accordingly.

Just Do It! – Blogging for business does not have to be a chore.  It’s OK to add a personal life experience into our blog to keep it interesting.  The goal is to “just do it”.  Fresh content creation is always the goal!  But, it is perfectly OK to share what we’ve learned or appreciated from another blogger or professional periodically.  The options are endless, we simply need to get the ball rolling.

So if I completed a 31 day blogging challenge you can do it too!!  Check out these handy resources I found along the way to help inspire your inner blogger.

Happy blogging!

Jenelle

 

 https://home.passle.net/ – Business Blogging

http://ultimateblogchallenge.com/teleseminars/ – Get support

http://goo.gl/2aM6uy – 20 Quick Tips on Writing Blog Posts