What are ebooks good for?

Not just everyone can say, ‘I wrote a book.’ Even if the book is short and self-published, its creation is an accomplishment that you will be personally proud of. This in itself answers the question, ‘What are ebooks good for?’

In addition, though, an ebook can be a great marketing tool for you as an entrepreneur. You can get your message out with an ebook because you can fully explain your ideas and give examples to support your thoughts. You don’t have any time limitations as you would at a speaking engagement. Plus, an ebook will really show off your personality and make potential customers feel like they already know you. Continue reading What are ebooks good for?

Best ways to market your business

If you own a business, chances are you’re thinking about marketing whenever you’re not sleeping or working. Good – that’s a sound way to get ahead of your competition as they waste time resting on their accomplishments and soaking up the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

But even a huge amount of marketing effort can end up not amounting to much if you’re going about it the wrong way. It’s similar to being the hardest worker in a company that doesn’t appreciate its employees – you won’t be paid much for your efforts.

Instead, have a look at some of these great ways to market your business and feel free to apply them in any way that helps you – we promise not to sue for copyright infringement!

Coming off as a ‘people’s company’

If you’re reading this, you’re more likely an owner of a small business than a major corporate enterprise. So why not use this in a way that benefits you?

Contrary to what you might think, lots of people (perhaps even the majority, if we may be so bold) prefer doing business with a family-owned company rather than a corporate giant, no matter if they’re buying something, using a service or doing anything else that involves them parting with their hard-earned money.

Why do family-owned businesses get so much love? It’s simple: they care about their customers a lot more than big brands do. We won’t go into whether it’s a matter of callousness or merely insufficient time, but one thing is clear – smaller businesses have an easier time getting (and keeping) the trust of their clients.

As an owner of such a business, you’ll want to let your clients know that you have their best interests in mind every step of the way. When you’re marketing yourself, make sure to let profits and prices take a backseat and instead make it seem almost as if your services are for free – as counterproductive as it might seem, people will actually be inclined to pay more as a result.

Showing off your love for what you do

In line with the above but also a point of its own, you’ll want to let your customers know that you aren’t doing your job out of necessity but rather a clear passion – this will give you a lot more credibility and won’t make anyone worry about rushed, incomplete or unskilled work.

To help create this image for yourself, take every opportunity to show off your knowledge and expertise. If you’re a tree service company, make sure that your website features numerous explanations on why professional tree care is important and how a DIY approach can go wrong instead of a picture of someone holding shears with a ‘Call this toll-free number’ button underneath.

Market your business – Our tree service client

We recently redesigned Above All Tree Service’s website. They get how to market their tree service business with a solid web presence.

above all tree service

The company that engages their potential customers is the company that ends up getting conversions – what better way to engage them than to let them know the work you do has a lot of substance?

Working off this, every marketing effort you do should include something useful for your customers: raising awareness of the consequences of issues unattended, why a true pro makes a difference, why they should be doing business with you and not your competitors… Alright, the last one deviates from the formula a bit, but the point remains the same: make your customers feel as if they’re doing business with you due to equal parts desire and necessity.

How to leverage Facebook to promote your business

If you looked back on your time online and felt unhappy over spending an inordinate amount of it on Facebook, don’t worry – you can leverage your favorite pastime in a way that helps your business.

Sound too good to be true? It isn’t, and it gets even better – the ways through which you will use Facebook for business efforts aren’t all that different from how you would use it for entertainment and gossip. Read on to see how you can turn social media from an unwelcome addiction to a powerful business tool overnight.

Interacting with your customers and then some

Facebook gives attentive and customer-oriented business owners an incredible platform to show why they’re better than their competitors when it comes to serving clients. Do you enjoy interacting with customers and interested parties on a regular basis? Great – make sure to let your customers know that they can reach you through Facebook with any questions they might have.

People are oftentimes hesitant to call a business even if the line is toll-free and promises to feature the voice of a friendly representative. Something about the act makes people feel obliged and as if they already made the first step – no such qualms when sending someone a Facebook message.

Letting people know that you’ll gladly answer Facebook inquiries is a great way to win their favor. The friendlier and more informative your responses are, the better your chances of etching in a person’s mind for a while to come. After all, what customer doesn’t like a business that uses Facebook just as much as they do?

Offering milestone rewards

A great way to get more Likes on Facebook is by offering a reward for a certain milestone. The amount of likes and the reward you offer will have to vary based on the size of your business, its current state and what you’re trying to accomplish, but one thing is invariably true – whether you’re trying to get to 100 or 10,000 Likes, this is a good way of going about it.

Make no mistake – Likes are recognition, and every press of the Like button stands to introduce you to hundreds or even thousands of new people as they check their feed.

But how do you get people to like you and tell their friends to do the same? Let’s say you’re gunning for 5,000 likes and aren’t too far from getting them – let people know that you’ll commemorate the milestone by making the appropriate announcement on your timeline. The first 50 responders to the announcement get a service for free: make sure it’s an attractive one and not something like a cup of free coffee.

If you can balance the free service or product you’re offering in a way that benefits you as well as your customers, you’ll get heaps of recognition that might continue paying off long after you’ve forgotten about the negative impact that a couple of freebies or one or two days of free work have had on your business.

Review of easy web building platforms

A good part of the reason why so many business websites have a dilapidated and run-down feel to them (even when the actual business is a great one) is simple: the owners don’t know the first thing about building a website.

If you don’t know HTML from CSS, body from header and image from video, building a business website from scratch can seem like an impossible task. Worse yet, perhaps, is that it can seem like something that only an expensive professional can handle – one that will empty your bank account for a service that can come off as trivial.

It’s unfortunate that many of these people aren’t aware of easy web building platforms that would let them create professional and engaging websites essentially for free and without any knowledge necessary. Following is a review of some of these platforms – any one of them should serve you exceedingly well regardless of whether you’re a web building design wizard or a muggle.

 Web building platforms

Web.com: Are you a complete newbie to all things online yet still want a notable internet presence for your business? Web.com is one of the best ways of accomplishing this. The site is geared primarily towards individuals who don’t want to (or don’t know how to) go through the trouble of creating a stunning and functional website on their own. Get in touch with the Web.com staff and they’ll build your website from the ground up and even help you gain more recognition on social media and with the search engines. For the prices they offer, it’s definitely a service worth considering for the “can’t bother” type of individual.

Wix.com: Want to have more creative control over your business website? Consider Wix.com as your easy-yet-powerful website builder of choice. Despite you having to build your website as opposed to the service doing it for you, Wix websites are oftentimes more expensive than those made on Web.com and Wix remains one of the most popular web builders on the internet. How? Well, having hundreds and hundreds of professional-looking templates you can alter in any way you see fit without too much hassle is a good start, and there’s also the customer support that will answer any questions you might have without ever making you feel like a newbie.

Squarespace.com: Businesses wanting to get truly creative with their web building process should give Squarespace a holler. This web builder prides itself on offering more creative and artistic solutions than any of its competitors – the whole point is letting you make a website that doesn’t look like anything you can find anywhere else on the web. It doesn’t just sound great – it actually works without costing you a lot of nerves in the process, and you’ll also get a few marketing tools to help you grow to boot. If you have a specific website design in mind but feel as if there’s no way to achieve it without hiring a professional, give Squarespace a shot and prepare to be amazed by the level of creative control they offer to the user with just a few clicks.

Squarespace video

Tips to design a great business logo

Want to run a business that’s loved by everyone and never has a shortage of customers new and old? You’re probably focusing on hard work, an inviting business location, marketing… But how about the simpler things that can sometimes mean just as much?

That’s right: sometimes the smallest improvement to your business can be the most meaningful one. There’s rarely a smaller improvement to be made than working on your business logo in order to make it more appealing to a wide range of customers.

You might have overlooked it in the past, but now’s as good of a time to upgrade as any – your initial effort will pay off big time as your logo will continue working for you and your brand for a long while. Here are some tips on creating a business logo that sticks around in every sense.

Here’s one of our client’s websites that we worked on and designed their business logo: http://www.lonestarcarpetcare.com

lone star carpet care

 Designing a great business logo

  • Can you afford not to look serious? If so, adding a bit of humor to the logo will be great. Everyone wants to do business with someone they can relate to, and what better way to appear relatable than by showing a healthy sense of humor? That being said, if you run a business that’s meant to come off as serious at all times (law office, for example), a funny logo probably won’t do you any favors.
  • Don’t complicate things too much. You’re running a business, not a secret society, so there’s no reason to go overboard on the logo’s complexity. It can seem like a good idea in the beginning – who wants people to think that their business is bland and simple, right? Unfortunately, this tends to backfire since people have a much easier time remembering something that’s on-point than a juxtaposition of convoluted ideas.
  • Avoid concepts that might rub people the wrong way. It seems incredibly simple, so why is it that so many business owners can’t follow it? If you’re thinking of a logo that might frighten someone, hurt their feelings or make them disgusted, forget about it, even if that someone would have to be the most sensitive person on Earth. Humans are blessed with very creative minds, so nothing’s forcing you to make a questionable logo that might work against you.
  • When possible, use lively colors to make the logo stand out. It’s true that many of the greatest logos consist of one or two colors which adds to their effective simplicity, but this isn’t a standard one must follow at all times. If you’re a carpet cleaner (like our client featured above) featuring a carpet as part of the logo, don’t hesitate to make it colorful and memorable – people will love it, and you might get more customers as a result.
  • Before making it public, ask for a dozen perceptive opinions. Sort of similar to the point about avoiding off-putting concepts, your logo might convey an offensive or ridiculous message without you even realizing it – a quick Google search for ‘worst logos ever’ will show you more of these cases than you’d like to see. To avoid becoming a cautionary tale, ask for as many opinions as possible and be sure to inquire about whether the logo comes off as having a deeper meaning.

Great video with some more logo design tips