6 Business Growth Tactics For Entrepreneurs [Infographic]

If you’re an entrepreneur wondering how to ensure your business grows, you must get your marketing down. Start with these tactics discussed in the full article on how to Amplify Business Growth with These 6 Entrepreneur Hacks.

Quick Business Growth Guide

Use this infographic as a handy reference and business growth guide.

If you’re one of the many businesses that has left marketing as an afterthought or simply thought how hard could this be, we just go on Facebook and we’ll figure it out, take a step back. Garner sales from social media is an art and a scient and takes a well thought out strategy and often will take months or years to perfect.

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Shoutout to Visme for the easy infographic creation tool.

 

3 Easy Tools To Make Infographics And Quote Graphics

The social web is filled with helpful information and often you will find infographics that allow you to easily and quickly consume everything from statistics to recipes.  Other times a piece of inspiration will cross your feed and evoke a powerful emotion because of the imagery and message. Making these images on your own is easier than ever with online tools. Best part is we’re highlighting three that are free to use.

Note: This blog post has been updated to include a fourth infographic tool as of Dec 2017.

Types of Infographics

Wondering what kind of infographic you could make? Think about the useful, entertaining, or educational information you know or can collect. Maybe you have a step by step blog already that you could repurpose into an infographic. Here is a list of types of infographics you might choose from. In fact, this list might make a great infographic itself someday.

  • How To’s
  • Before and After
  • Lists of Resources or Tools
  • Statistics and Awareness Raising info
  • Checklists
  • Tips
  • Recipes
  • Top ___ Lists

You could get a lot of ideas for more types of infographics on Pinterest.

Before starting on the graphic design, be sure to prepare your content. Start with the text that you will relay on the image. Are there any statistics you want to research? Infographics often contain a variety of images within them. Gather the icons, images and design elements that you want to include and then get ready to create.

How To Make Infographics and Quote Images

I had a lot of fun using three tools (there are many more available) to create quote images and infographics. What I most like about these tools is that I used the free version of them and they were relatively easy to use.

  1. Piktochart is what I used to make the infographic you see below. They have templates that you can populate. It will take a little time, but if you like online software, go for it. You can create a professional looking design without paying for one.
  2. Stencil was super fast because it even supplies you quotes to use.
  3. Canva is my go to tool for images for social media.
  4. Visme.co is a BONUS tool that I newly found and has infographic, social media, presentation templates and more. It’s great for creating infographics like the one we did for 6 entrepreneur growth tactics.

 

how to create infographics

Amplify Business Growth with These 6 Entrepreneur Hacks

As entrepreneurs, business owners and marketers, we are obsessed with growth. You probably spend a considerable amount of time wondering how you can grow your business more quickly and effectively, and to your credit, since lack of growth focus inevitably leads to business decline. Unfortunately, when you’re in charge of running a small business, you can’t simply hurl money at problems to make them disappear. Instead you must be agile and capable of coming up with intelligent, reasonable solutions that will put you ahead of your competitors – without leaving you out of pocket. To that effect, here are six entrepreneur hacks that you can use to grow your small business.

Use Social Media To Amplify Your Marketing Efforts

A successful marketing plan must be varied and well thought-out, and of course, you will have a lot to work on outside of your social media campaigns. But social media is a great tool to amplify the impact of your efforts and increase the chances of success. For the most part it’s also very affordable, and yet still under-utilized as a means of marketing. If you’re not using it already, now is the time to start.

Most of us have certain social networks that we prefer to use over others, however, when you’re approaching social media as a business, it’s important to at least be present on all major networks. Give your prospective customers a chance to hear from you. You can then refine your efforts as it becomes clear which channels are proving most effective. Here is a useful guide on choosing the right social networks for your business – it has much to do with your audience and the kind of products or services that you offer.

On that note, you should also consider:

How To Format Content For Different Social Platforms

Often times new business owners make the mistake of routinely posting the same thing on each of their social accounts, without making allowances for the differences between them. But observing and making the most of these differences is crucial, as every social network is used slightly differently, and for varying purposes. To really get the best out of your social marketing efforts, content should be specifically repurposed for each platform.

Twitter users, for example, favor short and snappy statements accompanied by an image or GIF. Facebook users love memes: the humorous and engaging images (accompanied by text and often rooted in popular culture) that often appear on our newsfeeds. Instagram is all about beautiful and appealing photography, and using hashtags strategically. And LinkedIn users are looking for something longer and meatier that offers some good insight. Even if you plan on sharing the same message or piece of content across all four, the content and format will require mixing up for best results.

Naturally you will then find that some networks work better for you than others, and when you do, you can really start to push your efforts in that direction. Most social platforms offer some sort of advertising scheme that will make your posts more visible – Facebook advertising is a good place to start. As you get to know your customer niche, you can also start perusing specialist groups and forums to find out what people are saying and what matters to them.

Tap Into The Power Of Influencers

Influencers are a little like the celebrities of the online world. They could be a huge star, who with just one endorsement will send thousands of people flocking to your website, or they could be a small fry, but with enough credibility built up over time to provide you with a valuable recommendation.

First off, you will want to do some research. There are many different types of influencer, and a number of ways to go about finding them, whether that’s through an agency or using one of several online tools, such as Buzzstream or LinkedIn Groups. You then need to get to know them a little and follow them on social media to see what matters to them, before making your pitch. Find out how to do influencer marketing right in 2017.

Leverage Your Existing Client Relationships

In addition to the online celebs, never underestimate the power of online reviews from average customers. These matter a great deal too. Customers can be encouraged to leave reviews by making sure that it’s easy to do so, putting existing reviews in a visible place, soliciting reviews via email, and through incentives such as a monthly prize draw or gamification.

amplify business growth with influencers

Be Open To Feedback

If you’re a business owner, then knowing how to handle others’ assessment is crucial. Especially in the early days, seek feedback from as many people as possible, and make sure they’re being honest. Don’t be content with praise: ask for constructive comments about your product, your branding, your customer service. And don’t become defensive if what you hear isn’t what you expected.

Remember, you don’t have to follow all suggestions, but it is important that you hear them. If you are only surrounded with ‘yes people’ then you could miss out on potential ways to make your product offering much better. Here are some top tips for gathering feedback.

Nail Your 90-Second Elevator Pitch

The seasoned investor and entrepreneur Robert Herjavec says “You have 90 seconds to make an impact in your pitch”. That’s if you’re lucky. “If you can’t make your point persuasively in that time, you’ve lost the chance for impact. Facts and figures are important, but it’s not the only criteria – you must present in a manner that generates expertise and confidence. If you’re not prepared to make your pitch, you may just miss your next big opportunity.”

As a fresh-faced entrepreneur, being able to concisely and creatively describe what is unique about what you do is one of the most important skills to master. And it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Likewise, many also make the mistake of thinking their pitch is a one-way conversation – it isn’t. The best elevator pitches use questions to create a two-way conversation and ensure that your points remain relevant. The best advice is to aim for simplicity and get straight to the heart of what you do: no rambling off-point. If you can develop a 90-second elevator pitch that gets people inspired, you’re onto a very good thing.

Here is one of the top guides to assembling a winning elevator pitch.

Spread Your Overhead Costs

When you’re in charge of a startup or running a new business, it’s wise to keep your initial costs to a minimum, otherwise you will be under a lot of pressure to generate income faster. The more debt you become saddled with in the beginning, the higher your chances of failing, so you should ensure there is a legitimate reason to invest in everything that you buy, whether that’s office space, kit, or a new employee. At least in the beginning, you must be willing to get stuck into creative problem-solving and make some compromises.

An office premises is obviously one of the biggest expenses for any new business, and one of the reasons that many new companies now choose to set themselves up online. Another expense is kitting the place out with desks, chairs, computers, and so forth. In this instance, you might want to consider leasing or buying second-hand. Software can also add up if you need a lot of it, so you may wish to seek out options that allow you to break the cost down and pay monthly, rather than forking out for an annual subscription in one go.

For example, if you’re starting an eCommerce business, then you might choose to go with a reliable hosted online store platform like Shopify, which starts with a free two-week trial, then allows you to pay monthly for a basic, standard or advanced plan, which can be as little as $29 per month. BigCommerce also offers similar pricing.

A new business needs time to start generating a profit, and can often take longer than 12 months to do so. This is worth bearing in mind as you make financial estimates for the first year of trading.

The lifestyle of an entrepreneur has potential to be incredibly rewarding, but it has its ups and downs and its own fair share of stressors. Always remember as you work towards your goals that every one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs once stood exactly where you are. Absorb their lessons, practice patience, and be willing to take risks every now and again.

 Tell us what you think! Are there are more startup business hacks you would add? Let us know by sharing them in the comments.

entrepreneur hacks Victoria GreenAuthor:  Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant & Freelance Writer.  Victoria works with new ecommerce businesses and entrepreneurs to create valuable content and targeted marketing strategies that yield strong results. She is always happy to share some of her knowledge with others to help them get their startups off the ground.

How To Embed Facebook Live In Your WordPress Blog

embed facebook live

Why let your Facebook Live video get buried in your Facebook feed when you can place it right in a blog post or on a page in your WordPress site? Repurposing content is a great content marketing strategy and can be very useful if you’re producing video that has valuable information you want to keep track of, refer your visitors to, and support your sales processes as well.

Facebook has made available the code you need to feature your video on your WP sites… just like you see here. This is a livestream interview I did on a business page recently for Women Speakers Association.

Simple Steps To Embed Video (with images)

To embed your livestreamed video on your blog like the above video, follow these steps:

  1. Find your livestream video on your Facebook timeline and click anywhere on the video
  2. It will open up to cover most of your screen. Then locate and click on the 3 dots on the right.
  3. Select the Embed option in the dropdown
  4. Copy the iframe code that you see. Be sure to capture the entire bit that goes beyond what you can see. 
  5. Go into your WordPress Page or Post and select the Text tab (red arrow in image below). Place your cursor where you want the video (highlighted below) in the page code and paste the code there.how to embed facebook video step 5

10 Reasons To Embed Your Facebook Live Videos On Your Website

If you’re not sure why you’d want to embed your Facebook Live on your site, consider these ideas:

  1. Have a central place where you house your video content (without taking up server space).
  2. Create blogs easily (if video is easy, why not create a vlog)
  3. Take it a step further and have the transcription
  4. Turn your video into podcast and create show notes on your blog with the video and audio
  5. Build loyalty by getting more personal and authentic with your audience on your website
  6. Draw more traffic to your website
  7. Have a place to share content with non-Facebook users. Yes, some businesses have markets that are not on Facebook. Now you can include them too.
  8. Add value by adding
  9. Get opt-ins by placing a form on the page you embed your livestream on a landing page
  10. Grow your list by placing your livestream on an evergreen thank you page where you deliver the content that got buried in your stream in exchange for an email address.

Even though embedding is great, I highly suggest you keep a backup copy of all your livestreams by downloading them. To do so, follow step 1 and 2 above. Then for step 3 select the “Download Video” option and save it to your computer.

More ideas on how to leverage livestreaming for your business is in this article: 10 Livestreaming Ideas for Business Growth.

Facebook Live Done For You

Get streaming. If you need a strategy, want a host for your show, or want someone to embed Facebook video and have the tech part done for you, ask me how.

 

How To Create A Content Marketing Strategy That Rocks

content marketing template

What Is Content Marketing Strategy?

Content is what you write and what you share on your websites, social media, white papers, ebooks, articles and other valuable information. A content marketing strategy is using content to attract your market, build their trust, and create advocates who engage with and share your brand. This highly effective approach is how social media works for businesses globally. If you’ve ever wondered what the secret sauce to social media marketing is, it’s having an irresistible content marketing (also known as inbound marketing) strategy. By the time you’ve finished reading this blog you will know the key elements of a great content marketing strategy, the type of content you’ll want to generate, and the  plan for distributing your content.

Note: For this blog post, we reference a brand who is teaching parents of non-neurotypical (on the autism spectrum) with examples of how to craft the elements of their content marketing plan.

Key Elements Of A Great Content Marketing Strategy

1. Define Your Objective: First you must know what you want your content to do for you. If you want your readers to take an action, your content must naturally cause that reaction. If you want more visibility, create content that people absolutely love sharing. If you want to sell, make sure you have content that builds their trust, your credibility, is in context, speaks to them and has a clear call to action.

2. Create Your Persona/Avatar: You want to draw in visibility but for whom? For this, we want to explore deeper the persona of your target audience. Creating a persona is far more than demographics and psychographics. Yes, you need to know how old they are, how many kids they have, what their occupation is, etc. Then get into the story of who your persona. Think of a specific person. You may even want to give him or her a name like Patty Parent. For example, if you have a business that provides specific trainings for parenting kids who are not neurotypical, your persona might be a mother of a child age 6-10 who is non-neurotypical and is concerned about unsupportive schools. Is your persona in a combined household with kids with and without autism? Is it just a single parent? By describing in detail the day in the life of a persona for each target audience, you will have a powerful guide to directing your message and copy. The idea is to go deeper into what parts of your persona’s lives your work could possibly affect.

3. Define the Crave: Once you know who your persona is, what their preferences are, their challenges, their hobbies, buying habits, routines, lifestyle, etc. you are ready to identify what they are craving. Most entrepreneurs miss addressing the crave. Instead, these brands talk about the problems they solve for clients and their approach and methodology. Sharing about how you work and the challenges and solutions may leave you wondering why prospective clients are not responding. This is because you are only half way through to your mesmerizing message. Thus, you still have the next half of the journey to developing a rocking content marketing strategy.

When you know the essence of what is most concerning to your persona and what they deeply desire, you have the opportunity to compel and keep them loyal to you. In other words, if you clearly define their values (what is important to them) and their desires and then you can directly address that in your messaging so that “they get you get them.” When they feel like your brand knows their values and desires, you create an emotional connection. Essentially and imperatively, you are then speaking their language. You create the “how did you know that I felt that way” or “I feel heard and understood” effect.

For example, is your persona overwhelmed and stressed from their fear of raising a child who doesn’t behave, think or have the same needs like other children? What are they missing (from their point of view)? Do they wish they had more skills or patience or help? Do they feel helpless, alone or inadequate? These are the valuable questions you want to answer. Address their stress, their frustration, or maybe their feelings of self-worth. These factors will be weaved into your messaging within your content marketing strategy.In your messaging not only will you provide a solution (even if it is not immediate), you will demonstrate to the consumer that you are still there for support because you reveal to them how much you understand them and By sharing about the You may also show that you have solutions for a wide range of people with the same problem.

4. Define Value (Emotion Oriented Results) They Want Delivered: A great content marketing strategy includes content that answers the most important question a brand MUST ask, “why do they care about your product and it’s feature?” Simply sharing features is the most common mistake businesses make when communicating what they do.More often than not, business copy refers to services and their features. Yes, your prospective clients will need to know you offer courses with modules that cover certain topics. But WHY do they want this and/or what will they accomplish as a result of taking such course or using your product? Will they be entertained, learn how to be more efficient, make more money, have a skill to get them a job, etc. Keep asking why would they want this to each product/service and feature you offer, you’ll get to the emotional benefit.

In our example, if you have a set of free educational courses for parents, you  must address FIRST why would they take their time to watch it. Yes, they will learn about parenting non-neurotypcial children. But, why would they want learn about parenting? Because they want to raise children to reach their highest potential. Why wouldn’t they already be able do that? Because when they gain the skills and knowledge, they will have more options so they can spend less money, grow their patience through greater awareness and simple practices and know how to get the right support for their child without spending a fortune. Their stress will melt away as they build their resource arsenal for addressing the behaviour challenges and know exactly how to provide an environment their child can thrive in and become the contribution to society they are meant to be. Furthermore, point out this service helps them save time and how are they actually going to fit this into their life. Wow, now aren’t you ready to sign up for this training? Notice how by defining the value and addressing the crave, we have irresistible message.

Captivate Your Market With Your Message

The most challenging part of the strategy is determining the message that will hit home with your audience. You know how valuable your product/service/expertise is. You’ve got glowing response to your work. But have you ever noticed when trying to explain your work, the people you talk to sort of get it? You want them to be excited and enthusiastic. To get to the message that hits that emotional connection and drives them to want to know more, consider a Crave Consultation. Imagine walking away knowing what to say to turn a prospective customer into a craving client who becomes a raving fan. You’ll also know the specific content that will attract these prospective clients to your website and to call you, hire you or buy your product/service. That is the power of a captivating content marketing strategy.

It’s your turn to identify the specific results your persona/audience is craving, then you’ll know what direction your content should go in. More on the actual content below.

Present Your Information They Way They Want To Receive It

Now it’s time to think about the type of content to develop. Offering a podcast, blog and/or social media posts to educate your audience about your product or service can be a powerful piece of your rockin’ content marketing strategy. The goal is to stand out from other brands that simply present a solution in a generic format. To ensure this, you must make sure you are delivering the content the way they like it. If they are busy, give them the information in a format that they can easily digest.Is that a podcast or a blog or both? Stay tuned in and respond to their feedback regularly. Thus, find out what they think about your content. The only way you are going to figure this out is by surveying the consumers.

You need to think like a consumer, not as the expert or creator of your product/service. In your content, encourage your consumers realistically by relating to them on a personal level. In other words, give your content context. Also offer them feelings of hope and they will feel more compelled to view your content.

Sometimes podcasts are very applicable, but other times audio books can be much more accessible. You could also transcribe podcasts into blog posts. Or, you could take blog posts and make them into LinkedIn articles or slide shows. Taking the topic onto a livestream can be good if lots of people have questions. Even prerecord videos for the internet. Repurposing content can help get your message out further.

Plan Content Topics Around Your Buyer’s Journey

Plan out your content; when, where, and what are you publishing and who’s creating it. Everything has to come back to what they want right now and you will blossom from there. Simply, let your market dictate your message.  If you run out of ideas, try Googling common search terms. Google what you think your audience is typing (not you as the expert). The topics on page one will give you a clue of how to optimize your content.

For example, Patty Parent may google, “how to get my non-neurotypical child to bed.” They are probably not going to google parenting tutorials for… They are googling their specific challenges and desires which you previously defined. Morph these search terms, challenges and desires into compelling article titles. For example, 5 Simple Steps To Get Your Non-Neurotypical Child To Sleep.

There are different stages in content marketing you will want to design around: the awareness phase, the consideration phase, and the decision phase.

The awareness phase is when your persona is just becoming aware of a problem to solve or something they might want to add to/remove from their life. They need information that validates their feelings and gives them a lot of education about the topics.

Then there’s the consideration page, where you answer their question “What can be done about this? For example, what are my options with schooling, treatments, therapy, etc.? You want to help them understand their choices by giving them the information they need.

The decision making stage is where your persona chooses the best option for their situation is. This is where you want explain why your brand will be most valuable. You may even compare your product/service to another. It’s also a good idea to explain why you are a credible resource.

Make Your Content Visible To Your Market (Content Distribution)

You will need to strategically place your content so it gets the most visibility to your personas in their respective stages.

Sharing your own content to social media is a hit or miss whether your audience will see it. Getting others to share your content can increase your chances of getting to the most interested people. Influencer content sharing platforms like Social Buzz Club can help grow your reach.

If you’ve done your buyer’s journey content well, you can then use social media advertising to direct specific audiences (based on your persona and or pixeled from your website) to your free downloads, blog articles with calls to action, and even sales pages.

While our strategy thus far has focused on getting content directly to your end user (personas), you might also consider others who have influence over your market and also have similar challenges. For example, educators or other people who are indirectly involved in the issue your content deals with.

In short, a great content marketing strategy clearly addresses what your audience is craving in the format they prefer it in, at the right stage/timing, in the right place.