Best Ways to Use Canva and Stencil [LIVE webinar]

Canva & Stencil Comparison[LIVE webinar]

In this live webinar, I compare Canva’s and Stencil’s features to help entrepreneurs create visual content for their businesses. It’s a 40-minute video with quick shortcuts on how to use fantastic features that can save time when creating presentations, ebooks, PDF documents, social media graphics, and more.

Let me know what features and uses you like in Canva and Stencil!

5 Bulletproof Ways to Keep Your Visitors On Your Website Longer

Super excited to bring on a guest post from Michelle Arios of Bizdb to chat about some bulletproof ways to keep your visitors on your website longer!

The longer people stay on your website, the more likely they are to spend with you. If people pop in for a few minutes and disappear, you’re missing an opportunity to turn a casual browser into a devoted customer.

Getting people to stay (especially if they’re a part of your target demographic) doesn’t have to be hard work. Making a few modifications to your website will improve user experience and give them a reason to hang around or come back more often.

5 Bulletproof Ways to Keep Your Visitors on Your Website Longer

1. Provide a Variety of Content

Text is one of the most valuable mediums through which to convey an informative and detailed message. Despite this, many people aren’t readers. They might feel inclined to read something if it accompanies another piece of content that took hold of their attention, but providing a wide variety of content is the only hook you have to catch those people.

Video content is increasingly more prevalent because it provides an immersive experience. Many videos compile text, images, moving pictures, and audio accompaniments to cater to every possible learning style. This means that people are effectively able to retain more from a video, perceiving videos to provide the most value. When you’re attempting to teach or persuade your readers, you can’t afford to forego video content.

Customers looking at video on website.

Some people are easier to please. They like memes and funny gifs to break up large blocks of content. If the content is shareable and the gifs or memes are unique, people might even want to save them and pass them along to their friends. Allowing yourself to become a goldmine of funny and useful things will encourage people to keep browsing. Even if they don’t immediately shop with you, they’ll regard your brand or your message as friendly and personable. They’ll want to visit often.

2. Let Them Know What You Want Them To Do

When calls to action are hard to complete, or even worse, seemingly absent, people are less likely to follow through with them. If the only call to action you display is on the page for purchasing your product or service, there’s no guarantee that people will naturally stumble upon it or understand why purchasing is the best decision for them by the time they get there.

Make a list of all the ways you monetize your visits, whether it’s through products, services, or referrals. Every piece of content on your website should (at least loosely) incorporate some kind of call to action. What do you want people to do? What part of your website are you attempting to draw them to?

Make your message clear and easy. Even if your call to action is a free download or trial, you’ll still need to ensure that you’re putting an adequate amount of effort into leading people to and through the process.

3. Make it Easy to Browse

Your website might contain anything and everything your readers will ever want, but they won’t know it if it’s hard to find. They might not have the patience to find out if your loading times are slow or your website feels unsecure. One of the most important aspects of keeping users on your site is user experience, and your visitors may feel that your website is lacking.

Stop Them From Leaving 5 Bulletproof Ways to Keep Your Visitors On Your Website Longer

If you have slow loading times, you might need to perform a bit of a cleanup. Remove any unused plugins or features that contribute to loading time, but don’t add any value to your site. Optimize your website for mobile to improve loading times on smartphones. If this optimization isn’t included with your hosting or your template, hire a web designer to modify your website to meet Google’s standards for mobile optimization.

The organization of your website needs a smooth flow. Be sure that your menus are intuitive and that every link is under the right umbrella. If you aggregate posts or content on your front page, be sure to lead with your most interesting pieces of content, and show related content at the bottom of each post. This will send your visitors on an immersive voyage.

4. Do What Your Analytics Tell You to Do

People already told you what they love about you. All you need to do is listen. Check your analytics to see what kind of content played best with your audience. Your analytics will practically allow you to become a mind reader. What did they like? What did they comment on? What did they share? How much traffic did that piece of content get?

Stop Them From Leaving 5 Bulletproof Ways to Keep Your Visitors On Your Website Longer

Use that as a formative example for the rest of your content. When you find something that works, provide as much similar content as possible. You’re giving people what they want while simultaneously giving them a reason to spend more time with you.

5. Let People Be Lazy

The internet is reducing people’s attention spans. Oftentimes, they’re looking to find one thing and nothing more. If they’re visiting for entertainment purposes, things need to be inherently fun enough to keep them from getting bored and clicking over to your competitor. There will always be people who want to do an information deep dive and glean as much as they possibly can from your content, but there are others who always feel in a hurry and want to get the answers they came for at a glimpse.

Make all of your content easy to skim. Use clear subheadings, gather your thoughts, and utilize bulleted lists or takeaways to make complicated or nuanced pieces of content easy to digest from the beginning. Some people don’t want to use a magnifying glass or a fine toothed comb just to get an answer to their question, and by optimizing your content for ease of quick browsing, you’re satisfying people who are in a rush.

Make content easy to read for your audience.

Getting people to stick around is a lot like being a great party host. You need to provide a little bit for everyone’s tastes, and make it so enjoyable that people don’t want to leave. Let the people tell you want they enjoy the most, and base your strategy around appeasing them. They’ll love you for it.

Let us know which of these methods you’ve tried and if you’ve seen results.

5 Bulletproof Ways to Keep Your Visitors on your Website Longer


5 Ways to Supercharge your Content Marketing

Happy to bring a guest post from Sarah Saker, she’s a business coach and freelance writer. She talks about supercharging your content marketing and these tips are golden!

Of course, you have a content marketing strategy, and you are fully engaged and vested in it. The first six months have gone well, but lately, you have noticed that everything you put out sounds, well, the same as everything else.

Apparently, your followers have noticed too, because traffic numbers are flat, no one new is subscribing to your newsletter, and conversions are low at best.

What do you do? You need to supercharge your content marketing strategy and give your followers and new ones something new to look at.

Shoot Some Live Video

From Facebook to Twitter and Instagram, live video has entered social media full force. What you do with it and what you talk about in your live videos can either supercharge or damage your content marketing strategy. Here are a few principles to follow:

  • Practice first: Just because it Is live video does not mean it must be unrehearsed. Prepare ahead of time and practice timing, choosing your words carefully, and keeping a friendly tone that is not nervous.
  • Keep it short: Remember, people’s attention spans are short on social media, which is why shorter posts get better responses. It is the same with video. Anything longer than about 90 seconds and you probably have lost your audience.
  • Make it relevant, exciting, or both: If you are skydiving or driving a race car, your video need not be relevant, but don’t share dull aspects of your life or business. Keep it exciting and relevant to keep follower interest.

Facebook Live

Live video can be a great tool, but don’t overdo it. Make it something your followers look forward to so they tune in each and every time.

Take Some Unique Photos

Yes, every website and every post really should have photos. What makes yours stand out from the rest?

If you scroll through social media, you will see what kind of photos are popular by the number of likes, shares, or retweets depending on the network you are looking at. Pinterest and Instagram are great places to see what is trending.

When you share your photos, use a blend of what is popularly combined with things that are unique. Cat photos and videos may always be popular, but make sure you can make them relevant to what you do.

Happy Caturday!

Start a New Website

That’s right. Sometimes a sister site or a new blog that talks about the same things you have already been covering by your content not only gives your followers and new ones a different perspective, it can increase your creativity as well.

How do you do it? Select a domain name that is related to yours or embodies one of your values. Of course, you will have to do a domain name search to make sure it is available. If it isn’t, play around with variations of the name, but be careful to make sure that running it together or using initials does not create a humorous or embarrassing combination.

Creating content on your site that links to the new site and vice versa creates a clear relationship that Google can see, and lends authority to both sites. You can use the sister site to enhance your content marketing strategy by posting more general topics and using your original site as a source.

Relate Your Hobbies

You do have hobbies outside of work, right? Everyone does, including your customers, and probably many of them can relate to your hobby even if it is not something they do themselves. How does what you do in your off time relate to your business? Can you draw some analogies there?

You can make these relationships through blogging, live video as mentioned above, or some photo or video essays.

This does several things for you and your business:

  • You show yourself as a human: we like to buy from people who are like us or who we can relate to. Sharing hobbies is a great way to do this.
  • You illustrate work/life balance: It is good for your customers to see you have interests besides business. You show that you are about more than money.
  • You inspire empathy: your customer can put themselves in your shoes because of what you do, and that begins a type of relationship, one that allows you to partner with them in business instead of just selling to them.

Relaxing view - show empathy

Sharing hobbies can at first seem daunting, especially if you are an amateur at what you do. Don’t worry, your audience can still relate. Everyone starts somewhere, and even failure shows your humanity and humility.

Refine Your SEO Targets

If your visitors and conversion rates are flat, maybe you are not targeting the right keywords and audiences anymore, or perhaps you have saturated that market and need to find a new one.

One way to remedy this is to look at your current customer base using social media listening, and ask yourself some simple questions:

First, ask yourself if your concept marketing persona matches the persona of your current customers and followers. If it does not, brainstorm about why. It could be that your content is not reaching your desired audience, or perhaps you should revise your content persona.

Second, ask yourself if there is a segment of the market you are missing. Your content could be reaching a new audience you didn’t even think would use your products or services. Intentionally targeting them in the future could change your business entirely.

Finally, ask yourself if there is another segment of customers you are not reaching but should be targeting. If a particular demographic is lacking in your social following, ask yourself why, and how you might reach out to them and make them your customers too.

Get Your Content Marketing Supercharged

Content marketing is important, but it can get stale if we let it. Every now and then it pays to take a look at your strategy and supercharge it. Not only will it affect your bottom line, but you will be more engaged and energized as well.

Let us know which of these content marketing tips you’ll try in the comments!

5 Ways to Supercharge Your Content Marketing #contentmarketing

How To Find & Define Your Small Business Mission

Super happy to bring a guest post from Kayleigh Alexandra from Micro Startups! She’s bringing us knowledge on creating a small business mission.

In a nutshell, your mission describes the function, goals, and purpose for being for your small business or nonprofit. It is your guiding light, the driving force that leads you throughout your journey to success. It’ll form the foundation for your one, five, and ten year plan, and it’ll form the essence of what your business stands for.

But how do you find it? What makes for the perfect mission statement? What questions do you need to answer when you’re defining yours? Let me break it down for you.

Identify your value proposition

Let’s start at the start: your business’s value proposition. This is your business’s purpose, whatever you make, sell, or provide, and why you do it. Maybe you had a great idea for an innovative product or service, or you saw a niche market that you thought you could fill. Whatever it is, that’s your starting point.

When you’re nailing down your value proposition, you need to ask yourself:

  • What product or service does my business provide?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • Why am I different to other businesses on the market?

There are lots of brands out there today all jostling for a piece of the action, and it can be hard for small businesses to get themselves heard. To achieve this, you need to formulate a value proposition that really makes you stand out.

How To Find & Define Your Small Business Mission

Find your customer niche

So you’ve got your value proposition. Next, you need to identify your niche. This is essentially who will be buying your product and why they’re buying it.

Your business should be customer-centric, with everything you do working towards meeting their needs. Use useful business tools like Soovle or Social Mention to find out what questions your customers are asking and what they’re talking about. Once you know their concerns and interests, you can more effectively define your business and how it meets those needs.

Finding your target market is vital for small businesses. You can’t afford to cast a wide net — it’s simply not viable. Instead, you should do your customer research and tailor your marketing to the audience that is most likely to buy and engage with your product.

Once you’ve got your value proposition and you’ve identified your target customer, you can create a market-defining story. This is a story that details how and why a customer decides to buy your product or service. It sets out not only the reason why people shop with you, but who they are and what they’re getting from you.

Set out your company culture

While your customers certainly form a vital part of your business mission, your employees are also very important too. Your business’s longevity is built on happy employees and a positive company culture, so it’s crucial that you outline this from the start.

This can include things like diversity and respect, with an emphasis on openness and honesty. Your customers are important, but your employees are the lifeblood in your business’s veins. Creating a positive environment where everyone can flourish is the starting point for true business success.

Part of your company culture will also lie in your social responsibility. Your CSR is more than just a statement of what your business or nonprofit stands for, it is the actions that make it true. Charity initiatives, community events, employee welfare commitments — all of these go towards your company’s social responsibility, and will form a significant strand of your mission.

But what if you’re a solopreneur? Your company culture still matters. This is because you should work in a business that you are proud of. What do you want from your workplace? It could be as simple as turning off your work devices after a certain time so you can spend time with your family. Even solo businesses need a positive company culture, so always strive to get satisfaction out of your work.

This aspect of your mission statement will help guide you as your brand grows further down the line. And remember, simply defining it isn’t enough. You need to make your words a reality by staying true to them everyday.

Always be flexible

Your mission is an important part of your small business. It’ll help guide you as you build your business, informing key decisions you make about your direction. You’ll refer back to it time and time again.

But while it’s important to always bear your mission statement in mind, it’s worth staying flexible. Your business will grow and develop with time, and you might see new avenues opening themselves up to you.

For example, before ecommerce software provider Shopify first appeared on the scene, its CEO, Tobias Lutke, was originally selling snowboards. As part of his business plan he needed a website, so he designed an online store that was easy to set up… then realizing how successful this could be as a SaaS product, he went full-time with it. And online retail giant Amazon originally started selling books…Today it sells anything and everything under the sun, as well as running a successful video streaming service. Finally, Finnish brand Nokia is best known as a mobile communications giant. But they had their humble roots in the paper mill industry. That’s quite the career change!

Your mission statement should never be set in stone — it will change. Stay flexible and stay open to new opportunities, but always keep your mission statement at the core of your business.

Once you’ve written your mission statement, you should go back and revisit it. Chop and change it to really make it the best it can be. Even months or years down the line, you may need to go back and redraft it as you face new challenges and situations. And you should always refer back to it with every new decision you have to make, making it the driving force behind everything you do.

Email Marketing: The Power of Personalization

I’m excited to introduce you to Caryl Anne Crowe, guest blogger from Allegra Marketing. She’ll go through an important piece on email marketing for business – personalization.

In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, business owners must find clever ways to attract new business prospects to their businesses. The use of newsletters is one of the oldest digital marketing methods that has been used by businesses. Most businesses send their newsletters and other business communications to their prospects and repeat customers via email. Communication aimed at persuading a prospect or a repeat client to buy what you are offering is termed marketing and since the communication is done via email, this type of marketing can be termed to be email marketing, also referred to as digital marketing. Granted, there are two modes of email marketing that business owners use in their campaigns, these include automated email marketing and personalized email marketing. In this article, we argue for the benefits of the latter – personalized email marketing.

What is Email Personalization?

In the context of email marketing, personalization can be defined as the act by which you target an email marketing campaign to a particular subscriber by using the information and data you have about the client. This information could include anything ranging from their name, where they live, the last product they bought from you, how many times they visit your website among others.

Personalized Emails

The degree of personalization can vary from basic to advanced. In basic personalization, you might want to use tactics such as the name of the subscriber on the subject line. You can employ advanced personalization by customizing the content of the email based on the location, gender and other personal details of the subscriber.

Benefits of Personalization

There are a number of benefits that accrue to businesses that personalize their email marketing campaigns:

Higher Conversion Rates Emails
A personalized subject line has a higher chance of being opened than one that is automated. Your goal as you send out these emails is to encourage the subscriber to open them and take some action. Therefore, you need to aim at your emails getting unique open and click rates. Remember, the higher the open and click rates, the higher the chances of the subscriber taking action and making a purchase.

Email Marketing

Increasing Customer Retention
Email personalization has a way of making customers feel special. Remember, customers like having that feeling that you are talking to them and not at them. When you address a customer by his or her name, the customer will develop a feeling that you understand him or her and this will in turn earn you a loyal customer. Additionally, you can use the data you have on the customer to design an email that draws his or her attention to a product or an offer you think might interest him or her and this will in turn increase the chances of you getting a sale.

Earn Customer Loyalty

Anticipating Developments in Trends and Business
Use personalized email marketing to ready your clients of developments that will soon hit the market. For example, if you are into the fashion business, you might send out emails alerting them of a collection that you will be having in store soon. This will serve as an invite to them to partake in the offer.

Collection or trending news

How to Personalize Emails for Marketing

Having looked at the benefits of email personalization. Let us now turn our attention to the steps you can follow to design your own email marketing campaign:

  • Address the customer by his or her name.
  • Have a catchy subject line that you believe will resonate with the person of the subscriber.
  • Customize the content using the personal data you have on the subscriber.
  • Use fonts and colors that will be attractive to the subscriber e.g. pink for female subscribers and blue for male subscribers.

Which of these email personalization tips have worked for you? If you haven’t tried any of these, which one will you try?

Let us know in the comments!

Email Marketing: The Power of Personalization #emailmarketing #marketingtips