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lead generation

Must Know Lead Generation Ideas

Most business owners know how important it is to have a steady flow of leads coming into their business. Lead generation can be a daunting task for many especially for small business owners. Here are some must know ideas that have been proven to be effective.

  • Video. Most people are visual and time poor so the best way to reach many is producing a video that encourages people to take action. Keep it short and to the point. There are tools online that can help you make a product video with ease. Wistia’s Turnstile is a place you can start, it offers a little more than just making a video. You are able to add email opt–in forms as a way to collect details.
  • Limit Choices. Limiting the number of choices on a signup page is very effective in generating leads. Most people get tired or feel confused when they see a lot of things to fill up on a form. People are busy and are usually in a hurry, limiting the choices attracts them to go ahead and signup.
  • Optimize Your Website. Potential clients usually only read your “about” or “team” pages. This is where you need to have your ‘call to action’. In the headline offer readers a solid value proposition. Then explain it below and then lead the readers to a specific page that offers all the details
  • Consistent Content. It’s easy to become frustrated when you don’t get the results you expect. It is important not to give up as many do after a month or two of blogging. Create consistent content and with time this will increase traffic. Keep your content fresh and if possible have something new and relevant at least four times a week. Email subscribers when ever you add a new post.
  • Use Twitter. Twitter leads are like a fruit; there are some you can utilise immediately while others are not ripe yet. You need to sort the leads to find those people who are ready. Followerwonk is a tool that can help sort out leads and give you a list of those you can contact immediately.
  • Email Signature. Most people send dozens of emails every day. Your footer or signature is a marketing tool. Create links back to your website or blog. It’s a simple way to build your list.
smartphone with social media bubbles (like, tweet, friend, share

Social Media

A West Australian woman won $48,404 in compensation for emotional distress from an ex-boyfriend who posted sexually explicit videos and photos of her on Facebook.

The judge ruled that the woman was entitled to an injunction and compensation, including $35,000 for emotional distress and $13,404 for loss of wages while on leave.

Anybody engaged in business, virtually any kind of business, knows that you cannot ignore the social media as a marketing tool. Our lives are so intertwined with the World Wide Web, there’s no escape from it if you’re looking to grow your business.

Even so, poor use can result in more than just a dent on your brand. It could cost you expensive legal fees, even if you win. Here are a few things you might want to consider. You cannot:

Post any copyrighted content (articles, blogs, essays, etc.) without permission from the copyright holder.

  1. Publish content defaming a person or an entity.
  2. Publish someone’s words or image-likeness to endorse your product, service, business or company
  3. Copy or imitate another company’s advertising.

These risks fall under a collective term sometimes known as advertising infringements and in a cut and paste world they can be easily overlooked.

The chances are that you and your employees, especially your marketing, sales and IT groups use social media frequently. The possibility of making mistakes is real. This doesn’t mean you should throw up your arms in surrender. On the contrary this potential for liability should encourage you to be prepared. Here are some smart tips:

  • Check your insurance cover: Business owners should consider cover to pay for legal expenses if lawsuits result from something you post. Get advice from your broker.
  • Plan your social media content: Posting some spur-of-the-moment or off-the-cuff content has a certain charm to it, but if you’re not cautious, mistakes can happen. Work out a content review process to minimize risks.
  • Screen Your Employees Carefully, especially those with authority to post: Sometimes it is tempting to assign a few of your youngest, smartest tech-savvy people to manage your social media. Take a closer look. Don’t trust your business reputation to just anyone. Make sure they’re mature, responsible and level headed enough to be guardians of your brand.

In today’s world just about any business can capitalise on social media. Make sure you consider the risks as well.

 

 

Marketing

Low Cost Ways To Promote Your Business

Statistics show that many small businesses fail within two years of commencement. The principal reasons quoted are undercapitalisation and ineffective marketing.

Here are some low cost methods you can use to boost your business.

 

  • Social Media. Most businesses use social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn to reach potential customers. This is a great way to actually interact with clients at an intimate level. You need to first provide useful and catchy and relevant information that will attract an audience, and then you can answer their questions and show them you have ideas that can help. People talk – social media is great as a tool for interaction as well as brand building.
  • Email Marketing. Business owners wanting to reach a wider audience can kick start campaign with email marketing. You can buy a list from a list broker and use pretty well any mailing list app to mail and manage your campaigns. The kind of information you email out to your clients and prospects should focus on offering quality information before you start to sell. Have a form on your website where potential customers can sign up for updates.
  • Public Relations. Another effective way to promote your business is public relations. You need to start by getting to know the writers at newspapers, magazines, radio stations and websites that focus on your business area. Arrange to meet for a coffee and build a relationship. Share your passion for a topic related to your business and be available when they call. You will soon become the ‘go to’ person in the industry.
  • Update Your Website. Search engine ‘crawlers’ are on the look out for new content. Keep refreshing the material on your website. There is a saying that ‘out of site, is out of business’. It is especially true of websites. Build feeder sites that focus on a single product and lead people back to your main site. You can build a relatively inexpensive site using Weebly or WordPress.

 

Risk management process diagram chart, business concept

Are Your Business Risks Manageable?

Most business owners don’t often think about risk, but facts show that the smaller the business; the less room there is for error. Small business owners seldom have vast resources available to weather a risk incident.

Unidentified risk can destroy a business of any size, so it’s especially critical for small business owners to be aware. Understanding as many business risks as possible will keep you prepared and able to anticipate and adjust.

What is a business risk?

 A business risk is defined as the possibility that a company will have lower than anticipated profits, or that it will experience a loss rather than a profit. There are many factors that can influence this but they fall into two categories – external and internal.

A good example of an external risk would be any political factor that affects your business, like new government regulations and policies. These risks are less avoidable and rarely controllable.

Internal risks are more manageable and can often be averted. An internal risk is something like equipment failure, fire, or the damage that disgruntled employees could cause.

Research

Planning for the future is as important as planning the business itself. Make sure you consider external possibilities like:

  •  Demographics – Will your target demographic only be baby boomers? How can you create a wider audience for your products and services to ensure longevity?
  • Competition – Business competition changes every day. Are you prepared in the event that competition starts to change your business? Prepare in case you need to change marketing strategies or develop new advertising.
  • Inflation and deflation – Times change. If the cost of materials rises, you will have to raise the cost of your goods. Will your target demographic be able to afford it?
  • Economy – If the economy suffers from higher unemployment, higher taxes, or other serious economic issues, you should know how they could affect your business.

Business risks don’t stop at things like economic factors and inflation. You need to be aware of the internal risks as well. Here are a few things to consider:

  •  Physical – These risks are things like a fire, an explosion, or other safety hazard. Make sure that you have a safety plan in place and that ALL employees are aware of safety procedures.
  • Insurance - The purpose of insurance is to transfer risks from someone who doesn’t want them (you) to someone who does (the insurer). Insurance should cover worst-case scenarios. Get advice. It is especially important to have cover for legal costs and fines that could be levied against key employees personally.
  • EquipmentIf your business relies on technology, you should be aware of the status and availability of every system and machine so as not cause an unnecessary business interruption.
  • Utilities – Power outages are not common in Australia but they can be expensive. Should you have a backup generator if there is an outage?

Set up a list of risks and order them by priority

Awareness is the first step. Make a list of the risks and order them based on likelihood. Risk implies probability; this means they are not set in stone. Badly managed risks can cripple a business, but only if you are not prepared.

 

Unplug Yourself, Just One Tip for Being Productive in 2015

(image courtesy of Rainer Stropek from Flickr)

Without a doubt returning to work after the festive season leaves everyone feeling a little hard done by; back to the daily grind of emails, deadlines and budgets is never fun. But it doesn’t have to mean going back to the exact same daily grind you left off in December. January is the best time to reset and refresh your work ethic and productivity mantra. Here are some easy tips you can employ to help make 2015 your most productive year to date.

Make the most of maximising the time of the day when you know you are most productive. If you know you’re not always at your best first thing in the morning, aim to set important meetings later in the day. Or perhaps you find that your creative juices are far more free flowing in the mornings when there are fewer interruptions, do your best to capitalise on this time and get cracking on important projects or brainstorm new ideas.

Be constructive with your emails. The barrage of emails in your inbox can be daunting, a good tip to combat not getting caught up in unnecessary email communication is to only open emails that you can ensure you have the time to respond to. Opening and reading an email that you know you’ll address later in the day is inefficient, you’ll only end up re-reading it again later in the day.

Unplug yourself from the internet. Removing the distractions of email, social media, the internet and mobile phones, even if only for an hour a day, can be totally invigorating. As a society we’ve become complacent with the constant distractions the internet provides us with and we happily go about our daily work routine being pulled in different directions. Our attention scattered between emails, websites and iPhones. Try unplugging yourself and giving your full attention to the job you have at hand, you’ll be surprised by just how quickly you’ll get it done.

Plan a day ahead. Whilst best practice is always to switch off from your work at night, taking a few minutes to visualise and pre-plan your next work day can help with productivity. Thinking about what you’ll wear, take for lunch, what you’ll need for meetings and order in which to tackle jobs means that you start each day with a plan, which in turn builds a routine and increases your efficiency and focus.

Finally, be cautious of unproductive colleagues. Maximising your time at work surrounded by productive people helps to keep you on track and focused on your workload. It also has the added advantage of ensuring you’re a part of a creative and stimulating work environment.

For the most part this will all seem common sense, but consider how many little tricks of the trade you could be employing on a daily basis to help maximise your potential. Take the challenge and aim to make 2015 the most productive and prosperous for your business.

Could a Drone Be On Your Christmas Wish List?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lodefink/6999673190/sizes/l/
(Drone image courtesy of steve_lodefink from Flickr)

Jokes aside, whilst the photo of a drone delivering a pizza in Mumbai might look a little far fetched the reality is many Australian Businesses have started to think about how they can launch themselves into the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or drones space to better their businesses.

Not undermining the larger and more pressing issues surrounding privacy, as a society we can’t ignore the fact that drones are revolutionizing the way we connect with people and our environment, bridging gaps that even other modern technologies have been limited by. In March this year Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s plans to rollout internet connectivity to remote areas of the globe using drone technology. As early as next year Facebook will trial drones as large as Boeing 747’s in classified areas of the US with a projected date of only three to five years before the project could be live.

Paramedics are incorporating the use of drones into their Search & Rescue procedures whilst Wildlife Conservationists are using drones to ward off poachers and assist with monitoring species populations. The Agricultural sector is tipped to dominate in the UAS market as these devices allow for precision delivery of fertilizers, pesticides and water to crops. The most obvious use of the drone is for aerial photography, video, 3D and 4D mapping. Industry sectors such as Real Estate, Property Developers and Local Councils are all potential markets that could benefit from adopting a drone as a their next business tool.

Today a business can invest in a drone stacked with a plethora of advanced technologies for as little as $1200. What should you look for when buying a drone? It should have a good battery life and be durable with good GPS software. To operate it commercially within Australia a UAV Operator/Controller Certificate from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is required. There are also guidelines about operating drones in and around built up areas. On top of this it is essential you consider purchasing adequate insurance, primarily Public Liability. Insurance House has a number of Specialty Insurers and Underwriters that can assist with Liability Insurance and any additional covers you may require for your drone.

So if a drone does make its way to your Christmas wish list and you’ve been good, Santa might just leave one under your tree. That is as long as he doesn’t accidentally hit a drone with his sleigh along the way.