What would you MOST like to learn about in 2014? I would love your feedback…
We are well in to the new year…and it’s winter. If you find that your business has slowed down recently now might be the BEST time to jump start your marketing and business building. Here are 5 easy ways to get you going:
1. Learn how to use that iPad | Tablet | Smart Phone | Notebook that you got for Christmas.
Mobile is the THEME of 2014. Whether you are accessing information or generating it…you need to know how to work with your mobile devices. It’s that important! Take the time now to read the online tutorials, browse the help files, and learn how to do your every day business tasks on your mobile device. YouTube is a GREAT resource for figuring out how to do just about anything. YouTube it if you don’t find the answer in your manual. The best way to approach working with your mobile device? Begin by attempting to complete the every day tasks that you do on your computer. When you hit a stumbling block, look up the “how to”. Make sure that you can access your contacts, email, and important social networks that you use to market yourself via your device.
2. Clean out your contacts.
A lull in business is the BEST time to clean out and organize your contact database. Your database is the bread and butter of your business. It makes you money and it should be a finely tuned tool. The more organized your database the more efficient you are at your job. Create groups for your contacts, update birthdays and business milestone dates, make sure all contacts have an UP TO DATE email address. Email addresses allow you to easily stay in touch and share valuable information with your clients. They are the keys to the kingdom.
While you are at it, clean up your Facebook friend list, your twitter followers, and your LinkedIn connections.
3. Update your marketing.
Make sure your website is the best that it can be. Are you using your website to generate new content and send newsletters automatically? If not, then your website is NOT up to date. Do your marketing materials seem dated or do they contain inaccurate information about old business practices? Do your business cards have your Twitter handle on them? No? Time to update those as well. Check it all…social media sites, email signatures, printed materials, invoices, etc… Anything that goes out to your clients either on paper or digitally – it should reflect the new year.
4. Organize your files.
Is your computer loaded with old photos, multiple versions of documents from 2010, incomplete or abandoned projects? Time to get that tool cleaned out or upgraded. I don’t recommend rushing out and purchasing a new home computer if the one you have is working properly. I DO recommend cleaning it up and running some simple diagnostic tools to get it to it’s optimal performance. If your computer is glitchy, has constant pop ups and seems beyond repair it may be time to upgrade.
5. Learn a new tool. Pick ONE.
Now there are more FREE and low cost business tools online than ever before. Now is the best time to pick one, learn it, and implement it into your business. Tools like Evernote, Mailchimp, Google Drive, and Survey Monkey are all designed for you to connect and interact with your customers easily. They also help you be more productive. Just pick ONE new tool to begin with. If you try to learn several at the same time it may become difficult to put them to use. You could become overwhelmed. Selecting one will give you a feeling of accomplishment once you have it mastered.
Google is making a push to get on the business bandwagon in the social media space. Google Plus Business pages launched earlier this year, Google Drive is being rolled out as we speak, and along with the announcement of Google Events last week Google is off to a running start. Although Google still does not compete with Facebook in number of users, for small businesses its products are worth a look.
Since Google products are so closely tied to Google Search, including your business info, events, and social posts could potentially reach a broad range of Google product users. And let’s be honest, all of these tools are still FREE…if you are a small business owner your best bet is to take advantage of “free” whenever you can. As always Google products are mobile friendly. In some cases Google can even be MORE mobile friendly than Facebook.
Below are some examples of uses of these new Google products for your business:
Google Plus Business Pages: “Google+ pages help you build deeper relationships with customers by sharing your thoughts, links, photos and promotions with the right people at the right times. For example you can offer a behind-the-scenes look at your product team in action or highlight a unique sale or promotion.”
There are lots of ways to promote your site and Google+ page. Promote it yourself with Google+ Direct Connect and the Google+ badge, and let others recommend you with the +1 button. Including the Google+ logo in your marketing materials, directing users to ‘Follow you on Google+’ and using other media outlets to let people know you’re on the platform are also great ways to grow your followers. Learn more about our Google+ brand guidelines.
Google Drive: (replaces Google Docs) In Google Drive, you can create new documents, spreadsheets and presentations instantly. Work together with other people in your company or with collaborative clients at the same time, on the same doc, and see changes as they appear. Store invoices, receipts, presentations, etc. and access them on any device from ANYWHERE. Your client needs a copy of the order invoice but you are on vacation? No problem, access the invoice on Google Drive from your mobile device and send it to them with a click of a button.
Google Plus Events: Create an event and invite all of your customers with one click, seamlessly integrates with Google Calendars, Real Time sharing of event info including images and video with all attendees. Great idea for broker open houses in real estate, grand opening of a new business, sale events, etc…
As always, if you have any questions about what you have read feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
iN REACH MEDIA