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Social Media Campaign Tips to Amp Up Your Holiday Sales

Christmas is the season of giving. Most people are looking for the perfect gift for their family, friends and loved ones. Many of them turn to social media for gift ideas. This provides a great opportunity for you to promote your products and grow your business.

You need to have strong social media marketing campaign in place if you want to generate more sales. Remember, social media can have a significant influence on a consumer’s purchasing decision.

Use these tips to boost your holiday sales.

Schedule posts in advance

To capitalize on this growing opportunity, you need to start your preparations early. At this point, you should have written your blogs, social media posts and planned your social media calendar. If you haven’t already done so, then you’re too late.

Take time to schedule your posts in advance. Not only will it help you save time, it also gives you enough room to handle real-time engagement when the rush of the holiday is upon you. Stay ahead of the game by planning your social media campaign early.

Create stand out content

Time spent on social media starts to increase by October. It reaches its peak by New Year’s Eve.  Because of this, social media is aflutter with holiday buying cheer during this time of the year.

With so many businesses vying for the attention of consumers, you need to find a way to stand out. One of the best ways of doing this is by creating interesting, unique, and informative content. It is also a good idea to create content that activates a high-arousal emotion as it has the potential to go viral.

Feature user-generated content

Instead of bombarding your audience with ads, why not encourage them to share how they like to use your products. Or better yet, ask them to create a story on Snapchat or Instagram showing how they like to celebrate the holidays. Starbucks seem to have mastered the art of user-generated content. They even hold the red cup contest every year.

Encouraging your audience to get creative with your products can be beneficial for your business. Not only will it help boost your social media engagement, your brand will come across as real and personable. Remember, feeling connected is a huge part of what drives social media success.

Get reviews

Most people would read reviews or get recommendations from friends before buying something. If you want to boost your sales this holiday season, encourage your customers to write reviews.

Customer reviews are very influential. In fact, they are more effective than a paid marketing ad in increasing your sales. Having legitimate product reviews can mean the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart.  They can persuade new or casual browsers to take action and make their own purchase.

Fun and Festival Holiday Marketing Ideas

Christmas is just around the corner. With the competition getting tougher than ever, most businesses are already plotting their first move. If you haven’t started your holiday marketing yet, then you’re already too late. But don’t worry. We’re here to help.

It’s time for you to start pulling together some marketing ideas and get stocked and ready for the holiday rush. Here are some fun and festive marketing ideas you should implement this holiday season.

Send holiday emails

You have probably heard that email marketing is on the verge of death, and sending emails to your target audience is just a waste of time and effort. That’s not true. In fact, email marketing is alive and well. It’s very beneficial for businesses, big or small.

Email marketing provides a very personalized and intimate way to communicate with your audience. It allows you to build better relationship with them. This holiday season, make sure that you keep in touch with your audience and let them know about your upcoming deals. This will give them a sense of exclusivity.

Send a unique gift catalog to loyal customers

People have crazy schedules these days. Many of them are looking to buy their presents online because it is the most convenient option.

Everyone is in shopping mode during this time of the year. Make it easier for your loyal customers to shop for their Christmas presents by sending them a gift catalog. Now that you have provided them with a convenient way to shop and gift suggestions, they will no longer have to look elsewhere.

Feature upcoming deals in social media

Most people visit social media sites a few times a day. Use this as an opportunity to reach as much peole as possible and let them know about your upcoming deals.

By now, you probably know which social media platform your target audience frequent. If most of your audience are using Instagram, then focus your marketing efforts there. But don’t forget to promote across different platforms as well.

Create limited offers

Any company or retailer with a product or service to sell can benefit from creating limited offers. Adding urgency to your offer will help generate interest and compel people to buy right away.

For this to work, you need to define your offer dates and let people know about it. The whole point of limited-time offers is to get people to act fast. If they know that they can still avail the product or service for the same price next week or next month, they may not even show interest. Call to actions such as today only, last day, and ends at midnight creates a higher level of urgency and pushes your audience to buy now.

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How Influencer Marketing Can Help Build Your Brand

Influencers are people who are active on blogs and social media. They are also niche promoters and brand advocates. They are the golden children of marketing strategies right now. In fact, brands and retailers are turning towards influencers as major marketing channels.

Here are 3 ways influencer marketing can help build your brand.

Reach new audience

Most businesses are having trouble increasing their fan base. If you are running a small business, your brand only exists to the people who have heard of it before. If you are hoping to grow your brand, make sure to incorporate influencer marketing into marketing campaign.

Influencers have made an art out of creating devoted audiences with their voice and content. By reaching out to influencers who are talking to your target audience, you can increase the number of people who are familiar with your brand. By having them on your side, you’ll be able to reach even more consumers and engage with them. Eventually, it will help generate loyal brand following.

Lower marketing cost

Big companies would hire celebrities to earn visibility for their products and services. Unfortunately, not all businesses have the capability to spend that much for their marketing campaign. Working with an influencer will help you increase your visibility without spending a lot of money.

Most influencers are active on different social media platforms. That means he/she can share your content on each platform. This will help increase your online visibility and help you build a strong social media presence. Since each initiative has multiple uses, influencer marketing will lower your marketing costs.

Increase trust in your brand

Aside from helping your reach your target audience, influencer marketing can also help you establish trust between you and your audience.

Today’s consumers are smart. They no longer fall for gimmicks and promotions. They do research and read feedbacks before purchasing. Often, they base their buying decisions on recommendations from family, friends, or online influencers. Instead of spouting off a list of glowing adjectives to describe your products and services, let the influencers do the talking. Remember, word of mouth recommendations spread through social media faster than fire in a dry field. Since influencers carry a lot of credibility on social media, this will help build trust with your target audience.

Behind the scenes at BIMS in Florida

From the suburbs of Denver, Colorado to the beaches of Palm harbor, Florida, working from home has been an adventure! Being able to spend time as a family and raise our daughter Allisun who turns 5 in September has been such a blessing.

Managing a company was easy, being able to manage a company, a child and life, now that takes some skill!

Since the day Allisun was born she came to networking events, meetings, one-to-ones and much more! Our clients loved it! We moved to Florida in 2015 and once we moved she started preschool 3 days a week, which is a great for me to get work done and for her to learn!

Meet the Florida family:

Allisun:

She is 4 ½ , turning 5 in September, but what’s that saying 4 going on 16?? Yeah that’s what I deal with! I love my daughter she is funny, smart, caring, sporty, fearless and such a DIVA! She has such a good personality and I love to watch her grow each and everyday! 

My Hubby Charlie:

He is the reason I wanted to move to Florida, to be able to give him a chance to get out of corporate, spend more time with his girls (Me & Alli of course) and enjoy life! He worked 12-13 hours a day in Colorado, loved his job, but the commute was very hard! Money was great but didn’t buy our happiness! He is my rock!

Charles Irwin

Our high-maintenance PITBULL Bodhi:

He is 6 years old, we rescued him from a puppy shelter in Colorado when he was 3 months old, we just fell in love with him, he is such a baby! He likes for us to stand outside with him when he does his business, his food needs to be a certain way, and certain distance from his water bowl, oh the list goes on with this little boy! I have raised a high maintenance, spoiled, loving dog!

Oh let’s not forget our two tortoises:

G.G. Emily (named after Allisun’s Great Grandma who passed in 2014) and Mavis who is named after the turtle on Dolphin Tale 2! These were our “Black Friday Special” in 2015 a month after we moved to Florida. They will be in our family for along time!

 

 

Thank god I am an AMAZING multi-tasker, because there is never a dull moment in our household! I truly enjoy most days HAHA! Being an entrepreneur and having a business of my own (with business partner Caitlin) has been amazing! I wouldn’t trade this adventure for any other!

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Are you Making this Services Page Mistake?

Services pages are often thrown together by businesses just because they know they need something to explain what they do. We’ve spoken with hundreds of business owners who “plan” to go back and edit their services, but got busy and just haven’t had the time. Quick, take a look at your services page(s), what do you see?

If your website is like most businesses, your services pages focus heavily on the features of what you offer.

“Each is a feature-a factual statement about the product or service being promoted. But features aren’t what entice customers to buy. That’s where benefits come in. A benefit answers the question “What’s in it for me?,” meaning the feature provides the customer with something of value to them.” – Entrepreneur.com

This is the BIGGEST mistake your business can make on your services pages.

So, how should your services page be written? Rather than thinking about what you offer specifically, think about how your offerings can transform the lives of your clients. To do this, you need to change your mindset.

First, identify the individual who would benefit the most from each service you offer. Think about their pains, their successes, and how your service BENEFITS them. Think about what other services this individual could sign up for rather than working with you. What makes you different.

Second, try to transform the features of your service into benefits. Rather than answering what you are providing, go through the list of everything your service includes, and turn it into a benefit.

Lastly, create a story around your service. Explain what the ideal customer is going through and how you can solve their pains. Try to follow the structure below:

Structure for your Services Pages

Rather than simply listing the features of your services, the goal is to think in terms of the benefits and create an emotional response. Take a look at the answers you just wrote down – is there a way to turn this into a story?

Use Storytelling Copy:

  • Opening
    • Highlight the Pain
  • Conflict
    • The journey as the user tackles the pain
  • Dialogue
  • Solution
    • Share specific results
    • Utilize case studies

Goal: Highlight the benefits & be conversational

Are you Making this Services Page Mistake

I put together the following questions to help you with your Services pages rewrite!

Your services pages should be written in such a way that they speak directly to your target market and show them why they can’t live without working with you.

Instructions: For each service you offer, answer the following:

Who is the ideal client for the service? In other words, what kind of person is the service designed for? Go beyond the easy answer such as defining a market. Instead, look to be as narrow as you can. There may be a slightly different persona for each service.

 

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What is the real value of the service to the client? This one is always hard to quantify. Try to think of this as a benefit beyond the obvious. What can individuals do in their life that they weren’t able to do before? Is there an emotional benefit?

 

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What is unique or different about your services vs. your competitors’ offering? These differences could be process related, team expertise related, time to completion related, etc. It’s easy for someone to provide a generic answer such as “we’re more experienced,” so you will have to ask follow-up questions. How are we more experienced? Can we tangibly show how we’re more experienced?

 

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What is the cost of NOT having the signing up for your services?  This is a little more of the fear factor. What can go wrong for a client who doesn’t implement it? What do they risk if they forgo using you?

 

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How is the service delivered? This is a simple process question. What can your clients expect when they work with you with this service?

 

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Do clients typically have other services from you when they come in for this specific service?

 

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Behind the Scenes at BIMS

Working from home has its perks. For one, I have the BEST office mates. My girls are with me for part of each day  and I am so lucky to build a walk or run outside into “office” life.

Meet Clover:

Benefits of working from home. You have office mates like this little cutie! #irishwolfhound

Clover is our “little” Irish Wolfhound! She spends every day by my side (in fact, the office is organized so her GIANT bed can fit in front of the window). Clover has spent every day of her life with us working by my side. She’s the perfect sounding board for brainstorming and has always been a motivator to take a walk or jog outside as a midday break.

Then there is this little twerp 🙂

My little mini-me is another staple in the office. Until she could walk, MK came EVERYWHERE with me, including the networking group I run. We count our blessings everyday about how lucky we are that she has such a sweet (though mischievous) disposition.

These two are now best friends and trust me, I’m so excited too “go” to work every day knowing they’ll be popping in to say hello whenever they need a little love from mom!

clover and mk

Now, don’t even get me started on Amber’s clan! I’ll let her write about her two. Just think of the sweetest pup and girl you can… multiply that by 100. You’ll finally be close to how lovely her officemates are 🙂

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Top Mistakes You Can Make as a New Business

Working with businesses owners we see a lot of mistakes and successes. Especially for the new business or freelancer, the mistakes below can completely destroy your business before it has the chance to succeed.

Mistake #1: Striving for Perfection

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”

– Salvador Dali

As a type A perfectionist, I struggled with this. It also is the number one thing I see people starting a business struggle with, as well. Your business is your baby and you are pouring your heart and sole into making it a success, but being too wrapped up in the little things can keep your from actually going out and finding clients. If you find yourself:

  • Stressing over your logo
  • Tweaking every aspect of your website
  • Rereading your introduction email over and over to make it just right (but still not hitting send)
  • Working on perfecting your elevator speech before you attend your first networking group

then you may be focusing too much on being a perfectionist. Trust me, though thoughtful branding can help you land more clients, if you are receiving personal referrals, it isn’t going to stop you from getting paying clients. People choose who they are going to work with based on your personal connection not because of what your logo looks like. Then there is your website… Perfection for every site is a moving target. Your products and services will change. You will notice contacts respond more to one aspect of your business rather than another. As for the next two points, you are procrastinating! It is okay to want to define your messaging, but just getting out there and putting yourself out to prospects is far more important. Sure you want to make sure your messaging is just right when you reach out to that dream prospect or mentor, but these shouldn’t be your first contact. The best part about putting yourself out there before you think you are ready is that you get to understand what the market actually wants and needs! When I first started Boundless Marketing, I had my dream service offerings in mind. Turned out that nobody even understood what I was talking about! There wasn’t a market. I drastically shifted my messaging and began signing contracts almost immediately.

Mistake #2: Thinking you can get clients just by posting things online.

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work. Marinate on that for a minute.”

– Robert T. Kiyosaki

The internet and social media has shifted many of our mindsets about how you can get clients. Even through online channels you need to create a personal relationship with your network. Just posting your blog posts online isn’t going to cut it. I recently signed up for a program to Gain 100 Followers in 3 Days, just to see how other professionals where growing and starting their email lists. Guess what, these influential bloggers and business owners all start int the same place – asking friends, colleagues, clients, and prospects individually if they wanted to join their email list! If you find yourself:

  • Wondering why your networks haven’t converted into paying clients
  • Haven’t asked your mom, sibling, aunt, and grandparent if they want to join your list
  • Are frustrated seeing all these other people succeed

Then you may just be making this mistake. Start going to networking groups and collecting business cards. Take the email address you collect and shoot out a quick note following the template below :

“Hi NAME, I recently met you at EVENT NAME and loved learning about your business. I am in the process of starting an email list focusing on 3 TOPICS YOU WILL BE WRITING ABOUT, and was wondering if you would be interested in receiving the emails. My goal with list is to LIST BENEFITS. Are you interested in learning more?”

Not everyone will say they are interested, but the ones who do will help you grow your contacts quickly! We work with a lot of businesses who see varying amount of success through their social media marketing. The ones who see a return quickly are the clients who are complementing our marketing management services with their own outreach and networking. To see the best results from your marketing, you need to treat social media as you do in person networking. Create personal relationships and treat handles and usernames as individual people not just another account.

Mistake #3: Not Understanding Your Own Values

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”

– Roy E. Disney

Okay, so this one does tie into the branding of your business, but it really is getting out being your authentic self. Knowing your values helps you to better manage your time, set priorities, and work with clients you enjoy. If you find yourself:

  • Wishing there were more hours in the day
  • Being drained after meetings with prospects
  • Continually wishing you had done X, Y, or Z

Then you may be making this mistake. One of my first clients taught me this lesson the hard way. My values are Relationships (family), Creativity, Challenges, Health, Experiences, and Knowledge. Shortly after I began my business full time, I traveled to my brother’s wedding. I was ecstatic to see him tie the knot and spend time with my family. Unfortunately, a new client nearly ruined my weekend. As a people pleaser, I started bending over backwards for the client and found myself anxiously checking email during the rehearsal dinner. I wasn’t being present. Finally, I recognized I would resent my actions if I didn’t shut off all devices to be there for my family. Sure there was a nasty email from my client, but we worked through our differences once the owner understood my boundaries. If you find yourself stressed about client conversations, I urge you to lay out boundaries, guidelines, and a list of responsibilities. You may loose some clients, but they are the people who take up 80% of your time. Think of all the other things you could do to grow your business if you had 80% of your time back!

What mistakes have you made in your own business that kept you from success?

3 Mistakes that can Ruin Your Business and What to do About Them. Working with businesses owners we see a lot of mistakes and successes. Especially for the new business or freelancer, the mistakes below can completely destroy your business before it has the chance to succeed.

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Buying Fake Followers Can Ruin Your Business

Getting thousands of fans and followers on social media requires a lot of time and effort. For some, it may take several months. For others, however, a year would pass by and their follower count is still less than 500. But if someone offered to help boost your follower count by 10,000 in exchange of $20, would you grab the offer? It’s cheap! It can be tempting to buy fake followers, but please resist the urge to do so.

Having more followers can make you look popular, but it can negatively affect your business in a variety of ways. Here’s how buying fake followers can ruin your business.

It can ruin your reputation

Having more followers may help you feel good about yourself. It also makes you look popular in the eyes of potential and current customers. However, seeing your follower count jump from 100 to 10,000 in a matter of days will make people suspicious. Your credibility can be seriously compromised by buying fake followers.

It prevents you from reaching your audience

Social media provides a great opportunity for you to engage with your fans and followers and build a relationship with them. Since most of the followers you buy are bots, they won’t contribute to your engagement.

If you are using Facebook as your main social channel, then having fake followers will work against you. You see, Facebook has a fancy algorithm in which pages will only reach a certain percentage of their followers. If you have 10,000 fans and only 50 of them share, like or comment on your post, they’ll conclude that you are producing low quality content. As a result, people will be seeing your posts less frequently. Building a large number of followers who won’t be able to see your posts is a waste of time and money.

It hinders you from analyzing your true fan base

To help you create an effective social media marketing campaign, you will need to analyze the behavior of your target audience. Which type of content do they engage with the most? Which topics are they most interested in? How old are your fans? Where do they live? The answers to these questions will help you plan future content.

If majority of your followers aren’t real people, then it will prevent you from understanding your real fans and build a better marketing strategy.

 

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No Plan B – 4 Tips to Jumping into Business Ownership

“The best fights are those fought by those without a Plan B.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Jumping into business ownership is daunting. How do you know when it is time to let go of your previous life? How can you be sure that your new endeavor will lead to success? The truth is, there is no end-all, be-all advice regarding the right time to jump all in or whether or not you will be successful. There are things you can do, however, that can increase the odds of fulfilling your dreams.

Tip 1: Plan, plan, plan

Creating a road map for your business is integral to your success. Not only do you need to know where you are starting from, but you also need to know what your goals are for month 1, month 6, 1 year, and 5 years. Working through these goals can help you to understand what you need to do to reach them. From here, write a list of the top activities that in the end will lead to you reaching your goals. For example, in my business, we need clients. Most of our clients come from personal relationships, referrals, and outbound marketing. In order to be successful, each week I need to reach more prospects or referral partners. Even if I’m swamped with current projects, I need to make sure I am continually touching new businesses.

In addition to planning for how you will get your first clients, you also need to plan your offerings. Create a list of all the services you can provide and create sample bundles or packages. What if someone only needs help with one aspect of what you provide, how will you charge? What if they want something you haven’t thought of, but have the skills to tackle, will you create a custom service offering for that client?

When I started out, I thought I would only be offering data analysis for marketing efforts. I thought I would be helping clients to understand what works and what doesn’t work as a way to tailor their marketing efforts. Though this is something I do, I was able to listen to my tribe and completely shift my messaging and packages to align with what the market actually needed.

Regardless of how much planning you do, your business plan is going to change.

“We should always have a plan B, but at the same time, treat plan A like it were our only option.”
― Izey Victoria Odiase

Tip 2: Surround yourself with positivity, but not naivety

We all have cheerleaders. Often in business, however, these cheerleaders are wrong to not give push back. Your idea may not actually be all that great. This isn’t to say that you can’t make it in business, it’s just that someone who always agrees with you isn’t going to get you to the place where you will find the most successes.

Though you need to remove negative energy of people pulling you back and second guessing your move to entrepreneurship, you need to also make sure that the positive energy you are surround yourself in is made of people who have been through your same journey and can help give push back when you are approaching a common pitfall. The people you surround yourself with will have a direct effect on your ability to succeed. Find mentors and other business owners who can talk you through marketing, technology, hiring and firing, taxes, etc.

blogging your business

Tip 3: Don’t have a Plan B

Here I mean don’t plan on needing your plan b. Jump head first into your business and don’t get distracted. Though your offerings may change, you need to stay course that you are now a business owner. The most successful businesses take shifts in the market in stride, but never second guess their decision to be in business.

“I don’t believe we should carry backup
plans in life’s suitcase—

they’re too easy to unpack
like living a life in yoga pants,
so comfortable our hips spread
into new timezones…”
― Kelli Russell Agodon, Hourglass Museum

Tip 4: Have backup funds to support you as you jump in

Try not to jump ship unless you have some residual income, clients, or savings already in place. As a new business, you don’t want to feel as though you need to work with every prospect you meet and you don’t want to come across as though you are begging for the next gig. Though being on the verge of bankruptcy can motivate some, most of us will become distracted from our daily activities if you need to constantly worry about money.  Additionally, make sure you have truthful discussions with your spouse about how spending and budgeting will need to change and be realistic about startup expenses. Things always take longer and cost more than you initially estimate.

Tip 5: Throw all this advice away (except the part about listening to your market)

If you know it is time to jump into your own business, just do it. You only live life once, why not make it the most fulfilling life you can. I think the number one reason why people decide to be a business owner is that they are worried about security, health insurance, managing their time, but when you just jump into it, you learn to make things work.

I didn’t set out to be a business owner, but somehow freelancing turned into a full time income. Now I can’t get enough. I encourage all of you with a business idea to give it a shot. Start taking on clients on the side or developing your MVP (minimum viable product). Keep your salary, but work towards being self sufficient. In the end you will thank your employer for funding your budding business.

Best of Luck!

NO PLAN B - “The best fights are those fought by those without a Plan B.”  ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana  Jumping into business ownership is daunting. How do you know when it is time to let go of your previous life? How can you be sure that your new endeavor will lead to success? The truth is, there is no end-all, be-all advice regarding the right time to jump all in or whether or not you will be successful. There are things you can do, however, that can increase the odds of fulfilling your dreams.