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4 Simple Ways to Attract Customers to Your Small Business

In today’s saturated marketplace, getting ahead in the business world is tougher than ever. They need to amp up their marketing efforts in order to thrive and succeed. If you’ve tried different strategies, but you still haven’t achieved your desired results, don’t fret. We’re here to help you out.

Use these simple and inexpensive tips to attract customers to your small business. Try any of the methods listed below to see which one works best for you.

Identify your target audience

The first and most important step is to identify who your target audience is. Have a crystal clear picture of who exactly you are targeting. You wouldn’t know where to start looking if you don’t know the type of customers you seek.

You may have great products and a marketing campaign in place, but this won’t help you reach your bottomline without a composite of your ideal customer.

Online advertising is the way to go

Living in the digital world, most people spend most of their time online. They would log in to their social media accounts to get in touch with their family and friends. Some even rely on the internet to know what is happening around them. So if you are looking to capture the attention of your target audience, online advertising is the way to go.

Get listed on popular local directories, be active on social media, post blogs regularly and update your website from time to time. With all these strategies combined, you are guaranteed to build a strong online presence and attract a lot of potential customers to your business.

Start a contest

Everybody loves free stuff. This is why contests are always a big hit. It’s not just the idea of receiving free items that encourage people to join contest, but the thrill of beating others and winning.

Let’s say you’re in the wedding business and you sell wedding rings. Couples who are planning to get married will be very much interested in joining. But first, they need to share their love story in order to enter the contest. The couples that get the most number of likes wins. Contestants will need to share this with their family and friends in order to get as much likes.

Yes, you’ll be losing money since you’ll be giving away a pair of wedding rings, but imagine the kind of buzz this could create for your business.

Offer deals and discounts

Everybody is looking for a way to save money. People see deals and discounts as a great way to save money. This is one of the best ways to capture the attention of your target audience.

Since deals and discounts are offered for a limited time only, people are tempted to buy something even if they didn’t plan to. After all, it’s cheap, and the items would revert back to their original prices after a few days, so why not buy now?

Now before you jump into these methods to attract your tribe, make sure you also know where your audience is online!

Which Social Media Channels Fit Your Target Audience

You may have amazing products and provide great services. You also spend time creating good quality content. No matter how engaging or persuasive your content is, you won’t be able to achieve great results unless it reaches your target audience.

Most business use social media to engage with their fans and followers and even build a relationship with them. Considering there are several social media channels out there, do you ever wonder if you’re reaching the right audience?

Which social media channels fit your target audience? Keep reading to find out.

Twitter

Twitter makes use of hashtags that allows businesses to target people who are talking about and engaging with topics related to their business. This social media platform is ideal for sharing real time information, timely trends or live events, and will result in high levels share and engagement.

Use this social networking platform if your target audience is young adults. 24% of internet users log in on their Twitter account on a daily basis. Younger, more educated crowds aged 18 to 29 uses Twitter. 29% of college grads use Twitter and lots of it.

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest socal networking channel, with over 1.86 billion monthly users. Yes, Facebook is crowded, but it gives you the ability to narrow down that 1.86 billion users by gender, age, location, interests, marital status, employment, and income; thus, making it easier for you to reach the right audience.

Majority of the entire adult population is on Facebook. In fact, 88% of milennials and 62% of adults aged 65 and up use Facebook. As such, this would be a great place to start with your social media campaign.

Instagram

Instagram is geared towards younger millennial users. A hefty 38% of female internet users use Instagram. To make the most out of your social media campaign, make sure that you provide attention grabbing photos and high quality videos to your audience. Remember, content is king on Instagram.

LinkedIn

People tend to use LinkedIn for interacting with clients, influencers and other professionals. This is a great option for business whose products or services are highly specific to professionals. It is also ideal for B2B marketers.

Just like Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to target users based on gender, location and age. In addition, it also allows you to filter based on field of study, company industry, company size, degrees, job title etc.

Attract customers | Small business marketing | 4 marketing tactics for small business | How to find target market | Facebook marketing for business | Social media marketing for small business | social media marketing tips

 

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4 Ways to Use Pinterest for Marketing Your Business

Most businesses use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to reach out to potential customers and promote their brand. But if you are looking to extend your social media reach, you might want to consider adding Pinterest into your social media marketing campaign.

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. In fact, there are over 500,000 businesses with Pinterest business accounts. It has become the hottest ticket item for business marketing.

Here are 4 ways to use Pinterest for marketing your business.

Inspire your audience

Aside from feeding obsessions with gourmet foods and exotic destinations, you may also use this social channel to inspire your audience. If you are selling kitchen appliances, show them what an ideal kitchen should look like. Make sure that your appliances are included in that picture. If you own a flooring company, then feature beautiful homes with stunning flooring. Provide style inspirations for each room in the house. If they like it, it can translate to big sales.

Humanize your brand

Social media can help spread the word about your business. But people are less likely to buy from you if they don’t trust you. You can use Pinterest to humanize your brand and build a relationship with them.

Instead of bombarding people with advertisements about your product, try telling your story. Create a board about how you started. Pin old photos of your first office, company founders, your first holiday party etc. By telling your story and introducing the people behind your company, you are sure to build an amazing Pinterest following.

Contests and giveaways

Contest and giveaways are a great way to capture the attention of your audience and generate exposure for your brand. Everyone likes free things, especially if it’s valuable.

You can ask people to re-pin your pins that feature you products. If you include a link to your website, then this will help generate traffic to your site. Choose a prize that your audience will find interesting or valuable to encourage them to join the contest.

Interact with other users

Creating boards on Pinterest would be ineffective without engagement. Just like other social media platforms, Pinterest requires interaction. Interact with other users and re-pin their posts. This may encourage them to pin yours in return.

How to Use Pinterest for Business, Using Pinterest for Marketing, Pinterest Marketing Efforts, Pinterest Marketing

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Social Media Audit

When was the last time you took an audit of your social media presence? Did it include analyzing your competition? Performing a social media audit can help you to see where you are at, project where you are headed, and see how you can improve your presence. The goal of an audit to to make sure you are still working towards your larger goals and figuring out how you can tweak the daily management of your accounts to align more closely with your vision.

On your own accounts:

  • Make a list of all of your accounts
  • Check the About description and information. Is it missing anything? Has anything been changed?
  • Grab your network size numbers. Have the numbers grown in size since the last time you performed an audit?
  • Dissect the user comments and engagement. Are you getting more engagement? Is the engagement positive? Who makes up your network on each account?

In a social media audit you should ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. Where is my audience?
  2. Where is my audience active?
  3. Where is my audience searching?
  4. What niche social media sites are right for me?

Examine your social media profiles

Locate and document all your social media profiles, official and unofficial

  • “Why are we using this social account?”
  • “Why do we want to use it?”
  • “What are our goals for this social media platform?”
  • “Are our target markets using it?”
  • If you no longer have a good reason to use the account or you find that your target market is elsewhere, don’t hesitate to cut ties and focus your effort where it is better spent
  • Check for completion of all details on these profiles and for consistency in imagery and message
  • Follow up on your goals and compare performance today to performance one and two years ago

Next, take a look at your competition:

  • How frequently are they posting?
  • What is their network size?
  • Are they growing faster or slower than you?
  • What is the level of engagement with their fans?
  • Does anything stand out that they are doing well?
  • What can you learn from each account?

Examine those who do it well…

Find 4 to 8 niche influencers and examine how they manage their brand on social media. Observe the imagery and branding on each of their profiles and then:

Measure key metrics like followers and engagement

  • Branding: How does their overall look promote the brand? Can visitors get an accurate sense of their personality or culture? How have they chosen to use images in header and avatar?
  • Popularity: How many followers/likes does the page have?
  • Frequency: How often do they post? What do they do on weekends?
  • Engagement: What is the number of people talking about the brand compared to the number of fans?
  • Types of posts: What topics do they frequently discuss? What types of posts do they use: photos, questions, videos, chats, text? What is engagement like for each of these post types?

Where is my audience active & where are they searching:

Every minute, people are conducting millions of queries on Google, Twitter, and Facebook. If you are active on these social media platforms, then you have a chance at appearing in social media search results.

Any Niche sites? Just because 1 business gets leads from a site, doesn’t mean you will.

Social media audit - the number one thing you should do to measure success. When was the last time you took an audit of your social media presence? Did it include analyzing your competition? Performing a social media audit can help you to see where you are at, project where you are headed, and see how you can improve your presence. The goal of an audit to to make sure you are still working towards your larger goals and figuring out how you can tweak the daily management of your accounts to align more closely with your vision.

 

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Setting your Social Media Goals

Social Media Marketing is increasingly important for your business. It creates an avenue through which you can directly connect with your customers. Additionally, it forms a bridge between your business and your potential clients to make building a sales pipeline an easier and more effective task than some tactics of the past (e.g. cold calling).

Social media gives your company transparency and allows potential customers to more clearly understand the differences between you and your competitors. Social media is a way to create a voice for your company and a way to listen to your consumer’s concerns. The real-time data your business can collect through social media completely revolutionizes the connection between businesses and consumers.

Social Media Marketing Goals

Reasons why Social Media should be your secret weapon: Technology has transformed how entrepreneurs connect with their clients, customers and stay on top of the industry. Generally speaking, most businesses use social media to promote their business and boost their sales. Some even use it to make a difference and allow their business to grow. Now, entrepreneurs have to understand that this social media craze is not just a fad. As a matter of fact, it can be considered as a secret weapon if you know how to implement it correctly. Here are a few reasons why you should get on board.Before you begin to post information to social media channels, your business needs to define its specific goals that it is looking to achieve by leveraging social media. To effectively manage a social media campaign for your business, you must first be able to define how you are going to measure results. A goal of “increasing website visitors who view more than 3 pages” is an excellent goal.

Your social media campaign and its goals should align with your business’s overall marketing plan (which should tie in with the goals of your business). Once these goals are established, they will be used in every part of your social media strategy. Stay at a high level with your goals right now, you can make them more specific in the next section.

See a number of example goals below. These will get you started so you can write strong SMART goals.

  • Research and learning
  • Lead generation
  • Increase E-commerce sales
  • Increase store traffic
  • Increase brand or issue awareness
  • Reputation management
  • Get your Likes to talk about you (word of mouth)
  • Reach a youth audience
  • Promote an event
  • Build excitement prior to an event
  • Get people to take a particular action
  • Draw traffic to a particular online resource
  • Build your email list
  • Solicit donations for your organization
  • Get supporters to solicit donations for you
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Brand your staff as experts on a cause or issue
  • Get your constituents to talk to each other
  • Build a community around an event or topic
  • Get feedback from your constituents
  • Keep your supporters updated on events
  • Increase relevant visitor traffic and page rankings
  • Let supporters publicly support your cause
  • Disseminate information about an issue or topic
  • Recruit new members, advocates or patrons
  • Support a particular group of members, alumni, etc.
  • Tell stories about the work you do
  • Get press coverage
  • Connect with other like-minded organizations
  • Change hearts and minds on a particular topic
  • Gather photos or videos from supporters
  • Understand what people are saying about you
  • Keep up to date with a particular issue
  • Coordinate people in an action or a project

How will you Measure Success?

Now that you have identified the top three goals for your social media campaign it is important to set benchmarks so that you know if your campaign was a success. If your goal is to attract more people to your website, the success will be measured by an increase of people to the site which can be done by using Google Analytics. However, if a majority of these new people are leaving the site without taking action (i.e. placing an order or calling for more information) then it is hard to say if the campaign was a success. This is why it is very important to set specific foals (i.e. increase the number of sales by 10% annually through our website).

Instructions: Here, we will break down the goals into more specific, measurable outcomes. Below, restate the top three goals you defined above so they are:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Time-based

What are your social media goals?

Social Media Goal #1: _____________________________________________________________

Social Media Goal #2: _____________________________________________________________

Social Media Goal #3: _____________________________________________________________

Examples:

  • Realty Elite seeks to increase the number of leads from social media by 20% over the next 12 months through the use of valuable content, Facebook Ads, and client support. This will be measured monthly.
  • We want to increase our referral rate to 95% (a simple survey will measure this) by the end of this year so we will invite all former clients to our Facebook page.
  • We want to get picked up by 5 local media outlets by the end of this year so we are going to build a communications strategy and start executing in 30 days.

Setting your social media goals. Before you begin to post information to social media channels, your business needs to define its specific goals that it is looking to achieve by leveraging social media. To effectively manage a social media campaign for your business, you must first be able to define how you are going to measure results. A goal of “increasing website visitors who view more than 3 pages” is an excellent goal.

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10 Ways To Build Your Online Reputation

This post is updated from December, 2010.

Social media presents a unique opportunity for anyone to develop a personal or business reputation to build their careers, boost sales and increase relationships. The key is to leverage the tools of the Social Media to effectively build your online reputation. You need to understand what your goals and intentions are in order to be successful.

Here are 10 ways you can be successful in this journey, so you can achieve your short and long term goals rather than waste time:

1. Be aware.Continually listen to conversations happening across the Web related to your career or business and learn from the content you read, listen to, or view online. Social media success depends as much on listening as it does on publishing.

2. Be focused.Define your niche and focus the majority of your social media participation on conversations and content related to that area of focus. A focused brand is more powerful than a broad brand. Always lead with your strengths on the social media and be consistent in your content and conversations in order to successfully build your online reputation.

3. Be authentic.Your social media participation is useless if your content and conversations read like corporate rhetoric or a promotional brochure. Instead, be real and be human. Imagine you’re speaking with your audience in person rather than online and adjust your content and tone to match your target audience’s needs and expectations for you based on your brand promise. This is where videos can be a great tool for people to really know who you are.

4. Be trustworthy.Honesty is an essential part of building your online reputation using the tools of the social media. Transparency isn’t just a buzz word, it’s a strategic imperative, which should apply to your social media participation as well as all other aspects of your career or business.

5. Be meaningful.The content you publish on social media must be useful and meaningful to your target audience or there is no reason for them to read it or start a dialogue with you about it. Furthermore, if your content doesn’t add value to your audience’s lives, they won’t talk about it and share it with their own audiences.

6. Be “non-self-promotional.”No one will want to read your content or interact with you on the social media if your content and conversations read like a marketing pitch. Follow the 90-10 rule of marketing and spend 90% or more of your time in social media activities that are not self-promotional and only 10% or less on activities that are self-promotional. When you do want to directly try to get more exposure to build your online reputation, you can do so without annoying other people.

7. Be accessible and responsive.An important part of building your online reputation via social media participation is understanding that it’s not all about you. Instead, you need to spend a great deal of time acknowledging other people on the social media in order to build a relationship with them. In other words, they need to understand that you care about them, too. You need to respond to questions, comments on your blog, tweets, and so on.

8. Be reciprocating.You can’t expect people to reach out to you and share your content on the social media and not return the favor. If someone engages with you on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or another social media destination, then you can’t ignore that person — just as you wouldn’t ignore someone in a face-to-face situation. For example, you also need to leave comments on other people’s blogs, share their content on Twitter and Facebook, and more. You can’t operate in a silo on the social media and expect to be successful.

9. Be uncontrolling.The thought of giving up control and letting your content, conversations and name spread across the Web can be frightening. However, without the sharing of content and interactive dialogue that happens on social media, your online reputation cannot develop. You have to be willing to give up control and let people share and talk about you and your content in order for your online reputation to grow. Don’t worry about negative buzz about you, your brand, or your business. There is always a way to react to negativity on the social media.

10. Be involved.Don’t spend all of your time in one place. While quality is more important than quantity when it comes to building an authentic reputation online, you do need to spread your wings and be social. Focus on other avenues such as a blog, YouTube, Google Buzz, Backlinks, and much more. You need to use all aspects of Internet Marketing in order to see return.

10 ways to build your online reputation: 10 ways you can be successful in this journey, so you can achieve your short and long term goals rather than waste time.

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Putting Together a Social Media Schedule

This is updated from a post on Oct 26, 2010.

One of the most important parts of being active in the social media world is taking responsibility for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other internet marketing outlets you have. When we put our posts out and we like other peoples posts that is a good start to taking responsibility. When we send out Newsletters or email marketing campaigns we want other people to read them right?

Well it is a two sided road; I mean we all have to put in our efforts to read other peoples stuff as well. My tip for that is picking your inner circle of people and people you have made a power partner and start by reading their newsletters and/or emails. The same thing goes with our social media posts. We want people reading our post, tweets, events, questions etc. also emailing us wanting to work with us or learn more about what we do. We have to do that with others. The one thing I always say about social media is it brings people, communities, and companies together all over the world.

So how do we do that? It is easy . . . we put together a weekly schedule and then we implement it into our routine just like checking emails, and making calls.

Monday- Using www.Hootsuite.com schedule your posts to go out onto your Facebook personal page, Facebook business page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Ping.fm. Using my post before this one to help first create your strategy so you know what you need to post on your social media profiles and when. (Schedule an hour and a half to start)

Tuesday- Login to Facebook and add 10 people into your business list, research these people. Find people that have common interest or maybe looking for your services and put them into the business list you created. Then get onto Twitter or Twellow and search for your Keywords or location. You can search for people using keywords or type in keywords people would use to find YOU and add 50 people. (Schedule about 45 min to start, once you get the hang of it you can probably get it done in 30 min)

Wednesday– Spend some time on LinkedIn checking emails and finding people you may know and ask them to connect with you. (Schedule 45 min)

Thursday- Login to Facebook and add 10 people into your business list, research these people. Find people that have common interest or maybe looking for your services and put them into the business list you created. Then get onto Twitter or Twellow and search for your Keywords or location. You can search for people using keywords or type in keywords people would use to find YOU and add 50 people. (Schedule about 45 min to start, once you get the hang of it you can probably get it done in 30 min)

Friday – Repeat what you have done Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We are going to add another step into today, Once you are done adding people on Facebook and Twitter you want to go back to Facebook and go to your page, under your logo you will find a tab that says “Suggest to Friends” Click on that and then click the drop down tab to your list you made once that list pulls up on the top right hand side it will say “Select All” hit that and then send invitations. What this is doing is asking all the people you have been adding as friends to become a fan of your page!

Now this is what I do and share with people you are more than welcome to move it around however it works for you. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions of things that have helped you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Putting together a weekly social media schedule: ne of the most important parts of being active in the social media world is taking responsibility for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other internet marketing outlets you have. When we put our posts out and we like other peoples posts that is a good start to taking responsibility. When we send out Newsletters or email marketing campaigns we want other people to read them right?

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Mistakes That Will Kill Your Social Media Marketing Campaign

Nearly every brand use social media to engage with their audience and build brand awareness. It has become an important and necessary tactic in online marketing. While social media plays a huge role in a business’ success, committing some mistakes may produce the opposite effect.

Here are 4 mistakes that will kill your social media marketing campaign.

Talking too much about your brand

Most business owners use social media to increase brand awareness. After all, it’s a great place to promote your products and let people know about what’s happening about your business. While it’s fine to do this from time to time, please refrain from bombarding your fans and followers with too much information about your business.

Use social media to engage with your fans and followers. It should be a two-way communication. Share some tips, ask questions, encourage them to share their experience with your business etc. Your audience will also appreciate it if you share content that are informative, funny or interesting.

Creating accounts on too many platforms

We all know that social media platforms allow you to reach new people. But given the number of social channels available today, you may find it hard to manage all of these accounts at the same time. To maximize your social media efforts, we recommend that you focus on platforms where your target audience are. It is better to have a good presence on 2 social channels than a lacklustre presence on 5.

If your target audience are teens to young adults, consider focusing your efforts on Instagram and Snapchat. If you are looking to engage with business professionals, LinkedIn is the best option for you.

Ignoring reviews

Most people like to share their feedbacks on social media. If it’s a good feedback, then it would be really helpful for your business. If it’s a negative feedback, it may or it may not hurt your business. It actually depends on how you handle it.

When faced with a negative feedback, it is best to respond to it and ask the person to discuss matters privately. This will give people the impression that you care about your customers. When done right, you can rectify the issue at hand and turn the situation into a positive one. Never ignore negative reviews. Rather, use it as a way to improve your services.

Very little interaction

As a small business owner, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. But in order to see positive results from you social media marketing campaign, make sure you stay active. While we’re not suggesting that you should stay online 24/7, try to allot at least 2 to 3 hours of your day responding to comments, answering messages and interacting with people. If you don’t engage with them, then they’ll forget about you eventually.

Mistakes That Will Kill Your Social Media Marketing Campaign. Nearly every brand use social media to engage with their audience and build brand awareness. It has become an important and necessary tactic in online marketing. While social media plays a huge role in a business’ success, committing some mistakes may produce the opposite effect. Here are 4 mistakes that will kill your social media marketing campaign.

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Your Social Media Framework

Without a structure, it can be difficult to come up with topics for social media posts. We often see business floundering as they try to come up with posts each day or don’t realize there are tools to schedule out their posts so one day a month they post 5-10 items.

Being consistent on social media is one of the most important things that you need to be on social media. This includes both posting at consistent intervals and being consistent in your tone, messaging, and imagery. Your tribe will begin to understand what your business is like through this consistent message. Even if you post only one time per week or one time per month, at least you have that steady flow of information going out online.

To help you create your posting schedule, here are some sample topics you can include, as well as a weekly overview of how your posts can be organized.

Sample Social Media Topics:

  • Quotes
  • Product/Services Overview
  • Testimonials
  • Blog Posts
  • Industry Articles
  • Local Events/Activities
  • Related Topics
  • Day in the Life of Images/Stories
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • How tos
  • User generated
  • Podcasts
  • Livestreams
  • Ebooks
  • Guides
  • Share a Post
  • Questions
  • Surveys

The next step is organizing these so you again have consistency and can optimize your time and resources. For example, your blog posts will get the most traction if you always update them on the same day. This means they should consistently be shared on the same day.

Example Social Media Calendar

 

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Internet Marketing: Power of the “Wall”

The other day I was speaking with a new client and she brought up an interesting point . . . have you ever thought of this? Years and years ago we used a “wall” to communicate with the world.

People would write on walls and rocks telling their stories, telling about their journey, what to expect and educating each other. Now millions of years later we have started to use a “wall” on Facebook and Twitter to communicate; sharing our stories now, what we have learned, how we can educate and help people across the world. Obviously our way now is a lot faster and e bit easier. Interesting how things come around.

What’s that saying, “don’t reinvent the wheel”?  Thinking of how a “Wall” has always been a way to communicate across the world to others, back then it took a lot longer and was much more artistic in a way.   Now we have the world at our finger tips and we are only a “wall” post away from communicating with people all over the world.

When I entered the Internet Marketing world it seemed so surreal to me, being able to send emails, instant messaging, pictures, documents, etc so fast and being able to do business with people all over the world.  They did not even have to be in the same city as me as the internet it allows us to do business everywhere! That is the beauty of Internet Marketing, we are able to now grow our businesses nationwide and build those relationships in order to do that.

Internet Marketing can work wonders for your business if you provide a service that you can do from anywhere or have an online store that people can order from anywhere. Have you ever read the book “The 4 hour work week” or “Beach Money”? These books talk about being able to have an online business where you can work from wherever you are and all you need is a computer and internet access.  They talk about setting your business up in such a way where you are earning residual income so you do not have to be sitting in front of the computer 24/7 working. If you set up your Internet Marketing plan correctly,  you can do this with your business as well!

I challenge you this week to take a look at your Internet Marketing strategy and see if it includes the following things:

  • Social Media Plan (Facebook, Facebook Page, Twitter, and LinkedIn)
  • Have a real blog (wordpress or blogger)
  • YouTube Channel
  • Posting Blogs and video blogs at least once a week
  • Using other online tools like; Google Maps, Yelp, Four Square, Plaxo etc.
  • Making sure you have your backlinks set up to your blog ( You can use Squidoo for this)
  • Educating people via your blog posts and social media posts

If you need help figuring out an Internet Marketing plan I would love to assist you. I look forward to seeing more of you online.

Power of the wall

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