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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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Exciting News from The BIMS Team

We wanted to invite you to learn more about some of these exciting new opportunities that the BIMS team is pursuing!

We are growing!

In 2017, Amber and myself have brought on 3 lovely ladies with diverse backgrounds to help us best represent our clients online! Brandy, Mari Ann, and Amanda each focus specifically on one or two social media networks or SEO tactics so we can follow the most effective strategies. Meanwhile Kathlyn and Joe continue to knock blogging out of the park for our clients!

Our first eCourse is about to launch!

With a long history of teaching courses and workshops in person, The BIMS Team is so excited to start helping businesses through eCourses! This first course, Blogging Your Business, launches May 1. This course covers:

  • Blogging 101: An Introduction
  • Building a Content Calendar
  • Tools to Manage your Content
  • How to Share your Blog
  • Tutorials for WordPress, Squarespace, and Shopify
  • and Free Editorial Calendar Templates

When you preregister through April, this course is only $47! Learn More.

Building partnerships in Florida!

Amber has been building incredible partnerships in Florida and recently helped to launch Your Social Garden, which provides in-person workshops each month and has partnered with SCOR. If you are near Palm Harbor, be sure to reach out for more information regarding these fantastic classes.

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Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Writing a Blog

A lot of business owners say they’re too busy managing their business that they don’t have time to write blogs. Others put off blogging because they think it’s just a waste of their time and effort. What they fail to realize is that blogging is a great tool that can provide a wide range of benefits for their business. This is especially beneficial for small businesses.

If your business doesn’t already have a blog, we encourage you to create one today. Here are 4 reasons why your business should be writing a blog. Hopefully, these benefits would encourage you to start a blog for your business.

Establish your business as an industry leader

Blogging allows you to share your expertise. Here, you can post how-to articles, tutorials, trends, industry news, your thoughts or opinion about relevant topics and more. If you run out of ideas to write about, we suggest that you listen to questions customers and prospects usually ask, and answer them in your blog. By providing them with helpful information, people will eventually look to you as a reliable source for information in your industry.

Let your brand’s personality shine.

Blogging gives you a chance to reach potential and existing customers. Through this platform, you can share your business’ story, provide more information about your products and services, as well as future events. Every post you publish helps increase brand awareness and provides more insight into your company. Through this platform, you can show people what your business is all about.

Drive traffic to your website

Writing blogs is one of the most effective ways to attract prospective customers and bring traffic to your website. Most people go online when looking for answers or when they want to learn more about certain topics. If you can provide them with content that are interesting, informative and unique, they’ll keep coming back to your website. Once you gain the trust of your target audience, it would be easier for you to turn them into paying customers.

Boost search engine optimization

Blogging is an effective way to improve your site’s SEO –if you do it right, that is. When people research about specific topics, most of them would only visit websites on the first page of search engines. Some would only check out the first 3 sites.

Search engines like Google reward websites that produce great content. By taking time to create good quality content and publishing one on a regular basis, your website is likely to rank on search engines. But if you write poor quality content or just copy someone else’s blog posts, Google will penalize you by placing your site on the last page.

With all the benefits listed above, now is the best time to start a blog for your business. If you need help writing them, please contact BIMS today. We can help you create blog posts that are informative, unique and relevant to your business.

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Clever Ways to Ensure You Never Run Out of Blogging Ideas

Whether you’re running a small business or a multi-million dollar company, having a business blog is important. It helps attract prospective customers, drive traffic to your website and enhances your inbound marketing effort. In order to reap these benefits, you need to create content on a regular basis.

While there is always something out there for you to blog about, overtime, you may find it difficult to come up with interesting and relevant topics to write about.

Here are 4 clever ways to ensure you never run out of blogging ideas

Recycle old content

You have probably written some great contents that your readers have enjoyed reading. These pieces of contents are packed with lots of information that readers still appreciate them even after posting them a few months ago. But with the surplus of information on the web, people tend to forget about these timeless gems as businesses and bloggers churn out content every day.

Instead of giving up on those long forgotten contents, you might want to breathe new life into your older articles by rewriting them.

Current events

Something is always happening, so you’ll never run out of topics to blog about. It’s understandable if you want to do away with politics, but if you have an opinion on certain issues, why not blog about them? Topics can range from industry news, natural disasters, latest celebrity hook-ups, trending videos, movie reviews etc.

Check the calendar

Most businesses focus on topics that are relevant no matter what time of the year. After all, these topics retain their value even after a few years and can easily be repurposed. While evergreen topics are valuable, you might want to include some seasonal topics as well.

Write blog posts revolving around the holiday season or holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July and Thanksgiving. This is especially beneficial if you’re offering certain products or services that are specific to that holiday or season. Plus, there are less content around these topics; hence, helping you reach more new visitors.

Ask your readers

One of the best ways to know what types of post your readers would like to see is by asking them. Not only will it ensure that they’ll read your blog post, it’s also an effective way to connect with your audience.

Clever Ways to Ensure You Never Run Out of Blogging Ideas

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How to Use Content Marketing to Build Trust and Credibility

If you’re the content person for your brand, you’re probably busy creating pieces of content that aims to give out information about your products or services. You may also be focused in writing content that tell about your brand’s story. Amidst the churning out of content, have you ever stopped to think about why people choose to buy from your company? The answer is simple. It’s because they trust your company.

Whether you’re creating content for your clients, existing customers or new prospects, it is important to keep in mind that the real purpose of content marketing is to build greater levels of trust with your audience. Trust and credibility are important to win the loyalty of your customers.

Use these tips to create content that will help you enter your customer’s world and become an important part of it:

Put people first

In order to build trust and enhance your influence, you need to remember who you’re writing for. The content you create should be relevant to the people you are trying to communicate with. Know their demographics, determine your niche focus and stick with it.

Deliver high quality and relevant content to your audience on a regular basis. Overtime, people will see your brand as a trusted authority. They’ll keep coming back for more once they see you as a trustworthy source.

Be consistent

People don’t have an idea how reliable you are unless they start working with you. But by observing your activities and posting schedule, they can decide whether or not they can rely on you.

Choose your social media channels carefully and commit to being there regularly. Also, make it habit to post new content on your blog and update your site from time to time. By turning up regularly and publishing high quality and relevant contents on a regular basis, you will start to earn the confidence of your marketplace.

Interact with your audience

Newsletters, social media updates and blog posts are a great way for your audience to stay up-to-date with your business. But it’s not supposed to be a one-way communication. Find ways to interact with your audience online.

You can ask questions, encourage them to send photos of them with your products, share their stories etc. Don’t forget to respond to mentions on social media and reply to comments on your blog. Through this strategy, you’ll be able to build a relationship with your target audience. Through this relationship, they will come to trust you.

How to Use Content Marketing to Build Trust and Credibility

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4 Reasons Why You Must Have a Mobile Friendly Website

Take a look at the people around you and you’ll notice that majority of them are using their smartphones. According to a study that was conducted by Deloitte, most Americans would check their phones within 5 minutes of waking up and continue to do so throughout the day. In fact, a huge percentage of Americans check their phones 46 times per day.

If your website isn’t mobile optimized, it will look cluttered and unreadable on a 5-inch screen. With our fast evolving digital landscape, websites that aren’t mobile friendly are becoming defunct.

Here are 4 reasons why your business must have a mobile friendly website:

Mobile users make frequent purchases

Ask a business owner what they’re business goals are, and we bet majority of them would say “increased sales”. According to studies, mobile users buy more and spend more as compared to their desktop counterparts.

While tablet usage is comparatively lower than smart phone use, tablet users are said to be the biggest spenders. In fact, they spend 50% more per purchase than smartphone users. Take advantage of this by making sure that your website is mobile optimized. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on revenue-generating opportunities for your business.

Over half of the web traffic is mobile

As mentioned above, the number one goal of business owners is to increase sales. Next on their list would probably be more traffic to their website. If your goal is to drive traffic to your site, you need to be thinking mobile.

As of 2014, over half of all web traffic is via mobile. In fact, studies suggest that mobile media consumption as of this year was 21% higher than that of desktop.

Improve user experience

People are more likely to return to your website or purchase your products if you offer a satisfying mobile experience. Since mobile users are always on the go, they have limited time to wait. They want to get what they need fast. If you can’t give it to them, they’ll leave and move on to your competition.

You might be offering the most unique, valuable and useful products on the market, but people aren’t going to purchase if your site’s mobile experience is poor or non-existent.

Everyone is on mobile

More and more people are spending more time on their mobile devices. After all, it’s more convenient. It allows us to check our emails, log in to our social media accounts, check the news or research something even when we’re on the go.

4 Reasons Why You Must Have a Mobile Friendly Website

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Things You Can Do to Improve Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media is big and continues to grow and evolve. According to Fast Company, 93% of marketers use social media to promote their business and reach their business goals. Converting followers into paying customers is the ultimate goal of every business. To achieve that goal, you need to have a good social media strategy in place.

If you are a marketing professional in charge of your business, read on. Here are some tactics you can implement to help you get started.

Choose your image wisely

Visual is king in digital marketing. Thanks to the availability of camera phones and social networks emphasizing visual elements, the ease of taking and uploading photos has increased dramatically.

Marketers who use visual content get more followers, more leads and more customer engagement. But to get that attention, you need to connect with the person on the other side of the screen. Choose images that appeal to your target audience, but make sure that it also fits your brand’s voice, style and mood.

Focus on platforms where your customers are

Just like everyone else, most small business owners are pressured to have a presence on every social media platform. The problem is that a hot, new social media tool hits the scene almost every few months, making it extremely difficult to manage all those social accounts.

To make the most out of your social media marketing efforts, you need to focus on platforms where your customers are. Fish where the fishes are. Don’t waste your time, energy and resources fishing in an empty pond.

Get the attention of influencers

An influencer is someone who carries influence over others. In the new world of digital relationships, people are receptive of recommendations from people they trust and respect. In fact, one study revealed that 40% of consumers had made a purchase because of an influencer’s recommendation; while 49% seek purchase guidance from an influencer.

One of the easiest ways to get an influencer’s attention is to share their content. Go ahead and share those contents without asking anything in return. Link out shamelessly and unceasingly. When you do, they are likely to take notice.

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Twitter Tips for Business

Twitter Tips for businessTwitter has over 300 million active users, making it one of the biggest social media platforms around! For marketers, the potential Twitter has to offer is huge! Additionally, the latest brand pages that have been introduced make it an even stronger platform for promoting content to customers. Countless companies have successfully used Twitter to build-up their brand’s identity. However, while several marketers have climbed aboard the Twitter bandwagon, many have yet to efficiently use the tool as a strategic channel.

What could possibly be preventing marketers from maximizing Twitter’s marketing potential? The main issue involves the unconventionality of Twitter. Twitter technology looks, feels and acts very different from traditional marketing tools therefore it requires a unique approach. Businesses have to look at the wide variety of skill sets required to see the full advantage of the site, from Customer Intelligence, to PR to interactive marketing, separate departments must come together to fully utilize the site properly. Furthermore, the openness of Twitter means marketers must keep in mind the classic mistake of saying the wrong thing.

However, with the right plan, marketers can tackle current obstacles and find success through Twitter.

Here are some Twitter Tips to help you succeed with your business:

1: Train your team to use it well.

While employees may be familiar with Twitter’s growing social media presence, they still need to understand how the site works in all its complexities and understand how it is that YOU want them to use it. Lots of companies are training employees to use social media, but when it comes to Twitter, training and experience is especially important. Twitter has a unique language, behavior and uses that are very different from Google, Facebook and the other social media sites.

2: Figure out Twitter’s role in your marketing mix.

When using Twitter, first decide why and how it fits in with your other platforms. It doesn’t matter if you’re making just one Twitter account, or several accounts. You need to understand how your customers are using the platform-are they just listening on Twitter, or are they actively speaking out? Brands can have more than one account, which may be useful for handling separate segments that have specific objectives, such as customer support, PR and direct marketing. With this in mind, each account MUST deliver a clear message of the brand to the audience.

3: Defining Your Brand

The first major step to using Twitter and hashtags effectively is defining your brand or business in a few specific words. Twitter is one of the most widely used social media sources, so you want to make sure your posts are being seen by the right people. Your central business tag should be a word that is unique to your business. You can make it your company name or a tagline that people will know about your business. For example, Red Bull uses #givesyouwings which is their company slogan. Doing this will help your business become recognized.

4: Gain a strong base of followers and engage them.

For a Twitter account to be successful, it takes more than just setting up the account. Brand need to build an active base of followers for their content to have any impact. You may have different tactics that can be performed to activate that community of followers to meet your brand’s objectives. For example, it’s important to keep the community engaged so conversation around your brand keeps building. A good way to do this is to use a calendar tool like Hootsuite to schedule content to continually go out to keep the audience active and engaged with your brand.

After developing your Twitter accounts and building a strong fan base, marketers can take a combination of relevant content, along with Twitter ads, to drive conversation and sharing. Twitter can be used to stimulate real-world brand interactions. Tweets can spark interest and energize your audience if you develop strong, relevant content, which in return will expand your brand’s presence in both the Internet and real world.

Always remember, your job does not end after you’ve completed this four-step plan. In the long run, it is absolutely necessary to be active in coordinating the proper use of the technology, and sharing best practices. This will successfully help your brand stay consistent with Twitter marketing!

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5: Use Trending Hashtags

As Social Media sites are growing, so is the use of the hashtag. If you didn’t already know, a hashtag is a word or a group of words after the # sign. Whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc., hashtags are popping every everywhere. On Twitter especially, the hashtag has proven to be an extremely powerful tool for marketing businesses. But, how do we use this strategy properly? Hashtagging can either help you reach your target market and expand your business, or it could be a waste of your time. It is crucial to learn the power of this social media marketing tool and how to use it properly.

6: Use Content Tags Properly

Lastly, using the right content hashtags is another crucial step for your business success on Twitter. These tags are not branded, and aren’t necessarily popular or trending, they are just simply unique to your business. Using these enable you to get seen by your consumers who are searching for those specific hashtags. One of the biggest mistakes people make when using hashtags is not being specific enough to your business. For example, using #food if you run a catering business will end up working against your favor. Millions of people a day use #food and that is never an acknowledgeable hashtag for a business. Instead, using something more specific like #foodcatering will get your post noticed by your consumer. Finding common hashtags by checking out what tags are being used by your followers and your competition is a great way to make sure you’re using them effectively.

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4 Ways to Get Readers to Spend More Time on Your Blog

4-ways-to-get-readers-to-spend-more-time-on-your-blogA blog’s success greatly depends on its readers. Without readers, all those content you’ve created will go down the drain. The problem is that, modern internet user have short attention span.

More often than not, people will browse through your post for a few seconds. If you fail to give them what they want, their cursor will be heading to the back button and on to another site. You’ve worked hard creating those contents, but why isn’t anybody sticking around to read your posts?

Here are 4 ways to get your visitors to stay on your site longer.

Provide them with valuable content

Content remains the number one reason people visit your site. You need to provide readers with valuable content. This includes detailed information about your products, educational tools, industry news or updates.  This will give you an opportunity to share your knowledge with your prospects and will eventually help you build a loyal fan base.

Use subheadings

Most people will scan through a post and just pick out pieces of information they need. Make it easier for them by using subheadings with descriptive wordings. This way, it will be easier for them to find what they need and allow them to jump to the appropriate section if they wish.

Ensure fast loading time

Your site speed is also critical to its success. No matter how interesting and informative your contents are, people may not be interested to read them if your site takes too long to load. Remember, you only have a few seconds to convince people to hang around. A sluggish site will cause you to lose readers and subscribers. Don’t make people wait.

Make it visually appealing

People make snap judgements. In fact, it only takes less than a second for people to decide whether they like your site. You want to make sure you make a good first impression.

Aesthetics play an important role in first impressions. People like to look at pretty things. A visually appealing blog can attract attention, and may even convince them to stay for a little longer.

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How to be Successful with Instagram

how-to-be-successful-with-instagramAre you in love with Instagram as much as I am?

Are you a business owner that has an account on Instagram and not sure how to build your business on it?

Don’t worry I am here to help!

Here are just a few fun facts about Instagram that will blow your mind:

    • Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users.
    • Instagram users have shared over 40 billion photos to date and share an average of 95 million photos and videos per day.

 

  • 80% of Instagram users come from outside of the U.S.

 

  • Instagram is used by 31% of American women and 24% of men. Read more stats here from Hootsuite.

Now that we have those stats out of the way, it is clear that Instagram is the place to be! It is also owned by . . . what’s that social media platform that has the blue f on it??? Oh yeah FACEBOOK! The two of them got hitched in 2013 and Instagram has grown into this beautiful, amazing beast of a social media platform!

What does this mean for your business? Nothing really if you are not posting correctly!

There are many different ideas, ways and theories out there about how to post to Instagram page and what will work best. I wish it was that easy to say ok if you follow these 3 steps your Instagram account will grow by hundreds, you will see an ROI right away and it is SO easy! BUT there’s not, the only way to see what will work for your business is to try each of them! Each business is different and their audiences are different, the key with Instagram is to make your posts visually appealing that it draws your audience in, to get them engaging on each post. Either by liking the post, commenting or even reposting.

How do you get that visually appealing content? Do you need to hire a professional photographer? Get a studio to showcase your products or services? Invest in a super high-end camera to get the best quality pictures? NO, NO, and NO

All you need is a smartphone! That is great news right?

Here are 2 blogs that show you how to use your smartphone for images: Shopify Article and a RealSimple Guide

There are so many different apps that really do the work for you nowadays. The camera on your smartphone will work perfect, you just need to be creative. You may need to spend a few bucks for a simple background like buying a piece of foam board and covering it in marble contact paper so it looks like you have a marble countertop, or purchase a small tripod to help keep steady while taking images, go to the dollar store and find a few fun props if needed.   

I want to highlight a few Instagram accounts that I follow and how they are being successful with their content. Some posts are very long like a full blog length and some are short sweet and to the point, then some are in between.

Let’s take a look:

  1. The first one I want to showcase is one of our clients Coach Jessie May she is a branding coach, so her posts have a theme to them and her content is longer on each post. We love that she uses plenty of #hashtags and emoticons on her posts, by having more content she is adding more value for her audience which increase her engagement through likes and comments.  jessie_may_ig_post
  2. The second one I love is Mantra Magazine  this is a simple motivational quote that is not very eye appealing BUT has a GREAT message on it. What they did on this post they kept it short and yet gets you thinking and engaging. They used 24 #hashtags on this 1 post and got 1,465 likes and over 20 comment, sometimes keeping it short and sweet is good, asking a question to get your audience commenting always works! mantra_magazine_ig_post
  3. The third one I wanted to show you is Boulder Magazine, they used someone else’s image (gave credit) but this image is very creative and thinks outside the box! This is showcasing that listening and watching your audience can be good for your business. Sometimes it is hard to think of NEW, Fresh content everyday, so when you look at your audience and what they are posting you can share their images. Remember to give to give them credit by @mentioning them and thanking them in your post. This post generated 672 likes and over 15 comments!  boulder_magazine

These are 3 different types of businesses here and each of them is using Instagram in a different way. So what I am telling you is test the waters, put a post up that is short sweet and to the point like a motivational image and ask a question, then try a longer post like a blog post and use #hashtags, and then try a repost from someone you are following, see which one gets the most interaction and then you can start building your strategy from there. We recommend posting to Instagram between 3-5 times per week.

Instagram takes time, this is the one social media platform (besides Pinterest) that you cannot schedule posts to go out, you have to post manually! There are a few tools out there like Buffer, Hootsuite, LaterGram that allow you to schedule posts on their platforms then they push you a notice on your phone that you need to post your scheduled post to instagram, it’s a little complicated right?

So here are a few apps that I love to use when I am creating images for our Instagram account and our clients, most are free but some I have paid for and WELL worth it!

PhotoCollege

LiPix Pro

Canva

WordSwag (Paid $4.99)

QuotesCreator

Fontmania

MOLDIV

Vidstich

Boomerang

Hyperlapse

Ripl

Prisma

There are literally hundreds of image Instagram apps to try, download a few and see which ones you like the most and are easy for you to use. You can also check out some free picture sites to help with background and images. Canva, WordSwag and Pixabay are good for free images. In the beginning it may take more of your time to take images of your products, or download a bunch of free images so you can create a stockpile of them and then just grab and create. Use Pinterest as creative motivation and pick 3-5 businesses that you really like what they are posting on instagram and use them as a guideline.

I have filled your head with TONS of content, tips, how to and now it is time for you to step into the Instagram world and get busy!

If you are interested in a FREE, yes I said FREE 30 minute consultation with me on evaluating your existing Instagram account or on how to get your business started on Instagram please email me at Marketing@TheBIMSTeam.com I would love to assist you with your success on Instagram!

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