eBusiness Blog

Understanding The Type Of Web Designer Your Business Needs

Do You Need To Hire Help With Your Website?

When speaking with entrepreneurs and business owners, they often don’t realize all of the different components involved in building a business website.

Many assume it’s a simple task that any “techie” person can do, or themselves for that matter, and things will magically come together.

However, that approach could be a costly one. Before you start putting feelers out about hiring someone, you should first assess what exactly it is you need in order to get your website up and running while avoiding a lot of frustration at the same time.

Today’s eTip is a review of what you need to assess about your business website needs before selecting your web developer.

 

Do You Know What Type of Developer You Need?

There are two camps involved in the answer to that: those who already know what they need and those who do not.

If you who have a clear understanding of what you need your website to be then you will be best served by having a solid set of technical hands to execute on your instruction. In this instance, you will need to know project management, website design and development, copywriting, online marketing and social marketing, usability, and more in order to relay exactly what you want to your developer.

Most business owners will not have all of those skill sets combined, or in some cases, any of those elements covered, so you’ll need to find someone to help you will all of that!

Your Website Is Your Biggest Piece of Marketing

You want your website to turn out great. You don’t ever want to consider the job done and be disappointed with the results.

To avoid being disappointed in the results of your web project, you’ll need someone to help you through the process.

By hiring a professional web development firm, you’ll have experts steering your website towards your goals so it’s attracting the right target market using the right marketing message while embodying the right overall vision.

A solid team of professionals can help you understand who your ideal target market is so your users convert into paying customers.

They’ll show you how your brand positioning helps you find that target market and what needs to be in place in order for it to work for them.

Most often one single person does not have all that ability. Hiring a team with experts in all the various fields will ensure the project meets your expectations.

You need professionals who really understand things like e-commerce, search engine optimization, marketing, copy writing, user experience, and more. You can get all of that if you hire an agency with a team who cover all of those important factors.

By hiring a team you get a variety of experts rather than relying on your own single expertise.

At eVision Media, we provide everything necessary to a complete web projects that work. If you’re looking to upgrade your website or are in the process of a redesign but hitting some hurdles, give us a call. We have experts in all areas of website development on hand to help you realize your project’s goals.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments below and if you liked this video you can subscribe to either our Youtube channel or our newsletter to get weekly updates on having a successful website and business online.

Sign up for our newsletter today to receive weekly tips on marketing online for entrepreneurs!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

Social Blast for Entrepreneurs

What If You Could Learn Social Media and Online Marketing Each Month With Ease?

If you are new to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing, my monthly group coaching program, Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs is a perfect way for you to incrementally learn the best strategies and tactics to help you grow your business online.

  • Uncover what it takes to execute a successful, revenue-driving social media strategy
  • Learn how to build relationships, trust, and brand awareness with your ideal customer
  • Discover actionable strategies to engage followers online
  • Master creating compelling content that’s always on target
  • Discern how to authentically differentiate your brand in a crowded marketplace
  • Find out the best times to post for higher readership
  • Stay abreast with the latest prospecting techniques to grow your list, groups and more…
  • Learn ways to engage through social media monitoring and listening

It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.

› CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

5 Useful Decision-Making Steps to Buying Your Next Business Program Sold at an Event

5 Useful Decision-Making Steps to Buying Your Next Business Program Sold at an Event

How to Avoid Making Impulsive Purchases from Success-Promising Gurus

I recently attended a 3-day business conference in Vancouver. There were about 500 people in attendance, all business owners and entrepreneurs who where there to network, learn and be inspired.

All in all, it was a great event that resulted in my meeting new people and gaining valuable insights that I brought home with me to infuse into my business.

The conference boasted nine high-profile speakers including thought leaders like Jack Canfield, Dr. John Gray and James Malinchak. Their talks were entertaining, insightful, informative and motivating.

They certainly learned the craft of being an influential presence on the stage well.

But make no mistake, each of these speakers were there with the sole purpose of promoting their wares and influencing the audience to purchase their key strategies, programs and courses that promised business success.

And they succeeded.

The volume of people that ran to the back of the room to grab their limited-time, extraordinary low-cost offering before it was sold out was mind boggling.

As a member of that audience, I was fascinated by what I was witnessing. Perhaps it was my state of mind or the confidence I already felt in my capabilities of achieving further business success, but I was not at all tempted to be a part of the crowd to run to the back of the room and grab a purchase.

I looked around and saw men and women who were involved in a variety of different businesses and industries. Many of whom where desperate to get that SECRET FORMULA that would transform their struggles into riches.

And the speakers on the stage knew this and played right into their hands.

Throughout the 3 days, the audience was presented with lots of solutions, advanced systems and formulas on how to achieve success in their business. But the problem is, not all proposed solutions were ideal for everyone.

But what is a business owner and entrepreneur to do?

They are attending such events to help them with their business so are naturally attracted to the offers made up on the stage.

To help you avoid making irrational and emotionally-based decisions when faced with the pressure of live event and even free webinar offers I have put together 5 steps on what to think about first before jumping in with the crowd and grabbing your purchase:

  1. Think things through first.

    Ask yourself if this opportunity is truly going to get you a return on your investment if you make the purchase. What are you willing to commit to in order to get the most out of that investment?

    The key here is to understanding success is not just going to happen by signing up but actually doing the work. Are you realistically willing to do the work? Are you going to be 100% committed to this or will you get home, set it aside, and promise to get to it when you get a chance?

    None of these programs will get you the results these presenters are talking about if you’re not committed enough to follow through on every single step provided.

  2. Be objectively critical.

    When these speakers are on the stage, they are sharing their best success stories possible – the cream of the crop. Often this reflects only a minor percentage of those who have taken the program.

    Be objective. And don’t make emotionally-based decisions that compel you run to the back of the room and purchase. This is exactly what they are counting on.

  3. Decide if your business can truly benefit from what you will learn.

    Just because they are telling you this on stage doesn’t mean it’s a perfect fit for you, your business model, and your goals.

    As an example, if you have the gift of service and support, then more than likely you will not do well learning to be a speaker on stage despite that presenter saying “anyone can do this using my system and processes”.

    If you have the gift of, say, music, then being a published author is probably not something you should pursue despite being provided with a “fool-proof, iron-clad method that will get you on the Amazon best seller list”.

    Ask yourself if what this presenter is offering is exactly what you need to learn in order to reach your business goals or is there something better suited for you available elsewhere? Do you really need to learn all of this yourself or is hiring someone who is an expert in that area a better decision that will help reach your goals quicker without having to become an expert in that field first?

  4. Recognize the emotional manipulation that’s happening.

    We see this all the time. Whether you’re attending conferences or online webinars there’s always a “limited time offer” that makes it irresistible to pass up.

    Don’t let these “one-time-only” offers lead you into thinking this is the only chance you’ll ever get to take advantage of what’s being offered. It simply isn’t true. It’s a sales tactic that preys on people who make emotional decisions and don’t want to be left out or miss out on an incredible opportunity.

    These programs will all still be offered after the hype ends. Even if that means paying $50 more, so be it. Give yourself time to objectively work through the pros and cons and decide whether it’s worth your investment or not.

    Don’t let your emotions be triggered by the slick sales speech or written sales copy on a page.

  5. Do your research.

    This may not necessarily be the case for headliner speakers we see on the stage, but sadly, there are a lot of very smooth-talking “gurus” out there who are nothing but smoke and mirrors. They offer a lot of hype but little substance.

    Do your pocketbook a favour; before investing in any kind of program or product, research the person selling it first. Do a Google search and see if any bad reviews come up. Ask people in your social media groups if they’ve had any experience with that person and what were the results.

    Your goal is to make an informed decision, not an emotional one based on the promises of the sales copy. And if you do encounter negative reviews – listen to your gut. So many times wrong decisions are still made because, as human beings, we’re highly influenced by emotions and we can easily justify our actions based on those promises despite finding evidence to the contrary.

After reading this, you might think I’m against purchasing programs and courses all together but that’s not the case at all. I’m not saying not to invest in business growth strategies, but instead to make informed, objective decisions on which investments to make in the first place.

The sad fact is that marketing can be a very manipulative process that is meant to create fear- and lack-based, emotional responses. The people we see on stage, as well as those that do highly visible free webinars, are masters at pulling these emotional triggers.

Simply be aware of that manipulation and follow the guide I outlined above to help you decide whether or not your business can truly benefit from that investment you’re being asked to make.

Do you have any stories of acting on impulse and regretting the purchase later?

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

5 Useful Decision-Making Steps to Buying Your Next Business Program Sold at an EventClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How Social Media Can Lead to New Collaborations and Work

Video marketing has been our hot topic lately.

Today’s eTip showcases a local videographer’s success story that happened while at my recent photo shoot.

 

Use your social media to make personal connections

A few years ago I was on Twitter and noticed something: someone from my local city was sharing and liking a lot of my posts!

Keith, a videographer, became a regular “fan” and naturally, I went and checked out his profile to find out more about him.

We eventually struck up some conversation and since then (after years of never even having met each other in person) we’ve been referring clients that have lead to paying work.

Through his efforts of becoming visible in front of me, he successfully got onto my radar if I ever needed, or knew of someone who needed, a videographer.

This video is about social media connections and in it Keith and I talk about the viability of social media and how it can be used properly from a business perspective to make connections that actually work.

Find your audience on social media

By using the #Abbotsford hashtag on Twitter, Keith narrowed his choices using a Twitter list within his feed to local businesses such as mine. This is a great tip for those who want to work with those local to them.

Twitter can be bogged down with international posts that won’t matter to you as much. Try Keith’s localization tip to nail down local connections.

Keith then reviewed who was using his localized hashtag as well and was able to start connecting and building out his business through social media.

By using his extensive background in video production Keith has been able to reach local clients for video shoots ranging from news reporting to corporate videos with great success.

Keith operates under Pathfinder Productions and you can find him on Facebook at: facebook.com/pathfinderproductions

This is a great example of how social media works. The trick is not to try tricks and use it honestly so you connect with other honest businesses. Localizing your efforts is a great way to find people who want to connect in your own area.

If you have any questions about improving your video quality to strengthen your online marketing, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

How Social Media Can Lead to New Collaborations and WorkClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

5 Key Points That Must Be Considered Before Filing A Trademark Application

5 Key Points That Must Be Considered Before Filing A Trademark Application

In my previous articles, we have discussed the importance of choosing a strong brand, how to choose a strong brand, how to conduct a trademark search, the benefits of employing a trademark professional and the differences between the ™ and ® symbols and how to use these symbols correctly.

Now, it’s time to talk about the mechanics of collecting the key information that is required to file a trademark application.   The Canadian Intellectual Property Office is a complete resource for learning about trademarks, trademark searching, filing a trademark application on-line and so much more.

When you arrive at the site, scroll down to the “Services and Information” Section and click on “Trademarks”.  Here you will find all of the information that you will require to file a successful trademark application.

If this is your first time to the site, I recommend that you go to the “Learn Section” and read: A Guide to Trademarks.   This guide provides answers to most general trademark questions in “Understanding trademarks – The basics” and “Filing a trademark application – Getting Started” explains the application process step by step.

The following is a checklist of information that should be collected before filing a Canadian trademark application:

  1. When you file a trademark application, it is important to decide who the Applicant is going to be. Ask yourself – who is going to be using the mark?  Is the mark going to be used by:
    • an individual ie. Mary Smith
    • a sole proprietor ie. Mary Smith, doing business as, Smith Adventures
    • a partnership ie. Smith Adventures, a partnership
    • a corporation ie. Smith Adventures Inc.
  2. What address should you use?
    • Home address
    • Office address

    If you work from home, it is appropriate to use your home address as the place of business for the trademark application.
     
    If you have an office, use the office address as the place of business.  If you move, it is important to make sure that you write to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and let them know in order for correspondence to reach you.

  3. What type of a trademark are you filing for? There are two main types of trademarks that can be applied for:
    • Word trademark
    • Logo design

    A word trademark is the most common type of trademark – it is a word or words shown in plain block letters, for example: INFUSE WORKS.
     
    A word trademark affords you the broadest scope of protection.  This type of trademark provides the most flexibility because it is not limited to any particular type font or logo design.
     
    A word trademark application allows you the right to use the mark in any logo design form and you are not required to file a new trademark application, if and when, you update the type font, colour, logo design and/or icon.
     
    The second type of mark is a logo design trademark.  It can consist of a word or words in a particular type font, colour, graphic design and/or icon.
     
    A logo design trademark is limited to the extent that if the logo design undergoes changes or is updated in the future, a new logo design trademark application should be filed to protect the new variation.

  4. Will the trademark be used on goods, services or both?
    • Goods
    • Services
    • Goods and Services

    At the time of filing your trademark application, you must provide a list of the goods that you are planning to produce/manufacture and/or describe the service(s) that you are planning to provide – in ordinary commercial terms.
     
    Sometimes, this is not always easy because the Canadian Trademarks Office likes goods and services to be described in a certain way.  In order to make this task easier, the Office has developed a Goods and Services Manual.
     
    You should refer to this manual and search your particular goods/services prior to filing the application.  This is one of the most important parts of filing a trademark application.
     
    Over 35% of trademark applications experience difficulties during examination because the description of goods/services has not been defined correctly.
     
    Remember you cannot add to your description of goods and services once your trademark application has been filed.  Take the time to really think about all of the goods/services that you are going to use the trademark on in the future.  You always can delete goods and services from the application down the road if you don’t use them.

  5. Will the trademark application be based on proposed use or use in Canada? When the application is filed, you must identify the filing basis.
    • Proposed Use
    • Use in Canada

    Proposed use – means that you have not actually produced/manufactured/sold any products or provided a service at the time of filing the application; however, you intend to do so in the future.
     
    Use in Canada – means that you have produced/manufactured/sold products on which the trademark was displayed at the time of sale or you provided a service that you issued an invoice/bill to a customer.

Determining the date of first use is critical to a successful application.  Many applicants use the date of incorporation as the date of first use of the mark.  This typically is incorrect because it takes several weeks/months to get a business up and running.

You may not produce/manufacture/sell a product or provide a service on the date that you incorporate your company.  As a rule of thumb, always use the date that you first sold a product on which the trademark was displayed or provided a service to a customer and issued an invoice as the date of first use of the trademark.

There also are circumstances where you may have both a proposed use and a use claim in one application.  For example, you manufacture and have sold olive oil for one year and you are expanding the product line to include balsamic vinegars, salt and spices.

The application would include a use claim for the olive oil dating back to the first time the product was sold in Canada, and the application would include a proposed use claim for the balsamic vinegars, salt and spices.

If you consider the five key points outlined in this article, chances are good that your application will be successful (assuming of course that you conducted your trademark searching and the mark is available!).

Any inquiries about any of the information contained in this article can be addressed to Sandra Wright at infuseworks@me.com.

About the Author, Sandra Wright

Sandra Wright

Sandra Wright has operated and owned Intellectual Property firms for over 25 years. She is a specialist in the field of Trademark Law. As a trusted Business Advisor and Strategist to start-ups and existing businesses, she provides a focused and strategic approach to corporate organization and operations, corporate communications and corporate governance.

She assists businesses to identify and implement change that directly affects corporate growth and profitability. Connect with Sandra on LinkedIn here.


How Video Establishes “Know, Like and Trust” With Your Target Audience

How Video Establishes 'Know, Like and Trust' With Your Target Audience

Tips and Strategies on Using Social Media Video Marketing to Get Your Business More Leads, Faster

In last week’s article, I talked about the importance of incorporating video into your business marketing strategy.  One of the top reasons I mentioned was how video increases your target market’s confidence in you.

And when it comes to compelling people to purchase from you, that confidence must be fully established first.

Confidence is key in compelling people to purchase from youClick To Tweet

This is what we call building the “Know, Like and Trust” factor with potential clients.  As a business owner, your goal should always be to focus on these three areas in any marketing you do.

One of the best places to help you establish the “Know, Like and Trust” factor with your  target market is by using video is on Social Media.

Video provides ample opportunity to showcase your personal and professional brand. It elevates your knowledge and expertise in your industry and gives people an opportunity to get to know you better, like you enough to want to hear more about what you have to say, and of course, trust you enough to make it comfortable for them to purchase from you.

So how do you go about building the “Know, Like and Trust” factor with your audience through video?

Providing Value

The first thing is to determine what your target market would find of value. If you’re not giving your potential clients something they want, then they have no reason to watch.

That value can come in a few different ways. A video can be:

  • Entertaining
  • Informative
  • Inspiring or motivating
  • Interesting
  • Engaging

Think about your business and how you can create videos that your target audience would appreciate receiving from you. You may have noticed most all of my videos are of the “Informative” nature through my eTips.

Depending on the industry you are in and tapping into your own unique personality, see what types of videos would work best for you and would resonate the most with your audience.

Since developing the “Know, Like and Trust” factor is a fundamental in business marketing, let’s dive a little deeper into this concept to fully appreciate how it can get you more leads and easier sales conversions for your business.

Building the KNOW Factor

If you’re like most entrepreneurs and small business owners, you are the face of your business. You don’t have the luxury of having a big corporate brand image (and budget) to get the sales. Instead, you have to rely on getting out there, pounding the pavement and getting visible in front of your potential clients.

This is because it stands to reason the more someone knows you, the more comfortable they will be in discovering more about what you have to offer, which can then lead to a sale.

Getting in front of a video is a great, quick way to accomplish this.

So when creating social media videos, always have your target market in mind and ensure you are infusing not only value into what you’re producing but also some of your personality so people feel they are seeing a friend every time they watch your video.

Building the LIKE Factor

As people get to know you through your videos, something else is going to happen. You’re creating an opportunity for them to also like you.

This is where knowing and understanding your ideal target market really becomes important. People aren’t going to purchase from you if they don’t like you.

Think about it, do you avoid making a purchase if someone came across too pushy or icky in some way? Well your audience is judging you the same way.

Of course you can’t get everyone to like you but what you can do when you’re creating your videos is to be:

  • Uniquely Yourself – there’s no point in trying to act like someone else. Just be you and you will draw your followers in naturally.
  • Genuinely Authentic – honesty and even some vulnerability will help people feel they are not watching a rip-off artist in action.
  • Timely Relevant – produce videos your target audience wants to watch and when they need to see it in order to convert them into paying clients quicker and easier.
  • Unabashedly Visible – don’t hide behind the camera, people need to see your face in order to be able to like you!

Building the TRUST Factor

When all is said and done, if someone doesn’t trust you, they will never do business with you. Period.

Sometimes business owners automatically assume people should trust them but may unknowingly be doing things that has the opposite effect.

Here’s some ways you can establish trust with your ideal target market:

  • Provide Value – Avoid creating fluff, pointless and nonsensical videos that are meaningless to the people you want to buy from you. They are not going to trust you know what you’re doing if you don’t provide proof you do.
  • Pursue Excellence – The more you provide the best you have to offer by way of skills and expertise, the more you are building trust by showcasing your ability to solve the problems your target market has that your product or service provides.
  • Be Consistent – Randomly producing videos is not going to get you the traction you need to establish authority in your industry. People want to see consistency to make them feel more comfortable about trusting you. Set a schedule and commit to it. Whether it’s once a month or once a week, that consistency will get you the results you’re after.
  • Avoid “Salesy” Language – People don’t like to be sold to. Avoid trying to “sell” your products or services and instead focus on providing value. This will draw people in as opposed to repelling them.
  • Provide Unique Content – They say there’s nothing new that can be said about any given topic but what you can do is take your knowledge and find ways to present it in a new light. Find different perspectives and angles that hasn’t been talked about before. Above all, avoid copying someone else’s work – that’s just wrong.

By using videos in your social media marketing strategy, you are showcasing your expertise. This in turn establishes your authority in your industry and helps develop the “Know Like and Trust” factor with your ideal target market.

Over time, you will build a loyal following of people who can ultimately become not only paying clients but also a source of referrals for your business.

If the thought of doing videos for your social media marketing is too frightening to consider, or perhaps you simply lack the know-how on how to get started, I invite you to join my monthly Social Blast membership program where I cover topics like these and others each month in a live training call. Click here for details and come join our group today: www.socialmediagroupcoaching.com

Go now,  create videos and get your best brand-visibility foot forward to generate more leads and sales for your business!

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

How Video Establishes “Know, Like and Trust” With Your Target AudienceClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Why Ignoring Video Marketing is Hurting Your Business

Why Ignoring Video Marketing is Hurting Your Business

6 Compelling Benefits to Jumping on the Video Bandwagon while the Momentum is Hot

Have you noticed seeing a lot more videos on Facebook lately?  Not only have there been a plethora of Facebook LIVE videos, but I’ve also been seeing a trend of videos made from simple animations or static inspirational images with music added.

All because Facebook has declared video to be something people want to watch more than any other form of content.

Then there’s the popularity of  YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram’s video platforms and capabilities that makes using video hard to ignore in today’s business marketing landscape.

And it shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise either. Think about how we have all been spoon-fed videos since young toddlers on TV.

The good news is, with the advancement of technology over the past few years, you no longer need to be an professional videographer or editor to be able to produce decent-looking videos, especially for a social media audience.

Creating decent-looking videos for social media has become much easier with today's technologyClick To Tweet

Still not sure if you should bother taking on the task of learning to do videos for your social media marketing? Take a look at some of these stats:

  • A Facebook video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach than a photo.
  • 73% of Business-to-Business marketers say video positively impacts their marketing return on investment.
  • According to CISCO, 80% of all consumer internet traffic will come from videos by 2020.
  • 10 billion videos are watched on Snapchat every day.
  • More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day
  • A Facebook video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach than a post with just a photo.
  • On Twitter, videos are 6 times more likely to be retweeted than photos and 3 times more likely than GIFs
  • Companies that use video in their online marketing efforts have been known to grow their revenues 49% faster.
  • Businesses who use videos in their marketing enjoy a 27% higher Click Through Rate (CTR) and 34% higher web conversion rates than those which don’t (Aberdeen Group, 2015).

Pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say? But what can video actually do for you that will help boost your bottom line?

By incorporating videos into your business and social media marketing, you can take advantage of the following benefits:

  1. Increase Your Target Market’s Confidence in You

    Since trust is what relationship marketing is built upon, videos make a perfect fit to developing your target market’s confidence with your business offerings.
     
    Because you want to create the “Know, Like and Trust” factor with your ideal client, there is nothing better than having your smiling face be in front of that market in order for them to see your personality, understand your level of expertise, and get an instant impression of you that will lead them quicker to purchase.

  2. Boost Your Search Engine Rankings

    Because people tend to stay on your site’s web page longer by watching a video, the search engine’s algorithms are interpreting that to mean your site is worthwhile. This will in turn boost your SEO rankings.
     
    According to Moovly, your chances are 53x’s greater to be higher up in Google’s search results if your website or blog post includes a video.That coupled with Google’s ownership of YouTube,  your chances of getting higher rankings are increased when your videos are also housed there.

  3. Gain a Higher Social Media Reach

    Getting more people to like, comment and share your posts on Facebook has been an increasing challenge for business owners. The good news is, video has been a shining beacon of hope where 76% of users say they are apt to share entertaining videos on social media.
     
    If you make an effort to create fun and entertaining videos, this will increase your brand exposure and will, in turn, bring more attention to your business in an indirect way.

  4. Enjoy Higher Website Conversions

    Video marketing studies show that 74% of users who watched an video explaining or demonstrating a product ended up making the purchase.
     
    So by simply adding a video to your sales or free giveaway page, you should see a significant increase in people signing up for your offering.

  5. Save on Expensive Production Costs

    With technological advancements we are seeing at an incredible rate, the great news is you don’t need to invest in a lot of expensive equipment to create well-made videos.
     
    All you need is your smart phone and you’re good to go. So videos are now considered a cost-effective solution to getting in front of the masses in a format people are responding well to.

  6. Take Advantage of Showcasing Your Offerings

    A video is a great way to explain, demonstrate and showcase any kind of product or service offering you may have.
     
    Whether you are promoting a new program or offering a free giveaway for list building purposes, adding a video to the landing page will help give the viewer an opportunity to see it in action and visualize its benefits.

So as you can see, there are lots of reasons to start using videos to enhance your marketing efforts that will lead to increased sales.

Unlike as little as 10 years ago, the cost of equipment and production has made video marketing much more affordable for business owners; however, this is not to say it’s simple, easy and a sure-thing for success.

In my Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs monthly membership program, I share lots of tips and strategies on not only video marketing, but many other social media and digital marketing topics to help grow your business. Come and join us and learn!  Click here: www.socialmediagroupcoaching.com

To your success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

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About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Top 10 Tips to Building a Balanced Business

Top 10 Tips to Building a Balanced Business

I started my business to create more work/life balance.

Honest. Ok. You can stop laughing now…. Anytime!

If you are still laughing at the naiveté of my younger self, then you must be in business for yourself as well.

You know all too well about the many long hours you put in; the constant drain on your time and your bank account; and the passion that comes from working day and night on either a) something that you love or b) something that you are now so far into that you can see no way out.

What if I told you, you could build a business that was balanced from the get-go?

Well, I guess that involves understanding what it means to be “in balance” in your business.

Most people assume the definition of work/life balance involves spending less time at work and more time doing something other than work that you love.

A quick online search brought up these definitions, all rooted in a similar thought:

“Work-life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). This is related to the idea of “lifestyle choice.” – Wikipedia

“Work-life balance is knowing what feeds your energy.” – Jacki Zehner, CEO of Women Moving Millions

“Work-life balance is about getting more sleep.” – Amy Errett, cofounder of Madison Reed

“My secret to having work-life balance is to schedule in my fun.” – Monif Clarke, CEO of Monif C. Plus Sizes

And…

“Work-life balance means making decisions around where, who and what you’re going to sacrifice, because you can’t do it all,” – Nike Taranto, Cofounder of Plated.com

I also turned to Richard Branson for his tips on achieving a healthy work/life balance. That man seems to be always having a good time, and with his success, I figured he must have some “secrets” up his sleeve.

Here are his:

  1. Rise Early
  2. Limit Screen Time
  3. Write lists
  4. Make time for sports
  5. Make time for loved ones
  6. Embrace something new (or do something new every day)

I like how Branson just ASSUMES you are going to love what you do every day. It didn’t even make his list!

So what I’m hearing from the above is work-life balance involves prioritizing; doing things you enjoy; having fun; and sacrificing some things.

I agree with all those statements – except for the word sacrifice.

I believe in choosing what’s most important and prioritizing what will make you the MOST happy, fulfilled and successful in your business and in your life.

Here is my definition of work/life balance:

“You are “in balance” when you are happy.”

Yikes, now that’s a new can of worms to open, not only am I asking you what it means to be balanced, now I’m also asking you what it means to be happy too?

So, let’s translate that to starting up a business that you love to work in.

What do you need to be happy (and consequently balanced) in your business?

Here are my top 10 tips to being balanced and happy in your business:

  • Start a business doing something you love
  • Hire out the pieces you don’t love doing yourself.
  • Honour your need for rest when you need it
  • Cultivate the important relationships in your life so you don’t replace all of them with work
  • Run your business from somewhere you love being, day in and day out
  • Set up your business so you, as a person, thrive in it
  • Decide up front what it means to be successful in your Balanced Business – and make sure you count more than money in your Success Variables – what does success mean to YOU and to your business?
  • Surround yourself with people you enjoy working with and who share your values in your business.
  • Do something just for you every day.
  • Know what YOU need to be happy.

Yes, when you are running your own business, it all starts with you. The more you know yourself, your limitations, your personal gifts and what fills your tank, the more you can create a life and a business that you love to be in and where you will feel balanced, no matter how much you work and no matter what other people may say.

Because, if you are working most of the time and LOVING it, I would argue that you are balanced.

All this because you get to define it and you get to create your own Personal Business Equation – which defines success on your terms.

What do you need to feel in balance in your business or anywhere for that matter? The more you know that up front, the more you can be assured you will be enjoying the fruits of your labour for many, many years.

About the Author, Susan Elford

Kathryn Wilking

Susan Elford, PR Strategist & Leadership Coach, works with start-ups and seasoned entrepreneurs to help them get real about their strengths and celebrate them so they get more of what they want; clients, exposure and success, while living a life of balance.

Visit Susan at www.elfordcommunications.com for traditional PR support and www.susanelford.com for a look into how she works with her coaching clients.


How Meta Tags Influence SEO and Website Rankings

Why Business Owners Need to Go Beyond Just Adding Content to a Web or Blog Page

How Meta Tags Influence SEO and Website Ranking

If your business has a website (of which I hope so!), then it’s important to think beyond just writing keyword rich copy for the page. It’s also vital to utilize the catalog of Meta tags available that can be associated with that page in order to get better traction in the search engines.

Business owners must think beyond keyword rich content and use SEO Meta tagsClick To Tweet

One of the parts of good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques includes HTML Meta tags. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a programmer to learn the basics of Meta tag relevancy and how you can use them to draw your ideal client in to visit your site.

Unlike the early stages of search engines, adding relevant keyword meta tags won’t rank your website higher up the search results anymore. However, Meta tags are a great way for business owners to provide search engines, and their users, with information about their website.

But when used incorrectly, the negative impacts can be detrimental to your business.

Simply put: Tags, by definition, are snippets of text that describe a page’s content but they don’t appear on the actual website itself, they only appear in the pages’ HTML code.

In this article, I’ll cover the six different types of meta tags and why you need to pay attention to them for all pages on your website, including blog posts.

  1. Meta Keywords Attribute (Aka. Keywords Meta Tag)

    Usually, a good keyword meta tag is a list of 10-15 essential ideas related to your web page. They should be based on a specific theme or topic of discussion on any particular page or post on your site.
     
    As mentioned, the “keywords” meta tag was once crucial in the early stages of search engines. In modern times, however, Microsoft’s Bing is the only search engine that still looks at these keywords. Bing also uses keywords to detect spam.
     
    Since some search engines still these tags in their algorithm, we recommend adding them anyway despite many SEO experts saying not to bother.

  2. The Title Tag

    A title tag, on the other hand, is the most important title tag to use on a web page and blog article.
     
    Each page should have a unique title tag that specifically describes the content on that web page.
     
    You will always find the title tags of each web page at the top of your browser, giving the viewer direction as to where they are and more importantly, gives the search engines a primary look into what that page is about.
     
    Meta Title Tag demonstration in Google

    Ideally, you want to use keywords in the title tag but in a way that makes sense to the reader in efforts to draw them in and want to click to continue reading the piece.

  3. The H1 and Other Heading Tags

    These tags are also important. The search engines will look at these as indicators of context.
     
    In terms of on-site SEO, header tags are certainly here to stay–it has been demonstrated that careful optimization can lead to major ranking increases.
     
    Use heading tags as a means to help organize your page or article:

    • H1 tag: What is this page about?
    • H2, H3, H4 tags: What is this section about?
  4. Meta Description Attribute (AKA. Meta Description)

    First and foremost, the Meta description is a short summary sentence that appears in the search result pages under the Page Title.
     
    Often, the meta description information is what shows up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results’ Page) as the page’s description.
     
    Google description Meta tag example
     
    Even though Google had stated that keywords in meta descriptions have no impact on website rankings, they are still considered very important to many SEO leaders.
     
    We at eVision Media, feel that using relevant, well-researched keywords in targeted demographics & geographic regions can only benefit your website ranking.
     
    Another reason to pay careful attention to the Meta description tag is your SERP sales pitch. Use this tag to describe your page in such a way that the user will want to click.
     
    To make the description sound both applicable and sensible isn’t easy; hence, why, we are here to help!

  5. Meta Robots Attribute

    The meta robots attribute is a lesser known meta tag but nonetheless, ranks as the second important meta tag. These tags direct the search engines on what to do with your webpages:

    • HTML code: index/noindex – whether to show your page in the SERPS or not
    • Follow/nofollow- tells the engines what to do with the links on your pages, whether to trust and “follow” your links to the next pages, or not.
  6. Blog Post Tags

    Although not considered official Meta tags, blog post tags are very valuable to your site’s visitors and to search engines.
     
    Much like in WordPress, tags can be used as “categories” next to every blog post to ensure  visitors find the topics they want to read.
     
    From a visitor’s stand point, blog post tags improve the usability of your website as they can identify specific post topics.
     
    Ultimately, blog post tags categorize information on the web page and group them into topics, which in the end, will increase your site ranking.

At eVision Media, we provide hassle-free SEO services that aid in your success of running your business.

Hiring an SEO professional will avoid you from making costly marketing mistakesClick To Tweet

Hiring internet marketing services will help avoid you from making costly mistakes.

A little mistake you make now could cause large problems for you in the eyes of the major search engines later.

Some examples include using your primary keyword too often or giving the images in your blog posts the wrong name. SEO mistakes like these can get your website penalized or maybe even blacklisted by Google.

If you don’t wish to take on the big task of search engine optimizing your website, give us a call. This is what we do every day and achieve incredible results for our happy clients.

To your success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

How Meta Tags Influence SEO and Website RankingClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Ending Self-Sabotage: How to Turn the Enemy Within Into an Ally

Ending Self-Sabotage: How to Turn the Enemy Within Into an Ally
You have a big presentation in the morning and have carefully proofed it for typos. You have selected your outfit. You have downloaded the directions and made sure you have a full tank of gas.

Knowing it’s important to get a good night sleep, you turn in early only to toss and turn all night as you rewrite your presentation in your head all night long …

You made a commitment to a spending plan at the beginning of the year and have been diligently keeping your agreements with yourself for over four months now.

Yesterday, you were idly scrolling through a couple of your favorite shopping sites and fell in love with a gorgeous purse in the season’s hottest color.  You hit BUY without thinking …

You’ve just lost those extra 10 pounds (again) and to celebrate, you order in a large pizza with all the trimmings, a jumbo soda, and know that today’s the day that you will demolish the pint of chunky chocolate chip ice cream in the freezer …

These are just a few of the ways we self-sabotage but there are plenty more. 

Can you recognize any of these other self-sabotaging traits that result in you getting in your own way?

  • Pushing or rushing to achieve results:  This behavior almost always backfires; in your impatience, you make mistakes, overlook key details, or make impulsive decisions that have not been thought through.
  • Being overly dramatic:  When your response to a situation is larger than necessary or expected, it can suck all the air out of the room.  It pushes other people away.
  • Withdrawing due to fear of rejection:  If you are afraid of failure, you might talk yourself out of even trying or getting started.  It can lead to paralyzing indecision and overly-cautious behaviors that are undermining and non-supportive.
  • Self-defeating extravagance:  You might tell yourself that you deserve this treat, or that one, but ultimately, if you are undercutting your own financial security, you do not mean yourself well.  
  • Workaholic tendencies: Working all the time may inflate your sense of importance, but it can also create isolating aloofness and a disconnect from the things in life that truly matter, like family, intimacy, self-care, play, and one’s spiritual growth.
  • Stubbornness: When you are overly attached to your own perceptions versus being open to considering other people’s point-of-view, you can find yourself getting competitive versus collaborative. Stubbornness can mask a compulsion to be right and give rise to destructive rebellion.
  • Demoralizing perfectionism:  Perfectionism shows up in different ways, such as excessive questioning, obsessive worrying, compulsively blaming others or oneself, and behaving like a “superior victim.”

So, where does this self-defeating behavior stem from?

The easy answer is that it arises from your thoughts and your feelings. 

Negative thoughts about oneself generate self-loathing. A feeling of not being good enough and of not belonging.

When you stuff those feelings, you empower them.

When I was a child I remember wondering who was that who was speaking such hateful things in my head?

In my 30’s, I discovered in A Course in Miracles that I choose to think the thoughts I think, and that if I didn’t like the thought I was thinking, I could choose to think another thought.

That was truly empowering!

I also learned that our thoughts have the power to create our reality. Thinking a negative thought was an attack thought on myself.  That really got my attention!

I wondered why I would hate myself so much by thinking that bad things were going to happen to me, that nobody loved me, and so on.

By thinking these negative thoughts over and over, I was calling them into my reality.

Growing up in England, I learned we didn’t express our feelings (it just wasn’t done!) and we acted as if nothing was wrong, whether we had been hurt to the core or were feeling traumatized.

As an empath, I could feel the pain and frustration of my mother and could see she had nowhere to go with it.  She died of cancer in her early 50’s and I was in my mid-30’s when I realized I was on the same path.

With this realization, I knew that getting in touch with my feelings and learning to release them safely, harm to none, would not only save my life but support me in showing up authentically in my life.

Through steadily releasing my feelings over time, I let go of my childhood defense patterns of perfectionism, having no needs, and rushing through my discomfort.

Now, that I choose to think thoughts that support me, that mean me well, and no longer entertain or dwell on negative thoughts that terrorize me, undermine me, and now that I choose to release negative feelings quickly, in privacy, without holding on to them, and with harm to none, I see my body and mind as my greatest allies and partners in life.

My willingness to take the time to go step-by-step in building my business, and to allow the passage of time to reveal the right path, instead of being impulsive and impatient has ultimately supported business growth that is connected to my values.

No longer rushing to the finish line has resulted in my cultivating flexibility, tempering my arrogance and releasing stubbornness.  Calming my mental anxiety through meditation and choosing the thoughts I think, gives me the courage to be myself, to be aware of my needs and ultimately to trust myself.

Does it take time and focus?

Life is an awareness game; it is lived in the present moment.  Every time you become aware you are thinking a negative thought, whether it is about you or a client or someone else, catch it and stop it.

Think another thought, a thought that is positive and supportive.  You free yourself from self-sabotage, one thought at a time.

Love and blessings,
Aimée

Aimée Lyndon Adams

About the Author, Aimée Lyndon-Adams

Aimée Lyndon-Adams is both a seasoned corporate executive and a metaphysician practicing spiritual energy healing. She has provided coaching and healing sessions to individuals, couples and groups and has offered an energy management curriculum of training classes for many years. She is an articulate and charismatic speaker and facilitator.

Visit www.WhatTrulyMatters.com to claim instant access to your free gift for your juiciest life EVER!

SEO 101: Why Entrepreneurs Need to Pay Close Attention

Whether you are a solopreneur or run a busy business, SEO is a piece of your marketing pie that you can’t ignore.

What the heck is SEO anyway? I know this phrase has been around for years but a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners do not really totally understand what it means.

Watch today’s eTip as I explain exactly what SEO is and what you need to know so you can take advantage of its power in driving qualified traffic back to your website:

 

The acronym SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In terms of your website, your SEO objective is to be visible in front of your target market when they are doing a search in search engines such as a Google, Yahoo!, Bing or any of the other search engines available.

Understanding What Your Target Market is Searching for

When people do a “Google” search, they are looking for a solution to a problem. If your business offering matches that solution, your goal is to position yourself in front of those people so you can provide the solution they are seeking.

This is where SEO comes in.

SEO is a form of marketing that captures the interest of people who do not know you yet but your product or service will be the solution they seek. Your goal is to position your website listing high enough in the search results rankings to be seen by those people.

Ideally you want to be in the first 3 pages of search results. If they can’t find what they are looking for after the third page, they are going to try a different Google search.

Why Keywords are Important

Your job is to understand what your target market would be typing into the search engines. Do some research to find out What keywords they be using if they were looking for your product or service.

Once you have that understanding, take those keywords and phrases and infuse them into your website through title tags, description tags, keyword META tags, and the website page and blog content as well.

No One Knows the Secret to High Rankings

The biggest problem marketers face is not knowing what the best solution is to get a website ranked number one in the search engine rankings.

Nobody knows. No one has that secret to success so be aware of those that promise you rankings at the top of search engines. No one can make that kind of promise.

As an entrepreneur you want to get your website as high up in the search engine rankings so your target market can easily find you.

Then it’s up to your website to appeal to that target market and convert those people either into your list so you can further nurture them or to make a purchase.

The Reality of Entrepreneurship

The reality of being a business owner is you have to keep inviting your target market to come to your website. The best way to do that is by investing in SEO to drive qualified traffic to your website. You want to nurture new people who do not know you yet and convert them into paying clients.

If you have any questions about SEO, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer. Also, if you’re looking for a qualified SEO specialist who can boost your search engine rankings, give us a call to discuss.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

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About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".