Posts Tagged marketing

Emery Road’s Top Five Posts From 2009

Now that the new year is in full swing and most of us are back in the office, I thought it was time to revisit a few blog posts from 2009.

Last year was a year of creative thinking and exploring new and more effective ways to reach people in order for us to stay in business. Some of us scraped by on our boot heels and others were a bit more successful and ended the year with a bang with new business.

To all of you who made it: Congratulations! I wish everyone a great start to 2010. May your business grow with all of the new and endless opportunities a fresh, new year brings.

Emery Road’s Top Five Blog Posts From 2009:

Ten Tips for Creating a Website Your Visitors Will Want to Read – The ten most important things you need to know about content when creating your website.

The Why and How of Twitter – A popular post, The Why and How of Twitter is a brief introduction to Twitter as an effective marketing tool.

12 Ways to Promote Your Business – Have you taken advantage of these free (or low cost) ways to promote your business?

9 Etiquette Guidelines for Social Networking – Social networking isn’t just about making a sale. Sure, that’s all we want: more sales and more income. But you won’t gain more sales if you don’t first develop relationships. Check this post to make sure you’re making the most of your social networking experience.

How to Maximize Your LinkedIn Experience – There are a number of things you can do on LinkedIn for your business. Are you taking advantage of them?

Enjoy the new year! Warm wishes from all of us at Emery Road Writing Services.

About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.

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Getting (More) Business From Twitter

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Twitter can be a very effective marketing tool to gain more business, more exposure, and more credibility for your company. But how do you ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward and making the most of your Twitter marketing efforts?

Well, following a few basic guidelines will help you maximize your Twitter potential. Use this checklist to see where you stand and how your efforts can be improved.

  1. Determine what you want to achieve from Twitter and develop a Twitter marketing plan.
  2. Make use of your Twitter bio.
  3. Schedule time in your agenda for Twitter marketing.
  4. Plan your tweets to maintain consistency.
  5. Keep your tweets under 120 characters to improve their retweetability.
  6. Choose your characters (i.e., words) carefully to make the most of your tweet.
  7. Use relevant hashtags in your tweets.
  8. Post tweets several times throughout the day.
  9. Don’t just post things about you and your company; share other information that is relevant to your followers.
  10. Unless you’re trying to reach an international audience, avoid tweeting at odd hours of the night when only a rare few will see the tweets.
  11. Proofread your tweets.
  12. Interact with your followers.
  13. Thank people who retweet or mention you. Unless you’re a big name on Twitter, don’t just post a general “thank you” in your Twitter stream. Instead, include the @ and the person’s Twitter name so he can see your message.

For more information on how to use Twitter, head on over to my post, The Why and How of Twitter.

About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.

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12 Ways to Promote Your Business

When you own a business, you want to get your name out there to as many folks as possible. It isn’t always easy to do that and it can be very time consuming. But taking the time to develop a marketing plan and to participate in business promoting activities is your best bet in achieving business success.

There are a number of ways to reach your audience. Explore all options and then decide on a plan of action. Here are twelve ways to get you started.

  1. Social Networking – Offline

    Getting involved in networking events hosted by your local chamber of commerce, BNI chapter, or other organization is a great way to spread the word about your business. See my post on social networking etiquette.

  2. Social Networking – Online

    Join LinkedIn and Twitter and create your profile. This is a great way to stay connected with people you’ve met and to get introduced to other people. See my blog post on how to use Twitter.

  3. Website

    Having a professional website helps your business achieve more credibility and is another way for your customers and target market to find you. Give people multiple ways to contact you and if you have a brick and mortar store, be sure to include your location and hours of business. Also, be sure your website looks professional. If you’re not sure, ask a professional for feedback. It is always better to have NO website than to have an unprofessional one.

  4. Articles

    Write articles that demonstrate your expertise and submit them to online sites like EzineArticles to gain exposure as an expert in your field. If you don’t have time or talent, hire a copywriter to help you.

  5. Blog

    Start a blog and write posts that provide helpful information. If you provide valuable and helpful content on a regular basis, your readers are more likely to come back for more. Be sure to create an informative ‘About’ page that mentions your company and its value to customers.

  6. Community Involvement

    Get involved in the community and offer a service for a good cause to gain more exposure for your business. Write a press release about it, then post it on your website and submit it to your local newspapers.

  7. Case Studies

    Write case studies featuring your customers and their experiences with your product or service. You can then post the case study on your website or use it as a handout to prospects. Be sure your subjects have agreed to an interview before hiring a copywriter to produce the case study.

  8. SEO

    Incorporating relevant keywords into your website copy can improve your ranking with the search engines and thus improve your chances of increased traffic to your site. You want to make sure your text still makes sense, so take caution when adding your keywords to your site.

  9. Marketing Materials

    Produce a professional brochure about your services and have it handy when prospects want more information. Be careful not to use too much of the same text from your website (or vice versa). You want your material to be fresh and new and to complement each other. Send out direct mail if your budget allows it.

  10. Testimonials

    Post real customer testimonials on your website and get recommendations from your connections on LinkedIn to gain credibility with your customers and prospects.

  11. Partnerships

    Visit with your neighboring businesses and see if there is a way you can work together to improve both of your businesses. A referral program may work for you.

  12. Seminars

    Offering seminars on industry-related topics is a great way to gain more exposure for your business and mark you as an expert in your field.

Follow this list and you’ll be well on your way to effectively promoting your business. But remember: always be professional and produce professional materials to improve customer retention and acquisition.

About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.

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The Why and How of Twitter

Since Twitter’s inception, there has been a great deal of talk about the value and purpose of Twitter. While it is true that many individuals use Twitter to tell followers what they had to eat or what they did the night before, many folks (business professionals included) use Twitter for useful reasons. What useful reasons could there possibly be, you ask. Those who gain value from using such an interesting tool

  • stay connected with their target audience;
  • follow others in their industry;
  • learn valuable information they probably would not have been exposed to otherwise; and
  • gain exposure for their business.

Here are some tips on how to use Twitter:

  • Develop a plan. Decide how you want to use Twitter. Do you want to get to know your followers, provide valuable tips and information to help others, use it primarily as a marketing tool? Will you plan your tweets?
  • Decide on a username. Keep your username short and easy to remember. By keeping it short, you’ll increase your retweetability.
  • Create a profile. Write a biography that explains what you do. Make the most of those 160 characters and use keywords that clearly describe your business. These keywords will help with your search engine ranking.
  • Upload a photo or a company logo, depending on your Twitter plans.
  • Tweet. Communicate with others. Post tips, links to useful information, and other content that you think might be valuable to your readers. Let everyone know about new blog posts, news about your company, appearances in articles, etc.
  • Recommend others. Friday is well-known to Twitter folks as FollowFriday when people recommend that followers follow certain individuals. Recommend one person or company at a time and mention why people should follow them.
  • Respond to replies and mentions. It is a nice gesture to thank someone for retweeting or including you in a FollowFriday mention.
  • Tweet on a regular basis. You want your audience to remember you, so tweet a few times throughout the day.

The nuts and bolts of tweeting:

  • Be sure to use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation when tweeting. Be professional and proofread before sending your tweet to the twittersphere. A bad tweet can haunt you for life as it gets indexed with the search engines.
  • Be tasteful. Again, you don’t want to post anything unprofessional or inappropriate, so take your message into consideration before submitting.
  • Avoid political statements. Politics should be avoided when it comes to business. You don’t want to offend your current or potential customers.
  • Keep your tweets to 120 characters or less to improve their retweetability. If your tweets are too long, people either won’t retweet them or they’ll butcher your tweet and you’ll risk appearing unprofessional.
  • Use a URL shortener to keep your links short and retweetable.
  • Provide valuable information. You want to earn respect and appreciation from your followers, so give them content they can benefit from. For example, if you own a fireplace store, you might offer tips on selecting the right fireplace, how to make the most of your stove, or how to save money on heating.

About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.

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