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Do You Work In Your Business Or On Your Business?

Coastline Marketing Group Newsletter GraphicAs a business owner, you have a responsibility as both a manager and an employee. If you are running the company yourself, you may play the role of customer service representative, sales manager and technical support. With so much to do each day, it can be hard to work on your business as much as you work in your business. What are some steps that you can take to shift your focus back to growing your company?

Hire Employees to Help With the Workload

Yes, employees do cost money. However, by attempting to run the business by yourself, you are robbing your customers of a quality buying experience. Just like you don't like long lines at the store or being put on hold for an hour, your customers don't want to deal with that either. By hiring more workers, you can improve customer service, and that goes a long way toward developing loyal followers who can become ambassadors for your brand moving forward.

Focus on Getting the Right Customer to Find Your Business

If you were the owner of a sneaker store, you wouldn't want to market to people who are looking for flowers. Even if you had 1,000 people in your store per hour, that traffic wouldn't lead to a lot of sales. Therefore, your advertising and marketing dollars would be wasted.

Instead of focusing on increasing customer traffic to your online store or physical store location, focus on finding a customer who wants or needs what you sell. In addition to increasing sales and getting a larger return on your marketing investment, those who find your company will be more receptive to your brand and its message.

Unfortunately, so many business owners get bogged down working in their businesses that they neglect to identify or market to their target customer. By taking a step back, you free yourself up to learn about marketing techniques that work in 2017 and why you need to be constantly evolving your strategy.

The Market Is Always Evolving and Changing

Spending too much time working in your business may cause you to stop making new products or improving on the ones that you offer. That is practically a death sentence for any company. If one thing is certain in the business world, nothing stays the same for very long. Social media is a fine example of how fast innovation can change the business world.

A decade ago, MySpace was the popular social media site that everyone flocked to. However, Facebook came about to take over its market share before companies like SnapChat and Instagram carved out their own niches. MySpace died out because it didn't adapt fast enough while Facebook is still around because it evolved to meet market demands. To create a successful company, you have to work on your business as much or more than you work in your business. Neglecting to do so could result in a poor experience for customers or a loss of market share as you fail to adapt and keep up with market preferences.


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Are You an Entrepreneur or a Wantrepreneur?

Coastline Marketing Group Newsletter GraphicWhen you decide to go into business on your own, you have to make an important decision. Running a business is so much more than being your own boss. As tempting as it might be to get into business because of wanting to set your own hours and coming and going as you please, you need to make sure that you are prepared for all of the various headaches that go along with being a business owner as well.

Entrepreneurs are those who know what it takes to have a successful business. They are willing to do what needs to be done in order to succeed.

Wantrepreneurs are those who want to be a business owner but don’t want to deal with all of the headaches. They want to come and go as they please without having all of the responsibilities of marketing campaigns, training employees and everything else that goes into a successful business.

Based upon these descriptions, you probably already know who you are.

Make Your Business a Priority

If you are going to be an entrepreneur, you need to make your business a priority. If you are all about “having fun,” than business ownership probably isn’t for you. Time has to be set aside on a regular basis in order to examine your business. You need to determine what needs to be done, and actively get involved in all of the different processes.

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you have to do everything on your own. You might be great at research and development, schmoozing clients and building your empire. However, you might not have the skills that it takes to create engaging marketing campaigns, maintain all of your books and handle HR and payroll.

As long as you know what you can and cannot do, the rest is a matter of working with people who are good in the areas that you don’t want to get involved. Find business partners or hire third parties to help with various departments of your business.

What Happens if You’re Failing

What if you’re already in business and what if your business is failing? 

The first step is to acknowledge that it’s not as easy as you thought it was going to be. Look at the areas where you might be struggling: product development, training, accounting, marketing or any other area. Raise your hand and ask for help from a business consultant. Look for help from a company that specializes in the area where you are struggling.

You’re never going to be the entrepreneur that you want to be if you simply wanted to get away from someone else. The “boss” is the one responsible for a lot of big decisions. If you don’t want to make those decisions, then it’s best to realize this and go back to a job where you have a boss making the important decisions for you.

Being a wantrepreneur is only going to last for a short while. At some point, you have to decide to step up to the plate, and dedicate the time to making your business work.


How Bad Spelling and Poor Grammar Can Affect Your SEO and Business

Learning to use proper grammar for SEO, Blue road sign with words They're, Their and There with sky backgroundWhen you are online with your own website or social media, you may think having spellcheck is all you need. However, there are many instances where having someone check what you write before you publish pays off. Naturally, there are many scare tactics out there about grammar. Nevertheless, the truth is that bad grammar costs you in ways you might not expect with online customers. To get a better understanding of how this happens and how an SEO or Social Media Manager can help, keep reading.

The weird connection between misspellings and online scammers

Have you ever received an email asking you to click on a link, but noticed something off-putting? For instance, you notice at the last second it has a major misspelling with the company name? The same is also true with odd word choice and word placement. When something looks out of place, the chances are high that you are going to be redirected to a virus or you're going to get scammed. Alternatively, when everything looks professionally written, you are more likely to investigate a link. If the grammar seems correct, you are more likely to click on a website from an online search.

A key reason poor grammar costs you money online

There are many online articles that show data concerning various corporate websites and how grammar mistakes cost them money. For owner-operator businesses that offer home services, bad grammar can also cost you. In short, if your business is centered around sales to people with a college degree, grammar is a must. They may also be the only income-range of people that can afford your services in the first place. Therefore, winning them over is a priority. In other words, if you are a good plumber with five years of a journeyman experience, your words might misrepresent you. In this case, you can easily turn over the grammar to someone that makes you shine online.

How poorly written daily social media posts affect your business

Have you posted or tweeted something because you were feeling emotional, and then regretted it later? One of the keys to having a professional online image is keeping your language and feelings corporate. This style of professional language does not come naturally to everyone, and many top CEOs have a solution. Namely, hiring someone that has a lot of online finesse with words such as an SEO or social media management specialist. It is also common for professionals with learning disabilities such as dyslexia to hire a writer. This applies to social media managing skills for all of their online communications or emails.

Have a Social Media Manager post or tweet for you

On top of being whizzes at social media management and SEO, there are other reasons you will want to have what you write proofed. For example, before you click publish, your social media needs a good old-fashioned editor as if you are a newspaper. Think, for example, of politicians that post or tweet a misspelling or use an emoticon incorrectly on a photo caption. Other major mistakes you could be making is knowing when to use a hashtag. Of course, some tweets or posts could politically polarize your company in ways you do not expect. Alternatively, someone that specializes in promoting a positive public image for businesses can help. Before you post a photo online, they check word choice, misspellings and anything that could lead to a misunderstanding.

Do an online social media audit

In addition to having your social media on the right page moving forward, it pays to work on online history. For this reason, your social media management could include editing or deleting old social media. This move could also help with your SEO in key ways that keep search engines from passing over your website. Although this could take several weeks to edit and see search engine results, it is surprisingly effective in the long-term numbers.

How search engines tax you for bad grammar

There are a few ways with grammar that search engines allow website owners to bend the rules, and one is with contractions. Regardless, spelling errors may not affect your page rank, but it does affect how long people stay on your website. This means when they see a spelling or word-use error, potential customers are clicking out right away. On the other hand, when customers stay on your website and continue to browse, your page rank in search engines improves. This is due to your site credibility score going up thanks to customers sticking around on the webpage. This means when new customers do a search in the future, they are more likely to find your website in the results.

Where the best writing tools go wrong

When a big red line appears under text, you know that you have made a mistake. Nevertheless, when you click on the spelling choices, do you always know which one to pick? In the end, you need a person that knows all of the rules of English without making mistakes. What is interesting is that most website owners that hire editors think they do it alone. Instead, all good editors know that four or even six eyes are better than one pair. For this reason, you can have confidence that part of the editing tradition is having the help of other editors.

Hiring pro (SEO) search engine optimization editors keeps you polished online

Even if you are a doctor that speaks English as a native language, you could use extra help with your online communications. From blog posts to Facebook business photo captions, one team can take care of all edits before you hit publish. To get more information about these unique services that speak to the modern advertising age, contact us. We are happy to explain anything you still have questions about, and thank you for choosing us.


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How to Pinpoint your Target Market

Hone In and Win

You strike oil by drilling a single hole a mile deep. You do not find oil while digging 100 holes, each one 100 feet deep. Marketing is the same way. Too many business take a scattershot approach to marketing, spreading themselves thin across a wide array of channels. These business hope to get lucky and strike oil, but that’s rarely possible when you aren’t drilling down far enough. Casting a wide net doesn’t work if the net is full of holes. The minimal effort a business is able to put into each one of their huge set of campaigns may be as good as useless if those campaigns aren’t properly focused.

A more effective approach is to determine who and where your target audience is, create a specific strategy to market to that audience, and go all in.

As Entrepreneur Magazine puts it, back in the day, many business owners thought it fine to market to “18- to 49-year olds,” but “those days are a thing of the past.” The marketplace is so saturated and differentiated, it’s become impossible to talk about it in a general way.

Now, every single business on the planet has a specific target market, even if they claim otherwise, or they’re oblivious and trying to target everyone. The trick to successful marketing is to be intimately familiar with your demographic — their hopes, fears, desires, incomes, careers, and hobbies — because everything is relevant when it comes to getting someone to buy your product or service. If you’re able to find your target market, you’ll be able to determine where your marketing efforts will have the greatest impact.

Who Is Your Ideal Customer?

Look at your current clientele. What do they all have in common? Identify patterns, areas where your customers live, as well as platforms they often use. Find what experiences they have in common — there’s a difference between baby boomers growing up in the 50s versus the 60s. The better you know your own customers, the better you can serve, market to, and reach them.

The same applies to your own product or service. Look at what you offer. What are the specific benefits of what you’re selling? What sets it apart from similar items? How would a person use your product or service, and how would it improve their life? This will enable you to make a list of the types of customers who have a need or use for those benefits. This tactic will give you an even clearer picture of who your demographic really is.

If you fire ten bullets in random directions, instead of aiming just one at the bullseye, you’re wasting your time and resources. If you have any questions about how to magnify the impact of your marketing, how to focus in and strike oil, just ask us! We love to help businesses streamline and amplify their marketing tactics.

- Phil Fisk


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The Power of Reviews in Today’s Marketplace

Changing the World, One Star at a Time

In the smartphone age, consumers hold an unprecedented amount of power right in the palm of their hand. Social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Yelp can make or break a company, regardless of its size.

Twenty years ago, if a company told us they had the best food in town, we were inclined to believe them. If they told us they had the best customer service, we’d probably take them at their word. These days, if a company makes a claim like that, all we have to do is pick up our phone, look at their reviews, and see what other people are saying.

This illustrates that companies no longer have complete control over their message. As consumers, we help shape a company’s message. As a result, if a business doesn’t bother taking a customer-centric approach, their business will inevitably struggle or even fail.

The Power of the Online Review

Two years ago, a dentist came to me and requested help in marketing her struggling practice. It had been in operation for two years, and in those two years she had accumulated only eight Yelp reviews — with an average of two stars out of five. She knew that her reviews were holding her back, and after reading them, I knew there was something going on in the business that needed to change.

I sat her and her staff down and made it very clear that until they made their patients their number one priority, nothing would change. I helped them put processes and systems in place that would turn their reputation around. Two years later, she now has over 200 Yelp reviews and over 80 Google reviews. Roughly 95 percent of those reviews are a glowing five stars. Her business has tripled, enabling her to open a second location. Just by making her patients the practice’s focus and going above and beyond for them, she was able to completely turn her business around.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

As consumers, we should take note of stories like this. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.

If a business does you wrong, say something about it. By all means, leave a review. But make sure your review is in proportion to the level of service you received. If your coffee never got refilled, ask yourself, does that really deserve a one-star review? Perhaps it deserves a three-star review with a dose of constructive criticism.
We expect good service because that’s what we’re paying for. When we actually get that fantastic service, we usually don’t think to leave a review — because it’s what we expect. But if a business goes above and beyond, it’s important that you leave them a rave review. It helps support that business more than you know and contributes to more community businesses that are willing to go the extra mile.

So, share your experiences. Critique those that have done wrong and reward those that exceed your expectations. Contributing to your community really is as simple as marking down a few stars — why not take the time?

- Phil Fisk