As a business owner, I’m constantly plagued with this doubt in myself. I look at other successful entrepreneurs and envy their strengths. I find myself thinking, “I’m definitely not as smart as him” or “I wish I had her public speaking skills” or “I’ll never be as much of a people person as them” and in the process I put myself down to the point where I start to wonder if I’m really any good at anything at all. People will give me props for being a small business owner and I’ll shirk them off, chocking up this feat to dumb luck because I honestly don’t believe that I really deserve any of them. When I look in the mirror I feel inferior to other entrepreneurs that I’ve met or read about and secretly hope no one will ever find out that I’m a pretender. That’s how I feel – like I’m pretending to be a successful business owner, or intelligent marketing professional, or diligent working Mom. Then it becomes difficult to run my business because I feel like no matter what I‘m doing, I could be doing it better. So, if you find yourself drowning in the same sea of doubt, I have some advice for you. Here’s how you can continue to run a business when you’re “not great at anything”:
Email Headlines That Don’t Suck
Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective (not to mention profitable) ways to maintain customer relationships available to businesses of all sizes. Transactional emails inform customers of important information (confirming orders, relaying shipping information, providing account details, etc.) while email campaigns aim to get new prospects to pull the trigger and existing customers to convert again. Simply put, emails of all sorts are very good at what they’re intended to do. This is why email marketing continues to have the highest ROI of any marketing channel. But none of this means much if people ignore your emails in the first place!
Killer headlines make your emails stand out amongst inbox clutter and entice recipients to open them. Good headlines generate interest and drive purchases, signups, digital downloads, video views, and a slew of desired actions. So how do you write email headlines that don’t suck? I’m glad you asked…
Day-to-day PPC management takes time, know-how, and a keen understanding of the current state of the industry, which is why many small business owners find paid search so intimidating. It’s just as easy to get mired in the small details and miss the big picture as it is to go too high-level and fail to capitalize on the little opportunities that can add to make an account successful. This is why it’s so important to lean on PPC professionals for advice and direction when it comes to managing your paid search efforts.
If you’ve struggled with any of these common pain points, here’s some practical advice on how to cope!
How to Fire Customers with Tact
Anyone who works in a service industry has at least one story of a customer that made their life miserable. Sometimes it’s a customer with unreasonable demands, other times it’s just a total lack of understanding and willingness to learn. Some of these stories feature an aggressive protagonist that you just love to hate, and often there are memorable quotes that accompany their antics. (In my case, I have a famous tale of an interaction with a lady that escalated with her sending me an angry email that simply said “Y’ALL NEED TO Y’ALLS WHATEVA OFF THE INTERNET!” after I calmly tried to explain that didn’t even have an account with the company I worked for at the time.) As professionals we share these war stories in closed circles because they bind us together with their universality!
So what do you do when you find yourself in a situation with an unreasonable customer? Here are some tips to help you handle the situation tactfully:
There’s an art to garnering a social media following. You need a delicate balance of being interesting enough to stand out from the crowd without being so far out there that you alienate potential followers. You need to engage existing followers to keep them around without making them feel like they’re being badgered. Basically you want to be that cool best friend and not that overbearing mom – not an easy feat. So how do you walk this tight rope without losing would-be and current followers? Basically, you avoid all of these common pitfalls:
The spring is here and a lot of people are dusting off their running sneakers and getting out to shed those extra pounds. Maybe you should be doing that too… for your PPC account! If your PPC account could benefit from getting rid of some dead weight, you’ve come to the right place. This quick tutorial will help you figure out what to focus on to achieve a leaner PPC account. A slimmed down AdWords account is easier to manage and, ultimately, more effective in the long run!
Last month HubSpot published an article detailing why they decided to unsubscribe almost half of their email subscribers (250,000 people) without asking. The end result was far more effective marketing! How is this possible? Graymail!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with email marketing jargon, graymail is the term given for that gray area between effective email communication and spam. Technically, the people receiving it have opted into receiving emails from you, but they actually couldn’t care less about what you have to say or offer. (Think, people who provide their email addresses to enter a contest or who make a purchase on your site for someone else and don’t uncheck the box that automatically adds them as a subscriber.) These people are easy to spot because of their low (or non-existent) engagement rates and often stick around like stale bread rather than taking the initiative to unsubscribe themselves.
So why is it a good idea to purge your email list of subscribers that view your email communications as graymail? These subscribers act as an unstable base upon which to build your email marketing efforts and can lead to failure over time!
Choosing a domain name for your website is one of the most important business decisions that you can make! A bad domain name can translate to ineffective marketing and lost traffic. When selecting a domain name, use these 7 do’s and don’ts to help you make a good choice!
I recently went to the dentist for a cleaning and as a follow-up after my appointment, the office sent me a survey to get feedback on my experience. I’ll be honest – I hate going to the dentist. But as far as dentists go, my dental office is really great. They’re efficient and friendly and they do a great job, so I left them a 5-star review. When I submitted it, the thank you page had a link to read other reviews, so I decided to see what other people had to say. As I anticipated, the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, but then I noticed a 1-star review where someone warned “STAY AWAY FROM THIS SHADY BUSINESS!” It caught my attention, so I clicked on it. The lady went on to explain that she had a perfectly fine visit but that while she was there they had recommended that she use a Sonicare electric toothbrush and then offered her the ability to buy one from them. She subsequently concluded that they “were just trying to squeeze money out of her” and that it was “all a ploy” and, subsequently, that they shouldn’t be trusted in the slightest. This woman was literally filled with rage that a dentist recommend that she brush her teeth more effectively. Let’s break this down…
By definition, dentists care about dental hygiene (or they would have chosen a different career), so it makes sense for them to advocate the use of products that have been scientifically proven to make teeth and gums healthier. This is presumably, the reason why they sell any electric toothbrushes in the first place. Furthermore, if a medical professional is recommending something, they’re basically staking their professional reputation on it so it’s reasonable to conclude that they would favor a particular brand/model over just any kind in general. And lastly, Sonicare is one of the top electric toothbrushes available so it’s not like they were recommending the dentist’s cousin’s private label of dental care. Taking all of this into account, it doesn’t seem “shady” in any way for a dentist to recommend and sell toothbrushes. And the reason for trying to get patients to buy them before leaving? Sure, they probably make a small percentage of the sale, but more likely, they know that people will tell them anything that they want to hear (“I’ll buy an electric toothbrush the next time I go to the store”, “I’ll start flossing every day!”, etc.) and then walk out the door and never follow through. By getting someone to make the purchase on the spot, they can avoid a situation where someone procrastinates and then forgets to make good on their promise. So why was this woman so angry? Consumer skepticism.
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