How Not to Kill Your Online Business

Business owners face many difficult challenges, but their ultimate goal in the online business world is to get truckloads of new potential customers to visit their website.

On the other hand, another major goal is to create brand exposure as you grow your company online.

Do you have a plan to spur this growth and build your brand?

Some people have a plan and it works out to be a major success. Others try a few things here and there and fail miserably.

If you’re finding it difficult to grow your business online, or you’ve hit a plateau and branding and website growth is now stagnant, you should avoid the following missteps to prevent the unintentional death and destruction of your online business.

Let’s now take a look at the major pitfalls that you need to avoid.

 

Do You Track Your Most Important Online Business Metrics?

Business owners often fail to track the most important online metrics for their website, which is the reason why some of them have a tough time finding success.

As far as conversions are concerned, you need to immediately begin tracking things like marketing campaign conversion rates, email subscriber sign-ups, your cost per lead, your website’s lifetime visitor value, customer acquisition costs, and more.

If you begin tracking these metrics and really pay attention to the data, you’ll immediately notice areas that could benefit from serious improvement.

By working hard to test and improve specific aspects of your website, you’ll be able to increase conversion rates tremendously instead of wasting this valuable traffic.

Productivity tracking is also incredibly important.

Are you reaching your greatest levels of productivity throughout the day? Are your employees? Are your freelancers?

As an example, if you’re working on a marketing campaign promoting the top fundraisers for nonprofits, you should track all hours spent working on this project by using an online time clock like Clockspot.

By tracking productivity online, you’ll be able to figure out when your staff is being most effective, when they are least effective, when you personally struggle to produce, and you’ll even figure out your revenue per employee.

Again, once you have access to this information, you can use it to tweak your processes so that you and your team can become even more productive.

 

Does Your Website Contain Average, Run-Of-The-Mill Content?

One of the fastest ways to kill your online business is to become part of the crowd without sharing content that stands out.

Is your website basically a clone of every other website in your niche?

If so, you are doing your audience a major disservice.

Sure, standard industry related content certainly has its value. But if you really want to make an impression and grow a wide audience, you’ll provide your readers and website visitors with unique, new content that shares an interesting perspective.

That’s how you stand out in the crowd!

Pay attention to the trends taking place in your industry. But instead of sharing these stories verbatim like a parrot, you have to put your own spin on them.

Use current industry trends to your advantage by twisting them and turning them and manipulating them into your own ideas so that you’re presenting something unique to your audience.

 

Are You an Industry Leader?

You’re really missing the boat if you haven’t stepped up and presented your company as a major industry leader.

Remember, no one wants to take advice from the 25th best website, right?

So take on a leadership role. Your audience will recognize this and begin trusting your business as a valuable leader in your market.

 

Conclusion

Nobody said building an online business is easy. If you avoid making the critical errors mentioned above, you’ll have a much better chance at achieving online success.

 

Guest post by Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Towering who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition

 

Social media image size 2016 update

Pin it or bookmark it! And always have this cheat sheet around to check it the images you are using on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and so on, are the right size to fit the profile.

Quick preview

Facebook Image Sizes

  • Cover photo: 815 px wide by 315 px tall
  • Profile image: 180 px wide by 180 px tall
  • Highlighted image: 1200 px wide by 717 px tall
  • Shared image: 1200 px wide by 630 px tall
  • Shared link thumbnail image: 1200 px wide by 627 px tall

Read More…

2016 online marketing predictions

Turning a new page in the social calendar is like a fresh start to better decisions, new motivation and new things to try. Looking forward to 2016, I gathered some of this year’s online marketing predictions from the top minds out there.

CrystalBall

  1. 2016 content marketing will be dominated by videos, live streaming and virtual reality with social sharing. From Facebook live streaming to Twitter and Periscope, all want a piece of the video sharing pie. We’ve seen virtual reality coming out string in 2015 with glasses and Cardboard goggles, and this year all the wearables will become main steam and with this the search and market for virtual reality content.
  2.  In 2015 we had a full display of the power of Facebook ads and a boost in customer care through messages. In 2016 companies will shift from the “we have to do social media” mindset to “we need to do” because a huge part of the action is social and is hard to ignore the potential.

  3.  Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to content. Wasting time on poor quality content is a waste of money in the end. Focusing on better and useful content goes a long way in the crowded newsfeeds.
  4. Trimming low performing social platforms. Spreading yourself too thin to cover as many platforms as possible is a waste of time and money. Closing low performing accounts is a great way to focus on what matters and brings in results.
  5. 2016 will be a great year for Instagram. Since the platform is popular almost everywhere because of it’s 400 mill users and still growing. And since launching of Instagram ads we have yet to see the full potential of the platform. Jumping on this trend might be a winning ticket for many.
  6. Paid will become the norm, organic will be de-emphasized even more. We got this message low and clear in 2015 and now we will put in practice with more personalized content and better targeted to see good results.
  7. . Traffic results show an increase in mobile visits part from the video content available throughout the platforms, part from the new ads options like Instagram ads or Facebook dynamic ads. Some of us will have to embrace the fact that mobile has outgrown the traditional desktop / website traffic.

  8. Measuring, measuring, measuring. Those who measure the results will see the value and the ROI and be willing to pay to get more, and those who don’t do a good job at measuring their efforts will stick to the traditional channels that they can master.
  9. Mature online marketers will be a great asset. Is like having a star playing for your team – it brings all the team up. This goes with online marketing too. A seasoned marketer will better adapt at new situations and better advice team, bringing faster results due to their experience and passion for this field.
  10. Digital Marketing Automation. Speeding up the process of finding, creating and publishing content leaves more time for strategy, learning and analysis. To help with this, more tools will emerge and become must-haves to any online marketer.

This year will also bring innovations to the existing platforms, but also new tools to work with online. Since 2015 has set a high bar on online dynamics, I can only imagine that this year will keep up this fast pace of new and creative things to lean and try out!

2016 Facebook trends you need to act on

We are almost at the end of 2015 and future trends begin to emerge from every online marketing corner. The most popular topic is Facebook and how big it is going to be next year.

Some of the trends are common sense for someone working with Facebook ads, but lets put them down for everybody:

  1. Carousel-ads or multi-product ads are on the rise

Since I’ve started working with those type of ads earlier this year I’ve been amazed by the power and quick results. But they don’t work as well with all types of businesses.

According to Facebook Q2 and Q3 reports, carousel ads have grown +55% from quarter to quarter this year, this being the biggest quarter growth for any type o ad. Read More…

7 ways to get motivated on a lazy day

Today is one of those days when not even a cup of black tea does the job. How can you?

As a freelancer consultant, I get one of those lazy days after I had a few days of intense work. The need to unwind is very normal, but I can’t do that in the middle of the week. So I have a few tricks to shake the lazy off and keep on going until the weekend and much-needed sleep and relaxation. Read More…

Introverts in a business world

Introverts are drained by social encounters and energized by solitary, often creative pursuits. Their disposition is frequently misconstrued as shyness, social phobia or even avoidant personality disorder, but many introverts socialize easily; they just strongly prefer not to… – Psychologytoday.com


What do Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg all have in common? In addition to being some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, all three are introverts. The definition above makes us think that introverts just like sitting alone, but apparently they use this alone time better than most of us. The surprise comes from the fact that in this fast pace world, introverts seem to thrive when others struggle to keep up.

Wonder why?

Being an introvert is something that many don’t know from the start. Is just a personality trait at the opposite end of the spectrum where extroverts are. Being an introvert is not something bad that you should try to cover up, and comes with a lot of great qualities if you are willing to act on them. Read More…

How much to charge for your services

Discussing about money with a client is often uncomfortable and you never know how much to ask for. For a freelancer this is even harder.

hubspot-compounding-blog-posts

So, how do you know how much to charge for your services?

A great piece of advice I got was to divide the sum I am aiming for in a month to the amount of time I have for my work. This way I will get to the hourly ideal payment.

Some clients take more time, others less. Finding a balance between how much time you spend on a project and a minimum sum you are willing to do the job for is a starting point. THis knowledge is important when you get to the negotiation phase.

Always leave a door open at the negotiation table to come back if you find out the project exceeds your initial estimation of time and resources and you need more to continue. I usually give a three months period to settle in, and if something is not right I call another talk. Read More…

Facebook ads finder

Facebook ads finder

Facebook ads finder

Did you know that there is an online tool that can look up Facebook ads?

It is easy to use and brings up ads from advertisers, certain keywords, URL and more…

Find more about this wonderful Facebook ads finder tool at Ad Espresso here.

I use this tool to do my research before launching a campaign for a new client. So if I need to set up a campaign for a clothing store, I need to get some top-notch inspiration from big brands on the same target audience as my client. Read More…

Social media ad size chart [infographic]

Social-Media-Ad-Sizes-Infographic-2015

Social media ad size chart

My most recent project is a Facebook Ads training course in which I teach the client all about FaceAds and what are the most powerful features. At the end of the course I gave a set resource sites for pic sizes, tips & tricks but I found myself without a good visual about a social media ad size chart.

Finally I found it on  Bannersnack.com and is very good to have at hand or bookmarked in the browser you use.

In short it talks about:

FACEBOOK

  • use a clear call to action – you have a special button for this so no need to put it on the picture
  • careful with the 20% text rule – better to test the pic than redo the whole campaign if it gets rejected

LINKEDIN

  • time is money and business people know it best – give people a reason to pay attention to the ad
  • monitor interaction – especially click-through-rate

PINTEREST

  • promote the best pins from your account
  • keep in mind pic sizes so the image looks good even when you click on it

Read More…

When to start buying Facebook Ads

starting-line

In the past it used to be all about searching on Google and finding out more about anything that comes to mind directly in from the search. Now, you just open the Facebook app on your phone and search for it there. If it isn’t there, there is a problem and you may get suspicious.

The first thing I tell a client when they want to get on board of the social media train is go where your potential customers are. If they are Facebook, Pinterest and Linkedin, then you need to create a profile there and make it reflect your image.

The next step is to get people to notice your presence. Here’s how you do that without investing all the money:

1. Get those first 25 fans on Facebook so you can get a custom vanity URL on the platform

2. Invite friends, your email list, employees, and tell them to invite people too

3. DON’T be tempted to buy likes! This may backfire on you so is better to grow a slow and quality follower base than a fake one Read More…

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