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Succeeding in Business: Who is Your Audience?

Google search “marketing strategies” and you will find hundreds if not thousands of marketing tips, strategies, and ideas that could keep you reading for a lifetime. One thing you will find that all the sites have in common is a section on “getting to know your target audience.” Why? Because, fundamentally, every business owner should know their audience inside and out if they have any hope of succeeding in their field.

Knowing this, how exactly do you get to know your audience? What are some ways you can gather information about who is buying your product or using your services? Take a look at these methods that may help you connect with and retain loyal customers for years to come.

Do Market Research

Start getting to know the different demographics you want to target in your ads and marketing strategy by doing market research. A number of tools are available to help you here, some of which are free — like American FactFinder, which uses United States census information to help you find out key pieces of information about specific demographics.

Examine Your Competitors

Doing your research on the audience you hope to reach is important, but so is examining your competitors. Check out the social media, blogs, digital marketing, and print media of your closest competitors. Who are they targeting in their email lists? Who are they aiming to appeal to in their print and digital ads? Are they missing a group or do they have a group that you have forgotten? This extra layer of research can help you stay on track and know your audience compared to your competition.

Get to Know Your Consumers

If you have a storefront or visit clients often, get to know them personally. Find out what they like, and dislike about your products or services. Go the extra mile by trying to address their concerns. These personal insights may help you adjust your marketing to appeal to their needs or wants.

Monitor Reviews and Customer Feedback

The way to really get to know your audience is to listen to what they are saying on surveys, in reviews, and even to your face during interactions. Check out your company on Yelp, Google Reviews, and other online sites to know what clients think about your company. Adjust your marketing, products, and services accordingly.

Do you need help getting to know your audience? Check out our seminar called, “What is Your Business, and What Will It take to Succeed?” It is being offered on June 5 from 8:30 to 10:30 am. Check out our website for more details.

 

A Quick Guide to Presenting

Whether you are a first-time speaker or someone who does this regularly, presenting can be nerve-wracking and stress inducing. The old advice of “picture them in their underwear” does little to allay fears and nothing to improve your speaking skills. Instead, we offer a quick review of things to do before and during your next big presentation. Don’t worry, you’ve got this!

Be Prepared

No matter what the topic of your presentation is, be prepared. Have your presentation deck organized, technology all set, and handouts ready to go. Know your content inside and out to the point that you don’t even need to look at your slides. Go deep into your research so if questions are asked you will have the answers.

That takes us to the next way that you should be prepared – know your audience. Take a serious look at who your audience is and why they are coming to your presentation. What are their needs and what do they hope to get out of it? Obviously, a presentation to a group of CEOs will be dramatically different than one to first-time clients.

 

Start Strong

There is nothing worse for an audience member than hearing a speaker drone on from the start to the end of a presentation without showing passion or a love for what they are discussing. For this reason, start your presentation off strong. We live in a world of immediate gratification and constant entertainment. Start your presentation off with a bang and get their attention from the very start. Start by connecting with the audience through a story, an engaging slide, or information that they may not have heard before.

Keep It Simple and Straightforward

Most people in the business world have limited time as it is, so stick to a core message. It may help to tell the audience what the three main things are that you want them to take away from your presentation. Tell them upfront what you plan on talking about and then get to it. Try not to take a detour and chat about irrelevant information.

Be Personable

Smile, make eye contact, and speak naturally. These are three things you can do to relate to the audience and be personable. This can build rapport and actually make you less nervous.

A Word About Slides

Many great orators use slides, while others just talk. If you are going to use slides to complement your presentation, Guy Kawasaki of Apple suggests that slideshows should:

  • Contain no more than 10 slides;
  • Last no more than 20 minutes; and
  • Use a font size of no smaller than 30-point.

Giving a presentation doesn’t need to be unnerving. Following these simple steps can get you on the path to giving professional presentations. Need more information on being confident when presenting? Check out our seminar on “Presenting with Confidence” with Jim Ognibene on May 28 from 6-9pm.

 

Facebook Advertising

The numbers are in and, believe it or not, Facebook is closing-in on 2 billion users! Due to this, Facebook’s unparalleled audience gives it an “insurmountable competitive advantage,” according to Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush. This competitive advantage means Facebook advertising is an excellent investment that will get your business, services, and products viewed by thousands daily, if not more!

Wondering how to get started on Facebook advertising? Here are a few things to consider:

What is the goal of your advertising campaign? Do you hope to meet new customers or hope to retarget the customers you already have? Do you plan to increase brand awareness or have consumers download your app or possibly click on an ad that brings them directly to your landing page? This decision will give your advertising campaign a goal that will be measurable.
Who do you hope to attract in the advertising? More specifically, who is the audience? With Facebook advertising you can choose: location, age, gender, or any number of demographics to target a certain group according to your campaign goals.
Decide on the location of your ads. Facebook offers different types and locations of ads that can increase traffic and bring brand awareness to your services and products.
What is your budget? Decide on a budget that is in keeping with your marketing strategy. With Facebook, your company can set a budget for daily clicks, pay-per-click, or other options. But first, decide on what you want your amount to be so that you can strictly adhere to it.
How do you want your ad to appear? Do you want one image, multiple images, or even a video that can highlight your business? Images can beautifully display your services and products, and can increase traffic to your website.

Once you have made some of these decisions log into your business page and get started on reaching your share of those 2 billion users!

Facebook Advertising

More than one billion people are active on Facebook. Let that number sink in a bit. One billion people! When it comes to marketing and advertising, therefore, Facebook is too big to ignore. Managing and leveraging your social media account with Facebook advertising becomes essential. In addition, Facebook Ads can transform your business’s social reach without hurting your budget. Let’s take a closer look at some of the basics of advertising with Facebook and some tips from Facebook experts. 

  • Use Facebook’s tools to find the right audience easily. You can choose your audience based on demographics, behaviors or contact information. That means, you can really pinpoint the group you really want to see your Ad.
  • Pay attention to the analytics on Facebook. The Ad Reporting Tools show you how your ads impacted your business in visual, easy-to-read reports.
  • Follow guidelines set out by Facebook that help you choose the right format for your images and guide you through content formation.
  • Include a Call-To-Action. Adding a Call-to-Action to your Facebook Ads might not increase your click-through rate or make your ad more engaging, but it’s likely to improve your overall conversion rate and decrease your cost per conversion.
  • Use social proof such as testimonials to give your brand and company credibility.
  • Test multiple designs. No matter what your level of expertise is, or how long you’ve been advertising on Facebook, always test both your ad’s design and its targeting. Ad Espresso online suggests, “Coming up with at least 4 different Facebook Ad Designs and then test each one. For example, you might test two different images with two different copy texts (2 images x 2 texts = 4 variations).”
  • Ad Espresso also suggests, “Put the right ad in the right place.” Correct placement of your Facebook Ads is critical and, ideally, you want to optimize your design for each placement. For example, you can choose from Desktop Newsfeed, Desktop Right Column, or Mobile Newsfeed.

BLS Provider CPR (1-day Initial or Renewal Course, multiple sessions available)

(Initial or Renewal Course based on the 2015 AHA Guidelines)
Basic Life Support (BLS) is the foundation for saving lives after cardiac arrest. This course teaches both single-rescuer and team basic life support skills for application in both in-facility and prehospital settings. This course is designed for healthcare professionals and other personnel who need to know how to perform CPR and other basic cardiovascular life support skills.

In addition, BLS training can be appropriate for first responders, such as police officers and firefighters, as well as for laypeople whose work brings them into contact with members of the public, such as school, fitness center, or hotel and restaurant employees.

Students must pass a written exam and skills test in order to qualify for a BLS Course Completion Card.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive a completion cad valid for 2 years.

Conveniently scheduled on Saturday, please choose the session that works best for you.

REGISTER NOW!

Key Components of Logo Design

A logo is a memorable, eye-catching symbol of your company’s brand. A great logo is one that hooks your intended consumer within a few seconds of viewing. Sounds simple enough, right? The professionals sure do make it look easy but it is anything but. There are millions of logos out there every day bombarding consumers at every turn. The ability to create one that is iconic is no easy feat.  Here are a few suggestions from the design experts.

  • Keep it Simple – Logos need to be very adaptable to size, so the simpler the design the easier it is to identify no matter what size it is being viewed. We suggest you test your design on all sizes such from as large as billboard size to as small as a business card or ad on Facebook. If it has too many details it may not view well in smaller scales.
  • Make it Memorable – Some of the best logos have the ability to stay with the consumer and almost imprint on the brain. The goal should be to grab the attention of the viewer with a simple design that makes an impression and stays with them.  For example, the Nike symbol or the McDonald’s arches are simple and easy to remember.
  • Versatility – A good logo can be altered and still easily recognized. For example, the logo should have the capability of being viewed in color or black and white – yet still be easily identified as your brand’s logo. Versatile also means that your logo should be identifiable in small and large scales.
  • Timeless – If your logo is trendy, it might be perfectly fine for right now but a few years down the line it may seem dated and out-of-style. Stick with logos that are classic.
  • Color and Font Considerations – Be careful with color and font selection. University of Loyola, Maryland, published research that showed color can increase brand recognition by 80 percent. The underlying reason being there is a strong correlation between emotional responses and color, implying that the selected color will determine how your brand is viewed. In addition, select a font that translates well across different media and sizes.

Boost Your Mobile Strategy

In 2008, Mary Meeker, an analyst at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, who annually reviews technology trends, predicted that “Mobile will overtake fixed Internet access by 2014.”  It is not hard to believe that the tipping point has finally arrived.  As of 2014, more people globally were using mobile devices than using a desktop equivalent.  In fact, if I was a betting person, I would wager that you are either reading this on your mobile device or, at the very least, have your mobile phone, tablet, or watch right with you currently.  The statistics are certainly in my favor with 1.6 billion mobile user globally.

Armed with this information, business owners and marketing specialists are no longer asking the question if  mobile advertising is important but rather how to understand consumer’s behavior on their mobile devices in order to formulate a successful mobile advertising strategy.  If your mobile strategy needs a boost, here are a few tips to help develop and strengthen your mobile marketing strategy.

  • Keyword strengthening – While most business people recognize this strategy as being in line with content management, it is just as important when dealing with mobile marketing.  Advice from Entrepreneur online includes making sure that, “you include the local area in conjunction with your keywords, since mobile customers are typically searching locally. Remember to keep your keyword phrases small, utilizing no more than three.”
  • Use special offers – With hundreds of apps and product/service emails being sent daily, it is important to catch the eye of your consumer.  Among the best ways to do this is including sales and special offers first on your mobile site. Then, Include an opt-in that allows your users to receive alerts when you have new offers.  This can help boost your response rates even further. They can always unsubscribe but chances are they will want to be made aware of special deals coming down the pike.
  • Include contact and links to maps – Given that so many people search their mobile devices for services and products, it is critical to include a mapping option and email/phone number options on your mobile site clearly displayed.  Last year 60% of shoppers report having searched deals on their mobile device while shopping on Black Friday.  If a consumer finds a better deal they can easily click on a mapping option and find their way to your establishment!
  • Integrate social media to your mobile site – According to First Data, an online payment system provider, 81 percent of smartphone users check social media to read reviews before making a purchase. Marketers who have integrated their mobile program with customer reviews and social media sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are reaping the rewards.
  • Design a smart site – Responsive design allows businesses to craft a site that allow for optimal viewing across a wide range of devices.  Make it easy for your customers to not only find you with important keywords, but also for them to navigate your mobile site regardless of the product they are using.

Email Marketing 101

How many emails do you get a day, a week, a month? According to The Radicati Group, a technology research firm out of California, the average individual receives about 100 email messages every day!  That is a lot of information to get through and a large chunk of it is graymail or spam mail.  So how does your company compete with email marketing being so  saturated? Let’s look at the basics of email marketing and the role that email newsletters should have in your overall marketing strategy.

Why Email? – There are several reasons to send business emails.  Businesses can share news, build loyalty, educate, invite people to events, drive traffic to their site, sell products or services, and so on.  There are few other tactics for acquiring and converting customers that are so effective and cost-conscious. A  recent Digital Media Association study reported that 67% of respondents identified email as providing the best Return on Investment of any tactic (more than twice the response of any other tactic).

Email Tips and Strategies

  • Keep a goal in mind – When writing an email newsletter have an ultimate goal and outcome in mind as well as a specific call-to-action.  For example, are you trying to raise brand awareness, establish yourself as an expert in the field, build a contact list, provide tips or how-tos or possibly pass on educational information from your field? Use those goals to guide you when developing an email newsletter.
  • Email content and format – Mail regularly to keep your name and brand in the forefront  of your customers minds. Deliver the content you promised.  If you promised tips and how-tos then give the customer what they wanted.  Use images and text that bring your newsletter to life.  Use easy to read fonts and brand colors.  In addition, include a postal address and unsubscribe link as is required by CAN-SPAM.
  • Writing – Be yourself in the text and message.  Be personable and to the point without giving the “hard sell.” Be sure to check all spelling and grammar as those mistakes could look poorly on your company.
  • Delivery Information – Getting your email to your subscriber’s inbox is important – if it ends up in a SPAM folder, all that hard work you put into it won’t be seen by anyone. Understand the basics of email delivery including the following suggestions. Have a good balance of text and images, and make sure your important information is listed in the text just in case images are blocked. Use links in your emails, but make sure you only link to trusted sites. Bad links can cause delivery issues. Keep your HTML code clean, or use a pre-designed template from your ESP. Send what you promised at sign up to keep your readers engaged. ISPs look at many things, and engagement is part of that. Mail only to people who have requested your emails. (Source: Vertical Response)

Getting Started– Check out email newsletter software that can help you get started communicating with your customers. iContact and Constant Contact

Generating Qualified Leads

Prospects. Leads.  Future customers.  It doesn’t matter the the terminology you use, it is what all marketing teams are after.  There are thousands, if not millions, of leads out there waiting to be found.  It is finding the right leads that turn into customers that is the tricky part.  Identifying, nurturing and converting those leads into long-term, loyal clients takes time, strategy and hard work. Let’s look at some strategies to help your marketing make more of those conversions.

  • E Mail Marketing -According to research done by Direct Marketing, “for every $1 spent on email marketing, you can generate more than $40 in returned revenue for your business.” Suggestions to beef up your usual email newsletter include: making it genuine with a personalized name and greeting, adding custom images to capture the lead’s attention, including social sharing icons, and incorporating a clear call to action.
  • Landing Pages – This page allows a business to capture a visitor’s information through a lead form.  If your landing page is targeted toward to a particular stream of traffic (such as an email campaign) you will convert a higher percentage of your website visitors into leads with which you can follow up.
  • Social Media – Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Instagram, social media helps expose your business to prospects.  If you are not on social media, know that your competition is and they are building relationships daily with future customers and building their credibility by “being out there.” Integrating social media components into your company’s website design helps it to not only rank higher in search engines but to get your name and brand out there where the leads really are.  Promotions, coupons, and deals are easily shared and re-tweeted via social media thus making your business more visible.
  • Solve Problems and Share Ideas – Videos, blogs, podcasts, webinars are just a few ways to share your expertise in your field.  If customers see you as a leader in the industry, they will begin to follow your blog, videos, social media and webinars.  According to SalesForce online, 23% of total Internet usage time is devoted to social networks or blogs, which means that a large chunk of users are obtaining information and knowledge via blogs. This is a less corporate and less direct method of sales that will help capture more leads.  At the end of each blog, video or webinar offer an email sign up to convert those leads to clients.
  • Referrals – Offer incentives for customers and employees who refer a friend who later turns into a client.  Word-of-mouth referrals can be very powerful.

Common Presentation Mistakes

A great business presentation can inspire, inform and call a group to action.  Unfortunately, a poorly planned and executed presentation can bore and annoy an audience to the point of harming your brand image or possibly tarnishing your good reputation. What are the most common pitfalls during a presentation and how can you avoid them? Let’s look at the most common mistakes presenters can make.


Lack of Preparation
– The single biggest mistake in giving a presentation is lack of practice. The adage practice makes perfect stands true here.  Practice with colleagues who can give you honest feedback.  Practice in front of a mirror to gauge your facial expressions and body language.  And finally, practice in anticipation of audience questions.  Make sure you know your topic well enough to go off script and answer detailed questions about your content.  During practice sessions be sure to make eye contact, speak clearly and have the ability to give the presentation without the use of your slides to guide you.

Not knowing the audience – Whether your audience is an intimate group of 20 or a large corporate group of 200, know the audience.  Do some research on your audience. Why are they here? How much do they already know about your topic, and what do they most want to learn from you?  Talking far above or far below their comprehension level can create confusion or boredom.

Content Mistakes – There are several content mistakes that you will want to avoid.  Data or content overload is fairly common with speakers that are passionate about their topic.  Use visuals and anecdotal stories to help get information across instead of overloading the audience with data and bullets on your slides.  In addition, know your content well enough that you do not read directly from the slides.  Many speakers who do this leave the audience wondering why they just didn’t print off the slides and skip the presentation altogether.  Finally do not overload your audience with “takeaways.”  Studies show that audiences lose focus after three points.

Technology Mistakes – Most technology problems occur because of a lack of planning.  Check and recheck with your venue about equipment and technology set up.  Familiarize yourself with the room, technology and equipment far in advance if at all possible.  Spend a little extra money and have many different connectors at your disposal “just in case.” Check lighting, sound and layout of the room prior to your presentation.

Slides and Media Mistakes – Choose your slides and visual content carefully.  If it doesn’t enhance what you are saying then remove the slide.  Too many flashy visuals or pictures can detract from your overall message.  Choose a pleasing color palette and whenever possible choose custom pictures instead of stock photography.  Make it unique and show off your company’s personality in your visuals.