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This week the Sydney Morning Herald wrote an article about whether mum's who start businesses from home really make money.
The answer seems to be that is depends. Some do make money and some don't. The ones that do advocate the following principals:
1. Start with an affordable website - as you begin to work in your business you realise what functionality to need.
At BBC we believe you should start with a Cloud Hosted e-commerce package like BigCommerce, Shopify, Wordpress of SquareSpace. These platforms give you a lot of core functionality on day one. We believe you should start your business putting your best foot forward. We don't advocate building the site yourself using the website tools provided for free from hosting providers. If your website is cobbled together, inconsistent, error prone and unprofessional it will reflect badly on your brand. The cloud hosting options give the opportunity to look good on day one and offer your customers a sound buying experience.
2. Make sure you can update the website yourself, don't rely and keep paying for your web developer to do it for you.
We totally agree with this statement. The e-commerce solutions we provide at BBC give our customers the ability to totally manage the site themselves. They can change the sliders, ad boxes and navigation all on their own. They can implement apps on their own which gives their site additional functionality. We fully train our customers so they can take over the full management of their site themselves.
3. The key to profitability is to do everything yourself in the beginning.
We also agree with this is principal. Doing everything yourself allows you to learn your business. It allows you to set up the business processes the way you want. However you are not an expert in every aspect of your business. Sometimes you need the help of an expert. This might be the case with search engine marketing or search engine optimisation. If you think you are out of your depth then speak to us. We can either help you or point you in the direction of some sound e-learning to help bridge the gap.
4. You should outsource your graphic design to get your business identity right.
We totally agree with this point. Your business identity is important. It is a reflection of you and how seriously you take your business. You want your customers to think you are a professional company that they can trust and rely on. A logo helps build this trust and brand identity. At Boutique Business Consulting we can create a logo for you from as little as $99. Contact us today if you need help creating your brand identity. We would argue that getting a designer to create elements of your website help to give your website a designed feel. We can create slider images from as little as $60 per slide. Ideally your website is totally designed for your brand.
5. Successful mumtreprenuer businesses investment money in a quality website, proper branding, business cards and get training on how to run an online business - according to Business Coach Kathryn Hocking.
We totally agree with this statement. We also couldn't agree more with getting training. As BBC we are developing tool kits to assist our clients through starting a business. In addition we have a library of recommended e-books that should be read. If you have the means you should attend a local college or TAFE course on running a business if you have never run a business before.
6. Having a social media strategy is key.
Absolutely. You need to decide which social media platforms you are going to invest your efforts in. We recommend that everyone creates a Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest account. Youtube should also be explored if you can create video content. Each platform requires a slightly different strategy. We work with our clients to assist with developing their strategy. Social media takes time and effort but its worth the opportunity to engage with your target audience.
A number of people have read this article and left comments. One comment I feel is worth expanding on - left by BuyAustralianMade.
"There are a number of mumpreneurs who are BuyAustralianMade members making a profit, though for most it hasn't come easy. The product or service they are selling has to be what customers/clients wish to buy, not just something that the mumpreneur is good at making or likes making. After all not all customers can be friends or family just wanting to help out. Mumpreneurs who find a niche, give great value, engage with their customers, a reliable way of finding new customers/clients are well on the road to turning a profit and most have a very lean supply chain which allows competitive pricing."
We couldn't agree with these comments more. You must find a niche. You must know who your customer is and how you need to speak to them. You need to address your customers wants not just their needs. You must form an emotional connection with them. We have two tool kits that help our clients develop their brand around their customer and help them find their niche. Contact us today if you want help honing your business to your customer.
#3: Combine Your Marketing Channels
My biggest tip is strategic: combine all the best of digital marketing for what I call your “Perpetual (Pro)motion Machine.”
If you use SEO, organic social media, search advertising, social advertising and Google remarketing ads, then you’re doing the best of everything.
You’re raising awareness for new business via Facebook, you’re getting the low-hanging fruit of buying-intent keywords via Google, and you’re making sure that people who’ve been to your site keep seeing you via Google remarketing and your Facebook fan base.
The "Perpetual (Pro)motion Machine."
Also, most companies’ analytics are incomplete. They usually make Google look better than it really is and Facebook look worse than it really is. So allocate some money to raise awareness via Facebook as a best practice. Win the war at the mindshare and awareness level, not just at the bottom of the sales funnel.
Brian Carter, develops strategies and builds social marketing fan bases for companies of all sizes, and is the author of The Like Economy. As seen on Social Media Examiner.
#2: Use Social Media to Engage With Your Email Subscribers
The best social media marketing tip that I have for businesses is to use social media to engage with your email subscribers.
I can’t take total credit for it—it’s a concept that I heard at the Traffic and Conversion Summit in San Francisco. You see, everyone is trying to use social media to get new leads, which you definitely can do, but not enough business owners are using social media to build lasting and profitable relationships with their current subscribers.
You probably don’t want to email your list every day, but you likely want to stay top of mind and connect with them on a daily basis somehow. Social media is the perfect solution!
Use social media to build lasting and profitable relationships with your current subscribers.
I suggest putting an email in your autoresponder and invite your new subscribers to follow you on Pinterest, or like your Facebook Page, and then remember to tell them WHY.
Do you host exclusive promotions and contests on your Page? Will they have access to information that you don’t share anywhere else? Make it worth their while and watch your business and your bank account flourish.
Remember, when it comes to your audience, you want quality over quantity.
Melanie Duncan, a serial entrepreneur, owns a successful apparel and home décor ecommerce business and teaches other entrepreneurs how they can get more traffic and sales with Pinterest. As seen on Social Media Examiner
Very important - please read about how Facebook is introducing a new search feature. Make sure your customers will be able to find your business.
Great Article on LinkedIn and how to use it as a start-up.
#1: Attract Leads With Facebook Offers
If you’re looking for a new way to attract quality leads using social media, try Facebook Offers.
Facebook Offers are a type of Facebook ad, but they work a bit differently than a traditional Facebook Ad. You can set them up directly from your Facebook Page (no need to go into the Ads dashboard) and they can be created for offline and online businesses.
Although you can use them for many different promotions, I’ve seen the
highest conversion rates when marketers use Offers to attract quality
Here's an example of a lead generating Facebook Offer.
Here’s why they work:
Offers are promoted in the news feed (as opposed to being placed in the right-hand column on Facebook where you usually see marketplace ads). Ads in the news feed can get up to six times more engagement than ads in the right-hand column on Facebook.
You can hyper-target your Offers to ensure that only the Facebook users who will have a genuine interest in your brand see them.
When a user clicks on your Offer in the news feed, Facebook sends that user an email to their personal email account outside of Facebook. That means that your Offer is not only seen on Facebook, but now you are getting into the email boxes of interested prospects.
When prospects open their email, they will see a link to your website or an opt-in page (wherever you choose to send people to claim your offer).
See how powerful Facebook Offers can be? Not only do you get optimal exposure in the news feed, you also get into personal email boxes and you can hyper-target each Offer. The way I see it, Facebook Offers are a triple threat!
Amy Porterfield, social media strategist, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies - as seen on Social Media Examiner.
More than 80% of Australian social media users have connected with a brand on social media, according to a new study, but almost half have also ditched a brand on social media, suggesting businesses should rethink their strategies.
The findings come from Latitude Insights and Social Hatch, which joined forces to produce Always On – a study that highlights key drivers of engagement in social media.
The study incorporates multiple data sources, including a series of in-depth interviews with Australians, ranging from heavy to light social media users.
The research also included an online survey with 1,057 Australian social media users and a private online community for qualitative data collection.
The study shows 82% of Australian social media users have connected with a brand on social media, with 29% of respondents saying they have connected with 10 or more brands.
Social media is also emerging as a preferred channel for brand communications – 30% of respondents choose social media for offers and discounts, compared to 12% who choose the web.
For general information, 28% choose social media, while another 28% choose the web. In contrast, only 17% choose email.
But according to the report, many social media users feel let down by the current experience brands are providing.
“Consumers are interested in getting to know brands better on social media, in many instances preferring this over other media,” the report said.
“However, our research also shows that social media users are currently underwhelmed by brands’ activity in this space. While some brands are getting it right, many are not.”
The report reveals 44% of respondents have ditched a brand on social media.
The main reasons were too many posts (55%), boring content (36%), and lost interest in the product or service (31%).
Meanwhile, 19% of respondents have ditched a brand on social media because they felt the brand behaved badly, while 12% were worried what their friends would think of them being associated with that brand.
“To succeed in the social media space, brands need to understand that it is a different kind of social space, with its own set of social norms,” the report said.
“Brands need to ensure that social media users feel like the content is specific to them. In this space, a brand’s product, service, content and tone all need to make consumers feel like it has been developed just for them.”
The benefit to consumers of connecting with brands in the social media space needs to be more than having a good product or service, the report said.
Beyond competitions, freebies and discounts, the report said consumers are compelled to connect with brands for a number of other reasons, including:
- Social currency. This means being “first to know”, whether it’s breaking news on brands, first access to a new product, new advertisements, promotions, etc.
- Information education, such as uses for a product.
- Entertainment, such as interesting content.
- Having a voice, such as co-creating, helping develop better products, etc.
- Immediate answers to questions.
This article first appeared on StartupSmart.