Monthly Archives :

May 2019

SIMPLE WAYS TO BOOST LIST GROWTH

SIMPLE WAYS TO BOOST LIST GROWTH 900 600 Kari Switala

You want to grow your email list by encouraging your visitors to opt in. However, with an overwhelming number of opt-in tools at your disposal, how do you know which tools will help you boost your list growth and which ones will annoy your visitors and send them packing? Here we compiled a list of our favorite opt-in tools with a proven track record for success.

Blog posts are ripe with opt-in opportunity. When visitors are on your blog and reading through your content, you already have their attention. They’re clearly interested in what you have to say and more than likely want to hear more.

CAPITALIZE ON THEIR ATTENTION WITH THESE EASY-TO-IMPLEMENT OPT-IN IDEAS:

  • Install a scroll box: Consider adding a scroll box that slides onto the screen when people are nearing the end of a blog post. This gives these visitors the opportunity to sign up for your email list so they don’t miss any of your great content in the future.
  • Install a floating bar: Floating bars are an easy way to garner the attention of your blog readers. These bars attach themselves to either the top or bottom of your visitors’ screens and scroll along with them as they read your content.
  • Add inline opt-in forms: After implementing numerous tools to increase opt-ins and grow their email list, small business software company, Groove, reports that their highest opt-in rates came from inline opt-in forms. Inline opt-in forms can be added to blog posts, whitepapers, etc. and are a great way to keep on-point traffic engaging with your valuable content.
  • Update popular posts: If you’re creating blog posts (which we sure hope you are!), you probably have some posts that stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of popularity. Don’t recreate the wheel. Take these posts, update them with fresh content (recent studies, current events that coincide with your topic etc.) and repost them. Then include opt-ins within those posts.
  • Add content upgrades: Once readers are far enough into your post to realize how awesome your content is, give them the option to download the PDF version, “No time to read now? Download the PDF and read later.” Or include a PDF offering at the bottom of your post, “Want to save this post for future reference? Download the PDF here.”
  • Install a timed lightbox popup: When a lightbox popup appears, everything else fades into the background, drawing in your reader’s attention. These pop ups, which appear at a predetermined time, convey a targeted message prompting your visitors to opt in.
  • Display page-specific forms: Instead of showing the same opt-in on every blog post or webpage, diversify your opt-ins and make them relevant to the content your visitor is reading. Consider implementing a lead magnet or content upgrade as another effective way to capture your visitors’ information and add them to your growing email list.

A FEW OTHER TOOLS WE RECOMMEND TO INCREASE OPT-INS AND BOOST LIST GROW INCLUDE:

  • Hosting webinars: Webinars and other live events have a high perceived value, making them a fantastic way to convert visitors. Just ask for basic contact info in exchange for webinar opt-in and voilà!…
  • Answering questions in Facebook groups: Engaging in Facebook discussions and answering common questions is a great way to generate interest in your business and strut your stuff a bit. Most group admins don’t want solicitations in their forums so ask members to PM you if they’d like a link to your blog or webpage where they can learn more!
Looking for more ideas for growing your email list? We can help! Contact us to schedule your free 15 minute consultation. We’d love to help you reach your goals.

MADE IN MINNESOTA – WONDERWOMAN CONSTRUCTION

MADE IN MINNESOTA – WONDERWOMAN CONSTRUCTION 900 600 Kari Switala

Welcome to our blog suitably titled Made in Minnesota where we explore different Minnesota-based businesses and learn some helpful tips along the way! The blog format is a Q&A, conversational style that allows you as the listener to lean in and get to know some great Minnesota business owners on a personal level. You will hear stories of big dreams turned reality, obstacles encountered and how they were overcome, things business owners would love to go back in time and change and fun little tidbits you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to! Sound like fun? Pull up a chair and get ready to meet Lori!

Today’s featured Minnesota business owner is Lori Reese, founder of Wonderwoman Construction.

Welcome, Lori! It’s great to have you with us today!

Thanks for inviting me!

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about how and why you started your business?

A. Absolutely!

When I was a little girl I knew I wanted to run my own business, but wasn’t sure what type of business. Once I left the family farm for college, I kind of lost that drive. After bopping around with a few different positions, I decided to take a position as a union commercial carpenter apprentice. It was tough work. I realized during this time however, that I really missed working with my hands. I started in the commercial industry and worked solely in this space for many years. However, when it came to fixing my own house I was at a bit of a loss. That’s when I made a point to start learning more about residential construction so I could hang my own door. After having so much fun learning, we decided to add residential construction to the mix and now we do both!

We are a one-stop design and build contractor. We are dedicated to the concept of using building science to improve not only the look and function of a building but also the impact it has on you and on the environment. We are Building Performance Institute (BPI)-certified energy professionals which means we are qualified to assess a home and maximize solutions for comfort, durability, health and energy savings.  We look for air leaks and insulation problems that cause uncomfortable drafts and high energy bills. We snoop out moisture issues that can lead to stinky basements, moldy walls and ceiling stains. We also help clients detect carbon monoxide.

Q.Looking back…do you think you were destined to be in this business?

A. Yes and no. No, because I never thought I would do physical work after I left the family farm. Yes, because it turns out I really like the physical work – just not on the farm! It’s funny. I think if my dad were around now he’d be really surprised about the work I’m doing today…and how much I enjoy it.

Q. What do you find most challenging about the business you are in?

A. The number one challenge is winter. Business drops off suddenly so you really have to plan ahead. This is definitely something that most businesses in the construction industry struggle with.

Q. What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your business?

A. Being a woman in this industry. When I was in the union, a frequent comment I would get was “Ma’am, what are you doing in this business? You are taking money away from men with families to feed!” The irony was that I was a single mom with 2 boys of my own to feed. Fortunately, time and age have helped and I’ve learned to ignore those comments and stay focused on becoming smarter, stronger and better! I still love to learn and constantly challenge myself.

 

Q. If you could start your business all over again what is the number one thing you would do differently?

A. I would charge more money up front. Free carries no respect. I think this is a common issue with women-owned businesses. We’re always trying to help people and feel bad about charging people too much or are concerned about what they might think.

Q. Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of juggling…how do you stay focused or get refocused?

A. Working out and keeping physically active. I also love taking long baths with a glass of wine!

Q. If you only had $500 to spend on growing your business, where would you spend your money? Why?

A. Networking and socializing – cocktails and wine. Making connections and building relationships are incredibly important when it comes to growing your business.

Q. What are three words you would use to describe your organization?

A. Communicative. Honest. Hardworking.

Q. Something fun…if you could start any business today, what business would you open?

A. I would start a fitness-related business that doesn’t require any equipment. We would just get out in nature, do stuff and have fun!

Q. What is the best advice you would give a business owner just getting started?

A. Make time to network, set goals and check up on those goals on a regular basis.

MADE IN MINNESOTA, BURNSVILLE EDITION – PRECISION SIGNS & IMAGING

MADE IN MINNESOTA, BURNSVILLE EDITION – PRECISION SIGNS & IMAGING 900 600 Kari Switala

Welcome to our blog suitably titled Made in Minnesota where we explore different Minnesota-based businesses and learn some helpful tips along the way! The blog format is a Q&A, conversational style that allows you as the listener to lean in and get to know some great Minnesota business owners on a personal level. You will hear stories of big dreams turned reality, obstacles encountered and how they were overcome, things business owners would love to go back in time and change and fun little tidbits you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to! Sound like fun? Pull up a chair and get ready to meet John!

Today’s featured Burnsville, Minnesota business owner is John Swaney, founder of Precision Signs & Imaging.

Welcome, John! It’s great to have you with us today!

It’s my pleasure to be here.

Q. Why don’t you tell us how and why you got started in this business?

A. I was an international hotelier. I managed 5-star hotels all over the world. I was in Manila working on a hotel project when my father passed away. I decided at that point it would be best for me to come back to the U.S. and help my mother. The company I was with didn’t have any opportunities in Minnesota at the time so I sought out some consulting projects and worked for various hotels and establishments in the Twin Cities. Then the recession hit and my position was eliminated. I took a new position with a mentorship program for vets while I tried to figure out my next steps. During that time, I heard a presentation from a business coach and was so intrigued I became her client. One of the options she presented to me was starting a signage company.

Q. What are some of the services you offer at Precision Signs & Imaging?

A. We are a full-service signs and graphics designer, fabricator and installer with five-star service worldwide. We create custom vehicle graphics, outdoor signs, indoor signs, trade show displays, custom wall coverings and graphics, digital displays, fine art reproduction and banners.

Q. How long have you been in Burnsville?

A. My parents moved to Burnsville in 1964. I graduated from Burnsville High School and left for several years to work overseas. I came back to care for my mother when my dad passed away and I’ve been here ever since.

Q. What do you like about having a Burnsville-based business?

A. First and foremost, when I was looking for locations, it was important to me to be in Burnsville in order to be close to my mother. I also had a lot of connections here from my growing-up years so that made it easier. Precision Signs & Imaging has been in Burnsville for over 7 years and I have to say that this city is a great place to do business!

Q. Looking back, do you think you were destined to be in this business?

A. I don’t think I was destined to be in this business. I was just destined to come back to the Twin Cities area and be here to help my family.

Q. What do you find most challenging about the business you’re in?

A. The fact that clients do not understand that everything we do is custom. We don’t simply pull things off the shelf. If they’ve never gone through the sign development process they don’t know all of the intricacies involved in the production cycle, etc.

Q. What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your business so far?

A. One of the biggest obstacles is understanding where you want your area of focus to be. When you’re first getting started you take every project no matter how big or small. I started off with a 3-year business plan but didn’t hone down on my niche markets as they emerged.

Q. What did you learn from that realization?

A. In hindsight, I would try to hone down on my niche markets earlier on in the business development process.

Q. If you could start your business all over again what is the number one thing you would do differently?

A. I’d be more focused on the types of markets I go after and understand what capital I’d need to achieve that particular focus. I think I could have saved myself time and money if I had identified a key focus right away instead of servicing everyone.

Q. Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of juggling…how do you stay focused or get refocused when necessary?

A. That’s the million dollar question right there. It’s definitely a difficult thing to do. When you start a business you don’t know what you don’t know. One thing I’ve found helpful is to evaluate all of the tasks I do and see which tasks are worth doing and which ones I should outsource.

Q. If you only had $500 to spend on growing your business, where would you spend your money and why?

A. I would donate the money to DECA students in exchange for doing my social media marketing. I think it would be a great opportunity for them to leverage their skills, especially since they are very social media-savvy and it would help set them up for future success.

Q. What three words would you use to describe your organization?

A. Service. Response. Integrity.

Q. Something fun..if you could start any business today, what would you open?

A. I’d open a restaurant/lounge because it ties in nicely with my background experience and it’s pretty recession-proof.

Q. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a business owner just starting out?

A. Hands down the best piece of advice would be to make sure they are well-capitalized. It’s not enough to have money to start your business. You also need money to grow and sustain it.

If you’d like to learn more about Precision Signs & Imaging, you can visit them online at https://precisionsandi.com/.