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IS IT TIME FOR AN ONLINE MARKETING MAKEOVER?

IS IT TIME FOR AN ONLINE MARKETING MAKEOVER? 900 600 Kari Switala

If your online marketing is looking a bit out of date, it may be time for a makeover! Giving your marketing a fresh look doesn’t always mean a complete overhaul – there are a few small things you can do that will make a big difference in your online appearance.

REFRESH YOUR TIRED LOGO

If your logo has been around a while, or if it no longer effectively represents your brand, it’s time for a refresh. Again, there’s no need to go overboard here – you don’t necessarily need a whole new logo. A few small changes can do the trick. For instance, you could add a symbol to your current logo or change the color scheme. Our logo has changed 3 times over the years! As you can see, we didn’t make major changes – just tweaked the color scheme each time. The color of your logo should reflect your brand’s persona (more on that in a bit). If your logo’s colors no longer do that, or if your brand’s personality or values have changed, a color refresh could be just what you need.

When making changes, keep current and upcoming design trends in mind to make sure your logo is relevant to today’s market. Simple/minimalist designs, geometric shapes, unusual fonts and gradients or neon colors are a few current trends to take note of. Ultimately, you want a logo that simply and effectively conveys your brand’s ideology and resonates with consumers.

SAY GOODBYE TO STOCK PHOTOS AND HELLO TO CUSTOM PHOTOGRAPHY

If your website is full of generic stock photos, adding some custom photography can make it much more engaging. Stock photos might look fine on your site, but they don’t show potential customers who you are as a company. We recently hired Dan at The Anthologie to do a photoshoot with our entire team and a bucket of props! Not only was it a lot of fun, but we ended up with great photos that represent who we are in a simple but effective way. Photos of your team also show potential clients who they will be working with. This helps consumers get to know you a bit before they even meet with you!

Updating your photos on a regular basis also shows potential clients that you’re keeping up with trends and are on top of things. This goes a long way to building consumer confidence. Also, make sure your photos are optimized for both desktop and mobile (a good photographer can help with that). And don’t forget your social media photos! Regularly changing photos on social media helps to keep engagement up. People are inundated with images every day – to stay relevant, you need to update your photos often.

 

SHAKE UP YOUR EMAILS WITH NEW HEADERS

Keep your emails fresh and relevant by using updated headers that reflect seasonal elements or highlight upcoming special events. It’s an easy change that doesn’t take a ton of time and helps make your emails more eye-catching. Your email header should grab people’s attention and make them want to continue reading. In order to do that, you need to change it up often. Your clients’ inboxes are likely filled with countless new emails on a daily basis, so make sure your email headers stand out in the crowd. We love using www.canva.com to create ours – check it out!

CREATE AN ONLINE LOOK THAT REFLECTS YOUR PERSONA

Ours is all about fun, passion & creativity…wait till you see our new website (coming soon)! What is your brand’s persona? If you’re not sure, imagine your brand as an actual human being. How would you describe them? What would their name be? How about their favorite color? Favorite food? How would they dress? Thinking of your brand in this way helps put into words who you are as a company, what your values are, and what you want to communicate to your clients and potential customers.

People love a good story. Use your online presence to tell the story of who you are. What are you passionate about as a business? How did your company get its start? Why do you do what you do? Everything on your site should help tell this story, from the words you use to your photos and color scheme. Consumers love this kind of personalization – it helps them feel connected to you, which in turn builds trust.

SPRING FOR A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT

Headshots can get dated quickly, as hair and clothing styles change often. If it’s been awhile since you last had your headshot taken, it’s time for a new one. Your headshot allows people to get to know you a bit before they meet you. As we’ve mentioned already, that puts people at ease and builds trust. This is crucial both for potential clients and potential employers! Therefore, it’s important to have an updated headshot on your website and all social media accounts – especially LinkedIn.

When you have your photos taken, make sure what you wear reflects your personality and your current or prospective career. Keep it simple with solid colors (avoid solid white or fluorescent colors, and choose darks or neutrals for outerwear). Bringing a tie or scarf and a couple of layers will give you options to choose from. And though you may feel silly doing it, practice your smile! Really – get in front of a mirror and practice to see what your smile looks like. You’re going for a relaxed, at ease smile.

These are just a few ideas to keep your online look fresh and relevant. Need help with any of these things, or more great ideas? We’d love to help you look fantastic online – contact us today to see what we can do for you!

10 WAYS TO SHOW YOUR CLIENTS SOME MUCH-DESERVED APPRECIATION

10 WAYS TO SHOW YOUR CLIENTS SOME MUCH-DESERVED APPRECIATION 900 600 Kari Switala

You have a ton of amazing clients. They love the product or service you provide, stand behind your company values and champion your brand. So how about letting them know you appreciate them in some thoughtful and creative ways?

  1. Host events – This is a great way to say thank you, especially for B2B companies who want to create a sense of community among their clients. And the sky’s the limit here! It could look like an afternoon golf outing, an after-hours wine tasting, an escape room challenge…Just make sure it’s no work and all play for a thank you that’s truly memorable.
  2. Send personalized gifts -Make note of your clients’ interests and encourage your team to do the same. Then send clients a gift that reflects your observations. One of my favorite gifts we’ve given out was a Green Bay Packer-themed portfolio (it was even made out of a recycled football!) for our client, Randy –  a major Packer fan. He loved it and we were stoked to give it to him.
  3. Celebrate milestones – Why just celebrate client birthdays when there are truly dozens of celebration-worthy events in the course of a year? For example, when we work with a new client, we identify one key goal they want to accomplish in the first 100 days. Then when we reach that 100-day mark, we stop by their office with treats to celebrate (if they’re local) or send them goodies if they aren’t.
  4. Surprise them – Sending holiday gifts is always a great way to show your appreciation. However, if you really want to knock the socks off your clients, send them a thoughtful gift or discount their purchase JUST BECAUSE. That will really get them talking!
  5. Write a personalized card – Kick it old school and send your clients handwritten cards. Consider making it a goal to write and mail out a certain number of cards each month. Receiving snail mail that isn’t a bill or junk is a rare treat these days. Delight your customers with a personalized note letting them know how much you appreciate their business.
  6. Do lunch – If you’re lucky enough to live in close proximity to your clients, take them out to lunch periodically. In this digital age, it’s easy to go weeks or months without face-to-face interaction with the people who support your business. Rekindle the original concept of “facetime” and spend an hour of your week sitting across the table from a loyal client. It’s a great opportunity to get their feedback and glean a better understanding of their pain points. If they live halfway across the country (or the world), buy lunch and have it delivered in for them or their team. This is a great way to extend a hearty thanks!
  7. Nerd out – Did you read a book recently that really impacted you from a business perspective? Do you have a favorite book that echoes your company’s core values? Why not send that book to your clients? And be sure to include a personal note inside the cover. This is a unique way to thank clients for their business and remind them what your company is all about. It will also provide a great launching point for future discussions!
  8. Honor your VIPs – Everyone loves the rockstar treatment. After all, Starbucks Rewards, right? Why not create your own rewards system for your most valuable clients? This could look like a limited time offer for current clients (Renew your service for the coming year by Oct. 1 and get the first month free!) or a discount coupon on their brandaversary (Thanks for your loyalty this past year! How about 40% off your next purchase on us?).
  9. Put them in the limelight – If you have great clients, tap into your bragging rights! Feature one of your brag-worthy clients in each edition of your monthly newsletter or include a periodic client shout-out on your favorite social channels. Remember to include a link to their webpage – sending business their way is a great way to thank them for placing their trust in you!
  10. Be generous – A few times a year (traditional holidays are a great time for this), approach one of your loyal clients and find out which charity their business supports or would like to support. Then make a donation on their behalf. This honors your client and pays it forward, continuing the cycle of gratitude.

Building a successful organization wouldn’t be possible without your top-notch clients. Take the time to show them how much their loyalty means to you and continue to enjoy their business for years to come.

Looking for more more customer retention strategies but not sure where to start? Wild Fig Marketing can help. Give us a call today or click below to set up your 15 minute exploratory consultation.

MADE IN MINNESOTA – BURNSVILLE EDITION – CORNERSTONE COPY CENTER

MADE IN MINNESOTA – BURNSVILLE EDITION – CORNERSTONE COPY CENTER 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 warren

Today’s featured Minnesota business owner is warren, co-owner of Cornerstone Copy Center, located in Burnsville, Minnesota. Cornerstone Copy Center is a full-service printing company that offers a variety of services and helps customers with projects from start to finish.

Welcome, warren! We’re so happy you could join us today!

Thanks for having me!

We’re excited to sit down with you today and learn your story. Can you start by telling us how long you’ve been in Burnsville?

You bet! 

Cornerstone Copy Center was originally started in Burnsville in 1981 by Ron & Joyce Lund. Daniel began working for them in 1987 as a production operator, running the production room. At the same time, I was doing graphic design out of the house. Once the online/digital craze began, I convinced them to get connected on the Internet and take digital jobs which helped really grow the business.

In May of 2001, Ron and Joyce decided it was time to retire and Daniel and I knew it would be a natural fit for us to purchase the business and continue its operation. In July of 2004, we were able to build and move into the space we are currently in today. We purchased Ross Printing and added our first printing presses in 2004. Then in 2007, we expanded and added another location in Lakeville. We’re proud to be a family-owned and operated business. Many of our employees have been with us 10 years or more!

Q. What are some of the services you offer at Cornerstone Copy Center?

We offer printing, design, bindery, mail service and large-format printing.

Q. What do you like about being based in Burnsville?

Burnsville seems like it’s a hundred miles away to anyone north of the river, but for us, it’s like our own little pocket of the south metro. It’s been a great location for us. We’re conveniently located right off I-35 and there’s plenty to do in and around Burnsville that draws people in. We’ve also found that Burnsville places a huge emphasis on community and the people here are very willing to shop local. It has that urban feel with all its attractions, restaurants and things to do while also being a close-knit community.

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

In 6th grade, I started writing my name in all lowercase letters. I always did things a little differently and more creatively than others, so I think yes, I was always destined to be in a creative field. Plus, Daniel went to school for printing technology so we think Cornerstone and the printing industry is a perfect fit for us.

Q. What is your biggest challenge in this industry?

Staying up to date with the ever-changing technological side of the printing world. The presses don’t get used as often as the digital printers and the software to update them is expensive. So, it can be difficult to stay on top of all the technology necessary to remain at the forefront of the industry.

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

We might invest in digital ad space to promote our business.

 

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

Please the customer.

Q. Here’s a fun question for you…if you could start any business today, what business would you open?

A photography studio. I do that on the side and really have a love for landscape and wildlife photography.

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

Something Daniel’s dad told him has always stuck with me – don’t put all your eggs in one basket. We make it a point to have a large variety of customers in various areas of printing. We do that so that when one area is slow, it doesn’t drag the whole business down because there is usually plenty going on in the other areas.

Awesome! Thanks so much for joining us today, warren! We loved hearing a little about Cornerstone Copy Center. It’s been a real pleasure!

If you would like to learn more about Cornerstone Copy Center, you can visit them online at http://www.cornerstonecopy.com/.

CREATIVE HOLIDAY MARKETING STRATEGIES

CREATIVE HOLIDAY MARKETING STRATEGIES 900 600 Kari Switala

Want to generate new leads, nurture current leads and increase brand loyalty? Who doesn’t, right? Then planning and implementing holiday marketing strategies around the calendar is a no-brainer. Here are some holiday marketing strategies that you can tap into to propel your marketing efforts!

SEND SUBSCRIBERS A PERSONALIZED CARD

There’s a Hallmark card for nearly every holiday in the book. Why? Because we love to give and receive cards (and I don’t think Hallmark is opposed to making a bit of a profit either). Capitalize on this greeting card obsession and send out postcards for major holidays and any others that are in some way pertinent to your brand. Does your business sell guinea pig cages? Then send out a card to your prospects and customers on National Guinea Pig Day! This will help keep your business top-of-mind with your guinea-pig-loving audience. (Ok, this is a bit of a stretch but you get the point.) HubSpot and Ontraport offer some fun, celebratory templates that make automating postcards a cinch!

GIVE SUBSCRIBERS A GIFT

While we’re on the subject of giving and receiving, celebrate the season by gifting your customers and prospects a promo code they can use on their next purchase. These promo codes can be in the form of personal coupons or group coupons. Personal coupon codes work well for occasions that are highly specific to your customer – typically, birthdays and brandaversaries. These are one-time-use-only codes that can only be used by the recipient. Group coupon codes are a good choice when you want to send out a coupon to the masses. They can be emailed, posted on your social media channels, texted or sent out on postcards and are a great way to increase brand loyalty.

UTILIZE A COUNTDOWN TIMER

From an early age, there’s nothing like a countdown to really put a fire under someone’s butt.

If you don’t come down for dinner in the next five minutes, you’re going to bed hungry.

If your chore isn’t done when the timer goes off, you can’t go to the game tomorrow night with your friends. 

Parents create a sense of urgency around happenings they think are important – eating dinner as a family, doing chores, etc. Business owners can create that same sense of urgency around the holidays by advertising holiday specials and displaying a countdown timer on their homepages, product pages or within their emails. After all, your product is awesome, your deals are great and FOMO is real.

IMPLEMENT AN ABANDONED CART CAMPAIGN

Abandoned carts are ripe for the pickings. Is your business following up on these piping hot leads? Although the phenomenon exists year-round, holidays that see an increase in consumer spending also see an increase in abandoned carts. Once these carts are abandoned, you only have a small window of time to recapture your prospect’s attention before they are gone for good. Remind them that you have the product they’re looking for and consider sweetening the pot with a discount.

Put safeguards in place to reduce the instance of abandoned carts with trust seals and testimonials, multiple payment options, warranties and money-back guarantees. Also, be upfront about all costs associated with their purchases so prospects don’t leave your website upset because they were blindsided by last-minute charges.

LAUNCH A LEAD NURTURE CAMPAIGN

Holidays are notorious for bringing in a bountiful list of hot new leads but don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched. Instead, send these leads into a specially designed email funnel so you have various touchpoints with them throughout the coming year. Reduce your stress load and work your marketing magic by automating your lead nurture campaign. (Once again, HubSpot and Ontraport are two great platforms that make automation easy!) Then watch your leads engage as you provide them with valuable and relevant communication that strengthens their buying relationship with your brand. Want to learn more about building a lead nurture campaign? Check out one of our previous posts here!

Want help with your holiday marketing strategy? Give us a call or schedule a 15 minute exploratory call where we’ll get you going on a path to a successful holiday season.

SAVE TIME AND CLOSE MORE DEALS BY AUTOMATING THESE SALES PROCESSES

SAVE TIME AND CLOSE MORE DEALS BY AUTOMATING THESE SALES PROCESSES 900 600 Kari Switala

Time is money, right? So saving time means keeping more money in your pocket. If you’re interested in running a more efficient business, consider these easy ways to automate your sales processes!

AUTOMATE YOUR EMAILS

There are quite a few routine emails you send that are easy peasy to automate.

  • Welcome emails: When someone subscribes to your email list, it’s standard procedure to send them an email welcoming them and giving them a hint of all the good stuff you have in store for them. Hopefully you’re operating a thriving business and regularly welcoming new subscribers to your brand so why not automate this process and save yourself copious amounts of time?
  • Demo emails: Send new subscribers a video or tutorial on your product “in the field” so they can see how it would benefit them. (Hint: People love sharing video content. Include a “share” button and increase your brand awareness.)
  • Reminder emails: Upcoming meeting? No problem. Send out automated reminder emails so no one can use the lame “I-forgot-we-had-a-meeting” excuse.
  • Follow-up emails: Did a lead go dark? Follow up with an automated email to let them know they’re still on your radar and remind them that your product is the solution to their biggest pain points.
  • Thank you emails: This is one of the most important emails you’ll send and automation will keep it from falling through the cracks. A timely “thank you” email lets your new customer know that they matter to you and is a great place to outline your customer service policy!
  • Special occasion emails: Automate these puppies so you don’t forget your customers’ birthdays or brandaversaries. They will feel the love and it will help keep your brand top-of-mind. Throwing in a coupon or discount towards their next purchase will encourage them to re-engage or stay engaged – customer retention at its finest!

Sending out all these emails manually to each of your subscribers or customers…and remembering to do it in the first place!? Fuggedaboutit.

AUTOMATE LEAD DISTRIBUTION

Determining how serious leads are and which ones are worth your resources to pursue can be a cumbersome task. First, it requires determining your criteria for a “hot” lead and charting a course of action for pursuing said leads. Then it requires sending the other leads into the follow-up funnel. Do you follow up with a lead after they click through your pricing page? Or how about after they download your guide? Do you know a lead is ripe for conversion after they follow a link to “Learn More” from your homepage? Fortunately, once you set your predetermined criteria, automating lead distribution through applications such as Ontraport and HubSpot is a piece of cake.

AUTOMATE DAY-TO-DAY TASKS

“I love sending a slew of emails back and forth in order to schedule a single appointment,” said no one ever. The process doesn’t have to be a headache. Instead, automate appointment scheduling with Calendly or similar tools. Prospects can view your availability and book appointments with you without the mind-numbing, back-and-forth rigmarole.

Need to circle back with prospects to schedule that next meeting or hear what their team thought of your proposal? Creating follow-up tasks keeps you on task and keeps your transaction moving forward.

READY TO GET MORE TIME BACK EACH MONTH?

Think about how many steps are in your business  or sales processes. Think about the areas in your business where you are performing steps that are repeatable or that are being duplicated. At Wild Fig Marketing, we specialize in helping you document your processes, finding areas where automation will save you the most time and money, and implementing these systems using an automation tool that best suits your needs and other integrations for flexibility. If you’re ready, click below to sign up for a free 15 minute exploratory call today!

MADE IN MINNESOTA – CONQUER NINJA GYMS

MADE IN MINNESOTA – CONQUER NINJA GYMS 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 Jake!

Today’s featured Minnesota business owner is Jake, founder of Conquer Ninja Gym, located in Burnsville, Minnesota.

Welcome, Jake! We’re excited that you’re here today!

Thanks for inviting me!

Q. Tell us a little bit about Conquer Ninja Gym and how it “got off the ground”?

A. You bet! I used to have an indoor beach volleyball business with an obstacle course. I closed that down after learning with large spaces you MUST generate substantial sales to stay afloat especially with the significant overhead. I knew at that point that I wasn’t going to stop being an entrepreneur. The fire was still alive. After researching different business options and locations I decided to try the American Ninja Warrior concept. As soon as I launched the business and word started to spread, it was insane. In the first month I opened I worked 13-15 hours a day for 30 days straight – it was crazy! I’m proud to say, as of today, we’ve helped put 15 people on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior!

Q. Looking back, do you think you were destined to be in this business?
A. For sure! I’ve been into fitness my whole life.

Q. What do you find most challenging about the business you’re in?
A. The whole industry is new so we’re really paving the way. It’s not a traditional business model so we’re constantly trying new things. We can’t just pay someone $10k to tell us what to do. Currently, we are looking to franchise.

Q. What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your business and what did you learn from it?
A. We’re experiencing it right now. There is a ton of growth in the ninja concept. We’ve gone from a brand-new concept to a plateau. Now we have to start running the business like an established business. It’s a big marketing shift and there is a lot of competition. We need to evolve. The concept isn’t just fun-focused – it’s fitness-focused too.

Q. Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of juggling…how do you stay focused or get refocused?
A. I typically freak out for a few minutes first! Then I engage my staff and time management strategies to keep my priorities straight.

Q. If you only had $500 to spend on growing your business, where would you spend your money and why?
A. I’d spend it on sales and marketing for sure. Google is #1.

Q. What three words would you use to describe your organization?
A. The words that capture it best are fun, family, inspirational. Recently, a 14-year-old amputee and his brothers came to our gym. While his brothers played and tried out the obstacles, the 14-year old just sat on the sidelines and watched them. Suddenly, you could see the determination on his face as he eyed the warped wall. He spent 40 minutes trying to make it to the top and never gave up. That is WHY I love what I do! Believe it or not, we see examples of this every single day!

Q. If you could start any business today, what business would you open?
A. I’d open a real-life Fortnite facility – wouldn’t that be cool? My kids certainly think so. All kidding (or somewhat kidding) aside, I’d likely open more of a traditional gym.

Thanks so much for taking some time to talk with us today, Jake! We’re excited for you and the direction you’re taking your business. We wish you success as you continue to grow and compete in this exciting industry!

If you would like to learn more about Burnsville’s Conquer Ninja Gym, you can visit their website at www.conquermn.com/burnsville.

Want to be featured in our Made in Minnesota blog series or do you know of a really cool business that would make a great feature? Contact us today!

MUST-HAVES FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WEBSITE

MUST-HAVES FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WEBSITE 900 600 Kari Switala

We’ve all had those times when, in search of a product or service online, we landed on a really crappy website. You know the ones. You can’t exit fast enough because you feel like you’re hurling headlong into a black hole, losing precious seconds of your life staring at a huge wall of unbroken text. Or you are immediately overstimulated by flashing images more startling than the night sky on the 4th of July. Worse yet, you land on a website optimistic but after pushing through for 10 seconds, the information you came searching for is nowhere in sight. Ugh! Ain’t got no time for that. Not only are those experiences a waste for you but they’re a huge loss for the business owners behind the websites. You could have been their next customer-turned-brand-promoter…and you hit the red “x” instead.

The good news is, you don’t have to frustrate people with a crappy website! Instead, you can rock the socks off your business site by covering some content must-haves. And your visitors will love you for it!

You must have SEO basics covered: First thing’s first. If people can’t find your site, you’re not going to get their business. Do your homework on current SEO trends and incorporate them! This means incorporating keywords, links, headers, rich media, etc. Check out one of our more recent posts for some hot SEO tips!

You must have a clear description: When visitors land on your page, you have no more than 7 seconds to capture their attention. You can accomplish this with a straightforward, highly visible description of what you do and how your business can solve your visitors’ biggest problems. Keep it simple!

  • Quality carpet. We’ve got you covered!
  • Affordable IT solutions for your business.
  • Web design: Smart. Easy. Innovative.

You must have an easy-on-the-eyes design: Present your information in a format that is easy to ingest. Bullet points, line breaks, bolded headers, simple color scheme, readable font…they all contribute to the same goal: readability. If your visitors find your landing page content readable, they will be more apt to stick around.

You must have valuable, updated content: Ok. Your visitors read your clear description and can easily spot your landing page content thanks to your website aesthetics…and they didn’t exit in the first 7 seconds. Kudos! Now this is where the rubber meets the road. You MUST provide value. If your content tastes like that old box of cereal you just found in the back of the pantry, fogetaboutit. Keep your content fresh by highlighting recent blog posts, discussing the latest industry news and how it affects your business and your customers…A website is not a one-and-done deal – it requires ongoing love and attention.

You must have links to your social media accounts (which, yes, you must have!): We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. You need to go where your target audience is! Which social media channels do they frequent? Then you need a powerful presence there as well as easy-to-locate links to these social channels on your website.

You must have reviews and testimonials: Social proof builds trust and what better way to do that than by sharing others’ experiences with your brand? Keep these updated and highly-visible. Share the good reviews but also the not-so-good reviews so your visitors can see how, in situations where a customer was unsatisfied, you dialogued with them about how you could make it right. Oftentimes, these scenarios lead to a more recent, positive review on account of your stellar customer service and further your integrity in the eyes of your visitors.

You must have a call-to-action: Don’t neglect to inform website visitors what you’d like them to do before they leave your page or they’re not going to do it. Because, after all, they might be awesome but they’re not mind-readers. Would you like them to download a guide you created in exchange for some basic contact info? Or maybe you want them to take a survey or subscribe to your updates where you send out sweet offers on your products or services. Communicate your CTA in the form of an image or text and entice visitors to follow through.

You must have easy-to-locate contact information: The top right or left corner of your homepage or in the header, footer or sidebar of your subsequent pages are all great spots to include your contact information. That way, regardless of which page they’re on, it should be easy for visitors to spot. And be sure to offer multiple ways for them to get a hold of you. You can even add the address of your business and your location on Google maps. The more info the better! That way interested visitors have fewer obstacles keeping them from making that initial connection!

Still feeling bogged down by the thought of crafting a killer website? We can help! From the development of your site to a quick refresh…from creating awesome new content to incorporating a strong keyword strategy, Wild Fig would love to partner with you to accomplish your goals. Contact us to schedule a 15 minute exploratory call on ways we can help drive your website visits, keep them there longer and convert more sales.

INCORPORATING APPS AND TECHNOLOGY INTO YOUR SMALL BUSINESS: 10 GREAT WAYS!

INCORPORATING APPS AND TECHNOLOGY INTO YOUR SMALL BUSINESS: 10 GREAT WAYS! 900 600 Kari Switala

Tapping into the latest apps and advancements in technology can really pack a punch when it comes to saving time and streamlining business operations. Here are 10 ways you can plug in to some sweet tech and show your business (and yourself) some love!

DEVELOP A STRONG WEB PRESENCE WITH A CLEAN AND EASY-TO-NAVIGATE WEBSITE

This will increase your SEO, furthering your brand awareness and communicating professionalism on a highly visible platform.

UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS 

If you want to attract new leads and nurture your current customers, you need to go where your target audience is. What social media channels do they frequent? Similar to a website, maintaining a social media presence increases brand awareness and it also keeps you top-of-mind. 

START A BLOG

Blogs are a great way to share your expertise with everyone from curious visitors to loyal customers. Including a “comments” section at the end of each post also gives you an opportunity to solicit feedback and engage with your readers on the topic at hand. Then summarize each post on your social media channels and link them back to your blog to drive the biggest impact. 

PUBLISH A MONTHLY OR QUARTERLY E-NEWSLETTER

In addition to blogs, e-newsletters are a great way to connect with your audience and deliver value. You can also track your metrics to optimize engagement.

TRACK EXPENSES AND CUT CHECKS DIGITALLY 

Save paper and brainspace! QuickBooks and FreshBooks are two options that can help you move away from paper-driven tediousness.

SOLICIT CUSTOMER FEEDBACK THROUGH ONLINE SURVEYS

This is a great way to keep a pulse on operations and continually refine your processes. A digital survey also communicates to customers that they have a voice in your company and that you care about their experience with your brand.

OFFER ONLINE SCHEDULING 

Take back your time with an app that schedules appointments for you.  CalendlySetmore and Appointy are three effective web-based scheduling apps!

HOST A WEBINAR

This powerful platform offers your brand visibility and helps you grow your reputation as an expert in your field. Also, when visitors opt in, you attract on-point leads. Everyone wins!

UTILIZE A TIME-TRACKING APP

Time cards are so last century. Move into the digital age and save yourself oodles of time and stress by implementing a time-tracking app. When daily work data acquired using a time-tracking app is properly utilized, it is great for accountability, process improvement, and productivity. According to Entrepreneur.com, Time Doctor, Harvest, TopTracker and Toggl are all worth exploring!

ENACT EMAIL MARKETING

Automation tools make email marketing a go-to for anyone looking to attract new leads, nurture current clients and grow their business! Questions? Book an exploratory call with us below to learn more! (Ahhh…online scheduling, we sing your praises.)

Adopting new technology can be intimidating at first and requires both patience and persistence. Stick with it! As you move forward, keep your ear to the ground for new tech that can help you better serve your clients and run a more efficient business.

CREATING AN INBOUND MARKETING STRATEGY

CREATING AN INBOUND MARKETING STRATEGY 900 600 Kari Switala

An inbound marketing strategy is an organic method of attracting visitors to your brand, converting them into leads and ultimately, nurturing them into satisfied customers. Engaging an effective inbound marketing strategy requires some effort upfront but will increase your brand awareness and grow your customer base, driving the success of your business.

IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

Before you create any content, you need to figure out who it is you want to attract. Who do you envision benefiting most from your product or service? Creating buyer personas is an easy way to solidify the profiles of your target customers. Buffer recommends creating 3-5 personas in order to capture a wide swath of your customers and yet retain value as you move forward with your marketing efforts.

For each buyer persona, identify their pain points, greatest needs and goals. These personas represent your target audience. Keep this target audience in mind as you brainstorm and craft your content.

DETERMINE WHICH TYPES OF CONTENT YOU WANT TO CREATE

Ok, you’re over one hurdle. You know who you’re generating content for. Now it’s time to determine which types of content to create. And the list of possibilities is long! How does your audience ingest information? Are they bookworms and love a good ebook? Or maybe they are frequent webinar subscribers. Do they enjoy reading and sharing memes with their coworkers and friends? Or maybe they ingest information audibly and keep a running queue of podcasts for their daily commutes. Vlogs, videos, how-to’s, guides, case studies, polls, press releases…what lights their fires? You must create relevant content if you want to make that valuable connection.

SEO: DO YOUR RESEARCH

Paying attention to SEO trends is critical. After all, you don’t want to waste your time generating awesome content that no one can find. Topic clusters are a current search engine favorite. Think of creating topic clusters like 10th grade word webbing in prep for your next research paper. When planning out your marketing strategy, put your main topic in the middle of the web and connect related subtopics with strands extending out from the center. Then create a cornerstone piece of content on your main topic and link all future subtopics back to it.

Did you catch that? Internal links are powerful little buggers that help web your valuable content…and search engines love them! Over time, with a web of relevant, linked content, search engines will perceive you as an authority on your topic and your rankings will increase.

By now you’re getting an idea of how to devise an effective inbound marketing strategy. But where should outbound marketing strategies fit into your marketing efforts and what’s the real difference between the two? To learn more, read our recent post here! (See how we did that? Sneaky, right?)

Are you overwhelmed at the thought of creating an inbound marketing strategy for your business? At Wild Fig, we help businesses develop inbound marketing strategies through the use of renowned automation software tools. If you want to learn more about how we can serve your business, book an exploratory call with us below!

8 TIPS FOR CLOSING SALES FASTER

8 TIPS FOR CLOSING SALES FASTER 900 600 Kari Switala

You’ve nurtured the same lead for months and feel like you’re getting ready to finally close the deal. Then your prospect backs out and the deal falls apart. Classic, right? And so dang frustrating.

We all want a quicker, more predictable sales cycle but often run up against the same blockers and experience the same frustrations time after time. While you won’t close every deal you pursue and your sales cycle won’t always clip along at a predictable pace, with careful planning and a solid strategy, you will close more deals and speed up the sales cycle.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

1.) SET A GOAL FOR EACH CALL

Time is money for both you and your prospect. Show them you respect their time and care about their questions and concerns by communicating the goal of your call at the beginning of your conversation. If, for example, your goal is to answer any questions they have, be upfront about it. This clarifies your intent and helps keep the conversation on track.

2.) LISTEN TO YOUR PROSPECT’S OBJECTIONS

No one wants a platitude and insincerity is a major turnoff. When your prospect makes an objection, ask them to explain why they feel the way they do, have the concerns they have etc. Launching into a lame sales pitch about how you can solve all of their problems or telling them that you know how they feel comes off as insincere. Conversely, when your prospect feels like you hear them and genuinely care about what they care about, they are much more likely to follow you further down the sales funnel.

3.) BE UPFRONT ABOUT PRICING

Surprise fees are a major turnoff. While you may think that waiting until farther into the sales cycle to disclose fees is the best way to secure your prospect, you may actually be investing more time into nurturing your prospect only to send them packing. When you’re upfront about fees, it helps build trust – a necessary ingredient in any successful sale.

4.) AUTOMATE

If you’ve spent even a small amount of time in sales, you know that there are an abundance of tedious, albeit necessary tasks that eat up your time and cut down on your profits. Automation is a beautiful thing. When you automate repetitive tasks, you free up more time to focus on high-value tasks. Once you’re in a groove automating repetitive tasks, explore which complex tasks you can also automate for increased efficiency.

5.) BUILD AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS

We’ve already touched on this but it bears repeating. Authenticity is key to any successful relationship – personal or sales! As a litmus test, ask yourself, Would I want to work with me? Be careful not to come off “salesy” but maintain a personal connection and sincere disposition. This allows your prospect to relax, engage and authentically share their pain points and concerns with you – information that will help you walk closely with them through the sales cycle.

6.) MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR PROSPECT TO SCHEDULE A MEETING

Scheduling a simple meeting can often turn into a game of email tag. Instead of wasting precious time trying to nail down your meeting, turn to Calendly, Meeting or another scheduling app so you can keep focusing on your high-priority tasks.

7.) KNOW WHERE YOU LEAD YOUR COMPETITION

If you don’t have a clear sense of what your competition is up to, how can you outsell them? Your prospects are doing their homework and so should you. Figure out where your competition excels and what differentiates your brand from the rest:

  • While we don’t offer this or that service, we do offer this exceptional service…
  • Something we offer that you can’t find with our competitors is…
  • One thing our customers really like about working with us…

Find your niche and rock it.

8.) PRESENT SOCIAL PROOF

Social proof speaks for itself. Create case studies of past clients you’ve worked with that you can share with prospects considering your business solutions. Also, mention other companies who’ve worked with you to address similar challenges and refer prospects to the online reviews section of your webpage. The but-you-don’t-have-to-take-my-word-for-it approach is highly persuasive and can help eliminate skepticism about the value of your product or service.

Do you want to close sales faster? Wild Fig can help! Click here to schedule your free 15 minute consultation to see how we can help you and your business!