September 29, 2015

25 Ways to Help Another Small Business Owner


This list was inspired by 25 Ways to Help a Fellow Human Being Today and co-authored by my Twitter colleague @LinosVersion. When we help each other, we all grow stronger!

  1. Give them a testimonial. Make it social and do it on LinkedIn or Twitter.
  2. Tell someone about their business and products/services.
  3. Shop at their store, online or off.
  4. Offer some free advice or constructive feedback.
  5. Offer to mentor a newbie. Check out futurpreneur.ca.
  6. Welcome new business owners to your community - stop by with donuts.
  7. Send an inspirational or congratulatory card by snail mail.
  8. Introduce two business owners who may benefit from the connection.
  9. Promote 'Shop Local' and feature local small businesses.
  10. Write a blog about something you learned from another business owner and give them a shout-out.
  11. Put on a free learning event, such as a lunch and learn, and invite local business owners.
  12. On Facebook, share their business page with a shout-out.
  13. Retweet messages from small business owners.
  14. Call and chat about what they’re up to.
  15. Share hard lessons learned via your blog or newsletter.
  16. Host a networking event.
  17. Invite another small business owner to accompany you to a networking event as your guest.
  18. Offer rewards for referrals from other small business owners.
  19. When you see them, smile and ask about their business.
  20. Help out a charity that another small business owner supports.
  21. Buy a ticket to an event they are involved with.
  22. Tweet about them, their products or services, linking to their website.
  23. Ask them to collaborate with you on a project.
  24. Tell them they’re a great client, or supplier, or colleague, and why you like to work with them.
  25. Pay their invoices right away.


September 26, 2015

Take the News out of Newsletter

I'm campaigning to rename 'newsletter', but I know it will take Google forever to catch on.

Do you sign up for newsletters in excited anticipation of getting company news? I didn't think so. Granted a newsletter can be a great source of industry news if it's timely. But that's only one strategy.

The main goal of your newsletter strategy should be to provide value.

Useful + Interesting = Value

No 'news' in that equation. How about... ?
valuemail
infomail
infoletter
useletter

Whatever you call it, don't make it all about your company news. Give people a better reason to subscribe.

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September 22, 2015

Branding 101 Workbook


When I start to work with new clients, it's imperative that I understand their brand. I can't do a good job for them if I don't understand what they do, who they do it for, and why it's so important. With some clients I'm even helping to define their brand.

Click here to download a workbook that will give structure to your brand (.pdf). Once you have this completed, it will be a valuable document to share with consultants and others who help with your marketing. I also suggest revisiting it at least annually to capture changes as your business evolves.

September 13, 2015

Design Colour Trends for Spring 2016



The new Pantone colours for Spring 2016 are described as:

A Transporting and Transformative Canvas: Colors this season transcend cultural and gender norms. Vivid brights give way to excitement and optimism, though quiet stability prevails in this season’s palette.

This palette will impact more than just fashion. Look for these colours in everything from website design to home decor.

Download the full report by clicking here.


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September 9, 2015

Branding Audit Checklist


When was the last time you audited your brand? If it's been more than a year, it's time.

Your brand is more than your logo - a lot more. It's also more than all the pieces you can touch or look at. But all of those pieces need to be just right to pull their weight as part of your marketing strategy.

Click here to download a checklist (.pdf) you can use to keep track of your progress.

Too busy, you say? This is a great job to delegate because a different set of eyes may catch things you won't.

A great option is to find another business owner you can partner with. You audit their brand and they audit yours.

Take a moment now to add a branding audit to your to-do list or calendar.

September 4, 2015

Tweet to Promote your Newsletter and Blog


Sure you're doing lots of writing, but is anyone reading it? Social media is a great way to promote your newsletter and blog to get more reading and more subscriptions. Particularly on Twitter, you could post a different call-to-action as often as daily. And with the new saved templates functionality in Hootsuite, you can create them once and then schedule regularly.

I've created this Excel spreadsheet with some newsletter promotional tweets already composed. You will need to fill in the blanks and make them your own, but it's a starting point. With a little more tweaking, you can also use these tweets to promote your blog.

Note: Keep in mind that Twitter now counts all links as 20 characters regardless of actual length.

photo by TPorter2006 / Flickr