June 27, 2017

Behavioural Economics and Small Business Marketing​


After spending my adult life thinking I'm a mostly logical person (and being not so secretly proud of it), I just found out I'm not. And apparently the fact that I think I am is a little irrational.

You might think I'd be a little sad to discover this but I'm actually thrilled. A whole new perspective on marketing just opened up because Dan Ariely told me we're all Predictably Irrational.

Don't let behavioural economics scare you off. This book is insightful and funny, and a fairly quick read (because I couldn't put it down). I learned a marketing lesson in the first chapter that is so improbable... well, you'll have to see for yourself. It's powerful stuff and I recommend it highly.

originally published in Work Better, Not Harder newsletter June 27, 2017

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June 25, 2017

How Does Your Marketing Change If You Don't Want New Customers?


What's the marketing strategy for NOT attracting new clients? Is it to stop marketing all together? Or to scale back, everything or some things?

There are many reasons why a small business may not want to receive new customers for a period of time; I just hadn't considered it till now. I'm working on another business project so I need to free up some of my time and energy. I'm also trying to squeeze in some vacation time this summer.

Here's what has brought all this to my attention: the thought of sending out my monthly newsletter is making me nervous because I don't want anyone to call or email when they receive it. If that's not messed up thinking for a marketer, I don't know what is.

So, what is the answer? There are some obvious things, such as scaling back my social media posting and blogging a little, removing promotional posts from my scheduling, changing or removing my calls to action (in more places than I've thought of yet!), advising my referrers and clients, and putting a message on my website.

I'd love to hear your suggestions in the comment box... what is a good strategy for temporarily scaling back sales without sacrificing the hard work you've put into marketing?

photo by Philippe Vieux-Jeanton / Flickr

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June 16, 2017

Crello is Not Just Another Pretty Graphics Tool

screenshot of Crello home page

Just when I thought I didn't need another graphics tool, along came Crello... yesterday. It's brand new (and I haven't been able to break it yet). If you're frustrated with trying to use Canva, this might be the solution for you.

The interface is very much like Canva, yet Crello has veered away in the right places. I've always found the way Canva handles images as backgrounds and layers to be awkward; Crello takes a more simplistic approach.

Crello has 6,000+ free templates and 10,000+ free design elements! I know that's going to be exciting to many besides me.

Crello lacks some of my favourite Canva features, especially magic resize. But its ease of use and more intuitive interface is winning me over. I know I'll be exploring those 6000+ templates for many many more hours to come.

For more info about Crello's functionality, read this press release. Or pop over to Crello.com and jump right in. Have fun, it's free!

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June 12, 2017

Great Learning Option from Your Local Library


Have you ever searched for a course on a specific subject online? How do you know which course is better than another? It can be hard to choose and expensive to find out you were wrong.

I was asking a WordPress consultant what she recommends for WordPress training and I found out something even better.

Apparently lynda.com is the best place to go for just about any technical training. This is because of the way they rigorously curate their content. Good to know. Even better, though, was finding out that I can access lynda.com for free because I have a library card. Just log into your local library's website and you should find access to lynda.com in the learning section. (Here in Halifax, check this link.)

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June 1, 2017

Summer Marketing Sets You up for Success in the Fall


You might think blog (and newsletter) readership drops over the summer when many people head on vacation. And you would be wrong. Some people have more time to read during the summer months. In fact, they will read more deeply, taking the time to click links and follow a topic or call to action.

Before you start tossing rotten fruit my way... I not suggesting you skip vacation in favour of marketing.

Your summer holiday may be as important to your body's health as your marketing is to your business health. In the same way you'll figure out how to take some vacation days this summer, you can also figure out a way to keep your marketing alive and kicking.

Make a content plan in advance. I'm not the best person to dish out this advice as I do most of my content creation on the fly as inspiration strikes me. But summer has even me doing some necessary planning. At the least, jot down a list of possible topics to use over the summer. (Do it now; I'll wait for you.) Now you'll be more alert for ideas about these topics when you come across them.

Turn content creation activities into assembly lines. I sometimes write more than one article at a time but I purposely ramp up in the spring. The same goes for creating graphics for social media; I create a bunch in one sitting rather than one-offs.

Here are some more suggestions to maintain your marketing momentum over the summer months.

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originally published in Work Better, Not Harder newsletter May 30, 2017