April 26, 2020
Is email marketing or social media a better tool for your business. The truth is, it’s not an either or situation. Each of these marketing tools has a very specific purpose.
Social media is where you meet lots of new people with your messages. If your content is interesting you can reach new audiences through your existing connections. But at the end of the day, it’s like going to a singles bar. Your end goal is to bring your date home for a more personal conversation, without competing with pictures of babies, and kittens.
That’s where email shines. It is more one to one conversation. And at least from the moment that they open your email, you fill their inbox and their screen and there are no distractions, you have a significantly higher conversion rate on activities from email rather than social media. So as you’re thinking about your marketing, make sure you have a role for each of these tools.
This marketing minute is hosted by Lorraine Ball
April 24, 2020
What is a rich snippet?
Rich Snippets is the term used to describe structured data markup that site operators can add to their existing HTML, which in turn allow search engines to better understand what information is contained on each web page. However, the major search engines have taken this a step further, and now use this markup to present richer search results, enabling users to more easily find the information they are looking for.
Sounds kind of geeky, right? Well Lorraine and Sam break it down so it makes sense to all the non-techies in our audience.
April 21, 2020
What if you had an employee who could be hard at work as you were doing something else. Sounds wonderful, right? Well that is the idea behind marketing automation.
With a little planning, you can create campaigns which will reach out to customers and prospects, with just the right message at just the right time.
As our guest, Travis Merle explains automation isn't one size fits all. It is about sending timely and personalized information in response to sales or support queries
As a Channel Manager at ActiveCampaign, Travis works with agency partners that leverage and/or are looking to leverage marketing & sales automation as a service at market. A two year veteran, which is an eternity at AC, he spent the first nearly 9 years of his career at various agencies and media production companies. He's no stranger to marketing. He loves his partners, his teammates and the world of automation.
April 19, 2020
If you're like many business owners, you started your company to do something you enjoyed. Maybe you were a chef and you started a restaurant, or a doctor who wanted to take care of people, or a marketer who enjoyed the creative challenge of engaging customers with a product. Whatever it was, you started your company to do that thing.
Along the way you learned running a business required sales, bookkeeping, IT and human resources skills. There are multiple distractions dealing with an unhappy employee, preparing paperwork for your accountant, or calling clients who are behind in payments. Each of these tasks takes you further away from what you set out to do.
So how much time do you really spend doing what you set out to do? If your day is primarily taken up with things that you'd rather not do, you're heading for burnout. You need to recognize the warning signs and reverse course because life is too short.
To get back on track, the first step is to build a plan. Maybe you need to change your business model, hire someone to help, or outsource some of the functions which keep you from doing what you love.
if you don't love marketing, then give the team at Roundpeg a call, because we do.
April 17, 2020
These days inboxes are overloaded and social media news feeds are controlled by the platform algorithms. So, as a small business owner how do you break through the clutter to be sure customers see your messages?
In this episode our guest Alfredo Salkeld explains how texting can be the answer for many small businesses with the ability to deliver simple, timely messages to an audience interested in what you have to say.
About Alfredo Salkeld
As marketing manager, of SimpleTexting Alfredo is responsible for attracting new users to the platform then helping them see real results with SMS as quickly as possible. He and his team do this by creating expert articles, guides, videos, webinars and more full of useful, actionable advice. Thanks to this content plus SimpleTexting's stellar support team, the company has doubled in size since Alfredo joined in 2019.
Prior, Alfredo lead the content strategy for Oasis—a luxury home-sharing start-up backed by Hyatt Hotels. He also worked as a copywriter at Push, an advertising agency whose clients include national retail, restaurant, and education brands.
About Simple Texting
SimpleTexting is the leading platform for businesses who want to reach their customers by text message. Their powerful set of features allow you to send promotions and alerts, recruit candidates, provide 1-on-1 customer service, create automated campaigns, and more. Everyone from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies use SimpleTexting to reach their audiences.
April 14, 2020
If you have ever read a comic book you know that the Super Hero has amazing powers, but also the one critical weakness. Business owners are marketing super heroes with amazing skills and talent, but weakness which can bring us an our business to the ground, like kryptonite does to superman.
Our guest, Karen Sullivan suggests that a good marketing strategy can help your overcome your kryptonite.
Curious about your marketing superpower ? Take this quiz.
About our guest - Karen Sullivan
Karen Sullivan is a fourth-generation entrepreneur and award-winning designer with a life-long passion for persuasive visual and written communication. She founded Sullivan Solutions nearly 25 years ago to help entrepreneurial companies augment their in-house marketing with expert services that help drive sales further and faster.
Her expertise enables clients to develop effective strategies that are built upon their unique strengths and make confident marketing decisions that drive demand for their products and services.
April 12, 2020
Do you have a plan for your business? I don't mean a vague generic, "Yeah, we kind of want to do this." I mean, a specific plan that outlines the steps that you're going to take to reach your goals.
If you're like many small business owners, I already know the the answer to that question is no. And that is not going to cut it. Working without a plan is like getting in your car and saying, "I'm going to drive from Indianapolis to Omaha. I have never been there and I don't have a map."
Sure, you might get there eventually, but there's a good chance you're going to get lost along the way, it may take longer to get there or you may never find Omaha.
So as you're thinking about your business, take some time to map out where you want your business to be in a year and how you're going get there.
Get started with a copy of our Business Plan Outline.
April 10, 2020
The next time you go to a networking event, ready to launch into your hard sell pitch stop and try something new. Don't ask the same tired questions. Instead, our guest Patti Farmer suggests three quick questions which will help you quickly qualify each conversation, so you know who to follow up with and how.
About our guest
Patty Farmer is an award-winning Marketing & Media Strategist, International Speaker, Podcast Host, Magazine Publisher, and Event Producer and works with small business owners, entrepreneurs & speakers to attract and convert their ideal clients so they can make a big impact in the world, and bigger deposits in their bank account. Patty believes we all have a message and her mission is to help them master their marketing, leverage the media, and monetize their business in a way that creates transformation for both them and their clients while designing a lifestyle they want to live.
April 5, 2020
Small business owners are often very short sighted when they consider the value of a customer, looking only at what they are going to spend today and maybe in the the years to come.
But if you delight that customer, they will bring something worth more more than the value of all they will buy from you.
A customer who really knows and loves you, will be willing to talk about you to their friends and their families. Their endorsement is the gift that keeps on giving.
So as you think about how much you will spend to generate leads and drive prospective customers to your business, you also need to think about keeping those customers for the long term.
MORE ON THIS TOPIC: Be sure to read this check out our Customer Acquisition Worksheet that is included in our Marketing Budget kit to calculate how much you can afford to spend for each new customer.
April 3, 2020
Are you looking to expand your organization? If its a struggle to find qualified candidates. you might need to change your focus.
Typically the focus is on the candidate.The hiring company tells them to change their approach, resume, writing style, and exceptions to meet the company's needs. In today's competitive job market however, it is often the company that needs to change.
Before you look externally, you need to look internally to see what image you are projecting. If your brand image in the market is lackluster and generic you are likely to get a lot of resumes that are lackluster and generic as well, because "like attracts like".
This week our guest Career Success Coach, Lisa McDonald sat down with host Lorraine Ball and explained if you're having trouble attracting great resumes, you might want to start with your own corporate resume.
March 31, 2020
Does your heart sink when someone suggests having a meeting to discuss something? If you are like me, you have attended so many bad meetings, that it is hard to be excited about the prospect of another one.
But Dr. Rick Brinkman believes it doesn't need to be that way. If you treat your meeting like plane flight, with air traffic control ( the agenda) a flight recorder ( capturing all the ideas) and a pilot guiding the conversation, you meeting can be extremely productive.
March 29, 2020
This is a marketing minute with Lorraine Ball. When was the last time you updated your website? If the answer is more than two years ago, you're doing a disservice to yourself and your customers.
You are not providing up to date information to your clients, and you're missing out on a chance to improve your search engine ranking with frequent relevant updates.
You can freshen you content by adding new events, business tips and updated employee biographies. A regular schedule for blog posts and articles also gives customers and prospects a reason to come back.
But what about your design? Is it keeping up? Take a look at the websites of your closest competitors and be brutally honest. How does your site compare? Does it look a little worn around the edges and out of date compared to their shiny new sites?
If it doesn't stack up well, it is time for a face lift.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Download our web audit kit to evaluate your website today.
March 27, 2020
Great marketing starts with a strategy and a great strategy starts with questions. What do you do if you don't know what to ask? Well Limehub founder Raine Gaisford shares a few of the questions and a new tool business owners can use to build their strategy.
March 24, 2020
If you want to encourage someone to buy from you, tell them how to solve their problem without you. That might sound crazy, but our guest John Welch the co-owner and President of Skymouse Studios explained that is a great way to build trust.
In this conversation with host Lorraine Ball, he shared some of his best tips to generate relevant content that helps you build trust with your clients.
About John Welch
This self described fast-talking co-founder of Skymouse Studios. is an extrovert, who loves helping people communicate better.
March 22, 2020
Content answers the questions customers have as they're trying to decide if they want to do business with you.
Once upon a time marketers ran television commercials and put ads in newspapers and simply waited for the phone to ring. But that was a long time ago. It was so long ago that it seems like a fairy tale, an expensive fairy tale at that.
Today, consumers fast forward through ads and change the station on their radio. They don't want to be interrupted by your marketing. They want to be free to look for information at their own pace as they browse and search online.
And they're not just looking for coupons or discounts. They're looking for general information about trends and features, about company personnel, and examples of how your product is being used and what people think about your business.
March 20, 2020
Contagious content is something that SOME people will find so interesting they will be unable to resist the urge to share it. Andrea Breanna, the founder of Rebel Mouse explains we share things because we want to show off what we know, connect with others or because something is so striking it hits our ITMO (inability to move on).
Creating contagious content boils down to emotions: Love, hate, belief and disbelief. Great content will tap in to one or more of these emotions. And often it will be love for some part of your audience and hate for another. That's ok. It means you have tapped into an emotion and avoided the dead zone in the middle.
For more on this topic check out the blog post on Rebel Mouse
March 17, 2020
It may sound crazy, but this week's guest Dr. Shirag Shemmassian says you can actually sell more when you give away free stuff. He sat down with host Lorraine Ball to talk about how this strategy can work for any business.
How does it work? You have to be strategic about what you give away. Think about previews of your services, or quick tips and informative guides which help prospective customers fell confident as they choose to work with you. The content you share has to be high quality, but it doesn't have to answer every question. Afterall that is what you want them to pay you for.
Dr. Shirag Shemmassian and his team of admissions nerds have been helping high-achieving students get into America's top colleges, medical schools, and graduate programs for over 15 years.
Despite growing up with Tourette Syndrome and being told that his odds of academic and professional success were slim, Dr. Shemmassian completed his undergraduate degree at Cornell and his Doctorate at UCLA.
Dr. Shemmassian's expertise on the admissions process has been featured on sites like The Washington Post, NBC, and US News & World Report, where he discusses how to leverage your personal and professional experiences to create standout applications.
March 15, 2020
This is a quick marketing tip from Lorraine Ball host of More than a Few Words. Here's an interesting statistic. More than 88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchase decision. Why? Because people are skeptical. They are more likely to trust what friends and family and even strangers say about your company more than what you say
The tendency to ask for recommendations didn't start with the internet. It's always been a natural part of the buying process. So if your prospects are looking for recommendations and reviews as thy make buying decisions then asking for recommendations must be part of your selling process .
From gathering testimonials to place on your website and encouraging people to post reviews on Angie's List TripAdvisor, Facebook, or Google or even asking for personal introductions from one client to another building a word of mouth business takes work.
Looking for help? Drop by Roundpeg.biz. We would love to chat with you. And be sure to look for longer episodes of More than a Few Words wherever you listen to podcasts.
March 13, 2020
Ken Cloke is a conflict resolution expert. In this conversation with Lorraine Ball he shares some very simple tactics you can employ to diffuse a difficult situation.
1) Ask the other person, why is this so important to you? Why are you fighting so hard to win. Often when you ask that you can identify underlying issues which are really at play.
2) Take ownership of the conflict and ask the other person, what you can do to reduce the tension.
Ken Cloke is a world-recognized mediator, dialogue facilitator, conflict resolution systems designer, teacher, public speaker, author of numerous books and articles, and a pioneer and leader in the field of mediation and conflict resolution for the last 37 years.
March 10, 2020
If you want insight into hot marketing trends, it is best to ask more than one person. That is exactly what Melanie Allen and Meghan Martin of Green Loop Marketing did. They reached out to nine marketing professionals to get their opinion on what would be hot in 2020.
The result is an informative article about nine trends to watch in 2020. The article has something for everyone from the marketing novice and social media pro.
In this episode Lorraine Ball explores just a few of those nine trends. Listen now.
March 8, 2020
Marketing Tip from More than a Few Words
My husband is an amazing cook. He reads recipes and comes up with his own variations, blending and layering ingredients in new and delicious ways. And even though he's amazing in our kitchen, he should not own a restaurant. Why? Because he knows how to time a meal with three dishes for eight people. But expanding that to 30 dishes for 100 people require skills he does not have
The same challenge exists when it comes to managing professional social media. Lots of people are good on social media. They're funny and engaging and they have a large following, but just because they're good at managing their own accounts does not mean they have the skills to be a successful social media chef.
What does it take to be successful as a professional social media chef level? It boils down to two things.
- The first is a precise recipe or content calendar which describes the ingredients such as the topics, types of content, and amount of content.
- The second is a plan for managing your kitchen, delegating tasks and coordinating when and where content will be shared.
If you'd like to find the tools a professional social media chef needs, be sure to hop over to digitaltoolboxin.com
And look for longer episodes of More Than a Few Words, with host Lorraine Ball, wherever you listen to podcasts.
March 6, 2020
Imagine stepping on to an elevator and the person inside greets you warmly and begins to engage you in a conversation. Does the prospect of that conversation make you smile or horrify you?
The answer will depend on your communication style. Understanding difference in how we communicate can make your next sales call or employee interaction much easier.
In today's conversation with Yamilette Williams (Dr. Yam) explains that when you listen to the type of questions people ask you will find clues to their communication style.
March 3, 2020
If you want to be a consultant, you need to write a book. You may not be a best selling author, you don't have to be. The purpose of this book is to introduce yourself to a wider audience, to demonstrate your expertise, and establish credibility as a s subject matter expert.
In this conversation, Dr. Cindy Childress outline's the steps you need to take to get ready to write a book.
KEY TAKEAWAY: The book is not the moneymaker. It is a way to introduce your consulting, training and speaking services.
About Dr. Cindy, The Expert’s Ghostwriter, is a ghostwriter and book editor for coaches and consultants that go on to achieve bestseller status, book TEDx Talks, build coaching businesses, and create nonprofits.
She developed the Write Your Book Blueprint™ framework to create reading experiences that encourage reviews and turn readers into lifelong fans of the author. Her best clients want to publish books that make an impact, and she’s committed to write and edit their books to look and feel like any other bestseller at a major bookstore.
Dr. Cindy also teaches creative writing classes with Writespace Houston and is a foster mom with Citizens for Animal Protection.
More than a Few Words is a part of the Digital Toolbox from Roundpeg.
February 27, 2020
Denise Praul is the owner of Whiteboard Learning a training company that provides referral marketing training to service based business people. Her most popular training is her program that helps business people create a Roadmap to Unlimited Referrals She has trained hundreds of business people on how to create proactive non-client referral marketing plans to help them accomplish their sales goals.
In this episode she shares some of her favorite tips on creating productive referral relationships.
February 25, 2020
In an effort to dominate on social media and in SEO businesses are churning out lots of content. Unfortunately most of it is crap.
So if you want to attract people, not just search engines, you need to be a better writer than your competitors.
How do you do that? Our guest, author Erik Deckers explains you need to read more and practicing more.
February 21, 2020
Ten years ago when social media was kind of a new thing. While there was a lot of research about how big businesses were using these new tools, there wasn't much information about small business so we launched our first Digital Marketing Study.
A decade later, we're still asking those questions. In this episode we look at some of the high level results from our 2020 digital marketing survey.
If you are intrigued after you listen to episode you can download the full report here:
February 18, 2020
Whether you are hoping to rally your team around a strategy or resolve interpersonal issues an off-site retreat or team building session can be an ideal solution. Our guest, Deseri Garcia of Vida Aventura, outlines several things to keep in mind before you head out to bond.
- Define your objectives - What is the purpose to have the event.
- Make sure your team understands your objectives and outcomes
Many people dread team building events because they are afraid they will be asked to do something that makes them uncomfortable or makes them feel silly. Creating a safe space where everyone can participate by choice helps reduce the tension.
More than a Few Words is part of the Digital Toolbox from Roundpeg
February 14, 2020
Sometimes, as a sales person heads out to make cold calls, it feels like they are trying to storm a castle. They prepare to battle their way in the door. My sales coach, Matt Nettleton says it doesn't have to be that way.
Armed with a series of strategic questions, and a willingness to really listen to the answers, a sales person can actually encourage prospects to lower their defenses and actually invite the sales person in.
More than a Few Words is part of the Digital Toolbox from Roundpeg.
February 11, 2020
When you face a challenging situation, before you look outward, our guest Lauralee Hites suggestion you use the process of introspection, to look inward.
She defines introspection as the ability to examine your mental and emotional state. And the process is easy if you start with three questions.
1) What is the story I am telling myself?
2) What am I doing to contribute to this problem?
3) What tools(s) to I bring to this problem?
More than a Few Words is just one small business resource in the Digital Toolbox from Roundpeg,
February 7, 2020
You're familiar with Braille lettering on signs and blue rimmed parking spots which make it easier for people who are differently-abled to access traditional physical brick and mortars spaces. Now we're seeing this same idea of accessibility being addressed in the online world.
In this conversation we look at ways you can make your website more accessible to all people.
In a effort to make this episode more accessible, you can find a transcript on our website