Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

Small Business: SEO, Email Marketing, Websites and Socia Media – Oh My!!!

Small business is no longer just local business…

In today’s world, a social and web presence are not optional, they are a must and vital to the success of your business. I am here to say no matter how small your business is, a digital presence in the world is easier than you think.

First, you must have a plan of action. Create a marketing plan and social media plan for your business. Of course newly created businesses rarely have much wiggle room for paid marketing, but social media is thankfully free and if you use it wisely,  you will quickly reap it’s rewards. 

Looking at your financial status, figure how much you can realistically spend on your web design. Often you can locate another small business/boutique style designer like myself to create a WSYWIG (What You See Is What You Get) site or site on another platform, such as Word Press of Joomla. Expect a website to cost you between $2000-$5000 as a low ballpark average.

First of all, you may be unsure of what exactly the acronym, SEO means.  If you don’t this may be your biggest roadblock – Search Engine Optimization. How you rank compared to the world? Compared to your competitors in your region or around the world. Mashable has a great article on ways to increase your SEO. 

http://mashable.com/2012/01/09/increase-google-rank/

There are many ways to increase your SEO. Often SEO and website design go hand in hand. A big part of  SEO is meta tags – these are keywords or main ideas that best describe your business or site. These help your rankings in search engines and help drive more business to your site. In addition, to correctly using meta tags, proper web platforms, social media, and blogs are also huge components of driving traffic to your site, and making your web-presence more prevalent.

Do you have a Facebook page, Twitter handle (@businessname) or LinkedIn accounts? All of these not only increase your SEO, but help you create an online community of customers and supporters. Here is a great article from the Social Media Examiner on small business successes with social media.


http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/9-small-business-social-media-success-stories/

Now social media is great, it keeps our customers connected, up-to-date, involved with our business when properly managed, but what about email marketing and newsletters? Are these a thing of the past? Think again. Email marketing is still a useful and widely accepted marketing tool that businesses should still utilize. I wanted to hear what other experts thought where the best email marketing tools out there and this article beautifully sums them up. 


http://www.readwriteweb.com/biz/2010/08/which-email-marketing-platform-is-right-for-your-small-business.php

What are your goals for your small business in 2012? Do you need a consultation? Should you outsource social media and other web related business? Sit down, grab a pen and paper and map out your goals, think about how those should look and then compose a plan to help you achieve those goals.

Have questions related to this blog or any other social media, web design, or graphic design questions?

Happy planning!
Katherine Fell

Contact me Katherine Fell @naptimedesign on Twitter or katherine@naptimedesign.com.
www.naptimedesign.com

New Year’s Goals – Leave 10 Bad Habits in the Dust

New Year’s is upon us and we all hope to make each year better than the last. I was perusing my Facebook account and happened upon Craig Darling’s inspirational idea that New Year’s Resolutions should be goals rather than hokey resolutions. He said, “I know it is hip to set a few resolutions. How many do we actually keep? It is a pretty poor success record over all… Try to set some goals instead. Goals drive you in ways a resolution can not. Set a detailed goal.. and every time you ponder your goal… picture the success in your mind.. Did you know that many years before Jim Carey made it big… he wrote himself a check for 10 Million to make a movie… kept it in his wallet. Hey, that goal worked out for him… Try it… To your successful New Year then!” I think this is a much better resolution to resolve to set achievable goals that short term plans – remember habits take weeks at a minimum, on average 66 days according to Psych Central (http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/10/07/need-to-form-a-new-habit-66-days/).

So in the spirit of the New Year and all things new let’s check out a this article featured today by Laura Frongillo, Salary.com contributing writer. There are great tips for stepping out of our ruts and getting on with the new. 


Many thanks Laura Frongillo for your encouraging words and ideas. 



1.  Put off procrastination…now

Overwhelmed by the difficulty or size of a pending chore? Make use of calendars and computer alarms to plan out and schedule small pieces of big projects. Doing a little at a time is usually easier than tackling a whole project at once – and always more productive than putting it off ‘til you’re “up to” a big challenge.

2. If your system’s broke, fix it

Do you clean up your act every few months only to find your folders empty and your desk a mess again in no time? If you’re constantly unable to find things, you may be trying to adhere to a filing system that doesn’t work for you. Notice where your various papers naturally end up and base a new categorization scheme on what works for you.

3. Are you too accessible?

Nothing hinders a project’s progress more than incessant interruptions. When you really need to focus, be sure you will not be bothered. Let co-workers know you are busy. If you have a door, shut it and hang a do not disturb sign. Turn off phone ringers if possible, as well as instant message boxes and incoming email announcements.

4. Cool the water cooler gossip

Sometimes it gets a little too easy to join in the office banter, even when it starts heading down the wrong path – like discussing the boss’s bad breath or which sales rep’s going out with which admin assistant. If you need to vent about a co-worker, do it with a trustworthy non-colleague. Limit the work coffee talk to sports and “Idol” chatter.

5. Poor planners don’t get rich

Do you arrive at your office without a plan for the day or run into meetings unprepared?  If so, it’s likely you’re wasting valuable time – and annoying your co-workers. Leave the poor planning in the past. Take a few moments to write a to-do list or an outline for the next day or an upcoming meeting so you can show up ready to go.

6. You won’t get ahead by being behind

If you find you are constantly 10 minutes late for work or appointments, chances are others notice it too. Nip this habit in the bud by setting all your alarms 15 minutes earlier and leaving yourself an extra half hour to get to work. The worst that can happen is you’ll be a little early and find yourself with some valuable free time.

7. Cut out crude cubicle conduct

Remember, your cubicle is not your castle. That’s because in most offices cube walls are not made of stone. Therefore it’s not okay to talk loudly, produce offensive smells, clip fingernails, blast music, belch, or cough incessantly. Be sure you leave the nail clippers, dental floss, strong perfume, and colds and flu at home or behind closed doors.

8. Unchain yourself from your work

It may seem like keeping your nose to the grindstone is the height of efficiency, but studies show that taking regular breaks from your work is a more productive approach. Step away from your work every so often so you can come back with a fresh outlook. Or take a break from one project every so often to work on another.

9. Unhealthy habits can affect your work

It’s easy in an office to get into a sedentary routine. But your physical health has a direct correlation to your mental health, which in turn affects your work success. Bringing healthy snacks to work instead of eating fast food can do wonders for your mood. Likewise, taking a walk after lunch can revitalize both your body and your mind.

People notice smart dressers – even if unconsciously. So, if you’ve gotten a little lazy in the wardrobe department, it’s time to weed out the “comfy” clothes and spruce up a bit. Don’t worry; you don’t need to be a GQ model or glamour queen to dress for success. Just tailor your look a little. Here are some helpful hints about clothes that say “pay me more.”

Full speed ahead

Once you’ve divested yourself of behavior that may be holding you back, replacing it with positive work habits should be easy – in fact, it often happens automatically. Congratulations on leaving the past behind and following the road to career success! Now, how about resolving to call your mother more often?
http://www.salary.com/Articles/ArticleDetail.asp?part=par1670

Great article Laura, now what we do with these items are what count. I wish someone had written this when I used to work a full time, in office, job, but of course many of these items still apply to the work at home, self-employed.  

 Let’s start making those goals today and not wait until the New Year to get started. 66 days start now! Happy 2012!

Katherine

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