The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

Archive for “Grow Your Business”

Give Yourself a Break!

As summer fades away, I’m sure you’d love to hold onto some of your personal time and avoid working long hours. But if you’re an entrepreneur, how do you please all of your customers without giving up some free time with family and friends?

Here are a few suggestions to reclaim your personal time:

1. Hire a Virtual Assistant.

Do you have data entry, accounting, writing, or other administrative activities that need to be done? Get these tasks out of your way by hiring a virtual assistant.

These professional workers are available throughout the United States with different skill sets at various price-points.

And because you are hiring a service rather than an actual employee, you don’t need to worry about all of the legal and tax headaches involved in the hiring process.

Check out the International Virtual Assistants Organization at http://www.ivaa.org/ and other, related sites to find someone to fit your specific needs.

2. Find an Intern.

Many high school and college students are looking for work to add to their portfolios. Offer to provide opportunities to help them succeed.

You’ll get some inexpensive help, and your interns will get valuable, on-the-job experience to use in their future careers. Just be aware that you’ll need to take some extra time to train these newbies carefully.

3. Get help from your kids.

If you haven’t already done so, have your kids help you with your business. Not only will they learn important skills and the importance of working for an end-result, but you may be able to use this as a tax deduction too.

Check with your accountant to see how you can make this work for you.

Enjoy yourself!

Instead of saying goodbye to summer fun and thinking you just can’t get away from work, be positive and creative. Look for people to help you finish tasks outside of your core area of expertise.

It may take a little effort to find the right helpers, but once these workers are in place, you’ll have more time for yourself and be able to get the relaxation you need to truly be successful!

Need more help with your SEO copywriting and PR to increase sales? Please write to me below or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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As summer fades away, I’m sure you’d love to hold onto some of your personal time and avoid working long hours. But if you’re an entrepreneur, how do you please all of your customers without giving up some free time with family and friends? Here are a few suggestions to reclaim your personal time: 1. [...]

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Does Your Website Need Trimming?

Did you enjoy the Labor Day holiday? If you’re like me, you ate too much ice cream and could stand to lose a few pounds! Well, this same idea goes for your Website.

Is it as slim and trim as it needs to be to bring in sales?

If not, here are some things you can do now to get your writing in better shape…

1.   Trim the extras.

While it’s nice to have a few graphics on your Website, please don’t go overboard. Keep your Website simple with a single message on each page. Let site visitors know exactly “what’s in it for them” the second they land on your Home page.

Then, guide them where you want them to go. If you have too many graphics and clutter on your site, you may cause confusion and lose business.

2.    Slim down your copy.

Take a look at the SEO copy on your Website and in your marketing materials.

Do you use short paragraphs and simple sentences?

Do you include titles and sub-titles to break up your copy into various sections?

If not, make some changes. You want your copy to be as easy to read as possible. Provide valuable information, but keep it short and sweet.

3.    Add some zip to your site.

If you don’t have any videos on your Website, you are missing out on a great opportunity to share information with customers. Either have people send in videos talking about your business or make your own video about something cool going on at your business.

Have fun with it. Today’s online customers want to see videos and your business in action. Give them what they want! Just make sure your videos are professional looking and provide a good impression. And be sure to add the appropriate tagging for the search engines.

It’s Time to Look and Feel Good!

While you enjoy these final days of summer, also think about preparing your SEO copy for the busy, work months ahead. Make sure your Website conveys a simple message site visitors can understand quickly and easily, and give them valuable and interesting information they can use. With just a few changes, you can improve your copy, and sales, significantly. Now, off to the gym to work off that ice cream!

For more help with your SEO copywriting, please write to me below or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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Did you enjoy the Labor Day holiday? If you’re like me, you ate too much ice cream and could stand to lose a few pounds! Well, this same idea goes for your Website. Is it as slim and trim as it needs to be to bring in sales? If not, here are some things you [...]

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Monday Morning Mojo: Your Thoughts are POWERFUL!

We’ve all heard the saying, “The energy was so thick in that room, I could cut it with a knife.” That energy is felt without words being expressed or eye contact being made. There’s nothing going on but the same bad feeling being felt by all the people in the room. The question is how [...]

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Want Some Good Publicity? 3 Key Tips…

If you are an entrepreneur or just trying to get some publicity for a new business and haven’t had any luck with reporters, you may want to stop and review your process. There are three, key things to do before pitching a media member. Conduct research. Are you just sending a press release or a [...]

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Does Your Site Need Help?

You love your site. The graphics are way cool and your customers love it! This may all be true, but is your site really helping you grow your business and increase sales and awareness? Not sure? You may want to review these…

3 Signs Your Site Stinks

1. You don’t see any new sales specifically coming in from your site users.

When was the last time you checked to see how many new sales are coming directly from online users? Take a look at your Google Analytics (and please install them, or some other analytics software, if you haven’t already). If your numbers are low, sorry, but your site just isn’t that good.

Check your landing pages. Do they include a single message and a clear, call-to-action? If site visitors don’t’ know the benefits you offer and how to take advantage of them easily, you’ll lose online sales. Rewrite your landing pages and test them to see what works best.

2. Your clicks from new customers are dismal.

Do your analytics show that you have a lot of new, first time visitors (unique visitors)? If not, you need to increase word-of-mouth for your site.

Start by optimizing your site for the search engines. Provide valuable content using your top keywords. And if it’s appropriate for your business, take advantage of social media. Get involved on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, write a blog, etc. Just make sure to plan your activities accordingly so you get the best results for your time and effort.

In fact, you may want to look into hiring some outside consultants to help you with this. Yes, this costs money. But these experts can significantly increase site visitors and provide a great ROI.

3. Your bounce rate is high.

Are a lot of your site visitors looking at one page on your site and then leaving? Look at the bounce rate for various pages on your site in the analytics. If people are not interested in what you have to offer, they are not going to spend time on your site.

When this happens, it’s time for a site revamp. Figure out what your customers want by looking at the content they look at most on your site. You can also offer an online survey or simply ask them. It’s essential to answer questions and provide solutions for your site visitors within seconds of arriving at your site. Otherwise, they’ll go straight to your competitors.

Your Site Can Always Be Improved.

While you may think your site is fantastic, your analytics and sales numbers may prove otherwise. Take some time to review what is going on with your site each week. What are site visitors most interested in and how can you give them what they want? Even if your site is doing well, it can always do better.

By being in tune with your target market and providing valuable information quickly and easily, your site will improve significantly. More important, you’ll build online buzz and increase sales that will help grow your business fast.

For additional help increasing sales with your SEO site, please write to me below or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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You love your site. The graphics are way cool and your customers love it! This may all be true, but is your site really helping you grow your business and increase sales and awareness? Not sure? You may want to review these… 3 Signs Your Site Stinks 1. You don’t see any new sales specifically [...]

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Crowdfunding Tips from FutureDash

Recently, StartupNation was approached by FutureDash, and they had a lot to say about crowdfunding. Here’s what CEO Kevin Strong had to say… Tell us about your business. FutureDash is a technology startup focused on an energy management solution called EnergyBuddy, www.energy-buddy.com. It gives homeowners and small businesses awareness of their energy usage, helping them [...]

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How to Improve Your SEO Rankings

The birds are singing. The flowers are blooming, and Google is probably updating their search engine systems again. In a past update (http://on.wsj.com/AorvqW), Google incorporated “semantic search,” looking at the meaning of words… so how does this change your SEO processes? Well, if you haven’t been writing quality content and just posting as many search [...]

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Summer of SEO Success

Are you getting all you can out of your SEO, search engine optimization efforts, right now? Here is a quick checklist of the things you need to make your search engine optimization activities a success: 1. Provide great content. Offer your customers tips, insights and stories they can actually use. And be sure to use [...]

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Simple Ways to Be a Better Entrepreneur

Are you an entrepreneur who is stressed out about work and getting projects done on time? Check out these three, simple tips to help you get back on track… fast! 1. Work extra hours at strange times. If you are a morning person, try to get up one hour earlier and start working. If you [...]

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Who’s better for small business America… Obama or Romney?

I think it’s fair to say that both presidential candidates most likely want what’s best for small business as well as what’s best for America as a whole. But, it’s also likely that one candidate will be better for small business than the other. Earlier this month, President Obama called for congress to extend the [...]

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Time to Increase Sales with PR, SEO and Marketing

If you are worried about finances and slow sales at your business, it’s not the time to reduce your PR, SEO and marketing budgets. It’s time to increase them! While these areas may not seem important to the core of your business, it’s essential to put more money, time and effort into them… especially when [...]

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Top 3 Apps for Entrepreneurs

According to Forrester research, a billion people will own smartphones by 2016. An increasingly smartphone friendly world is perfect for entrepreneurs craving time away from the office. No longer tethered to desks or even wi-fi, our mobile world opens new doors for productivity on the run. So which apps are virtual wonders and which are [...]

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Are You Too Attached to Your SEO Copy?

If you are a good search engine optimization (SEO) copywriter, then you probably spend hours crafting the perfect message and placing the appropriate keywords in just the right place. You care about the message and providing value to your client and their customers. But are you too close to your copy and wasting time in [...]

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LifeTime Brands Seeking New Products – Submit Yours!

Lifetime Brands, North America’s leading resource for nationally branded kitchenware, tabletop, home décor and lifestyle products, has teamed with InventionHome to conduct a National Product Hunt for the next great kitchen product. Now is your chance to turn your idea into a household name with prestigious branding from Farberware®, KitchenAid®, Cuisinart®, Mikasa®, Pfaltzgraff® or one [...]

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Discover the 3 P’s to PR Success

While many new entrepreneurs still think “PR” means “press release” instead of “public relations,” or that public relations is all about sending out press releases, this is only a small part of the big picture. Today, public relations represents getting your message out to the right people at the right time in the right format… [...]

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Beware SEO Bundling!

You’ve seen the bundled services for Internet, phone and television which can often save you a lot of money. Well, today you’ll also see a lot of these “bundled” services for search engine optimization, or SEO. With the tough economy, many businesses are trying to branch out and offer customers unique packages at a discount. [...]

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Beware of Bundled SEO Services

You’ve seen the bundled services for Internet, phone and television which can often save you a lot of money. Well, today you’ll also see a lot of these “bundled” services for search engine optimization, or SEO. With the tough economy, many businesses are trying to branch out and offer customers unique packages at a discount. [...]

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Dream Big as Small Biz People

I had the pleasure of hearing Kevin Harrington, a pioneer in the infomercial business, selling products on TV and on the ABC hit show Shark Tank, speak this week at The Inpex Convention in Pittsburgh, PA. Harrington imparted the crowd with a boat load of information on the best practices of inventing and getting a [...]

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