Create an Online Course for Your Business

Create an Online Course for Your Business

If you offer a service that you sell online, you might be thinking about offering a course or a portfolio of courses. These courses can help you sell your other products and services, as well as offer a somewhat passive source of incremental income. There is a lot of upfront work that goes into creating your course. However, once you do that work, your course should only need to be updated when some piece of information changes or if your want to introduce a new concept or module.

5 Ways to Find Topics for Your Blog

5 Ways to Find Topics for Your Blog

Keeping a blog for your business can help you reach a wider audience and build stronger relationships with your current and potential customers. Keeping a blog can also help your business get found by search engines and improve your website's SEO and authority. You can keep a running list of topics that make sense for your business so that you always have ideas and information from which you can pull your blog posts, but you have to start that list somewhere, so...

How do you determine the best blog topics for your business?

Whether you blog weekly or monthly, there are several ways you can determine the best topics for your blog posts. Here's a list of five of our favorites that we use here at Silver Shade Group to create our own blog topic lists.

How Can I Use Digital Marketing to Promote My Business?

How Can I Use Digital Marketing to Promote My Business?

Whether you have an online business or a brick and mortar location, digital marketing can help drive revenue for your company. Digital marketing can help put your business in front of customers who would not otherwise find you. I typically recommend that clients spread out their marketing budget across various digital channels, but you can leverage digital in whatever ways make the most sense for your business. Detailed below are some of the options available as digital marketing channels. This is a quick guide to help you make decisions about where you spend your digital dollars.

The Interview Series: Spotlight on Kaleigh Pettis

The Interview Series: Spotlight on Kaleigh Pettis

Tell me a little about you and your company. 

I love working with Mompreneurs who are passionate about being moms and equally passionate about their careers. My passion for helping women create the life of their dreams is what keeps me going every day!

I currently run two businesses, I’m an online Mindset Expert + Coach for Mompreneurs who need help working through self-limiting beliefs and fear in life and in business.

How Do I Get My First Clients?

How Do I Get My First Clients?

You're ready to launch your new business. You have a shiny new website with great content and copy and you've started a blog so people can find you when they Google your products and services and.... Crickets.

So how do you get clients for your brand new business?

Start with people you know and people who you've worked with in the past. Even if you offer them help and advice at a discounted rate, or even for free. Doing free and discounted work for a complete stranger just for 'exposure' may or may not help you land that first client, but doing the same work for people within your current network is more likely to lead to paid referrals and more business. 

The Interview Series: Spotlight on Julienne DesJardins

The Interview Series: Spotlight on Julienne DesJardins

Tell me a little about you and your company.

I’m a digital marketing virtual assistant, specializing in social media management and email marketing. My ideal client is a passionate, small business owner who is ready to offload some of her recurring work, with the goal of turning her attention to business growth activities.

What Should I Do When Business Is Slow?

What Should I Do When Business Is Slow?

When business is slow, it's important to take note of what may have changed recently (analyzing trends) and what was going on in your business last year at this time (year over year comparisons). Looking at the data can help you realize whether your slow down is a result of the natural progression of your business or the result of changes to your business or the overall market. If you're unsure about changes that you've made recently or about something going on in the market, ask your customers how they feel about those new services or the restructured pricing that you implemented.

The Interview Series: Spotlight on Amy Lu

The Interview Series: Spotlight on Amy Lu

I adore creating practical parenting and pregnancy resources. The educator in me gets such fulfillment from helping parents find success with their children. On Making Motherhood Matter, I share my passion for parenting, as I am also a mama to two little ones. Through blogging, I have found the perfect creative outlet to blend my affection for teaching, parenting, and writing.

Social Media Marketing 101: Part 6 - YouTube

Social Media Marketing 101: Part 6 - YouTube

The final installment in our social media marketing series is YouTube. YouTube is a fantastic channel for reaching your audience when your products require demonstrations, step-by-step instructions, or detailed explanations. YouTube is also great when you want to create personal connections with your audience or if you enjoy using video content. Your videos might feature a tailored message, a product demo, or a behind-the-scenes view of your workshop and process.

Social Media Marketing 101: Part 5 - Twitter

Social Media Marketing 101: Part 5 - Twitter

If your business involves building your personal brand to grow your business, Twitter can help you do that. Twitter is often compared to a giant cocktail party and that analogy is correct. Many users are talking about many topics in a single place. Twitter allows you to find and interact with your audience and people who want to listen to your message. You can share articles, courses, webinars, and other information that's curated for your audience. On Twitter, you can also share images of your 'behind-the-scenes' like you might on Instagram. Use the platform to share the same information that you would share in a regular conversation with a real person.

The Interview Series: Spotlight on Wendy Manganaro

The Interview Series: Spotlight on Wendy Manganaro

Wendy Manganaro, Founder of Social Abundance Marketing, helps frustrated heart-centered entrepreneurs attract, resonate, and engage with their social media community so that they can feel more productive and stress-free. Before Wendy started coaching she was the social media strategist for such companies as Baby’s Badass Burgers and Source4Teachers. Currently, she enjoys working with entrepreneurs and businesses nationally and internationally.  As a natural problem-solver and people connector, Wendy's clients can expect a fresh perspective on their social media strategy and implementation.

Social Media Marketing 101: Part 4 - Instagram

Social Media Marketing 101: Part 4 - Instagram

If you have a visual brand, it's hard to overstate the importance of Instagram. No other platform gives you the same opportunity to highlight the intricate details of your product's high-quality stitching or the atmosphere in your physical location. Even if you have a service brand, Instagram can be a powerful tool to interact directly with your audience. You can use short videos to capture the customer experience or quotes and inspirational phrases to motivate your audience to action.

Like most social media platforms, Instagram works best when you know how your audience uses it and create consistent images and messages that speak directly to them.

Social Media Marketing 101: Part 3 - Pinterest

Social Media Marketing 101: Part 3 - Pinterest

The second social media platform that we cover in this series is Pinterest. We consider Pinterest to be an incredibly valuable platform. Why is it so important? Because people look to Pinterest as a source of information and as a source of products. Your potential customers are more likely to buy your products as a result of seeing them on Pinterest than any other social media platform. Pinterest is also very valuable as a platform for bloggers to share content. 

Social Media Marketing 101: Part 2 - Facebook

Social Media Marketing 101: Part 2 - Facebook

The first platform that we're going to cover in our social media marketing series is Facebook. This content portion is broken into two parts - one for service businesses and one for products companies. However, some things are universal between both service and product providers. No matter what kind of business you run, you'll probably want to create a page for your business and use it to share helpful information with your potential customers. You'll also need to identify who your audience is and determine how they use FB. Do they participate in groups? Do they follow brands? Or do they just check their feed for the latest posts from their friends and family? Once you understand how your ideal customer uses Facebook, you can create your platform strategy.

Social Media Marketing 101: Part 1 - Choose Your Platforms

Social Media Marketing 101: Part 1 - Choose Your Platforms

For the next few weeks, we'll run a series of posts that offer some basics for your social media marketing. If you follow along, you should be able to build a basic strategy for your overall social media marketing and pick up a few best practices and tactics for each of the platforms that we cover. This week, we cover how to choose the right platforms for your business. Starting next week, we'll go through a few of the platforms one-by-one and provide a few tips that will help you get the most out of each of your social accounts.

When you're selecting social media platforms for your account, it's important to consider three major factors.

The Interview Series: Spotlight on Zona Garrett

The Interview Series: Spotlight on Zona Garrett

Tell me a little about you and your company.

My name is Zona Garrett and I am a world traveler, who builds business communities where ever I am located. Genuinely amazed by the things people come up with, Plan to Succeed allows me to have a front row seat as people discover who they are and how that makes a difference in the world around them and supports a lifestyle for them to love.

How long have you owned your own business?

I have owned my business from its conception June 2014.

Create and Send Customer Surveys

Create and Send Customer Surveys

Your customers and potential customers are a fantastic source of information about your business. Your customer surveys can help you measure customer satisfaction and learn how your clients and customers feel about your business and the experiences they have with you and your team. If you take the time to ask them, they will provide you with valuable feedback that you can use to make improvements to your entire business, from product and offerings to customer service and after-sales care.

Should I Create a Business Plan Before I Launch?

Should I Create a Business Plan Before I Launch?

When you start a new business, it's important to plan ahead. It may seem like an overwhelming task to create a business plan, but if you take the time to do so, you might be surprised by what you learn. Even if you do not need a business plan to secure funding for your company, it's helpful to think about the finances, marketing, and logistics involved in creating your new brand. When you create your business plan, it will be easier to determine whether you have a viable business idea and where you might be able to improve your idea to create a more profitable business.

The Interview Series: Spotlight on Preston Odenbrett

The Interview Series: Spotlight on Preston Odenbrett

Tell me a little about you and your company. 

Originally from the awesome state of Minnesota for 40 years. Married with a 10 year-old son, going on 15. Started company as a side line business when I was part of another startup which was still in the development.

How long have you owned your own business?

4 1/2 years