5 Perfect Times to Ask for a Referral

Asking for referrals makes many small business owners and salespeople uncomfortable. However, if you do a great job for customers and they are happy with you, customers are usually pleased to help you succeed and give you a referral. But customers often won’t think of referring your small business without prompting. You have to ask. […]

Creative and Keepable Business Cards for Your Small Business

Take a look at your business card. If it looks like this, your card is failing at marketing your small business: Custom printing technology has advanced to make many premium elements realistically affordable for small businesses, such as gold foil, rounded corners, double-sided printing and glorious full-color. Take advantage of these possibilities to turn your business card […]

Big Businesses Just Don’t Get Customers

Small Business Maintains the Marketing Edge with Customer Engagement In a recent poll with 58 senior-level retail executives, a mere 10% listed store associates as one of the top factors affecting their brand’s customer engagement. Instead of the people in their stores, 63% of retail executives chose “Brand image/marketing” as a primary driver of customer […]

3 Examples of Videos for Small Business Marketing

Small businesses are particularly well suited to video marketing campaigns, as I wrote about in “How Videos Boost Your Small Business Marketing.” Usually, the founder or employees are personable characters, which result in compelling and memorable videos. To give you inspiration, here are three marketing videos I produced for clients. Watch the video: What Happens if […]

LinkedIn Publishing Platform Yields Lackluster Results

LinkedIn is a critical social media tool for networking, while adding significant value to B2B marketing and sales. I recommend that every individual stay active on the network, along with regularly updating your profile. Many businesses should have a LinkedIn strategy, too. When LinkedIn launched its publishing platform, I was excited to try it out for my clients. Here are […]

A Small Business Marketing Campaign that Understands the Customer

James Free Jewelers is enjoying success with a clever marketing strategy tailored for engaged couples. With any bridal purchase over $5000, customers receive a free 4-day, 3-night honeymoon cruise. This offer is much more attention-grabbing and interesting than a straight percentage discount, while still preserving margin for the retailer. A full-price, 4-day Bahamas cruise with Norwegian […]

My Top 5 TV Shows for Entrepreneurs

Strangely, reality TV has fostered a golden era of business-focused television. Whether it’s Lori Greiner detailing why a product is “a hero or a zero,” Marcus Lemonis cutting through complicated shareholder agreements or Gordon Ramsay refocusing managers on the primacy of the guest experience, small business owners have opportunity for a free (and entertaining!) business education just by […]

Teaching Children the Value of a Nickel and a Dime

It’s rare that I’m pleased to receive direct mail marketing, but I eagerly opened the nicely-designed piece sent from the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. They have some exciting shows this season, including adaptations of Alice in Wonderland and Tarzan. But I found one aspect of their season ticket pricing off-putting. A “Season Infant Lap Pass” costs $1 […]

Your Receptionist May Be Your Most Important Employee

In Small Business Marketing, Receptionists Are on the Front Line Receptionist positions are often considered entry-level with high turnover. Small businesses don’t spend much time training the receptionist, sometimes just giving her an admonition to be friendly and punctual. But from your customer’s perspective, your receptionist just might be your small business’s most important employee! An […]

The Case Against Bing Advertising

Bing Ads serve the Bing, Yahoo! and MSN search networks. According to most statistics, these networks account for around 36% of web searches. Basic math indicates that to reach a third more potential customers, you should advertise on the network. But “searches” don’t equal “individual searchers,” and evidence suggests Bing may have significantly fewer users than […]