The growth of artificial intelligence is not rendering the customer service industry obsolete—not right now anyway—but this modern technology is changing how businesses engage and interact with their customer base. Major corporations like Marriott, Sephora, Amazon, Google, Netflix, and Facebook have launched AI interface platforms to automate their client communication, and now small businesses are recognizing the benefits of this trend as well. When it comes to an organization’s customer relationship management strategy, the use of AI chatbots has specifically become a game-changer. From answering customer questions and troubleshooting their concerns, to producing new business leads and marketing [...]
Despite the reparations Facebook has recently had to make on their reputation due to privacy issues, there’s little doubt most of the platform’s 2.13 billion monthly users will stick around—and that means your business needs to stay on Facebook, too. More than 65 million businesses have a Facebook page and for now, the social media platform can still do a lot for your company. One popular Facebook tool that helps you attract attention for your business and enables followers to get to know your brand better is Facebook Live videos. These live videos can be used to promote [...]
With more than 546 million users, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. The social network has established a solid niche for itself by focusing on workforce needs such as finding new business, searching for jobs and building professional relationships. Plus, if you know the secrets to using it successfully, LinkedIn could be a major revenue generator for your accounting business. Here are seven tips for getting started with optimizing LinkedIn for accountants, CPAs, and bookkeepers. Optimizing LinkedIn for Accountants 1. Make the Most of Your Profile Before you start, it’s important to know the purpose behind your [...]
Searching for the first clients for your startup accounting business might seem like finding a needle in a haystack (or, for you Harry Potter fans, like finding a Horcrux in the Room of Requirement). In reality, however, it can actually be pretty simple, thanks to powerful apps and social media marketing. Or, you might have better luck finding your first ten accounting clients the old-fashioned way, via face-to-face interaction. Better still, why not combine both types of marketing to find those first customers? Expert Advice for Finding Accounting Clients Here are 10 ways to find your initial accounting [...]
As we approach year-end, there’s no avoiding the barrage of annual self-evaluation questions filling the small business owner’s busy brain: What could I have done to bring in more business? Did I do the right kinds of marketing through social media? And on and on! The good news: While you’re trying to figure out the best way to reach your audience on social media, the marketers at social networking platforms are working to help you accomplish the same goals. To make your next year in business even better (at least when it comes to marketing through social media), [...]
If you’re wondering how to sell a product online, you will soon see that the world is your marketplace. Online shopping is now the preferred way to go for many consumers. For instance, 67% of millennials and 56% of GenXers prefer online shopping to in-store shopping, and even a significant number of older individuals buy online. Whether you want to combine online selling with a bricks-and-mortar operation or sell exclusively online, be sure you address all the important issues for success. The following is a checklist of the issues that will lead to profitability. How to Sell a [...]
One of the key steps to starting a new company is creating a strong small business brand. Do it right, and you’ll have a memorable brand that customers line up to do business with. How can you get your brand off on the right foot? Here are 10 steps to creating a business brand. 1. Understand the basics of a small business brand To craft your brand message, start by asking yourself (and answering) these questions: What does your company do? Can you distill that down to a few sentences or bullet points? Why does your company do [...]
Social media can be tricky to understand. What people share, like, and comment on often seems random or irrelevant. However, new research into the science behind social sharing is helping us better understand the factors of viral content. No longer are the “how” and “why” of content engagement a mystery. By better understanding the psychological gears behind social sharing, you’ll be able to use them to create content that will inspire and entice your readers to share that content through their networks. Psychological Factors That Drive Social Sharing Emotions are heavily involved in the reasons why certain types of content become popular. In fact, i-SCOOP [...]
Local SEO, the art and science of optimizing your business website for local search, has a few more steps to it than your general SEO practice. After you’ve identified your general keywords and optimized your content for them, you still need to take a few more steps to make your local business stand out from your competition. Most local search is performed with the intention of an immediate visit, so you want potential customers to be able to find you as they drive around town and in emergency situations, if that is relevant to your product or service. [...]
The process of starting a business is both thrilling and intimidating. There’s the exhilaration that comes from working through the details and making the dream a reality. And then, there are the business formation options and ongoing compliance requirements that often raise questions and sometimes cause confusion. That’s why I’m hosting the “Business Formations & Compliance” Facebook group. The group is a place where business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can get insight on anything related to forming a business and complying with the rules to keep it in good standing. You can join for free, so there’s no [...]
Nowadays, a business website is considered incomplete if it doesn’t have a blog. Blogging started out as a mere hobby, an online journal where individuals would share their thoughts, feelings, experiences and opinions. However, businesses have found that blogging is also a valuable resource for lead generation, customer service, boosting search engine rankings, and brand marketing and promotion. Today we give you a number of ways starting your own business blog could give your business a much needed boost in the right direction. 1. Get More Online Exposure Businesses devote entire departments to marketing, where the only goal [...]
With a passion for helping entrepreneurs work toward fulfilling their dreams, it thrills me to welcome you to join the new Business Startup Experts group that I’ve started on Facebook. Its purpose is simple: To serve as a hub for startup experts of all types to exchange knowledge with one another and with new business owners. I invite anyone who either has or is looking for insight on starting and growing a business. The following types of professionals and many others will find it an engaging place to showcase their expertise and make valuable connections: Accountants Business coaches [...]
If you are looking for an effective way to increase sales and keep your business in the forefront of customers' minds, email is the perfect solution. With an ROI of $38 to every one dollar spent, according to a survey last year, email marketing can pay off big for a small business. After all, we all get email, and most of us check it multiple times a day. Inundating prospective customers with daily emails about sales or discounts isn't the way to get their attention, however. Instead, try offering them something useful: an email newsletter. 10 Steps to [...]
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, our thoughts naturally turn to what we’re grateful for in life. As a small business owner, I know you’re thankful for your employees. After all, how would you run your business without them? In honor of Thanksgiving, here are 9 ways to say “thank you” to your employees. Give out bonuses. Let’s face it: Most people are highly motivated by money. There are a couple of ways to handle bonuses. You can set performance goals and give employees bonuses for meeting them—for example, giving a bonus to salespeople who surpass their quotas [...]
More people are purchasing goods online than ever before, and adding blog content to your website helps capture the attention of digital shoppers and beyond. U.S. eCommerce sales in the second quarter of 2016 reached $97.3 billion, an increase of 4.5 percent quarter-over-quarter and a whopping 15.8 percent increase year-over-year, according to the Department of Commerce. When your company provides blog content your potential customers are searching for, you build trust in your business and increase positive sentiment about your brand, which leads to sales when blog visitors need your product or service. Your competitors are already blogging. [...]
With school back in session, students of all ages are learning new things—and discovering how much they don’t know in the process. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or long-time business owner, one thing is certain: like the kids who are back to school, you always have room to learn and grow. As I’ve learned and grown as a business owner, one of my favorite phrases has become, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” How true, right? It’s far too easy to fool ourselves into thinking we really know all there is to know. But the truth is [...]
For a business of any size, it’s difficult to escape the constant recommendations about online marketing. If you want to reach customers, they say, you have to use social media. Set up accounts on Twitter and Facebook and business will explode.
Much in the same way that desktops gave way to laptops, which morphed into tablets and smartphones, website home pages are being replaced with landing pages, and now those are becoming more effectively utilized as social media landing pages. How are these socially driven spots better than their predecessors?
Do I need a website or can I get by with just a social media page? This is a question you may have asked yourself, especially if you’re just starting out in a new business. In one sense, both a social media page and a website serve a similar purpose. Both provide the chance for you and the customer to connect with one another. Used the right way, both can be excellent promotional tools for your business.
Everyone writes about how to do social media correctly. But few people address the key problems most small businesses have when they try to use social media to market and fail. Now, I'm sure you aren't guilty of any of these boo boos, but just in case, let's look at the biggest mistakes in social media marketing.