Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck Creative Agency Secrets

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck

If you’re a TweetDeck user, get ready for a shock: Twitter is deprecating TweetDeck.

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck

What’s the good news?

If you don’t know about Hootsuite already, you can set up a free account. Hootsuite is very much like Tweetdeck in its appearance and I would recommend migrating to that. You can continue to manage your Twitter conversations with Hootsuite, keep track of retweets and mentions, etc. You can also manage your other social media profiles with Hootsuite, like LinkedIn. And there’s the Autoschedule function which puts your Tweet in the queue to post when the majority of your followers are actually on and looking at Twitter so they’re more likely to see it.

Althought Hootsuite would definitely be an easy migration for current TweetDeck users, I’m a big fan of Buffer because you can set up schedules for when your posts go out. Also, they show you a graph indicating when the best time to post is using their Optimal Schedule (much like Hootsuites Autoschedule, but they don’t have a pretty graph). But you can’t manage conversations through Buffer just yet. They’ve come out with a Beta program called Respond which also looks a lot like Hootsuite but right now Buffer and Respond are two different social media management tools as opposed to Hootsuite, which is literally the two in one.

Besides that, they both allow you to connect a few social media profiles for free. If you went with either of them, it’s likely you would not have to pay for the service. But, really, check out Hootsuite, TweetDeck users, the transition will be smooth, I promise!

How to use Google My Business to improve SEO

How to use Google My Business to improve SEO

It’s frustrating when you search for a business and get the wrong answer.  Did you know that you can edit how your business listing is displayed in Google search results?  It’s called Google My Business.

This short slide deck shows what you can do in the tool and then how to use it to improve how your business is listed.

Grow Your Online Marketing Programme with Audience Industries

Grow Your Online Marketing Programme with Audience Industries

Grow Your Online Marketing Programme with Audience Industries

Let’s get serious about your online marketing programme

Do you want to make your business work? Of course you do. So get serious about your success and let’s talk about what it’s really going to take for your online marketing programme to get you the numbers you want from your website.

Audience Industries is coming to New Zealand for a second year in a row and these two international experts from the US, Dan Morris and Rachel Martin, want to sit down with you and show you what you need to know to operate your business online and make it successful.

A sneak peek of what you’ll take away from the courses: Escape Velocity

Do you know how much you make per visitor? Per pageview? How much should you really be spending on your online marketing efforts? You’ll get the tools you need to find out and take action to make your online business pump out the numbers you want to see. Set your goals and learn from Dan and Rachel just how to achieve them with Escape Velocity.

Sound like you? This is just one of four courses in the curriculum for the Audience Industries NZ tour. You want to grow your online marketing programme? This is it. Sign up for Escape Velocity in Auckland for April 29th and learn how to tighten up your goals and really reach them.

What else can you look forward to in the 2016 Audience Industries NZ tour?

  • Auckland, April 29th – Escape Velocity Curriculum

  • Auckland, May 1st – Sequoia Curriculum

  • Dunedin, May 3rd half day – Sequoia Curriculum

  • Dunedin, May 4th half day – Circles Curriculum

  • Wellington, May 5thSequoia Curriculum

  • Wellington, May 6thCircles Curriculum

  • Auckland, May 9th – Circles Curriculum

  • Auckland, May 10th – Clusters Curriculum

Click through to read about each course in depth including the curriculum.

If you’re ready for Escape Velocity, book now and ready yourself for an event that will take you straight to the heart of the 5 key metrics you need to know as a business to operate successfully online.

Audience Industries New Zealand Tour

Audience Industries New Zealand Tour

Announcing the Audience Industries New Zealand Tour

Creative Agency Secrets is proud to be collaborating with Audience Industries for the second year running! Together with founders Dan Morris and Rachel Martin we’ll be running an 8 date tour, making stops in Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington, learning how to drive online business success.

Learn how to grow revenue with your best tool: YOUR website!

Find out how to build new revenue streams and grow audience engagement with your website with the leading edge of best practice with these two leading practitioners. Here’s a taste of what’s in store for you when you attend Audience Industries:

  • Audience engagement with community marketing
  • Persuasion and action techniques
  • How to tell a story (that people WANT to read)
  • Using data dashboards to improve conversions
  • The copywriting words that create engagement
  • How to use custom sidebars to optimise your adverts
  • A YouTube strategy to keep viewers on your videos

Get past using buzz phrases and marketing hype! You’ll learn practical solutions that you can use immediately.

Want to find out more?

Read all 4 curriculum options in detail!

We know these techniques work, and you will learn the practical solutions directly from expert, knowledgeable technicians. Don’t believe us? Look at just a couple of the testimonials we captured from last year’s attendees:

Rachel and Dan have a really lovely style and they have ‘been there and done that’ so they are talking from experience.  They’re constantly tweaking their own approach and there is an emphasis on practical application. I found them very generous with their information. No holding back.

They were genuinely concerned about the group getting the information and being able to use it.  They wanted everyone to succeed and it’s unusual to find that in presenters.

They want the whole sector to grow.  Very personable, nice and the information was extremely useful and It was easy into put into practice.  

Jayne Richardson, @jreltd, Auckland attendee 2015

Book your ticket now

  • Auckland – April 29th – Escape Velocity Curriculum
  • Auckland – May 1st – Sequoia Curriculum
  • Dunedin, May 3rd half day – Sequoia Curriculum
  • Dunedin May 4th half day – Circles Curriculum
  • Wellington – May 5th – Sequoia Curriculum
  • Wellington May 6th – Circles Curriculum
  • Auckland – May 9th – Circles Curriculum
  • Auckland – May 10th – Clusters Curriculum

Get details on the detailed curriculum of what you will learn at each event.

We’re offering single-day tickets, or get a SPECIAL for two dates in one city.

Don’t miss out on the Audience Industries New Zealand Tour! Dan and Rachel will teach you the tools so you will become the CEO of your website.

 

Have you forgotten about directory listings for local search?

Yet again, Google has changed its search page layout – the right sidebar went last week…. Now, does that matter for your business or not?

The old sidebar had adverts in it and now adverts only appear at the very top of the search listings.  This is a “reduced real estate” situation in the lingo.  Where 8 adverts used to appear, there are now only 4.  That means that competition for advertising space is doubled – prices may rise.  What that means for most business owners is that if advertising gets more pricey, you can choose whether to adjust your budgets.  I recommend spending on natural site search as an alternative.  Every recent Google algorithm update has hit the ‘game-the-system’ players hard and rewarded websites with strong on-site content.  Put your money into your own website rather than into Google’s pockets.

Local Search Matters

So first, let’s check your business and how it shows up in the Google local pack.  This is the map and associated listings with pins showing locations.  Google are showing a map of local businesses into your search results.  This allows the physical location of a business to influence whether prospects choose you or not.  So it’s important to get listed accurately.  Go first to Google My Business https://business.google.com and start registering and verifying.

Local google search showing map and address

Local google search showing map and address

Is your information accurate?

Step one is to clean up your NAP citations.  NAP is the acronym for Name, Address and Phone data. This clearly tells a visitor that a business is local.  You should claim your business and get listed accurately.  Be consistent, don’t shorten words like Street or use different variations of ST. St, and Street.  [Did you see the comma and full stop there?]

Now, what about other citations?

Do a broad search for your business name, owners names and all possible variants as well as geographic searches.  List every website where you can be found.  There may be many as most directories are aggregators of others’ content and so mistakes get flicked on and on to more websites.

In the good old days every business was on Yellow Pages and I still think that’s a great place to start your directory listings.  But Yelp is increasingly important..  go and search for your business on yelp.co.nz and ‘claim’ it.  Then you can log in and edit the details.

Yelp claim your business

Yelp claim your business

When you claim your listing, be very careful to select the correct category for your business. And please, be consistent – write down a standard short and medium length text description which you can use everywhere.  Also write one about your products or services.  And another about the business owner(s).

Now here’s a list of the local directory sites where it is worthwhile “claiming” your business listing and this is the process I recommend you run through for each one. 

  1. see if you are already listed
  2. is the information NAP accurate?
  3. edit or insert for the first time as necessary
  4. keep a record of your logins so they aren’t lost to the business when you leave
  5. set a future diary date every 6 months to review and update the listing.

Selected New Zealand online directories

  • Localist.co.nz
  • yellow.co.nz
  • hotfrog.co.nz/
  • Finda.co.nz
  • NZPages.co.nz
  • ZipLeaf.co.nz
  • Gopher.co.nz
  • NZS.com
  • Yelp.co.nz
  • BusinessMe (paid)
  • NZDirectory.co.nz
  • cylex.co.nz/
  • nz.kompass.com/
  • Bing.com
  • nz.yahoo.com/
  • nz.search.yahoo.com/
  • www.zapmeta.co.nz/
  • foursquare.com
  • NZBusinessdb.com

Please share your tips for other directories as we can all learn more!

This article was first published on 

Improving your local SEO is an important part of your business marketing.  It’s all part of Getting your website working hard for your business [there’s a free ebook telling you how].

Read more blog posts about Who You Are and Profile Raising by clicking the icons below. Each is a step in our 8 Step Methodology 

8 step new business process. Step 1 Who are you?4 Profile

CCH Learning, Webinar,Rebecca Caroe,

Get Your Business Website Working for you – Webinar Date

Business websites cannot be static “set-and-forget” marketing assets. Learn how to work your website so that it pays back the investment to the business. A well-run website should:

CCH Learning, Webinar,Rebecca Caroe,

CCH Learning Webinar

  •  Show up in natural search
  •  Answer visitors’ questions
  •  Bring enquiries, leads or sales to the business
  •  Persuade visitors to reveal their identity
  •  Showcase the expertise of the firm

This is a practical training webinar which will show you how to assess your website’s effectiveness and give you a checklist of what you can do to improve.

Included is a free eBook detailing 5 ways to improve how your website shows up in Google, what search terms your site shows up for, how to use title tags and meta descriptions.

Suitable for small and large firms.

Sign up for March 24th at 2.30 pm to 4.00pm 

What is the New Business process?

Continuing our series on the Art and Science of New Business – Read Part 1.

I’m going to start with the definition of a business process –

Process – a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that serve a particular goal.

I took that definition from Wikipedia but it’s very straightforward if you do something in exactly the same way over and over again you will get the same outcome and that’s a process.

I want to remind you of the title of this article series is the Art and Science of Generating Leads.  The difference between an Art and a Science is that in the science everything is replicable exactly, every single time that you do it.  And art is not.

Generating leads is not always identically replicable. This is because markets change, economies evolve, your product or service may differ; the needs of your customers and prospective customers may be altering over time.

This does not mean that it is impossible to create a replicable process. But it does mean that you must acquire more skill than just following a series of “paint-by-numbers” tasks.

But you knew that didn’t you?

A business process gives an outcome

Let’s begin with working out the different steps that lead to an outcome.  I’m going to give you an example from my own

BNI logo

BNI logo

business here. It’s Wednesday morning at 7 AM. I am in a cafe with a group of 32 other trusted business individuals who are all working to help me generate leads for my business. The group is called Business Networking International. We meet once a week in order to do our best to help each other win more customers. How we do it is a straightforward, replicable business process.

It’s a methodology developed by Dr Ivan Misner.  He found it to be effective and set up a network. He’s grown it to over 180,000 members in many countries across the world. It is a tried and tested methodology for business owners to find a group of other business owners whose business is to help you find leads for your business.

Sounds extraordinary? Well it is.

I’m not going to tell Dr Misner’s story here, but suffice it to say at a certain stage in my business I found BNI to be a very useful discipline to help me establish a business process around finding new customers. I commend it to you and suggest you go and research the organisation today; their website is www.bni.com.

The new business development 8 step methodology is a process

8 step new business process. Step 1 Who are you?In order to make a process you first need to ensure that you’ve got all of the component parts lined up and ready to work I will say that step eight is the actual process because you string together all the components.

Step one is Who are you and what do you do? and that’s the topic up next.

Marketing rollercoaster

What are New Business Leads?

Leads are defined as an enquiry that brings business revenue for you.

What form it takes of course varies, it may start with a casual conversation in the pub or might be a phone call to you; it might be a business card that someone has collected from a networking event.

Many business owners find that they have a feast or famine situation and it comes to new business enquiries. Like a

Marketing rollercoaster

Marketing rollercoaster Image credit: smallbusinessalt.co.uk

rollercoaster that either rising up and you are swamped with Leads and enquiries for new business or down low and you are desperately hoping for even one enquiry. This predictable repeating cycle is a reality for many many businesses. Yours might be like this as well.

The rollercoaster happens for one reason and one reason alone:

You do not have a reliable process for creating leads.

Many businesses will never overcome the rollercoaster because they do not have the skill to follow a process and stick to it.

If you’re reading this today and you know that you experience this rollercoaster situation, what is it worth to you to change the habits of your business?

Why would you want to get off the rollercoaster?

Look back back through your business accounts over the last three years and see if you can find a time when you had a strong revenue stream. Count up the number of new clients you started invoicing in any given quarter or three month period. And then go back to find out how this client found you. What were the circumstances that led to this good period for you? Ask your business colleagues or your partner as well. They may remember things which you have not recalled.

The good news is it is possible for you to get off the rollercoaster and to create a steady flowing river of leads that can lead to new business.

The bad news is that 90% of the people reading this will not be able to make a regular recurring stream of leads because they cannot be disciplined enough to set up the process that is needed.

Creative Agency Secrets will teach you the secret way of creating leads on a regular recurring basis.

I will tell you because we’re utterly confident that it works.

This is the number one reason and if it works for us we can make it work for you. And the second reason is perhaps a better illustration of why our process works. This is because the 10 percent of you who will interact and take our advice; from these nine people will not be able to do it on their own.  They will be people like you who have busy organised business lives and love what they do. Yet if you’re being strictly honest you will say

“I am not a salesman, I am not a marketing expert, I find new business development a challenge. This is not how I prefer to spend my time.”

And so for these reasons Creative Agency Secrets is going to share with you our methodology of how to generate leads every single month of the year.

We’re hoping that you are the nine people who are going to take our advice and hire us to work with you.  And if you’re the 10th person who can execute without assistance, then congratulations, you’re probably already very good at sales and this is just a top-up advisory session for you to check there are any new tricks that you don’t already know.

For everyone else, we want to be your new collaborator.

We want to show you exactly how to make this work. We know how to adapt the method to suit the needs of your business, your marketplace, and your preferred clients. Today I’m going to show you exactly how we do it for ourselves and this will give you the template that you need to do it for yourself.

First some marketing honesty

But I need you to make one thing abundantly clear to yourself. In a moment of honesty, ask yourself am I ready to make this change? Am I ready to make a commitment that is fundamentally different from anything I’ve ever done before in my business?

Because you know what the rewards could be, but until they happen I also know that you will be nervous, anxious and will feel that this is a high risk to take for your business.

I will give you reassurance and I will give you confidence that you can do this yourself. Are you are you ready to come on the journey?

Let’s begin.

 

Tomorrow I’ll show you what the new business process is.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

When you’re new, or growing, and need social proof to prove your worth to the world

So, you’re starting out your business and you know you’ve got a good thing going. But something you don’t have yet from your clients: their endorsement of you and your brand or your product. Sure, they’ve told you they liked working with you and, of course, that made you feel good on the inside. But, with the interwebs, you need to have hard proof that says someone used your services and liked it enough to write it down in a social internet space. Like Google Reviews. Or Facebook. Or even just in an email and with your clients’ blessing. Okay, so, how do you do it?

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, or deduced from the title of this blog post, we’re talking about testimonials. Or reviews. Either or, they can be one in the same, if they contain ratings and words as friendly companions in whatever social app you’re using. There are multiple ways to get those testimonials so that, when a new possible client happens to Google you, lo and behold, they see other people like you and have used you and have provided their friendly feedback. Well, we rolled out with a fun and ‘give-back sort’ of way to request from our clients and those that have worked with us in the past. I think you’ll like it.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Before the holidays, our Chief in Command, Rebecca, came across a non-profit organization called StarJam. Briefly, I just want to let you know that what they do is amazing. Through music and performing arts, StarJam lifts kids with disabilities up, helps them to learn new skills, and gives them confidence. Just take a look at the photos they have on their website, every time I do I just want to be a part of that! Anyway, back to the story. Rebecca wanted Creative Agency Secrets to be able to give to StarJam. We also, you guessed it, wanted to get testimonials. Testimonials in one hand, giving to a good cause in the other… hmm. There’s got to be a good way to put these two together.

And SMASH!

It’s the holidays, right? We can send out a good will email to our clients! WE will donate money in your name to StarJam if you can write a few words on Google about your time with Creative Agency Secrets. So, we reached out to StarJam to get their permission, find out if they felt comfortable with our plan, requested a few images to use and then started crafting an email.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Key items we made sure to have in our email

  1. Make your headline engaging
  2. Make your text interesting to read
  3. Tell the reader what you’re doing or what you’re asking them to do

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials4. Hyperlink to wherever they need to go or whatever you’re referring to

5. Use images

The main thing we wanted to make sure to do was inform our followers HOW to submit a review. Some people don’t have Gmail. I know, crazy world, but we had to come up with a foolproof way to say ‘This is easy! Here, we’ll show you’.

Be Innovative with How You Get TestimonialsVoila! We created this easy to read image with everything needed to tell our audience how to do what we were asking them to do.

Then what? Well, we could wait around with baited breath. But, by this time, it was Christmas and we decided we’d come back to it in the New Year with fresh eyes and suntans.

And when we did… no reviews! We could have been sad and wallowed a bit but that’s now how you get good reviews. So we sent a follow-up email. Sort of a, “Hey, we know you were busy over the holidays, but…” reminder. Good idea, right? Of course.

But when you’ve asked the same way twice and you still get no response

You try another tactic. This time, we called, or in some cases walked over to, those who had worked with us in the past to ask them, oh so kindly, to provide us with a review while we donated to a good cause in their name. Sometimes it just takes the glimmer in your eye, the inflection in your voice, or just good ole human contact to make the connection you need.

And now we’re on the MAP!

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Tips to those using Google reviews!

  1. For one, you need 5 reviews to be able to see your star rating.
  2. For two… even if you have 5 star ratings for all 5 of your Google reviews… somehow you still only rate 4.8 stars

Number two will remain a bit of a mystery.

I hope this helps any startup businesses out there looking to get on the map as well with testimonials and reviews. As they say, right now, the BEST way to get business is by word of mouth. And online rating systems like Google, Facebook, and others are the next best things with the worldwide web!