Google and the Great Gmail Switcheroo

Google thinks you’re stupid.

Frustrated with GoogleIf you are a Gmail user, you may have noticed (or will soon notice) that Google thinks you can’t manage your own email.

Google has inexplicably decided to separate your Gmail inbox into separate “tabs,” and THEY will decide what goes into each tab. What this means is (more…)

Being an Entrepreneur Can be Scary

…but rest assured that nothing you will be doing today in your business will be as risky, as dangerous, or as scary as what Nik Wallenda did yesterday.

Wallenda Grand Canyon

Think about it. Does your plan for the day include an activity that could literally be the end of everything for you? Could one false move end up being your last? Is the abyss actually 1,500 feet below you … or just in your head? (more…)

How to Keep Your Email List Happy

Email ListThe money is in the list.

If you publish an email newsletter or do any other kind of email marketing, you know how precious your list is – and you’ve probably heard me talk about this before.

Today I wanted to share with you a way to be sure your list remains eager to hear from you and engages with you in a meaningful way – and, in fact, makes it easier for you to provide just the information they’re looking for!

I’m going to assume that, like my own, your list was built on IRL (in real life) relationships and voluntary opt-ins. I’m going to further assume that you’ve never purchased an email list, “scraped” email addresses from websites, or obtained email addresses in any other [ahem] less-than-desirable way.

If so, you’ve set a high standard for yourself, and I applaud you.

Along with impeccable ethics, I’m betting you’ve also set a high bar for yourself when it comes to meeting and even exceeding your readers’ expectations. You realize that you really have to strive for quality information, a reasonable publishing schedule, and content that engages in every single communication. You know that the last thing you want to do is alienate an audience that’s CHOSEN to spend time with you! They’re counting on you to deliver on the promises you made when they signed up.

So, I have a revolutionary idea to propose, and it’s something almost no one else is doing, so you’ll really stand out if you follow through with this: (more…)

Your Business Model – B2B, B2C, or…

P2P BusinessSo … what kind of business are you in?

For most business owners, the question of business model is fairly straightforward. You are either serving other businesses (B2B) or you are serving consumers (B2C). As a business consultant as well as co-owner of a fine art photography business with my husband, I thought I had this all figured out. I knew where each of my business interests was focused.

What IS the difference between B2B and B2C?

As it turns out, surprisingly little. As I bounced back and forth between the two, I began to realize that there was not much difference between the way I connect with my business clients and the way I connect with those interested in our photography. But everything I read told me there ought to be. Dear Marketing Experts / Gurus / Mavens / Ninjas: I respectfully disagree.

What became crystal clear to me is that (more…)

Brand Your Business Like Coca Cola

Coca ColaI can hear you all the way over here. “Linda, how is MY business like Coca Cola??”

I assure you, I am not crazy. Well, maybe a little, but only after too much caffeine.

See, here’s the deal. You go to a ballgame, every kid is sipping from a cup emblazoned with the Coca Cola logo.

Your favorite sitcom? There’s a can of Coke sitting on the kitchen counter.

Super Bowl? Yup. There’s a $4 million dollar Coke ad – or two.

Why? Isn’t Coke known throughout the world? Hasn’t “Coke” become the generic term for “fizzy cola beverage” – much the way “Xerox” has come to mean “photocopy” and “Kleenex” is understood as “tissue”?

The answer is yes, yes, and yes.

So tell me again, Linda, how MY business is like Coke… (more…)

Email Marketing: What Do They Know That You Don’t Know?

Email Marketing2A new study of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) reveals that these firms are spending the largest portion of their marketing budgets on email marketing, and far less on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Over 600 email marketing decision makers at companies with annual revenues between $1-50 million and less than 1,000 employees were surveyed. It was discovered that 15 percent of the marketing budget of these businesses is spent on email marketing, ahead of events and trade shows (14 percent), person-to-person contact (13 percent) and print ads (11 percent).

The most interesting aspect of this study for me was that just 8 percent of their budgets were spent on social media, tying for sixth place overall with search engine optimization (SEO). My email marketing clients benefit from integration with social media, which contributes to their search engine rankings, so our Best Practices actually incorporate both these items at almost no additional cost to our clients. Win-win!

Here’s a breakdown of spending on marketing, as revealed by the survey: (more…)