As an entrepreneur and being my own boss, I’ve had the pleasure of not having to deal with the normal “workplace atmosphere” and needing to plan or attend meetings within a company. I have however experienced what this atmosphere is like through working with other companies in the industry. More often then not, these meetings and get-togethers of individuals within the company is more of a waste of time and resources than anything else.
Yes, businesses of all sizes need to hold meetings, but how they hold them and who actually needs to be there is where there is room for opportunity. It’s way too easy for myself to throw together a webinar or online video series and have 1,000s of people attending my live feed, so why aren’t businesses doing the same thing within their organization?
With so many advanced webinar and video sharing platforms available, not only is it extremely easy to setup, it’s also quite cost effective too. Solutions like GoToWebinar are perfect for streaming live webinars and connecting with others in your company, while more advanced services like Blue Jeans make it easy to deliver HD video conferencing and multi-party meetings within a organization or during a live event with thousands of attendees.
If you aren’t currently using live video and webinars in place of holding in-person meetings, here are five reasons to reconsider — plus some fun office meeting memes to bright up such a feared topic!
5 Ways to Improve Workplace Meetings with Video
No matter what solution you are using to deliver live video or webinars online, consider the following five methods for improving how your business holds meetings within your company and make the most out of their time and resources.
Make Meetings Essential
The main issues that people have with meetings, be they online or in-person, is that there isn’t much point to them other than summing up things that people either already know or could be said with a group e-mail. An easy fix for this is to only schedule meetings when they are absolutely essential and let employees get on with their work for the rest of the time. If there is really no point to a daily or weekly meeting then don’t feel like you need to have one just for the sake of it. This will also emphasise the importance of meetings meaning that people will focus during them instead of zoning out or multitasking.
One of the most common issues with meetings in the workplace is if they are needed and how to run them efficiently. To maximize efficiency, Inc. Magazine offers five simple questions and tasks to assign before your meeting takes place.
- Does the meeting need to happen?
- Be very clear about the purpose.
- Engage people beforehand.
- Actually start on time.
- Document and share the main points.
Invite the People Who Need to be There
Meetings are usually boring and a waste of time for half of the people in the room. This doesn’t mean you need to get rid of your meetings, it just means you should only be including those who are needed to be there.
Not only are meetings a potential waste of time and resources just to pull them together, they can also be a huge productivity killer for all of the attendees as it’s going to break about their day and working time. Inc Magazine noted that the two biggest drags of productivity are “Meetings and Managers”. The article went on to say:
These two staples of work life–meetings and managers–are actually the greatest causes of work not getting done at the office. In fact, the further away you are from both meetings and managers, the more work gets done. This is one of the key reasons we’re so enthusiastic about remote work.
For businesses that feel they need to have weekly or monthly meetings, continue to do so, but only have the core individuals needed to make it happen. While this meeting is taking place, record the session and make it accessible to all employees for later viewing.
Keep it Brief
When you think about the amount of time it takes to put a meeting together, actually holding it in a room, getting started and finalizing everything, it’s a whole lot longer than the 30 or 60 minutes that the meeting was originally supposed to be. It’s not that everyone simply hates the thought of meetings, it’s the many emotions, complications and wasted time that come with them.
Forbes says that one main reason why people hate meetings so much is that our brains simply can’t focus fully for such a long amount of time. The trouble with carving out a certain time window for a meeting is the feeling that you need to fill up all of that time. All the while, your colleagues are desperate to get back to their desks and meet their deadlines or praying they’ll be in time to pick their children up from school.
The solution? Have someone do the pre-meeting work before hand and allow for employees to attend live meetings online or allow for the watching of a recording later on. Not only does this not take away from their work time and productivity, it also makes sure a 15 or 30-minute meeting is actually that long.
Record the Meeting
One great feature of video conferencing software is that you no longer need a secretary to take notes then repeat the minutes in the next meeting. You can record all of your meetings, save them, and e-mail them out to anyone who needs to see them. This is a great advantage for anybody who can’t make the meeting and means that they can check it out at a time which is convenient for them, again not disrupting their regular work flow.
Something so funny about the internet and technology industry is that all of these companies are so advanced with their online marketing and campaign management, but when it comes to holding meetings they are still stuck in the 90s!
The key purpose of meetings is to make important business decisions, so then why do so few meetings accomplish this?
Many seem to go around in circles with everybody voicing their own opinion and boring everyone else to tears. Of course, everybody in the meeting should be able to voice their own opinions. That is why they are in the meeting, after all. But if you notice things are starting to drag, emphasise the importance of making an immediate decision and take a vote if you have to. Don’t let the meeting time be taken up by unimportant decisions or tangents. This way meetings will go much smoother and your team will get much more done in a shorter amount of time.
Should your organization hold meetings through an online video or meeting format, it would be much easier for all attendees to take notes or make suggestions through a chat interface. Not only will this help with the structure and organization of all notes taken, but it will also allow for individuals who might not like the spotlight on them to be able to contribute as well.
Less In-Person Meetings = Happier Employees
One of the many benefits to being an entrepreneur or the boss of your own business, is that you don’t have to deal with the many frustrations of meetings and staff management.
At the same time, we all know that meetings and communication within the workplace is required. What isn’t required is making the whole process a drag. Implement each of the methods above into your existing business and see how you can improve productivity and staff happiness by automating and delivering the process through online video and webinars.
The top marketers in the world are doing it to increase their businesses… you should too.
5 Ways to Generate High Quality Leads for Your Business in 2019
Generating leads for your business is important. After all, more leads means more chances for conversion, which leads to a boost in sales for your business. In fact, according to Hubspot, 69% of marketers say converting leads is their top priority. But are the leads you’re generating converting?
If the answer is no, it might be because you’re not generating high quality leads. You want to focus on attracting high quality leads because they’re the people most likely to become paying customers. But how do you do it? You can’t spend all of your time interviewing each visitor to your website to see if they’re serious about spending. Luckily there are a number of tactics you can use to generate high quality leads and some of these tactics can even do the work for you — 24/7 — with little effort on your part.
Get ready to generate more leads that are interested in buying, check out these 5 ways to generate high quality leads.
1. Use an Exit-Intent Popup
Did you know that over 70% of people who leave your website will never return? That’s a ton of potential high-quality leads you could be missing out on. So, how do you prevent your website visitors from abandoning you without giving you their information? The answer is to use an Exit-Intent popup on your website.
An Exit-Intent popup tracks when a user is about to leave your website and sends them a targeted message at exactly the right time that convinces them to sign up for your email list. That way, instead of losing that visitor forever, they’re now one of your email subscribers that you can directly message any time you want to promote new content, introduce a new product, or announce a sale for instance.
It’s not difficult to add an Exit-Intent popup to your site. You can use a tool like OptinMonster to create an eye-catching popup in minutes with their drag and drop builder. OptinMonster also integrates with all of your favorite email marketing services like Constant Contact and Mailchimp so you can easily create an email list that’s full of engaged high-quality leads for your business.
2. Offer Content Upgrades
It’s safe to assume you’re already creating content like blog posts to attract users on the web to your site, but not all of those readers are high quality leads. In order to separate your blog readers who just want to consume your free content anonymously from the ones who’ll be more likely to become paying customers, you need to offer content upgrades.
A content upgrade is simply a freebie that you offer to your visitors in exchange for their email address. When a user says yes to your content upgrade, you know that they’re interested in what you have to say and they value your expertise, this makes it easier to turn them into paying customers in the future.
See more examples like the one above, in this content upgrades resource guide.
You can use a free tool like Canva to easily create checklists, mini ebooks, calendars, templates, and more that your site visitors will be dying to get their hands on. Just make sure your content upgrade is relevant to your business. You can also offer a few different types of content upgrades so that you can get customers to segment themselves. For example, if you offer training for aspiring bloggers and virtual assistants, create a content upgrade for each. Then you’ll be able to tell which products/services each of your visitors are interested in.
3. Guest Post on High Quality Publications
Want to broaden your reach and attract leads that have never even heard of you before? Another easy — and free — way to generate more high quality leads is to guest post on high quality publications. By guest posting on other popular blogs and publications, you’ll be able to introduce your business to a ton of new potential leads. The fact alone that you’ve landed a spot on a blog that that new audience loves and trusts is enough to convince them that you’re a thought leader in the industry too. You’ll get a link back to your website and a whole new audience that you can convert into leads and eventually paying customers.
Wondering how you land a spot guest posting? First, search the internet for blogs that are related to your niche. Make sure the blogs and publications you choose get lots of traffic and seem to have an engaged online community. Study their blog posts and come up with some topic ideas you think their readers would be interested in. Then it’s as simple as sending an email or filling out their guest posting application. Don’t forget to read the site’s guest posting guidelines too so you craft a perfect post that gets accepted every time.
4. Add a Contact Form
A simple contact form on your website isn’t actually as simple as it seems, it’s actually a powerful website element that can generate high quality leads for your business. Just adding your email address or phone number to your website requires users go through an extra step in order to get in touch with you. So, instead of contacting you, they’ll pass and move on to another site.
Instead, the visitors to your site need a quick and convenient way to contact you, which is where a contact form comes in. Users who contact you through your form will identify themselves as higher-quality leads; they’re interested enough to reach out.
You can use a tool like WPForms to easily build a great-looking contact form for your website. You can create an awesome contact form in no time using their drag and drop builder and you have the ability to fully customize the form to your needs. For instance, you can add fields to your contact form that ask visitors to state their budget for a project or the yearly revenue of their company to help you further qualify leads.
5. Add a Live Chat Option
Want to generate high quality leads on your website even when you’re not around? You can do that if you add a live chat option to your website. Having a live chat system that’s available 24/7 will allow your website visitors to get answers to their questions immediately, and the faster they get answers to their questions, the faster you can turn them into customers. In fact, according to Invesp, 77% of customers won’t make a purchase if there’s no live chat support.
Adding a live chat feature to your site is simple when you use a tool like Olark. With Olark, you can easily identify and engage with qualified leads using their features like automated messaging that can send messages based on customer behavior for instance, custom pre-chat surveys, and in-depth reporting.
Start Getting More High Quality Leads Now
What are you waiting for? With these easy-to-implement strategies that you can incorporate today, you can start to drastically increase the quality of your leads. Higher quality leads mean that you can stop wasting your time on users who’ll never convert and instead enjoy more sales for your business and stronger relationships with your customers.
Become a Lead Generating Machine: Creative Ideas to Generate Lucrative Real Estate Leads
65% of business owners state that their biggest challenge is generated leads. If your real estate company belongs to this 65%, you might not know how to fix the issue.
Generating leads for a real estate company is often confusing. Should you fixate on cold calling? Or should you make use of social media instead?
Below you’ll find some proven strategies that’ll help you generate more real estate leads. With the help of these tactics, you should be able to fix your current lead generation problems, before it’s too late.
Reach Active Buyers Using AdWords
You can use AdWords to reach people that are actively looking to buy a home. For instance, if someone types in ‘buy homes in Seattle,’ you can use AdWords to market to this individual.
To succeed with AdWords, you’ll need to consider the kinds of keywords your target market will type into Google, when looking to buy a home. You can either come up with a list of keywords yourself, or you can use a tool like the Google Keyword Planner to help you.
When you target a particular keyword, AdWords will only charge you if someone clicks on your ad. But, the amount you pay per click, is going to depend on how much competition there is for the keyword in question. If a lot of other advertisers are also targeting the keyword, your costs will likely be higher.
Setting up AdWords campaigns isn’t easy, and you might want to bring some experts onboard. Ideally, you’ll want to work with a company that has experience on how to approach PPC for real estate pros. Such a company will know how to overcome some of the common hurdles that affect real estate pros that are looking to set up a PPC campaign.
Use Facebook Ads to Reach Certain Demographics
With Facebook Ads, you can target certain demographics that might be interested in buying a home.
Take a moment to think about your past clients and try to identify any common demographic traits they had. Did they belong to a certain age range? Did they have a certain kind of job? Had they experienced certain life event?
Once you have a list of common demographic traits, create a Facebook Ad campaign that targets individuals with these traits.
Keep a close eye on the response that’s your ads are generating. If you find that results are poor, you may need to adjust your targeting settings. You might also want to consider split-testing the images you use in your ads.
Start a Blog to Rank for Local Long-tail Keywords
There are many different ways to attract audiences online, but one of the most consistent and valuable have been through organic search results.
The problem with this method, is that it can take a lot of time and work to achieve the rankings and traffic you are looking for.
However, take a look at any of the top real estate blogs and you will see the massive content and search traffic that now have in place.
Another benefit to starting a website or blog for your real estate business, is that it’s a lot easier to rank for local audiences and keywords than you might think.
The more specific and niche targeted your content, the more likely you are to rank at the top of Google in smaller localized and niche markets.
Use YouTube to Promote Video Tours
People that are interested in buying a home will enjoy watching a video tour of a house that is in their desired area. Thus, if you can create video content based on the homes you have in your portfolio, you’ll be able to appeal to this kind of audience.
Pay close attention to how you title and describe your videos. Make sure you provide an accurate account of the location and specifications of the home. This’ll help your videos rank for the kinds of terms your target market will type into YouTube.
Once you begin to see some initial results, you may even want to use YouTube Ads to improve the visibility of your videos.
Ready to Generate Some Real Estate Leads?
If you’re currently struggling to generate real estate leads, the tips in this post should help you turn things around.
The modern marketing landscape provides a wide range of lead generation opportunities. This can make it hard to choose a specific marketing method, and it’s hard to say ahead of time, what is and isn’t going to work.
Thus, the only thing you can do is experiment with everything that’s on offer. In doing so, you should eventually hit upon a tactic that delivers results.
Interested in how you can drive more traffic to your real estate website? Check out this post to get some tips on what you can do!
Offline Marketing: Why It’s Still Important and How to Use It In 2019
The average small business invests 1 percent of their yearly profits in advertising. For a business earning $500,000 in revenue each year, that’s $5,000 spent on advertising.
That may seem like a lot. But consider the many different advertising options out there. That money goes fast.
That, along with the popularity of the internet, may be why so many businesses are beginning to overlook offline marketing. Instead, they are investing only in online tactics like SEO, content marketing, and social media ads.
The internet continues to become more integrated into our daily lives. Yet, offline marketing is still essential for businesses of any size and in any industry.
Keep reading to learn why offline marketing is still so important and how you can use it alongside digital strategies to strengthen your brand and increase sales.
Why Offline Marketing Is Still So Important
Online marketing strategies are certainly important. But offline continues to perform for local and national businesses for a reason: clients still need it.
Maybe these clients don’t use the internet. Or they need something more concrete to hold onto. Either way, they look for offline marketing pieces as a way to connect with businesses.
Here are a few of the reasons why you should still be using offline marketing as a part of your marketing plan.
You Still Meet Clients Face-to-Face
The internet has made it possible to connect with people around the world and around the clock. But for most industries, that doesn’t eliminate face-to-face meetings with clients and customers.
Meeting face-to-face is a chance to connect with clients on a more intimate level. If you do it right, you’ll leave a lasting impression. This is essential to building a lasting relationship with that customer.
The chance of selling to an existing customer falling somewhere between 60 and 70 percent. In comparison, the chance of selling to a new customer is 5 to 20 percent. When viewed in this way, those old, loyal clients are important.
You could send those clients an email after your meeting. But the delay between the meeting and when they read this email could be extensive.
This gives clients time to change their mind, forget about you, or even find a new company. It also requires your client to be at a computer often, which may not be the case.
Offline marketing is a great alternative in this situation. While business cards may seem old-school, they are as important now as they ever were.
They give customers something they can hold onto and remember you by. They can place it wherever they choose, and every time they see it, they’ll think of you and your services.
Read more about the many reasons why business cards are still so important here.
You’ll Target the Rest of Your Clients
Mobile devices that connect to the web are more prevalent and cheaper ever before. Yet, 11 percent of Americans still aren’t using the web.
Some of these non-internet users are older and never learned to use the web. Others have no interest in using it.
Still more blame the high costs of WIFI, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. It’s cheaper to stay disconnected.
If you’ve given up offline advertising completely, you’ll be missing out on these clients. Depending on the nature of your product or services, this could be a big loss.
Even if it isn’t a big loss, targeting these customers can only increase your potential pool.
You’ll Strengthen Your Local Following
With the onslaught of online businesses in recent years, it can be easy to get lost on the web.
If you’re new to a popular niche, it can be almost impossible to grow a following on the web alone. Consider just how many online clothing boutiques exist. Trying to market your new brick-and-mortar boutique alongside multi-billion dollar online stores will feel impossible.
That’s where offline marketing comes in. Use it to target local customers as you begin to build brand awareness. You won’t have to worry about getting lost in the competition because local competition will be far less prevalent that web competition.
Flyers, mailers, and billboards are still incredibly important to market yourself locally. These tactics have yet to surpass even the best online local marketing strategies for increasing traffic to brick-and-mortar locations.
You’ll Get a High ROI
Many offline marketing strategies still offer a very high ROI (return on investment) compared to online tactics. This is due to a combination of lower costs for print media and their success. Many online marketing tactics are more expensive, harder to track, and even more difficult to target customers with.
For instance, direct mailers are offline marketing techniques sometimes overlooked by new businesses. Yet, they continue to have an incredibly high ROI.
A successful direct mailing campaign can provide a 1,300 percent return on your investment. That’s $1,300 in sales for every $1 that you spend on printed direct mailers.
How to Use Offline Marketing
While the same offline marketing strategies that have been in use for decades remain popular today, they have changed quite a bit in that time.
New ways of implementing offline strategies allow you to integrate them with online strategies, keep them relevant, and increase your ROI.
Blend Digital with Offline Media
Your offline marketing strategy doesn’t have to exist entirely on its own.
One great way to upgrade traditional offline marketing tactics is by blending them with modern approaches. This allows you to create a seamless marketing plan. Do it right, and it will go from the internet to the real world and back, keeping clients connected to your brand at all times.
For instance, if you are a retailer selling products direct to customers, you likely list products on your website. You may even have a mobile app that allows your customers to shop while they are on the go.
If you also have a brick-and-mortar retail location, you can integrate QR code scanners. Simply add them to your printed in-store signage. Customers can scan them to see other products related to the ones they’re shopping for that may not be in store.
You can also integrate codes into catalogs or other mailers your business sends out. These are great for letting local customers who already love you know that they can also shop online.
Update Your Online Strategies to Keep Up with Offline Ones
Offline marketing tactics that blend seamlessly with online ones are great. Some offline strategies stand alone, like billboards or other signage. But you’ll still need to update your online strategies to keep them relevant.
For example, you need to make sure that your business’ address and contact info are correct online. This includes listings on Google, Yahoo Business, and similar platforms.
If a customer sees your billboard and Googles your business, they’ll get the address. They’ll be able to visit your store right away.
This also shortens the amount of content that goes on your offline marketing pieces. You won’t need to stuff your signs with your address or phone number. This leaves more room for other important information or eye-catching images.
You’ll also want to put effort into improving your local SEO strategies. In conjunction with signs and mailers, this is great for reinforcing your brand. It also helps you to stay connected with your clients both online and off.
Nail the Details
Larger offline strategies, like billboards, are well-known. But it’s the smaller details that set the best businesses apart.
From custom stationery to holiday cards sent to loyal customers, these smaller offline strategies won’t necessarily win you new customers. But they will help improve your relationship with existing ones and help you continue to build a winning reputation.
When choosing which smaller print marketing tactics to utilize, you’ll want to consider your audience.
Younger clients may move often, making mailers tough to use. But all age groups love to save money, making print coupons or deals a winner with any demographic.
Other old-school offline tactics, like newspaper ads, radio advertisements, and television commercials all remain popular with certain demographics as well.
Some offline marketing strategies will cost you just about nothing but can leave a big impression. You and your employees’ body language can have an effect on sales, as can your knowledge of your products, and your friendliness to customers.
Putting Online and Offline Marketing Strategies to Work
You want to do everything you can to make sure that your business gets noticed. That’s why you need to be investing in both online and offline marketing strategies.
Designing a billboard or business cards might not be too complicated. But if you don’t have experience with digital marketing, your online strategies will take more work.
Whether you need help setting up your website, implementing SEO, or need help branding yourself on social media, I can help.
Check out my services today to see how I can help your business grow on the web.
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