Business, entrepreneurship, startups, SME’s, SOHO or OMO; no matter how you describe it, like many of you, I have a passion for growing my business and watching other people grow their business too.
As a 24-year veteran business owner, I needed to find the tools and resources to use to effectively run and/or market my business. Listed below are some of the resources that I am either currently using or have used in the past. In addition, I listed resources that may be of interest to you to promote or manage your business, that are being used by other associates or have a good reputation in the marketplace.
Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant (VA)
It’s the best time to be in business and although you might be a one-person operation or small company, you don’t have to go it alone. Virtual Assistants, VA’s as they are referred to are the secret weapons of busy individuals. They are individuals with specialized skills that you can outsource different types of tasks from bookkeeping, graphic design projects, web development, video editing, social media post scheduling and more.
You can hire a VA to do just a one-off project or hire them for a long term. The company that I’ve used for the past four years has mainly been Elance which is now called Upwork. Another useful site is Fiverr where everything starts at five US dollars.
Logos & Design Companies
Today it is not necessary for you to spend large of sums of money to have a logo, a stationary suite, or brochures designed. Graphics for the web can easily be outsourced and developed for a fraction of the cost if you are on a fixed budget.
Royalty Free Stock Photography & Video Footage
Whether you are an MNC, entrepreneur or SME, you will need high quality images for your website or newsletter. Many of the email marketing companies provide images within the program, but sometimes you need something different. This is where stock photography comes in.
Stock photos are photographs that are sold by photographers to companies which are then licensed to be sold online via specific vendors. Look for suppliers that offer Royalty free images. This means you pay a one-time fee for unlimited use of the image.
Some can be quite expensive. Naturally, the more expensive the image, the less you are going to see this used by other companies.
List Building with Opt-in Forms & Landing Pages
As a business owner, the objective of the website is to educate, provide information or sell your products and services to consumers. Regardless of how they found your site, people aren't always ready to buy the moment they land on your site.
Businesses, (like a two people meeting each other for the first time), have to take the time to get to know each other. You have to build a relationship. You need a way to capture their email address so you can follow up with newsletters or through your auto-responder.
Listed below are some tools that will help you to do just that.
Email Marketing Automation
Email marketing is a highly effective tool for building your brand and your relationship with your customers. An email newsletter is a great way to talk with customers. With low cost email marketing and email broadcast services such as Constant Contact, iContact and Infusionsoft, you can create and deliver professional looking eDMs (electronic direct mail) just like the big boys.
Use the autoresponder features to develop marketing campaigns that deliver information to clients and prospects inbox.
Infusionsoft - (this is the most robust of them all)
Social Media Marketing Scheduling Tools
Posting information via social media allows you to connect and build a relationship with consumers. Writing posts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest can be time consuming, but social media apps now allow you to write and schedule your posts in advance. I have used all three of these platforms. To my knowledge BufferApp is the only one that has a means to schedule on Instagram.
Books/E-books by Pamela Wigglesworth
Small Business Acceleration - Get Noticed Using Facebook, LinkedIn, Email Marketing, Public Relations and Video Marketing.
Public Relations -