Author: Joseph Schaefer, PhD

If you work for yourself or run a small business, chances are you keep a tight watch over your work. This means you seldom take vacation, often believing that if you walk away, the ship sinks. You are not alone. Most business owners fail to properly empower or motivate their employees, thereby creating an environment that is unsustainable in your absence. However, with proper planning and motivational techniques, you can create an environment that is sustainable when you leave and you can enjoy a well-deserved getaway while your business hums along. Consider the following strategies: A Winning Culture That Allows Failure You need partners and employees to take action, but they need to have enough room to fail. When an employee errs, do not focus solely on scolding. Instead celebrate the intent of action, while educating others in the cost of such...

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If you own a small business, it can be difficult to select what kinds of advertising you invest in, especially with a limited budget. You might think that you wouldn’t be able to afford outside assistance from an email marketing agency, or perhaps you’d rather take care of this type of marketing yourself. However, there is great news – email marketing can be quite affordable these days regardless of the way you choose to do it. Read on to see some of the Do’s and Don'ts of email marketing. DO – Target a specific market niche Different marketing tactics appeal to different types of consumers. There is no rule that you need one message to get everyone, so don’t be afraid of tailoring your emails to different types of consumers. Try tweaking your email messages to different types of buyer personas, and...

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How Video Has Kept Up With Generations Y & Z People often point to the shorter attention spans of each new generation, citing television, videogames, mobile devices, and being inundated with technology in general as the leading cause for concern. Whether technology is the actual cause of this problem (or whether or not it is an actual, quantifiable problem to begin with) is a moot point - Technology, media, and advertising are not going to slow down any time soon because certain individuals perceive a growing problem. Instead, advertisers will find ways to adapt to these perceived changes in society and keep up with them in any way possible. With the rise of social networking, different components that have traditionally been used in advertising and marketing materials have been introduced one by one. While none of these components were initially introduced to...

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When customers come to your web site, the goal is to gain a customer. When this doesn’t happen consistently, it’s time to reconsider your conversion optimization strategies. You want to create a favorable experience that increases the chances of that visitor transforming into a customer. Hard work is required, but the efforts at improving your conversion optimization pay off in business growth. Here are some approaches to optimization that create opportunities for quick wins. Be Concise You know you must have an effective verbal and written pitch. Review the conversion pages on your site and honestly ask if your average potential customer can scan and understand your copy in a minute. No matter what your answer, the goal is simple: cut, cut, cut all the extraneous, unnecessary fluff from your conversion pages. Be concise and strong. Improve Forms Many websites require potential customers to...

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Consumers and marketers alike are appreciating Vine in greater numbers. Vine is a mobile video application that is owned by Twitter. It allows users to create six second videos and share them on social media. According to Google Play, Vine recently surpassed Instagram as the top social application, and that Vine shares on Twitter now appear in higher amounts and greater frequencies than shares from Instagram. Additionally, Vine uploads engagement rate is hot on the tail of YouTube according to SocialBakers, a social media analytics company. SocialBakers commented that the growth was “amazing” considering the newness of the Vine application. Given the fast growth of the application, Facebook is apparently eager to explore something similar. In other research from last month, Unruly Media shared some findings based on data from more than 10 million Vines released over a one month period. They...

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The amount of money people continue to spend on ads targeted at mobile phones and tablets continues to rise. In fact, the amount of money has doubled every year for several quarters. Recent reports have shown that there has been a 106% increase in money spent on ads for smartphones in the past year – and an increase of even more for tablets at 116%. This indicates that ads targeted at mobile devices are beginning to be favored for paid searches. The amount of ad impressions and click through rates also grew quite a bit. Impressions were up 104% for tablets, and smartphones were up 82%. Click through rates for both were also impressive, up 91% for tablets and 135% for smartphones. There was additional good news for advertisers, as rates on cost per click went down 13% on smartphones. However,...

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A big problem that many small businesses face these days is a lack of clarity in conveying what types of services that their company can provide. What exactly does your company do? How do they solve problems for others or fulfill a need? Why is your business better at what it does than the competition? If this type of information isn’t conveyed in a useful way to your potential clientele, they simply won’t support your business. Your clients need to have a clear understanding of what your company does, how it does it, and why it’s better at doing it than other businesses. So, how should your company get their message across? It’s simple – you should strongly consider an explainer video. What Exactly Is An Explainer Video? An explainer video is a short video that effectively communicates to potential clients what...

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Most people tend to repeat the same behaviors over time – humans are creatures of habit, and this translates to what we spend money on. In fact, most families in America buy the same 150 products, time and time again, year round. People are brand conscious, they find something they like and stick with it. This may seem like bad news if you’re trying to introduce new products or services to the public, but don’t get discouraged too quickly. Below are some tips on helping your prospective customers overcome their initial hesitation about trying something new. 1. Play up the perks. Why is your product superior to the competition? This is what you should get across from the get-go. What makes your product more effective, convenient, prestigous? Why is it a better value? 2. Fit into your customer’s existing groove. If people perceive...

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Idiosyncratic Approaches To Business Meetings   It is almost common knowledge that the world’s top business leaders are not cookie-cutter replicas of each other. Unique, often eccentric, these leaders rise to the top because, not in spite of, their ways of doing business. Here is a quick overview of some of these leader’s idiosyncratic approaches to holding and running meetings.   Streamline Much like Apple’s core design philosophy, Steve Jobs ran meetings in an efficient, streamlined manner. If a participant added no value to the meeting, Jobs kicked them out.   Chairs Some researchers suggest holding meetings with no chairs. The lack of sitting speeds up the meetings and keeps wasted time to a minimum. Alternatively, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, brings an extra chair to each meeting. The chair, which remains empty, serves as a reminder that the customer is present everywhere. Death To PowerPoint Richard Branson, founder of Virgin...

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