Spring Cleaning for Businesses

springSome businesses operate year-round, but have a predictable “slow season,” while other businesses have a season (or, at least a month or two) when their business has very little client work at all. Some potential examples of the latter are landscapers, exterior painters, swimming pool cleaners, etc.

With spring on the way in the Northern Hemisphere, thoughts turn to spring cleaning – indoors and outdoors. Some folks will busy themselves doing a thorough cleaning inside their house or apartment, while others will head outdoors and work on their gardens and yards.

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Should You Consider a Selfie Station to Promote Your Business?

I’m not usually a selfie-taker, but there have been some selfie stations that were just so funny, I couldn’t pass them up. There was the time I posed inside a reproduction Baker’s Dunk at an old Silesian castle (#torturemuseum). Perhaps you’ve been known to stick your head through a picture of a jouster at a Renaissance Festival (#renfair), or stand inside a large speech bubble in a major city (#BeBerlin) – or even to simply pose with a costumed mascot at a sports game (#GoNats). All of these are ways businesses and institutions use to get someone else to do the marketing for them.

Small business owners have limited resources when it comes to online marketing – limits both on staff hours and funding available to dedicate to promoting the business on social media. However, this doesn’t mean they have to resolve themselves to being hindered by these limits. Continue reading

Stand out from Competitors by Taking Your Own Stock Photos

Nowadays, instead of pictures being worth 1000 words, social media has come to rely on pictures having space for at least a handful of words.

I’ve seen a lot of discussions lately on use of images to catch the eyes of people scrolling by on Facebook or Twitter. Many of those discussions also warn about the danger of scooping images off the internet and using them in your own posts. Ask my friend about that danger. He had to pay a sizable sum to Getty Images because he made that blunder last year. Now, he himself takes many of the photos he uses for his business.

There are many sites where you can access free images, but I’m not here to talk about those. One of the problems I’ve noticed with those sites is that you start to see the same image in posts by dozens of other people. Continue reading

5 Successful Blog Post Starters

I know many folks have trouble creating blog posts or newsletter articles to promote their businesses. Most of the time, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to get started. Your subject is there, but writing those first two paragraphs can be the most difficult part of the blog writing process.

To help, here are five successful blog post starters to inspire you!

  1. The personal anecdote – Use something that happened to you as a launching point for a greater theme you want to address, related to your clients. Chances are, if it’s happened to you, it’s happened to them. For example, “Where I Get My Blog Post Ideas,” leads off with my own experience in finding ideas for posts.

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Where I Get My Blog Post Ideas

There are dozens – if not hundreds – of web sites that offer information about how to come up with ideas for blog posts. They list tips like “Use insights gathered from or related to a popular movie or TV show” or “Write a how-to post based on your expertise.”Typewriter2

I admit that I’ve been amassing a wealth of these types of tips. I’ve even checked out a few of the “random blog post idea generator” web sites that are out there. But I haven’t used any of them yet. I am not ruling out the possibility of ever using these resources for ideas, but let me share with you my personal sources.

Where do I get my blog post ideas? Continue reading