Pinterest for Entrepreneurs: Why?

Sure, when Pinterest first started out it was used by lots of people to post recipes and crafting ideas. But that’s all changed now. If you haven’t checked the platform out lately, I bet you’d be surprised to see that Forbes, Wired, Small Business Trends, WeWork, and even Gary Vaynerchuk are all on it.

Before you roll your eyes and say “Oh no, not another social media channel I need to be posting on!” let me explain why I am on it, why I find it so valuable, why I don’t really spend a lot of time on it, and why you should not upload another blog post without making sure you have at least one Pinterest-ready graphic for it (even if you’re not on Pinterest!). Continue reading

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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.

Continue reading

Before You Share Old Blog Posts, Do This

I’ve written before about the importance of re-sharing old blog posts to make sure you get enough mileage out of them. Of course, it’s a waste to work hard on something for several hours – or even days – and then forget about it once it’s been posted.

However, it’s important to remember that you can’t just repost links to your old blog posts without rereading them. Sometimes a typo will be missed in the initial post that you’ll be better able to catch after several weeks or months.

Aside from typos, here are four other things you should look for before re-sharing that old blog post. Continue reading

How Do You React to Mistakes?

I hear it all the time – “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying anything new.”

While it’s comforting to hear that everyone makes mistakes, they can be a small blow to the ego. I’ve made lots of mistakes over my professional career. Some still stick in my mind and return from time to time to serve as cautionary tales.

It’s great to learn from mistakes and look back on them. But another important factor in the experience is how you react to the mistake at the time. Continue reading

Helpful Tools for Small Businesses – Apps & Websites

I have been collecting information about a wealth of helpful tools for small businesses – some of which are apps, and some of which are websites. Because small businesses are always concerned about cost, my reviews will focus on the helpful tools that have a free basic version, but that can be upgraded as your business expands.

Here’s a look at three of the tools I’ve been looking at (and using) over the past few months.

Ripl

Ripl is an app that helps you create animated images to promote your business. There is a free basic service, which includes a limited number of templates and font/color options. The animated images are created as short MOV files, which can then be uploaded to your social media profiles, or put on a website. 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

What’s the difference between a home page and a landing page?

The term “landing page” appears frequently when folks talk about online advertising and sales. But how does it differ from your website’s home page?

Home Page

A home page is the front page of your website. It’s what visitors see when they type in your URL. It introduces visitors to your business, and provides a clear selection of navigation tools – such as the tab bar across the top – so that a visitor can find specific information they want about your products or services. Continue reading