Category: Business

Social Media Marketing – Algorithm Hacks

Today I’m going to be sharing some quick social media marketing algorithm hacks that I know are super timely and valuable to all of you business owners out there, especially considering the state of our economy and the effects of this pandemic. I’m going to talk about hacking the Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube algorithms. 

But first, before I start with any of these tips, there’s one thing I want you to remember when it comes to all of these forms of marketing…

It’s All About Value 

Your success as a business owner is directly proportionate to the value you provide to the marketplace, so what value can you give your audience? What will make them trust you? And then want to work with you? And then want to refer you? There’s a journey in the relationship building process of sales. First you build trust and credibility, then you build a working bond, and then you build advocacy. This is where the magic happens – when their network becomes your network and you build your business based on the strongest type of marketing – referrals. 

So what is your genius? What knowledge can you share? Think of the value that you can provide as we discuss marketing on these channels. 

Social Media Algorithm Hacks

Instagram

When it comes to marketing through Instagram, I want you to consider these 4 algorithm hacks.

  1. Be consistent. Post at minimum 1 time per week and maintain that.
  2. Integrate videos into your content. Videos bring 38% more engagement than images. 
  3. Start a conversation. End all of your posts with a question. 
  4. Geotag when possible. Geotagged posts average a 79% higher engagement rate than those without.

LinkedIn

When it comes to marketing through LinkedIn, I want you to optimize the title of your profile. The title section of your LinkedIn profile is the only searchable section of your profile. Meaning, if someone is looking for a Marketing Consultant, and type in Marketing Consultant, I will show up in search results. This is where you need to be more clear about what it is that you do.

Facebook

When it comes to marketing through Facebook, this is where things can get tricky. Facebook updated its algorithm in 2018 to become more community-oriented, meaning you will likely only see posts in your feeds from your immediate family and friends. So, for business pages like yours and mine, it’s wildly difficult for us to organically increase our business page followings and generate any type of visibility. However, there is some hope in something called Facebook groups. Not only can you show your expertise and your commitment to your community, but in the 2018 algorithm, groups gained more priority in visibility over business pages. 

Twitter

When it comes to marketing through Twitter, keep this mind: the number 1 category of verified accounts on Twitter is the media. It’s an opportunity to have real conversations with influencers, journalists, producers, editors and writers. You don’t need a publicist. 

YouTube

When it comes to marketing through YouTube, all you need to remember is it’s owned by Google. Need I say more? Therefore, it’s all about optimization. Keywords are key, so make sure you are using them within the first 10 seconds of your videos, within the first 100 words of your description, and in your titles. 

If You Need Help…

There you go, I just gave you the best algorithm hacks for Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. If you need help with any of these strategies, or if you’re just feeling inspired and want to chat marketing, you know how to find me.

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/ 

Earth Day - 5 Sustainability Tips for Business Owners

5 Sustainability Tips for Business Owners this Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Today I’m sharing 5 tips as to how you can celebrate Earth Day by making your business more sustainable.

Business Sustainability Tips

  1. Reduce, reuse and recycle. When I hosted my workshops in the not-so-distant-past, I would print lots of fully branded workbooks and worksheets for my attendees so that could leave with beautiful materials and notes from class. Not anymore. Now I’m all about digitizing all of my workbooks and worksheets, and I encourage my students to bring their laptops to my workshops so that they can take notes and keep them all in one place on their computers. This leads me to my next tip…
  2. Go digital. You can store anything on the cloud these days. Instead of taking up physical space and dealing with file folders and organizers, keep it all on your computer! You can simultaneously save space in your home and reduce waste in the world. Proposals, contracts, invoices, tax forms all have digital counterparts. You’ll never lose anything if you know where to find it online. 
  3. Commute smarter. This is easier for someone like me who lives in the city – we really don’t need a car! But this refers to my business needs too. My one-to-one meetings can happen face-to-face but via Zoom. I don’t have to travel to work every day, so I will likely continue using video conferencing to maintain my one-to-one commitments to my clients. Luckily if I do have to commute anywhere, we do have access to public transportation, and I personally love to walk around outside.
  4. Use green-certified office products. Manufacturers of office supplies have introduced a variety of “green” products to the market, such as recycled paper, sustainably-harvested wood, natural ingredients, and more. Buying these products reduces the environmental impact of your business operations. You can take this a step further by buying from local or employee-owned companies to contribute to social sustainability as well.
  5. Consider working with like-minded companies. Nowadays it’s easy to find out what a business stands for. This about this as both a consumer AND a business owner. Work with companies that are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact or support communities that are important to you. 

There you go! I just gave you a bunch of ways to integrate sustainable tips to make your business more environmentally conscious. Take a moment today to give back to the earth in some way – it has given us everything we have. Happy Earth Day to you and yours!

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

Advice from Successful Self-Made Business Leaders

Starting your own business is no easy task. There are a variety of obstacles that small business owners face, including market competition, funding and other unforeseen circumstances. There are plenty of successful startup stories that show what’s possible with the right business plan, strategy, networking, demeanor and, of course, luck. It’s crucial to not let setbacks deter you from your ultimate goal — the self-made businesses that are bringing in billions all started on the ground floor and faced many obstacles along the way. Whether you’re expanding your business or just getting started, below is a visual that includes advice and tips that all startup and small business owners should hear, especially during difficult times (courtesy of Embroker).

COVID-19 Support - Free Business Offerings

COVID-19 Support: Free Business Offerings for You

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on small businesses.

As you are most certainly aware – we are in challenging times right now.

And I want to do what I can to be part of the solution.

Instead of dwelling on the unknowns, I want to proactively help my fellow business owners shift into optimism, creativity, resourcefulness, and above all, empowerment.

I feel so inspired and driven to serve my community, and so I’ve created 3 FREE business offerings that will take place over the next few weeks.

Free Business Offerings

  • I am currently launching a free “10 Days of Empowered Marketing Challenge” – you’ll get a new task, objective or question to tackle each day for the next 10 days, all in an effort to get into a better mindset, think outside the box, and also leverage the online marketplace. Check my Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn to jump in on the challenge posts! (NOTE: This offering has expired, but the new and improved 10-Day Marketing Challenge is available HERE.)
  • I’m launching a Marketing Mastermind Group and this is for so many of you that are entrepreneurs and practitioners and small business owners. We’re going to share marketing ideas & experiences, get feedback from each other, brainstorm, and just generally connect with one another. Yes, you will be in a group of random strangers, but we all have the same goals and at the end of the day we’re all in this together. (NOTE: This offering has expired, but the new and improved Mastermind Groups are available HERE.)
  • Over the course of 2 months, I hosted 2 free webinars. (The recordings, along with workbooks, are available HERE.) 

If any of these free business offerings speak to you, I hope that you will participate in any or all of them. I’m feeling very inspired to serve right now and these offerings will hopefully help you pivot and grow and sustain your business during these challenging times.

Please also check out my blog for helpful resources and content!

The One Test to Ensure Your Business Idea Makes Money

One Test to Ensure Your Business Idea Makes Money

Now that you have your business ideas from the last blog post, it’s time to find out which one makes money! This can be the scariest part for some of us, because it means we have to connect with others and think outside the box, while potentially risking failure, judgement and rejection. 

But remember – there are millions of entrepreneurs out there that have taken these steps and turned out to have business that are unique, one-of-a-kind successes!

Before we talk about the test, I want to mention a few potential road blocks that can get in your way, at least when you’re first starting out.

Avoid These Mistakes to Ensure Your Business Idea Makes Money

  1. DON’T spend all of your time and resources focusing on activities that won’t move the needle for you. This includes a logo, tagline, fancy website, or whether your business should be an LLC or sole proprietorship. When you’re just starting out and getting your feet wet in your entrepreneurial journey, these details really don’t matter. 
  2. DON’T get feedback on your idea from well-meaning family and friends who will probably tell you it’s a great idea anyway! This type of general feedback from non-customers won’t help you nail down your offerings or your ideal customer. It’s much more worth your time chatting with people who you want to work with, or people who have done what you want to do. 
  3. And most importantly, DO “beta test” your offerings to actual customers in an effort to get some concrete feedback in return. I personally do this all of the time for each new offering. It allows me to generate testimonials and social proof, while helping me to fine-tune the offering.

Now, onto the test. This is called the KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) Test, and it consists of four simple questions. This test will help you evaluate your ideas and eliminate those that either won’t be as possible or simply don’t measure up. 

Here’s how it works. If you can’t answer yes to all four of the following questions, cross the idea off your list. 

The KISS Test

  1. Do I have the real-world experience, skills or abilities that are necessary in order to provide this product or service, and if not, am I willing to work really hard to get them?
  2. Am I willing to focus a majority of my free time on this for at least the next six to twelve months?
  3. Is the idea aligned with values, goals, the feelings that I want to feel every day, and more importantly, the vision I have for my future?
  4. Is there a clearly defined, easy-to-reach market of people already spending money on this kind of product or service?

So which business idea of yours is viable and will be profitable? 

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

5 Ideas to Ignite a Purpose-Driven Business Strategy

5 Ideas to Ignite a Purpose-Driven Business Strategy

As you return to your daily routine and start your 2020 personal and professional goals, there’s no better time than now to get back in touch with the soul of your business, also considered, the purpose-driven aspects of your business. 

The soul of our business of course encompasses the heart and mind of the founder, but it also has a deeper meaning that extends beyond the survival, intention and purpose of an entrepreneur. It extends to the people, communities and planet, because all businesses can make an impact in a bigger way. 

Examples of Purpose-Driven Businesses

In today’s world, we have all seen examples of businesses responding and reacting to crises, natural disasters, and social issues in a way that shows them donating, giving back, and spreading awareness. I’m sure you have also seen businesses go further and create innovative new offerings and initiatives to benefit those affected by these problems. While these tactics are thoughtful and proactive, they are also very smart and strategic.

Why? Because these businesses have decided to consciously and intentionally make their business about more than just money. They use their businesses to create change for people, communities, and the world. 

After all, isn’t this all true: 1) true and lasting fulfillment doesn’t come from what we get, it comes from what we give; 2) when our businesses are about something bigger than us, we tap into something deeper and more meaningful that allows to tackle anything that comes our way; and 3) when our businesses have strong values, we tend to attract clients and customers with strong values too. 

Ideas for a Purpose-Driven Business

So, how can you intentionally and strategically give back to issues and causes that you believe in? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Donate a portion of sales or profits to a non-profit, community, or cause you believe in. 
  2. Donate products or services to organizations or communities you believe in. 
  3. Choose to only work with vendors committed to ethical and sustainable practices.
  4. Commit to using recycled materials and keeping a light carbon footprint.
  5. Use your platform and voice to shine a light on social issues important to the betterment and wellbeing of all. 

And if you’re interested in making a bigger impact on the planet, check out this blog all about sustainability tips for the conscious entrepreneur.

The ways you can make a difference through your business are limitless. If the idea of being a purpose-driven business lights you up, then challenge yourself to imagine your business as a force of good and think about what that might look like. 

Now more than ever, you have the power to use your business not just for financial profits (which are awesome), but you can also create positive change for others around you – yourself, your family, your community, the environment, and even social issues that you believe in. 

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

CGC: 5 Reasons You Need a Content Calendar

5 Reasons You Need a Content Calendar (& Bonus: How to Create One)

According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2B marketers planned to produce more content this year than the previous year. With an increase like that, it’s more important now than ever to have a corresponding content calendar that allows you to plan and prepare accordingly. However, content calendars can track more than just your upcoming blogs. If used correctly, businesses can track every form of inbound marketing, from content queues to social media posts. Below are five reasons you need to start making content calendars, along with a series of brief instructions for how to do so.

  1. The main reason for a content calendar is to remember key dates. These dates can include holidays, events, launches, campaigns, blog releases, and more. Planning ahead for these key dates and being aware of them ensures that you don’t end up scrambling for content for those dates.
  2. Another, somewhat obvious, benefit to content calendars is their ability to keep your schedule organized. It’s a clear benefit, but you would be surprised as to how many brands fail to use them! Staying organized not only helps you remember important dates, but it keeps you updated on what you are publishing, when and where.
  3. While consistency in social media marketing is key to a digital marketing strategy, staying consistent internally is a large piece of this. Content calendars allow businesses to foster collaboration with their marketing teams and potential partners. It’s the single source of information for what’s being published and when.
  4. Rather than making last minute arrangements and coordinating campaigns on the fly, you are saving time, money and resources. With content calendars, you can plan ahead, assign duties and copy in advance, provide ample time for research, and never miss a deadline.
  5. Careful planning also leads to clearer results. As you generate and share content on a regular basis, you will regularly be able to see and monitor results. It will be easier for you to judge which content performs the best. You will notice patterns, and therefore, you will be able to consistently generate more successful content and give your audience what they want.

Bonus: How to Create a Content Calendar

Creating a content calendar is very easy. For my clients, I tell them to start with a simple calendar graphic, such as a template found in Microsoft Word. Then, think about your audience. What are some of their “frequently asked questions?” What do they search for and ask about constantly? Create blog titles around this, for either a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly publishing schedule. Then, search for upcoming daily and monthly holidays that are relevant to you and your business. If you are a massage therapist, Massage Therapy Awareness Week would be relevant to you, and so would regular holidays like Thanksgiving or the Summer Solstice. Incorporate these major events onto your calendar, and include launches, functions, campaigns, blog publish dates, or anything that marks a key date for you. Create social media posts around these events. Alter their character count, length, and imagery for the platform you are working with. And voila! You have a content calendar.

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

Debunking the Myth of Overnight Success

Guest Blog: Debunking the Myth of Overnight Success

Something I tell my clients all the time is this: there is no such thing as an overnight success! This month’s guest blog is from credit.com and it is all about just that. Building a successful business takes time, so you’ve got to be patient. This guest blog will help you find the inspiration to do that.

***

Both in the business world and in your personal life, anything that’s truly worth doing takes time, dedication, and hard work. It’s easy to glamorize success when people make it look easy — but it rarely is. If you believe in the concept of overnight success, you’re likely only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Behind every great CEO, inventor, and entrepreneur is a mountain of struggle, failure, and doubt. They likely took a long and winding road to get where they are today, and that road is where they learned, grew, and improved. So instead of wanting to fasttrack your way to success, remember to slow down and embrace the learning curve.

Need some inspiration? Check out the infographic below on eight famous leaders and how long it took them to become successful.

The following graphic is from credit.com.

overnight-success

3 Approaches to Brainstorming a Business Idea

3 Approaches to Brainstorming a Business Idea

As a marketing consultant, brainstorming ideas is one of my favorite things to do. It’s an opportunity to be creative, think outside of the box, and let my mind run wild. If you’re looking to come up with a business idea or expand your business in new ways, this blog will help you through three approaches to brainstorming business ideas

So, grab your favorite journal and a pen. At the top of the page, write “Business Idea Brainstorm.” Your goal is to come up with 10 business ideas, while having fun! 

3 Approaches to Brainstorming a Business Idea

Approach #1: Got 99 Problems? – Think about the problems you face. Is there a way for you to bring a new service or product as a solution to the challenges you come across? Is there a recurring problem or frustration that you wish there was a better solution for? 

Approach #2: Consider Your Strengths, Skills & Interests – I whole-heartedly believe that we are all born with a unique set of strengths, talents and skills. There are problems out there that you are uniquely qualified to help solve. So, dive deep into who you are and what you do naturally. How can you use your strengths, skills and interests to solve problems for others?

Approach #3: Borrow Brilliance – Now, this approach isn’t about looking at what other people are doing and copying them. This is about checking out what others are doing and see how you can apply what you want to do in your own unique way. Chances are there are businesses out there that can inspire you.

Once you have your ideas, review them and think about which ones are viable. 

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

50 Free List Building Techniques

50 Free List Building Techniques

All entrepreneurs need list building strategies. This is especially true when you’re first starting out. You may not hav the funds needed to invest in advertising or expensive marketing. This is why using free list building strategies is imperative to growing your business. 

But keep in mind – there’s a bit of a hustle at the beginning, and nobody can do this step for you. You have to choose the strategies on your own and you have to be creative. If you’re committed to changing lives and having a long-term profitable business, you must build an audience. 

Building your list takes time, so you have to be patient. There is no such thing as an overnight success.

Here are 50 free techniques you can use to build your list.

    1. Commit to attending at least 1 networking event per month with the goal of meeting at least 2 new people at each event. 
    2. Host a networking event for your community. 
    3. Nurture any current relationships you have and seek referrals. 
    4. Include clear and specific calls to action in all of your content marketing. 
    5. Share your content across other platforms outside of social media, such as Medium, Scoop it, Digg, etc.
    6. Start an account in HARO to help reporters with valuable expert insight. 
    7. Publish your articles and blogs on LinkedIn. 
    8. Join relevant groups on LinkedIn and post within them regularly. 
    9. Insert opt-ins within your content on your blog. 
    10. Add an opt-in to your homepage.
    11. Create a subscriber link on your homepage to your e-newsletters. 
    12. Add a subscriber link to your email signatures. 
    13. Make it easy for people to share your content either through social media channels or forwarding options in emails.
    14. Optimize thank you pages with referral requests or social sharing prompts. 
    15. Create a referral program that incentivizes current clients. 
    16. Highlight a piece of your blog content on a social media platform and start a conversation around it.
    17. Engage with other popular accounts on social media so that they can return the favor.
    18. Follow other brands and businesses and their audiences so that they can follow you back.
    19. When at events, bring an iPad and sign up people on the spot.
    20. Email each person you meet at an event and establish a connection. 
    21. Use free SEO tracking software to get a ranking analysis of your site and then follow their instructions to optimize it. 
    22. Keep SEO in mind when you create and optimize your content. 
    23. Consider a HelloBar on your site to tease a specific offer.
    24. Create an email campaign around a specific offer.
    25. Be helpful and kind on forums and other online communities.
    26. Thoughtfully comment on other people’s blogs and videos.. 
    27. Be generous and offer testimonials for other businesses, either online or offline.
    28. Keep an open mind for collaborations, partnerships or co-sponsored events with colleagues. 
    29. Think about potential collaborations with like-minded businesses. 
    30. Offer a workshop or training or class at a like-minded business facility. 
    31. Be a case study for vendors.
    32. Create a piece of content that can go viral for your market.
    33. Lead a regular meet-up or event in your town that supports fellow businesses or the community.
    34. Be featured in blogs or in other media or work with influencers.
    35. Get interviewed about your message, your story, your mission, your business, etc.
    36. Submit an article to a newspaper or magazine. 
    37. Pitch your story to a local TV or radio station. 
    38. Join a relevant association and become an active member.
    39. Volunteer for like-minded organizations or other places that you’re passionate about.
    40. Talk to friends, colleagues, clients, etc. about your goals and how they can help.
    41. Take a class.
    42. Do live speaking engagements.
    43. Be a guest in virtual events or webinars. 
    44. Host a live webinar or group call. 
    45. Be a guest teacher in someone else’s program or event.
    46. Guest post on engaged blogs that serve your ideal customer.
    47. Write articles for other people’s newsletters.
    48. Submit your business to online and offline directories. 
    49. Create accounts and profiles on a variety of online communities.
    50. Teach workshops or seminars to generate interest in what you do.

There are, of course, more ways to build your list than what’s listed above. Regardless of whatever you choose to do, always do it from the heart. 

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/