The Best & Most Brutal Business Advice From The Show “Billions”

The Best & Most Brutal Business Advice From The Show “Billions”

Social media is full of pithy business advice in memes and ‘wanna be’ business gurus.  Most of this is utter rubbish.

Every now and then the best business advice comes from the most unlikely source – streaming tv.

Here’s a clip from the TV Show “Billions” that condenses years of Business University in 25 seconds.

Pre-text: Damien Lewis plays a Wall Street Billionaire.  Malin Åkerman plays the wife who has recently started a business on the side.

Great business advice, terrible pillow talk!

Here is the text version.  Read it, understand it, execute it in your business:

Axe asks Lara:

“What is it you do that you’re the best in the world at? You offer a service you didn’t invent, a formula you didn’t invent, a delivery method you didn’t invent. Nothing about what you do is patentable or a unique user experience. You haven’t identified an isolated market segment, haven’t truly branded your concept. You need me to go on?

So why would an investment bank put serious money into it?

I all but told you that ahead of time, but you wouldn’t listen.

Now you’ve heard it, but it’s too late.

You.

Weren’t.

Ready.”

Question: How does your business shape up against this simple review of a scaleable business?

Source: Billions

 

How to Conduct a Marketing Audit for Your Website

Rain is falling, flowers are blooming, the days are getting longer, and the mercury is rising.

Ah, it’s finally spring time!

But the temperature might be the only thing rising if you aren’t in the habit of regularly evaluating your marketing content. And that means that your search engine optimisation (SEO) might be lacking too. But have no fear, that’s nothing that a little spring cleaning can’t fix!

Of the many things that come to mind when you think of the spring season, spring cleaning probably isn’t one of them. But cleaning up your online marketing content and increasing your SEO doesn’t have to be a chore. Spring cleaning can be the perfect excuse to spruce up your content by conducting a website marketing audit.

Did you know that search is the number one driver of traffic to a website? It beats social media by 300% and 75% of searchers don’t even make it past the first page of search results.

Search engines serve millions of users per day. SEO is essential to a businesses’ success because it can optimise how a website ranks in search engine results. SEO is the process of gaining free traffic to your website by ranking high in search engine results.

When conducting an audit for your business, it is important to first establish what is most important to your business:

What is the purpose of your business?

Who are your customers?

How can you help them achieve what they’re looking for better than your competition can?

These are all good questions to start off with. But once you have the answers, how can you use them to increase your SEO?

Creating the right content for your website is essential to indexing your website at the top of search engine results. And generating leads to gain the business you want. A marketing audit can also help you understand which kind of content is most well received. And that can help you structure your content marketing plans for the future.

All these components can seem overwhelming. But rest assured, that marketing audit that you’ve put off for so long doesn’t have to hurt, it can actually be a breeze with the help of a few tools. So when you’re ready to have a content makeover, here are a few resources to get you started!

Salesforce CRM for Your Marketing Audit

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of the most important parts of doing business. CRM is typically in the form of a web application or software. CRM is used by businesses to help manage and track their relationships with customers.

Applications like Salesforce CRM help users track the details of each individual customer. This assures that they are given the most personalised experience possible. Salesforce CRM also helps businesses manage their marketing campaigns and measure the success of them. Salesforce can be integrated with other applications. Salesforce AppExchange is one option to help businesses generate more leads.

Salesforce helps businesses make insightful decisions, close more deals, accelerate productivity, and get more leads.

In short, CRM helps you get to know your customer, which in turn helps you provide them with the best service possible.

Salesforce Pardot

It’s been said that timing is everything. Salesforce Paradot gives users the tools to know when the best time is to engage with a potential customer.

But what does all this mean if you can’t see the fruits of your labours? Y

ou may already be familiar with Paradot, but are you using its features to your advantage.

With Salesforce Paradot, a user can see the Return on Investment (ROI) of their investment with detailed reports.

Paradot also offers SEO-Keyword monitoring. This helps businesses understand which keywords generate the most leads to their website. Paradot also shows users the average cost per click of keywords if users were to bid on them in Google Adwords.

Paradot helps business provide a world-class customer experience.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Ray Grieselhuber, CEO and co-founder of Ginzamarkets, says that succeeding at SEO is essential.

It is so important to a businesses’ success because SEO is “much more than just ranking well in Google. It’s a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to website optimisation that ensures potential customers who come to your site will have a good experience, find what they are looking for, and have an easy time sharing your high-quality content.”

Marketing Cloud helps users be sure that each individual customer is being delivered the right message. It also helps them perfect what time they deliver it and through which channel it is delivered. 

Salesforce describes this as creating a customer journey.

A customer journey is an experience between the customer and the business that spans across many platforms. It can be hard to know which option is the best for your business. Salesforce Marketing Cloud has many different subscription plans to cater to a businesses’ needs.

Building strong relationships is all about being personal. Building those relationships is especially important in content marketing. Salesforce Marketing Cloud helps businesses do that.

Salesforce App Exchange

Salesforce App Exchange is a collection of business apps catered to helping users market their business. Because every business is unique, finding out which resources are the best for each individual businesses’ needs may seem overwhelming.

Luckily, Salesforce has a content library. It also has an online forum, All About AppExchange Apps, to help you find the apps that are best suited for your SEO makeover.

Included in the app exchange is “SEO for Salesforce.” SEO for Salesforce is an app geared toward helping you decide which keywords will drive the most leads and deliver the highest SEO results. Provide detailed tools to get your keywords at the top of the list.

SEO isn’t always a walk in the park, and we understand that.

here are a lot of resources available to help you out, and it can still be difficult to understand how and when to use them. But don’t worry, we have our own approach to SEO to help make that marketing audit a little easier and have your website ranking high in no time.

Taking Voice Search into Account with Your Marketing Efforts

Voice search is one of the fastest growing trends in the digital marketing world. 

You are probably all too familiar with the phrases “Hey, Alexa” or “Hey, Siri” by now. Voice query has become increasingly popular for users when they need to find something online.

This trend isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Voice search inquiries are predicted to account for 50% of searches by 2020. 

Because of this, your business should consider how to tailor your website for voice query optimization. For your website to be found, it must be optimal in terms of search engine rankings.

There are ways to adjust your website’s content so it can be easily found through voice search. Read on to learn how to optimize your page for the future of search marketing.

Become Mobile Friendly

If your website isn’t mobile friendly already, it is crucial to do so now.

Voice searches are usually carried out through our phones. If your page is being pulled from voice searches, then that is great news! 

However, it is very easy to lose that search query by having a website that is hard to navigate. 61% of people are likely to leave a webpage if it isn’t mobile friendly.

If you’ve optimized your search rankings, you have already done half the battle. Don’t lose a potential sale because of something silly as your website being too hard to use. 

Use More Natural Dialogue

When we use voice search, we are much more conversational than when we type and search. We are more likely to search by question as opposed to a phrase.

Because of this, it is highly recommended to use more natural dialogue on your webpage. Avoid being too complex and wordy because most people will not search by those phrases.

Analyze what terms would be used by someone who was searching for your type of business. Phrases like “Best ___ in (Residential Location)” are very common.

Say you work for a massage therapy center in Tampa, Florida. If someone in that area were looking for your service, they would likely search “Best Swedish Massage in Tampa” or “Where To Go For a Swedish Massage in Tampa”. 

Those kinds of expressions will help voice search bots identify your page quicker and more efficiently. Try to find a balance in wording that will show your creativity while also generating optimal search rankings. 

Get Registered Through Your Q&A Page

A great way to generate more natural, real-life dialogue onto your website is by using your Q&A page more optimally.

For this page, you don’t need to be super technical or use a lot of jargon. Your search rankings will be much higher if you use dialogue based on how people actually talk. 

Try to use your Q&A page to generate questions that people would actually voice search for. 

Content Marketing Through Voice Search

You are probably already aware that your business needs an inbound marketing plan. Whether it be through white pages, blog posts, case studies, etc. these techniques can seriously increase traffic to your page.

Content marketing can work in your favor through voice search as well. 

Think of your business/product/service. What questions do people have about your industry? What topics about your industry would they be online searching for? 

As with other inbound marketing efforts, you should tailor your content to answer these questions. This will draw more attention to your page and help your website rank higher. 

Let’s pretend you are a nutritional coach out of Brisbane. Your target audience could be interested in outdoor trails or places to find healthy groceries.

You could create blog posts like “Best Places to Run in Brisbane” or “Best Farmer’s Markets in Brisbane”. This will generate more traffic and increase engagement levels to your site. 

Analyze, Analyze, Analyze

A skillful way to determine what keywords to use is by tracking how viewers find your page. You can use sites such as Google Search Console to show searchers’ actual queries.

Through this, you will be able to determine what queries resulted in more traffic than others. Also, you can see which keywords from your webpage are producing more search results.

As of now, it doesn’t have the capability to distinguish between voice and text search. However, this tool can lead you to identifying optimal search keywords.

Claim and Optimize Your Business

Voice search is a huge opportunity for businesses to attract customers in their area. Ending our searches with the phrase “near me” gives local businesses the chance to shine.

From 2011 to 2015 alone, the amount of “near me” searches grew 34 times larger. They are an inevitable part of the future that need to be considered within your marketing efforts.

When a person uses “near me” in their search, the software will pull data from online directories. Directories such as Google My Business and Bing Places For Business browse their listings to best match a search.

You should be creating a business page on as many of these platforms as possible. 

Here is a list of platforms where you can benefit from creating an online identity: 

·       Google (You can register through Google My Business, Google Maps, etc.)

·       Yelp

·       Bing Places For Business

·       Yahoo Local Listing

·       MerchantCircle

·       Yellow Pages

·       White Pages

·       Foursquare

·       Angie’s List

·       Trip Advisor

You will want to make sure your business is claimed and optimized, so it is easy to locate from these directories. That includes ensuring your address, phone number, website, etc. are listed correctly.

When details like these do not match up online, then your listing will be moved down on the search list. The directories are unsure which business is yours because it is inconsistent with other online pages. 

Also, we recommend being as specific as you can on these directories. This will increase the likelihood of your page being found from searches specific to your niche.

Voice search optimization will only continue to develop. To learn more about the art and science of SEOcontact us at Blirt! We are committed to powering traffic, leads, and sales.

Why You Should Consider Outsourced Marketing

The success of any business starts and ends with its customer base. Knowing what your customers want and need before even they realize they need it, is an invaluable tool for your company’s success.

The only way to achieve optimum customer care is to keep track of the customer’s history with your company. This is done by documenting previous interactions and a customer’s specific needs. You also need to attract new customers through crafted marketing strategies.

Marketing helps promote your business, attract potential clients and showcase yourself. It is not something that should be taken lightly and can make or break your success.

Marketing also requires time, knowledge and drive to be done correctly. Using outsourced marketing is a wise decision for any business – big or small.

If you want something done right, you go to the best, right? Experts in the field. You should approach your marketing strategy the same way.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits to using outsourced marketing, how it can attract new customers and help service your current ones.

Know Your Role

The first thing to look at when considering outsourced marketing is what your company is capable of. Be honest with yourself about your company’s strengths.

If your company is great at making a product or offering a service, then place the majority of your energy in this. No one can give 100% to 100 different things.

If developing effective marketing efforts is preventing you from completing other necessary tasks and projects, then perhaps it’s time to call in reinforcements.

Marketing trends are constantly changing. Even more so in the digital marketplace. An effective marketing strategy means staying ahead of these trends. If you’re unable to do this due to other commitments, you run the risk of missing out on some major marketing opportunities.

There’s no shame in using outsourced marketing.

Look to Your Staff

Does your staff seem overworked?

Especially in small businesses, it’s often difficult to divide daily operations among only a few employees. Not only are your employees, most likely, not marketing experts, but they’re probably responsible for other jobs as well. 

By using outsourced marketing you are taking some of the weight off of your employee’s shoulders. This allows them to focus their attention on what they’re good at. This will also alleviate some of their stress, allowing for a more relaxed, productive work environment.

Another benefit to your staff when you choose to use outsourced marketing is the knowledge they will gain. A professional marketing team will bring with it familiarity with your target audience, as well as a fresh perspective.

Something else an outsourced marketing agency can bring to the table is honesty. Even if your staff thinks you could be handling your marketing in a more efficient way, they aren’t going to correct their superior.

Some really great ideas may go unsaid and unused. That equals lost opportunity.

As a hired, outsourced marketing agency it’s their job to tell you how you can improve your marketing strategy. You will gain perspective on your current marketing weaknesses and recognize problems you never knew you had.

You Want to Be Taken Seriously

Another downside to attempting to market your own small business with limited time is a sloppy presentation. We all know that you get out of something what you put into it.

If you don’t have the time to dedicate to your marketing strategy, it will show. Marketing requires brainstorming ideas, researching the potential gains and hurdles before systematically launching the concept.

Without attention to detail, your marketing strategy will fall flat. This will waste not only your valuable time and money, but could negatively affect your reputation. And in the business world, you can’t afford to get a bad rap.

Outsourced Marketing Is Cost Effective

You’re in business to make money. The goal of marketing is to help your business make more money. What if I told you that using outsourced marketing would actually save you money?

Your initial thought may be that by doing your own marketing, you are eliminating the cost of hiring a marketing agency. But are your results worth what you’re spending in payroll?

Most likely not.

As a small business, you don’t need to spend a ton of money on a single employee responsible for your companies marketing strategy. An outsourced marketing company has the appeal of an entire team of experts, which means cheaper ad and software costs.

You are also “putting all your marketing eggs in one basket” so to speak when hiring and training a single employee to run your marketing department. This can result in not only limited ideas with only one perspective, but also high employee turnover.

Once your employee has exhausted their resources at your company and learned all they need to know, they will go in search of bigger and better things. And with them goes the money and time you wasted training them.

When using outsourced marketing, the companies goal is to bring you success, not use you as a stepping stone.

Access to the Cloud

With outsourced marketing, you gain access to unlimited data storage through the cloud and CRM, or customer relationship management.

CRM is able to collect all of your information on not only current customers but also prospective ones and leads. Employees from within your business have access to this information both in the office and out on the field. This makes customer experiences personable and memorable.

That’s good news for you!

Because this information is stored on the cloud, capacity is endless. Having immediate access to past information will save you time and money while helping you make money. Companies such as Salesforce offer free trial opportunities for their CRM products and services.

What Do You Have to Lose?

So maybe you’re a bit of a control freak and just don’t think anyone can market your company better than you. Especially when dealing with small business, owners are highly vested in their company and its success.

Understandably so.

Asking for help is not a weakness. Especially not from experts in the field.

When using outsourced marketing you are bringing on a team of individuals whose main priority is to make your business successful. They provide knowledge, experience, insight and a fresh perspective on things.

A marketing team will save you time, money and aggravation. Without having to worry about your marketing strategy, you can turn your attention to other aspects of your business.

Invest in yourself and your business by investing in a marketing strategy that works!

How to Develop the Best Salesforce CRM Practices for Success

If you’re in the digital marketing and sales space there’s no way you haven’t heard of Salesforce CRM.

Need a refresher?

Salesforce CRM is one of the top rated cloud-based services and can turn your business into a powerhouse. Salesforce was even voted “The Worlds Most Innovative Company” by Forbes magazine four years in a row and for good reasons.

Their platform is 100% customizable and can be adapted to fit all your marketing, sales and customer needs. Every company looking to increase their sales and overall presence should go out, buy and use it immediately. Right?

Wrong. 

Without setting CRM best practices, you’re essentially trying to put together a puzzle without seeing the image on the top of the box. 

As with everything in business, you need to have a plan in place.

According to a 2014 report from Nucleus Research, this CRM service touts a return on investment of $8.71 for every dollar spent. Sure, Salesforce can give you a pretty significant ROI, but not if you haven’t set yourself up for success. 

Setting CRM Best Practices

Putting together a blueprint for how your business will use CRM is the first and most important step in utilising this technology. Not sure how to set CRM best practices? Keep reading; we have you covered.

1. Set your goals. 

Firstly, what are you trying to achieve?

Is your business targeting new leads or trying to convert existing leads into sales?

Perhaps you’re looking to more fully integrate departments across your company to streamline the day-to-day?

By prioritising and defining your goals, you can focus on (and succeed at) reaching those targets faster. These goals will come into play again in a bit when you choose which service packages are right for you and your business.

Not sure how to clearly define your goals?

Check out this product which may help you narrow it down.

2. Choose the right Salesforce CRM platform for your needs.

Because the capabilities of Salesforce are so vast, you need to use your goals from the last step to assess your needs.

Is improving customer service at the top of your list?

Perhaps putting together a successful social media campaign is your top priority.

Since there are various plans available, carefully determine the features that are of most value to you. You may want to immediately go for the “biggest and best” package because after all, you want to succeed faster, right? In the case of CRM, that just isn’t true and in doing so, you’ll be hurting the cost-effectiveness of the plan.

Another major selling point of Salesforce products and applications is the fact that you can build on them. But we’ll focus on that a little later.

3. Train your staff.

Once you’ve decided on which products you’ll be using to kickstart your progress, it’s time to get your team on board. Introducing SaaS to employees should be well thought out and not without a plan in place.

Change is rarely easy for staff, but you can make the transition seamless by getting your staff to buy into the training.

You can do this by making sure to have a trainer who can impress upon your team the value they get out of these systems. Using the classic “what’s in it for me” strategy applies well here.

It’s also important to have a point person assigned to make the transition to this cloud-based service as easy as possible.

More than likely, employees will need more than just a one-off training session to fully understand the benefits of these services. Having an in-house “expert” can act as ongoing training so that all employees will experience a seamless integration.

Some plans offer service packages as well, so be sure to look for those if having extra support is something you are considering. 

4. Rely on the product & use the data.

This is when you begin to see the ROI come into play. Sales and performance metrics are essential tools provided that help propel business growth.

The best part of integrating automation?

It’s automated!

By implementing CRM and associated products, you’re freeing you and your staff up to focus on more important tasks. 

This means you need to utilise the reports, data, and feedback accordingly.

The trick to making it work is, you have to rely on the data you are given. It may be hard, at first, to give over control of even the most menial tasks, but you need to trust the product and then use the data you’re given. 

One of the clearest benefits of CRM is upgrading your customer’s experience. Focusing on the customer experience is a different approach to traditional business practices but will yield some impressive results.

5. Reassess

If you’ve set all the above CRM best practices in place, by now, you should be starting to see the rewards of your efforts. You’re reaching your goals and are on track. Time to sit back and enjoy.

Wrong again!

It’s now time to reassess your goals. If you’re about to or have already, reached your original goal, set new benchmarks. It’s also very possible your needs have changed and should be re-prioritized accordingly. 

Again, the beauty of Salesforce is that there is such a wide variety of apps and tools that are designed for scalability. By seamlessly integrating another app or product with your existing package, you can easily accommodate your ever-changing business needs.

There you have it!

A complete list of CRM best practices for Salesforce you can easily implement to reach success. Make sure you hit each one!

For maximum ROI, set your plan in place thoughtfully. Determining goals and needs should always be an ongoing process to continue growing your business.

While it’s important you follow these steps, it’s equally vital that your team is on board to achieve maximum benefits. 

How has having CRM best practices in place helped your business?

Which Salesforce products or applications have you used to grow your business?

Tell us in the comments below if there’s one you think ALL businesses should have.