Starting a business is a lot like a pyramid scheme
And not too many people like pyramid schemes
Chances are if you are a start-up business or running a business in general. You are overwhelmed with a lot of things.
Unless your start-up business is selling Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter Systems to NASA. Then you will be promoting your new business to those you know. For the most part, when you start a business, you contact all of your friends, family, colleagues, and anyone you know. You hope they buy from you and then you hope the tell their friends, family and anyone they know.
But at some point, you need to step out of that comfort zone.
There are many, many ways to advertise and promote your business.
Please don’t just rely on “word-of-mouth”. And please consider a marketing strategy.
What is a marketing strategy going to do?
- Identify your competitors, your real competitors
- Identify your ideal customer
- Sort out your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
Advertising works. Promotion works. But …. it has to be done right.
You need to track your marketing. You need to know what is working and what is not. Avoid the ones that aren’t working and concentrate on the ones that are.
But unless you are a start-up marketing company or can honestly do these things yourself,
Have you heard the phrase, a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.
It’s understandable to take on your website, social media and marketing as a start-up or even as a business owner to try and save money. If you doing this, then business must be good. If you have time for all of this then who is running the business?
Google does not call you
And your Google listing will not expire
If you are receiving calls from “Google” or companies telling you that your Google Listing is set to expire … hang up!
It is a scam. We probably get about 3 or 4 calls a week from one of these companies. But we do answer them, we press #1 to speak to a representative (it could be why we get so many calls). But we answer them and want to talk to them because we like to challenge them. Most times they hang up. So how reputable can they be?
When we challenge them about “who they are?“, or “where are they seeing that our Google listing is about to expire?“, or we tell them that we perform SEO as a service, they either hang up, or giggle and realize they are caught. We’ve even had some admi it and threaten us.
We like Google, and we work with Google to help our clients. But when we need help from Google, it is very difficult to find a number to even call them. So they are not just going to call you out of the blue to help you. To be honest and blunt … Google doesn’t even know about you and your business (unless you are a very large, international company or they want to buy you). Google has lots of their own stuff on the go and they provide a lot of tools for companies like us to use to help your business.
There are over a billion websites. Google is not about to call each and everyone. They provide the tools to help be found with them, but that’s where it ends.
No, your Google listing is not about to expire
In fact, you have to tell Google if your business closes
If you have ever searched Google for a particular business. You might see on the right hand side of the Google search results, that there is more information about that company. Sometimes you will notice that the Business is Permanently Closed. In order for that to happen, someone with control of the business listing with Google has to login and label the business as permanently closed.
What to do if I get these calls
- Hang up on “Sharon from Google”. Do not press 1 to talk to an agent. Doing this typically tips of theri software that is making these calls that someone answered and they will continue to call.
- File a NOTICE with the Google Safety Centre. It will “help them better protect our users. Please note that this form will not directly impact whether you will receive robocalls in the future.”
- File a complaint with the CRTC.
- Hire someone local to help you or take over yourself.
So how is it that your listing will expire?
It won’t. Most businesses don’t even know how to claim their listing or that it is even a service to claim it. They assume that that is all done by Google. Sure, the initial information may appear because of Google, but if you look close, it allows you to Claim the Business if you are the business owner.
Claiming it is very important. So is keeping it up to date. You are able to do a lot of things with it, including setting business hours and holiday hours. How many times have you searched for a business to see they are “open today” according to Google only to find out they aren’t actually open. Google is only as good as the information they have. If it is out of date, then what are they supposed to do?
Google My BusinessClaim it. Update it. Start it. Hire us to help.
Google is very important to your business
The yellow pages are dead
There are a number of amazing ways to market your business. Billboards, social media, radio ads, television ads and more. But … when was the last time you slammed on the breaks when you saw a billboard with a must have product or service?
Business make money by selling services or products. Up until about 10 years ago, the only way to sell products was in-store or out of a printed catalogue. The web has changed a lot of things. But some things haven’t changed, in order to sell products, people still need to come to your business or buy online.
What has changed is people typically go to Google or Bing to find what they want. They may see the billboards, hear the radio ads or even follow you on Facebook. But those marketing tools are just that tools. Tools to promote your business, but they should be geared to drive traffic to your website, online store or physical store.
There is a reason Google is the #1 search engine.
They have the best search algorithm to help people find what they want faster. ANd … people will go to Google or Bing when they are searching for a product or service. If people do not know about your business … they are not searching for your business. They are searching for a product name or service, “in Regina” (or wherever they are).
A number of Google’s services are free and some are paid for like Google Adwords. If you are comfortable with computers and know what to do, then head on over to Google My Business to get started.
Claiming your Google Listing is only the beginning of proper SEO.
Why do I need a logo for my business?
Having a quality logo is extremely important to your business
Logos are a critical aspect of business marketing
Whether you own a business or not, you see the importance of a logo, brand, design. Your eyes are drawn to all sorts of advertising, signs, promotions and logos.
A logo anchors a company’s brand and becomes the single most visible manifestation of the company within the target market. For this reason, a well-designed logo is an essential part of any company’s overall marketing strategy.
Purpose of a Company Logo
Corporate logos are intended to be the “face” of a company: A logo is a graphical representation of a company’s unique identity. A logo consists of many elements. Colors and fonts and images provide the essential information about a company that allows customers to identify with the company’s core brand.
Logos are also a shorthand way of referring to the company in advertising and marketing materials; they also provide an anchor point for the various fonts, colors and design choices in all other business marketing materials.
Good logos should be unique and comprehensible to potential customers. Although there are endless choices for color, visual elements and typography, in general a logo should help convey some information about the company, or be designed in a way that gives some sense of meaning about the company or its industry.
Logos are the chief visual component of a company’s overall brand identity. The logo appears on stationery, websites, business cards and advertising. For that reason, a well-designed logo can contribute to business success, while a substandard logo can imply amateurishness and turn off potential customers. However, a logo should cohere well with other aspects of a company’s visual presentation: No logo, however well designed, can look good when surrounded by contradictory graphical elements or inconsistent fonts. This is why a logo is the basic unit of a larger brand identity that includes company fonts, colors and document-design guidelines.
Return on Investment
As consumers grow to know, like and trust a specific brand, they are more likely to respond positively to successive encounters with a logo–potentially leading to increased sales or improved mind share within the target market. In addition, a well-designed logo implies a degree of professionalism and competence that could help steer potential new clients toward selecting the business rather than a competitor with no or substandard logos.
Small businesses often play it fast-and-loose with logos, paying insufficient attention to their proper size and positioning and surrounding them with materials–including clipart–that compete with them visually. Avoid re-creating different types of logos for specific purposes (e.g., letterhead and business cards) or having similar-but-not-identical versions for print and online purposes.
What Types of Logos are there?
Psychology of Color
What is a font?
What types of logos are there?
Wordmarks are freestanding word or multi-letter abbreviation groupings comprising a logo, a.k.a. logotypes.
Companies with wordmark logos include eBay, IBM, CNN, Google, Kleenex, Saks Fifth Avenue.
Letterform logos are comprised of a single letter.
Think Honda, Uber, Unilever, Beats and McDonald’s.
Pictoral logos are illustrated symbols of recognizable things.
Starbucks, Twitter and Playboy all have pictorial logos.
Abstract logos don’t represent anything otherwise recognizable, like abstract art.
Perhaps the most famous brand to successfully pull off an abstract logo is Nike
Psychology of Color
Is it any surprise that, in any logo, color is one of the most important elements? After all, color has been shown not only to affect people’s mood, but also their buying choices when they shop.
You can find all sorts of guides and infographics breaking down the thoughts and feelings that color can inspire. Here are some examples of the emotions and impressions that colors have been shown to convey:
EXCITEMENT and BOLDNESS
Red is a primary color. Red is often associated with the heat of sun and fire and is considered a high-arousal color, often stimulating people to take risks, according to color think tank.
It has also been shown to stimulate the senses and raise blood pressure, and it may arouse feelings of power, energy, passion, love, aggression, or danger.
What RED does to our Personality / Emotions
Red evokes strong emotions. Encourages appetite and increases passion and intensity.
Red increases the heart rate and is used by restaurants to stimulate appetite. It also creates urgency as in sales or clearance items.
PEACE, NURTURING, FRESHNESS
CALMNESS, STRENGTH, SECURITY
TRADITION, SOPHISTICATION, AUTHORITY
What is a font?... and how many fonts are there?
A font is a set of printable or displayable text character s in a specific style and size.
The type design for a set of fonts is the typeface and variations of this design form the typeface family . Thus, Helvetica is a typeface family, Helvetica italic is a typeface, and Helvetica italic 10-point is a font.
In practice, font and typeface are often used without much precision, sometimes interchangeably.
The two most popular outline font software programs on today’s computers are TrueType and Adobe’s Type 1. TrueType fonts come with both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. However, Type 1 is a standard outline font (ISO 9541). Both TrueType and Type 1 fonts can be used by Adobe’s PostScript printers.
Independent developers and graphic designers create new typefaces for both TrueType and Type 1. Adobe states that there are over 30,000 Type 1 fonts available. Fonts (in addition to those that come with your computer) can be purchased as individual typeface families or in typeface collections.
EXCITEMENT, BOLDNESS, HUNGER (HUNGER IS AN EMOTION HERE AT QLP)
Why SEO is so important for your business?
When was the last time you picked up a phone book? When was the last time you called directory assistance to find a number? You Google it now.
People carry phones not phone books.
Years ago they made a mini-phone book to put in your vehicle. That was before smartphones were so prevalent.
Yellow pages are trying to sell websites and search engine optimization services. They are doing this because the phone book is dead (or dying depending on who you work for).
We are telling you this just because we offer award winning search engine optimization. We are telling you this because we want to help you succeed.
Search engine optimization is essential. Over 90% of all website activity starts with a search engine.
If no one has heard about your business they aren’t searching for your business. If they are searching for your business then chances are they will find you … they better find you.
Why have a website if no one can find it?
Having a web presence is a small part of the success of your business. A website is not a bucket list item. You can’t build it, launch it and forget it. Like an employee worth keeping, you have to nurture and educate.