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Social Saturation Sucks

I believe social media really is awesome. Not the fake “trying to get as many followers just to have a large ego” version, but the “great way to engage with your consumers” version. In fact, my business has had a social media presence on Twitter and on Facebook since 2007. However, since then, the amount of social media properties has skyrocketed. If I had a business presence on each one I’d been told to have...

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10 Ways Your Business Blog Sucks

We all know what a powerful marketing tool blogging can be. Plenty of businesses have soared as a result of regular, effective blogging. Many of us try our best to write engaging content. However your blog sucks if it suffers from any of these 10 issues (and read on for my bonus “killer headlines” tip!). A boring starting paragraph. It’s true; underwhelming openers turn readers off. Your blog post should start with...

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Olympic Lessons for Your Business: Run Rings Round Your Competitors

Over the next few weeks, much of the world’s attention will be on the sporting elite from 205 nations, as the cream of the crop from each country competes at the 2012 Olympic Games. While we all watch our favorite sports and cheer on our countries, have a think about some of the lessons Olympians can give us in our businesses. Planning I’m confident there isn’t an athlete at these games who just woke up a few months ago and...

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Three Reasons I Sucked at Freelancing

I spend much of my time writing for SitePoint about the success of others, and sharing great tips and tricks I have learnt myself. One great quote I really live by is that you should learn from your mistakes. Mistakes happen to the best of us; as long as you walk away with a lesson under your belt, you’ve made the best of a possibly poor situation. I want to share with you three reasons I failed when I first started freelancing back...

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Great Ideas—without the Risk!

I’ve written before about how we can end up getting so caught up in our great new idea, that we spend so long getting it just right, before we find out nobody wants it. This could apply to services, or a physical products. I learnt this through my own hard experiences – I’ve been guilty of taking so long to develop and release an idea, that I was either too late, or the idea sounded great, yet nobody actually wants or...

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Proposal sent, now what?

I’m a big fan of the SitePoint forums, and it’s not just because I write for SitePoint. In fact, I signed up a good five years before ever doing any work with SitePoint, so I’m allowed to say it. One of my favorite forums is the Business & Legal Issues one, however they have a forum for just about everything, and even better; they have a great community. So, whilst looking through my favorite forum, I came across...

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Build a Billion Dollar App

The news is all over the web; that social network approaching their IPO, have spent a little coin buying a smaller social mobile app. If you haven’t heard, Facebook have just spent one billion dollars buying Instagram. That’s a tidy sum of money indeed. Even tidier when you find out there are only a dozen employees, and they haven’t made a dollar in the traditional product or service sense – it’s free to use...

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Six Steps to Winning Clients and Influencing People

To really influence a customer, you need to build a relationship on trust. If a client trusts you, they’ll be open to your feedback, and will end up getting a better result. How many times have you suggested a design or functionality, only for it to be shot down, and then end up building something you believe really is sub-standard without that input from yourself? If you’ve had these situations (and trust me, nearly all of...

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Testimonials that Really Work

In my recent article, 5 Reasons Prospects Don’t Like Your Website, I mentioned how important client testimonials can be. Well, one of the comments really drew my eye. See, one of our readers, George from Darklit Web Design and SEO, has a great testimonials page – we’re not talking those old boring text testimonials either. We’re talking video testimonials. George explains how easy and cost-effective this can be in his comment,...

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Increasing Responses Using Split Testing Basics

Recently we wanted to trial two messages for lead collection. We built a landing page template, and then created two headlines and copy variations. One was using a very active tone, and one less so. We ran a straw poll within our team, and we were fairly certain which one would work better – but how do we test this? That’s where split testing comes in! Using Google’s free Website Optimizer tool, and a humble budget to be spent on...

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Interview that Departing Client

We all have employees part ways with our businesses one time or another. If you are smart, you take them out for a private lunch in their last week, and undertake an informal ‘exit interview’. Question them on why they are leaving, what would have made them stay, what they liked least about their role, and what they liked the most. I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and find it invaluable: people who are leaving have no...

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Invest a Few Hours and Make Thousands!

Two weeks ago, I penned 20 Must Do Business Boosters for 2012. Being a big believer in acting on your own advice, I took it upon myself to implement the first two points. To refresh you, they were: Call one of your biggest clients and wish them a happy new year. No catch, no sales spiel, simply call and thank them for their business and wish them a happy new year. This will be genuine and a great way to reinforce your...

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20 Must-Do Business Boosters for 2012

It’s the start of a fresh new year, with 2012 less than a week old. Here are 20 actions to do over the next few weeks to ensure your business gets off to a flying start for the year ahead. Call one of your biggest clients and wish them a happy new year. No catch, no sales spiel, simply call and thank them for their business and wish them a happy new year. This will be genuine and a great way to reinforce your relationship. Run a...

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Boost Your E-commerce Sales with One Letter

I’m not sure about you, but I can tell you my household bought more online over the festive season than in any previous December in history. With three kids in the house, that’s a fair amount of toys and presents, and we used e-commerce websites way more than traditional bricks and mortar stores. As a result, we had plenty of packages arriving in December, and there was a really interesting observation I gleaned from the...

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Reflect on 2011, Plan for 2012

I’m excited about the New Year: a new year always heralds new opportunities, and a chance to work on planning for the coming 12 months. Whilst it is easy to have plans such as ‘Do bigger projects’ or ‘Make better websites’, these are pretty vague goals. In order to look at creating new goals, I always look to the previous year to get a sense of where we’ve just been. Here are six metrics you can get from your accounting...