Thursday, January 19, 2012

Business: Success on a $0.00 Budget

We want to help you become a more successful small business because you are worth every penny we are going to spend today!  (Wait...what?!  You told me we are spending nothing, zippola, nada!)

Alright, let's get serious about your business regardless of what we are going to spend today.  This blog article will give you five quick tips on how to become more successful in promoting your brand and using free advertising dollars to expand your reach. 

How did these techniques help us?  We gained 1,900 blog pageviews, 150 followers on Facebook, a Facebook reach close to 18,000 people, and 450 unique visitors to our photography gallery in a little over one month because we used these techniques. 

5. Use power words and positive language in your blog posts. 
'You' and 'because' are two very powerful words to use in your blog articles or Facebook posts.  Having an intimate conversation with people garners the trust they need to press the Like button or subscribe to a feed, rather than a constant call for 'click this' or 'share that'.  Using a 'because' statement scientifically gains a 30% more positive response than not using the word - no matter how you use it in the sentence!  Just look at our first sentence.  Additionally, I think it goes without saying that expletive language, poorly spell checked posts, and constant negative rants will get you Unlikes quicker than you can say *^#@#&!

4.  Submit your site on free website listing directories. 
Gain exposure for your sites by listing them with the free listing sites out there such as StumbleUpon, Alltop, and Technorati for your blog.  Make sure your website and business are listed in Manta, a free directory for business owners.  There are many low-cost photography listing services available if you are willing to spend $5-$10, like Photolinks.  Most importantly, make sure your business websites are included as a tagline on emails that you send, and don't ever post to Facebook/social media without including a link to one of your sites or a photograph that is watermarked.

3.  Use that Google AdWords/Microsoft Adcenter free coupon. 
When you sign up for any of the webmaster tools, when you buy products for your website, or when you receive that junk mail/email - don't throw it away!  USE IT!  That $50, $75, or $150 dollars worth of advertising is FREE!  I was able to use $350 worth of Google AdWords coupons and $50 worth of Microsoft Adcenter coupons from the 'junkmail' I recieved when I first set up my website.  Set up your ad settings to use only the free money and watch the visitors to your websites grow!

2.  Use Social Media. 
Plain and simple - use Social Media.  Do you only have a personal Facebook page?  Get that business page set up!  Make it easy to click and share via social media buttons on your main photography gallery website.  Watch how you are displaying the photographs in your gallery, because it will affect your SEO listings, especially if you are using Flash.  (We'll cover that another day.)  But most importantly...

1.  Post good content. 
Whether it is a blog post or a photograph to your gallery, stop and re-think why you are posting it.  Is it the type of quality post that you want to be associated with in when your site has a 1,000 followers?  Would you read it, re-tweet it, forward it to your friends, or want to buy that photograph?  If you even stumble at answering those questions - STOP!  Posting just to post will get you in trouble real fast.  Think, plan, and execute the plan. 

While this is not an exhaustive list, we will continue to post more business related articles as we move forward, sharing our success and our failures with you.  If you have suggestions on future business articles, leave a comment below. 

We hope you enjoyed, and will soon See You Behind the Lens...

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Dakota Visions Photography, LLC