The cost of paying for somebody to click your ad on Google can be anywhere from $1 to $10: that’s for just a click! So what does it end up costing to get somebody to call you or email you? This is a big dilemma for many small business owners looking for new clients. In fact, sometimes it might seem easier to just send a good, old-fashioned letter!
While I was getting my hair cut the other day, I casually asked the hairdresser how her business was doing. Now this woman is a highly experienced and personable stylist who runs a modern and professional-looking salon with terrific co-workers.
Yet she lamented the fact that business was quiet and she was struggling to get new clients.
So what’s going wrong?
When I started my first business in Sydney’s Dee Why in the early 1990’s, I was amazed that most restaurants and cafes, as well as other retail shops like dress shops, didn’t even know who their customers were!
Many business owners knew their customers by face, but they missed out on lots of opportunities to market and make contact with these customers when business was slow or they were overstocked. Are you working your database?Continue reading Is Business Quiet? Need More Money/Sales? Use a Database!
‘Social proof’ is testimonials, reviews and feedback of others, that vouches for the product or service we’re thinking of buying. Social proof backs up the fact that what we’re considering buying is what it says it is.
Come see some social proof about EzyLearn by meeting some students from the past few weeks
Continue reading Are EzyLearn students just like YOU?
— you just might have a lot in common with them.
Happy New Year and I hope you earn more in 2019
Setting goals is not just about earning more money but at this time of year many people spend their time thinking about how much they want to earn and what type of work they want to do.
Although earning money seems like a goal the real goals you should be setting are more practical and relate to what’s currently going on in your life. We’ve been working on some new initiatives and I hope you take advantage of them to have an extra source of income. Continue reading FREE Digital Marketing Seminar Presentation
THE TRUTH IS, writing a blog post takes time. If it were the case of just writing some sentences, it wouldn’t take that long at all.
But what’s the point of that? The last thing you want to do in a busy, information-saturated world is waste people’s time. It’s an insult and you’ll put them off.
After all, these people have given up time in their busy days to read what you have to say. Don’t ruin this special relationship forever by churning out rushed, poor quality content or waffle.
Always think: What’s in it for them? Continue reading How Long Does it Take to Write a Blog Post?
MANY YEARS AGO I spent $100,000 in advertising in one year. But I didn’t make truckloads of money and became utterly exhausted with the sales process. Yet I still see companies using this approach today: Selling short courses for over-inflated prices to recoup the money they spend on advertising.
When I spent that exorbitant chunk of money on advertising, I then had to hire more people to sell the courses. I had to train these people about what was in the courses, and train the trainers and, well to cut a long story short, spend so much more on resources and overheads that I didn’t make a huge sum of money out of the whole venture at all.
Is MYOB doing too little of too much?
Every business needs a web presence, and it’s become a lot cheaper and easier to get one. Where it once could cost many thousands of dollars to have a web designer get your business online, you can now build your own website yourself, quite cheaply.
That’s due to the number of cheap open-source content management systems that have come the market, like WordPress (by far, the market leader), then there is Wix, Squarespace, and even Google Sites (part of Google’s G Suite productivity apps for business). Our online WordPress Training Courses include the basic creating and editing of website pages and blogs posts to more advanced features only available to WordPress Site Admins.
You might find it interesting that MYOB offers a website service and it makes me wonder whether MYOB has the single focus on building the best accounting software for small business or jumping into any and every new technology it can to see which one sticks.
MYOB is also into websites
About five years ago, MYOB, in partnership with Google, launched a website creation tool called Atlas as part of an initiative called “Getting Business Online.” Atlas enables MYOB customers to create a business website, get a domain name, connect an e-commerce site, and social media platforms for $30 a month.
I put together a series of emails which explains in a logical order how domain names, hosting & websites work…
and it’s free so check it out if you want to learn on that technical stuff!
Because they’ve partnered with Google, the sites promise to “rank well on Google search,” but there’s no flexibility to manage your SEO or integrate with any SEO tools. In fact, for your $30 a month, you don’t get much flexibility at all — not in the choice of themes (they’re limited), adding corporate branding, to connect email marketing services, template changes, and so on.
MYOB wants to be the ERP platform for small business
Back when the internet was still fairly new, MYOB used to have a partner program in place with hosting companies to help their clients run multi-user programs in the cloud. When MYOB realised they could be earning that money themselves, they shut the program down and did what they have often done — disregarded their partners and their businesses completely.
MYOB have gained a bit of a reputation for this sort of thing — starting up, and then abandoning, partner programs. Over the years, perhaps due to the complexity of their software, they’ve tried to establish themselves as the enterprise reporting planning (ERP) software of choice for mid-size businesses, but they’ve struggled with already established specialist brands. The MYOB Atlas website creation tool is another example of just that.
The cloud, focus and commitment
With established platforms like WordPress, which is easy and cheap to use, and highly customisable, this might just be another missed opportunity for MYOB. These website design platforms are built around the concept of open source software and WordPress is surrounded by thousands of theme and plugin developers which provide the integration for some pretty advanced features in an easy to use interface. We made the change to WordPress after going with a Site Builder program which ended up closing down and no longer being supported – it’s a huge waste of energy and resources when you have to start all over again!
Unlike MYOB, Xero realised early that online software is about being a specialist in a given field, so they integrate with lots of different specialist platforms and systems so small businesses can connect the applications they need. I’ll be writing about some of these Xero integrations soon.
Reviews tell a whole lot more
IT CAN BE DIFFICULT to tell whether online ratings and reviews are real or not. One easy way to get a pretty good idea of what’s real and what’s not is checking for a balance of positive and negative ratings and reviews that have been left by real people who’ve used their Gmail or Facebook account.
Reviews are better than ratings
If you’re a person who relies on ratings and reviews to make purchasing decisions, you’ll know you can’t really tell the trustworthiness of a businesses if it only asks customers to leave a rating (usually out of 4 or 5). Similarly it’s hard to tell what people really think of a business if they’ve only left ratings rather than reviews.
Businesses with a good mixture of ratings and reviews, where a customer has been able to leave a comment justifying the rating they gave the business, make it much easier to make a decision.
Check the content of reviews
You don’t need to read thousands of reviews for a business, but it helps to read a few of them to see what customers are saying. This also helps determine whether these reviews are truly independent or not.
What are reviewers actually commenting on, and if they’re negative, is there a pattern? Is a local restaurant consistently understaffed or does a plumber often fail to turn up on time? Are the complaints about things that would concern you or are they petty — a long queue at a cafe that still serves good food and coffee, for example.
Positive reviews provide useful information
If the reviews of a business are mostly positive, do they provide any useful information? Hundreds and hundreds of reviews that simply say “great” or “fantastic” don’t tell you enough about what customers thought were great or fantastic about that business.
People might have really liked something that doesn’t suit your needs. It is also a good indicator that they’re not entirely true or real reviews either.
At EzyLearn we provide testimonials from our students, which include their full name and location, and why they chose EzyLearn to study in the first place. We also offer a money-back guarantee and free samples of our course content, so students know they can trust they’re making the right choice.
Want to brush up your skills in cloud accounting software? Ready to progress to intermediate or advanced levels in MYOB, Microsoft Excel, Xero or another accounting package? Need help with social media? Take a look at our wide range of online course options or visit our website for more information.
Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses.
Record retail inventory quickly
IN A PREVIOUS POST we discussed how Expensify, an app which you can link to your Xero accounting software, can help businesses like yours’ keep track of expenses easily, accurately, and securely.
And while it’s a great expense app for professional services businesses or tradespeople, Expensify is also great for retail and online shops or hospitality businesses.
Input data and send to Xero
Shops and hospitality businesses require inventory or stock — and lots of it. But it results in an accounting and bookkeeping nightmare at the end of the month when it needs to be entered into Xero and then recorded against sales. Of course, we suggest business’ try to reconcile their transactions more regularly than just at the end of every month.
Take a photo of bills and invoices from suppliers and upload them to Expensify, which will input all of the data and then send it through to Xero.
Create expense reports
Online and offline retailers don’t have to worry about this too much unless they also produce their own products, but for cafes and restaurants that host functions or cater for events, separating the expenses directly related to those functions and events is an important way to track their profitability.
Automatic approvals cut bookkeeping time
By turning on the automatic approvals feature and setting expense rules, you can cut your bookkeeping time by having recurring or trivial expenses automatically approved and sent to Xero, so you can spend more time on the complicated ones that require closer inspection.
By keeping an eagle eye on your expenses using Xero and Expensify you’ll be able to see precisely where your business is most profitable and where it’s not so you can modify it accordingly.
Are you in business as a bookkeeper, tradesperson, retailer, trainer or real estate agent and want to stand out from the crowd? We can teach you the online marketing techniques to help you do just this! Check out what’s included in our comprehensive Social Media and Digital Marketing online training courses.
Case Study: Costs for starting up a second, related business
A LOT OF BUSINESS OWNERS branch out into related fields when their flagship business becomes successful enough (just look at Jim’s Mowing). However, this can be a bit dicey if the business owner doesn’t properly forecast all the start up costs. Not doing so can not only have an adverse impact on the new venture, but also on the existing business.
In this case study, we’re going to look at the start up costs associated with starting a real estate sales business.
Meet Jerry, our budding entrepreneur
Jerry is a male in his 40’s, currently working as an agent for a local asbestos removal company, earning a commission for helping the company make sales. In this role, he works as an independent contractor, invoicing the asbestos removal company at the end of the month. Because of the work he does, Jerry meets with lots of homeowners (and business owners too) who are renovating their home in preparation to put it on the market for sale or rent out.
Because of the client contact base Jerry is always developing, and knowing that there is no conflict of interest, Jerry decides he’d like to branch and become a real estate salesperson.
Budgeting for a new business from home
Jerry decides to operate his real estate sales business from home, as he plans to operate it as a side business, at least initially. Jerry won’t need to lease office space, but there are the following costs he will need to budget for. The costs he foresees are approximate:
- Real estate license training course: $2,250
- Website setup costs: $300 + training (if required)
- G Suite account: $5/month upwards + training (if required)
- Mobile phone: $55/month upwards
- Business cards, flyers, other marketing materials: $99 upwards
Jerry’s ad-hoc operational costs
Although the majority of Jerry’s operational expenses will be reimbursed by the vendor once the property is sold — property marketing, auctioneer costs, etc. — Jerry will need to ensure he has enough capital to cover these operational costs. Property marketing costs are determined based on a percentage of the property’s value, usually 1 percent but sometimes lower. The median price of property in Jerry’s area is $440,000.
Because Jerry is already working as an independent contractor, he doesn’t have to incur any other operational costs (office furniture, internet, information technology, etc.), however his bookkeeper may apportion these costs differently now that Jerry is operating an additional business.
Determining upfront capital required
Jerry already has two homeowners who are thinking of selling their home in the next 12 months. He estimates that based on the value of each property, he will need to spend $5,000 each on property marketing. Therefore, he’ll need at least $13,370 in startup capital to fund his new venture for the next 12 months — although he knows that the initial $20,000 in property marketing will be reimbursed to the business within 6 months.
How Jerry will measure his success
Jerry is located in Newcastle in the Hunter region of New South Wales. Clearance rates in this region hover around 70 percent and properties spend an average of 50 to 70 days on the market, as property is typically sold by private treaty rather than auction. These two metrics will be used to determine Jerry’s success. Price is not a good indicator, as the nature of property sales means Jerry should be valuing property accurately with only a 10 to 15 percent difference in the final sale price.
Jerry should also research other real estate agents selling similar property in his local area to determine how many sales they are writing each calendar year. This can become another benchmark for Jerry’s success, although only a peripheral one, as Jerry is still only operating his real estate business on the side.
You can use Excel to work out a budget for the start up costs for your second business, and use accounting software like Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks to forecast whether your existing business will have the capital to fund your new venture.
Successfully promoting your business products and services to clients these days requires a sound knowledge of how to spread the word via social media. Whatever your field, we can teach you the online marketing techniques to stand out from the crowd and build your customer base! Check out what’s included in our comprehensive Social Media and Digital Marketing online training courses.
When Should I Use PowerPoint Audio?
BEING THAT MOST PowerPoint presentations are created as a visual aid to accompany a speech — although there is just so much more you can do with PowerPoint — you may find yourself wondering when it’s ever appropriate to use audio in your PowerPoint presentation, and if it is appropriate, what kind of audio?
First off, there are two kinds of audio you can use in a PowerPoint presentation: pre-recorded audio and audio you record yourself. You’ll learn how to record and insert your own audio files into PowerPoint in our PowerPoint Training Course.
When you might use pre-recorded audio
If you’ve ever fiddled around with PowerPoint, you’d notice there are a few audio sounds you can use insert into your slides. They’re mostly generic sound effects, like the sound of waves or a bird chirping. To be honest with you, none of these are ever appropriate in a PowerPoint presentation, except in some really obscure instances. Or less obscure ones, like a training course teaching you how to insert pre-recorded audio into PowerPoint!
You can also add pre-recorded audio that you have on your computer, like a song from your music library. Again, there are few instances when this is necessary, but it’s another option nonetheless.
Adding audio you record yourself
And here is where the answer to using audio in PowerPoint really lies. You can record your own audio, using QuickTime if you’re an Apple user, or Sounds Recorder if you’re using an older version of Windows; otherwise you can also record it on your mobile or digital recorder and import it onto your computer.
You would use this audio if you were going to upload your presentation to your website for a webinar, or for people to watch online afterwards. EzyLearn uses it in some of of online training courses. You could use audio in your induction training courses, too.
At EzyLearn we offer an abundance of online training courses to help you up-skill and find employment.
Choose from our wide range of:
- cloud-based online accounting software courses
- business start up and small business management courses
- marketing and sales courses OR
- update and further your skills in a range of Microsoft Office programs: Excel, PowerPoint, Word or social/digital media training courses and WordPress web design.
Why It Pays to Call the Switchboard When Doing a Reference Check
I recently had a conversation with a colleague who said she’d never once been asked to produce a copy of her university degree or her transcripts, despite stating on her resume that she’d graduated with a high distinction average.
Gee, I thought, not once? Not a single recruiter or employer had ever requested a copy of her degree? I found this fact astonishing, particularly since more professions require, by law, certain qualifications — as BAS agents are, for example. So how people know my friend wasn’t fibbing in her credentials? Fact is, they didn’t.
Check, even if you use a recruiter
I wrote a blog some time ago about recruiting on LinkedIn and why it’s so important to check references for yourself. People often underestimate the importance of checking a person’s credentials, so long as they get a reference from their last employer. Often, though, most people only provide a mobile number for their references, so whether you’re speaking to the candidate’s former employer, a co-worker, or their mum is sometimes anyone’s guess.
I was reminded of how important reference-checking is again, when I was reading a couple of articles on Longreads, and I found myself utterly fascinated by two of the biggest cases of journalistic fraud ever committed (though I admit to having never heard of them before the weekend, despite one occurring more than 30 years ago).
Sometimes people don’t just lie on their resume
In the first instance, a journalist named Janet Cooke fabricated a story for The Washington Post about an 8-year-old heroin addict. She won a Pulitzer Prize for it in 1981, and then had to give it back when it came out that there was no such 8-year-old. In the second case, Jayson Blair, a journalist for The New York Times, was found to have fabricated or plagiarised 36 out of 73 stories written over a 6-month period, in what turned out to be the biggest scandal in the newspaper’s hundred-plus year history.
What I found most intriguing, though, was that neither Cooke nor Blair had been properly vetted before their employers hired them. In fact, it was Cooke’s falsified resume that was ultimately her undoing when, after receiving the highest honour in the field of writing, a former employer noticed something was amiss with her Pulitzer biography — her education and professional achievements had been grossly overstated. (Rather ironically it was Bob Woodward, of Woodward and Bernstein — the journalists who uncovered the Watergate Scandal — who signed off on hiring Cooke.)
The same would prove true for Blair, who, it turned out, never graduated from university, and had a murky work history with the Times’ sister publication, The Boston Globe, where his superiors had been less than impressed with his less-than-high standard of work.
(Of course, the equally interesting case of Australian author, Helen Demidenko, who won the Miles Franklin Award in the early 1990s, only to later be dubbed by the Sydney Morning Herald as a ‘literary hoax’ also springs to mind.)
Benders-of-truth almost always get caught
Plenty of people lie or embellish on their resumes, and while a good majority of them go unnoticed, others are caught out — sometimes very publicly, and often only after the organisation has been very publicly embarrassed, as in the case of Cooke and Blair.
My advice, then, is to always check the references of new hires meticulously. Rather than calling the mobile numbers or direct lines of the candidate’s references, call the main switchboard and ask to speak to that person’s manager or superior.
And always ensure to ask for a copy of any credentials, like university degrees. If you’re employing someone where, by law, they’re required to hold a certain qualification — as is the case for BAS agents, for instance — it’s imperative you can verify the person’s credentials.
At EzyLearn we offer online training courses to help you up-skill and find employment. Choose from our range of cloud-based online accounting software courses, to business start up and management courses, to marketing and sales courses, or update and further your skills in a range of Microsoft Office programs (Excel, PowerPoint, Word) or social media and WordPress web design).
Social Media Marketing Course for 2017
Digital marketing is one of those fine arts that sometimes takes many attempts to get right and I’m guilty of that myself. I wrote a couple blogs recently about content marketing because I spend a lot of my time creating and modifying strategies, optimising and planning the content that my team creates for EzyLearn and other websites. However, I think many people are unfamiliar with what the term “content marketing” means — my mistake! I should have used the words that most small businesses associate with online and digital marketing: “SOCIAL MEDIA”!
Social Media Course — We Include EVERYTHING
So, now that I know social media is the keyword, I’m going to explain how every course we offer ties into your Facebook advertising and Facebook Page and why all of these aspects are important to you if you are going to spend more time and money building a strong online brand.
No matter who you are or what you do you will need content and you will use that content to promote you and the services you provide. I have been using all of these tools to help convert EzyLearn into an “online only” training company in 2006 but I was able to explore how to provide these services to real estate agents when I managed the social media strategy for Derek Farmer, a real estate agent in Cammeray at the time. Here are the content options we had to play with:
Photographs and Images
Images are used in Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and on your blog (if you have one). They are used to make a blog easier to read and in industries like real estate where good photography is important to get a high price and make a successful sale they are used to showcase the product being sold. I recently spoke to an asbestos removal company and photographs of what they do and how they do it are also an important part of their “content”.
We show you how to include images in blogs and even include fundamental image editing skills using GIMP (it’s very powerful and it’s free!)
EzyLearn has several hundred videos as part of our online training courses and sometimes we use them to give prospective students examples of our training, explanations about how our special offers work or even videos of me explaining the EzyLearn journey since the late 1990’s! Real estate agents like Derek Farmer use video to help educate property sellers about the various aspects of the property selling process and what to look out for.
We show you how to get your video up to YouTube, or more professional services like Wistia and show you the analytics you can get about your video viewers and how to make a better video next time — it’s all about drop off rates. We also show you how to get a Call-To-Action within the video itself.
Blog marketing is my personal favourite because I love writing; you can really play with the keywords that Google loves so much and you can fill a website up with content that shows you are active.
We teach you how to create a website, create web pages AND blog posts, how to optimise them for the keywords you want to be discovered for and how to measure and understand the visitor analytics.
Facebook Pages, Timeline Posts, Advertising and Remarketing
This is the one that EVERYONE is interested in and for good reason; the demographic targeting is fantastic. Facebook is becoming increasingly important for real estate agents to promote themselves — indeed, Social Estate and BuddyBid are just two companies getting in early to earn a couple of hundred dollars a month for each real estate agent they take on board.
Note: This is something that any work at home mum (or dad) can do! You just need to understand how to generate new content or “republish” other interesting content on a Facebook Timeline and how to create a Facebook Ad. We cover all of this in our Social Media Marketing Course.
Our written guide and training course videos show you how to set up a Facebook Page for a local business (ideal for tradies, service providers like accountants or bookkeeper and of course real estate agents). By using a Facebook page you can assign the administration of that page to someone who simply schedules posts — that someone can be YOU.
Most people with a Facebook Page then need to make sure their Timeline is filled with content so that they pop up regularly in local news feeds.
Feeding Your Facebook Timeline
Most people think it’s important to create a Facebook post every day but that’s hard to do if you need to generate original content. Instead most people re-post other content that is relevant to the audience — this is often referred to as curated content (for instance, where you make a comment or affirm your belief in an article).
Real estate agents often simply refer to the plethora of real estate blogs available and here are some examples used by David Howe, an honest and diligent McGrath agent in Northbridge, Sydney, who asked our designer team to create a website for him:
This method of posting other people’s content is good enough to show that your Facebook Page is active. However, from an internet marketing perspective it tends to send people away from your Page and onto other websites where your competitors might advertise — especially if you report material by ratemyagent, openagent, realestate.com.au or domain!
In our social media marketing course we show you how to make a post like this and schedule them all in advance but also how to get your own unique content and how to link to content where none of your competitors are listed.
Facebook ads are relatively simple to create so there is NO reason to get someone else to do them (particularly if they’re going to charge you the equivalent of 4 hours’ labour!). The key elements of a Facebook Ad are their structure: Campaigns, Adsets, then individual ads and once you get that right and understand how it works, creating a Facebook Ad can be done by someone in your office or who you trust (again, a work at home mum).
We show you the type of posts and ads that Derek Farmer paid to promote in his local area, why he chose to do it, how much he paid and what his viewer and reader statistics were. We’ll also show you how to advertise to your own client base in their Facebook Feeds and how to remarket to people who’ve been to your website or Facebook Page.
WordPress, Hosting, User Management etc
I believe that your own website is the best “landing page” for any marketing money spent because YOU OWN IT. The more traffic you direct to your own website and the more content you put there that is valuable to your customers and future potential customers the more valuable YOU and YOUR WEBSITE will become.
In our Social Media Marketing Course we include every aspect of how to manage your own website using the very popular WordPress Content Management System. This includes having multiple users be able to publish content. We also teach you how to optimise your blogs and pages for important keywords using tags and categories, how to use meta tags on your pages and even on images so everything gets indexed by Google and how to make your website look fantastic with professional themes (templates).
Lead Capture and Email Marketing
Having a call to action on your website or Facebook Page is critical to truly analyse it’s effectiveness and understand it’s success — what’s working and what needs to change. A very important part of that is to capture the email address of people who visit your site and most websites do that using a giveaway, free reports, white papers etc. Once you have a potential clients email address you effectively have permission from them to send them email messages.
We use a number of different email marketing solutions including Campaign Monitor and Aweber, and these are very similar to MailChimp, GetResponse, Constant Contact and a plethora of other email marketing solutions. We’ll show you how to use these systems to capture website visitor details and send them messages automatically.
Capturing, Analysing and Understanding visitor traffic
Google Analytics is the most popular website traffic analysing system and you can use it to measure the effectiveness of your website day-by-day, week-by-week and for specific date ranges.
We show you how to implement the code on your website, how to access the visitor traffic information on your PC and even your mobile phone and what elements to look for to understand what your website is doing.
Conclusion about Social Media Marketing Course
We do all of this using our own website examples as well as Derek Farmers website so you can see what real businesses do to succeed online. Whether you want to do all of this yourself, hire an experienced internet marketer or find a suitably qualified work at home mum (or dad) this course will give you an abundance of knowledge and strategies to manage what you do.
See what’s included in our Social Media Marketing Course and enrol today at a huge launch discount!
[button link=”http://ezylearnonline.com.au/courses/marketing-training-courses/digital-marketing-social-media-courses/” color=”orange”] Social Media Marketing Course Contents[/button]
Specials and Summer Training
But best of all, we’re offering a fabulous special offer with a saving of over $300. Check out the quick video below which shows you how to get $663 dollars worth of training for just $296 — a saving of $337!
All you have to do is choose your courses at our Online Course Enrolment page and the discounts will be applied automatically.
Get New Skills for A New Year!
With the New Year coming fast we find most of our students are looking to change careers and/or up-skill so as to feel confident with their computer skills in job interviews and the like, so our current special offers will train you up to be your best, cheaply. Here’s all you need to do:
- Choose Microsoft Excel course (12 month’s access, all 9 courses and Certificate).
- Scroll down to the discounted courses section to see the Xero Training Course available for $30 less.
- Scroll down further to see the Microsoft Word Course (12 month’s access, all 9 courses and Certificate), which is normally $267 is now FREE
- Tick the box next to “Yes, I have a discount voucher code” and enter 8881818 to receive a further $70 discount off the Microsoft Excel course!
If you don’t have the time right now, don’t worry, you’ve got 12 months to complete all these courses at your own pace — so just enrol now to get the current special offers.
Watch this video to see how to get the discounts
New Online Courses for the New Year
It’s been a very busy year for new course creation and we’ve just launched two new courses that are all based on new online cloud-based services in bookkeeping and marketing/advertising. Read about them here:
Provide quotes on your tablet computer, convert them to invoices when you get the order and take photographs of your receipts for expenses — works on your smartphone too. These are the features of America’s most popular accounting software program that is now aggressively promoting itself to Australian small businesses.
And what do we think? We believe QuickBooks is good software — find out more about our Intuit QuickBooks Daily Transactions Course.
Our New Digital & Social Media Marketing Course
Tired of struggling to post consistently on Facebook and other social media sites? We’ve had a WordPress course for several years to teach you how to create your own website and blog, edit images, and optimise it for search engines (like Google). But if you’ve ever struggled with fleshing out a Facebook Page, or want to start promoting yourself or your business in social media, try our Digital Business and Social Media Marketing Courses.
We show you what you should include on a modern day website as well as including Facebook Page, Content Marketing and Facebook Advertising training (which we used to help Derek Farmer show up on Page 1 in Google for the competitive Cammeray Real Estate Agent search query).
Most of all, from all of us here at EzyLearn, HAVE a FANTASTIC and SAFE Christmas — doing things you love!
The Value of Content Marketing
January, February and March of a new year, which is typically the quietest as people take a while to adjust to the work and school routine, is when a lot of businesses spend time setting goals for the year ahead.
Just as individuals set their own personal new year’s resolutions, many businesses use January and February to set some new year’s resolutions for their business’s marketing activities.
Business Blogs vs Paid Advertising
In 2016, there was an unprecedented uptick in the number of Australian businesses using content marketing to help drive their search engine rankings, increase customer engagement, and position themselves as opinion leaders in their industry. If the last 12 months is anything to go by, then, it’s fair to say 2017 will continue the content marketing trend.
Yes, I’ve been talking about content marketing a lot on this blog lately, as it’s a marketing strategy EzyLearn has been using, almost exclusively, for many years now, with much success — you are reading this blog post, after all!
EzyLearn and our partners continue to help many businesses establish their brand and build credibility online using content marketing — something we continue to do to great effect for real estate agents, to name but a few. Whether you are an agent, bookkeeper, small business owner, or just have dreams to start working for yourself, why not register your interest in our up and coming content marketing course.
Great Content is Like an Equilateral Triangle – All the Sides are Equal
As popular as content marketing has become in the last few years, many people still don’t quite understand that great content marketing requires you to pay equal emphasis on each component. This includes the word content itself in an ebook or enewsletter for instance, but also the layout and design, the SEO etc. It also needs to be free of typos!
I know, in the past, I’ve probably been guilty of rushing to publish content on our website because I’m so eager to share what we’ve created with you. But for content marketing to be successful in the long term, it needs to be approached holistically. In other words, the copy is equally as important as the design and the layout; the messages need to be consistent and you need to keep communicating with your customers — it can’t be hit and miss.
Just as every side in an equilateral triangle must be created equal, so too do you have to consider all components equally when content marketing.
Outsourcing is Okay
As a small business, you probably have at least one person in your team who is either a) design inclined; or b) a good, strong writer. If you’re really lucky, you may have both, but it’s not uncommon for a business to need to outsource part of this work to a professional, usually on a contract or freelance basis.
Take stock of the talent you have in-house already. If you have a competent designer, utilise them and outsource the writing to a professional. It’s unwise to try and do everything yourself. Producing high quality content is a time-consuming process, made even more so if there’s a particular aspect of it — the writing, say — that you’re not proficient at.
I would say that most business owners do most of what I would loosely term ‘designing’, themselves, which in the case of blogging is choosing an image that accurately reflects the message you’re trying to communicate in the main copy.
Think Outside the Stock Box When it Comes to Photos for Your Blogs
There is a certain art to selecting images for your blog. You want to avoid using ones that every other blogger is using, which means ditching your regular Google Images haunt and using a stock library instead. But this is where you need to do your research.
Many free stock libraries serve up the same images that you find in Google Images, which brings you back to square one. They’re also incredibly boring. At this point, next logical option probably seems like paying for a membership to a stock library.
Again, research is required here. Not all stock libraries, even paid ones, are created equally. Well known libraries — iStock Photo, for example — are expensive, while the other, lesser known ones are still boring. So what’s a content marketer to do? Get creative.
Take Your Own Digital Marketing Images With Your Smartphone
Remember, content marketing is about creating original, high quality content that’s relevant both to your customers and to your business. With this in mind, rather than paying for expensive stock photography and images, why don’t you take your own? There’s nothing more original and relevant to you and your customers than your own photography.
Publishing original content on your blog and website, whether it’s in the form of images, copy or videos (or all of the above), the harder it will work at driving your search engine rankings, while, at the same time, the personalised approach will have a longer lasting impression on your readers and customers.
Prioritise Content Marketing in 2017
Bookkeepers especially — take note!
If you’re a bookkeeper looking to start your own bookkeeping business and find yourself clients, or grow you list of clients, and content marketing isn’t already on your agenda for 2017 — it should be.
In terms of having the experience and know-how to content market to people we know what our students need to be successful to this end, after all, most EzyLearn students use our services for MYOB Training Courses, Excel Training Courses, Xero Courses and Small Business Management Training because they’re looking for bookkeeping work or want to start a bookkeeping business. Very early in the piece we started finding out why our students did our courses because it enables us to develop targeted products (and write content about) what they need.
Join our Bookkeeping Directory TODAY
We’ve launched a new bookkeeping directory which is aimed at helping people (our students primarily) find bookkeeping work or start a bookkeeping business, but it’s also a great way for small businesses to find bookkeepers who are close to them. We’re also taking registrations for our content marketing online course.
To find out more about how you can be more than just a bookkeeper, and start a bookkeeping business, including promoting your bookkeeping services to a much wider circle of people and engaging in content marketing, read more about listing yourself on National Bookkeeping.
If you’re interested in content marketing, either for your business or because you’d like to become an independent contractor offering content marketing services to other business, you can learn more by subscribing to our blog.