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!
Professional looking but crappy websites make your Google Ads and Facebook Ads cost more AND send customers away!
I’ve written about the steps and time taken to create and maintain a business blog for your digital marketing. However, I haven’t even mentioned the time and effort that goes into optimising each and every blog post for the KEYWORDS that are important to us.
This task involves:
- Writing up “Tags”
- Keyword density
- Relevant landing pages
- Keywords in headings
The great thing about WordPress is that you can set up as many user profiles as you want and give your staff the access level they need to create and edit blogs.
They can’t really stuff it up because there’s an audit trail of changes and only someone with publishing rights can make the changes live (such as a WordPress administrator).
You could of course outsource your blog writing to someone on Upwork, Freelancer, or Airtasker, but that has it’s own set of challenges
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!
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.
Getting your own “branded” email is a cinch!
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE INTERNET HAS democratised many elements of starting your own small business, but, in particular, it has made marketing a small business a whole lot easier.
Another super easy thing to vastly help your business along is getting your own “branded email address”. What do we mean by a branded email address? Simply an email address that carries your branding in the domain name, for example: firstname.lastname@example.org versus the far less professional: email@example.com.
WHETHER YOU WORK as a bookkeeper in a small business, are self-employed with your own business, work as a freelancer or independent contractor (maybe even operating a side hustle), as a virtual assistant with a home office, or whether you work as an employee in a large organisation, morale is one of those things that tends to ebb and flow. Continue reading The Biggest Boost to Business Morale
THERE IS A FAIRLY SIGNIFICANT gender imbalance for executive positions in the corporate world. Sure, there are notable exceptions, but men in managerial positions in the workplace still outnumber women two-to-one.
But when you look at some industries, like Bookkeeping, the numbers are massively swayed towards the female gender and one of the reasons is it can be the perfect business to run from home.
Still unsure whether you can trust online ratings and reviews?
IT CAN BE HARD to know whether you can really trust online ratings and reviews, whether these reviews and ratings are objective and even relevant and how they compare to recommendations and testimonials. By recommendations we mean word of mouth referrals from your friends and family and so forth, and testimonials that have been written by real people — with real names and real locations!
In our recent post about recommendations we suggested that you ask a friend, relative or colleague if they’ve ever had experience with a business you’re thinking of using — chances are, if your friends live locally they may well have; or if the business is a chain or franchise operating over a wide area.
Also ask other businesses
When seeking a professional recommendation you can also ask other businesses. Find out what their experiences have been, if any. Often businesses will have a relationship with each other even if it is not, at first, apparent.
For instance, a symbiotic relationship tends to exist between real estate agents and tradespeople. Agents will regularly draw up a list of preferred tradespeople that they work with and recommend to their tenants, landlords and vendors.
And there are plenty of tradespeople who do the same for real estate agents that they’ve had professional dealings with. There are plenty of other examples of these sorts of professional recommendations.
Beware professional bias
Of course, just as you should be wary of overly positive or negative ratings and reviews online, you should be likewise when soliciting professional reviews. If one business regularly referred work by another, even if they don’t think they’re a great business to deal with, neither party will necessarily say anything bad about each other.
In the end, when looking for a tradesperson, real estate agent or some other professional service, be sure to do all your research. Ask around for personal referrals, check them up online, and get in touch with each business directly to see which one is the best fit for you.
Real people, real locations
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. Visit our website for more information and to see our wide range of courses.
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).
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.
Are you making the most of Google?
JUST AS YOU CAN USE Google Calendar to create a staff roster, you can also set up and create Google Calendar appointment slots. This is a fabulous way for businesses like hair and beauty salons to let their clients make appointments online.
To enable your clients to schedule appointments using Google Calendar, you’ll need to have a G Suite account for work (or school). G Suite accounts can be a little tricky to set up, but we have courses to show you how, and the beauty is, they come with a boatload of useful tools for small businesses — such as Google Sheets, Docs and Forms.
Create appointment types as staff
Before clients can book appointment times, you’ll need to set up the appointment types. For hair and beauty salons, you may consider setting your staff as the appointment types or the types of appointments you offer — cut and blow dry, foils, etc — so clients can pick the staff member or the appointment type they’d like to make an appointment with.
Create booking button
Use the link Google provides for your appointment page to create an ‘online booking’ button in Facebook or in WordPress, so client can easily access your online booking system from your Facebook page and website.
Move all bookings online
Online bookings won’t eradicate the need to take phone bookings, so it’s really important that you move your entire booking system online.
Our Google training courses show you how to setup your G Suite account, share calendars and more. Once you’ve setup your G Suite account, you’ll be able to create Appointment Slots and share your appointments page with clients. Visit our website for more information.
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. Find out more about the secrets behind LinkedIn and how you can find more work and more clients.
Facebook – Great for Local Marketing
In its decade of existence, Facebook has built up a wealth of data about its users, data that it likes to sell back to those who need it, in the form of targeted advertising. Facebook advertising, though similar in its approach, is very different to Google Adwords in what it delivers. Real estate agents discovered the value of Facebook advertising early, and have used a combination of images and videos to successfully deliver their marketing messages and sale pitches directly to their target market and in order to set their prices.
Be Local, Not Global
Real estate agents specialise in knowing their local area. It’s how they get listings and it’s how they find buyers for those listings. In a former post, when we talked about setting your prices, we suggested getting to know your market and who your customer are. As a contract bookkeeper, you can, in theory, work for any business, based anywhere in the world, but you should still specialise in your local area, the reasons for which are twofold:
- Fewer to compete with: This isn’t about being the biggest fish in the smallest pond. It’s about getting clients, and that’s what you want. If you’re based in Sydney, specialise in Sydney. Don’t try and compete with everyone in Australia, if you can just complete with Sydneysiders.
- Convenience: The truth is, lots of businesses still like to meet their contractors in person. If you’re happy to fly all over the country to earn your regular bookkeeping rate, then by all means. If you’d rather not, then look for clients that are nearby — in the same state, at least.
When you’re setting up your Facebook advertising campaign, instead of trying to target everyone interested in bookkeeping services in Australia, stick to your state or local area, depending on the size of the market for your services in your local area. Sure, this reduces the pool of potential people seeing your advertisement, but it also reduces the pool of potential competitors.
When Local is Appealing to Global Clients Too
And just a note on getting international clients: Try to land international clients who are looking for an Australian, because you have skills they need — you’re in the same country as their Australian clients, you understand Australian tax, and so forth. Remember also that Australian wages are higher than anywhere else in the world, so international businesses need to be willing to pay that because you provide a service or possess skills they can’t get elsewhere.
Our EzyStartUp Course covers researching the market, setting prices, and an introduction to marketing and business planning, plus much more. If you’re starting a bookkeeping business or you already have started on, enrol in our EzyStartUp course to ensure you’re not selling yourself short.
Alternatively, learn all about marketing your business online with our Marketing, Advertising and Sales courses.
Our Facebook Marketing Course which not only teaches you how to set up a Facebook Page, but how to use Facebook for business, how to advertise on Facebook; it also features our own real life case study.
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!
Knowing How to Make Your Blogs Puhretty, Like
So you want to digitise your business? Until I’m blue in the face, I keep telling anyone in business that content marketing is one of the most important online Digital marketing activities for businesses in operation today — particularly those with a website. Successful content marketing is about creating original, high quality content that’s relevant to your “potential” customers. It also needs to be high quality in every way (relevancy is integral to quality) and this involves every aspect of the content you’re creating — copy, layout and design. This ain’t always easy!
I’ve mentioned this elsewhere on this blog before, but I stand by my geeky analogy that great content is like an equilateral triangle, in that all parts must be equal. Copy, layout and design are the three sides of your content, and if you prioritise one aspect over one of the others, your content will be unbalanced, just as your triangle would be.
Blogging: The Staple of Content Marketing
How best to content market to your audience? Well, I’d go so far as to say that you can’t have effective content marketing without maintaining a blog. Setting up a blog is actually pretty easy, especially if you use a content management system like WordPress for your website and blog. With WordPress the the layout is pretty much taken care of for you — just choose a theme and away you go.
Many businesses outsource copywriting to a contractor or freelancer, which in our view, is a wise move. Unless you’re a clear writer who can articulate your point accurately and economically (a good writer will know that I’m talking about word count), then you should outsource it. You also have to rather enjoy doing it and be fast at it — otherwise, despite your best intentions, little will ever get published.
A Word on Google Images
So, to design. In the case of blogging, you usually select an image to illustrate your blog posts, which brings us to the subject of this blog post: understanding image rights. Unless you intend to use your own photos and images that you’ve taken or created yourself (hands down, one of the best ways to drive search engine rankings and increase reader engagement, just sayin’) and therefore own the copyright to, then you need to understand image rights first.
As a general rule, never ever use Google Images to find an image for your blog. That’s not to say that Google Images isn’t a great starting off point if you’re creatively spent and in need of some inspiration. I frequently punch a few keywords or phrases into Google Images to see if the results turn up, and then go back to my image library, which categorises images in a more literal sense than Google Images does.
******** SPECIAL LAUNCH OFFER ********
UPDATE: WordPress Courses, Content Marketing Course, Social Media Marketing, Facebook Pages, Updating the Facebook Timeline, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Pixel and Remarketing, Google Analytics and our Digital Business Course are now ALL included in our Digital & Social Media Marketing Course! That’s 6 courses for a VERY LOW price. Check it out and see the prices on our Enrolment Page so you can get a solid start to your digital marketing in 2017.
We showcase what we did at EzyLearn in 2008 and what we did for Derek Farmer (Cammeray Real Estate Agent) in 2015 to get onto page 1 of Google and in front of his entire database every day on Facebook
******** OFFER PRICE IS FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY ********
This has a lot to do with indexing and keyword usage; put simply, think of Google Images as your own personal brainstorming team. Traditionally, brainstorming has always worked best when there was more one person, but if you’re on your lonesome, then this is where Google Images comes in handy.
You punch in a few key phrases or concepts and you can see how other people have illustrated their websites and blogs, based on those same phrases.
What makes the images from Google Images dicey is that, as a search engine, it’s not beholden to the laws of copyright usage and image licensing; it’s up to you to do your due diligence and find out what the terms of the image’s license are.
Generally speaking, to use an image that you haven’t created, you must track down the creator and ask for permission to use it. Obviously, this would be a lengthy and arduous process if you had to do this for every image you found on the internet, so, thankfully, there are plenty of ways to find images where the copyright holder has already released the image with a license that allows specific uses.
Using an image in a way that isn’t allowed under the terms of its license is still considered copyright infringement, so make sure you’re certain you understand each image’s license before you use it on your blog or website.
Most online image libraries offer images with license terms that deal with:
- Type of use: Commercial or non-commercial use, with the first being any use of an image to sell or promote a product, service, or idea.
- Attribution: Credit may need to be given to the original creator of the image and required format (e.g. a link) specified.
- Modification: The image may have to be used unchanged, or you may allowed to modify it and create new images or materials from it.
- Number of uses: Some licenses may restrict the number of times an image can be used.
Of course, one way to avoid having to deal with image rights is to take your own pictures. As I said earlier, this not only gives your content its own personalised stamp of authenticity, but it also helps drive search engine rankings and reader engagement. This is very important in content marketing.
If you’re not able to take your own pictures, for whatever reason, then using an online image library is the best way to ensure that your content is not only looking great and will engage your customers, but that you’re also not contravening any copyright or licensing terms.
To learn more about content marketing, subscribe to our blog or register your interest in our forthcoming content marketing training course. If you’re a bookkeeper looking to start out on your own, or start a small business, find out more about our bookkeepers’ directory, where we do the content marketing for you to help you find work.