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What to Consider before Paying for Ads

What to Consider before Paying for Ads

 

What to Consider before Paying for Ads

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Before you consider paying for advertising, have you asked yourself this important question…WHY should you advertise? Advertising takes your business one step ahead of your competitors; it generates awareness and markets your business to potential customers. Also, advertising is something you can control by planning ahead and aligning ads with a launch, event, or promotion (sale, special, etc.).

Before taking the next step into paying for advertising, here are a few questions you should ask yourself and things you should consider before taking the plunge:

  • Is my website easy to navigate?
  • Does my mission and vision validate my goals and will attract my target audience?
  • Is my branding and design visually appealing?

Website, Mission, and Branding are all things that should already be completed before you consider Advertising. Other than having a business plan and having a service or product available, these are the basic steps of marketing your business.

Other things you should consider or take action before Paying for Advertising:

 

Know Your Target Audience

Who is your audience? Are you targeting the right customers or clients? Targeting your audience is very important to your business. Why? This is a particular group who you are interested in or who might be interested in your business. They might be in the same area or location, fall into a particular demographic, or share the same beliefs or lifestyle, either way, this group is very important for your business.

 

Showcasing your Positive Testimonials

By showcasing your testimonials, it shows your vulnerability to future clients and shows empathy. Empathy is important in a business because it provides positive engagement, which will potentially drive productivity. If these testimonials are honest, positive and acceptable to display on your website, your website visitors will be more willing to work with you and your team. Showcasing testimonies helps build trust.

 

Track Everything

From social media followers and likes to page visits, you should know everything about your website. Yes, even the more difficult stats that might make you start doubting your business tactics. Start by understanding your website analytics, use traffic sources like Google Analytics to help you get started.

Have you tried everything from targeting your audience to tracking everything you own and you still aren’t seeing results? No need to panic. This just validates that you are ready to pay for advertising.

Paid advertising is any kind of advertising that you have to pay for, versus owned or earned advertising.

 

What types of ads are available to advertise your business?

There are many types of ads to consider. Text Ads are ads you usually see on the primary Google search page. Social Media Ads are done through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. They are quite popular and target based off of location, demographics, and preferences. Pay per click ads can be text or image-based and is a type of ad that allows you to advertise on a website and only pay when someone clicks on it. The ad methods mentioned above are just a few of the paid advertising options you have.

Paid advertising will amplify everything else you’re doing. More page views means more potential sales. Continue to track everything. You can remove, adjust, or add ads, as the needs of your business change.

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The Challenges of being an Entrepreneur

The Challenges of being an Entrepreneur

The Challenges of being an Entrepreneur

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Ready to be the next Sara Blakely, Tory Burch, Mark Zuckerberg, or Oprah Winfrey? It took more than luck to get them where they are today. It takes hard work, precision, dedication, and sometimes loneliness. Yes, you read that right; many entrepreneurs don’t tell you about the negative side effects of becoming an entrepreneur. One thing they really don’t tell you… it’s lonely at the top.

Let’s be real… being an entrepreneur is stressful. We hear so much about their successes, their hard work, overcoming challenges but not their actual struggle with becoming or being the CEO.  The pressure of the demands, responsibility, and uncertainty of your success is based on your decisions. It gets real REALLY quickly.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when starting a new business and becoming an entrepreneur.

 

People Problems

 

When starting a business, you will be interacting with a lot of different people, which means different personalities. People are dynamic, you might have the best team but keeping that work environment healthy takes a lot of time and effort on everyone’s part. Keep in mind, personal issues will arise at some point. How you handle the situation will determine how your team dynamics will be affected. Communication and respect is key.

When it comes to success, you will see sides of people you won’t expect. Your closest friends might be your biggest supporters. These friends could also surprise you and be extremely envious of your success that they can’t handle it anymore. From ghosting to confrontation, friends or even family members can be jealous or upset by your success and career goals. Don’t let that faze you. Friends come and go. Do what makes you happy. Stay humble and respectful and always remember that you are building YOUR empire.

 

Lack of Time

 

Running around and feeling like there aren’t enough hours in a day is an entrepreneur’s norm. If you’re feeling this, you aren’t alone. When creating an empire you will find yourself losing time. There are deadlines to meet, meetings to attend, phone calls to make…the list goes on and on. Your schedule is maxed out and the pressure is on. Before this becomes an issue, you should invest in a Time Management strategy: taking regular breaks or create a prioritization system. Take it slow and integrate these strategies slowly into your routine.

You will find that you are not going to have the time you use to to enjoy friends and family. This is going to cause a lot of stress on you and some friends might even stop inviting you to places. When we first started our business, all of the friends we use to party with and go out during the weekends just stopped inviting us to places since we never had time. We see them going out on Facebook and posting pictures of the good time they are having while we where taking a break from a deadline we had to meet on Monday. It's hard to get use to, but you are doing it for no one else other than for you.

 

Letting Go

 

Are stressful situations in the office lingering? Are you hurt by comments from ex-friends or family members? Or are you taking things a little too personally? Letting go is hard. As an entrepreneur creating something from scratch, you will be criticized for your decisions and your actions. You will start having doubts and believe in the naysayers. It is normal to feel this way. Challenge but normal.  Don’t let your stress or high anxiety get the best of you. You will find happiness in client reviews and completing a project.

 

Here are a few tips on how to manage stressful situations, your anxiety or depression:

  • Exercise: 30 minutes a day will help reduce your anxiety. Try: indoor cycling, running, walking outside (get some fresh air), or
  • Stretch: Simple Daily Stretches or Yoga, whatever fits your lifestyle
  • Separate your Work and Sleep, turn off your computer or cell phone an hour before you go to bed.
  • Create Tomorrow’s To-Do list: unload everything you need to do the next day. Planning ahead will take your mind off of what needs to happen today.
  • Find your Tribe: make new friends who have similar interests as you. Motivate each other.

 

If these don’t work and you are feeling too overwhelmed, please talk to someone. There are so many other entrepreneurs in the same situation right now. Having people depend on you to make ends meet is not an easy task or a light one. Always listen to yourself and recognize the signs of being depressed.

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5 Ways to make Your Business Stand out in a Crowd of Competitors

5 Ways to make Your Business Stand out in a Crowd of Competitors

5 Ways to make Your Business Stand out in a Crowd of Competitors

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Businesses today have to differentiate from their competitors, standout and be noticed.  There are plenty of ways for businesses to fail. One in particular is NOT standing out in a crowd of competitors. We aren’t trying to scare you but standing out is critical to a business’s success. It is difficult to accomplish but CAST design team is here to guide you. Here are a few ways to make your business stand out in a crowd of competitors:

 

1. Look Different

 

Make your brand recognizable and unique. It is all about positioning your business. Look at the Starbucks’ logo. This Seattle business was named after a nautical character and to continue the nautical theme, they chose a design reflecting the seductive imagery of the sea. There is no sign of a coffee bean or connection to coffee but it’s a unique story and easily recognizable.

We aren’t saying you have to think so far outside of the box but consider ways you can be more unique or different from your competitors. Whether it’s a unique logo, creative way to deliver your service or product, or showcasing your unique work environment, people like new and improved businesses strategies.

 

2. Excel in Customer Service

 

Delivering extraordinary customer service is ideal. Each response or interaction with your customers, fans or inquirers need to be professional and near perfect. Customers are contacting you because they want to be heard. Take the time to listen. Keep these three things in mind when responding to customers: Value, Satisfaction and Delivery. Do you think you can provide all three?

Do you work face to face with your customers? Make them feel like home, provide them with a water or a snack. Maybe ask them about their day, make a connection with them.

Take a look at these companies who have successfully interacted with their customers and have stellar customer service: Amazon, Chick-fil-A, and Trader Joes. Learn from other successful businesses and make sure you’re genuine.

 

3. Keep Your Word

 

There are several businesses out there thinking they can “BS” their way to the top. The best way to keep your morals aligned and your business successful in the long run is to keep your word. Customers go back to reliable, trustworthy brands, not brands that treat you different than what they promised you.

Focus on your niche and what you have advertised to the world. Ensure you are knowledgeable and can prove to your competitors and your customers with the best. If you say you are the best, people will come to you wanting the best. Keep your word and be true to what you are able to provide.

 

4. Show Up

 

Take the initiative to show up for your business, to support other businesses and advertise. Create a memorable experience, show up and be known. If someone asks for a proposal, ensure you contact him or her immediately. Give them more reasons why they should want YOU and your business.

Have you been invited to an event? Respond promptly and accordingly. If you say you’re going to show up, show up. Show your interest even if you are either declining the invite or accepting it. How you respond and how you show up, will differentiate you from the rest. Remember, actions speak louder than words.

 

5. What Goes Around, Comes Around

 

Similar to customer service, you should treat people how you want to be treated. Take the more difficult route and make an effort to be respectful and listen. One bad review can destroy your business. Keep your opinions to yourself; make sure you are professional and respectful. You never know who your future investors, competitors or customers will be.

As you can see, standing out will be hard work and not an easy task. If you do it right, your company will stand out from your competitors. By taking the right actions, you will not only outshine your competitors, but you can create unique partnerships and build powerful communities. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. We specialize in helping you stand out against competitors!

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3 Creative Ways for Clients to Keep Coming Back

3 Creative Ways for Clients to Keep Coming Back

3 Creative Ways for Clients to Keep Coming Back

Are you getting great reviews but not seeing customers return? Give them a reason to shop or work with you again.  We have 3 creative ways to keep your clients or customers coming back to your business.

 

1. Loyalty Program

 

Ready to let your customers know you are here to stay? Free merchandise, rewards, coupons, or teasers for a new product, show your customers that you appreciate their loyalty.  Create a Loyalty Program and use a tier system to reward initial loyalty and encourage more purchases. Give them a little extra. Panera is a great example of a successful loyalty program. After visiting their restaurant a certain amount of times loyalty members receive a free drink, $1 off, or a free small dessert.

If you offer a loyalty program, another way you can lure customers in is by building a community. Customers want to feel like they aren’t alone. Provide members with access to an event, small social gathering, or social media page where they can discuss your products, interact with you and your business and possibly bring in more customers. Let them know they aren’t alone, you appreciate their business, and that they are more than just a number.

 

2. Keep the experience fresh and relevant

 

Emailing, social media, and event advertisements are powerful ways to interact with your customers. Give them an experience that is fresh and relevant; send them promotions, changes, or updates. Send them an interactive quiz and the results are the products that are a perfect for them. Keep their interest by providing them a little extra such as a discount for taking the survey. Does your company offer cleaning services? Provide cleaning towels after the service is completed and add your logo so they won't forget you! Or maybe you own a car wash company. Give your customers with an air freshener. Keep them wanting to come back.  

If you want to learn more about your customers you can send them a survey asking for feedback and ways you can make their experience better. Make sure you take the time to read and truly listen to their needs, wants, concerns, and critiques (good, bad and the ugly). This will help you understand your followers and how you can make your business successful.

 

3. Show your appreciation

 

Express your gratitude. Clients and customers want to show how much they mean to you and your business. When sending a package, add a personalized note, thanking them for their business. If they are a returning customer this is even more so your time to shine! Send them a personalized email thanking them for their continued business. Interact with them on a level they don’t expect. People shop at and do business with places that they can relate to and that seem human. Building relationships will pay off.

The design of your website, flyers, and even social media should all be based on your logo design and brand established. Brand guidelines gives the creatives that you work with a set of rules that they must follow in order for your brand to look consistent. If you are working with different creatives.

As you continue to build your business, continue serving your customers as best as possible. Consider using one of the ways above to keep clients and customers coming back for your services or products and your business will soar.