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The Peanut Butter and Jelly of Your Bottom Line

Good sales is a team sport, and working together, sales and marketing can be a powerful force for your business. As a marketer, I’ve helped sales take a corporate account from non-existent to closed in less than two months. I’ve worked with sales to position a product at the forefront of a trend that continues to drive sales today. And I’ve seen the ugly consequences of sales disconnected from marketing.

But working together, sales and marketing are like the peanut butter and jelly of your bottom line, making revenue more frequent and more profitable. The real trick is coming up with effective, non-invasive ways for ensuring this partnership happens. So I’ve come up with a list of tactics I use to get marketing and sales better aligned to boost sales and profits.

The Peanut Butter and Jelly of Your Bottom Line

Extend an Invitation

The most powerful way I’ve seen sales and marketing work together is by inviting marketing to existing sales status calls to learn and ask questions. For example, a target who was a casualty of the Great Recession was mistakenly kept on the sales pipeline list and sales passed her by, since she was no longer at the company. As a relationship marketer, I asked, “Where did she land?”

This question and a close partnership with a salesperson resulted in a new corporate client in less than two months that would not have happened otherwise.

3 Resolutions Every Small Business Owner Should Make

It’s a new year, which means it’s time to set goals you want to accomplish with as a small business owner. Rather than creating a list you’ll forget about by February, I’ve come up with three resolutions every small business owner should make to reap immediate results so you stay motivated all year. Write down your goals and publicly post them to help you and your team stay focused and committed to making this the best year yet.

Resolution 1: Outsource the Small Stuff

To help you focus on the most important activities that will have the biggest impact on your bottom line, outsource the small tasks that take up too much time or that aren’t a particular core competency. My post last month is a great place to start identifying where you can immediately free up valuable time so you can get back to work doing what you do best. Measure the value of this resolution by tracking the improvement of the outsourced job and/or the amount of time you’ve freed up and what you’re doing with that time instead.

How to Manage a Creative Freelancer When You Can’t Do it Yourself

Most small businesses do most of their marketing in-house but with the rise of services like Elance, it’s becoming easier and easier to outsource projects where time constraints or skills sets don’t allow you to do it yourself. Yet this can be difficult when you’re used to doing everything yourself. Having been both a creative freelancer and a client, I thought I’d share a few tips for effectively managing a creative freelancer when you can’t do the work yourself.

How to Manage a Creative Freelancer When You Can’t Do it Yourself

Write a Good Creative Brief

Working with a creative freelancer effectively starts and ends with communication. To make sure your starting the project off on the right foot, it’s important to take a moment to write down your brand, goals and reasons for the project, or a creative brief. This is an especially important if you haven’t worked with the freelancer before. since the creative brief will help scope their work and inspire them to deliver something worthy of you taking the time to outsource the work.  There are plenty of “How Tos” around writing a creative brief but I like this one from Watertight Marketing because it adds nuances that I think sets up your creative freelancer for success.

Checklist For Joining Small Business Saturday At the Last Minute

The mad dash to the holiday season is on and if you’ve fallen behind on marketing your business for Small Business Saturday, use this checklist for quick ways to participate in Small Business Saturday at the last minute.

Do Right Now: Register Your Business

There are several resources designed to help you connect with shoppers on Small Business Saturday simply by registering online. This doesn’t take more than a few minutes so do it right now.

  1. Small Business Saturday website is filled with free, customizable templates for creating digital and physical assets. Register to be includes in interactive maps that will help guide customers to your store and give your customers who use their American Express cards a special offer.
  2. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce who may be offering some special local support like Detroit’s Small Business Saturday Passport program to help promote your business further.

3 Ways For Small Business To Use Pinterest

Pinterest is one of my favorite sites for marketing products and services because its visual posts quickly convey a message. One of my clients is a supplier of precious and semi-precious jewels and I’ve been working with her to develop a digital marketing strategy to build and grow her e-commerce channel in the U.S. We included Pinterest in our strategy and noticed the value of the site for both internal needs as well as externally communicating information about her brand and her products. So I thought I’d share just three ways for small businesses to use Pinterest in their marketing that we like best.

3 Ways For Small Business To Use Pinterest

Brand Position

Pinterest is an ideal forum for positioning your company, brand or product because what you pin reflects who you are. My client’s company, for example, supplies responsibly sourced gems so we’ve built Pinboards with useful and relevant resources around responsible sourcing, the importance of conflict-free gems, etc. These boards helped her gather information we use in our own content and has helped her clarify the company’s brand, even internally. Additionally, these boards have begun to build audiences of people who find this type of information valuable and are drawn to her blog and company site to learn more. These audiences now associate her company, or Pinterest account at least, with responsible jewelry sourcing, exactly the market position we’re taking.

Leverage Local Marketing in Metropolitan Villages

People moving from the countryside into cities is nothing new but unlike past generations, we Millennials prefer to live in the very heart of the city.  This preference has led to a reduction in car ownership rates and an increase in small apartment living. Small businesses serving these growing metropolitan  villages can leverage local marketing to address the unique needs of this group. Here are some ideas for how to start.

Leverage Local Marketing in Metropolitan Villages

Mobile Marketing

People walking around an urban neighborhood are ripe for the mobile marketing picking. iBeacons in display windows can push messages to people walking by to entice them to grab a sweet treat from a bakery, to invite them to try on that dress during business hours, or to offer them free local delivery on their next copy order.

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