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Entrepreneur Tips

Three Quick Tips on How to Build Strong Customer Relationships

Building customer relationships is a fundamental process that you need to master in order to run a successful business. But what is customer relationship truly defined as?

Does it mean that you have to send out a birthday card to every customer?

When you have been around the digital marketing block as much as I have, you pick up on the value of customer feedback and use their insights to strengthen your relationships, thus building a strong foundation to support a successful business.

So, to maximize all of your website’s potential, today we are going to focus on how to build customer relationships that can help grow your business. You’ll want to focus on the following key elements to really distinguish yourself from your competition and to elevate yourself in the eyes of those that really matter – clients.

1. Build Up Customer Trust

Everyone can agree — as cliché as it may sound — that a strong relationship is rooted in an even stronger foundation of trust.

Especially when it comes to digital marketing. Trust is everything. If a customer doesn’t trust your expertise because your business website is lacking meaningful information about your company, services, or reputation, chances are they won’t be providing you any of their own information that is needed to get them into your sales funnel.

If you don’t project yourself as being trustworthy, it can be really hard to convert. Luckily, there are a few actions you can take to build up trust including:

  1. Establishing your business website as a trusted source of content. Build up a solid base of information that your potential customers can turn to that highlights your expertise and knowledge about your industry. Inform site visitors about what they can expect after they have purchased your product or service.
  2. Ensure that your product or service is dependable. Shoddy products or poorly designed services will cause your customers to lose trust in your brand. Dependable products tend to keep customers happy about their purchase, and a happy customer makes for a great advertiser.
  3. Anticipate your customers’ needs and offer a solution. Customer service 101: A customer is more inclined to trust a business if the business is putting the customer’s needs above their own.

2. Establish Strong Lines of Communication with Your Customers

The only way you will establish a strong business relationship with your customer is by using avenues of communication effectively. That means polishing up your social media skills, dusting off that email list, and taking your blog posting to the next level.

According to Statista, 41 percent of U.S. social media users expect a reply within a 24-hour period. Social media, when done right, establishes a two-way communication pipeline from business to customer. It is a place where customers can offer their opinion on products and services, vent about any sort of concerns that are bothering them, or review whatever your business provides.

On the business side, it gives your company the opportunity to not only supply some A1 customer service, but to show other profile visitors that you are willing to go above and beyond to fix any issues a customer may be experiencing. That could score you some major points with potential customers because it shows that your company is attentive to its customers’ needs.

Giving your customers the option to opt into an email list helps you send out valuable news and information about your products or services that may be relevant to their interests.

Lastly, a blog can act as a form of communication. If you’re content marketing, you’re already attracting traffic to your website—roughly—based on your keywords and Google ranking. You can gather feedback from customers moments after your blog has been posted.

3. Treat Your Loyal Customers Right

According to an article in Forbes, research done by the Gartner Group, showed that 80 percent of your company’s future profits will come from just 20 percent of your existing customers.

In that same article, it was shown that an increase of 5 percent to your retention rates can yield a profit increase by 75 percent.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Since the majority of your company revenue is generated by customers that have already purchased a product or service from you, wouldn’t it be logical to then ensure that you keep a positive relationship with them?

I’m not saying to go all out and find out intimate details of your existing customers, but showing a little appreciation can go a long way when solidifying that connection.

To do so, you’ll want to:

  1. Keep in touch with them. This is why having an email list is really important. By having their email, you can send out notifications for special sales on products or services that they like based on past purchases or abandoned carts.
  2. Send out tokens of your appreciation. You can also send out coupons to your existing customers to entice them to try out other products or services that you have, exposing them to new items.
  3. Distribute helpful insight. Your existing customers may have purchased a product or service from you without knowing the full extent of how it works or affects them. Distributing helpful information through blogs and other forms of content marketing could save them from having to look it up themselves or through trial and error. This is also perfect for distributing news about upcoming products or services relevant to their interests.

When all is said and done, a loyal customer is also a great advertiser. If you take great care of your existing customers, they can help you bring in new customers.

Building customer relationships should be a priority for your business. Contact a seasoned digital marketing consultant like me, Mauricio Piña, at (956) 566-4998 to concoct a winning strategy that focuses on building relationships and increasing sales.

Entrepreneur Tips

8 Killer Ways to Stay Motivated and Creative as a Freelancer

Digital marketing requires a lot of creativity and motivation. From developing gorgeous websites to crafting astounding content and creating captivating social media posts, digital marketing is definitely a field for the creative types.

But truth be told. It can be a little challenging sometimes to get those creative juices flowing. This can be especially true for freelancers who work all on their own without the benefit of bouncing ideas off of coworkers.

With the sun setting on your project due date, you can either panic or get motivated and creative.

As a digital marketing consultant and business owner, I’ve had my fair share of brain drain. But I’ve also had plenty of opportunities to learn and develop different tools and techniques to help me reignite those creative engines.

While I know motivation doesn’t grow on trees, I’ve gathered here a few tips of the trade to help you push through to success on your next project. Freelancers! Let’s get creative!

1. Get Out

I’ve met plenty of freelancers that work from home (and I must admit I do it too on occasion). I mean, what’s there not to like. You’re never late for work, you don’t have to worry about traffic, and you don’t have to dress up. On the flip side, though, there are plenty of distractions to keep you OFF task.

Sometimes refocusing just means turning off the TV. And sometimes it means completely leaving your house so you can get some real work done. A “new” work environment can help to get those creative juices flowing again and get you out of that state of mind that being at home puts you in. Whether it’s a workday at the local cafe or a trip down to the library, try to keep things fresh by getting out of your house every couple of days.

2. Get Some Fresh Air

Working in the field of digital marketing (or any creative field for that matter) can be fun and exciting. But it can also include hours upon hours of sitting in front of your computer screen trying to perfect the project at hand. All this screen time can start to take its toll after a while. But there’s a simple solution for that – get outside, soak up some sun, and enjoy some fresh air.

A quick walk around the neighborhood can be just what you need to fan that creative fire. When you take a walk, your heart begins to pumps faster, delivering much-needed blood and oxygen to all of your internal organs and muscles – and most importantly – your brain. You’ll be developing new brain cells, rejuvenating older brain cells from decay, and promoting the growth of new neurons and neurotransmitters.

What does that all mean? Basically, you’ll be able to get back to the task at hand with a new sense of clarity and creativity.

3. Meet Some New People

Working as a freelancer can be isolating at times. You don’t have coworkers (unless you count your pets), which means that you won’t get that traditional social interaction throughout the day – interaction that can help to motivate and inspire you on occasion.

To help you make up for this lack of social interaction, consider participating in some sort of organization, club, or even take a class. It’s amazing how much meeting new people with new ideas can really help your productivity and creativity.

If you aren’t too interested in going this route, there’s always the Internet. Facebook and Twitter offer freelance groups that you can draw inspiration and new ideas from. There’s also plenty of forums, like Reddit, where you can learn more about your field and learn some new tips to improve your freelancing abilities.

4. Routines Can Be Fun (and Really Helpful)

Yes, part of the adventure of being a freelancer is that there’s always something new to do. But don’t forget to set up a routine that can help to alleviate that stress caused by the constant flow of “newness.”

Routines can help you to properly schedule out your day so that you aren’t feeling pressured and strapped for time. It can be especially beneficial if you start your day early as you’ll have more leeway in case some type of emergency pops up that takes you away from work.

A daily schedule will help you to keep all tasks in perspective and make you feel more professional – an important key to taking your work more seriously.

5. What’s Your Home Office Look Like?

Are you working on your bed all day? Or perhaps in your living room with the TV on and the refrigerator only a few feet away? While setting up shop anywhere in your house can be an awesome experience early on your freelancing career, you’ll find out soon enough that you need a dedicated home office to really hone in on your tasks.

If possible, avoid working where you sleep. Instead, set up a little space elsewhere in your home where there’s plenty of natural light, few distractions, and an overall positive energy that will be conducive to working.

Again, taking yourself seriously as a freelancer will go a long way in keeping you motivated.

6. It’s OK to Reward Yourself (A Little)

Freelancing is all about balance. It’s about enjoying the freedom that comes with being able to work whenever you want while remaining productive. And while that doesn’t mean binge-watching a show because you worked for two hours, it’s also OK to reward yourself in increments throughout the day.

If you feel like you need a break every couple of hours, then take advantage of your position as a freelancer and watch some YouTube videos or an episode of your favorite show after you’ve completed a meaningful task.

These small rewards throughout the day can be a great motivational tool to help you stay focused. Plus, they give you a moment to relax and reenergize yourself.

7. Keep Learning

Feeling stagnant in your skills can definitely kill any motivation you may have. That’s why it is so important for freelancers (and really all professionals) to constantly be learning. Whether it’s learning new strategies and tips from other professionals or reading engaging books that inspire us, learning can prove to be an essential element in keeping a freelancer competitive and engaged with their work.

8. Remember Why You’re Freelancing

Why did you decide to march to the beat of your own drum and not take a typical 9 to 5 job like others? Was it so that you only have to answer to yourself? Hate waking up early? Do you appreciate the respect clients give you? Cubicle-phobia?

Type it up, print it out and frame it on the wall behind your workspace.

And don’t forget to continue visiting me here at my website for all things digital marketing and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneur Tips

5 Strategies To Boost Team Morale

We’re nearly halfway through the year and your team’s energy might be dipping a bit. While a summer vacay might provide a small energy boost, there’s still plenty of year left, and you’ll want to make sure that your team is going to be motivated to finish it off strong.

As a business owner and digital marketing consultant, I understand the challenges that come with building a successful business – especially for a startup. It takes a lot of hard work and time, and even the best team members can get burned out.

As a business owner and team leader, you’ll need to have the sensitivity to notice when your team is tired and in need of some motivation. Reinvigorating some life into the workplace can help to improve results and enhance the workplace culture.

If you’re in need of a boost to team morale, consider the following 5 tips.

1. The teams that bond together, work best together.

In the digital world and with many startups, team members may work remotely. This usually means there’s not a lot of opportunities to work together and build that sense of team unity.

A simple bonding session, like a team lunch or get-together, can provide some much needed face-to-face time. These in-person meetings allow for the flow of ideas, concerns, and just a general opportunity to connect.

Team leaders need to be able to create these moments and foster work relationships amongst their team members. It’s amazing how much of an energy boost some face-to-face time can provide.

2. Recognize small victories and success.

A couple of positive words – especially from a team leader – can have a truly invigorating effect on employee morale. This can be especially true if the previous weeks/months have been particularly brutal on your team.

But you shouldn’t hand out empty platitudes to boost egos. Recognize real, meaningful accomplishments that highlight your appreciation for your team’s work and ideas. And if you have reached any milestones in sales or revenue, celebrate it with your team.

A little bit of recognition can motivate individuals and teams alike.

3. Keep employees engaged through learning opportunities.

Dedicated team members are generally eager to learn and improve their skills. When you really think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Employees are usually happy to develop their abilities because it increases the likelihood of long-term personal and professional success.

Show your employees that you are actually concerned about their future – and willing to help them grow – by providing them the opportunities to attend conferences, events, or classes that can enhance their talent.

4. Get your team involved in more.

We’ve all seen those movies about the unhappy corporate worker. The one where they go into the office every workday, only to sit behind their computer and accomplish the same sets of tasks day-in and day-out. There’s no involvement. No engagement. No real motivation to push themselves harder.

You’re company SHOULDN’T run like this.

Showing that you trust your team’s judgment and value their input can get them more involved with their work than ever before. Allow them to pitch business ideas that can help the company grow. Give them the opportunity to provide input on how they can improve work efficiency.

Traditional work culture is changing and now is the time to evolve. Your employees will be grateful – and work harder – knowing their ideas matter.

5. Lead the way.  

Your attitude as owner/team leader is going to set the tone for your entire staff. If you have a positive, can-do attitude, then your team members will follow suit. Show your dedication to the company and your employees, and they are bound to reciprocate.

Don’t forget to continue visiting me here for the best in entrepreneurial and digital marketing support, and if you need any support with your digital marketing plan, contact me today at 956-566-4998.

Entrepreneur Tips

8 Outsourcing Do’s and Don’ts Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

I know. I know.

As an entrepreneur, it can be very easy to want to handle every task on your own. Your startup is your baby, and you want to make sure it’s well taken care of.

Of course, that means dedicating time to every single, little thing that pops up. Unfortunately, there’s not enough time in the day for you to handle it all, and you’d probably burn out within a few months if you tried to tackle it all on your own. Thankfully, technology and changes in the business landscape have made outsourcing an ideal solution – at least in certain scenarios.

Entrepreneurs and business owners all across the globe have benefited greatly from outsourcing jobs to freelancers and contractors.

When done correctly, outsourcing can:

  • Lower overhead costs and wages paid
  • Improve productivity and work efficiency
  • Allow you to focus on building up core areas of your company
  • Help you to accomplish highly technical jobs
  • Allow your in-house employees to focus on more meaningful tasks
  • Upscale on a faster time scale

But this is all under the assumption that you are outsourcing the right way. In case you didn’t know, yes, there are some mistakes that you can make in the hiring process and while figuring out how to implement your outsourcing partners effectively.

As a business owner and digital marketer myself, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to learn how to do outsourcing. With that being said, I’d like to share with you a few of my favorite outsourcing do’s and don’ts that every business owner and entrepreneur needs to know.

The Do’s and Don’ts You Need to Know

Outsourcing Do’s Outsourcing Don’ts
Do manage effectively: It is absolutely essential that you adequately manage your outsourcing partners. While you never want to micromanage, it’s still important that you have guidelines, expectations, schedules, due dates, and important details about the job ironed out. Don’t go with the first provider you run across: In your excitement to get the ball rolling, you might be tempted to jump the gun and choose the first outsourcing partner you run across. No! Stop! Look around, do your research, check for reputation, quality of work, look at different options, and then choose.
Do research your outsourcing partner: It’s easy to go online, Google “contractor” or “freelancer”, and go with the first choice. Bad idea! You need to do your research and talk to multiple potential partners to make sure you get the most qualified contractor, as well as the biggest bang for your buck. Don’t outsource core staff members: You need a core team that understands your company’s culture, has the expertise to handle important tasks, and can manage all the other moving pieces. And you need them to be available when you need them. Outsourced team members don’t work great in this scenario.
Do use your outsource partner for time-consuming tasks: That’s what they are there for. To help you handle the task that aren’t necessarily challenging but which take an unnecessary amount of time to complete. From data entry to general administrative tasks, save yourself some time and use your contractor. Don’t get cost-effective mixed with cheapest: Yes, you’ll want to save on costs when possible but that doesn’t mean you should go with the cheapest choice just because it’s the cheapest. The truth is you generally get what you pay for, so be wary of getting these two ideas crossed in your head.
Do use tools when searching: The Internet is an amazing place with plenty of niche areas that can help you find the specific type of worker you are looking for. Use freelance boards, want ads, social media networks (e.g. LinkedIn), and staffing agencies (when necessary) to find that perfect candidate. Don’t leave your outsourced worker(s) completely alone: One of the beauties of outsourcing is generally having to worry less about micromanaging, but that doesn’t mean you should completely avoid telling them details about a project, client, or task. Be specific, let them know important information, and check in occasionally on important projects. It could save you (both) a lot in the long run.
Do prepare for all the legal challenges that can arise: You’ll want to make sure that you don’t risk losing any important data or intellectual property to a contractor. Have them sign documentation that gives you the rights to the work and a non-compete agreement if necessary. Don’t micromanage or hire someone you need to micromanage: As mentioned in our tip above, you’ll need to be able to keep your outsourced workers informed about the task at hand, but you shouldn’t be micromanaging their every move – nor should you need to. If they aren’t capable of getting a job done without seeking your guidance and input every couple of hours then you might need to go with someone else.
Do know how hiring a contractor affects your tax bill: If you’re not careful, a contractor can fall into the “employee” zone which can, in turn, lead to tax misclassification that can lead to some tax problems down the road. Don’t try and cheat the IRS by “contracting” a full-time employee: This one can be kind of tough, employee misclassification can happen accidentally, which is scary enough. But you should avoid doing so purposely as the IRS and other government agencies can penalize you greatly for doing so.
Do negotiate on price for services: This is one of the beauties of outsourcing; you have some say in what you are capable of paying. If necessary, go with a different provider Don’t think outsourced workers and service providers are going to be loyal: You need to recognize that they are a business as well, and if a bigger (better paying) client comes around, they might just dump you on a dime.
Do keep your full-time staff in the loop, and let them handle important tasks: Outsourcing can make your full-time staff members a little nervous – and resentful. Help them to understand the role of the contractor, and allow them to handle important tasks. Don’t forget how important your outsourcing partner can be: So, contrary to what we just said above, working with the right (loyal) outsourcing partner can be absolutely vital to your success, and by highlighting your willingness to continue working with them, you can actually grow both teams together. The more work you get, the more they can help you; it’s a win-win.

he truth is that outsourcing can have just as many challenges as benefits. But if you approach the situation with the right understanding, plan, and control, you can definitely help your company take it to the next level.

Don’t forget to continue visiting me here for the best in entrepreneurial and digital marketing support, and if you need any support with your digital marketing plan, contact me today at 956-566-4998.

Entrepreneur Tips Featured

Small Changes Lead to Big Savings: 7 Tips to Keep Small Business Expenses Down

I get it. As a small business owner, it can be challenging obtaining investment money or additional capital when needed. That’s why small business and startup owners need to be more strategic. In the early stages of building a business, any major financial shortcoming can hurt your ability to continue on as a business.

There are some steps that you can take, however, to keep expenses down and which allow you to run a lean, mean, successful machine.

Consider the following 7 tips for keeping expenses down to a minimum.

  1. Out with the old and in with the new.
  2. We are living in the golden age of tech and you should be taking advantage of that. Through social media platforms, websites, and even YouTube videos, you can reach your target audience much easier and at a fraction of the costs of traditional marketing and advertising fees.

    Content is king so remember to have plenty of quality material related to your brand (as well as proper SEO strategies in place). If you aren’t familiar or comfortable with all of the underlying strategies to get your website ranking high on Google then find some digital consultation quick!

  3. Since we’re talking about technology.
  4. Aside from a website and social media profiles, there are a number of online services that you can provide, depending on the type of business you have. For instance, having an e-commerce store is an excellent way to sell your product and collect payments effectively, without the customer having to worry about traveling down to your brick-and-mortar site (especially if you are of town or even out of state).

    But tech can also help your small business in so many other ways.

    Apps like Google Hangouts, Slack, Trello, Skype, and a variety of other amazing platforms are great for company meetings, to spread information quickly, to share valuable reports and data, and just to keep things in order.

    Many of these services come at an extremely low cost, which means you don’t have to spend a small fortune renting out space for a meeting, or to pay for everyone to have a company email on an expensive server.

  5. Outsource when you need to.
  6. Once again, technology and the Internet has made outsourcing to independent contractors much more affordable. From a web designer to a content creator, bookkeeper, virtual secretary, and more; they can all be found through a simple Google search.

    Plus, outsourcing might be your most viable option whenever you have a project you need help with or just don’t have the technical skills to handle alone. Outsourcing also goes a long way in decreasing your labor budget. You can dictate pay rates while still receiving assistance from quality freelancers.

  7. Living in the clouds.
  8. There are plenty of relatively inexpensive open-source, cloud-based programs that can help you to reduce some of your business costs.

    Google Docs is one such amazing tool that’s amazingly intuitive and useful for creating and sharing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations (think of it as an online version of Microsoft Office).  OpenOffice is another such resource that includes another variant of a word processing program, slideshow software, and spreadsheets. These free-to-use tools mean you don’t have to spend a couple thousand dollars of the company’s money to purchase similar software for every computer.

    Another great tool that Google offers is, Google Drive, which provides free (albeit limited) space to save your vital data on the clouds, protecting it from those computer crashes that do happen. For a small fee, you can purchase additional space.

    If you decide to open up a free Google account, you also get a virtual calendar that can be shared and utilized for office purposes.

  9. Create a virtual agency (i.e. telecommunicate).
  10. Telecommunication may not work for every business but doing so several days a week can help to limit some of the expenses of renting out an office and the associated operating costs (i.e. electricity, water, etc.).

    Strategize with team leaders and decide what team members might benefit from this.

  11. Be smart about office expenses.
  12. Office expenses can get out of hand if you aren’t being cautious about supply and electricity use. Are computers on 24/7? Are lights on in every room of your office but nobody is in them? How much are you spending on office supplies that you don’t necessarily need?

    Spend some time walking around your office and thinking green. You might be able to spot plenty of waste and develop simple solutions that can lead to big savings.

  13. Recent college grads might be the way to go.
  14. What they lack in experience they can make up for in eagerness, hard work, and familiarity with newer technologies while not demanding prime salary.

    Recent grads might also be more willing to go through the rollercoaster journey that is a startup. Learning and growing along with the company in comparison to an experienced worker who might be seeking a bit more “stability” might just mean the difference between success and failure.

    Don’t forget that in today’s tech-driven world, having a business without an online presence is like having a car without tires. You won’t get very far.

If you don’t know where to start on your digital journey then contact me, Mauricio Pina, today at 956-566-4998 and let’s start your digital domination.

Digital Marketing Entrepreneur Tips Featured

Seven Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website

If I told you that you can, at least, double your business and increase customer satisfaction, would you do it? Well, setting up a website for your business can do just that.

If you haven’t jumped into the digital world just yet, then check out these seven reasons why you absolutely need to. Remember. Your competition is on there, so you need to be too.

1. It Gives Your Business Credibility

Want to check out some reviews of that new pizza place down on 5th Street? How about ordering online? What about price checking between pizza franchises?

All of these things can be done with a simple click of a mouse. It’s no surprise that online shopping is becoming the preferred method to shop. Failing to have a website for your business means you are likely missing out on a piece of that big, green, financial pie.

Having a website for your business establishes that you are a legitimate company while also allowing you to provide potential customers with delightfully-crafted content about your products or services.

Add the ease of online transactions and you’ve got more business than just walk-ins alone. Be careful, though. Setting up a website on one of those “free” sites can make you look like an amateur — and people don’t want to buy products from amateurs. An expertly crafted website will rake in more profit for your business.

2. It Saves Money in the Long Run

Owning and running a business takes a financial toll, so the more you can save, the better your bottom line.

If hiring professional web designers gives you a little bit of anxiety because of the expense, rest easy because it’s actually the most cost-effective way to advertise compared to the other types of advertisement media out there like newspapers, radio ads, flyers, and networking events.

“Yeah, but what about updating and uploading content? I don’t know how to do that, and I’d have to hire someone to do it for me, which would be expensive in the long run.”

Not necessarily.

In the long run, the investment you make on hosting and website design fees will be returned by the customers it attracts and then some.

3. It Keeps Customers Engaged

When you really think about it, a website is like a brochure that is packed full of useful information your customers can discover about your business or services.

Are you currently running a sale on a certain product? Do you have a limited time offer that is available? Let the people know by uploading the details on to your website. It’s cheaper than running an advertisement in a newspaper or on T.V., it can occur much more quickly than advertising on any of the other media – and best of all – you own the website.

But it doesn’t just stop at personalized advertisements on your website. You can post YouTube tutorials or classes about your product or service and then embed them into your website. Podcasts are also another great way to keep customers engaged with helpful information about what you are selling.

Best of all, social media websites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to embed them on to your website, allowing customers to follow and like you with just the click of a button. This helps establish connections between you and your customer base at the speed of life.

4. Websites are Always Accessible

A website is a crucial tool to demonstrate your skill set, no matter what particular industry you are in. It can host a portfolio, an image or video gallery, testimonials about your work, or show why your business is the business clients need. Compared to a brick-and-mortar establishment, a website is like having a shop that is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It gives your customers the opportunity to check out your products on their own time without having to wait for the next day to go to your physical location to shop. Having to wait to see a product can easily lead to a lost sale as customers can forget or find a competitor that has already has a website established.

5. Websites Enable You to Target a Larger Audience

Websites are accessible anywhere in the world, so long as your customer has an Internet connection. This truth even extends to the rural areas where potential customers that don’t have access to your brick-and-mortar now have access to your business through a website.

6. It Saves Time

As a business owner, time is a valuable currency. And when you are running a business, your time is divided into several different aspects like talking to customers, attending networking events or trade shows, emails, and marketing to name a few.

A website trims the fat, so to speak, by being a quick and efficient source of information on the services and products you provide. For example, an FAQ on your website can do wonders when it comes to answering your customers’ questions and improving customer satisfaction.

Save time and meet customer needs; I’d say that’s killing two birds with one stone.

7. Websites Can Improve Customer Service

A happy customer is a returning customer, and establishing a website is an easy way to pump those numbers up. Like the FAQ example above, providing simple answers to questions customers frequently have is customer service 101.But it doesn’t have to stop there.

Get creative!

If you are selling a particular product like mesquite bean jelly, having an accompanying article on a few tasty snack recommendations hosted on your website can improve your customer service game.

A dentistry office can build a website that showcases all of the services while also providing articles that detail proper dental hygiene.

There’s so much that a website and digital marketing can offer. All it takes is a little creativity.

The truth about marketing nowadays is that everything is porting over to the digital side. Having and operating a website is more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods, and it can generate a lot of business during your off hours, supplementing your revenue that can then be funneled back into your business and help it grow.

If you need help figuring out what the next step is to enter the digital world, then contact me today at (956) 566-4998 for the digital marketing consultation you deserve.

Entrepreneur Tips

The Art of Staying Focused: Tips for the Digital Freelancer Trying to Survive

Sure. Working from home sounds like the perfect lifestyle. Who doesn’t want to stay in their pajamas all day and never have to worry about putting on a tie again? And when you’re a freelancer there are what seem to be an infinite number of temptations that can keep you away from taking care of business. But you’re going to have to learn some self-discipline if you are going to survive in the world of digital marketing.

So what’s the secret to pushing through until the end? As a freelancing Digital Marketing Consultant and business owner, I know firsthand the challenges that come with trying to stay focused and getting a project completed. Luckily, through the years I’ve been able to gather enough experience and tips that I’ll be happily sharing with you on this blog.

Hopefully, they will do you well as you carry along on your adventure into digital marketing.

  1. Remember routine? She still loves you.
  2. Remember that office job you left to become a successful freelancer? And the horror of having to wake up every day at 6:30 in the morning to make it to the office by 7:45?

    Yes, it’s true that one of the “benefits” of freelancing is creating your own work schedule. But without some routine in your life, projects and assignments can start to pile up quickly, which can mean disaster for your reputation and your business. Don’t be a routine-less mess. Give yourself a “proper” work system so that you can stay engaged and focused.

    Also, don’t forget you need to look the role if you’re going to play it. Put on a nice outfit for the day and see if that helps to set you off on the right foot.

  3. Put the iPhone down.
  4. What if I told you I just spent the last 15 minutes scrolling through Twitter? And about 15 minutes before on Snapchat. Oh…and about 10 minutes on Facebook. Doesn’t sound very productive, does it?

    Digital marketing freelancers tend to be up-to-par with all the current tech trends and social media apps, but the only problem with that is these things can quickly become a distraction. Add to that the TV, the Internet, and home chores, and work tasks can quickly take a backseat to “Likes” and filters. It’s essential that when you’re about to work then you legitimately plan for some quiet work time. I’m talking closed doors, phones off (ok they probably won’t but try not to use them unnecessarily), and all distractions removed.

    Of course, this is ideal and sometimes a home setting doesn’t provide you these privileges. Consider a change of setting. Some time at your local coffeehouse can do wonders.

  5. “Action expresses priority.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  6. In order to be a successful digital marketing freelancer, you have to be able to prioritize assignments and tasks. You can do this either the old fashion way with a calendar or planner, or with a computer, smartphone, or tablet, which all work perfectly fine. There’s even online software that you can use to help you prioritize.

    By quickly and efficiently organizing work tasks, you’ll be able to manage your time – and hopefully – complete assignments in a prompt manner. Remember, even as a freelancer, you can still be constrained by the timelines of your clients. Do yourself and your business the favor and stick to them.

  7. “Relax, go to it…”
  8. To the outsider, freelancing seems like the perfect job. I mean…you are your own boss. Who wouldn’t love that?

    But the truth for many freelancers is that the line between work and play often begins to merge into one fuzzy reality in which getting away for a breather just never happens. We’re all humans (right?) and not autonomous robots meant to function 24 hours a day. Sometimes you need to recharge your battery and give yourself a mental reboot.

    Try to plan vacations, and include them in your calendar at the start of the year, so that you can inform clients of when you’ll be taking a break and for how long.

  9. A little face to face time is vital.
  10. it’s important for digital marketing freelancers to recognize that bad routines can develop very easily if you’re not being careful. Strictly speaking to clients through email is a bad habit that you’ll want to break. When the opportunity arises to touch base with them, then try and set up a little bit of face time to get out of that solitary rut.

    Of course, a physical meeting might not be doable, but there’s always Facetime, Google Hangouts, Skype, and a variety of visual and audio applications that perform effectively in these scenarios. It’s beneficial for both you and the client to schedule a call or meeting so that you can talk about the project, how far you’ve progressed, and to also get some feedback.

    Showing the client that you actually care about their input can help you to re-establish that connection and reinforce their interest in utilizing your business and skills.

  11. Be real, real.
  12. If you need any serious motivation to stay focused and get your work done, then just think about losing some of your recurring monthly projects. A long-term freelance project can mean a consistent income for you (and your family), but being a bit too disengaged or setting these assignments on the back burner can ultimately harm your business and your finances.

    Sure this can be a scary thought, but sometimes you need a little fire under your feet to push you on and upwards. Whether web design, content creation, website maintenance, social media marketing, or graphic designing, consistency from month to month is a wonderful thing.  Do you really want to lose that?

  13. 7. [Enter inspirational quote here.]
  14. Yes, you read that right. There’s nothing worse than a cliché to express a truth so let’s just be honest.  Freelancing can be everything you ever wanted and more than you ever expected. It’s an everyday battle that can mean meeting deadlines by working through the night – for the whole week.

    But this is your career. Your life. There’s a reason why you chose this route, and though sometimes it may get hidden in all the muck and dirt that life brings, that creative spark is alive somewhere in all the craziness of work. Don’t forget why you got into the amazing world of digital marketing.

And don’t forget to continue visiting me here at my website for all things digital marketing and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneur Tips

7 Startup Secrets for the Entrepreneur

Every single entrepreneur that has sought, developed, and found any level of fortune has done so through diligence, creativity – and sometimes – a little bit of luck.

But fortunately for us, many of these great entrepreneurs have left a breadcrumb trail and plenty of information to help us along our own path to business success. If you’re eager to start your journey, then let me, business owner and Digital Marketing Consultant, Mauricio Pina, offer you seven startup secrets every potential entrepreneur needs to know.

  1. Be Passionate About Your Business
  2. Sure, it’s a cliche, but you have to love what you do. The fact of the matter is that loving your business idea and what your startup is trying to accomplish will provide you with that extra motivation you need to push through the toughest of days (or months).

    That same passion should be evident to your customers as well. That energy and desire to provide the best product/service will certainly help to draw in clients.

    Make sure that any future employees also share that same level of passion and commitment in their work as you do.

  3. Study, Plan, Simplify & Repeat
  4. So…being passionate is great. But you also have to be realistic and well informed. How much do you know about the business world? And specifically, how much do you know about the niche you’re trying to get into?

    This is where doing your homework is absolutely essential. You don’t want to make any assumptions or take a bad step early on in the process that can quickly doom your startup.

    Make sure to talk to experts in the industry you’re interested in becoming a part of. Create a business plan (albeit a flexible one). Understand your financial needs so that you can plan for the initial period of being in business, which can be one of the toughest times. Go back through your mission statement and make sure that it meets client needs.

    Study, plan, simplify and repeat until you have a solid strategy to get to where you want to go. And don’t be afraid to say no sometimes. Promising to overdeliver can mean failure if you don’t tread carefully.

  5. Teamwork Wins Games
  6. Having the right team of like-minded individuals all sharing one common goal and all pushing towards one outcome is a force that just cannot be beat. If you want your startup to succeed, you’ll need a dedicated team of intelligent, thrifty, hardworking individuals who are willing to fight an uphill battle.

    As a startup, your team members will need to have the ability to learn quickly, adjust efficiently, grow from constructive criticism, and hopefully have a specialized skill that serves your business well.

  7. So About This Criticism Thing…
  8. Mistakes happen in any good business and sometimes you’ll need to correct employees after an especially problematic snafu. But being an outright overbearing and rude leader can quickly lead to bigger issues.

    In today’s world, it’s not too hard for a scorned employee (or client for that matter) to quickly hop on social media and relieve some frustration. A harsh employee review can easily make its way across the Internet. And that’s not the type of publicity a startup needs.

    On the other hand, as an entrepreneur, don’t be afraid to get some feedback of your own. As the great Elon Musk has said, “ “Take as much feedback from as many people as you can about whatever idea you have…seek critical feedback.  Ask them what’s wrong.”

  9. Living in a World of Data
  10. Data and analytics are essential for any startup. When coupled with creative, intuitive business acumen, data can open up a whole new world of opportunity.

    Following data to recognize when to make an investment into a certain portion of your business (i.e. marketing, product, new personnel, etc.), is the best way to go about making the right decisions for your company.

    And just as a side note: data is going to be pivotal to your digital marketing scheme.

  11. Go Big (Sometimes)
  12. So “going big” is definitely a balancing act.

    Some projects are just too important to your startup and you’ll need to tackle them in order to get yourself ahead. While we did mention that sometimes it’s ok to say no, sometimes you need to say yes.

    Even though a challenge of this nature can be an ego-crushing, time-consuming, all-out-war, it’s still necessary to accept certain projects to really develop your skills – and to reap those big-time benefits including an improved reputation. This is especially true if it allows you to get into a lucrative market.

    While these “go big or go home” opportunities may test your limit, they can also push you to the next level.

  13. Have Some Faith & Jump (After Planning of Course)
  14. Starting your own company is a tremendous task. There’s plenty of planning and hard work that comes into just getting things going. But if you’re waiting for the perfect moment to jump, it might not ever come.

    It’s going to be scary and there is definitely no certainty in life, but by attacking aggressively, consistently, and energetically, you should be able to get your startup to come to life.

    But it all starts with taking the first step.

    But don’t worry. You aren’t facing this challenge alone. There is a whole spectrum of individuals and professionals who can help to reap the benefits of a global market.

Including a Digital Marketing Consultants such as myself. If you’re eager to learn more about the digital marketing game or want to learn about the importance of having an online presence, contact me – Mauricio Pina – today at (956) 566-4998.

Together we can open a world of infinite possibilities.