Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at May 17th, 2019
Our researchers at Credit Suite found ten amazing business tips for you! Be fierce and score in business with the best tips around the web. You can use them today and see fast results. Get serious with a next level startup and move from freelancer to small business owner. We’ve got some awesome tips to get you there.
Stop making stupid decisions and start powering up your business. Demolish your business nightmares and start celebrating as your business fulfills its promise.
And these brilliant business tips are all here for free! So settle in and scoop up these tantalizing goodies before your competition does!
Our first tip is all about improving your Amazon marketing ads. While not every business may have a relationship with Amazon, a lot of them do. Small Biz Trends says there are any number of tools out there which can help you (but note: the Keyword Analyzer was flagged by our antivirus program – we found this free alternative).
Of course our favorite tip is all about testing – not surprising. Because whether you have a relationship with Amazon or not, it will always pay to test whatever it is you’re doing.
As for relevancy directly to Amazon, we also loved their tip to try automated targeting first, but then use manual when actually paying. Why? Because the automatic targeting tool is helpful and can help you determine where to tweak your campaign. But you won’t get the finesse without going manual.
The next tip is about developing an excellent content strategy which generates leads. Ahrefs notes that what you really want is consistent leads. Of course! You’ll still have bills next week, next month, and next year.
The strategy part is what we care about. Strategy means turning strangers into customers. It’s not about just pumping out constant content. Or at least, it really shouldn’t be. So if you’re guilty of this, you should stop. Yesterday.
When writing content, your first step is keyword research. To make excellent content, you are looking for the sweet spot where high traffic potential, low competition, and high business value all meet.
But recognize that everyone else is trying to do the exact same thing. Hence your best bet is to create and try to rank on content which is as unique as possible.
This is one of our favorites – and if you write a lot, it’s probably one of yours as well. Making new stuff is all well and good, and it’s important. But your older content may be the best at conveying what you are trying to get across. It could already be ranking well, too. So why not piggyback on that and share the love?
So let’s say you’re a long haul trucking company and your best, oh my God unbelievable kick-bun awesome blog post is about driving in Chicago. Repeating that post isn’t going to help you and, in fact, it’ll probably end up hurting your older awesome content.
So, whaddaya do?
How about a post about Indiana driving – a place which is close to Chicago and therefore relevant. Hence you could use some of your Chicago content and that would enhance both posts. Psst – it’s good SEO to practice to interlink related content. So with an Indiana post, you could link it to your awesome Chicago content and vice versa.
Pretty nifty trick, eh?
Our following tip concerns directly targeting B2B audiences on social media. Wordstream tells us all about how to target on the big three – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
We were especially thrilled to see the tip on competitor targeting on Twitter.
So, for example, let’s say you own a day spa and your rival across town is burning up Twitter, getting tons of customers there. Your mission is to advertise straight to your rival’s follower look-alikes. After all, people who love your rival’s day spa services may end up loving yours more if you’re less expensive, closer, offer more services, or are just plain friendlier.
The more specific you can be, the better. You don’t want to be just targeting everyone who has ever bought a massage, ever in the history of everything. The more specific you can be, the better you’ll be using your time and advertising dollars, both of which are far from infinite.
For our next tip, we looked at nine best practice ways to collect customer feedback on your website. Opt In Monster has a slew of great ideas for picking your customers’ brains.
A great way to do this – although it’s not 100% precisely a form of feedback – is to get your customers to self-select. If you’ve ever read one of those ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ stories, then you know exactly where this is going.
For those of you who haven’t (For shame! They’re fun), here’s the deal. Let’s say you own a pet supply store. The needs of your customers who own turtles are far different from the needs of your customers who own ferrets. There’s different chow, for one thing, and the owners may even represent dissimilar demographics.
So why not present a choice right off the bat to your customers? You could have, say, four separate buttons. Click here for dogs. And click here for cats. Click here for fish, amphibians, and reptiles. And click here for small mammals. You might want to toss an ‘other’ button in there, just in case, for people who are browsing or fit into more than one bucket.
And then check your traffic numbers. While it may seem as if it’s a no-brainer to have separate buttons of cats and dogs, maybe your research tells you that your community isn’t big on cats (sorry, Grumpy Cat). Maybe snakes are huge in your area. So why not change things up, with a button for snakes instead of cats?
Here, as with everything else, measure what you do. And give the people what they want.
This tip is so smart, and it works! Influencive lays out five fantastic self-care and financial tips for those who are going it alone.
We really loved the tip to take a break! Hey, it’s almost summer, even though the weather isn’t cooperating.
But in all seriousness, self-care is important, particularly when you’re on your own. After all, the only person who will ever blow the whistle telling you it’s quitting time is, well, you.
So while you may be tempted to chug full steam ahead 24/7/365, it’s terrible for your health. And, you may be surprised, reducing stress could make you more creative. At the very least, those business problems which looked like mountains might just shrink back to molehills.
Grab this tip while it’s hot!
So many people are working in the gig economy these days. And you may be one of them or you may want to give it a try. But what happens when you want to make the leap from freelancer to entrepreneur? It’s time to move onto a next level startup.
Score says there are several ways to move from a freelancing gig to a business taken seriously by others. A next level startup, if you will.
Perhaps our favorite tip was all about references. There is nothing like the words of someone who’s been there, done that. Consider your own experiences with companies. Which gutter cleaner do you choose (assuming price and availability are identical)? Dollars to doughnuts, it’s the one with the better reviews on Yelp or Angie’s List or elsewhere.
Reviews and ratings run the web these days. So why shouldn’t your references? This means, of course, you will need to get proactive and ask.
Here’s a fer-instance.
Our hypothetical freelancer – let’s say she’s working in a salon, doing eyebrow threading. But she wants her own business, and has work on the side. It’s in Francine’s own best interests to talk to her best customers and ask them for references. In particular, Francine can position herself extremely well with talking to as many clients as possible. And she also wants people she’s done as much of a variety of services for as possible.
References don’t have to be anything big, and they don’t even have to be written down, so long as the reference doesn’t mind getting telephone calls. Francine will never know if a client will provide a reference unless she asks. Any client you don’t ask for a reference is an automatic no – so ask!
We also loved – hurray! – the tip to create a business entity. If you really want to have your next level startup taken seriously, then make it something other than a sole proprietorship – hint – incorporating is best.
Check out this tip, all about stopping at Consultant Junction while you’re on your way to creating a next level startup. Young Upstarts tells us it’s never been a better time to be a consultant. And two of their tips are, we think, pretty darned fantastic.
For both of our favorite tips, the bottom line is the same – don’t underbill. But just what does that mean?
The rule of 3X applies – if you want to make $100,000 in a year, then make sure you do $300,000 in billings. Why? Because sometimes collections take a while. Or unexpected expenses come up. You may even end up going to court to get a client to pay you, or suddenly need a lot of expensive new equipment.
The corollary to this is to stick to your guns on your prices. This doesn’t mean you can never, ever negotiate. Rather, what it means is – if you’re charging, say, $15,000 for a job and the client can only pay $10,000, resist the temptation to slash out a third of your fee just to get the gig.
Why not? For one thing, it’s unethical. And it also strongly implies your proposal was considerably padded. Want your clients and prospects to lose confidence in you? Then it’s harder to find a sure-fire way to do that than by undercutting yourself that drastically.
It’s not your imagination: this winning tip can help small startups get a leg up when it comes to marketing. The Self Employed lays it all out for us. In particular, the article concentrates on saving money. So for a lot of startup business owners, they’re singing your song.
A lot of the advice in this article is pretty close to what we’ve talked about before. But that’s because it’s best practices! This stuff works, people!
In particular, we liked the tip about identifying your partners. That is, you need to identify and interact with industry experts in your area. So, how do you find these amazing people? How’s about Twitter, or LinkedIn?
And what do you do once you’ve spotted these lovely unicorns? Like all of the rest of us, they want their content to be read, appreciated, and amplified. So comment. Retweet and share. Vote up their stuff. You don’t need to be servile; that’s not the idea here. Rather, you need to be present and approachable and appreciative.
This means – unless you’re in the clothing biz so she would be right on point – your big influencer won’t be Kim Kardashian. It’ll be someone who you have a fighting chance of actually being able to interact with. Be your usual polite, kind, terrific self, and you’ll go far. Talk about getting to a next level startup.
Our second to last tip can give you a new perspective on designing a website, even if you’re an absolute beginner. Entrepreneurship Life put together a fantastic list of eight great tools to design your website (and improve it, too).
We really loved that the list included a tool for what’s called A/B testing – Linksplit. If you’ve ever gone on Facebook and noticed a change which your friends don’t have (or vice versa), then you’ve stumbled across A/B testing.
The concept is a simple one. You show two different versions of your website to various (usually random or at least randomish) groups, to see which design gets you more of what you want, whether that’s sales or mailing list signups, or something else. Sometimes it’s the oddest little things, such as a different color for a button or the like.
With this free tool (for up to 10,000 clicks), you should be able to get a better handle on what the heck is going on with your website – and whether you need to make some more permanent changes.
We saved the best for last. For our favorite remarkable tip, we focused on propelling a website launch. G2 Crowd says there are a lot of ways to propelling a new website (or even one which has recently gotten an overhaul), and getting the word out.
Our favorite tip was all about updating. Now, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to updates. Some places do well with multiple posts and changes every single day. Others can be updated once or twice every few months.
So here’s a nonscientific idea. How about updating when either 12 months have gone by (just set your calendar), or when 10% of your website’s content has changed or been added since your last update?
And by update, that doesn’t necessarily mean a complete overhaul, although it can. An update might involve just changing some images, or updating a chunk of the older content to better reflect reality.
For businesses which are continually adding and subtracting inventory, that 10% figure will be reached awfully quickly, so you might want to raise that percentage to 25% or more, and/or reduce the calendared date to every six months, or even every three. And for those where things don’t change too often at all (say, for a neighborhood pizza parlor), you might want to keep the one year date but lower the threshold percentage to 5%.
Are these numbers hard and fast? Of course, they aren’t. But they might give you a ballpark. You may be busy (we all are), but that doesn’t mean your website needs to stay the same for a decade. Please. Don’t do that.
So which one of our brilliant business tips was your favorite? And which one will you be implementing now for your next level startup?