Marketing locally is something that all brick-and-mortar and online businesses should do. Even if your audience is world-wide, you can make a big impact by taking advantage of strengthening your local presence. Having a local presence will help those who are local to you find you easier, plus, it can help increase your expertise quotient. Here's how to strengthen your local presence.
Search engine optimization consists of a lot of different techniques to get more people to come to your website. The words on your page (keywords), as well as the words and links you earn off your page, are all important.
Use pay-per-click ads that mention location, or target people in your location using the demographic settings that most PPC platforms allow you to do. This is a great way to improve your local presence. Facebook has an especially awesome targeting tool.
Ask all your visitors sign up to receive text messages from you, then separate them into different locations where you can invite them to a special local-only sale. You’ll usually know who they are from their area code.
The more you can blog about your business on your website and off your website (guest posting), the more likely you are to get local visitors. You just need to ensure that you use local keywords and a profile that mentions your location.
Take advantage of social media to tell more people about your business, focusing on local people first, and then allowing it to expand out to other locations. Ensure that you mention your location on all social media sites, and when running Facebook Ads, target your audience down to within a 30 mile radius of your location.
Be Listed Everywhere
Find local directories, including your local Chamber of Commerce directory, and ensure that your website is listed. You might have to pay for some of these, so choose wisely and pick the most frequented and professional websites to spend your money.
Claim Your Business
Google Business, Bing, Yelp and other local business directories all have listings. Your business might already be listed, so be sure to claim and verify your business listings.
Fill Out All Profiles Thoroughly
This is very important; you need to fill out all your profile accurately and completely on every place that asks for a profile. Use your location to help you show up more in local searches for the best results. Add pictures of your location, team members (if appropriate), and products you sell.
Being known locally is an important way to get more local visitors to your website, which will translate into more local business. Even if you want to do business internationally, there is nothing wrong with being known locally as it can open a lot of doors for you in terms of public speaking, coaching and teaching - in addition to making more sales.
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The interconnected world we live in allows for plenty of distractions. We have distractions by coworkers (or if you work from home, spouses, pets and children). The worst usually involve our own vices such as browsing the latest sports scores, pulling pulled into social media, or seeing which band is going to be playing at our favorite music venue.
Some of these distractions are welcome, and should be. However, too often, they can become a nuisance that interferes with our productivity. Use our following tips for time management to try and stay focused.
Determine Your Most Productive Working Time
We all experience ebbs and flows in productivity. For instance, if you are a morning person, you may find that taking care of the most important tasks in the morning is your most optimal time. If that's the case, use the afternoon and evening for other more automatic or monotonous tasks. You may need to track what you are doing for several days or weeks to see when these optimum times are occurring and their frequency. There are helpful tools that can help do the tracking for you while you're on your laptop or in a browser.
Create a Plan on What Success Means to You
Throwing together a bunch of tasks is as useful as having no tasks defined. In other words, neither are very useful. Work with your co-workers or even just brainstorm to determine what kinds of tasks or goals will be needed for you to increase your productivity. Your boss or manager will have his or her department’s objectives in mind which can be used to determine how you can contribute to those. If you're an owner, or self-employed, doing this consistently can help you make adjustments for the tasks that are not working out or where you need extra help. What should you be outsourcing? Is it bookkeeping and accounting? Is it social media management? Is it other administrative tasks? Write down the business tasks that would increase your productivity if you weren't working on them.
Allow Yourself a Break
Having a well-defined plan is an ideal way to increase your productivity, but don’t beat yourself up if you happen to have a few days that are not as productive as others. Sometimes, the tasks are going to slip up and you are going to be more distracted than others. It’s normal and you should account for some down time to recharge yourself. No one is expecting you to be a productivity robot. It's often the times we take a break to unplug and be present with our friends and families that we have our biggest breakthroughs.
Time management is a skill and needs to be learned and applied. It takes some adjusting in the beginning but is really just a matter of changing how you structure your work and the tasks to complete your work. This requires a consistent commitment to making it work. Set routines for yourself. Identify your most productive times, and aim to work on the most important tasks when you know you can give your full attention to them. Using project management tools or even something as simple as scheduling your tasks in Google calendar, will help you be accountable.
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Finding a great intern has as much to do with your program, compensation plan, and the education you plan you have, as to how you advertise to fill the position. There are many ways to go about collecting intern applications and you can use one or more of these places to find a great intern. However, do create an online application form so that you can easily look through them and avoid spam.
With Your Website
Blog about your need for an intern, tell the world about what is involved in the internship, what the intern will be doing, mention whether it’s paid or unpaid, and provide a link to the application. The application should be as complete as possible to ensure that you can determine who is right for your internship mostly through the application process.
On Social Media
Share your blog post and application on every social media network that you have and encourage others to share it, too. That way more people will find out about your internship opportunity and hopefully you’ll get more applicants.
Via Local Colleges and Universities
Every local college or university has a career development center and will work with you to not only help you find appropriate interns but also help you ensure that your internship program is valuable.
Through the Grapevine
Start telling people that you have an internship opportunity that you need to fill and ask if they have any suggestions.
If you know anyone who uses interns, ask them how they found theirs and how they set up their internship program. You can learn from others simply by asking.
Through Your Local High School
If you need younger interns, you can contact the local high school to talk about your internship opportunity. Many high school students are also attending community college at the same time and would be thrilled to have an internship.
If you’re a member of any professional organizations, you can list your internship opportunities with them.
Post a Job Listing
Another way to find an internship is the same way that you find employees or contractors. List your opening via job websites as well as places like craigslist.org. Link to your online application rather than your email to avoid getting spam sent to your email address.
To find a great intern you need to have an awesome internship program. Plan out the internship program in advance so that you know how much work you’ll give them, what type of freedom they’ll have, and how you’ll rate the internship at the end of the contract. Then, bring on only the people whom you believe have the right temperament and really need the opportunity, and you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re one of the 43% of Americans who regularly skip the commute and simply walk down the hallway to get to work, you may be able to take advantage of a new, simpler home office deduction on your 2017 tax return. Entrepreneurs and home-based workers can claim a deduction each year for their workspace, plus a percentage of their utilities and even mortgage payments.
Taxpayers still have the option of using the original Form 8829 to calculate their home office deduction, but the IRS estimates that using the new option will save small businesses more than one million hours each year in record-keeping and paperwork. It is suggested that home-based business owners first assess whether the $5 per square foot calculation will be more or less than the $1,500 limit. If it’s below the limit and they don’t have significant depreciation expenses, it may make a lot of sense to use the new simple form. If the amount is well over $1,500, then going through the old Form 8829 will be your best option.
The first step in deciding how to maximize the home office deduction is making sure your space meets IRS criteria. IRS rules state that the office space must be used regularly and exclusively for business purposes. If you work at your kitchen table with merely a laptop, that's a no-go. Then you must calculate whether the new simplified deduction makes the best financial sense for your situation or if itemizing deductions on Form 8829 is the way to go.
Being a small business owner has many advantages, one of which may be the ability to work from home. The home office deduction is an additional perk for those who are fortunate enough to skip the commute and can help virtual business owners re-coup some of the everyday expenses they incur.
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