TollFreeForwarding Infographic Cover

I have always identified myself as a night owl. And while I like to pretend I’m proud of being able to watch every episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, I secretly wish I could start my day bright-eyed and bushy-tailed like some of my early-bird friends.

Most great leaders start off their day early and, according to this infographic by TollFreeForwarding.com, it only takes a few habits to condition yourself to be a morning person!

My favorite tip from this infographic is to “save the bedroom for sleep!” I know that I often lay in bed with my computer to complete work, send emails, or browse different blogs. I’m even guilty of doing the same on my cell phone. Though, this graphic points out that if you leave your bedroom for sleep only, you will help condition your body to recognize your bed as a stimulus for bedtime. In turn, this will help you fall asleep faster and sleep longer.

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Screenshot of Tory Burch accessories

Today we’re going to talk about one of my personal pet peeves as a brand marketer: the assertion that functionality is what truly wins customers. Or, more simply, that consumers don’t judge a book by its cover.

One would have thought that after Apple came in and crushed the personal computer market that the proponents of the ‘function over form’ argument would have been silenced for good. However, this line of thought seems to have no expiration date. Every time I see a commercial from a company-that-shall-not-be-named comparing its products side by side with Apple products, I can’t help but roll my eyes a little.

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Abstract 3D Printing

Growing up, the UPS brand was always close to my heart. With my father as a dedicated professional driver for the delivery service, the former motto ‘What Can Brown Do For You?’ took a very literal meaning in that it provided for my household.

However, as I earned my degree in business and became more familiar with various industries, I learned how important the phrase ‘What Can Brown Do for You’ was to the small business.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs are often under tight budgets and time constraints; but to be successful they need the cooperation of big brands to assist them with their limitations.

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laptop on a desk at night

I was browsing the internet the other day (because I had writer’s block) and I came across the article 6 Ways To Power Through Writer’s Block. I found the advice to be pretty spot-on for those times when I am staring at a blank screen drumming my fingers on the keys and not actually pressing them. But the most sure-fire way I’ve found to beat writer’s block is to never get it in the first place.

Before I shifted my career toward content marketing, I had experienced patchy creative blocks here and there while writing college term papers, creating ad copy, or putting together newsletters. I have become much more intimately acquainted with writer’s block in recent years, however. Since joining Webs, I have written 424 blog posts. That’s 424 staring contests with a blank screen – not all of which did I win. But over the years I’ve learned some tricks of the trade that I’d like to share with you here today for avoiding that all-too-familiar situation in the first place:

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zomato_not_so_long_ago

In this digital age, we have become accustomed to a fast-paced society. We always are thinking about how to better build our websites, how to make everything mobile-ready, and how to better target our audiences. But sometimes, it is nice to take a moment and reflect on the way things were; and keep tabs on the trends to prepare for in the future.

The Delhi-based food app, Zomato, has done just that with their recent series of illustrations depicting ‘For the times they are a-changin.’  While some pictures display how terminology has changed with a bird tweet now referring to a Twitter tweet, others show how behavior has also changed when you can’t sit down for dinner without uploading your dinner’s photo to Instagram.

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Personal portfolio site example

Here at Webs, we are chock full of website marketing solutions and advice for entrepreneurs looking to launch and grow their small businesses. But what if what you’re trying to promote is yourself? Don’t worry enterprising self-branders – we’ve got your back too.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your own personal branding site or online portfolio, check out this well-organized and energetic site from Webs user Jaclyn Vetrano. A recent graduate of SUNY Geneseo, Jackie uses her website to promote herself and her body of work to the world (specifically to possible future employers, we imagine). Let’s talk about some of the elements that really make this personal promotion website pop:

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Save on Facebook Example Photo

Trying to keep up with the amount of articles published each day is a struggle. But small business owners and entrepreneurs need to stay abreast of the latest news and stories. Not only do you want to read about your industry, but other topics that interest you as well; knowing tidbits and facts about a variety of topics will give you an edge in conversation and innovation.

I just stumbled over a tool in Facebook that can assist in this conquest of knowledge, and of course I felt obligated to share it with you! The tool is called Save on Facebook. This feature (which works much like Wunderlist, Pocket, or Feedly) allows you to collect links on Facebook that you would like read, but need to save for later.

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Excerpt from Twitter infographic

Hard to believe, but tomorrow (September 23) is the first day of fall here in the northern hemisphere. And with that comes exciting changes to things like leaves, wardrobes, and marketing strategies. Yes, that’s right, it’s officially time to start talking about holiday marketing! Specifically, how your strategy should evolve to include Twitter (if it doesn’t already).

Last year around this time, Twitter commissioned a study to determine how the network influenced people’s purchasing behavior around the holidays. You may find the results in the infographic below surprising. Here are a few items that stood out to us:

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bookshelves

If you’re thinking about starting a small business, or have recently undertaken any entrepreneurial venture, you might be looking to expand your bookshelf. And since we’re all about saving small business owners time here at Webs, we thought we’d offer up some of the best, most inspiring, and most helpful titles we’ve read over the years. We hope you find it helpful, and please leave your own recommendations in the comments at the end!

Title: The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
Author: Chris Guillebeau
Why I recommend it: There are few books that I’ve read as inspirational and as actionable as The $100 Startup. The focus of this book is not how to found the next Google, Facebook or Apple. Instead, it facilitates the creation of time and money in order to pursue a meaningful lifestyle. I only read this book once, but reviewing it here has prompted me to dust it off and read it again. It’s hands down one of the best books that I’ve read. - Collin T., Search Marketing Specialist

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Collection of sports gear

Looking for ideas for a fun and engaging promotion to share with your audience this season? Look no further than the world of sports. Fall here in the US is rife with opportunity for sports-related marketing, but no matter what time of year or where you live, there’s always some opportunity to newsjack sporting events and create relevant coupon codes.

The first thing you’ll need to do in order to run this type of promotion is take a look at your target audience. Of the people whom you wish to engage, where do their sports loyalties lie? Here in Washington, DC, we have dozens of area sports teams, so local marketers would need carefully gauge who the majority of their customers are rooting for when planning a promotion. There are, of course, some events – like the World Cup – where it’s safer to assume who your audience is pulling for.

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