Fish looking at hook with lightbulb attached

If your business has a website, you face a monumental challenge. When a new customer visits your site, you have less than a minute to convince that customer to stay. Fifty-five percent of those visitors will leave less than 15 seconds after arriving. This puts the burden on your business to convince those customers to stick around.

“With attention spans seeming to get shorter every year, site design has to be more compelling than ever,” says Tomas Gorny, CEO of business communications provider Nextiva. “If you aren’t designing your websites to captivate potential customers, your competition probably is.”

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Content marketing vector

Content marketing has become synonymous with successful businesses over the past few years. However, it remains an anomaly to many. Today, we’re going to dive into what content marketing is and how it can significantly impact your small business. Let’s start with the basics.

What is content marketing?

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action,” according to the Content Marketing Institute.

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Summer vacation and social

June 21 marked the first official day of summer and we couldn’t be more excited! The summer season brings warm weather, longer days, and well-deserved time off.  For micro and small businesses, though, summer vacations can feel impossible. Small business owners feel conflicted about being away as it has real implications on the business. Yet on flip side, they’re working around the clock and need a vacation. On top of that, social never sleeps so allowing your social presence to dwindle while away isn’t an option.

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Customer Service Vector

We recently touched on the importance of customer experience and how companies large and small are tuning into this relatively new business area. However, with the advent of customer experience, we can’t forget about good old customer service. Customer service is a company’s backbone, and plays a central part in any business’s success. Yet, in these ever-changing times, traditional customer service methodologies are no longer making the cut. Customers have higher expectations, there is greater competition in the market, and support is no longer an ancillary entity, but rather an integral part of the customer experience. As consumer demands increase, innovating with the changing atmosphere is necessary.  As a small business, it’s the time to up the ante and refresh your customer service strategy.

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Monthly agenda with sticky notes and pencil

Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up social media accounts for your business and are gaining followers and increasing engagement daily. Your hard work is paying off, but do you feel like social media management is becoming a full-time job, on top of running your small business? With the numerous platforms available, all which have different functionalities and requirements – cue Twitter’s 140 character limit for tweets – it can be a cumbersome undertaking. You may find that you spend a shocking amount of time on this one piece of your business. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then keep reading!

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Smartphones with message icons swirling around

As small business owners, you know that networking is of utmost importance to building your business and credibility. Word of mouth endorsements are invaluable and you never know the connections you will make at an event or during an online networking hour. Yet, as a small business owner, attending hours-long events to establish relationships and potential partners is just not part of your daily routine because they’re a major drain on your most precious resource: time. Luckily in this fast-paced digital age, there are a number of professional networking apps that help you to network effectively on your own time.

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Gold medal with ribbon

Customer experience (CX) has become a hot topic over the past few years and with good reason. Superior customer service is no longer a primary requirement for attracting and retaining customers. The customer’s experience must be stellar, memorable, and positive in order to provide the traction previously supplied by white glove customer service. How the customer is left feeling dictates their impression of a brand and impacts whether or not they will return to the business. “When people make purchases today, they want that purchase to make them feel a certain way,” says Daniel Newman, President of Broadsuite.

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18-essential-entrepreneur-mantras_cover

Whether you’re just starting to think about striking out on your own, or you’ve been running your own shop for years, everybody needs a little extra motivation sometimes. It can take the form of advice from experts on social media, words to live by from inspiring figures, or an infographic that combines the two!

The graphic below from human resources solutions company Cornerstone brings together 18 mantras that can help prepare you for success or pull you out of a post-setback slump. Use the insights below for yourself, or consider engaging your own following by turning the quotes you see here into eye-catching social media graphics.

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Unlock Productivity vector

You’ve failed at being in two places at once, growing that third hand, and having the memory of a full-grown elephant; but on the bright side, some productivity hacks exist that can help your small business thrive in its natural busy and stressful environment.

So take a deep breath, and count to eight to start using these eight productivity tips as soon as you can!

1. Complete your least desirable tasks first
There’s nothing quite like the sensation of crossing something off of your to-do list. But, the tasks that have been sitting on that list for days (cough, weeks) are the most satisfying to eliminate. Imagine if you made an effort to do those tasks FIRST, you will feel more productive instantly.

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Forbes Jargon Madness

Does it crawl all over you when people suggest a deep dive on a certain topic? Will you, in fact, punch the next person who refers to a new idea as disruptive? Whether it’s getting something on the roadmap, increasing your team’s bandwidth, suggesting a paradigm shift, or doing anything via bootstrapping, startup jargon can wear on even the most ambitious entrepreneur.

It’s important to be able to speak the language when dealing with potential investors and partners, but it’s also important to be self-aware and do your best not to overuse jargon. Sure, we might need to ideate on hacks that can lead to deliverables that address clients’ pain points, but let’s have a little fun while doing it, eh?

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