Getting Tired of Your New Business? 5 Sources of Inspiration That’ll Rekindle Your Love

Keeping your business alive and well takes a lot of energy, effort, and planning. It’s quite frankly exhausting! When you feel that you’re at your wit’s end and that you don’t want to work on your new business anymore, turn to these 10 sources of inspiration to rekindle the love you have for your new business.

1. Talk to Happy Customers

It’s easy to focus on the negative, but at the heart of your business, you provide benefit to your customers. Make it a point to talk to them about their experience with your company. Learn why they love your company and what it does for them. You may be surprised at what you find.

2. Take the Day Off

Nobody can continue to work forever. If you’re feeling especially disillusioned, take off an entire day from working. The world will not implode because you took off 24 hours, we promise.

3. Imagine Going Back to a Day Job

A wise business comrade once reminded me that when you work for someone else, you’re making them money. When you work for yourself, you’re making that profit for yourself. Imagine going back to a day job and what that would be like. It may seem that it would seem easier, but there was a reason you decided to open your business and skip the 9 to 5. Remember why.

4. Invest in Business Training

Whether an ebook, an online course, or an in-person workshop, invest in business training to give yourself a new perspective of your business. It may inspire you to make changes or to deploy new growth strategies.

5. Find a Quality Outsource Provider

When you feel overwhelmed, you might just have too much to do so you separate yourself from your business. Find a quality outsource provider, like the Triassic Media Group, to take over some tasks you don’t need to do yourself. We’ll take care of your marketing, content writing, and website maintenance needs so you have more time for other things.

How to Explain Website Development to Your Grandparents

When you think about the history of personal computing, most people have only had access to laptops and desktop computers in their homes for the past 20 or so years. For senior citizens, many of them never had to learn how to use a computer or to look something up on the internet. As such, it can be difficult for them to understand why website development is such an important aspect of your business.

Here’s how to explain website development to your grandparents.

The Business Directory or Phone Book

Most senior citizens know how important it was to keep a copy of any business directory or phone book that they got, just in case they needed to get in touch with a local business. After all, you never know when you’d need a plumber or a roofer.

Let them know how websites now serve as a phone book of sorts. When prospective customers need a plumber or a roofer, they’d search for one in a search engine like Google. The business’s website is what would show up. Instead of having a single line to let customers know about their services, the business has an unlimited amount of pages.

The First Impression

While many businesses still rely on business cards and brochures as a part of their marketing efforts, a website is a business’s first impression. While a professional, well-written website says a lot about what it would be like to work with a business, a typo-filled website with little content says the opposite.

If you need help creating a professional website, contact the Triassic Media Group at info@triassicmedia.com.

How to Save Money on Your New Business

When you first start a business, you aren’t likely to see any profit for 2 years. (Most businesses won’t make profit until this time). Plus, you’ll see an increased amount of expenses. If you quite your full time job to start your business, you’ll have to find a different way to pay your bills and your savings will seem to drain quickly. Even if you kept your job, marketing materials and the sheer costs of growing your business can make it seem like you have no money…ever.

Here are some simple strategies to save money on your new business.

Do It Yourself

Whatever you can do yourself, try to do it yourself. If you need to make cold calls, make them yourself. If you feel that you’re terrible at it, cold calling is a skill you can learn about and practice. If envelopes need to be stuffed, don’t pay your family member to do it. Stuff them on your own.

Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to do it yourself. This is when learning a new skill would take up a tremendous amount of time you could use selling or the task requires expertise to complete correctly. Some tasks not worth trying to do it yourself:

  • Building a Website
  • Designing a Logo
  • Writing Website Content

Avoid Lead Generation Scams

You don’t need to pay someone to list your business in an online directory, as you can do this yourself. You also don’t need someone to find your business leads. Finding leads can be extremely simple to do, especially when you first start out. To get your first set of business leads:

  • Attend networking meetings to meet other businesses
  • Go door to door introducing yourself at an office park
  • Pay a nominal fee to participate in a vendor event
  • Perform a simple Google search for relevant businesses to your target market

Choose Free Alternatives

One of the biggest mistakes that new businesses make is that new business owners choose a high price solution they think they need instead of a free solution. Perhaps they do not know that a free solution is available or that it is somehow inferior to a paid solution. Other times there are free versions available of some of the most popular programs.

If you’re a new business owner, become extremely familiar with the following free programs. They’ll save you money and hassle.

It’s an exciting time to start a business. However, it’s also difficult. If you’d like some help along the way, email info@triassicmedia.com. We’d love to be your partner in business success.

 

Crowdfunding Campaigns

Part Four: How to Write Copy for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

What you write for your crowdfunding campaign has a lot to do with its success. Nobody wants to support some shoddy cause. Here are some ways to have your crowdfunding campaign’s copy stand out.

Invest Time in Great Writing (Headlines + Body Copy)

While word-of-mouth advertising is important to your success, your written copy will be the most widespread communication method. Crowdfunding platforms, commercials, and most other forms of advertising use written copy to convey information. The writing you have done to promote your cause needs to be high-quality. Most people cannot write on the level needed to create effective, high-quality written copy. Invest in finding and hiring someone to do your written copy who has the experience and the skills to do the best job possible.

This is especially true for your crowdfunding platform and other online channels. They have the potential to reach people around the world and convince them to donate without ever talking to you. You want your headlines and body copy to be the highest quality that you can get to ensure your success.

Describe Exactly What the Money Covers

One of the best ways to ensure that people will donate to your campaign is to tell them exactly what their contributions will do. People don’t donate to problems, they invest in your solutions. You have to explain to them how your solution works and how their donations can help you develop it. Many organizations do this by providing a detailed description of their operations detailing what the organization is doing and how it channels donations to facilitate it. If you can show donors how their efforts will help you solve a problem, they are more likely to donate to your cause.

Use Excellent Photos in the Campaign, Reminder Emails, and Social Media

Next to your written copy, your imagery is the strongest method of communication. People often connect more with pictures than they do with written text. So, you want to use powerful and descriptive photos in your marketing efforts. One good picture can be the difference between a successful campaign and a failing campaign.

Social media and reminder emails are great ways of disseminating information through pictures. Social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter are exceptional methods of distributing pictures with text that can get donors’ attention. Take advantage of your social media platforms to grow support for you cause by periodically sending updates with eye-catching pictures to get people involved.

How to Promote Your Cause on Social Media

Social media is great for promoting your cause, but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. You want to focus on providing images and text that can draw a viewer in with a positive mindset. You also want to do it in channels with appropriate context. Sending pictures that are off-putting and negatively provocative in the middle of an Instagram feed for funny memes is the wrong context for your advertisements. Instead, focus on using imagery that gets people interested in a positive way in the channels that your target market uses. Tailor your content to your audience so that you are drawing more people in rather than scaring them away.

At Triassic Media Group, we love writing crowdfunding campaigns. Email us at info@triassicmedia.com for a custom quote for your project.

Crowdfunding

Part Three: How to Get Your Donors Excited About Your Crowdfunding Campaign

It is entirely possible to find funding for your cause. People generally want to help solve problems, especially your family and friends. If you go about it in the right way, you can easily find the support that you need to raise funds for your cause. Crowdfunding is a valuable source of support, and will likely continue to be a major influence around the world. Here are some ways that you can keep your donors excited about helping you.

Set Clear Goals and Timelines

Supporting a cause is much like any other action that you take in your personal and professional lives. You need clear goals and timelines so that you can efficiently manage your efforts and produce results. Set clear and achievable goals so that you have something to aim for. In a way, it gamifies your efforts by giving you something to achieve. This works for your donors as well. People are more willing to donate if they feel that they can help you achieve a tangible goal. You are most likely to get donations when people see that you are close to reaching your next goal. It helps them see that even though they can’t donate a lot, the little that they can donate will make a big difference in reaching your next goal.

Thank Donors

Donors want to feel involved and appreciated when they contribute to your cause. When a donor sends you money and support, be sure to thank them immediately. A simple thank you note is enough in most cases and has a big effect on whether that donor spreads the word about your campaign. The more positive feedback that you can give donors, the more likely they are to donate higher amounts, donate multiple times, and tell others about it.

Crowdfunding platforms automate this process for you by automatically responding to donations. You can design a thank you note or gift to send to your donors as a way of giving back to them. The message or gift depends on the campaign that you started. If the campaign is focused on creating a product, you might send them one when it is finished. If the cause does not have a tangible product, then a well-designed thank you note is appropriate. The point is that you want them to feel appreciated for helping you.

Keep Thank You “Gifts” Low in Value

Regardless of the size of the campaign or the donations, thank you gifts should have a low monetary value. Expensive gifts cut into your donations and rub donors the wrong way. They don’t want to feel like their donation is used to send people fancy gifts. They want to know that the money goes towards the solution that you presented that convinced them to donate. Simple, thoughtful gifts are the key to creating a successful thank you gift. For example, a heart-shaped gift with a thank you note on it is appropriate for a campaign that is focused on solving heart-related issues. It is easy to find or design a heart-shaped gift that is relatively inexpensive. The fact that you put in the time and effort to create a relevant gift shows donors that you are more focused on the cause then other things.

Take advantage of this growing trend to make the changes in the world that you feel are right. Don’t forget that your family and your friends can be your biggest supporters if you give them the opportunity. Give everyone the opportunity to support your cause by setting up a campaign and spreading the word.

Kickstarter

Part Two: How to Pick Out the Right Crowdfunding Platform

If you want to collect donations for your cause, then you should use one of the popular crowdfunding platforms available online. Crowdfunding platforms make it easy for people to send you money for your cause. Without one, people won’t know where to send the money to. They also help you spread the word about your cause to a wider audience which increases your chances of getting the funding that you need.

In recent years, crowdfunding platforms have made it possible to raise billions-of-dollars for different causes ranging from helping people to creating new products. GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Patreon are three of the leading platforms, and they each focus on a different type of cause. Here is some information about the most popular options available.

GoFundMe

GoFundMe is likely the leading crowdfunding site for personal causes. If you are looking to find support for a cause like paying medical bills or taking a trip for yourself, then it is the best option. It focuses on the personal cause funding market and has raised billion for these personal projects.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a leading platform for funding creative projects. It doesn’t allow you to fund personal projects, but you can use the funds for developing products or starting your business. It is a great way to get started if you want to make a product that can help people, but you lack the funding to finish its development.

Patreon

Patreon is used mainly for creative work that does not produce a purchasable product.  Podcasters and other entertainment creatives use it to fund the development of their shows. It is a great way to find funding without having endorsement deals with major companies. Instead, you can get the funding directly from the people that enjoy your form of entertainment even though it’s on a platform where you cannot charge for it.

There are many other platforms that you can choose from. It’s important to read the fine print about these platforms first. All crowdfunding platforms charge fees for their services. Some charge you while others charge your donors. All of this information should be listed on their site or in documents when you sign up.

Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

Part One: How to Get People, Friends, and Family to Donate to Your Cause

Most people have a cause that they want to support. People do it through volunteering their time or raising awareness of the issue. Most people support causes by donating their money to fund it. In the past, most people struggled to find funding for their causes. Spreading the word, gaining support, and collecting donations were time-intensive endeavors. Technology and the development of crowdfunding platforms have made getting support for your cause much easier.

While you can use crowdfunding to fund your efforts, some people still find it difficult to raise the needed funds. There are specific steps that you need to take to gain support for your cause. If you are looking to find funding for your cause, here is how to get people, friends, and family to donate to your cause.

Decide on a Cause

Before doing anything to find support for your cause, you have to decide exactly what your cause is. Without a firm understanding of what you are working towards, you won’t be able to articulate it to other people. That’s a sure way to fail at getting donations. You need to determine what your cause is, what it is not, and what you want to do.

Your cause needs two components: a problem and a solution. Start by identifying a problem that needs to be solved. It can be a personal issue like finding a way to pay for medical bills. You can also pick a socially conscious cause such as supporting changes in local legislation. Once you have identified a problem, find a way that you can solve it. People are more likely to invest in a solution to a problem than they are to invest in a cause that won’t produce any positive changes.

Find Out if People Will Support This Cause

Once you pick the cause that you want to work for, do your research to see if others want to work on it too. Working towards a cause is pointless if you cannot get the support that you need to make positive changes. You will need the support of your community, family, and friends. Start with your close acquaintances like your family and friends. Poll them to see if they would support you in both monetary and non-monetary ways. Slowly expand your polling to others outside of your network. If there seems to be support for your cause in the community, then it is worth pursuing.

A fast way of researching your cause is to see if other people have tried to support it before. Some causes are universal and can be found around the world. If there are other groups working towards the same goal, then you can probably find the support that you are looking for.

Define a Target Donor Market

While it may be tempting to market to everyone, you will likely not be able to get the support you want without focused efforts. Choose a donor market to target when you advertise to get the most return on your time. For example, you will need to raise in the hundreds-of-thousands, if not, millions-of-dollars to make a tangible change in cancer research. So, you will want to target millionaires, billionaires, and their companies. These people and organizations are most likely to have the resources be able to donate enough for you to reach your goal. If you are working towards a cause that needs less funding to make a tangible change, then you can target people with fewer resources. Likewise, you’ll want to focus on local donor markets for local causes. Local donors will be more likely to donate since they are affected by local changes in the community.

Once you figure out your cause and donor market, it’s critical to pick out the right crowdfunding platform, get people engaged, and write the best copy. Learn how with our upcoming series about writing successful crowdfunding campaigns.

7 Ways to Come Up With Blog Post Ideas

Do you find it hard to come up with good ideas for blog posts? These ideas may help!

1. Set up Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free Google service. You can set up a Google Alert for anything you want, and you can set up as many of them as you want. If you set them up for your blog topic, you will regularly receive emails that have links to blog posts, news stories and other articles related to your topic. Those articles can be used as reference material for your blog articles or can simply be used to give you more ideas of things to write about.

2. Freewrite

Freewriting is the habit of writing without any real rules. It simply means to write about whatever comes to your mind, and to write consistently and as quickly as possible. It generally helps to set a timer and to write for a specific amount of time each day.

3. Answer questions people ask.

In your business, you likely have heard many different questions that clients or customers ask. Jot those questions down and use them as blog post titles. Simply answer the question in the article. This method is especially great for helping you be found in search engines since many people type questions into Google.

4. Read the news and think through how the various headlines might relate to your niche.

The daily news is an excellent place to get ideas for your blog. You may need to use your imagination a little here, but if you’re always thinking of your blog niche and always on the lookout for more blog post ideas through what you see online, the news will be likely to provide you with an abundance of blog post ideas.

5. Have conversations with people in your niche.

Sometimes conversations with others in your niche will spark ideas of things to blog about. It may be because they inspire you, or it may be because the person says something that makes you mad and you want to write about the opposing view point.

If you don’t have a lot of people in your niche to actually converse with, read blog in your niche and use the thoughts that they provoke to motivate you to write your own blog posts.

6. Get out in nature.

Nature can sometimes be one of the most inspiring places. There is something about nature that brings out the creativity in many of us, so especially if you’re feeling some sort of a blogging slump, spending some time in nature may be just the thing you need to break you out of your writing slump.

7. Exercise

Exercise not only gets the oxygen flowing, but the rhythmic nature of things like walking and jogging can get the wheels turning in your mind. The only problem with getting ideas while you’re exercising is that you may forget them by the time you get back home, so be sure to have something along to record those ideas.

 

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business management tools

6 Free and Low Cost Business Management Tools

Every small business needs an arsenal of online tools to achieve business success without breaking the bank. In today’s “freemium” world, many companies offer low-cost or even free online management tools that will help you stay sane and effective as a manager while increasing your productivity.

Best of all, they do the job without putting pressure on your pocketbook. Below are six of them worth a serious look.

Box

The ability to efficiently share important files such as spreadsheets, documents and presentations with your team, customers and other partners is crucial. Box, a cloud-based file sharing and storage solution, makes it easy to share files without complicating the way you normally work.

Getting started is a snap: Just drag and drop your content from your desktop to Box, even really large files. Be sure to check out the BoxSync download that lets you keep the content on your computer in sync with Box.

As a small business owner, you can enjoy instantaneous file backup, easy file sharing and the ability to access files from multiple computers and mobile devices.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks is all about making accounting fast and simple and was designed specifically around the needs of small business owners.  Just add your customers and you can easily generate professional-looking invoices and send them with the click of a button and even accept online payments.

One of the best things about Freshbooks is that although it’s easy to use, it still boasts a lot of really great features that help you stay organized when it comes to your money. Things such as reports, time tracking and expense tracking. Freshbooks is a cloud service, so your data is backed up and accessible from remote locations.

You also can access Freshbooks from all your favorite gadgets, such as your smartphone or tablet.

Insightly

Providing your customers and prospects with world-class service is something you strive for every day because you know how critical it is. Making sure that you and your team stay on the ball and even improve those efforts, especially as you grow, is a different story.

With the right blend of horsepower and ease of use for small business, Insightly’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software can help. It allows you to collect, organize and share important contact information so that you can manage the relationship more successfully and create a better customer experience.

Insightly offers a simple, friendly user-interface, which is huge plus, both for getting set up quickly and for getting familiar with the system. It integrates tightly with tools such as Gmail and Google Apps, so it will work well with systems you already have in place. With built-in project management tools such as tasks, milestones and notifications, you stay organized and deliver on time. Because the information is centralized, everyone on your team who needs to know what is going on can stay in the loop.

A cloud-based system with anytime, anywhere access, Insightly offers modern features demanded by savvy small businesses, such as smartphone access and social media integration.

MeetingBurner

Meetings and conference calls are an integral part of daily business activity. By introducing Web conferencing tools such as MeetingBurner, you can effectively and cheaply connect with customers and other colleagues who are far away.

Save yourself the expense and time involved in a business trip by using the Web for your next meeting. Simply schedule the meeting from within MeetingBurner, add it to your calendar and then email your participants the instructions provided. MeetingBurner automatically generates a conference call line that participants dial into as well as a website link to click on so they can see whatever you want to share with them from your computer.

MeetingBurner works for both Mac and PC, and will even send everyone reminders about upcoming meetings.

Mail Chimp

Email marketing with newsletters can be a terrific, cost-effective way to engage your customers and Mailchimp helps make it all painless and relatively quick. How do you build your list? What do you do when someone doesn’t want to receive emails anymore? What is the appropriate size when you’re designing an email newsletter? How do you know if people are looking at the emails you send? Mailchimp handles all of that for you – and more.

At its core, it helps you build your list, wrap your message in a pretty package, blast it out and track the results of your campaign. Other notable features include the ability to segment your mailing list, so you can target your messages according to the different needs of your customers and to integrate with services already in use by small business everywhere, such as Freshbooks, Google Analytics, Facebook, WordPress and Magento.

HootSuite

Is your small business leveraging multiple social media channels as part of your core marketing strategy? Are you looking for a smarter way to take control of your social media activity? Then give HootSuite a whirl. Hootsuite is a social media management tool that gives you a centralized place for managing, tracking and measuring all of your different social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and more.

Because Hootsuite is a cloud solution, all you need to access the service is an Internet connection and Web browser. Plus, HootSuite boasts a wide range of mobile apps to help users on the move.

From CRM to email marketing to social media, your small business solutions can be the difference between a smooth sailing enterprise and an ugly crash on the rocks. Fortunately for today’s small business owner, the modern world is competitive. That means more free online management tools than ever before.

client service

How to Go Above and Beyond for Your Clients

The importance of your clients can’t be understated, especially when there’s a great relationship brewing. Sometimes, it’s easy to slip into the comfort where you feel like you can stop bringing roses. Not so! It’s always important to make clients feel special.

Here are five ways you can go above and beyond with your beloved clients.

1. Add a Personal Touch

What better ways to show your clients you really know them by throwing in something personal? When preparing a new business package for a toy company who personally love plastic ghosts, create custom paper to print it on with some ghostly pictures on it. Or, include little puns related to ghosts in your reports. Simply adding little touches like these shows your clients you understand their needs.

2. Aim for Extra Communication

Don’t just stick to business emails or tweets! If you happen to see a funny website you know your client will enjoy, send them a message about it. If your client sells books and you happen to see something about a book bazaar in their town, let them know.

Crossing the line between formal and informal might seem tricky, but in this day and age of social interaction the boundaries have begun to blur. So don’t be afraid to nurture someone-on-one communication with your business associates.

3. Don’t Be Afraid of Real Life

I know we all spend a lot of time in the virtual world, but the outside one offers a lot of opportunities to get to know our clients better, too. If they’re local, invite them to a casual gathering. Having a little fun never hurt anyone, but, of course, keep it civil (unless you both agree to be a sun civil as possible!).

If they’re out of town, arrange a meeting next time you’re in their city, or vice versa!

4. Fixing Problems

If there’s ever a huge issue that comes out with your client, instead of merely satisfying their needs see what more you can do to help ease their suffering. Maybe a pipe burst in their basement and you helped cover some of their business needs while they scrambled to get it fixed. Now, perhaps you can recommend a good plumber and water restoration company?

5. Remember Dates

Everyone likes to get a little recognition on their birthday! Or how about a nice note when your client’s ten year anniversary rolls around? Don’t forget about when your client’s kid graduates from college or gets married, either. If you come across any important dates in your client’s life, add them to your Google Calendar for some easy points later on.