Ask MarketingSherpa: How do small businesses find clients?

We frequently receive questions from our email subscribers asking marketing advice. Instead of hiding those answers in a one-to-one email communication, we occasionally publish edited excerpts of some of them here on the MarketingSherpa blog so they can help other readers as well. If you have any questions, let us know.   Dear MarketingSherpa:  I have a question for you. In this ever more increasing digital age — where pressing palms and getting face time is getting harder and harder. How do small businesses find clients? I am a graphic designer/marketer whose business model is to contract with other small businesses. Much like a General Contractor hires subs when they build or remodel a house. When I get together with other contractors in the marcom field (web designers, marketers, other designers, branding specialists, etc.) the first question is generally ‘So, how do you find new clients?” The answer is generally referral, […]

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9 Low-Cost Business Ideas for Animal Lovers

Startup cost: $1,000 Equipment: baking materials, kitchen costs, shipping costs, base ingredients, packaging materials Sick of going to the store for dog biscuits every week? Think cats deserve some unique treats too? Start a pet bakery business! Gourmet pet snacks are not only a unique business idea, but they could also be your foot in the door for other animal-related businesses. There are many options with animal treats ranging from a focus on healthy, all-natural selection, to unique and crazy flavors. Just make sure to do your due diligence for what dogs can and can’t eat — for example, did you know that dogs can get sick from eating onions, garlic or avocados? “It took me three years before I opened to come up with recipes that are safe and that dogs would love,” said Penny Milligan, owner of pet bakery The Hungry Hound. Karry Barolo, owner of D.O.G. Bakery, whose products are carried […]

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A 5-Step Approach to Commanding More Attention in a Competitive Industry

Here’s how to position yourself and your business. February 21, 2019 8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. There is only so much attention to go around in any industry, so positioning both your personal brand and company correctly is extremely important if you want a piece of the action. It becomes even more difficult in ultra-competitive industries like real estate and online marketing. So, how do you break through all of the noise and be seen and heard in a competitive industry? Many experts simply say you should become a thought leader or an influencer, but you can’t just label yourself a thought leader. That isn’t how it works. Your actions make your audience view you as a thought leader or influencer. When I started my company, I spent a lot of time developing my personal brand in order to stand out. The online marketing industry was (and still is) very […]

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5 Steps for Turning Your Invention Ideas Into a Product

Now that you have all of the kinks worked out of your design, it’s finally time to file a patent. There are two main patents you will have to choose from: a utility patent (for new processes or machines) or a design patent (for manufacturing new, non-obvious ornamental designs). You can write the patent and fill out the application yourself, but do not file it yourself until you have had a skilled patent professional look it over first. If the invention is really valuable, someone will infringe on it. If you do not have a strong patent written by a patent attorney or agent, you will be pulling your hair out later when a competitor finds a loophole that allows them to copy your idea. It’s best to get the legal help now to avoid any legal problems in the future. Follow these steps to help you choose the best patent […]

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Nike High-Tops Split Open Mid-Game, Injuring Duke Basketball Superstar Zion Williamson (60-Second Video)

Here are three things entrepreneurs should know today. February 21, 2019 1 min read   Duke basketball’s superstar freshman Zion Williamson suffered a knee injury after his Nike high-tops split open during a play, causing him to leave the game. Puma trolled Nike about the incident, tweeting, “Wouldn’t have happened in the pumas,” but later deleted it. Samsung gave further details on its highly anticipated foldable phone yesterday at the company’s Galaxy Unpacked event. Called the Galaxy Fold, the $1,980 phone will be available April 26th and come with a free pair of Samsung’s new wireless earbuds. An enterprising Girl Scout turned Samoa cookies into Jason Momoas — and sales skyrocketed. Colorado fifth-grader Charlotte Holmberg worked with her mother to feature the hunky Aquaman actor on the box. “The moms are getting really excited and they’re saying that they need them,” Holmberg said. Watch the previous 3 Things to Know video: Turn Your Business Plan […]

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What a Two-Tiered SERP Means for Content Strategy – Whiteboard Friday

If you’re a big site competing to rank for popular head terms, where’s the best place to focus your content strategy? According to a hypothesis by the good folks at Distilled, the answer may lie in perfectly satisfying searcher intent. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab! If you haven’t heard the news, the Domain Authority metric discussed in this episode will be updated on March 5th, 2019 to better correlate with Google algorithm changes. Learn about what’s changing below: Learn more about the new DA Video Transcription Hi, Whiteboard Friday fans. I’m Will Critchlow, one of the founders at Distilled, and what I want to talk about today is joining the dots between some theoretical work that some of my colleagues have been doing and some of the client work that we’ve been doing recently and the results that we’ve been seeing […]

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The 5 Worst Tips I Received When Starting My Business

The key to seeking advice is knowing when to ignore a suggestion that goes against what your gut instinct is saying. February 21, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. At every stage of my journey as a startup founder, I’ve sought advice from mentors, industry experts and other entrepreneurs. Whether my aim was to gain insight into the unfamiliar market I was entering or obtain guidance on growing a business and building a team,  I was always — still am — a big believer in hearing what others have to say. Related: 5 Pieces of Common Startup Advice That Do More Harm Than Good There is, however, a caveat here, because the key to seeking advice is knowing when to ignore a suggestion that goes against what your gut instinct is saying. Doing that is not always easy, though in some cases for me it was easy, because […]

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Facebook’s Constant Tracking on Android Can Now Be Limited

Facebook for Android is always tracking your location, even when you aren’t using the app. However, the latest update finally allows you to limit this tracking rather than disabling it completely. February 21, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Until now there’s been a big discrepancy over the level of privacy available to users of Facebook’s app on iOS and Android. iOS users could limit precise location tracking to only when the app was in use or never. Android users had an all or nothing option, meaning if location tracking is enabled, Facebook will always be tracking you even when the app is closed. Facebook blames Android for this difference being present as Location Services can either be turned on or off. However, it seems the social network had the power to do something about that and they’ve finally decided to do so. An updated version of Facebook for […]

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What the Newly Elected Women in Congress Can Teach Us About Leadership

These four congresswomen are among those redefining what it means to be a woman with power. February 21, 2019 8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. A record number of female leaders were elected to serve in the 116th Congress. For the first time ever, 23.4 percent of the voting members of the House of Representatives are women. Related: Diversity Wins: All of the People Who Made History in the 2018 Midterm Elections And that’s exciting, to be sure; but it’s also a teachable moment, because female entrepreneurs can learn a lot from this new class of congresswomen who are boldly redefining what it means to be a woman with power. Here are several lessons in leadership from four of them: 1. Have the confidence to be unabashedly you. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who at 29 years old is the youngest woman ever sworn into the House of […]

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Tips for Working with a Video Production Company for Your Next Event

In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, Transcendent Enterprise is featured as one of the Top Video Production Companies in New York. Check out their profile here. As an event planner, what do you do when your client needs filmmaking services? For the client, video services can add extra value, but, as with all things, good fortune favors the prepared. As the owner of Transcendent Enterprise, a popular video production company in New York City, I’ve worked with plenty of event planners whose experience ranged from none to pro. So, whether your client needs video services for a conference, summit, event, workshop or the like, and whether it’s their first time hiring a video service company of 500th, here’s a few key things you should know and expect in order to guarantee a successful experience. Before you hire a production company, find out exactly what the client needs. It sounds simple, but there might […]

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4 Ways to Successfully Turn Your Day Job into a #SideHustle That Earns You #PassiveIncome from #ThePowerofPassiveIncome

Find out which key moves you can make to take your side hustle passive. February 21, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from Nightingale-Conant’s book The Power of Passive Income: Make Money Work For You. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound Few people are lucky enough to love their 9-to-5s, and more people are finding themselves doing something else on the side, either to add to their income or feed their passion. Sometimes, those side hustles start to feel more like the real thing, and suddenly, these people are dreaming about running a business of their own. Sound familiar? If you’re one of the thousands of people dreaming about turning your side hustle into a true business, you’re not alone. Moving away from a steady, full-time position to being on your own […]

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Faulty Update Bricks Nike ‘Self-Lacing’ Smart Shoes

Android users who bought the Nike Adapt BB are taking to the Google Play Store to complain. ‘Broke my $350 shoes with a Nike update,’ reads one review. February 21, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Nike’s new basketball smart shoes are apparently bricking due to a faulty firmware update. Android users who bought the Nike Adapt BB are taking to the Google Play Store to complain. “Right shoe won’t connect after update and battery dies within a couple of hours,” reads one review for the Nike Adapt app, which connects to the shoe. “Broke my $350 shoes with a Nike update,” reads another review. It isn’t clear how widespread the problem is for Android users; currently, Google Play shows 18 largely poor reviews for the app, all related to the update issues. But those appeared right after the shoes launched over the weekend. Nike didn’t immediately respond […]

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Blogging Lessons I Learned From Spending Two Nights in the Woods

You’ve probably come across an online quiz or seven where they ask if you’ve ever done this, if you’ve ever eaten that, or if you’ve ever visiting this place or that. You tally up your score and determine that you’ve still got a lot of the world to see, a lot of food to eat, and a lot of items to tick off your bucket list. Even though I was born and raised right here in Vancouver, I’ve always wondered about how Canadian I really am. I mean, I enjoy poutine and beaver tails as much as the next hoser, but I can’t skate (I know, right?) and I’ve never actually been camping. That is, until another Canadian dad blogger thought it might be a good idea for us dads to go on a social media-fueled camping trip. So, even though I’d never been really “camping” a single day in […]

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Starting a Small Business? This $20 Class Will Teach You How to Help It Thrive.

Barry Moltz shows students how to establish profitable, sustainable ventures across 15 hours of content. February 21, 2019 2 min read Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. To say it’s difficuly to get a venture off the ground is an understatement. If you’ve ever considered such an undertaking, you’re probably well aware of the cautionary statistic that more than half of startups fail within four years. But do you know why so many small-business owners (SBOs) are doomed? As consultant and marketing influencer Matt Sweetwood points out in a guest piece for Entrepreneur, the reasons why the average small business crashes and burns are manifold. In the majority of cases, there just isn’t a market for one’s product. But SBOs […]

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The Influence of Voice Search on Featured Snippets

This post was originally published on the STAT blog. We all know that featured snippets provide easy-to-read, authoritative answers and that digital assistants love to say them out loud when asked questions. This means that featured snippets have an impact on voice search — bad snippets, or no snippets at all, and digital assistants struggle. By that logic: Create a lot of awesome snippets and win the voice search race. Right? Right, but there’s actually a far more interesting angle to examine — one that will help you nab more snippets and optimize for voice search at the same time. In order to explore this, we need to make like Doctor Who and go back in time. From typing to talking Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and queries were typed into search engines via keyboards, people adapted to search engines by adjusting how they performed queries. We pulled out […]

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2019’s 5 Best WordPress Directory Plugins

The Internet is full of directories. In fact, your website might already be listed on some directories right now. Depending on the scenario, directories have multiple applications and use cases. For example, Yelp is a popular option for consumers to find a restaurant or service in a specified area based on their search parameters, while a directory like Angie’s List connects people with contractors for things like electrical work, landscaping, and plumbing. Both of these websites are very different, yet, they are both directories. Essentially, directories are databases. They serve as an easy way for users to find more information about a particular subject or business. Regardless of your business type or industry, there’s a good chance you can find a way to implement a directory on your website. Law firms use website directories to list their lawyers and employees. Real estate companies have directories for their listings as well […]

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What Your E-mail Sign-Off is Really Saying

Find out what business etiquette experts have to say about the expressions we use to end work-related emails. February 20, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. You’ve just finished composing an email to a potential client you’ve talked with a few times before. Now for the tricky part: your sign-off. Should you use “Sincerely,” “Kind regards” or “Cheers”? How do you sound friendly without coming across as unprofessional? And then there are the emails to your employees, business contacts and friendly acquaintances. Unfortunately, there’s no “email bible” to guide you. That’s why we contacted two business communication experts to discuss what’s appropriate. Suzanne Bates, president and CEO of Bates Communications, Inc. and author of Speak Like a CEO: Secrets For Commanding Attention and Getting Results, and Cherie Kerr, founder of ExecuProv and author of The Bliss or “Diss” Connection? Email Etiquette For The Business […]

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3 Not-So-Obvious Ways to Nurture Your Creativity

This week was all about nurturing your creative spark — in new ways that you might not have considered before. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman reminded us of something that every writer needs in order to do their best work. Easy to forget, important to remember. On Tuesday, Pamela Wilson swung by to help writers get over the intimidation factor of creating visual content. When you add compelling visuals to your terrific writing, you’ll make a much stronger impression with all of the content you publish. Don’t miss the chance to attend Pamela’s free workshop, where she’ll walk you through creating signature branded images for your own projects. And on Wednesday, I let you know about a nifty new tool — the THINKERS Notebook. It was developed by our business partner Sean Jackson, and it has some neat features that will help you capture, refine, and share your great creative (and […]

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How This Rock Musician Became a Successful Entrepreneur

Jeff Rose sits down with his good friend Chris Greenwood to discuss his amazing and unlikely career path. February 20, 2019 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Jeff Rose talks with entrepreneur — and frontman of the band Manafest — Chris Greenwood. Greenwood first flexed his entrepreneurial muscles as a Christian rock musician. From there, he went on to build his own series of courses and podcasts. Greenwood talks with Rose about how his succcesful career as a musician, during which he toured frequently across the globe, allowed him to quit his former office job and eventually retire from the road. The profits from song streams allowed Greenwood to make money and start looking into new projects he was passionate about. He began his entrepreneurial journey one day when he stepped into a second-hand store and discovered a book that changed his life. Shortly […]

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How A Father And Son Teamed Up to Infuse The Family Ice Business with Cannabis

Mt. Everetts Frozen Creations puts CBD in Italian Ices, and customers are eating it up. February 20, 2019 5 min read Last winter at MJBiz Con in Las Vegas, the longest line at the convention was for a tiny Italian Ice stall, where two guys shoveled free samples of cherry and lemon ices into little cups. The guys were Al and Troy Everetts, a father and son team from Pennsylvania. And the product they were serving for the first time ever was called Mt. Everetts Frozen Creations — traditional Italian Ices infused with non-traditional CBD. This was the last place on earth the two ever expected to be — at a marijuana convention three thousand miles from the family’s Italian Ice and custard shop in the small town of Kingston. How they got there and why is a story of a good idea, good timing, and good recipes.  Related: How to Start […]

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