Digital Marketing

The 14 Worst Tips I Have Ever Heard To Grow A Business Online

Growing a business is not as simple as getting up in the morning and shouting ‘grow!‘ at your favorite _______ (device) screen.

It simply does not work this way.

Yet, this does not mean hard work alone is going to yield positive results.

There are certain tips which are provided by ‘experts’ who are not aware of what truly works.

They are trying to grab your attention and will say anything.

Outside of governmental requirements, taxes, labor/hiring – sales remains the single most important problem facing your business today.

sales growth biggest problem business chaosmap

So, to avoid making mistakes in scaling up your business, let’s take a look at 14 ideas that have been uttered over the years about growing an online business.

They are downright untrue and should be ignored.

#1: Having A Great Business Card And/Or Logo Is Most Important

One of the worst tips online entrepreneurs tend to see is the emphasis on little things.

The ’80/20′ rule comes to mind when speaking about this tip.

80% of all success is going to come from 20% of the work being done. Things like the logo and/or business cards are in the rest of the 80% which have minimal impact on growth.

What you should be focusing in on is the business plan, marketing campaigns, and how you are going to appeal to the target market.

Things like the business card are not going to push you into a new tier. (I don’t carry business cards anymore. People are surprised by this, but interestingly enough – not the ones I do business with.)

They might help you out when you reach the top in order to solidify what you have, but nothing more.

Don’t just focus on these things alone or you will never grow.

#2: Money Will Come Naturally As You Grow

This is a common tip given because it is assumed as long as you are growing, the money will also come in.

No, this is not the case at all.

It depends on how you are growing.

If you are putting all of your money into marketing and start to grow, what is it going to take to ‘break even’?

You need to have the accounting down pat before you start to look at growth as being a reality for you.

Growth does not equal success in many cases. It just means your problem has grown larger.

This is why money should always be accounted for as you are in the business of making money not solely in the business of growing.

Sometimes, it is better to make money in your small niche rather than wasting time doing the same thing in a larger sub-section.

#3: Focus On The Product Rather Than Customer Service

There are so many people who feel their product is what will woo people.

Last year, I met an entrepreneur who had spent $1.5 million dollars on product development, only to realize (too late) that his low priority marketing and non-existent customer service prevented his actual launch. His product didn’t sell and he ran out of money. Nice guy, but business is brutal.

Sure, quality products are going to attract people, but it is the brand positioning, reviews and customer service that will make them spread the word and keep coming back.

Growth does not occur on the backs of new customers alone, it comes on the backs of those who are already loyal and trust you.

They are the ones who are going to end up being repeat customers and will influence growth.

Just take a look at some of the largest online businesses and you will see the emphasis they put on customer service. They will do whatever it takes to appeal to their customers.

The product is important, but so is customer service for growth. Take care of your existing base of revenue and referral opportunities.

#4: Be Involved With All Social Media Platforms

Social media is the way of the future and those who deny this are not of this world.

You have to realize that word-of-mouth is only going to work through social media. Interacting on these platforms is key.

However, there is a line that has to be drawn in the sand with regards to how social media is used.

There are some businesses who take this advice to heart with regards to just adding their business onto all social media platforms.

Even the ones they have never heard of. Instead, stick to the main options such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube — at least to start. Research your market and find out where your prospects hang out and engage there.

Don’t start adding profiles to social media accounts that are not used by the target market and/or are not even utilized in the country! It does not make sense and you are wasting time.

Plus, it is going to cut into the time you spend on the social media accounts that matter.

#5: Copy Your Competition

Want to grow?

Why not copy what your competition is doing and call it a day? Sounds simple enough right?

Well, this is shocking advice and there is a reason for this.

Have you truly analyzed what your competition is doing? Are you sure their results are not going to plummet in the long-term? You don’t know their game.

Do you just want to stay neck and neck with them? Don’t you want to go past them?

This is why you should not copy. Yes, you can learn from what they are doing and take notes, but that is all.

You need to work on putting together a comprehensive solution as you are not getting a peek into their books. Next thing you know, not only does their company go down the drain, but so does yours along with them.

Don’t make this foolish mistake as this tip is not worth your time.

#6: Hire Based On Resume First

Let’s assume you are going to spread out and hire more people to do the work for you. This happens when you are looking to grow and get larger.

You will want to bring in those who are talented and will reduce the stress that is being put on you and your team.

This is fine and is a great thing to do. However, there is advice that tends to get passed around with regards to hiring based on the resume.

You have a vision and you are going to want certain team members, why would you ignore this at such a crucial moment in your growth?

Hire not only based on qualifications (which are important), but also on the person themselves.

Look at how they work and what they are providing in terms of their mindset. Only then should you hire them. Don’t just look at their resume and pick them based on this alone.

Lead by example, and make yours a fun place to work too.

#7: Remain Firm With Your Ideas

You have this collection of ideas right? Well, stick to them.

This is the advice you are going to get from many people.

This is horrible advice because look at some of the best businesses and you are going to see how they change as time goes on.

You are not going to win bonus points for not changing. You will lose out and probably not even have a business to talk about if you get stuck.

The goal should be to grow the business and that means listening to what people have to say and then doing your own research prior to making a decision. This is the signs of someone who knows what it takes.

Who on earth today creates a business plan with excruciating detail, and doesn’t stay flexible to change? Only those who want to lose the business game, does that.

#8: Wait Until Everything Is Set Before Expanding

It happens far too often and this advice is perplexing to put it nicely.

The business will know they have to grow and that includes releasing the product and/or service as soon as possible. Yet, they are going to keep waiting because they are nervous about pulling the trigger.

They don’t want to see how the market will react. They’re scared, and stuck in analysis-paralysis mode.

You have to realize this as soon as possible because you want to gauge how the market will work. The damage being done by those who don’t launch is higher than those who do and then fail.

#9: You Don’t Have To Be Different To Make Money

This goes along with the idea of copying competition. You do have to be different in order to make money.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.

If you don’t become different whether it has to do with pricing, types of products/services being launched, or customer service, you will lose out. It is critical to sit down and take a look at what you are doing to be different and then market these differences.

Be passionate about them and the approach you are taking. This is the only way to go.

#10: Pump A Lot Of Money Into “The Thing” And Results Will Come

Just keep throwing money at it. This is what they will tell you.

This is wrong and will lead you to bankruptcy.

You have to analyze what is happening and then tweak along the way. Throwing money at things is not going to work.

You are simply wasting your time.

#11: Try As Many Marketing Campaigns To See Growth

Keep trying new marketing campaigns, platforms and “shiny” tools and see how things go.

You are going to be spreading yourself far too thin and that will lead to minimal results. You need a lot of data to see what works.

This is where thinking “unique targeting” with your approach is key. Look at what the target market tends to react to and then market in those areas first. Find a group of hungry “buyers”.

#12: Target Unrelated Markets For Growth

This is advice some have been given over the years and is utterly absurd.

Let’s suppose you are working in the acne niche and want to make sure your skin care product is up to par with requirements.

So, you will start to dive further and deeper into this particular niche. You will advertise to those who are dealing with these concerns.

One day, you will get a bright idea to spread out and towards an unrelated market such as those who want thicker hair. Does that make sense? No, it does not.

Sure, you might be putting the product in front of new people, but these individuals are not targeted. They could care less about your business and what you are selling.

They want hair care products, not acne related options. Spread within the niche and stay there.

#13: Link Building Is Not As Important As Content

Ranking online is important any business owner worth their salt is going to focus in on this. What is the value of not building links?

The advice given to many online entrepreneurs is to focus on the content they have in place and make sure their sales copy is up to speed with market requirements.

Growth does not take place without link building. You can attract this via earned, paid and owned media.

You need to get the word out and quality links from other sites in the niche will do a lot for you. It will increase your chances of ranking on major search engines and this will bring in more traffic. Include keywords into your content, create marketing campaigns and regular promotions too.

What is the point of working on the sales copy, if there is no one to read it?!

It is shocking to see people work with such a mindset and while the sales copy is key, it is not the most important aspect of growing online.

#14: Increase Pricing To Show Quality Or Decrease It To Sell More

Sounds reasonable enough, right? Wrong!

This is an absurd idea and one of the worst things to do when looking to catalyze growth for an online business.

You are making a horrible mistake by doing this.

There are so many people who do this with reckless abandon. They are unaware of how consumers react.

A bad pricing strategy is a mistake many make because they are working with a linear mindset.

What does this mean? Price going up does not signal quality.

The consumer is not as naive as you might assume. It can come across as being greedy and will hurt the bottom line.

While, dropping the price is also a sign of unsure pricing. It will resonate with the consumer and they might buy at first, but over time they will move on.


These are the tips one should be ignoring when looking to grow their online business.

There are so many hurdles along the way and adding to your worries by agreeing with these tips is going to make things worse. It will reduce the chances of being able to see progression.

Running an online business is not easy, but that does not mean you sabotage yourself and hinder growth by following the wrong advice.

Complete your research and see what works and what does not before moving forward.

Don’t use your business as a means to test incorrect theories no matter who it comes from.

Reach out to our consulting team next:

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7 Local SEO Tips for Your Small Business

The Internet is constantly getting more competitive and high, non-local organic search engine rankings are harder to achieve.

The new “3-pack” from Google has made things even more competitive. There are even less screen real estate in the local Google maps than before. (It used to be the 7-pack, not too long ago).

But for many businesses, especially small businesses that target their local markets, the most relevant forms of traffic come from local search.

What can you do?

FREE WEBINAR: Register For Your Free Access so you can get more value from keywords and your content. Includes 2 bonus gifts not found in this article.

local seo tips small business marketing

1. Use keywords to target local areas

Targeting a local market can make Google local SEO go a long way, especially since high rankings in local search are much less competitive.

For example, contractors targeting keyword phrases such as “general contractor” will have to compete with virtually every other English-speaking general contractor in the world, while businesses targeting “elkhart general contractor” will only have to compete with general contractors in Elkhart who happen to own a website and are actively trying to SEO optimize their websites.

TIP: Adding location & local phone numbers modifiers that describe your keywords and pages better, tend to have a higher conversion rate as well.

Facebook advertising

What Donald Trump Can Teach You About Facebook Ads (Or You Are Fired!)

First question: Has Mr. Donald Trump, multi-billionaire real-estate mogul begun to teach businesses about Facebook Advertising now?

Second question: What can he teach business owners (that’s you!) about using Facebook Ads, “dark posts” and creating engaging conversation online?

Third question: Did Mr. Trump recently say that “you are fired” if you don’t run Facebook ad campaigns a certain way?

I’ll address those questions below. But first – do I have your attention now? Good! As you’ll see – any one of these 5 Facebook advertising insights will help you become better with Facebook ads in 10 minutes or less.

Facebook advertising is highly cost effective when done properly, but it also can seem rather complicated and confusing if you are a beginner with this type of social media advertising method.

Facebook has established a system that gives you greater flexibility and control over your advertising campaigns. While this system is beneficial to those who are experienced with it and knowledgeable with the campaign structures, it is best to take time to learn more about the campaigns before you jump head first into your first one.

With some research and insight about these campaigns and the Facebook advertising system, you can achieve better results right from the start.

1. Determine What Your Advertising Goals Are

One of the best steps to follow when you are creating a new Facebook advertising campaign is to determine what your goals are, and this step should be taken before you start to prepare your campaigns with Facebook.

You may have a desire to boost sales with existing Facebook followers or to expand your reach. You may want to promote a seasonal sale or announce a big promotion. The fact is that you may have multiple things to say to or share your audience, and you may have different things to say to separate niches within your target audience.

By defining these goals up front, you can better determine if you need to create one campaign or several to communicate your messages in the most cost-effective manner.

2. Understand the Difference between a Campaign, an Ad Set and an Ad

It is important to note that Facebook has created strategic advertising campaigns with a layered, or structured system. For each campaign, you can create multiple ad sets, and for each ad set, you can create multiple ads. Keep in mind that these different layers have different features and controls in place that give you greater command over your ads. (For advanced users – see Power Editor)

For example, at the ad set level, you can set a target budget and define an advertising schedule for a group of ads. At the ad level, you can control the image and message for your ads with unique results.

3. Create a Unique Advertising Campaign for Each Goal

With the customization features in place for Facebook ad campaigns, you will be able to customize a unique campaign for each goal that you want to achieve. Within each campaign, you can create small goals that will help you to achieve your milestone accomplishments.

You will be able to review analytics for each ad set and ad, and you can turn the ads or the entire ad set off and on at your leisure to control costs. The sets can be customized to run indefinitely or for a specific range of dates, which gives you greater control over your campaigns.

4. Make Final Decisions and Analyze the Results

Before you run your campaigns, you will need to make a few final decisions. For example, you will need to define how much money you want to spend on each one, and you will need to determine the placement of the different ads. Facebook gives you flexibility over placement so that you have greater ability to reach your target audience.

In addition, you can set the range of dates for when you want to run your ad. For each ad set, you can analyze results and can fine tune your ad sets and ads to achieve better results going forward.

5. Test and Re-Test Your Ads

With your Facebook ads and campaigns, you will have complete control over your results, and the best way to ensure that you enjoy the best results for your advertising budget is to test and re-test your ads. You can review your results with the built-in analytical features, and you can fine tune the ad sets and ads.

Compare the different results between the changes that you make to determine which ads and ad sets give you the best overall results, and you can have better control over the results. These changes may be changes in wording, images, placement, size and other factors. By manipulating these features,, you can improve your results dramatically.

There are many reasons why businesses today overwhelmingly choose to spend at least a portion of their advertising budget on Facebook advertising campaigns. This is a highly effective way to reach out to your target audience, and Facebook is an expansive enough social media platform that most target audience niches can be reached through it.

More than that, with the ability to customize campaigns, ad sets and ads, you can easily have as expansive of a reach within the website as you desire. While there is a lot to learn about starting your first Facebook advertising campaign and you can learn a lot as you go, these tips can help you to fine tune your first campaign so that you enjoy the best overall results.

In Summary:

I hope you enjoyed this post, and sorry if the headline was a tad bit sensational. (Donald Trump has not sponsored this post. And, while he’s not teaching Facebook ads in a traditional classroom setting, he displays his own personal approach to creating engagement and positioning, the importance of brand building … and being DIRECT).

This article is meant to serve you. First, to get your attention – and then help you understand. Finally, help you take action to get started on changing the way you run your Facebook ad campaigns.

CONGRATULATIONS! You’re on your way to up-leveling the way you advertise and market your business (and on Facebook) this year!

If you want to learn more, join our DFY page where we break down the details for Facebook ad campaigns to avoid making mistakes with your FB ads.

Social Media

Don’t Get Social Without a Social Media Strategy (Facebook)

According to TechCrunch, over 30 million small businesses have active pages on Facebook.

Facebook also reports there are over 645 million views on local Facebook pages with over 13 million comments. It’s easy, and free, for business to get started on Facebook, but that also means you’re in stiff competition to attract a loyal audience. Fortunately it’s not difficult to plan and execute a Facebook social media strategy that works for your business.

Here are some tips to get started:

Setting Up Your Account

Dive into Facebook by creating a business page. Simply log in to your personal account and establish your presence. Follow the prompts and ensure you categorize yourself appropriately so customers can find you. Once you go through the basic set-up, thoroughly fill out your “About” section of your page and add more about your business, website, how to get in touch and some photos.

Establish a Posting Frequency

Don’t just sit back and wait for customers to start commenting, you may never see any traction. Post articles, news, photos and trivia questions to get some activity on your page. Brainstorm with your staff to figure out your posting frequency by determining what times of day your target audience is probably the most active.

Some companies like Walmart post early and often to attract a loyal following.

Meanwhile, Starbucks posts plenty of product photos but their content is sparse. Surprisingly, both strategies work for these conglomerates. In Starbucks’ case, customers seem to pay more attention when there are updates because they’re infrequent. For Walmart, customers get involved through the regular updates and always have the retailer on their social media radar.

Add Photos and Videos

Uploading product photos and videos are a good way to establish a brand with your customers. But there are more ways to post photos and videos than simply uploading a shot of your latest release. Instead, ask customers to upload content in front of your store or holding your products.

Ask people to write in funny captions for their own photos, or to create their own caption for an image you recently uploaded. Give away coupons and freebies to entice your audience to keep engaging and spreading the word about your company. Give bonus prizes for customers who upload a video testimonial.

Make It Useful

Turn your Facebook presence into a resource for customers looking for useful information and tips. For example, the LifeLock Facebook page frequently posts news and articles on identity theft protection that expand past their own brand. LifeLock also posts updates from their blog, like tips on helping seniors avoid scams.

You can also make your Facebook page useful by offering content your customers can’t find anywhere else. Offer coupons, insider sales information and host a free video chat that targets your customers

Encourage Testimonials

Encouraging testimonials means taking the good with the bad. Don’t censor customers who had an unpleasant experience with your company. Instead, encourage unsolicited feedback to gain trust with new customers who want to balance the pros and cons of using your services or buying your products.

Bare Minerals takes a largely hands-off approach to their Facebook page and lets consumer feedback drive traffic.

With over one million likes, the company’s approach is working. They also post frequent sales, updates on events and new product releases to keep their engaged audience informed.

Get Organized

It’s easy to get swept away in the excitement of social media and quickly get lost in the details. Stay organized by creating a social media content calendar. Hootsuite offers examples and tips on how to create one along with downloadable examples.

You can also use the site to schedule your posts for days, weeks and months in advance across all your channels from Facebook to Twitter and Google Plus.

online marketing

9 Ideas For Building Traffic To Your Website From Pinterest

Pinterest has grown to be a major social networking site that has the potential to greatly increase the traffic to any website. That’s why it is important, especially for new and pioneering businesses, to incorporate this social networking site to their online marketing strategy.

Although using Pinterest itself is already an effective habit, knowing and applying these nine ideas for building traffic to your website is something that will accelerate your success.

pinterest_logo_red-large1. Generate Original Ideas

Posting original content within Pinterest is going to be the key to your success, so make sure you always have new and great ideas. You have the option of repinning, but becoming truly influential means also posting your own ideas. The key is to express your message effectively and making it interesting at the same time. Posting effective and enticing content regularly will earn you a loyal following.

2. Get Great Visuals

Visuals are key because there needs to be something worth pinning and re-pinning in the first place. Enticing the eyes of your users is the most effective way to get their attention. This is where finding awesome contributing photographers and illustrators to work for you come to play. It’s also good to mix up your content by pinning videos on your board.

3. Add Pin-It Buttons to Your Site

The easiest way to get your site content shared is to install a widget on your site. Don’t underestimate the power a Pin-it button has in getting your content out there. Before you add one, you need to determine whether adding such a button is beneficial for you. If your site has a number of different widgets, it might be better to remove one first and replace it with the Pin-It button so you don’t clog up your site.

4. Pin Up Blog Posts

Like any social media site, you shouldn’t go overboard when posting your own content. You should always focus on providing good content for your users that they can share with their followers and friends. Make sure the topic of your blog post matches the board you’re pinning it up to. Ensure that the image you’re using is of high quality because it is the first thing users will see.

5. Link Your Pinterest Page to Everything Else

Linking your profile to your business website, your other social networking sites, and pages filled with related content gives you the opportunity to gain as much exposure as possible. With them all linked together, viewers of your Pinterest profile will have access to any website you want them to look at, which increases your chances of sales. Doing this will benefit you because after acquiring a decent size following, your other sites are all put in the spotlight for your followers to view.

6. Cozy Up to Big Brands by Showing off Your Content

Most big, well-known brands suck at Pinterest. They may have a solid following, but they’re still trying to figure it out. You may not know it, but you can help them. If you’re consistently sharing awesome visuals that lead to quality content on a topic that’s relevant to their audience, they will re-pin your stuff over and over again. In turn, you will get exposed to their audience and grab some of them to follow you too.

7. Organize Your Pinboards

Believe it or not, users may not want to follow every topic or category you cover. Let them pick and choose, don’t have too many of them. If a user has to scroll to see more boards, they likely won’t. Focus on well-curated boards with defined categories so you could make things easier for your followers to choose.

8. Name Your Pinboards Wisely

Don’t over-complicate your pinboard names with clever names. Pinterest users make a split-second decision to follow you or not follow you and never return. Going too generic isn’t advantageous as well. Naming your pinboards somewhere between generic and overly creative is something important you must learn overtime.

9. Spread Out Your Pinning Across All Boards

It’s not good to focus all your attention on only one board. It may overwhelm those following that single board and turn off those following the other boards. Even if it’s a board you can’t find much content for, it’s better to update it every so often than to leave it dormant. Take the time to update your boards at least once a week to keep things fresh for your followers.

Pinterest takes some time to get used to, but once you have enough followers, seeing the numbers drastically increase is a great reward. Provided that you keep posting good content, your followers will start recommending you and repinning your content. This allows more people to stumble upon your profile and see your posts for themselves. It is a great cycle that just needs to be fueled by top quality content, so make sure you don’t leave it out of your online marketing strategy.

Email marketing

7 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing For B2B

Email marketing is a great way to reach your target audience as personally and uniquely as possible. It is also cost-efficient because all you have to do is compose a weekly or monthly newsletter to attract their attention and convert them into loyal customers.

With the many changes to advertising and online marketing in the B2B markets, you must adapt the way you do your newsletters to the needs and accessibility of your audiences. Updating your approach as often as possible is the only way you can retain the interest, excitement, and quantity of your e-subscribers.

Here are seven ways you can improve your email marketing campaigns.

Lead with a Great Subject Line

E-mail marketingIt might be better to write your subject line after you’ve done the whole newsletter. This will help you have a better grasp on what your email is all about. Find subject lines that meet the average character limit and effectively portray what your newsletter is trying to say. The keywords that you think can pull people in must be near the beginning.

Your readers use desktop computers and mobile apps, which have different character limits. The simpler and shorter your subject line is, the better chances for your message to come across.

Get to Know Your Audience


Setting your newsletter to fit your target audience is one thing; learning about their surfing habits, interests, and online mindset is another.

The first step is to have a rough idea of the demographics you want to reach. Once you’ve sent a couple of emails, your analytics can begin to determine who are receiving and reading your emails.

Refer to these analytics regularly to see what devices people are using to read your newsletters and what links they click the most.

Balance Design and Content

A rule of thumb is to never use images in your newsletter, or at least minimize your usage. Some markets, for example – the financial services industries may require more (stock charts, analysis charts, etc). But, most of your recipients can’t see the images included in your email, meaning they can be a great waste of space. In that case, consider adding a special report or document (PDF) that contains all in one, neat format. Putting links on images is also a very bad idea. Instead, just use well-coded html instead of a heavy image design. Pay close attention to the font size, colors, and screen size of your email and test it first to ensure things go smoothly.

Load Your Email with Obvious Links

The main purpose of your newsletter is to drive traffic to your landing page, product page, and website. This can help your audience get familiar with your website and build brand loyalty in the long run. Make sure you put in at least one link per paragraph to get the most out of your newsletter.

Underline the links and color them differently. Use strong and authoritative calls to action. Capitalize on every moment where the user may feel compelled to click. Directing them to where you want them to go is the first step in marketing, so don’t fail on it.

Check Spam Rules

Avoid getting your email flagged as spam and removed from your recipients’ in boxes  It is important to familiarize yourself with these rules at the very beginning of your email marketing campaign to start right. If your message is filled with links, your email provider may flag it as spam and filter it into a different section.

This is the worst thing to happen on an email marketing plan because your audience will not see your newsletter. It may be tempting to send a harder sales email, but it only takes one email that looks like its high spam to keep you out of the inbox for weeks, months, or even years afterwards.

Send During the Perfect Time

While email checking will vary from person to person, the best times to send an email is every afternoon during the working days Tuesdays to Thursdays.

People are busier with their personal lives during Fridays to Mondays because of weekend plans. These days, they tend to shy away from the daily grind. Keep in mind that sending your newsletter at the right time can make your recipients care more about its content. Do a little research on what times work best in your professional industry.

Set Realistic Goals

While email marketing is popular, bear in mind that its open rate and click-through doesn’t result into massive numbers immediately. It takes time, and even then – you must continue to test, and develop the relationship with good, quality info, news, tips and insights. People can be overwhelmed with new inbox arrivals, so your email can be ignored or they can just scan through the contents quickly. The results of your first attempts may underwhelm you. The secret is to build it up overtime by providing interesting and quality content.

Remember that your goal is to make people buy whatever you’re selling and build trust around your brand. Grab every opportunity to remind users that they won’t miss out on the valuable information you can send them if they add you to their email contact list. This way, you can increase the number of people receiving your newsletter and improve your open and click-through rates.