Monthly Archives :

April 2022

27 Engaging Ways to Use Mother’s Day in Your Marketing

150 150 Lauren Finamore

Mother’s Day is an ideal way to honor the women in your life who have helped you become the person you are today. In recent years, it has surpassed the celebration of one’s own mother and encompassed grandmothers, women we think of as second mothers, mother-in-laws, fur moms, best friends, and even female mentors. Mother’s Day is also a great way to honor women in our world who have made a difference.

Broadening the definition of mother also allows for a more inclusive celebration on a day that can, for some, be a sad occasion. While everyone may not have a mother living or a good relationship with one who is, everyone has a special woman in their lives who they can celebrate.

Mother’s Day can now be transformed into a time to honor those women who have nurtured us and helped us grow, whether they gave birth to us or not. Keep that in mind in your marketing.

27 Ideas to Celebrate Mother’s Day at Your Business

Here are some engaging marketing ideas to celebrate this heart-warming holiday:

  1. Host a contest by inviting people on your social media page to share stories about the special women in their lives. Allow people to vote on the best and award prizes.
  2. Offer a Mother’s Day discount. Offer a discount to your audience and invite them to share with their favorite moms out there.
  3. Give away a Mother’s Day flower (or other free item). Provide a flower to every woman who walks into your store (or buys something from you) and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day.
  4. Record a video of your staff telling stories about women who influenced them.
  5. Share your mother’s best recipe.
  6. Create a gift guide. Work with other businesses to list their items and services as well.
  7. Offer last-minute, e-delivery of gift cards.
  8. Send reminder emails counting down the days until Mother’s Day with gift suggestions or ways to honor their mom.
  9. Create a video of a DIY project for mom.
  10. Host a special event moms would enjoy.
  11. Create kits of things moms can do with their kids.
  12. Create a taster or tester bag, free with purchase to all ladies in your store.
  13. Offer a free consultation or roll out a new service for busy moms.
  14. Create a page (or landing page) dedicated to Mother’s Day shopping.
  15. Create a themed board on Pinterest of gift ideas, places to take your mom, or activities to do together.
  16. Offer a “Tell your story” session or memoir writing for moms class.
  17. Create a special wine-pairing or tasting event in honor of moms.
  18. Host a tea at your business. Encourage people to dress up. Offer prizes for best hat or outfit.
  19. Post mother-related quotes on social media in the week leading up to the big day.
  20. Hold a Mother’s Day selfie or funniest video contest.
  21. Host a photo contest of moms with your product.
  22. Offer chair massages for moms while people browse or wait for food.
  23. Run a “Caption this” picture contest with an endearing picture of motherhood.
  24. Invite people to share pictures they think epitomize motherhood.
  25. Encourage people to share generational pics of mom, grandmoms, great grandmoms, etc., or post about how much you miss your mom if she has passed on. You might be surprised how many people identify with this sentiment on Mother’s Day.
  26. Host a “Tag your mom (or a special woman)” for a chance to win contest.
  27. Post funny questions on social media. Categories could include “hardest working mom in the animal kingdom,” “Who has it harder—boy moms, girl moms, both?”, “Sign you’re a mom”, or “This or that” questions “like which would your mom like more as a gift—chocolates or jewelry?”.

This year, have some fun with Mother’s Day and use it to get more engagement with your audience while also bring smiles to many faces.

Letter from CEO Sam Taylor

150 150 Pat Monacelli

“For nearly five years I have had one of the most exciting and rewarding careers that a person could ask for. As President and CEO of the Broomfield Chamber I was able to help organizations thrive in the north metro area by introducing them to potential customers and vendors, elected officials both local and state levels, and even helped them make new friends. During the pandemic the chamber was there for our businesses to promote them, let people know what was open and how to support local businesses, and even helped companies navigate the various funds that came from the federal government as well as state and local governments.

I’m proud of the work I was able to accomplish, and now it is time to move on to the next chapter in my life. My last day as CEO of the Chamber is May 6th, and I leave behind an amazing staff that won’t miss a beat in supporting our businesses, nonprofits, and the entire community. I appreciate all the support I have received from all aspects of community, and it really made a difference in my recovery over the last few weeks. There are a few last events I will attend as CEO: the After Hours tomorrow at the Hilton, Suds with Sam on Friday, and the Coffee and Conversation on April 26th. I hope to see many faces that have thought about going to one of them but need an extra reason. Now you have one!

My last request of all of our members? Support your local chamber and make a difference in your community! Thank you for your personal support, and of the chamber over the years.”

Sam Taylor

Do You Have These 10 Things on Your Business Website? You Should.

150 150 Lauren Finamore

Written by: Christina R. Metcalf

If you’re a small business, you probably bootstrapped your website content, picking it up here and there, copying what you like from other sites (hopefully not word for word), and adding as you go. That’s the way most small businesspeople do it unless you’re lucky enough to know someone who offered their writing services or have it in your budget to have it written for you.

But do you ever wonder if you have the type of content that will transform the casual web visitor into someone who buys?

Here are the components you need on your website to ensure more sales conversions.

Top 10 Most Critical Website Content

Don’t let this list overwhelm you. While it’s extensive, you can check these things off as you go or work with a copywriter and designer who can accomplish most of this quickly.

If you want more sales, you need these things:

  1. Keyword rich content. You need people to find you, but you also want them to read your content. It takes finesse to write for humans and search engines. Make sure you have plenty of keywords in your text for SEO but that they work in a way that will also be appealing for your audience.
  2. Mention of where you are. Your website can be seen all over the world and you’re not the only “Columbus” out there. Somewhere you need to mention your area. This not only tells visitors if they can come take a look in person but also helps with SEO and local web referrals. Many businesses incorporate the mention of the surrounding areas in their content, not just in the footer.
  3. Call to action. People are spending time with you. Give them a next step with a call to action. Make sure your CTA matches the page the visitor is on. “Learn more” linking to additional resources is a solid choice for introductory pages. “Work with us” is better for more in-depth content.
  4. Links to social media. Most people won’t continue to return to your website to interact with you, but they will check to see what you’re doing on social media since they are already there. Make sure you only include the sites you are active on. There are no prizes for listing the most social media profiles.
  5. Things you’re doing. If you host events or are participating in a festival, make sure people know. Tell them where they can find you outside of your business.
  6. Your personality. You don’t want to look (and sound) like everyone else. Let your personality shine through in your content. Even if someone else is writing it for you, make them aware of what tone you want and give them examples.
  7. What your audience wants. This may sound like broad advice, but good content reflects what your customers and potential customers want from you, whether that’s information/education, entertainment, or inspiration. A hardware store, for instance, may find DIY project content gets a lot of engagement or visits than straight text, while a florist may find that an album of floral designs is its most visited area of the website. Experiment with different types of content and media to see what gets the most action.
  8. Internal and external links. You want people to spend time on page, that means you want them to “hang out” on your website and get to know you. You do this by keeping them interested and giving them things to do. That’s where internal links come in. Use them throughout your content to help visitors explore in-depth. For SEO, you also want external links to high-ranking websites (always have these links open in a new window/tab so visitors can get back to your content easily). High-ranking websites like industry or news sites can be beneficial, linking to your next-door neighbor, less so.
  9. Visitors want to feel safe. Talk to a cybersecurity person to find out not only how to achieve it, but what assurances you can give your audience that they are safe with you.
  10. Affiliations, awards, and testimonials. If you are affiliated with any community groups (like the chamber) or have won awards, add them to your site. If people are saying amazing things about you or you have excellent reviews, post them. These things will all serve as a testament to your value and improve your trust rating among new visitors.

 

These things are just the beginning of what you need in a high conversion website. There’s a lot more you can do but start off with these basics and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

4 Myths You Need to Bust Before Hiring an Intern for Your Business

150 150 Lauren Finamore

Written By:  Christina R. Metcalf

As summer approaches, and it does every year at about the same time, business owners start to think about ways in which they can use the extra help of available college students. Back when I was a college student at a small liberal arts school in the Midwest, the undergrads waited each spring for the internship listings to be published. Once they were we poured over the ones that were in exciting cities with large stipends. The review took about three minutes because they just didn’t exist. “Exciting city” always equaled free labor.

Today, employers have less leeway in what they offer college students. While there are some college programs that “pay” students in credit hours, and thus prohibit employers paying them a salary, most do not and that means businesses are faced with the “to pay” or “not to pay” question.

Myth 1: There Is No “To Pay” or “Not to Pay” Question

If you’ve been lining up a bunch of busy projects for the summer in the hopes to land some free help, get over it. While I’m not an attorney, I can tell you this paid versus unpaid intern question has come up in court several times and the employers ended up paying the interns after all. Mega publisher Conde Nast was sued by former interns in a class action suit for not paying and settled for $5.8 million. NBCUniversal settled as well.

The only “free” work out there isn’t really work. If you created a program that was more of a hands-on apprenticeship where you spent time teaching and everything was done under your tutelage, you may qualify for a free intern. However, the guiding principle in deciding whether interns deserve a salary is if what they do could be done by a paid employee, as in would you hire someone to do what they are doing if they weren’t available? The Department of Labor also has a six-point test for deciding whether interns should be paid or not.

 

Myth 2: Interns Are Good for the Bottom Line

At first glance, it would appear interns are great for the bottom line. Even if you do give them an hourly wage, it’s usually much lower than what you’d pay an employee. But the amount of time you’re going to invest in an intern isn’t going to make this a cheap labor solution.

If you create an intern program it should be out of a desire to bring new energy to the workplace, instill a love of your industry in the new generation, and/or as a way of giving back. With the salary and the mentoring you will be doing, it will probably cost you more than if you simply hired a temp or a virtual assistant.

Still, there’s something rewarding about an intern program. Amy Baxter, founder of MMJ Labs told OPEN Forum, “…although we enjoy having extra people and energy, the value we have gotten from interns hasn’t helped the bottom line. It’s something we enjoy, and it’s a great way to expose entrepreneurs to the startup world. We’re really doing the program to give back.”

 

Myth 3: Today’s Interns Are Just Looking for Experience

Yes, they want experience but not experience filing or shredding documents. They want real business experience and many of them will want input into the projects they work on. Today’s interns are looking to make a mark on what they’re working on, not just add a line or two to a resume.

They may be interning to try and decide if they want to work in your industry or not. Most of them want to get broad exposure to what working in the field would be like. Filing doesn’t do that.

 

Myth 4: Interns Want a Job

Some interns are hoping for a job at the end of the internship or at least a contact they can add to their network and someone to circle back with upon graduation. But some interns are considering several fields and they may be testing the waters in yours. Others intend to go into business for themselves and they may be interning for you just so they can see how a business works. Understanding their motivations will make it a much richer experience for all involved.

Bringing on interns can be very rewarding and these myths should not stop you from exploring that option. You just need to be honest about your business goals and why you want to develop an intern program. If it stems from a desire to see things differently, give back, or bring in a new energy you’ll most likely be satisfied with the results. If you thought it was a good way to cut costs, look into virtual assistants.

10 Things to Do for Your Business Instead of Watching TV

150 150 Lauren Finamore

 

10 Things to Do for Your Business Instead of Watching TV

Written By: Christina R. Metcalf

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. While we may have different responsibilities, the most productive people learn to use their time in valuable ways no matter how little of it there is. They quickly grasp the best way to use “stolen minutes” in between projects or appointments. Some even keep a non-critical to-do list of all the things they want to do when they have those unexpected moments. That way they can make the most of them when they appear.

But if you want to take your day back and get some of those mission critical things done that you never seem to have time for, you may need to be honest with yourself. Instead of waiting for an opening in your day, create one by taking back your night.

After all, how much is binge watching TV really helping your business?

We get it. You need that down time after a busy day. You don’t want to think. You’re burned out. TV is easy. You’re spending time with family. Whatever your excuse is as to why you’re losing hours in your night staring at a screen, you could be moving your business or yourself forward. If you need to unwind that way, give yourself an hour, not three. Here’s what you could be doing instead with just 1-2 hours each night.

Better Yourself or Your Business in 1-2 Hours a Night

Use your evening time wisely and you’ll see results quickly. In the time it takes to watch a movie, you could be:

  1. Learning something new. Not sure how that nurture email should go? Want to learn more about customer engagement techniques? There’s a video on YouTube for that.
  2. Growing your follower count. Take time to have conversations with people on social media. Comment on their posts. Answer their questions on yours. Share content. Give to get.
  3. Creating a lead magnet. Stop procrastinating and create that lead magnet or think about different types of lead magnets. Choose the type you’d like to create and hire someone to get it done.
  4. Looking into freelance or virtual assistants. If you want more time in your day, consider all the things you can give someone else to do for you. What activities are worth your time, and which are not. Outsource what can be done less expensively than your hourly charge. For instance, if you can get someone to create website copy for you for $50 an hour and you bill clients $200 an hour for your time, creating copy is an inefficient use of your time when you could be doing things that are billable at a higher rate.
  5. Researching what your competitors are charging. Adjust your rates or prices if need be. Costs are increasing. Are you still turning a comfortable profit?
  6. Looking into grants and contests. There’s still a lot of money out there. Some grants can be used for fun things too like curb appeal. Contests can get you new exposure and grow your audience.
  7. Setting goals for the year. You don’t have to do this in December. In fact, you should look at your goals periodically to make sure you are on track and that they still fit your business. Don’t forget your professional goals. When you work for yourself, no one is there reminding you to learn about a new marketing trend.
  8. Reading online materials that are critical to your business or industry. Follow pundits and industry gurus and take time each day or week to stay on top of trends.
  9. Assessing your insurance and legal needs. Think about risk in your business. Are you covered? Reassess periodically.
  10. Taming the next day. Look ahead to tomorrow and organize how you will tackle the day. Focus on what must be done and plan to do that first before the fires break out.

 

While TV is a nice brainless way to unwind, if you feel like you never have enough time in the day, chipping away at couch time is an easy tip to become more productive. We can’t give you more time in your day. But with fewer hours in front of the TV, you’ll feel like you have a greater number of hours than usual.