Why Your New Startup Business Will Benefit From Business Coaching

So you’ve got yourself a brand new startup business and you’re wondering where the heck to get started building your new empire. Let’s say you are starting an e-commerce store. All the online ads about starting an e-commerce store make it look and sound so easy. It’s not. There are many facets involved in pulling it all together and getting it to work right. That’s why your startup business will benefit from the guidance of a business coach.

Here are just a few hurdles you will face:

  • deciding what your business model will be, subject to evolution and change
  • picking an e-commerce venue that is right for your business model
  • deciding whether you will be needing dropshippers or making your own product or sourcing product to buy and stock
  • carefully researching your dropshippers to find one that will work with your budget and your business model
  • picking a domain name that fits exactly with your marketing brand that you will establish
  • picking the right e-commerce store template that will work for you – features, layout, customization abilities, etc.
  • choosing the right colors for your e-commerce store – color psychology is very important
  • setting up shipping, taxes, and other backend tools for a smooth and correct checkout experience for your customers
  • loading products
  • writing SEO friendly category or collection titles as well as descriptions
  • writing SEO friendly product titles and descriptions
  • pricing your product to fit your targeted market of potential buyers
  • properly creating a BUSINESS Facebook page – taking advantage of all the tools given, naming it in accordance with your branding
  • properly creating a BUSINESS Instagram page – again, taking advantage of all tools and keeping your branding consistent
  • tying Facebook and Instagram together so that they work seamlessly
  • integrating your store products on Facebook
  • integrating your store products on Instagram
  • establishing a branded Pinterest presence
  • putting your product feed out to Google Shopping
  • consistently marketing your product for best visibility and to keep it fresh
  • using the proper hashtags on your Facebook posts and your Instagram posts
  • researching best keywords on Google
  • choosing an email newsletter provider and creating attention getting emails

In most cases, the startup business owner will not have a comprehensive list like this to guide them down the path to success. And even if they do, it’s far too much of a daunting task without the knowledge and experience of a business coach to help you and guide you along. Cutting through all the hype and zeroing in on what needs to be done and getting it done correctly is critical to a successful launch and building up your business.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Small Business Start Up Coaching A Great Story

I’ll be very honest. My digital marketing agency doesn’t attract many high fliers with appreciable budgets – my agency has always attracted small businesses, Mom and Pop businesses, and clients with less than deep pockets. And that’s ok. To me, it’s very important that the average guy have a shot at making his or her dreams come true too.

My focus as a digital marketing agency is to establish that very special, one on one, personal relationship with my clients. The business coaching they receive leaves no question in their head that they can trust me, and that I know what I’m talking about. They have no question who will handle their account, their questions, their needs. It’s me. They don’t like to be passed off to an assistant, or anyone else. That being said, the close personal bond ensures that 90% of my clients stay with me for the long haul.

And so today it was my distinct pleasure to be able to help an emerging women’s fashion client to finally see some light shed on her venture, her dream, her project. We specialize in WordPress and Shopify e-commerce clients who want that custom look but more importantly that custom set up.

She started this project two years ago. Life got in the way. She phoned me a few months ago and said she was ready now to move forward. I set up weekly / biweekly meetings with her as our schedules permitted. We keep it moving forward.

Last time we met she wanted me to evaluate her choice of a dropshipper. I told her quite honestly that the one she picked would not be a good thing for her business. I also laid out a plan of action that we would need to follow through on in order to keep things going in a positive way. I presented other dropshipper options to her, and sent her home to think about it.

Today we met and she decided I was correct about the original dropshipper for the reasons we had discussed. She also like one of the other’s I had picked out for her, based on her ideas and goals for her new business.

So, we dumped #1 for #2. I suggested we explore different templates as the original shop template she picked out I wasn’t crazy about from a functionality and esthetics standpoint. After a few samples, we settled on a template that we both liked and would serve her very well.

We loaded a few products into her store just to get an idea of look and feel. So far so good. We decided on her branding details, so that her domain name, Instagram handle and Facebook handle would be uniform across the board. We purchased her domain name.

I explained the process to her, and how each of the parts of the process would work and in what order they needed to be addressed.

When we are eventually done, she will have a beautiful Shopify store, a shop on Facebook and a shop on Instagram. Then we tie it all together with expert marketing and SEO to generate traffic so she can make the sales.

And so it goes. Another satisfied client well on the way to making her dream of an online fashion boutique a reality.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Use the Instagram Name Tag to Make Your Business Viral

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t at least somewhat agonized over how to make their business go viral on Instagram, or at least gain more followers a reputable way. By the way, buying followers is NOT reputable and should be avoided. But I digress.

Instagram has rolled out a new feature called the Name Tag. There’s been alot of buzz about it in marketing circles, but I doubt few consumer users (the average Instagram user) even knows about it.

I’m here to enlighten you.

If you are a small business owner, this is an absolute must – have.

First, go into your Instagram business account. Tap on the three bars in the upper right hand corner. Next screen, choose Name Tag. Create a name tag using a color gradient background, an emoji background (if you find one that fits your business) or a selfie. If using the color gradient, tap on each of the four corners to get the color gradient you like best.

Create then save your name tag by tapping the upper right corner. On iPhone it looks like an upload icon; on Android it looks like a share button.

There are any number of ways to use this.

We have created a graphic image complete with visual instructions for each of our three Instagram business profiles. Two of our businesses sell tangible goods – vintage items and handmade jewelry.

See below. Each name tag is scannable just like a QR code right from your cell phone. Instructions are on the left. This way people who are interested have clear cut easy instructions on how to do this. Works like a charm.

 



 

We have a few printed in advance. Every time we get an order we include one of these promotional cut sheets in with the packing slip and thank you note.

For our SEO and design business, when we are giving a lecture somewhere or are at a networking event, we leave them on our table for attendees to grab or we hand them out.

It’a a great, non-intrusive way to make your business go viral with any and all Instagram users!

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

 

How to Handle the Social Media Pressure on Small Businesses

There is an incredible amount of social media pressure on small business and many do not know how to handle it. That’s completely understandable. Small businesses rarely have the budget to outsource their social media strategy and campaigns to high tech companies nor do they have the budget to hire an in house professional who can really deliver results.

Some small businesses DO have the resources to outsource to a local SEO and marketing company who delivers results and gives them good bang for their buck. Others cannot justify spending money on it at all and they just muddle along.

The result is that none of these companies actually understand how it all works and so they end up flopping around in the social media ocean, trying one thing, trying another, and ultimately failing at all.

Instagram

As an SEO and marketing company owner, I read many articles about the latest trends, about what works and what doesn’t, the latest and greatest, and it occurred to me not that long ago that the average person also reads these articles in an attempt to get a handle on it all as well. Thing is, the articles are written for us, not them. No wonder the average individual and the average business owner throw their hands up in the air in despair and swear they just don’t understand any of it it’s all too complicated.

Well, they are absolutely correct. I get it because I work with it day in and day out, besides which it’s just my thing. These people are trying to run their business, in addition to which they are trying to wear too many hats, and they are not going to be able to take on what’s involved with establishing brand recognition across the board on all mediums.

Facebook

So, I decided I will write a series of articles not only explaining various topics in layman’s terms, but also with visuals that truly dumb down many of these topics which are too complex.

Some of the topics I will explain are Instagram, Facebook, e-commerce in general, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Shopify, WooCommerce, WordPress and any others that come up that I feel will help mainstream small business get a grip and be able to make headway for their business.

Enjoy reading and learning!

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Did Your Business Just Get a Less Than Stellar Review?

Did your business just get a lousy review on Google or Facebook? Did you just get dinged with a one star review? What exactly can you do about it anyway?

Negative reviews have to be handled with restraint and professionalism. Especially if your company is at fault, even in the tiniest way.

If your company is not at fault, that’s a different scenario. Let’s handle that reputation management case first.

Let’s say someone came into your shop, or did business with your company somehow, and for all intents and purposes, nothing at all went awry. However, the next thing you see is a negative review on Google or Facebook that leaves you shaking your head in total disbelief.

Nine times out of ten, someone who does that is a troll. Because, nine times out of ten, they will say negative nasties about your store, business or product, and in the next line, they will be comparing you to another business for which they have the highest praise. What are they playing at anyway?

The troll is simply using your business as a way to promote someone else’s business. Game over. Trolldom.

Your knee jerk reaction is to fire back with a sharp, witty reply that’s actually going to make you look negative and sarcastic, and your next knee jerk reaction is to get 15 of your family, friends, and best customers to give you amazing, stellar reviews.

What have you just done?

You’ve just showed the entire world, including potential customers………. that you are:

A) enabling the troll’s behavior by acknowledging them

B) that you are exhibiting needless defensive behavior over a baseless claim.

C) Instead of being reactive, be proactive.

Reply to the troll that you are sorry to hear (way different than being sorry) that they feel they had a less than wonderful experience with your business (way different than they actually had a bad experience) and invite them to revisit your business any time they like. This way, you have not enabled their bad behavior, you’ve put the ball back in their court, and you didn’t waste a whole lot of time on them. Instead, a simple, professional two liner from you and you get back to running your business. Troll Game Over.

Now. Second scenario. What if your company is actually at fault, and somehow did drop the ball, however inadvertently, your reputation management issue now requires you to apologize and do some mild groveling.

It happens, Buttercup. Get it done and get on with good customer relations.

First of all your reply must be again with restraint and professionalism. You cannot show anger, sarcasm, or negativity. The customer is NOT always right. But when your company has indeed dropped the ball, that changes the universal shift just a wee bit.

A) First, apologize nicely, letting them know that you are truly sorry for the inconvenience / bad experience / issue at hand.

B) Admit to whatever part of being wrong that you need to.

C) Do NOT make excuses. Yes, something slipped through the cracks. We all know it happens, stuff happens. Admit to it.

D) Offer nicely to make amends. If that means giving them a free product, a discount, a mea culpa of some sort, then do it.

E) Bottom line. Address the issue, admit the fault, make the goodwill overture. Keep it simple, show them you care, and be professional. No need to go overboard and sell off your firstborn.

End result. They either accept your stance, and you’ve retained the customer, or, they do not, and you will both part ways.

How do you end up looking? Quite good. You’ve just showed the world that you can handle the sticky situation with class and finesse, and people will be much more willing to do business with you.

Why? You just successfully turned negative publicity into positive publicity for your business without degrading the incident into something ugly with he said, she said overtones.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Clothing Style Fashion Boutique Custom E-Commerce Website Design

Looking to get yourself a new clothing, style or fashion e-commerce website or upgrade your current website design to something more robust and personalized?

We’ll design a fully customized boutique Clothing Style Fashion e-commerce website for you on WordPress, loaded with all the website essentials you will need to run your business online.

Fashion Clothing Retail Boutique

Your website will be the perfect extension to your Etsy Shop or your eBay Store!

What’s included?

  • A completely mobile friendly custom website – looks great on computer, tablet, phone
  • Home Page
  • About Us Page
  • Contact Page, complete with Google map and directions if you wish
  • Navigation, Footer, Categories, and Blog setup
  • Shipping, taxes, and payment gateway setup
  • Domain name redirect to your new e-commerce website
  • Testimonials – very important for credibility
  • Custom Branded Identity website header
  • Up to 4 customized graphic sliders in the header, if you wish to have them
  • Mailchimp newsletter integration
  • Social Media integration – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram
  • 5 additional pages of your choice
  • Any additional WordPress plugins you may need
  • Custom Fav Icon
  • Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools integration
  • Pinterest Rich Pins setup
  • Out of the box basic SEO

Find out more HERE!

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Do You Sell on Amazon or eBay? Want More Sales?

Whether you are an experienced Amazon or eBay seller or a newbie, the common goal across the board is to get more sales. Anyone who disputes this needs to get out more and get a life!

How do you accomplish this without spending a fortune in adwords, advertising, or marketing gimmicks?

The answer is simple. Hire an experienced expert who knows the ropes, keeps up with the latest in search engine algorithms and technology, understands ranking factors, and puts customer focused sales strategies to work for you.

However, if you do a search for Amazon SEO and marketing experts, you’ll see that the larger companies that do this are very expensive. They have staff to pay, office rent and upkeep to pay for, and lifestyles to pay for. Who pays for that? You do.

Our SEO and marketing agency, on the other hand, is not high maintenance. Plus, we give you individual, personalized attention, not passing you off to a team member. You deal with the owner on a one on one basis, always.

As our attorney clients have found out, we offer the same exact services as these larger agencies, but charge much less. Some attorney’s do not mind paying $2000 a month for SEO and marketing. They feel the more you pay, the better the service. Many attorney’s cannot or simply will not pay that much. That is why they come to us. We have a pristine reputation and we do what we say we will do for you.

It’s the same with Amazon or eBay sellers. Some would rather go with a high priced service but most do not see the logic of paying more than they can afford or are willing to pay. And as long as their consultant offers the same services, they are happy with that. And, as long as their consultant gives results that improve the seller’s bottom line, they stay with that consultant, forging a long term trusting client / provider relationship.

Here are a few things we can do for your Amazon or eBay business:

  • Amazon SEO and eBay SEO – 2 completely different versions of SEO
  • Ranking Factors
  • Good Reviews – Enhanced Reputation Management – Handling Negative Reviews
  • Being a 1P or 3P Seller – which is more beneficial to your particular business model
  • A+ Content in your 1P product listings – do you want the customers or not?
  • Brand Content and Brand Registry for your 3P product listings – improve conversions, improve sales
  • Product descriptions that sell
  • Customized SEO for your particular product niche and target audience
  • Appropriate use of creatives for display advertising
  • Appropriate focus on your target market, your niche, and new target markets you had not considered
  • A/B Split testing to evaluate different marketing options and strategies for your business model
  • Pricing and Re-Pricing to find the sweet spot for your target market
  • Appropriate usage of organic long tail keywords to target your market and your niche for more sales
  • Branding that makes you stand out from all others in the crowd – it’s not all about having the lowest prices …………
  • Customer Focused sales strategies – no customers, no sales. Marketing gimmicks, contests and giveaways don’t cut it.
  • We are particular about whom we work with. Our clients must want to grow their business and position it for success. We can help.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Your Website is Costing You Hundreds of Dollars in Sales

Whether you are an attorney, small law firm, online retailer, or a small business providing goods or services to your customer base, the very idea that your website is costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in sales is quite the scary thought.

Many people think that their website is simply a set it and forget it tool. They couldn’t be more wrong.

ANY business owner worth their salt takes the time with their web designer or marketing agency to be constantly adding to their website, either visually with pictures or blog posts, tweaking the content, keeping their eye on their competition and implementing new offerings and features.

And ANY business owner who is truly interested in their business will spend most of their time actually running their business, not playing with a website builder with limited functionality, no interactive features and cookie cutter design. Business owners who try to cut corners with a cheap website builder end up with a less than stellar website full of broken code and no curb appeal by which to gain new clients.

small business growth

Constant evaluation of what your business offers will also prompt you, the small business owner, to diversify your offerings. WHY? To keep up with trends, competitors, to get ahead, to put yourself in a valuable niche with your customer base. This helps you add to your customer base. Which means you are making more money. Instead of losing money.

Why is constant interaction with your small business website important? Adding new product, new pictures, new content, new offerings, and new blog posts keeps your website fresh both for potential and current clients / customers and also for search engines like Google.

Consistent activity on social media – be it every day or once a week – is very important as well. The key to social media is CONSISTENCY. Being consistent, posting and sharing on a regular basis gives your audience a reason to look forward to your activity and therefore be in the know of what’s going on with your company.

Considering your website to be a set it and forget it tool will cause it, and your customer base, to wither and die. Much like a business that refuses to diversify it’s offerings, that business has absolutely no back up to lean on when the main offering dries up.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to make thousands of dollars and grow your business. But you do have to put into your business in order to get what you expect out of it.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

WordPress – What Your Website Manager Should Know …..

and if they don’t, it’s a problem.

For example. Changing the password. Sometimes we don’t write things down properly. Such as a password. We miss an uppercase letter, and write it down lowercase, we interpose the numbers and symbols, it can go on. Bottom line, that new password you just set up doesn’t work. It can get frustrating.

Or, you may not receive the password reset email. Or it may still be going to the email of the former manager, if you are taking over a site. Or your email may be hiccuping. What to do?

wordpress logo

Every website manager worth their salt should know how to handle this.

They should know that you can change the password in your phpmyadmin back end.

But they don’t know how to get in there. What???

Again, if your website manager is a true professional, they would know that the wp-config.php file holds all the info. And that they need to login to their hosting account to access their CPanel to access the File Manager to see the wp-config.php file. Which will tell them how to login to phpmyadmin.

From there, they can change the admin contact email address, they can change the password, they can fix quite a few things.

Resetting a WordPress password should not turn into a crisis. It should be done transparently, and professionally.

Otherwise you’ve got a problem with your website manager.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

As WordPress design experts, we’ve not only designed and developed WordPress sites, we’ve moved them, transferred them, exported and imported databases, fixed database issues, and so much more.

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