Exciting Announcement: We’re Simplero Certified!

Exciting Announcement: We’re Simplero Certified!

We have been utilizing Simplero for some time now, and can attest to its ability to bring ease
and profitability to our clients. By packaging multiple systems into one source, Simplero
provides a software program that delivers all the Sales and Marketing functions an information-
based business needs. At Smart To Finish, we’ve assisted several of our clients to integrate this
service into their business – and we are delighted to announce that we are now officially
Simplero Certified!

What exactly is Simplero?
We think Simplero sums themselves up best when they say “Simplero gives you everything you
need and nothing you don’t”.

Some key features include:

  • Comprehensive email marketing
  • Tools for creating and selling infoproducts (PDF e-books, webinars, audio, video)
  • Built-in member sites
  • Fully customizable website (includes shop, blog, etc.)
  • Create landing pages, invoicing, affiliate programs, and more

Trying to decide if Simplero is right for you? Let’s talk! As certified Simplero consultants, we can
help you determine the best options for your business!

5 Tips for Choosing Effective Marketing Content For Your Blog Or Newsletter

5 Tips for Choosing Effective Marketing Content For Your Blog Or Newsletter

Content marketing is the best way to get information to your clients or customers. This is also the perfect way to gain the trust of your customers and increase your sales.

The problem is choosing the most effective type of content and presenting it in an attention getting manner.

Here are some tips on choosing the most effective content for your content marketing.

  1. Point out the competition’s mistakes. People, in general, want to avoid painful experiences as much as possible. Pointing out all the ways your competitors fail to make life easier for your potential customers works to your advantage. Top ten lists on this kind of thing such as “10 most common mistakes” or “10 things you don’t want to do” are especially effective in driving people to you, rather than your competitor. I’m not saying you should specify or point fingers at specific competitors here!!  That’s not professional (or nice). Instead, use general statements and point out what makes your company better than others.
  2. Give out industry “secrets.” They are not really secrets but if you let people think they are then their trust in you grows. Create content with bulleted lists showing how to do things faster and easier or how to make something work better. People love lists about things because lists are easy to filter through and pick out those points that pertain to them specifically. They also help people retain the information.
  3. Organize it for them. One of the biggest hurdles for some people is the organization of certain things. Do the work for them by giving them plans and ways to organize things to make their life simpler. If you can make something straightforward and easy for someone, they will appreciate it and repay you with their business.
  4. Answer common questions. When you’re discussing a common problem or situation, people tend to have the same questions. By providing the answers before someone even asks the questions, you make them feel more comfortable. It gives them the impression your company truly cares about them and their needs because you’ve taken the time to learn what they want or need.
  5. Latest trends reports. This is a way to help your clients and customers keep up to date with the latest information from your company. This type of content lists the newest information or technologies and explains them in an easy to understand fashion.

Effective content marketing is all about continually giving the client or customer whatever information they deem useful. It demonstrates to prospects your company is paying attention to the needs of their clients and responding in an resourceful and expeditious manner. If the frequency and/or quality of information begins to slow down, your client base will begin to find another source of information, taking their sales dollars with them.

Making use of a virtual assistant writing service is a good way to fulfill the needs of consistent and effective content writing. By using writers to help create your content, you can easily continue to provide fresh, new content. Once you have the articles, reports and other documents, offer them to your customers freely through email or a blog. Not only will your customers thank you in replies and comments but, more importantly, with their continued loyalty. The Smart to Finish team can help you create content and update your blogs and newsletters. Let’s talk 🙂

10 Things You May Not Know About Andrea, our Administrative Assistant

What is a unique fact about you?

I’m a twin! I have a twin sister who lives in Washington D.C.

 What is your favorite food/drink?

Coffee with a side of coffee.

Where was your favorite vacation?

Colorado. Always 🙂

Do you have pets?

Yes! Two dogs. A boxer and a pitbull. Both 5 years old!

Favorite movie or TV show?

Good Will Hunting.

The BEST gift you ever received?

My daughter, Nora.

What is your favorite number?

4, my birthday is 4/4!

What are some of your hobbies?

I love reading.

Where is your favorite shop or place to shop at?

Target!

What is your favorite music?

Country and blues!

A Website Audit Checklist for Your Technical Virtual Assistant to Follow

A Website Audit Checklist for Your Technical Virtual Assistant to Follow

If your website isn’t performing as well as you’d like, it may be time to do a website audit. When you audit your website you’re essentially looking for elements that are working, as well as elements that aren’t working and need to be updated. We’ve put together a website audit checklist of 10 items for your technical virtual assistant to follow

1. Check your branding.

Branding is your use of color, typography, visuals, and even favicons. In addition, you should review your “about us page” to see if it’s telling the story clearly of who you are and what you can do for your clients. Have you included testimonials, and success stories to keep your visitor interested?

2. Check your design.

The look and feel of your website has a lot to do with the layout, whether content is organized well, the white space you have on your website, and your CTAs (calls to action). Do they stand out? Do you have too much old-school design on your website? How can you modernize it?

3. Check your coding.

Do you have an updated sitemap file? Are you still using frames and old-school coding that doesn’t work today? Do your URLs accurately describe what is on each page? Are you using headers and subheaders properly?

4. Make sure it’s usable.

It’s always a good idea to follow best practices when it comes to layout. If you’re not sure, you can ask your technical virtual assistant to read Google’s advice to webmasters as well as the W3C consortium to see what they recommend. Right now, the menu should go at the top, with certain things expected in the footer and sidebars.

5. Do a content audit.

If you have any old content that is not high quality, engaging, and relevant, you will want to work on updating it. Then focus on continuing to be consistent with adding fresh content.

6. Make sure your keywords are focused.

In the old days you might have put a lot of keywords on a page to attract your audience. Today, keywords are important but they need to be used in titles, headers, and subheaders. They should only be used sparingly in the content, which should be written first for your audience. But ensure that when you do use keywords you’re using the right ones for your audience.

7. Check your on-page SEO.

This is all about how your page titles are written. They should represent exactly what’s in the content. Clickbait is not appreciated even though a lot of even mainstream press uses that trick to get you to click. Focus on writing good page titles, URLs for each page, and meta descriptions, which are still very important, as are meta titles.

8. Make sure you’re using social media correctly.

Make it easy for your audience to share your content on social media networks. Connect your website to Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and more depending on what your audience likes to use. Plus, ensure that you’re engaging with social media too.

9. Check if your website is mobile.

There are no more excuses for not having a mobile website. Your main website should have a responsive design that works on mobile first and then on desktop. This will require you to have a clean design, which is great for everyone.

10. See what’s out of date.

If there is anything on your site that is out of date or no longer necessary, get rid of it. This includes things such as keyword-stuffed articles, duplicate content, a ton of ads, and more.

By having your technical virtual assistant go through this website audit checklist, you will ensure that your site is modern, usable and working for your business. Why not contact Smart to Finish today to get started?

Why You Need a Virtual Social Media Assistant for Your Online Business

Why You Need a Virtual Social Media Assistant for Your Online Business

Perhaps you have considered hiring a social media assistant before. But, you keep plugging away at writing content, scheduling content, finding content to post, growing and building your audience, and engaging with your audience.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds very time consuming. I’m sure that you’d rather spend your time growing your business and doing what you love. That’s why you should delegate your social media tasks to a virtual assistant. Here are just a few ways a social media assistant (not a social media strategist) can help you reclaim your time.

Content Management

If you struggle to write new and engaging posts, we suggest finding a virtual assistant who is a good writer. When you get stuck and can’t think of anything to write, ask them to come up with ideas for articles. Or, have them write a few.

You can also task your virtual assistant with content curation, or locating external content to mix in with your original content. While it might seem counter-intuitive, sharing external content is necessary. Why? No one likes too much self-promotion.

Once you have some content to post, your social media assistant can then schedule your content in tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Tailwind, or even other more robust programs like Sprout Social or Sendible. These allow you to repurpose content and always have something ready and waiting to be published.

Audience Management

Have a large following of engaged fans on Twitter? Always answering questions or having to moderate discussions on your Facebook page? Then delegate this task to your social media assistant. Find someone who’s comfortable with speaking for you and handling the daily administrative tasks.

If you need to grow your audience, you can also delegate tasks such as finding people to follow, unfollowing people, doing competitor research, etc.

Advertising Management

If you aren’t doing any advertising on social media, you are missing out on a very effective and and affordable means to boost your business. A social media assistant versed in social media advertising can help you navigate the ever-changing social media ad landscape.

If you wonder which platform is right for you, we suggest starting out with Facebook Ads as they are still the most widely used (even with all of the recent controversy). We don’t see them going anywhere anytime soon.

So now that you can see how a social media assistant can help your business grow, why not contact us at Smart to Finish? We have a team of experts who can help you take social media tasks off of your plate and give you more freedom to do what you love.

What Is a Sales Funnel and Why Do You Need One?

What Is a Sales Funnel and Why Do You Need One?

Congratulations! You’ve started your online business. But no one is buying your products. In an effort to find out how to make more sales, you may have heard the term “sales funnel” and asked yourself “what is a sales funnel, and why do I need one?”

Running an online business without a sales funnel is like opening a brick and mortar store and not having a grand opening sale. It’s how you convert website visitors into paying customers.

So how do you set up a sales funnel? It can range from a simple process to a very complex one with lots of moving parts. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll focus on a simple sales funnel process.

Sales Funnel Stages

In order to understand any sales funnel, you need to understand the four sales funnel stages:

  • Awareness: Your prospect stumbles across your product or service thanks to seeing a Google ad, a Facebook ad campaign, or another traffic source.
  • Interest: This is when your prospects likes what they see and starts following you and subscribes to your email list.
  • Decision: At this point, your prospect is deciding that they are interested in your product or service and starts paying attention to what you have to offer. This is when sales offers like sales pages, webinars, calls are made.
  • Action: Your prospect likes what they see, and they decide to buy your product or service.

Creating a Simple Sales Funnel

All sales funnels follow the same stages seen above. If you’re new to sales funnels, we suggest following these four simple steps:

1. Create a landing page (or sales page) delving into all of the reasons why your prospect should buy from you. It should have a clear CTA (or call-to-action) button or link for them to take action now or lose out on your offering.

2. Develop an opt-in page where people provide you with their contact information (first name and email). This is where they will land after clicking on your CTA.

3. Don’t forget the thank-you page! While it is optional, you could be missing out on a chance to redirect your prospects to your product page (the end of your funnel), have them follow you on social media, etc.

Note: We recommend LeadPages, our landing/opt-in/thank-you page creator of choice. But you can also try InstaPage if you want to shop around.

4. Promote your offer via an email series: Send emails to your prospects encouraging them to buy your product or service before your cart closes. An email service like Mailchimp or AWeber has great tools for automating this process.

Of course, there is a little more to it than this, but this quick overview should give you an idea of what’s involved. If you need help with your sales funnel, Smart to Finish has created and launched hundreds of successful sales funnels for our clients. Why not contact us today to learn how we can help you convert prospects into sales!

How to Get Massive Support in Your Biz

Guest Post by Jeanna Gabellini

I’ve been called a control freak, multitasker, goofball, magnificent manifester, and just plain ole freak. I can relate to all of them. However, the one that used to really irritate me is when someone said I wasn’t a good delegator.

Why? Because I see how often it doesn’t even occur to me to ask for help. I’m used to figuring stuff out with my Inner Business Expert (aka Divine Guidance) or whoever is coaching me. After years of being single and a solo-entrepreneur I created a bad habit of handling everything myself.

I cured myself once I had kids. My time and energy was poured into feeding, bathing, cuddling, playing, and cleaning up after my boys. I realized quickly that the only way to stay sane was to expand my circle of support.

There is no way to generate a huge increase in revenue, and sustain it, if you’re not tapping into the expertise and support of other people. Even if you have a GREAT team and you think you ask for help often, see how much more support you could receive!

Ask yourself:

  • Who could help me do this better, easier, and faster?
  • Who could help put a unique spin on my idea?
  • Who could challenge my beliefs/story on this topic?
  • Who could introduce me to more ideal clients?
  • Who could help me get the word out about my products, programs, and services?
  • Who does social media, marketing, websites, or systems really well?
  • Who could assist me in the office or house with the stuff I can’t get to?
  • Who is a great leader?
  • Who is awesome at brainstorming?
  • Who would support me in getting WAY outside of my box?
  • Who makes me feel good?

Challenge yourself to come up with at least 5 people for each question.

Next, ask yourself, “If I had full permission and knew I’d be seen in a positive light, what would I ask for specifically?”

Check in and see if you’re playing it safe. You want to ask for help so that you can dramatically increase the quality of your life and the amount of abundance you experience.

Imagine that being selfish was really about self-love or being self-full (which it is).

Now it’s time to ask! What’s the best way to ask, especially if you’re not in a position to pay for help?

Simple. From your heart. You don’t have to promise to do something in return. If you know you can be of service to them and you feel inspired to offer that service, by all means do it. However, it’s not critical in this process.

When you have an idea, you’ll always have access to the resources, people, and money to actualize it. But you have to take the first step.

Asking for help is the easiest way to get from where you are to somewhere even better.

And if you get stuck on who and how to ask… ask your Inner Guidance for help. 😉

Jeanna Gabellini is a Master Business Coach who makes it effortless and exciting for conscious entrepreneurs to attract all the clients they want without doing more, working more, or marketing more. Grab her FREE audio on dialing in your biz here: http://masterpeacecoaching.com/freecd

How to Avoid the Gmail Promotions Tab and Improve Email Marketing

How to Avoid the Gmail Promotions Tab and Improve Email Marketing

While the Gmail segmented inbox is a great feature for most users, if you use email marketing to reach your customers, it can be a nuisance. Why? Well, most of your emails end up in the Promotions tab where they are likely lost in the sea of coupons, store sales, and the like.

If you want to know how to avoid the Gmail Promotions tab and increase your visibility, here are our top suggestions:

1. Ask your subscribers to whitelist your emails and/or move them to the Primary tab

It might seem scary, but asking your subscribers to be added to your address book is really effective. Plus, it guarantees that each email they get from you ends up in their Primary inbox. And when your emails are there along with personal emails, you will likely get more views and actions on your emails.

Another method is to ask your subscribers to move your campaign from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab. When they do this, Gmail will ask if it should always deliver the email there. If they need more assistance with this, direct them to these Gmail Help instructions.

However, even if they don’t add you to their address book or move you to the Primary tab, you can always incorporate a brief reminder and instructions in your emails.

2. Segment your emails

Sending out all of your emails to everyone on your list is not the most effective marketing method. Good email marketing is all about delivering targeted emails with relevant, entertaining content that are more likely to get opened. Make sure you add in a call-to-action with every email. The more emails that are opened and clicked on, the more Google will see that your subscribers like your emails. And once that happens, you are more likely to avoid the Gmail Promotions tab.

3. Keep your emails simple

While pretty emails are great for style points, too much HTML in your emails is a red flag to Google. It tells them that your email is commercial content that is almost certain to land in the Promotions tab. So if you want to avoid the Gmail promotions tab, try sending a plain-text email or an email with no more than one image and/or one button with a call-to-action.

Need help avoiding the Gmail Promotions tab and your email marketing? Why not contact Smart to Finish. We have email marketing Divas standing by ready to help you, so reach out to us today!