14 Quick Ways to Grow Your Business Right Now
What can you do in 14 days? Can you lose two pounds? Can you change your eating habits? Can you give up soda? Can you create a new routine to grow your business? You can read about new ideas for growing your business every day. But when it comes to execution, many have a hard time with it. We totally get it. So we have 14 tips to help you grow your business. Are you ready for a challenge?
1. Use your calendar for time blocking.
The first thing that always helps with growing your business is to make time to work on your business instead of always in it. Most business owners are guilty of never making necessary time to grow their business by working on strategies that actually will grow their business. Instead, they’re doing what they could easily hire out to someone else or could assign to an employee.
The easy part is literally scheduling consistent time into your schedule that allows for you to focus on things that will grow your business, like a strategy for content, email marketing, social media, blogging, and so on. The difficult part is not scheduling over it. If your goal is to grow your business in the new year, then you absolutely positively canNOT schedule over your valuable time to work on growing your business. To get started, we suggest blocking out 2 hours a month to pinpoint what product or service you want to focus on, create a promotion around it, write the email to send it out, and schedule some social media.
If you do have to schedule over your blocked time, then make sure you immediately reschedule it so as not to miss this valuable time.
2. Get in the habit of blogging at least once a month.
If you’re taking the time to strategize out what your monthly promotion or focus will be, then writing a blog post about said promotion MUST be part of the plan! For good SEO (search engine optimization), always make your blog posts at least 300 words. For visualization purposes, that’s less than one single-spaced Word document!
Remember: the more contextual content you create on your website, the better your chances are in coming up in search. Obviously, there’s more to it than the blog post itself, but that’s a great starting point. We actually teach our members to create one large piece of content (like a blog post) each month to help them with their social media, SEO, and more. (You can learn more about our academy here.)
3. Do a Facebook Live video at the beginning of each month to keep you committed to your strategy.
Get over your fear of doing live video and just do it! Create a quick outline, put your smartphone on a selfie-stick mount on a tripod, hook up your headphones, and go live! Sharing other people’s content, while easy, is not the way to go about your strategy. You must create engaging content, and Facebook gives priority to live video and video uploaded directly to its platform.
At the end of your live videos, you can download the high definition version and upload to a playlist on your YouTube channel so that the content is always evergreen. (Check out our 4 tips on doing live video here.) Don’t forget to transcribe your videos–that’s more valuable SEO to aide your business in SERPs (search engine results pages)!
4. Add a newsletter signup form to your website.
There’s a theory out there that you should allow several opportunities on every page of your website for your audience to sign up for your newsletter somehow, someway. We totally agree! A few places you could add a signup form might be:
- Your website’s footer
- The sidebar of your blog
- Within the text of your blog (especially good for freebie giveaways!)
- A slide-in signup form (we don’t recommend pop-ups–people are less likely to sign up using this method as it’s too obtrusive)
- A static header (like Hello Bar or WP Notification Bars)
Bonus points if you get creative with your call-to-action. None of that “sign up for our newsletter” verbiage! Make your newsletter sound like the cat’s meow—something that is so hot they can’t live without. Just don’t make promises you can’t keep. And definitely don’t be slimy. People see through that from a mile away. Think actionable statements that compel people to click or sign up.
5. Redesign your website so that visitors are led down a path.
The new trend in web design is going to be more focused on the story than on the creative design itself. Your website should read more like a story. What story does your business want to tell, and how can each page of your website tell that story?
Once your visitors read your compelling homepage, have a button that leads them to the next logical page, and so on. Simplicity and clarity in web design is the new wave of customer acquisition!
6. Make a commitment to branding.
It’s easy enough to have your logo on your website, but is it on your graphics? On your blog posts? In your flyers? Make sure that you have consistency in the look and feel of your brand so that customers can pick you out immediately based on everything that they see from you. We even have a 7-day branding eCourse you can check out here!
7. Create a valuable freebie (with funnel) to grow your signups…and then promote it.
You can’t just create a freebie and offer it, silly! If you don't do anything with that new signup, then why have then sign up in the first place? One way to encourage newsletter signups is by offering a value-add, like a checklist or an eBook or eCourse. Then, once you obtain that email address, it’s your duty–not just responsibility–to stay in touch with that soft lead.
We use several tools for this process of email acquisition (none of which are affiliate links):
- ActiveCampaign. We love this ESP (Email Service Provider) for its simplicity of use and complexity of “IFTTT” tagging and funnel creation options.
- Bloom. We use Elegant Themes’ Bloom plugin for its vast signup form options. You can not only customize the look and feel of your form, but you can also create site-wide fly-ins, pop-ups, after inactivity triggers, and so on.
- SmartBribe. We got in on SmartBribe’s initial launch because we love the folks at VideoFruit, and we couldn’t be happier. SmartBribe allows you to use social sharing and other items to “bribe” visitors into sharing you in order to get more valuable add-ons.
What follows is a combo of these three items. Here is our process:
- We first created our Blog Content Planner that we know you’d be interested in using and would find great value in.
- We decided what other freebie we have that might be of interest to our readers and prepped it (or created it, depending on what the topic of our blog post is).
- Then, we created a list in ActiveCampaign for this opt-in and named it appropriately.
- We then created a simple email funnel that shows the value of our knowledge base here at A Cup of Content and ultimately leads a signup to the 14-day trial.
- Next, we created the SmartBribe. We decided to have the reader follow us on Instagram as the bribe.
- We decided to have the SmartBribe appear on our website, so we had to create the page on our site to “link” our Bloom opt-in to as well.
- Finally, we created a Bloom opt-in for that above piece of content we think you, our reader, might find valuable and inserted the code into this blog post.
You can try it for yourself here:
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8. Give Facebook Messenger Marketing a try.
If you need to create instant engagement with potential customers or clients, then you’d be doing your business a disservice by not trying Facebook Messenger marketing! If many of your clients and customers are on Facebook, then it would behoove you to create a simple Facebook Messenger marketing campaign to engage them with your business.
If you’re a photographer, we’ve made a 5-day branding challenge specifically for you here:
For the rest of you, we created a quick two-day intro to A Cup of Content here:
Of note: Facebook Messenger marketing is not for the faint of technology heart! If you need help, our academy offers an intro course. If you’d like to purchase a Chatbot in a Box, our friend Black Belt Bots has a few to get you started! (And RJ at Black Belt Bots is a member of our academy!)
9. Develop a list of 25 keywords that are important to your business.
You read that right: keywords. The biggest mistake business owners make in their keyword strategy is that they include words that their clients and customers are NOT searching for. These words are typically industry specific, words that only we know as business owners but our potential customers and clients do not use when searching for what we offer when looking online.
Start by thinking like your clients and customers. What search terms are they using to find the products or services that you offer? Don’t forget to use your website’s analytics, and be sure to dip into the Google Keyword Planner Tool!
10. Use keywords in your blog posts and social media.
Look—it’s absolutely pointless for you to blog without considering your strategy. Don’t just blog because everyone tells you that you should be doing it. Use your list of 25 keywords in your blogging and social media to help with organic SEO.
If anything, using keywords in your blog posts and social media is a form of SMO, or Social Media Optimization. Have you noticed that some businesses’ social media links (like Facebook and Twitter) show up before or immediately following their websites in SERPs? That’s because they have strategically used SMO in their overall content strategy! (We teach this in the academy, too!)
11. Be where your customers and clients are online.
Don’t just be where you want to be; be where your potential customers and clients are hanging out online. With that being said, we always recommend being on the big 3: Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus (hey—it’s the search engine!). But Instagram is hot, and you should probably do a little research to see if your audience is on that platform. If they are, then get on there and start creating the kinds of content they will engage with. Remember: #BeRawBeYou.
Even if you’re not going to use a certain social media platform, we recommend that you still claim all of them for your business. Woe is the day that you don’t claim them all and another individual (or your competition!) claims it and starts using it against you or for content that doesn’t jive with your brand.
12. Pay attention to your website and social media analytics.
If people aren’t engaging with your social media, is it because you’re on the wrong platforms? Or is it because you’re posting at the wrong times? If you don’t have a strategy, start with creating a simple one and sticking to it for a month. The next month you can add to it. Whatever you do, though, don’t go big or go home. Start small and grow into something bigger.
Do you have a high bounce rate on your website? Your bounce rate is like your golf score: the lower the percentage, the more your visitors stay on your site. If you do, consider #5 above. If you don’t know how to see your analytics, ask your web developer for full access to your Google Analytics and Google Search Console account. If you don’t have one, make a free account and install the code on your website. (Need a website? We have $599 websites here!)
13. Send a monthly email newsletter.
Regardless of what others might say, email is NOT dead. Remember: everyone has an email address, but not everyone is on social media. Every time you offer a workshop, send out an email about it. Every time you write a blog post, send out an email about it. If you have news, it’s definitely something to craft an email about!
14. Get involved in a community that teaches you content development.
There are a plethora of free Facebook groups out there that can teach you how to do whatever you want to learn, from industry-specific things like growing your niche photography business to all things Facebook Ads. At A Cup of Content, we teach all things content writing and marketing, from strategy to email marketing to blogging for SEO to Facebook Ads, Messenger Marketing, website development, and more! We even offer a no-strings-attached 14-day free trial (like the 14 reference again?), where you get full access to our membership for 14 days…for free.
Of course, there are a billion things you can do to grow your business. But you can’t do them all at once. Pick 2-3 and give them a whirl for a month. Got any you’d like to share? Hit us up in the comments!