My Simple 2 Step Marketing Plan for a Small Business with No Time and Less Money

I like to talk to my chiropractor about marketing.  After my first visit, he sent me a letter with referrals. I complimented him on the great marketing tactic and we started talking about how hard it is for a busy small business owner to spend time on marketing.  I thought more about it and on my next visit I suggested what I would do in his situation to market a small business with limited time and resources. Here are two things that you, as a small business owner, can do that could have a big impact: 

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My Best Blogging Tip You Think You Have Never Heard

I feel like I tell this tip all the time.  Yet every time I say it people are still amazed and act like they have never heard it before. So, I’ll just keep saying it. This is the fastest way to write a blog post.  Ready? 1) Record 2) Transcribe 3) Edit. I have done it hundreds of times. Here are my specific tips to make it easy.

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12 Hot Topics for Microsoft Dynamics Marketers in 2017

What topics are “hot” with Microsoft Dynamics marketers this year?

At the start of each year my marketing group makes a list of the topics we are the most interested in learning more about. Then we vote and assign one topic to discuss in our monthly call.

Hearing the experiences, opinions and questions of other marketers that are with you “in the trenches” has proved to be enormously valuable. This is what we will be discussing in 2017.

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Do You Look Like Your LinkedIn Profile Photo?

Some of the profile photos I see on LinkedIn just make me cringe. Really? That is the best photo you could find? All of us need at least one great headshot photo to use on LinkedIn and other social media profiles. Some people need it more than others because, let’s be honest, some of the headshots people choose for LinkedIn are just plain terrible. Here are some tips from the experts on how to choose the right photo.

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14 Favorite Marketing Tools Our Group Loves

The best way to find out about new marketing tools is to ask other marketing people to list their favorites. At the end of the year I asked a group of top marketers in the Microsoft Dynamics channel what tools they had loved in 2016. I admit that half of the answers were programs I had never used before. Perhaps there is a new tool on this list for you too.  

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Why I Believe Every Woman Deserves a Professional Headshot Photo

“I like the way I look in every photo” – said no woman ever. At least no woman I know. Every time someone asked me to provide a headshot photo, for an event program or online profile, I got this queasy feeling in my stomach. I knew a professional headshot would boost my confidence but I kept putting it off. I’ll get my headshots done when….. I finally realized that there was never going to be a “perfect time”. I just needed to do it. And I did. Now I I think every woman owes it to herself to get a professional headshot that makes her feel confident and beautiful.  Whether she needs to use it on LinkedIn or not.

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8 Ways the ERP/CRM Software Blogs Help Dynamics ISV Partners Get Found

It is all about being found. If you are a Dynamics ISV partner you want your brand to be found, and known, by prospects and by partners. So, you need to make sure that you are taking advantage of all the opportunities you do have to be known within the Dynamics channel and market. Here are 8 ways the ERP and CRM Software Blog sites help you do that.

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6 Tips to Help Your Product Stand Out on Microsoft AppSource

AppSource is THE place to be found these days. Pinpoint and Partner Center are so “yesterday”. Microsoft AppSource is the new “in” club where all the cool kids can be found. Once you are in, you have to “dress for success” to get noticed. The AppSource developers spoke to Dynamics CRM/365 partners at eXtremeCRM and gave several tips on how to improve your listing.

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The Importance Of Putting Value On What Is Easy

Just because it is easy for you does not make it easy. I have come to realize that many things that come naturally to me, other people find quite difficult. All of us have unique talents. The key is to recognize which ones you have that the other person doesn’t have. There are two areas where I think this is especially important - Billing and Delegating.  

 

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From Front Desk to Back Office to Center Spotlight: The Making of a GPUG All Star

I met Amber Bell in 1999 at a San Diego based company that sold a product then known as Great Plains software. I worked in sales; she worked at the front desk. Today she is a GPUG All Star. Everyone loves a “rags to riches”, “pulled themselves up by the bootstraps”, “American Dream” type story. Amber Bell proves that with enough hard work, goals and personality anyone can be an All Star. And I am honored to have watched her journey, from front desk to back office to center stage spotlight.  This is her story....or at least my version of it.

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Beware: Why Google's Free-to-Use Images are NOT Always Free To Use

Don’t worry….I only used free-to-use images that I found online. I can’t get in trouble for that, right? Wrong! There are two reasons you can’t trust free images you get from Google even if you filter by “Usage Rights. Let me explain what I learned this week, the hard way.

 

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Pinpoint is Dead; Long Live Partner Center – What Dynamics Partners Need to Know Now

Have you been to the Microsoft Pinpoint site lately? No, because it’s gone. As of July 7, 2016 it has been replaced with the Microsoft Partner Center website. I have done a ton of research and talked with several people. This is what I have come up with, but I make no guarantees that I understand it all correctly. With that being said, here are a few things I think my fellow Microsoft Dynamics partners should know about the transition from Pinpoint to Partner Center including what you can do now.

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GPUG Summit 2016: Fancy Coffee Shops & Restaurant Options in Downtown Tampa (With Map)

When I travel to a new city, I want to be sure I don’t miss a good coffee shop. When I attend Summit 2016 I will spend most of my time in the Tampa Convention Center. But I am sure I can make time to sneak out for a good cappuccino. Here are a few places I would like to try.

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Is a Professional Video of Your Client Event Worth the Cost?

Events are expensive. Very few Dynamics ERP/CRM partners want to add to the budget by hiring a professional video crew to film the event. But you should.

I love to save money just as much (actually more) than the next partner. But I still feel that an event video is worth the expense. There are just so many ways this video can be used, for years to come.

Before I get into the FAQ, take a look at the video of our last event to get an idea of the type of video I am talking about:

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Clues I Find In My Favorite Google Analytics Reports

How often do you remember to check the Google Analytics data for your website?

I can go several months without thinking about it and that means I am missing out on valuable insights into the success of my online marketing efforts.

For that reason, I have several reports automatically emailed to me each month. On the first of the month Google Analytics kindly sends me these 4 reports as PDF documents:

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The Marketers Dilemma: Gated vs Ungated Content

How much do you want this information?

 Are you willing to give me your personal information to get it? Even though you know that means I could start nagging you endlessly?

 These are the questions we are asking our website visitors every time we ask them to fill in a form to get a piece of content. This is “gated” content. There is a gate in front of it, and their contact information is the key.

 Ungated content is not guarded by a form. Anyone can see it and download it anytime.

In this post I give you my thoughts on the arguments FOR and AGAINST gated content. And the bold decision we made for our Dynamics GP website. 

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How Much Information Should You Provide on Your Website?

How many pages does your website have? 

According to one source I found, “a personal website typically contains 4-10 pages, a corporation's website might have anywhere from 10-50.” 

The CAL Business Solutions website has 239 pages. (Plus an additional 539 pages as blog posts).

My online strategy is to Just Be Open. Here is proof that this works...

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Will You Read the Second Sentence of This Blog Post?

What is the goal of this first sentence? 

To get you to read the second sentence. That’s all. And I see that it worked. You are already at the fifth sentence. 

The single most helpful writing tip I ever received was in an email from Henneke Duistermaat at Enchanting Marketing.

 She said that you need to keep your first sentence short. Ultra-short. Such as:

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