Category: Business

Summer Social Media Freebies!

Want to spice up your social media pages? Check out these great summer freebies I created just for you! Visit my Free Downloads page for all the Facebook, Twitter & Instagram freebies I offer!

Here are a few of the fun freebies you will find to download here.




   Want to kick your marketing up a notch? Check out my free video series on how to create your own Newsletter here! You will be a master at reaching your customers with email, in just 4 days!

5 Sizzling Summer Sales Ideas

Summer is just around the corner. With school out, and fun in the sun in your future, is your business ready to prosper in the heat too? Not to scare you, but next month the calendar year is half over! Are you on track to meet your business goals? If, yes, great job! You must be utilizing your marketing calendar to the fullest! If not, don’t worry just yet, here are a few fun sizzling summer sales ideas to help you reach your goals.

  Go where the people are

Here I am all geared up for a parade last summer.

Take advantage of places that attract summer crowds, such as parades, local festivals, outdoor shopping areas, and nearby beaches or recreational areas. Bring flyers to pass out or set up a stand and hand out cold water bottles or freezie pops with your company logo and contact information attached or prominently displayed.

Parades are a great opportunity to get your business name in front of new potential customers. Slap some magnets on a vehicle (contact me if you need to order your custom magnets today!), if you don’t want to go all out with a float, and throw out a treat with your company info attached, or even better, a coupon.

Does your community throw a celebration, or is there a big summer concert in your area? If you have an edible product, handing out samples at these events can be a great way to reach new customers. If not, you could try handing out other freebies, like sunscreen or chapstick with your company logo and website on them.

Did you know you can get beer flavored chapstick? Even pick the brand of beer?! If the crowd at these events is your target customer (and this item is appropriate), this could be a fun freebie for you to hand out!

   Hit the holidays

Fourth of July, Labor Day, Back to School — these are all perfect occasions to promote your business.  Send your customers a themed email for any sale, Zappospromotion, or event you’re doing around these holidays. Promote your sales on your social media pages before the holiday, but save your holiday posts for being genuine and paying tribute.

Zappos did a great job of this last year on their Facebook page, by simply stating Happy Forth of July, and used their products to create a flag.

Want help promoting your summer events, check out my next post, for free Facebook banners for the summer!

   Host a Summer Photo Contest on Social Media

If you are planning to take some time off this summer but want to keep the buzz going about your company or products, give a summer photo contest a try.

Summer Sales Ideas
Dunkin’ Donuts did a great job of this with their Fan of the Week contest!

Selfies are everywhere, and everyone is doing it, young and old alike! So use that to your advantage and ask your customers to use a fun custom hashtag you create like, #{yourcompanyname}summerselfie or better yet ask them to take a selfie while using your product!

You can encourage your customers to submit throughout the summer for weekly or monthly prizes. Take it up a notch and create a summery theme for each week, or pick one product to highlight that week. Photos that get the most comments, likes and shares will win the contest. They’ll also be a big win for you as your contest generates heated debate and traffic for your brand.

  Chalk it up

If you have a brick and mortar store, consider writing a promotional message, such as “$4meals for the 4th of July,” in Summer Sales Ideaschalk on the sidewalk in front of your store. Or use chalk to drawa colorful summer scene — featuring your products and business logo, of course — on the sidewalk.

You could even leave the chalk on your sidewalk for your “little” customers to use while mom and dad are shopping.

As a bonus, customers may even take photos and post them to their social media accounts, which can create viral exposure for your business as well.

Host an event

Two young women stretching on pink yoga matsSchool’s out for summer, which means people have more time to on their hands. So why not throw an event to get your customers together? If you’re a flower shop, you might host a summer flower arranging class. If you’re a fitness professional, you might get your clients together for a beach boot camp. Or if you are an auto shop, why not offer free car washes before a big weekend? You are providing a service, but also getting people in your doors!

When promoting your event, one thing to consider is just targeting your regular customers with the invitation to show them some love, along with attracting those coveted new customers.

People will be on the lookout for sizzlin’ summer sales as the holidays roll around. So make sure to keep your business top of mind!

It’s a good idea to discount items that would be particularly relevant the summer or for each holiday. For Fourth of July, try running promotions for party items, like BBQ supplies or red-white-and-blue decorations. Labor Day tends to be the time people get back to school & business, so make sure to promote items around those themes.

Start grilling, and start brainstorming ways to increase your sales as the temperatures rise! Don’t forget, if you need a little help brainstorming to give me a shout or join us in the Facebook group below!

Facebook group, facebook community

Want to keep the discussion going? Join the FREE Facebook Community here, for small business to network with one another and swap marketing ideas and ask questions of myself and each other!

See you in there!

The Newsletter Challenge

Have you ever wanted to create a newsletter and email it to your customers? Have you ever tried to create an opt-in on your website to collect email addresses? Do you want a professional newsletter that you can send to your customers that you can create yourself?

  Join my free Newsletter Challenge and learn how to:

  • Setup MailChimp
  • Add an opt-in on your website to collect email address with the Bloom plugin
  • Learn how to set up MailChimp to automatically send an email or to deliver your freebies to your new list subscribers
  • Learn to create an outline for your newsletter (with a free outline download), what types of content to include on your newsletter and where to find your content.
  • Learn how to layout & send your newsletter in MailChimp
  • Learn how to create custom newsletter headers & graphics, free with Canva
  • Get access to a great Facebook group to help support all your business marketing needs

By signing up below, I will send you an email immediately to get you started on Day 1, setting up your Mail Chimp Account. You can follow along with the easy step by step video to learn how to set up your account. Then tomorrow I will send you the Day 2 video to walk you through how to add the Bloom opt-in plugin to your WordPress website, to start collecting those email addresses. As a bonus, tomorrow, I’ll even show you how to use MailChimp to send out your freebies to your new subscribers! Then on day’s 3 & 4, I will send you the videos to start planning and finding content for your Newsletter, and lay it all out with MailChimp.

Ready to get started? Join the challenge today!

Check your email!


Join the SW Small Bussiness Marketing Facebook Forum (it’s 100% free) and get the support you need, access to our fantastic Facebook community and networking opportunities with other like-minded small business owners!

Click here to join the discussion!

Newsletters? What are they good for?

As a small business owner, you know how hard it is to grow your business and to attract customers. Now that you have established your business, and have started a customer list, how are you staying in contact with these customers? One of the easiest ways to do this is with a (weekly, bi-monthly, monthly or quarterly) newsletter.
Newsletters perform two major functions: reminding potential clients that you’re here, of all your services and of just how awesome you are!

Here are 3 reasons why you should use a newsletter to stay in touch with your customers.

    Newsletters establish a connection

Newsletters are a personal way to create a connection with your existing and potential clients, and to display your expertise and knowledge on a deeper level. Companies who focus on relationship building are much more likely to generate loyalty and repeat business. Being THE resource your clients and potential clients look to for help and support is the perfect way to establish that connection.

  • Do you have a lot of customers asking how to use your product? Why not include a how-to article or video?
  • Do you see a new trend emerging in your field? Share the knowledge with your customers.
  • Will you be at an upcoming event? Let your customers know, so they can stop by and visit with you!
  • Is there a holiday around the corner? Share your related products, or tell your customers how to use your products to make them sales around the holiday.
  • Do you have a photo of someone using or wearing your product? A picture is worth a thousand words! Seeing your product in action can really capture your visual customers (like me!)

    Newsletters drive sales

When someone views your newsletter, you’ve got the opportunity to highlight a product, explain the benefits, and connect them to a point of sale or call to action in moments.

Why not include a section of your newsletter to highlight customers using your products, as a testimonial for you! I’ve heard this a lot lately, “People hate to be sold, but they love to buy.” So instead of using your newsletter to sell your products and services, let your happy customers do it for you!


According to Econsultancy, 61% of shoppers read product reviews before making a purchase. If you can present your customers with everything they need in your newsletter, you are increasing your chance for a sale.

I have to admit, I bet more than once a month, I make a purchase because of a companies email I received. Although, to be fair, I live in a small town and do most of my shopping online. 🙂 But, I am proof that staying in your customers inbox, increases sales.

    increase Website & Social Media traffic

Your newsletter plays a huge role in increasing your site’s traffic. Use links and images to direct customers to your website and social media pages. The more interaction with your brand a customer has the more loyal they will become to it. Use your newsletter to carry a theme across all your marketing that month. Highlight your topic on your website banner, direct mail pieces, social media posts, etc!

If you have an upcoming event, highlight it in your newsletter, and link to the event registration page on your website, or the Facebook event on your business page.

Want to feature a particular product, include a coupon, a visual image that will draw your customers eye and make them click on it to learn more about that product. Make sure the link they are taken to mentions that product or the coupon directly! Nothing will shut down a sale faster, than a link that takes them to your main page. A customer does not want to have to search for that item, make it as easy for them as possible!

Include links to your social media pages in your newsletter too. Including links within your articles is great, but I also recommend listing them somewhere on your newsletter as well. Make it easy for your customers to find and follow you on whatever platform they prefer! Seventy-eight percent of consumers said that companies’ social media posts impact their purchases (

Newsletters are a great way of staying at the front of your target audience until they are ready to make a purchase from you.  You worked hard to gain those customers, make sure they remember how awesome you are by being a resource they use regularly for information and tips.

Facebook group, facebook community

Want to keep the discussion going? Join the FREE Facebook Community here, for small business to network with one another and swap marketing ideas and ask questions of myself and each other!

See you in there!

Free Facebook Basics Webinar

Small Business Facebook Basics

Today is the first day of my first ever live webinar! I just finished it up, and wanted to share it here for everyone to enjoy. I mean it’s an hour of ME, what’s not to love!

Are you wondering if your small business should have a Facebook page or social media presence? Even small town businesses can benefit from a Facebook page.

In this webinar I cover:


Enter your email address below to view the replay of the live Facebook basics webinar!

Enter your email for access to the free Business Facebook Basics webinar replay.

Enter your email for access to the free Business Facebook Basics webinar replay.

You did it! Enjoy the premium content!


  Want to keep the discussion going? Join the FREE Facebook Community here, for small business to network with one another and swap marketing ideas and ask questions of myself and each other!

See you in there!

4 Reasons To Advertise On Facebook

4 reasons to advertise on facebook
Many small business owners, especially in small towns, wonder if they should be advertising on Facebook.  They wonder what good it would do them. Well, I am here to tell you it can do a ton to grow your business! Aside from having an updated Facebook page, which is a great way to stay in front of your customers, Facebook advertising can get you in front of a new audience, or just be a quick easy way to advertise a special or promotion to your community, for cheap! So here are 4 reasons why every small business should be advertising on Facebook.
1. It’s Easy
Facebook ads are easy, really! You don’t need to be a Facebook expert to create an ad (but knowing a few tips and tricks doesn’t hurt) Many small businesses are finding Facebook ads simple and effective!
2. You can reach people!Ad Week Facebook Stats
This is where people are hanging out, so why not reach them where they already spend their time? According to Adweek, there were 156.6 million people on Facebook last year. Where else can you get your ad in front of that many people?

There is a time and a place for postcards, or newspaper ads, but for a fraction of the cost, and time, a Facebook ad can reach so many more people!

3. It’s Targeted
Being able to target your ads to a specific audience is crucial to maximizing the effectiveness of any ad campaign. Facebook makes you more effective by letting you target users using not only demographic data (location, age range, gender), but also using interests data and social connections. For example, if you want to target people that are interested in your clothing line, you can specifically target people that Facebook identifies as being interested in, fashion, jewelry or other related interests. Or say that you want to target people that are interested in running, you could target fans of the Runner’s World Facebook page.
4. It’s CHEAP!
I know this is really what matters to all small business owners- how much will it cost me? Once you create your visual image for your ad, either yourself or have your marketing person do it for you. (*cough, cough – me -*cough, cough) Then you can run an ad for a day or week, for any specified dollar amount you want, depending on how frequent you want it to be seen. Seriously, ANY DOLLAR AMOUNT! You can put $5 or $100 on that ad! What do you have to lose at those prices?

Have you tried Facebook advertising for your small business or group? Let me know what kind of results you’ve seen below in the comments!

Small Business Facebook Webinar

Want to learn more about Facebook? Join me for my FREE webinar this Friday, March 4 at 10:00am on Small Business Facebook basics. Learn more here!

Overcoming Your Blogging Fears

We all have those feelings of doubt in life don’t we? Am I doing this right? What will they think of this? What if I fail? I have been working more with bloggers recently, and I wrote my frist ever guest post for my fellow Midwestern Entrepreneur, Krista Rae.

Krista, helps female creatives elevate their biz, increase conversions, and boost engagement through crafting strategic blogs.

I loved writing this post about overcoming your blogging fears, and relating my experiences to bloggers.

Click here to read the full article!

Strategic Planning Session

Wow! We just finished up a 1-hour webinar on strategic planning for your business. So much great information was shared, and some great freebies for everyone! If you weren’t able to stay for the entire hour, here is the replay.

Due to technical difficulties if it doesn’t start right away fast forward to about 9:55, that is when the webinar starts.(Sorry about my sound- I need to purchase a new microphone!)

It’s Simple…You Can No Longer Afford To Ignore Strategic Planning.

We are very excited about sharing what we have learned with you, and want to hold a full day workshop on February 9th to go more indepth on Strategic Planning, Systems & Marketing your business!

We realize that you don’t have a lot of time. We know that you need to have a plan. We know how to do it quick and simply! PLUS… we have made it so you can do it ALL in just ONE DAY!

It will be an intense day of strategizing and planning… BUT YOU WON’T BE ALONE! We will be there with you, walking you through it, answering your questions, brainstorming with you and so will other entrepreneurs!

Click here to save your spot!

Still not sure you want to join us?

We’ve Jam Packed Everything Into This Simple System, So You Can Succeed With Ease..


STEP 1 – Determine Where You Are NOW

The fact is that you can’t determine where you want to go or how to get there if you don’t know where you are now! This portion will be emailed to you so you can complete it BEFORE the Workshop.

This is the part that only YOU can do and it is a HUGE part of planning what to do next!  This step cannot be skipped, so we WILL be checking up on you prior to the event to be sure you are working on it.


STEP 2 – Determine Where You WANT to BE

This is the part where you get to DREAM of the business you WANT to have and the one that you are willing to put in the hours to complete!  DREAM BIG!  You’ll be guided through the process so that you don’t miss anything!

This will also be emailed to you as it’s YOUR DREAM! Not any one elses… it’s what YOU want to accomplish, who you want to serve, how you want to serve them, how much money you want to make, and more.


STEP 3 – HOW to Get Where You WANT to Be

This is the biggest part that you’ll need help with and will probably take the majority of the time.  You will be guided through what you need to do, how to determine how to fill the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

We will help you determine the actual strategies you need to create and help you plan them! You will be able to ask questions to the group participating as well as directly to the three presenters. We will be with you through the entire process!


STEP 4 – Systems & Processes to Make Your Work SMOOTH and SIMPLE

When you have processes in place, you won’t have to worry at all.  You’ll be able to know exactly what needs to be done, when, and how every time.

You’ll learn the SYSTEMS used by super productive entrepreneurs to get MORE done in LESS time so you can finally get out of the office. Not only that, but having these systems in place will make it possible to hire and build a team!


STEP 5 – Branding, Websites & Marketing

You’ll be able to get CLEAR on the Marketing Strategies that will GROW your business all year… not just when you do a sale! You’ll also learn how the SIMPLE CHANGES and ACTIONS will make your website and marketing WORK FOR YOU!

We will show you how to get Recognized and be REMEMBERED through branding, website design, graphics, and social media.  PLUS 3 LUCKY participants will get a FULL Website & Business Facebook Page Review LIVE during the day!

  Click here to save your spot!

Valentine’s Facebook Freebies

Want to update your Facebook cover image for Valentine’s Day? Here are a few fun Valentine’s Facebook freebies I created for you. Feel free to add your logo or custom text to these before you upload them to your Facebook page!

Share the love with your friends! And let me know in the comments if you used them! 


Free Facebook Banner


  Download Now!



Valentine's Facebook Freebie Banner


Download Now!





Download Now!  





Download Now!



Want more free stuff? Check out all of my freebies here!

5 Common Copy Mistakes

Common Copy Mistakes

(5 Common Copy Mistakes was written by guest writer Jessica Honard)

As a copywriter and writing coach, I’ve seen a lot of words. I’ve seen good words, bad words, and words that make me want to rip my hair out in frustration.

Don’t get me wrong: I love words. Words are the medium through which we communicate almost everything, especially online. Used correctly, words can accomplish quite a lot. They can comfort a friend, sell a product, or fund a Kickstarter campaign.

Words are a fantastic tool, and they are vital to your success. Even if your site relies heavily on graphics and video, you can’t avoid words altogether.

So, why do words frustrate me? Because so many people use them wrong. I have seen countless projects abandoned because the idea didn’t sell. It’s not that the idea was bad, it’s that it wasn’t framed correctly.

The words you choose can make (or break) your business. Keeping that in mind, I want to go over five copy mistakes I’ve seen used over and over again. Reader beware: Avoid these mistakes like the plague.

  You’re writing for yourself

It may seem obvious, but you are not the person investing in your product or service. Your audience is. All too often, I’ve seen people write the landing page they would respond to, personally. This might work if you’re in the same niche as your target audience, but it’s not always the case.

Take, for example, a website developer who wants to sell their new fitness app. Most likely, they are going to be targeting individuals interested in wellness.

They themselves probably speak a different language than their target audience. Being techy people, their inclination may be to list a bunch of specs.

Unfortunately, their audience doesn’t care about specs. Their audience cares about how the app will help them save time and improve their health.

Take the time to research your target audience thoroughly. Understand not just their basic demographics, but their personalities. When you write, do so in a way that resonates with them. Speak their language, not your own.

  You’re forgetting about emotion

Remember how you cried like a baby at the end of The Notebook? Or was that just me?

Up until that point, I felt sort of meh about the movie. It was good, but not earth-shattering. Plus, it was long, and I’m not the sort of person who easily sits still for hours upon hours.

Without that ending (no spoilers!) the movie would have been forgettable. With its emotional ending, it became stuck in my mind. Years later, I still think about it. Think about your favorite movie, TV series, or book.

What makes them so good?

They make you feel something.

People remember how you make them feel, whether that feeling is joy, anger, or fear. Emotions define the human experience, and tapping into those is gold.

This is no different when you’re writing copy. Before you even start, you need to figure out how you want your audience to feel. Then, find the words that help them feel that way.

Most decisions are based off emotion first, logic second. Tap into your audience’s emotions and you’re already halfway there.

  You aren’t showing results

Finish this statement: “If you do ______________, then _______________ will happen.” Substitute the first blank for your product or service. Substitute the second blank for the end result, should someone invest in it.

Simple, right?

And yet, so many people forget this crucial step.

Yes, your branding service may include vector files, unlimited edits, and customer support. That’s what you offer. But what do you do ? I want to know that at the end of it all, I will have a unique, identifiable brand that will define my business.

As a potential buyer, I want to know what your product or service will get me. Don’t just tell me what my short-term investment is, but what the long-term results will be.

  Your copy is long, blocky, and unreadable

The words you choose is one battle. The way you squish them together is another. Offline, we’re used to reading longer paragraphs. Remember in elementary school, when each paragraph had to have three to five sentences?

Yeah, not true online.

When writing for your website, blog, or e-mail list you can be a little more creative. In fact, more often than not, shorter is better.

Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a place for long-form copy. That’s a whole different ballgame. When you are trying to attract someone’s attention quickly, you need to be careful.

You don’t want your audience bogged down in big, blocky paragraphs. They’re hard to read on a screen, and they make it easy for your audience to lose interest.

It’s okay, I won’t tell your elementary school teacher. Go on and break the rules.

  You’re using jargon

could go on about the possibilities of utilizing compound-complex sentences while maintaining an overall sense of parallel structure.

Or, I could tell you to mix up your sentence length, by taking advantage of semicolons and commas. Oh, and make sure your copy has a good rhythm.

In the first sentence, I’m using rhetoric-speak. It’s not only dry, but a lot of people may not understand what the heck I’m talking about. The second example has the same basic message, but it’s much easier to read and understand.

Each industry has its own jargon – words that are specific to people within that community. For example, I’m a rock climber. If I tell you that having an editor is like having a solid belay partner you might not understand what that means. Unless, of course, you are also a rock climber.

That’s fine if I’m writing a post for the rock climbing community. But if my post is being sent out to a group of fashionista’s who prefer indoor activities, I may lose them.

This goes back to my first point. Know your audience. Know their language. Don’t confuse them. If you have to use a word that’s outside of their realm, make sure you take the time to explain it.

  Your words are your most powerful tool

As with any tool, words work best when used correctly. Before you put together your next e-mail or landing page, think about what message you want to convey.

Think about your audience and what words resonate with them. Create a powerful message that taps into emotion and logic.

And, when all else fails, don’t forget to ask for help. Whether a colleague, a friend, or a professional, every piece of copy can benefit from a second pair of eyes.

Jessica Honard


Jessica Honard is a writer and writing coach with a passion for helping entrepreneurs improve their copy. If you want to start writing better and seeing bigger results, you can start by downloading her free Audience Persona Workbook.