The Evolution of Online Marketplaces and Where We’re Headed

Have you ever wanted to grow out your business and hire a bunch of people? If so, you may have been held back by the questions and limitations of having to rent out an office building, going through the hiring process and coming up with the necessary funds and resources to make all of this happen.

Over the past decade-plus, more businesses and brands have looked at growth opportunities and hiring through online marketplaces while eliminating the need to hire full-time employees. Not only has this saved businesses millions of dollars, it’s opened up a whole new industry for anyone looking to get hired by building an online resume to show off their skills or expertise.

A look at the freelance hiring industry today

If you were to take a look at the world of freelance hiring and online job sites today, you would find there are a wide range of opportunities to choose from. While there are some major players still in this space, the opportunity for smaller networks to gain ground and traction are quickly improving.

Look no further than the recent transactionwhere Ikea purchased TaskRabbitoutright, a marketplace for homeowners to connect with contractors and other …

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What Does My Competition Have That I Don’t?

It pays to pay attention to the competition.

Sure, you might peek at their website, read their tweets and check out their new product releases.

However, if their customers are leaving satisfied with their service and your customers are just, well, leaving, it’s time to get more serious.

What does your competition have that you don’t?

What are their customer service reps doing better? Can you implement some of their strategies? Can you tweak these strategies for increased growth and success?

By digging deeper into what is (or isn’t) working for your competition, it’s possible to uncover new strategies to improve not only your customer service but every area of your business.

Instead of scrapping your entire service strategy and starting over from scratch, use information gained from the competition as a foothold to expand and improve your strategy without reinventing the wheel.

By tweaking existing ideas and service practices in place by the competition, you save valuable time, money, and make your business stand out as creative and unique.

For example, take the concept of patents. Of all the patents applied for each year, most of them are not for completely new, original products. Many patents are for the …

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Spine-tingling good Halloween emails that are haunting our inboxes

Halloween is nearly here and our inboxes are being haunted by some scary-good emails. Take a look at these ghoulishly clever examples for inspiration, if you dare.

1. Taco Bell

Subject line: Warning: Very Spooky D.I.Y. #AllTacosEveContest Dead Ahead

Taco Bell gets their customers excited about Halloween and their brand with a Taco Bell-inspired costume contest. Their promotional email is cleverly decked out with graphics that blend traditional creepy crawlies and ghouls with the fast-food chain’s menu items. The taco vampire, burrito spider and taco wrapper ghost not only serve as great costume inspiration, but they’re also attention-grabbing and fit perfectly with the Mexican chain’s offbeat humor.

All Tacos Eve: A Taco bell halloween email

2. Domino’s

Subject line: Spooktacular Domino’s deals inside

Orange and black are always a winning color combination for Halloween emails. But those who prefer to stay true to their brand when designing their All Hallow’s Eve-themed messages should take a look at this example from Domino’s. The pizza chain sticks to the red and blue color scheme they’re known for, but seasonalizes its typical email design with spooky illustrations.

Dominos Halloween Email

3. Mouth

Subject line: Ding Dong! Our Ltd. Edition Halloween Gift Bag is Here

Specialty food retailer Mouth celebrates the holiday by creating a …

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Guide to Marketing Certifications

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of certifications for marketing professionals. We compiled this guide of reputable marketing certifications to make it easier for you to boost your skills and advance your career.

Certifications from accredited universities

Marketing certifications are in high demand, and many accredited universities and colleges are responding to that demand by offering certifications. Some university certifications are intended for seasoned marketing professionals, while others are meant to act as a steppingstone for people changing careers or recent college graduates entering the workforce.

Ivy League schools like Cornell (eCornell) and Harvard (Extension School) offer comprehensive continuing education programs that allow students to earn certificates in areas like marketing strategy and marketing management. Cornell’s six-class program takes three months to complete and costs $3,600. The program is sold as “MBA-level strategic marketing training” and is geared toward professionals looking to level up. Harvard’s program includes four graduate credit classes (which can be applied to a degree), takes on average 1.5 years to complete and costs on average $10,800.

Other colleges with reputable marketing certifications include Duke University, MIT, Baruch College, the University of Illinois, UC Berkeley, the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown

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5 Best Tactics to Promote Your Business Podcast

Podcasting is a great way to get your voice heard, literally, on a variety of subjects, including business. If you want to put your expertise, journalism or opinions out there in audio form, starting a podcast is easy. The hard part is letting people know about it and building up a listener base. Here are a few tips to get you started in the rough-and-tumble field of podcasting.

 

1. Launch strong.

 

Launch your podcast strong with multiple episodes at the start and multiple episodes each week afterward. Maintain that pace for a few weeks. This will build up your library early on, giving listeners more episodes to binge on and boosting your downloads. More attention early on will make it more likely that you’ll catch the attention of podcast playerssuch as iTunes or Google Play Music to be featured on their front pages, where potential listeners can see new and interesting podcasts. Encourage listeners to give your podcast ratings, especially on iTunes, where 70 percent of podcast listening happens, according to Nieman Lab. Getting a spot on these pagesis tricky, but it will be a major boon to your listenership if you can make it happen.

 …

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Whet restaurant customers’ appetites with smart list management

As a restaurant owner, you probably already collect customers’ email addresses. But are you using email marketing to its full potential? That is, are you growing your list as rapidly as you could be? Are you sending the emails your customers want? And are you segmenting your readership to better serve the needs of various groups?When you employ email list management, you keep customers’ mouths watering for your services.

Here’s how to take advantage of smart list management at your restaurant.

Grow your email list

The first step in being a savvy email marketer is to grow your number of subscribers. Below are six ways to do that. During the sign-up process, don’t hesitate to ask customers what they’re more interested in hearing about (e.g., beverage specials, private events, etc.). That’ll help you segment those readers later.

  1. Ask for email addresses on your checks and receipts
  2. Put a sign-up sheet next to your cash registers and orders-to-go pickup space
  3. Add a sign-up box to the header of all your webpages, making it easy for visitors to opt in to receive offers and news
  4. Add a more robust contact form to your website, perhaps on your events page, that prompts
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Guide to Marketing Certifications

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of certifications for marketing professionals. We compiled this guide of reputable marketing certifications to make it easier for you to boost your skills and advance your career.

Certifications from accredited universities

Marketing certifications are in high demand, and many accredited universities and colleges are responding to that demand by offering certifications. Some university certifications are intended for seasoned marketing professionals, while others are meant to act as a steppingstone for people changing careers or recent college graduates entering the workforce.

Ivy League schools like Cornell (eCornell) and Harvard (Extension School) offer comprehensive continuing education programs that allow students to earn certificates in areas like marketing strategy and marketing management. Cornell’s six-class program takes three months to complete and costs $3,600. The program is sold as “MBA-level strategic marketing training” and is geared toward professionals looking to level up. Harvard’s program includes four graduate credit classes (which can be applied to a degree), takes on average 1.5 years to complete and costs on average $10,800.

Other colleges with reputable marketing certifications include Duke University, MIT, Baruch College, the University of Illinois, UC Berkeley, the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown

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Valuing Your Marketing Services: 3 Pricing Models That Work

Marketing is one of the most important parts of any business, and it takes a lot of work to get it right. That’s where your marketing agency comes in. Depending on the focus of your agency, you could be doing comprehensive marketing services or specific tasks like market research, creating a new ad campaign, establishing a brand, making new graphics or anything else related to marketing.

As with any creative field, marketing agencies have to face the difficult question of how to price their services. Specific prices will depend on factors like your area, the years you’ve been in business, your area of expertise, the number of employees at your agency and the current market value of your services. For an idea of the current prices in the market, look at the results of this independent study on agency pricing in the U.S., U.K. and worldwide, or read through this 2017 marketing cost guide from Jason Falls.

As an agency, there are pricing model options you can choose from: an hourly model, project-based model or value-based model. Each has its own pros and cons, and the right one for you will depend on several different factors. Here’s how to …

Read more

Guide to Marketing Certifications

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of certifications for marketing professionals. We compiled this guide of reputable marketing certifications to make it easier for you to boost your skills and advance your career.

Certifications from accredited universities

Marketing certifications are in high demand, and many accredited universities and colleges are responding to that demand by offering certifications. Some university certifications are intended for seasoned marketing professionals, while others are meant to act as a steppingstone for people changing careers or recent college graduates entering the workforce.

Ivy League schools like Cornell (eCornell) and Harvard (Extension School) offer comprehensive continuing education programs that allow students to earn certificates in areas like marketing strategy and marketing management. Cornell’s six-class program takes three months to complete and costs $3,600. The program is sold as “MBA-level strategic marketing training” and is geared toward professionals looking to level up. Harvard’s program includes four graduate credit classes (which can be applied to a degree), takes on average 1.5 years to complete and costs on average $10,800.

Other colleges with reputable marketing certifications include Duke University, MIT, Baruch College, the University of Illinois, UC Berkeley, the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown

Read more

Valuing Your Marketing Services: 3 Pricing Models That Work

Marketing is one of the most important parts of any business, and it takes a lot of work to get it right. That’s where your marketing agency comes in. Depending on the focus of your agency, you could be doing comprehensive marketing services or specific tasks like market research, creating a new ad campaign, establishing a brand, making new graphics or anything else related to marketing.

As with any creative field, marketing agencies have to face the difficult question of how to price their services. Specific prices will depend on factors like your area, the years you’ve been in business, your area of expertise, the number of employees at your agency and the current market value of your services. For an idea of the current prices in the market, look at the results of this independent study on agency pricing in the U.S., U.K. and worldwide, or read through this 2017 marketing cost guide from Jason Falls.

As an agency, there are pricing model options you can choose from: an hourly model, project-based model or value-based model. Each has its own pros and cons, and the right one for you will depend on several different factors. Here’s how to …

Read more