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Measure What You Care About in Your Marketing Efforts

May 17th, 2012 ::

You learn throughout your life except for a short break in school, said George Bernard Shaw. This struck me as so true as I was sitting in the  patient’s chair of Dr. Alan Glazier, CEO of Shady Grove Eye & Vision @eyeinfo on Twitter). Dr. Glazier’s Twitter efforts have won him awards from the NVTC ( Northern Virginia Technology Council). Discussing social media with him is not new. In his book Searchial Marketing: How Social Media Drives Search Optimization in Web 3.0 he credits our conversations as the inspiration for his social media efforts.

I know Dr.Glazier is very efficient and I was curious about  what methods and technology he deploys and how he measures the results. In in his view, a very planned structure and strategy is important to prioritize which online tools to use and how much time to spend on them. Dr. Glazier’s strategy:

  • Search Engines:
    • As consumers’ usage of search to find  businesses increased, he moved his marketing budget from offline efforts to online.
    • Focus on where the business appears on search results.
  • Social Media: His social media efforts are focused on
    • Helping his business appear in search results for extremely local search terms
    • Connecting with customers
    • Learning and conversing with the community
    • Creating word of mouth for the business
  • Employ good-quality personnel even if it is expensive
    • Dr. Glazier’s business is not only dependent on providing great quality eye care but also on ensuring satisfied patients, beginning with the front office systems. His human resource costs are higher than the norm in the industry but he attributes the growth of his business to his employees.
  • Measure:
    • How many existing customers have come back
    • How many new customers you got and how many referrals you get

Over the past couple of years, Dr. Glazier found existing customer retention rates were leveling off  and new customer growth was slow–untll he started using social media. Along with the results of new patient growth, Dr. Glazier also saw another benefit:  thought leadership. As his peers have not started using these tools, he is often asked to speak at conferences on marketing in the new media. He was also interviewed by Small Biz Trends radio a few months ago.

How are you measuring your success of your marketing efforts? What new media has worked for you?

Image by Flickr user jamiesrabbit (Creative Commons)

With 170 million People Google+ Makes New Design Changes

April 11th, 2012 ::

If you are a Google+ user and visited your page today you may have been surprised and pleasantly we hope to see the new Google Plus design changes that Google announced today.BTW have you added the Network Solutions Google Plus page to your circles?

On the whole it was a better experience and some of the changes that I found interesting:

  • Good navigation : It seemed more comfortable and easy to see where everything is easily.
  • Customization : I don’t use the games feature very much so I just dragged it down to the bottom and since I use the photos feature a lot it is moved to the top.
  • Hangouts : I am not sure if this is new but Google Plus seems to be the new alternative to Apple’s Facetime with the ability to speak to up to 9 of your family members on the Google Hangout (video conference). I will be trying that this weekend. That will also mean if you run a virtual organization you can have your own hangout as a conference.

At the recent launch event for the book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Social Media Marketing, 2nd Edition ” I spoke about Google Plus and mentioned one reason to establish a presence on Google Plus and engage is to be able to show up in the Google search results which already include results from the Google Plus page activity.



Check out this post by the SVP of Google Vic Gundotra for more details. Also here is a video that explains the changes:

What’s New at Network Solutions

December 7th, 2010 ::

This December, Network Solutions has a few great opportunities to help you take your small business to the next level. In addition our leadership tweet chat with Terry Starbucker, we have some fantastic online deals for you this holiday season. Read on!

Leadership for Small Biz Tweet Chat Dec. 9 with Terry Starbucker (@starbucker)

If you are a small business owner, you need to read Terry Starbucker’s blog, Ramblings from a Glass Half Full. From hiring, to firing, and everything in between, Terry offers sound advice to help hone your leadership skills with executable tactics. For a quick look, check out last week’s post on Solutions are Power where we re-capped some of his recent articles. We are so fortunate to be hosting Terry as guest tweeter for our upcoming #netsol small biz tweet chat.

Register on Eventbrite: http://netsolleadership.eventbrite.com/

Here are the details:

Who: Terry Starbucker, top leadership speaker and blogger

What: #netsol tweetchat, just log into twitter or tweet chat and follow the hashtag, #netsol

When: December 9, 1-2:30 pm EST

Where: Twitter

Why: To understand how to be a more effective leader, and to answer the following questions and more:

  • How do I become a leader instead of a micro-manager?
  • As a leader, how can I be an effective communicator?
  • How do I increase my odds of hiring someone worthwhile?
  • What are some simple non-verbal tactics I can use to become a better leader?

Image courtesy of Terry Starbucker

December Deals

We all know what December means… It’s time for the holidays. Here at Network Solutions, we are big into giving too, and this year we are especially giving thanks for our Facebook fans. Facebook is one of our favorite ways to engage with you, our customers, and hear your small business success stories.

Network Solutions is offering exciting deals to get your Web presence moving forward, and they all start on Facebook. We are encouraging you to join our small business conversations on Facebook with some fantastic offers:

- $1.95 Domain names—to redeem, visit www.facebook.com/networksolutions and click on the Offer tab

- $1,000 Network Solutions Gift Certificate Sweepstakes—the grand prize winner will be able to boost his/her Web presence with $1,000 worth of Network Solutions tools and resources.


Ken Yancey CEO of SCORE gets First-Ever Small Business Corporate Support Award

September 24th, 2010 ::

I was thrilled to hear about this news that SCORE presented the first-ever Ken Yancey Small Business Corporate Support Award on September 16th at the SCORE Awards in Washington, D.C. SCORE CEO Ken Yancey, is the first recipient of this award honoring those who provide exceptional assistance in creating small business procurement opportunities. I have met him several times and his passion for helping small business comes across as he speaks.

SCORE has a network of volunteers who mentor new and existing small Business and has helped  more than 8.5 million entrepreneurs with a network of 12,400 mentors. Well deserved award- Congrats ! Ken Yancey and SCORE.

More information from the SCORE press release : http://www.score.org/newsroom_ken_yancey_award.html

This award the “Ken Yancey Small Business Corporate Support Award” is named for SCORE CEO Ken Yancey in honor of his personal leadership in the development and growth of Business Matchmaking and his guidance in facilitating more than 75,000 face-to-face opportunities for entrepreneurs to present to government and major corporate potential customers, resulting in more than $1 billion in sales for America’s small businesses.

The Business Matchmaking organization established this annual award for an organization or individual who has provided exceptional assistance in creating small business procurement opportunities. Yancey has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, Fox and PBS as a small business expert. He serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Advisory Council. He is an active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America.

Mike Mendez, SCORE Association Incoming Board Chair, says, “Ken Yancey has been instrumental in SCORE’s growth and success. It’s been an honor to work with Ken in leading mentoring and training support for America’s small businesses.” Mendez adds, “Today, we honor Ken Yancey as the first recipient for this award named in his honor the Ken Yancey Small Business Corporate Support Award. It’s a testament to Ken’s long-standing support of small business and the corporate partners that help small business connect with resources & opportunities for success.”

Mark Dobosz, Executive Director of The SCORE Foundation, says, “Ken is a visionary and inspirational leader. His ability to rally support for SCORE, small business mentoring and other great programs like business matchmaking demonstrate his commitment to small business success.” Dobosz adds, “Ken has built corporate support for SCORE’s mission and small business. We felt it was appropriate to name this award honoring corporate supporters of small business after the man who has done so much to enable small business success.”

About SCORE: Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 8.5 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE provides small business mentoring and workshops to more than 375,000 new and growing small businesses. More than 12,400 business experts volunteer as mentors in 364 chapters serving local communities with entrepreneur education to help grow 1 million small businesses.

Here is a video the Network Solutions team interview with Ken Yancey during the National Small Business Week

About Jay Ehret

February 15th, 2010 ::

jay-ehret

Jay Ehret (www.themarketingspot.com), popularly known as @themarketingguy on Twitter. He is a small business marketing consultant and has coached several entrepreneurs on how to build a powerful brand and more importantly how to create a rewarding customer experience.

According to the latest Small Business Success Index report, the biggest use of social media for small businesses is customer engagement. Jay will tell you just exactly how you can leverage social networking to attract new customers with some real world examples.

Here’s our first podcast with Jay Ehret. Listen in and tell us how you like it.


#GrowSmartBiz Video : Thank you and What next ? Roy Dunbar Chairman & CEO Network Solutions

October 2nd, 2009 ::

Here we wrap up the conference and talk about what is next for small business.

#GrowSmartBiz Video: Effective Use of the WashBizJournal – Alex Orfinger

October 1st, 2009 ::

Alex Orfinger, Publisher of the Washington Business Journal was our MC for the event and was very entertaining. He kept the audience going throughout the day and on top of that gave a great 10 minute overview of using the WBJ. Check out the video below:

#GrowSmartBiz Video : Panel 3: Staying Ahead in the Current Economy

October 1st, 2009 ::

Christine Banning from SCORE gave a great presentation on the current economy in the afternoon of the #GrowsmartBiz conference. Check it out below:

Christine Banning is VP of Marketing and Communications at SCORE Association and is a marketing expert. She leads strategic brand management, marketing, marketing alliances and PR & communications for SCORE nationally. She has successfully led SCORE’s digital marketing strategy, reaching nearly 3 million people each year. Christine reaches an audience of 500 million annually through SCORE’s PR efforts. Christine speaks nationally on branding, entrepreneurship, small business identity and marketing. Christine serves on the Board of Directors of Dress for Success, Washington, DC. She received her graduate degree from The American University in Washington, DC. She was recently named an Honorary Member of SCORE New York City.

#GrowSmartBiz Video: Where do you stand on the Small Business Success Index?

September 30th, 2009 ::

Ever wondered what the Small Business Success index is all about? Well, get it from the guy that runs it and will give you fond memories of statistics class in college.

Charles Colby is that guy and Rockbridge Associates is his firm. Check out the video below for some great content.

Presented by RockBridge Associates

#GrowSmartBiz Video : Panel 4: Integrating Traditional Marketing with Social Media

September 30th, 2009 ::

On the last panel of the day, Jill Foster moderated a great group of social media experts.

For a detailed write up, check out Ken’s live blogging coverage OR watch the video of the panel below.

Terri Holley, Creative Blog Solutions

Terri Holley, MS CPCC, is the owner and founder of Creative Blog Solutions. As one of the premier social media strategists on the Internet, Ms.Holley helps small businesses harness the power of social media so they can generate more leads, retain existing customers, and create additional streams of revenue. Her clients include profit and non-profit organizations throughout the United States. To maximize results and ensure a return on investment, Terri aligns business objectives with social media solutions while taking into consideration the needs and resources of the small business owner.

Terri brings a broad range of knowledge and experience to social media and online marketing. A proud graduate from the world-renowned Coaches Training Institute, Terri views social media marketing through the prism of strengthening customer relationships. By emphasizing the relationship factor that drives social media, Terri helps small businesses develop online marketing tools that attract a community of enthusiasts around their brand, products and services.

In addition to running Creative Blog Solutions, Terri currently authors two blogs, both of which have excellent search engine rankings and substantial traffic. Her blogs have received extensive press coverage and have several inbound links from prominent sites on the Internet.

Danilo Bogdanovic, Loudoun Scene

Danilo Bogdanovic is a full time Real Estate Consultant/REALTOR® with Market Advantage Real Estate, LLC in Northern Virginia and owner/author of LoudounScene.com andLoudounForeclosures.com. He has been successfully utilizing social media and technology in his business model since October 2006. Approximately 75 percent of his business is generated from his online and social media efforts, which include blogs, Facebook, and Twitter, among others.

Danilo’s local real estate blogs are followed by editors of, and have led to features in, media and publications such as the Loudoun EasternerLeesburg TodayWJLA ABC7 News,Washington Business JournalWashington PostReutersUSA Today and The Economist. This credibility and exposure has helped increase his presence in the market place, which has led to increased business.

Brent Leary, Co-author of Barack 2.0 , Partner of CRM Essentials

Brent Leary is a CRM industry analyst, advisor, author, speaker and award winning blogger. He is co-founder and Partner of CRM Essentials LLC, an Atlanta-based CRM advisory firm covering tools and strategies for improving business relationships. Recognized by InsideCRM as one of 2007′s 25 most influential industry leaders, Brent also is a past recipient of CRM Magazine’s Most Influential Leader Award. He’s been quoted in several national business publications, including the Wall Street JournalNewsweek and Entrepreneur magazine.

In 2009 Brent co-authored Barack 2.0: Social Media Lessons for Small Business. He has written regular online columns for Inc. and Black Enterprise magazines, as well as for popular business sites including American Express OPEN Forum. Brent also hosts and produces the popular “Technology For Business $ake” Internet radio program. His popular blog can be found at BrentLeary.com. You can find him on Twitter at @brentleary.

Joanna Pineda, Matrix International Group, Inc.

Joanna Pineda is CEO and Chief Troublemaker of Matrix Group International, Inc., an interactive agency that helps companies, associations and non-profits develop and implement their online strategies. Matrix Group offers clients a mix of Web strategy, branding, design, multimedia, custom application development, content management, association management software, and mission-critical hosting solutions.

Joanna has worked with hundreds of organizations that appreciate her out of the box thinking aboutways to promote their businesses online, grow their membership, and streamline internal business processes. Joanna is a well-known tech leader in the DC area. She was named one of the most influential business women in the DC area by the Washington Business Journal, one of the top 100 techies by Washingtonian magazine, and one of the top CEOs by SmartCEO. She also serves on the Executive Board of DC Web Women.

In addition, Joanna is a well-known blogger. Through TheMatrixFiles.net, Joanna blogs about social media, leadership and marketing. She is also a contributor to WomenGrowBusiness.com.

Jill Foster, DC Media Makers

Jill Foster, co-founder of DCMedia Makers, teaches social media and serves as editor forWomenGrowBusiness.com, a Network Solutions community blog that brings together resources and success stories (humor too!) for women in small business. Fulfilling a ‘bucket list dream’ last year, she covered events at the Democratic National Convention ’08 using mobile media. And in May 2009, her mobile media project report which she co-produced won the Apps for Democracy Social Citizen Award in Washington, DC. Conversations regarding her work have appeared in the WashingtonianWashington PostGuardianUKIndy Star, and other media outlets; she enjoys participating in tech and entrepreneurship communities including DC Web Women and WomenWhoTech. She can be reached via twitter @jillfoster.