So many local businesses spend time tackling their own marketing in an effort to try to save money, but you have likely learned the time and energy spent on marketing is not for the faint of heart. If you are ready to step aside and let a professional take the reins, your business may be ready to take that next step in its marketing journey and pass the torch to an agency. The next step is deciding if going with a local agency makes sense for your business. Here are some benefits of going with a local marketing agency and what we think you can gain from taking this next step.
Proximity and Convenience
This is one of the biggest benefits of going local. You never have to coordinate time zones to schedule a meeting, feel like you are being brushed off, or simply just can’t track down the person that is in charge of your account. Having someone local makes it easy to schedule face to face meetings, quick phone calls, or spend a full day brainstorming strategy together.
When deciding to go local, you can lean on reviews from other local businesses that use the same marketing agency. If you are inspired by their success and they have good things to say, you will be at ease knowing you can trust them with your business as well. Word of mouth is a great way to find out if a marketing agency would be a good fit for you, which is not something you are going to find if you are looking at a long-distance agency.
Oftentimes the people working local also live local. This gives them great pride and insight into the community and what it is like to live and work there. Locals will already know of happenings in town at different businesses and can work to help elevate your message. Working with an agency in proximity can potentially help you coordinate collaboration projects with other local businesses. This will give you even more community connections, making your town a destination people want to be.
As your business grows, so will the marketing agency you have hired. As they help you grow by making your marketing stronger, you will begin to trust them and recommend them to others, which will help both of you grow. This will not only strengthen your business but the local community as well. When everyone works together good things are going to happen!
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
Over the past year, many employees have found themselves in a new situation of having to work from home. While some people may have found this transition easy, others may still be struggling. If you are longing for the days of being in the office with coworkers, having a set routine, and easily separating work life from home life; read these top tips to make working from home a little easier.
1. Having a Dedicated Workspace
If you find yourself working from different areas of the house each day, it might be time to consider creating a permanent work from home setup. If you don’t have enough room for a full-size desk, get creative about an area of your home that could work. A countertop, or a seat at the kitchen table could function as your work from home office. Having one space to work from helps your mind separate work time from home life.
2. Taking Breaks (Short-term and Long-term)
A lot of tips online talk about taking short-term breaks throughout your workday. If you used to go get coffee once a day, take some time to create your own coffee at home and enjoy the time away from your computer. These 10-15 minute breaks each day are important, but it is also important to remember you have vacation time to use as well. Being at home all the time can make you feel like you don’t deserve a break from work because you aren’t actually in the office. If you haven’t used any vacation time in the last year, consider taking a week off to just recharge and regroup.
3. Create a Routine That Works for You
One big benefit from working in the office each day is that there is a routine set in place for you. It is highly beneficial for you to create the same sort of routine at home. Making sure you start your day at the same time, take your lunch around the same time, and have a good end of day routine (read number five for more tips) can help you get focused each day and help you walk away from work at the end of the day to enjoy your own time.
4. Get Up and Move
Working from home can mean you end up sitting in the same place all day long. There is no walking to get a mid-day snack or going out to lunch with friends. Aside from bathroom breaks, you might not get up much at all during your day. Make sure you take time to stretch, get your blood flowing and recharge your mind. Creating good habits while you are working from home will make it easier for you once you get back to the office. You can incorporate your new routine into your office life and maybe even inspire others.
5. Create an End of the Day Routine
As far as working from home goes, this is one of the most beneficial tips there is out there. Create a solid end of the day routine to tell your mind and body it is time to stop working. This can look different for everyone. Some people like to get up at the end of the day and enjoy a glass of water and a short walk. It could be spending time with a member of the household or a pet. Whatever it is, make sure you get away from your work area and enjoy something besides work for a few minutes. This will prevent you from slipping back into work mode and sending just “one more email” that adds up to an extra hour of work each day.
This is a new time for employers and employees. Many companies are now offering full-time work from home positions and the days of office life are gone. Make sure as you transition into this new way of working, you create a routine that works for you. You may live and work in the same place now, but that doesn’t mean you have to be working 24 hours a day. It is very important to continue to create time for yourself and have a good work/life balance.
Written by Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
Having a website that not only functions well, but looks good too, is very important in this digital day and age. There are many platforms out there for do-it-yourself business owners, but what are the benefits of working with a company the specializes in website design? Take a look at these five key benefits that will help you decide whether or not doing it on your own is worth the time, money, and commitment.
1. It Will Save you Time
Chances are you don’t know all of the ins and outs of building a successful website. You might be more than capable of learning how to make a website, but every minute you spend working on your website could be spent building your business in other ways. In the long run you are going to save yourself a lot of time if you let a professional take the lead on your new website.
2. Compatibility with Technology as it Changes
Part of being a professional is having a never-ending commitment to learning. Industry leaders keep up to date on trends, technology, and any other advances in their field that could help their clients. Their lifelong commitment to their profession shows in all of their work and gives them the drive to continue to learn and grow. This will ensure that your website is always up to date with any changes in technology as they happen.
3. Positive First Impression
You get one chance to make a first impression. The first time someone visits your site, it gives you a chance to make them a customer, and potentially an advocate for your business. If they are impressed with the look and functionality, they are more likely to recommend it to others. A website design company knows how to capture the attention of your audience and make you stand out from the crowd.
4. Your Website Will be SEO Optimized
It is great to have a beautiful website that offers users easy functionality, but you have to make sure people can find it. When your website is being created there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure it is SEO optimized. This means you will appear higher in search results and more people, and potential customers, will be able to find your website.
5. It is an Investment in the Future of Your Business
When you think about the long-term benefits of having a well-functioning website, it makes a lot of sense to leave something this important up to the professionals. A good website can last you many years with proper maintenance. Looking at this as a long-term investment versus a short-term cost, makes the decision to work with a website design company even easier.
We hope this list has helped you see the benefits of investing in a professional website for your business. There are so many more benefits when choosing to work with us, but we hope this list empowers you to leave your website in our hands. We are experienced, professional and passionate about what we do. We can’t wait to help you!
Every customer wants to feel like what you offer is just for them. Some companies make this part of their overall business model, but there are easier ways you can incorporate this into your marketing. There are many ways that brands already do this including:
2. Video Marketing
It should come as no surprise that short format videos are more popular than ever. With platforms like TikTok, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Stories leading the way, these short form videos give your brand personality. Here are a few benefits behind creating video content:
3. Social Messaging Apps
Having a chat service that anyone can access, and have direct contact with your business, is something everyone should consider. People trust a business they can contact quickly and receive accurate information from. Here are some reasons to consider adding this to your list of marketing resources this year:
4. Shoppable Posts
Scrolling through Instagram and finding an ad that not only targets your interests, but is also easily shoppable, is the best of both worlds. Without having to leave the app, customers can buy your products. Here are some ways the newest trend of shoppable posts might help your business:
5. Virtual Events
Since 2020, the world and the way we hold events has been forever changed. Now that people have experienced virtual events, more people are open to the idea of attending them. Here are some reasons why a virtual event might make more sense for your company than an in-person event:
Try including one or more of these tactics in your 2021 marketing efforts and see how your customers respond. Thinking outside of the box is a great way to be noticed in a space that is overwhelmed with content. What other creative ways are you going to market yourself this year?
By Chelsea Bray: Elle A. Design
During 2020 we saw an increase in newly opened small businesses locally and nationally. Many people found themselves out of work and recent business closures created openings in the market. This pushed some people to follow their passion, become their own boss, and start their own business. Starting a business comes with many obstacles, but there are plenty of people to help connect all the dots.
One of our strengths at Berry Digital Solutions is helping new businesses understand and start their marketing efforts. Marketing is a huge part of business, no matter the industry. It goes far beyond just a logo, website, printed collateral, running ads, etc. Before a new business can even begin the processes of marketing, there are certain foundations that must be laid.
Before a brand can be recognizable to others, it needs to be developed by the business owners to reflect what they are trying to achieve. Branding not only includes everything from colors, logo, uniforms, website and all other visual collateral, but also is the way a business talk to customers, their management style, and even how they speak on social media. All of these pieces will help when trying to complete each of the next steps.
Learning the intended market is the first step to successfully targeting it. What size the market is, what local competition there is, the range of prices in the market, and any other defining characteristics help create an entire picture of the market each business will be trying to capture. Learning this information will help define keywords in online advertising, learn the appropriate places to spend a marketing budget, and set attainable goals for business.
Choosing Marketing Avenues
Once the market is defined, it is time to figure out where they spend their time. Learning what social media platforms, websites, publications, and types of entertainment an audience uses is a good first step when building a successful marketing plan. Not all audiences are found on all platforms and marketing too broadly can waste precious time and resources.
Settings Goals and Budgets
When creating content, it is good to have an initial budget. Be prepared to spend more during the initial startup phase and then spending between three and five percent of annual turnover on marketing moving forward. As content begins to be created and shared it is good to find a way to track if the marketing efforts put in place are working. Goals that are set should be attainable, specific, and time-based. Once the goals are set make sure they are shared with anyone on the team that can help make them happen.
We hope this brief list of marketing basics can help new businesses obtain their goals. We are here to help every new business learn more about marketing and how it can help them grow. Feel free to reach out for a consultation at: www.berrydigitalsolutions.com/contact-us.html
By Chelsea Bray: Elle A. Design
The health of an office is about more than just a gym membership or a wellness program. While physical health is very important, mental health is just as important in any work environment. In the past few years there has been a lot of focus on toxic work environments and how you can make sure your office doesn’t become one. Here are some great ways to build strong connections with your employees and make sure your work environment is a healthy one.
Build Trust with Your Employees
Building trust with your employees can take a lot of time and effort. The outcome will make your team much stronger in the long run. Model the kind of trust in others you want them to have in you. Building trust is a balance between leading and listening and making sure you and your team are all on the same page. Promoting trust between employees is also important because everyone should feel like a valued part of the team.
Keep Your Employees Informed
Communication is essential to building a workspace that is healthy and positive. Keeping your employees up to date on things happening within the company, no matter how big or small, makes them feel appreciated. If a large change is coming informing your employees first lets them know you care and don’t expect them to adapt overnight to change. When in doubt, the golden rule of treating others the way you would want to be treated will help guide you on what kind of information is important to share.
The hiring process is when you get to know the personalities of potential employees and see if they would be a good fit for your company. You don’t just want someone who has the technical skills you are looking for; you want to hire someone that will fit with the other personalities of the office and adapt to the workflow already in place. Hiring someone that is excited about their work and long-term goals in their career will give other employees a boost of enthusiasm.
Rethink Your Workspace
The physical space in which we work plays a huge role in the quality of our day-to-day lives. Natural light, clean air, and tidy spaces play a big role in making us feel good at work. Another way we can rethink workspaces is by personalizing them for each member of the team. If someone needs a different chair, desk, wants to have a plant or hang a picture, allowing them to have these little things goes a lot way to help their mental health at work.
Check-in with Your Team Regularly
Once you set these things into place it is very important to continue to check-in with team members. Getting their feedback on what is working and what isn’t will help you adjust as your business grows and changes. It will also show employees that you value their opinion and really do care about their experience at work.
Everyone deserves to work in a place that wants to help them grow and become the best they can at what they do. As an owner, boss, manager, or leader of a company, you have the power to help make that happen. Each day you get to shape your office environment into what you want it to be. Remember that making a healthy work environment is the first step and maintaining it is a commitment that you have to keep working on every single day.
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
The new year is here, and it is that time when we all start setting goals. If you are a small business owner, or a leader in the community, here are some goals you may want to consider adding to your list this year.
1. Build a Website
If 2020 taught us anything, it is that we need to be flexible and adapt to changes quickly in order for our businesses to survive. There were so many businesses that never had an online presence that had to pull together a website last minute to keep their doors open. If you are starting a new business, or just need a refresh, now is the time to get your website polished and make sure it functions exactly like you need it to. Having a website will give customers time to shop outside of your regular hours and you can literally make sales while you sleep.
2. Build Your Brand
Building your brand, both online and in your community, is important for the long-term success of your business. While building your brand, through social media and other outlets, you get to share your personality with your customers. People will not only like your products or services but begin to trust you as the owner of the brand. This builds customer loyalty and gives them a reason to return and become a repeat customer. They will also start advocating for your product or services on your behalf giving you more business.
3. Be a Mentor
If we all look back to the beginning of our careers, there was most likely someone there that guided us. Did we get the support we needed, or do we wish we had been given more? Are you at a point in your career where you think you can provide some advice to someone just starting out? Mentoring is a great way to give back, not just to your community but in your field of work. It is also a great way to be seen as a leader in your community. Give back this year and find someone that could use a mentor.
4. Get Involved in Your Community
Find ways to collaborate with other local businesses. This will not only build your resources and connections but will help your town come together and appear unified. People want to visit a place where they are going to feel like they belong. Building connections around town and being able to support one another make the town feel welcoming and friendly. If everyone supports one another, the whole town will grow together. Find fun and interesting ways to collaborate with businesses, even ones that people wouldn’t expect at first. Step outside of the box and get creative.
5. Fight Burnout and Find Balance
With everything going digital and more and more companies coming up with solutions for working at home, the line between work life and home life is more blurred than ever before. In order to fight burnout, it is important to set some boundaries and learn to stick to them. Be sure you are delegating tasks that would be better handled by someone else and make sure to take time for yourself. This includes taking your lunch break (even if you are really busy), not taking phone calls after hours, and leaving emails for the morning. There will always be times when you break these rules, but being mindful of them and why you set them in the first place will help you balance your work life and home life.
Everyone sets and maintains goals differently, but we hope there are some ideas on this list you will consider adding to yours this year. It takes a lot of time and dedication to run a small business and be an active part of a growing community. We hope at the end of the day you are taking care of yourself and staying happy and healthy this year!
By Chelsea Bray-Elle A. Design
One popular New Year’s Resolution is getting and staying organized! We don’t just mean your closet or pantry either. Get your to-do lists, files, and upcoming projects organized with these free tools. No matter your work style, there is a tool on this list that could help you and your team crush your 2021 goals!
Asana is an online Project Management tool that you can use with your team to stay on top of all upcoming projects. It is a great to use when collaborating because you can invite unlimited guest users. The tool can be used to see progress long term and to break out day-to-day tasks that will keep you on target to reach those goals. If you are part of a team that needs constant communication, Asana is a must-have online resource. The best part is there is a free plan for up to 15 people so even a small business can get a lot out of this tool.
If you like lists, Trello may be the best tool for you. You can create boards for each project and lists within them for things you want to get done. This platform offers great visuals and is easy to use as a team. You can share boards between users to keep everyone on the same page. The cards on each list can be moved from list to list to keep things organized as you progress through a project. There is a free plan offered by Trello but there are paid plans as well that upgrade some of the features.
Google Apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar and Mail)
Google Apps are designed to be shared and the cloud-based storage makes it so you can access your files from anywhere. You can easily share your files with other contributors, and you can both work on them at the same time. Using the calendar in conjunction with mail will keep you up to date on all of your meetings and calls with the simple click of a button. These tools are powerful and run by a highly trusted company, so you never have to worry about losing an important document.
Sometimes you just need to get files to people. You don’t need to store them long-term or have a dedicated space for files being used in a collaboration. This is where WeTransfer comes in! It is a free online service where you upload your files, fill in the recipients contact info, and send it to them. The site sends you notifications when the file is sent, opened and when it is about to expire. It is a fast and secure way to send files without having to give up any of your storage space.
Pinterest has been around for years but is evolving year after year to fit the needs of its users. Did you know when Pinterest first started you had to have an invite from a user to join the site? They have come a long way! It is a great place to find inspiration and collect images onto boards to have for later. You can also create collaborative boards between team members so you can all pin ideas for projects and see each other’s inspiration.
Pen and Paper
Last, by certainly not least, is good old-fashioned pen and paper. If the online world is too much for you to jump into or if you just like having a physical connection to your to-do list, a pen and paper is all you need. Sometimes there is nothing more satisfying than literally crossing something off your to-do list. It leaves you with a great sense of completion. If you want to up your pen and paper game, look into bullet journals. There are so many resources out there on different lists you can create to help you stay on track and reach your goals!
We hope this list inspires you to look into some new and improved ways to stay organized in 2021. No matter how big or small your team, or the task at hand, these tools can help you stay on top of everything.
We want to take time at the end of the year to reflect on 2020 and how much your support has meant to us. To every single customer that supported us this year, we want to say, “Thank You!” We are so passionate about supporting small, local businesses, and we are glad you are too. We know this year has been a rollercoaster for everyone, but we have all worked together to come up with unique solutions to not just survive but thrive through these tough times.
We hope that you and your family have a safe and healthy holiday season. Some of you may not be having a normal Christmas this year, but we hope you're inspired to create new traditions. As we welcome the New Year, we hope that 2021 brings everyone the health and happiness they deserve.
We can’t wait to work with you in 2021 and continue supporting your businesses.
From all of us here at Berry Digital Solutions, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Berry Digital Solutions LLC
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