Sales & Marketing
Accelerate Your Sales with Charlene DeCesare
want to look like an expert? write a book
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Mastering paid search analytics
How to make email marketing easy
Why? One simple question to solve your business problems
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Did your business plan include contingencies for a pandemic?
Here's a quick video with all the answers...
Usually at this time of year I'm talking about do-overs and maximizing opportunities to finish the year strong, this year I'm wondering how long I'm going to be working out of my attic.
It's been six months since COVID-19 threw a monkey wrench into the economy and many of us aren't where we thought we'd be, financially or physically.
Some of us were able to re-think this year's goals and how to reach them, but others are at the mercy of a virus whose economic impact seems to mutate at every opportunity.
But you know what? It's okay.
The biggest challenge for small business right now is the same challenge we always have - finding customers.
So I'm bring in the heavy hitters to help you promote your business, find leads, and make sales.
Instead of our usual back-to-school/do-over/regroup and conquer issue, we're looking at ways to maximize opportunites.
Hiring Sales Pros
Please take a few minutes to check out our articles and advertisers. If you like what you see, share the magazine with your friends and colleagues. Or better yet, join the NH Business Guild and be part of the Granite States growing small business community.
(Just in case you missed it on the cover...)
Wondering why the heck we named
the NH Business Guild magazine
Show your expertise: See how 3 local business woman used books to promote their businesses
Mastering Paid Search Analytics
Business Meeting & Event Space
Want to look like an expert? Write a book
Accelerate YOUR sales with sales expert Charlene DeCesare
Looking for love: How to choose the RIGHT bank for YOUR business.
Why? One simple question to solve all your business woes
How to share your professional expertise & get in front of the RIGHT audience
NH Business Guild Members
Are you tired of overwhelm? 2 Simple tips to control the chaos
Why did I name the magazine Flackery?
8 Local sales & marketing resources for YOUR business
Recession-Proof Your Business
In every issue
Real world tools & strategies to build a strong foundation to help your business stay profitable when the economy is slow.
Everything you need to make your sales sizzle!
Interviews with sales & marketing experts
Tools to manage your marketing program
Connections to New Hampshire's top resources
Sales & Marketing Issue
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You’ve tried everything. Everyone says you’re the best at what you do, but you can’t seem to get over that last hurdle when it comes to getting your expertise in front of the right people.
You go to networking events. You faithfully write three blog posts a week and share them on social media, but connecting with potential clients feels like a never-ending challenge.
Forget about waiting to be discovered. This is the 21st century and you have options.
There was a time when you had to be a business mogul or college professor to publish a business book, but not anymore.
Thanks to Amazon and other self-publishing platforms, anyone can write a book, even if you’re not an established industry leader.
Writing a book is now the go-to choice of savvy business owners looking to boost their credibility and prove their industry knowledge.
Marketing guru Lisa Masiello, founder and chief marketing strategist of the global tech marketing firm TECHmarc Labs, says when it’s done right, publishing a book can “lend an additional sense of credibility to one’s expertise” well beyond a traditional white paper or case study.
In fact, even with a minimal marketing budget, a book can be an efficient tool to help you promote yourself without feeling like you’re actively promoting yourself.
Writing a book imbues you with an assumption of expertise that can open doors well beyond driving traffic to your website.
Speaking gigs at industry conferences
Expert quotes for the local and national press
Invitations to closed networking groups and events
Collaboration opportunities & more!
The world is your oyster when you write a book to showcase your expertise, and if your topic is on-trend, you might even generate a little side revenue from book sales.
And if you’re thinking this all sounds great, but who has freaking time to write a book? I have a one-word solution, outsource.
Hiring a professional writer to do the heavy lifting can be an affordable option for a busy entrepreneur.
You don’t even have to be a former president or Hollywood star.
Professional ghost writer Erika Cohen says “many business books are not written by the person whose name is on the cover.”
In fact, all of her clients are business executives.
Writing a book is a major undertaking that you must do correctly.
It takes work and a dedication of resources to not only put the words on paper but present them in a professional, well-written format that engages and informs your audience.
Masiello says the knowledge and expertise expressed in white papers, PowerPoints, videos, blog posts, and other resources can “help shape the outline and themes which are discussed in the book,” but they can’t be simply copied and pasted into book form.
There is no doubt writing a book takes a lot of effort. But, if you have the time and energy to write, edit, revise, publish, and promote it, a book can be a fantastic vehicle to increase brand awareness, boost your searchability, and showcase your expertise.
See how three local business women used books to promote their busineses
Publishing may be the new MBA for business success...
It might not be the fast track to fame and fortune, but when it's done right, writing a book as a subject matter expert can open a lot of doors.
Show your expertise - Write a Book!
Founder and Chief Marketing Strategist at TECHmarc Labs, Lisa Masiello wrote Insider's Guild to Trade Show and Event Management to "help eliminate some of the obstacles and challenges that frequently pop up during the planning and execution of any show."
Divided into three sections, Pre-Show, On-Site Tips, and Post-Show Tips, Masiello details 23 actionable tips that fall into four categories:
Basied on extensive industry experience, her insighs walk you through each step of your event and cover everything you need to know about maximizing your trade show experience.
Local photographer Allegra Boverman took a different approach to producing a book.
Instead of writing about using photography to promote your brand, she created a lookbook featuring a photoshoot with a local business.
Not only does the book provide a visual story about how to use photography for marketing, it showcases her skill as a photographer and provides a little secondary marketing for her client.
This books was developed as a digital giveaway for website visitors and clients, but it could also be formatted for print and sold as a coffee table book.
Professional sales trainer, Charlene DeCesare, leverages more than 25-years of sales experience to help readers diagnose their business email ills and offer proven strategies for improving email click and response rates.
The Email Cemetery lets you dig deep into real sales emails that died on the way to their prospect’s inbox.
DeCesare leads readers through the graveyard of bad emails and provides actionable takeaways that can be used by everyone.
This must-read book is a fantastic example of how to share your expertise to a broad audience without feeling like you’re giving it away for free.
Want to succeed? Know your why...
One simple question to solve all your business woes
It doesn’t matter if you’re pitching a client, brainstorming a new product, or trying to justify spending the rent money on a new website, the key to succeeding in business is knowing why you started the business.
Having a clear picture of why you started your business provides the underlying structure for all of your business decisions.
You could even say it solves all of your business challenges.
We live in an exciting time to be an entrepreneur. It’s very easy to start a business. All it takes is a couple hundred dollars and some elbow grease to get a basic consulting business up and running.
But how do you sustain it?
Growing a business takes an incredible commitment of resources that can be difficult to maintain over the long haul.
For some people, it’s all about the promise of money, but for most of us, that's not enough.
There comes a point where money ceases to be an incentive.
Which brings us back to why you need to know your why.
Your why is your passion.
It’s the fire that lights the path from a cubicle to having your name on the building.
It’s also your purpose.
It’s what motivates you through the hard days and helps you make informed decisions.
Knowing your why is what helps you recognize the difference between an opportunity that is a good idea and one that is a good fit.
It might even be more important than knowing what you’re going to do or how you’re going to do it.
Knowing your why helps you stay focussed on your overarching goal.
And when you can face challenges with a singularity of purpose, you will stand head and shoulders above your competition.
And it all starts with an honest answer to the basic question of why.
Forget about the all-inclusive, politically correct mission statement. I want you to shut the door, put your phone on airplane mode, look yourself in the mirror and answer the question.
What is your why?
If you have the guts to give an honest answer, you might just find the direction and motivation you need to leap some hurdles and take your business to the next level.
We can convert those memories to digital files in time for the holidays so you can enjoy them again!
Have old home movies?
Improving your bottom line and inspiring your sales team to greatness
"My mission is to make sure growing your business isn't painful"
Accelerate Your Sales with Sales Expert Charlene DeCesare
"Sales is a one-to-one engagement, connecting and building relationships."
When was the last time a business owner said, “We’re good, we don’t need more sales”?
How about never?
Sales is the one item on your to-do that never goes away.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
As soon as you make a sale, you start prospecting for the next one.
It’s the one thing that every business needs, and every business owner dreads.
If your bottom line has you anxious and the thought of sales makes you queasy, I’ve got some good news for you. Leading national sales expert Charlene DeCesare is here to help.
In addition to her Firewalk Sales products, DeCesare has expanded her repertoire to offer an Outsourced VP of Sales option with sales consulting firm, Sales Xceleration.
Sales Xceleration is a national organization focused on sales strategy, structure, and leadership.
DeCesare says this is not merely a sales coaching program.
As your outsourced VP of Sales, she takes an active role in creating your sales strategy and implementing the structures to support it.
And while she chose Sales Xceleration’s framework for their superior sales tools, DeCesare is quick to point out she brings over 25-years of solid sales expertise experience.
“I’ve been in every seat throughout my career. I’ve been part of companies from $1 million to $3 billion.”
She adds that one startup she worked with went from $0 to $10 million in three years.
She is passionate about the people and process and knows how to do the work.
“My secret sauce is the mindset work. I know how to draw from them what is holding them back from achieving the extraordinary.”
She concedes she can sometimes be a little bossy, but she does it in a caring and gentle way.
DeCesare says the biggest mistake business owners make with sales is setting arbitrary goals such as a dollar figure, then focusing on those goals as the measure of success.
Revenue goals are lagging indicators. They are goals over which you have the least amount of control.
Better goals are based on activities and behaviors.
If you drive the behavior, then you create the result.
She’s not a fan of dialing for dollars, calling it a flawed strategy and not the best use of people’s time.
“People love working with me because I make everything they do more effective.”
And that’s what DeCesare brings to the table.
She does everything a full-time VP of Sales would do.
Develop Sales Strategy
Manage Sales Teams
Provide structured reports with solutions
Sales Training & Coaching
When it comes to sales, DeCesare preaches value over volume with a goal of increasing customer lifetime value (CLV) so customers spend more over time.
The numbers back her up.
It generally costs 5 times more to find new customers than it does to retain them. And a study from Bain & Company suggests that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% or more.
Her typical clients are up-and-coming businesses. Tech-enabled services like a health care company with a technology component, or B2B organizations with long sales cycles.
She says a typical contract is about 3-months, which is enough time to get your company’s sales program up and running smoothly.
As for cost, it varies.
She offers daily and monthly rates, but your best option is to sit down for a free consultation with her to determine your needs and goals and she will send you a proposal.
DeCesare is a highly sought after sales professional with a sound track record of success.
In a world where COVID-19 has challenged everything about the way we do business, DeCesare is the one person who can tame the chaos and get your sales back on track.
Q: What should you look for when hiring a sales team? A: Hire the person who asks questions and engages in conversation.
Are you ready to improve your sales process & boost your bottom line?
Contact Charlene for your FREE consultation
Small Business Taxes
IRS Audits & Demand Letters
Estates & Trusts
Skip the overwhelm, I can help you make sense of your taxes.
Ed Carter, CPA
If you have received an IRS demand letter or are being audited, I can help.
Back in the day, when banks still gave away toasters, your local banker was a trusted friend and adviser. Branch mangers and business relationship officers were familiar faces in your business networking group and a regular member of your Friday golf foursome.
Today, a visit to your local bank is likely to fall somewhere between going to the dentist and the DMV.
And that’s a problem.
If the COVID-19 pandemic and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) debacle have taught us anything, it’s that now more than ever small business owners need to have a strong, visible relationship with their bank.
Your local branch manager doesn’t have to be your business BFF, but they should be a trusted resource. And if you dread making the trip to the bank, you are losing an opportunity to build an important business relationship.
So what happened? What caused the friendly neighborhood bank, the people who give out lollipops and dog bones in the drive-through, to lose the favor of local small business owners?
Some people cited fees or branch locations, but most of the business owners I spoke with said it was the lack of customer service that made them want to find a new bank.
There is a certain irony that an industry whose whole business model depends on building strong customer relationships to thrive, is failing with customer service. But that’s a whole other article.
The good news is that there is a lot of competition for your business.
Since the launch of Primary Bank in 2015, the Granite State has seen a banking boom with more regional banks opening branches to meet the needs of a growing market. In addition to perennial favorites, TD Bank, Citizen’s Bank and St. Mary’s Credit Union, we’ve seen regional institutions like Bangor Savings Bank move on to Elm Street in Manchester and other towns across the state. There’s even a rumor that Chase Bank is planning to expand from their lone branch in Nashua.
This means that you now have choices for business banking. Instead of making do with the bank with the most branches or lowest fees, you can now find one that meets all of your needs.
What are you looking for in a bank?
Perhaps a better question would be what are your business goals?
Do you need a bank that offers online banking? Merchant services? SBA loans?
Are you looking for a bank that gives you one point of contact who is available to help you with a reconciliation issue or walk you through a loan application?
We can’t blame our banks for failing to provide a service if we’re not sure what service we’re looking for.
If you truly only need a place to put your company’s money, then a low fee/no minimum balance bank with enough locations to be convenient will do.
But if you have more specific banking needs or expect your needs to change as your business grows, then you will want to find a bank that meets as many of those needs as possible.
Things to consider when shopping for a bank:
Minimum balance & maintenance fees
Cost & variety of services
SBA loans & minority lending
Customer service options
You’re not likely to find one that ticks all the boxes, but with a little research you’re going to find one or two that come close.
If you’re in the market for a new bank, take the time to do some research.
Look beyond the basics like fees and locations. Talk to other business owners. Find out which banks stand behind their core values.
Find out if the bank that says it supports small business, really supports small businesses like yours or just small businesses with over $10 million in revenues.
Visit local branches and talk to branch managers and business relationship specialists. You’ll know pretty quickly if they’re the real deal or just working for a bonus.
Your banker is one of the most important relationships you can have as a business owner. You wouldn’t keep going to a hair stylist that does a poor job, why would you give your money to a bank that falls short?
Between you and me, it’s a little disconcerting how many business owners tell me they hate their bank. The good news is you have options when it comes to commercial banking. Check out these tips for finding the right bank for your business.
When was the last time you talked to your banker?
Looking for Love: How to Choose the right bank for your business
Relationships start with people
167 S River Road, Bedford, NH 03110 603-738-6393
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Why is paid search analytics so challenging?
I can’t speak for the survey respondents specifically, but from my own experience, there are several common challenges to understanding your paid search marketing campaign analytics.
Lack of Context
Do you find yourself providing these types of answers to your manager or CEO?
Our ads are creating great click-through rates.
We’re getting lots of reach.
Our website traffic is up.
If you are, you may need to consider adding a little context to your analysis.
Paid search metrics are only meaningful if they relate to a specific period, event, or plan. If you are only using the analytics provided by an online search provider, your context may be limited. For instance, understanding monthly search volume, reach, and click-through-rates (CTR) are valuable metrics, but unless there are concrete ways to measure these results, your results may be flawed.
Business leaders, accountants, and financial managers depend on concrete metrics to do their jobs.
Increase sales revenue by 10% or reduce costs by 5%.
Marketing leaders need to speak to business leaders in the same language and paid search results need to demonstrate concrete results.
For instance, business owners want to know if their advertising investment is working. So they’ll want to know what the marketing return-on-investment (MROI) is.
Your sales leader may want to know why you aren’t providing more qualified leads. The individual sales managers may want to see paid search increase opportunities for them.
Paid search analytics are most helpful when they are meaningful and relevant to your business. For example, our paid search marketing campaigns generated 20% more qualified leads this month compared to the same month last year. These leads also contributed to a 10% increase in new business.
Lack of a comprehensive marketing plan or strategy
One of the reasons marketers are not able to provide a context for their paid search analytics is the lack of a comprehensive marketing plan or strategy.
In my experience, some businesses understand the need for marketing budgets and plans and others feel planning is a waste of time.
Managers spend hours preparing budgets and plans and then ignore them.
Other businesses feel that their business is too dynamic to need a plan.
I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a strategy geek. I require my clients to create a strategic plan before spending a single cent on advertising or marketing. My rationale is simple, you wouldn’t build a house without a floor plan, so why would you create a marketing campaign without a marketing plan?
If you’re a CEO, you know that banks and investors require you to create a business plan that includes a sales and marketing plan, budget, marketing calendar, etc.
Marketing plans provide the context for your digital marketing campaigns.
They identify what your business goals are (grow by 10%), what your marketing strategies are (use inbound lead generation, paid search, and live events), and define your marketing metrics (i.e. 1000 website visitors, 100 leads, 25 new accounts), and identify what’s important to your sales process (opportunities, demos, closed sales, etc.). A comprehensive marketing plan will also include a competitive analysis and market analysis.
Lack of Software Integration
I have a Google AdWords account, but I don’t know how many sales the ads are producing. If you can make this statement, you have a software integration problem. It’s a classic my CRM doesn’t speak to my (fill in the blank) marketing software.
The only way marketing and sales leaders can be on the same page is by tracking the same metrics.
This can only be accomplished when your marketing software and CRM software are integrated.
In the past, this was a real challenge. But today, there are thousands of tools and apps to solve these challenges (knowing which ones to uses is a topic for a different blog post). Your job as a marketing manager is to make sure your campaigns align with sales goals and you communicate that to your leadership. Sounds simple, right?
10 Paid Search Marketing Metrics that Count
Here are just a few basic marketing metrics you should track to provide a context for your paid search campaigns. The first three metrics are available from your online ad provider. The next two are tracked in your marketing automation software, and the last five are available in your CRM.
Monthly Keywords Search Volume
Website Visitors (Unique Sessions)
Click Through Rate (CTR)
Qualified Leads (Marketing Qualified Leads or Sales Qualified Leads)
Analytics present the greatest challenge to paid search managers and agencies...
By Darl Eames, New England Web Strategies
4 Ways to Provide Context for your Paid Search Analytics
Compare results to a goal or plan
Compare to a previous period (month, quarter, year)
Compare to a competitor
Compare to an industry benchmark
I recently saw the results of a survey about paid search and was surprised to learn that analytics presented the greatest challenge to both paid search managers and agencies.
Daryl Eames, Founder & Lead Generation Specialist
New England Web Strategies
To learn more about how you can leverage paid search marketing for your business, visit NewEnglandWebStrategies.com today!
Paid Search Resources:
I strongly believe that you can never spend enough time learning. There are lots of free online resources (thanks to content marketing) these days. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars getting an advance marketing degree (unless you want to), but simply stay current via relevant email subscriptions and blog posts.
Here are a few to get started:
Search Engine Land (SEM Channel)
Bing Ads Blog
oday I'd like to share a summary from a recent discussion by members of NH Business Guild’s bi-weekly networking group.
The topic was how to share your professional expertise and get it in front of the right audience.
Members started by breaking the topic down into four categories, then brainstormed the major challenges and suggested solutions for each category.
For many small business owners, the biggest challenge they face giving a live presentation is finding the right audience. Some topics are suited to general audiences like the Chamber of Commerce or local Rotary, but when you need to target a specific demographic, it’s important to connect with a group or event organizer who is looking for people to speak about your topic.
SOLUTION: Figure out which audience you’re trying to reach, then reach out to organizers and events where your audience is most likely to be.
Sometimes it’s obvious, other times you may need to think outside of the box.
Also, consider reaching out to the gatekeepers who can connect you directly to them.
Sometimes an article or blog post is not enough to provide full coverage of an important topic.
White papers, case studies, or books are great alternatives to showcase your expertise.
All three of these options not only give you an opportunity to shine but can be easily shared on your website or social media.
A white paper can is an excellent choice to share with professional and trade organizations or for a free download as a giveaway to people who sign up for your mailing list .
Case studies are a classic format to highlight how you approach common or uncommon problems and find solutions for clients. In addition to shining a light on your expertise, they lend themselves for giving the reader a glimpse at your work style.
Writing a book is the ultimate format to show your expertise. It’s more labor intensive than a case study or white paper, but it can open the door to opportunities like giving presentations, appearing on podcasts, local news articles, and consulting gigs. Books can also be an independent revenue stream that leads to companion products. (Workbooks, workshops, classes, etc.)
Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram all have devotees who will say all you need to do is get an account on your favorite social media platform and the money will roll in. And it may have been true when social media platforms first started popping up on the internet, but not anymore.
The two takeaways from the social media discussion are that Facebook isn’t always the answer, and 500 followers are meaningless unless they are also 500 paying customers. And just because a platform is popular doesn’t mean it’s the right platform.
Solution: People are inundated with friend requests and ads. Instead of trying to gain more and more likes or follows, reach out to the people you’re already connected to.
Congratulate them on a new job or recent honor.
Ask for their professional opinion or share a topical news item you know they will enjoy.
You’ve already gotten them interested enough to friend you in the first place, it’s up to you to develop that relationship so you are the first person they think of when someone asks who they know that does what you do.
The challenge people have networking outside the group is that a lot of the people they meet don’t know how to network.
It’s common to meet people who seem to have a mental checklist with a set goal for the number of times they have to give their elevator pitch or hand out their business card. In many cases, they don’t seem to care whether the person in front of them is interested or not.
The other big event obstacle is breaking through the cliques.
Remember those seventh-grade dances where the girls lined up on one side of the room and the boys huddled on the other? Open networking events can be just as painful because many people spend the entire event with the people they came with and never speak to anyone else.
These types of frustrating behavior are a fast track to networking failure.
Solution: Skip the open networking events and mine your existing contact list.
There is a time and place for going to open networking events, but it’s not the best option when you need to reach a specific, targeted audience.
The Leddy Group’s Jessica LaPaglia agrees.
She says she recently began reaching out to former placement candidates and customers.
As someone who places human resource specialists, many of LaPaglia's former clients are in a position to know when a company is planning to hire which makes them excellent sources for sales leads.
Andy Whigham, a financial planner with Edward Jones, says he too wants to build on existing relationships.
We work hard to develop relationships and he believes it is worth investing a little time and effort to take those relationships to the next level.
None of these solutions require money, but they all require a willingness to make an effort to foster strong relationships.
And savvy business people know meaningful relationships lead to opportunities.
How to share your professional expertise & get in front of the Right audience
Example: Greer Clemons is a chiropractor with Wellington Chiropractic. She would like to connect with other health care professionals for cross-marketing opportunities and patient referrals.
It makes sense for her to present to professional health care groups and events. But she would also like to present in places that would give her a chance to meet new clients.
Giving a talk to human resource groups could open the door to invitations for her to do lunch & learn presentations with employees. She might also consider attending or sponsoring more casual recreation & hobby groups or sports-related events where people are likely to need and want her services.
Do you struggle with networking? Do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels because you can’t connect with the people you want to meet?
Create meaningful relationships that lead to opportunities...
Example: Local photographer Allegra Boverman recently published an ebook that combined two of these options.
She put together a lookbook based on a case study that showcased her skills as a photographer and highlighted the value of using professional images for small business marketing.
The end result was an impactful visual that visitors can download from her website and share across social media.
Example: Glen Badger from Assisted Living Locators of NH needs to connect with people looking to move themselves or a loved one to an assisted living facility, but he also needs to meet social workers, health care providers, financial managers, and anyone else involved in helping people transition from living on their own to assisted living.
He says Facebook is great for connecting with families, but a channel like Alignable is much better for connecting with other professionals.
Do you need help with sales & marketing?
I've put together a list of my all-time top picks for local sales and marketing businesses.
These businesses represent a cross-section of sales and marketing services. Some specialize in specific markets, like technology, others cater to large or small budget clients.
These are the local companies I refer people to when they ask me who can help with their particular marketing need.
Let me know if you need help with an area of sales or marketing that isn't listed here. If I don't know someone who does what you are looking for, chances are good I know someone who does.
Director, NH Business Guild
Brandartica Advertising Anti-Agency
Icebergs are pretty cool. The parts you can see are impressive, but beneath the surface, is the most exciting part.
What you do not see is teeming with life, but also dangerous (especially to those who do not pay attention to it). Brandartica is a small creative house, in our world, the elements of a brand, that lurk beneath the surface, what is being overlooked can be the most crucial to your success. Our bags are packed for adventure with decades of branding, design, and communications experience. We are problem-solving partners offering creative solutions that increase our clients' sales revenue.
Nashua based Snowbird Creatives offers both project-based and retainer-based marketing services to B2B and B2C clients throughout the region.
Led by owner Candy Osborne, Snowbird Creatives' team of marketing experts deliver a diverse array of services to clients.
With more than 25-years of industry experience, Candy has an understanding of marketing strategy that can help you connect with your target audience and reach your business goals.
Branding. Design. Different.
Local Sales & Marketing Resources for YOUR Business
NH Sales & Marketing Resources
Smarketing CONNECT is a little different than the other sales and marketing resources on this list because they don't actually do sales or marketing.
What they do is provide a service that takes the guesswork out of finding the right business to help you tackle your company's sales and marketing challenges.
Their tagline is "We CONNECT small business with sales and marketing," and that is exactly what they do.
Smarketing built a platform for Boston-area sales and marketing professionals to share their expertise and member directory for customers to find local sales and marketing professionals.
Smarketing co-founder Susan MacConnell says they are planning to expand nationally in the next year and that they've recently partnered with a new social media scheduling service called Socialhoot to offer a FREE social media marketing tool.
Smarketing CONNECT is a fabulous resource for anyone struggling to find the right sales or marketing partner. And while there is a membership fee to be listed, the connection service for small business owners is absolutely FREE.
With more than 25-years of experience as a highly successful sales professional, Charlene DeCesare knows a thing or two about people, business, and sales.
She is one of those rare people who not only has a proven track record of sales excellence, but knows how to teach you how to ignite your sales too.
In addition to her Firewalk Sales corporate training and Outsourced VP of Sales programs, Charlene has recently expanded her offering to include small and mid-size businesses with an online, on-demand version of her popular Firewalk Sales program called Firewalk Sales School.
Unlike the franchised sales programs, Charlene gets to the heart of the matter with direct, down-to-earth sales training that provide simple and powerful techniques to help you overcome your internal hurdles to generate leads, and convert sales.
It doesn't matter if you're a new business owner or a Fortune 500 company, investing in training from Charlene Ignites is an investment in success.
New England Web Strategies founder, Daryl Eames, describes paid search marketing as harnessing the power of intent by getting the right message in front of the right customer at the right time.
And that is his gift. Daryl has the ability to take a topic as complex and confusing as paid search and distill it down so that it makes sense. Even better, he knows how to do it.
Daryl helps clients leverage the power of the internet to generate self-qualified leads by targeting prospects the very moment they are looking to buy.
In a world driven by data and technology, this is marketing gold.
If you are ready to take your business to the next level schedule a consultation with Daryl. He is my absolute, number one top pick for anyone who is serious about generating sales leads.
Founded by industry expert Lisa Masiello, TECHmarc Labs is an award-winning marketing firm that provides strategic marketing for IT vendors and partners.
With more than 25-years experience, Lisa uses her extensive industry knowledge to develop industry-specific programs to help tech companies market their business and manage partner programs to maximize revenue and profitability.
TECHmarc Labs is the perfect choice for an IT business looking to extend their market and increase sales of software, SASS, PASS, and partner-based products.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that has never been more true than it is today.
Social media, websites, and marketing materials rely on the power of images.
In a visual world where one image can tell a powerful story that people remember and share, you need photographs that spotlight what makes your business special.
Stock photos can't do this.
Photographer Allegra Boverman has the rare ability to not just take beautiful pictures, but take the right picture to tell your story.
Allegra works one-on-one with clients to develop a library of branded photos that can be used for all of your digital marketing and print marketing needs.
Your products. Your people. Your brand.
You only have one opportunity to pique a customer's interest and give them a glimpse of what to expect when they buy from you. Why would you leave that to chance?
Everyone knows social media is one of the greatest marketing tools of the modern era, but what if I told you that dollar-for-dollar email is still the top dog for generating leads and connecting with customers?
know you thought it was dead, or at least on life support, but email is still the number one choice for business communication across almost all demographics.
Email has a phenomenal 85% inbox placement rate and enjoys an average open rate of almost 23%.
While 23% doesn’t sound impressive, it blows away Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram’s meager .58%.
And since I’m throwing numbers at you, I should point out that 51% of email users have had the same email address for over 10 years and they are used almost universally at a rate of 90% across all age groups, including millennials.
A recent HubSpot survey shows that 73 percent of millennials say they prefer communications from businesses to come via email
With a saturation rate of 1.55 email addresses for every person in the entire world, it’s safe to assume that pretty much any customer you want to reach is going to not only have an email, but they know how to use it and they check it frequently.
99% of us check our email every day, and 58% of us do it first thing in the morning
That’s before corn flakes or Facebook
And if the numbers don’t sway you, I’ve got three more reasons you should put email at the top of your marketing plan:
You own your email list so platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn can’t throttle your message or hinder your access to your mailing list
You control the message which means YOU control the branding, content, and timing of delivery
You never have to worry about the platform disappearing or falling out of favor
Great. Email is fabulous. You get it. It’s a cheap, effective marketing tool, but how do you create emails that get read? How do you build campaigns and automations? And how do you know it’s really working?
This is where I pull a rabbit out of my hat and say “ta-da!”
Are you ready?
We developed a simple one-page planning template that takes you through all the aspects of planning a successful email marketing campaign.
Based on Alexander Osterwalder’s business planning canvas, our email marketing canvas breaks your campaign into three segments, customers, delivery, and planning. Within those categories are eighteen questions that can be answered in 30-minutes or less and will provide all the answers you need to build a successful campaign.
Identify your target audience
Triggers, Frequency, and Timing
Email Service Providers & Integrations
How to target your emails
Define campaign goals & how you’ll measure them
The email marketing canvas is an elegant, but simple tool that helps you gather information and rapidly develop a working campaign plan.
Don’t let the form’s design fool you. The simplicity of the format belies the value of the information gathered.
We intentionally built it to keep your answers brief - with limited space for bullets and short sentences, to keep you focused on the most important, but often overlooked, facets of your campaign.
If you’re thinking about trying email marketing, or are unhappy with the results of your existing email marketing, try the canvas. It’s focus on the most important features of an email marketing campaign will help you clarify the who, what, when, where, why, and how so you can maximize your efforts and improve your results.
As a business content writer, Lisa J. Jackson from Write for You assists business owners extend their market reach and showcase their expertise.
With more than 30-years experience of writing experience, Lisa is committed to helping businesses, destinations, and individuals express themselves in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
In addition to content creation, Lisa offers three levels of editing service.
Lisa has a natural way of collaborating and helping people find the voice for their business. And she is the first person I think of when people ask for a writer referral.
Check out our video - How to use the email marketing canvas
58% of us check email 1st thing in the morning
Woring with you we accomplished in 3 months what took 12 years in my previous company. - CS, Co-Owner small home services business
We all know the importance of planning when starting a business, but why would you want to waste your time writing a fifty-page business plan when a one-page snapshot will do?
Our original business canvas planning template is one of the most popular planning tools on our website, and we’ve just made it better.
Version 2.0 comes with a redesigned layout that improves workflow and makes your planning process more intuitive.
Just like the original canvas, this version takes you through the core questions that you need to answer to get a clear snapshot of your overall business plan.
Sales & marketing
Cost & Revenue
Partners & Competitors
People, Skills, & Resources
Process, Materials & Distribution
The business canvas helps you distill crucial information so you can focus on the big picture.
The program was incredible! The methodology guided us through a systematic approach that allows us to identify, design, evaluate, and ultimately helped me determine the viability of a new service offering for our GS1 Consulting company. - KS, Co-Founder, small , 10-year old tech firm
Take Your Business to the Next Level
Cool, easy-to-use tools and processes to super charge what you do. Giving you more time to work on your business, not just in your business
bonus business canvas 2.0!
8-WEEKS TO BUSINESS SUCCESS!
End the chaos - simply design built in coordination and collaboration to achieve your strategic goals
Target the customers you want to serve then align and deliver the service and performance they need
Performance Magic is a hands-on course for small businesses that want to grow now, not later
We now have the exact high value customers we wanted to serve. - CS, Co-Owner small business, cleaning and landscaping business
Check out our new & improved business canvas
Eliminate instead of organize
Buried by email? Overloaded with projects? Conventional wisdom says all it takes is the right system to get you organized and productive.
If only it was that easy.
The problem is that no system can help you fit 25 hours of work in a 24-hour day.
And nobody wants to work 24-hours a day.
I get it. It’s easy to look around and see other people being productive and doing fabulous things with their time, while you struggle to maintain the status quo.
I call it the curse of the digital age.
Before technology took over our daily lives, we knew our limitations. We set boundaries and carved out routines.
We came home from work, helped the kids with their homework, and made dinner. We mowed the lawn on Saturday and left the office at the office.
The lines are blurred today.
We live in an always-on 24/7 world. Instead of leaving the office behind, we carry it in our pocket or backpack.
Don’t worry, I won’t suggest yet another system to set your crazy world to rights.
Today I’m going retro with two very simple non-tech solutions for your overwhelm woes.
Are you ready for it?
Eliminate instead of organize.
Did I really say that?
Ten years ago I meditated, worked out, and lunches before jumping in the shower at 6:00 am. I spent my days building websites and writing articles for clients and still had time to do yardwork and clean my house.
Today I look around and wonder what happened.
I talk to my friends and they’re in the same boat.
Somewhere, somehow, things went off the rails. Instead of technology giving us more free time, it’s created a monster that dictates we fill every spare moment with activity.
But you know what? You don’t have to do it all.
Clearing the clutter on your professional to-do list is just like cleaning out a closet.
Separate all of those lingering tasks into three categories.
Want to do
Never going to get to
The must do items are the things you get paid for or are essential to running your business. The want to do jobs are all those things that sound exciting but never make it to the top of the list. And the never going to get to list are the tasks that are not appealing or urgent enough to get past a someday/maybe designation.
I think you can guess what happens next.
Delete the third list.
If the activity is not essential for business and it isn’t something that excites you there is no point in letting it hang around dragging you down.
The next step is to review what’s on the must do list.
Is it manageable?
The general rule is never schedule over five hours of work a day.
And that number isn’t arbitrary.
Five hours is enough time to touch or finish three tasks each day. It also gives you enough wiggle room to handle phone calls and interruptions and still get things done.
The late Thomas Leonard once said, “automate everything that is automatable.”
It was excellent advice.
Computers are supposed to make us more efficient, not pile on more work. You are wasting time if there are things you do manually that you can automate.
It might take a few hours to set up, but it’s worth it if the result is you save time on the backend.
Which brings us to the second option, scale up.
How many of those must do tasks have to be done by you?
Hire someone to do the jobs that don’t require your personal expertise.
You may think there is no way you can afford to outsource or hire staff, but there are options.
Hire a virtual assistant or a marketing assistant to do busywork tasks.
Setting up automations for onboarding, email, or blog posts
Putting together slide decks
Save yourself a lot of aggravation and outsource anything you would hand off to an assistant in the corporate world.
Outsourcing is more affordable than you think
All the people I know who provide these services offer multiple pricing plans.
Most sell their time in chunks, which means for a set fee you’ll get a pre-established number of hours of their time per month. And if you don’t need ongoing help, they’ll give you a package rate based on your project.
Do the math.
How much money are you losing because you’re stuck writing blog posts instead of finding new clients or doing the work people pay you for?
How much is your sanity worth?
No time management system is going to help if there are too many things on your to-do list. So start with the obvious things.
Eliminate the jobs that aren’t necessary. And if the remaining items are still overwhelming, you’re going to have to scale up.
I know this is going to sound harsh, but if you’re buried under administrative tasks, you will never get ahead. And if you can’t afford $150 - $300 a month for a virtual assistant, you may need to rethink your business model.
Are you tired of the overwhelm?
Simple tips to control the chaos
What is the real cost of overwhelm?
John Morgan, Online Business Manager
Leddy Group, Staffing
Kristina Hathaway, Digital Marketing
Lisa J. Jackson, Write Your Way
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No time to write? No problem!
I've teamed up with the fabulous Lisa J. Jackson from writeyourwaynh.org to bring "Your Words, Only Better" to Flackery!
Lisa will interview you about your business and story idea then craft it into a written article featuring your ideas and expertise.
No struggling to find the right words
No issues finding the time to write
Not only will the article be included in Flackery, this is original content you can share with clients, on your website & social media!
The cost is $175 for NH Business Directory members and $250 for non-members and availability is limited.
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Coworking House (CoHo): Conference room, meeting, office and desk space.
NH District Small Business Administration: Free online tools, articles, and links to partner resources.
Center for Women & Enterprise: Free and budget-friendly classes and workshops
NH Small Business Development Center (NHSBDC): Free online tools, budget-friendly mentoring & business advice.
Veterans Business Outreach Center for New England: Free resources for veterans, active duty service personnel, and their spouses interested in starting or expanding their own business. Includes information about how to start a business, business planning, funding, and other general business topics.
Live Free and Start: Live Free and Start is a collaboration between the Governor's office and the private sector. They offer many free resources for local small business owners looking to start or grow their business in the Granite State. This is a great resource for anyone looking to prepare or seek outside funding.
WBC Office Suites: Conference room, meeting, office and desk space.
Jupiter Hall: Meeting and event space.
For a small state New Hampshire has an abundance of free and low-cost resources for startups and small business owners. Here is a short list of organizations who offer classes, tools, and one-on-one mentoring to help you with your business challenge.
Business Mentoring & Planning
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Did you know that the NH Business Guild offers a wide range of professional services for your business?
Digital Publishing - We can design look books, portfolios, magazines, and other publications to promote your business
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Members also enjoy discounts on community partner and member-to-member services such as advertising, content creation, business strategy, and more!
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Business Rule #8: Hire Experts
The simple truth is that you really do have to spend oney to make money.
If you're spending most of your time doing things that are not directly related to sales, marketing, or providing a service to customers, might you want to rethink the do-it-yourself mindset.
Remember, your time has value, and if it's something with a steep learning curve it makes more sense to hire an expert than it does to do it yourself.