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Category: Business Articles

Financial Planning: Questions For Starting Your Business

How much money does it take to start a business? Are specific business cheaper than others? Will you need investors? Starting a business is a complicated endeavor. But asking the right questions can simplify the process. Financial planning for your business will make this process easier.

In this blog, we talk about five essential questions that show how much you need to start a business. Financial planning is the key to business success. However, not all companies are the same. As such, the business plan should be unique too. Firstly what does your business do?

What Do You Sell? Products or Services

 

Does your business offer a service or produce a product? This distinction makes a big difference in startup prices. The short answer here is that services tend to be cheaper. Services operate with fewer employees, less manufacturing, and sometimes no rent! Often services are offered by qualified professionals, which means you have to do less networking! There are some cons when providing a service. Services are hard to scale. This hurdle can mean higher costs in the long run. However, products are more simple to scale.

Products have high manufacturing costs. To start your business, you need things made and packaging and other underlying costs. Planning for all of this in budgeting is essential. Unlike services, selling a product is easier to scale. Accelerated manufacturing often makes the unit prices of goods cheaper. One of the hardest parts about starting a product based company is the initial investment.

Staff: how many employees do you need

 

You are deciding how many and which kind of employees you need is vital to operations. Too many employees might make the system inefficient. While on the other hand, too few employees make work impossible to get done. Having the right number of employees is the key to efficient work. But what kind of employees do you need? Between contractors, part-time, and full-time employees, there are lots of choices. E-commerce can also change the number of employees you need. If you require full-time employees, one key consideration is extra costs like insurance and other benefits.

Location: where is your startup

 

Some places are cheaper than others. This difference can be affordable rent for you to live while you build your business. Or sometimes, a state has low operating costs due to tax laws or other factors. Deciding where your business is based is a crucial decision when financial planning. The critical distinction here is rural versus urban environments.

Densely packed cities will always mean higher rents and more competition. And these factors can often kill a new business. Often companies who can’t afford to initially staff where they live will outsource to remote offices. Therefore they are saving money. But they do lose some direct access to work. A less populated environment means cheaper land and often lower startup costs in general. This is doubly true for the internet. Sometimes setting up a website is a better move. Fees also apply to housing. Living in a less costly area means all of your money can be focused on growing a brand new company!

Time to market: out finance the competition

 

This may seem obvious, but it is still vital. If your competition can replicate your product or are already designing a similar service, time to market is very important. If you need to be the first to market, get ready to spend. Accelerating a launch is possible; it just requires more money, time, and effort. The money should be spent if a company could fail based on this time factor. But what if you’re not in a rush?

If you don’t need to speed to market you’re in luck! Because there is no time pressure, saving money is easier. You can wait for better prices and even take time to scale at a healthy pace meaning fewer startup investments.

Salary: plan to keep your day job

 

CEO salaries are vastly different from company to company. Do you need to be paid a salary right away? Sorry, but you’ll probably need your day job. Most companies can’t afford to pay a CEO salary right away. This means you’ll need other income to support yourself. But what if you can survive for a year? Well, if you can make it that long you will probably be ok. By a year, most companies can afford to pay a CEO. So if you can make it that long you get to focus on your business even more!

Financial planning for businesses

 

It’s pretty important to plan out the money you need to start your business. Knowing what kind of business you want to start is essential. If you know that, answering questions like location and staff is more comfortable to answer. Then all that’s left is personal finance questions and long term scaling projects.

Do you still have questions about financial planning? Kallen media is an expert at helping startups maximize their budgets. If you need help with planning out your business, feel free to contact Kallen media via our website.

Optimizing Your Company for the Digital World

Easy and affordable website service for your digital business

 

Coding your website can cost thousands of dollars to be done correctly.  This means to have everything visibly appealing while working solidly on the backend. Kallen Media wants to help you avoid those unnecessary costs and give your company the website it deserves. Kallen Media utilizes WordPress to create visually appealing websites.

WordPress helps to avoid over-complicated sites and employs Divi building and various plugins to prevent the time-consuming coding that goes into website building. Divi Building allows the site owners to make their website their own with little to no knowledge of website building. Kallen Media takes advantage of this new technology to make website creation fast and painless.  At Kallen Media, our goal is to optimize your company for the digital world.

 

WordPress can make your website visually appealing

 

Kallen Media uses WordPress specifically because of how trouble-free the structure of the content organization system is. WordPress websites enable designs with many plugins that can be easily applied to your site to mold the exact theme you desire. What WordPress does is take the complex coding that goes into website building and packages it into software ready for virtually instant results. Kallen media then takes that software to mold a website to your liking. Your digital business website becomes optimized in no time with help from Kallen Media.

 

Having your customers aware of what you are selling, advertising, and saying

 

With the hardships we have been facing these past few weeks regarding COVID-19, having a website up and running can increase your revenue without risking your health. Kallen Media can help with setting that website up and creating blog posts that you may not have time to worry about. 

Switching from having your team in an office to being entirely online can be time-consuming and stressful. Kallen Media can relieve some of that stress by updating your valued customers. These updates include the status of the company, what your next steps are, and your future as a company.  Not to mention all of the products you are marketing to ensure you are optimizing your company for the digital world.

 

Money through business

 

 

Having blog posts is essential to any successful business. This reasoning is because they allow your customers as well as your business partners what is going on. Amongst all this craziness, many companies have gone dark, and their customers are unsure of what’s going on. That doesn’t have to be you, and should never be you. Kallen Media will create personal, informative posts that give information on what is going on with your small business. 

In three easy steps, you could have three blog posts going up in a week, keeping everyone up to date. The first is to brainstorm what exactly you want to say or not say. Second, is to start creating those posts and writing up what will be reported. Finally, Kallen Media can prepare blog posts up to a month in advance and schedule them according to your plans for the future. 

 

With this day and age, social media is a big step for your small business

 

Kallen media can advertise your small business on social media platforms to broaden your range of customers and catch more attention from potential clients. Having social media platforms can also allow for your digital marketing to be more accessible by linking your site to your various accounts and posts

 

Social media connected

 

Kallen Media works out a specific plan of how you want your company to appear on social media. You can decide how many posts a week there will be while managing to keep your message clear. Kallen media is not just a website design company. It is a company that wants to help your small business reach the success it deserves by offering individual services that are unique to your company. Many marketing and advertising companies do not provide the personalized service that Kallen media does. We create a customized plan for you based on your specific needs. 

Kallen Media can help your small business develop digitally through blogging, website design, and social media management. We personalize our customer services, so you are happy with how your new website displays your brand. Use the contact tab on our website to talk about your next steps.  We also offer free SEO audits and counseling sessions while optimizing your company for the digital world.

Kallen Media’s 2019 Digital Marketing Recap

As the year draws to a close, I wanted to reflect on the successes of the past year.  And this year has been full of excitement and lots of growth! In 2019, I launched Kallen Media LLC as a digital marketing agency focused on growing small businesses.  So looking back, I wanted to create a recap article to highlight some of our first year.

 

The Start of Kallen Media

Kallen Media Logo

At the start of 2019, I was in the position of director of marketing at a small web and app development company.  Here I was able to hone in on what I enjoyed about digital marketing. And this year started by teaching customers how to use and building out a variety of WordPress websites.  The possibilities were endless for what we could create. So once the sites were up and running, it was time to start the process of optimization.

 

Finally, it was at this point that I realized it was time for me to start creating my own company, Kallen Media LLC.  I incorporated the company in May of 2019. The company was going to build itself on providing meaningful digital marketing services to small businesses.  There were so many businesses that had great products and services. However, in most cases, these businesses’ online presence left much to be desired. This trend left me wondering what services would make the most significant differences to my potential clients.

 

Digital Marketing Services

Custom website design

Social media management was what I thought digital marketing was all about initially.  However, this is the classic content creation and reputation management, so many businesses lacked.  Creating custom plans to promote brand image while interacting with customers made sense. Utilizing programs like Hootsuite makes social media management more straightforward and more accessible for small businesses to manage.  Because Kallen Media is looking to provide value, we offer our social media marketing services, starting at $200 to make it affordable for companies of all sizes.

WordPress web design was the next service that I was very eager to incorporate with Kallen Media.  Websites are becoming the most crucial marketing tool for businesses in an ever-growing online world.  If a competitor has a better website, search engines are more likely to rank it higher, and more customers expected to go there.  Creating custom designed websites can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. Utilizing a CMS like WordPress lowers development costs without suffering on appearance.  WordPress websites can also more efficient. So these websites allow for quick and inexpensive changes.

Google ad grants

Finally, I decided that focusing on paid digital marketing campaigns would be most beneficial to small businesses.  After doing extensive research and working with a variety of companies, I have found that Google Ad management is the most effective online marketing resource.  Other channels like Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks have also been successful for niche businesses.  Many businesses were not utilizing their ads effectively or had poorly structured campaigns. This trend can lead to poorly qualified leads as opposed to highly targeted groups.  Once our services list looked great, it was time for us to start opening our doors to working with clients!

 

Companies We Have Worked With

Starting almost halfway through the year, I am proud of all the clients we were able to provide service to during our first year!  Here is a list of the work we have completed in our first-year for-profit companies:

 

WordPress Web Design

 

Web Design Agency Phoenix

  • Casual Crypto was one of our introductory clients!  I was able to teach the CEO, Roman Hughes, how to navigate the WordPress dashboard and create an interactive cryptocurrency blog.  This website is one of the first clients we have trained and build a website that is perfect for people interested in CryptoCurrency Blogs.

 

Farsuperior

  • FarSuperior is a network of businesses designed to promote quality and expertise.  I had the pleasure of designing several of the base websites and creating content.  The content is ever-growing, and we are looking forward to Farsuperior’s official launch and growth in 2020.

 

Content Creation and Social Media Management

 

Spark Organics Logo

  • Spark Organics is the first national e-commerce website that we were able to work on as a health brand.  We were able to create a social media campaign for the summer season while publishing monthly blog posts.  Be sure to check out Spark Organics website for the best organic fruit chews on the market!

 

 

Aria technology solutions logo

  • Aria Technology Solutions is a client that we have been privileged to work with from the International Technology Rental Association.  Currently, we assist in social media management and content creation. Aria has recently expanded to has a Las Vegas office, allowing them to provide quality technology rentals across the United States.

 

 

Itra Logo

  • The International Technology Rental Association has been our largest project. Kallen Media manages ITRA’s content and run the social media accounts. So I have been involved with the association for years.  The association’s yearly meeting is in the next two months.  This event is an excellent opportunity for technology rental companies to network and grow business.

 

 

Complete Digital Marketing Campaign

 

GlassBiller logo

  • GlassBiller is an auto glass billing software.  I am in charge of the marketing efforts and create all digital campaigns for GlassBiller.  The growth that GlassBiller has seen since the start of our efforts is immense, making me very excited for their future.  For any auto glass shop, I would highly recommend checking out the VIN decoder and free trial.

 

 

Nonprofit Digital Marketing Work

 

Finally, it is time to showcase over $50,000 in donated services to nonprofits in 2019.  I have been privileged to be able to provide my services to a variety of different organizations around the globe:

 

Google Ad Grant Setup and Support

 

obol logo

  • Operation Blankets of Love is currently our longest-running nonprofit client.  I have had the pleasure of meeting with the team who provides support for homeless animals.  This organization was the first Google Ad Grant account that I had worked on throughout the year.  It taught me a lot about the rules and regulations and led me to take a deeper dive into how to help nonprofits benefit from the Google Ad Grant program.  Currently, we have supported OBOL to spend thousands more than before.

 

 

trak

  • Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids is a project that we were able to provide exceptional support.  I created Google Ad Grant campaigns to utilize a significantly higher percentage of the Ad Grants while increasing overall website traffic.  If you are interested in providing support for animals and kids, they are a fantastic organization to work with for your whole family.

 

 

Tucson Girls Chorus Logo

  • Tucson Girls Chorus is another local Arizona charity that provides girls chorus programs for all ages.  Initially, the focus for regional growth has been great through the introduction of new campaigns in their Google Ad Grant program.  Finally, the campaign was exposing women of all ages to choral programs is one of the many excellent services that the Tucson Girls Chorus provides.

 

  • REACH provides comprehensive, personalized support for people with disabilities.  I was able to walk them through the Google Ad Grant application process from start to finish.  We have just activated the grant and are eagerly looking forward to increased traffic in 2020.

 

Google Ad Grant Activation & Setup

 

Mystic river watershed association logo

  • Mystic River Watershed Association works with communities to make sure their ecosystem survives and thrives going forward.  Through excellent communication, I was able to setup Mystic’s Ad Grant account within a week!  This speed allowed us to create programs that would be active before and into the new year.

Gray Matter Logo

  • Gray Matter Experience provides inner-city teens with an opportunity to grow their entrepreneurial skills.  I guided their team to activate their Google Ad Grant account. Next, I worked on increasing traffic in time for the new year.  Focus on spring and summer programs will be the core focus going forward to seasonal campaigns.

 

Social Media Setup

 

Tuskegee airman logo

  • Tuskegee Airman Scholarship Foundation was the first nonprofit organization that I worked with, providing digital marketing services.  I set up their social media profiles.  Additionally, I provided insight on how to run successful campaigns. Find out about this year’s current scholars through their excellent website.

 

Exceeding Expectations In 2020

Kallen Media picture logo

I would highly encourage my readers to check out all of the fantastic companies we have had the pleasure of working with throughout the year. There are several more organizations that we have ongoing projects that we are eager to complete during 2020.

 

Looking forward to the new year, I am excited about the direction that Kallen Media is going!  My hopes are continued growth and the addition of clients who I can bring meaningful changes to, at an affordable price.  But going forward, we are hoping to expand our website, team, and client base. Be on the lookout for custom business plans.  You can see what all of our clients have said about us in our testimonials section, Facebook page, or Google My Business page!

Check out our feature as a top 50 Marketing Blog to watch in 2020!

Get in touch with [email protected] to get a custom quote on your digital marketing package for 2020.  We have a full list of digital marketing services we provide on our website.  Finally, take a look so you can decide what type of plan will help your business grow in 2020. 

 

Tips To Building A Sales Team

The backbone of any company is going to be the sales team.  Whether this is people selling door to door, or someone cold calling leads, it all comes down to sales. Even companies with the best ideas may fail if they do not have a strategy in place to win customers.

Team looking at sales documents

Building a successful sales team can be the difference between a highly successful company and one that fails.  Are you going to target a highly specific market or do more of a “shotgun” approach? What is the perfect formula for a successful team?  These are both going to be critical questions if you hope to create a sales team to excel your company forward.

What Are You Selling?

First and foremost, you need to have a product or service that people can get behind.  Now some of you might be thinking, “how can I get behind a product that isn’t for me.”  There need to be precise results or proven testimony that whatever you are selling has value. If you do not have value, your sales team can feel that you are hopeless from the get to go.  Show passion and drive about your product because that is what you want your sales team conveying to your potential clients.

Explain all the different reasons why your product is excellent and be thorough.  You want your team having a firm understanding of your offer. The more knowledgeable your team is, the easier the sale is going to be.  In a digital realm, it is all about speed and precision to target the right market and send the right sales team to work.

Building Your Sales Team

Finding the right balance of people is going to be essential.  When finding salespeople, you will want someone who can take direction while also having strong base skills.  Experience can be a double-edged sword. In some ways, it is beneficial to be able to sell. Alternatively, it can lead to stubborn behavior and the inability to take new directions.  Balancing these two core competencies is how you will be on your way to building the perfect team.

Regularly check your team’s knowledge and print out your documents.  In the digital age, we often are confined to looking at screens. When you are teaching your sales team your product and your approach, you should print out your documents.  This will give your sales team something tangible to hang on to. It will also allow notes to be jotted down and eases the familiarity when you may be going through different scripts or critical points.  Sharing information is crucial to evolve your sales team continually.

So you have gathered a group of people who are interested in the product and work well with your company — time to get to work. Well, almost.

Set For Success

To be successful in building a sales team, there needs to be goals to attain.  Success is a measurement different for everyone, but the best way you can set it up is through solid plans.  This means setting guidelines for the workday. The specific management style is less important than setting up a system designed to help your sales team succeed.  Foster an environment of comradery and competition where the atmosphere fuels excitement.

Control what you can.  There are going to be salespeople who do not work out, and that is ok.  Sales are one of the largest job markets in the US. The best way to try to avoid this is by vetting within the interview process.  If the company environment fosters growth and support, you will keep the team that will be best for helping your company succeed.

What Can You Do

As a manager, you should be supporting and fueling your team.  If your organization is not selling, sit down and talk about possible problems.  You should always be open to talking to and available when your team needs help.  The only way you will be successful is if your team is also thriving. Take your leadership role seriously and lead your team through the rewarding position of being a salesperson.

highlighter checking boxes

These are some great tips for starting and building your first sales team.  Companies vary widely, and that is where Kallen Media comes in. We have experience in just about every niche, so we know how to help you sell products or services.  Contact us if you would like to learn more information or would like a free company analysis.

 

The Hiring Process

When you are a small business looking to grow, having a talented core team of individuals is essential.  Having masters of their craft in each respective role takes stress off the owner’s shoulders while allowing the company to grow.  Today we are going to take a look at some hiring practices and what you can do to ensure you are hiring the best candidates possible in your hiring process.

The first step in any hiring process is appropriately defining the position you are looking to fill.  The more details you can layout for candidates and job websites, the higher the chance of reaching a quality individual. Design as much of the position as you can within the description. This planning gives candidates a chance to see as much of the job before applying.  Many job websites charge you by the application, so you want to limit the amount of under-qualified applicants.

Detail out the specific qualifications that you are in search of.  For entry-level positions, these may be lower so you can expect more applications.  On more specialized or senior-level jobs, odds are the candidates will have much more robust resumes for you to choose from.

Is there a specific education level you are looking for?  Is there a certification needed to do your required job? Maybe this is an extremely industry-specific job?

All these are vital questions you want to be answering.  The more you vet before you start seeing applicants, the less time you’ll have to spend weeding through unqualified candidates.  At Kallen Media, we recommend using the website called Indeed or Zip Recruiter. Both of these companies make it simple to set up company profiles and start hiring your candidates the same day.  With these websites, you can set up daily budgets that will never go over your regular allotted budget.

So you have your ad complete with all your requirements.  What’s next?

Applicants

 

Applicants around a table

Start calling up your applicants and sifting through to find your company’s next star.  Depending on the job you are hiring for, you may go anywhere from a few to a few hundred applicants.  It is best to stay on top of your hiring process and respond to applicants promptly. This tactic will help move your hiring process along quickly while finding out what candidates are serious about the position.

With the ease of job posting, comes the ease of applying to jobs.  This is both nice because you have many applicants, but it can also be stressful sifting through so many applications during the hiring process.  Additionally, finding time to schedule interviews and meetings may end up harder than you thought. With the ease of applying to hundreds of jobs, it also leads to frequently missed interviews.  Now more than ever, you may schedule in-person meetings and arrive in a no call no show.

Buckle down and start going through your applicants today.  If you need help with your hiring process, Kallen Media has a staff of professionals who can help your operation run smoothly.  To get in contact with you can send in a message here.

Path to Director of Sales and Marketing

The Start

When I first started out looking for a job straight out of college, I was naive about how the “real” world operated.  I was about to start my first full-time job at Yelp. The exciting thought of quickly climbing through the ranks at a globally recognized company fueled my drive.  I could not have been more wrong in my expectations.

 

Yelp logo

With an entry class of over 80 individuals, I quickly came to start understanding much more about how Fortune 500 companies operate.  I had incredible benefits and wonderful coworkers, but the work felt unfulfilling. I was calling small businesses assisting in signing up with the Yelp ad campaign. The call center work quickly became repetitive, and I felt like I had stopped learning any of the essentials of how local marketing campaigns work.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning from Yelp, but calling businesses who did not want to be contacted ended up not being very fulfilling in my professional life.  Hitting my numbers was easy, but I wanted to do more of the marketing rather than selling. I wanted to build the systems and processes, rather than sell a product already developed.  After my time at Yelp, I decided I wanted to pursue a pure digital marketing path. I wanted to utilize the local search knowledge I had gained from working as an account representative.

The Bridge

While in high school and college, I had worked with several smaller companies doing blogging, social media management, and minor website updates.  This slight experience gave me hubris by thinking I was much more experienced than I was. Although I wanted to be the Director of Sales and Marketing, I did not have the skills or experience for the job

 

It was not until I joined a company called The Appreneur System that I would genuinely dive into all the responsibilities that would go with being the Director of Sales and Marketing. I started on the company as a WordPress trainer and customer retention specialist.  I was thrilled to have my own office and thought that I had arrived professionally. This position was an opportunity to try a different environment other than a busy sales floor.

In the past, I had dabbled in minor coding and WordPress development, but at The Appreneur System, I would fully expand my skill set.  My job was to teach our clients how to utilize the WordPress platform and create a successful blog that they could make money on through affiliate programs.

 

WordPress development Process

The clients I worked with were less tech-savvy than previous clients I encountered.  This taught me patience and how to simplify training so anyone could grasp the basic WordPress concepts.  Every day I would train at least 5-10 clients on different parts of the website creation process. I also learned the value and importance of a straightforward business concept…ALWAYS ANSWER THE PHONE AND RETURN CALLS.

The Goal

I would start by introducing myself and logging the client into our online school portal.  This is where I would create the clients’ account essentials and guide them through the introduction.  Next, the client would log into their WordPress website, and I would guide them through the backend. This is where I would show how to blog and assist clients in creating content.  Once the blogs and websites were active, we would apply to affiliate websites to get backlinks that would be monetized once visitors used these links. The most popular affiliate website we used was the iTunes Affiliate Program.

From deciding on what they wanted the subject of their website to be right down to the domain name, I helped customers do it all.  Categories ranged from cooking to Karate to children’s learning games. We supported our clients, and this allowed me to explore countless niches.  My understanding of how to build a successful website with great content was becoming more apparent.

coding text

I was not happy with how much spare time I had, so I began gobbling up as many resources as I could.  My studying included WordPress optimization plugins, different coding languages, SEO, and countless other subjects related to digital marketing.  I started asking myself questions like how could I make my clients, company, and myself more successful? This ambition pushed me to begin automating the Infusionsoft and Xencall software we used.  Our sales and support teams could more clearly communicate and schedule clients.  No more having leads slip through the cracks because we were “too busy.”

What’s next?  Even though we were a web and app development company, we had work we needed to do on our websites.  Our websites were old and outdated, with limited content. I began going through rewriting content and optimizing web pages — everything from optimizing image sizes to creating custom ad campaigns, to writing content for our blogs.

Director of Sales and Marketing

I was reviewing best practice guides and search engine tutorials, so I would know every detail that went into being easily found on the internet.  Any chance to learn and grow my knowledge, I took it. My ambition was recognized, and because we were a small and growing company, I had proven myself capable of being promoted to the Director of Sales and Marketing.

I had made it to my goal position that I had wanted to set out to do.  Director of Sales and Marketing, and I was only 22. I thought, “This is amazing.” I took a minute. Then I realized that at the end of the day, there was almost an infinite number of factors going into this position.  I had to step it up to make the title mean so much more and prove I was an expert in marketing that would take companies forward. From this position, I would go on to work for GlassBiller as their Director of Sales and Marketing, while also creating Kallen Media, LLC.

man in suit

Here are some of the essential skills and takeaways that I have been able to draw that are essential for running not only a successful marketing campaign but a successful team.  You need to make sure all elements of your workforce are working efficiently and towards a uniform goal. These experiences are what I have learned from starting Kallen Media LLC and working for both GlassBiller and The Appreneur System as Director of Sales and Marketing.

Pay Per Click Campaigns (PPC)

The heart of digital marketing campaigns is pay-per-click campaigns.  Whether it is on Google or Microsoft Ads, you will want this to be the core of your digital ad spend.  Regardless of which search engine you choose to spend your money, these are some of your best options.  Both dashboards offer similar looks and feel. Microsoft allows you to integrate Google Ad campaigns, which make translating your campaigns from one system to another easy.

To be a successful Director of Sales and Marketing, you should know how to navigate and interpret data.  How many leads are you getting? What is the average cost per click versus cost per conversion? These will be critical metrics your bosses will be checking to see the progress you have made on the digital marketing campaigns.

turn clicks into cash

Keys to ensuring these campaigns are successful are assisting in creating your teams’ campaigns, then assign someone on your side to watch and report.  Have weekly checks to see how your different ads are performing. Adjust your spending and ads accordingly until you have the most optimized campaign. If you are struggling with either of these platforms, both Google and Microsoft Ads offer interactive guides and programs to certify you in these ad programs.

Local Search Optimization

Depending on your business, local search may be essential.  For instance, stores that are brick and mortar and have customers visit their physical locations regional search optimization is vital.  Most of your searches are going to be coming from people in your area, searching for your product or service.  People will not be able to find your business if you have no online presence. Critical factors like websites, directories, and reviews are vital in creating a significant digital footprint.  Remember, nobody uses the Yellow Pages anymore.  Today it’s all about the internet.

 

different locations around the world

Having outdated or incorrect information can also hinder your business.  When people are not able to contact you, both the lead and revenue are lost.  There are a variety of companies that specialize in local search optimization like Yext and BrightLocal.  These are services that both tell you where your business is listed, as well as where you aren’t.  For membership fees, these websites will submit your information for a stronger online profile.

As the Director of Sales and Marketing, it is essential to realize the importance of backlinks.  The more popular and reliable the source, the stronger search engines like Google will rank your website. Having trusted sites like .gov domains are a great way to grow your reputation because search engines know these are trusted websites.  This can be both an easy paid to fix, or you and your team can go and enter in manually your information into these different business directories — the more specific to your industry, the better.  A great way to find websites to start looking for would be to see where your competition has its links.

Backlinks

Domain authority is how your website is ranked compared to others.  It is based on algorithms that rank the website based on content and reliability.  Backlinks are one of the core aspects regarding a site and can be a deal-breaker for getting found.

You know what backlinks are.  Now is the tricky part of getting them.  Some companies will pay hundreds to thousands of dollars per backlink and post, which should show their importance.  My advice would be to start by looking at your competition’s backlinks by using software like ahrefs.  They will give you keyword trackers and information that will rank your site compared to the competition.  By seeing what your competitor’s strategies are, it gives you a better chance to even the playing field.

gold chains

Strategies for creating backlinks are vast.  Most commonly, you can message potential websites where your company’s content would be a great fit.  Look for guest blog spots where you will have a chance to add your content. Creating backlinks is an ongoing practice that you will want to be doing consistently to help your white hat search engine optimization as best you can.

Website Optimization

No matter if you use WordPress, Drupal, or a different website builder, you want to make sure your website is optimized.  In many cases, smaller companies do not have a web team behind them and want something functional.  Functional will not allow you to grow your business at the rate you should and could.

computers coding

Search engines crawl your website and determine where to rank you based on a variety of reasons.  Google and much third-party software have speed tests that will rank your website on its speed, performance, and overall optimization.  Speed tests can be an excellent place to start identifying where you will need to make changes to be ranked higher.

Experts in marketing realize that in many situations to fully optimize a website, you will need to know necessary coding and how to navigate the backend dashboards.  WordPress allows an easy user view that makes the backend of websites more manageable. There are options to both go in and manually code in using PHP or HTML, as well as using plugins.

Plugins make much of the optimization process easy.  There are core sets of plugins that Kallen Media would recommend, which we would be happy to show you when you sign up for a demo.  The key for plugins is to keep them updated and make sure your website does not break.  Some plugins may not be compatible if your website is older or has conflicting plugins.

WordPress blog section

By integrating these webmaster skills, it allows you to have full oversight and knowledge of your company’s website.  The Director of Sales and Marketing should understand why their website is or is not working. Whether they delegate the task to someone else or outsource, it ultimately is a significant decision.  Without fully understanding the backbone of your digital presence, it will be hard for you to build a successful company.

Keyword Tracking

Every specific market has terms and search phrases that are common when people are searching.  For you to be found by your ideal clients, you must tailor your content to them. Referring standard search terms in your website and posts is a surefire way to get your content noticed for that relevant material.

search engine optimization over keyboard

Search engines will then display your rank for those search terms between other companies in your industry.  Often you will want to research competitors to see what is working for them.  Other standard practices would be utilizing plugins like Yoast.  Yoast will give your search engine optimization rankings for your content.  This plugin is a great tool to assure that you are ranking for the appropriate keywords your audience is searching for.

Presenting Results

So you understand the marketing side.  You can create successful campaigns and increase business for your company.  Fantastic, but there is still much more that goes along with being the Director of Sales and Marketing.  Presenting your results can be the difference in displaying confidence and looking like someone who is off their game.

Often companies will want monthly or quarterly reports about the results of their marketing efforts.  These reports include creating charts and graphs to demonstrate spending versus conversions. How much has it cost you per lead?  If these questions were not enough to stress you out, you would need to be willing to work with extreme budgets.

Team meeting

Occasionally other parts of the company may be faltering, so it impacts your marketing budget.  What can you afford to stop doing that will make the lowest impact?  As with most other decisions in business, it can be a tricky balancing act but one that must be mastered.

Displaying confidence and a clean report is the best way to give yourself an attentive audience.  When you make an interesting report that is easy to follow, you will have the room.  The results will be clear and concise, with strategies that are easy to follow.  Highlight the essential parts while explaining the details. Use language that can be easily understood.  When you start using jargon that is foreign to your audience, you lose attention and can hinder your performance.

Department Management

The Director of Sales and Marketing typically oversee large departments with many individuals under them.  You will often deal with manager-level staff who then have teams below them. It is important to communicate clear business plans.  Everyone on your team should be working towards a unified goal. Make it clear to your staff your expectations and intentions and be rigid.  The most effective teams spark creativity and motivate each other to do better.

Diverse team

There will be tough decisions when it comes to hiring and firing.  You need to think with your head and not your heart. Have an idea of the individual that would be perfect and make a persona.  What characteristics do they have or not have? Are you looking for a seasoned professional or someone freshly out of college? These types of decisions are essential when putting teams and budgets together.  This process may take some time, but management is key to having a successful department.

Following this guide to being a Director of Marketing and Sales, you are sure to start on the right foot.  Whether you are starting a new career in marketing, or are a professional, by following this guide, you should have the skills you need to begin creating successful digital marketing campaigns.  For further questions or to see how Kallen Media LLC can help you, you can contact us here.

Importance of Business Directories

Importance of Business Directories

Having your business be found online can be the difference between great success and utter failure.  Many of us may think of creating social media profiles so that we can interact with our audiences on a more personal level.  Social media is the tip of the iceberg for spreading both words about your business and getting your business found online. Some of the best places you can put your business information online are directories.

coding and a hole in the middle

Directories are necessarily the modern-day phone book if you will.  People can search for topics and find companies, or see what is near them so they can find assistance with the service they need.  Instead of flipping through a phone book, people are now searching through pages on a website.

Business directories are what funnels both links back to your website and build your brand.  The more places that your website and information appear online, the most often your business will look online.  These directories are why large companies will sometimes hire reputation management companies like Moz or Yext. Both these services will go online and replace any misinformation. Additionally, these companies can add your information to directories you may not be.

Reputation Management

Reputation management companies can become expensive and may come with caveats.  Examples might be having your information and listings return to how they were before you began working with these companies.  The data can tether you to companies even if you may no longer want their services. Frequently it is not worth the search ranking penalty you would take by stopping their services.

Different local business listing websites

At Kallen Media, we want your business to thrive online. That’s why we are here to give you some tips on how to start adding yourself to business directories on your own.  Many of the most popular online directories will allow you to add your business if it is not already listed directly. This may seem tedious and tiresome, but your information needs to be both correct and as available as possible.  Some of the most popular directories people think of are Yelp, Google, and Facebook. All of these websites have a massive online presence and will typically appear on the first page in search results.

Adding a Business

To add your business to directories, you will need to locate them online. All you have to do for the majority of free listings is register an account with the business directory.  Once you have made an account, you can search for your business. If your business is not listed, then you will go through the process of giving the directory your information.  The account will typically consist of business name, location, staff, and what kind of business you are operating.

 In some cases, your business may already be listed; this means all you will have to do is verify you are with the company, and you will become an administrator.  This allows you to edit any information and assure you have everything you want on your listing.

To make sure your listings are up to date and looking good, get in contact with Kallen Media, LLC today.  We would be happy to give you a free demo and show you some tips on how to make sure your business is found online.

Different Management Styles

Finding Your Managerial Style

Being a member of management is challenging; there’s no doubt about it. Finding your management style can be even harder. How should you lead your team? What’s the best way to increase efficiency while keeping the members of your team satisfied and motivated to work?

The short answer is, there is no short answer. There are many different things to take into account when figuring out what management style is going to be most successful for you and your company. For example, how much work needs immediate attention, and what kind of personalities do you and the members of your team have? It’s also essential to think about the type of business you are managing in.

Let’s go over 3 of the most effective management styles: authoritarian, affiliative,  and democratic, and how each can be beneficial to your business.

Team holding hands

Authoritarian Management Style

As the name suggests, this is a more aggressive management style. This style can be helpful in certain situations. As of about 100 years ago, you aren’t going to have much of a following if you always boss everyone around. Often referred to as Autocratic, the leader of the group is in control of all aspects. Rules are enforced with little or no feedback from the team members. All of the decisions are created by the leader to get the job done.

There are some situational benefits to this style and can be useful to have in your leadership toolbox if a task or set of functions has a fast-approaching deadline, set evident expectations. These expectations will allow you to meet that timeline may be the best course. There might not be enough time to discuss the tasks at hand further. Often in small businesses, the available staff is small, and time-critical jobs will approach quickly. In these situations, management may need to put their foot down.

Additionally, this style can apply to novice team members. Newer employees may still be unfamiliar with the broader goals of the company. Many may need some guidance on properly prioritizing tasks. In these situations, it’s wise for management to list a clear plan for these employees. Subsequently, new employees can familiarize themselves with exactly how the company operates. This can help the employee learn while still providing their available skill set to the company.

Affiliative Management Style

Affiliative leaders love to keep their employees happy and aim to build relationships throughout the company. They take pride in leading by joining in and working directly with the team on various tasks, lending a hand wherever necessary, all while building stronger connections throughout the organization.

At times an affiliative mindset can be a great help. Sometimes, people disagree with each other, and this will no doubt happen at some point with any team of employees. In situations like this, having a leader to come in and remedy the condition can prevent the feelings worsening between the group. Through motivation and an overwhelmingly positive attitude, the affiliative manager will join in and try to help mediate the situation.

An affiliative manager will always reward employees. Positive feedback comes with a job well done, encouraging a healthy mindset and motivation to continue working hard. The feedback provides employees with a sense of belonging and will result in them seeing the manager as an ally to them. In turn, team members will often return to the manager whenever problems arise, or questions need answering, which means the manager is more connected to exactly what goes on in the workspace.

It’s worth noting that an affiliative style should be part of a higher management style, and not used by itself. A completely affiliative management style may result in members of the team slacking off more, knowing that their manager will come in and fix problems for them without any repercussions. Employees may also be used to continue receiving positive feedback even if they aren’t providing their best work, and start to think that mediocre performance is sufficient. This can result in overall poor performance and negatively affect the quality of life rapidly if left unchecked.

Democratic Management Style

A democratic manager is one that is open and dynamic. They allow all members of the team to have a voice and often collaborate on tasks with everyone working on them. Discussions flow freely through the organization, and decisions are made as a whole, with everyone’s opinion in mind.

Fast-moving companies can benefit significantly from a democratic management style. When things are always changing, any chance to improve or streamline operations needs to be voiced and discussed. Allowing employees to be part of the conversation can help, as they are most involved in job completion. A democratic leader will be able to hear all ideas and translate them into the best decision for the company, and then be able to give that decision back to the employees.

A democratic leader is most effective in a sophisticated and professional work environment. The structure allows all members of the team to bring their expertise to the table and collectively put the right plan in action. Many times, an experienced employee will prefer to be in a democratic situation. This is where we are heard rather than expected to follow explicit direction.

The Choice is Yours

There is a slight downside to this management approach, however. When everyone has a voice in every task at hand, it can slow things down. Often, different team members will have different approaches to the same job. Taking the time to hear them all and then decide on the best route to take can bring things to a halt. Within certain situations, there may not be enough time. That is why, again, this should be one of the many tools in your theoretical box of management skills.

Get in contact with us today to have us give you a free demo on how to make your business run more effectively here.

 

Don’t Just Get More Clients, WIN Them!

How To Attain Success

It’s no question that you want your business to be more successful. Why wouldn’t you? You put your time, effort, and money into your business, and you want it to reflect that. To do that, you’re going to need more customers, as they’re the ones that ultimately decide your fate. But, there’s plenty that you can do to make them want to do business with you and not your competition.

Know Your Target Market

You aren’t going to get many results advertising hamburgers in a fitness magazine. It’s important to know exactly who it is that’s buying your products. Due to this, it is essential to find out what else they might be interested in. Usually, the business you started is something that you’re passionate about.

What else do you love? Often, the clients that are going to be inclined to buy your products or services have similar values or interests to yours. Due to this, research can be done to generate some ideas on where you might want to place advertisements. You may even want to consider trying something else you’re passionate about directly into your business model.

Have A Newsletter

A newsletter can be an overlooked hero when it comes to gaining new clients. Having people signing up to your newsletter is the easiest way to get contact information, specifically their email address. It also gives you an excellent opportunity to promote your product or services through strategically placed links within your newsletter. The best part about having a newsletter is that it’s almost no work for you!

email blast

Talk about current events or interesting topics that relate to what you sell, and you can easily plug your products and win clients. Talk about some of the other things you love, and you can build connections with that target market you’re looking for that have similar interests to yours. If you’re interested in articles like this, then you should get involved with the website and join our list!

Collaborate With Other Companies

It’s essentially free marketing! Working with another company allows you to generate exposure to your own. Find another company that falls in line with yours in some way, and work with them. Either on releasing products together or on agreeing to showcase or recommend each other. Be sure to check out our article on how to get noticed for more useful tips on getting your company found to win clients.

The general idea is to have your company displayed in places that your potential clients are likely to be. An excellent example of this is in tourism. Cab companies and hotels will put brochures or posters at places that you’re likely to stop first when you get somewhere new. Many times they’ll partner up together and offer deals to generate new customers for both companies.

Go to Trade Shows

Going to trade shows allows you to network with people that are already interested in the type of products that you offer. It’s an excellent way to get your name on people’s radars and to meet other companies in your industry. Attending trade shows in your industry can do a great deal for your company beyond finding new potential customers as well. As a result, you can get an idea of what the future looks like for your industry to win clients easier.

Trade Show

What are other companies doing to expand? How many people are interested in attending the events? What are the people involved in the most? Once finished, you’ll be able to see if there’s some adjusting that needs doing on your part, or where you might be able to expand. It might even open up some opportunities to collaborate with other companies through the connections you make at the trade shows!

For more information on how to win clients and grow your business, get in touch with Kallen Media at [email protected] or give us a call at (773)524-1483. We want to offer you a free consultation, so check out our services to see how we can help you grow.

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