Your small business doesn’t need to be a worldwide name to have a strong brand. And there’s more to your brand than just a logo and catchy tagline. Your small business brand is everything your company does, your products or services and your customers’ experience. You should think of your brand as the total experience package from the moment your potential customers hear about and interact with your brand, all the way through purchase and post-purchase. And the way consumers perceive your brand can be the difference between make it and break it in the tough world of small business.
Marketing teams have a fierce mission to develop original work for their clients or the brands they work for — whether that’s a piece of creative material, a memorable commercial, a cool Instagram post or a stellar re-brand. However, the market is so saturated with ideas, messaging and advertisements via any and every channel you could think of that it’s often more taxing to find that original concept that sets your agency and your client apart from the rest.
Increasing the prices for your agency services can be overwhelming, especially working through the transition with current clients who might be at a rate that’s lower than you’d like. The thought of trying to charge your clients more may make you feel guilty or afraid. Guilty for charging more to those who have been loyal and helped your agency succeed, and afraid that increasing your rates will cost you work, or at the very worst, a client. But, to sustain your increasing business costs and growth, a rise in price is inevitable as your agency grows.
When I launched First Page two years ago, I decided to use SquareSpace to build my business website. I chose SquareSpace because I heard it was really easy to use if you wanted to build a beautiful website on a limited budget. I had also plenty of experience with WordPress but zero with SquareSpace, so I wanted to be able to compare the two. Now that I’m two years into my business, I wish I would have started out with WordPress and I’m stuck with an expensive, annoying conundrum on how I transfer everything over from SquareSpace to WordPress.
If you’re ready to hire a social media manager, you’ve probably reached the realization that most business owners have reached: social media is absolutely necessary, but it’s too time-consuming to manage on your own.
Luckily there are tons of social media enthusiasts out there who turned their love of connecting online into a full-time job. Now you just need to find the right one to hire for your small business.
Here are a few guidelines on what to look for when hiring a rock star social media manager:
I love Contently as a brand. They’ve been on the content marketing scene early doing really smart stuff. Not only do they have great content themselves with an industry-leading blog, but they also host cool events for content marketers. I had the privilege of attending one in San Francisco where Facebook talked about their content marketing strategy and we all went home with content marketing swag. I even hired Contently as a platform years ago for two different brands I’ve worked for as the Head of Content.
But, I do have a little secret. I’ve always thought it was a bit ridiculous that brands actually pay Contently’s high prices. And now, it’s not a platform I’d recommend to my First Page clients. Hear me out.
Are you currently working at an agency with clients that don’t understand creative or “out-of-the-box” thinking? Maybe they have a very limited brand that hinders creativity? Maybe you just don’t agree with traditional agencies’ way of business. You might have your own unique opinion and skills in design, illustration, brand, photography, etc. And you just want to do things your way. Starting your own agency is achievable now more than ever.
So, how can you start building yours?
I’ve gathered four simple things you can start working on today to launch the creative agency of your dreams: this year.
Let’s not fool ourselves. As online marketers, our job is not always a walk in the park — even if we do sometimes get to do it from home or far-off, remote places. Between answering many client and internal emails, keeping up on every-changing technology and strategies, working on that next one-of-a-kind campaign that hits it out of the park, or simply communicating internally across the coasts, we are always looking for a way to just...make life easier (and make us smarter)! Between the remote working team at First Page, we compiled our extensive industry experience and busted out a useful list of top-notch tools that we use daily or monthly and won’t break the bank. Check ‘em out!