What is marketing project management?

When you are growing a small business, marketing is important. You can’t expect people to just know about your business, no matter how awesome it is! Marketing project management is a service that I offer my clients. When I say that, many people look at me funny because they have never heard of such a thing…so in this post I’m going to explain!

What is marketing project management?
Marketing Project Management

If you were to build a house, you would hire a contractor to oversee the project right? Unless you have experience working in construction, your answer would most likely be ‘yes’. They know the best way to build a house so that it stands the test of time and you have minimal problems with it. They also know who to call for plumbing, electric and building supplies. If you had to figure all this out on your own, it would take a lot of time and you may find yourself working with providers that are less than reputable.

The same holds true for your small business’s marketing projects. Marketing projects range from building a website to putting together a new brochure and everything in between. Let’s take building a website as an example. When you don’t know the ins and outs of the process to design a new website, the process can be overwhelming and you are making yourself vulnerable. It can also be confusing to understand what you need and want.

Having an experienced person in your corner can really help make designing a new website a lot easier.  It can help you get a website that works the way you need it to and generates leads for your business.   And yes, you do have to pay for their time, but having an experienced marketing person working as a part of your team can actually save you money in the long run.

Let’s Save You Money

On numerous occasions I’ve seen business owners who opted to try and manage the design of their own website and they ended up getting taken advantage of by “professionals” that are only out for one thing…money! Of course, we are all in business to make money, but there is a fine line in the sand between the marketing provider that wants to help the client and make a profit versus the one that just wants to deliver a product and get paid. Do you see the difference?

Also, when it comes to website design, I have seen customers who try to manage this project themselves end up with sites that don’t function properly. Even if the site looks nice, a few months into using it they find out things aren’t what they should be on the back end. Then what happens? The client is paying to have the site fixed or rebuilt properly.

The Morale of the Story

So the morale of this story is, if you aren’t sure how to build a website, design a brochure or manage other marketing projects on your to-do list, consider working with Small Talk Marketing & Communications. If I don’t offer the service, I have a trusted pool of resources I can call on to get your marketing project done on time, on budget and get it done well! Plus you’ll have me, Jennifer Calero, Small Talk’s owner advocating for you throughout the process and explaining things as we go.

Need more information on how Small Talk Marketing & Communications can help you with your next marketing project?

Contact me for a complimentary consultation.

The Website Update That NEEDS to Be On Your To-Do List

Our friends at Google are at it again!  Google, the industry giant that is known for dominating the search engine world, is making a push for website owners to create mobile friendly sites.  In a blog post released earlier this month, Google announced that they will be again be changing their algorithm that determines how mobile search results are delivered to their users.

What makes a website mobile friendly?The website update that needs to be on your to do list

Before I dig into Google’s announcement, for those of you that are new to web design, let me first explain what is meant by a “mobile-friendly” website.  Mobile-friendly, also referred to as responsive design, is when a website is designed so that it can be easily viewed and used on any device.  If you’ve ever tried to visit a website from your smart phone or tablet and it has appeared very small, it has taken a long time to load or it has not functioned as you’ve seen it do on a desktop…chances are that site was not responsive.

With a responsive web design, the website will respond to what ever device it is being viewed on and format itself to function properly on that device.  In some cases, mobile ready sites may look different when viewed on a mobile device, but they keep the same functionality and provide the same information.  Websites are not automatically responsive, they have to be intentionally built that way.

Why is having a responsive website so important?

2 reasons. 1, Google says so and 2, it is estimated that up to 50% of all website traffic could come from mobile devices in 2015*.  Google’s announcement earlier this month stated that starting on April 21, they were updating their alogrithim to include mobile-friendliness as a part of their ranking system.  Once that is in place, when a consumer goes to Google on their mobile device and searche for something, websites that are responsive will be more likely to show up in the mobile search results.

Why does Google care about responsive websites?

Google wants people to use their search engine for browsing.  It’s how they make money.  The way they stay the consumer’s preferred search engine is by providing relevant search results.  Because more and more consumers are using mobile devices to search the web, Google believes that updating the algorithm to include mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, while improve the consumers experience with them and keep us coming back for me.

I can’t say I disagree.  I ALWAYS use my Android for searching and if I come to a site I can’t access, I just leave it and move on to the next.  With that said, I actually think this is a good move on Google’s part.

What does this mean for you, the website owner?

Well the answer is simple…if you own a website and it is not responsive, you need to put updating your website to a responsive design at the top of your to-do list.  If you are not sure if your site is responsive, check it out on a tablet or other mobile device.  If you have questions about improving your website and making it more mobile-friendly, drop me an email and we’ll talk!

*Reference – Survey on Internet Trends

Why You May be Losing Facebook Likes

Keep an eye on your Facebook business pages!  Starting March 12th you may find that you are losing likes!  So what’s going on you ask?
Why you may be losing Facebook likes

Facebook announced today that starting next week they will be removing voluntarily deactivated and memorialized accounts.  If someone that falls into one of these two categories has liked your page, your likes will decrease once they are removed.  For the accounts that have been voluntarily deactivated, if the owner reactivates, the like will return to your page.

Why is Facebook messing with your likes?

Facebook cited two reasons for this initiatives; one to improve business results and two, consistency.   By removing inactive accounts from pages, Facebook feels that it will give businesses better data.  In terms of consistency, Facebook says they already filter likes and comments generated by deactivated or memorialized accounts from individual Page posts, so by implementing the same procedure on business pages, they are keeping the data consistent.

What does this mean for your Facebook Business Page?

Well it’s really hard to tell at this point.  If you happen to have a lot fans that have deactivated or memorialized accounts, you may see a big dip in your numbers, but according to their post, Facebook doesn’t anticipate this change having a big impact at all.  I am hopeful that this change will give page managers access to more accurate data, which will in turn help us when we are trying to target specific audiences but stay tuned…only time will tell how this one will play out!

To read the full post from Facebook, click here.



3 Tips for Staying Focused on Your Business

While being in business for yourself can be very rewarding, the truth is it can also be very hard.  There is a lot to do to keep things running…and growing!  When you work for someone else, you typically have a defined role.  A role that allows you to leave at some point in the day and disconnect.

3 Tips for Staying Focused on Your Business

When you own your own business, it’s really hard to disconnect.  When you don’t disconnect, it can become difficult to focus on the big picture.  It can also be difficult to focus on growing when you are caught up in trying to manage the day to day tasks.

My Own Struggles to Focus

As I write this very post, I am conflicted with work I need to do a for a client, work I need to do on my website and the fact that my entire family has the day off but I am working.  Disclaimer…I am by no means a master at staying focused and disconnecting,  I have my days where I can’t focus and life gets in the way of forward progress.  I’m just sharing what I do that works for me a majority of the time.  Feel free to take it and massage it in to what ever you need to make it work for you!

My 3 Tips for Staying Focused on Growing Your Business

Make a List

I make a list each day.  That list consists of what I NEED to get done and what I’d LIKE to get done.  The things I need to get done are usually time sensitive items or things my clients are waiting on.  The things I’d like to get done are tasks that I need to take care of but have some flexibility on time.  I try to chip away at those little by little so they don’t end up on my NEED to get done list.  I always make sure my list includes at least one thing I am doing for my own business, not just things I need to do for my clients.  So maybe it is getting my invoicing up to date, or maybe it is writing a blog.  Doing something, even if it is just one thing for your business each day will help you stay focused on forward progress.

Outsource What You Can

Outsourcing can be tough because for most small business owners, it boils down to money.  There isn’t enough money to outsource so we take on everything ourselves.  Unfortunately, when you take on things you know nothing about it can end up costing you more money in the long run and something even more important…your time.  Time that could be spent doing something to help your business grow.  With that said, look closely at the things that take up the most time in your business.  If you are spending hours per week managing your books, your payroll or some other administrative task, look into outsourcing options.  Taking items like this off your own plate will help free up your time to focus things that can grow your business, not just keep it running.

Set Goals

I hear so many owners tell me, “I’m doing everything I can and I can’t seem to grow.”  Whenever I hear that I ask them to define their idea of growth for me.  9 times out of 10 there are no clear cut goals that the owner has set.  What that means is they are working hard but they don’t know what they are working for.  Define your goals.  If you read my blogs you know I am a big advocate for planning and setting goals fits right in.  I set weekly, monthly and annual goals for myself.  It’s nothing crazy…networking is one of my main resources for generating leads, so this month I set a goal to attend two networking events.  Simple…and if the month comes and goes and I haven’t gone to anything and I have no new jobs coming in, I know why and what I need to do next month.

Staying focused on your business can be tough.  Life happens.  We are all juggling a number of roles…business owner, wife, Mom, husband, Dad, caregiver…what ever your role is, it is bound to pull you away from your business at one time or another.  The key to staying focused is knowing what you need to do to pick things back up and get moving in the right direction!

New Year = New Name, New Logo and New Marketing Services

I’ve been hard at work this past month working on some new things for my business!  When I originally started this venture, I was basically offering freelance marketing services.  I was functioning as a marketing manager would if you hired them to be on your team.  Over the past year, my own marketing experience has grown and also my network of marketing professionals. I have found that by partnering with other small businesses, I now have the ability to offer a wider variety of marketing services.  Most of the companies I work with are small and as a result, I can continue to keep the cost of my services affordable for most small business owners.

A New Name

Exciting stuff right?  With all that in mind, I thought it was time to formalize my operationSmall Talk Marketing & Communications Logo a bit and give it a name!  Over the upcoming weeks, Jennifer Calero, Independent Marketing Manager will transition to Small Talk Marketing & Communications and this will be my new logo!

I’ll be re-doing my website and changing over all my social media channels to represent my new brand!  I love branding so this will be fun for me.

Why Small Talk Marketing & Communications?

Deciding on a name for my business was no easy task.  It was like naming one of my children, only worse.  I tossed around everything from J.Calero Marketing to made up words and everything in between. (It took months and my friends and family were going to scream if I didn’t pick something!) At the end of the day I really thought about what I do and what I am best at.  My strength is helping businesses talk with their customers through marketing communications.  Whether it is by writing great website content, posting to social media or sending an email marketing campaign, I am great at helping businesses start a conversation with their clients and/or potential clients.

Next I was thinking about the successful small businesses that I have worked with and thought about how they were different from some of the other less successful companies I’ve seen.  At the core of each successful business was a great product or service. What seemed to take them to the next level was their ability to create loyal clients and clients that talk about their business.

You hear conversations everyday that go like this:
“I love your hair, where do you get it done?”
“My bathroom looks horrible, I need to remodel, do you know a good contractor?”
“I’m throwing a baby shower for my cousin, where can I get really cute, unique invitations?”

When someone answers one of these questions with the name of your business you are in good shape.  It means you are delivering a good product or service that people are comfortable recommending.  It means that your business is growing because people like what you are doing.  So for me the bottom line became…small talks grows businesses and with that, Small Talk Marketing & Communications was born.

New Marketing Services

In addition to my new name and look, I am also going to be adding some new marketing services to my list of offerings.  I am hard at work in a Social Media Managers class expanding my knowledge on how to help my clients grow their business through the use of social media.  I have learned a lot about the importance of setting goals and having a strategy to achieve them.  This is not only true for social media but for marketing as a whole so in the upcoming year, I plan to add more strategy development services to better serve my clients.

I am currently working with two businesses I have worked with in the past and testing out some ideas for new marketing strategy development options.  As I fine tune them, I’ll be sharing what I find with you.  In the meantime, I would love the opportunity to talk with you about your business and what we can do together in this upcoming year.  I am excited to grow my business throughout 2015 and I would be happy to help you do the same so contact me for a free consultation and let’s get people talking about your business!