5 Small Business Podcasts For Growth That We Can’t Stop Listening To

Let me set the scene for you.

My business partner and I stood with beer-in-hand, kicking new ideas (and a little PandaDoc stress ball we got at a conference) back-and-forth across the room trying to come up with a better way to build a network of solid promotional partners.

This was about 60-days ago as I write this, and man were we stressed.

“We’re having tons of success with the few channel partners we can get in front of, but it’s so hard to turn our initial conversations into actual promotion.”

We needed a better way to get a foot in the door and create some momentum.

About an hour in with no progress, and my business partner looks up and says matter-of-factly, “well, I guess we’re just going to have to start a podcast.”

After a quick chuckle (there was beer involved), we decided that actually wasn’t such a bad idea.

Fast-forward two months and it could be the best decision we’ve ever made. We’re 10 episodes in with at least 5 new promotional partners in the fitness and wellness industries that we never would’ve locked up without starting the process by dropping a simple line like, “hey, we should really get you guys on the podcast, our audience would love it!”

Since then I’ve gained a whole new respect for this medium, and wanted to share the top 5 business podcasts on growth that you should be listening to in your car, while you’re eating, or while you exercise (2 with a little health and fitness bend - hey, that is my focus).

1 Simple Thing with Dave Kirby

iTunes | Stitcher

Dave Kirby may not be some Silicon Valley legend or a career CEO, but he does an incredible job with this podcast, highlighting potential pitfalls, blending in personal anecdotes, and contextualizing exactly what you need to be thinking about as a small business owner in an amazingly relatable way.

I also like the length - 15-20 minute episodes - and the fact that Dave does a great job hitting a specific topic with each guest making it extremely easy to reflect on what was said after listening.

Basically, it’s the perfect podcast for all of you small business owners out there.

Marketing School with Neil Patel and Eric Sui

iTunes | Stitcher

Unlike Dave from 1 Simple Thing, Neil Patel is about as famous as a marketer can be, and Eric Sui is no slouch either. So for a marketing podcast, these are some serious heavy hitters. However, much like Dave’s show, Neil and Eric focus on one, super-specific marketing solution in each episode in a way that makes it feel like you’re actually learning a lot given the hyper-speed 6-10 minute episode length.

It all makes this podcast perfect for anyone who needs to learn more tactics to improve their marketing results … so probably everyone.

The GaryVee Audio Experience with Gary Vaynerchuk

iTunes | Stitcher

Gary Vaynerchuk is loud, intense as hell, and probably takes some getting used to for slow-talking southerners like myself. With that said, he ain’t wrong. The dude is a go-getter through-and-through and when you listen to one of his rants, you’ll find you have a tendency to become a go-getter too.

This podcast is ideal for any business owner who could use a quick, honest kick in the butt to get in gear on that next campaign to grow their business.

Evolution of Medicine Podcast with James Maskell

iTunes | Stitcher

This podcast with James Maskell and Gabe Hoffman, the creators of the Functional Forum is an incredible business growth show masquerading as a niche medical podcast. I’m not saying it isn’t niche - don’t bother if you aren’t into new innovations in medicine, wellness or fitness - but James comes from a practice management background and the backdrop of every episode is how these innovations can help you run a more profitable practice or business.

Spending 30 minutes to an hour with James, Gabe and their guests is the perfect prescription for any wellness business or medical practice owner, looking for new ways to unlock more revenue.

Scale Well Podcast with Phil Beene and Mac Gambill

iTunes | Stitcher

Remember the story I opened with? It’s time to bring it full-circle.

That after-hours idea session on a cold December night turned into the Scale Well Podcast where my business partner at Nudge Coach, Mac Gambill, and I chat with entrepreneurs and thought leaders about how simple technology tools and platforms are enabling more scalable business models.

The list of people we’ve been able to book in our first 10 episodes has honestly been nuts, including a great chat with Zach Olsen, the CEO of Bookly which you can watch in video form here.

This podcast is perfect for any fitness or wellness entrepreneurs and business owners out there, but the episode with Zach is a great listen for any small business owner.

Hope you enjoy these 5 podcasts as much as I have!

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Phil Beene is Co-founder and President of Nudge Coach, a software company that gives gyms and wellness businesses a whole new way to support and engage members through a custom-branded mobile app. He also co-hosts the Scale Well Podcast with Nudge Coach Co-founder and CEO Mac Gambill. You can learn more about Nudge Coach at http://nudgecoach.com.

Please note that Bookly’s sponsorship of this blog article is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services. This content represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of Bookly.

3 Surefire Ways to Hurt (If Not Kill) Your Business Credit Score

business credit score

The importance of good business credit is impossible to overestimate. “Good business credit eliminated my need to dip into personal funds to run my business, and enabled me to hire new employees and buy better equipment,” says Nav CEO Levi King, a serial entrepreneur who started his entrepreneurial endeavors with a sign manufacturing business in Idaho—initially with no credit. Speaking from experience, he believes a good business credit score is essential to operating a successful small business. “It invigorated cash flow and opened the door to increased financing on improved terms. It brought order to chaos, as a surge in liquidity meant that I could react quickly to new opportunities without upsetting operations.”

Building a good credit score can a long, painstaking process (if you haven’t started it yet, check this out). Once you get there, you want to stay there, and avoid any mistakes that might compromise or even negate your hard work.

Let’s take a look at three of the top things to watch out for when seeking to build and maintain your business credit score.

1. Debt Usage

Debt usage counts for 15% of your Experian Intelliscore. If you’re utilizing most of your credit, this could be a sign that your business isn’t financially sound. Some lenders and suppliers require evidence of healthy cash flow before they’ll work with you, and consistently maxing out your credit cards can be a sign that you’re doing poorly in this department.

Keep the balance on your business credit cards low as often as you can. Unforeseen cash emergencies are to be expected when running a business, but don’t make a habit of running up a high amount of debt and carrying a balance from month-to-month on your credit cards.

Here’s a good business credit card hack: Try to pay down your card balance before your credit card provider reports your payments to credit reporting agencies (this is usually before the due date). By doing this, the debt usage on your business credit report will appear low—a sign that you’re managing your finances responsibly, and can help keep your business credit scores strong.

2. Derogatories

Derogatory information on your credit reports—like outstanding tax liens or collections accounts, bankruptcies, charged off loans, and late loan payments—count for another 15% of your Experian Intelliscore.

Derogatories can generally stay on your record for up to seven years—10 years, for bankruptcy—and if you pile up enough of them, your access to credit and loans can be severely restricted. Any financing you do receive will likely be given on draconian terms, making it difficult to keep your head above water even when business is good.

Prioritize paying off debts before taking steps to expand your business. Tighten your belt and make do with what you have until you’re in the clear with your debtors, and then move forward. Seven years of derogatory information on your credit report is seven years of bad luck; avoid it at all costs.  

3. Payment Status

Payment status is the most important factor in your business credit report. It counts for 50% of your Experian Intelliscore, and 100% of your D&B Paydex score. Always make your payments on time. If you can, make them early.

It’s not always easy to stay ahead of things, so use money management tools to help you create budgets, manage cash flow, automate your bill payments, and alert you to unusual activity on your credit report.

The first step toward building and maintaining sound credit is to know what your credit report and credit scores actually say, so take advantage of Nav’s free business and personal credit reports to familiarize yourself with where you stand.

It’s important to be proactive when it comes to your credit, according to Levi King. “You can't afford to wait any longer to fatten up that credit file,” he says. “You may not see the need for more financing today, but tomorrow will be here soon enough, and with it a host of setbacks and opportunities you never could have predicted.”


About Nav: Nav is the free, easy way for business owners to access their business and personal credit scores and get matched to the best financing.

Please note that Bookly’s sponsorship of this blog article is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services. This content represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of Bookly.

Venture Capitalists vs. Angel Investors: Who Can Benefit Your Small Business Best?

Everyone knows the Cinderella story by heart. An intrepid protagonist with big dreams works tirelessly every day and meets a fairy godmother who offers her the opportunity to go to a ball, meet a dashing prince, and live happily ever after. There’s a similar rags to riches story in the small business community too. Just swap out the protagonist with an entrepreneur, the fairy godmother with a venture capitalist or angel investor, and the ball/prince/happily ever after ending with financial backing/an IPO/overnight success boom that turns your brand into a household name.  

Things could have turned out quite differently for Cinderella had her fairy godmother not understood exactly what she needed. For rising entrepreneurs that need funding, it’s important to determine whether your startup is better suited to work with a venture capitalist or angel investor. Take a closer look at the differences between these two types of professionals and what they have to offer your startup to ensure it receives its own fairytale ending. 

Venture Capitalist

What do they do? Venture capitalists, also known as VCs, back high-growth companies early into their startup journey with equity funding. Instead of paying VCs to get their backing, entrepreneurs provide these investors with a stake — typically shares — in the company or an equity position. The capital gives the startup the ability to succeed and gives the VC an active role in the business.

Which entrepreneurs/startups should work with them? The younger and more specialized the business, the better. VCs often invest in tech-based companies like apps and software startups. They also tend to favor businesses with strong management that show signs of steady growth in an emerging market. 

What do you do if they’re interested in funding your business? Being offered venture capital is a big deal. It means that your business has the potential to yield huge returns and/or to be quickly sold to public firms. Make sure you have a good idea for your business, that the market your startup is in is large enough for a strong return on capital, and give them something in return for their early investment. Additionally, inquire about the typical check size as this will determine the kind of VC you reach out to for funding. Entrepreneurs that need less than $1 million, for example, should reach out to micro VCs as they have funds with $10 to $50 million.

Angel Investor

What do they do? Angel investors come in a wide variety of professions, like doctors, lawyers, and existing entrepreneurs, and want to invest their wealth into your business. Much like VCs, they also want equity in your startup. Unlike VCs, they can’t invest millions into your business. Typical angel investments go from $25,000 to $100,000 per company.

Which entrepreneurs/startups should work with them? You don’t have to be a brand-new startup to work with an angel investor. If you’re fairly established with some revenue, but still need extra capital, it’s a good idea to reach out and introduce your business.

What do you do if they’re interested in funding your business? Angel investors want to see your business to succeed since they’re helping fund it out of their own pocket. Entrepreneurs that pique their interest are always ones that are passionate about their company and understand how it can succeed over time within its market. Be prepared to explain your business plan, elevator pitch, and executive summary. This shows that you’re thinking about the startup’s past, present, and future — and also shows angel investors the kind of valuable role they can play in your company’s success.

 

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.

Please note that Bookly’s sponsorship of this blog article is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services. This content represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of Bookly.

5 Simple Ways to Drive Targeted Traffic To Your Website

drive targeted traffic to your website

By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager

In business, nothing happens until there is a sale. With online marketing? Nothing happens until you deliver targeted traffic to your site.

You may be in the "right" niche and have a highly desirable product, but if you're not driving good, targeted traffic, it's as though your business does not exist. Even if you have only 10 visitors to your site per day, you can be successful if they are ready and willing to buy. This is better than 500 visitors who land on your site and immediately click away because they have no interest in what you are selling.

1. Set Numerical Marketing Goals

Marketing Calendar

To find targeted traffic, the first step is to create a solid plan to drive visitors. You also need to set concrete goals, such as driving 1,000 visitors in 30 days. Once you reach your goals, you will gain confidence and momentum will begin to take over. The more traffic your site gets, the easier it will be to rank higher in the search engines, which will drive even more targeted visitors to your site organically. 

2. Learn the Truth About Your Prospects

websites traffic

To get these targeted visitors, think about who your ideal customer is, and then direct all of your marketing toward finding that customer. Remember that you're not trying to appeal to a lot of people, just to those most likely to be anxious and willing to buy from you.

How much does this person make per year? What are his or her problems and what kind of solutions are you offering? How old is he or she? Will your product appeal to both genders equally? What interests does he or she have?

When you are able to answer all of these questions, you will be working smarter, not harder. That's because (if you create a proper keyword strategy) the 1,000 targeted visitors who find you through search, are not the same as those who just happen to stumble upon your site.

3. A/B Testing

A/B testing

Testing is important, so you should try as many different sources of traffic as possible and keep track of your results. Repeat what's successful and discard what's not.

The best traffic is organic evergreen traffic that finds you through relevant search keywords.

Look to get web traffic from other sources that will give you an excellent return on your investment. Many of the paid traffic methods, including social media, will deliver many targeted visitors that you can make a great deal more money than you would by spending on advertising.

Keep in mind that you don't just want to attract random traffic to your website. You want to bring highly targeted, ready-to-buy customers to your site. When you learn how to do that, you will have a successful business. That's where Facebook comes in.

4. Leverage Facebook Ad Manager

 Via  Giphy

Via Giphy

Facebook arguably has the most detailed ad targeted platform. If you can think of a demographic, it probably exists. You can dial it down to religion, race, sex, interests, class, and even the websites users have visited.

A little creepy? Maybe. Effective? Definitely. 

Use Google Analytics to find out more about your audience and try to double down on those who seem to be most interested in your products/content.

Don't forget to A/B test for potential clients who might not be visiting your site. There could be a surprise demographic out there who you just haven't tried targeting yet.

5. Maintain The RElationship

 Via  Giphy

Via Giphy

Not everyone is ready to make a purchase when they visit your site, but that doesn't mean they won't do so later. Maybe they just need more time to research or for a paycheck to come through. Whatever the case, you've got to keep reminding these targeted visitors about who you are, and why they visited your site in the first place!

Retargeting Ads

Retargeting ads, target visitors to your site after they leave. Have you ever looked at a product on Amazon and then seen that very product pop up later as your browsing the web? That's not coincidence, that's retargeting!

Using tools such as AdRoll will help you target the people who have visited your site. Those who have visited your site are often easier to convert, as they already know a bit about your product and have shown interest.

Drip Campaigns

Another way you can keep reminding visitors of your value is through drip campaigns. When someone visits your site, you'll want to offer a value add that entices them to give you their information so you can contact them once again. 

Examples of Value Adds:

  • Get a copy of our E-Book "How to XYZ"
  • Get 20% off your first purchase 
  • Sign up for our monthly digest to stay up to date each month's best blog posts

Of course, before you offer these things, you need to create a way to capture these targeted traffic leads. One way is by using SumoMe, a tool we've lauded before for being simple to use and giving marketers lots of customizable options.

Once you have these emails, create an email drip campaign that starts with value driven content, and progressively makes a harder sale. 

For Example:

Email 1: Welcome

Email 2: An Informative Blog Post 

Email 3: A Case Study

Email 4: Buy Now

Email 5: Last Chance, Take 10% off Today!

How to Determine If Your Business Needs a DBA

What’s a DBA anyway? Is it like a trademark or something completely different? Do I really need to file for one now or can I wait? These are some of the questions that fledging entrepreneurs face when trying to determine if their small business needs a DBA and what the process entails. Let’s clarify what a DBA is, the types of businesses that should file for one, and the advantages that registering for a DBA presents for your small business.

What is a DBA?

A DBA, often referred to as a “Doing Business As” name, is the name under which you do business. Pretty self-explanatory! This name is different from your personal name and is also known as a fictitious name. Because it is a fictitious name, most states require that you register it with a local government agency. By conducting a name search and filing for a DBA, you’re able to claim the name for yourself and reduce potential chances of fraud. There are also plenty of additional benefits outlined below…

Are there any advantages to filing for a DBA?

Definitely! A few of our favorites can be found in these bullets:

·       Open a bank account. Most banks generally require a certified copy of your DBA before you a business bank account. Once you have a DBA, you can also collect checks and payments under your business name.

·       Start marketing and advertising your business publicly to increase visibility of your business.

·       Discourage anyone else from registering your name by officially using your DBA.

·       Create a business identity for your customers and vendors that presents your business in a professional light.

Who should register for a DBA?

The rule of thumb here is that if your business conducts any business (including transactions, marketing, advertising, and even printing out business cards) under a name that isn’t your own name, you should register for a DBA in the state or county you’re doing business in. For Sole Proprietors or Partnerships, be sure to register a DBA if you plan on starting a business under a name that is not your real name. If you have an existing LLC or Corporation and want to do business under a name that isn’t affiliated with the existing names, register a DBA.

So, to recap, a DBA isn’t the same thing as a trademark right?

Correct. While both offer protection for the name of the business, a DBA is a name that identifies the business. Unlike a trademark, which gives you the exclusive rights to use the name and makes it your property, a DBA doesn’t grant exclusivity for the use of a name.

You sold me — I’m ready to register! Where can I file for a DBA?

Great! First, depending on where your business is located, check to see if you do need to register your fictitious name there or not. Some states don’t require a formal registration which is why it’s worth looking into before you start the filing process.

If your start does require registering a DBA, file early with your state government or county clerk’s office! We recommend filing before using the name since DBAs are often required within the time frame that you do start using the fictitious name. The amount of time it takes to file for a DBA will vary depending on your jurisdiction, but you can expect the process to usually take anywhere from one to four weeks. When filing, be prepared to pay a processing fee and identify your business with either your EIN (Employer Identification Number) or Social Security Number.

When it comes to establishing a small business, it’s always a good thing to protect it as much as possible from the start to keep any future issues at bay. Don’t put off filing for your DBA, even if it doesn’t seem like much of a priority right now. The sooner you file for one, the more peace of mind your small business, and its name, will have while conducting business.

 

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.

Please note that Bookly’s sponsorship of this blog article is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services. This content represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of Bookly.

8 Holiday Gift Giving Etiquettes You Need to Know

By Martin, Davinci Virtual

Tis the season to be jolly—and generous. The holidays are a strategic time to show appreciation to your best customers. Of course, there are a few things you need to know before you make moves to express your goodwill. Yes, there is gift giving etiquette—even for holiday cards—in an age that celebrates diversity. Consider these guidelines:

1. Make it personal

Personalizing a gift, if possible, may speak louder than the gift itself. That’s because it demonstrates you have taken the time to really get to know them. If all else fails, seek advice from your client’s secretary or look on their Facebook page if you’re connected. If you can’t personalize gifts for all your clients, at least write a personal note in the card.  

2. Don’t overspend

You should have a budget for client gift-giving, but don’t be so extravagant it puts the receiver in an awkward position. Some of your clients may not be able to receive a gift value over a specific amount. Do your homework. Find out what is acceptable before you send the gift.

3. Consider faiths 

Not everybody believes the same as you do. You may celebrate Hanukkah, but your clients may celebrate Christmas, Ramadan, Kwanzaa or some other holiday in December. You don’t want to be offensive when you’re trying to be kind. Find out what your client celebrates if you can, or just send the generic “Season’s Greetings.”

4. Deliver on time

Just as you would deliver a product or service on time, be sure your holiday gift is delivered on time. Typically, a December 20th deadline is ideal because it falls in the sweet spot of the holiday season for people of various faiths.

5. Don’t rely on food and wine 

There’s nothing wrong with falling back on food, wine and liquor if you know your client has a special affinity for a good wine or chocolate, but generally speaking it’s generic and forgettable. Remember, make it personal.

6. Avoid gift cards

If you are dealing with employees, gift cards may work fine. But when sending client gifts, don’t opt for this route. The gift card option basically says, “I couldn’t think what to give you, so I’m giving you cash.” It’s impersonal.

7. Don’t send company T-shirts

Gifts with your logo scribbled all over them are not gifts, they are promotional tools and will be viewed that way. Likely, they will go in the circular file. Instead of classy, you may be seen as cheap and self-serving.

8. Re-gift carefully

Thirty-two percent of all Americans re-gift, which means they give a gift away to someone because they didn’t need or like it, according to an American Express survey. You can easily hurt the feelings of the gift-giver if they find out.

 

Budgeting for client gifts is easy when you save money with a Virtual Office and Live Receptionist Services from Davinci Virtual Office Solutions.  Click here to learn more.

 

Martin has been enjoying the creation and successful execution of many technology and service related ventures over the past 25 years. He is very passionate about building businesses from the ground up by leveraging cutting edge technologies, innovation and smart, driven people. Martin currently leads all business operations at Davinci Virtual Office Solutions. He credits his international upbringing and Swiss approach for many of his successes. Stress relievers include skiing, tennis, mountain biking and blue oceans.

Please note that Bookly’s sponsorship of this blog article is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services. This content represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of Bookly.

Netflix and Startup: The Three Most Inspiring Shows for Entrepreneurs to Binge Watch

Netflix for Entrepreneurs

Ask any small business owner and they’ll tell you they don’t have the time to ease into a routine of nightly TV before bed. The entrepreneurs I know typically don’t have time for television at all, but, when they do, it’s usually all in one sitting. For some of us, binge watching is the new spa day. If you’re looking for a new show to inspire your business life while vegging out on your couch and eating ice cream, give one of these a try on your next day off:  

Shark Tank

You can’t have a list of shows for entrepreneurs without Shark Tank. For those who don’t know, Shark Tank is a reality television show that started in 2009 on ABC. It involves new entrepreneurs or inventors pitching their business ideas to a panel of “shark” investors.

Just as the show presents some really good ideas that do indeed turn into successful products sold at a large scale, it also shows plenty of duds. Entrepreneurs, whether veteran or novice, can learn from watching both good and bad ideas get pitched. Take notes on the good pitches: how did they present their idea? What was their prep work like? In what manner did they speak to the investors? You can really tell when someone’s prepared and confident in his/her product. The next time you have to pitch your business, or even just a new idea at a meeting with partners, mimic the successful entrepreneurs you see on Shark Tank. In a different way, you can also learn a thing or two from the unsuccessful pitches you see. Exactly why was their pitch or product bad? Why wouldn’t you have invested your money if given the chance?       

Parks and Recreation

This next one isn’t quite so in your face in terms of made-for-entrepreneurs TV, but it does provide plenty of good lessons about getting stuff done and sticking to your guns while making you laugh along the way. Parks and Recreation also started in 2009 (a good year for shows for small business owners), and stars Amy Poehler as the main character, Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat working in the Parks Department of Pawnee, Indiana. Throughout the series, Knope faces a myriad of challenges to overcome to better the lives of those in the fictional Pawnee, Indiana. In every episode the viewer learns about hard work, determination, and how to make the world a better place by doing something you’re good at.

StartUp

Startup is a new American television series that just debuted on Crackle in September. On IMDB, It’s described as a “crime/thriller” about “a desperate banker who needs to conceal some stolen money. A Haitian-American gang lord who wants to “go legit.” And a Cuban-American hacker who has an idea that will revolutionize the very future of money itself. Forced to work together, they unwittingly create their version of the American dream.” A good lesson in working together and overcoming differences to fight for one common goal: the success of a business. 

 

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.

Please note that Bookly’s sponsorship of this blog article is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services. This content represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of Bookly.

Why Content Curation Should Never be the Star of a Marketing Strategy

content curation marketing

By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager

Content curation is powerful. It increases visibility and user interaction, two things many businesses will never get tired of. Unfortunately, it can never form the heart of a successful marketing strategy. Here are a few reasons you should only use it as a supplement:

1. It Changes How You're Perceived

Reddit is a big site, it's a famous site, and it gets billions of hits daily, but it is not an authority. It's crowd-sourced and crowd-managed content curation. You can find a lot of interesting things there, but the authority is lacking. The value of content curation is in sifting through the Internet to find the most interesting and relevant items, and that's the value people will see in you. You become an aggregate feed, not an authority.

2. You Lose Your Voice

Content curation is great for your content creators, as it gives them time off or lightens the load. Unfortunately, content curation also dilutes the strength and clarity of your message and voice. You may agree with what you just shared, but that's not your voice, and the rest of their work may contain messages that do not align with your branding.

Think about the kind of messages you see from friends on Facebook. If they share enough messages from a specific political party, you might start thinking that they're in that party, even if they aren't. You can curb this by adding your own commentary, but it's like the tide, and you can't stop it from eventually coloring your brand.

3. Everyone's Doing It

Reddit, LinkedIn, Upworthy -- everyone's in the content curation game in one form or another. Curating content doesn't make you special. At best, it can get you some extra attention. While every little bit helps, it won't be enough to get you a real market advantage.

4. You Build Other People's Authority More Than Yours

One of the best practices in content curation is creating a pool of reliable content creators that you can regularly pull from. Pull from that pool often enough and you start building their authority, not yours. Think about why you're sharing their posts instead of making your own. More often than not, it's because what they did is better or more insightful than what you believe you would've come up with. Ultimately, what gets shared is what gets the attention, not who does the sharing. 

Content curation isn't inherently bad. In fact, it's one of the best tools you can have in your marketing kit, but that's all it is, a tool. By no means, should it consist of the majority of your campaign. It can supplement and enhance the content you create, but it shouldn't be the star. Keep content curation as part of an ensemble marketing cast and you'll do well.

Sweet Peach Kids—How one Entrepreneur Turned her Expensive Shopping Habit Into a Business

Sweet Peach Kids got its start earlier this year by 'mommypreneuer' Laura Miller. Although a fairly new shop, it's already been featured by several prominent bloggers and has continuously sold out of its marquee pieces. 

What is Sweet Peach and how'd you come up with the idea for it?

Sweet Peach Kids is an online boutique where you can find clothes as sweet as your little one at an affordable price. I came up with the idea when my obsession for shopping for my own little girl was getting out of hand. I was having a hard time finding quality pieces without the high end price tags.

How do you manage being a full time mom and business owner?

I am definitely still trying to figure this one out, ha!  For me it's been A LOT of very late nights and early mornings. Also, having an extremely supportive husband definitely helps.

Your photos look great, and as we all know kids can be a bit crazy when it comes to taking directions. How do you go about your photoshoots? Is it hard to make the kids pose?

Thank you!  I have learned that there are three things to making a successful photo shoot:

  •  ALWAYS hire a professional photographer who is great with kids
  •  Come super prepared with more than what you think is needed. For example: extra hair pins, backup clothes, props, shoes etc.
  • 3 bring bribes! (I find candy works the best.)

Photographing little ones is a challenge but always so worth it in the end.  

What's been your biggest challenge in running a children's clothing line so far?

The biggest challenge for me is the business side of things. The creative comes to me pretty naturally, but there are far more things that go into running your own business than I had ever imagined. 

What advice could you give to other stay-at home moms and dads who would like to run a business and grow a business?

Just go for it!  Realize that there will be some sleepless nights, and some days that the dishes just won't get done, but I promise it's so worth it. There's definitely a certain amount of pride that comes with being able to say "I did that." 

What are some of your favorite apps you use to manage your business?

I couldn't live without Shipstation, it has made organizing my business and my orders so easy.  Obviously Instagram has been huge for my business (it is by far my biggest marketing platform). And when it comes to editing photos for my feed, I really love Pic-Tap-Go. 

Where can we find you?

You can find me at sweetpeachkids.com or on Instagram @sweetpeachkids.   

 

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