It Could Be the Biggest Small Business Event of 2018

Dreamforce 2017 had 171,000 registered attendees and 10+ million online viewers during the 4-day event.

Dreamforce 2018 looks to be better across the board with thousands of live solutions delivered from the world’s largest cloud ecosystem.

This includes tailored content for businesses of all sizes across different industries to elevate your career, develop new skills, and be the first to experience the latest development from the world’s largest CRM platform.

You will learn from expert instructors of Trailhead to get certification at the lowest price of the year with bootcamps being held Saturday, September 22 through Monday, September 24. 2018.

Dreamforce 2018 is sold out, but you can get a special code to attend the event. Click the red button to register.

Register Now



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Dreamforce 2018Dreamforce 2018
September 25, 2018, San Francisco, CA

Every year, the world’s most innovative minds come to Dreamforce to inspire, excite, and motivate attendees. Past speakers include Michelle Obama, Taraji P. Henson, Klaus Schwab, and Susan Wojcicki. With 2,700+ sessions to help every role in every industry succeed, opportunities to get hands-on with the latest product innovations, and thousands of Trailblazers to learn from, Dreamforce is not to be missed. Register now to lock in your spot and blaze your trail to the best Dreamforce ever!


More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "It Could Be the Biggest Small Business Event of 2018" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

It Could Be the Biggest Small Business Event of 2018

Dreamforce 2017 had 171,000 registered attendees and 10+ million online viewers during the 4-day event.

Dreamforce 2018 looks to be better across the board with thousands of live solutions delivered from the world’s largest cloud ecosystem.

This includes tailored content for businesses of all sizes across different industries to elevate your career, develop new skills, and be the first to experience the latest development from the world’s largest CRM platform.

You will learn from expert instructors of Trailhead to get certification at the lowest price of the year with bootcamps being held Saturday, September 22 through Monday, September 24. 2018.

Dreamforce 2018 is sold out, but you can get a special code to attend the event. Click the red button to register.

Register Now



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Dreamforce 2018Dreamforce 2018
September 25, 2018, San Francisco, CA

Every year, the world’s most innovative minds come to Dreamforce to inspire, excite, and motivate attendees. Past speakers include Michelle Obama, Taraji P. Henson, Klaus Schwab, and Susan Wojcicki. With 2,700+ sessions to help every role in every industry succeed, opportunities to get hands-on with the latest product innovations, and thousands of Trailblazers to learn from, Dreamforce is not to be missed. Register now to lock in your spot and blaze your trail to the best Dreamforce ever!


More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "It Could Be the Biggest Small Business Event of 2018" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

Don’t Miss Out on Customers: Use These 10 Expert Tips to Get Your Message Across Effectively

To grow a business, you need to find and sell to as many customers as possible. If your marketing message is ineffective or you’re not efficient with your sales process, you could be missing out on a ton of potential customers. Instead, take some tips from the online small business community to get your offerings in front of tons of new customers.

Recover Lost Sales with Abandoned Cart Emails

Customers leave websites with items in their shopping carts for all sorts of reasons. Some decide your product is too expensive or not what they want. Others just get distracted or decide to wait until they get their next paycheck to complete the purchase. So abandoned cart emails can help you get some of those lost customers back, as David Zheng discusses in this GetResponse post.

Get Your Holiday SEO Strategy Set

The leaves may be just starting to turn, but it’s already time for businesses to start thinking about holiday marketing. If you wait until the actual shopping season to update your website and SEO strategy, you could be missing out on customers. Check out this Search Engine Journal post by Dave Davies for more information.

Use the Psychology of Colors When Marketing

You work so hard to get customers to come to your website or view your other marketing materials. So you don’t want to turn them away because of the colors you choose for your logo or branding design. In this post on the Under Construction Page, Mary Whitman explains how to use color psychology in your marketing strategy. And BizSugar members also discussed the post here.

Turn Customers into Advocates with These Product Packaging Design Strategies

Even the way you design your product packaging can make a big difference in how customers view your products and your brand. With the proper strategy, you may be able to grab the attention of more customers, and maybe even turn them into advocates. Amanda Bowman elaborates on the subject in this CrowdSpring post.

Use New Instagram Features to Promote Your Local Business

Instagram has more than a billion monthly active users. So if you’re not using it to promote your business, you’re missing out on a huge market. The platform also has a number of new features that could be specifically useful for local businesses, as Guarav Sharma details in this Bright Local post.

Rock Your LinkedIn Company Page

Particularly for B2B businesses, LinkedIn can also be an important tool for connecting with potential customers. If people visit your company page and see a bland or unprofessional image, they’re likely to pass you by. But you can use the tips in this SMB CEO post by Lilach Bullock to make your page really stand out.

Think Beyond CRM

CRM systems are great for nurturing customer relationships and organizing communications. But there’s more to the marketing and sales process. So if you rely too heavily on your CRM, check out this Target Marketing post by Ronell Hugh to learn why it’s time to move beyond it.

Try These Nifty Marketing Automation Hacks

It takes time to market a business and complete the sales process. So if you’re trying to do it all on your own, you probably don’t have time to reach as many customers as possible. Instead, why not try some marketing automation hacks, like the ones included in this PostFunnel post by Sam Hurley? Then check out the BizSugar community for even more commentary on the subject.

Add a Facebook Virtual Event to Your Launch Strategy

Events can be a powerful way to get people excited about a new product or service. But not all of your customers are going to be in town or able to make it to an in-person event. So in this Social Media Examiner post, Danielle McFadden explains how you can add a virtual event on Facebook to your strategy to get even more people involved.

Get Top Influencers to Work with Your Brand

You’ve probably heard about how powerful influencer marketing can be for reaching new customers. But if you can’t work with the best possible influencers in your industry, you’re probably not reaching all of your most ideal customers. In this post on The Social Media Hat blog, Shane Barker offers some tips for getting the top influencers to work with your brand.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Don’t Miss Out on Customers: Use These 10 Expert Tips to Get Your Message Across Effectively" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Don’t Miss Out on Customers: Use These 10 Expert Tips to Get Your Message Across Effectively

To grow a business, you need to find and sell to as many customers as possible. If your marketing message is ineffective or you’re not efficient with your sales process, you could be missing out on a ton of potential customers. Instead, take some tips from the online small business community to get your offerings in front of tons of new customers.

Recover Lost Sales with Abandoned Cart Emails

Customers leave websites with items in their shopping carts for all sorts of reasons. Some decide your product is too expensive or not what they want. Others just get distracted or decide to wait until they get their next paycheck to complete the purchase. So abandoned cart emails can help you get some of those lost customers back, as David Zheng discusses in this GetResponse post.

Get Your Holiday SEO Strategy Set

The leaves may be just starting to turn, but it’s already time for businesses to start thinking about holiday marketing. If you wait until the actual shopping season to update your website and SEO strategy, you could be missing out on customers. Check out this Search Engine Journal post by Dave Davies for more information.

Use the Psychology of Colors When Marketing

You work so hard to get customers to come to your website or view your other marketing materials. So you don’t want to turn them away because of the colors you choose for your logo or branding design. In this post on the Under Construction Page, Mary Whitman explains how to use color psychology in your marketing strategy. And BizSugar members also discussed the post here.

Turn Customers into Advocates with These Product Packaging Design Strategies

Even the way you design your product packaging can make a big difference in how customers view your products and your brand. With the proper strategy, you may be able to grab the attention of more customers, and maybe even turn them into advocates. Amanda Bowman elaborates on the subject in this CrowdSpring post.

Use New Instagram Features to Promote Your Local Business

Instagram has more than a billion monthly active users. So if you’re not using it to promote your business, you’re missing out on a huge market. The platform also has a number of new features that could be specifically useful for local businesses, as Guarav Sharma details in this Bright Local post.

Rock Your LinkedIn Company Page

Particularly for B2B businesses, LinkedIn can also be an important tool for connecting with potential customers. If people visit your company page and see a bland or unprofessional image, they’re likely to pass you by. But you can use the tips in this SMB CEO post by Lilach Bullock to make your page really stand out.

Think Beyond CRM

CRM systems are great for nurturing customer relationships and organizing communications. But there’s more to the marketing and sales process. So if you rely too heavily on your CRM, check out this Target Marketing post by Ronell Hugh to learn why it’s time to move beyond it.

Try These Nifty Marketing Automation Hacks

It takes time to market a business and complete the sales process. So if you’re trying to do it all on your own, you probably don’t have time to reach as many customers as possible. Instead, why not try some marketing automation hacks, like the ones included in this PostFunnel post by Sam Hurley? Then check out the BizSugar community for even more commentary on the subject.

Add a Facebook Virtual Event to Your Launch Strategy

Events can be a powerful way to get people excited about a new product or service. But not all of your customers are going to be in town or able to make it to an in-person event. So in this Social Media Examiner post, Danielle McFadden explains how you can add a virtual event on Facebook to your strategy to get even more people involved.

Get Top Influencers to Work with Your Brand

You’ve probably heard about how powerful influencer marketing can be for reaching new customers. But if you can’t work with the best possible influencers in your industry, you’re probably not reaching all of your most ideal customers. In this post on The Social Media Hat blog, Shane Barker offers some tips for getting the top influencers to work with your brand.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Don’t Miss Out on Customers: Use These 10 Expert Tips to Get Your Message Across Effectively" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

How to Create the Best Videos for Instagram

How to Create Videos for Instagram

Instagram offers a big opportunity for small businesses. In fact, they have over 25 million business profiles and over 2 million advertisers, according to Jason Hsiao, Chief Video Officer and Co-Founder of Animoto.

Small Business Trends spoke with him about how to create the best videos for the popular social media site that’s gaining serious momentum in the business world.

“The bottom line is Instagram is a rocket ship right now,” he said. “It’s by far the fastest growing social media platform.”

He added that while it’s not the biggest (that’s still Facebook overall) Instagram has just surpassed one billion monthly active users to get the attention of the brick and mortar and digital business owner both. Animoto studied the trends and found, among other things, 200 million people visit at least one business profile each day.

Create Videos for Instagram – The Tips

So, how do small businesses get involved? What are the best practices to get video working for you on Instagram? Here are a few thoughts that should supply a framework and even allow your small business to compete with bigger players and their large marketing budgets.

Show Don’t Tell   

“Basically, Instagram is different than other social media platforms because it has emerged as the most visual,” Hsiao says.

This means certain formats like product demos, how to and explainer videos do best. Behind-the-scenes scenarios do well too.

“Anything that has a before and after element are hugely popular.”

Enact Engagement

The Animoto study also found that Instagram has 58% more engagement than Facebook. It’s another important peg to hang any business video hat on. Hsiao suggests that if you look at your videos like conversation starters rather than one-way communication, you can get visitors involved.

Encouraging comments and questions are two ways to get engagement working for you. For example, if you’re selling dental hygiene products, you can ask people if they brush their teeth in the morning or at night in the video.

There’s also a trend with younger people asking questions through the platform.

Make Videos Square  

You can’t ignore mobile if you want any small business to succeed—making videos in a square format on Instagram makes better use of smartphone screens by taking up 78% more space for a better visual experience.

Need more evidence? Hsiao points to Cup Cake Market in NYC. They ran a test and found square video outpaced the older landscape formant on Instagram with 40% more views.

Make Shareable Content

You can reach people you might not normally attract to your small business videos by making your content interesting enough they want to share it.

“We are even encouraging small business to ask people outright to share the video,” Hsiao says.

Experiment with Targeting  

Facebook owns Instagram and both have very advanced targeting tools to get your video in front of your target market. These tools allow you to be very specific with important factors like demographic and location.

Hsiao highlighted the cost-effectiveness.

“Basically, these allow you to get very specific about who can see your video and ensure that your dollars go the furthest that they can.”

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "How to Create the Best Videos for Instagram" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

How to Create the Best Videos for Instagram

How to Create Videos for Instagram

Instagram offers a big opportunity for small businesses. In fact, they have over 25 million business profiles and over 2 million advertisers, according to Jason Hsiao, Chief Video Officer and Co-Founder of Animoto.

Small Business Trends spoke with him about how to create the best videos for the popular social media site that’s gaining serious momentum in the business world.

“The bottom line is Instagram is a rocket ship right now,” he said. “It’s by far the fastest growing social media platform.”

He added that while it’s not the biggest (that’s still Facebook overall) Instagram has just surpassed one billion monthly active users to get the attention of the brick and mortar and digital business owner both. Animoto studied the trends and found, among other things, 200 million people visit at least one business profile each day.

Create Videos for Instagram – The Tips

So, how do small businesses get involved? What are the best practices to get video working for you on Instagram? Here are a few thoughts that should supply a framework and even allow your small business to compete with bigger players and their large marketing budgets.

Show Don’t Tell   

“Basically, Instagram is different than other social media platforms because it has emerged as the most visual,” Hsiao says.

This means certain formats like product demos, how to and explainer videos do best. Behind-the-scenes scenarios do well too.

“Anything that has a before and after element are hugely popular.”

Enact Engagement

The Animoto study also found that Instagram has 58% more engagement than Facebook. It’s another important peg to hang any business video hat on. Hsiao suggests that if you look at your videos like conversation starters rather than one-way communication, you can get visitors involved.

Encouraging comments and questions are two ways to get engagement working for you. For example, if you’re selling dental hygiene products, you can ask people if they brush their teeth in the morning or at night in the video.

There’s also a trend with younger people asking questions through the platform.

Make Videos Square  

You can’t ignore mobile if you want any small business to succeed—making videos in a square format on Instagram makes better use of smartphone screens by taking up 78% more space for a better visual experience.

Need more evidence? Hsiao points to Cup Cake Market in NYC. They ran a test and found square video outpaced the older landscape formant on Instagram with 40% more views.

Make Shareable Content

You can reach people you might not normally attract to your small business videos by making your content interesting enough they want to share it.

“We are even encouraging small business to ask people outright to share the video,” Hsiao says.

Experiment with Targeting  

Facebook owns Instagram and both have very advanced targeting tools to get your video in front of your target market. These tools allow you to be very specific with important factors like demographic and location.

Hsiao highlighted the cost-effectiveness.

“Basically, these allow you to get very specific about who can see your video and ensure that your dollars go the furthest that they can.”

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "How to Create the Best Videos for Instagram" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Is Your Brand a Legacy In The Making or a Flash in the Pan?

If Your Brand a Legacy In the Making or a Flash in the Pan?

We read and hear about how fast-moving society has become, thank due in part to people having online access and generating an always-on awareness. That awareness sometimes celebrates overnight success, instant gratification, and unfortunately hyperactive short-term thinking. With that environment in mind how can marketers craft messages and ideas that stick with people enough to attract a customer? Even deeper, how does a business establish the right operations for long-term….to even build a legacy?

One answer comes in the book Legacy In The Making: Building a Long-Term Brand to Stand Out In a Short-Term World by Mark Miller and Lucas Conley. The authors offer ideas and solutions for how business leaders take the right operational risks to establish their companies for the long haul. Miller and Conley offer ideas based on in-depth research and insights from leaders at venerable brands like Patagonia, Lexus, and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Miller is the founder of the Legacy lab and the chief strategy officer at Team One. Conley is author of obsessive branding disorder and co-author of the method method. There is also a forward by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia.

What Is Legacy in the Making About?

Legacy in the Making offers profile of leaders from the brands examining their decisions.   The authors advocate that business legacies develop from companies that really don’t stand still in their markets, offering the same approach to services or products. The current time has evolved the properties of legacy to require more dynamic thinking.

“We are all familiar with the traditional meaning of a legacy … We see it in every leader who seeks to “cement” his or her legacy as if it were something set in stone and left behind on museum pedestal to gather dust … In contrast our lives or anything but static they evolved fluidly on a continuum.”  

Each profile shares a scenario and lessons, noting how the modern age is revising long held views.  Examining the visions of the leaders is a similar format to another book I reviewed, Jewels, which examined the leadership of African-American women.

The book include one page framework at the end of the segment to provide readers a means for discovering and managing innovation. The frameworks complement  the thoughts shared by the leaders.  The companies examined run the gamut such as Grey Goose, Taylor Guitars, The Honest Company and even the San Diego Zoo.  It’s a thoughtful mix of brands that grew from innovative practices and well established companies that have consistently sought innovation to stay ahead.

Designed with a coffee-table-book format, Legacy in the Making presents its content with a focus on color,  headline-grabbing text, and medium font that also similar to a technical book I reviewed, JavaScript and JQuery by Jon Duckett. The format lends itself to emphasizing key concepts, making it memorable for the reader.

What I Liked About Legacy in the Making

In addition to the layout, I liked the choices of including nonprofits as well as businesses with social missions within the book. I think this is important given that the widespread effusion of software and Technology have changed how businesses operate. And you can see the suggestions of what brings up Echoes made of things I’ve read and seen and in digital marketing. Take this comment about legacies and inviting outsiders to comment.

“Nearsighted brand leaders, accustomed to being in command, have been understandably hesitant to embrace the modern Legacy Builders collaborative approach to Growing spheres of influence. Inviting outsiders in –  rather than pushing influence out – represents an unprecedented shift in the ways in which brands engage their customers.”

I like the inclusion of women and leadership in some of the examples such as Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and refounder Deb Duggan, CEO of RED. Here’s a note from Saujani’s reflection on the state of women in computer programming.

“By 2020 there will be 1.4 million jobs available in computing related fields. US graduates, however, are on track to fill only 29% of those jobs. Worse, unless something changes, only 3% of those jobs will go to women.”

The authors go on throughout the book to note how values and actions must align to solve large-picture problems and personal ambitions.

“A brand’s culture is a vehicle for its values, though it won’t drive itself. Nevertheless too many Brands treat their culture as if it were on autopilot. Although they sit out with a virtuous pledge or set of values, this rarely amounts to more than lip service.”

What Could Have Worked Differently?

At first blush the examples can seem a little too out-of-scope for some small business owners. Small business owners may not imagine how enterprises can teach a lesson fit for their business model, but they can take inspiration in how such leaders make tough decisions that make be bad for a given moment but better strategically in the long run – a situation every business owner faces.

Take this example for the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brendon Shanahan, who fired nearly 30 people – including the head coach, various assistant coaches, team scouts and key assistants – in an effort to reorganize the sports franchise. He even admitted that the rebuilding would “suck” for a while before it would get better.

“Championship teams aren’t built in one season. They take years of planning, cooperation and diligence. It was freeing for me to say that this is what we are, this is what we are not, this is what we want to be, and this is what we’re going to try to do, he recalls of the initial press conference after the firings. And we’re not going to stop until we get there.

As he surveyed the room with the media in front of him the team on his back and fans everywhere watching one question lingered in his mind: Who has the stomach to stick with it?”

Why Read Legacy in the Making?

Many times business owners are given soft, lighthearted quotes that are meant to inspire, but offer no framework for developing a strategy around the products or idea. Miller and Conley touch the right mix of inspiration and problem-solving insights with Legacy In The MakingRead the book to see how your vision for building your company compares.

This article, "Is Your Brand a Legacy In The Making or a Flash in the Pan?" was first published on Small Business Trends



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