Improve your website with these 3 things every customer wants

Hey folks! Welcome to your one-minute tip! Today I wanted to be inspired by the Port of San Francisco, which is where I am. You can see the beautiful Bay Bridge behind me to talk to you about really easy updates that you can make to your website to get better customer satisfaction.

1. Make it easy to contact you:

So the very first thing is to add your phone number or a large Contact Us button to the very top of your website on every single page so customers don’t have to hunt and search to contact you.

For an intermediate step, you can also add a live chat on your website which you can sync to your smartphone to connect with your website visitors in real time.

website marketing

2. Post your hours of operation:

Especially important for brick and mortar businesses,  add your hours of operation either to the very top of your website or at least to your contact page. A lot of people are searching for your hours of operation and you don’t want to leave them frustrated.

3. Help people find you with a map

For those of you with a local business or store front, be sure to add a Google map so people can get directions and find out exactly where your business is located.

That’s your One Minute Tip. Thanks for watching. And if you found this valuable, please consider sharing with your network and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and never miss a tip. Thank you.

How to market your business – using only your smart phone

Today’s question comes from Joy who is wondering,

How do I market my business online just using my smart phone? I don’t have a laptop yet.


Joy, that’s a great question. I know you run a jewelry business – congratulations on that!

So what you want to do is change your thinking: You’re not at a disadvantage not having a laptop. In fact, your smart phone has more power than laptops from 10 years ago.

Step One for Mobile Marketing: Create as much content as you can

Start creating multimedia using your phone; think photos and videos. Some ideas for creating content could be:

  • You can take pictures before, during and after your jewelry making process.
  • You can take photos of people wearing your jewelry.
  • Small videos on how to repair jewelry.
  • Videos or images of how to wear jewelry- with what clothes, shoes etc.

One of the biggest obstacle people face typically with web marketing is creating visual content and you’ve got all that power in the palm of your hands.

Step Two for Mobile Marketing: Be present where your customers are

The second thing is setting up accounts where people are going to see your wonderful content.

Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook are three really great accounts to get for your business.

Download those apps and start uploading your content there all the time.

Instagram is rolling out a “Buy Now” button. Facebook already has one and Pinterest also has that coming out in the States and hopefully soon will be in Canada as well.

Takeaway: You can start selling your products directly on these social media networks.

It’s very important, once you’ve got those profiles set up on both those accounts, to “optimize” them so to generate sales for you.

Some ways to optimize your profiles could be:

  • Indicate in your profile how people can actually purchase your product.
  • How they can contact you
  • Your shipping and return policies.

smartphone marketing

Step three for mobile marketing: Create your community.

And my last tip is, go out and engage with people strategically.

So perhaps fashion boutiques or people who do make up. Or anybody that has the same customer base that you would want for yourself.

And also use hashtags.

Use “#YYJ” for the local Victoria hashtag. #jewelry, #fashion, #style, etc. Experiment with hashtags to see which ones draw the most likes and comments on your photos.

That’s your One Minute Tip.

If you found this valuable, please consider sharing with your network. And if you never want to miss a tip, subscribe to my YouTube channel and you’ll get a tip a week in your inbox.

Thanks so much for watching!

The 7 Step Guide to Managing Negative Customer Feedback: A case study in consumer fraud, social media & the power of reviews.

If you’ve ever been the recipient of a bad online review of your business, you may find yourself frustrated by the apparent lack of control we as entrepreneurs have over things being said about our business – especially if they’re not true.

What proactive steps can you take to protect your business, and how do you best handle a peer review gone wrong?

1. Adapt your mindset.

The worst thing you can do is tell yourself this article isn’t relevant to your business and click away.


We need to adapt in order to survive and thrive, and today’s consumers have more power than they’ve ever had to affect our success.
70%  of Canadians online trust consumer reviews. (BDC, 2013)
Negative sentiment can go viral, quickly – as exemplified by the Applebee’s social media nightmare – and can be very difficult to manage.
Understanding the change in buyer behaviour and accepting that it’s not going away, frees you up to take in the following information to help protect your business.

2. Get informed:

Increasingly Canadian consumers such as you and I, rely on the web to make our purchasing decisions.

social media

1. Canadians spend on average 2.5 hours a day online; on social media, watching videos, & researching products and services. ComScore, 2014
2. Nine out of 10 consumers claim to use their smartphone for pre-shopping activities BDC 2013
3. 70% of Canadians online trust consumer reviews. (BDC, 2013)
None of this is particularly surprising.
The widespread adoption of web connected smartphones is not a new phenomenon.
In fact many older and wiser of us lament the pervasive nature of these devices and their impact on social connection –  and more practically – our ability to walk down the street without literally running into people distracted by their smartphones.

social media
Beyond being a mildly irritating obstacle to efficient walking, this change in how we as a culture interact has widespread implications for today’s business owner.

The constantly connected state of today’s consumer – specifically – your customers – means your customers shape your brand’s reputation.

Customers and the public at large (reasonable and otherwise) can seriously impact your ability to acquire new customers and maintain your reputation.

3. Know that negative sentiment goes far beyond review sites:

You may have heard of “reputation management” in the context of managing reviews of your business, or even been approached by a less than integrity based business offering you positive reviews of your business, for a price.

But beyond the formal review channels, people can leave negative sentiments on your Facebook page, in response to a post on social media…and almost anywhere else on the web.

4. Start listening:

Google your business name to see what comes up. You may be surprised at the places it’s listed and what people are saying about your company.

If you are surprised, it’s a sign to implement some practices internally to start monitoring your company’s reputation.

You can either manually conduct a search regularly or implement an automated solution to alert you immediately of any new conversations about your business.

Here’s a handy list of 5 tools to help you monitor your online reputation from Social Media Examiner.

5. Address any and all reviews.

You may be tempted to ignore bad reviews or complaints, but believe it or not it makes you look worse if you don’t reply publicly.

Here are 5 tips to responding to reviews from Google My Business.

Tips for responding to reviews

Business owner responses allow you to build relationships with customers, but they’re also public. When replying to your customers, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Be nice and don’t get personal. This isn’t just a guideline–it’s also a good idea as a business owner. It’s difficult to win an argument with a frustrated customer, and you want to avoid burning bridges. Keep your responses useful, readable, and courteous. In addition, responses should comply with our local content policy.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Users are looking for useful and genuine responses, but they can easily be overwhelmed by a long response.
  • Thank your reviewers. Respond to happy reviewers when you have new or relevant information to share. You don’t need to thank every reviewer publicly, since each response reaches lots of customers, not just one.
  • Be a friend, not a salesperson. Your reviewers are already customers, so there’s no need to offer incentives or advertisements. Tell reviewers something new about your business, or share something they might not know from their first visit.

6. Go above & beyond:

The tone and speed of your response to a bad review is where you can really make or break your reputation.
In this CTV news clip, I was asked to comment on what appears to be a fraudulent sale of goods by a household brand.

This would never have become a news story if the response to the customer’s complaint on their facebook page hadn’t been a canned response to call their 1 800 number – where the customer didn’t get a response.
In the case studies above, with Winners & Applebees, both responses to the negative sentiment were woefully inadequate and appeared completely disingenuous.

Because customer sentiment can so powerfully and permanently affect your reputation, if you are in the wrong (like I believe Winners was ) you need to go above and beyond-
1.Get the customer’s information
2. Make an effort to get in touch with them right away.
3. Work to resolve the issue to their satisfaction
4. Once you get agreement on a solution, ask if the customer will then update their post with details on how you came through for them.
5. Going forward – work with your social media manager to create a policy for addressing unhappy customers in a way that shows you actually care.

7. Be proactive

By actively soliciting positive reviews- and incentivising your customers to do so, you can combat any negative and unfair reviews with a steady stream of positive reviews.

Copy and paste this templated email and send out to all your happy customers;  ( just replace the links with your Facebook & Google Plus page links before you send )

Dear customer,

Thank you so much for your business.

Please- tell us how we did!

Would you be so kind as to post a review for me on my Facebook page or my Google page?

I really appreciate you taking the time to give me your feedback!

3 Simple Ways to Help your Blog be Found and Read

digital marketing blogThe societal shift towards instant gratification in our media has completely altered the way we think about producing and digesting the written word, with online blogs in particular being a major force in the changing habits of both writers and readers.

When people say they want to read an epic blog post, they’re no longer talking about the length. As sad as it might sound to those with dreams of grandeur, unless you are a specially talented wordsmith or raconteur, the 2000 word wall of text you wrote for your digital marketing blog is unlikely to engage many people.

People want quick fixes of pleasure to get them through the gruelling fifteen minute bus commute to work, lists of easily digestible facts that go well with a coffee, and bite-sized nuggets of information they can devour with their fries on their lunch break.

If you’re regularly producing content for your digital marketing blog but finding the amount of either traffic or interaction is lower than you’d hoped, it might be time to rethink what you thought you knew about your desired audience.

Plan for the scan

The first thing to understand when producing content for your digital marketing blog is that even those who read it probably don’t really read it. When digesting web content, people scan, and the way your blog posts are formatted will be a bigger factor in people reading and interacting with them than even the content itself.

Because your digital marketing blog may live or die by the format, it has to be clear. We all know the importance of a good headline, but subheadings are just as vital in breaking up your topics into easier to swallow chunks, and even helping the reader to decide if they can skip to the next paragraph.

Using keywords in the subheadings is a very good idea too. Not only does it help with SEO, but it will also reinforce the relevance of the article to your reader’s interest if they have found it through an organic search.

To boldly go

To help the reader of your digital marketing blog pick out the information they are looking for, making bold the key points will cause them to jump out from the page.

Using this technique benefits yourself as much as it does your audience. While you may like to think they care about every line in your posts as much as you do, and want to spend time taking everything in, they probably don’t.

So while guiding them to the parts they want to see and showing them what to skip over by making bold the important points might sound counterintuitive for those wanting all of their content to be read, your reader is actually more likely to read more of your other digital marketing blog posts if you’re making it easier for them to find and digest the information.

Words and pictures

Whether images or video, using multimedia in your blog posts is vital to stimulating your reader into taking the action you want them to take.

As well as providing a break from the words, and being another effective way of breaking up the wall of text, images and video can get across messages in a way plain text never can.

The important thing to remember is to keyword your multimedia, usually by renaming the file before uploading, to give your digital marketing blog another chance to be found on Google.

People are increasingly going straight to Image searches to find what they are looking for, but your multimedia will not show in the results if it still has a generic, alphanumeric title.

Because most people scan articles on the internet rather than reading them, making your digital marketing blog easier to digest by breaking up the wall of text with key worded multimedia, subheadings, and with the important points made bold is vital in allowing your audience to find you, and in keeping them coming back.


For a look at our One Minute Tips and more on this topic, check out our Youtube page here:

Tweet like a Rock Star – 3 tips for easy Twitter Marketing

marketing campaignSince its genesis in 2006, Twitter has become a global stage that anyone can step onto, grab the mic, and sing to their own audience. Thanks to the potential for easily reaching such a wide array of fans, it has become an integral part of most small business marketing campaigns today.

The only problem is, with so many voices vying to be heard, how can you make sure you don’t become just another brick in the wall?

Being middle-of-the-road means getting drowned in sound, your voice left unheard along with anyone else who only seems to sing for themselves. If you want to get noticed, you have to leave the world of MOR, and concentrate on leaving people wanting MOAR.

This means escaping the road to nowhere and learning how to tweet like a rock star. By following these three simple tips for your Twitter marketing campaign, you’ll soon be well on the way to headlining your own gigs.

Plan your setlist

The best rock concerts are the ones where it seems anything can happen. Of course though, the band do know exactly which songs to play and in what order to hold the show together.

In much the same way, the tweets you send out as part of your marketing campaign can be prepared, put down into a list, and scheduled to automatically go out in sequence and at specific times.

By using a service such as Buffer or Hootsuite, you can easily schedule a whole list of tweets that will be sent out whenever you choose. The benefits of this are twofold, giving you more free time by allowing you to schedule all of your tweets for the week ahead in one session, while also ensuring they are sent out at optimal times, when more people will see them.

Collaborate with your peers

Going solo is a career move that has worked for many rock stars, but doing so on Twitter is one of the worst strategies for your marketing campaign.

Giving a shout out to people, be they your fans or people in the same industry, will make them like you a whole lot more as they appreciate the effort you put into acknowledging or promoting their content too.

Every time you mention somebody or re-tweet their post, they’ll receive a notification, which gives you a chance of being mentioned or re-tweeted in return, with the latter being a big deal if they are a bigger influencer or have a wider audience than yourself.

Perhaps more importantly than receiving reciprocal Twitter activity however is the fact that by appearing in their notifications, you are keeping yourself at the forefront of their minds, which is the best place to be for your marketing campaign.

Hold live shows

As recently as a few weeks ago, Twitter acquired and launched Periscope, a live streaming video app that is looking to add a major string to the social media giant’s already impressive bow.

Downloading and installing the app will allow users to stream and view live videos on their Twitter profiles, increasing the options for creative new ways to bring your marketing campaign to your growing audience.

The live streams also take up more screen real estate than text-only tweets and engage the user for longer than a single image will, helping your content and name to stick in the mind for longer.

For a marketing campaign to have the desired results, standing out from the crowd on Twitter is a must. By following these three tips, you’ll open the doors to tweeting like the rock star you’ve always wanted to be.

3 Reasons Your Business Needs A Mobile Friendly Website

mobile content marketingThe sight of commuters on the train, coffee drinkers in the cafe, or employees on their lunch break engrossed in their smartphones or tablets has become ubiquitous through recent years, and is a social trend that should force business owners everywhere to take their mobile content marketing seriously.

However, the single most important aspect for any business with aspirations of engaging with a mobile audience is to have a mobile friendly website that seamlessly resizes all the content to fit whatever screen it is being viewed on.

Not only are those that don’t seen as outdated by visitors, they will also find their Google rankings suffer on mobile searches too. As the internet goes mobile, failing to adapt means being left behind, and all the mobile content marketing in the world won’t help if your website is stuck in the dark ages.

What follows is why your business needs a mobile friendly website.

A mobile friendly public

The days when laptop or desktop internet usage accounted for the majority of time spent online are over, with the tipping point for mobile usage surpassing browsing on more static machines coming in early 2015.

Put simply, more people are using their phones and tablets to browse the internet than are using laptops and computers, and they expect your website to work on their devices.

Responsive websites take all of your content, be that copy or images, sliders, or even products for sale, and automatically resize it to fit the screen it is being viewed on, while menus too are adjusted to enable the user to easily navigate your site.

In truth, the average mobile device user now takes this for granted, and will only notice when it doesn’t happen, at which point they will most likely leave even your best mobile content marketing efforts unread and go elsewhere.

While the obvious benefit here is to the user with the site becoming easier and more enjoyable to navigate than the full web version when viewed on a mobile device, there is a certain search engine giant who will also like your new responsive website more than your old one.

Google responds to responsive

On April 21st, 2015, Google launched a brand new mobile algorithm that rewards responsive sites in their mobile search results.

Those searching for products and services on Google using their mobile device will get results that take into account which sites are mobile friendly, with those that aren’t finding themselves omitted from the search, no matter how good their mobile content marketing.

Google’s new algorithm looks to see whether a site’s text is readable without zooming, if the content is sized so no horizontal scrolling is required, and that links are far enough apart that the correct one can easily be tapped; all criteria that a responsive website should have no fear of fulfilling.

If you want to be rewarded for your mobile content marketing efforts, you will now need a mobile friendly website to rank in mobile Google searches.

Adjusting to fit your market

If you needed any more convincing of the need for a mobile friendly, responsive website for your business, take a look at your competitors.

The chances are they have already made the shift, meaning they have a massive advantage over you when it comes to reaching the ever growing mobile internet user demographic.

As well as providing a better user experience and being more visible on mobile Google searches, your competitors will also be saving time and money behind the scenes that can be put to use in their mobile content marketing campaign.

Before the advent of responsive design, site owners had the option of providing a mobile version of their site, although this meant paying for, maintaining, and constantly updating two separate versions of the same site. If you are still doing this, a responsive website will eliminate the need, allowing you to maintain one version of your site that will function perfectly on any device.

With more people browsing and buying on mobile devices than desktop or laptop, Google rewarding mobile friendly devices to such a degree that those without the functionality are excluded from mobile search results, and your competitors most probably already on the mobile friendly website train, can you and your mobile content marketing afford not to join them?

Check out our One minute tip on Mobile Marketing on Youtube here:

A Digital Entrepreneur’s Manifesto


A manifesto is a document that outlines your Intentions, Motives and Views

Being a business owner or entrepreneur, freelancer or contractor is inherently a political act.

You have the autonomy to create an economy from your 24 hour day.  You can make real your vision of the world and expand it outwards through your livelihood.

Be the change you wish to see. The world needs what you’ve got.

Now is the most potent time in history to be an entrepreneur.

Powerful reach formerly attainable only by the elite is now available for dollars or for free. The Internet frees you from the restraints of geography and time zone. Whatever reason you have to do the work you do, whatever change you seek to make, you can do it.

Now. Powerfully.

Harness the power of the internet- hire abroad, promote for free, work in your PJS, go viral, correspond with business royalty, automate tedious processes, sell your products.

 Anytime. Anyplace. Online.

No more do you need to be stifled by how it’s always been; top down, 9-5, cubicles, economic uncertainty. Don’t let that dreamer part of you die. It’s time. It’s here. It’s being done.

Working to live not living to work.

The four hour work week.

Laptops and wifi on the beach in paradise.

Say no to mediocrity in work and in life.

Harness the power of the Internet, show the world what you’ve got

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.


What is a USP and Why Should You Care?







When people ask me “what I do,” I can respond in two ways:

1. I can say “I have an online training program” and watch their eyes glaze over with boredom.

2. I can say “I help entrepreneurs make money using the Internet!” and watch their faces light up with interest and excitement.

Obviously, I choose option #2. And when you identify a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that makes your prospects sit up and take notice, you’ll generate the same positive response.

Creating your USP

The key to creating a Unique Selling Proposition (a.k.a. an Elevator Pitch) is to look at what you offer from your target audience’s point of view, and speaking to their needs. How can you BENEFIT them? How will you make THEIR lives better? What are THEY concerned about? And just as importantly: WHY are you a better choice than the competition?

Here’s an example using a fictitious dog training company. The company could say “we train dogs” and watch their potential customers yawn. Or, they can say “we help young families keep their sanity by turning problem dogs into family animals with my mobile training and exercise program” and make a positive, immediate impact.

See the difference? Your aim is to WOW people with your USP!

Where Your Opportunity Lies

A market that is not being adequately serviced existing businesses is where your opportunity lies.

To carve out a niche for, you can generally compete with other businesses on any two of these elements: Price, Quality, Delivery.

Competing on price is usually a bad idea, as you have to sell huge volumes in order to make a profit – and you’re vulnerable to getting undercut by a competitor who is willing to sell for less. What’s more, your customers won’t have any loyalty towards you, because you’re providing the cheapest price; not the best solution.

If you can find something in the delivery of your product or service that people will really value, and it isn’t being provided by your competitors, then you’ve got it made!

For example, my clients love that we don’t give them homework! We understand that they’re busy. So while our competitors find new ways to make life complicated and tedious, we pride ourselves on making the entire web design and Internet marketing process extremely EASY. Without a doubt, our ability to make our customers’ lives simple and easy is a major reason why they choose us vs. our competitors.

What’s more, although our prices are reasonable, we aren’t the cheapest – and we don’t try to be. Our customers are more than willing to pay for the value that we provide them. And delivering VALUE is what business is really all about! Can you give customers what they really want, at a price that they’re willing to pay?


During your USP development, you need to find out what it is that you do differently – and better – than your competitors.

Remember: this has to be something that addresses a customer concern that goes beyond the obvious (or else your competitors would already be doing it!). If you’ve done any prospect or customer surveys, this information can usually be found in the answer to this question:

Why haven’t you purchased X yet?

A Simple and Powerful Formula for Creating Your USP

You don’t need to be a marketing expert to create your USP. Here’s a simple and powerful formula to get you moving forward:


Or alternatively:


My company helps ____________________ (Target Market A)

Who ___________________________________(Target Market B)

By_______________________________________(Differentiation A)

To _______________________________________(Differentiation B)


I ______________________________( Differentiation B)

To ______________________________ (Target Market A)

By _______________________________(Target Market B)

With my ___________________________(differentiation A)


Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.

How to Boost Sales With Video Marketing Today

Video-MarketingVideo marketing is essential for success in today’s marketplace. So why are some businesses still putting it off? The 3 most common reasons I hear are:

1. They’re camera shy.
2. They don’t think they’ll do a good job.
3. They don’t think they need to.

And my 3 responses to those reasons?

  1. Trust me, you’ll be much better than you imagine!
  2. With the right help and guidance, you’ll do a phenomenal job!
  3. Video marketing is so effective and lucrative that you need to start – now!

Why is Video Marketing so Effective?

Without question, video marketing is an incredibly effective way to turn prospects into customers, because

  • Videos are more likely to be shared than other types of media
  • Videos tend to be watched by consumers closer to the end of the buying cycle (i.e. when they’re ready to make a purchase).
  • 60% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text (source: Forbes Insight)
  • After consumers watch a video: 65% click through to visit the vendor website; 50% look for more information; and 45% contact the vendor – and of this overall group, 50% make a purchase

 Topics for your Video Marketing

  • Testimonials: capturing your happy customers on video is one of the best things you can do for your business. They will “sell” you better than anyone else could.
  • Product Demos: this is a great way to showcase your products (e.g. how they work, how they’re assembled, before and after, etc.)
  • “How To’s”: this is another great way to showcase your expertise – and as a bonus, “how to” videos are often shared by audiences, which means you’ll reach even more potential customers!

Why You Need to “Get Personal” with Video Marketing

Are you camera shy? Don’t worry! Your future customers are human beings, too. And in fact, that’s something that you can definitely use to your advantage in video marketing.

You see, your customers would rather see a REAL person who runs the company talking directly to them vs. some slick, over-produced commercial. Plus, you have a lot of knowledge, experience and passion to share. Why keep that to yourself, when you can truly help people in so many positive ways?

Do It Yourself Video Marketing

Don’t worry about professional-grade videos right now. To get started, it’s fine to use your smartphone (it’s better to start with low quality videos than not to start at all!)


At minimum, put your website address in your video, and preferably your name and logo as well. Be sure to take advantage of YouTube’s free built-in video editing capabilities.

Video Length

Try to keep your video less than 30 seconds. For more in depth presentations, keep it less than 3 minutes.

Optimizing your Videos

When you upload your video to YouTube, ensure that you use your target keywords in the title and tags. Also put your website address in the description (many people overlook this tip!). This will increase the odds of your video appearing in YouTube or Google search results.

Sharing your Videos

You can also upload your video to Facebook, and post links to your video on other social networks. Remember to promote them on website and email newsletter, too, and encourage your community and network to share your video

Video Marketing Summary

Video marketing is an easy and inexpensive way to connect with your target market, show them who you are and what you can do, and boost your sales. Why put it off? Grab your smart phone, use these tips, and get started TODAY!

Learn more about Internet Marketing Service.


Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.