Small Business Website Tips

You’re probably here because you heard that you need a small business website. And you’re like, OK, great. But what does that mean? Here’s a quick look at seven key pieces of information to include on your website.

Small Business Website Tips

Small Business Website Tips

No matter how small your business is, a website is par for the course these days. It’s the one place where you have complete control over your message and branding. Your website is the hub for your marketing strategy. Another amazing benefit? It’s open 24/7, allowing you to generate leads while you sleep. In order for your website to do its job well, there are a few key elements to include on your small business website.

1. Simple Website Name

When it comes to your small business website URL, keep it simple. You want visitors to by able to type your domain name from memory as well as tell their network about it. Don’t be clever and avoid made-up words, dashes and numbers. This is confusing for people and it also causes SEO problems. And whenever possible, use the dot com domain, as this is the one people are used to typing.

2. About Page

When a prospect or potential customer is browsing one of the first things they’ll do is look for your business profile in order to see what your business is about. You want them to learn about you! Make this page accessible and the content compelling. This is another opportunity to build trust. If you’re stuck on what to write, here are some great tips for an about us page. And if you need more evidence, here’s a case study where we tweaked the content of an about page, which resulted in transforming a small business.

This page could also be called something similar like bio, the company, meet your expert, experience, who I am, my story, profile, etc. I’ve called my about page “Why Me.”

3. Relevant Contact Information

No matter what type of business you run, you should include a way for people to contact you. Think about how you want customers to get in touch with you and list those methods on your website. Make it easy. When you seem like a real person online it builds trust and community.

4. Links To Social Platforms

Give your prospects and loyal customers a way to connect with you socially. You don’t need to list EVERY platform you’re on, but try and link to the ones where you’re the most active. Social media offers a great opportunity for your business to stay top-of-mind in an organic way. Just make sure you’re posting valuable content consistently.

5. High-Quality Articles

Nothing allows your sparkling personality to come through like a blog. Oh wait you don’t want a blog. OK how about thought-leadership articles? Can you post some of those? I don’t know what it is about the medium, but it WORKS! It both drives traffic to your site plus gives people a reason to come back to your site, even after they’ve read your about page.

6. Reviews and Recommendations

Reviews, recommendations and endorsements from previous clients and customers matter. I know you know this. If you’re browsing a site and are wondering if you should hire someone/purchase from someone you check out the reviews. It’s what we do. You can ask for reviews (on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever) from clients as part of your marketing strategy. However, if you’re feeling awkward you can also offer some sort of an incentive to get reviews.

7. Clear Calls To Action

One of the easiest ways to convert visitors into leads is to tell them what you want them to do. This could be encouraging a sale, subscribing to an email list or asking for a review. Whatever the desired action is, make it clear and your ask direct. Some small business websites use buttons saying “Buy Now” or “Sign Up Here,” while others use pop-ups and pop-overs. Test different calls to action to see which ones work best for you.

Bonus tip: By the way, if you’re getting traffic but they’re bouncing without taking action, you can learn more about why this may be happening.

You're probably here because you heard that you need a small business website. And you're like, OK, great. But what does that mean? Here's a quick look at seven key pieces of information to include on your website.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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How to Set Up Your Google Maps Location

Here’s how to set up your Google Maps location and take control over your search results!

How to set up your Google Maps Location

How to Set Up Your Google Maps Location

Have you ever Googled yourself?

Google yourself.

Are you happy with what you see? Are you surprised? Or are you wondering if there’s a way to add that cool map thingy to the results? Then you’re in the right place. Today we’ll set up your Google Maps location and start taking back control of your Google search results. Thanks to Katt Stearns for walking me through how to set up your Google Maps location—I had no idea!

But first, why would you care about a Google Maps location if you’re a freelance-work-from-home-writer-person-who-works-in-her-pyjamas? Here’s why: Google search results. When you verify your location (and no, you don’t have to display your home address for the world to see) you control your Googleability. Want to show up when someone searches “business writers in Winnipeg”? THIS is how you do it. Or how about “social media consultant Alberta”? Yup, you can show up there too. OK, let’s do this.

What you need to set up your Google Maps Location

  • You need a Gmail account, so if you don’t have one go get one. I’ll wait
  • You need a street address. A real one, somewhere you receive mail. This is because in order to add information into your Google listing they send you a verification code in the mail so yes, you have to do this

What you do to set up your Google Maps Location

  1. Go to google.ca/business (assuming you’re Canadian, adjust the dot ca for your country as needed)
  2. Click “start now”
  3. Fill all in the business information but select “no” to “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location” (we’ll come back to this)
  4. Click “continue”
  5. Add any additional details you feel necessary and select “yes” to “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location” (coming back to this)
  6. Enter the region and radius of your services. Yes you can choose “the world” but if you want to show up in specific location searches or areas this is how you do it so get specific
  7. If you want your address to display in search and on your business location map then also check “I also serve customers at my business address.” If you don’t want your address displayed then leave this unchecked (told you we’d come back to this)
  8. Click “verify now” (top right-hand corner)
  9. Enter your details so Google can mail you a verification post card (see why you need a real address?)
  10. Once you receive your post card (up to 10 days) start back at step one and click “verify.” Here you can enter your five-digit code and get yourself discoverable, listed, and HIRED thanks to Google search

Nice, right?

Have you ever Googled yourself? Google yourself. Here's how to set up your Google Maps Location and take control of your search results!

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One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Simple Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

There are a lot of options when it comes to marketing your small business but these four simple marketing tips are ones you can implement today. I know I sound like a broken record, but you have to keep your marketing machine running. Even though you’re too busy and you hate marketing. Let’s agree to choose one thing from this list and implement it today. Deal?

Simple marketing tips for small businesses

Simple Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

To make the most out of digital marketing and branding opportunities, you don’t need to crack the social media algorithm. Here are some simple marketing tips that require far less effort and deliver better results. Do I have your attention? Read on.

Submit directory registrations

Registering your business on various directories is an easy way to improve your search results and be discovered. Google and Facebook reviews help too! If you’re business is home-based you may also want to get a business mailing address (from somewhere like https://physicaladdress.com or a local post office box) to avoid putting your home address online.

Discover target keywords

Once you’re clear on who you serve and how you can help them, finding the best keywords to use online will bring more qualified traffic to your website. Start out with SEO tools you can download for free and go from there. Understanding the terms and phrases people use in search helps you better connect with your target audience.

Automate your social media

No one has extra hours to spend on social media. You can and you should automate your social. There are social media packages for small business owners out there that may help. I’ve also outlined my top six social media scheduling tools that I use every day. Trust me, you can still engage authentically even if you don’t live-post every single image on Instagram.

Distribute press releases

I think media releases are amazing and I think they can work to create a real buzz about your brand. However, for this marketing tactic to work you do need to be doing something worth talking about. Brainstorm an angle that would be considered newsworthy and pitch your story to local media outlets. Just keep in mind a business profile isn’t news, it’s advertising. Craft a story where you’re someone doing something interesting for a compelling reason.

Marketing your brand doesn’t have to be complicated. Get your small business online and set yourself up to be discovered on search and social. Then do cool stuff that makes people want to talk about you and make sure they know about it. And if you want some extra help, that’s what I’m here for.

There are a lot of options when it comes to marketing your small business but these four simple marketing tips are ones you can implement today. I know I sound like a broken record, but you have to keep your marketing machine running, even though you're too busy and you hate marketing. Let's agree to choose one thing from this list and implement it today. Deal?

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Setting Social Media Goals: How to Do it and What to Track

Today we’re talking about social media goal setting—how to set social media goals and what to pay attention to.

Setting Social Media Goals

Setting Social Media Goals: How to Do it and What to Track

Here’s the thing. We need social media goals because we need to know our time is worth spending on social media. How can you figure this out? By reaching goals that move your business ahead. How do you reach those goals? First you need to set them.

The first step: When setting social media goals, you need to be realistic

Goal setting. You’re going to need goals. Let’s agree they’re integral to this process. However, while it’s fun dreaming and thinking big, the work of it is figuring out how to reach your goals. The best way to set goals you’ll actually work to achieve is following the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting model. It’s quick, straightforward, and keeps you focused on action. If you’ve taken my free five-day marketing challenge you’ve gone through this process with me and I hope you’re still working towards them! Start with setting S.M.A.R.T. social media goals—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive.

The second step: Audit your current social media efforts

This is important to make sure your goals are based in reality and to ensure your profiles are on brand. You can audit your social media presence in any number of ways but I recommend creating a spreadsheet and collecting the following information.

  • Platform name
  • Whether or not your profile is on brand (Yes or No)
  • Whether or not your password is saved in a central place (like a password safe; Yes or No)
  • How many friends/followers your profile has
  • What your target/ideal number of friends/followers is

This is a simple document but it helps you stay organized. I also recommend looking at your follower number versus your follower goals and measuring them against the S.M.A.R.T. goals system. Are they achievable and relevant? Will they help you reach your social media goals? If not, adjust them as necessary. Need more? Here are five tips for optimizing your social media profiles.

As part of your audit also look through your posts from the past couple weeks. Ask if your posts are on brand, interesting to your ideal customer/reader, and personable. If not, there are a few more social media goals to add to your list.

The third step: Create a social media strategy

You knew I’d go there

You know what you want, you know where you’re going, now you need to figure out how you’re getting there. That’s all a strategy is. It’s a plan to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Don’t freak out! It’s not hard and it’s not restrictive. Having a strategy breaks down these huge, intimidating goals and makes them reachable. Go for it!

And don’t worry if you’re lost, I’ve done the heavy lifting—here’s how to create a social media strategy in five steps. You’re welcome.

The fourth step: Measure your impact by paying attention to the right metrics

When you’re setting social media goals it is easy to become obsessed with metrics and check them five times a day (or more). But this is not good for your mental health. You can’t ignore metrics but you also don’t need to focus on them every day. Check your metrics every week, month, quarter, or whenever makes sense to you and pay attention to the ones that will move the needle towards your social media goals. I can’t tell you the exact metrics you should watch but I will caution against vanity metrics that make you feel good but don’t mean anything. Once you start measuring you’ll understand what I mean.

Here are some suggestions of metrics to watch (also known as key performance indicators).

  • Follower growth
  • Frequency (how much are you posting?)
  • Content type (what are you posting?)
  • Engagement/Reach
  • Link clicks
  • Social media referrals (on your website)
  • Email signups

Setting social media goals helps you control how much time you spend on social media and keeps you focused on why you’re there. It can help you get to know your audience better, determine the type of content you produce, and see what’s working. By setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, doing a social media audit, creating a social media strategy, and measuring your platform growth you will find building your brand on social media not only makes sense but is fun and worth your valuable time.

Do you have more tips for setting social media goals? Please share!

We need social media goals because we need to know our time is worth spending on social media. How can you figure this out? How do you reach your goals?

Extra Credit: 9 Social Media Goals You Can Set for Your Business (and How to Track Them). A helpful article from Buffer.


One more thing. If you’ve got these tasks down you may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Rock Your Marketing (Even if You’re too Busy for Marketing)

What if you could rock your marketing while you’re busy so you stop having dry spells? (Spoiler: You can, and I’ll tell you how.)

Rock Your Marketing

Freelance writers are business owners, busy business owners. We’re so busy, we lack the time to work on our business because we’re always working in it for our clients.

Blogs, social media posts, and marketing in general fall by the wayside in favour of the now money. But what about later? Do you go back to hustling when the gigs dry up? Do you stockpile your rainy day fund in case there’s no work for a while?

Before I get into how to rock your marketing, I have a little story for you.

I’m part of a bi-monthly marketing challenge in one of my professional networking groups and the most interesting parts of the challenge is how many people “sit this one out” citing they have a full client load so they don’t need marketing.

What? You’re too busy for marketing!?

This is difficult to hear. Because this tells me you’re not thinking about the long game, you’re focusing on the here and now. Don’t get me wrong, you should. But the present can’t be your sole focus on.

Here’s what no marketing plan gets you:

  • Scattered, inconsistent presentation in front of potential clients
  • Random posts and self-promotions on social media
  • Irregular networking (in person, virtual networking groups, bi-monthly marketing challenges…)
  • Unfamiliarity with competitors’ strategies

Oh, and no new clients. Unless you’re so busy month after month that you’re turning away new clients, you need marketing. Even when you’re too busy for marketing.

So, how do I rock my marketing even if I’m too busy for marketing?

I’m glad you asked. Since we’re at the beginning stages of this conversation I’m not going to ask you to do new things…yet. Right now let’s focus on what you’re already doing and sprinkle in some focused marketing. Getting it going is the first step.

Rock your marketing with these three tips

First, think about the content you put out on social media right now

Be honest. When you post something on social media, what is it about? Personal? Photos of your weekend? Political memes? Food? Is anything you post related to your business or how you serve your clients?

If you’re going to rock your marketing, I challenge you to consider your social media platforms places where you can attract new clients and brand yourself rather than something separate. Who is your ideal client? How can you help him/her today? How can what you post be useful in moving him/her ahead? Even better, how can you inspire someone?

Need help? Here’s your five-step social media strategy for freelance writers.

Second, carve out time to connect with your ideal clients or colleagues

And no, this does not mean sending out cold pitches by email. CONNECT!

Remember, I’m not asking you to do anything new…yet. So who are the people you speak to every day? Do you pass them on the street? In a store? In a restaurant? Look them in the eye and make a connection. Start with hi, hello, how are you. One or all of those will do. Next? Have a conversation. It doesn’t need to be deep or time-consuming, but make sure you mention something about how what you’re working on lights you up and you love your job. Make a connection, then continue on with what you were doing.

But what if you don’t go out because you’re chained to your computer desk all day? How about a nice email to a contact? A check in, a hey how’s your business going? Is there anything I can help you with today? Or how about an old client, why not send a nice note and see if there’s a project you can help out with. If not, no biggie. But you tried. You reached out. You connected.

Third, you don’t need to post new content every day

Hear me: you need to post content, but it doesn’t have to be new. Whoa.

This was a huge mental shift for me. When I let go of the idea that every blog post was a slam dunk and lived on in my readers’ minds I was free to re-use them as appropriate. (By the way, I wrote about my favourite tools to re-share content here.) I combed through my archives and pulled the articles I thought my idea clients would enjoy. Then I plugged them into a content library, created a schedule and let them go. I’m still amazed at the freedom I feel setting up this small automation. Because I can accept that not everyone will see my LIFE-CHANGING articles and freelance writing tips the moment I write them I’m free to keep sharing them on various platforms. All it takes is this careful balance of humility and pride.


See? That wasn’t so bad. Don’t you feel ready to rock your marketing? These three itty bitty marketing tweaks can help you ROCK your marketing! Visualize how stress-free your freelance marketing game could be. Dream big, my friend.

Now, a word of caution.

You can go down the marketing rabbit trail and end up overwhelmed and not sure which shiny object to focus on. Because there is always more you can do. All we’re talking about today is not doing nothing. Don’t do nothing.

Keep putting yourself out there, even if you’re busy and have a full client roster. Continue networking, keep posting relevant, helpful content on social media, and putting your work out there even if you haven’t created anything new in a while. Keep going!

What if you could rock your marketing while you're busy so you stop having dry spells? (Spoiler: You can, and I'll tell you how.)

One more thing. If you’ve got these three daily tasks down you may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required

Extra credit: How to Weather Cash Flow Problems. Helpful advice from Ed Gandia.