8 Business Books to Add to Your Holiday Gift List

holiday gift ideasStill looking for that last-minute holiday gift? Here are some of my favorite business books that would make a worthy present for your favorite small business owner or entrepreneur. The selections offer marketing advice, and tips on how to grow your business, make it profitable, and become financially successful.

I’ve read each one of these books, and can attest to their value. If you have any other suggestions, please add them in the comments below! Happy Holidays!

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Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Small Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

small business social media
Does your head swim when you think about social media marketing? If you’re a small business owner, and in particular, a solopreneur, I suspect it does. There are so many social networking sites available: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube, and don’t forget about Vine! How can you be expected to maintain a presence on these sites and still run your business?

The short answer is, you can’t. Not well anyway! When I work with clients, I recommend that they focus on one social network first and master that one before starting a presence on another site. But not every business is suited for every social networking site.

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Top 5 Twitter Management Tools

Twitter management tools Ever wonder why small business owners and entrepreneurs join Twitter, only to stop tweeting? My guess is that one reason they give up is because they lack the necessary tools to manage their presence. If you’re in that same boat, and are thinking about jumping ship, I’ve got a life preserver for you – in the form of some handy Twitter management tools.

ManageFlitter – This is one of my favorite tools for identifying and removing fake Twitter accounts. When you log in with your Twitter id, ManageFlitter evaluates your followers and allows you to see who’s not following you back, which accounts don’t have a profile image (potential spam account), and inactive accounts, among others. You then have the option of unfollowing fake accounts, or other accounts that don’t add any value to your Twitter experience. The basic service is free, but you can pay extra for analytics.

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How to Increase Google+ Engagement [INFOGRAPHIC]

Does your business have a Google+ presence? If not, you may want to start one. Since it’s getting near impossible to reach Facebook fans without paying for ads, Google+ presents an opportunity for businesses to actively engage their target audience.

According to Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2014, Google+ is the social network marketers want to learn most about. 54% of marketers currently use Google+, 65% want to learn more about it and 61% are preparing to increase their activities on the site this year.

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How to Use Twitter to Get Media Attention for Your Business

Twitter Media AttentionWould you like to get media attention for your business? You can subscribe to Help a Reporter and respond to reporter queries. But you may be competing against tens if not hundreds of responses, depending on the nature of the request.

There is a way to be more proactive about getting media attention… with Twitter.

Here’s how it works:

Since it’s pretty tough to get national media exposure, start with your local market first. Most local TV stations have a morning show that needs guests. You could be that guest! Don’t neglect print journalists either, such as for your local newspaper or business magazine. Before you call and make your pitch, though, you’ve got to do your homework. That’s where Twitter comes into play.

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Manage Your Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day [INFOGRAPHIC]

Are you struggilng to manage your social media? If you own a small business with only 1 or 2 employees or you’re a solopreneur, I know how tough it can be to manage all the social networking accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. This is one of the areas I concentrate on when I work with clients.
There are only so many hours in the day to get work done. You need to have a life outside of your company! I was thrilled to come across this terrific infographic from Pardot that gives you a schedule to manage your social media in just 30 minutes a day!

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How You Can Build a Social Media Marketing Funnel [INFOGRAPHIC]

social media marketing sales funnel Are you frustrated that the time you spend on social media marketing isn’t generating the leads you wanted? One reason you may be having trouble is that you haven’t built a social media marketing funnel to turn your existing customers into your greatest advocates and sales people. As Quicksprout shows in an excellent infographic below, the key is to turn the traditional marketing funnel on its head.

Here are some fascinating stats that Quicksprout compiled:

    92% of consumers trust word of mouth above all advertising
    70% chose online customer reviews as the second most trusted source
    68% of consumers are more likely to buy if they hear about a product on Twitter or via email

See the full infographic here:

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The 30 Minute Plan for Getting More Clients

getting more clients Small business owners and solopreneurs in particular, rarely have a moment to spare in their workday. But if getting more clients is a priority for you – and it certainly should be if you want to grow your business, you have to make time for marketing. But just how much time is the big question.

How does 30 minutes a day grab you?

Here is a formula you can follow Monday through Friday that is almost guaranteed to get you more business. (Notice I said, “almost.”) Sorry to disappoint you, but I cannot guarantee that you’ll get more clients. I can only guarantee that if you follow this strategy, you’re bound to be more successful than you are right now.

It doesn’t matter what time of day you set aside 30 minutes for marketing. Ideally, it should be at the start of your day. That way, once you’re finished, you can relax and get on with the rest of your tasks. But if you’d rather set aside 30 minutes at the end your workday, that’s fine too. The key to success is to be consistent. Experts say it takes 30 days to establish a habit. This 30 minute marketing plan should become a habit if you want to get the most benefit from it. 

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Top 7 Online Marketing Tools for Small Business

Top Online Marketing ToolsI have been using a few new online marketing tools lately that have really made a big difference in my business, so I thought this would be a good time to share them with you, along with a few other oldies but goodies!

Here are my current favorite online marketing tools, in no particular order:

1. Quozio – OMG! Where has this app been all my business life? Have you ever pinned an image containing a motivational quote to a Pinterest board, or shared one on Facebook? If you’d like to create images like this yourself, Quozio is the tool for you. They provide a bookmarklet, so anytime you see a great quote online, you click the Quozio link on your toolbar, type in the quote and who said it, and then you have your choice of about two dozen backgrounds with different font styles. You can then pin the image to Pinterest, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Facebook. You can also email it or save it to your desktop. Easy-peasie!

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Gloria Rand’s 25 Best Marketing Tips

25 Days 400_edited-1During the month of December, I’ve been sharing marketing tips each day on my Facebook page. If you’ve missed them, here’s your chance to read them all in one place:

Tip #1: Facebook & email — plan ahead. Create a content calendar and provide content your customers really care about. Try focusing on some popular U.S. shopping days, such as Cyber Monday (Dec. 2nd), Green Monday (Dec. 9th) and Free Shipping Day (Dec. 18th). For further info, go to http://gloriarand.com/facebook-email-holiday-sales/

Tip #2: Video marketing — make your first impression count. The new YouTube channel layout allows you to feature a trailer that plays only when non-subscribed viewers land on your channel, encouraging them to subscribe. Take advantage of this prime real estate! For further info, go to http://gloriarand.com/youtube-one-channel/

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