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Giving a Business a Review or Testimonial Online

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BUSINESS REVIEWS

Did you have a great experience with a business you hired recently or one you do business with regularly?

Have you thought about giving them a review?

By doing so it will help that business with their ranking when it comes to search engines. Especially if that business owner acknowledges the review you gave them!  Most importantly, it will give potential consumers an idea of what it is like to do business with that company. Most consumers will search out a company and read the reviews of a business when making a buying decision. Give your favourite businesses a review on one of their:

1. Google My Business Page
2. Local Business Directory Page
3. Facebook Business Page
4. LinkedIn Business Page
5. Business Website (if they have that available)

So go ahead, take a couple of minutes and give your favourite business a review!

April 5, 2016 |

The Birth of Swirleez Frozen Yogurt Inc

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swirleez_logo_colour_lowres

The birth of Swirleez began while on a family trip in Myrtle Beach in March 2013. After a fun game of mini-putting, our family felt like having an ice cream. Around the corner from us was a quaint, bistro-style shop called The Barking Fish Yogurt Company. We were happily greeted by the middle-aged female owner who explained this new concept to us, spoke of all the health benefits of her yogurt and showed us how to help ourselves to the yogurt machines and toppings. We were hooked! I fell in love with the ability to create your own treat from choosing what flavours of frozen yogurt to dispense into your bowl to the variety of toppings to top it off. I was like a kid in a candy store!

Would the people of Barrie embrace something like this?

Being entrepreneurs, my husband and mine “wheels” started turning as we indulged in our frozen treats on the bistro patio. “Would the people of Barrie embrace something like this?” we asked ourselves. “Would frozen yogurt survive in the North where its cold 5-6 months of the year?” We thought yes! So that family trip started an endeavour that eventually became Swirleez.

Research, Research & Research

Upon returning home, we researched ad nauseum all aspects of the frozen yogurt industry from design, franchises, suppliers, locations, names, and colour schemes to accessory product items and equipment. We chose to build our own independent store rather than purchase a franchise because we wanted the flexibility and creativity to bring in our own product line and decor ideas. We wanted to offer more than just delicious tasting frozen yogurt. From the beginning, we have offered home-made crepes and waffles – warm, comfort food that could be accompanied with a scoop of our yogurt, fresh fruit and paired with a cup of our freshly-brewed coffee or loose leaf tea. All of our products and supplies (other than our printed custom yogurt bowls) are sourced locally here in Ontario with many right here in Barrie.

Listening & Responding to our Customers

Being independently-owned also allows us to respond more readily to customers’ needs. Upon several requests to host birthday parties, which was not in the original business plan, we rented additional space behind Swirleez that serves as our fun Party Room and meeting space for up to 20 people. Our birthday parties are a hit with both kids and parents alike! We have trained party coordinators that lead the children through a variety of fun, yogurt-related games and activities as well as teach them how we make a batch of yogurt in our Yogurt Factory. And of course, they get to enjoy a bowl of yogurt of their own choosing.

We have brought in various toppings and yogurt flavours based on customer demand because we care about our customers, we listen to our customers, and we want everyone to have a very positive experience at Swirleez.

Your Happy Place

From our first explosive weekend when we opened on May 8th, 2014 to winning the New Business Award seven months later, we strive to continually “WOW” our customers with our delicious products, cool chic decor, and unsurpassed customer service. After hearing over and over from our customers how happy and cheery they felt when at Swirleez, we actually changed our tagline to “Your Happy Place” because that’s what we are.

To learn more about Swirleez we invite you to explore our website, or stop by at 89 Dunlop Street, Unit 101, Barrie Ontario L4M 1A7.

April 5, 2016 |

Making STINKY Websites Smell Like ROSES | Shane Serra

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Shane Serra

I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you. Your website probably stinks. Yes, I’m sure that it is full of wonderful, flashy content and looks great, but does it actually drive visitors to call, email, or buy from you?

If your answer is “no” or (more likely) “uhhhh, maybe?”, then this week’s article is for you. Heck, even if you think that your website is great (trust me, it likely isn’t), you need to keep reading!

Welcome back to Mr. Bob’s Marketing Masterminds blog!

This week, I’m profiling a local entrepreneur whom I’ve identified as the “Best of the Best” in Digital Sales Marketing, Mr. Shane Serra of WSI Optimized eSolutions. Shane is passionate about converting websites from underperforming “online brochures” to dynamic tools that engage your visitors through a strategically designed sales funnel.

shaneserra-googleIn addition to running WSI Barrie office, Shane teaches Social Media & Web Management at Georgian College’s School of Business, is a co-founder of the popular Small Business Connect Barrie networking group, and a frequent guest speaker on sales, marketing, and technology at Marketing Masterminds meetings.

I recently sat down with Shane to ask him a few questions about Digital Sales Marketing.

1) Shane – You’re a pretty high energy guy. What makes you so passionate about Digital Sales Marketing?

I love building successful marketing strategies! I have a true passion for helping companies spend less and make more. Digital Marketing makes this easier and effective. I bought a WSI franchise over 8 years ago because I understood to be a player in this game it is not all about what I know, it is who I know. WSI have over 1200 office in 80 countries. We have built 1000’s of websites and marketing strategies. We have more web awards than any other company.

2) What are the biggest mistakes that companies make with their websites?

Websites generally fail when they make visitors hunt for content, instead of having it front and centre. Keep in mind that 40% of all web activity now occurs on mobile devices – today’s visitors are not just visiting your website from a desktop, but from tablets and smart phones as well. Companies need to understand that customer needs change based on what type of device they are using – your website content needs to be customized to offer the best experience to all visitors without ever losing sight of your sales goals.

3) Why is it important for a company website to have a sales funnel?

Websites started as online brochures – really just simple extensions of your marketing materials – but effective web strategies have evolved to reflect more web-savvy, but less patient, audiences. A website needs to talk to the visitor’s needs and wants, offering content that engages the audience in a deeper virtual relationship where they feel the need to call, email or buy from you. This engagement process is what I like to call a sales funnel or click funnel.

A highly tuned sales funnel will connect with your prospect emotional need -> show the dream or desired outcome -> show how you can help, plus have helped solve this for others -> ask the closing questions.

4) Should small businesses include geo targeting in their digital marketing efforts?

Websites need traffic, like a store needs walk-ins. There’s an old saying, though, that “Traffic costs you money, targeted traffic makes you money”. In other words, not all traffic is the same. To help get targeted traffic it is important to build targeted traffic to a city or area. When adding your City or geo-location you can get a more targeted, relevant website visitor and increase your standing in the local search rankings. I also strongly recommend making sure that your company’s location is properly listed on the big search map sites like Google, and listed in local directories such as MarketingMasterminds.ca.

5) Why should a business look for when hiring someone to build or revamp their website

Don’t get distracted by bells and whistles. Your decision should not be based on who offers flashy animations or loads of fancy graphics. When choosing a design company, I would look for a company that understands your business and understands your customers.

Standing out is important, but having clients surf your website going upstream is difficult, controlling or aiding the flow is much more productive and effective!

6) One last question. You’re a very active member of the Marketing Masterminds community. What do you think is the most valuable part of the program?

Mr. Bob, I’ve been a fan of your’s for years – your commitment and drive is inspiring. Marketing Masterminds offers a unique perspective where it is not just about Mr. Bob or an individual member, but rather a group of highly intelligent businesses owners collaborating, sharing feedback, and generating fresh ideas. I have seen unbelievable results for so many members of the group, including myself. I highly recommend joining Marketing Masterminds!

Thank you, Shane and congratulations on being named one of Marketing Masterminds Best of the Best!

That’s all for this week’s blog. Check back here weekly, as I’ll be writing more about my incredible Marketing Masterminds program, profiling local entrepreneurs whom I’ve identified as “The Best of the Best”, and sharing marketing advice that will power your business to new levels of success.

If you’re interested in learning more about Marketing Masterminds, give me a call at 705-721-0727 or e-mail marketinginbarrie@gmail.com

Robert “Mr. Bob” Cassels is the founder of www.marketingmasterminds.ca. Marketing Masterminds provides online and in-person resources for entrepreneurs looking to launch, grow, or promote their businesses.

March 30, 2016 |

Content Marketing: 7 Key Elements to Writing a Guest Blog Post

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A blog post can help a number of elements in your business marketing, from branding, connecting and add that extra SEO value for your website rankings.  Content marketing is a strong element in a number of local small businesses looking to establish a competitive advantage.  By following the 7 key elements to writing a blog post,  you can take the first step on your first blog posts.

1. Effective Blog Title

You blog post needs an effective title that will stop your idea reader to take notice.  There is a lot of buzz around “keywords” in your title too.  My best suggestion is a title that is focused first on client needs to engage and read.  Second, a possible search phrases clients may search in google search.

2. Adding an Image

Consider using a good image that helps gain the attention by your reader.  Images are generally noticed before any title and offer a first impression.  Also when your post is shared socially images in the post can be utilized and shown in the social channel.

3. Write to your Client

When writing a post I would suggest writing to your ideal reader / client.  Third party can look fishy, however consistency is important.  When I read a post if it switches from first person to third person I find it very confusing.

4. Engaging Introductory Paragraph

When your blog post is shared, or shown in a list of other blog posts there is a short description, also know as “snippet”. This can be also the first paragraph in your post.  This paragraph should tell the reader what your post is about. The goal is to gain the interest to read your full post.

5. The Body: Telling Your Story

The body is consider the main content of your blog post.  Generally the second paragraph, following the first introductory paragraph.  I would suggest the body to include subheadings, bold  relevant text, and consider using bullets too.  Paragraphs should be short, 3-4 lines.  If the paragraphs are too large they may look bulky.

6. Conclusion Paragraph / Call to Action

The final paragraph is an overview of your point from your post.  I would suggest including your goal or call to action.  For example goals may include:

  1. Link to your products / services / website
  2. You contact details
  3. Invitation to share or comment

7. SEO Value

We all want search engines to rank our websites or even our blog posts into search for the added exposure of targeting the right customers. By utilizing third party websites, you can harness their traffic and exposure, as well create a “back-link” to your website. Back-links that come from relevant websites, and niche categories offer a strong “authoritative” link.  Search engines want quality back-links that offer unique and quality content. The higher your website authority the higher you may rank in search results.

Be a Guest Blogger in Marketing Masterminds

I hope this post will help you take the next step building an effective content marketing strategy, and write a blog post today. We invite you to write a blog post on Marketing Masterminds. We are looking for blog posts our visitors will find helpful and inspiring. We would ask no advertisements or sales posts. Posts that can help, inspire, offer motivation.

Register and write a post today.

About the author:  Shane Serra is a Digital Marketing Strategist, who helps local small businesses build websites and marketing strategies to attract clients with site, search and social marketing strategies.  Learn more today at www.wsioptimizedesolutions.com.

March 4, 2016 |

Introducing…Mr. Bob and the Marketing Masterminds!

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New logo Mastermind

Welcome to my very first Marketing Masterminds blog post!  Check back here weekly, as I’ll be writing about my incredible Marketing Masterminds program, profiling local entrepreneurs whom I’ve identified as “The Best of the Best”, and sharing marketing advice that will power your business to new levels of success.

I had many topics to choose from for my Blogging Debut but, since today marks the launch of our newly redesigned Marketing Masterminds website (Thanks, Shane!), I figured it was a perfect time to tell you a little more about myself and our amazing Marketing Masterminds program.

Who is Mr. Bob?

My driver’s licence might read “Robert Cassels”, but business owners and entrepreneurs across the country know me simply as “Mr. Bob”!

As one of Canada’s top Networking & Marketing experts, I’m driven by the belief that “Who you are speaks loudly”.

So who am I? I am a serial networker who has rejuvenated businesses, revitalized Chambers of Commerce, and reinvigorated non-profits.  Before starting Marketing Masterminds, I spent 15 successful years as Assistant Director for Business Networking International, opening an incredible 15 new BNI Chapters during that time.  I’m a distinguished member of Toastmasters DTM and a M.C.Inst.M Accredited past Member of Canadian Institute Of Marketing.

I’m the founder The Cassels Corporation and creator of such successful programs as “Buy Bob Lunch Program”, “Word of Mouth Marketing Your Business on a Shoe String”, the “No-Cold-Calls Sales System”, the “Customer Relationship Marketing System”, and the “Cassels Corporation Interactive Customized Brochure.”

I live and breath marketing by connecting and promoting entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners. I have successfully developed a broad range of programs that get Results and Referrals.  I am also the leader of the Marketing Masterminds!

Who are the Marketing Masterminds?

Marketing Masterminds is a local think tank made up of business owners sharing their experiences, collaborating strategies, exploring ideas and brainstorming together.  We work together online, in one-on-one meetings, and in weekly group strategy sessions.  Our members come from all business sectors including retail, business-to-business, professionals, hospitality, manufacturing and the trades.  Collectively, we represent the best that local business has to offer.  Over the coming weeks, I’ll share some exclusive Marketing Masterminds strategy for business success along with profiles of members who I’ve personally identified as “The Best of the Best”.

That’s all for this week’s blog.  If you’re interested in learning more about Marketing Masterminds, give me a call at 705-721-0727 or e-mail marketinginbarrie@gmail.com.

Robert “Mr. Bob” Cassels is the founder of www.marketingmasterminds.ca. Marketing Masterminds provides online and in-person resources for entrepreneurs looking to launch, grow, or promote their businesses.

March 4, 2016 |
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