The Black Dog runs circles around your small business advertising strategy

In your small business have you developed a following?  Not just a following on your Twitter account but I mean a following of loyal customers who love what you do? The easiest example of what I'm talking about are those little businesses you find at your favorite beach or vacation area. These are those great little mom and pop restaurants, ice cream shops, or doughnut stands. But, this theory of small business advertising that I'll outline can apply to your small business as well. Small Business Advertising the Wrong Way Lets use the example of The Sugar Shak, a little ice cream shop that you and your kids love to visit while at Rosemary … [Read more...]

Be glad Twitter broke up with LinkedIn

You date a girl for all that time, you give her all that great stuff, take her on dates to see those sappy girl movies, and then she dumps you for Steve McStud-o-bicepts because he has the really cool hair that has the swooshie thing at the front.  Well that's the situation with Twitter giving the old heave-ho to LinkedIn this week.  What does this mean to you as a small business owner?  In the past, if you created a Twitter post thingey (called a tweet), you could add "#li" in your tweet and that little code gizmo told Twitter to also post your tweet as an update to your LinkedIn profile.  This was looked at as a time saving measure whereby … [Read more...]

5 steps to create your first Pinterest board

Are you a simpleton?  Do you read a lot of "Dummies Guide to...." books?  If so, you've come to the right place.  So, your wife told you to "set up a Pinterest board to help drive traffic" to your small business (eg- restaurant, fishing supply store, online junk seller, used tire salesman, ficus tree repair shop, or whatever).  But you don't know what Pinterest is, why your wife is on such a rant about it, or how your business could use Pinterest.  And after all you'd rather be applying suntan lotion whilst sipping iced cafe-o-laite.  And anyway, even if you knew how to set up a Pinterest account, you wouldn't know what to do with it. Let's … [Read more...]

The boring-business guide to using Pinterest to drive traffic

If your business is as boring as watching paint dry on a painting depicting grass growing in a drought, then you need to read this articleIs your business as boring as paint drying?I'm still not surprised that a business owner isn't yet familiar with Pinterest.  What is Pinterest?  It's the #3 social network in the world, that's what it is!  It's the underdog.  It's the Cinderella story.  It's the bronze medal winner at the Olympics.  It's the (something else that I can't think of right now).  Anyway, the thing that makes it different from the Facebook and Google+'s of the world is that Pinterest is a visual social network.  It is based … [Read more...]

Imagine your small business if you had a blog that didn’t suck – 8 tips to avoid oblivion

Elaine needs your helpYou own a small business, and business is down, revenue is down, profit is down, cash bribes under the table are down..... And what's that I hear you saying?,  "Oh, it's the economy, that's the problem".  Yeah, yeah. Cry me a river. Listen, if  your business is off, then you need to write a blog.  And not a blog like your current blog, but a serious blog that actually elevates you into the position of being looked at as an expert in your field. A person that people turn to when they have questions. A person willing to help by providing expert advice in your field. And no one is more adept at providing that type of advice … [Read more...]

5 easy steps to build your small business using LinkedIn

Pizza box math humor Search engines love LinkedIn, just not necessarily YOUR page If you run a pizza joint that gets most of it's business from passers-by on the corner of 8th & University Place in Greenwich Village, NY (no, there's not really one there, I already checked so stop looking), then your business might not need LinkedIn. But the rest of us, that are made or broken by the connections we make with business people, do need it. Many business people have a presence on LinkedIn but they aren't really maximizing it.  There are several hidden things that will make your time spent on this great social network well worth … [Read more...]

Why arsonists wish they had a Google+ business page

OK, lets say you're an arsonist, hell-bent on angst, and thinking it would be cheaper to burn stuff down if you would go to the neighborhood Costco store and buy napalm in volume.  Then, the more you think about it, this whole "sneak in and burn down buildings for no reason" is actually a lot of hard work.  I mean, it's hot in there, and you got burned that one time.  It was a big owee.  Then it dawns on you....instead of doing all this hard work yourself, why not sell napalm to other arsonists and have them do the work for you!  You could buy a pallet of napalm at Costco, and then open an online business selling it!  "But wait, who would … [Read more...]

3 Steps to Newsjack your small business that Would Make Gordon Ramsay Jealous

Newsjacking!  Chef Gordon Ramsay might be angry, but he actually wants your restaurant to succeed.  What the heck is newsjacking and how can I grow my restaurant (or any small business) using it?  Well, it's like Joe Cocker said, "I try with a little help from my friends...."  I'm not sure why I need a Joe Cocker reference in here. Anyway, in this case, you'll use your "friends" in the media business.  You don't have any?  Well we'll borrow them.  Newsjacking is a simple concept.  When a big news story breaks that relates to or affects your industry, you write a blog article that relates to, or incorporates that news story.  Newsjacking a … [Read more...]