Local SEO Strategies That Grow Your Business Fast

Local SEO Strategies

Growing a business in pandemic times has been nothing but an easy task. With limited resources, every step that a business owner takes must be strategically calculated. Gone are the days when businesses have the luxury to invest in marketing tactics that don’t bring quick results. 

Are you up to crafting a quick-win marketing strategy? Then you’ll certainly want to add Local SEO to the mix and we’re here to tell you why! 

What is Local SEO For Dummies

Online marketing and advertising are nothing new, as millions of people use the Internet for business every day. Not every store or business is online as ecommerce is not universal, but every business should use online marketing to maximize available modern tools. 

Part of online marketing is SEO or search engine optimization, and there are different focuses within SEO. One vital part of SEO is local SEO. Local SEO focuses on optimizing your website, including content, link building, and on-page optimizations targeted for local viewers, so your website ranks higher in local searches. 

Let’s say you own a beauty salon and you want to drive new customers. How do you think your future customers find a hair salon? They will probably search for “hair salon near me”, “best hair salon in Austin”, “hair salon specialized in highlights near me”. A winning SEO strategy will position your hair salon at the top of their options. Wouldn’t it be cool if those who are ready to book their hair appointment could find your amazing hair salon before they see your competitor? Of course you’re saying yes (we can read your mind).

Who needs local SEO?

Local SEO might not be a top priority for businesses that serve a large area or cover an entire country as everywhere is local to large companies. However, local SEO is critical for businesses that serve a focused area such as a certain city or state. 

When you use local SEO correctly, customers can easily find your store information rather than searching through layers of search results. Google has amazing features that allow your potential customers to engage with your business, before they even call you. They could take a tour, read reviews, watch videos, and before and after pictures.  Those actions are called “consideration steps”.  So, a winning SEO should get you more clicks, but even better, more revenue. 

Local SEO might be yet another thing you must improve, but it is well worth the effort for businesses that rely on community. 

How Do You Check Your Local SEO Rankings?

  1. Start with the Google Search Console tool. If you haven’t created an account yet, create an account on Google Search Console.
  2. Your local SEO rankings are on your Google Search Console. To see which keywords are bringing traffic to your website, explore the performance menu on your Google Search Console.
  3. Filter your results, starting with “near me” . This will show you the queries (which are also keywords), impressions, and clicks. Export the report so you can save that data.
  4. Identify the keywords that are bringing the most impressions and clicks.
  5. Run a Google Search (using incognito mode) using the exact keywords, for example: “botox near me”. This will display what your future customers are seeing, when they search.

A Pro Tip: Filter your performance report by mobile search so you can explore your data from mobile searches as well. Google doesn’t always show the same results for mobile searches.

How To Find Your Local SEO Keywords

Your Google Search Console is a great place to start. Also, if you have Google My Business, you will be able to see which terms are delivering visits to your listing.

From your Google My Business- go to Insights – New profile performance

Google will show you searches that triggered your Business Profile.

Grow With Local SEO

Your Google ranking will influence users when they are considering doing business with you.

Your friends might appreciate you. However, if they need a service, they will do business with companies that they can trust. That’s why Google reviews exist.

Local SEO is considered as the digital word of mouth. If Google doesn’t talk about your business, your future clients won’t know that it exist.

Many people will search for businesses near them, whether that be lawyers near me, sporting stores in a specific city, or any other location-based search, and you want your business to come up in those results.  

What Improves Your Local SEO?

A strong local SEO strategy focuses in maximizing the following:

  1. Business listings
  2. Images
  3. Videos
  4. Reviews
  5. Social media
  6. Website
  7. Google My Business

Unlike many SEO providers will tell you, local SEO isn’t about keywords.

Local SEO requires a multidisciplinary set of online marketing skills, performed with one simple goal: getting you conversions.

Your Local SEO is based on your current rankings, as that will dictate the opportunities that you have. For this reason, a strategy is personalized.

What is a black hat SEO technique?

Black hat SEO techniques are considered spam by Google and they will get you penalized. For this reason, you must ask your Local SEO service provider if they will be using any of those practices. In particular, ask if any of their clients have gotten flagged by Google. If the answer is yes, stay away.

Does black hat SEO work?

Black hat SEO still goes on, it still works (for a short time), is still successful at zooming a website up search engine rankings, and still makes some people of lot of money.

The keyword here is: short time.

You certainly want to grow a business with a long term approach in mind.

Local Vs. National SEO

SEO extends across many areas of online marketing, but there are differences between specialties. Local SEO focuses on search results for a particular area, while national SEO aims to make a business rank higher across an entire country or the globe. While both tactics use general SEO practices, national SEO will target more general keywords or phrases rather than area-specific terms you find in local SEO. You can use both local and national SEO elements, but you cannot expect to get local results using nation SEO methods as they target different goals and use different search keywords. 

Google My Business Strategy

Getting a local business listed on Google My Business (GMB) and other online directories is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get a local business to start showing up for local search results on Google. Google My Business connects businesses directly with their customers — whether they’re searching on Google Search or Maps.

Most SEOs who work with local clients consider claiming their GMB listing the first step in their SEO strategy. Surprisingly, 56% of local businesses haven’t claimed their Google My Business listing, according to Local Business Institute.

I know you want to optimize your website and landing pages with SEO, but you might just need to focus on GMB first.

How much does it cost to put your business on Google?

Google My Business is a free tool. However, the strategies and efforts needed to implement those, so you can rank will require time and resources.

Finding a reliable provider for your Local SEO services will be worth every penny.

Local SEO Services

Local SEO also gives new businesses far more of a chance than national SEO as smaller businesses can enjoy their niche market rather than competing against massive corporations with larger budgets. A new business can hit the top ranks with proper local SEO, which gives more small businesses chances to flourish with a broader customer base. Local SEO also helps your business nail down a micro niche to control. Once you find your market corner, you can truly stand out from the crowd by using local SEO to make sure customers know your business in conjunction with your industry. Over time, your business will become synonymous with your niche and industry in your local area, which means your brand’s reputation only grows year after year. 

Businesses that focus on local SEO must focus on more than just local keywords as your content also impacts your local rankings. Do not assume local keywords will carry your business to a good rank and ensure your posted content is relevant to your local customers. There is no point in wasting resources to make globally appealing content if you only target people in the midwest. Use your marketing budget to position your business with strategic content and backlinks to pull even more people into your local content. 

SEO Can Be Tricky, Hire Help If You Need It

For how important SEO is for all businesses, it is still a relatively complex topic that takes time to understand. Most business owners do not open a business with SEO skills in tow, and it can be hard to learn on the fly. And sadly, many SEO guides and teachers explain SEO wrong. They offer keywords and traffic, without providing a clear plan on how to grow the bottom line. Learning the details of SEO is important, but if you want to fully use the tools, you must understand how everything leads to your ultimate goals. It is not enough to fiddle with numbers if you never understand how those numbers feed into your bottom line.

You can implement basic SEO without much effort or training. While basic SEO can get your business going and start the process of lifetime rankings, it will take a more knowledgeable hand to dial in your SEO. Anyone can learn more advanced SEO methods, but you can also call a professional marketer to do the hard work for you. Instead of needing to learn a new disciple, you can cut hundreds of wasted hours of your life and leave the details of SEO and online marketing to a professional agency. You can even find agencies that specialize in local SEO and helping small businesses. If you are stuck on SEO, you can still get all the benefits by calling in professional help. 

Go Further With Our Local Marketing And SEO Services in Austin, Texas

Another fantastic way to pull in local business in tandem with local SEO is to partner with another local business or influencer. If you sell beauty products, it is worth finding an influencer in your city to work together on a campaign. Hometown heroes, favorite local businesses, and other popular businesses can shine a spotlight on your business while creating a positive result for everyone involved. Your industry never operates in a true bubble, so reach out to a hair salon or nail studio to work out a partnership, so everyone gets a boost. Combining all the local SEO tactics will get any business off to a good start, but you should use every method to make your business go further. Anyone can go from beauty product enthusiast to beauty business owner by doing proper research and using the best marketing methods available. 

Got SEO Questions? We got SEO answers! 

We are a boutique firm with a focus on growth metrics for small business owners individually assessing their unique “pain point” and building a solution for that business. We decode your numbers using Forensic Marketing principles to build a strategy unique to your revenue goals.

When you’re ready, request a Forensic Marketing Assessment so you can experience what Marketing for Greatness is about. Click here.

Framework for Strategic Planning 101

Growing a business with unlimited capital is certainly easier than growing a business without it. During times when cash and resources are running their course, reaching your business goals comes down to making assertive decisions. 

If this is your mindset today, you’ve reached a place where you can put your fears to rest and activate your strategic brain to focus on what your business needs today in order to secure a win.

Let’s roll.

The Fascinating Origin Of The Word Strategy 

The word “strategy” is derived from the Greek word “stratçgos”; stratus (meaning army) and “ago” (meaning leading/moving). 

A strategy is a general plan to achieve one or more long-term or overall goals under conditions of uncertainty. 

The term came into use in the 6th century C.E. in East Roman terminology, and was translated into Western vernacular languages only in the 18th century. 

From then until the 20th century, the word “strategy” came to denote “a comprehensive way to try to pursue political ends, including the threat or actual use of force, in a dialectic of wills” in a military conflict, in which both adversaries interact.

Not every decision means going to war. However, in business (and in life too), when we face a critical season, we can’t just close our eyes and go with the flow.

Critical times call for precision. Each move can be a deal-breaker. This is when a strategic plan is needed.

The Initial Assessment: What Are Your Goals?

 Taking emotions out of this equation, navigate the moment when you sat down to write down your goals.

I used to tell my paralegals, back in my other life when I was a litigation attorney, that they should always set up realistic and worst-case scenario goals but to calculate the plan to achieve the best-case scenario. 

Our clients had access to the worst-case, but internally we had the best-case. 

This helped us tremendously to have conversations about expectations from day 1.

According to the best research, less than 3 percent of Americans have written goals, and less than 1 percent review and rewrite their goals on a daily basis. 

Do you have your 2020 goals written? Don’t feel bad if you don’t. 

One of my favorite mentors, real estate expert, and international speaker with Rich Dad and Poor Dad and CEO of The Real Estate Business School in Texas, Wayne Morgan, says that there are three groups of people in the world.

Those who make things happen

Those who watch things happen

And those who ask “what happened?”

When it comes to goal setting AND achievement, there are 3 types of people in the world.

Those who set goals and achieve them. This is the group that MAKES THINGS HAPPEN.

Those who set goals and NEVER achieve them. This is the group that WATCHES THINGS HAPPEN.

Those who never set goals and wander around aimlessly, rudderless and acting randomly, never achieving much at all. This is the group that asks “WHAT HAPPENED?”

GOAL #1 is to stay out of group #3!

Now that you’re in need of a tight and strategic plan, you’ll write down your goals. And if you are thinking about it from a positive perspective, even if you wrote them down before, you would have still needed to do this again!

These questions can help you examine your goals.

  1. What was your revenue goal for 2020?
  2. Which projects did you want to complete in 2020?
  3. How many clients did you forecast for 2020?
  4. What was your marketing budget?
  5. Did you have partnerships lined up for 2020? 
  6. Did you have a plan to reach your 2020 revenue goal?  
  7. As you look back, did you set up unrealistic goals? 

The Dig Deeper Phase: Is This Worth The Fight?

I’m assuming that you’re a leader. You certainly have a vision of how to make things right. You’re not a quitter. 

Let’s dig deeper, which means, let’s put the critical thinking into action.

The greatest military leaders in ancient times, including Julius Caesar, Sun Tzu, Hannibal, Scipio Africanus, Attila the Hun, Gaius Marius, and others, had one important thing in common: they were all superior critical thinkers.

They applied their critical thinking skills of analysis, interpretation, inference, and evaluation to strategic, operational, and tactical problems of all kinds.

The same can be said about the great military minds today.

Effective leadership at every level is as much about thinking as it is about motivating and following through.  Plans must be devised and tested, adaptions made as conditions change, assumptions tested, and contingencies accounted for. To lead anything well is to solve complex ill-structured, real-time, problems and to make sound, informed decisions.

10 Key Questions Leaders Use To Trigger Critical Thinking In The Groups They Lead

  1. How is this situation like prior situations?
  2. How is this situation NOT like prior situations?
  3. What happens if we take this element out of the equation?
  4. What happens if we insert this factor into the equation?
  5. How is the problem changing over time?
  6. How can I adjust and adapt to those changes?
  7. Why are standard approaches consistently failing?
  8. How can I drive the chances to achieve advantage?
  9. Why are my people not seeing the complexity?
  10. Am I missing anything that other leaders are seeing?

If the military theme doesn’t resonate with you, I suggest you take a more soul-based approach. That’s totally fine. Connect with your inner voice to then activate your critical thinking. And of course, you can tune into your intuition as well.

The unmissable question you’ll need to ask is: what is the price that will make this fight worth it for you? 

We’re not here to end this battle with you losing. We just need to rewrite your expectations and set up the goals so we can win. 

The Shift: Setting Up Business Goals To Win

I can tell you from experience, calling the shots, when you’re the only one facing consequences if things go wrong is very easy. What’s not easy is when you are the one calling the shots and many lives are depending on your abilities to lead.

You wish you didn’t have to be that person. But… you are.

I will never forget the day when I announced to my employees that our law firm was going to shut down. This moment still brings me to tears. It was hard. Not only seeing my personal dreams melting, but it felt very heavy on my shoulders. 

What did I do wrong? Where did I fail? Did I betray their trust? What did I miss? … 

Challenging times put your leadership skills into the test. 

Leaders lead. 

What Is A Strategic Goal?

Strategic goals are visions for your business that have quantifiable or qualitative results. 

You can’t grow what you can’t measure.

Strategic Goals Examples

Revenue stream goals

Depending on your business, you might have different products or services. It’s time to find out which ones are doing very well and which ones are not. 

You can analyze your revenue stream by the amount of revenue that they each bring, profit they render, or the number of resources they demand from your business. 

For example, if you’re limited to selling a product because you don’t have the cost to produce them, you could say “I need more money”, launching a new revenue stream using the resources that you have could be a strategic goal.

Experts say “your network is your net worth” and that’s for a reason. 

Note: your brand name might have accumulated equity. It’s worth exploring the possibility of leveraging your brand in certain segments.

Technology has accelerated networking, reduced the degree of separation between contacts, amplified our global playing field, and redefined the job prospecting process.  

Think about who do you know today, who could help you share your mission? 

Another area worth exploring is customer segments. If you’ve been selling to consumers, perhaps it’s time to consider if selling to other businesses will benefit more.

Financial strategy goals

Revenue is not profit. Profit does not equal good cash flow. Cash flow is king.

You can’t just look at your profit and loss statement (P&L) and get a grip on your cash flow. Many other financial figures feed into factoring your cash flow, including accounts receivable, inventory, accounts payable, capital expenditures, and taxation.

Effective cash-flow management requires a laser focus on each of these drivers of cash, in addition to your profit or loss.

I recommend business owners get very granular on their cash flow and track their revenue and expenses daily.

If you are running an e-commerce business, your system will give you a report on daily sales and will also compare it with the prior year. This should be a document that you see at least 3 times a day.

Strategic marketing goals

When it comes to crafting a marketing plan, what will turn your marketing plan into a strategic one will be the ability to translate each activity into revenue.

Marketers get very uncomfortable when they are put in this position. But as a business owner, you must demand strategic moves from your marketing team.

Your marketing campaigns will be strategic, meaning:

  1. You’re targeting a market after doing research and identifying the opportunity. Less testing, please!
  2. You’ll reduce the number of marketing channels to focus based on what performs best.
  3. You’ll have access to marketing and sales key performance indicators (KPIs) with clear benchmarks to meet daily.

As a leader, anticipation is key. 

Be prepared to deal with updates in your IT infrastructure, since most of your sales transactions will require digital tools.

Tips for setting up strategic goals:

  1. Define what the reality is today. 
  2. Know your numbers. 
  3. Call a group of trusted advisors to brainstorm.
  4. Pick the path of less resistance (where can I get the most opportunity, using the least amount of resources).
  5. Get very granular with your marketing plan. You can’t grow what you can’t measure. Each goal should have its own KPIs (key performance indicators)
  6. Define benchmarks.
  7. Identify how to measure success.

The W.W.W.: What, Who, and When 

So you’re calling the shots. You know what you have, what you don’t have, and you’re determined to win. 

You have your worst-case and best-case.

It’s time to activate your army (the who) and bring one thing to your business: CASH. The when? ASAP!  That’s the WWW! 

  1. The what
  2. The who
  3. The when

Business strategists are like first responders. I know that when my clients call is because they have urgency. Especially during unexpected times.

Online Sales Strategy

Ever wonder how many people use the internet? Almost 4.57 billion people were active internet users as of July 2020, encompassing 59 percent of the global population. 

I don’t think I need to convince you about how your potential users are searching online as part of their everyday life. 

No one could have predicted the environment we’re currently living and working in as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital channels, including social media channels, are critical to boosting your sales online. The key is to track and measure in order to modify or amplify. If you can’t do it with a digital channel, then that activity won’t be considered strategic. 

Examples of strategic digital marketing activities:

  1. Activating paid social channels using custom audience features and retargeting features. During times when resources are limited, we don’t recommend doing too much testing in paid digital outlets. Mistakes can be costly.  I’ve campaigned at $1,500 PER CLICK. You certainly want to stay away from “gambling with paid traffic”.
  2. Focus on lead generation. Leads are the heart of sales. Your website should be optimized for leads, not for traffic, at this point. If you’ve been doing SEO marketing, it’s time to add CRO tactics (conversion rates optimization).
  3. If you want to drive sales online, your website must pass the Google test. How can people buy from you if they can’t find you?
  4. Build a niche audience. Now more than ever you want a core group of people. A circle of trust that can share your products or services with their friends.
  5. Direct sales strategies, online. Direct selling is also known as direct response marketing.  Direct response requires little or no time waiting to see measurable results.

There are countless digital marketing strategies available. You will be surprised by how quickly they can impact your bottom line.

Checklist of Marketing Strategies That Can Help Generate Both, Awareness and Conversions

Reverse Engineer Your Profit Goal

Since you want to generate sales, your focus should be on generating leads first. 

Try to come up with as much data about your customers as possible. Again, knowing your numbers is a big part of working, not just smarter, but strategically. 

Where do most of your best clients come from? Can you simply find more like them? 

I follow this model to reverse engineer the revenue and profit goal. 

If you don’t have enough leads, there are two possible reasons:

Reason 1: you have a visibility problem

Digital visibility is very easy to calculate. Check your website traffic, the number of monthly users, and you’ll know how many people are interested in your products or services. 

If your business is new, then digital visibility relies on the size of your network. Your email list, your warm connections, as well as their network. 

Reason 2: you have a conversion problem

If you have enough people looking at your website but sales are not happening, you have a conversion problem.  Very often there is a crack in your website or a plugin that is making Google block your website and that’s why people can’t find you.  

Make sure that your website is in good health before you decide to go out there to generate leads.

Don’t Forget Existing Customers 

Don’t forget to consider your customer base. They can provide your best word of mouth marketing.

At times when cash is coming to the end, having an unpaid salesforce is GOLD.

What can you do to get your existing customers putting a good word for you?  The best companies in the world have the best loyalty programs and there’s a reason for it.

Become a Great Negotiator

As an attorney, I tell my clients to watch out for the fine print. There’s a good chance that now that you’re reviewing your business from a 30 feet distance, you will find commitments that no longer serve your business.

Seek for relief. If you can’t pay, don’t stress out. 

You can always negotiate with the parties involved and find creative ways to meet your obligations.

Also, in case you are the business obligated to fulfill products or services and you need to restructure your commitment, just know that you can. 

In Closing

No business template has ever been written in stone. Things can happen. As long as you stay true to your vision, you’ll find a way to get your business off the ground.

My office is open to help business owners put their fears to rest. Let us take a look at your landscape to see what strategies we are able to propose. It costs you nothing.

At Marketing For Greatness, I lead the strategy sessions with clients in order to help them both launch and pivot. Having a strategy-minded consultant on your team is worth the investment. 

At this point, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Let’s chat. 

It’s Possible To Build Community Resilience Despite All The Coronavirus Updates

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve been following the coronavirus live updates, pretty much every other minute. 

If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner and want to stay connected and supported, keep reading! We have a series of online resources to support you!

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a statewide public health disaster as community spread has hit and cases of the new coronavirus have emerged in the state’s five most populous regions. An increase in the state’s testing capacity could reveal that the number of people infected is higher than currently known.

State and local officials have called for social distancing, extended spring break for colleges and school districts, and prohibited or canceled major events

How Many People In Texas Have Coronavirus?

There have been at least 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, in Texas.

The largest numbers of cases have mostly been centered in the Houston area, in North Texas and at a federal quarantine site in San Antonio. But all five of the state’s most populous urban areas have cases.

In Austin, the number of cases keep rising. It all started with 3 cases but the number is coming up, based on the most recent news.

Small Business Owners Are Suffering Severe Financial Consequences

The timing of this chaos is far from perfect. Coronavirus outbreak is happening right around the famous SXSW Festival; an internationally known festival that attracts more than 100,000 participants and sprawls from Austin’s convention center to hotels, bars and restaurants nearby.

SXSW is concerned its losses could run into the “tens of millions of dollars,” president Swenson said, and it will be out of money by this summer if it doesn’t find additional sources of income, such as grants.

You might think that an event this magnitude would have taken all the necessary precautions to have the best coverage. However, SXSW didn’t have insurance coverage for cancellations triggered by “bacterial infections, communicable diseases, viruses and pandemics”. 

The losses from canceling SXSW are not just from the convention, but also from the local economy. Cancellation of the event is a financial gut punch for owners and employees of downtown bars, restaurants and concert venues, many of whom have come to rely on the influx of cash SXSW produces. For instance, SXSW’s estimated $356 million economic impact last year includes about $200 million related to spending by attendees — which equates to about 4% of Travis County’s $5 billion annual hospitality sector, condensed into an extremely short period.

The cancellation of SXSW was just the beginning of this major crisis.

A Calling For Community Resilience. But What Is Resilience?

When faced with adversity in life, how does a person cope or adapt? Why do some people seem to bounce back from tragic events or loss much more quickly than others? Why do some people seem to get “stuck” in a point in their life, without the ability to move forward?

Psychologists have long studied these issues and have come up with a label you may be familiar with: resilience. When faced with a tragedy, natural disaster, health concern, relationship, work, or school problem, resilience is how well a person can adapt to the events in their life. A person with good resilience has the ability to bounce back more quickly and with less stress than someone whose resilience is less developed.

When It Comes To Implementing Resilience, Puerto Rico Has A Mastery. 

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria (category 4 with winds up to 155 miles per hour) made landfall just south of the Yabucoa Harbor in Puerto Rico.  This is about 30 minutes from where my family lives. 

According to the best estimates, nearly 3,000 people died. It’s hard to put in words the big massive devastation this natural disaster left in millions of Puerto Ricans.

I will never forget how everything happened, while I was in Austin, talking with my mom. We were in constant communication. Around 4 am she wrote me a text telling me that the winds were very loud and she was afraid. I replied and never got an answer back until 7 days later. Those 7 days were full of fear and anxiety. I found myself crying for no reason. It was devastating just to think of the idea that my family was in danger.  

I remember seeing images like this one and thinking about my Abuela having to go through this and not making it.

Just take a second to think about the last time your home ran out of power. You had no internet. No water… After a few hours, you start to get uncomfortable. Well, for Puerto Rico, this was their reality for almost 1 year for some families. Imagine 1 year with no access to power and water?  How can one survive? It’s resilience.

How Can Communities Build Resilience 

Everybody has resilience. It’s just a question of how much and how well you put it to good use in your life. Resilience doesn’t mean the person doesn’t feel the intensity of the event or problem. Instead, it just means that they’ve found a pretty good way of dealing with it more quickly than others. 

Let’s discuss some strategies that can activate your resilience mindset, starting today!

Number One: Be distant but not disconnected. It’s important to recognize that your reality is pretty much the same reality for your neighbor. Perhaps they have it even harder. While it’s not recommended that you go out and visit them now, finding access to your neighborhood website, Facebook Group or Facebook page is important. If you don’t have those, then access your next available community. Join Nextdoor and you will find it. Be active. If you don’t see any then create a Facebook Group!

Number Two: Find a cause and support it. A great way to focus in the positive is by finding a cause and supporting them. In my case, I support local business owners. All my attention has been directed to get to know how is everybody and how can we rise together as a family. Since we cannot gather in person, we are hosting online meetings to expand the connections and help each other.

Jessica Campos is hosting an online networking event for members of ATX Professionals & Entrepreneurs Networking, to help small business owners expand their connections from the convenience of their homes. Join the community and participate in our local events.

Number Three: Stay positive. When you’re reading the coronavirus updates, keep in mind that they have a responsibility to prevent the worse scenario. Can the worst-case scenario happen? Yes, absolutely. But… what if it doesn’t? What if you can just listen to the news and put your mind to think about a much better scenario instead of entertaining those negative thoughts.

When I finally called my mom after a week, they had no power. In fact, they didn’t get it for almost 4 months. We would talk about the situation and she would tell me “Jessica we are fine, we are alive and we will get through this. The power will come one day this is not permanent.”   My goodness! I was, from the other side, suffering, but they were just ok. 

Number Four: Think about healthcare providers and first responders.  Maybe you’re not in conditions to enroll as a first responder and work at the center for disease control, for example. However, it’s important to be aware of their needs.

Number Five: Have a list of all the resources handy. Here are some resources that might guide you to manage this crisis in one page.

EMS needs during coronavirus

Psychological First Aid (PFA)

Stress and the Threat of COVID-19 

Official Austin updates

Pandemic Preparedness Resources

COVID-19 and Animals

If You Are Sick

Aprender sobre coronavirus en Espanol 

Greg Abbot – Twitter

Resources for Small Business Owners

Community & Connections – Austin Networking

SBA to Provide Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

SXSW organized Stand With Austin, promoting several fundraising events to come along and bring relief to those in need. Stand with Austin fund. 

Keep in mind!  Your school’s website or small office websites might not be updated instantly. Follow them on social media which is where they most likely will announce their updates.

If you have resources to add to the list, please email me jessica@www.marketingforgreatness.com and we will gladly add them.

These are just 5 ideas. 

The key is to identify ways that are likely to work well for you as part of your own personal strategy for fostering resilience. 

Now I’m turning this over to you!

How To Start A Business- 4 Steps To Succeed

Not every small business is positioned for success. In fact, only about two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least two years, and about half survive five years. So you may be in for a real challenge when you decide to take the plunge, ditch your day job, and become a business owner. The stage is often set in the beginning, so making sure you follow all of the necessary steps when starting your business can set the foundation for success.

I’m a marketing strategist, recovered business attorney, and Shark Tank addict!  I’ve been helping business owners for over a decade now.  Every week at my agency, we get to consult business owners who want strategies to get more clients. 

I also host VIP Retreats with entrepreneurs and small business owners. The last one was our Q3 planning day, which is why I got inspired to write these 4 steps to success for entrepreneurs who need to get more clients by yesterday.

Simplification is crucial for every entrepreneur. I believe we have a tendency to just think 🤔 too much.

The Moment When You Realize You’re Running Out Of Time

What if we just FOCUS on simple but effective activities that will generate revenue, and end with the overwhelm status? Do you promise me you will read this quick lesson and will put all the efforts to simplify your calendar and get to work on what truly matters? If so, let’s dive into this lesson!

Since you want to learn how to start a business and found me, I have a feeling that you can relate with one of these 2 scenarios:

Scenario ONE.You’re clear about your business idea, business structure, and have taken action. You have tried every hack, seminar, workshop, coach, and mastermind out there, but still haven’t seen the results you set to achieve. You know something is missing but don’t know what that is.

Or …

Scenario TWO. You are considering starting a business. Don’t know what service or product you could market. You’re completely overwhelmed by all the information and resources out there and can’t take action.

Both cases are completely normal for the early stage of a business owner. So let’s put your fears into rest and get you to find some wisdom so you can get motivated to grow your business! 

In What Stage Of Business Are You?

If you ask 10 entrepreneurs what are the stages of a business, you will have 10 different answers. In my opinion, your revenue will be a great indicator of the stage where you are. It will dictate the challenges you should expect, and the resources that are needed to succeed. 

Every time you hit a new revenue benchmark you will experience a new set of challenges and will need a new set of resources to keep climbing. This infographic from Infusionsoft has a great recap of the stages, annual sales, and key factors to success. 

I help clients who are in Stages 1-5. That’s where my passion and expertise is. If there’s something that generates an almost instant transformation for a business owner, is VISION.

Take a moment to study this infographic below and see where you are as of today. If you haven’t hit the $300,000 in sales yet, this means you are in the early stage (regardless of how many years you’ve been in business).

4 Success Factors To Make Your First $100,000 (And Generate Profit)

Success Factor Number 1: Branding

An estimated 12,000 shops could close by the end of 2019. The retail apocalypse isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, USA Today reports.

Which stores are surviving?

Those who are capable of drive customer loyalty. And how is that possible? Well… you know the answer very well… Let’s see… Do you support Starbucks? Apple? Wholefoods? Why?  It’s about their brand and branding.

Starbucks brand philosophy

Since its founding days in the early 1990s, Starbucks has strived to build its brand identity by offering customers a relaxing and enjoyable experience. From the very beginning, the experiential aspect of the brand has been consistently and effectively implemented in all its stores across the world. In addition, Starbucks has also built its brand on things that tend to be out of the box, by consistently defying conventional wisdom.

Regardless of whether you’re in business or not, we all have a “brand identity.” We’re all known for specific traits and characteristics. At work, at home, with your immediate family, your friends, and especially on social media. All the groups that you are a part of you see you in a certain light. The same goes for when you start your business. In my Visibility Method, I emphasize that the foundation of your business or personal brand is to follow a clear set of brand guidelines.

Most entrepreneurs focus only on what their products or services do. Instead, we recommend marketing your personality, your identity, proven success record, your values, so you can earn trust from your audience.

If coming up with this list is difficult for you, then ask yourself, “What challenges have I had to overcome to start my business?” The point here is to see that no matter what kind of products and services you offer, people want to connect with real people. 

I call this marketing statement a Manifesto. Let people know about your values and beliefs. 

Success Factor Number Two: Lead Generation System

Once you’ve branded yourself, and really dissected what problem you solve for your target audience, you need to now go find your clients!

There are many to generate leads, from offline to online methods and the best part of creating your lead gen is that you have options! So pick what works for you and make it into a well-oiled machine for your business.

In my free download, 100 Ways to Generate Leads, I discuss all the different ways you can create a pipeline that consists of qualified leads. Here are a few simple ways to generate leads to get you started:

✔️Host a webinar

✔️Set up a joint venture campaign

✔️Lead capture on the homepage of your website so you can activate email marketing

✔️Landing page to collect contact information

✔️Facebook cover page description

The list is long, so take a moment and download my entire 100 Ways to Generate Leads.

Not having a lead generation strategy in place is where most businesses fall short. You can have a pretty website, with beautiful photos, and perfectly printed business cards. However, if you don’t have a system in place to bring qualified leads through proverbial door, your business won’t grow. Be sure to check out my free download on the 100 ways you can generate leads. 

Success Factor Number Three: Optimize Your Offer (SEO)

If you want to get inside your customer’s minds, you must use the right SEO tools so you can know exactly how to describe your solution, so that your potential clients can find you

This is why, if you hired a web developer to do your website or you did it yourself, you were asked for your list of keywords.  

List of keywords? How exactly do you know what’s a great list of keywords?

Let’s be honest.  SEO is complex. You might read the definition and might think you understand it, but it’s a very complex world, for a reason. 

It’s impossible to conduct keyword research, analyze your competitors, track search results, track traffic and conversion trends, troubleshoot technical problems, and execute effective content marketing without the right tools.

Most entrepreneurs don’t really understand why and how SEO can help you in growing their business. They make the mistake of ignoring it, thinking that they will work on this task “later”.  

Listen up! If you want to generate those $300,000 in sales per year, Google is your best friend! 

Describing your products and services using optimization tools is critical at this stage.

People won’t buy from you if they can’t find you (even if you’re a local business owner and just want word of mouth)

There are over 2 trillion Google searches per day in 2019, but Internet Live Stats, an excellent source for making assumptions, claims around 5.5 billion searches done on Google per day or over 63,000 search queries done per second.

Luckily, there are many free SEO tools to help you get started.  I’ve written about my 10 favorite SEO tools!

Read next: 10 Amazing Tools We Use To Activate Your SEO

There are many moving parts when you’re starting your business. I get it. 

Getting crystal clear on the exact solution you are providing your customer will save you a lot of time, energy and money down the road. 

When you think about it, it’s very simple. If you know what your customers are searching for and it’s in your expertise and wheelhouse, you can then market directly to them and provide them the solution that they need. You’ll be up and running in your business in no time!

Success Factor Number Four: A Solid Plan to Stay Motivated

Let’s face it. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to come up against long, grueling days. There will be days that you want to give up, lose all desire to muster up the motivation, or worse, shut down your business.

It’s impossible to be positive at all times. However, it is possible for you to design your daily life in a way that you are surrounded by people, places, and habits that increase your motivation levels.  Here are a few ways that I can assure will help motivate you to keep moving forward, even when you want to give up. These may sound simple, but the point is that they are simple, and they work, 

Set a goal and plan of action

If you’re already in the habit of setting goals, great! Time to set a new one, and one that is slightly more challenging. Either way, make a detailed plan as to how you’re going to achieve your goal, step by step. When you have a plan, you have a vision, and when you have a vision you have something to be motivated for. 

Celebrate daily achievements

As entrepreneurs we can steamroll through our tasks without stopping once to acknowledge how far we have come. Be sure to track the progress of your clients, project goals, and revenue goals. You’re motivation will be enhanced just by you recognizing that you are achieving things that you may have found difficult or impossible. 

Exercise, eat well, and sleep

This may sound like a no-brainer but exercise, nutritious meals and adequate sleep is essential for your concentration and mood. Lack of sleep has a direct correlation with depression and anxiety. What seems so simple is actually crucial for your motivation and success as an entrepreneur. 

Take imperfect action

You may be feeling stuck because you don’t have everything “perfect” in order to move forward. It’s ok. Entrepreneurs are overachievers. But, if you allow your perfectionism to get in the way of you taking action, it’ll make you feel worse in the long run. Taking imperfect action is about gathering the information you already have and take a leap of faith. Doing this will allow you to not only increase your confidence, but will also strengthen your ability to deal with uncertainty. 

Find a mentor

You don’t necessarily need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a coach. There are plenty of successful entrepreneurs willing to provide mentorship. Mentors have walked similar paths and can help layout the steps ahead for you. Their personal experience and guidance can help provide an immense amount of clarity and courage– to keep you motivated and succeed as an entrepreneur.

Looking for a mentor? 

Let’s chat! I am looking to mentor an entrepreneur who is driven, heart-centered, with great work ethic, who wants to generate $1M in business. Book our virtual coffee today!

Jessica Campos, founder of Marketing For Greatness

Jessica Campos, JD, BBA is an educator, author, forensic digital marketing expert & strategist.  She traded in her law career in order to pursue her passion: helping entrepreneurs build wealth by taking advantage of the thriving content economy. 

Jessica‘s 15+ years of experience in entrepreneurship, background in law and business, tracked online sales record, and her network, represent a wealth of resources for professionals and entrepreneurs that want to attain success.

Get instant access to her latest book, The 6 Golden Rules of Social Media at www.marketingforgreatness.com. And while you’re there, make sure to check The Greatness Blog and The Greatness Marketing Podcast. 

8 Strategies To Leverage Google Local Guides For SEO (After Google Plus Massive Fail)

Google Local Guides are our most popular request these days after Google+ is over.

Google’s official explanation to us is that the shutdown was due to a security breach. Maybe it was.

Google+ was a great component of local SEO strategy. When a Google+ user used their account to share pictures and links, Google would post those links and they would come up in search results within the next hour. This was important to promote business locations.

Marketers who use Google SEO for local business are now looking for other ways to spark those local SEO numbers.

What Is Google Local Guides (GLG)?

Local Guides is a global community of explorers who write reviewsshare photosanswer questionsadd or edit places, and check facts on Google Maps. Millions of people rely on contributions like yours to decide where to go and what to do.

How To Open Google Local Guides?

When you sign up as a GLG user, you are immediately at Level 1, even if you have no points. At this level, you will receive a monthly newsletter, can join workshops and hangouts, and have the chance to enter exclusive competitions.

Once you have gained five points, you move up to Level 2. This gives you the additional benefits of early access to new Google products and features, and the ability to promote meet-ups on the Local Guides calendar. Google also provides event organizers with resources, including name badges, stickers, and bingo cards.

To reach Level 3, you need 50 points. You will receive an official Local Guides badge, which will appear on the Google Maps app, and you will be able to connect to other Local Guides in Google+. You also have the chance to moderate Local Guides community channels, and may receive invites to events hosted by Google (depending on your city).

With 200 points, you arrive at Level 4. This gives you 1 terabyte of free storage for your Google Drive, and eligibility to be featured on the Local Guides online channels, including Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

The final level is Level 5, for which you need 500 points. This is a new level — it did not exist when Local Guides was released. Users at Level 5 have the chance to test Google products before they are released to the public and receive invites to exclusive events. Last year, Level 5 members could attend the Google summit.

Local Business Owners Can Get Google Reviews

Research shows that 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. And they make that decision quickly: 68 percent form an opinion after reading between one and six online reviews.

GLGs is integrated with users’ Google account, so it’s easy for users to leave reviews, contrary to other reviews platforms like Yelp.

Google Maps Play A Key Role On Local SEO

Google Maps is a useful tool for business owners and consumers alike. It not only helps users find businesses near them but also offers greater visibility for business owners.

Although Google Maps does feature ratings and reviews, traditionally most users would turn to Yelp for a better indication of the quality of a business. This is now beginning to change with GLG.

Can you boost your business with GLG?

If you are starting your business or you want to get more visibility, Google Local Guides will help.

1) Become a user of GLG and make sure your business is visible, listing your products and services clearly.

2) Add your business! Maybe a business just moved in down the street or switched addresses and haven’t gotten to updating their information online. Go ahead and help them by adding their address on Google Maps so it’s easier for people to find them. They’ll be notified and glad that you helped them!

3) Include your Google reviews link and as your customers to leave a review.

4) Don’t forget to update your Google My Business listing (GMB), especially with pictures and opening hours.

5) Put yourself in the users’ shoes!

When you want to find a new restaurant or a reputable auto mechanic, where do you turn to? For most people, that’s Google. Google Search and Maps have become so ingrained in our way of life that to do anything else feels unnatural.

You are not the only one who search Google your service providers. Your potential customers do it too.

97% of people research local businesses online before reaching out to them. That is a big number!

6) Review other businesses, especially those who can be referral partners

When you review other businesses around you, it increases your own online visibility. Each business you recommend will be notified of the review. Then when they go online to search for a local contractor to repair their roof, replace their windows or a host of other home improvement projects they need to tackle on their own home, they’ll recognize your name.

7) Answer questions. You can share helpful information about places you’ve visited by answering easy questions that people are asking online. Go ahead and search for your own business and answer any questions that people have asked.

The best part about Google’s Local Guides program is that Google won’t publish any edit suggestions without your knowledge. As a business, you’re able to verify information that people have submitted about your GMB listing prior to it being published on Google Maps.

8) Users normally search for “best ____ near me”. Some SEO experts recommend adding “near me” on your URL, for more visibility.

Will You Open Your GLG Today?

I hope you do! If you happen to find our business, Marketing For Greatness, make sure you leave us a review!