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3 Things You Can Do Today to Polish Your Digital Presence

You cannot wave a magic wand and become perfectly optimized for search engines and ranking number one on Google by tomorrow. This takes a lot of work and a lot of consistency.

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According to Moz, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

So what does that mean? 

When someone goes to a search engine, like Google or Bing, and types in: beauty supply stores in Columbus, SEO is the deciding factor in what that person will see on that first page. And let’s be honest, most people are not going to scroll past the first page of results.

If your website or social media pages are not optimized for search engines, how do you expect potential customers to find you online?

You cannot wave a magic wand and become perfectly optimized for search engines and ranking number one on Google by tomorrow. This takes a lot of work and a lot of consistency; it could be 6 months to a year before you see significant movement. However, if you put in the work in the beginning, it will pay off in the end.

Here are 3 things you can do today to begin your journey of being completely optimized for search engines:

1. Clean Up Your Local Listings
Surprise! You probably have a Google+, Yelp, and Bing floating through cyber space and most likely you have not claimed them. Not only does leaving these listings unclaimed leave it open for strangers to edit your business information, it also means you can’t make updates when needed.

Moz Local for Small Businesses can give you a free local listing score. If you have listings out there that are not verified, it will show you exactly where those listings are and from there, you can start claiming them and ensuring the information is correct.

Keep in mind Facebook now works very similar to a search engine and local listing. You need to make sure your address is accurate on your Facebook business page as well.

2. Update Your Website
Don’t let your website site dormant for months, or years. At least once a quarter, you should be updating your site in some way. This could mean adding pictures from events, creating a blog, or adding testimonials. If search engines see you are actively updating, this will help you with rankings.

3. Backlink to Your Friends and Vice Versa
A backlink is a link that links back (hence, backlink…) to your website from another source. This is a great way to build website authority. The key is to have credible websites link back to you. If you’re involved with local community organizations, or if you have partnerships with other businesses in your area, don’t be afraid to ask them if there is a way for them to mention you on their website. In turn, you should do the same for them!

Now it’s time to get to it! I challenge you as we close out the year to do ONE of these 5 things every week. Let’s get 2018 off to a great start!

Want to talk more in depth about making sure your digital presence is in tact? Schedule a 30-90 minute business consultation today. Click here to learn more >>

#BlkWomeninBiz: Shanequa J, Owner of Barcode Glam

Shanequa was born in Akron but raised in Cleveland, OH. She always wanted to be a fashion designer but when life happened, plans had to change.

She attended the University of Cincinnati but dropped out after 2 years. Later, she attended Brown Aveda Institute where she became a Licensed Esthetician; specializing in threading and waxing.

Her first business idea was to open up an esthetic shop. However, since she didn’t have a lot of money or capital, so she decided to start something that would be more efficient but ultimately help her reach the end goal. Her love for shoes gave her the idea to open an online shoe boutique. She put her ideas on paper and decided on the name, Barcode Glam. After that, she created her logo, invested in inventory, and began vending at events to build her brand. Her ultimate goal is to merge both Barclode Glam and her esthetician business.

In 2016, she was ready to move forward and found the perfect location in Walnut Hills of Cincinnati, OH. Her heart was set on the space and she event spent $500 on an architect to create the design and floor plan. She submitted the plan to the building owner but they decided they did not want any boutiques in the building. Ironically, during this time there was a lot of gentrification happening in the area. Leaving Shanequa to believe it was not just boutiques they didn’t want, it was her.

Shanequa knows that eventually she will be able to merge these businesses. She believes he denial of the space was a good thing because Barcode Glam is steadily growing. Next time instead of leasing a space, Shanequa plans to buy a building.

Being a black woman in business makes Shanequa feel empowered, especially when she gets to network with like-minded women. Her advice for anyone considering to take the leap and become a business owner themselves: “Pay for what you need to grow your business.”

She also suggests you truly understand your target market and what they would want to purchase; not what you think they would want to purchase.

Shanequa, thank you for your resilience and stepping out on faith to become a black woman in business!

Head over to barcodeglam.com to shop and learn more!

Know a woman who should be featured in the #BlkWomeninBiz series? Complete the form below.

#BlkWomeninBiz: Emerald Sparks

Emerald Sparks solves misconceptions about money and can help you get financially lit!

The idea of working for 40 years, at set hours, with minimal personal time was never in the cards for Emerald. She knew she wanted more, but initially did not think entrepreneurship would be her calling.

Emerald is from Dayton, OH and received her Bachelor’s of Administration with a specialization in Accounting from The Ohio State University. After accepting the fact that she could never live her life the way she wanted in the corporate world, she ventured out and started her first business; an online clothing and shoe boutique.

Unfortunately, the business ended quickly because she was not ready to step out of her comfort zone and promote herself or the business. On top of that, it just was not her passion.

After this came a lot of soul searching. She read Steve Harvey’s book, Act Like A Success, Think Like A Success, and consulted with some of her friends and family. She asked them to give her a list of what they thought she was good at, and it all led back to finances. She always loved money – not in a materialistic way, but more like, “Hey, I’m good at this!”

She started researching other professionals in the industry to create her pricing structure. In addition, she researched techniques, procedures, systems, and began to develop her own unique style financial planning and consulting style. After working in her “business” for months unofficially, she applied for her LLC and began to launch her brand.

Emerald now offers a variety of courses that focus on financial review and strategy, financial planning, coaching, and credit restoration. She is even a published author and wrote the book Vision. Future. Reality: How to Budget Like a Boss; a quick read, self-help book geared towards helping you achieve your financial vision and goals.

As many entrepreneurs know, the journey is far from easy.

“From the lack of funds and the lack of support sometimes, you just want to give up and apply for jobs! And I have! I have applied for jobs and haven’t heard anything back. They say rejection is God’s biggest blessing so I remain patient and prayed up.”

Emerald has managed to stay faithful and resilient throughout her journey as a black woman in business. She recognizes that while we are not yet equal, it is still an amazing, and necessary, opportunity to “have a seat at the entrepreneurial table.” 

When asked her advice to others who may be interested in pursuing a similar career path:

“Entrepreneurship is more time and dedication than it is money. So don’t do it if you only want to make money, do it because you actually want to change lives. Be genuine in that and everything will fall into place.”

Emerald, thank you for being a black woman in business! You refused to accept the typical lifestyle and walked out on faith. For that, I applaud you!

Are you or someone you know a black woman in business? Complete the form below to be featured.

 

#PRCrisis: The Internet Slams Dove for Racist Advertisement

We’ve looked at many PR crises before and the common theme between them all is poor execution of ideas.

Saturday, I saw a tweet of a Dove advertisement that I felt had to be fake – these days, Photoshop can make anything look real. The next day, I saw Dove tweeted an apology.

 

 

You would think after Pepsi x Kendall, brands would understand that being insensitive when it comes to issues of race and discrimination, is a sure way ruin your reputation and credibility. But what happens when brands miss the mark more than once?

As a woman of color, I am completely shocked by this Dove campaign and very confused as to how this made its way from design to publish. I have been a loyal customer to this brand but my moral compass is making me question if I will continue to do so.

Can Dove recover? Probably. They have the money to launch a nationwide campaign to fix their reputation. We’ve seen it happen multiple times. How many people even talk about Pepsi’s crisis anymore?

Two simple ways something like this can be avoided:

1. Speak Up – If you have a seat at the table, you need to speak up. It is your duty to ensure that advertisements and campaigns that are racially insensitive, sexist, or targeting a particular group of people or religion do not make it out into the public. By sitting in silence, you are just as guilty.

2. Diversify the Table – Every team should have people of all ages, races, gender, sexual identity, religion, etc. to ensure that your company is properly represented. If you do not have this kind of diversity on your team, you need to implement ways to gauge of the opinion of those people with focus groups, surveys, test groups, etc.

It’s not rocket science marketing pros. Think before you print.

#BlkWomeninBiz: Kyshira Moffett, MBA

Kyshira Moffett, MBA, is truly a Bombshell of All Trades. She is a Brand Strategist, Blogger, Speaker, and the mastermind behind HERmovement, Bombshell Biz Society, and Life of a Bombshell Cosmetics. Chicago native, currently living in Pittsburgh, PA, and graduate of Hampton University, Kyshira seeks to empower busy bombshells, like herself, that are ready to take on the world; plus, she has the resume to back it up.

Believe it or not, Kyshira did not always want to be an entrepreneur. Her goal was to climb the corporate ladder and become the Chief Diversity Officer of a global corporation. She began her career in a Human Resources Leadership Development Program for a financial institution and genuinely enjoyed her job. However, the more she explored her side hustle, the more she fell in love with stepping out and pursuing her own business.

Her first venture was KSM Career Consulting where she offered resume writing services, LinkedIn profile assistance, cover letters, and preparation for interviews. Entrepreneurs began to seek her out for LinkedIn assistance and gradually began to ask for help with their overall brand. That is where the evolution of her business began. In 2016, she rebranded to what we all know today as the KSM Group.

In the beginning, Kyshira did minimal marketing because referrals and word of mouth was how she kept a steady book of clients. She had a friend design a blog, she added her services to it, and didn’t have set prices for new clients. Later, she got serious about her business and developed a business plan from scratch. This is what has helped take her business to the next level. So much so, that she has added it to her site for other women to use and to do the same. Click here to access the Bombshell Business Plan.

Thanks to the success of the KSM Group, which now offers brand strategy services to creatives and freelancers, Kyshira has been able to explore more of her passions. One of which was to create her own makeup line. Life of a Bombshell provides lipsticks, liquid mattes, eyeshadow, and even cute, but necessary, accessories. Within the first year of the launch, Life of a Bombshell is already receiving worldwide recognition through the press with companies like Essence Magazine.

“The hardest moments honestly all have centered around doubt. Business is hard. Everyday won’t be a good day. Every product won’t sale. It’s important during these times to not let the spirt of doubt creep in. I’ve learned how to deal with disappointment and keep moving. The saying “it’s always darkest before light” is so true. Too many people give up before the breakthrough! Another thing I’ve learned the hard way is the importance of self-care. PLEASE take care of yourself. Get enough rest, drink water, exercise and make time for fun! You’re no good to anyone if you’re drained and burned out.”

Organization is vital for Kyshira to manage multiple businesses. She typically plans for every quarter, and tries to prevent herself from making real-time decisions – other than emergencies. She utilizes content scheduling tools like Buffer, email marketing tools, and accounting tools.

Kyshira loves being able to show other people who look like her, that they can reach their greatest potential.

“There is no better feeling in the world than empowering another black woman to own her power.”

Her word of advice to other women who want to start a business…or three: “Feel the fear and launch it anyway.”

Kyshira, thank you for being amongst our tribe of #BlkWomeninBiz! Your hustle is truly motivating and I can’t wait to watch you take over the world!

Know a black woman in business that should be featured? Submit their information below.

 

3 Reasons Why You Have to Keep Hustlin’

Monday I hosted my first TJE event titled, Respect the Hustle. The purpose of the event was to bring like-minded women together for an evening of wine and networking. 100 women entrepreneurs registered for this event and nearly 60% of attendees showed up. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that.

The responses I’ve received thus far have reminded me WHY I need to keep the hustle alive and here’s why you should too:

1. You don’t know who’s watching. While you’re looking in the mirror thinking of all the things you could have done better, there’s someone watching you who believes in you. They believe in your dream and your hustle and they want to see you win!

2. You got shit to do. And goals to reach! You might be closer than you think to the finish line. Sure, there are going to be rough times. That is what builds our character. But you have to push past them and stay resilient to reap the rewards.

3. I need you. Watching the women I’ve build connections to succeed makes me feel like I’m winning, too. I love celebrating your wins! I need you to keep hustlin’ because you motivate me to do the same.

We’re in this together, girl! I know it get hurts but when you want to give up, think about these three things and remind yourself why you started. If you need an accountability, let’s connect and keep each other motivated.

I look forward to seeing you at the next TJE event! Until then, keep hustlin’!

Check out some pictures from the first #RespecttheHustlepictures by Jen Lyttle.

Sponsors:

Wine on Highhttp://www.wineonhigh.com

Stella & Dot by Michelle Vroomhttp://www.stelladot.com/sites/MichelleVroom

Damsel in Defense by Trina D. Harrishttp://www.youdeservesafety.com

Fulciohttps://www.fulcio.life/

Dalisay is Pure – dalisayispure@gmail.com

Bonbons by Linda – bonbonsbylinda@gmail.com

Pure Romance by Tonnisha – pureromance.com/tonnishaenglish

Email marketing has the larger ROI than any other form of marketing. Register today for the first TJE webinar and learn how you can boost for business for nearly, free! Click here to learn more.