Spring Clean Your Website

When was the last time you looked at your website? Or did you forget you have a website? It is so important that you keep up with trends in SEO (search engine optimizations), Google’s algorithm, updates within your industry, and transfer that knowledge into updating your website at least once per quarter.

Spring is here and it’s time to clean house! We briefly touched on the significance of updating your website in 3 Things You Can Do Today to Polish Your Digital Presence, but now it’s time to dive deeper. Follow these 5 steps to begin optimizing your website today.

1. Remove or hide unused pages.

If you have pages on your site that no longer fit your brand goals or serve a purpose, remove or hide them from your website navigation. There’s no reason for you to have pages on your website that don’t make sense for your business or that you don’t plan to update.

2. Update your website content.

Make some updates to your homepage or about us content, add more blog posts, put your pictures in your gallery, or add new testimonials. Every page on your website should have a purpose and a clear call to action. Put yourself in the customers shoes and think, “if someone landed on this page, would they understand what I want them to do?” If the answer is no, it’s time to make some changes.

3. Add your favicon.

This may seem trivial, but this simple fix is all about the customer experience. Not only does it help website visitors know they’re in the right place, it allows them to browse the web and easily get back to your site if they have multiple tabs open. Your favicon should be simple – preferably your logo. The space is limited so choose wisely. See below for examples of favicons from Facebook, MailChimp, WordPress, and yours truly.

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4. Make it pretty.

We have all left a website because of aesthetics. If your pictures are blurry, fonts are hard to read, colors too loud, you are increasing your chances to have a low site time and a higher bounce rate. I am a stickler for ugly websites. When I see a website that is not up to par, I assume this person doesn’t care about their brand image. If a business doesn’t I’m trying to work with doesn’t care how about how they look, how can I expect them to care about me?! Whether you’re completely coding your website, or using a platform with built-in templates, pay attention to readability and be mindful of the customer experience.

5. If you can’t do it right, find someone who does.

There are some things we just have to leave to experts; website development should be one of them. If you’re unable to make the necessary updates to your site to make it beautiful, functional, and SEO friendly, then you may want to pay someone who does. There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing the work. I always use the example, “would you fix your own roof?” I would hope not! If the changes you want to make are too difficult to make on your own, there’s are tons of people out there who can help.

We put a lot into building our websites and they should return the favor! Shannon Mattern, your WordPress BFF, helps people build their website, build their audience, and build their income. We will have the pleasure of hearing from her on April 26th to discuss how to begin monetizing our websites. Grab your ticket today and visit her website to learn more.

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Is Email Marketing Worth The Hassle?

If you think email marketing is old school, then you are sadly mistaken. With 85% of the world’s population utilizing email, your company can’t afford to omit this tactic from your marketing plan.

Why is email marketing so effective?

Unlike social media or organic search, you don’t have to think about keywords to determine how you reach your audience. This is your direct line to your customers and potential clients.

For every dollar you spend on email marketing, your average return on investment is $38. Making email marketing essentially pay for itself.

How can you increase your ROI?

There are many things you can do to increase your return on investment with your email campaigns.

To get yourself started, follow these three steps:

1. Segment Your List
This is the best way to create targeted messages for each group your customers fit into. If you have customers with home insurance, but no auto, create a list that reflect thats. Going even further, it makes it easier to send cross-sell campaigns in the future.

2. Plan Ahead
If you really want to be tactical, plan your email campaigns ahead of time. Sending renewal campaigns, or tips for how to prepare your home for different seasons, allows you to stay top of mind to customers and ahead of the competition.

3. Get Customer Feedback
Ask your customers what they would like to see with your email campaigns. Find out what topics they want to learn more about and create the content they want to see.

If you can’t beat ’em, outsource it

We all can’t be experts on everything. That is why it is important recognize your limits, and outsource your projects when necessary. In March, we talked about the pros and cons of outsourcing your marketing efforts. If you’re still unsure, take a look at our LinkedIn page for 3 important reasons why you should consider outsourcing your next project.

If you can’t beat ’em, outsource it via LinkedInoutsource it

Oprah Magazine Slammed for Body Shaming

Oprah Magazine received criticism on Instagram when plus fashion blogger Sarah Chiwaya, also known as Curvily, posted a picture of an excerpt from the magazine addressing a reader’s question about crop tops:

Q: Can I pull off a crop top?

A: If (and only if) you have a flat stomach, feel free to try one. For more coverage, layer the top over a longer shirt as shown in look two.

Many Instagrammers took to their accounts to address their thoughts about the Q&A:

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The hashtag #PullingOffACropTop has over 700 photos and posts of women sharing their disappointment in the magazine and their love for a body positivity movement.

With role models like Tess Holliday who are breaking barriers for full figured women everyone, brands need to be more aware of the content they’re putting out. Women no longer feel the need to fit into social conformity’s in the world of fashion.

Oprah Magazine has yet to address the Q&A in their magazine but should do so and fast!

What do you about the Q&A? Are people just too sensitive? Comment below.

What can we learn from the “Pretty on Fleek” drama?

It is no secret that I am a Barb but this post will remain unbiased.

Recently Nicki Minaj and Christina Milian got into a mild spat over the phrase Pretty on Fleek

Apparently Christina owns an online boutique that sells clothing with popular sayings on them. One of the recent shirts say Pretty On Fleek which is a line from Nicki’s song featuring Beyoncé titled Feeling Myself

Nicki made a joke about this by saying on her Instagram:

“Fleek by Onika – I saw Christina selling tshirts that say Pretty On Fleek, I was waiting on my percentage at the door! *tilts head*”

To be fair, Nicki did say Pretty on fleek on the track. However, the real person who is owed a percentage is the person who started this “On Fleek” era. 

What can learn from this?

The person who started “on Fleek” probably had no idea it would take off as fast and as far as it did. But, it did. 

Remember, the the lovely folks of social media don’t owe you homage. They can screen shot or imitate what you do and there is no guarantee you will always be credited for your work. Unless you own it. Then you can sue them.

For example: Ms. Ester Jones aka Baby Ester, African-American entertainer from the 1920’s, was known for her singing style that often included a “Boop oop a doop.” After Helen Kane imitated the style and called it her own, cartoonist Max Fleischer created the Betty Boop character. Kane tried to file a lawsuit against Fleischer only for the courts to decide that Kane was not the orginator of the Betty Boop style. Ester Jones died before she was able to receive any monies from the lawsuit that proved she was the original Betty Boop.

You have to protect yourself and your brand. I recently had a meeting with Keya Crenshaw, Founder and CEO of Black Chick Media, who informed me that copyright and trademark are two vital parts of a small business that most people forget about. It is true that it is an extensive and costly process, however, it’ll be all worth it in the end!

Have any copyright and trademark tips for entrepreneurs? Share with us so that we can inform our readers. 

New Intern: Dez Stewart

That’s right! TJE Communications has snagged its first intern; Dez Stewart!

Dez is a junior at Ohio Dominican University studying Public Relations. He is also a starting wide receiver on the football team and has earned many accolades including Offensive Skill Player of the Year and First Team All GLIAC for the second time. Dez is also involved in the university’s Public Relations Student Society of America and the Panther Activities Council.

TJE Communications is proud to have Dez on board. He will be assisting with many aspects of the company including writing blogs. Be on the lookout for his posts right here on the site!

Welcome, Dez! 

Why Gabrielle Union Makes the Perfect Employee

Recently Gabrielle Union got into a mild twitter beef with Charles Barkley after he said that her hubby, Dwyane Wade, did not deserve to make the all-star team this year. Mrs. Wade defended her 11th time all-star spouse by simply telling Charles to “stop talking.”

On top of that, Dwyane was recently fined $15,000 for flipping the bird to a fan after he made a vulgar comment in regards to Gabrielle. In an interview with Angie Martinez, Gabrielle stated that she was happy he defended her and will even pay the fine for him.

So you’re wondering…how does of all this mean Gabrielle Union would make the perfect employee. 

Let me explain.

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1. She is willing to defend the brand Gabrielle could have easily sat back and let Charles Barkley make his comment in peace. Instead, she stood up for her husband and added the fact that he is an 11th time all-star.

Having people on your team that are willing to defend the brand is essential. There is no way you can do it alone. A strong foundation and a strong team that believes in one another makes for successful outcomes.

2. She’ll even pay the fine Hubby was not pleased when a fan made inappropriate comments about Mrs. Wade. His bird flipping cost him $15,000 and Gabrielle’s reaction was a big smile. She even told Angie Martinez that she would pay that fine for him.

As a business owner, mistakes will be made and sometimes it will cost you. Luckily with an employee like Gabrielle, you’ll have someone that is willing to take the fall with you, regroup and keep pushing towards the goal.

3. She believes in the plan, not the band$ Upon getting married, Gabrielle and Dwyane signed a prenup. Why? Because Gabrielle married for love, not money.

Your employees should believe in your dream just as much as you do. Sure, we all are in business to make money. However, the payout of success should be worth more to your employees than their salary.

It is clear that Gabrielle’s loyalty and belief in the brand would make her the perfect employee. As I begin my own journey as an entrepreneur, I am seeking those who are loyal and willing to take the plunge right along with me. Sure, we may fail a few times before we get it right. But that’s what teammates are for!

What are your thoughts about Gabrielle’s spat with Charles? Comment below.

Super Bowl Commercials: Best and Worst

For every PR/marketing guru, the Super Bowl is more than  a football game. It is a time where we judge all of our fellow professionals and their decision making in creating either the best or the worst Super Bowl commercials.

Budweiser’s Best Buds commercial made us cry (if you didn’t cry watching this you have no soul) and the commercial for Dove’s Men Plus Care was a decent. We even got a good laugh out of FIAT’s commercial about a car popping viagra pills and the Snickers Brady Bunch mash-up.

There were some commercials that did not spark humor. Like Nationwide’s commercial about preventable accidents. While this commercial was sad to watch, it’s a harsh reality that needed to be touched on.

The commercial that took the cake for us was Coca-Cola’s Make It Happy commercial. This ad touched on bullying but it was more of a call to action. Coca-Cola encouraged those who see negative tweets to reply with #MakeItHappy and they’ll do the rest! Check out some of their #MakeItHappy tweets below:

https://twitter.com/CocaCola/status/562086649979760642

The worst commercial goes out to Nissan’s With Dad commercial. Can’t help but think they just really wanted to make a “dad” commercial like everyone else. The commercial was way too long and it had to be watched multiple times to understand it. Quite frankly, I still don’t get it!

What were some of your best and worst commercials? Comment below.

Kim K teams up with T-Mobile #KimDataStash

Could have sworn this blog told you that Kim K was still winning months ago – and it’s still true.

Kim has teamed up with T-Mobile for a clever commercial regarding unused data. She pokes fun at herself and all of her Instagram posts of her outfits, vacations and more outfits.

This commercial is PERFECT! And Kim is still the perfect example of how to turn a crisis into a masterpiece.

You don’t have to like Kim, but you can’t deny that woman’s hustle.

Check out the commercial and let me know what you think: