Google Re-Launches Small Business Portal: Google My Business

Google has launched a new portal catering to smaller, local businesses, designed to streamline the management of your Google presence. From this new single interface, you can now control your Google Search presence, Google+ and Google Maps, updating your business information across multiple platforms simultaneously. Beyond the obvious time savings, Google’s My Business portal holds more promising potential for SMBs.

Automatic Migration for Google+ and Google Places

If you’re already using Google+ or Google Places, you won’t have to do a thing – you’ll be automatically migrated to the new Google My Business dashboard. That means you’ll see some new features and have access to additional channels where you can gain visibility, without having to make sense of some complicated, manual migration process.

So, say you’ve used Google Places but haven’t made use of Google+ just yet. This move will expose businesses formerly using just one of the many Google properties to other beneficial outlets for gaining exposure.

Not using any Google property to promote your business? Go to Google My Business and click the blue “Get on Google” button in the upper-right area of the page. Fill in the information about your business, and you’ve just created a public persona on Google.

What Can You Do with Google My Business?

In addition to simply updating your business information across multiple platforms at once, there are other ways you can use the Google My Business dashboard:

Foster follower growth on Google+. Google’s social network hasn’t reached the epic proportions of Facebook for everyday conversation, but given its tie-in to everything Google – including organic SEO – it’s an opportunity you don’t want to pass by. By sharing informative content, you can engage followers and even earn new business through Google+.

Get +1s and positive reviews. Encourage your followers to write positive reviews and +1 your content for an SEO and reputation boost. Users can endorse products on Google Search, Maps, and even ads.

Track user engagement. You won’t be flying blind when it comes to figuring out what’s working on Google+. Track user engagement for your Google+ Pages and posts for valuable insights. Once you identify the content that resonates most with your audience, create more of it to increase your exposure and boost your organic reach.

Get information on other Google channels. In addition to Maps, Google+ and Search, the My Business dashboard includes information on your Google Analtyics and YouTube channels.

Create and track AdWords Express campaigns. Yes, even paid search is present in Google My Business. You can not only create AdWords Express campaigns, but monitor performance as well, straight from your My Business dashboard.

Do you have a multi-location business? Not to worry: There’s a bulk-upload tool that will allow you to add them all at once, so that they can be managed from within a single My Business dashboard. Go to My Business Locations to access the bulk uploader.

Benefits to Google My Business

All of this absolutely provides time-saving benefits to business owners. But beyond that, there’s a lot to be gained from Google My Business:

Put your company information at users’ fingertips. Google’s platforms, like Maps and Search, are already mobile-optimized. That means users searching for a business like yours using a smartphone or tablet can quickly locate your business, get directions, or call you directly from Google. For local businesses, this type of on-the-go visibility is increasingly important.

Start conversations with people who matter. Google+ makes it easy to engage with your target audience. For instance, customers who review your business can make exceptional brand ambassadors – and when they post a review, they’re essentially giving you the opportunity to further engage them. Take advantage of it.

Keep improving your Google presence. With Analytics built right in to your Google My Business Dashboard, you’ll have quick and easy access to key metrics. Organic visits took a nosedive this week? Seeing this in your dashboard will prompt you to investigate, allowing you to pinpoint problems before they wreak havoc on your profits. Ramp up your presence on Google by adding photos, responding to feedback, initiating conversation, following thought leaders and influencers, or starting a Google+ Hangout. The world of Google is at your fingertips.

Easily add PPC to your other marketing efforts. With AdWords Express integrated with Google My Business, you can implement PPC campaigns that compliment your other marketing efforts – all with a complete overview of your current Google presence so that you can more closely integrate your marketing initiatives and achieve your goals.

Manage it all on your mobile device. The Google My Business app lets you manage all of this from your smartphone or tablet, wherever you are.

Gain valuable customer insights. Google My Business offers Insights, providing key data on how your customers are finding you. Easily see the number of clicks, how many users requested driving directions to your physical location, and more with Insights.

There’s a lot to explore within Google My Business. If you don’t yet have a Google My Business account, sign up now and start exploring the many ways you can get more visibility with Google.

Productive Product Funnel Creation – 4 Powerful Secrets to Amplify Your Product Funnel Creation

Product funnel creation is more than just creating series of products. It is also a powerful marketing strategy that can help any ebusiness owner in keeping their customers happy so they can easily convince these people to support all their offerings (from low-end to high-end).If you want to fully realize the benefits that this marketing tool can offer you, you need to know these powerful secrets that can help you amplify your product funnel creation:1. Get to know your customer base. This is the most crucial step that you need to take in order to determine the best products to create that will meet the varying needs of your potential clients. So, before you get into the development stage, get to know the people you would like to serve on a more personal, deeper level first. Identify their problems, their profiles, their skill levels, their questions, and the elements that put them in a position of needing your products and services. The more you know about these people, the better provider you’ll become.2. Create series of products. Base on your findings and research, create different products that will suit the every need of your potential clients. Make sure that you create low-end (inexpensive but valuable products), middle-end, and high ticket products that will match the skill levels and buying powers of your customer base. Ensure that all your offerings are of high quality and useful so you can easily move your customers from one level of your funnel to the next.3. Promote your products online. Launch your products online and connect with your potential clients to easily improve your sales potential. You may advertise them using paid advertising tools (if you have enough budget for your advertising cost) which include banner ads, paid listing, PPC advertising, and search engine marketing. You may also promote them using free but equally effective marketing tools like ezine publishing, email marketing, article marketing, forum posting, blogging, SEO, and link building.4. Upsell your products. Don’t be contented when your customers buy a product from you. Maximize your profits per client by convincing these people to take advantage of your offerings. You may upsell your other products that are closely related to their recent purchase. Make sure that you stress out the features and benefits of your other products to make them more enticing to the eyes of your customers.

The 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Launching an Online T-Shirt Business

Here are my Top 10 Tips on mistakes to avoid when launching your Online T-shirt Business.

1.Understanding your target market. Often people think they can be everything to everyone however knowing every detail about YOUR specific target market is one of the keys to success. From their age, gender, interests, friendship circles, what they read, what websites and forums they look at, what clubs they attend etc. This will come in handy when you’re starting to sell your t-shirts and for target marketing.

2. Set realistic goals about what you want to achieve and the money you would like to make. T-shirt success does not usually happen overnight but rather over a few years. Be realistic with what you can achieve. For example; one goal may be print 50 t-shirts by a certain date. Another goal maybe to sell at least 25 t-shirts to stores by a certain date. Set goals by month so you keep on track and stay motivated.

3.Know when to hold and know when to fold. You have to own your mistakes. It’s important that you recognize if a t-shirt is not selling, then try to sell in a different avenue such as eBay or Etsy and move on. It’s not worth pushing something that’s not working. Every retailer has best sellers and worst sellers and when they don’t perform, they are marked down and new product is ranged.

4. Knowing how much money you should invest. In my experience, the best advice is work out an estimate of how much you think it will cost initially to start your business and then double it, as this is probably more realistic. People forget about the smaller things such as postage, shipping costs, petrol, website hosting etc. These little things add up.

5.Test your product before you start to heavily invest. This is an important one and given the current Internet opportunities that are out there, it’s easily achievable. If you can make some customized t-shirts from an online website then you can see if people are liking what you are doing. Get your product in photos, organize competitions, give samples to friends to wear and use social websites to show off your t-shirt designs. There are many things you can try, to see if your style works and people like it.

6.Take your time when making important decisions. We are human and we can be impulsive and make quick decisions that may not be the right ones for us. Business is quite tough these days, people will want to rush you and will say anything to try to get you to commit so they have an order. Take your time and weigh up the pros and cons and be informed. Do your research and then make the decision – it will end up saving you time and money!

7.Some opportunities are sometimes not worth it. When you are starting out, you will come across people who will try to challenge your pricing, product and brand. For example, an online retailer may want your product but will only order it, if it’s $10 less than your current wholesale cost. If you are making little or no margin on a job, it is OK to say no. In my experience, be willing in some cases to achieve a lower margin, if it means you will get more business from it. Sometimes it’s a marketing exercise that is well worth the cost cutting.

8.It’s OK to start small. I know myself that as soon as I get a great idea in my head you think ‘that’s it!’ I then start going crazy and spending loads of money. You may buy a machine or other equipment that is quite expensive. Take your time, test different processes and then decide which way you want to go.

It’s really important that you do some samples and see the results first before investing a lot of money into equipment and other things that may not be want you wanted after all.

9.Do your homework. If you’re thinking of investing in a printing machine, then look at all the costs associated with this process. It’s usually not that clear cut and you will find that there will be inks or paper for example, which cost a lot of money and you had not accounted for it.

10.You will be your own Boss! As much as this is super fantastic and you can’t wait to be the boss, there are also average tasks as well. You are the only person that can answer to customer complaints and any issues that come up when running the business. It would be great to become part of a network or forum for weekly support. As a single person boss, you also have to start to know everything about anything; from taxes to sales, marketing to design, from dealing with stores and selling online. You have to be able to master and wear many hats that in my opinion can be quite challenging but also exciting.