The GrowLoop Brand is Evolving
The GrowLoop name and concept has always been about creating useful win-win advantages for all involved from individuals to organizations (their employees, their customers and other constituents).
The name GrowLoop itself implies growth, improvement, and continued success on an ongoing basis. For years that has been in the form of creative marketing services for the success of other businesses.
Now, GrowLoop is looking to evolve its brand to help individual professionals and the organizations they work for improve their productivity and mental health with simple, easy-to-use tools. The goal is to counter professional disengagement, distraction, and depression that prevents individuals and professional teams from realizing their potential, and meeting specific goals.
Stay tuned to learn more.
Given this change in direction GrowLoop will NOT be taking on any more client work or new project work. Feel free to contact me with questions.
Trends that work in business to consumer (B2C) marketing don't always translate well to business to business (B2B) marketing.
However, if you're a B2B marketer there are some trends of which you should be aware.
Here are the main trend topics:
Man vs. Machine
More Software as a Service (SaaS) instead of local people to provide those services (i.e. local bookkeeper).
However, for the local bookkeeper there is a play if you can showcase your value at a reasonable price over a software solution. Or perhaps there is value in your experience and credibility to be the human running the software which could be some sort of hybrid software with a service.
On-demand Gig Economy
In the creative space small businesses will utilize on-demand freelance services as needed to help reduce the headcount of an in-house marketer, copy writer or designer, and this mentality will creep into other positions as small businesses try to stay under 50 employees – the Affordable Care Act threshold.
This is good for those among the creative class who embrace the gig economy.
On the Go
Website and content consumption on mobile devices will continue to out-pace that of desktop computers. That's likely no surprise. This will continue to shape and influence website, software and app-related user experiences.
It's Still King, but it Requires More Investment
Content and inbound marketing will still be useful, but there is more content for small businesses to rise above, which means more investment in time and energy to get content marketing to work well. However, content is still more effective and less expensive from a customer acquisition cost standpoint than other marketing.
Posted by Nick Venturella
check out NickVenturella.com
Why should you blog for your business?
Well, blogging is certainly not a quick fix marketing strategy for better search engine results and generating new leads.
However, like financial interest, well-written, audience-appropriate blog posts compound on one another over time.
The result is more of your blog posts (or web pages) being found by search engines. Being found by search engines more often means more website traffic, which means more opportunities to convert website visitors to email list subscribers and/or clients.
Those blog posts are online marketing assets that continue to serve up traffic for you long after they’re written and published to the web.
The great thing is, you keep adding new posts to your content marketing machine and the old ones never go away, so you are constantly building a massive online presence that can help make it easy for Google and other search engines to find your site for topics, keywords and audience you cover.
This aspect of content marketing that I’m describing is the numbers game portion of SEO – the sheer volume of content you can put out.
There is more to optimizing your site and content to be found by your target audience; the audience who is looking for your type of product or service.
These days Google is not only concerned with whether or not you have specific keywords and authority on your chosen blog topics but also that your site loads quickly, is secure and mobile responsive.
When a visitor lands on your website, its content should load on screen quickly – in 3 seconds or less. Google cares about this for search rankings.
Having the “s” in your websites URL (i.e. https:// vs http://) shows Google that your website is secure from outside hackers who may try to sabotage your website and thus you breach your customers’ and site visitors’ trust and possibly their personal information.
Having a mobile responsive website simply means that you’ve created one website that automatically reformats to fit whatever screen the site is viewed on. For example, when you open your site on your laptop computer it displays appropriately – as you would expect on your laptop. When you open the same site on your smartphone the site automatically adjusts the way it’s displayed to provide users a positive viewing experience on their mobile device without have to go to a separate URL.
Post by Nick Venturella
“Attract top talent. Give top talent an opportunity to rapidly develop their skills and gain experience. Give top talent an opportunity to be showcased. Team experiences success (in some cases tremendous success). Send top talent off to the NBA to further advance career. Repeat.”
Talent management, in Porter’s mind, should think about their employees in a similar way. Instead of trying to do things to retain that talent, put them in a position to grow and go on to bigger and better things – help build them an exit plan.
In doing so, your organization gets a reputation for being a great developer of talent and will, thus, attract more of that caliber of talent.
That idea resonates with me for GrowLoop. My goal with the hand-crafted, on-demand marketing services GrowLoop provides is to be there to develop great marketing pieces for clients when they need them while helping to grow their marketing chops.
This helps clients to develop their brand and sales reach, but ultimately GrowLoop is trying to get them to a place where they’ve either moved on to a bigger shop that handles more complex needs because the client has grown so much, or we’ve empowered them so much that they don’t need us for more than periodic marketing coaching.
GrowLoop is here when you need us, and empowering you when you don’t.
What’s your exit plan?
Posted by: Nick Venturella
Adding visuals to your blog posts and social posts can be helpful toward increasing engagement and readership of your posts.
In fact, according to Social Media Examiner posts with photos/images get retweeted on Twitter 35% more than those without.
Plus, if you have an audience that is on Pinterest, creating images for your posts that can easily be pinned and repined is helpful since Pinterest has the ability to drive a ton of traffic to your posts and site.
So how can you easily created pin-able and tweet-worthy images to accompany your posts?
Canva is a free online design tool that allows anyone to create beautiful images that can help illustrate your blogs and social posts.
You don’t have to be a designer to use Canva. It takes the guess work out of the equation to help you concentrate on creating great images that support your goals, quickly.
One of the great things about Canva, besides being free to use, is that it has image dimensions pre-sized for you. So, in other words, if you want to create a Pinterest pin image, just select the Canva Pinterest template, which is already sized for you. You want a Twitter post image, pick that template and don’t worry about what size to make it…it’s done for you!
Canva allows you to use their free illustrations to aid your images or purchase inexpensive stock photography to build your masterpiece. Either way, you can download your images for use on your blog or your social networks.
There are even some design tutorials that can help you get a grasp of some design concepts to build better images.
As a service business, if you need some basic imagery for your website or collateral materials, Canva can be the place to start until you can afford to invest in more custom professional work to build your brand.
Posted by Nick Venturella
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is made available to individuals and families who earn a low annual income.
This is a relief for those in a lower income bracket. Often it comes as an unexpected relief when those with low income discover it. This is because many aren’t even aware the credit exists.
Like other tax credits it’s not always easy or clear to determine whether or not you qualify until you do a little research.
The good news is that there are some tools to help you identify your potential earned income credit amounts.
Be sure to follow the link above to read more about the Earned Income Tax Credit. The link will showcase the available Earned Income Credit Table. This table will show, based on your income and family situation, the income thresholds that allow you to qualify for the credit. Finally, the article offers a link to an earned income credit calculator.
Certainly, every tax break in your favor adds up, and is worth looking into. No need to pay out more than is necessary.
Posted by: Nick Venturella
Did you know you can get residential energy tax credits come tax time?
There are several energy-saving home improvements you can get a tax break from.
These examples fall under what is referred to as the non business energy property credit, which allows you to claim 10% of the price of your eligible property, not including money spent on labor or installation.
There are other energy-related credits for homeowners, too. These include solar electricity, solar water heating and even small wind energy.
These sorts of credits are useful to keep in mind come tax time. Often homeowners make small incremental improvements to their home each year. If that’s you, be sure to review which improvements could pay you back on your taxes. Otherwise, you could be leaving money on the table unnecessarily.
To learn more about available energy-related tax credits, be sure to read this article.
Posted by: Nick Venturella
Most everyone I know wants the schedule for tax refunds. It’s hard not to anxiously anticipate money being delivered by mail.
In other words, it’s normal when you’re expecting to receive a check to know when it will arrive.
This goes for knowing when pay day is at your job, or when your friend will make good on the fifty bucks you loaned him two weeks ago.
You’re owed money and you want to know when you’ll have it. That makes sense.
When it comes to your tax refund there is a way to find out when any money you have coming to you will show up.
You can contact the IRS to find out, but you’ll likely get a canned response letting you know that it will take approximately 3 weeks from the time you filed to receive your tax return.
There are three main ways to check where your tax return is at once it’s been filed. To learn about the three ways to get a tax return status update, read this article.
Posted by: Nick Venturella