Author Archives: Amanda DiSilvestro

About Amanda DiSilvestro

Amanda DiSilvestro is an expert writer on small business grants based in San Diego, California. She writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as HR management software. You can find more of her articles as well as vendors comparisons for your small business needs at Resource Nation or Business.com.

Why Google Translate Can Work For Your Blog

If you have something to say, it’s important that everyone hears it. After all, you did not spend hours writing that brilliant article just so people could look at the letters on the page. You want people to be able to read your content, but many take this for granted. Not everyone can read the great blog you have created because not everyone speaks the same language.

Fortunately, it is extremely easy to fix your blog so that more people can read it. It’s also worth noting that many people in America speak English as a foreign language. For this reason, translation of a blog becomes important.

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Look to the Past in 2012: How to Put Referrals Back on the Table

Many companies are focusing on the 2012 trends and new developments in business, but some should be thinking more along the lines of a New Year’s resolution. In other words, the New Year is a great time to improve upon what your company is already doing (or should already be doing). Many of those old marketing tricks still work just as well, but companies have slowly been pushing them to the wayside. While methods like social media and QR Codes are great, my advice is this: Make improving your older marketing methods your New Year’s resolution.

One of my favorite “classic” marketing tricks is the referral. Getting a referral is so important to a company because it has a very good chance of actually bringing in a profit. This is the case for because a referral means that your company is being talked about on a level of trust. The person getting the referral trusts the person giving the referral. This yields better results than if someone was just looking at a website.

If you think your company could benefit from more referrals, it’s time to start making this a priority. Consider a few of the ways your company can increase its number of referrals in the New Year:

Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Number of Referrals in 2012

1. Co-Marketing – Part of a co-marketing strategy is giving referrals. For those who are unfamiliar, many companies create partnerships with other, complementary companies for marketing purposes. For example, if you work at a day care center you may want to have a partnership with a pediatrician. If you refer customers to his/her practice and they refer their patients to your business, you will have an entirely new audience very quickly.

2. Social Media – You don’t need to resort back to traditional phone systems if you’re hoping for a referral. Contrary to what some may believe, old marketing tactics can coincide with new age methods. If you love social media, be sure that you have sharing buttons for all of your readers. This makes it easy for customers and clients to send an online referral to all of their friends and family.

3. Compensation – Even though giving a referral is very easy, people will be more likely to do so if there is an incentive. If you can give someone five dollars off their next visit or a free consultation just for bringing in a friend, your referrals will skyrocket. This is probably the easiest way to bring in new customers and clients (while making your existing clients happy).

4. Simply Ask – It’s never a bad idea to remind existing customers and clients that referrals are appreciated. This can be as easy as reminding them when they leave—just put it into your “goodbye” spiel. If you have a good relationship with a specific customer, ask them directly if they know anyone who may be interested. You might be surprised how something so little can go such a long way.

5. Testimonials – Gathering testimonials is great because it allows those who want to help to do their part. Many customers will tell you they simply do not know anyone in the area or anyone who would need your products or services. The solution to this is to ask for a testimonial for your website or brochure. Have them sign a document saying you can use their words on your website, and you’re good to go. This is an indirect way to give a referral, but a referral nonetheless.

In the end, people will not blame your company for trying to step up its referral statistics. It’s an inexpensive and successful way to grow a brand. In other words, looking to the past may benefit your company more than looking to the future in 2012.

Photo Credit: servicebusinessreinvention.com, mylot.com, blog.marketamerica.com

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to telemarketing. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including customer referrals to small businesses and entrepreneurs for Resource Nation.

5 Questions Every Blogger Should Ask Before Allowing Guest Posts

We are obviously brilliant writers, but sometimes we want to give our genius a rest. We know it’s a sad day for everyone when our blog takes a day off, but sometimes it can be so difficult to think of a new, fresh topic; especially if the blog is part of a small and specific niche. Have you ever tried to use an article you have written in the past to come up with a good blog post? Whether it be for your own blog or someone else’s blog, this can be extremely difficult. You look at the article and think: This is the absolute best article I could have written on this topic. Some may say this is the mark of a bad writer because they cannot find a different angle, but I say this is the mark of a good writer—you did it right the first time. Nonetheless, you are left with a feeling of frustration. In other words, I have found that the older and more popular your blog gets the harder it is to bring yourself to sit down and write. When put in those terms, it’s actually a little bit sad!

This led me to wonder: When is it too early to accept guest posts? Sometimes the best thing for your blog is a new perspective. Many well-known blogs started out as a one person operation (ever heard of Mashable?) and gradually grew to a blog full of guest writers. If you’re considering factoring in guest posts to your blog routine, but are unsure whether or not this is the right move, consider a few of these questions and answers:

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