4 ways to increase revenue streams, by Raubi Marie Perilli

If you’re having a difficult time reaching revenue goals for your freelance or consulting business, it’s time to take a good look at your sales strategy. You could be making mistakes that are leaving money on the table. But before we look at those mistakes, let’s look at strategies that can help increase revenue streams.

4 ways to increase revenue streams

You can increase revenue streams by increasing one or more of the following:

  • Customer base
  • Transaction size
  • Transaction frequency
  • Prices

The mistakes holding you back could be tied to missing opportunities in these areas.

By identifying and resolving the following four errors, you can begin to increase revenue streams and start hitting your income goals.

1. You aren’t attracting new clients.

More customers mean more income. So if you want to see a rise in your income, bring in new clients. You can attract new clients to your freelance or consulting business with the following strategies.

Use what you know about past clients to attract new clients. Go through your current client roster and determine how you attracted each client. For example, if they were brought in by a speaking engagement, see if you can find more opportunities with a similar audience. If they were acquired through a guest post, see if you can post on the blog again.

Produce educational content. Freelancers and consultants can find more clients by providing value to their target audience before they become clients. By producing free educational content (via blogs, webinars, in-persona seminars, etc.), you can introduce your skill set and show off your knowledge to potential clients and lead them to working with you.

Ask for referrals. Your past customers are a great resource for finding new customers. Reach out to former or current clients and let them know you are taking on new clients. Also, consider giving them a discount or incentive for referring new clients to you.

Increase Revenue Streams Podcast
You can increase revenue streams by producing educational material, like podcasts and eBooks, that will appeal to potential clients.

2. You aren’t increasing the size of sales transactions.

Another way to increase revenue streams is bringing in a larger fee for a single transaction.

Getting your clients to spend more when they do business with you will bring in more income.

 

To increase transaction size, consider doing one or more of the following.

Develop complementary products. Consider what else your customer will need while they do business with you, and provide it as a service. Upselling a complementary product or service when you have already attracted a customer is a smart way to bring in more revenue without acquiring more clients.

Create packages. Make the value of the complementary products easy to see by bundling them into packages. Also, discount products and services when they are sold in a package to give clients an additional incentive to upgrade their purchase.

Offer discounts or bonuses for reaching a certain price point. Encourage clients to spend more by rewarding them for doing so. Offer a free bonus for spending a target price point or give a percentage discount for purchasing a large volume of services or items at one time.

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From Google AdWords to online reviews: How to choose the right business marketing channel, by John Jantsch

 

Google AdWords. Online reviews. Display ads. Social media. Content and push marketing … With so many outreach channels — online and off — to choose from, how does a business owner prioritize limited resources for marketing their business? Your tactics are going to differ based on what you offer, and how you make most of your sales.

Service providers should consider Google AdWords

If your company provides a service that people commonly search for, you’ll do best with well-placed Google AdWords or Bing Search buys. These businesses are the same ones that historically have gotten a lot of value from advertising in the Yellow Pages: lawyers, doctors, accountants, locksmiths, hair salons, plumbers, and other service providers.

The commonality between all of these companies is that the customer already wants to buy their service when they start looking, so they’re competing to be the provider that gets picked.

This tactic, called pull marketing, targets someone who is already in the buying process and attempts to reel them in.

Google AdWords, Bing Search, or Yelp Promoted advertising is useful for service providers because these online ads help you stand out from the crowd. They’re even more effective on mobile because it’s harder to distinguish between a paid placement and an organic search result on the smaller screen.

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8 Social Media Lessons You Can Learn From The Pros, by Mary Stribley

          

There are lessons to be learned from the best companies on social media 

If you’re reading this, can I assume you’re struggling on social media?

That’s fine, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But what do you actually need to do to grow your followers, improve your engagement and increase sales on social media?

In this article, we won’t tell you what to do. We’ll show you. By featuring what companies like Nike and Spotify are doing on social, you’ll start to see what’s required to improve your presence on social.

Important — Free Templates

In the article title we allude to there being free templates in this article. And there are tons. Any image that has the “Edit this design in Canva” caption on the right-side of it can be clicked on. Like this one:

When you click on a Canva template, it’ll open up in your Canva account. From there, you can customize the design with your own words, colors and images, and then download or share it. Not a Canva user? Signup here.

Why is this important?

Because to turn the lessons in this article into gold, you need to do what they suggest. If you want to apply one of the lessons right away, click on one of the Canva templates, customize it, and use it in your next social post.

01. Keep Things Visual

If there’s one tool that should be at the top of every social media strategy it’s visual content. Social media is becoming only more and more visually-based – with the plethora of content out there, we need striking visuals to cut through the noise and grab our attention.

A brand that champions all things visual content is Buffer. Not a status update or Tweet goes by without a custom graphic accompanying it, and their engagement numbers prove it.

Check out what a typical tweet from Buffer looks like:

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How to Protect Your Business Name, by Jane Haskins, Esq.

 

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Your business’s name means a lot. It identifies your brand. It signifies your reputation. And it’s how your loyal customers know you.

But when a competitor sets up a business with a name that’s similar or identical to yours, your customers can become confused, you can lose business, and your reputation may suffer.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take now that will help ensure that your good name will stay that way.

Protecting Your Name in Your Home State

One of the best ways to protect your business name in your home state is to form a business entity such as a corporation or a limited liability company.

Your state’s business filing agency won’t let two business entities have the same name. In some states, business entities also can’t have names that are deceptively similar to one another. Because of this rule, incorporating or forming an LLC allows you to “claim” your name in your home state and prevent other business entities from using it.

You can check business name availability in your state by contacting the state agency that handles business filings. Many states allow you to search business names online.

If you plan to form a formal business entity but aren’t ready to do it right away, nearly all states allow you to reserve a business name. Different states allow reservations for different amounts of time.

The protection you receive when you form a business entity does have limits: your name won’t be protected outside your home state and an individual or business can still use your business name without setting up a formal business entity.

Filing a DBA or Registering a Business Name

Can you protect your business name without forming a corporation or an LLC?

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So why does video improve search engine optimization (SEO)? by Trevor Croft

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If you’re in the business of promoting business, either your own or a client’s, you’ve probably heard that video on the website boosts search engine optimization (SEO). Trevor Croft Media says video boosts SEO to advertise its videos. If you’re like me, though, you want to know why.

As of 2014, video made-up 64 percent of all Internet traffic, and that percentage is anticipated to grow.  Pages with media-rich content, including video content, have at least the potential to rank higher in searches with Google and other search engines.  Because more people watch videos than read text, and because file names and metadata can influence SEO, inclusion of video on your web pages may help in the SEO department.

Social shares

Excellent videos will be shared over social media by those who watch them. Whether the video is entertaining, amusing, informative, or a combination of all of those, if it’s done well, people will share it and, in doing so, generate links back to your website.  More backlinks equal a higher ranking in Google and other search engines.

The video also tells these search engines that the page contains quality content. High-quality content will boost the page’s ranking in search results.

Some sources say hosting the video on the same service where the website is hosted is better than linking to video uploaded to YouTube™ or Vimeo™.  And some sources disagree.  So far as backlinking resulting from sharing is concerned, it makes some intuitive sense to have web page and video come from the same place. Because Trevor Croft Media’s Internet service provider requires videos to be uploaded to either YouTube or Vimeo, however, I will show you below the steps we took to make the best of this situation. For backlinking, one important thing is to include your website URL in YouTube’s metadata fields.

Metadata

Because Trevor Croft Media’s Internet service provider does not allow native hosting of video, we take advantage of video metadata, which is a good idea regardless of where your videos are. Utilize it to the fullest extent you can to provide search engines with relevant information about the video contents and your website.  Be sure that the metadata for the video matches the keywords for the web page.  Here’s where you create metadata for your video files:

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How to Hire the Right Voice Over, by Paul Strikwerda

How to Hire the Right Voice Over

Mike’s corporate video looked like a million bucks.

The camerawork was first-rate. The captions were loud and clear. The whole package was a winner.

As long as the sound remained muted.

Why?

Because the voice-over brought everything down.

“Where did you find this guy?” I asked. “He sounds like he has no idea what he is saying. There are certain words I cannot understand, and there’s a weird echo that is very distracting.”

“That’s our Dave,” said Mike with a proud smile. “Dave works in Delivery, and everybody kept on telling me that he has a nice voice. I thought I’d give him a break. Why search for outside talent when the answer is under our own roof?”

“Because this is a professional production,” I answered. “Whoever is going to see this, doesn’t care that Dave is your delivery guy. His voice is now associated with your company. If people are perceiving him as unprofessional (and they will), what will they think of your business?”

“But I saved a ton of money,” tried Mike. “I gave Dave fifty bucks, and he was happy with that.”

“No Mike,” I said. “You just lost a ton of money by working with an amateur. Think of a voice as your auditory logo. What does it tell potential customers about the kind of company you are? Dave’s delivery is undermining your message. He just doesn’t sound trustworthy, and that is damaging your corporate image.”

There was an awkward silence as I heard a few pennies drop.

“So, if Dave’s not doing it for you, how do I find the right voice?” asked Mike. “There are thousands of people online who all pretend to be voice-over pros. How do I separate the wheat from the chaff, and how long is that going to take?”

”It all starts with you, Mike,” I said. “You have to…

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Twitter Truths, by Dave Courvoisier

twitter-questions

Still don’t get Twitter?  Lotsa people don’t.  You’re not alone.

Sometimes days go by and I don’t post or even read posts…and that’s probably bad policy. Twitter should not be ignored, so don’t be frustrated by this social network.  Next to Facebook, it is the most influential social network to see and be seen.

Don’t take my word for it…search Gary Vaynerchuk in YouTube, and listen to ANY of his motivational talks about social media (just be ready for plenty of profanity).  He’ll make you a believer. Not only does it help raise your profile on the internet, but Twitter is actually a great prospecting tool.

That’s right.  With Twitter, you can find new clients. The formula is not hard, you just have to bend Twitter to YOUR rules.

The key is smart searching with the right keywords, then engaging prospects with your usual charming self.

Here’s the generally-accepted 3-fold formula:

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A Quick Guide to Selecting the Right Voice Talent, by Christopher Patrick Johnson

Choosing the best voiceover

Did you know that the right voice can make a 35% difference in conversion rate?

We replaced a voice track in a video—and made no other changes—and the conversion rate went from 2.5% to 3.8% on cold traffic. (Cold traffic refers to people that are mostly strangers coming in via search engines and social media.)

Since the voice actor’s role is an important part of storytelling, we’ll try to share with you some of the ideas we’ve learned, and hopefully you’ll know how to find, pick, and direct the best voice actors around.

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Ways to Promote Your Business this Holiday Season, by Bilal Kaiser

As soon as Halloween is over, the holiday shopping season begins and it’s a race against time—for both retailers and customers alike—to talk about the biggest deals and the best sales.

Nationally, the three main shopping events are Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving; Small Business Saturday, which is the following day; and Cyber Monday, the start of the next week. Black Friday gets kicked off by the major chains across the country, with some opening doors on Thanksgiving Day. And Cyber Monday has been a time for e-tailers to offer their best deals via promo codes and flash sales.

LegalZoom recently compiled a list of top three small business types by state and placed them on a map. Each state’s top business types are shown, and boy do they run the gamut; from manufacturing in Wisconsin to health care in New Mexico to professional services in Virginia, all 50 states bring something special to the table.

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What Makes A Great Explainer Video? by Nick Vaka

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Explainer videos, those seemingly cookie cutter shorts you see popping up all over the place, are definitely trending in online marketing.

Unfortunately, while there are exceptions, most are an exercise in patience as their utterly transparent 3-act structure quickly causes your eyes to glaze over (the complete opposite of their intended effect). In a sea of content that grows every day, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for these videos to stand out. Heck, chances are pretty good your dog’s groomer has an explainer video on THEIR website.

So, what makes a great explainer video? After years of both watching and producing these things, I’ve come up with a few points that, I think, can make the best explainer vids.

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