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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3 Reasons You Are Struggling to Find Paying Clients On Facebook (And What To Do About It), by Jeanine Blackwell

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Are you struggling to find your ideal paying clients on Facebook? Perhaps you’ve tried running ads and they didn’t “work” for you? Or, you have Page “likes” but no one seems interested in your offers?

You have something valuable to offer, yet – for some reason – the pieces you’ve implemented so far are simply not generating revenue fast enough.

This scenario can be very discouraging and frustrating when you see and hear of so many experts and online marketers bringing in hundreds of leads a day.

When you master marketing online, you can then scale from one-on-one dollars-for-hours to building a leveraged business that works for you (even when you are not working).

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8 of the Top Marketing Challenges Marketers Face (And Their Solutions), by Lindsay Kolowich

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Every marketer faces different challenges. Although we typically share similar goals, some teams are stuck on hiring top talent, while others are having trouble finding the right technology for their needs.

Whatever the case may be, there’s always at least one area that you can stand to improve. In other words, there’s always room to optimize the various components of your strategy and turn your marketing into an even more effective revenue generator.

Curious about what kinds of obstacles other marketers are up against? We polled thousands of marketers on the challenges they face, as well as the tactics they’ve used to meet those challenges head-on. Here are some of the most common challenges marketers reported to be struggling with … and their solutions.

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9 Social Media Mistakes That Are Costing You Money, by Evan LePage

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How much money did social media make your business this week? What about this quarter? Or even this year? These questions are tough to answer, as many people struggle to tie their social media activities to their bottom line. The key is knowing exactly what metrics to track, and building the capability for measurement into everything you do online.

But that’s not what this blog post is about. This blog post is about making sure you’re not letting dollars and cents fall through the cracks. Social media can help you build your business in many different ways, but of course the inverse is just as true—you might be missing out on opportunities, or even just wasting your budget.

The reality is, you’re probably making a few basic social media mistakes that are costing your business money, or at least potential revenue. We take a look at nine of those mistakes below, and offer solutions for how to fix them.

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Choosing The Right Color For Your Small Business Logo, by Sarah Matista

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Are you getting ready to design a small business logo? Before putting pen to paper (or hiring a designer to), you’ll need to make sure you have a clear idea of what you want your logo to convey to your audience. After all, one of the main purposes of a logo is to get across a great deal of information about your brand as quickly as possible.

Once you have your list of adjectives, you’re ready to choose a predominant logo color. Color has a huge subconscious impact on the viewer, so be purposeful about your choices. Luckily, you don’t have to be a student of color theory in order to create an effective logo. You can use your own intuition, combined with the fantastic infographic below from FinancesOnline.com.

Among other great tidbits about logo design and history, the graphic offers great insights about the impact of colors. For example:

Red conveys passion, emotion, and aggression.
Green conveys calm, peace, and hope.
Purple conveys glamour, power, and romance.
Black conveys boldness, seriousness, and luxury.

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My Approach to Creating a Website, by Kristine Oller

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Let me start with some full disclosure…

…although I built this entire website (using a theme) and created most of the graphics, I would not call myself a web designer. (Aesthetics, in general, are not my strong suit, so I did solicit the help of my stylistically gifted consigliere during the final phase of this project.)

My particular skillset is probably most accurately described as a “web organizer.”

I am able to elevate a website that is cluttered and unfocused into one that reflects the owner’s true level of expertise, and I am able to simplify the multitude of decisions that this type of project requires. Then, when my clients have the means and inclination to do so, they can find individual experts (designers, writers, copywriters, branding/marketing consultants) who can make their site super fancy.

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