May 12

How a New York City-Based Small Business Pivoted for Higher Revenue [CASE STUDY]

By Maria Peagler

New York city is the big time: if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, right?

What if your small business business revenue isn’t enough to “make it?”

It happens. To the best of entrepreneurs.

Mega-cities like New York and San Francisco have astronomical living expenses.  How can small business owners pivot successfully and increase their revenue to thrive in these cities?

That’s what you’ll learn in today’s case study.

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Case Study: Lynda Spiegel of Rising Star Resumes

Meet Lynda Spiegel, a human resources professional with a high-flying career behind her who launched her own tutoring and essay-writing business.

Lynda Spiegel of Rising Star Resumes Case Study at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

Lynda Spiegel of Rising Star Resumes

Based in New York City, Lynda specialized in writing essays for English as second-language (ESL) college students in her EssayExcellence business. Her clients were mostly engineering students from Asia, as they simply didn’t have a mastery of the English language that allowed them to write term papers for their college classes.  That’s where Lynda’s business focused.

Essay Excellence case study Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

Lynda’s old business: EssayExcellence

Lynda said EssayExcellence’s website search engine optimization (SEO) was “non-existent,” so she had to resort to Craigslist to find most of her clients.

Her results?

According to Lynda, “Some great students, but a lot of deadbeats who disappeared or didn’t pay. The majority couldn’t afford to pay enough to make my time investment worthwhile.​”

Lynda’s talents and expertise were definitely being underserved by EssayExcellence, and her revenue reflected it.

The Pivot Point in Lynda’s Business

So how did Lynda decide which direction to go in when her current business wasn’t generating enough revenue? That’s where most entrepreneurs get stuck: they have so many options, they don’t know how to choose the best one.

Learn. From. Lynda.

It all started with social media.

Networks Lynda used to pivot her business:

Lesson #1: Establish Credibility Using Social Media Marketing

“I’ve always been a heavy user of LinkedIn,” said Lynda. “When I ran human resources in the corporate world, that’s where I sourced all my candidates​​​. I believe it’s a critical networking site for all business professionals​ and I wanted my website to speak to business professionals who spend their time on LinkedIn.”

That heavy use paid off: Lynda started getting messages and calls from mid-life professionals who were in the middle of a career transition and needed an updated resume.

lynda spiegel linkedin case study Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

Lynda regularly publishes articles on LinkedIn, establishing herself as an expert in HR

These professionals were far more lucrative clients than ESL students who found her on Craigslist.

While Lynda was looking for business on Craigslist, her consistent social media marketing on LinkedIn allowed far more affluent clients to find her.

Lesson #2: Don’t Go It Alone

Once Lynda decided to go into a new direction, she knew she couldn’t do it alone.

Here’s what Lynda did to pivot EssayExcellence into Rising Star Resumes:

  • Used social media marketing to establish credibility, expertise and connect with business professionals
  • Ditched her old website and hired a web developer to build a new one
  • Took classes at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com to update her social media and SEO skills
  • Got private coaching from me to guide her in the right direction, especially in SEO

Lynda relied on her strengths (human resources, what makes a stellar resume, LinkedIn), and reached out for help with what wasn’t.

First, she knew social media marketing would be a critical part of Rising Star Resumes, so she enrolled at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com to update her Twitter, Google+ and Slideshare skills, and learn more about SEO.

“The only person visiting my old website was me,”  said Lynda.

Second, she took advantage of the private coaching offered in her membership. We discussed tactics she could use specifically for her business to increase her SEO and get followers on Twitter.

Third, she hired a web developer to build an entirely new website.  “I felt that I was making such a radical change in the type of service I was offering as well as the type of client I was trying to attract that a total re-branding was in order,” said Lynda. “I used Dave Liao at Offpeak Designs. He was one of my best hires in the corporate world, and when he decided to go out on his own, I always got great feedback referring projects to him.”

Rising Star Resumes case study Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

Lynda’s new business website: Rising Star Resumes

Notice how Lynda relied on her existing network to source talent she needed for her pivot? Making a transition doesn’t mean abandoning your previous relationships. Rely on them to make your business stronger.

Lesson #3: Follow Your Most Lucrative Clients

Lynda kept her options open when she heard from mid-career professionals who needed resume help. She saw the opportunity before her and was willing to make a significant pivot in her business.

What opportunities have presented themselves to you that you’ve said “No” to?

While you don’t have to say “Yes” to everything, be flexible with the direction of your business. If your original plan doesn’t produce enough revenue, follow what does. You never know what other opportunities will present themselves once you make that change.

Lynda’s Results

So what are Lynda’s results after pivoting her essay business into resume writing for mid-career professionals?

  • A more lucrative client base
  • Increased traffic to her new website
  • Growing base of Twitter followers

To what does she attribute her success?

“Those online classes on Twitter, Slideshare and Google+ made all the difference, and the one-on-one coaching was targeted to specific questions I’d run into​,” said Lynda. “According to Google Analytics, I’m getting an increasing number of visitors.​ I think the increased traffic has more to do with your advice than the website itself.”

I also credit Lynda with being persistent when her initial efforts didn’t pay off.  It’s discouraging to see your business fail, but as Thomas Edison said:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

If your business isn’t generating the revenue you need, don’t give up. Identify the problem, commit to making a change, and get help with it.

 

May 11

Weekly Top 5 for May 11, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

 

#1. How to Brand Your Small Business: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic

Learn how to give your content a consistent, branded look & feel with this month’s members-only webinar . . . http://bit.ly/1KIc1QL One of the most requested topics from SMOC members.

#2. LinkedIn’s New User Interface, Showcase Pages and More

LinkedIn has a fresh new look, a BIG change to company pages and your profile analytics.  Our LinkedIn 101 class is completely updated to reflect all the new changes . . . http://bit.ly/1APYctv

#3. Facebook Connects Mother with Child She Thought Died at Birth

Amazing news story of a mother who was told her baby died at birth . . . until decades later she got a friend request on Facebook.  The power of social media is incredible . . . http://on.fb.me/1E1bBPz

#4. How to “Productize” Your Service Business for Easier Revenue

Have a service business with a long buying cycle? Learn how to “productize” your services for easier buying for your clients . . . http://on.fb.me/1APXpce

#5. How to Outperform 90% of Facebook’s Advertisers

Yes, it’s actually possible to create an ad that outperforms 90% of those on Facebook.  Here’s how . . . http://on.fb.me/1A5Chyn

May 05

How to Brand Your Small Business: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic

By Maria Peagler

how to brand your small business

 

Join Maria Peagler for this 30-minute live webinar: How to brand your small business —

  • 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic
  • $297.00 value FREE for Members (Membership is $57 per month, cancel easily anytime.)
  • Thurs, May 21, 1pm EDT, 6pm GMT

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership
Already a member?  Your webinar access codes will arrive in your Inbox a few days before the webinar.

How Can You Brand Your Business Consistently?

That was the question from one SMOC member last month.  She needs a consistent “look and feel” for everything she presents about her business.

That’s what the May webinar is all about!

In this month’s 30-minute, members-only webinar, you’ll learn:

  • simple tools you can use to brand all of your content
  • the 5-second “litmus test” for what makes a good logo
  • how to generate traffic, sales, and business from your branding
  • and more!

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions, so sign up today!

Get Your $297.00 Webinar ticket FREE When You Join SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Today

Purchase your Webinar ticket for $297.00 now, or get it free when you join as a Member today for $57 per month. Cancel easily anytime.

SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com is a continuous service, including instant access to over 200 online lessons valued at $1,997.00 plus $397.00 worth of new Bonus Webinars & infographics each month, billed to your payment card every 30 days at the lowest rate then in effect, currently just $57.

In total, you’ll get instant access to $2,297.00 (and growing!) worth of practical Members-Only training to grow your business using social media. SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Membership helps you:

#1. Get Access to One Billion Customers in 10 Minutes

Learn how to identify the social networks best for your unique business, then build a profile that turns more visitors into paying customers. SMOC brings you ‘what works’  training that cuts through the noise & crushes social media overwhelm.

Members  instantly access how-to videos, screen shots, checklists, infographics, and case studies — tools which can be put to work on your website & social networking right away.

#2. Get More Fans in Less Time

Discover how to get fans & connections without spending all day in social media.  You really can post to all of your social networks in as little as 15 minutes a day, and you’ll learn how to generate content & posts that get your business noticed, attract fans, and turn them into paying customers.

Members immediately get their hands on how-to checklists (like 13 Ways to Get More Facebook Fans), videos that teach you how to do search engine optimization yourself, and real-life examples of successful small businesses who’ve achieved great success.

#3. Customize Your Learning Track

Online training is often a one-sized fits all plan, but not for SMOC Members.  You’ll get a customized social media assessment that details the optimum social networks for your unique career path & industry, and you can use it as your guide for what classes you’ll need (Members are often surprised at the results).   Plus, Members can instantly access:

  • hands-on video tutorials
  • monthly social media makeovers (for your website or any social network)
  • bonus webinars that dive deep into profitable tactics
  • infographics to print as your cheat sheets
  • a private community forum
  • 1:1 private coaching

#4. Get 1:1 Coaching Plus Networking with Other Business Owners

Members get instant access to a private online community of peers eager to connect and discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t for them.

Each month, members also get 1:1 coaching time with Maria where you can get feedback on your website, advice on your business plan, help with your social media marketing, you name it — it’s your time!

Plus, your Membership includes a complimentary pass to SMOC’s monthly Bonus Webinar or virtual workshop focused on a hot social media business topic — ranging from one & done posting to getting listed on search results — with plenty of time for extended Q&As . The webinar alone is a value of $297.00 per month.

As a member you’ll get immediate access to all the materials on the site plus that month’s Bonus Webinar. After that, you’ll be billed the lowest available monthly fee (currently just $57) via convenient automated billing. It’s risk-free and guaranteed, you can easily cancel at any time.

So why not join today and see how SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com can help your business grow!

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May 04

Weekly Top 5 for May 4, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

 

People talk in speech bubbles, isolated with clipping paths. Soc

#1. [WEBINAR EXCERPT] Drive Sales from Instagram & Pinterest

Get a sneak peek in this webinar excerpt of how small brands are using these two visual social networks to generate sales  . . . http://bit.ly/1AfZMEI

#2. How to Use Pinterest to Get on the First Page of Google Seach Results

You don’t think of Pinterest as a Google search-booster, but that’s exactly what you’ll learn how to do in this mini-case study Maria shared in the SMOC Facebook mastermind group . . . http://on.fb.me/1GJrBrz

#3. How to Run a Contest on Instagram

This SMOC member wants to host an Instagram contest, but isn’t sure how to do it.  Read Maria’s advice alongw with examples of successful contests here . . . http://on.fb.me/1GJseRN

#4. How to Get Influencers Talking About Your Products

This SMOC member is launching a new product and wants to get BIG publicity for it.  Here’s how . . . http://bit.ly/1NzDLZv

#5. Small Business Featured in an SMOC Case Study is Voted Top Business of the Year

Last year we profiled a small business in Indiana that is serious about social media marketing. They’ve been named a top business in the U.S. and their commitment to social is a big reason why . . . http://on.fb.me/1GJvXij

Apr 29

How to Get Sales Using Instagram & Pinterest [WEBINAR EXCERPT]

By Janice Deleon

Watch this webinar excerpt to see how one tiny brand sells out of their inventory in less than 24 hours. Every. Day.  You can get the full webinar FREE here.

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

Video Transcript

Maria Peagler: Let’s sum up what it takes to sell on Instagram. The easiest thing for you to do is just post to your website or your blog or wherever it is on social media and just say, “Hey, on the blog today here’s what I’m doing. On Facebook today, here’s what I’m doing.” Just remind people, “Hey, there’s something new going on here. Here’s where you can find this.” Something that’s not quite as easy but it’s still pretty easy is something called micro content. This is what I do. I do a lot of info graphics but those are really too big to post on Instagram.

I do a very small version with one fact on it and I do a shortened link that people can remember to type in their URL in their browser. Because you cannot link to anything on Instagram on your post unless it is in your profile. That’s the only thing you can do, so I do it this way. Then, finally it’s more involved but do like Fox and Fawn and give people an EZ Button. They came up with a really really smart way for people to buy directly from them on Instagram by having their credit card on file and just saying, “Ring me up.” I just think it’s genius. They are doing really well.

The key to getting Instagram sales is having a clear photo. Here’s Elise’s journal photos and she’s got details about when and where to buy. They sell out within a day. Be very detailed in your description. Fox and Fawn in their profile gave you everything that you needed to know. They don’t put holds on items, no returns. Call their telephone number to purchase, where they are. They’re very detailed in their descriptions. Things sell out within an hour. This sweatshirt sold within an hour. Give people an easy way to do it. Theirs was a comment with, “Ring me up.” That is Instagram.

Now we’re going to move on to Pinterest which works completely differently. Pinterest works on both the mobile and desktop so there are no limitations there. The one thing that you really need to understand is Pinterest drives traffic and it drives a lot of it. If you are looking to get traffic to your website, Pinterest will do it for you. It is the number one driver of traffic of any social network. More than Twitter, more than YouTube, certainly more than Instagram. It is a huge driver of traffic to your website.

There are a couple things that you need to do on Pinterest. One is to have a really good image. Again, it doesn’t need to be professional but there are some things that you can do to get a really good image that gets a lot of likes, re-pins and traffic. Here’s what it is. You are actually going to get this template that you can use or give to your graphic designer. This is one of the goodies you’re going to get.

The original blog post appears here.

weekly top 5 - puppy edition
Apr 27

Weekly Top 5 for Apr 27, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

 

weekly top 5 - puppy edition

#1. Social Marketing 2015 — Babies Edition

The e-trade baby’s got nothing on these babies: they explain how to use social media marketing in 2015 in this humorous infographic . . . http://bit.ly/1ElPeuR

#2. PROOF that LinkedIn Drives Revenue

Want to be able to generate sales from LinkedIn? Maria offers proof you can with this case study from a new member who purchased after learning about SMOC on LinkedIn . . . http://on.fb.me/1FreOgZ

#3. How to Consistently Brand Your Content Marketing

Want potential customers to recognize your content immediately? Here’s how to brand your content consistently . . . . http://on.fb.me/1FreZsM

#4. Why are Conference Speakers NOT Listing Their Facebook Page URL?

An SMOC member is attending an upcoming conference and wondered why the speakers list only their Instagram, Twitter and website URLS?  Why not Facebook? See Maria’s answer here . . . .http://on.fb.me/1A5BU6M

#5. How to Outperform 90% of All Facebook Ads

Maria’s running an ad on Facebook that is getting results for 90% less budget than similar ads.  How? Find out here . . . http://on.fb.me/1A5Chyn

Apr 21

Social Marketing 2015 – Baby Edition Infographic

By Maria Peagler

social marketing 2015 babies Socialmediaonlineclasses.png

Do you feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of social networks? Not sure which one holds the most potential for your business?

You’re in good company. Most business owners are confused over which platform best suits them and their brand.

That’s what the Social Marketing 2015 infographic clarifies.  Not just social networks, but digital marketing that incorporates a social aspect. I’ve included WordPress in this list, as it’s the go-to tool for so many small businesses who need a website and blog (allowing social comments & shares). Also listed is Slideshare, which is a much-overlooked network but excellent for business-to-business.

Thanks to Avalaunch Media, who inspired this infographic with their original Social Meowdia Explained.

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Apr 20

Weekly Top 5 for Apr 20, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

Colorful cupcakes with flowers

 

#1. Drive Sales from Instagram & Pinterest: Webinar Replay & Resources

Get two case studies of small brands that sell out of their inventory in less than 24 hours using Instagram and Pinterest! Along with the 30-minute webinar replay, you also get the mp3 audio, slide deck, infographic checklist, Perfect Pinterest Pin template and Anatomy of a Perfect Pin cheat sheet (WOW!!) . . . http://bit.ly/1wE3Uxs

#2. 7 Google Search Secrets to Find Anything Online

Master the art of online search (using Google or any other search engine) with this infographic & blog post . . . http://bit.ly/1IgTt8f

#3. Small Business vs. Big Business: Tactics You Can Use to Beat Big Business

Three case studies of Georgia small businesses who are BEATING their big business competitors. Brands include a florist, a restaurant, and a bakery. Learn their innovative “big-brand crushing” tactics here . . . http://bit.ly/1FI5mqP

#4. New Privacy Options in Facebook

Good news! Facebook has made your privacy options easier and far more clear than ever before.  Our Facebook 101 class offers advice on how to protect yourself online from identity theft and more . . . http://bit.ly/1aIXJ5t

#5. New Infographic! Facebook Personal Profile vs. Business Page

One of the most frequent questions I get (even in 2015) is “Can I use my personal profile as my business page?”  This lesson and new infographic make it easy to see which to use for business AND what happens when you Like, Share, and Comment from each . . . http://bit.ly/1aIY1ZW

Apr 16

Small Business vs Big Business — Vlog, Transcript and Infographic

By Janice Deleon

This is the video version of the original blog post titled Small Business Tactics You Can Use to Compete Against Big Box Competitors, along with the infographic and video transcript (they follow the video):

 

Small Business Tactics vs. Big Box Competitors Infographic

beat big box competitors infographic Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

 

Video Transcript

Maria Peagler: Hi. This is Maria Peagler with SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com and this is the audio and video version of the blog post “Small Business Tactics You Can Use to Compete Against Big Box Competitors.”

I got a call recently from a woman who owned a floral shop business and she was quite upset because she was noticing that big box floral shops, big national online and 800-telephone number competitors were running online ads, Google Pay-Per-Click ads to make it look like they were local to her town. What would happen is somebody would search in Google for floral delivery in her city and their ad, her competitor’s ad, is the first thing that would show up.

Now her business was the first thing that showed up in the organic results that are unpaid but she said the way that this competitor was structuring their ad, they were making it look like they were a local business and she was quite upset because she was losing a great deal of business to them.

What we did was come up with a strategy that she was able to use to not only stave off those competitors but won over some of the people who were buying from her competition. That’s what this audio and video is going to be all about…how small business owners can use tactics that only small businesses can use, ways that they compete and ways that big box brands can’t.

We’ll be going over about four different things that small businesses can do to go up against big box competitors, and the number one thing that you want to do is not try to win customers on price. You are never going to beat the Walmarts, the Targets, the Amazons, and the Home Depots of the world on price. I’m here on the Walmart website and you can look, smart rollbacks, they’re constantly talking about how low their prices are. You are never going to be able to beat those big box retailers and big box competitors on price.

Secondly, you don’t really want to do that because what happens is the shoppers that you end up gaining by being a low price leader are people who are going after price only. They are loyal only to price. They’re not loyal to you. They’re not loyal to your company. They want the lowest price and they will go to whoever has it. Those aren’t customers that you want because they’re rarely satisfied, they’re not loyal to you, and they complain a lot. Those are not the customers that you want. You’ll lose a little bit but you ultimately win in the long run because you leave those headache customers to somebody else.

The second thing that you want to do is offer specialized products big brands can’t do. In the blog post, I talk about a situation that I had last year where a family friend was in a terrible accident and was recovering in the hospital, and I wanted to send some flowers but the hospital that she was in was over an hour away and I wasn’t sure if she could get flowers in the unit in the hospital that she was in, I didn’t know who delivered.

I called the hospital and they said, “Yes, she can receive flowers and here’s a florist that we recommend.” I went to their website and it was called Peachtree Petals and what was very cool was on their website they have a page dedicated to delivering to Atlanta hospitals. They tell you what kind of arrangements they do and they list all the hospitals that they deliver to so I knew that I was in the right place ordering from these people because this is what they specialize in.

This is something that 1-800-FLOWERS can’t do. They don’t know these hospitals. They don’t know their policies. They’re setting themselves apart by offering not only hospital flower delivery but even same-day service. If you place your order within, right now I’m recording this at 4:00. If I place this order within 45 minutes, I get same-day delivery to that hospital. There is no way a national competitor could do that. They’re offering something that the big brands just can’t do.

Here’s another business that offers something that big box retailers can’t do. It’s a local bakery about an hour from me called Mama Bakes Safe Cakes. Now that seems like an odd name unless you have someone in your family who suffers from food allergies and then you know exactly what they do. This is a bakery that specializes in allergen-free baked goods and that’s a really, really big deal for people who have life-threatening food allergies. If your child or if you have a family member who is allergic to nuts, soy, dairy, eggs, any of those things, most of those things are in any bakery, even like Publix.

Publix is a local grocery store chain here in the Southeast and they have the absolute best bakery ever but a child died recently after eating a cookie that Publix employees assured this mother had not been baked anywhere near a nut. This is a really, really big deal and it’s expensive to make goods like this because you have to use specialty ingredients but parents are willing to pay it because they can give their child something that they don’t ever have to worry about them having a reaction to.

You see that in the reviews that they have which are just incredible. There’s a review on here from a nursing mother who was excited because she is getting lactation cookies and she can eat things that don’t pass on allergens to her nursing baby who has all kinds of food allergies. Mama Bakes Safe Cakes is doing something that Kroger, Publix, Walmart, Target, none of those brands can compete with this. They cannot offer allergen-free baked goods and so this bakery is doing something really smart in offering something that you can’t find at a local big box store. Just cannot find it. That’s another way that you can win against big business is to offer a specialized product or service that they simply cannot do.

The third thing that you can do to win against big brands is to show the people behind your business and let them get to know your customers because after all, who’s the face of Home Depot? Well, nobody. There’s nobody that you think of as being the face of a big brand but small businesses get to show their staff, show the owners, and they get to know you.

The example that I share on this blog post is a local restaurant to my town called the Woodbridge Inn. This is a restaurant that’s been passed down from father to son. The son is Hans Rueffert who competed in the Food Network Star reality competition and has fought a fierce battle with cancer. He shares his story and has a post on here on Facebook about they always have gluten free options at their restaurants. What he says in this post is, “You better believe that the guy with no stomach is extremely sensitive to customers’ dietary special requests.”

Not only are they doing something that any chain restaurant is not going to be able to do but he’s sharing his story, and letting us know a little bit about him. He did something really awesome recently that also goes to show how you can create a connection as a small business with your customers. My husband and I were eating there for dinner one night, and he brought out his brand new five-month-old baby Heidi and walked to every table and introduced her and talked to us.

We talked about the food, we talked about family and we just connected over a great meal. Here is a Facebook post where he says, “Baby Heidi is ready for lunch. How about you?” He’s got a picture of Heidi and today’s blue plate special, and this is what small town America is all about, when you go to a local restaurant and they know your favorite dish and they serve it to you before you even have a chance to order.

That actually happened to me and my husband at this Mexican restaurant that we went to all the time. They knew what we wanted. We ordered the same thing all the time and so they just brought it over to us. That’s something that a big business simply cannot do.

Then lastly, and #4, you want to participate in local events. That shows support for your community and when you support your community, they’re going to support you. I’ve got examples from two of the small businesses that I talk about in this post. Peachtree Petals, on their Facebook page, shows a photo of their designers and the beautiful arrangements they created for the High Museum of Art’s event called “Art in Bloom.” It’s got a beautiful picture here of their staff. It gives them their names, and it shows them really out in the community.

Here on the Facebook page for Mama Bakes Safe Cakes is a thank you from a runner who was delighted to get an allergen-free cupcake after she finished a local road race. Again, that’s not something that a big business is going to do. If you’re a small business and you’re feeling squeezed by the big guys, don’t worry, you’ve got this. You can beat the big box competitors. You can download an infographic that I’ve got here on this post and I’ll have a link to it in the video, in the audio, on how you can beat big box competitors.

I’ve also got related resources here. We have an infographic called “The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Local Business.” We have a webinar, a members-only webinar “Social Medial for Local Business” that talks even more about what local businesses can do that big brands simply can’t. There are a lot of things local businesses can do that big box retailers cannot do.

Then lastly is our Search Engine Optimization class. That’s what my client who’s a florist is really, really interested in in figuring out how she could combat these ads that the big box florist was doing to make them look local.

This is Maria Peagler with SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com in “How Small Brands Can Beat Big Box Competitors,” the audio and video version.

The original blog post & infographic appear here.

small business Socialmediaonlineclasses.com featured image
Apr 14

Small Business Tactics You Can Use to Compete Against Big Box Competitors

By Maria Peagler

Small Business Tactics You Can Use to Compete Against Big Box Competitors

small business Socialmediaonlineclasses.com featured image

I got a call from a floral shop owner in a small town, and she was scared . . .

One of the HUGE online floral brands was running Google ads that made them “appear” to be local.

They had a big budget, an ad agency . . .

And they were taking away her business.

What could she do?

We developed a strategy in her personal coaching sessions with me (included with her membership), she took classes here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com to learn search engine optimization and tactics only local businesses can use.  She developed a unique strategy based on her shop and her location, enabling her to compete against those bigger brands and take away THEIR business.

How? That’s what this post is all about —

1. Don’t Try to Win Shoppers on Price

If you’re s small brand who is competing against an online retailer or big box store, the price battle is one you’ll lose.

Ultimately, however, you’ll come out the winner.

Why?

Because shoppers who buy based on the lowest price are NEVER loyal: they go with whomever has the lowest price at the time. They’re also demanding, difficult to please, and rarely satisfied.

Let someone else have those clients — you don’t need the headache.

So first, realize you won’t win over everyone, nor do you want to.

 

2. Offer Specialized Products the Big Brands Can’t

Every floral shop offers wedding and funeral bouquets. But what don’t they offer?

  • Floral arrangements based on the colors of local high school and college teams
  • Themed arrangements for the local festival and celebrations
  • Participation in local cultural events
  • Specialized same-day delivery to local hospitals

Last year a family friend was in a horrific accident and recovering in an Atlanta hospital.  I wanted to send a special floral bouquet, but because I’m over an hour away, I didn’t know which florists specialized in delivering to that hospital or even if she could receive flowers.

I made one phone call to the hospital, and found out that yes, this patient could receive flowers, and they even recommended a local florist who specialized in same-day deliveries:  Peachtree Petals.

small business compete big box peachtree petals

Peachtree Petals has a dedicated page on their website telling you which local hospitals they deliver to. They even have a same-day count-down timer to let you know how long you have to place an order.

They offered a dedicated website page for local hospital floral deliveries, reassuring me that they did deliver to the hospital I needed, and could do so within the SAME day.

Later in this post I’ll share related resources you can use for powerful tactics available only to local businesses.

Here’s another incredible small business: a local Alpharetta, Georgia bakery called Mama Bakes Safe Cakes.  While that may sound like an odd name, any mother whose child has food allergies can immediately identify with what this unique bakery has to offer: allergen-free baked goods.

small business big box competitors mama bakes safe cakes alpharetta ga

You can find cupcakes in any grocery store, Wal-Mart and Target across the country.  What you can’t find is a bakery that can assure you that their baked goods were prepared in an allergen-free environment and are safe for your child to eat.

Specialized bakeries can charge prices for one cupcake that would buy six cupcakes at a grocery store, because it’s challenging to find bakeries that specialize in allergen-free products.  Peace-of-mind for parents comes with a higher price tag they are more than happy to pay.

Score one for the little guys!

3. Show the People Behind Your Small Business

Who’s the face of Home Depot, Starbucks, or Target?

No one.

Here’s where small businesses can win BIG: let your customers get to know the people behind your business.

The secret to capturing the hearts of your customers is your PEOPLE. They are the ones who greet us as we come through the door, who ask us how our families are doing, who know what we want for dinner before we even order.  All of these special touches make your store feel like HOME when we walk through the door.

No big box retailer can come close to that.

The Woodbridge Inn is a small restaurant in Jasper, Georgia, located in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. Owner Hans Rueffert is carrying on the tradition his father Joe started in running the business:

woodbridge inn small business compete against big retailers

Hans competed in the Food Network Star reality competition, does local cooking shows, and has fought a fierce battle with stomach cancer.  Locals know Hans, his family, and his story because he freely shares them:

hans rueffert gluten free woodbridge inn small business

One evening this winter my husband and I were enjoying dinner at the the Woodbridge Inn when Hans came out with his new baby Heidi, and introduced her to every single table. We talked food, family, and connected over a great meal prepared by great people:

baby heidi woodbridge inn small business jasper ga

 

 

 

4. Participate in Local Events

Peachtree Petal’s Facebook page shows their talented designers participating in at the High Museum of Art’s “Art in Bloom” event.  No online retailer can show this kind of local support!

small business compete big box Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

Peachtree Petals participates in local cultural events. You get to know the people behind the brand.

On Mama Bakes Safe Cake’s Facebook page is a “thank you” from a runner delighted to be greeted with allergen-free cupcakes after finishing a local road race:

mama bakes safe cakes local participation small business

 

Ultimately, big box retailers don’t know your town’s people, their stories, nor will they win their loyalties with low prices.  Connection, incredible service, and specialized products will set your small business apart and allow it to thrive, even when you hear the FEE-FI-FO-FUM of giant big-box retailers approaching.

No worries. You’ve got this.

Small Business vs Big Business Checklist

Use this handy checklist as your guide to offering a specialized experience no big brand retailer can match:

beat big box competitors infographic Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

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Related Resources

The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Local Business

Social Media for Local Business Webinar

Search Engine Optimization 101 Class

 

Apr 09

How to Drive Sales from Instagram & Pinterest: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic

By Maria Peagler

drive sales from pinterest & instagram Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

Free webinar Thurs, April 16 @1pm EDT/6pm GMT.  Join Maria Peagler for this brief live webinar:

  • Learn how to generate sales from visual social networks Instagram & Pinterest
  • Thurs April 16, 1pm EDT, 6pm GMT
  • 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic
  • $297.00 value FREE for Members (Membership is $57 per month, cancel easily anytime.)

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership
Already a member?  Your webinar access codes will arrive in your Inbox a few days before the webinar.

On Instagram & Pinterest but Not Getting Sales?

You’re not alone.

That changes this month with your FREE bonus webinar.

In this month’s 30-minute, members-only webinar, you’ll learn:

  • the ONE thing you need to do on Pinterest to get visitors to buy from you
  • why Instagram doesn’t drive traffic but CAN drive sales
  • the SURPRISING currency that works on both networks
  • and more!

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions, so sign up today!

Get Your $297.00 Webinar ticket FREE When You Join SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Today

Purchase your Webinar ticket for $297.00 now, or get it free when you join as a Member today for $57 per month. Cancel easily anytime.

SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com is a continuous service, including instant access to over 200 online lessons valued at $1,997.00 plus $397.00 worth of new Bonus Webinars & infographics each month, billed to your payment card every 30 days at the lowest rate then in effect, currently just $57.

In total, you’ll get instant access to $2,297.00 (and growing!) worth of practical Members-Only training to grow your business using social media. SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Membership helps you:

#1. Get Access to One Billion Customers in 10 Minutes

Learn how to identify the social networks best for your unique business, then build a profile that turns more visitors into paying customers. SMOC brings you ‘what works’  training that cuts through the noise & crushes social media overwhelm.

Members  instantly access how-to videos, screen shots, checklists, infographics, and case studies — tools which can be put to work on your website & social networking right away.

#2. Get More Fans in Less Time

Discover how to get fans & connections without spending all day in social media.  You really can post to all of your social networks in as little as 15 minutes a day, and you’ll learn how to generate content & posts that get your business noticed, attract fans, and turn them into paying customers.

Members immediately get their hands on how-to checklists (like 13 Ways to Get More Facebook Fans), videos that teach you how to do search engine optimization yourself, and real-life examples of successful small businesses who’ve achieved great success.

#3. Customize Your Learning Track

Online training is often a one-sized fits all plan, but not for SMOC Members.  You’ll get a customized social media assessment that details the optimum social networks for your unique career path & industry, and you can use it as your guide for what classes you’ll need (Members are often surprised at the results).   Plus, Members can instantly access:

  • hands-on video tutorials
  • monthly social media makeovers (for your website or any social network)
  • bonus webinars that dive deep into profitable tactics
  • infographics to print as your cheat sheets
  • a private community forum
  • 1:1 private coaching

#4. Get 1:1 Coaching Plus Networking with Other Business Owners

Members get instant access to a private online community of peers eager to connect and discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t for them.

Each month, members also get 1:1 coaching time with Maria where you can get feedback on your website, advice on your business plan, help with your social media marketing, you name it — it’s your time!

Plus, your Membership includes a complimentary pass to SMOC’s monthly Bonus Webinar or virtual workshop focused on a hot social media business topic — ranging from one & done posting to getting listed on search results — with plenty of time for extended Q&As . The webinar alone is a value of $297.00 per month.

As a member you’ll get immediate access to all the materials on the site plus that month’s Bonus Webinar. After that, you’ll be billed the lowest available monthly fee (currently just $57) via convenient automated billing. It’s risk-free and guaranteed, you can easily cancel at any time.

So why not join today and see how SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com can help your business grow!

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

Apr 06

65 Social Media Marketing Resources from 1st Quarter of 2015

By Janice Deleon

65-sm-resources-2015-post

Every week here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com we give you a list of our most recent resources with our Weekly Top 5: your lessons, infographics, webinars, and articles. We’ve gathered all those resources from 1st quarter of the year into one GINORMOUS list for you, making it uber-easy to find what you need to grow your business using social media marketing.

Enjoy!

Social Media Strategy

  1. 1:1 Coaching Each Month for Members  *
  2. 4 Easy Ways to Make Money with Social Media Marketing
  3. Be More Efficient in 2015 by Identifying Your Top 20%
  4. CHEAT SHEET: 4 Social Media Engagement Hacks *
  5. Emailing Leads from a Trade Show – is that SPAM? *
  6. How to Crowdfund Your Business
  7. How to Get More Traffic to Your Website Using Social Media
  8. How to Repurpose Your Content  *
  9. How to Run a Profitable Flash Sale *
  10. Member Question Re: Dark Social Media *
  11. My Favorite 15+ Books for Small Business Owners 
  12. Need More Traffic to Your Website? Think Again! 
  13. New Private Mastermind Group for Members    *
  14. NEW! Social Media Strategy Template & Spreadsheet *
  15. One-on-One Coaching for Members     *
  16. SMOC is #1 on Alltop with This Article  *
  17. Social Media Certification for Each Class *
  18. Social Media Hacks You Can Use for More Engagement on ANY Network
  19. Social Media Strategy Template *
  20. Social Media Strategy Template & Spreadsheet *
  21. Start 2015 with an Updated Social Media Action Plan
  22. SWIPE FILE: How to WOW Potential Customers with Testimonials *
  23. The Oscars Use of Hashtags in 2015
  24. The State of Social Media for Small Business [CLASSIC]
  25. The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags
  26. This Surprising Social Network Outperforms All Others
  27. Use Your Website Assets in Your Online Marketing *
  28. VIDEO – How to Find Your Target Market *
  29. What’s the #1 Thing You Wished You Understood Better About Marketing?
  30. Why Your Social Media Marketing Isn’t Generating Revenue
  31. Best Books for Small Business Owners [INFOGRAPHIC]
  32. Content Generation Infographic  *
  33. Vote for Your Favorite Version of Our Classic Infographic *

 

Facebook

  1. 64 Tactics to Use on Facebook in 2015
  2. Brand New for 2015: Facebook Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]
  3. Facebook Changes Post Scheduling Options   *
  4. Great Example of a Simple Business Video *
  5. How to Do Business-to-Business Networking on Facebook *
  6. How to Find a Facebook Post in a Group *
  7. How to Transition Friends to Your Facebook Business Page *
  8. How to Use a Facebook Ad to Market Vacation Rentals *
  9. How to Use Hashtags on Your Hangtags *
  10. NEW CLASS! Facebook Advertising on a Budget  *
  11. New Facebook Advertising Lessons in Facebook 103  *
  12. New Facebook Private Group for Members *
  13. The One Simple Step that Increases Facebook Reach Exponentially!  *
  14. Website Images Won’t Appear on Facebook Post Links *
  15. What Gets the Highest Engagement on Facebook in 2015?
  16. What’s the Proper Recognition for a Facebook Like? *

Webinar

  1. [WEBINAR EXCERPT] 3 Must-Have Google Analytics Reports for Small Business *
  2. Can Mobile Users Find Your Business? Webinar, Slide Deck, Audio & Infographic *
  3. Can Mobile Users Find Your Website [WEBINAR EXCERPT] *
  4. Can Mobile Users Find Your Website? Webinar Replay & Resources *
  5. How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing: [Webinar EXCERPT] *
  6. How to Protect Your Business from Hackers: [Webinar Excerpt] *
  7. How to Protect Your Business from Hackers: Webinar Replay *
  8. THURSDAY: How to Protect Your Business from Hackers – Webinar, Slide Deck, Audio & Infographic

Pinterest

  1. Your Post Repinned Over 100 Times on Pinterest? 

Twitter

  1. [INTERVIEW] How an Entrepreneur Gets Over 70% of Her Business from Twitter

Google Plus

  1. 3 Must-Have Google Analytics Reports for Small Business
  2. Google Analytics Made Simple: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic *

LinkedIn

  1. LinkedIn Fixes Their BIG Mistake of 2014

YouTube

  1. Help! I Have Multiple YouTube Channels and Don’t Know How to Fix It! *

SEO

  1. Do Local Directories Help a Local Business’ SEO? *

* Indicates Members-Only Content

Apr 03

7 Secrets to Find Anything Using Google Search: Video + Infographics + Transcript

By Janice Deleon


7 Secrets to Find Anything Using Google Search Youtube video, Infographic and transcript are below the video:

 

Infographic

google search secrets Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

 

Transcript

Maria Peagler: This is the audio and video version of the blog post titled “Seven Secrets to Finding Anything with a Google Search.” This is Maria Peagler with socialmediaonlineclasses.com. If you’re listening to the audio version of this, you can also find the blog post and the video version of the socialmediaonlineclasses.com blog.

If you are like me, you use Google search daily, sometimes multiple times a day. In this brief video and audio I am going to show you how to get more out of every Google search you do by telling it exactly what you do and don’t want. Using an online search, whether you use Google or Bing or Yahoo! Or an anonymous search engine like DuckDuckGo, is one of the best ways that you can find solutions for your business, to find Google resources and tools. I will tell you that I am so specific in my online searches that I can find resources that nobody else knows about. That’s what I’m going to show and tell you how to do today.

I’m going to share with you seven tactics. The first one is how to search for an exact phrase. Let’s say that you’re searching for Social Media Online Classes. You want to look for classes on social media that are online and you want exactly that phrase in that order. To do that you’re going to type that phrase in quotes, so “social media online classes.” Press enter. What will happen is Google will show you, or any search engine will show you results using that exact phrase in that order. That’s important. You won’t see online classes and social media. You won’t see online social media classes, social media courses. It’s just going to be results that have those words together in that order: social media online classes.

You can see here the first two results that are not ads, actually the first one, two, three, four, five results are for socialmediaonlineclasses.com, not surprisingly. Now I am doing this search in what’s called incognito mode in Google, which means that I am not signed into Google. It doesn’t know who I am so it’s not showing these results to me because I own Social Media Online Classes. It doesn’t know me from anybody. That’s the first type of search you can do is in quotes.

Now let’s say that you’re just starting out and you want to do a broad search of the same phrase, but you want to see what’s out there and those words don’t have to appear together or in that order. What you’re going to use then instead of quotes are brackets. It will be [social media online classes]. You’re going to press enter. Again you’re going to see results that include those words but not necessarily together, and not necessarily in that same order. The results that you get here are very different. Yes, socialmediaonlineclasses.com is first, but there’s also something called DIY Genius, Online Marketing Institute, Boot Camp Digital, and Alison.com and more. You’re seeing a wider variety of results because you’re telling Google or whatever search engine I just want to see these words on that page somewhere.

Let’s take a look at searching within a specific website. This is one of my favorite search tactics, and I use it a lot. For example, what I’m going to do here is I’d like to search Twitter to see what journalists use it. Now I don’t want to see people ranting about the journalist they don’t like. I only want to see real journalists. What I’m going to do is say site twitter.com and in quotes put journalist. When I press enter, what it’s going to show me is tweets about a journalist hashtag, people who have journalist in their Twitter account name, or it’s in their bio, or it could be a tweet about a journalist. It’s only results from Twitter. You can do this for any social network. You can do it for Facebook, LinkedIn. You can even do it for Instagram and Pinterest, visual social networks. You can do it for sites that aren’t a social network. You could search Forbes. You could search Etsy. You could search Amazon. You can search any site for something specific, and using this site perimeter will return only results from that website. This is my favorite tactic for getting results that I trust from a source I know.

The next search tactic that I like to do is to … let’s see. I’m going to search for something called engagement hacks. I just typed engagement hacks, that’s it. It’s showing me three results. It’s showing me some images. What I really want to see is only the most recent results. What I want to do is go to the toolbar here in Google and I’m going to click on search tools. There’s a little drop down that says anytime. I want to see results only from the past month. Here what it shows me are things that occurred six days ago. I’m doing this in March so it’s only showing me results from March. This is important if you need to find something that is relatively recent, or if you know it was in a specific time frame. You can specify anytime, the past hour, the past 24 hours, week, month, year, or a custom range. It really, really allows you to get very granular with your search.

The other thing that you can do with these search tools is change your location. Because I’m doing it in incognito mode right now it’s not showing me any localized results, but if you’re signed in to Google it’s going to show you results for your area first. Most of the time you want that, but sometimes you don’t, so you can change your city by also using those search tools.

The last several ones are some of my favorite strategies, and I use these a lot. Let’s say that I want to search for a Facebook marketing infographic. The first thing it’s going to show me are several images, but then it’s going to show me a whole lot of different results from different websites. The thing is, I don’t know who to trust on these. If it’s a visual, I want to see it. You can click on this Google toolbar and click on images, and it’s going to show you only images. You would think it would do this anyway if you’re asking for an infographic, but it doesn’t. You can get only images by clicking on that image qualifier in the toolbar. I will tell you, I use this even when I’m not looking for something graphic, because these days everybody is a publisher online. There’s a lot of people publishing content and a lot of it is junk. One of the real ways that you can tell what quality articles are from the rest, even if they rank highly in Google search, is the quality of their images. If I’m looking for something, a research article, or if I’m trying to learn something, I will click on images and see who really put a lot of time and thought into the image that went with their article. Nine times out of ten, it leads me to something that’s very high quality.

Another one of my favorite searches is the related search, because this allows you to find something that’s similar to something that you already know about. I’ll give you an example. You all know I do a lot of infographics, and I’ve been looking at different tools for branching out and doing different kinds of infographics. I was trying out a tool called Piktochart. It’s an online tool that you can use to create infographics. I tried it out and it was great but it wasn’t really what I needed.

What I did was a related search. I typed in Google related: piktochart.com. If you type in related: and then the name of the website or the name of the article or whatever it is that you’re trying to find, Google will show you results that are most closely related to that. It’s showing me visual.ly.com where you can create infographics easily, an article on five tools for creating your own infographics, ten free tools for creating infographics. I’m seeing a lot of other things that allow me to create my own infographics.

I will tell you that I use this related search perimeter a lot, and here’s why. Some of the best resources you will find online are some of the ones that are buried. You would think that if something’s really good it’s going to appear on the first page of search results, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes some of the best resources and the best people I have found to work with come from a related search. This is one of my favorite buried treasure searches.

Then I’ve got two more searches. One is a bonus that’s not on the infographic, and I’m going to leave that until last. Another one that you can do is to look for videos. I’m going to type in Hootsuite how to. I want to learn how to use Hootsuite. It’s showing me an add from Hootsuite, and then there’s this help guide from Hootsuite, but frankly, I don’t want a guide from Hootsuite because I don’t find that they’re very helpful. I want to find a video. If I go to videos, here in the search bar I can click on it and it’s going to show me the videos that are available on YouTube. Now it’s showing me my own video first. That’s because I knew that this video would show up first in this search, but sometimes the videos that show as the most popular are not necessarily the highest quality. It’s a helpful search but it’s frankly not one of my favorites because the search perimeter looking at videos is helpful, but it’s not always the most relevant results. One of the things I really do like is you can click right from the search results to watch the video, and it also tells you how long the video is.

Lastly, this is one of my favorite things. If you want to do a search but you want to disqualify some of the results, you can tell any search engine where you don’t want it to search for. Let me give you an example. I was doing a search for something Pinterest-related. I wanted to see … I can’t even remember what it was now. I think it was Pinterest images, but I didn’t want the search results from Pinterest itself, because what it was showing me was stuff that was just not related at all. I’m searching for Pinterest images and then space, dash, pinterest.com. It’s actually that dash, it’s the minus sign, tells the search engine don’t search pinterest.com.

If I go to the web here, it’s going to show me different things about creating Pinterest images, but not things that I would find on the Pinterest social network. It’s about Pinterest but it’s not on Pinterest. There are a lot of times that you’re going to want to use this to qualify the results and do them on a more narrow basis. That’s my bonus tip, how to disqualify a site, or say you don’t want search results from that particular website. Use that minus sign in front of the name of the website. This is Maria Peagler with socialmediaonlineclasses.com on the seven secrets you can use to find anything on Google search, and you can find the audio, the video, and the article on our blog at socialmediaonlineclasses.com.

google search secrets Socialmediaonlineclasses.com
Mar 31

7 Secrets to Find Anything Using Google Search

By Maria Peagler

7 Secrets to Find Anything Using Google Search audio version.

How often do you use Google search?

Daily? Multiple times a day?

For small business owners, searching Google is an important tactic for competitive research, finding the best tools, and solutions for problems.

But, getting the results you can actually use is tricky.  Fortunately, today I’m showing you my seven secrets for finding ANYTHING using a Google search.  These are the tactics I use most often to refine the results Google displays when I’m searching.

Here’s the one-page infographic, with each tactic explained in more detail below:

google search secrets Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

 

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Let’s get started —

1. Search for an Exact Phrase

Google search is smart, but it’s not human-brain smart, so you need to be able to tell it exactly what you’re looking for.  For example, if want to find social media online classes, and type that in the Google search field, it will return anything using those words in any order (and sometimes the results don’t use every one of those words).  You often get content that’s only remotely related to what you truly need.

Instead, when you need to see only those results using an exact phrase, surround the phrase in quotes, like this:

how to do an exact phrase google search

Then, Google will return ONLY those results using those words together in that exact order.

2. Search for a Phrase in Any Order

Sometimes you just want to do a general search and see what’s out there. It’s not important in what order the words appear, but you do want all of them to be included in the results.  Then you surround your search phrase in brackets:

how to do a bracketed search query

Google will return a much broader variety of results than the search done in quotes.  I use this search when I’m early in my research and want to see the breadth of content available on my topic.  It’s important that all those terms appear in the results, but not necessarily in that order.

3. Search within a Specific Website

This is one of my favorite Google search tactics.

When I’m looking for results that appear on a certain website only, I can limit my search using the site: parameter, as shown below:

how to search for results within a specific website

This is the search I do most often, as Google search is far smarter than any search option a website offers for its own content.  I use it to search for content with social networks, on a specific website like Zapier.com or neilpatel.com, and Google returns only those results from that website only.

Notice I included the word “journalist” in quotes.  That way Google shows me only results on Twitter using the word journalist. It doesn’t matter where it appears: it could be it a tweet, in the twitter account name or bio, but journalist will appear somewhere on Twitter to be included in those Google search results.

4. Limit Your Search Results to Only Those within the Last Year

Every time Google returns search results, it offers a toolbar allowing you to refine your results.  If you select Search Tools>>Any Time, you can then select from a specific time frame.  It could be within the last 24 hours, the last week, month, or year, or you can specify a custom date range.

This is really important when I’m search for only the latest results, as what worked online two years ago doesn’t necessarily work today.

how to refine a google search by date

5. Search for Images

I extremely selective about who I trust with content online.  These days, everyone’s a publisher, but not necessarily a quality one.  One of the big differentiating factors that separates the high-quality content from the rest is their images.

So I LOVE using Google Image search.  It allows me to separate the quality results from the dregs that appear in my search results.

It’s easy to do: just do a regular Google search, then when Google returns the results, click on Images.

how to do a google image search

You immediately see which images are high-quality, and which are, frankly, crap.

Other times, you truly need an image: a checklist, an infographic, or a blueprint.  And only an image will do.

Google Image search is the trick!

6. Find Something Similar to

Quite often I find that Google will return results that are close, but not exactly what I need.  So, here’s my all-time favorite search tactic.  Use the related: search parameter.  It will find those results that are the most similar to what you’ve specified.

For example, I tried out Piktochart, an online application for creating infographics.  While it was great, it wasn’t exactly what I needed, and I wasn’t able to find what exactly what I wanted.  So, I used this Google search:

how to do a google related: search

I then saw all the related tools and resources I could use for creating infographics that might better serve my needs.  I have found little-known resources on the web using this tactic.  Sometimes it’s not necessarily the best-known resources that serve your need, but using this search parameter, you can find those that best fit you & your business.

7. Search for a Video

Just as you can search Google for an image, you can also search for a video to show you exactly how to do something.  What Google returns are the most popular YouTube videos for your search topic.  I do have one caveat for this search: the most popular videos are not always the best.  I don’t use this search tactic a lot, because frankly the results are not always quality videos.

But, it’s a place to start.

To find results in videos only, do a normal Google search, then click on Videos, as shown below:

how to search for videos on Google

Google returns videos that address the topic you’re looking for.  It’s a place to start find the solution to whatever problem you have, right now.

Summary

An important note: these tactics will work in ANY search engine, not just Google.  They work on Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, you name it.  So bookmark this page, download the infographic and share it.  You just became an online search ninja for your business.