Should I have an Email List or not? 

Should I have an Email List or not? 


Should you have an email list? I hope you answered this question with a big YES! Of course you need an email list.

An email list is a collection of emails your business has gathered from visitors who wish to receive information, freebies, updates, discounts, etc. from you. They have agreed to be on your list through an opt-in. You can place your opt-in landing page link on your social media pages, and you should definitely have it on your website. 


Email lists are critical because email marketing is the best way to connect with customers — even over social media. You’re six times more likely to get click-throughs by emails rather than social media posts. It is 40 times more effective than social media when it comes to gaining new clients. 


Ways to build your email list: 

  • Use Call-to-Action “Subscribe” buttons on every landing page of your website 
  • Create surveys that pop-up while a user is browsing your site 
  • Include pop up or slide-in images on your landing pages 
  • Recruit followers from your social media accounts 


Read more about how to grow your email list. 


Email allows you to engage your audience in a personalized and creative way. Your emails show your customers that you understand their problem and have a solution for it. 


Why you need an email list


  • You have control 


      • On social media, you are working in branded territory. Don’t abandon your social media, but always keep in mind you are on rented grounds. When you own your own website and communicate with your audience via email, you hold the power.


  • It’s easy to update your audience at once 


    • Email is the best way to share a new message with your audience. Any changes to your company, products, or services can be shared quickly and easily with everyone on your email list. 



  • Email subscribers are more likely to purchase 


    • A person’s email inbox is, well, personal. When someone allows you to send them emails it is because they want to hear from you. They are far more likely to purchase from you as they develop trust for your business through your email communications. 


Read more about what email marketing is and why you need it. 


Put simply, you definitely should have an email list. Be patient with yourself and the process because email marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. 


We have 9 Steps to follow for sending your first marketing email. 


Once you have gone through the building stage and started sending out email funnels, you will see for yourself the many benefits of having and utilizing an email list. 









The Difference Between an Employee and Independent Contractor

The Difference Between an Employee and Independent Contractor

A company needs people to help it run properly aside from the business owners. An owner might decide to hire employees or work with independent contractors. There are benefits to using both employees and independent contractors. 


What is the Difference? 


There are differences in how employees and contractors work and how they get paid. The basic differences are: 


  •     Employee: Your company will withhold income tax, Social Security, and Medicare from wages paid to your employees. Your business must also make FICA tax payments. Employees are normally paid hourly, salary or commission. 
  •     Independent Contractor: Your company will not withhold federal or state income taxes for independent contractors. Your business is not required to make payments for FICA taxes. Independent contractors must pay their own income taxes, along with income tax on earnings.


If you are wondering which one is better, true answer is both. There are reasons to use independent contractors and great benefits to working with employees.


Pro and Cons – Employees


There are pros and cons to hiring and managing an employee within your company including: 




  •     Paying an employee, a salary or hourly wage, is often less expensive because there is job security.
  •     It is easier to assign tasks when you already have employees with the skills to complete them. 
  •     Employees often take pride in their full-time work because it is a large part of their life, so they put the needs of your company high on their priority list unlike a contractor.
  •     Since you spend more time with your employees it’s easier to get to know them and trust them with your business needs. 
  •     There is a lower turnover rate for employees so they get to know the ins and outs of your company and can help you grow. 




  •     You must supply the equipment and materials your employee uses to complete their work such as phones, computers, software. 
  •     Full time employees expect benefits such as health care, paid time off, sick days, raises and bonuses. 
  •     There is payroll paperwork and HR requirements that take legal knowledge as to not break any rules. 
  •     You must consistently provide an employee with work and pay even when business slows down and your company isn’t making as much money. 
  •     Employees require training and don’t always come fully equipped with the skills to complete the tasks you need done. 


Pro and Cons – Independent Contractors 


Although every company needs employees there are also benefits to expanding your team through independent contractors such as: 



  •     Your company can save money because you don’t have to provide any benefits to independent contractors such as health insurance or PTO. 
  •     It is easier to end your relationship with a contractor than it is with an employee. If business slows down you have more freedom in ending the business relationship. 
  •     You can hire a contractor with specialized skills that are specific to the task at hand if you do not have an employee with those skills. 
  •     Contractors don’t require much training since most independent contractors have a specific skill set and have years of experience. 
  •     No need to complete any legal paperwork for contractors, in most cases. 




  •     They don’t have a sense of company loyalty and will not help promote your brand. 
  •     There are no fixed rates so pricing can vary depending on the project, so it isn’t as easy to budget for as an employee salary.  
  •     You don’t have as much control over how a task is done. 
  •     There are higher turnover rates on contractors than there is with employees.
  •     You cannot determine a contractor’s work hours unlike an employee. 


Why You Should Use Both


There are pros and cons to both employees and independent contractors. While you may personally feel one is better than the other there are reasons both are important in building your company. For example, if you have 20-40 hours of work that needs to be done that varies in projects and tasks then it might be easier to have an employee to assure you have someone on the clock full-time/part-time. If you have a specialized project that takes less than 20 hours per week, it is beneficial to use an independent contractor and is important to know when to outsource


Your company should be built with a healthy mix of both employees and contractors depending on your current business needs. You can use the pros and cons from above to determine which type of worker makes more sense for the project at hand.  


I know it can be tough navigating the waters of Marketing and that’s why I have created my Monthly Success Guide just for you! 

What is your experience with hiring an employee vs hiring an independent contractor? Leave a comment below!





Identifying a Target Audience for Your Marketing Strategy 

Identifying a Target Audience for Your Marketing Strategy 


When you first started your business you were probably thinking, “This product is great, everyone is going to use it!” In an ideal world this would be so, but it isn’t. Businesses must identify a “target audience” for their products and services to make the most of their marketing campaigns because realistically not everyone will purchase your product or services and not everyone is your ideal customer. 

Choosing a Target Audience 


A target audience is defined as a particular group of people a product, service, advertising campaign, etc., is aimed at. To identify the appropriate target audience for your business first take a look at your current customer base and answer these questions. Are most of your customers male or female? Are they in a certain age group? Do they live in cities or rural areas? Depending on the price point you offer you might need to look into the median income of your clients. 


Next look at your competition. What does their customer base look like and who are they targeting? Gather all of the information you can about the people who are currently purchasing your product or your competitor’s product and the people you believe are most likely to make a purchase. Take note on every detail even the small ones that you think might not matter i.e. customers that live near bodies of water, customers that own livestock, or customers that own homes. 


Narrowing Your Target Audience 


Now that you have information on current customers and potential customers you must narrow down your audience. Most businesses can’t afford to target everyone so it important to adjust your marketing efforts to target a niche market. For example, it is too broad to say, “I’m targeting females” or “I’m targeting vehicle-owners.” You can narrow down your audience by deciding who is most likely to purchase your product or service. So maybe your target audience is females between the ages of 20-30, who live in a household that earns over 50K a year. Or your target audience is vehicle owners that live in colder climates in cities with less than a 200K population. 


Focusing on a niche market won’t exclude people who don’t match the criteria for your target but will allow you to focus your ad campaigns, marketing message and branding towards the people who are more likely to buy. This marketing technique is going to save your company money and help you become more effective in reaching potential customers. Reaching the right customers will then increase your revenue. 


Once you have chosen your target audience and narrowed it down to a niche market keep that person in mind with every business move you make. All of your social media and website content should be aimed at this person/group of people. All of your ad campaigns should reach this audience and all of your branding should be geared towards the needs of your target audience. Your marketing efforts will become much more efficient if you narrow down your audience.  


I know it can be tough navigating the waters of Marketing and that’s why I have created my Monthly Success Guide just for you! See how this guide can help keep you on track and moving forward.

What does your target audience look like? Leave a comment below!

Knowing When To “Take 5”

Knowing When To “Take 5”

Small business owners are some of the most dedicated workers out there. They put in more hours than the average worker and they constantly have work on the brain. Many business owners either work from home full time or work from home after office hours and rarely take time to shut down from work mode. We commend the dedication but taking breaks is important for physical and mental health, as well as a key aspect in productivity and concentration.


You might be thinking, “Well, I take multiple breaks a day. I go to the bathroom a few times, I grab a cup of coffee (sometimes 3) and I scroll through my social media pages.” These are not breaks! These activities do not allow your body to rest or allow you to break concentration from work and energize your mind to boost productivity.  When you take a break, you’re not shrugging off responsibilities; you’re taking care of yourself, so you’ll have the stamina to give your business your best self.

Ideas for Break Time


Taking a break doesn’t mean sitting in front of your laptop starring into space for a few minutes without touching your computer. When you take 5 (or more, you deserve it), you need to remove yourself from your work setting and do something that is completely for you. Below are a few examples of what you can do during the day to shut work mode down for a little while and enjoy yourself.


Go outside

Studies show that nature helps us to relax and refocus our minds. Make sure to get a little drop of nature in your life every day!


Go for a walk

Physically moving around throughout the day is important especially if you work from a desk and sit a lot.


Turn on music

Turn up your favorite song and maybe dance a little bit. It will feel good, we promise.


Read a book

Bring a good book with you to work and go sit outside and finish a chapter every day.


Listen to a podcast

Do you have a favorite podcast? Queue it up and maybe go for a walk while you’re listening.


Write in a journal

Journaling is a healthy habit. Bring your journal to work and give yourself time to write a few pages each day.


Eat a snack

This shouldn’t take place of your lunch. Bring healthy snacks like nuts, fruit and vegetables and sit somewhere away from your desk to eat.


Play with an animal

If you work from home and you have a pet, then take your pet for a walk or throw the ball around for a few minutes.


Stretch or workout

Physical activity is the best way to reenergize your body. Bring a yoga mat to work and get a quick workout in.


Draw or paint

Bring a sketch pad or canvas with you and give yourself time during the day to be creative, just for fun.


You can mix and match the ideas above or even do more than one at a time. The important thing is that you give your mind the time it needs to reset and reenergize itself by being active or creative. Then you can go back to work tasks with a fresh mind and great attitude.

When do I take my break?


There is no hard or fast rule for break taking. It doesn’t always need to be at 10 a.m. or after a certain number of work hours. It doesn’t always need to be 5, 10 or 15 minutes. Listen to your body; you can normally feel when your mind is starting to wander or when your back is starting to ache. In these moments get up and move around and have fun with one of the break ideas from above.


The important thing is that you take a break every day. Maybe you take 10 minutes in the morning and another 5 minutes in the afternoon. Find a schedule and a pace that is right for you. You will see a boost in productivity, and you will be happy you implemented a “take 5” routine in your work life.


In case you missed it, we go over how to know when to outsource certain tasks in business because it’s okay to NOT do it all! Check out our previous blog that goes into how to Know when to Outsource!

Knowing When to Outsource

Knowing When to Outsource


Outsourcing is a common practice in all aspects of life because one person can only do so much and only has so many hours in the day. As a homeowner you outsource tasks such as unclogging the toilet, fixing the garage door and deep cleaning the household. As a parent you outsource your child’s education to the local school, and you outsource childcare to babysitters when you have errands to run or you just need a break. Well, business is the same. You can’t do all of it yourself and you shouldn’t have to.

Outsourcing Business Needs


Business outsourcing is “the practice of having certain job functions done outside a company instead of having an in-house department or employee handle them; functions can be outsourced to either a company or an individual (freelancing).” Outsourcing has become a major business trend over the last ten years for everything from payroll, accounting, and employee training to social media management, sales and customer service.


There are many simple day-to-day tasks that you might feel silly for outsourcing because you think you should be able to get them done yourself to save money. Or maybe there are bigger tasks that you just don’t trust anyone but yourself to handle. Letting go and trusting someone to help can be difficult but outsourcing is something that helps business owners of companies both big and small boost efficiency and productivity and sharpen focus. If you are wondering if outsourcing is right for you ask yourself these questions.


What does it cost to complete the task in-house?


Cost is important in business so of course you need to weigh your options financially. You might think that it is cheaper to keep tasks in-house but that is not always true. Many companies report that they have saved money by outsourcing certain business needs.


Do you currently have an employee who is trained on that task?


If not, you will need to hire and train someone, put them on the payroll and offer other benefits. Or you can outsource to someone who is already well trained in that area who can complete the project with no need for you to manage them and provide them with office space and supplies.


Do you or your employees have the time?


This should be a simple yes or no. If your employees are overloaded with their current projects, you don’t want to pile on more because that is when tasks fall through the cracks. This doesn’t mean the task should fall on you to complete either. It means you should look into finding someone outside of the company that has the time to get the work done in a way that takes minimal amount of effort on your part.


Is it your company’s expertise?

Now this is an important one. For example, if your company’s expertise is designing and making baby clothing then that is exactly what you should focus on doing. You are the expert in manufacturing high-quality clothes but maybe you aren’t well versed in marketing, brand building or social media ad campaigns. These are the tasks you should outsource. Stick to what you and your employees know how to do and what you are good at.


Taking the little tasks and projects off of your plate that you either don’t have the time for or the expertise for will free up time and mental energy for you to focus on what you are good at. Asking for help doesn’t mean you failed. It means you know your limits and your companies limits and you’re more willing to put the success of your business above your pride. Outsourcing is a growing trend and is the perfect way to meet your company’s goals without overworking yourself and your staff and compromising on quality of work. Ask yourself, what projects or tasks could I outsource today?


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