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Engaging Images That WORK

Last week, I held a webinar where I shared some of my favorite tools, tips and practices for collecting and utilizing pictures for marketing whether it’s email, social media, or even physical mailers.
Click the image above or click here to watch the webinar. Here are a few other tips I’d offer for you.
Photography Skills

Whether you’re an experienced selfie-taker or you barely know how to open the camera on your cell phone, you can probably learn a thing or two about taking pictures with that fancy cell phone of yours.

Here’s a link to a Hubspot article (which I highly recommend you subscribe to) where they discuss 17 tips to taking good pictures with your phone. Whether you’re taking a nice picture of your technician for an email or a quick snapshot of a spill, these tips can help capture the right things.

Free Tools 

Now that you know how to take good pictures, let’s talk about editing them. There are TONS of mobile apps that will “filter” your photos (a filter is a preset adjustment on a photo that slightly alters lighting and coloring), but filters can be overdone.

Instead, try some tools like these:

PicStitch

Available on both Apple and Android platforms, PicStitch is the most popular photo collage app out there, and for good reason. It’s easy to use, has LOTS of options for sizing and arranging pictures, and allows you to export directly to your social media outlets. And, best of all, it’s FREE (though you may have to see an ad every now and then).!

eZy Watermark

For a quick tool to add your company’s watermark to your pictures (i.e. your company name/logo), look no further than eZy Watermark. This free app (does have ads) lets you use images like the Chem-Dry badge logo to watermark your pictures so you get credit for them – no matter where they’re shared. Just make sure they’re actually YOUR images. Download it from the Apple or Google app stores.

Big Takeaway:
You should always be building your library of images that can be used to build your business. Don’t miss a photo opp because you’re not sure how to use your phone.
  1. Take before/after pictures on the job.
  2. Practice taking pictures and playing with your phone.
  3. Don’t be afraid to share pictures that aren’t of carpet. Show some personality for your business as well.
Take control of your media marketing today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.
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“Running” Your Digital Marketing

Angry Woman Runner

Running has been on my mind a lot lately as I’m preparing for a race that’s probably going to kill me – or, at least, it seems like it.
I realized that running a digital marketing campaign is a lot like the exercise I go through to prepare for a race. And it’s more than just putting in the miles. I’ll explain why.
You Have to Start Somewhere
Usain_Bolt,_Anniversary_Games,_London_2013
Having just finished the Olympic games in Rio, we beheld some of the greatest athletic
spectacles in history. But do you think amazing runners like Usain Bolt started at the top of the game?
No way.
I’ve recently been listening to an amazing book, Talent Isn’t Everything, by Geoff Colvin. In his book he discusses how while some people may be born with an innate ability, it really comes down to what they do on a day-to-day basis that makes them successful.
So whether you’re preparing to run a marathon or a Chem-Dry franchise, what it really comes down to is starting today. Maybe you can knock out a 5 K on your first try, maybe you can’t. The important thing is to lace up your shoes and put in some distance TODAY.
The Thing You MUST Do:
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If you’re going to be successful building your business online, you MUST do Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I know too many franchisees who aren’t doing it, and it shows.
SEO is like the daily miles that you have just have to put in. When you first start, you probably won’t see much improvement and you’d think to yourself, “Why am I doing this?! It’s not making a difference!” – but you’d be wrong.
With consistent (read: “persistent”) workouts, you establish a base to build upon. With every additional mile (page, article, link, photo on your website), you expand your experience and you start to see new “results” (customers) trickle in. After a few months, you realize that things are getting easier and looking back at where you started from, your only regret is having not gotten started earlier.
The Things You SHOULD Do:
Successful runners don’t simply log miles. They add things to their regiment. Likewise, successful digital marketers don’t rely solely on their website to bring in customers. They can’t afford to rest on their laurels.
Pay-Per-Click
PPC is like the tempo exercise (they’re just as fun as they sound – NOT). It’s something you do methodically, intentionally, and it takes EFFORT (money). But the benefits are long-lasting. You get more customers more quickly, but at more cost. Too many people I talk to tell me that they can’t afford to do PPC, but my response is almost always, “You can’t afford NOT to do PPC.” If you want faster results from digital marketing, you need to do hard things.
Social Media
 
Social Media is like cross-training. This is where you get to do something a little more fun to mix it up – playing basketball, step aerobics, cycling, soccer, swimming, etc. With social media, you get the chance to invite interaction with your customers and be more personable. It’s less about sales (hitting pace goals, for example) and more about strengthening auxiliaries (other muscle groups). Just like there are exercises that are better than others, there’s a right and a wrong way to go about Social Media.
E-Mail
E-Mail marketing should be an integral part of your digital marketing regiment. Not doing e-mail to reach past customers is like seriously training to run a marathon, but eating fast food every day. You need a steady, balanced diet of customers you know will help your business to reach your goals. Ideally, 70-80% of your jobs will be return customers. E-mail is the least expensive way to reach them. Do it.
Big Takeaway:
Running your digital marketing needs a few things:
  1. Start NOW. If you’re not doing it, you’re already behind. Don’t wait. If you don’t know where to start, call me. TODAY.
  2. Supplement what you’re already doing. Cross train. Fartlek. Do something.
  3. Make a plan for success. Set goals. Give yourself realistic expectations for performance. Then execute.
Take control of your digital marketing today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.
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Using Your Best Friends

Dog really is man’s best friend – unless you’re a cat person. If you are I’m not sure we can be friends.
Just Kidding.
Chem-Dry’s Best Friends
I probably don’t have to explain this too thoroughly, but Chem-Dry and pets go together like peanut butter and grape jelly. By themselves, they’re great, but put them together and you have something unmatchable.
That’s why I’m so excited that we’ve partnered with the Best Friends Animal Society. It’s a perfect pairing. People love their pets, and we love when their pets have accidents. Their pets make us money. How can you use it to your best advantage?
Social Media
There is a huge opportunity here for franchises to leverage their social media user base (and even EXPAND it) with the Best Friends initiative. There are all kinds of things you can do. For example:
  1. Run a contest/drawing with customers to submit a picture of their furry best friend for a free 3-room cleaning. They have to reference you in post and share it on their timeline (Facebook) or feed (Instagram).
  2. Offer to donate a percentage of every cleaning during the month to the Best Friends Animal Society. At the end of the month, make a post thanking your customers and talk about how much was donated!
  3. Create a post inviting your customers to tag their pet-loving friends and nominate them for a free cleaning. Draw a winner at the end of the month.
Email
Because you’re a responsible franchise owner and digital marketer, you’re collecting email addresses from your best customers and making sure they’re up to speed on all the latest from Chem-Dry.
At the beginning of the month, we released a flyer which has coupons that can be customized to your business. We’ve also taken the images from the flyer and made them available on the gateway to be used in your marketing. Don’t miss the chance to connect with your customers that care about their animals!
Make sure you:
  1. Drill down your customer list by jobs that included PURT. Make a special offer for them.
  2. Send out to your general list with a great offer that can beSHARED.
Big Takeaway:
Chem-Dry Cares is a great way to build a relationship of trust with your customers. Call it karma, good juju, or whatever you want. Show that you care, and your customers will reciprocate.
  1. Share Best Friends on social media.
  2. Print cards and flyers to use this month and encourage customers to donate.
  3. Connect with your past customer base and let them know what you’re doing. Make a special return offer just for them.
Take control of your social media today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.
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Well, Dagnabbit, Facebook…

 

Just when I’d run a webinar about how to set up and navigate your company Facebook page, they go and change everything… Gah!
Changes to Your Business Facebook Page
Let’s start off with the basics. First things first.
Facebook decided to change the layout of your business page, like you see in the picture above. Huge changes? No. But they make take a little getting used to.
Basically, what’s happened is that the controls for your page have moved over to the left side of the screen. What used to be along the bottom of the cover photo (the big photo at the top) is now arranged vertically on the left side.
What’s nice about this new layout: 
I feel it actually gets things out of the way a bit more so that the content you post on the page is more immediately visible.
The different sections of the page should be easier to navigate for your customers. AND now every section of your page has a header on the left, where before there were only 2 or three and then the “MORE” section.
You can also customize the order of the sections on the left side with this tool:
What About Mobile?
In my webinar, I also talked briefly about managing your Facebook page through the mobile app, “Pages”.
It’s appearance also changed just slightly, but it has a similar feel and function to the actual desktop page.
Here are a couple screen shots:
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Your Home Screen
You’ll find that the appearance of your home screen in the app is very similar to the home screen of the desktop version, only instead of the information tabs being on the left, they line the bottom of your screen horizontally.
Still, this makes the page very easy to navigate for the end user.
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Services Tab
Probably the most important tab for your page in the mobile version (after the home page, of course). Make sure you have pictures and services highlighted in this section. It allows you to give a brief explanation of the service as well as a base price.
Big Takeaway:
I believe the changes in the layout of your business pages will be overall beneficial to your business and user’s experience. Here are my big takeaways.
  1. Make sure you have the “action button” programmed on your page. I recommend having it programmed with “Call Now” so that mobile users can get on the phone with you immediately.
  2. I also recommend a cover photo with your company name and phone number visible in it.
  3. You should have services highlighted from every category of your company (i.e. at least one about carpet cleaning, one for tile, one for upholstery, etc.).
Take control of your social media today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.