Climb that reputation management mountain

For businesses, do-it-yourself online reputation management is like herding cats. No matter what you try to do, your reputation seems to be running in ten thousand different directions. A yellow one runs left and just when you grab it, a calico one darts between your legs. Turn around to chase it, and the rest of the group takes off.

Before you know it, you’re all tied up in knots, and your online reputation is a mess. To add to the frustration, your competitors don’t seem to be facing the same problem. When you look them up online, all their reputation “cats” seem to be marching in a nice, orderly row.

So. What gives?

Well, it sounds like your competition has discovered the important trick of working with a pro. Someone who understands the ins-and-outs of getting those cats to march in a line, and has the tools to do it. Luckily, now you can, too!

At The Get Smart Group, we can help you deploy our proven system to manage your online reputation, and boost your SEO in the process. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?

Customer reviews – the drivers of your online reputation – weigh heavily on consumer buying decisions. In fact, just one negative review can make up to 22 percent of potential buyers reconsider buying from YOU. Increase that to three negative reviews, and you’ve lost about 59 percent of your potential customers. Pile on more bad reviews and your pool of potential customers continues to shrink.

Once those bad reviews exist, there isn’t a lot you can do about them. It’s unlikely they’ll go away. If you can, you should reach out publicly (and professionally!) to the customer who left it and try to resolve the issue. But the absolute best course of action is to provide excellent customer service and get those customers to leave positive reviews. That’s what our system helps you do. Ask for reviews. Manage potentially negative reviews with service recovery. And put your business at the top of the reputation management mountain.

Yes, it’s a tall mountain. But The Get Smart Group can help you get to the top – with all of your cats.

You can do a lot in 30 minutes

-Order a pizza – and have it delivered.
-Wash your dog.
-Make a 30 minute meal.
-Clean the bathroom.
-Go for a walk.

-Change your business.


It’s true. That’s what our free 30-minute marketing consultation can do. We know you’re busy. And we know that, as a business owner, every 30-minute block in your day is incredibly valuable. That’s why we’ve designed these half-hour conversations to quickly drill down into your current marketing efforts, so that you’ll walk away with great recommendations, free of charge.

It seems almost silly, right? That in the same amount of time it takes to have a piping hot pie brought to your door, you can have a conversation that could help you grow your business?

Sounds silly. But it’s not. We’re totally serious.

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When we talk, we’ll cover a lot of ground:

  • We’ll want to know about your business, and your target market. What demographics are you aiming for?
  • Do you have marketing goals this year? Sales goals?
  • We’ll take a look at your website, and your current online marketing.
  • We’ll review your sales and lead-generation campaigns, too.

That’s a lot, right? But we’re not done. We’re going to squeeze all we can out of this 30 minutes.

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After all, we aren’t just on this call so we can learn about you. We’re on this call so you can learn FROM us. So now that we understand you and your business situation a little better, you can expect us to share:

  • Solid tips and recommendations on how you can reach your goals.
  • Tips to improve your ROI in your marketing efforts.

If you ask us, that’s a pretty good return on your 30-minute investment.

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If you’re ready to jump-start your business in the time it takes to scrub the tub, schedule your free consultation today. There’s really no reason to wait!

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Colors In Branding and Marketing

Have you ever considered how your ad color/branding color choices affect lead capture for better or for worse?

At The Get Smart Group, we consider color choices very carefully. Certain colors can stimulate certain emotions. One can use specific colors to target particular demographics, increasing engagement and sales amongst those in that targeted buyer segment.

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This topic is a reminder of one of the most famous (or infamous) examples of the consequence of color in marketing:

Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew and legendary (or notorious) public relations pioneer (or propagandist) saved/made unknown amounts of money for Lucky Strike Cigarettes back in the 1930’s by convincing American women through various publicity stunts (anonymously funded by Lucky Strike) that smoking was hip for ladies and that a certain shade of green was fashionable and hip at a time when said shade of green had been thought of as just the opposite.

Bernays, with the help of his friends in high places, endeavored to create the positive buzz surrounding that certain shade of green because it was the brand’s color and money had already been spent on packaging in that color. To discard the packaging would have been to discard the money paid for that packaging.

Ed’s understanding of “crowd psychology” and his efforts in that Lucky campaign started a green fad and a smoking trend among women of the era, nationally and perhaps even beyond – all in the name of saving money/making money for his employer.

Our suggestion is not that one needs to generate buzz around unpopular colors or fabricate social trends out of thin air, the point is simply to take heed of the power of color and social trends in regards to any contemporary marketing strategy.

Another example:

Do you think that a certain (115 year old) American motorcycle company would enjoy the success that it does today if instead of capitalizing on an assumed outlaw image, said company changed its colors, logo, and promotional materials in such a way that contravened the desperado image and departed from the brand’s celebrated history? You get the point…

So consider your own brand, your own history, your own customers – and your desired customers and their values. As younger generations grow into adults, professionals, and homeowners, you need to find ways to reach them whilst staying true to your company’s history, values, and niche.

It can be a delicate balance, but with solid branding and the right marketing (ever important color selection falls under both of these umbrellas) your business could someday celebrate a centennial.

Call The Get Smart Group for a FREE 30 minute marketing consultation. We want to help you forge your identity.

Looking for peace of mind? We can help you find it.

Peaceful mountain streams.
Peaceful snowfalls.
Peaceful walks through the park.

Some peaceful things like these are relatively easy to find.

While others, well, they can remain more elusive:
Peaceful night’s dinner out with a toddler.
Peaceful grocery shopping with a toddler.

Peace of mind.

That last one may be the most elusive of all. And yet, the one we look the hardest for. So how in the world do you find it, especially as a business owner when you’re working so hard every day to keep your business running, and spending hours on tasks that may not be the things you’re best at?

It’s pretty simple: You hire the experts at The Get Smart Group to handle that stuff for you.

Facebook and Google advertising not really your cup of tea? No problem! We handle this for our clients everyday, helping them achieve success and meet their sales goals.

Don’t consider yourself a marketing guru? We have you covered! From graphic design and social media planning to web content creation, radio and video project management, even corporate communications consultation and more, The Get Smart Group has the resources and expertise you can depend on.

Tired of trying to chase your online reputation and boost your SEO? Let us do it for you! We consistently employ a variety of tactics for our clients to help them obtain the results they’re looking for.

Need a robust CRM to track your marketing campaigns and leads, get insights into your web traffic and generate customizable sales reports? How about one that integrates with your merchant account to help you manage online store purchases? Yeah, we do that, too.

Think of us like the peace of mind fairies, waving our magic wand, solving your marketing problems and – yes – giving you that elusive peace of mind.

Just … don’t look to us if you also have a toddler in the house. You’re on your own with that, mate. 

It’s 2018 – It’s Time For Results!

If the New Year’s Resolution tradition is the catalyst for you to finally begin scaling up your business, so be it!

Let’s take that lofty idea you’ve been thinking about and make it into an actionable plan that produces results.

The most important part of the scaling up process is to launch effective digital marketing campaigns (The key word being effective). You need the leads, subsequent sales, and income before you can hire additional staff, purchase equipment, etc.

We aren’t talking about the occasional social media post or radio ad. We are talking about all encompassing campaigns, employing all of the latest marketing strategies and tools from Google, to Facebook, to Infusionsoft email marketing, and beyond.

In the same way that you need a team of skilled individuals that come together to produce excellent work, you need a digital marketing strategy that employs efficacious digital marketing tools in a strategic, complimentary way.

This of course requires digital marketing expertise. You must understand the nuances of Google tools from search ads to YouTube. You must understand how to use Facebook Business Manager and design successful ads that reach properly targeted audiences. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Doing these things well and knowing how best to allocate marketing budgets can only come after much experience, and training.

If you really want to tackle Facebook and Google in house – there are a lot of great virtual training sites and programs out there that have short online courses, coaching and opportunities to learn as you go for a minimal (to higher priced) monthly fee – either for yourself or your staff.  Check out Digital Marketer. They have a huge library of learning products to explore.

Stay informed on system changes – they happen every day.  There are also always great articles coming out – here is a link to an article on the 10 best social media articles of 2017. You can set up a google news alert to send you an email link to new articles on social media topics. It’s a handy way to stay informed about marketing industry changes.

Probably the best place you can start – is with a simple marketing plan. Here is an example:  

  • First – Determine your plan of attack – what venues will you be using, Facebook, Email, Google Ads, Instagram?
  • Second – Take a serious look at your current website. Is it mobile responsive? Is it easy to edit and update? Does it have lead capture forms in multiple places? (not just a contact form that never gets filled out).  If not – find a trusted professional with proven experience designing websites for your industry. Make sure they will be building you a site on a known platform like WordPress – and that it’s a site YOU own, not a site you license through their system and pay a monthly fee for.  If you need help planning your website project – call us – we do that too!
  • Finally  – Set a monthly theme for your promotions – this is called a marketing calendar. For each month of the year decide in advance which 2 ad promotions or campaigns you will run and on which venues (Facebook, Google, Email, Postcards, Radio, etc.). Determine your ad budget, set an expectation for the outcome that you are hoping for (ask us about what that should be like in a free 30 minute consultation). Before you launch the campaign, set up conversion tracking methods;  a separate phone number for each campaign, Facebook tracking pixels, Google conversion pixels, a separate email address or landing page URL that the leads will click to fill out a form. You want to be able to see how many people came from that particular campaign which is why conversion tracking is important.

Once you have those items in place, you will be able to see what your return on investment (ROI) was for each campaign you did.

What’s that you say? You’re too busy with other important duties to dedicate that kind of time to digital marketing? That’s where we come in.

The Get Smart Group team has the deep digital marketing knowledge necessary to take your business to the next level. In a couple of weeks time, our full suite will be up, running, and working for you – Reaching your target audience, capturing leads, and educating them about your business and your products.

Once the ball is rolling we simply update your campaigns on a monthly basis with your current specials, or offers of our own design based on what we know works. All the while you and your team will enjoy 24/7 support as needed and sales training as desired.

You know how to run your business. We know how to market your business. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation. Together we can make 2018 your best year yet!

Google tools to help you run your business

At The Get Smart Group, we’re all about helping you succeed. When you work with us, we build an executable plan and deliver the tools you need so you and your team can function at your absolute best. Sure, we’ll schedule your Facebook posts. But we’ll also help you attract leads, close sales, and follow up – all without breaking a sweat.

Why? Because it’s what we do. After all, “Do More” is one of our core values.

In that spirit, we wanted to tell about some free Google tools that can help you take your business to the next level. No, these aren’t related to SEO and analytics – these are straight-up business tools Google spent years researching and designing to help business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs be more effective. And Google uses these tools themselves. Give these tools a look, and put into practice what you can. We think you’ll find real value here.

Manager Feedback Survey: This survey lets your employees offer developmental feedback on your managers (or, on you). The only way to improve as a manager is to learn what your employees really think.

New Manager Training: These customizable tools are designed to help people new to management learn the necessary skills.

Career Conversation Worksheet: Having regular career conversations with your employees is helpful to them, and to you. Use this worksheet to help focus your conversation.

Job Interview Rubric: A rubric can help you assess candidates fairly and consistently, and easily compare answers. Rather than developing one yourself – just use Google’s!

Job description Checklist: Writing good job descriptions that are clear, structured, and consistent isn’t always easy. A checklist can help you make sure you include everything you need to.

This is just a sampling of the tools Google has made available. To view them all, plus tons of great content about working, managing, hiring, and innovating in today’s business environment, check out Google’s reWork blog.

We can help you plan an inventory clearance sale

Have you ever looked around your store and wondered, “Where did all this inventory come from?!?”

It’s OK. Most business owners do. (It can really sneak up on you, can’t it?)

Maybe you bought too much of something that sold well at first, but then the leftovers were moved to the back when you needed the display space for something else. Maybe the items you bought never really sold well at all. Or, maybe, you just had to make room for the next year’s models.

Either way, extra inventory sure is easy to accumulate. Getting rid of it? Well, that’s another story. But there is a solution – an inventory clearance sale can be a great way to reduce the stock on your shelves and liquidate your inventory before the end of the year.

Stop looking at the calendar – there’s plenty of time! (With our expert help, of course.)

The Get Smart Group can help you put together a one-time inventory clearance sale show that will maximize your promotion budget and drive traffic to your event so you can capture leads, boost sales, and make plenty of room for next year’s inventory.

We work with our customers to build their sales from the ground up, helping them decide on strategy and promotions. Then our team really gets to work, building custom web domains, Google display and search ads, and a targeted Facebook advertising campaign designed to reach exactly the right audience.

Custom, mobile-friendly landing pages? Yep.

Targeted social cover images? Yep.

Personalized phone number, just for your show? Yep.

Why do we do all this? To build interest and drive foot traffic to your event, so you can have a successful sale and Move. That. Inventory.

Intrigued? Contact us today.

It’s show season!

Certain things happen this time of year. Temperatures begin to drop. Leaves fall from the trees. (Well, in most areas of the country.) Smoke rises from chimneys and the scent of woodsmoke is in the air. Our thoughts turn to the holidays (even though most of us don’t want to admit it), and winter coats come out of hibernation.

Yep. It’s show season.

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Sure, for the rest of the country it’s time to think about pumpkin pie, raking leaves and cozy evenings by the fire. But for us, it’s time to help our clients drive traffic to every show they’ll attend this season, and to “wow” all those potential customers when they get there.

Lucky for us, we’ve got this in the bag.

Using proven techniques in information gathering, asset development and online strategy, The Get Smart Group focuses our talent, expertise and resources on what your business needs to achieve show success.

We work closely with you from the start to generate ideas for your show and develop all the creative. We make sure you sign off on everything before we take the campaign live, from targeted online ads to custom website landing pages and a custom phone number.

Once we’re up and running, we’ll help you track call leads, follow-up leads automatically using our Infusionsoft CRM or an email system, and create a custom form so you can capture leads on a tablet computer at your event.

Smooth. Easy. Slick. And no lost leads.

When the show is over, we’ll meet with you to review the results of the campaign. What worked? What could work better? Let’s talk about it, and learn from all of it to make the next campaign even better.

Then, when the trees have that first blush of green, when tulips and paperwhites are just beginning to poke through the fallen leaves still scattered on the forest floor, when the winter coats return to hibernation and the rain boots make their annual appearance, you’ll know what time it is.

That’s right. It’s pool-digging, spa-installing season. And thanks to that successful show, it’s gonna be a busy one!

Save the game with Get Smart Reputation

Let’s face facts. Online reviews play a huge role in the way consumers make their buying decisions. Some research indicates as many as 90% (!) of consumers say positive reviews influence their purchasing choices. Plus, the user-generated content of positive reviews can really help your SEO.

You know what that means. It’s time to get off the sidelines and into the game.

Have you ever checked your online reviews? Go on. Don’t be afraid to look. Filter the view through your fingers if you have to. We’ll wait.

Take your time. Don’t mind us …

So. How was it?

If you’re lucky, they weren’t too bad but maybe offer room for improvement. But if you’re like most small business owners, your reviews are either non-existent or shockingly poor. It hurts, doesn’t it?

Walk it off. It’s time to move the ball down the field.

On your own, there are some things you can do to begin improving your online reviews today:

  • Consistently providing amazing service and an amazing product is one thing, sure.
  • If you get reviews – both negative and positive, you should respond honestly and openly. If the review is positive, make that enthusiastically!
  • Encourage your happy customers to leave reviews for your business.
  • If you can make it easy for them with an in-store kiosk, even better.

These things are all a great start, and will help. But if you really want to make a difference, there’s still plenty of time left in the half to save the game. Take the field with Get Smart Reputation and get immediate insights into your online reviews, learn how to increase the testimonials you receive, and be alerted to potential negative feedback so you can stop it before it ever hits the internet.

It’s not a Hail Mary pass. It’s how champions play the game.

Train your team for more wins, err, sales

It may be fall, but as a business owner you should be thinking like it’s spring training. Pulling your team together and developing a strategy that will carry you through every game of the season. Camps. Drills. Putting in work. Whatever it takes to make sure every lead is captured and handled the right way, so you can rack up sales on the scoreboard.

But the question becomes, how do you get there?

Well, coach, the answer is – you need a training strategy for your employees. They’ll never be able to achieve the goals you set for them, if you don’t take the time to show them how you want them to get there. What team could?

Good news is, we can help.  

You just need the right gear at your disposal. Tools like Infusionsoft, our customizable sales and marketing software that can help your team capture, track, convert and follow-up on every lead, every time. They’ll even receive notification when leads take certain actions, and because it’s cloud-based, team members can log-in from any device, anywhere.

Plus, you can keep an eye on your players’ stats, all season long. Who’s hitting? Who’s not? Who’s your best utility player? Infusionsoft lays it all out with slick reporting tools that show you not just team performance, but also the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns so you can make adjustments. It also integrates with your merchant account to help you manage your online store purchases and email campaigns. That’s slick!

You know this isn’t some exhibition game. This is the real thing, where every pitch counts and when your team is at bat, you need to hit as many balls out of the park as you can. With Infusionsoft, and our in-person and virtual training courses we’ll help you and your team get to the top of the league!