What’s your business brand – and why does it matter?

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What’s your business brand? Well – it’s everything.

Yes, it includes your logo. That is the most recognizable element of your company, after all. But it’s also your promise to your customers, telling them what they can expect from your business. It’s a foundation for your employees, governing their behavior and expectations. It tells people how you’re different from your competition, it tells them about your business reputation and more.

A strong brand can take you places. A weak brand can mire you in the muck.


A strong brand builds trust, while a weak brand creates doubt. When your business has a professional appearance, customers are more likely to trust you and give you their business. Conversely, they’re more likely to question their interactions with businesses that seem less professional – when the showroom is a mess, when the salespeople aren’t professional in appearance and demeanor, etc., it makes them wonder if they can trust not only your company but the products you are selling. It may be a mostly emotional response, but that matters.

A strong brand improves recognition, while a weak brand is forgettable. This begins with your logo. Not only should it instantly give customers the impression of your company that you want to convey, but it should be consistently applied across all your marketing and communication materials. Signage, vehicles, stationery, website, social, advertising, uniforms – everything. Your logo is the face of your brand. Make the investment in having one professionally designed. A poorly designed logo, or one that appears in different variations across your business materials, becomes confusing and misses the opportunity to cement your brand in the mind of your customer.

A strong brand inspires your employees. A weak brand does not. When your brand truly communicates your company’s mission, it gives your staff focus, pride, and desire to reach the goals you’ve established. When your employees don’t know what your company stands for, they don’t have a common cause to rally around. A solid brand gives them something to believe in and work towards.

A strong brand builds your business. A weak brand can destroy it. A well-branded business that provides good services, lives up to its promises, inspires trust and generates referrals. If your customers have a good experience with your brand, they’ll tell their friends. While advertising is an indispensable part of the marketing mix, word-of-mouth referrals are the Holy Grail. With a weak brand this is nearly impossible to achieve and in fact, you may generate negative referrals. No business wants that!

A well-crafted brand tells the story of your business. So look around. What story is your brand telling today? And what story do you want it to tell? If those aren’t in alignment, contact The Get Smart Group today.

Launching a New Product? Spread the Word!

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It’s a risky business, launching a new product for your company. All the time and funds invested in its development – and the emotional investment – strengthen the desire (dare we say, need) for it to succeed.

So how do you make the launch of your new product start generating returns? It’s all about marketing and, more often than not, digital marketing platforms are going to provide you with the most quantitative results.

Email Marketing

If you don’t already have an email marketing campaign in effect, then you certainly need to. Capturing email addresses for your current and potential customers is a great way to keep them engaged. For the record, if the idea of an email marketing campaign overwhelms you, or your company just doesn’t have the time or manpower, that’s certainly an area that The Get Smart Group can help with.

Regardless, when it comes to a new product, you want to make sure you send out an email blast to your customers – not just once, but a few times during the first year of your product’s launch, so that it’s at the forefront of their minds until the time is right for them to buy. Incentivize your launch for a more responsive call to action; include something like a 10% discount if they mention the email.

Social Media

We’re going to presume that you already have a Facebook business page or Instagram/Twitter account and that you’re actively posting there and have a following (if not, that’s a whole other blog post).  Utilizing these platforms to promote your new product is critical, since so much of any customer base is active on social media. We do recommend that you focus the majority of your efforts on the platform that yields the most response for you, but we’re going to use Facebook as our example because it tends to be the most widely used medium right now.

Among your regular posts on your Facebook profile, sprinkle in posts about your new product at least once – maybe twice – a week for several weeks, and then at least a couple of times a month. With each post, highlight a different feature of the product and then direct your customers to a place on your website where they can learn more (such as the product page or a blog post – which absolutely must exist as part of your digital media marketing strategy). Incentivizing here isn’t a bad idea either. Coincidentally, TGSG can help you with scheduling consistent Facebook posts too, if that’s something you need.

Use the post boosting feature to get more engagement about your product – it’s a small marketing investment that yields great results when you target the correct market. We also recommend an occasional Facebook Live video about the product, showing it in action or explaining one of the features. Facebook literally notifies your followers (for free) when you go live, working to create an audience. You can’t be free advertising! For even more reach, go live about the product on your personal profile too!

Spreading the word about your new product is key to generating sales, and digital media contains the most versatile and successful marketing platforms available right now. Don’t skip it!

Event Promotion: Cook up Something Special

Participating in a trade show or event takes a lot of work. From planning to staffing, you invest a lot, and for all the effort you put in, you want to make sure people attend. No worries! At the Get Smart Group, we’re committed to helping you maximize your budget and doing all we can to make sure your event promotion is a success.

So, what’s our secret recipe?


We’ve had years to find the perfect combination of ingredients to get the results we want. But rest assured – this is no cookie-cutter approach! We’ll start by gathering our ingredients – talking to you to get the details. When and where is the event? What are you selling? Do you have a special offer in mind? (And if not, let’s come up with one!)

Mix in custom assets.

Our unique, eye-catching ads and more are designed to generate interest, and response, in your customers. Custom phone numbers. Custom domains. They all add a little spice to the mix of your event promotion.

Add targeted advertising and stir.

Google and Facebook allow us to reach a lot of people, and our proprietary targeting schemes mean we reach the right people, at the right time. We have the experience and the data to draw from to make certain we hit the right combination of metrics for your campaign.

Fold in client approvals and bake.

You see everything we create.Then, we really get cooking. After all, a recipe is only as good as the result it produces. From call tracking to custom web forms for capturing lead information at the event, we have you covered. And when your event promotion is over, we’ll provide you with a breakdown on the performance of the campaign – what worked, what didn’t, and what we can improve on next time.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Join us in the kitchen – together, we can whip up something really special.

Sales Paradigm Shift – The Customer is in Charge

Fifty years ago, the sales industry was a completely different medium. Salesman often traveled door-to-door, providing demonstrations of the products they had to offer. If you walked into a store, the name of the game was up-sell because you likely didn’t know the details of what you wanted in the first place. Even television commercials appealed to basic needs and captured your attention easily – you’d suddenly see or hear an advertisement for a product you didn’t know existed and would need it instantly.

Salespeople had control of the sale back then because most customers weren’t fully informed of options – they simply went to the nearest store that carried what they needed. But that is far removed now. Retro pitch man in black and white from a 1950's era TV commercial

Today’s sales process consists of a vigorous attempt to be seen among a myriad of competitors within your industry, and within your market. While advertising is still a viable marketing tool, the more effective forms are found through social media – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter – not television commercials and certainly not radio.

And the digital age means that customers are well-informed of their options. They know exactly what they want, the features they must have, and who has the best price. Customer reviews through Google and social media platforms mean that potential customers have already made a decision about your business before ever encountering you.

All of this means that the customers are now in the driver’s seat of the sales process, and you’ve got to seemingly bend over backwards to be seen and heard. Unless, of course, you’re utilizing the right tools to be present right where your customers are. Digital marketing is the way to go, and it has many effective faucets, including:

  • Social Media Presence – Not 10 years ago, your business was dead in the water if you didn’t have a website. Now, if you don’t have a social media presence complimenting that website, most customers won’t even acknowledge your business as an option for their purchase. And you have to be active on both.
  • Social Media Advertising – Even some boosted posts or small ad campaigns (minimum budget) on Facebook will garner you more attention within your market.
  • Website Content – It’s not just about having a website, but having constantly updating content on that website. You should have an active blog that provides value to potential customers. When they do research on a topic related to your products, finding your tips and information will gain their trust.
  • Email Marketing Strategies – You need some sort of email capture incentive on both your website and your social media platforms. It needs to be something that says “Fill out this form to sign up for our email list and receive a special discount.”
  • Incentivize – Speaking of, people love discounts, coupon codes, free shipping. They expect it these days. It’s the only way you pull them away from the competition.  Best way to utilize this is to get something from them in order to provide the discount, such as a minimum purchase, an email address, or even a positive review.

If you acknowledge that you need to implement these strategies to find more customers, but are overwhelmed by the thought of it, then you’re in luck. The Get Smart Group can help you with every one of them. It’s kind of what we do! Don’t let the sales paradigm shift get you down (both in spirits and in sales!). We’ve got this!

Prep your Staff for Pool Season

The days are getting longer, and summer is right around the corner. In the pool and spa industry, you know what that means … things are about to get crazy! It’s the perfect time of year to prep your staff for pool season.

That’s not a complaint – you live for this time of year. Customers are calling, coming by the store, contacting you on your website, on Facebook, by email with questions about installing a new pool or spa. Is your staff ready to capitalize on those leads? To turn those questions into customers?

If your answer is anything other than a resounding “yes,” we’re here to help.


At the Get Smart Group, we work with your staff to help them efficiently manage new leads using Infusionsoft sales and marketing software, the best small business CRM tool available today.

We can customize Infusionsoft for your business to help you get the results you need.

Want your sales team notified when leads take specific actions, like opening an email? Done!

Want to track how many leads are in each stage of the sales process, and generate reports as your team processes leads? Done!

Want robust reporting tools to show you the effectiveness of your marketing, and where your should invest to increase your sales? Done!

Infusionsoft is cloud-based, so your team can access it from any internet-connected device, at any location. Working a busy event this weekend? No problem! Your team has everything they need to manage their leads, right at their fingertips.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Plus, you get built-in tech support from the Get Smart Group, in-person training for your team and virtual training courses. After all, the greatest tech only helps if you know how to use it.

If you want your team to hit the ground running this summer season, contact us today. We’re ready to play, and we’ll make sure your team is, too.

We Have the Facebook Business Tools and We Know How to Use Them

You run a business, and you know you need Facebook business tools so people take you seriously. You know how to use Facebook because you spend so much time on it in your private life.

So, where does The Get Smart Group fit in?

Well, have you ever heard of layered targeting options? How about life events targeting?

Didn’t think so. If you have a personal Facebook account, chances are you’ve been targeted by savvy businesses using techniques just like these without even knowing it. 

Why didn’t you know it? Because Facebook business targeting tools are awesome marketing ninja weapons. Why do savvy businesses use them? Because they work.

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Life Events Targeting for Facebook Business

Life events are all about the big things. Weddings. Anniversaries. Births. Deaths. Life events happen rarely, they stand out as hugely important to the people they happen to — and they almost always require purchases.

  • If you sell boutique baby rattles, chances are you want your swag in front of the people who recently announced a pregnancy on Facebook.
  • If you run an artisan catering operation, you want the people getting married near your shop to know about it.

Can The Get Smart Group do that for you? Yeah, we can do that for you.

Layered Targeting Options  for Facebook Business

In a word, layered targeting options get down to the nitty gritty with the specifics of your customer base. This strategy gets hyper-granular by adding more and more layers of targeting options to a profile until it’s so precise that it nearly targets individual people.

Way beyond demographics and habits, layered targeting brings you up close and personal.

If you run a charter casino bus company, for example, we can use layered targeting options to help you isolate people who recently gambled and are likely to travel on Christmas, when you happen to be running a round-trip special.

So, there you have it. We know you understand Facebook. We’re not trying to say you don’t. But when it comes to using Facebook business marketing, we know it better.

Expert Tips to Reach Customers on Facebook

You’ve been working that Facebook business page for some time now to reach customers on Facebook. Maybe you’re still not seeing a lot of engagement from your customers within the Facebook community. We could go into details about Facebook algorithms and how those determine who sees (and doesn’t see your posts), but it really just comes down to this. The more you engage your audience, the more people will see your posts.

So how do you get your audience engaged?

animated facebook logo social media arne van kauter

Reach Customers on Facebook with Free Posts

Whatever you’re posting on your Facebook business page have a variety of elements to be successful (and, by successful, we mean, get people to like, comment or share):

  • Include something eye catching, such as a high-quality image, graphic or meme.
  • If you post a link to an interesting article relevant to your business, pull a quote from that article. Ask a question (such as “Do you believe this to be true?”) – this will hopefully at least get your audience to click on the link, boosting your engagement numbers.
  • Foster engagement with a question rather than a statement.
  • Add incentives to your posts by asking current customers to like, comment and share for a prize. One prize example is 10% off their next purchase.

Reach Customers on Facebook with Paid Posts

Boosting your posts are a great way to increase engagement with a small advertising budget. Boosted posts will still need to have the same elements as free posts to get people interested. They also need the following:

  • Facebook will not approve a boosted post if there is too much writing on the image. Keep the words to a minimum and utilize your caption to get your message across.
  • Utilize the targeted marketing option for a boosted post, but also make sure that the message of your post fits that target audience. If you’re targeting your post to retired men, the post shouldn’t talk about wrangling kids all day long.
  • Pay attention to the projected paid reach and adjust your boosting budget accordingly, as well as the number of days your boosted post runs, to reach your ideal number of Facebook users.
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Again, engagement is the magic word for building a Facebook following on your business page. Individuals who engage (like, comment on and/or share) on a post, will see more of your future posts. And posts with engagement of three comments or more will begin showing up at the top of the Newsfeed for more people, increasing your audience.

Why Regular Blogging is Right for Your Business

When you own your own business, there are approximately 264,922 things you need to do. Every day. From staffing issues and inventory management to sales and accounting. And marketing.

Don’t forget marketing.

Social media. Radio. Product placement. Trade shows. Events. Mailers. Website.

And blogging.

Is your head hurting yet?


We know. You don’t have the time. But here’s the thing – in today’s business environment, regular blogging is absolutely essential to your marketing success. Here’s why:

It improves your SEO

A regular blog adds fresh content to your website, and search engines LOVE fresh content. Writing a post that includes the keywords and topics you want people to associate with your business will help you rise above your competition in search engine results.

You can become an industry leader

No one knows your business and your products better than you. By writing interesting, informative posts on these subjects, your customers and potential business partners will begin to recognize you as a source they can trust.

It can improve website traffic

Use your blog and your social channels to drive people back to your website. Place links to your blog posts on your social accounts, and creatively encourage people to click through to your site for more info. Who knows what they’ll learn about you, or what they might purchase while they’re there?

It can improve customer relationships

Blogs not only allow your customers to get to know your business better, but if you open (and respond to!) comments, you’ve developed another channel for customer service and recovery. When handled correctly, that’s invaluable.

There are a dozen more reasons why blogging is beneficial to your business. But to do it properly does take time you probably don’t have. We’ll let you in on a little secret – it’s OK to ask for help. Just like you probably turn to experts in accounting at tax season, you can turn to the experts at The Get Smart Group for help researching, writing and posting blogs to your website on a regular schedule. You’ll get all the benefits of blogging, without the headaches. Contact us today.

Save Your Email Newsletter From the Trash Folder

We’ve all done it. We’ve all subscribed to an email newsletter for one reason or another, but then stopped reading it. Sometimes, we send it unopened, straight to the trash folder.


Maybe it just doesn’t fit your life anymore and you’ve meant to unsubscribe. Maybe the look or the content is just boring. Maybe it seems like all they’re doing is pushing merchandise. Whatever the reason, they lost you.

If you have an email newsletter of your own, you work hard on each issue. It’s not easy to pull the content together, and you want people to read it. But chances are, a portion of your reading list is treating your newsletter just like you’re treating all those others.

Uh oh.

What can you do to create an email newsletter people will actually read?

computer tom hanks typing email emails

Step 1: Focus

It’s tempting to tell everyone everything about your business, all the time. However, an email newsletter isn’t the best way to do that. If you really want people to engage, you’ll be better off focusing on niche markets. If you own a gym, create a newsletter targeting moms with young kids. Include ideal workouts, discuss childcare options, share class schedules that designed around the kids’ school schedules. You get the idea. By aligning your business with specific interests, people are more likely to engage with you.

Step 2: Educate more, sell less

Save the self promotion for when it will do you the most good – a big sale, an exciting promotion, an announcement about a new product. Beyond that, try to make your email newsletter about education. Teach your subscribers about your products, your expertise, your industry and how you can help solve their problems.

Step 3: Fresh subjects = opened emails

The average person receives 88 emails per day. If you want to keep your email out of the trash bin, give people a reason to open yours. Fresh, creative subject lines that give subscribers an idea of the content of the newsletter translate into more clicks. It’s as simple as that.

Step 4: Choose a main idea

It’s a newsletter, so you should have a few calls to action. But you need to choose a main one, and it needs to be clear. This helps your subscribers know exactly what you want them to do.

Step 5: Keep it simple

Keep the design simple, clean and uncluttered. Give people enough information to capture their interest. They can click through to your website or blog for details.

Step 6: Make it easy for people to unsubscribe

You don’t want anyone to unsubscribe. We know. But people WILL want to. Make the “unsubscribe” button clear and easy to find. People will appreciate the simplicity, and you’ll be able to maintain a clean contact list. Think about the value of THAT.

People subscribe to your newsletter because they want to hear what you have to say. Give them what they’re looking for, in a format that’s engaging – and unlikely to end up in the trash heap. You’ll reap the rewards.

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Two Areas of Facebook Branding You Don’t Want to Miss in 2017

Let’s face it (pun intended)… Facebook is the best means of advertising out there because of the potential market reach. With over 1.1 billion active users, a Facebook business page is just as vital as a website these days! But having a Facebook business page does very little for your business if you’re not putting yourself out there enough and drawing people in. We don’t want you to miss that opportunity, so we’ve put together a quick list of the most up-and-coming areas for Facebook branding. (Hint: There’s more to it than just boosting posts or creating ads!)

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Facebook Live

Just last year, Periscope was all the rage in live videos to advertise your business. And, chances are, you were just beginning to notice. As is often the case with Facebook, the company recognized this growing trend and cornered the market (This is their M.O. Have you noticed the “snapchat” like feature in Facebook Messenger lately?). And, just as we might expect, Facebook Live is knocking Periscope out of the running as an effective marketing tool.

The benefits of Facebook Live include:

  • It’s free.
  • Facebook notifies your business page followers when you go live.
  • It builds trust because the video is genuine and unscripted, making you look more like a real person than a business in the consumer’s eyes.
  • You can answer questions live as they’re posted in the comments, connecting with your audience directly.

If you’re a contractor, use Facebook Live to show your potential clientele what your work day looks like. Effective Facebook branding means pool builders can show off a finished pool the moment the last drop of water falls in. Do an interview with a happy customer right after you deliver his new hot tub. Own a health food store? Explain the benefits of the supplement line you offer. Are you a yoga instructor? Teach a technique in two minutes once a week. The possibilities are endless.

Brand Yourself

If you’re an entrepreneur, then you need to be active on your personal Facebook profile and work on branding yourself just as much as your business. Be willing to become Facebook Friends with your customers and clientele so they can see you as a real person. This establishes trust, and trust is one of the most important values when working to gain and maintain your customer base.

And save the truly personal and controversial stuff – such as your political views or rants about those difficult customers – for personal conversations with your closest family and friends. Don’t throw this at your general Facebook audience. Treat your personal profile as you do your business profile… but share pictures of your kids or dogs too.

Facebook branding goes beyond getting an advertisement or boosted post in front of their eyes.

Consumers are looking for a business relationship with the companies they trust. By utilizing personal branding and Facebook Live (on both your business and personal profile), you’ll begin to see an increase in engagement from your target market.