Top 8 House-Hunting Mistakes

Mistake 1: Falling in Love With a House You Can't Afford
Once you've fallen in love with a particular home, it's hard to go back. You start dreaming about how great your life would be if you had all the wonderful things it offered — the lovely, tree-lined streets, the jetted bathtub, the spacious kitchen with professional-grade appliances. However, if you can't or won't be able to afford that house, you're just hurting yourself by imagining yourself in it. To avoid the temptation to get in over your head financially, or the disappointment of feeling like you're settling for less than you deserve, it's best to only look at homes in your price range.
Start your search at the low end of your price range — if what you find there satisfies you, there's no need to go higher. Remember, when you buy another $10,000 worth of house, you're not just paying an extra $10,000 — you're paying an extra $10,000 plus interest, which might come out to double that amount or more over the life of your loan. You may be better off putting that money toward another purpose.

Mistake 2: Assuming There's Nothing Better Out There
Unless you are a high-end buyer looking at custom homes, chances are that for any home you find that you like, there are quite a few others that are nearly identical to it. Most neighborhoods have multiple homes that are the same model. Further, most neighborhoods are full of homes that were all constructed by the same builder, so even if you can't find an identical model for sale, you can probably find a house with many of the same features. If you're considering a condo or townhouse, the odds are also in your favor.
Even when you have a long list of must-haves, there are probably several homes out there that can meet your needs. If there are snags with the home you've decided you like – such as major repair issues, an inflexible asking price or a difficult possession date – consider moving on. Being open to keep looking will save you from making rash decisions you might regret later.

Mistake 3: Being Desperate
When you've been looking for a while, and you do not see anything you like — or worse, you're getting outbid on the houses you do want – it's easy to get desperate to get into your new house now. However, if you move into a house you'll end up hating, the transaction costs to get rid of it will be costly. You'll have to pay an agent's commission (up to 5-6% of the sale price), and you'll have to pay closing costs for the mortgage on your new house. You'll also deal with the hassle and expense of moving yet again. If you decide not to move but to try to make the best of what you have, remember that alterations and renovations are expensive, time-consuming and stressful. If you have time on your side, it's OK to wait until something that suits you comes along – as long as your demands are realistic for your budget, you are bound to find something you live with.

Mistake 4: Overlooking Important Flaws
For any of the three reasons we just discussed, you might be tempted to ignore major problems with the house that will be difficult, expensive or impossible to change. Carefully consider your options before you make a commitment, and consider waiting until something better comes along. New houses come on the market every day.

Mistake 5: Overestimating Your Handyman Skills
Don't buy a fixer-upper that's more than you can handle in terms of time, money or ability. For example, if you think you can do the work yourself then realize you can't once you get started, any repairs or upgrades you were planning to make will probably cost twice as much once you factor in the labor – and that may not be in your budget. Not to mention the costs involved to fix anything you may have started and the fees to replace the materials you wasted. Honestly evaluate your abilities, your budget and how soon you need to move before purchasing a property that isn't move-in ready.

Mistake 6: Rushing to Put In an Offer
In a hot market, it may be necessary to pull the trigger very quickly if you find a home you like. However, you have to balance the need to make a quick decision with the need to make sure the home will be right for you. Don't neglect important steps like making sure the neighborhood feels safe at night as well as during the day and investigating possible noise issues like a nearby train. Ideally, you'll be able to take at least a night to sleep on the decision. How well you sleep that night and how you feel about the home in the morning will tell you a lot about whether the decision you're about to make is the right one. Taking the time to consider the decision also gives you a chance to research how much the property is really worth and offer an appropriate price.

Mistake 7: Dragging Your Feet
It's a tough balancing act to make sure you make a careful decision, but don't take too long to make it. Losing out on a property that you were almost ready to make an offer on because someone beat you to it can be heartbreaking. It can also have economic consequences. Let's say you are self-employed. Perhaps for you more than anyone else, time is money. The more time and energy you have to take out of your normal activities to search for a house, the less time and energy you have available to work. Not dragging out the home buying process unnecessarily may be the best thing for your business, and the continued success of your business will be essential to paying the mortgage. If you don't pull the trigger quickly, someone else might, and you'll have to keep looking. Don't underestimate how time-consuming and routine-disrupting house shopping can be.

Mistake 8: Offering Too Much
If there's a lot of competition in your market and you find a place you really like, it's all too easy to get sucked into a bidding war – or to try to preempt a bidding war by offering a high price in the first place. There are a couple of potential problems with this. First, if the house doesn't appraise at or above the amount of your offer, the bank won't give you the loan unless the seller reduces the price or you pay cash for the difference. If this happens, the shortfall on your bid as opposed to your mortgage will have to be paid out of pocket. Second, when you go to sell the house, if market conditions are similar to or worse than they were when you purchased, you may find yourself upside down on the mortgage and unable to sell. Make sure the purchase price for the home you buy is reasonable for both the house and the location by examining comparable sales and getting your agent's opinion before making an offer.

Advertisements

5 Ways to Deal With Difficult Clients

1. Listen

“When I have a difficult client, my biggest priority is listening. I let them talk until they finish. This serves two purposes: One, they get their concerns off their chest and they know I care. Two, I find out if any of their concerns are legitimate. Many times the concerns have no ground, but if it's important to the client, I need to give them a place to express those concerns. Then once they're finished, I reassure them and get back to work! This method has served me well in previous occupations as well as in real estate. Even controlling and aggressive people will be react differently when you listen!

2. Prescreen for personality conflicts

“Prior to working with any clients, I like to conduct a pre-client interview with each potential client to ensure that we can work well together. As we all know, each individual has different needs and wants, and it's important to know that theirs are in line with yours. After our interview and determination by both parties that it's a good fit, we then proceed.
“Nowadays — as we all know — we can't always pick and choose our clients or the other parties involved in the transactions. When situations like that come up, I always try to put myself in the shoes of the party with whom I am working with. What are their struggles? What are their challenges? And how can I help?

3. Educate

“Now, more than ever real estate professionals are more inclined to put up with difficult buyers. But really all real estate professionals should put their foot down and educate the difficult buyers as to how the interactions should go between the agent and buyer. For this to work, all real estate professionals need to do this, so the difficult buyer has to change his or her behavior and not be able to go and manipulate the next real estate professional they seek out.”
“As real estate professionals, we need to be proactive rather than reactive. We continue to further our education in the fields of our practices so that we can properly address the concerns of our clients and give them the confidence they need to proceed. I think once clients have a clear understanding and appreciation of all the efforts put forth by their real estate agent, they will then be much less difficult to work with and a pleasant transaction for all parties.”

4. Find creative solutions

“I recently had a client who wanted to do do everything! Controlled everyone! Was angry at all the professionals involved in the transaction. The entire transaction required a lot of listening, biting of my tongue and reassuring. I just always tried to imagine myself in his place, and tried to envision what would make me feel better at any given point in the transaction.”

5. Put yourself in their shoes

“Often, when we’re not able to connect with a client, it’s because we are trying to convince them to see things our way, from our perspective. Unfortunately, this attempt is futile. In fact, it works just the opposite. You need to communicate your position through their perspective.

Understand what the client’s challenge is and continue to be at peace, even if they want war.

How to handle unrealistic seller pricing on a home for sale

As agents, in the course of preparing to meet with a homeowner, we can sometimes spend hours running comps to put together an accurate comparative market analysis (CMA) on the property. So, we get pretty good at determining a list price on a home for sale that’ll generate offers quickly, yet not so low as to leave some of our clients’ money on the table.
Even with the hours that we spend comping a property with the client’s best interests at heart, it’s inevitable that we will have to defend those suggestions time and time again.Even with the hours that we spend comping a property with the client’s best interests at heart, it’s inevitable that we will have to defend those suggestions time and time again.

The truth is, most homeowners have an unrealistic dollar amount that they think their home is worth, and it’s our job to educate them properly. Sure, we want a listing, but in pursuit of it, we shouldn’t take an overpriced suggestion that will ultimately leave a uninformed seller wondering why the house is still on the market months later.
Here are a few ways that we deal with sellers when we encounter resistance on our listing price recommendation:

It’s our job to educate potential clients when they are wrong about price — don’t cave in.Build trust and loyalty with your potential clients before discussing price
Trust has always been a vital factor in any real estate business transaction, but it’s the timing that we’re going to look at here. The listing appointment or first face-to-face meeting with a seller is typically preceded by an initial phone conversation with the homeowner.
I’ve found that it’s in that first conversation that I have the greatest (and possibly the only) opportunity to build long-lasting trustworthiness and credibility with the homeowner.
Why? Because I don’t think there’s ever another time when homeowners are as attuned to what you say as in they are in that initial fact-finding phone call. It’s within the first conversation that the interviewing process begins, so it’s crucial that we accurately convey our credibility from the get go.
So, how do we convey credibility to build trust during the early stages?
Start by building rapport, just as you would in the initial stages of a friendship.
Share some of your accomplishments as they relate to the specific town, geographic area or subdivision.

Find commonalities in the seller’s personal story and situation and relate them to your past experiences and successes.

Be very specific about your knowledge of the hyperlocal area and even relate past clients’ (if nearby) stories and successes.

If you try to incorporate some of these ideas into your initial phone conversation with your potential client — rather than going for the jugular and vying for the listing right away — then the credibility and trust that you’ll have built will aid you in your discussion of price.Handle the price objection before it becomes an objection.
How do you handle a price objection before one even exists? You’ll need to do some preliminary fact finding and then anticipate a homeowner’s reaction to your list price recommendation before you give it.
During the several talks that lead up to the conversation on price, simply ask sellers what they think the home is worth and why. Don’t be afraid to ask how they arrived at that number.
In any case, before you discuss price, you need to know what sellers believe their house is worth, so that if you should have to burst their bubble in a future conversation, you can anticipate what their exact response will be.
If you can accurately predict the response to your listing price recommendation, then you can craft a well-prepared rebuttal instead of looking shocked that anyone would disagree with your well-researched analysis. Show sellers exactly how you arrived at your recommended list price

I don’t need to tell you to print full-color comps in the best quality (high DPI) possible because I’m sure you’ve already done that. It’s much harder to convey the condition of comparable homes to a seller when there are 10 different shades of gray on the paper. So use the best paper and color printer that you can find — it’s worth the few extra dollars.
Remember, you already know what the seller believes the value of the home to be and why, and you know how he or she arrived at that number. Now it’s time to show the seller why that number might might be inaccurate.
Pride is an issue here, because who likes to be wrong about what they say? It’s much easier to accept that you’re wrong once new information is brought to light. When we show sellers new information, it allows them to make a new decision freely without sacrificing their pride.
It’s much easier to accept that you’re wrong once new information is brought to light.Consider a simple phrase along the lines of, “I can understand why you would have thought that you’re home is worth X amount of money. But based on what we’ve gone over, do you see how listing it at X amount of money makes sense?”
The truth is, with many homeowners, proof of sold inventory isn’t enough, which is why you also need to print some comparable overpriced expired and withdrawn listings.
Give sellers expired and withdrawn listings that are similar to their property.At this point in the conversation, if the homeowner still doesn’t agree with your recommended list price and refuses to budge, you can gently reveal what happened to other listings that were overpriced and in the same general condition and location as the house being sold.
I like to print out a detailed history for each expired listing that shows how many price reductions need to be made, until the seller finally withdraws the listing.
At last resort: Take the seller to see the competition. To be clear, I’ve never really had to employ this last resort strategy, but I can see how it could be powerful in proving your point. As professional homebuyers ourselves, we often look at current available inventory before we list one of our fully renovated homes because we need to know what we’re up against.
Sure, it’s more work and time on your part to show sellers some of the would-be competition at their proposed list price, but it’s sure to drive your point home, pun intended.
Try these tips next time you are dealing with unrealistic pricing expectations, and see if you can’t get that seller to budge a little quicker and easier. By James Vasquez

What We Need In An Era Of Accelerating Change !

We are, as we often hear, living in an age of transition. All over the world, there are massive changes that are shaking up millions of lives and virtually every industry. And not surprisingly, these changes are causing no shortage of pain and anxiety. But the answers we see being offered in our global conversation often don’t take into consideration the fact that people respond very differently to adversity. Some are overwhelmed by it, while others can grow through it. So what we all need in an era of accelerating change isn’t just new job skills, but deeper life skills–the ability to navigate not just sudden hardships that change our lives, but the process of constant change itself. 
Nobody is immune from the certainty of change. “I don’t know anyone who has been handed only roses,” Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant write in Option B. “We all encounter hardships.” But as they also write, the question is, “When these things happen, what do we do next?”
How you answer depends on your resilience, which Sheryl and Adam aptly define in the book as “the strength and speed of our response to adversity.” And as they also point out, science has proven that resilience isn’t fixed – it can be nurtured and it can grow. “It isn’t about having a backbone,” they wrote. “It’s about strengthening the muscles around our backbone.”
And one of the things that strengthens the muscles around our backbone is regularly recharging ourselves. For me, this became abundantly clear when I had so completely exhausted myself that, on the morning of April 6, 2007, I collapsed, hit my head on my desk, and found myself coming to in a pool of blood. Option B, as it always does, asserted itself. I was left with a broken cheekbone and several stitches over my eye. But I also learned a life-changing lesson. 

Looking back at my life, I could clearly see how often I had reacted emotionally to challenges, overreacted to the inevitable hardships of life, and all too often lived in a fight-or-flight state. So what I Iearned the hard way–why do we keep learning lessons the hard way?!–is that when I replenish my own resources I can get through these setbacks much faster. And we can all do this by, as Sheryl and Adam write, avoiding what psychologist Martin Seligman calls the three P’s: personalization–thinking that it’s our fault, pervasiveness–thinking that one event affects everything in our lives–and permanence–thinking that these temporary hardships will last forever. That is, if we’re always connected to our inner resources of strength and resilience, we can move much faster beyond blaming ourselves, assuming we’ll always feel bad and allowing the adversity, whatever it is, to permeate our whole lives. 

But lessons of resilience are not just about life’s big, painful challenges, but also about the everyday setbacks that throw us off completely disproportionately to their significance. People have meltdowns because their flight is delayed, or someone cut them off on the freeway.

 How we relate to these everyday petty challenges and how quickly we can embrace Option B dramatically transforms the quality of our lives.

Every day we have a thousand opportunities to stress out and lose it. But if we’ve taken care to replenish our resilience reserves–to sleep, to breathe, to put things in perspective–we don’t. And that’s good, because there are going to come times of real crisis–divorce, illness, losing a job, or, as Sheryl writes about, losing a spouse. And that’s when we really need our resilience. 

“Tragedy does not have to be personal, pervasive, or permanent, but resilience can be,” write Sheryl and Adam. “We can build it and carry it with us throughout our lives.”
And as the pace of change itself accelerates in the coming years, building and carrying that resilience is going to be more important than ever. And the more we practice building our resilience muscle in our daily lives–being mindful about dealing with small setbacks–the better positioned we’ll be to deal with the big ones. Which, as Sheryl and Adam say, will surely come. “Life is never perfect,” they write. “We all live some form of Option B.”
So make sure you choose Option A for dealing with Option B. Prioritize your well-being, even when you think you don’t need to. Take care of yourself because at some point, we all inevitably need to.

Founder and CEO at Thrive Global

Arianna Huffington

Six Steps To Downsizing

Downsizing a home can lead to lots of stress and anxiety for anyone who loves their belongings but hates living in clutter. Seniors, empty nesters or people moving from a suburban home to a city apartment all face the challenge of creating a new living space with limited room for furniture, accessories, clothes and collectibles. But if you come up with a plan before you downsize, you can create a comfortable and stylish environment made for daily living.

Here are six tips for organizing and/or downsizing your life to live comfortably in a cozier space.

TIP 1: Plan ahead

Don’t wait to make decisions. Start planning your downsizing early and set goals. For couples and families, make sure everyone is on the same page to eliminate conflicts and hurt feelings down the road.

TIP 2: Determine your lifestyle needs

It helps to ask yourself some questions. Think about what lifestyle you want to embrace as you move forward, suggests professional organizer Mary Dykstra, CPO, president elect for NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and owner of Within Reach Organizing Services.

Do you have room for oversized furniture in your new space?

If you are moving, how much smaller is your new home?

Do you feel you should keep something just because you spent a lot of money for it?

TIP 3: Find purpose

“The biggest issue is people don’t edit,” says designer Jane Hamilton of JAC Interiors. “They want to bring too much stuff with them and don’t realize every little corner should have a purpose or function. With some planning, a shelf can become your whole home office or a corner becomes an art studio.”

“Be conscious of what you let into your mind, life and environment, and how you choose to spend your time and resources moving forward,” says Dykstra. “This is the secret to feeling whole and living well.”

Regarding sentimental items, take photographs of your old home and belongings to preserve memories. This can be especially helpful for children who don’t want to let go of an old stuffed animal or dolls.

TIP 4: Keep clutter out

Edit your technology. Use a printer that connects to Wi-Fi to eliminate extra cables and choose a TV that mounts to the wall, so you don’t need a media center that takes up valuable floor space.

Use smart storage solutions in your smaller space. For example, a table cloth can re-purpose an older table and give you a way to “hide” things from plain sight. Or use a piece of your china collection that seems too large to store as a pencil holder in your home office or for makeup storage in your bathroom.

TIP 5: Think quality and multipurpose

Hamilton says you need to go for quality over quantity. Choose a great piece of furniture that makes a statement, instead of trying to squeeze too many pieces into a single room.

If you’re investing in new furniture when you downsize, choose multipurpose furniture pieces. Go for nightstands with open and closed storage and ottomans with tops that lift to offer space inside for blankets or extra pillows.

Look for durable fabrics, since a smaller home often requires flexible spaces that have to do double duty as an office, extra bedroom or playspace.

TIP 6: When in doubt, get an objective opinion

Accept help in sorting and packing your belongings. Consider hiring a professional organizer who can offer an objective opinion when you’re trying to decide what you really need to eliminate or donate to charity.

10 steps to make the most of every day

“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things.” – Booker T. Washington
Our lives are a large collection of single days one right after the other. The sun rises, the sun sets, and it rises again. And in the end, the lives we chose to live will be determined by how we choose to spend each day.

Unfortunately, for most of my life, I embraced little intentionality in my days. I survived each new day, but made little effort to make the most of it. Instead, they simply just came and went… and many were wasted.

But over the past few years, my views have changed. I have begun to view each day as an important gift. I have sought to embrace each one individually and discover the potential that it holds. After all, some may get more days than others, but each of us have been given this one. And we ought to be making the most of it.

Here are 10 simple steps I have personally found helpful to make the most of every day:

1. Rise early. It was this article about becoming an early riser that motivated me to make this significant change in my sleeping habits. And I’ve never looked back. Early mornings are quiet, peaceful, productive, energizing… and my favorite part of the day.

 2. Eat right. The food we put into our bodies becomes the fuel on which it runs. We are wise to make sure it is the right kind of fuel at every meal. Just be sure to include some protein in your breakfast, your mind will be sharper and clearer because of it.

3. Exercise. According to recent studies, people who exercise regularly report to be happier, calmer, and better equipped to handle whatever the day decides to throw at them. Interestingly enough, the study seemed to indicate these benefits were experienced on a day-to-day basis, which means you can begin to experience them today by choosing to exercise just 20 minutes.

4. Accomplish one big task. We all have projects, work, and requirements for our time – things that we need to accomplish. Likely, your to-do list is longer than you can accomplish in one day. But to make the most of this day, choose one big thing on your list and do it first. If you finish, move on to the next.

5. Do one thing that you love. Apart from the day-to-day requirements of living life, you have dreams, goals, and hopes. You have hobbies that you love and activities that breathe life into who you are. Embrace these life-giving opportunities. And do one thing every day that you love.

6. Rest effectively. Rest is as essential to our bodies as food and water and air. Our bodies need to be refreshed on a daily basis and a weekly basis. Don’t neglect to schedule rest. And don’t feel guilty about it when you do.

7. Be present with others. Put away distractions. Engage in conversation. Ask questions. Give time for answers. And look people in the eye when you do. Their eyes reveal far more than their words.

8. Give to someone else. Your fullest joy in life will not be found living it selfishly for yourself. Rather, the periods of greatest joy and fulfillment are found in the moments and motivations when we are choosing to give to others. Invest your life in someone else everyday. Mentor a child. Help a co-worker. Fund a local charity. Or just make that phone call to a friend who needs to hear from you.

9 Nurture your soul. Our lives are more than flesh and blood. They are also mind and heart and soul. Find time each day to feed your soul by embracing gratitude, laughter, hope, and faith.

10. Reset. Tomorrow is another day with great potential and opportunity. You’ll want to begin it with a clear slate and a fresh start. Take 10 minutes each evening to clear the clutter and refresh your home for the next day. Tomorrow’s self will thank you for it.

Today is among the greatest gifts we have ever been given. Let’s use it wisely and refuse to waste a single one.
 JOSHUA BECKER

Improve Your Business 615

 1. Know your “why.” Before you start marketing a business, you have to know why you are doing it. Everything has to be intentional. You’re probably thinking, “I’m marketing because I need customers!” Yes, but why are you doing the marketing activities you’ve chosen? 

2. Have a plan. Having a marketing plan is a lifesaver, if you go by the seat of your pants, you’ll drown. Your marketing plan will direct you to the right marketing activities and give you something to keep you accountable.

 

3. Network. Network. Network. Word of mouth is always going to be one of the best forms of marketing. Take the opportunity to go to various events and network with other business owners and the general population. Look at your Chamber for upcoming events.

 

4. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Putting yourself and your business out there is never easy – you won’t survive if you stay within your protected bubble. You have to pop that and seek out ideas and opportunities to grow as a business owner and to grow your business. Michael Dell once said, “if you’re the smartest person in the room, find another room.” This applies to your comfort zone as well.

 

5. Use social media, but not every platform. There are only so many hours in the day. Look at what your customers are using and use that. Just because there are lots of social media platforms, that doesn’t mean you have to do them all.

 

6. Make sure you have a website – and update it often. In the digital age, if your business doesn’t have a website, you are majorly missing out. People will be looking for you on the web – make sure you’re there.

 

7. Blog. Give people a reason to keep coming back to your website. Blog and give them tips, case studies, your latest products – make sure you keep giving them a reason to visit you on the web.
8. Give your customers great customer service. People will pay more for a product over a lesser-priced one if you continually give them phenomenal customer service. Now, not every business or person is perfect so you may have an off-day, but treat your customers like you’d want to be treated by your favorite business.

 

9. Run a contest. What better way to get your business more attention? Run a contest and share it on social media. Give away something. People love to win.

 

10. Develop a Customer Referral Program. Offer existing customers a free product, free month of service, or some other reward for referring new customers. Remember, word-of-mouth is powerful stuff, so friends telling friends about your business is incredibly valuable.

 

11. Host an Event or Class. This is something I love to do. Plan an event or class to host, then print out flyers and post them on community bulletin boards and online. This is a great way to get the word out about your business.

 

12. Email marketing. Collect your customer’s email addresses (with permission) and email them about upcoming sales or events. You can even segment these out to target specific people.

 

13. Don’t be afraid to give something away for free. I’m talking samples, free consultations, free trials – people love to try before they buy.

 

14. Sponsor something. For ME Marketing, I’m an athletic booster at my daughters’ school. With that, my business name is printed in programs and up on the board at the football field and in the gym. With community or school sponsors you get incredible visibility.

 

15. Be consistent in your messaging and branding. People need to recognize you no matter where they see you. Also, make sure to spell-check 😉

 

16. Answer the questions your customers ask. When buyers of any kind begin their journey, they go to Google to ask a question, and they will find an answer. As a marketer, the question becomes: will it be your answer they discover?

 

17. Understand that marketing is not the same as advertising. You can market your small business in literally hundreds of ways without spending money (aka, advertising), so it pays to know what they are and then eliminate the ones that won’t work, or that you can’t afford, up-front.

18. sure you have business cards. This is pretty much a requirement. Without cards, how will someone you meet in person know how to get in touch with you?

 

19. Get creative with promotional products and give them away. I am a pen person. I use pens from all sorts of businesses, so when I purchased a promotional product for my business, guess what I got? Pens. Koozies work well too. Have something with your business info on it that people will use over and over again.

 

20. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. As a member of mine, I’ve gotten several opportunities I wouldn’t have had if I wasn’t a member. This is a group of people who are there for the business owner – join and tap into that network of support.

 

21. Find a way to measure your ROI. Whatever you do, it’s important to measure your efforts so you know what’s working and what isn’t.

 

22. Be proactive. Don’t wait for your competitors to do something – do it first. This could be a promotion, event, advertising campaign. It’s like what they say – the early bird gets the worm.

 

23. Balance your online and offline activities. You have to have a presence online but don’t let it suck up all your marketing time and energy. Find a balance between doing the stuff online and offline.

 

24. Remember – quality over quantity. When marketing, it’s easy to become obsessed with numbers – having the most Facebook fans, having the most people attend an event, etc. Focus on the quality. You could end up with one really good customer who brings in 40% of your sales.

 

25. Host an online Tweet Chat or a Q&A session. What a great way to connect with your online audience and get new followers! Online sessions are perfect for answering your customer’s questions and really finding out and learning more about your market.

 

26. Mix it up. Don’t only do TV ads or just do flyers on dorm doors – mix up your marketing efforts. Doing the same thing will get stale and boring over time.

 

27. Think outside the box. Some of the best marketing ideas came from this kind of thinking. Chick-fil-A cows for example. Who would have put cows with a chicken restaurant?

 

28. Get creative. Part of marketing is entertaining. Yes, you want to get the message out, but you want to be memorable (see #27).

 

29. Partner up with other businesses. Form a strategic partnership with businesses that share the same target audience. Sell jewelry? Host a joint event with a retail shop! Own a local coffee shop? Partner with a bakery! The possibilities are endless and this will give you great exposure.

 

30. Give your business a personality. No one cares for those businesses who are as exciting as a cardboard box. Let your personality as the business owner shine through your business. Examples? See Charmin and their Twitter feed.

 

31. Focus on the relationship. Marketing to the masses is one thing, but for small businesses, you want to build that relationship with your customer. Send them a birthday card. Tag them on social media. Build a relationship with them and they’ll keep coming back.

 

32. Use video. Videos don’t have to be costly and they don’t have to be made by professionals. Some of the most famous YouTube accounts are made with iPhones. Brainstorm some ideas for video content with your staff and start uploading!.

 

33. Make sure your business is mobile-friendly. Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly and make sure it loads quickly on smartphones. Sites that aren’t mobile-friendly are being penalized in mobile searches.

 

34. Don’t forget your call-to-action! Every point of customer contact in your digital marketing efforts should contain calls-to-action that lead back to your website, a landing page, an opt-in form, and so on. The ultimate goal is some form of conversion, so everything should be designed that way.

 

35. Have fun. Marketing your business will be one of the most fun things you do. You don’t have to balance any accounting sheets or clean a store-front. Have fun and show