April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
26 Aug 2021

Marketing Minute – Niche Keywords

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

One of the main reasons to use your niche keywords is to find followers who are prospects, not competitors.

Since you provide home and small business inventory services, search Twitter using the terms “insurance agent” or “estate planner” and the other key words related to those who would be prospective referral sources. Start following those folks. They will eventually learn about you and most likely form interest to meet you face-to-face or virtually. Either way, many will most likely become great referral sources, sending you their clients as referrals.

TIP: For search engine optimization, be sure to include an important keyword phrase in your bio that describes the type of inventory services you offer.

19 Aug 2021

Check Out These Blogs!

This post is featuring Associate Members’ blogs so you can start to follow them, learn from them, and possibly share this great information now via social media and your blogs (if you already have one established). If you aren’t currently writing a blog, but plan on writing one in the future, bookmarking some of their posts now will make them available to share as guest posts when you’re ready – and you’ll have a library of articles already prepared!

Mary Gillen WebsiteMary Gillen writes (in her words) a “definitely geeky and technical” blog.

However, she has received great feedback from clients, which has enabled her to learn that customers have gained great, useful information.

One area, in particular, is how to fix accessibility errors. By sharing step-by-step instructions, they were able to gain this knowledge from her blog.

Visit her Accessible Website Services Blog. Though it might be “geeky,” it’s written in common, easy-to-understand language!

ValuePros BlogThe blog that provides super inventory information is from ValuePros. Whether you plan on participating in their Appraisal Examiner initiative or just want this information available for your own edification that will enable you to provide educated advice to your clients. this blog will provide valuable knowledge for you.

The various topics relate to appraisals and valuations, with first-hand information about their work. Want to learn about sports memorabilia, fine art, antiques, coins, and more? This is the blog for you!

Frequent customer questions are also a big part of the content of this blog. They share those answers right here on the Blog page of their website.

05 Aug 2021

The Value of Blogging

Blog TilesBlogs serve many purposes. The number one reason people in our industry blog is to market their services. Being able to educate your readers is a perfect way to gain business. Once people learn the need for an inventory – and the various reasons they would need or want one – many will choose to hire an inventory professional. Of course, they will most likely hire the one who writes the blog they read that is full of helpful information.

NICA encourages you to begin a blog of your own. Our Introduction to Blogging course will help you get started with the planning process and learn some great tips on how to market it. It’s best not to rush into this commitment, but the course will give you plenty of topics to think about and consider.

Writing a blog will help to educate your readers, share information with other inventory professionals, and even include blog articles from local referral sources (who might also include some of your posts in his or her blogs). The bottom line, you will gain recognition which will help grow your business.

The 2nd of 3 blogging courses is in the works now and should be released by early fall. The 2nd course delves deep into how to create content, where to find it, and how to market your blog. The 3rd course will be more technical, teaching you how to create your own – on your own. If you already know that you’d rather have a professional set it up for you, Associate Member Mary Gillen is exceptional in all things technical and we highly recommend a conversation with her before you begin. 

Get started now – if only to learn about blogging and if it’s for you – by taking the Introduction to Blogging course. As a plus, you’ll receive 2 CEUs towards your CIS renewal.

08 Jul 2021

Marketing Minute – Writing Emotional Headlines

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

The purpose of a headline is to draw the reader’s attention. It is short with the intent to grab their interest so they want to read what follows.

Do your blog articles – and even your Facebook posts and Twitter tweets – use emotion to motivate? Here are some examples that other professionals used, and ideas to get you started for your next writings.

Using emotion (sadness, fear, joy, etc.) is a great strategy to gain attention and also to increase your click-through rates.

Dentist: “We Love Cowards!”
Orthodontist: “Don’t Worry! No Down Payment for Braces!”
Addiction Treatment Center: “Want to Stop? Start By Calling Us”
Hearing Aid Center: “We Listen…So You Can Hear”

And suggestions for our industry:

“Don’t Lose It! We’ve Got You Covered!”
“We Do the Tedious Work So You Don’t Have To!”
“Sirens Screaming! Flashing Lights! Be Prepared for the Worst.”
“The Feeling is ‘Relief’ When You Have a Home Inventory.”

10 Jun 2021

Marketing Minute – Copywriting Tips

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

How to Handle Long Headlines

If you have a long headline, you can make it easier for the reader to understand your message by setting 50% of the words in a larger font.


  • The Secret of HOW TO BE THINNER
  • ORGANIC FOOD: Now Is The Time To Buy It
  • 17 Marketing Ideas To GROW YOUR BUSINESS

In the body of your copy, you will often have links to sources, other articles, your website, etc. You don’t want too many words in your links, so…

Keep your links short

The easiest way to keep your links short is to delete unnecessary words


Click on these links to find out about Acme Associates’ hours, to get directions to Acme Associates’ office, or to see the Acme Associates contact list.


Visit Acme Associates
Contact List

These two tips will draw more attention to your articles and also encourage people to click on your links.

12 May 2021

Marketing Minute – Creative Marketing Tactics

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

Often, we can get into a “marketing rut.” When you feel a need to do something new and/or different, consider one or more of these unique strategies that can help people remember you and your company.

Voice Mail Tip of the Day

Make the most of voice mail by posting a better-than-standard answering message. Include a “tip of the day” on your message, which can prove to be entertaining and educational to callers, as well as a credibility builder for you.

The Luck of the Draw

Next time you’re the Spotlight Speaker at a networking function, make sure everyone walks away with the possibility of being a winner. One marketer we know gives away “scratch-to-win” $1 lottery tickets to all attendees at the end of her presentation with the message “Wishing you the best of luck in your business.” This surprise gift pleases everyone and draws attention to this marketer’s creativity.

Attract Twitter Attention with Quotations

Want to gain more recognition on Twitter? Schedule and post famous quotations throughout the day. Folks on Twitter love to re-tweet quotations. Find over 27,000 quotations online from over 3,100 authors at The Quotations Page.

Marketing with License Plates

Many state motor vehicle departments in the US offer customers the option to purchase personalized license plates. A math tutor in Herndon, VA, bought personalized tags that read “MATH TUTR”. No matter where she goes, she receives countless inquiries about her tutoring services from folks who read her license plates. Her “license plate marketing program” sends her a steady supply of students.

What would YOUR license plate say?

21 Apr 2021

Marketing Minute – Copywriting

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

When writing copy for your newsletter, blog, advertising content, or any other information, there are key elements to consider. The following information will help you write content that your prospects, referral sources, and cllients will want to read.

Keep the Copy Short

People skim and scan Web pages for information. Don’t be afraid to cut the copy down so folks can easily find what they need.
TOO LONG:                  How do I check out when I am done shopping at Acme.com?
EASY TO SCAN:           How do I check out?

Four Questions That Need to Be Answered in Copy That Sells

  1. Who might purchase your product or service?
  2. Why do they want it?
  3. What are the reasons a prospect might not buy your product or service?
  4. What are the reasons you can use to persuade the prospect to buy and close the sale?
17 Mar 2021

Marketing Minute – How to Build Traffic to Your Website

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

Are you wanting to build more traffic to your Web site? Yep – that’s a silly question; who wouldn’t want more traffic?

One easy way is to post comments on blogs where you will attract your prospects’ attention. How do you find these blogs? Follow these steps:

1) Go to Google > http://google.com
2) Search for “top [niche] blogs” – replacing the word [niche] with your niche marketing term.
Examples: “top home inventory blogs” or “top estate planning blogs” or “top homeowners insurance blogs”
3) Gather the URLs of 30 or so of these blogs that accept comments AND allow you to include a link to your Website. Leave an appropriate comment that aligns with the blog information and include the link to your website with your comment.

21 Jan 2021

Marketing Minute – Do You Blog? If Not, Should You?

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

One big question that most small business owners ask, is … how do you stay in touch and find new referral sources or potential clients? The answer is … start or beef up your blog! Following are helpful tips from Mary Gillen:

  • Always include an image with your blog post.
  • Include Call-to-Actions at the End of Blog Posts.
  • If you have a newsletter, add an email subscribe box at the end of every blog post. Be sure to offer some quality content such as a case study, white paper or a discount coupon as a thank you for the subscription.
  • Create an “About Me” video that welcomes visitors to your blog. Embed it on your About Page.
  • Do you have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of information on your Web site? Repurpose these frequently-asked questions as blog posts so the info is indexed in the major search engines. This leads to more traffic from potential customers.
  • Use your blog to post the offer of a free consultation to anyone who leaves a thoughtful, business-like comment.