April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
26 Sep 2019

Marketing Minute – Expand Your Contacts List

Marketing Minute – Expand Your Contacts List

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

Growing your list of contacts, meeting new people, and reconnecting with those you’ve lost touch with are ways to increase your list of potential clients. When you go shopping, attend social functions and parties, and any time you have the opportunity, grab the chance to meet someone new.

Use Meetup.com to Make New Prospect Connections

If you want to connect with new prospects, you need to take an interest in what interests them.
Check out Meetup.com, which is the world’s largest network of local groups. Through Meetup, you can organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. Because of Meetup, over 130,729 groups get together in local communities each day.

Always Talk to Strangers

Always make an effort to chat with or sit next to someone you don’t know at a networking function, chamber luncheon, party, etc. With prospecting, it’s “who you don’t know” that counts.

Drum Up the Alum

If you attended a big university and you’re currently living near a large metropolitan area, there is a good chance that there’s an alumni association in your midst. Check with your university for an alumni directory that can help with local prospecting. Also, contact a few of your fellow grads who are living in your area to see if local alumni meetings are held. If not, consider starting one yourself!

14 Aug 2019

Tips for a Successful Newsletter

This Marketing Minute is provided by NICA Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

Following up on the great suggestions from our members (in the article above) to promote your inventory business, this month’s Marketing Minute from Mary Gillen gives some great advice to create a successful email newsletter – a key item many use to market their home and business inventory services.

Use Responsive HTML for Your Email Templates

Is your email newsletter mobile-friendly? Be sure to use a template that is “responsive design.” This means that your email template will serve easily across a wide range of devices: desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

Keep Your Email Newsletter Layout to One Column for Mobile Viewing

More and more folks are using their smartphones to view and respond to email. To accommodate mobile viewers, a single column layout for your newsletter works best. Layout column width: a range between 320 pixels (vertical viewing) and 550 pixels (horizontal viewing).

Include Social Media Icons in Your Email Newsletter

You will gain more traffic when you include email and social media sharing buttons within your email newsletter. This reminds readers to share your content via email and the social media platforms you use.

Always Include a Link to the Web Version of Your Newsletter

Provide a link at the top of your email newsletter to the HTML version that is archived on your server, or the server of your email service provider. It will be easy for subscribers to click through to read your content in case they cannot read the email version.

Be Sure to Use Different Email Subject Headers

Are you using the exact same subject header for each newsletter you mail out? Not a good idea. This can decrease open rates. Be sure to use different subject headers for each issue. Also, research has shown that using numbers in your headers can help your newsletter get opened.

17 Jul 2019

Marketing Minute: You Set Up A LinkedIn Account. Now What?

Mary GillenCreating a LinkedIn profile is a great beginning. However, once you’ve completed it, what’s next? How do people find you? How do you find people you want to meet?

The text under your name on your LinkedIn profile is called your professional headline. To ensure that people can find you, be sure to include keywords and phrases in this headline that they will use to discover you. Also, be an approachable professional. Write your summary in the first person.

LinkedIn’s search engine indexes the phrases in your Profile’s Interests Section. Be sure to add the known phrases that prospects or professionals would use to search for your services on LinkedIn.

In addition to your personal profile, create a LinkedIn Company Page. This is a great way to promote your business, detail and itemize your services, and provide contact information.

This Marketing Minute is provided by Mary Gillen who has 24 years of Web development experience to build responsive, accessible websites for tech companies, associations, non-profits, and small businesses, blending professional design with measurable business results. I am also an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor, providing website testing & remediation for compliance with ADA, Section 508 and WCAG 2.1 A, AA & AAA Guidelines. https://accessiblewebsiteservices.com/

13 Jun 2019

Marketing Minute – Search Engine Optimization

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary Gillen, who is an expert in SEO, marketing, responsive websites, and ADA compliant websites.

Whether your website was built years ago or is fairly new, it’s a good idea to periodically review the keywords you’re using and evaluate whether you should add new words or edit them.

Trends change, and using the proper keywords will help keep your website an easy site to be found when people are searching for your home inventory service. Following are some tips to help you with Search Engine Optimization for your website.

Conduct keyword research

Determine the words and phrases your potential clients use when searching for your service. Once you find the keywords, build a master list of them to be used in your online marketing. Following are three websites that provide keyword tools:

Wordtracker: https://www.wordtracker.com
Ubersuggest: https://ubersuggest.org
Google Keywords: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

When using Google’s Keyword Tool, select “Exact” as the Match Type on the keyword results page. This will filter your results so you have a more concise list.

Search for “long tail” keyword phrases

“Long tail” keyword phrases contain between three to five words. Use a keyword tool (listed above) to find these keyword phrases for the services you offer (i.e., specific to home inventory, collections inventory, loss inventory, appraisals, etc.). Create and download a list (either as a text or Excel file) of these long tail phrases. Be sure to incorporate these phrases in your website and blog content

Add Facebook “Like” buttons to your website and blog pages

As far as the major search engines are concerned, the Facebook Like button acts like a trusted referral. Facebook Likes act as a “link-back” to your Website or blog content, and you receive search engine ranking credit as a result.

Use responsive web design for Google SEO

Smartphone use for business grows every day. How does this affect your site’s search engine optimization? Google recommends marketers use responsive web design, which is the process of serving the same HTML code for all devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones) and using different CSS stylesheets to serve up the correct content formatting for each device (so your website will respond – expand or contract – according to the size of the devise screen). This ensures that all devices are working off the same set of URLs with no content duplication…something that Google likes a bunch. Find out more about responsive Web design by contacting Mary Gillen.

02 Nov 2017

Marketing Ideas and Tactics Ebook Preview

Mary Gillen
Mary Gillen

Associate Member Mary Gillen‘s soon-to-be-released ebook, 367 Marketing Ideas & Tactics for Your Business, provides great tips to help you market your business. She is generously sharing some items with us this month – let’s call it a preview of her marketing knowledge and creativity. Following is just a sample of what is included in her book.

Stand Up and Market – Can’t afford to exhibit at conferences? Make the most of the question and answer periods during workshops and presentations. Stand up and ask a question, throwing in a reference about your business. Example: “As a Web Designer, I would like to know how you think the Internet and World Wide Web will impact your industry.” Make sure your question is intelligent and pertains to the matter being presented. This process can help you make more connections.

CPAs & Attorneys = Mucho Referrals – Looking for referral business? Make sure that the CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) and lawyers in your local area know that your business exists. These professionals can be a major source of referral business, as they are important influencers on how their clients spend money and conduct business. These types of professional referrals can provide you with a consistent flow of qualified business.

Try something unusual!

Sometimes, you just want to do something different – or crazy – or unique. An unusual marketing initiative might be just what you need to build your business. 

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.

Step Out of “Character” – A CPA we know always makes it a point to send his clients birthday cards. Yet he takes it one step further. He calls each client and actually SINGS the traditional HAPPY BIRTHDAY song to them on their special day. And who cares if the only singer in his family is the sewing machine? His clients love him, and he has more business than he can handle.

There are many more – actually 363 more – ideas and tactics in Mary’s book. We will let you know when it’s available to purchase.

20 Mar 2017

Meet Mary Gillen, New Associate Member

We have received many compliments about the new NICA website. Some have stated that it’s clean, easy to navigate, has great information, and a quote that says exactly what we were going for – “I love the positive visuals.”

There is one person to thank for this, and she is our Associate Member, Mary Gillen. Here is why we are so glad to have her as one of our members, ready to create website, marketing, and social media assistance for our members.

Using her more than 20 years of Web development experience to build sites for tech companies, associations, non-profits and small businesses, Mary Gillen blends professional design with measurable business results. The perfect example of her work is to peruse the new NICA website when it launches (she did a fantastic job!). Whether you need a few tweaks or an entirely new website, you will find Mary is extremely talented and professional. From adding a blog page to an existing site to creating a fully searchable directory, your issue becomes her successful project.

Websites, SEO, Copywriting, Content Marketing

  • Keyword Research – How do your prospects find you on the Web? You can expect shifts in how people search, perhaps due to market conditions or changes in product or service demand. So, if your Web site was optimized for keyword phrases a year ago, it may be time for a keyword phrase “tune-up.”
  • Copywriting for Both Web & Print – Copywriting is one of the most essential elements of effective online marketing and print business communication. Effective copy sells your services. She has written hundreds of brochures, technical manuals, and Federal government RFP proposals in addition to writing for the Web and producing online marketing copy for commercial and private organizations.
  • Content Marketing – Every business person serious about marketing his/her business today must publish blog posts, Twitter tweets, Google+ shares & YouTube video content consistently throughout the business week. Why? Search engine optimization. Consistently publishing quality content to your blog, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube accounts is the way to get there. She has developed a Content Marketing Plan that can be used for Business-to-Consumer (B2C), Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Government (B2G).

For all of your website, content, and social media needs, Mary Gillen can help you reach the next level with your business.