Take Better Product Photos With These Easy Tips

When you own an e-commerce store, it’s easy to take basic photos of your products and slap them onto a website. But when you don’t take the effort and care to capture beautifully accurate images of your products, you run the risk of turning your customers away from buying from you.

Dark and dingy looking photos can lead customers to believe that you don’t care about your products, or that your products are lower quality than they actually are. That’s why it’s super important to take excellent, well-lit photographs of your products, to give your customers the most accurate representation possible on a computer or phone screen.

It’s not that difficult to take great product photographs if you have the right equipment and the determination to do so. Here are a few tips that can get you started on the path to taking awesome product photos.

Get The Right Equipment

One of they keys to taking good photos is to have a good camera. That seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many folks out there will attempt to take photos of their products with a point-and-shoot low-resolution camera. Even a low-end DSLR camera, with a good lens, can be great for taking high-quality photos.

You don’t need to break the bank to get a good camera. Even a low-end DSLR camera, with a good lens, can be great for taking high-quality photos. You’d also be surprised at how many cellphone cameras these days are great for taking photos. Just be sure to use a high-end phone camera if you’re going to use your phone for taking product photos.

If you can’t afford to make the investment in a DSLR camera right now, you can always find a friend or family member that has a camera that you can borrow, or rent from them. The quality of the camera you’re using makes all the difference when it comes taking great photos.

Make Sure Your Lighting Is Good

Next to having the right equipment, your lighting is the most important piece of the puzzle for taking gorgeous photos. You don’t want your photos to be too blown out by bright lights, and you also don’t want them to be too dark, where it’s impossible to see any details.

You can get a lot of great lighting by taking photos of your products in natural light, such as light from a window, or taking your photos outside. But, you also run the risk of having too little or too much light when you’re using natural light. In these cases, it’s best to control your lighting through lamps and lighting set ups.

If you don’t have the money to shell out for a nice lighting rig, you can always make your own through a DIY set up. This blog post from A Better Lemonade Stand details how you can make your own DIY setup for less than $40.

Capture The Details And Color

Finally, when taking product photos you have to ensure that the colors and details of your products pop when displayed on a computer or mobile device screen. You can achieve accurate color in a number of ways, but you’ll need some sort of photo editing software to do so.

For most photographers, Adobe’s Creative Cloud programs (including Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.) are necessary for editing photos to look the best they can possibly look. These programs allow you to edit simple things like brightness and contrast, to more complex and time-consuming details. These programs aren’t free, but if you can’t afford Adobe CC programs, there are also a number of free online photo editing tools, like Pixlr and Fotor, that make editing photos a breeze. These are great for simple edits like color, contrast, and brightness, which are oftentimes the only thing you’ll need to edit.

You want to make sure your products don’t look washed out and dim when you upload them to your website. Make them stand out and grab people’s attention with bright colors and great contrast.

These tips will help you attract more customers to your shop, and entice them into buying your products. Great photos lead to more purchases, so be sure to get your product photos looking great and ready for your website!

How To Craft The Perfect Newsletter In 4 Easy Steps

Newsletters are essential tools for keeping your loyal customers informed and happy. They’re great for showing off new products, highlighting a particularly interesting blog post, or letting customers know what events are coming up on your calendar.

We send out a newsletter each month that highlights some of our feature wholesale vendors, but we also offer helpful marketing tips, just like this one, to possibly lend some professional advice for your business.

If you’re thinking about starting your own newsletter, or you have one but it’s not having the impact on customers you originally hoped for, we’ve got some tips to help you out. Check out some ideas for improving your newsletter and helping it make the most impact on your valuable customers.

Go heavy on the info, light on the advertising

Newsletters are all about informing your customers about important information they might not know about. It shouldn’t be considered a form of advertisement. After all, that’s why it’s called a NEWS-letter.

You can use your newsletter as a marketing and self-promotional tool, but be sure you go heavy on the info, and light on the advertising. You don’t want to fill your newsletter with ad-heavy wording and imagery because your customers are likely to immediately delete your email or mark it as spam.

Be sure to include recent blog posts for the past month, event information, professional tips to customers, etc. Use your newsletter as a resource to your customers, and not as just another sales tool.

Design it right

You might think that the content of your newsletter is the only thing that matters to your customers, and in some cases, you are correct. But a majority of customers don’t want to just consumer information; they also want to be “wowed” by your beautiful and creative design choices!

If you don’t have a graphic designer on hand who can design each newsletter for you, then you can always try some of the easy-to-use templates that are available from websites like Constant Contact and Canva.

Many customers have a keen eye for good design and are more likely to spend time on your newsletter when it has excellent design. It also makes information much simpler to process when it’s arranged in an aesthetically pleasing way on your newsletter.

Tell people to share it

Your newsletter only has a finite number of people it can reach, and it’s usually only the people who subscribe to it. But did you know that the info inside doesn’t have to just be confined to subscribers? You can also get the word out about your newsletter to potential new customers by telling your current customers to share your newsletter!

Whenever you send out your newsletter, include a call-to-action, or CTA, that prompts people to share the newsletter with others they may know. Make your newsletter universal in its appeal; in other words, include information that everyone, customers or not, would be interesting in reading. Once you get your newsletter share a few times with other people you’ll be surprised at how much your subscriptions increase.

Always include contact and social info

It’s important to include your contact and social info in your newsletter to give your customers a way to stay in touch with you at any time. Always put your contact info, including your phone number, your email, and website links, somewhere on your info to ensure that your customers always know how to contact you. We usually think it’s best to place this info at the bottom of your email, but it can be placed anywhere that you deem it appropriate.

The same goes for your social media links. If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other relevant social media account, be sure to include a button with a link to your profile pages in your email. This makes it easy for customers to keep up with your updates on their favorite social media platform. You can also include a CTA that says “follow us!” somewhere next to the social buttons as a way to push people to click on the links.

Newsletters are fantastic marketing and informational tools that can bring in more customers to your business. Consider starting your own newsletter to keep your customers happy and connected with your business!

Composure: The Often Over-Looked Key To Success

When we think about successful people, we often think of those that are outspoken, tough, and critical. We sometimes think of leaders who speak their mind first and think about the consequences later. We might even think about someone who is extroverted instead of those who are more introverted. But are these truly qualities of a successful business owner or leader?

If you look at many of the top business leaders today, you’ll find that many of them give off a sense of intelligence, wisdom, and leadership that’s devoid of brashness and condescension. You don’t often see them yelling at their employees, lashing out at others in their industry, or throwing away decency in the name of profit. There are many leaders out there who do exude that sense of brashness, of course, but you often see the more calm and reserved leaders as the ones who are talked about fondly.

Composure, although often overlooked as a key to success, is a very important skill to have, especially in times of peril and panic. Here are a few key personality traits for you to practice that can lead to a more controlled grasp over your own composure.

Responsibility

Taking responsibility for not only your actions but the actions of others can lead to a better understanding of how to remain composed. If you make a mistake that leads to a negative impact in some way on your business, it’s important to take responsibility for that mistake. Likewise, if an employee screws up, they aren’t the only ones responsible for the mistake; you are, too. Treat your mistakes as learning opportunities, and learn what you need to do next time to avoid the same mistake. Once you claim responsibility for you and your employees’ mistakes, you will give off a heightened sense of composure to those around you. Employees and customers will respect the dignified manner in which you handle your own responsibilities.

Compassion

Compassionate leaders are often the ones you hear the most about because most people love to hear stories about kind-hearted people. When you practice compassion in the workplace, you are showing others that you truly care about their well-being. Compassionate leaders are also rarely volatile in nature. There is such a thing as “tough love” but this speaks more to those who are trying to teach values through hard lessons; not individuals who are unable to control their own feelings and actions. Practice being compassionate to others and you’ll experience an increase in self-control.

Patience

One of the most obvious traits of a leader who constantly maintains their composure is patience. Patience is at the very heart of composure, and without it, composure ceases to exist. Those who practice patience don’t lash out uncontrollably at whatever inconvenience comes their way. They take the time to assess the situation, craft a solution, and implement that solution at the exact right moment for maximum success. Be sure to practice patience if you want to be perceived as a cool and collected business leader.

Keeping It Under Control

Most importantly of all, you have to keep a situation under control and prevent it from spiraling out of your hands if you want to be known for your composure. There are going to be problems and in order to be an effective leader, you’re going to have to solve them. By keeping the situation at a manageable level and preventing it from escalating, you will have to practice excellent problem-solving skills. If you learn how to keep a situation from getting out of hand, you’ll have no problem composing yourself and solving any problem.

Composure is a leadership skill that is oftentimes overlooked. After all, it’s not the most glamorous skill to have. But practicing good composure, as a business leader or a person in a position of power, will help you to earn the respect of customers and employees alike!

How To Be More Transparent With Your Customers and Earn Their Trust

How important is brand transparency when it comes to your consumers? According to a study conducted by Label Insight in 2016, it’s very important to a vast majority of consumers. In fact, almost 94 percent of consumers said they were more likely to be loyal to a brand if that brand practices full transparency and openness with them.

To add even more good news to that statistic, 73% (or 3 in 4) consumers said that they would be willing to pay more for a product that was billed as completely transparent in all attributes.

So, it’s easy to see from the data gathered that transparency is very important to consumers. Are you being as open as you can be with your consumers? Check out our tips for building transparency and trust with you customers.

Be Open About Pricing and Fees

No one likes hidden fees and taxes. Just look at cell phone companies and the consumer backlash against certain companies who insert hidden fees each month in their consumer’s bills. It’s never a good idea to charge your customers hidden fees that they only become aware of when they receive an invoice from you.

T-Mobile is a good example of a company who saw what other cell phone companies were doing to their customers, and decided to take advantage of that consumer frustration in a new marketing campaign. They even came up with a fun social media campaign asking followers to tweet or message them their “fee face,” a.k.a. the look of surprise or disgust when they see hidden fees on their bills from other cell phone companies.

Always be transparent when it comes to what you’re charging customers for, and if you have to include extra fees in your invoice, always make sure you explain what these fees actually pay for. Never leave your customers in the dark when it comes to their money.

Give Them Insight Into Your Business

Do you have one or more social media accounts, a monthly newsletter, a blog, or special membership-only mailers that you send to your customers each month? Any one of these mediums is a great way to disseminate information about your company to your customers.

It’s important to give your customers insight into the daily, weekly, or monthly happenings of your business. You’re not giving away all of your business strategies and secrets, of course; you’re simply letting your customers in on relevant information that they would find interesting. This could be something as simple as a company potluck that you had that week, or as informative as your companies values and beliefs, and what charities you support.

Provide Relevant Information

Aside from coming to you for awesome products and amazing services, customers visit you online to gather relevant information. Not only are they following your social media accounts for that info, they are also looking to see if you have a blog and if it’s updated frequently.

A blog is a great place to provide info to your customers that they can’t get anywhere else. It’s also a fantastic tool for hosting resources and information that customers can come to whenever they need it, such as tutorials on how to use a product or service.

Give your customers the relevant information they need to be happy and stress-free when buying from you. You’ll not only provide a valuable resource for people, you’ll also cut down on the number of customer service calls you have to answer, and emails you might receive.

Always Be Available Through Customer Service

How your customer service operates can make or break your company. If you have excellent customer service, and excellent customer service representatives, your company will flourish through loyal customers. If you have bad customer service, however, your company will suffer, and word of your poor treatment of customers will spread quickly to other potential customers.

But having great customer service means more than just solving your customer’s problems and questions. It also means being honest with them, in the most tactful way possible, and not shying away from answering and solving their tough questions.

For example, what would you do if an upset customer called in about an order that was incorrectly charged to their bank account or credit card? The customer wants to know why they were charged more money for something that they purchased, and the problem was clearly a mistake on your end, not theirs. Do you tell the customer honestly that an error was made, apologize to them for the error, and offer them a discount code on their next purchase, OR do you dance around their question and somehow blame them for the mistake? Hopefully, you would go with the first choice, and not the second, even though the first choice is more difficult to do. It’s never easy to own up to a mistake, but most customers will appreciate your honesty with them and will forgive you for the mistake.

Transparency is difficult, especially when most businesses depend on your reputation and how the public perceives you. But, customers appreciate transparency, and are more likely to reward you for your honesty by staying loyal to your brand and telling other potential paying customers about your amazing company!

How To Improve Your Online Ads In 4 Easy Steps

Online ads are…not the most exciting things in the world. They’re necessary for getting your products in front of potential customers, of course, but how often do you find yourself ignoring an obtrusive ad because it gets in the way of your web browsing experience? It’s no wonder that the number of people using ad-blocking software is 200 million people and growing!

Ads are important for increasing your revenue, but if your ads are turning people away, they’re not really doing you much good, are they? Luckily, we’ve got a few tips that can help you get back on the right track with your online ads.

Make It Pleasing

One of the keys to a great ad is making sure it’s designed in a visually pleasing way. No one likes to see a banner ad, or crawl ad that is just awful to look at, a.k.a. bad typeface, gross colors, ugly images. You have to draw customers into your ad though an awesome design. And just for the record, most of the time a simpler design works better than a really busy design that’s full of way too much text and info.

Make It Interesting

How does your ad present itself? Do you have an image of the product you’re selling, or have you gone a more creative route? There’s a balanced game that you have to play between keeping your ad visibly pleasing but also making it interesting and attention-grabbing. Think about some of the ads that have attracted you as a consumer, and look to emulate some of those ideas.

Avoid Steamrolling

When you go to a website and an ad immediately hits you in the face with its intrusiveness, how do you feel? Do you feel uncomfortable, or irritated? It’s called steamrolling, and it’s never fun for the consumer. It creates an immediate feeling of irritation in a visitor to your website so that instead of them easily accessing the information they came to your site looking for, they are forced to exit out of one or more pop-up ads. It makes your website a nightmare for visitors. Google has even begun punishing websites that use this kind of intrusive advertising on their sites by ranking them much lower than sites who don’t employ these types of ads. Don’t prevent your customers from easily visiting your website. Instead, integrate your ads smoothly and seamlessly into your website.

Make It Worth It

What’s the point of online advertising? It’s to attract customers to your website so that they’ll make a purchase, right? Then why would somebody click on your ad if you aren’t offering them a deal that they can’t find anywhere else? Answer: there is no reason, and they won’t click on it. If your goal is to get customers to click on your online ad, you need to give them a clear reason to do so. That means offering them an awesome deal that they simply can’t refuse, and clearly displaying the deal on your ad.

By following these few simple tips, you can begin to transform your online advertising strategy and bring in more customers to your website than ever before.

This article was originally published on Atwill Media’s blog. If you’re looking for a professionally designed custom website for your business, then check them out!

5 Consumer Trends To Keep In Mind In 2017

We’re less than a month into 2017, and if you haven’t thought about it already, it’s time to start paying attention to what’s trending for consumers in the new year. While many of the same trends that have been rising over the past few years will continue into 2017, there are also some new trends to follow that can increase your business revenue if you pay attention and adapt to the trends.

To help you out for this brand new year, we’ve come up with a few trends based on data gathered by market researcher Euromonitor International, and compiled by the experts at AdvertisingAge.

More People Online

This should be an obvious trend because of the increase in internet access throughout the world, with more rural communities getting high-speed internet, but it’s important to pay attention to. There are going to be far more people online in 2017 than 2016. In fact, research predicts that 3.5 million additional people around the world will come online each week in 2017.

That means, now, more than ever before, it’s important for you to have a strong online presence. And what better way to have a strong online presence than by having a website where customers can find all your important and relevant information? A website is a perfect way to set yourself up for success in 2017, and our friends at Atwill Media would be happy to help you accomplish that goal.

If you’re a wholesaler, we suggest signing up for an FGmarket listing so people can search through our directory of amazing vendors, and find your products with ease.

Fewer People Using Cash

Research shows that, although cash is still a dominant way that people pay for products, card payments have finally passed cash up in terms of popularity. The data shows that 44.1% of payments are made with cards, compared to 43% for cash. This number could reach 49.1% for card payments by the year 2021.

What this data suggests is that in the current market that we live in, POS systems and e-commerce options are now more important than ever. Most people, especially the younger generations (millennials and the generation after) don’t even carry cash with them anymore. If you accept only cash at your business and no options for paying with a card, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of the paying population.

More People Living In Cities

The percentage of the global population living in cities has now increased from 50% in 2007 to 55% in 2017. That means there are now more people living in urban areas than rural areas, and this trend is continuing to move upward.

Why does this matter to you, a business owner? It matters because, depending on where you live, you might be seeing an increase in your customer base or a decrease, and you’ll have to learn to adapt to this population change. If you’re a rural business and you’re noticing your customers moving farther and farther away, you might need to increase your marketing area to reach those people and bring them back to your shop. If you’re seeing an increase in business due to your urban shop location, you might have to adapt to the influx of customers to your shop. This could mean increasing your inventory, moving into a larger space (if you have a storefront), or hiring more staff to help out.

Healthy Living Is Rising In Popularity

A big trend right now is healthy living, which includes healthy eating, using organic and natural products, and exercising more.

The more people who choose to begin living a healthier life, the more the demand for natural, organic and healthy products goes up. The health and wellness industry is a huge industry and was valued at $711 billion in 2016. That number is expected to increase in 2017. If you’re looking to change your business model to an all organic or all natural model, now is the prime time to make the switch.

It’s a huge decision to completely change your business model, of course, but the reward might outweigh the risk for this trend.

Social Media Userbase Is Continuing To Grow

Facebook is still the largest social media network (by a long shot) at 1.5 billion worldwide users, and that number continues to grow every day. Some of the other growing accounts are Instagram (at 400 million users), Snapchat (at 200 million users), and Pinterest (at 100 million users).

Social media is a constantly expanding beast of interconnected people and places, and if you’re not on at least one social media network by this point in the technology’s lifespan, you’re seriously missing out.

These days, besides having a website, your business social account is one of the first places people check when researching whether or not to shop from your business. If you don’t have any form of social media, then you can expect your customers to perceive you as outdated, out of touch, and not as accessible as your competition.

Social Media has been a trend for a long time, but it’s growing larger and larger every year. Make sure you stay on top of this important trend.

Keep these trends in mind as you journey through the twists and turns that 2017 is sure to bring, and for more on what’s trending in wholesale products each month, check out the Product Information category of the FGmarket blog.

Live Streaming and Webinars: The New Way To Connect With Your Customers

Traditionally, before the advent of live streaming technology and the Internet, if you wanted to speak directly to your customers to teach them something you would have to put on a seminar or workshop event.

But now, thanks to dozens of new live streaming services, businesses have tons of options for giving their customers a personal, in-depth online seminar with just the simple click of a button.

These online seminars and workshops are known as webinars, and they are a fantastic way to not only add value to your business but to also make a little extra profit along the way.

If you’re looking to start broadcasting your own webinars or live events, check out our tips for what you need to know, and which services work best for your needs.

Where To Start

Before you get started with launching and hosting your own webinars, you need to do a little planning. As with any normal seminar, you can’t jump into it without a little research and rehearsal. Practice your webinar talking points a few times before your actual live event, just to make sure that your comfortable with the information you’re presenting.

You also need to make sure you are knowledgeable on the subject that you’re teaching. If you aren’t the most confident person about a certain subject, you can always ask someone else to lead the webinar for you, such as another employee or a guest lecturer. You want to make sure your customers and guests are getting the best information possible.

Once you’ve planned your webinar, and gotten the right person to host it, it’s time to figure out which service to use.

Services To Use

A few years ago, live streaming was limited in its availability and reach. Services like Meerkat and Periscope were some of the first companies to make live streaming available to the everyday consumer, but eventually, they were forgotten about due to the adoption of live streaming by many of the most popular social media services.

Here are just a few of the social media, and web app, services that offer live streaming:

  • Facebook
  • GoToWebinar
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat

And there are more and more people jumping on the live streaming bandwagon every day, which can make selecting the right platform for your webinars seem like a daunting task.

Every one of these services is great, but there are a few distinguishing features that you need to know about before selecting the right one.

First of all, most of these services are free to use. All you need to do is sign up for a free social media account (which most of us have anyway). Facebook is probably the most reliable service if you’re concerned with saving your webinars for later viewing or archiving, as it records your video and saves it to your profile after the stream ends. Other services, like Instagram and Snapchat, only keep the videos for a finite amount of time. In fact, Instagram only allows viewers to see your live video while it’s happening. After your stream ends, that’s it! The video is no longer available.

If you’re wanting to get more features and more data tracking capabilities with your live stream, your best bet is to use a paid service like GoToWebinar. This tool is built specifically for businesses looking to do regular webinars and live streaming sessions, and it comes packed with lots of unique features. The pricing of the service might be out of the budget for some businesses, but it’s a fantastic tool if you’re really serious about getting into live streaming and webinars.

Live streaming can be a great tool for connecting with your customers, and hosting your own webinars! Explore what’s out there and see what works best for you and your business.

How To Get Over The Holiday Slump and Get Back To Work

With the Holidays finally coming to a close, workers all around the world are dreading those three simple words, “back to work.”

It’s not that work is terrible or boring (maybe to some people, but a majority of people love having a schedule and something to do each day to work their brains). People dread going back to work after the Holidays are over because that means relaxation, family time, and laziness are all over, and it’s time to get back to being a responsible adult.

One of the biggest problems with coming back to work after a relaxing time off of work is actually trying to get back into the flow of things and be productive.

If you’re having trouble being productive after all that eggnog and Christmas cookies, we’ve got a few tips that can help you out.

Get Organized

Nothing helps you get more things done than keeping a planner, and actually using it. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to accomplish tasks during your daily workflow. If this means planning each and every one of your daily tasks, then do it! If you stick with your planner and push yourself to stay on task and accomplish those daily tasks, you’ll notice an increase in your motivation, due in part to the need to finish your goals.

Plan For The Future

Have you laid out your business plan for 2017, and how it will be different than 2016? Do you know what you’ll be focusing on accomplishing month-to-month in the new year?

Planning your future goes along with getting organized, but takes the idea one step further. It means actually setting goals for the new year. It’s also what most people refer to as a New Year’s Resolution. People aren’t the only ones who can set New Year’s Resolutions; businesses can, and should, do it, too.

Get Some Exercise

Exercising before or after work can be a fantastic way to motivate your body and mind to do more. Some people have to sit down all day for their job, and that can be very detrimental to the average person’s health. It can also make you feel more exhausted, because even though you aren’t doing any physical activity, you’re making yourself more sluggish and sedimentary. Your body gets used to not moving and working itself, and so you get tired more easily. Plan for exercise at some point during the day, and see how much this simple activity can boost your motivation.

Set Goals For Yourself

Although this goes along with tip number two, planning for your future, this tip is a little different because it’s not talking about setting goals for your business, it’s more about setting goals for yourself.  Make daily goals for yourself, such as finishing that project that you’ve been putting off, or making sure you eat a healthy lunch during your break. Goals are fantastic motivation tools, and you should be using them in not only your business life but your personal life as well.

Eat Better

I know I’m not the only one who ate a little more food and a lot more sugar than they probably should have during the Holidays. All that sugary goodness comes with a price, however. Sugar can make you feel sluggish during the day because it’s burned up as energy at a much higher rate than other sources of energy. Try packing a salad, or a whole grain, low-calorie sandwich for lunch instead of going out to eat at a fast food place. You can also cut out sugary sodas and juices, and drink water and black coffee instead.

Holidays can sometimes be hard to recover from, but follow these simple tips and you’ll have no problem meeting your goals for the new year!

Get More Review With These 5 Simple Tips

Reviews can make or break your company. If you’re doing well and tending to every need your customer has, then the chances of you getting positive reviews are very high. But, if you’re neglecting your customers by not offering them great deals, quality products, and awesome customer service, you’re highly likely to get a lot of negative reviews.

It’s easy to think that negative reviews are awful for your company, but that’s not always the case. Any review you receive can be used as a learning tool to improve on what you did wrong the first time and make it better for your customers in the future.

Make It Simple

Customers aren’t going to feel inclined to leave you a review if it’s difficult and frustrating for them to do so. Make your review tab, or review form, prominent on your page and easy to navigate to for your customers. You’ll find that a lot more reviews will be written when it’s easy to submit one.

Are you asking your customers to leave a review, or are you just assuming they’ll do it on their own? You can’t always assume that a customer knows that you’d like for them to leave you a review, or that they even know where to leave a review in the first place. You have to start encouraging them to leave a review. One of the ways to do this is by sending out emails encouraging reviews, with a link that goes directly to your review page. You can also include a simple message, like “Like us? Leave a review!” on a lot of your marketing material, such as newsletters, business cards, emails, advertisements, and more. Sometimes, people just need a gentle nudge in the direction you want them to go.

Social Media

Did you know that Facebook has an option for customers and followers to leave a review of your business? It’s built into your business Facebook Page and follows the same format as your Atwill Media review form. Make sure you’re using your Facebook Page to gather customer reviews as well. If customers aren’t willing to leave a review on your website, they are much more likely to leave one on your Facebook page for everyone to see.

You can also encourage reviews through social media, such as posting on Twitter and Facebook with a link to your review page or posting an Instagram pic directing customers to click on a custom link in your bio.

Incentives

Do you offer your customers incentives for leaving a review on your Atwill Media website? These incentives are oftentimes called feedback rewards, and they’re simple bonuses and coupons that encourage customers to submit reviews. These could be surveys that you send out that give customers a coupon code once completed or a special percentage off one of your products or services for leaving a review. Explore different ways to incentivize customers into leaving you a review.

Use Negative Reviews

Have you ever received a negative review and then chose to ignore it rather than respond? Did you know that sometimes negative reviews are advantageous to your online credibility? Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world; they actually show customers, and the smart folks at Google, that you’re a credible business. No matter what type of review you receive, however, you always need to respond to it. Not responding is a bad strategy and can make you seem disconnected with your consumer base.

Reviews are powerful tools and can help or hurt your business, depending on how you approach them. Use your reviews to your advantage, and grow your business for the future.

This post was originally published on Atwill Media’s blog. Need a new custom-built website for your business? Check out Atwill Media, for beautiful, customized websites that are made for success!

Easy Ways To Boost Your Motivation At Work

It can be difficult to stay motivated on the job, especially when you work at a high energy job that requires all of your available attention for eight hours a day, five days a week. It can be mentally, and physically, exhausting to devote that much time and energy to something for so long.

Not only are you dealing with the struggles of exhaustion, you also run the risk of getting comfortable in your job (a.k.a., boredom) and not being challenged enough. This isn’t always because your job is bad; it could simply be caused by not enough effort being put into the job by you, the employee.

So how do you stay motivated in a workplace that requires so much of your energy? We’ve got a few simple tips to help you stay positive and get things done.

Set Smaller Goals

Setting big goals for yourself is great, but often these goals can feel daunting and impossible, with no end in sight. That’s why it’s important to tackle your tasks in smaller, bite-sized chunks. You might have a longer list of goals, but you’ll be motivated by how often you check things off your list. You might find this to be a more efficient way of getting things done as well since you’ll be more likely to organize your tasks by importance.

Fuel Up

You can’t conquer the day without first conquering your stomach! That means making sure you eat a healthy, and fuel-filled breakfast, and making sure you stop to eat lunch. You can also bring some healthy snacks, like protein bars, nuts, or fruit, to make sure you’re fueled and ready to work throughout the day. Avoid snacks that are high in sugar, however, as this can lead to major sugar crashes when the initial boost wears off.

Take Breaks

Breaks are awesome. They break-up (pun intended) the days work so you can take a breather, relax, and refocus on your work. It’s good to take short breaks every once in a while throughout the day. Ten to 15-minute breaks are the optimal amount of time to stop and do something else. You can use that time to take a quick walk around the office, get a snack from the break room, or stretch at your desk.

Do Some After Work Exercising

Fitting exercise into your daily schedule is an awesome way to stimulate your body and your mind. If you’re like most people, you’re probably sitting down at a desk all day and having very little opportunity to get your heart pumping. That’s why it’s a fantastic idea to fit in a little exercise time during lunch, or after work. About 30 minutes a day is all you need to keep your body healthy, which can lead to more restful sleep, and more motivation during the day! And if you want to calm your mind in addition to your body, try taking up a yoga and meditation class. Clearing your mind of stress and resetting yourself mentally can be a great source of everyday motivation.

Give Some, Get Some

It’s great to receive praise from your boss or your fellow coworkers for something awesome that you’ve done. But sometimes, it takes giving a little praise to people in order to receive some in return. If you see someone you work with doing something that’s worthy of praise, then let them know! Receiving praise is a great mood booster and can really get you refocused on doing the best work you can do.

Reward Yourself

Did you have a good day at work? Were you able to stay motivated through an entire week without getting frustrated? Then give yourself a reward! This is a great way to stay motivated because you’re setting a fun goal for yourself that can only be obtained by focusing on your work.