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Piccolo Marketing Blog

Tips For Building Your Email Marketing List

Posted by Anna-Vija McClain on May 16, 2017 1:55:00 PM

Ahhhh… the often overlooked and easy to ignore email marketing list. Don’t let this vital part of your marketing, networking, and business strategy fall by the wayside! Just as I recommend you invite everyone to coffee, you should add everyone to your email marketing list.


Management and attention to your email list is a huge business opportunity. Try these simple tips to boost your email ROI:


  • Ask people for their email. Well that sounds easy enough. Chances are you haven’t been doing it though. Make it an automatic part of your information gathering and use it. After you’ve met someone, send a quick email just to put a period on the end of your meeting and to solidify any ambiguous plans you may have had. Even just a simple note saying, “It was so nice to meet you. Please save my contact info…” is a nice touch that will leave a positive impression.
  • Offer something in exchange for their subscription. An easy way to gather emails is to offer a free download with business tips or tricks. This is also a great way to market yourself and give people a snapshot of your services. Don’t give away too much, though - just enough to get them coming back for more! Check out my free download here for inspiration.
  • Make your email address accessible. Can people find you? The last thing you want is for someone to be attempting to contact you, but discouraged when their search for your email is unsuccessful. Even if you don’t want to provide your direct email on your website, provide a generic hello@ or contactus@ option. Make sure you have a designated team member assigned to checking this account and directing emails accordingly.
  • Create a recurring drip marketing campaign. Sadly, it’s not enough to just send one initial email and call it good. I recommend establishing a recurring campaign and series of (maybe even automated) emails. For instance, if someone opens your email or clicks on a link, a follow up series of emails is initiated. Email automation tools, such as MailChimp, are helpful in managing your contacts and email campaigns in this way. Check it out!
  • Follow up. My #1 tip! If nothing else, just follow up with each and every contact. That can be as simple as completing step 4 above. However, don’t overlook the power of personal contact through a direct email, phone call, or even handwritten note. The bottom line is, your email marketing list, and ultimately your business are not growing if you’re not harnessing the potential of your contacts.

Need help with managing your email marketing list from start to finish? Give us a call at Piccolo Marketing at 615-348-7768 - or send us an email ;) at hello@piccolomarketing.com - to get started!

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Topics: email marketing, entrepreneur, mobile, video, content, brand, marketing, website, trends, social media, business

Networking Tips for the Small Business Owner

Posted by Anna-Vija McClain on May 9, 2017 11:25:00 AM

As a small business owner, you may be having some difficulty implementing a networking strategy that works for you and your business. Developing a strategy that works specifically for your business can be even harder. Maybe you didn’t realize the importance of networking when you were starting your business? Maybe you simply don’t know where or how to get started?


Whatever your small business networking struggles may be, I hope these tips will help to get you back on the right track:


  • Find a group that fits your needs.

You may join several different groups for different reasons based on your business goals and networking strategy. For instance, a business to business, or B2B, group may help you in trading or selling business services with fellow producers. Another idea is to seek out an industry specific group. Membership or participation within your industry is a great way to learn and develop job specific skills, but also an opportunity to develop your referral partner pipeline.

  • Keep it local.

A great place to start is your local Chamber of Commerce. In addition to getting you in touch with fellow small business owners or networking groups, they have many resources and opportunities you should take advantage of. Check out their calendar of community events, business promotion tools, and benefits of membership.


Click here to check out the Nashville Chamber of Commerce website.


  • Find (or make) a personal connection.

While it’s important to have your elevator speech ready to deliver on demand, it’s equally important to develop your improvisation skills. The challenge of networking is the uncertainty of the human factor - what are people going to say, how are you going to react, and what is the underlying motive behind attendance at an event? Instead of overthinking your performance at an event, just be you. Make a genuine connection with fellow attendees and you will find people to connect with.

  • Host or co-sponsor an event.

Not finding a networking group or events to suit your business needs? Host or co-sponsor your own networking event! As a headlining sponsor, this is a great way to get your name out there and foster business relationships and opportunities suitable to your needs. Remember though, in business you have to give to get, so make sure there is equal benefit of attendance for all attendees.

As a leader in small business strategy and development, Piccolo Marketing is here for you! Give us a call at 615-348-7768 to get started on developing and implementing an effective networking strategy.

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Topics: email marketing, entrepreneur, mobile, video, content, brand, marketing, website, trends, social media, business

Digital Vs. Print Marketing: When, Where & How to Marketing Effectively

Posted by Anna-Vija McClain on May 2, 2017 1:15:00 PM

To print or not to print? That is the question.


The answer: yes.


The real questions you need to ask are when, where & how can I market effectively using print marketing strategies?


While your digital or social media marketing strategies may be top of mind, don’t overlook the power of print. In fact, print media has evolved and kept up with the times just as much as its digital neighbor. The key is to know when, where, and how to use print marketing tools effectively.


When should I use print marketing?


All the time! As much as we’d like to be living in a digital world, we’re not! The world is physical and we should capitalize on that. It’s likely your everyday print marketing will focus more on business cards and day to day operations and less on hashtags, tweets, and trending topics. In addition, consider print marketing for big updates, product or service launches, or special events. Don’t forget that print marketing is more than just paper - everyone loves a really nice pen!


Where should I use print marketing?


Wherever your customers are! This goes back to the classic marketing rule of knowing and understanding your demographics. Where are your likely consumers going to see your print marketing? Ideas include printed business cards, brochures, or flyers for potential customers and quarterly newsletters or magazines for current clients. Whatever it is you are printing, make sure its content and mode of delivery is meaningful to your audience.


How should I use print marketing?


You may be shocked to hear that print marketing is interactive. Use technology to your advantage with QR codes that link your printed media directly to your website. You can also encourage consumer engagement with a motivational call to action. What is the reason behind your printing in the first place? A big sale that is time limited? A chance to win a prize? A new product or service that is being debuted? Turn your reason for reaching out into their motivation with your printed materials!


Need some help to develop your next big campaign or simply to reenergize your current marketing strategy? Give us a call at Piccolo Marketing at 615-348-7768 to get started today.

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Topics: email marketing, entrepreneur, mobile, video, content, brand, marketing, website, trends, social media, business

Is Your Social Media Strategy Up to Par?

Posted by Anna-Vija McClain on Apr 25, 2017 11:10:00 AM


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Topics: email marketing, entrepreneur, mobile, video, content, brand, marketing, website, trends, social media, business

Networking 101: Perfecting Your Elevator Speech

Posted by Anna-Vija McClain on Apr 18, 2017 1:05:00 PM

If someone approached you, introduced themselves, and asked you “what brings you to this networking event?”, would you freeze? Or would you be prepared with a thoughtful, thorough, and concise elevator speech?


If you’re unfamiliar with the idea, an elevator speech is a brief, personal commercial you deliver to introduce yourself. Depending on your needs, you can use it while on the job hunt, looking for potential referral partners, or expanding your customer base at a networking event.


In preparation for your next networking event, or simply a passing encounter say… in an elevator… be prepared to pitch yourself with these tips:


  • Be thoughtful. What is at the heart of your business motivations? Take a look at your business goals or mission statement for inspiration. Also, consider the strategies you have in place to reach those goals. Your elevator speech should be constantly changing to reflect your current business needs and to bridge the gap between goal and result.
  • Be thorough. You only have about 10 sentences to make your point, so make them count! In that time, make sure to cover who you are, what you do, what you offer and what you are looking for. Also, be sure to communicate what the benefits of working with you are and how you do it.
  • Be concise. Keep it simple, but impactful. You need to have your elevator speech memorized and deliverable in about 30 seconds! Review it carefully and remove any information that isn’t absolutely necessary to your message. Remember, this is just a snapshot - the following conversations will allow you to expand. It may feel awkward in the beginning, but stick with it and try a few approaches to see what feels genuine. It will take time and focus to perfect your elevator speech, but the reward is worth the effort!

Need help perfecting your elevator speech or overall networking strategy? Give us a call at Piccolo Marketing at 615-348-7768 to get started today!


Ready to test out your elevator speech? Join us for our next networking event with Nashville Locals.


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Topics: email marketing, entrepreneur, mobile, video, content, brand, marketing, website, trends, social media, business

Is It Time to Hire a Marketing Consultant?

Posted by Anna-Vija McClain on Apr 11, 2017 9:34:00 AM

It’s hard to tell when it’s time to hire a marketing consultant. While hiring expert assistance can benefit your business, both your mindset and your resources need to be ready to accept help.


Consider these questions to determine if a marketing consultant is the missing piece you’ve been looking for:


Are you investing a consistent, and appropriate, amount of time into social media?


Forbes recommends 32 hours per month to adequately implement your social media marketing strategy on just ONE platform. So, what if you have several? The hours are starting to add up! While I would argue that your business goals, clientele, and business size will influence the number of hours needed, as well as the platforms you use, the bottom line is this… you are likely not devoting the appropriate, or most efficient, hours to your strategy.


Getting a fresh look and someone to keep up with consistent, relevant posts is usually the first service that is requested from my company.


Do you know what your top keywords are/should be?


To start, keywords are the foundation for your SEO (search engine optimization). Using the right keywords can be the difference between being #100 and #1 in a Google search. Let’s be honest, if you’re not on the first page, or likely the top 1-3, you’re not going to be found without spending some serious cash on paid ads.


Determining what your keywords should be is a matter of gauging and following the trends and terms your customers are likely searching for. Directing your digital marketing strategy to organically incorporate those terms across multiple platforms can often be time consuming enough to require help.


Are you purposely optimizing your content towards your audience?


In order to draw in your customers and keep them engaged you need to speak to them directly. What motivates them? What will turn them away? What do they expect from your relationship? Don’t limit these ideas to content; also consider where they would expect to find this information and how they want to receive it.


The most loyal and engaged customers are those that are able to develop and maintain a personal relationship with an idea, service, or product. If you seek a marketing consultant that can both broadcast and respond to customers, now you are onto something!




If you answered no to any of the above questions, it may be time to consider hiring a marketing consultant! This is a good thing – it likely means you are too busy to address and be updated on all of the ever-evolving nuances of marketing. That is where a professional is handy to guide and direct the process towards a consistent and efficient end – your business goals and, ultimately, bottom line.


For more information about the services a marketing consultant can provide or for a review of your current marketing strategy, give us a call at Piccolo Marketing at 615-348-7768.

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Topics: email marketing, entrepreneur, mobile, video, content, brand, marketing, website, trends, social media, business

Branding 101: How to Manage and Implement Your Rebranding Strategy

Posted by Anna-Vija McClain on Apr 4, 2017 3:35:00 PM


That nagging feeling you’ve been pushing down for months and months? Push has come to shove and it’s time for a rebranding. While rebranding your image, name, or company logo that you put a lot of time and effort into perfecting may sound like your worst business nightmare, it doesn’t have to be!


Rebranding is an opportunity to clarify your niche, promote your growth as a company, and to get a leg up on the competition. With our recent transition from Anna-Vija, Marketing Strategy to Piccolo Marketing, we know first hand the time, effort, and thoughtful considerations that are part of your rebranding journey.


Let’s get started with a few questions we considered along the way that you may find helpful...


Plan your attack. You can’t possibly get where you’re going (the most effectively) without a plan. Answer these questions before you do anything more - 

  • What are your goals?
  • Why are you rebranding?
  • What are you hoping a rebrand will do for your company?
  • What is your budget?

Tell your story. You’ve seen it a lot lately - with videos, pictures, or good narratives, storytelling is a great marketing strategy and a growing trend. Consumers are looking for a relationship or experience, not simply a product, and storytelling helps to deliver that message. When we began to discuss the direction of our rebranding, our story became clear. A small business built for small business. 

  • What’s your story?
  • What connection or benefit does that provide your clientele?

Make your brand relevant. Let’s face it - you are not the only ____ company out there. So, that begs the question, why should someone choose to engage with your company versus the one next door? Rebranding can be an opportunity to reassert your relevance. Consider and highlight:

  • What does your company offer that is unique?
  • How does your personal story translate to the needs and motivations of your consumers?

Broaden your horizons. Don’t just rebrand to rebrand! Rebranding is often a byproduct of growth. As your business has grown and developed, it might not look exactly like your original plans when you set off as an entrepreneur. In your quest to tell your story and define your relevance, consider how your consumer or partner pool may have changed. Make sure to include them in your decision making. After all, they are the ones your rebranding is aimed at appealing to!

Wow! Still not sure where to start? Give us a call at Piccolo Marketing at 615-348-7768 and we can help to guide you through the rebranding process.

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Topics: email marketing, entrepreneur, mobile, video, content, brand, marketing, website, trends, social media, business

Key to Networking: It's Not About the Networking Event

Posted by Anna-Vija McClain on Mar 28, 2017 9:50:00 AM

If you’re like most people, you get nervous for - or even dread - attending networking events. Relax. Count to 10. I have a secret to share with you that will ease all of your fears.


Networking isn’t actually about the event.


It’s about…

  1. The preparation leading up to the networking event. Recall the expression, “practice like you play.” As in sports, the same idea applies to your approach to networking. Consider that the actual networking event is a small fraction of your time. The time you spend preparing your elevator speech, developing your networking strategy and business goals, and researching networking events/attendees is key. This is where you will find and set yourself up for success in networking. Do as the Boy Scouts do and “be prepared!”
  2. The follow up after the networking event. Your presence and active (read “prepped and ready to go”) participation in the networking event is your opportunity to gather intel. Who are the attendees, what are their goals and motivations, and who can you help? Once your data-gathering mission is complete, the real work begins as you start to follow-up with everyone you met. Be purposeful, systematic, and thoughtful here as partnerships are forged here in the follow-up.
  3. The totality of your networking strategy. The three phases - preparation, attendance, and follow-up should work together seamlessly to create your networking strategy. Be sure to schedule time for these activities into your week and be thoughtful about the types of events you attend. Remember, it’s the whole of your efforts that will make you successful in networking.

For more insight into just how to better frame your mindset around your upcoming networking event, click here.


Want to practice? Join us for a casual networking lunch or happy hour with Nashville Locals.


Get prepared with these networking tips from past blogs:

Networking 101: How to Follow Up With a New Contact

Start Off the New Year With a Solid Networking Strategy

Networking 101: Developing Your Game Plan

All of My Best Networking Tips… In One Place!

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Topics: email marketing, entrepreneur, mobile, video, content, brand, marketing, website, trends, social media, business

Small Business Tips: Use Social Media to Boost Sales

Posted by Anna-Vija McClain on Mar 21, 2017 11:55:00 AM

At Piccolo Marketing, we understand that our friends in small business have dreams and goals just as big as large corporations. However, we’re left to dreaming big and achieving our goals with smaller budgets and less manpower. Fortunately, social media, when leveraged properly, can be a low-cost tool that delivers results in less time than a dedicated department.


Consider the extent to which social media, digital programming, and basic technology impacts your everyday personal life. You can use those same principles in your marketing strategy and turn your social media into a productive member of your team.


Try these simple tips:


  • Be yourself.

As a small business owner, you likely started your company with a goal or passion at the center of your business model. Let your light shine! Strive to show customers your passion for your business, service, or industry. You can show your spirit by giving back and setting yourself up as a trusted source for the latest tips or industry news.


In terms of actual posting tips, don’t get lost behind the business name. Be funny. Be serious. Be sad. Be YOU. When it comes down to it, people are drawn to people, not names or products.


  • Be customer-oriented.

While the delivery of the product or service matters, experience is just as important to the customer. Would you rather work with the friendly small business owner down the street who you pass and greet walking your dog each morning or the faceless name on the other side of the phone you reached after guessing your way through telephone prompts? I’m guessing the former.


The customer experience is more than just the face to face time you spend with a customer. It’s the feeling they get when they enter your store or their reaction to a post you shared on Facebook. Ensure your social media lines up with the experience the customer will receive once you get the opportunity to make a sale.


  • Be mobile friendly.

I repeat. Be. Mobile. Friendly.


It’s no longer acceptable that your digital presence is NOT mobile friendly. How likely are you to search for something on your phone versus a tablet or desktop computer? It’s important your online presence is transferrable, presentable, and easy to navigate across a variety of platforms.

Need help to organize, implement, and/or maintain your social media strategy? Give us a call at Piccolo Marketing at 615-348-7768 to get started today!


For more small business tips on how to use social media to boost sales, click here.

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Topics: email marketing, entrepreneur, mobile, video, content, brand, marketing, website, trends, social media, business

Are You Keeping Your Website Up to Date?

Posted by Anna-Vija McClain on Mar 11, 2017 10:38:39 AM


Months. Days. Hours. Agony. Your website is FINALLY live!


Once it is online, our website becomes an obsession. We try to set up the perfect layout, find the best pictures, write beautiful descriptions, and make sure every link is live. Whether you do it yourself or outsource the task, there is the inevitable back and forth of trying to pull everything together and perfect it.


But, have you touched it since then?


Now that you have it, website maintenance should be added as a recurring task because it is a vital part of your marketing strategy. Make sure...

  • Basic info is up to date. Don’t forget to update your website with pertinent information as it changes. While this likely doesn’t happen often, any changes to contact info are imperative to keep updated. Also, if you have a “staff” section, make sure to keep it current with employees, contact info, and important info, such as titles, awards, and pictures.
  • To link your social media profiles. Unless someone directly visits your website or finds you on a Google search, people are likely to connect with you through social media. Make sure your website is readily available on your Facebook page or Twitter profile. Similarly, be sure to include social media buttons in the header or footer of your website so that people can readily connect to you across multiple formats.
  • The content is relevant (and current). If you have a blog, your website is a great place to showcase it. Also, keep up with employee, business, or industry wide awards, achievements, or important news. As opposed to a Facebook or Twitter post, your website gives you an opportunity to provide more detailed information to the masses.
  • To change it up! While you may love your website’s cover photo, it may be time to spice things up a bit. Not only will it keep things interesting, but certain changes may warrant resharing or calling attention to your page.
  • To include it in your marketing strategy. Link to your page with social media posts or include a landing page for visitors to sign up for your newsletter.

While it may not be obvious how to use your website, make an effort to incorporate your website into your marketing strategy. After all, you’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and financial resources into creating it – don’t let it go to waste!

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Topics: email marketing, entrepreneur, mobile, video, content, brand, marketing, website, trends, social media, business