20 Free Tools Your Small Business Should Be Using Today

Come by June 10th and find out How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 1. This is a small business series.

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Although your small business needs a healthy amount of software to conduct operations, it’s not necessary for you to spend a fortune on web-based products. In our comprehensive testing of business and consumer software, we’ve come across dozens of incredible and free solutions that can help you get the job done. We’ve tested free tools in almost all facets of business — from email marketing to endpoint protection to project management.

To find out what these 20 free tools are, click here.

5 Low-Cost Franchises You Can Start for as Little as $4,000

Come by June 10th and find out How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 1. This is a small business series.

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As an entrepreneur, you are done working for other people. You want to follow your dreams, set your own goals and dive into projects you are passionate about.

But starting a business can expensive, risky and at times lonely. To mitigate those problems, we did a deep dive into 2017’s Franchise 500 List to find opportunities that are affordable, have proven growth potential and provide tremendous support.

Check out this list of five franchises you can start in your area for less than $4,000.

For the rest of the full list of amazing franchises click here.

Why Food Truck Businesses Are Revving Up

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Spring is finally here, and that means more and more people will be out and about. That means it’s a great time for people in the food industry — specifically the food truck business.

Today, food trucks are the fastest-growing channels in the food service industry. In 2012, food truck revenue was $650 million, however that number has since skyrocketed. Today, food truck revenue has reached a whopping $2.7 billion.

So why are food trucks so popular? If you’re a first-time entrepreneur, a food truck can be a much more affordable option than an actual restaurant. And for less than $100,000, someone can launch a food truck business that can make anywhere between $250,000 to $500,000.

Flexibility, diversity and communication also make food trucks an attractive entrepreneurial venture. Food truck purveyors have the ability to quickly and easily test new concepts, menu items and recipes. They can also cater to various tastes in different locations.

To learn why food truck businesses are revving up, check out Food Truck Operator’s infographic by clicking here.

For more great articles like this one check out our source entrepreneur.com

Investment Guides for Experts of All Levels

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As small to medium size business owners many times we are only thinking about investing in our businesses, our family and our fun, however, we truly need to diversify our income. When we are ready to slow down the pace during our best years we need to create ways to bring in various streams of income. Some of the ways we can do this is through real estate (rental properties), investments, affiliates, and other businesses you may invest in where you are the silent partner and others are responsible for making the business grow.

Here is a great guide for experts of all levels by Clark Howard.

Jacqueline H. Waller
Jacqueline

Jacqueline Waller, the ATL Connector is the Founder/President of Connecting Atlanta. Ms. Waller, a sales and marketing professional with nearly 20 years of experience, has assisted numerous businesses in meeting goals and objectives for their revenue, market share and profits. She also believes in the power of your ‘network is your net worth’, being a social butterfly, she has connected with hundreds of people whom she has brought into Connecting Atlanta where they have launched their businesses, moved from struggling into sustainability and provided opportunities for others to connect to build! Her background extends from collections, finance, underwriting, and information technology.

The Small Business Series: How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 2

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Me, Jason Bourne (and you)Solution Provider

Email marketing is the Jason Bourne of online marketing: somebody’s always trying to kill it. It can’t be done.

Well, Jason Bourne and I have something in common.  I’m a killer too, just with email marketing strategy as a Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert.

No, it doesn’t mean I have guns and knives and physical combat experience!  That’s not what an email marketing strategist is all about. It’s about using the right tools and techniques to craft and deliver your email marketing campaigns.

When I was first introduced to Constant Contact I was simply overwhelmed and struggled trying to use the tool. It was difficult.  I didn’t know where to start and so I didn’t use it, even though I was paying for it.

So, what about you? Have you ever had a tool that could be very useful in growing your business but it was too complicated to use? Well Constant Contact is not that complicated, especially when you have an expert like Lisa Ann Landry to hold your hand. Lisa Laundry

Despite various innovative ways of marketing including social media, mobile apps, digital marketing and so much more, email marketing still remains the number one way for businesses, organizations, & marketers to keep in touch with their consumers, members and clients.

Yet, we know that not everyone is a marketer and that not everyone has experience with email marketing. Would you like to learn How to Create Stand-Out Subject Lines and Creative Content in the Small Business Series: How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 2

– Create engaging subject lines

– Research subject lines with an online tool to increase engagement

– Create calls to action to drive action

– Designing the body of your message

– Using video, pictures, and buttons

– Sharing on your social site

We will go through a series of discussions, activities and demonstration. Lisa Ann will show you exactly how easy it is to use your new account to help you produce engaging and effective emails, in less time but that produce actual results for your organization.

On July 22, 2017 Connecting in Atlanta and Paradigm Shifts Training and Development are hosting the Business Series: How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 2. It is a few hours of immersion for you to focus on your business. Would you like to join me?

If so, please click the register button and I’ll send you all the information! Part 2

Can’t wait!

Lisa Ann Landry
Social Media Strategist
Lisa Ann Landry headshot1

15 Inspirational Twitter Accounts Every Entrepreneur Should Follow

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There are approximately 317 million active Twitter users worldwide as of January. With such a large number, it can be tough to figure out the right people to follow. But don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve pulled together a list of 15 inspiring Twitter accounts for any aspiring entrepreneur.

From Richard Branson to Randi Zuckerberg, these 15 successful people share everything from motivational quotes to business ideas to some of their favorite books, podcasts and tech gadgets.

Check out 15 inspirational Twitter accounts every entrepreneur should follow here.

Rose Leadem
Rose Leadem is an online editorial assistant at Entrepreneur Media Inc.

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The Small Business Series: How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 1

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Man funeral - cartoon

Email marketing is dead, right?

If that’s true why are there over 2.586 billion email users worldwide, including both business and consumer users?

You’re probably like me and check your emails several times a day on your smartphone. We’re not the only ones. At least weekly 72% of U.S. online adults send or receive personal emails via smartphone.

No e-mail marketing is not dead. Are you convinced yet? Maybe this is more persuasive. Marketers consistently rank email as the single-most-effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention. Likely that’s because email is almost 40x better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter.

E-mail Marketing’s ROI  Pig with money - cartoon

Maybe you’re thinking you can’t afford an email marketing service. The ROI of email marketing is that for every dollar spent in 2014 was $24.93 and today its $41. Additionally, the ROI is almost double that of search advertising and better than any other direct marketing channel.

Why don’t you come learn how to put e-mail marketing to use? You’re invited to join Lisa Ann Landry so that you can Learn How to be Unstoppable with Email Marketing. I’ll be demonstrating using the Constant Contact email service provider but the strategies you learn can be applied to any of your e-mail campaigns.

A Live Demonstration 

In the presentation you see a live, guided demonstration on the tools and features inside Constant Contact. In this time-efficient, highly practical 2-hour session, you will learn the basics so you can get going with your own marketing campaigns.

It’s a relaxed, friendly educational session – bring your questions!

Wondering if this is right for you?

Question mark - cartoon

This 2- hour seminar is suitable for anyone new to Email Marketing, new to Constant Contact, or who just wants a hand learning how to use our products.

On June 10, 2017, I am delivering training hosted by Paradigm Shifts Training and Development and Connecting Atlanta. It’s The Small Business Series: How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 1 a two-hour program for you to focus on your business and how email marketing fits in. It’s a few hours of immersion for you to focus on your business. Bring your laptop! Here’s a Constant Contact link to get signed up with your account.

Due to the deep nature of the work, there are only 20 spaces available. (They’ll fill up fast.)

Would you like to join me?

If so, please click the register button and I’ll send you all the information!

Can’t wait!

P.S. If you know a friend who has been confiding in you that they are ready to get clarity about email marketing tools such as Constant Contact – then you have my full permission to forward this email to them. I’ll take great care of them!

Lisa Ann Landry
Social Media Strategist

Lisa Ann Landry headshot1

The Shocking Reality of Scaling an Online Business

Come by June 10th and find out How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 1. This is a small business series.

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It’s two-thirty in the morning, and you’ve woken up from your sleep to feel the bedside table vibrating ever so slightly. A notification on your phone is making a white shadow dance across the wall next to your bed. You know you should go back to sleep, but on impulse, you grab your phone and flick your groggy fingers across the touch screen.

It’s a Gmail notification bubble. Normally this could wait until later — who the hell has time to respond to emails at two-thirty? Then, you read the subject line of the email:

Subject: You just received $1,297

You realize this is not spam; it’s real. Holy shit! You just made almost $1,300 without lifting a finger.

What would it be like to have this happen every single night? How would it change your life to know that you have a business that pays you automatically every single day, whether or not you decide to “clock in” for work that day, no matter what country you’re in, for the rest of your life?

How would your life change if you had the ultimate security of knowing that you had an army of salespeople working around the clock to make you money and you didn’t have to pay them a dime?

To some people, this might sound like science fiction – or worse yet, a sleazy late-night infomercial. If you’re rolling your eyes all the way to the back of your head right now, I get it. Trust me, I do. I thought the same thing. Then I discovered the power of starting an online business. And I can tell you one thing: All this, and much more, is possible.

Want to learn how I created the life of my dreams (and nearly unlimited income) building online products? Of course you do.

I’ll admit, the above description of online business is a bit “hypey.” Full disclosure: I took it straight from one of the sales emails for my premium training on building an online business, Startup from the Bottom. But despite being a bit over the top in its approach and copywriting, for the most part it’s true. Online business is where it’s at.

For the rest of the article, click here.

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Daniel DiPiazza is the founder of Rich20Something, where he teaches young people how to start businesses that they care about and live happier lives.

Read Jeff Bezos’s Inspiring Letter to Shareholders on Why He Keeps Amazon at ‘Day 1’

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‘Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.’

The following is the latest letter to shareholders from Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

“Jeff, what does Day 2 look like?”

That’s a question I just got at our most recent all-hands meeting. I’ve been reminding people that it’s Day 1 for a couple of decades. I work in an Amazon building named Day 1, and when I moved buildings, I took the name with me. I spend time thinking about this topic.

“Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.”

To be sure, this kind of decline would happen in extreme slow motion. An established company might harvest Day 2 for decades, but the final result would still come.

I’m interested in the question, how do you fend off Day 2? What are the techniques and tactics? How do you keep the vitality of Day 1, even inside a large organization?

Such a question can’t have a simple answer. There will be many elements, multiple paths, and many traps. I don’t know the whole answer, but I may know bits of it. Here’s a starter pack of essentials for Day 1 defense: customer obsession, a skeptical view of proxies, the eager adoption of external trends, and high-velocity decision-making.

True Customer Obsession

There are many ways to center a business. You can be competitor focused, you can be product focused, you can be technology focused, you can be business model focused, and there are more. But in my view, obsessive customer focus is by far the most protective of Day 1 vitality.

For the rest of the article you can view it here.

The Founder of LinkedIn Says Too Many of Us Are Using the Site All Wrong

Come by June 10th and find out How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 1. This is a small business series.

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While it could seem natural to decline a Facebook friend request from a stranger, the dynamic on LinkedIn is much different.

If you use LinkedIn, you’ve undoubtedly received invitations to connect with people you’ve never met or may never meet in your life.

The more you stay on the site and the more you gain prominence in your field, the more requests from strangers you’ll get.

And while it could seem natural to decline a Facebook friend request from a stranger because you don’t want to give them access to your personal information and photos, the dynamic on LinkedIn is much different.

You may think that because it’s a social network for professionals, you should accept all invitations and see which of them stick.

It’s the approach that Keith Ferrazzi, the author of Never Eat Alone and a management consultant to Fortune 100 companies, took for years. Not long ago, Ferrazzi wrote in the 2014 updated edition of his best-selling career guide that he had the privilege of meeting LinkedIn’s founder, Reid Hoffman, and discussing the site with him.

“‘You’re doing it all wrong, Keith!’ That is, in essence, what Reid Hoffman told me when I told him how I was using LinkedIn,” Ferrazzi writes.

Here’s the gist of what Hoffman told him, as written in Never Eat Alone (emphasis ours):

“LinkedIn is a closed network, and for a very simple reason: For the network to have value as an introduction tool, the connections need to have meaning. It’s up to you to vet each and every request so that if someone comes to you and says, ‘Would you introduce me?’ you’re in a position to evaluate whether the connection would be of mutual benefit.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

RICHARD FELONI
Richard Feloni is a strategy reporter at Business Insider. Richard joined BI in Oct. 2013 and covered the ad industry up through the Super Bowl. He previously reported in Brooklyn and wrote for alt-weeklys and newspapers in Boston, his home… Read more.