3 Free Marketing Tools For Smart Business Owners

Discover, free marketing tools in 2022 to improve your online business management in terms of productivity and quality. For smart business owners.

Do you run your business alone? Are you a sole trader or part of a small team? If so, do you know how to use digital tools to market your business more effectively? In this blog post, we’ll cover three, free marketing tools for smart business owners. These tools are accessible from any device and could be useful if you’re starting out or if you want to expand your reach as a business owner in our Business 101 category.

Free Marketing Tools #1: Crowdfire – Social Media Management

Social media management tools are a must-have for every marketing campaign. Not only can you optimize your social media presence, but you can also schedule content, analyze performance and engage with your audience more effectively. Crowdfire social media management tool allows you to create and edit all of your social media profiles, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. You can also manage your advertising, track your analytics data, respond to customer service inquiries and more. The Crowdfire social media management tool is free for up to three social media profiles. If you want to add more profiles or sign up for a paid plan, it costs $19 per month.

Free Marketing Tools #2: Wistia – The Video Hosting Platform

Wistia is an all-in-one video hosting platform that helps you create and host videos. You can use Wistia to create videos that contain both pre-made and custom content. You can use Wistia’s video editor to design your videos, choose your music and add captions to your content. Once you’ve created your videos, you can easily embed them on your website, blog or deliver them to your customers via email. Wistia’s free plan lets you host up to five videos on your site and deliver them to up to five recipients via email. You can also host five more videos for free if you have fewer than five paying customers. If you want to host videos on your website, add more viewers or increase the number of recipients, you can upgrade to the paid plan. That plan costs $99 per year.

Free Marketing Tools #3: Hemingway – Writing Assistant

To boost your business’s success, you need to make sure that you’re generating leads and converting them into sales. One way to achieve this is by creating sales emails that will keep your customers engaged. However, writing sales emails can be difficult. Hemingway is a writing assistant that will help you create more engaging sales emails. Using Hemingway’s interface, you can write your sales emails and set criteria for the emails’ content. Hemingway will then recommended topics and text for you to use. Hemingway is free for up to two writing assistants. If you want to use Hemingway with more sales associates or create more writing assistants, you can upgrade to the premium plan. That plan costs $49 per year.

Conclusion

Digital marketing is a crucial part of any business’s success. These three marketing tools will help you get started. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur looking for a way to grow your business or a large enterprise looking to expand your reach, these tools are a good place to start. With the right digital marketing strategy, you can boost your revenue by attracting more customers and creating more lead generation opportunities.

Website Care Plans

Discover safe and solid website care plans, learn how much it costs and why your business website should be in good hands (along yours).

It’s tempting to think that once you have your website up and running that it is ‘done and dusted’ and you can leave it alone to take care of itself. But like anything else that you expect to consistently perform well, whether it’s your car or your computer, it will need ongoing maintenance.

Most of us can figure out how to do an oil change or run a system check and back up on our PC, but let’s be honest, we all have better things to do with our time. It makes perfect sense to hire a professional to take care of these simple, but potentially crucial tasks on our behalf, while we do what we do best as professionals and as people.

Does WordPress Support Plan Applies To This Rule?

The short answers – yes. The long answer – it will depend from the web developer and his website maintenance plans. WordPress, is a great and pretty much user-friendly CMS that contains security plugins. In the video down below, you’ll find the 5 most recommended plugins for WordPress site by myself. Enjoy.

Here are some of the main checkpoints that a good website manager will manage on an ongoing basis:

Website Care Plans Checklist

• Page Load Speed – one of the main factors in keeping visitors on your site versus losing them to your competitors.
• Bounce Rate – how quickly and how often do visitors abandon your site.
• Customer Security Issues – malware, adware, phishing attacks, and a multitude of other issues plague the internet. You and your customers can fall victim to these.
• Online Payments Security – theft at the point of sale on your site
• Broken Links – a huge turn-off to those consuming your content
• GDPR Compliance – a growing issue in many jurisdictions
• Hosting Issues – are you being served well by your provider?
• Backlinks & Brand Awareness – is your site growing on the internet, or sinking below the search engine horizon?
wordpress care against threats
Your website (especially e-commerce – which can store a sensitive data like billings) must be secure to protect your customers and yourself from bad guys

What is a ‘Website Care Plan’?

While it may be possible to muddle along for quite some time without any of the above affecting your website, the simple truth is that inevitably, if you stay in business, one, many, or even all of the above are going to impact your business at some point. A website care plans makes sense to have a pair of trusted eyes keeping watch on your site. In fact, a qualified, competent, and trusted third party can be relied upon to pre-empt problems in all of these areas.

Let’s look at these areas one by one:

• Page Load Speed – a competent webmaster will make sure to keep track of these metrics, identify bottlenecks and weak points as they arise, and take care of them on a continuous, scheduled basis to make sure that your site keeps the same lightning fast speed that it had when it was first made live on the internet.
• Bounce Rate – a high bounce rate can be a result of low page speed or other issues. A good maintenance plan will keep track of these and identify the problems.
• Customer Security Issues – as a third party observing your site, a care maintenance webmaster will be able to experience these issues from the standpoint of the customer and make sure that they either don’t arise or are dealt with promptly when they do.
• Online Payments Security – let a webmaster take care of this for you. It is the worst nightmare of any e-commerce business. Like other security issues, maintenance service will make sure you have the best pre-emptive protection while alerting you to issues as they arise and are solved.
• Broken Links – they crop up from time to time and present a very bad image to your customers. An extra set of eyes on your site can alert you to these when they happen.
• GDPR Compliance – this issue is increasingly important to businesses with an online presence, particularly for those based in the EU. A webmaster will keep you posted on any new developments and make sure you understand what steps need to be taken.
• Hosting Issues – you may be happy with your provider now, but even over time this may not remain true. Moving from one to another can seem more trouble than it’s worth, but a good webmaster will know when moving presents an opportunity and oversee the entire process to make it as seamless as possible.
• Backlinks & Brand Awareness – the best website care plans will not only maintain your site but actively promote it. For this, you need a manager who will make sure that your site continues to grow in an SEO friendly, organic way by cultivating backlinks to blogs, discussion boards, and social media-based groups that are relevant to your business

wordpress care plan pricing

What Kind of Business Needs a Website Care Plans?

The short answer is that every business that intends to make a profit and continue to grow needs a website care plans.

More specifically, however, if you have been successfully running a ‘do-it-yourself’ operation until now, but are finding that you don’t have the time for this anymore but don’t yet have the revenue to hire IT staff, then this is the perfect time to outsource this vital role to a professional.

Likewise, if your business has grown and already has IT staff in place but you are finding that other projects are taking up their time, be it fire-fighting day to day end-user or network issues, then it can definitely make sense to have this function outsourced to a professional who can give it their full attention.

If you are in any doubt as to whether a care plan is right for you, don’t hesitate to give us a call to discuss how we can serve your needs, alternatively dig even deeper! – 6 best website maintenance tips to improve your website.

WordPress Website Care Plan Pricing

Of course, the question on any business owner’s mind is, ‘how much is this going to cost me?’

For example, we have have three website care plans options – specially designed for Irish startups and small businesses / e-commerce and corporations.

  • Yearly Subscription: €280 per year – up to 25 hours of our website care, monthly data backup and many more – this includes updating your website, keep it in nice health, keep it free from spammers and other internet threats.
  • Website Care Plans / Lite – €150 PAY AS YOU GO, great plan for example if your website suddenly stopped working then I can fix it. This is suitable for those who don’t need website care 24/7 but rather in emergency situations.
  • Website Care Plans / Consultation – an effective consultation where I will investigate a problem and prepare the report – the consultation includes basic web fixes.

Luckily, not every world-class service costs the earth. You can find a full breakdown of our competitive and affordable range of service levels right here: https://galickidigital.ie/website-maintenance/

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out, I am always happy to help.

Guide To Business Cultural Communication

A business cultural communication guide is designed to give you the knowledge to communicate successfully with people from different cultures.

Even if you were born and bred in Ireland, it can still be a challenge to navigate your way through the cultural norms that surround every business deal and workplace interaction in Ireland.

Although a small country, Ireland is regularly rated as being one of the most open economies in the world, ranking at the time of writing, as number 5 on the world Index of Economic Freedom. While this makes Ireland a potentially easier place to do business in than larger and more independent economies, there can still be challenges and misunderstandings that can put an otherwise excellent business prospect in jeopardy.

What Is Business Cultural Communication?

Every culture has its distinct way of doing business, with some being very direct and others needing to take their time and observe certain rituals or customs before coming to the point. If you are looking to make a connection with a potential prospect, you need to approach them speaking (that’s why we’re calling this a business cultural communication) a language they understand. What is considered polite in Germany, Western Europe’s largest economy, may be misinterpreted as rude, gauche, or even confrontational in an Irish setting.

A simple example of this is the custom of rapping a table with your knuckles to show appreciation of a talk or presentation given in Germany. Regardless of how open an economy Ireland is with a multitude of nationalities working side by side in both large and small companies, this custom will be seen as odd at best, outlandish, or even aggressive at worst, in an Irish setting.

culture and communication in the workplace ireland

What Makes Business Cultural Communication in Ireland Distinct?

With a long tradition of migration or ‘taking a year out’ to travel abroad, the vast majority of Irish professionals are familiar, to some extent with the differences in cultural norms, but this doesn’t mean that mistakes can’t happen.

In typical Anglophone fashion, communication in Ireland tends to be relatively loose with formalities. Nevertheless, despite the bias towards familiarity, there are levels of informality that need to be reserved only for family and friends.

Although a business relationship in Ireland (if you don’t have a registered business – registering a business in Ireland can help you out) can quickly lead to more relaxed exchanges, it is important to keep in mind your goal of making your potential client feel at ease, rather than becoming overly friendly or thinking that you need to entertain them.

A simple handshake followed by a semi-formal greeting is the right start. A harmless joke or comment about the weather is always in order, but keep it on this level. Avoid political, religious, current affairs and keep any other potentially controversial topics firmly off the table. Don’t allow yourself to be led into these under the misapprehension that finding a perceived common political viewpoint will lead to a better relationship, especially if you are faking it and don’t share the opinion at all.

Business cultural communication can very often seem like a social gathering after just a few minutes, but of course, they aren’t! You are there for a reason, so no matter how relaxed the atmosphere, always be ready to make your contribution at any given moment.

Humour And Politeness In An Irish Business Setting

A little humour is always appreciated in Ireland, but if you are not 100% sure of yourself in this setting, then leave it aside.

In contrast to some central and Northern European cultures, things may appear to be all well on the surface, as Irish people will always seek to avoid confrontation, but the damage may well have been done. If your Irish business colleague or prospect shifts from being laid back and informal to being overly polite, there may well be a problem. A proper business cultural communication mix conveniently the realities with humour.

How To Take Advantage of Business Cultural Communication

The relaxed atmosphere of many Irish business settings has the advantage of allowing people to speak their minds more freely and to feel more confident in bringing new ideas to the table or asking questions that may otherwise have remained unasked.

If you can allow yourself to loosen up and relax, and enjoy the atmosphere while always keeping in mind that you are still in a business setting, it can not only be an enjoyable way to do business, but also a very effective one. Strictly linear thinking has its place when outlining a business or engineering process that has already been agreed upon, but there is an art to business, sales, and the workplace that requires a more lateral ‘thinking-outside-the-box’ approach that can be very amenable to the Irish approach to business.

Culture And Family

It is always appropriate to inquire about family, and Irish people will consider discussing the well-being of children and parents as a way of humanizing relationships that are otherwise focused on business and bottom-line concerns.

This is not to say that you should carry out an inquisition on a new prospect, but if the subject finds its way into your conversation, don’t dismiss it. Instead, treat it as an invitation to take some of the formality out of your interactions.

Likewise, family time is considered to be very important in Ireland, so while it may be routine in some cultures to maintain cultural business communications round the clock, 7 days a week, in Ireland there is still a certain level of 9-5 and Monday to Friday mentality. While this may seem initially seem an inconvenience, particularly if you are more used to a ‘high-availability’ working culture, you might be surprised to find yourself not only adapting to but even appreciating this aspect of Irish business culture.

Efficiency Through Informality

Although the informal nature of some professional interactions may give the impression that Irish people don’t mind extending a meeting beyond its logical conclusion, nothing could be further from the truth. Despite the necessity to exchange greetings, ask about family and inquire within business cultural communication just for about the weekend, typically an Irish person in business is keen to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Once the niceties have been completed you should be ready to get down to business as quickly as possible, come to the point on the main issues at hand, make any necessary decisions and then conclude the meeting.

cultural business communication b2b guide

Final Thoughts

A business cultural communication guide will help your business experience in another culture or whether you began your business journey here in Ireland but then moved abroad and have become more accustomed to another style of doing business, remember that integrating into Irish business culture doesn’t need to become a riddle to be solved. Keeping a few pointers in mind will take you a long way.

While perhaps slightly less formal than a North American business atmosphere, Irish business communication is certainly more relaxed than the typical Central European style of doing business and a world away from the complexities of doing business in some very distinct settings in the Far and Middle East.

If you remember to ask about your business colleague’s family, their weekend and master the art of commenting on the Irish weather, you will be more than halfway there. If you can effectively do business within a 9 to 5 framework and deliver consistently without intruding into family time, the world of Irish business will become an open book for you to explore. If you are interested in more, similar articles, feel free to browse our Business 101 blog category.

 

11 Tips For Hiring A Web Designer In 2022

In this article you will learn most important 11 tips you should know before hiring a web designer to get your job done in professional way.

When it’s time to create a business website, many business owners turn to web designers for help. A good web designer can make the business owners website dreams a reality. Because of this, it’s important to hire the right designer for the job.

Before you hire a web designer, there are several things you should know. Ready? Let’s go.

1. What Your Website Needs To Do

Will your website just provide information or does it need to have an online store? Do you want only static pages or a blog as well? You need to know exactly what your website needs to do before hiring a web designer.

If you need to sell products or services online, this will require additional work. However, a basic website with information on a few different pages is a much smaller project. It’s important for you to know the scope of the project before you look for a web designer.

2. Hiring A Web Designer – Tell About Your Likes And Dislikes

Take some time to look at competitors’ websites. What do you like about them? What don’t you like? Find out exactly what you like and don’t like when it comes to website design.

Figure out what site layouts you like best. Do you like a simple layout or something filled with compelling pictures of products? Do you want your menu at the top of the page or along the side? What do you want your home page to look like?

When you have a clear idea of what you want, it will be easier to convey those specifications to a hiring a web designer.

3. Your Budget To Hire A Web Designer

Hiring a web designer costs money. What you get will sometimes depend on what you’re willing to pay for. Find out how much other local businesses spent on their websites. This research will help you create a budget for your website. You should always know the price for project here, at Galicki Digital you can see full pricing for responsive web design.

Once you have a budget in mind, you can look for freelance designers who fit into that budget. 

4. How Many Pages You Need

Figure out exactly how many pages you need. The number of pages is often a major factor for determining the price of your website. Take time to consider what pages you need to properly inform customers about your business.

Most websites need a home page, an about page, an FAQ, a contact page, and a terms of service page. If you want additional pages for each of your major products or services, you’ll need to add those pages to your list. Remember – different businesses will require different set of pages so make sure that your web designer will understand your idea.

A good rule of thumb is to follow some article categories, where you can find web design tips or some free tutorials.

5. Layout For Each Page

Once you know how many pages you want, figure out what you want each page to look like. What information and photos will you need on each page of your website?

List all of the information you need for these pages. Although the web designer will design your website, he or she will need to know what content you want on each page. If you plan to hire a freelance writer to write your website’s content, make sure to do that early in the process to ensure all information gets to your designer on time.

During this process, you may discover the need for additional pages. Add those to your list of pages.

6. Content For Each Pages

After you have a general idea of what should be on each page, start to write out all the content for each page. Make sure the information is correct and free of typos or grammatical errors. You may choose to hire a freelance writer (for instance from Fiverr) to help with this part of the process.

When you have all your information written in advance, the time spent with your web designer can focus on the design of your site. It’s important to provide as much information as possible up front to ensure the quick completion of your website. This allows your designer to spend time designing your site instead of chasing down your site’s content.

7. What Else Should I Know Before Hiring A Web Designer? – Graphic Design

Before hiring a web designer, you need to know what logos and images you plan to use. All your branding information should be made available to your designer. Logos, colours, and other brand elements will help your web designer create a website that suits your brand.

Here, you can find a difference between logo and logotype – it’s good to know which one your brand needs so you can tell it a specialist upon recruitment.

Images also play a pivotal role in your website’s design. Either purchase stock photos (for example from Adobe Stock) or take your own high-resolution product photos to include on your website. Make sure all your photos are in one place, ready to share with your designer. Google Drive and Dropbox are great options for sharing files with your designer.

8. Design Timeline

Find out how long it will take a freelance designer to create your website. It’s important that you’re on the same page with your designer to prevent misunderstandings. You may think a project should only take two weeks, but your designer may not be able to deliver for a month or more.

If you need your website by a certain date, you should know this date before initiating conversations with designers. This is an another way that you should know before hiring a web designer with the time to complete your project.

9. How The Site Will be Updated

Find out whether you’ll be able to update the website in the future. Will you have access to make your own changes, or will you need to hire web designer to make edits? How much will those changes cost?

These are important questions, especially since your business will grow and evolve over the years. The information on your website will inevitably need to be updated, so it’s important that you have access to make edits yourself.

10. Pros And Cons From Online Reviews

Before hiring a web designer read reviews about web developers on Google, social media, and any other site with reviews. Find out about issues previous customers had. Both positive and negative reviews can help you figure out if a designer is a good fit for your project.

It’s important to look at the reviews instead of just viewing the ratings. You may discover that the bad reviews are nit-picky things that don’t matter to you or your project. Even positive reviews will provide information to help you make the right decision for your website.

Look at the dates for the reviews, since this may give you clues about how a designer has changed over time. If their only negative reviews are years old, it’s possible they’ve grown and improved their services. However, recent negative reviews can be a red flag, especially if there’s a trend of increasingly bad reviews over the last few months.

11. Recommendations From Friends And Business Contacts While Hiring A Web Designer

There are so many ready to hire web designers out there. The options can be overwhelming, especially if you look at web developers around the world. In addition to reading reviews, talk to friends and business contacts to find out their recommendations. Their honest input may provide you with information not included in online reviews.

They may also provide information about designers you haven’t discovered in your search. If a local business has a website you love, find out who designed it. That person may be the right designer for your website, too.

Conclusion

Hiring a web designer is an important step for your business. Although the web designer will diligently work to create your dream website, there’s a lot of information you need to consider before hiring them.

It’s important to figure out what you need your website to do and what type of designs you like. This will give your designer a solid place to start, since designers need your input to create your website.

After you have a general idea of what you need in a website, begin compiling all the information needed for your website. Write all the content for each of the pages. Gather your logos and branding information and put together photos for your site. You can share all these documents with your web developer through Google Drive or Dropbox.

Supreme Style is a Crumlin based professional hair salon studio for ladies and gents managed by Wayne Ashmore. Website has booking system which is very handy for clients to choose the service, book the appointment and add the date automatically to calendar with notification. It's convenient for the owner as well due to analytical tools and instant notification about the new booking.

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Sauna Experts is an eCommerce shop selling sauna accessories and home or commercial customised saunas. The shop has loads of features for instance - the estimator can help customers choosing timber per meter square. Nearly 75% of the products on the site have customised attributes, allowing customers to precisely choose the product variation and immediately see the price. Website is ranking very well in Google search results (SEO). The website has safe payment providers and account panel for customer.

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First Name is a baby name consulting agency based in Dublin helping parents make the right decision when naming their newborns. Website has a nice feature - a name generator which works extremely well for their target audience.

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Star Kitchen is a furniture maker company based in Drogheda, Ireland. They specialise in creating bespoke kitchen and bedroom designs. This website ranks incredibly well in Google especially in Drogheda brining the RoI of this company to above average. A beautiful portfolio gallery feature gives a great spectrum of their skills.

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Agness Barber Shop is a professional male and kids barber located in Clane, Co. Kildare. This website ranks TOP 1 in local search, in Clane and Kildare area brining more clients and profits. The website has an online booking feature allowing customers to choose the service, book the appointment along with date and time. Analytics tool are also included for the owner to improve productivity and awareness about income / loss in specific month.

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Vizza Pedro is a Kinsale-based (Co. Cork) fast-food restaurant offering a wide variety of tasty burgers, pizza, and pasta. The website has a smart feature allowing visitors to order the food and self-checkout while the order is being printed out at the same time for the chefs improving organisation and food delivery.

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Pro Craft Roofing is a Dublin-based roofing builder specialising in repairing commercial and domestic roofs. This is a high-competitive business website with video background improving trust and showing expertise.

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Ace Carpet Cleaners is a Dublin-based carpet cleaning company owned by Brian O'Shea. This project has a pretty nice feature in Gallery where customer can compare the before and after Brian's work in real time.

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English Consulting Engineers is a London-based professionals providing a wide range of civil/structural design and structure services to customers. A very eye-catching slider with plenty of informations makes this website unique and high-performing.

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Olivia Naughton is a qualified therapist and counsellor based in Dublin. The website has WhatsApp plugin allowing customers connect to Olivia and ask about the appointment. Google map is installed as well.

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Walk Dublin was established in 2017 by Ruth Kelly to give bespoke walking tours of Dublin where you can learn about the history, culture and architecture of the city. The website has a unique design, Ireland's historic illustrations and booking system allowing visitors book a custom bespoke tour with Ruth.

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Virtual Bingo is a charity project owned by John Hughes and Mark O’Toole who are the hosts and owners of this great idea. Virtual Bingo was born out of the Covid19 Pandemic and the main goal is to raise money while playing bingo for other charities every Tuesday on Facebook Live. Visitors can book the ticket on the website and there is a special counter giving an idea how much time left for the next show.

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Yelverton French Polishing is a single business owned by Martin Yelverton – a professional French polisher based in Dublin who restores wooden furniture and stairs transforming them to their original pristine condition. That was my first real project. The website main feature is a gallery portfolio where visitor can browse the recent Martin's work.

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