Your Small Business Works for Your Community

Importance of small businesses

Thinking about starting a business, you might be focusing on earning an income and taking care of your family. But, what you might not have seen just yet is the impact that small, local businesses can have on their communities. Keep reading for more information on how to get started and why it makes sense to keep it in your own hometown.

The Big Impact of Small Businesses

The word small is a bit of a misnomer, as there is nothing small about the impact that local businesses have on the economy. According to American National University, there are more than 56 million people employed by non-corporations, meaning the small businesses are collectively the number one employer in the US. Plus, these “mom-and-pop shops” take up nearly half of all commercial retail space and account for four dollars out of every $10 spent in retail.

As a small business owner, you also have an opportunity to support your local community in ways you may not be able to as an employee. You might, for example, sponsor a children’s softball team or take a day off once each month to deliver meals to the elderly and infirm. You also are in a position to get to know the people that buy from you through things like community events and open houses.

Launching Your Small Business

Like all businesses that have come before, your small business will start with an idea. You also need to identify the things you love and that you’re good at. In our post finding your niche asserts that finding your niche is a matter of knowing what you love, who would value it, and what problems it might solve.

Once you have your business idea in place, you can then work on writing a business plan. This is a crucial step in the formation process that allows you to create a roadmap of sorts that will outline your path toward success. Your business plan will include everything from your company name and marketing strategies to information on how you plan to pull a profit, which is especially important if you want investors down the road.

Something else to consider during the early formation process is establishing an LLC or other business structure. In Tennessee, your LLC can help you keep your personal finances away from your business since it allows you to open a bank account in your business’s name. To get started, register your official company name and appoint a registered agent. They will need to fill out an operating agreement and then file an official certificate of formation. You can use an online service to get this done. Finally, apply for a VIN with the IRS.

You also want to check if you’re required to have a business license or to register with any particular organization. If your business is located within the state, and you make more than $10,000 each year, you will need a license. According to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, this also means you’ll need to pay taxes, which are due within four months of the end of each fiscal year.

Marketing Like A Local

Marketing your business might sound like a huge chore, and it can be. But, once you get the momentum going, it’s much easier. A few things that can help you get your business off the ground in the early days include:

  • A digital presence. Your online digital presence matters more than you might think. Having a website legitimizes your business. It’s also how most people will get in touch with you. Even a simple website can help you stand up against the competition by integrating mobile capabilities, which allow customers to contact or navigate to you with one click or to shop online.
  • An open house. Hosting an open house is a fun and exciting way to engage with your customers and business neighbors. Plan to open after hours to showcase the best of what you have to offer. You might even provide refreshments and give away small tokens of appreciation, such as branded Chapstick, hand sanitizer, or embroidered hats.

While you may start your new business with the primary goal of supporting your family, don’t lose sight of the fact it will also support your community. Not only do you have a chance to create jobs, you can also support causes near and dear to your heart. Getting started takes work, but it’s worth it, and becoming an entrepreneur takes you one step closer to achieving the financial independence you desire.

Get your Quote

Green Thoughts Design offers web design, search engine optimization, and other digital marketing services for businesses throughout the Chattanooga area. For more information, contact 888.263.6626.

Can Consumer Financing Boost Sales

working remotely on a laptop

What Role Can Consumer Financing Play in Boosting Merchant Sales?

Consumer Financing

By providing financing to clients, groups can increase their income, land large contracts, and increase their average income per transaction. Financing permits clients to make normal, low-priced bills towards the price of a large-price price tag object. This can increase sales as it gives customers the choice. Cost is frequently the primary pain point for clients searching for a large purchase.

By leveraging purchaser financing, you may dispose of the edge of sticker shock for your clients and shift the verbal exchange from cost alone to value. Instead, you can show clients how lower month-to-month bills can permit them to shop for precisely what they need or want. Providing financing permits you to place the focus on your customer’s desire to get an item they desire NOW.

What does purchaser financing mean?

The term ‘Consumer Financing’ refers to a store that provides purchaser financing alternatives to its clients. it allows the customer to decide the terms given the financing range options. This permits the purchaser to buy a product or service they would otherwise not be capable of purchasing outright.

Additional financing points:

‘Consumer financing’ covers all the factors at the point of sale, and may include the customer’s credit score, and installment loans.

Businesses of all sizes benefit substantially from providing purchaser financing.

Why should your business provide purchaser financing?

For a store, providing purchaser financing may be important in changing passive browsers into lively customers. Therefore it may increase income and conversion rates. Consumer financing encourages a purchaser to buy now, providing the resources to the customer to make the purchase today on terms that are amenable to the buyer.

Key advantages of having purchaser financing:

  • Boosts income and conversion rates
  • Promotes purchaser loyalty and repeat commercial enterprise
  • Increases the average sale

What is purchaser financing?

Customer financing breaks down the price of high-priced items and services, permitting clients to make smaller installment payments. Rather than paying the whole retail charge at the time of purchase, clients pay normal bills on a month-to-month, bi-weekly, or weekly basis. 

Do you need help getting your business set up for customer financing? We can help simply get a quote below.

Why you ought to provide financing to clients

Here are the top commercial advantages of providing financing alternatives to your clients:

1. Increase your income and average transaction length

Financing will increase a purchaser’s buying power, making large purchases easier to stomach with low-priced installments. Not only does financing make it easy to close sales, but it’s also an effective device for upselling. You can show clients how value-added services can be added to month-to-month bills and in doing so increase your average sale. Financing will effectively increase your revenue.

For example, the average sale price increases 15 to 30% for businesses that provide purchaser financing.

2. It gives you an advantage over competitors

Offering purchaser financing gives you a distinct market advantage, permitting smaller businesses to compete with larger players in the market. Merchants can upload extra purchaser incentives, to enhance their competitiveness. You can provide promotional applications to sweeten the deal for clients, like fee deferrals, hobby price buy-downs, or no-hobby loans. These incentives permit you to near income and pressure repeat commercial enterprise.

3. Attract new clients

Your small business can draw in new clients with the aid of providing purchaser financing plans. If a potential purchaser is shopping around for a large item or service, they’ll be much more likely to pick your business over a competitor that doesn’t offer financing alternatives. It also assists you in getting repeat customers. 93% of customers that use purchaser financing said they would use it again.

4. Get paid quickly

One issue with providing installments for small businesses is that they may not get paid quickly- thus creating a cash flow issue. However, if you sign up with a company like Financeit, you don’t need to take on the dangers related to providing your own financing Rather you can get a third-party company to pay you in full and take on the debt of your customer.

Once the credit score is checked and approved by the third-party financer and your customer, you will receive a commission for the entire sale. Your cash flow isn’t affected and you avoid the danger of getting stuck with your customer’s debt in a default.

purchaser financing

How to provide purchaser financing

Customer financing permits businesses to offer their customers alternatives if a potential customer can’t manage to pay for the whole price point. The simplest and most secure manner to provide purchaser financing is to apply to a third-party lending company like Financeit. It guarantees you receive a commission quickly and it removes the threat of non-payment that businesses face after they provide their very own financing.

Most clients will not look for financing unless you bring it up during the purchase decision or checkout, so it’s vital that you usually make these alternatives clear to potential clients. Give concrete information about what their expenses could be in the event that they choose a financing plan, in place of paying the whole income charge upfront. Financeit’s Payment Calculator helps your business quickly.

By discussing financing alternatives with customers you increase the individual buying potential for sales and upsells within your value ladder. If you don’t have a value ladder you can get in touch with us about that important need.

Get a free marketing consultation today.

Author Bio:

Aline Huseby is a Sales & Marketing Manager at ChargeAfter. She would like to share content on the Finance Industry like Point of Sales financing, Buy now Pay later, consumer financing & Ecommerce financing for the valuable readers.

How To Get Business Leads Using Social Media In 2021?

How To Get Business Leads Using Social Media In 2021?

How To Get Business Leads Using Social Media In 2021?

Improving your brand awareness and generating more business leads are the two main targets of every digital marketer and social media strategist. Social media platforms are no longer only surviving the only communication medium’s purposes. Along with the communication medium, these platforms are now the best medium to increase your brand awareness and lead generations.

You may be thinking that branding is possible from social media platforms, but how to generate genuine business leads? Yes, revenue lead generations are possible. Only you have to follow some easy tactics.

6 Easy Tips To Get Business Leads Using Social Media

Through the social media marketing trend, you can improve the audience’s engagements. And these engagements are going to drive more traffic to your website pages. Social media is a vast platform even you can expand your business internationally on social media. Your audiences are ready to listen. You only have to create some interest for them.

Check out the six easy tips to get genuine business leads using social media pages.

1.   Optimize, Optimize And Optimize

For every social media, lead campaigns depend on the organic method. Always use the optimized content to reach up to the maximum number of audiences. More features mean more interest you are creating among the audiences.

Every content positioning needs more precise information about your products, services, and contact details. This is the reason you always have to use optimized content. And for creating the optimized content, use the analytical tools to analyze the consumer’s requirements.

Do more research and analyze the viewer’s interesting areas to create optimized content. These content optimizations and SEO are the essential integral part of organic lead generations.

Digital Business Card Designs

2.   Give Your Business Contact Details

For real-life product sales and branding, radius targeting is a good option. But did you know you can even use radius targeting for your individual product marketing and lead generation? Most of the viewers are likely to contact you after they see your content.

So do not forget to use your contact details in your individual advertisement contents. Even now, you can mark your business locations on social media pages. This is a good strategy to generate more leads through organic traffic.

Contact details mean your office’s contact numbers, email id, and all social media pages link. These all types of information are bringing more belief to your products and services.

3.   Initiate Call To Action Command

The call to action command and the button both are good strategies to generate more leads. Call to action means you are initiating the communications and providing the proper directions to the audience. Usually, the audience views the advertisements from social media pages.

Then the interested consumers visit your website for more details. The easy guided pages are creating more interest among the consumers. And call to action is denoting the value of the advertisements.

Call to action is like initiating the urge among the audience. Supposes you are announcing some discounts on your products you always have to add the time frame of the order.

4.   Clickable Engaging Content

Enagaining contents and the proper directions are the tricks to attract organic traffic from the social media pages. So for your branding and advertisements, you have to create engaging content. And you have to add the clickable links which open up the separate page.

The written long content is not creating enough interest among the audience. On the other hand, theThe short story and the video contents always create more interest among the audiences. And because of the engaging nature of the content, audiences are starting to share it among their friends and other followers.

And when your content is viewed by some interesting audiences, they always want to visit your websites and find more details about your services. For this, you have to publish the contents with a clickable link and button.

5.   Social Media Lead Ad

You can try the social media lead ad after you are fed up with trying different organic methods for lead generations. In 2021 maximum numbers of media are introducing additional attractive marketing features for marketers.

For example, you can use the Facebook Toolkits to see the views list and the shared numbers. Facebook, Instagram, and other popular social media have also initiated many new tools for marketers. These tools will refine your search and help you analyze all aspects of lead generation.

6.   Attractive Easy Design Landing Page

Your website landing page is like a mirror of your brand. When you are starting to add the links to your advertisement content, it is sure that almost 70% of the viewers are likely to visit your website from the link. And for your website landing page and the instructions, they are going to set their mind over the purchases.

Add the discounted products and services on the landing page with clickable links for a better impression. And when viewers click on your links, that means they are interested in your services.

But if your website starts taking more time to load, you will potentially lose a lead. On the other hand, fast-loading websites with attractive guided landing pages are constantly generating more leads.

Need help? We offer 1 on 1 expert digital marketing advice at Green Thoughts Consulting. Just reach out.


Social media is giving you a large number of audiences. But if you can not convince them properly, you can not get the exact numbers of potential business leads. These six tips will help you generate more potential leads and improve your sales turnovers. So, what types of tactics are you going to follow? Do not forget to share your opinion in the comment sections.

Author Bio:

Jais Frank is a freelance content writer and enthusiastic blogger. He is the co-founder of SB Newsroom. He contributes to many authority blogs such as Emblem Wealth and DreamLand Estate. He also likes to write in many international magazines and journals.

What are the Major Benefits of Smart Contracts?

Smart Contracts

What are the Major Benefits of Smart Contracts?

Smart contracts allow businesses to perform credible transactions without the help of any financial body like a bank or government or financial institution. As smart contracts operate through blockchain technology, payment can be made in bitcoin or with other digital currencies.

Many businesses are also investing in blockchain and bitcoin through bitcoin profit calculator. The good thing about this is transactions can be trackable. Have you heard about smart contracts before? First of all, let us know what exactly a smart contract is before we learn about its benefits.

Smart Contract

A smart contract is a computer program that helps businesses to settle a business contract in a simple way. The computer program operates through blockchain technology which is decentralized in nature and there is no central authority. That means, everything in the network is transparent, secure, and immutable. Everyone in the network can see the data but nobody can modify it. So in simple terms, smart contracts are the program that helps businesses to replace the conventional contract process.

As the whole process of smart contracts is automatic it can replace the traditional legal contracts. It can potentially reduce the complexity as well as transactional cost. Now let us understand how a smart contract works.

How Smart Contract Works?

To understand how smart contracts work, let us take an example of a mortgage agreement. In a mortgage agreement, there are many things that include personal data, credit score, income statement, outgoings, etc.

Now to check every detail and confirming with the mortgage rules and regulations manually is a troublesome process. This can be replaced by a computer code which will confirm every detail within very less time and effectively. Because as the blockchain technology is a decentralized network it does not require any third party involvement. And this reduces the processing time as well as cost. More importantly, the transaction information can be accessed by everyone in the network which maintains transparency and the information can’t be modified. Now let us understand the benefits of using smart contracts.

Benefits of Smart Contracts

There are several benefits of using smart contracts, here are a few advantages.


The best thing about smart contracts is transparency. As smart contracts are running through blockchain, everyone in the network can see every term and condition clearly which ensures any form of miscommunication. So there will be no arguments and disputes at a later stage. Moreover, one can see everything step by step, and the program is the same for everyone and no changes can be made to a member.


Everything is written in a computer program before it is executed. Each and every detail of the rules, terms, and conditions are written in great detail. As it executes automatically, everything is accurate and there is no chance of error in the terms and conditions. Whereas in traditional legal contracts there may be a chance of errors and misinterpretation of legal terms. As compared to traditional contracts, smart contracts are accurate and precise.

Faster Operation

Traditional smart contracts are very time consuming as there are many middlemen involved starting from lawyers, notaries, bureaucratic persons, etc. The legal documentation takes a lot of time, even many days for a contract to be settled. On the other hand, smart contracts are simple computer codes which can run smoothly within a very little time.

Safe and Secure

Another great advantage of smart contracts is they follow the highest standard of safety. As everything in the smart contract is written in a code that runs by cryptographic verification it ensures everything occurs along with the terms of the contracts.

Final Words

With all of the above benefits, smart contracts can impact every industry starting from banking to supply chain management. It has not adopted fully, but it will have a great impact on the business world in the near future. Hopefully, the article has provided you some insight into smart contracts.

Guest Posting Author Bio:-

Jais Frank is a freelance content writer and enthusiastic blogger. He is the co-founder of dreamandtravel. He contributes to many authority blogs such as financeteam.

Digital Business Resource Center

Digital Business Resource List

Digital Business Resource Center

Welcome to our business resource center to help you find what you need.

We’ve been building great websites, providing high-quality SEO and digital marketing help since 2012 give or take a few years.

We get asked a ton of questions about what’s the best affordable web design option? What is the best WordPress theme for me? Do you provide WordPress training? What do you use for your email list?

The list of questions goes on and on.

I decided to help out myself and the team here at Green Thoughts Consulting, GTC, by providing a list of these resources so others can find them easily and quickly.

We’ve done or research for the best and most current digital business resources. If you’re looking for an affordable web design, stock photos, a platform to design images for the non-designer, or more specific help, our business resource center is a great tool to use to find and connect to a vetted list of basic tools and services you must have.

Disclosure: We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending only the best products and services. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links from this Business Resource Center, at no additional cost to you. We make our recommendations without regard for whether a commission is offered or the amount received from commissions.

Business Resource Center Tech Stack

This is the technology stack I use to generate leads and sales in my business like clockwork! If you are interested in learning how to get leads and sales on a regular basis book a virtual coffee to that end.

WebsiteWordPress, GeneratePress Theme, and Elementor page builder

Hosting and Domain NameSiteground hosting and Namecheap for domain name purchase.

Image CompressionShortPixel WordPress Image Compression plugin

Funnels – [Opt in Pages and Sales Pages] – Elementor. [Segmentation and lead capture] – ConvertKit.

Conversion Optimised CheckoutPayKickStart If you are building your funnel in WordPress then the UpsellPlugin is a simple and solid option too.

Learning Management System (LMS)LearnDash for online courses.

Scheduling ToolCalendly.

Video Conferencing and WebinarsZoom.

Email Marketing and AutomationConvertKit.

AnalyticsGoogle Analytics and Google Search Console

SEO Keyword ResearchKeyword Finder

SEO Rank

SEO helper for WordPressYoast


Business Resource Center Usage

If you would like help implementing any of the above tools in my recommended tech stack or understanding how they fit into the bigger picture of your business please just reach out.

Starting from scratch with a list of tools like this can feel daunting. Please book a free call with me to learn more about how they fit together and how to best implement them into your work environment.

Either way you can get the help you need and get your business on track with visitors, leads, and clients with our help. Just reach out.

Conversion Rate Calculator

Conversion Rate Calculator Blog Header

Marketing ToolBox:

Conversion Rate Calculator

Learn more about the conversion rate calculation below.

Conversion Rate Defined

Our conversion rate calculator can get you started with becoming aware of your current conversion percentage.

Conversion rate is defined as a value that informs us of what percentage we are achieving a specific desired result.

Technically speaking it is the desired outcome divided by total interactions.

For example, if you have 1,000 visitors to your website (the total interactions) and of that total 15 choose to take a predefined action, such as clicking on the contact us button, then the conversion rate is 15/1000=0.015 or 1.5% once multiplied by 100

Conversion Rate Calculator Funnel Makes Money

Conversion Rate Questions

What is a conversion rate?

Conversion rate is the percentage of the time that the desired action occurs given a specific amount of events. The most common example of conversion rate is the number of website visitors that take a specific desired action on a website.

What is a good conversion rate?

A good conversion rate is typically said to be between 2% to 5%. However, it can vary wildly depending on the type of business or vertical. Small increases in conversion rate yield large results. A jump from 2% to 3% over a sample of 1000 is the difference in 20 to 30 (which is huge if it’s sales).

How do you calculate funnel conversion?

The actual math for a funnel conversion is no different than calculating a conversion rate. It is the total number of desired actions divided by the total number of potential desired actions. However, you can calculate the conversion rate throughout an entire marketing funnel to calculate funnel conversion. One would calculate the total desired actions at each funnel step by the total potential actions at each step.

Why is conversion rate optimization important?

The conversion rate percentage is important because it is directly connected to the cost of acquisition for the desired action. If you can get the desired action to occur more frequently per 100 instances you will make more money. Conversion rate optimization is important because it will lower your customer acquisition costs and pay for itself over x amount of time.

How do I optimize my website for conversion?

There is no quick and easy answer to this question. Rather it involves several activities. One primary tool is A/B testing is important as it allows you to test alternatives and find a winner based on the conversion rate. Another tool is creating landing pages with best practices.

Guide to Manual Conversion Rate Calculation

How to calculate a conversion rate?

  1. Find the total number of Interactions

    Calculate the Total Number of Interactions

  2. Find the total number of desired outcomes

    Calculate the Total Number of desired outcomes- contact forms

  3. Divide the total number of desired actions by the total number of interactions

    The math of conversion rate

  4. Multiply this number by 100 to get a percentage

    Conversion Rate Calculator as a percentage outcome

Need help calculating your website conversion rate?

Drop us a line and we will be glad to help you get a handle on your conversion rate. We will help you personally create a conversion rate calculator system that works for you. We can also help you begin A/B testing to increase your conversion rate.

A big part of having a healthy conversion rate is having enough traffic for that conversion rate to be meaningful. A 5% conversion rate on leads with 500 visitors a month is far less than a 5% conversion rate with 1000 visitors. Let us help you with an SEO package.

FreshBooks Cost and Review

How much does freshbooks cost

How much does FreshBooks Cost


How much does FreshBooks cost?

FreshBooks cost is based on three plans: Lite, Plus, and Premium. These plans cost $15, $25, & $50 per month. All the plans contain invoicing, expense entries, credit card acceptance, ACH transfers, auto bank import, and more. Higher cost FreshBooks plans will provide you with more clients and more proposals.

Overview of FreshBooks

The affordable FreshBooks cost provides entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and business owners with an easy to use invoicing and accounting solution. This solution is fast, secure and small business easy as FreshBooks says.

Your biggest problem with FreshBooks, and you won’t find many, is finding the FreshBooks login page, which you can find on FreshBooks site.

FreshBooks Login Page

FreshBooks Pricing and Review

1- Ease of Use

Redicoulsly easy to use. I can personally confess that it is simple and intuitive. My coworker that is accounting challenged uses it from time to time and actually has no trouble at all.

If you are looking for an easy to use solution look no further than FreshBooks.

2- Automation Awaits

One of my favorite things about FreshBooks, and which I harp on in this FreshBooks pricing review, is that the software automates so many of the mundane tasks.

From invoicing to tracking time spent on a project you will find it will only take a few clicks.

3- Cloud-Based for Ease of Mind

FreshBooks removes the worry of “losing” your expenses, invoices and other important financial documents as it is a cloud-based solution.

Gone are the days of losing your data to a computer mishap.

Get your FREE Guide to Creating your first invoice in FreshBooks!

Get your easy to use guide in minutes.

    We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

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    How much does FreshBooks cost per month?

    FreshBooks cost is based on three plans: Lite, Plus, and Premium. These plans cost $15, $25, & $50 per month. All the plans contain invoicing, expense entries, credit card acceptance, ACH transfers, auto bank import, and more. Higher cost FreshBooks plans will provide you with more clients and more proposals.

    FreshBooks Cost Table

    Monthly Price $13.50$25.00$50.00
    # of Billable Clients550500
    Learn MoreTry it FreeLearn More

    Controlling your costs is important when running or starting up a business and FreshBooks certainly allows you to do just that.

    Cost control has many advantages that are unknown to a surprising number of those I coach. Here’s a great post entitled The Advantages of Cost Control

    I write a lot about affordability for startups, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and business owners like our recent post on affordable web design options.

    FreshBooks Customer Service

    FreshBooks is not just an affordable and easy to use option. It also provides stellar customer services.

    The customer support team is award-winning and has received 4 out of 5 stars on almost every review site we have checked.

    The overall aggregate review for FreshBooks for the 23 sites we utilized was 4.56 for customer service alone.

    Further, the support on FreshBooks website itself is excellent. The search tool and support site are first class not to mention the YouTube videos that FreshBooks has provided.

    Here’s an example of one of FreshBooks Youtube Videos.

    FreshBooks Ease of Use

    Perhaps the main reason so many love FreshBooks is the ease of use. FreshBooks is just so easy.

    We found the aggregate rating for ease of use or a similar concept was a powerful 4.8.

    I’ve been using and recommending FreshBooks for a few years now and I can honestly say that one of the things I hear most often from those that try it is that “it is so easy to use”!

    If you aren’t in a position to outsource your bookkeeping or accounting during a particular season or business cycle, such as startup, doing it yourself needs to be easy.

    Why? Because your not an accountant or bookkeeper so your time needs to be spent doing what you do best– no matter what that is.

    Ready to get started? Click here or why not download our Free Guide below?

    Get your FREE Guide to Creating Your First Invoice in FreshBooks

    Easy to use step by step instructions to get started right away. Get started in the next 5 minutes!

      We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
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      FreshBooks Comparisons Review

      When comparing FreshBooks to competitors there are many options, however we feel there are only three legitimate competitors. Freshbooks, QuickBooks, and Xero.

      While each of these options has a claim and is utilized by numerous businesses and freelancers. As we have laid out above we feel that FreshBooks is head and shoulders above the competition.

      I’ve created a chart below where we took the aggregate rating from 23 review sites.

      FreshBooks vs QuickBooks vs Xero

      BrandOverall RatingEase of UseCustomer ServicePrice

      As you can see we give the edge to FreshBooks, which is why we call it our go-to accounting and bookkeeping software for entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, business owners, and freelancers.

      Give it a try and let us know what you think about FreshBooks cost effective software solution. Sign up today.

      Business Web Design

      Business Web Design

      Must Have Business Web Design

      What are the MUST HAVES for your business web design

      There are things that will work for a business web design and things that will not work for a business website. It will be our goal to outline a list of must haves and sprinkle in a bit of don’t do it comments. There are always exceptions, however when people visit a web design and particularly a business web design they expect to find a certain look or type for particular categories of business and/or sites.

      With all of that said let’s get into the must haves:


      Business Web Design Must Haves

      Clear Calls to Action

      Your business web design needs a clear call to action. The call to action button will and should stand out for your visitors as soon as they hit the page. It should be visible upon landing (exception to mobile browsers) and should be an attention getting color. I prefer reds and oranges. It should lead the way to what you want your visitor to do. What action do you want the individual to take? Use that text. Contact us. Get a Quote. Learn More.

      Here’s an example.

      Get a Quote Call To Action Button

      Good Design

      I think it goes without saying that your business web design needs to be attractive to your target audience. You want the colors to inspire trust and to work together. This also means you need a modern style for your website. You need a site that looks like it was built in the last 1 to 2 years. As a side note the average business updates and redesigns there website every 18 to 24 months. Make it look good and update it every few years.

      Don’t do this.

      Bad Web Design for your business

      Mobile Friendly

      This one is huge and should be one of your top goals. You MUST HAVE a business web design that is Mobile Friendly and works on all platforms and browser types. For example your site should resize appropriately for Desktop, Tablets, and Mobile Phones. If not you are putting yourself and your business at great risk. Google has stated they are giving the Search Engine Rankings preference to Mobile First Ranking and over half of all website traffic is mobile!

      Going Mobile First for your Business web Design

      Clear Contact Form

      It’s absolutely necessary that you have a clear area on your website for visitors and clients to contact you. This area should include your NAP. Name, Address, and Phone Number. Bonus for local phone numbers, but if you do world wide business a toll free number will work.

      You should include a contact form for the visitor to fill out his or her name & email at a bare minimum, however for most businesses adding a phone number field is a good followup idea. Finally, leave an area for the visitor to write a message to you.

      I believe it’s best to include your NAP and contact information at the bottom/footer on each page aside from landing pages.

      Clear Contact Form Example for business website

      About Page

      A business website design must have an about page, which is sometimes known as Our Story, or About Us. The point here is that those visiting you need to get to know you. They need to see real people and real office space or work stations. They need to connect with you on a human level. This may sound too much but it’s important. It builds relationship and connection when someone sees you instead of a model.

      Keep the page short and sweet, tell a story or two about how you got where you are, and speak to the benefit or working with your business and how it differentiates you from other companies. Not too salesy though just to the point and honest.

      Social Icons

      Social Proof

      Add social icons and links to your various social profiles. I guess it goes without saying that a quality business web design must have a social profiles behind it. Try to stay consistent with your branding across platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. For many companies these are the must have profiles, however in some instances you may wish to have a Pinterest or Snapchat depending on your industry.

      Business website social proof and Reviews

      Google Reviews Embedded

      People are moved by Google Reviews, Yelp Reviews, etc take advantage of this and embed your reviews with an api or third party software to show proof of what others are saying about there experience with your business. This will elevate you and create a sense of trust.

      On a similar note you need to work hard for your reviews and reply to all reviews you are given both good and bad. Build a process of followup with your clients were you request a review after service/etc and again 14 and 30 days later if you haven’t received it.

      Closing Business Web Design Remarks

      Follow the advice above to get on the right track with your small business web design. If you are feeling overwhelmed reach out to us for a free consultation. We provide full service affordable business web design and Search Engine Optimization.

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      LinkedIn Profile Tips How to Win Great Clients for Business Success (video) – Pt 3

      LinkedIn profile Tips So you can stand out from the crowd featured

      Watch the YouTube Video LinkedIn Training or read below.

      Intro and What's Ahead in the Post

      Welcome back to part 3 of the LinkedIn Profile Tips and optimization series. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 on this page. As I have noted previously I believe that these posts are best followed with the video posted  above. However, your mileage may vary so feel free to read along.

      The key points below are as follows:

      1. Adjusting your LinkedIn Profile Background Image
      2. Optimizing the LinkedIn Profile Summary Section
      3. Adding LinkedIn Specialties and Keywords to the Summary Section
      4. Adding Value in your LinkedIn Profile Media Section

      Adjusting your LinkedIn Profile Background Photo

      Starting on the LinkedIn home page navigate to your profile by clicking on the image on the top left.

      LinkedIn profile Tips staring out Profile page

      In way of review of parts 1 and part 2 we dealt with the contact area and the “top box” of your profile, as I crudely referred to it.

      Another area we need to discuss is the background photo or header.  Choose and upload an image. It’s a good rule of thumb to match general look across your social media platforms as much as possible. This is especially true for your company business pages on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn Company page, etc. 

      I’ve created a Social Media must have helper to get you started. Enjoy. 

      Social Media Helper Size Guide transparent

      A quick word about background/header/cover images on various social media outlets.  I’m of the mindset that having these look the same is appropriate.  Further, I feel that a best practice is to create a professional feel.  On LinkedIn in particular I think this can go two directions with your personal profile. Namely, I believe you should use a well done picture of your city or territory, or just an inspiring picture with a quote or something on it.  In some situations it’s nice to put a headline image on your personal linked in that explains more about your business and what you do. Another option is to include a screenshot of your website landing page.

      On the other hand, this particular post is dancing around the concept of your company page, but isn’t at this time expressly optimizing it.  I will say, and I’ll have an entire post soon enough, that you should optimize your LinkedIn Company page with your standardized header/cover for all business social media outlets.

      Moving along, once you get a background image up that you are happy with move along to the next topic.

      Optimizing your LinkedIn Summary Section

      On your LinkedIn desktop profile scroll down past the divider on your main profile until you see “show more”.

      When you click on that toggle the section expands and provides a larger amount of text “below the fold” so to speak.  It’s important to optimize this top section as it will get more views than the “below the fold” information.

      You will notice in the image below that toggling this moves the text into a different format on the version I’m using.  Compare the first few sentences to the one above and below.

      linkedin profile tips summary section expanded toggle

      1. Above and Below the Fold

      The text in the open toggle or the “below the fold” information is appropriately spaced.   I would recommend that you work on getting the above the fold information the “show less” portion written as a block of text without spaces etc.  It just looks weird when it is smashed together in the first picture above. 

      When you write this section be sure that you focus on getting bang for your buck.  This is prime real estate on your LinkedIn Profile and my main tip here is that you utilize each character wisely.

      What does wisely mean in this situation? It depends.  Doesn’t it always? Honestly, I would encourage you to optimize it with the two or three main keywords related to your niche/industry/or area of expertise.  Write sentences with the keywords in them and make sure you write for a human and not a search engine.

      Here is my personal updated section from above.

      linkedin profile tips summary section above the fold content

      2. Actually Editing the Summary Content

      To actually edit this section click on our common friend the pencil icon just below your header to the right. After doing so the below box will pop up.

      linkedin profile tips summary section editing it

      Scroll down to the Summary section appropriately labeled as such and you can drag the bottom right corner of the summary box as below in the before and after pictures.

      3. Create Calls to Action in the Summary Box

      Let’s talk about Unicode HTML.

      LinkedIn will not allow a call to action or a button in this area.  So using the Unicode HTML we can sort of create them on our own.

      Perform a google and search Unicode Symbols or alternatively follow this link, which is what I tend to use for these symbols.  I’ve provide a screenshot below of where the link and/or Unicode HTML should look like once you find it.

      LinkedIn profile tips summary section calls to action and unicode symbols

      We can copy and paste these symbols to create our Unicode HTML calls to action in the summary section of your profile.  This is a work around since LinkedIn doesn’t have calls to action in the profile like buttons etc.  The Unicode symbols allow us to highlight specific areas of our text so they gain needed attention.

      As a note of caution, do not go crazy with these symbols.  You don’t want to have more than 5 or so of these in you section. Having more can look like spam and just plain odd.

      I would also encourage you to choose minimalist symbols such as the arrows, maybe a box or two.  LinkedIn is a “professional network” so please refrain from filling your summary section with telephone icons ☎ and Chess Piece icons ♞.  Stick to the following arrows, stars, circled stars, maybe a check mark. Just use your head and when in doubt just be conservative on this one.

      In order to actually put it in your text, simply find the symbol you want use and copy it by highlighting it and Ctrl-c in windows. Avoid highlighting the quotes prior to copy.  Finally, place it using the paste function, Ctrl-v in windows, where you want it in your summary by placing the icon in the text and then hitting the paste function.

      4. The Actual Summary Content

      Some will ask, “What should I put in the summary section on my profile?”

      To be honest this will vary wildly from one person and industry to the next. However, I would simply place three to four paragraphs about yourself that are short and to the point.  Think of it as a About us page on your LinkedIn profile.

      It’s appropriate to add skills, areas of expertise, and career highlights as well as some family and personal life flavor.  Use numbered lists or bullet points to enumerate items and make the text highly scan-able with bold and short sections.  You can even use this section to provide a hidden gem or deal to potential customers, such as mention my favorite hobby and I’ll give you 10% off. You know whatever inspires interest in your reader.

      Go into detail about the “What” of you and your business in the summary section.

      Include Specialties and Keywords

      This item could have easily fallen into the aforementioned Summary section, however I believe it is important enough to get it’s own section.  Since I’m writing the article that’s how it ended up!

      At the bottom of your Summary section make a few line spaces and add the word “Specialties”.  This is one of the only places on LinkedIn that I will really advocate keyword stuffing.  You need to add with comma 20 to 50 keywords in this section that someone might search for if they are looking for you on LinkedIn. 

      In an article written by Jon Shields on’s blog titled, “How to Write a LinkedIn Summary: Examples and Tips”. The author confirms the above stating, “…summary content plays into the results. Your summary is not weighted as heavily as your headline or the job titles and descriptions in your work experience section, however they can still strengthen your search-ability and help you rise above similar candidates.” You can read the full article here

      The article and quote above is well stated and right on in my opinion. If it’s between me and another potential business owner I want every edge I can get. As a caveat, don’t go crazy with the keyword stuffing.  Use honest keywords that describe what you do, provide, etc.  However, it is appropriate to do so saying the same thing in several ways such as, web design, website design, web designer, website designer, small business web design, etc. Hopefully you get the idea.

      Here’s a screen shot of my own specialties.

      linkedin profile tips summary section specialties and Keywords

      Adding Value in the LinkedIn Profile Media Section

      The next section is probably one of my favorites on the LinkedIn profile.  Just under the summary section in the edit tab (pencil click) is a section titled Media.

      LinkedIn profile Tips Media Section

      You can add a document, an image, a link, etc.  LinkedIn has a little help section there regarding the supported file types, which I’ve shown below.  Think White Papers, Lead Magnets, Helps, examples of a brief, writing sample, web designs, product info and specs. 

      LinkedIn Profile Tips Screenshot of supported media types

      So you can and should add a link to your video content or a download of anything mentioned above.  However, I would attach and upload images, documents, etc., but if you aren’t willing to share and give your stuff away you might want to add a watermark or something to the document before posting.

      I would encourage you to add at least two items to this list. Get creative with it but stay professional.  Upload your white papers, images of infographics, etc.

      Wrapping it Up

      In the above we hit the following topics:

      1. Adjusting your LinkedIn Profile Background Image
      2. Optimizing the LinkedIn Profile Summary Section
      3. Adding LinkedIn Specialties and Keywords to the Summary Section
      4. Adding Value in your LinkedIn Profile Media Section

      One concept that runs throughout this series is that in order to optimize your profile on LinkedIn you need to have a clear concept of who you are, what you do, and what makes the way you do it better than your competition. 

      Take that package it in a professional manner and makes sure it’s optimized for keywords and your are golden.

      If you are still stuck on what to do with your profile reach out and ask for some help or try a few of the articles provided below for a different view on the subject.

      Resources for more reading:

      1. Part 1 and Part 2 of this series
      2. Five Templates That’ll Make Writing the Perfect LinkedIn Summary a Total Breeze by Aja Frost on The Muse
      3. How to Write a Powerful LinkedIn Profile Summary by Danny Rubin on TopResume
      4. Seven LinkedIn Profile Summaries That We Love (And How to Boost Your Own) by Kate Reilly on LinkedIn
      5. How to Write a Good LinkedIn Summary: Powerful Tips and Examples by Celeste Mora on Grammarly
      If you have any other good resources or you are still stumped comment below and/or send me an email.

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      Get LinkedIn Profile Tips How to Destroy Social Media Failures! (video) -Pt 2

      LinkedIn profile Tips So you can stand out from the crowd featured

      Watch the YouTube Video LinkedIn Training or read below.

      Introduction to LinkedIn Profile Tips: Part 2

      Welcome to the second installment of LinkedIn profile tips and training. I always like to add that a lot of this is best understood over video.  The first installment showed you how to update your LinkedIn Profile url and how to update your company link.

      In what follows, I attempted to make this video quick and get to the point because I know we’re all busy. To begin with simply go to your LinkedIn home page and then to your profile.

      LinkedIn Profile Tips Part 2

      Click on your profile in the top left below the tool bar at top.  If you are signed in to LinkedIn you will automatically be in edit mode.

      I’ve provided another screenshot of the area we will be discussing today, just below.

      LinkedIn Profile Tips Part 2 editing

      Overview of whats ahead: Key Points and Takeaways

      In our LinkedIn Profile Tips and training today I want to focus on top “box” of your profile, which I’m defining as the section from your custom header to the divider as seen in the above screenshot.

      If I don’t cover something fully or you have lingering questions let me know with a comment or email and I’ll be glad to help you out.

      1. LinkedIn Profile Picture

      When you are choosing a profile picture for LinkedIn, and really any Social Media outlet that might bring business or networking value to your life, above all else you want it to be professional.  I personally believe the best thing to do is to wear clothing similar to what you would be wearing if and when you are actually at work.

      This means if you wear a three-piece suit you should be in one in LinkedIn Profile picture. However, if like me you tend to wear polos or button downs then you should be in one in your picture. 

      I’m not going to get detailed and tell you what to wear exactly just be yourself.

      However, please don’t do these this!

      The photos provided below are from a great post on Andrew MacArthy’s blog titled “10 Examples of Terrible LinkedIn Profile Photos | Bad LinkedIn Profile Pics“.

      Do Not Make these Mistakes!

      1. Cropped and Blurry Pics

      Just makes sure that people can see you clearly. It pays off to get a professional head shot or have a friend do it for you. With the quality of Smart Phones there is really no reason to have a poor quality head shot.

      linkedin profile tips cropped and blurry

      2. Screen Shots as Profile Picture

      Please don’t upload a screen shot as your LinkedIn profile picture.  I’ve seen people do this to get a picture of their products or a webpage in there.  I promise that people will respond better to your smile

      linkedin profile tips screen grab

      3. Close up picture

      So in this picture you can see that it’s just too far away. I wouldn’t notice this person if I walked right up to them.  I mean I love hiking and mountains, but let people respond to your face and smile. Psychological studies have shown that people really connect with a nice smile.  Show the world your lovely eyes and smile. You can find more on the Psychology at work here.

      linkedin profile tips close up picture smile please

      4. Unprofessional Photos

      It should go without saying, but please don’t use a picture of yourself in a Speedo, that two piece bathing suit, smoking a bong, or chugging beer.  Use your brain.  It’s a professional network and those types of activities are generally frowned upon at work.

      linkedin profile tips unprofessional photos

      5. Can’t see person’s face

      This one will fit in with the number 3 above. The idea is that you need to be looking into the camera and engaging the audience that comes to your page.  You don’t want to waste that opportunity by looking down or away.  It leads people to distrust you.

      linkedin profile tips looking away from camera

      6. No Logo instead of photo

      Simple.  Don’t use your business logo as your photo. I realize it may be tempting, but don’t. People buy from people not a logo.  Unless you are Nike or Apple it is best to stick with a good head shot photo.

      linkedin profile tips logo is not a pricture of you

      EXTRA LinkedIn Profile Tip!

      Here’s a resource that provides meaningful and clear help on how to take a picture that is awesome with your smartphone.

      If you want tips on getting the most out of your own do it yourself head shot there is a nice article on that, which you can find on LinkedIn of all places and it’s written by Melissa De Witte.  Melissa provides a nice outline of what to do and what not to do to get that perfect head shot with an iPhone.

      2. The Name Box

      The name box is where you put your name. I’m guessing you knew that right! It is located on the pencil edit icon that is just below your header on your profile.

      When you click on the pencil icon a pop up will emerge with First Name, Last Name etc.

      If you are in an industry where you have certain credentials that can be advantageous to you then it is really a must to get them in this box. 

      LinkedIn profile url tips name box
      LinkedIn profile link tips name box

      You don’t want that important information, which might differentiate you from another person, to be hidden in your profile.

      For example if you’re a CPA or if you have a MBA I would encourage you to add those credentials into the last name section as I’ve done below.

      Just update the last name section and hit save.

      3. LinkedIn Headline (The title)

      The headline or title is located just below your name on your profile.  It is probably the second most important item on your LinkedIn profile next to your picture.  The information you put in your headline will show up in searches so there’s value there. Further, it is one of the first things searchers will see about you when they come to your profile. For these reasons you need to optimize it, however don’t go crazy.

      linkedin profile headling tips
      linkedin profile headling tips searches are improved

      Tell me what you do, how you do, and be succinct.  My current profile has my business name, and the three main areas where we help people.

      If you were in sales you might put something like Experienced Sales Professional | Change Catalyst or whatever verbiage describes you well.  I believe it is better to add this language than to simply provide your title.

      The idea here is to make yourself stand out when people search in your area.

      4. Your LinkedIn Profile Location

      You get to this section by clicking the pencil and scrolling down to Country and Zip code.

      You put in your zip code here.  As a note it does not need to be your home zip code.  Rather, I would use the zip code for the area you work in primarily.  I have experimented with leaving this blank, but it reverts to the country and lowers your local value in searches.


      linkedin profile tips locations within this area settings

      My advice is to use your work zip code or the area you sale in when on the road.  If you have multiple areas choose the one you want to focus on or set up a reminder on your calendar to switch it from time to time to another territory. 

      However, whatever you choose.  Choose the area over city.

      linkedin profile tips locations within this area versus city
      linkedin profile tips locations within this area versus city example

      You will notice that when I put in a zip code in Chattanooga TN I am given two options.  Choose the least restrictive option.

      Here’s another example.

      Greater Chicago Area equals more people.

      During my research I ran across a nice article for those that work the entire country or globe. I won’t spoil the articles thunder.  Go have a read when you are finished here.

      5. Number of LinkedIn Connections

      Your connections are what make your LinkedIn Profile useful.  You can send and request a connection with people that are connected to one of your connections. So it is a good thing to have more connections.

      Add connections. There are three reasons I believe you should actively grow your network.

      First, a large network provides you with more connections to others. Having more 1st connections gives you access to all of their 1st connections and so on.

      Secondly, having a lot of connections means your posts and activity on LinkedIn are seen by more people organically.  If you post and you are only connected to a few individuals your posts reach is hampered. However, if you post and have many connections you can get more organic traffic.

      Finally, the third reason I think an optimized LinkedIn profile should have lots of connections is because the indicator on your profile tops at 500+.  Your goal should be to get 500+ because of the above reasons I listed and also because it makes your profile look like you are someone to know and is kind of like a badge of honor.

      linkedin profile tips lots of connections

      Wrap it up

      In conclusion, I covered 5 main areas to optimize your LinkedIn profile today.

      1. LinkedIn Profile Picture
      2. LinkedIn Name Box 
      3. LinkedIn Headline
      4. Your LinkedIn Location
      5. Number of LinkedIn Connections

      Each of these areas is important to optimizing your profile.  If you are stumped or something I said was just unclear reach out in the comment box below or send me a contact and I’ll be glad to help out.

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      Your LinkedIn Profile Tips How to Destroy Social Media Failures! (video) – Pt 1

      LinkedIn profile Tips So you can stand out from the crowd featured

      Watch the YouTube Video LinkedIn Training or read below.


      Much of the below will be easier to follow with our video tutorial and I recommend using that if you are following along.  It should be noted that we are making these edits using a desktop. Therefore, your mileage may vary if you are attempting this on a mobile phone or smaller tablet.

      This post and the corresponding video focus on contact info editing in LinkedIn’s personal profile interface.  I spend most of the time on your LinkedIn profile link url and the links section of your profile.

      How to deal with a Messy Link to your LinkedIn Profile

      I’ve seen this issue with many profiles as I scroll through them on LinkedIn.  If you look at the front page of LinkedIn then go to your profile and then edit profile, which will take you to your profile.  In the video I’m using my profile and others as examples. The main area that we’re going to be spending time looking at is the contact info section.

      Below is a screenshot of my LinkedIn Profile Page.

      Click on the pencil edit button just under your header on the profile, which will give you a pop up that looks like the below.

      Linkedin Profile Tips 2

      Before we get into the actual optimization of your profile.  I’m going to provide several examples below of real life profiles.  I should note I reached out to these people.

      Once you get into a users profile you can click on “see contact info” and the below will pop up.

      Linkedin Profile Tips 3

      The main thing I’m looking at in this section is the LinkedIn profile url or web address associated with her account. It is a bit messy. It would look better if it were edited to remove the string of numbers after her name.  Anyone can do this edit if they simply open the pop up and click the pencil in the top right.  Oddly, clicking on that edit button opens yet another window when you click on the LinkedIn profile link. It’s a bit redundant, but it gets you were you want to be.

      Linkedin Profile link

      Clicking the profile hyper link at top left leads to the below screenshot.

      Linkedin Profile url

      Actually Editing Your LinkedIn Profile URL

      It is here you can actually edit your LinkedIn Profile url in the top right.  Sometimes if you just attempt to add or make the link just your name there will be others with your name.  Steve Smith anyone?  So as in my case I had to add a few digits to the end of the name to get it customized. However, this still looks a lot better than a long string of numbers that is par for the course with LinkedIn out of the box.

      I should note when the original version of this video was released 3 or so years ago we contacted the profile example individuals in an effort to share these tweaks with them.  Apparently some didn’t take our advice.

      Below is an example of a well done profile she has corrected the link situation from above as you can see in the screenshot below.

      However, her website is not included in the contact info.  Further, there is no link to her company page on LinkedIn.  In this training we provide specifics on LinkedIn Profile Tips for your Company Page optimization.

      As a side note I would suggest anyone with a business update their email address from a Gmail or Hotmail and use something like it looks more professional.

      Another note on her profile is that the link RALee Fit Company doesn’t link to the correct company page.

      LinkedIn Company Page Not Found

      However, the company page does exist on LinkedIn.

      LinkedIn Company Page 2

      Sending a visitor to your company page and having it yield no search results is not optimal for your business.  At the very least it lowers trust in the client relationship early on in the process when building trust is key.

      LinkedIn Company Info and Links

      The basic idea with these company links and other websites etc provided in your profile is that you want to optimize it for as many social and websites that you are connected to, within reason.  As an example you can see I’ve added Facebook to mine.

      Again to edit any of the info on the above screen shot you will just click the pencil button at the top of the box.

      One thing that’s great and important about updating this contact info or any of your profile areas is that it is searchable within LinkedIn so if someone is looking for someone in your industry or someone with your skills it can be searched.

      I find it interesting that LinkedIn made the decision to include an editable Twitter box, but not a Facebook or Instagram box. You can still get those in there as I’ve done but you have to do it as a website link at the top.

      Well thanks for reading and look for other LinkedIn Profile Tips. Let me know if I can help you out with the optimization of your social media profiles.