Creative Commons image by  Silveira Neto

Creative Commons image by
Silveira Neto

Do you listen to podcasts? According to Convince & Convert, over 1/5 of the population does. If you’re one of them, you probably have your favorite podcasters; if you’re not, you might be missing out on a great way to learn about a wide variety of topics. You can listen to podcasts while jogging, driving or doing just about anything, so they’re really a convenient and simple way to be entertained or learn something (or, preferably, both!).

Learning the ins and outs of marketing and SEO takes lots of time, but if you listen to certain podcasts, you can cut down your learning curve. Here is a list of podcasts that might be just right for the small-business owner or entrepreneur who wants to learn how to market his or her website or business using digital marketing, SEO or other strategies. When you are trying to find a podcast that fits, personality is key; no matter how informative someone is, if you find their voice annoying or don’t like the way they approach topics, you’re not going to get much out of it. So if none of these work for you, don’t be afraid to keep trying to find a podcast that speaks to you personally and gives you the tips you need to succeed.

As Told by Nomads

As Told by Nomads is a great one for anyone who enjoys thinking out of the box a bit. The guests include a lot of innovators, particularly those who have traveled the world and made names for themselves in their new locations. Even if you aren’t planning on taking off for Fiji or even another state, some of the tips might give you some great inspiration as you look for novel ways to market yourself and your business.

The Fizzle Show

Have you been looking for information on how to grow your business, gain a bigger audience or otherwise improve your online business? If so, The Fizzle Show might be just the podcast you need. The hosts are entertaining and you’ll find yourself laughing as you learn how to maximize your marketing strategy to attract and pull in your target customers.

Edge of the Web

The Edge of the Web podcast tells you about all things digital marketing, from SEO strategies, to keeping your online reputation healthy, to the newest Google updates and how they might affect you and your business. They have a variety of guests with different levels and topics of expertise, so you’re very likely to learn something new from each episode.

SEO Dojo Radio

Are you ready to get serious about your SEO and content strategies? If so, SEO Dojo Radio is a podcast that you shouldn’t miss. You’ll be able to get the news when it comes to what’s going on with search engines, as well as hear the opinions of the experienced hosts and their speakers.

There are countless other podcasts out there that can help you market your business better. Take a look through your favorite Internet radio and podcast service to find shows that you’ll find helpful and interesting, and try to make time each week to listen to a show. Over time, your knowledge base will widen with just a little bit of effort on your part.

How can you use the Foursquare partnership with Apple Maps to your advantage?

How can you use the Foursquare partnership with Apple Maps to your advantage?

With upwards of 94 million iPhones in use during the first quarter of 2015, ita��s safe to say that lots and lots of people are using the Apple Maps app while out and about. In fact, if youa��ve ever asked Siri how to get to the nearest coffeeshop, to a specific address or, feeling hopelessly lost, how to get home, youa��ve likely used Apple Maps yourself. (In 2012, Apple switched its default map program from Google Maps to Apple Maps.)

It was recently discovered and reported on SearchEngineLand that Foursquare is now playing a part in supplying Apple Maps with information, as evidenced as its appearance on Apple Mapsa��s acknowledgement and copyrights page. This means that when you ask Siri to give you directions to the best place to get a slice of pizza, she will no longer refer solely on the reviews and information on TripAdvisor or, but will also take Foursquarea��s information into consideration.

So, what does this mean for you? Your business might already have a listing on Foursquare; if it does, it might also have a star rating and some reviews. By claiming the listing as your own, you can add photos, list your hours of operation, add links to your website, and so on. You can also pay Foursquare to promote your listing, which can boost your overall visibility.

Some other ideas for promoting your Foursquare account are:

Asking your customers to leave you a review. Ask your happy customers to rate your business on Foursquare and, if they want to, to leave a review. The higher your star rating, the more likely iPhone and Apple Maps users will want to check you out when theya��re looking for the services that you provide. You can add an incentive, too; offer customers 10% off their next order or purchase if they leave you a review.

Using your Foursquare reviews in ads or testimonials. If youa��re placing ads, link a good testimonial to your Foursquare site. This will allow potential buyers to see all of your ratings.

Link your Foursquare account to your social media accounts and website. While your typical Siri-user might be driving or in a rush, others using Apple Maps and Foursquare will be looking for more information. Include your contact information, including your social media links, in your Foursquare listing to get more hits (and, hopefully, sales). It should go without saying that your social media accounts should be updated regularly if youa��re going to promote them.

With this recent partnership between Foursquare and Apple Maps, you now have a greater opportunity to reach new customers and clients who use these apps. Since the relationship between these two services seems to be somewhat new, it will take some time to see what impact it will have. Making sure that your listings are updated on all platforms is a wise move, no matter what the overall effect from this change turns out to be.

Creative Commons image courtesy of Nan Palmero.

online reviews
online reviews

How’s your online reputation?

Your mama might have told you that at the end of the day, all you have is your reputation. Before you write off this advice as old-fashioned, think about this: Today, your reputation precedes you, whether youa��re the Queen of England or the owner of a widget-shop in Smalltown, U.S.A.

How can this be? Ita��s the nature of the Internet. If Bob has a good or bad experience at a motel in any city in the country, he can share his thoughts with literally anyone in the world who has an Internet connection. Between online reviews, Facebook pages, personal blogs and web forums, you can find information about nearly any business out there.

This can be a blessing or a curse: As a business-owner, you want people to be giving you good reviews. The better your reviews, the more likely it is that potential clients will pick up the phone and give you a call. On the other hand, bad reviews can lower your credibility and, ultimately, your bottom line.

Over time, most businesses will get at least a couple of less-than-stellar reviews. Remember that you cana��t make everyone happy all of the time. Bad reviews might happen, and thata��s okay; you just need some strategies in place to get past them.

Ask for Reviews

You need to come up with a systematic way to ask all of your customers and clients for reviews. It can be as simple as printing a request at the bottom of each invoice and email. Include the link to your Yelp, Glassdoor, Google or Yahoo Review page.

If you are on Facebook, you can ask your contacts to like your page and add a review. Sweeten the deal by offering a free product or service to one reviewer per month. The more reviews you A�have on social media, the more likely someone is to leave a new review.

Perform Damage Control

So, youa��ve gotten a poor review. It happens to everyone. There are a few ways you can deal with it:

  • Ignore it.
  • Try to rectify the situation.
  • Blast the reviewer and air whatever dirty laundry you can about what he or she did wrong.

You obviously know that the last option isna��t really an option! Or, we hope you know. Either of the first two might work, though. If you can, try to reach out and find out if you can do anything to make the reviewer happy. A comped meal or service, or perhaps just an apology for whatever went wrong might ease tension and prompt the writer to update the review.

On the other hand, sometimes saying nothing is better. If the former client has been unreasonable in the past or has included foul language or veiled threats in the review, it might be better to just leave well enough alone. People reading unprofessional reviews will generally skip over them.

Either way, evaluate whether you need to make changes in the way your business is run or in your service or product in response to any negative reviews that you do get.

Stay on Top of Reviews

Remember that whatever you find out about yourself by running a Google search today might not be valid tomorrow. People add reviews at all hours of the day and night. Make it a weekly habit to check your review sites. This way, you can nip any potential issues in the bud.

Also, be sure that your name, address, phone number and other contact information are correct. Occasionally they are wrong; if they are, youa��ll need to go through the offending website to have your listing updated.

Being aware of your online reputation is an important part of running a business in 2015. Dona��t forget to remain aware of your reviews.

Creative Commons image by tec_estromberg (Flickr)