Are you an amateur or a pro in your business? Here are 6 signs you’re a pro

Being a professional in how you run your business gives you a much greater chance of success. Here are six signs you’re a pro:

You recognise other professionals

Professionals recognise other professionals. There’s an aura you project when you’re a pro, and other pros will spot it almost immediately. Professionals want to deal with other professionals, and they keep away from the amateurs. It’s a different league. Do you want to play with the professionals? Then be one. 

You understand the value of the services you use

The amateur looks to cut corners everywhere. He is always scrounging around looking for the cheapest option (Hint: someone, somewhere, will almost always offer to do it for less!)

The amateur doesn’t value professionals. She thinks they are overcharging her for everything, or worse, she thinks she can just do it all herself. “Why pay someone to run my Google Ads, when I can do it myself” she says. But then she finds those ads don’t convert into new customers, and they end up costing way more than they should. Then the amateur throws her arms up in the air and says that Google Ads are a waste of money. Meanwhile, the professional has an expert running her Google Ads and has just quadrupled her business in six months.

You’re prepared to pay for expert help

The pro understands that professionals pay for expertise. The amateur gets his cousin to build his new website in exchange for a case of beer. But then that website takes forever to get built, and when it finally does go live, the images take too long to load, and it’s missing lead generation devices, or it hasn’t been optimised correctly for search engines, or any of the other things that a professional would have done to use the website to help the business grow. The professional gets his website built by a pro, and while it might cost more, before too long, that site is getting found on Google and it’s generating new leads and new customers for the business.

You see an investment where an amateur just sees a cost

The amateur looks at the cost of a service and just sees it as an expense. That new website; the management of Google Ads or Facebook advertising; the marketing strategy – to an amateur, these are just costs.

The professional looks at return on the investment. The pro thinks about things like the lifetime value of a customer, and compares that to the customer acquisition cost. That is, how much is a new customer worth? And what did it cost to acquire them?

If a new client is going to be worth $50,000 to your business, and they cost $5,000 to acquire, would you do it? These are the questions a professional asks. The amateur just sees the $5,000 and views it as an expense. The professional sees the value, and the return from the investment, and uses that thinking to grow his business.

You run your business the way a captain steers a ship

The professional has a plan, the way a captain has a course. That plan shows a starting point and a destination. The professional spends her time working to the plan, doing what she is an expert at, and she engages other professionals to do what they are expert at. And before long, the business is being run as a professional outfit, achieving much better results.

You show up and do the work

The professional shows up. He turns up everyday, and does what is required, day in and day out. The amateur looks for the easy way out.

Muhammad Ali said “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” He showed up. He was a pro.

He also said “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

Sure, the amateur can get lucky. Could an amateur have knocked out Ali? It’s remotely possible – very, very, very remotely possible. The “lucky punch” can land, pretty much the way a lottery ticket could win. Ali would have won, and won easily against an amateur while he was in his professional prime. It wouldn’t even have been a contest.

That’s the life of the professional: They do the work. They are always looking to improve themselves and their business, and they surround themselves with a team of experts (both internal and external to the business) who help them get there.

You have a choice: to be an amateur or a professional in your business.  But if you want to give your business the best chance of success, then take the road of the professional.


Savvy marketing: how to use influencers to promote your business

Who doesn’t love a recommendation from a person they admire?

When Kylie Jenner posted a photo and endorsed the Fashion Nova clothing she was wearing, that single Instagram post received over 3 million likes!

Now of course, most small businesses are unlikely to ever engage the services of a mega-celebrity, but using influential people to help promote your product, service or brand is a powerful way to market and the growth of this approach is backed up by research.

The proof is in the stats

A 2015 study by Schlesinger Associates found that 84% of marketing and communications professionals worldwide expected to launch at least one campaign involving an influencer in the next 12 months.

In addition, the 2016 Reuters Institute Digital News Report found that 47% of online consumers use ad blockers making it far less feasible to run ads to attract customers. On top of that, Google Trends shows the growing popularity of the term ‘influencer marketing’ against the more traditional term ‘print advertising.’

These statistics underline the fact that influencer marketing – using influential people to engage with your target audience – can be a creative and cost-effective way for small businesses to take advantage of the power of social media to help promote their products, services and brands.

Types of influencer marketing

When we talk about ‘influencer marketing’ there are a couple of different approaches: paid influencer marketing and earned influencer marketing.

Paid influencers are sponsored or paid for their testimonials on behalf of another company. In the same way a company might pay to put an ad online, they can pay an influencer to talk about their service or product to their existing audience. Compensation can be a monetary transaction or payment could also include receiving something for free.

Earned influencers are unpaid endorsers of a product. Sometimes an influencer might be impressed enough by a product or service that they will provide an unsolicited endorsement. An earned influencer may have a pre-existing relationship with a company and an endorsement could be motivated both by a feeling of goodwill as well as enthusiasm for a product. And it’s also worth remembering that sometimes potential customers view earned influencers as more trustworthy as they are not getting paid.

When you are deciding on the best approach for your business, you need to consider how you identify the influencers, how you market to them, and then how you market through them (earned or paid) and how to market with them (by making them an advocate or in some cases even a partner).  Companies have emerged – such as and – who can help businesses find social media influencers to suit their brands and also assist them in managing influencer marketing campaigns.

There are even some companies, like Pretty Little Thing, who watch what celebrities wear and rather than approach them and ask them to wear their clothes, they create identical, cost-effective products and then promote to their audiences that a celebrity has already worn a particular look.

Interested in learning more?  Here are some tips on how you can use influencer marketing to help you market your business:

Identify your influencers

Who are the leaders in your industry whose opinion counts and who have a loyal following on social media?  Look for influencers who share the values of your brand and have some knowledge of your type of product or service because consistency is critical when promoting your offering. And seek out trendsetters who are early adopters of new ideas as they are likely to be to make an impact and have a strong social following. Your aim is to identify those people who best connect with your business’ target audience so you can equip them to help promote your business for you.  For example, imagine you own a handbag company and your target audience is women between the ages of 25 and 45.  In this case, you might find potential influencers among mummy bloggers and fashion stylists.

small business marketing brisbane

Connect with influencers

Connecting with influencers is all about building a relationship with them. Consider the channels you already use to market your business. It will be much easier to connect with potential influencers if you already have a presence on the same social media channels.  Spend some time observing the social media activity of your potential influencers to determine whether your brand is a good fit for their followers.  Engage with them online: on Twitter, you could mention an influencer in your own tweet or re-tweet on of their posts. On Instagram, comment on their photos or mention them in your own posts, and share their posts on Facebook. You could also look for opportunities to guest post on blogs and take part in online discussions.

Create engaging content

Social media users don’t want to be talked at or endure a ‘hard sell’; they want to experience engagement with other people. So if you want your product or service to be noticed, make sure your content is current, relevant and authentic.  Consider offering your influencers first release on new products or give them exclusive offers to promote – this approach will keep your content fresh to their followers and keep your influencers engaged as well.

Track your progress

One of the advantages of social media is that it is trackable meaning you can collect useful data about your customers or potential customers by measuring their behaviour. You can then use these insights to inform your future marketing efforts to make them more targeted and effective.

Influencer marketing is a clever, creative way to create enthusiasm for your brand, product or service by equipping influential people to help you reach your target audience.  We can help you explore how influencer marketing can work for your business.

Call us at: (07) 3878 1448 or Email:


Make your first impression count

Did you know that it takes only seconds for people to form an impression of you? That’s right. Seconds.

In our digital-driven world, the first impressions people are likely to form about you will happen online via your LinkedIn profile photo, website bio, Instagram pic or Facebook page.

So it’s important your online presence expresses the positive attributes of your company or personal brand so you can make a strong first impression and bring new business and opportunities your way.

When it comes to headshots, it’s worth getting them done professionally by a company that offers an end-to-end service comprising make-up, hair, styling and photography.

makeup-for-photography-brisbaneOne such company is Brisbane Headshots which has partnered with The Powder Room – a team of hair stylists and make-up artist specialising in special occasion hair and make-up – to deliver an end-to-end headshots photography service.

Recently I gave Brisbane Headshots a try to see what they could offer.

From the start of our interactions, I was impressed by Brisbane Headshots’ professionalism and the time their team took to understand the nature of our business and our brand, and to discuss the image I wanted to convey in my photo.

Because our marketing agency, SMARTink, focuses on helping grow small and medium size businesses, it’s very important that we quickly establish rapport with potential clients, earn their trust, and inspire their confidence in our capabilities.

With that in mind, I wanted my photo to be modern and fresh and to convey warmth and approachability while also projecting a sense of professionalism and competence.

Brisbane Headshots made sure my hair and make-up fitted the brief and also offered me a range of photographic backdrops to best fit the mood I was trying to create.

Brisbane_headshots_linkedin_womensTheir light-filled studio with its gorgeous outlook, along with the professionalism of their stylists and photographers, made the experience positive and produced exactly the photo I was looking for.  You can view the finished photo on our About us page.

So if you think your photo on LinkedIn doesn’t matter much, think again. How you present yourself via social media can have a profound effect on your image and reputation.

Remember that the images people see of you online will help them form a first impression of you.

It’s worth making sure first impressions count and investing in a professional headshot.

How You Know It’s Time for a New Website

Before you allocate your digital marketing budget this year it’s important to consider where the funds need to go. One area that is often overlooked as something that is ‘set and forget’ is your website. Just because you had your company’s website built 5 years ago does not mean your job is done. So we have put together a bit of a Website Health Check for your brand. If you say ‘Yes!’ to any of the following five points, it’s time to think about improving your existing site or getting a new website.

Number One: You cringe every time someone starts to say ‘I’ve just been on your website and…’

If you dread the ending of this sentence then there is a reason for it. Whether you’re anticipating another bug, some responsive issue or a comment on how they couldn’t navigate their way around your website this phrase made you nervous. You certainly weren’t expecting a compliment. Your website is your home. You should be proud of your home, instead of wanting to close the front door.

Number Two: You don’t have a blog.

This one is a pretty easy fix. If you do have a blog, look at the date of when your last one was published. If it was more than a month ago, it’s time to get writing. However, customers don’t just settle for blogs anymore. You have to go further. Your entire website has to be the definition of free and valuable information. Think E­books, Digital Guides and Free Digital Asset Giveaways. Load your customers up with valuable information so when it comes time for them to make a purchase, they will know where to go.

Number Three: You don’t know if it’s mobile responsive or not.

Is your website over 5 years old? Is your website custom made? If so, then there is a decent chance that your website is not responsive. This means when potential customers go to your website on their mobile or tablet, the page doesn’t format properly and is next to impossible to use. The number of people looking at websites on their mobile devices is now over 50%. If your website isn’t mobile responsive it means at least 50% of your audience are probably having a hard time viewing your site. People will not settle for less. No excuses anymore, it’s time to upgrade.

Number Four: Do you find yourself asking ‘Do we have a contact form on our website or has no one filled it out?’ since I started here a year ago?

Firstly, if you’ve been with the company that long I’d like to hope you’ve seen the website. The point is if you’re not getting enquiries on your website there is a reason for it. Firstly, check which email account has been set up to receive the forms. Next, work out how to get to the form. Did it take you more than two clicks? The contact form has to be easy to find and easy to fill out. It can’t get more simple than that.

Number Five: If you hid your logo and tagline would you be able to tell what your business does from the home screen?

If your website does not represent your brand accurately there is a problem. Your website should convey what you do without visitors relying on your logo, tagline and headline copy. It should have a feel and look about it. Also, if you have a stack of cheesy stock photos on your website please remove them.

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions you need to do something about it. Your website says a lot about not only your brand but the way you conduct business. A website that is not maintained reflects poorly on your business. Money should not be the primary reason you’ve let your website go. There are plenty of low cost ways to improve your website and a host of small changes you can make immediately that will make a big difference to the overall user experience of your site.

If you like the idea of improving your website but are afraid of the costs, get in contact with us right now. You’ll be surprised at just how affordable it is to get your website up to scratch.

Call us at: (07) 3878 1448 or Email: