Small Businesses Make for Great Partnerships

Small Businesses Make for Great Partnerships

Running a small business is a fantastic opportunity to build relationships within your local community. Whether you offer products or services, have a brick and mortar or do everything online. One thing remains true, we cannot do it alone. Forging relationships within the community is vital to small business success. We at HeartWired have found that other small businesses make for great partnerships.

Partnerships come in all shapes and sizes. For us we partner with local business owners quite often. Sometimes not so local in order to provide the services our clients expect and trust. In doing so we also are able to remain nimble and relatively affordable in providing the solutions that we offer. HeartWired is excited to announce that we have decided to expand our local commitment and partnerships in Jacksonville. We are one of the newest small business partners with our local hockey team, the Jacksonville Icemen.

Okay, we realize that you might be scratching your head. Why a marketing agency like ours would see hockey as a opportunity to develop relationships in our community? Let us share a bit about how that journey unfolded.

Many may or may not recall that Jacksonville as a city has a history with hockey teams.

I am sure many are thinking of if not the current team, the Lizard Kings (1995-2000). Or perhaps the Jacksonville Barracudas (2002-2008). There is actually some hockey history that dates back even further. Dating back to a league that no longer exists the Eastern Hockey League. The first true professional hockey team was the Jacksonville Rockets (1964-1972). They played both in Jacksonville as well as shared space in St. Petersburg, Florida. Little did we know until we were discussing the opportunity to partner with the Icemen, that our owner’s grandfather was a part in bringing hockey to town back in the 60’s. We would be remiss if we did not also mention the Cleveland Barons that moved to Jacksonville only to shut down operations a year later. Unknowingly besides being a fan of the game for many years, our owner has some local hockey history as well.

With all of that history, we are thankful that hockey is back in Jacksonville!

jacksonville icemen, echl hockey, lizard kings, hockey game, small business, community first igloo, vystar veterans arena

Which brings us to the 2021-2022 hockey season. A season that kicks off its first home game to a sell out crowd at the Jacksonville Vystar Veterans Arena. We announced the partnership briefly when we first signed up a few weeks ago. We like many other Icemen fans are looking forward to a fantastic All-Star season ahead. What better way to come together as a community than to cheer on our local team. Sure other sports teams have draw power, but local sports teams represent the community. A community we at HeartWired are proud to call our home.

Partnering with a small business within our own community to build relationships on and off the ice

If you take a moment and look at the Jacksonville Icemen website. You will see how involved they are right here in Jacksonville. Also you can see the other great small businesses that have decided to come alongside their local team. Many of these are small business owners just like us that see the value of being a part of something bigger than ourselves. Having the opportunity to not only cheer on the Icemen on the ice. Building relationships with other like-minded fans and business owners in the stands. As well as other moments off the ice during the season at various events sponsored by the Icemen.

We are looking forward to the drop of the puck and all the goals this year with the Icemen. If you would like to experience a game first hand, we would love to possibly have you as our guest, or put you in contact with one of the great team members at the Icemen. One advantage of doing business with a local team is they are able to cater more to your specific needs and budget. Joining the Jacksonville Icemen is a win win for everyone involved as we cheer on and support one another in our community.

See you on the ice!

New Year, New Team Members, New Services

New Year, New Team Members, New Services

Since HeartWired’s inception in 2016, we have been known primarily as a web design agency. While we have offered others services and solutions all along, we did not market or promote them, until now. We have been holding this secret for a little while now. I am personally excited to announce we also are adding new team members and services.

Businesses and nonprofits each have different level of needs when creating their brand. While a website is a large portion of their identity, and we will continue to focus on that service, we recognize there is more involved. By providing more solutions, we are able to be your go to agency for all your brand needs in the New Year. 

 

Creating a brand identity goes beyond simply a fancy logo and a pretty website.

 

While both are critical in our opinion. Part of developing the brand identity is to dive into the heart behind that brand. We have brought on a team member, our new ‘Graphic Wizard’, Lucy. Lucy will magically guide you through the branding process with mood boards and other tools of the trade. Guiding you in developing a logo and other assets that really amplify your brand.

 

About our Graphic Wizard (Graphic Designer) Lucy…

 

graphic designer

 

Lucy Kates was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, and has been a creative her entire life. She knew from a young age she wanted to be an artist, and has been aiming to be a professional doodler ever since. Lucy graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design & Digital Media in 2019. Outside of graphic design and illustration, she’s dabbled in painting, digital photography, and various other artistic mediums. She’s happy she can work in a field she’s passionate about while helping small businesses grow and actively shape the community around us.

 

When you have a business or nonprofit, you have a story that is at the center of it’s existence. One way of sharing the compelling story comes in the shapes of words and content. We have found that many times this content can be the most difficult part of any project for the client. While you know what and why you do what you do best, sometimes telling others is quite difficult. We can now help create professionally written content for your website. Offering other opportunities as well, such as blog posts, press releases and more. We would like to introduce Heather, our new content creator or ‘Word Slayer’.

 

 

A tad bit about our Word Slayer (Content Writer), Heather… 

team members

 

Heather is the trusty Swiss-army knife in the communication toolbox, capable of using multiple skills to perform multiple tasks in a wide variety of situations. Technical writing, creative writing, editing, marketing, and event planning are a few of her strongest skills. Military families, human trafficking victims, and homeschooling are a few of her greatest passions. From raising and homeschooling five exemplary children with her wounded warrior husband to graduating Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University (Dec 2015), she has the consistent dedication necessary to see tasks through from beginning to end. Heather’s experience working with a variety of ministries and non-profit organizations combined with her heart for serving others makes her uniquely positioned to compassionately address many issues while using her knowledge base and skill set to accelerate results.

 

We also will be hosting an intern for the spring semester. Safiya Dewji is Marketing major with a minor in Digital Media at University of Central Florida. She will providing Social Media and Marketing expertise for the next few months as she works alongside our team of experts.

 

Won’t you join us in welcoming our two newest team members and part of the HeartWired family. We look forward to continuing to provide services that matter. One way to do that is to build a team of passionate people that truly love what they do. We are looking forward to the New Year, and opportunities to serve our clients.

 

If you or someone you know is interested in joining our growing team, we are always looking for creatives to join us. So if you are a web designer, developer, project manager, or other creative contact us and lets chat.

 

5 Holiday Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Email List

5 Holiday Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Email List

It doesn’t matter if you sell real estate, offer cleaning services, make homemade jellies, or write books for a living – if you have a business, you need email subscribers and the best way to grow that email list is to offer an effective lead magnet.

Lead magnets are downloadable and/or printable gifts given in exchange for a person’s contact information. A potential customer visits your website, a little pop-up box offers them the opportunity to download a free ebook, template, newsletter, etc, they enter their email address and BAM! They are now on your email list.

What Makes a Lead Magnet Effective?

Think about what it would take for you to offer up your own personal email address. Sifting through junk mail and unsubscribing from companies who spam us definitely takes up too much of our time, so you want to be sure to offer your subscribers quality content that:

  • Solves a problem
  • Establishes you and your company as subject matter experts
  • Offers immediate access to the promised gift
  • Delivers high value content

If you can meet your customers’ needs, demonstrate your expertise, deliver on your promises promptly, and wow them with quality products and information, your web visitors will be well on their way to becoming lifelong customers. And it all starts with a simple lead magnet.

‘Tis the Season

The holiday season is the perfect time to stand out from your competitors by adding a personal touch to your business interactions. Here are a few ideas for adding a little holiday flare to some of the most effective lead magnet ideas in the world of marketing.

  1. New Year Calendar

This is the perfect time to offer a calendar of ideas for the new year. Are you a mom blogger? Offer a calendar of weekly date night ideas for staying connected to your spouse in the new year. Do you sell real estate? Create a calendar of upcoming events in your community. Do you run a non-profit? Provide a calendar of national days related to your cause, highlight upcoming events and service opportunities, and suggest ways families can support your cause throughout the year. The sky is the limit!

Calendars are also a great way to offer daily/weekly journal prompts, meal ideas, social media prompts, self-care ideas, educational activities, and more.

  1. Holiday Checklist

There are so many great possibilities here. Create a checklist for last minute Christmas gift ideas, people (beyond friends/family) to buy gifts for, cookie supplies, Christmas movies to watch, a family Christmas bucket list, etc…

You can also think of ways to incorporate your business in that checklist to establish yourself as an expert. If you work in the automotive industry, maybe you’ll want to offer a checklist for winterizing your car before travelling this holiday season. If you are a photographer, you can provide a list of do’s and don’ts for capturing the most magical holiday photos.

Checklists are the most popular and most effective lead magnets because they are quick for marketers to create and simple for consumers to use. Plus, they are easy to change up when seasons, products, and trends change throughout the year.

  1. Recipes

This isn’t just for the food bloggers out there! Everyone loves a good tried-and-true holiday recipe. Help your clientele feel like part of the family by offering a roundup of your employees’ favorite family recipes. Be sure to include the famous catchphrases “From our Family to Yours” or “From Our Kitchen to Yours”. The holidays really do bring people together and feeling like part of the family converts viewers/followers to loyal customers.

  1. Video Tutorial

Create a video tutorial showing how to do that exercise, bake those cookies, utilize that template, or download that software. Bonus points if you’re wearing a Santa hat, playing Jingle Bells in the background, or eating a candy cane throughout the video.

Your business and your brand are important, so give your clients a face to associate with that company they’ve come to know and trust. The holidays are the perfect time to make things personal and welcome your followers into your world.

  1. Give “One Free…”

Everyone loves to get something for free, especially at Christmas. So, give away your greatest holiday gifts such as the first chapter of your book, a free coaching session, a free consultation, or a free sample of something you sell. Give them a little taste for free and they’ll be coming back for more as a paying customer.

5 Practical Tips to Vetting a Web Agency in Jacksonville

5 Practical Tips to Vetting a Web Agency in Jacksonville

Most people like to think they have a great website that is appealing visually. Picking and vetting a web agency in Jacksonville can be a different story. Having a vision and taking it from an idea to a finished product can be overwhelming. Wanting to take on designing a website, many soon realize that they may not have the technical knowledge, patience, or time to create their vision to their own satisfaction. This is where picking a web agency to create your website can help.

Finding and hiring a web agency in Jacksonville is easy. Vetting the right agency that has the web professionals skilled for your project might not be as easy. Our designers and developers at HeartWired are trained professionals that will guide you through the process of designing your website. Whether you are a start-up just starting out or an established business in need of a redesign. Our focus is to create and tell your business’s story in a way only you can.

Let’s discuss what five tips we have to vetting a web agency in Jacksonville.

Determine your budget

While this may seem a logical step, we have found many clients who have no idea what their budget is. Having a budget in mind will help you eliminate those web agencies that are simply outside of what you are willing or able to spend. It also helps you establish guidelines upfront when selecting an agency to work with.

Check References

One way to find a web design professional in Jacksonville is to ask their previous clients. Hopefully, you can find some testimonials on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and others as a starting point. It is also important to ask the web agency during your discovery consultation if they have references they would be willing to share. A great way to vet the agency is by the words of others.

Storyboard Your Vision

Having a vision for your business will make the design and development process simpler for all involved. Using a storyboard or some other process to iron out the majority of your business vision before shopping for a web agency in Jacksonville will make the vetting and hiring process simpler. In addition by having a vision, you will eliminate potential scope creep that is encountered when you are not sure what you want.

Watch out for Trendy Designers

This may sound a little counterintuitive but hear us out. We firmly believe the trends that appear in the design space many times are gorgeous..but. Those trends tend to lack longevity. What is popular today could be outdated in a year or two. Having a focus on modern design versus trendy will help your website from becoming the next GeoCities page.

Make Sure You Own Your Website

We cannot stress this enough. So many agencies find it appropriate to hold their clients’ site ransom by controlling the ownership. Whether the agency offers ongoing services and support (and they should) your ownership is not a bargaining chip. When we build a website for our fellow small businesses in Jacksonville, we are more than willing to give our clients access to their site. This includes access to the WordPress dashboard along with their database as they so desire. So many times we hear horror stories about clients who have no access to the website they paid for, and we simply do not understand that methodology.

Agencies in Jacksonville as well as elsewhere that operate with transparency and integrity should have no problem being vetted. They know their work, as well as the relationships with their clients, speak for themselves.

We at HeartWired hope you have enjoyed these 5 tips on vetting a web agency in Jacksonville. While this list is only the beginning, we pray that it has given you a good understanding and foundation for starting your web development process.

We love serving our local community in Jacksonville, FL as well as elsewhere. If you or someone you know could use a new website, please share these tips and contact us to discuss your website vision.

5 Tips on How to Keep Marketing Compassionate During COVID-19

5 Tips on How to Keep Marketing Compassionate During COVID-19

The past few weeks have been one for the record books. We all have been forced to adjust amid this latest pandemic COVID-19. Personally, social distancing is a bit of a normal daily routine as is washing our hands. However, the latest events have even introverts like us a bit weary.

Our company is used to working remotely so that has not been a huge change for us. Our daily operations, along with the closures of vendors, clients, and a shift in our normal activities has been a cause for reevaluating our processes.

During these uneasy times, there are a lot of questions we keep hearing from other small businesses as well as other agencies. Many of these questions surround marketing, and how or even if they should be promoting themselves or their services during times of fear. Should we talk about COVID-19? Will we keep selling while people are cutting back? Shall we discuss the things we are doing to keep our customers safe? How much is too much or how little is too little as far as our level of communication and transparency?

So many questions, it is all a bit overwhelming to consider, isn’t it?

At HeartWired Digital, we put a great deal of effort into being transparently human in everything we do. Compassion for others is our focal point as we believe that people are the pulse of our business. We do this with intention, and even when we are in crisis as many would say we are now, we do our research first before being compulsory in our messaging.

Would it be easier to jump on the pandemic bandwagon and use fear of the unknown as a tactic? Possibly. Is it better to use a knee-jerk reaction to a media story? Or to change our message in order to fit the mainstream? Perhaps. You will not find us or hopefully our clients doing either though. In times of uncertainty, do you need to adjust your sails? Absolutely! Do you need to quit marketing and start placating to the whims of others? Never!

We have put together some tips on how to effectively (and compassionately) market your business during the COVID-19 crisis.

First and foremost before we even jump into that, one thing you should NOT be doing at this time is…

“Don’t use fear to get sales!”

This should go without saying, but so many messages out there are manipulating peoples’ emotions by focusing on fear. This is the time to be transparent and provide security rather than take advantage of a vulnerable population. Do things now, that provide even a higher level of sensitivity than you may even normally provide. The way we as businesses behave in times of need will reflect in loyalty from your customers in times of comfort.

Now back to the tips businesses can use to keep marketing compassionate during COVID-19.

Tips on How to Keep Marketing Compassionate During COVID-19

While we are in uncharted waters for our time as far as marketing goes, or just business in general. While it is okay to market, in fact, we encourage you to market your brand during these uneasy times versus stopping. It all takes a different level of sensitivity to your message as well as what your clients need.

Your Emails May Need Rewriting

Many companies write their marketing emails weeks if not months in advance and then schedule them using their CRM. While this is a great practice to ensure that you have campaigns running while creativity may be lapsing. The emails you wrote in February quite possibly are not the right message you should be using now. A good practice is to review your upcoming emails to ensure they are empathetic to the time we currently are surviving in.

Social Media Marketing for Information Rather Than Sales

Advertising dollars should be spent on social media marketing as you usually would. In fact, you may even consider increasing them with the upcoming bonuses from both Google and Facebook while available. Your message likely needs to adjust. Right now many people have slowed or even suspended their spending. Rather than advertising for sales, now is the time to be marketing to build. Build your list by providing more value through your marketing.

Market Value for Sales Later

People are scared and they don’t know what the economy looks like tomorrow. Many small to mid-size businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. The last thing they need or want is another sales pitch. If you have the capacity to focus beyond tomorrow and offer more value today for free, you will be remembered. They will remember the one that provided empathy and were willing to give away their content during times of uncertainty. If you are constantly pitching people to buy during your “Coronavirus Sale”, you likely are losing more customers than you will ever gain.

It’s Not About You, It Never Was.

People like to know that the businesses that they give their hard-earned money to, care about them. Let me rephrase, people like to have a relationship with the local businesses they support. This means your messaging needs to reflect your community. If you are providing different hours, better pricing, or new services during this time, let them know. People will care more about that than hearing how you are washing your hands, cleaning after your customers, and have stockpiles of toilet paper. Those are all things people take for granted that you are already doing on a daily basis, they really don’t want to read about it in your newsletter or on your website.

Make Sure Your Business Can Be Found

How we all are used to doing business has likely changed forever, or at least in part. The new normal will look a bit different than the way small to medium-sized businesses do business. One thing many realized quickly as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded is they needed a way to be found. Many businesses resorted to marketing their message on solely social media since they did not have a website. Unfortunately, everyone did that and therefore their message likely was muted if not blocked entirely. Having a website, even a simple brochure site has become vital. Not only in times when everyone is online but also when we return to our new normal.

Prepare Now for Tomorrow’s Surge (Extra Tip)

Whenever there is a crisis that affects our economy, especially an economy as strong as ours was before this all started, you need to be prepared for the surge. People are resilient. They will be looking to grow their business and make up for lost time and income. One way to prepare your business now for the surge is to ensure not only your message but also your SEO, your brand, your story, will all resonate and have a long-reaching effect. While we are in this “stay at home” model for the short-term, businesses need to be working on the long-term as far as their marketing goals and strategy.

Wrapping Up

At HeartWired we have always tried to meet our customers where they are (currently this includes Zoom meetings, Chats, Email, etc.). The more businesses are able to be flexible and adjust to the changing times, we increase our chances of not only survival but growth.

We understand these are uncertain times and hope that you have been able to gain some insight on how to adjust your marketing accordingly to the brand new world we live in. The ability to pivot and adjust your verticle markets allows your business to grow even during times like these.

Empathy and compassion for others will gain more loyalty in the long run than any other marketing campaign you and your creative team can come up with.

If you would like to discuss how HeartWired Digital Solutions can help your business grow, please contact us online or give us a call 904.660.5185.

Stay healthy and safe everyone, together we are stronger.