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November 12, 2012
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Problem. Solved. 
  • Differentiating your product and boosting sales through branding
    Lisa Will, founder of Stonz Wear, which makes clothing for children, is looking for a way to set her company apart from competitors who imitate its products. She doesn't have a patent for her designs, but experts say the company can set itself apart by focusing on making a personal connection with its customers and possibly overhauling the brand with a snappier name. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • 8 tips for getting people to read your social media posts
    Fine-tuning your social media posts can help to make sure your message resonates with consumers. Messages tend to receive fewer clicks on Twitter and LinkedIn when they contain question marks, and business-to-business posts tend to get more clicks if they include hashtags, according to research by Compendium. On Twitter, Wednesday is the best day for posting B2B messages, the research shows. Inc. online/Owners' Manual blog (free registration) (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How to drive traffic to your blog
    If you want to attract visitors to your company's blog, you'll need to update it on a regular basis and use social media to spread the word about your posts, Bill Blaney of Cameron Advertising writes. Also, share information about your blog on industry forums and consider distributing some of your articles as news releases, he recommends. B2C Marketing Insider (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Partner with local charities to give small business a boost
    Small businesses can create good will locally by helping out charities that their customers care about, writes Maria Valdez. Choose a local cause that complements your business, get employees involved and make sure to publicize your efforts. "Show customers how they can get involved and help too, whether by purchasing a product that supports the cause, donating money or shopping on a certain day," Valdez advises. Grow Smart Biz (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Long, drawn-out hiring processes can drive away talent
    Taking too long in the hiring process can drive away a top candidate, so make sure the team interviews and evaluates the talent within about three weeks, Keith Cline writes. "I'm not suggesting a knee-jerk reaction because you still need to be thorough and do a proper evaluation. But you should give a candidate a sense of 'Wow, we like you!' and reassurance that he or she is your No. 1 priority," he writes. Inc. online (free registration) (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Report: Bank bailout left small businesses in the cold
    The government's efforts to prop up banks in the wake of the financial crisis might not have done much to help small businesses, according to a report commissioned by the Small Business Administration. Banks that took bailout funds reduced their lending to small companies by a greater percentage than other banks did, according to the report. Bloomberg Businessweek (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Preliminary settlement reached on credit card fees
    A $7.2 billion preliminary agreement between major credit cards companies and retailers has been approved by a federal judge. The move means 8 million retailers are now part of a class, eligible for the money in cash or as temporary reductions in swipe fees, but merchants and trade groups said a settlement would take rights away from stores. Reuters (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tips & Tools 
  • 4 ways to boost your website's search engine rank
    Focusing too heavily on search engine optimization can actually work to your detriment if Google thinks you're trying to game the system, Scott Levy of Fuel Online writes. However, you can make your site more attractive to search engines by creating strong content, including relevant keywords and contributing articles to other sites. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How to ease your business-related stress
    Stress is par for the course for small-business owners, but there are ways to help yourself relax after a long day. Drink Montmorency cherry juice in place of alcoholic beverages, which can degrade the quality of your sleep. Also, consider getting an aromatherapy inhaler to soothe yourself with calming scents while on the go. Intuit Small Business Blog (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Featured Content 

Most Read 

Top five news stories selected by SmartBrief on Small Business readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
Just for Fun 
  • Turkeys gone wild
    The U.S. is home to nearly 7 million wild turkeys, up from just 30,000 roughly a century ago, thanks in part to an innovative conservation program that allows state wildlife officials to trade surplus turkeys for other animals such as otters, elk and grouse. Today, there are so many undomesticated turkeys flapping about that officials say the real problem is preventing them from disrupting traffic and property. National Public Radio (text and audio)/The Salt blog (11/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Here’s the truth, folks. Blogging is hard. It involves commitment."
--Bill Blaney, senior creative director and digital strategist for Cameron Advertising, writing at B2C Marketing Insider
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 John Jantsch, Editor at Large
John Jantsch is author of "Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide" and "The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself." John is a marketing and digital technology coach and creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small-business marketing system.

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