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Jill Brennan
Top 10% Sales and Marketing

Founder at

Member Since September 2017

Fortitude Valley, QLD, 4006

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I'm a marketing trainer, consultant and founder of Harbren Marketing.

After working with, for and in small businesses for 20+ years, I've had a front row seat to the confusion and frustration that plagues many business owners when it comes to marketing. So I'm on a mission to empower as many business owners as possible to make better decisions when it comes to growing their business.

Jill Brennan answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

Is it better to outsource your marketing or keep it in-house?

Given the complexity and range of skills required for marketing the ideal setup is a mixture of both inhouse and outsourcing.Having your own inhouse expertise, even if its only one person, gives you better understanding of how marketing works for your business.  You can be more responsive, get feedback directly on what works and what doesn't and its more sustainable over the longer term.  Even if the marketing person you have leaves then you will still retain whatever structures and resources they've put in place.   A better setup is to have your own inhouse marketing person in conjunction with a marketing coach or consultant so that person is supported and you can have consistency if personnel changes.The alternative is soley using an agency or outsourced talent.  Often this happens because a business owner feels overwhelmed by marketing and just wants it "handled", preferably other there, out of sight.  And of course, that can work well.  But if it doesn't or the agency wants to focus on different clients or any other changes happen and you stop working with them, then what have you got?  Often, not a lot.  All the ideas and knowhow is usually gone too and you're back to the beginning.I have a guide to seeking marketing help that I'll be releasing in the next few weeks.  If you want a copy let me know and I can forward a copy to you.  It lays out the pros and cons of each approach and what sort of businesses suit each option. 

Jill Brennan answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

What are some of the best marketing ideas you've seen by small businesses?

Dollar Shave Club video focusing on the customer and less on the product and doing it with humour.  It's been watched over 25 million times on YouTube.AirBnB were a struggling start up before they realised they needed to move to where their customers were on the other side of the country and get to know them - what they liked and disliked and why they used their service.  This became the seed material for how they marketed and the key information on their platform.Spanx - after the founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, got her product into Neiman Marcus, she went into the stores and talked to shoppers to make sure they knew about them.  She even moved a display stand to position it near the cash register.  This was important because she created a new product that people didn't know they needed until the product was explained to them.  She created a loyal fanbase that then helped her spread the word.Trinny London - Trinny Woodall, the founder, does videos several times per week on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.  Sometimes its about her make up range but most of the time, she focuses on helpful information for women. What is clever is that she shares, is vulnerable and has genuine empathy for her audience. She has built a very loyal following this way (around 850,000 followers).  As many of her videos are filmed while she's on the go (Ubers, back of a motorbike, black cabs, her own car), she's recently teamed up Black Cabs in London to create a "Trinny Taxi".  Its been painted her brand colours and set up as a studio where she does interviews with other people in the personal care industry.  It's clever because she's increasing awareness of her brand (a mobile billboard that stands out with the distinctive Trinny yellow), she's creating content for sharing on social channels and its different, a key point in a very competitive market. 

Jill Brennan answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Customer Acquisition

What's your trick to increase click though rate from your landing pages?

Split-testing is the best way to work out what is going to make a difference to your conversion rate.  A simple A/B test (this is where you create two variations of your landing page and send equal amounts of traffic to each until one is declared the 'winner' with the best conversion rate) is a great place to start.What to test depends on a few variables. Depending on the volume of traffic the page receives, you'll probably want to start with testing one variable at a time.  If you're using a landing page builder and the design is sound then you could start with trying different headlines, then move to images, call to action text, button colour.  If you're interested in finding out more about how to approach testing, I've written an extensive article about it.

Jill Brennan answered this question

How important are SEO and outbound links in blog copy?

Its good to have a couple of outbound links but inbound links are more important because they are like votes.  The more inbound links to your website (preferably by highly ranked or authority websites) then the more valuable your content is considered to be by the search engines.Do you have the SEO Yoast plugin for wordpress?  They have a number of prompts to optimise each post for SEO purposes.  If you follow their traffic light system (red, green, amber) and aim for all green then you're content will be in great SEO shape.  

Jill Brennan answered this question

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Jill Brennan answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

Is it better to outsource your marketing or keep it in-house?

Given the complexity and range of skills required for marketing the ideal setup is a mixture of both inhouse and outsourcing.Having your own inhouse expertise, even if its only one person, gives you better understanding of how marketing works for your business.  You can be more responsive, get feedback directly on what works and what doesn't and its more sustainable over the longer term.  Even if the marketing person you have leaves then you will still retain whatever structures and resources they've put in place.   A better setup is to have your own inhouse marketing person in conjunction with a marketing coach or consultant so that person is supported and you can have consistency if personnel changes.The alternative is soley using an agency or outsourced talent.  Often this happens because a business owner feels overwhelmed by marketing and just wants it "handled", preferably other there, out of sight.  And of course, that can work well.  But if it doesn't or the agency wants to focus on different clients or any other changes happen and you stop working with them, then what have you got?  Often, not a lot.  All the ideas and knowhow is usually gone too and you're back to the beginning.I have a guide to seeking marketing help that I'll be releasing in the next few weeks.  If you want a copy let me know and I can forward a copy to you.  It lays out the pros and cons of each approach and what sort of businesses suit each option. 

Jill Brennan answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

What are some of the best marketing ideas you've seen by small businesses?

Dollar Shave Club video focusing on the customer and less on the product and doing it with humour.  It's been watched over 25 million times on YouTube.AirBnB were a struggling start up before they realised they needed to move to where their customers were on the other side of the country and get to know them - what they liked and disliked and why they used their service.  This became the seed material for how they marketed and the key information on their platform.Spanx - after the founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, got her product into Neiman Marcus, she went into the stores and talked to shoppers to make sure they knew about them.  She even moved a display stand to position it near the cash register.  This was important because she created a new product that people didn't know they needed until the product was explained to them.  She created a loyal fanbase that then helped her spread the word.Trinny London - Trinny Woodall, the founder, does videos several times per week on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.  Sometimes its about her make up range but most of the time, she focuses on helpful information for women. What is clever is that she shares, is vulnerable and has genuine empathy for her audience. She has built a very loyal following this way (around 850,000 followers).  As many of her videos are filmed while she's on the go (Ubers, back of a motorbike, black cabs, her own car), she's recently teamed up Black Cabs in London to create a "Trinny Taxi".  Its been painted her brand colours and set up as a studio where she does interviews with other people in the personal care industry.  It's clever because she's increasing awareness of her brand (a mobile billboard that stands out with the distinctive Trinny yellow), she's creating content for sharing on social channels and its different, a key point in a very competitive market. 

Jill Brennan answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Customer Acquisition

What's your trick to increase click though rate from your landing pages?

Split-testing is the best way to work out what is going to make a difference to your conversion rate.  A simple A/B test (this is where you create two variations of your landing page and send equal amounts of traffic to each until one is declared the 'winner' with the best conversion rate) is a great place to start.What to test depends on a few variables. Depending on the volume of traffic the page receives, you'll probably want to start with testing one variable at a time.  If you're using a landing page builder and the design is sound then you could start with trying different headlines, then move to images, call to action text, button colour.  If you're interested in finding out more about how to approach testing, I've written an extensive article about it.

Jill Brennan answered this question

How important are SEO and outbound links in blog copy?

Its good to have a couple of outbound links but inbound links are more important because they are like votes.  The more inbound links to your website (preferably by highly ranked or authority websites) then the more valuable your content is considered to be by the search engines.Do you have the SEO Yoast plugin for wordpress?  They have a number of prompts to optimise each post for SEO purposes.  If you follow their traffic light system (red, green, amber) and aim for all green then you're content will be in great SEO shape.  

Jill Brennan answered this question

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