Vanessa Baker, Hybrid Marketer and Owner of Fast Forward Marketing that helps small businesses with digital marketing in the Chicago area and beyond joins Enterprise Radio to give inbound marketing tips for the established business.
Listen to host Eric Dye & guest Vanessa Baker discuss the following:
- What is Inbound Marketing? How is it different from traditional Marketing?
- Give us some tips about Content Marketing.
- Give us some ideas about Conversion Optimization.
- Why do businesses still do Email Marketing?
- A lot of businesses are local, any tips for them?
- How can a business optimize their mobile site?
- How can a business optimize SEO for their site?
- How can a business optimize their social media marketing?
Four years ago, Vanessa Baker was a busy advertising manager for a national digital news site. Her territory covered the northern Illinois suburbs, which required her to spend considerable time in her car traveling to meet clients and co-workers.
The time and distance took her away from the people and things she loved the most: her husband, two young daughters and community.
That national news site was struggling – having expanded too quickly – but Baker still managed to earn a good income and quickly rose as the leading producer of her regional sales team.
In her heart, she yearned for a change. In her mind, she worried about losing all she had gained.
Finally, with a little inspiration, Baker decided to strike out on her own and submitted her resignation. Drawing on 14 years of digital advertising experience, Baker founded Fast Forward Marketing, a firm providing online marketing, advertising and promotional services. She launched her business on Linkedin in December 2012.
“I had so many feelings – a mixture of fear and belief,” Baker recounts. “But, I believed in me. I am a hard worker and I knew if I worked hard for my clients, I would succeed.”
Baker started FFM with three small clients, managing their social media accounts. With more time on her hand – off the road and working from a home office – Baker quickly built a large clientele base and acquired a city contract to oversee its Shop Local campaign. She established relationships via the local business chamber and expanded her base regionally by utilizing Linkedin.com.
Within six months of striking out on her own, Baker was earning the same income she left behind. She had more time to spend with her family, the ability to attend her children’s afterschool events, and even time for herself.
Starting a new business hasn’t just changed Baker’s personal life, it’s shaped her professional outlook, as well.
“I’ve gained a sense of independence and freedom,” Baker said. “I don’t have any limits on my capacity to learn more and make more money. I have the ability to pivot and adapt to business changes and demands when necessary. I have more confidence and more respect for myself. Everything I have is within my control.”
“I provide real, measurable benefits for my clients because with digital marketing everything is trackable,” Baker said. “The impact on my community is they have a local resource they can trust who can fill a need they have.”
Baker received the “Best Under 40 Award” from Shaw Media Business Journal in 2014, recognizing her accomplishments and community service. She received the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Presidential Award of Excellence in April 2014, honoring her commitment to the chamber.
Show Note Links:
- MUST DO: Check your website for mobile friendliness.
- Link: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
Search Engine Optimization
- Look at your page speed, work on making it 85 or better with your web developer.
- Link: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Sign up for Google My Business
- Link: business.google.com
Sign up for Google Search Console
- Google Search Console is a free service provided by Google that allows you to better understand how the search engine views your site. Using the tools within Google Search Console will help to optimize your site’s performance and keep you aware of any problems with your site. Work with your developer to implement it.
- Link: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home
Identify and fix any broken links on the website.
- Dead pages are also defined as ‘broken’ links These are the links on a page of a site that lead nowhere and can hurt your standing with Google.
- Dead pages return a 404 error message when you click on them. This means the page no longer exists on the web. It may have been taken down by the host or moved to a different URL.
- Run your site through this ‘broken’ link checker. It will tell you which links no longer work. If you find broken links, go into your website and remove or update all of the dead links.
- Link: http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com