It seems that most times when I work with entrepreneurs or solo-preneurs and I ask the question – “what do you believe is your unique selling point “USP”?, I often get very similar answers. The most common answer is quality or service or the willingness to do what it takes. While I agree that these are all necessary in business and especially if you are to build a lasting business, the key to understanding your USP is that you must pinpoint what makes your business unique in a world of homogeneous competitors. And if you’re not able to do this, you truly cannot target your sales efforts successfully. The simplest way to determine your USP is know with great certainty what makes your customers loyal customers.

If there’s one complaint about digital marketing that I hear more than any other, it’s got to be “I just don’t have the time.” I get it: you’re busy. But if your competitors are making the time to market themselves or their business online and you aren’t, then you’re going to be left in the dust before you can say, “What’s my Twitter password?”

Even for those of us who were born to be entrepreneurs, staying engaged and motivated every single day can be a challenge. My career takes me to many different places where I do many different things from day to day, so keeping a firm grip on my goals and my time takes work. Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks to keep me focused and on target no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

If you’ve spent any time online in the past couple of years, you’ve almost certainly noticed that video is taking over. Businesses large and small across Houston and beyond are producing marketing videos to boost brand awareness, build social followings, and drive engagement and sales. Thanks to widespread, high-speed Internet connections and mobile devices, digital video has become one of the most versatile and profitable digital marketing tools out there—and best of all, video marketing is now affordable on any budget.

Want to know a secret? I don’t really look forward to conducting job interviews. I’d rather be spending that time taking care of my clients’ needs or working on something else that’s going to make me money. However, every great employee who has ever worked for me was hired only after a thorough interview process. It’s still entrepreneurs’ best methodology to determine just who, exactly, these people are that want to join our team. Can they think critically? Can we trust them? The job interview gives us our first clues.

When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising online, one name stands out above the rest: Google AdWords. If you’ve ever seen the paid results at the top of the page when you run a Google search or seen a rotating banner ad on your favorite website, congratulations, you have experience with Google ads! For years and years, Google AdWords has dominated the PPC advertising business, giving businesses previously unprecedented opportunities to reach highly targeted audiences online. Google was unchallenged in its PPC supremacy. In recent years, however, a new contender has arrived.

As all entrepreneurs are aware, finding the time to relax can sometimes become a challenge—especially when we are so focused on improving our skills and knowledge base in preparation for the growth to come. Fortunately, there’s a productive way to do both! Picking up a good book is a great way to clear our heads, lower our heart rates, and sink into some learning and inspiration while we’re curled up on the couch. I highly recommend it.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs have been relatively slow to adopt Instagram as part of their social media marketing plan. It’s a missed opportunity, because there are a lot of potential customers on Instagram—more than 800 million, by last count. Some entrepreneurs skip Insta because they believe its user demographic is too young. More than half of all Instagram users are under 30, it’s true. But I’ve got news: Millennials have money, too. And if you aren’t reaching those users today, someone else is, shaping purchasing habits and choices that could last for years.