The Only Brainstorming / Mind Mapping Tools You Need in 2018 (Free)

The Only Brainstorming / Mind Mapping Tools You Need in 2018 (Free)

Mind mapping is a method of brainstorming ideas using visual outlines by demonstrating the connections between thoughts or data.  Whether you are brainstorming ideas for your next game-changing marketing campaign, planning an important project, or even just trying to gather your thoughts on a subject, mind mapping can help you get it together.

A few of these free mind mapping tools allow for more than simply brainstorming your thoughts.  With some, you can actually present your ideas in a visually-appealing way that will help your audience understand where you are coming from and how the various concepts relate with one another.  This is particularly important for putting together a marketing strategy to increase sales.

I’ve assembled this list of the top free brainstorming and mind mapping tools which will be more than enough to get you through the remainder of 2017 without having to stay up all night Googling around for ‘free mind mapping tools’ or ‘free brainstorming software.’

If you know others who may need some assistance with getting their thoughts organized or for planning upcoming projects, please feel free to share.  We use several of these mind mapping tools to create strategies for generating mortgage leads, business development gameplans, and more.

 

MindMup 2 – Create and Share Amazing MindMaps

Capture ideas at the speed of thought – using a mind map maker designed to help you focus on your ideas and remove all the distractions while mind mapping.

Create unlimited mind maps for free, and store them in the cloud. Your mind maps are available everywhere, instantly, from any device.

Brainstorm, create presentations and document outlines with mind maps and publish your ideas online and to social networks.

Coggle – The Clear Way To Share Complex Information


Coggle is an online tool for creating and sharing mindmaps. It works online in your browser: there’s nothing to download or install.

Whether you’re taking notes, brainstorming, planning, or doing something awesomely creative, it is super simple to visualize your ideas with Coggle. Share with as many friends or colleagues as you like. Changes you make will show up instantly in their browser, wherever they are in the world.

FreeMind – Free MindMapping Software

FreeMind is a premier free mind-mapping software written in Java. The recent development has hopefully turned it into high productivity tool. We are proud that the operation and navigation of FreeMind is faster than that of MindManager because of one-click “fold / unfold” and “follow link” operations.

So you want to write a completely new metaphysics? Why don’t you use FreeMind? You have a tool at hand that remarkably resembles the tray slips of Robert Pirsig, described in his sequel to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance called Lila. Do you want to refactor your essays in a similar way you would refactor software? Or do you want to keep personal knowledge base, which is easy to manage? Why don’t you try FreeMind? Do you want to prioritize, know where you are, where you’ve been and where you are heading, as Stephen Covey would advise you? Have you tried FreeMind to keep track of all the things that are needed for that?

Canva Mind Map – Organize your thoughts and present your big idea, beautifully.

Product-Launch-Mind-Map-tb-662x0

Color code your thoughts and ideas

Mind Maps can leap from topic to topic so keep your thoughts organized by color coding your design. Change a branch or text box color according to the topic they’re assigned to so you can easily find and connect interrelated ideas. Use Canvas color palette tool to choose any color in the spectrum or type in a specific hex code.

Use images, illustrations, and icons

Adding visual elements like images and illustrations can help you concentrate more because they speak to your brain’s natural language of imagery. In fact, it’s encouraged that you use an image for your central idea. Browse through Canva’s amazing media library of icons, photos, and illustrations to use on your mind map. Search from over a million stock photos and add it to your design by dragging and dropping it into the editor.

Collaborate with partners

Brainstorm with your team anywhere in the world by getting your team’s input on your Mind Map design. It’s as easy as sharing a link to an editable version of your design. Now your team can access your Mind Map and add their own edits, thoughts and ideas any time and from any desktop, laptop, iPhone or iPad device. When you’re all done you can simply download your design as a JPEG, PNG or PDF file, share it on your social media, or email it directly to someone.

Bubbl.us – Present Your Big Idea

This is a Bubbl.us mind map. A mind map is a graphical representation of ideas and concepts. It’s a visual thinking tool for structuring information, helping you to better understand, remember and generate new ideas.

To see how easy and fun it is to edit a mind map, try one of their free examples!

Top Free (or Low-Cost) Vape Marketing Strategies in 2018

Top Free (or Low-Cost) Vape Marketing Strategies in 2018

August 2018 Update: Most of the information in this article still applies today but Google My Business has now added on more features, so there is actually more to pay attention to.

I have had great success helping my clients drive additional business to their vape shops and I am open to discuss doing this for your business as well. I have one client in particular, that owns 13 vape shops. He attributes the doubling of his client base over the past year mostly due to my work on his Google listings.

This service is $1,250 for 1 location. There is a bulk discount available for multiple locations.

Simply fill out the form on the Contact page for more information or to arrange a discussion.

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Many vapor industry business owners that believe the FDA’s deeming regulations have dramatically impacted or restrained the ability to continue pursuing vape marketing, but that is further from the truth than you think.  

If you’re currently holding off on vape advertising to “see what will happen” over the coming months or years, you’re setting yourself and your business up for a drawn out demise.  It’s important that you know
how to promote your vape shop or wholesale business utilizing free vape marketing resources so you may continue to thrive during this very interesting time.

Greg Conley – the American Vaping Association President & longtime vaping advocate, has shared in the past that “there are no advertising restrictions in place, other than modified risk claims.,” meaning that the advertising sector of the vaping industry was left nearly untouched by the Food and Drugs Administrations deeming regulations.  In addition, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., and Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., introduced legislation in the House of Representatives on February 16th, 2017 which, if adopted, could prevent the e-cigarette business from collapse.  The bipartisan legislation would alter Food and Drug Administration rules requiring products deemed to be tobacco products that came on the market after Feb. 15, 2007, (a predicate date) to undergo a prohibitively expensive and complicated approval process.

For the time being, it’s best to keep moving forward and fight for your vape business and all that is righteous.

This information is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of cost-effective vape marketing strategies you can start using today to drive more traffic to your business and increase sales.  Whether you are a vape shop owner, a vapor wholesaler, an eJuice manufacturer, or a hardware manufacturer – there is something here for you.  Also, see the 2016 guide to free vape shop marketings resources, which is elaborated upon in greater detail here.

Organic web optimization.

Establish and maximize your web presence to attract local consumers (vapers or vapor retail establishments) looking for your business.

The key to successful vape marketing strategy starts with identifying your target market.  If you already have a vapor industry business, you should have a good idea of your general customer demographics.  The basic concept of effective vape marketing strategy revolves around the idea of positioning your business in front of vapers (or potential vapers), anywhere and everywhere you might be able to catch their attention.

According to a recent study by Google, 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local businesses (see the infographic below, courtesy of Google).  Of that group, 88% are using their smartphone and 86% are using a tablet or desktop computer.  When conducting searches, these consumers are looking for specific types of information.  Google’s study found that 54% are searching for business hours, 53% are looking for directions, and 50% are looking for a local business address.  They also found that 18% of the smartphone searches lead to a purchase within 24 hours.

understanding-local-search-behavior - vape marketing strategy

What does this mean for your e-cig marketing strategy (other than the fact that people don’t use telephone books anymore)?

If your business is not appearing in the top 3 local search results, or at least close to it, consistently, then you are losing customers every day to competitors with more visibility.  Your customers (or could have been customers) are going elsewhere because the other place was easier to find.  It was more convenient.

In the image below, you will see the default local search results which are returned when searching today for ‘enid vape shop’.  The top 3 default listings are returned when searching Google for any kind of local businesses.  Making consistent efforts to rank your business so that it appears in this location is an essential part of an effective vape marketing strategy, particularly for retail businesses.

Google’s organic search results display directly below the three business listings.  You might also notice that Juicy’s Vapor Lounge holds the top position in the local rankings as well as the organic results which are returned for the search ‘enid vape shop’.  Although this has taken a considerable amount of effort to achieve, it is possible in some cases.

Keep in mind actual search results may vary from person to person, depending on factors such as location, search history, previously rated businesses, etc…

This free vapor marketing strategy is not only important for retailers looking for end users, but it’s also important for eLiquid manufacturers, vapor wholesalers, hardware manufacturers, eLiquid bottling companies, and every other vapor industry business.   Setting up your Google my business listing is an important factor for any vapor industry business, as it adds credibility to your operation.  Keep scrolling for more information on how to create an effective Google my business listing for your vape business.

How do I rank my local e-cigarette business in Google’s top three search results?
(Keep in mind, there is a big difference between local SEO and website SEO.)

While there are some best practice approaches, it is important to first understand that there are no any guarantees of ranking positions on Google, period.  If somebody tells you otherwise, they are likely scamming you or pitching you some sort of short-term ranking strategy which may eventually get you blacklisted by Google.  At the end of the day, search results are custom tailored to provide what Google believes to be best suited for an individual searcher.   Their objective is to know what you are looking for before you know you are looking for it.

Since the ranking algorithms Google uses are proprietary, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of way to go about this.  Every market is different and the location of the searcher, previous searches the searcher has conducted, and the exact search term being used may all potentially affect the results which are returned to Google searchers.

That being said, there are some general best practice strategies which should be followed if you are going to have a shot at optimizing your business’ online visibility.   If you can do these things better than your competitors, you have a better shot at becoming more visible and ranking higher than they do, which will, in turn, drive more traffic to your vape business.

Responsive Web Design 5

Buy a domain name and hosting package and get to work.  If you need help, feel free to give me a shout.  View some of my vapor industry website designs for ideas and examples.

There are businesses (rare exceptions) that manage to rank well in Google local search results without a website, however, in my experience, having a well-designed website for your vapor business increases your odds substantially.

You want a central hub for all of your citation listings and social media pages to link back to and in my opinion, a website is much more professional than trying to get away with using a Facebook page, for instance (although its a good idea to have one of these as well).

In addition, at some point you may want to sell products online.  A website will be necessary if you decide to take this approach, and the shop can always be added later. Also see, should my business have an online store? Retailers and service providers or keep reading.  I will discuss this shortly.

  • Implement Schema.org data markup on your website.  

This ensures that search engines are interpreting your data in a meaningful, indexable format.  You can easily check if your website currently implements Schema.org data markup and other types of structured data using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

The Schema.org markup for your address and phone number is below.  Change the text in bold to your own details and you are good to go.

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/LocalBusiness">
<p itemprop="name">COMPANY NAME</p>
<p itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress">
<p itemprop="streetAddress">ADDRESS LINE 1</p>
<p itemprop="addressLocality">CITY</p>,
<p itemprop="addressRegion">REGION</p>
<p itemprop="postalCode">POSTCODE/ZIP</p.
<p itemprop="telephone">PHONE NUMBER</p>
<meta itemprop="latitude" content="LATITUDE" />
<meta itemprop="longitude" content="LONGITUDE" />
</div>
  • Create a Google My Business account.  

Be sure to correctly categorize your business (vaporizer store, if you have a retail shop), create a detailed description including links and all relevant information, your business address, phone number, etc…   Be sure you remember the exact syntax you list your address and phone number here, as you will need to use this later to create your citations.

Google will mail you a postcard with a PIN number for verification.  Once you receive the postcard, verify your business by visiting the link on the postcard and using the PIN number to verify your legitimacy.

Once your business is verified…

  • Encourage (real) customers to review your Google listing.  

Reviews are definitely taken into consideration in the local ranking system.   By having more (real) reviews and a higher average rating than your competitors, you have a much greater chance at ranking your vape business higher on the local search results.  Don’t try to cheat the system and submit fake reviews. Google uses algorithms to determine the validity of reviews and getting caught submitting fake reviews is likely not a good thing in terms of your business ranking.

Google local business reviews can be a little tricky to submit if your customers have never given Google reviews in the past.  In order to find the place to submit a review, first, they must search google for the name of your business.

If using a desktop computer or laptop, the process is pretty straight forward. Your local business listing should appear off to the right side and look similar to the image below.  Your reviewer will want to click ‘write a review’ to submit a review about your business.  (They will need to be logged into their Google/Gmail account to submit a review.)

Google_Local_Business_Review_Submission

On a mobile device, the process isn’t quite as intuitive.

Once you search for the business, you will receive a similar-looking local business listing, but there is not a button to write a review.

In order to submit a review using a mobile device, first, the reviewer must either touch the star rating region or the ‘more about’ regions, highlighted in the images below.

How to submit a Google local business review using a mobile device

Scrolling down…

How to submit a Google local business review using a mobile device

Once the reviewer has selected one of these areas, a new version of the listing will appear.

Scroll down towards the bottom and underneath the other reviews, there will be an area to submit a new review, similar to the image below.

How to submit a Google local business review using a mobile device

 

  • Create and maintain applicable social media accounts & pages. 

Even if you don’t use all of them, I suggest creating as many profiles and pages as possible, just for the sake of being able to reach people who use each of the different social platforms.

When it comes to social media, I suggest picking 2-3 platforms and creating consistent content for those and forget about the rest of them.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Foursquare, Instagram, Alignable, and Snapchat are all examples of possible social media platforms to market your vape business.  If you are looking to expand your social media horizon, check out this list of 91 social networks.The Definitive Guide to Vape Marketing in 2017 - Social Media

  • Identify the most important online business directories and create listings (citations) on them, using consistency with your name, address, and phone number (NAP). 

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First, list your website in all of the free vape shop directories you can find, as well as YP.com, Yelp.com, Bing Places for Business,

After that, identify which directories should be prioritized and are most relevant to your specific area by conducting a Google search for ‘find a vape shop (your city)’ and identifying the directory listings which appear on the first couple pages of the search.   Make a list of the directory sites.  For example, if you live in Oklahoma City you might search for finding a vape shop Oklahoma City (shown below), and your results would look something similar to the images below.

Notice some of the listings will be for actual vape shops which have ranked well or that you have recently visited online and others will be actual directories. First, you will likely see the local search results.

 

Next, you will see the organic search results.  I have highlighted the directories and the actual shops to better explain how to go about identifying which are directories and which are local businesses which have just ranked well for the search terms you used.   If you are in doubt about which, just visit the sites and see what they are about.  

You should do this for each keyword you want to rank for, scanning and noting the first 2-3 pages of the search results.  These are the most relevant for your particular area.

After you do this you might try the same with ‘vapor store (your city)’, ‘pigs (your city)’, etc….  You want to make sure all of your bases are covered in terms of potential search terms used to locate your shop.
Free Vape Shop Marketing Resources: Find Free Directories

 

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Prioritize customer retention and upselling.

Identify and take advantage of free methods if increasing sales to your existing customer base.

Consumers have more options at their fingertips today than they have ever had in recorded history.   If your business has not implemented some form of a newsletter or opt-in vape marketing strategy, you are losing customers to other businesses who do have customer retention strategies in place.

Your existing customer base is the best resource you have for generating more revenue for your business, but if you are not giving your customers the opportunity to opt-in to an occasional text message or email, you have a much greater chance of never seeing them again.

 

How do I start a customer opt-in list?

There are several ways to go about collecting newsletter/marketing opt-ins from your customers, the easiest of which would be your point of sale system’s software, which can make the opt-in process easy on you and your customers.

Point of Sale Systems 

POS systems such as ShopKeep enable you to provide your customers with the option to opt in to receive further promotional communication from you.   Some also provide an email or text outreach system for you to send your customer’s promo emails from time to time, using the same system.

 

Email Marketing Platforms

Don’t have a modern point of sale system that enables you to collect opt-ins?   Email marketing services such as MailChimp or Constant Contact have opt-in pages which can be left open on a tablet in the area of your business where your customers check out.   I am personally a Constant Contact partner, so if you are in need of email marketing assistance, feel free to get in touch with me.

(In fact, I can manage everything in this article for you and have many satisfied customers.  Contact me for more information.)

SMS / Text Messaging 

If you don’t have an extra tablet laying around or would simply prefer the text message approach, setting up an SMS opt-in system may be the way to go.  Check out these 13 SMS text messaging services which serve the same purpose.

With text message marketing, however, you must be extremely clear with your customers that they are opting in to receive text messages and that they can opt out very easily.  Failure to communicate this clearly could lead somebody to get the impression you are sending them unsolicited spam text messages, which could put you in violation of FCC regulations and at risk for very hefty fines.

It would be wise to view/download the full details on the recently expanded FCC phone call and text messaging regulations before pursuing a text message marketing strategy.

How do I get customers to subscribe or opt-in to my vapor marketing or promotional messages?

When building an opt-in list, customers are not likely going to want to mindlessly sign up for anything.  You must incentivize them to do so, giving them a reason to read your texts or emails and ultimately return to your business.  Some ideas to obtain opt-ins include:

  • Hosting a regular puzzle, contest, or game.  Give discounts or prizes to customers who win or even participate.  Make it fun. Give incentives to participate.
  • Members-only discounts or promotions which are only shared with people who opt-in.
  • Random giveaways.  There is likely not a better way to retain a customer and gain their friends and family as customers than giving away unexpected prizes.
  • Get creative.  If you can’t think of a good way to encourage people to hear from you again then you might be in the wrong business.

What are some good examples of non-invasive or annoying emails or text messages to send my customers?

Five tips for better text message marketing (Entrepreneur.com)

Retail email marketing tips & templates (ConstantContact.com)

15 Examples of Awesome Email Marketing (Hubspot.com)

If you are looking for outside assistance in creating content for your text or email marketing outreach, give me a shout.

How can I achieve more sales to my existing customer base? 

  • Identify products or services the customer could buy but doesn’t. If you are in the vapor wholesale business, for instance,  maybe you primarily sell eLiquid.   But in evaluating where your customers are spending money elsewhere, you find that offering certain vaping devices might be a smart decision in order to keep them from having to go elsewhere. Communicate with your customers as frequently as possible, especially when you are face to face. If you can make their life easier and/or save them money, you may be able to obtain more of their business.
  • Develop a plan for encouraging your customers to refer their friends and family.  Referral business is one of the easiest kinds of business to obtain but you have to ask for it. Even if you have a wholesale business, shop owners generally associate with other shop owners and are likely to chat about these things when they get together.
  • Maximize value in all of your customer contacts. The most important contribution you can give to existing customers is your knowledge and expertise. What information do you possess that can be of benefit to customers? Define value in terms of what your customers are seeking. The possibilities of creating value are limitless: faster service, better products, wider selection, faster/better delivery, easier ordering processes, etc.  Go out of your way to help your customers and they will become loyal to your business.  It likely doesn’t hurt in terms of karma, either.
  • Make customers feel they have a special relationship with you. If they want to chat, take the time to chat with them with a smile on your face.  Being short with a customer is one of the easiest ways to lose them, or even worse, spread their experience all over the internet.  I believe the saying is: One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.  And it definitely applies here.  Upsetting the wrong customer who enjoys telling the world about their bad experiences will offset literally hundreds of happy customers.

Make your products or services easy to access.  Create an enjoyable buying experience.

On the other hand, if your customers have an enjoyable experience or the process is particularly easy, they will tell others.  Word of mouth is one of the most effective methods of vape marketing but it can also work against you if there are problems.

Retail Strategies

Optimize & organize your inventory arrangement.  Hire appropriate staff to minimize customer wait times. 

You hopefully have certain times of the day in which foot traffic picks up and customers are having to wait in line to buy products.    This is a great problem to have but it’s important to make sure your shop is organized in a manner which minimizes the time it takes to fulfill an order, allowing customers who are in a rush to get in and out.  If somebody comes by during their lunch break and has to wait 30 minutes to make a purchase, they will definitely think twice before coming in next time.

In terms of your staff, it is important to make sure you have sufficient help on-hand in order to accommodate customer flow.  If you manage the shop by yourself, you should consider hiring at least one other person, at least part time, to work during the busiest times of the day.  This will allow one of you to take the customers who are new to vaping or just need their hand held, while the other person manages the fast-track line.

Allow customers who want to get in and out quickly to do so, but plan to have staff on hand to ensure that newbies get equal consideration.  Not everybody is a pro when it comes to vaping and you should be happy to have newbie vapers coming in to your shop.  Take care of these people and they are very likely to keep coming back.

If you have your own eLiquid brand or product line, set up a website that allows your customers to order online.  If you don’t have your own juice brand or product line, do not set up the online store.   

 

Today’s consumers are driven by convenience and price.   If you are a shop owner and have your own line of eLiquid or even hardware devices, you are likely selling yourself short if you are not offering your vape products online.  Not only does this allow you to reach a much broader customer base, but it enables you to fulfill orders without having to spend time with customers.  It also makes life easier on your customers because they don’t have to take the time to visit your shop.

On the other hand, if you do not have your own line of products, I do not recommend reselling eLiquids and hardware on your website (unless you own a wholesale business, in which case it probably makes sense).    In fact, I would avoid discussing pricing on your website altogether.  Instead, create a professional, comfortable web presence that encourages customers to visit your shop for an enjoyable experience.  The reality is that there is so much competition online, there is no way for you to compete selling brand name products unless possibly you are buying in wholesale quantities.  Discussing pricing will just turn people into price shoppers, and possibly turn them to shop on the internet.  In my experience, it’s best to avoid taking this route unless you have your own brand of products to offer.

 

If you employ a shop manager, hire a secret shopper to evaluate customer interactions when you are not around. Advise your secret shopper to be somewhat of a difficult customer and to ask very basic questions. 

In working with hundreds of vape shop owners across the country, I’ve discovered a peculiar sort of ‘disease’ that haunts retail store owners from coast to coast.   This vape shop disease is called Asshole Manager-itis.  If you have owned a vape shop for any length of time and have ever tried to hire a manager, you likely know exactly what I am talking about.

It’s a nasty disease and nobody is certain of the reasoning behind it, but when you put a “Manager” title on a human, that also happens to be an experienced vaper, this disease has the potential to have wide-ranging disastrous effects on your business.

The symptoms of Asshole Manager-itis include but are not limited to: customers running for the hills, negative reviews on your social media and local business pages, unexplained drops in sales, and in the worst cases, disappearing Houdini-like inventory.

In many cases, the cause of the illness seems to be isolated to the manager in question acting as if they have become King of the vapor castle once you call them a manager.  In many cases, they will speak very condescendingly to customers, making them feel like idiots when they have simple questions.  They might forget that they are an employee (or even human) and suddenly decide that they are too good to assist in basic shop upkeep such as cleaning and organizing the shop.   You might even discover that they are delegating everything and don’t have much actual activity they can account for, except for possibly hooking their friends up with free product.

If you have found a manager who doesn’t infect your business with the itis, consider yourself very lucky.  Finding good employees who have knowledge about vaping seems to be one of the most challenging aspects of establishing a successful retail vapor business.

Wholesaler & Manufacturer Strategies

In 2013 I took on a position with a startup vapor hardware wholesaler as the business development manager/sales manager.  In this position, I lead the company from having literally zero sales to achieving $250k – $400k sales/month within about 16 months.

When I started, there was literally a warehouse full of vapor hardware, eLiquid, and accessories, but there had not been any sales processed.  The plan was to take orders on order forms that had to be filled out each time an order was placed.   I knew that wasn’t going to work if we were going to be successful and my top priority immediately became streamlining the ordering process, which made life easier for me, my sales staff, our warehouse staff, and most importantly, our (soon to be) customers.

I designed a wholesale eCommerce vape website which required account verification for shop owners looking to purchase products and created a spreadsheet-based wholesale order form for customers to fill out when placing their orders.  The order form contained all of the items we had in stock along with pricing.   Shortly thereafter, inventory management became an issue as we were taking orders online and through our offline order form, so we moved everything to online orders only.  This made a world of a difference.

As a vapor wholesale business, simplifying your ordering process is a crucial aspect of creating a successful operation.  The idea is to make life as easy as possible for your customers and keep an inventory of the products they need.  If you can do that, offer competitive pricing, hire competent account managers, and be consistent, then you can succeed in the business.

Most Effective Wholesale Cold Calling Script – Use to Obtain New Customers

I found the most effective strategy for obtaining new wholesale/manufacturing customers was to place a very simple cold call that went something like this:

‘Hi, this is ________ from Vapor Products, Inc., how’s it going?”

(Response)

‘Great, I’m not going to take much of your time. We’re a statewide wholesaler – we carry name brand products such as Smoktek, Innokin, and Kangertek. Our prices are very competitive. I am just calling you because I am about to send over some of our pricing information for you to check out.  Where should I send it?’

(Response) (get email address and send)

Managing Wholesale Customer Communication, Productivity, and Inventory

It is crucial to have a customer relationship management (CRM) system in place to keep track of what your sales people are doing, which customers belong to who, sales follow-ups, etc…  is very important.  Not only does it establish accountability for your sales staff/account management staff’s productivity and keep track of customer follow-ups, but it keeps the sales staff from stepping on each other’s toes – which is important if you intend to retain employees.

When I was at the vapor wholesale business, we used a web-based CRM system called Insightly, which did its job and was fairly priced.  The downside to Insightly was that it was not capable of inventory or order management integration, so it was an entirely different system than the one we used to manage inventory.  Our website was also an entirely different system, detached from the inventory or the CRM system.

There are much more comprehensive systems on the market which integrate the CRM with your inventory management system, website, and order management & fulfillment.  Systems such as Salesforce or Fishbowl have the capability to integrate everything.  The downside to these, however, is that the upfront cost can range anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000, with additional annual fees for updates and training.

 

Keep an eye on the competition.

This one is pretty straight forward but when it comes to checking on the online strategies being utilized by your competitors, it can get a bit more involved.  If you are going to run a vapor business successfully, you need to have an idea of what competitors in your marketplace are offering, and what they are doing online that you might not be – especially if their business has more visibility or is ranking higher in search results than yours might be.

Retail Competitor Evaluation Strategy

Online

First, identify the shops which make sense to pay attention to.  These will be the shops that rank higher than your shop on Google local listings.   You want to check with your mobile device and with a tablet, PC, or laptop as the results may be different, depending on where you are located at the time of the search and other misc. factors.

Mobile Check

  • Open your preferred internet browser on your phone.  Visit Google.com and make sure you are logged out of your Gmail/Google account if you have one.
  • Conduct Google searches for the following terms: vape shop, vape shop near me, vapor store, vaporizer store, closest vape shop, vape shop [enter your city], [enter your city] vape shop, etc….    You should receive the top 3 local listings before the organic search results, as discussed previously.  Take a glance at the organic results on the first couple pages to see what kinds of sites are ranking for your searches.
  • As you do this, pay attention to where your shop is ranked on the list (if it is).  Also, pay attention to the shops that are consistently ranking towards the top of the list.  Write these down, along with the website that their Google My Business Page links to if they have a website listed.

Desktop/Tablet/Laptop Check

  • Follow the exact same steps above, this time using a non-mobile device (computer), noting any differences in your findings.

Evaluate the Competition

  • There are a wide range of factors which can contribute to local search rankings including quantity and quality of citation listings, number of customer reviews, quality of the reviews, Google Plus page setup, social media factors, and more.
  • If you are looking to figure out how to optimize your vape shop marketing and increase your visibility on Google, contact me and I will evaluate your local competitors and create a customized game plan specifically for your shop.

Offline

Visit several local shops around your area.  Buy something from each.  Take in as much detail and overall vibe of the place when you go in.  Pay attention to things such as:

  • How the staff greets and interacts with you
  • How many employees they have on the clock
  • Any interesting product displays or decorations, televisions, couches, etc…  Take note of the overall layout.
  • Product/brand selection – Do they have their own lines of eLiquid? If so, do they mix it in-house?
  • Any types of flyers, handouts, promotions, punch cards, etc… that they might be handing out
  • Product pricing
  • Product availability – Do you have to go to the store to purchase?  Do they have an app, online shop, etc…?
  • How their products are showcased
  • Marketing opt-in lists.  Do they give you the option to subscribe or opt into any kind of ongoing marketing when you are checking out?

Wholesale / Manufacturer Evaluation Strategy

  • First, follow the same steps as above to see how your business is currently displayed in local search results.  Even though your business may not target a local audience, it does give off a more professional appearance when your potential customers look for your business and find a complete listing for your business. It also helps to have good reviews, of course.
  • Ask yourself a question.  How is a potential customer most likely to go about looking for your business? What answers does your business offer to the questions that potential customers are likely to be asking?    For instance, let’s say you have a vapor wholesale business and offer competitive prices and free shipping.   That would answer a question for a vape shop owner is looking for a new wholesaler asking themselves, ‘Where can I find a cost-competitive vapor hardware wholesaler that offers free shipping?’.  Their search might look something like ‘vapor wholesaler US prices free shipping.’
  • The key to receiving qualified organic traffic, is to first identify the specific advantages your company has to offer and create original, meaningful content which answers the question that your ideal customer is looking to have answered.   In this particular instance, the search results are shown below.  Notice that the first result is the only one on the page that guarantees the lowest prices and offers free shipping.

Wholesale vape marketing

Take advantage of local traffic and take advantage of opportunities to increase street visibility.

Depending on the city and type of area your vapor business is located in, there are likely anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 cars driving down a street somewhere with a couple miles of your location.  The question is, how do you capture their attention and divert some of that traffic to your shop with little to zero expense?  Because you definitely should.

Considerations for maximizing street visibility and re-routing drive-by traffic might include:

  • Keeping your storefront clean and tidy.  The front of your business should be cleared of any trash and swept on a daily basis.  If you have windows in the front of your business, wash them.  Make the place look nice.
  • Identify streets that are most heavily traveled near your shop.  Buy or create signs, similar to the open house signs you might see directing drive-by traffic to homes for sale in your area.   Post your signs on the busiest intersections, with arrows leading the way to your shop.  Don’t buy anything too expensive, however, as your signage is likely to be taken down by the city.  In fact, depending on where you live, it’s probably safe to assume they will be removed from time to time.
  • Make a flyer and distribute it to nearby restaurants, bars, etc… Ask them to make your flyers or advertising pieces available to their patrons in exchange for displaying their literature or advertising pieces in your shop.
  •  Create a guerilla marketing idea and go for it.  Do something crazy/legal and get yourself some news coverage.

 

There are many things you can do today to start bringing more traffic to your vapor industry business.   The misconceptions involved around non-existent bans on ecig advertising are simply not true.  The regulations are primarily geared towards the required warning labels on the bottles, eJuice sales tactics, checking ID’s, giving out free samples, etc…  For full details on new regulations, check out the FDA’s New Regulations for E-Cigarettes, Cigars, and All Other Tobacco Products.

If you need any assistance with any of the concepts discussed here, please contact me.  I have helped hundreds of vapor businesses increase their market share and would love the opportunity to do the same for you.

TTFN.

5.

The Only Brainstorming / Mind Mapping Tools You Need in 2018 (Free)

Mind mapping is a method of brainstorming ideas using visual outlines by demonstrating the connections between thoughts or data.  Whether you are brainstorming ideas for your next game-changing marketing campaign, planning an important project, or even just trying to...

Top 8 Untapped Marketing Tactics | Increase Sales and Get Clients

Whether you own a restaurant, a law firm, or an eCommerce business, utilizing under-saturated marketing strategies to maximize your sales revenue and optimize your client acquisition is crucial stuff. But I can just put up some targeted Facebook ads and the customers...

Top Free (or Low-Cost) Vape Marketing Strategies in 2018

August 2018 Update: Most of the information in this article still applies today but Google My Business has now added on more features, so there is actually more to pay attention to. I have had great success helping my clients drive additional business to their vape...

Top 8 Podcasts for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs in 2016

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Top 7 Advantages & (Potential) Disadvantages of Online Marketing in 2016

With 80% (or more) of adults in the United States having at least one social media profile, the exposure advantages of online marketing may be self-evident.  However, if you are just now considering internet marketing for your business, you are likely one of the few...
Top 7 Advantages & (Potential) Disadvantages of Online Marketing in 2016

Top 7 Advantages & (Potential) Disadvantages of Online Marketing in 2016

With 80% (or more) of adults in the United States having at least one social media profile, the exposure advantages of online marketing may be self-evident.  However, if you are just now considering internet marketing for your business, you are likely one of the few who has also taken note of the inherent disadvantages of internet marketing.

Yes, disadvantages.  You may be asking, “What is this wizardry you speak of?”.

If that’s the case, you may be surprised to find out that, even in 2016, there are still some situations which may potentially deem online marketing as a disadvantage practice. If these situations apply to you, they should likely be equally considered as you evaluate the pros and cons of marketing your business on the internet.  On a side note, if your objective is mortgage/real estate lead generation, there are not many disadvantages involved in online marketing.  Its actually essential.

social networking usage over years

Among American adults, the percentage who use social networking sites, by age. Courtesy of Pew Research Center.

Advantages of Online Marketing

  1. One of the greatest advantages is in regards to the sheer population of internet users in the United States.  With approximately 86.5% of the US population (or 286,942,362 people) using the internet, it’s wise to consider the possible ways to get your business in front these folks.
  2. The internet provides a considerably more cost-effective means of reaching out to potential customers than direct mail campaigns, going door-to-door, or outsourced telemarketing.  Postage is expensive, even with a mail permit.  And even if you take care of telemarketing and door knocking upon yourself (or your sales department), your contact may be unwelcome – or even illegal – in some cases.  Most social media profiles are free to create.  Web sites can be (relatively) very inexpensive.
  3. Your ability to reach out to an interested audience is dramatically improved online.  Social media, search engine optimization and utilizing an effective web design are all means in which you can reach out to an audience specifically interested in your products or services.
  4. An effective internet presence will provide your brand with geographic flexibility, allowing you to reach more of your local market or expand your products or services to a wider, national or international audience (whichever floats your goat).  Social media marketing, online advertising, and geotargeted marketing are all means in which the internet will allow you to target audiences in specific areas of the world.
  5. Your ability to quickly deliver information to potential or existing customers is greatly improved online.  No more flipping through hard copies of the Yellowpages or waiting for brochures to arrive in the mail.  By marketing on the internet, you are able to deliver information to your customers whenever they want it, wherever they are, regardless of the mobile device, tablet, or laptop they may be using.
  6. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.  The internet allows companies to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns very quickly, allowing them to eliminate or optimize ineffective marketing without draining their bank accounts.  Direct mail, offline advertising, and most kinds of offline marketing in general, can all be very difficult to analyze without spending significant amounts of money.
  7. Small businesses and large corporations are essentially reduced to an even playing field online. As a result, the number of competitors is naturally much greater.  Increased competition always benefits the consumer.  In addition to the fact we all want the world to be a better place, we are also all consumers in one regard or another.  Plus, a very small portion of the population are owners of large corporations.  More than likely, a level playing field is an advantage to you.

(Potential) Disadvantages of Online Marketing

Although there are many advantages to online marketing, there are some situations where it might be a less attractive consideration.

BTW, the examples provided are strictly hypothetical examples- not suggestions.  I highly discourage taking advantage of people or pursuing illegal activities and, therefore, am not responsible for your life decisions.

That said, internet marketing might be disadvantageous if:

  1. You’re Amish, a member of The Exclusive Brethren, or any other community or religion which might shun you for using the internet.  I previously managed Amish construction crews in Northeast Ohio and am quite familiar with the situation there.  Although many Amish communities have accepted the use of mobile devices (hidden out in the woods) for the members of the community which rely on the devices to maintain an operable business, online marketing is likely to be a different story (as of yet, anyway).   It’s unlikely that this applies to you if you’re reading this, however.
  2. Your business only works if you go door-to-door or hold ‘parties’ to sell your products on the spot.  If this is the case, allowing your prospective customers to do online research (or shop) is likely a great disadvantage to your sales strategy.
  3. You sell Facebook profiles, Gmail accounts, or any other online services which would otherwise be easy and free to establish if your customers only knew. Maybe your target market is recently-released convicts.
  4. You resell copies of the Yellowpages or other hard copy directories which would be free if your customers only knew where to find them (and happen to be in the 13.5% of the US population which does not use the internet, of course).
  5. You make money by taking advantage of people or by prowling on their lack of knowledge or ability to access it.
  6. You operate a black market business.
  7. Your business is top secret, classified, or does not exist.

Summary

There are many reasons to establish an effective internet presence for your business online and only a small fraction of the population which this may not be applicable.

As a general rule of thumb, internet marketing is a great investment of your time and resources to maximize your exposure.  If you are looking for an effective method of generating qualified mortgage leads, for instance, you will likely need to take advantage of online marketing resources.

As a small to medium size business owner, exposure is everything.   If you are going to capture the attention of the millions of people in the US who live their daily lives with their eyes glued to the front of their mobile devices, you have to catch their attention where it counts.

If you need help establishing an effective, mobile-friendly internet presence for your business, feel free to contact us anytime.

TTFN

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How To Use Behalf Financing for Web Design and Online Marketing

How To Use Behalf Financing for Web Design and Online Marketing

As a business owner in today’s world, having a professionally designed website and an effective online marketing strategy is as (if not more) important than having a phone number.  Considering a well-implemented online marketing strategy and business website will provide a return on your investment for years to come (as long as it is well maintained), there are some distinct advantages in using Behalf’s term payment program rather than paying cash out of your pocket.

Although this is not a topic I am asked about on a regular basis, I did receive a question about it recently and knew there were others in similar situations. I found there to be somewhat limited third-party information about this topic available – outside of using a credit card – which will generally be a much more expensive route than the method I am sharing here.

Maybe you have recently launched a new startup and have limited working capital or possibly found yourself in a difficult cash flow  situation and realized the importance of optimizing your brand’s visibility online.  Or maybe you can afford it but the low-cost of using the service is attractive to you, and you like the idea of boosting your business’ credit rating while taking care of your company’s web presence.

In either case, this process may allow you to get the ball rolling towards having an effective online web presence in place, working for your business around the clock.  An effective web presence has the potential to be much more effective than even your top sales person, yet ‘working’ 24/7/365 rather than only during normal business hours.

There are actually some distinct advantages of financing your web design and online marketing, even if you do have cash to cover the investment.

Luckily, for those who don’t, there still may be an opportunity to obtain financing on your web design and/or online marketing with Behalf Financing, even if you have some credit scuffs from the past.

Discovering A Need for Behalf (via the Liberation of Vapor Devices)

Through April 2015 I was involved in the business development and sales management of a wholesale vapor distribution company which strictly sold to retail businesses which offered vapor / electronic cigarette devices to the 18+ public.  During that time I ran into several situations where my customers came to the warehouse to pick up their orders, agreeing to  ‘send us a check later.’ Some just never came through on their end of the deal.

My customers, on at least three occasions over the year and a half I was in that position, intentionally stiffed the company for the product I ultimately let them walk away with. Although I may never understand or make an attempt to justify this type of behavior, I truly believe (really hope for their sake, anyway) that they wouldn’t have done that if they were not in dire personal financial situations.

While ‘liberating’ our vapor hardware was one way to finance their product, Behalf Financing turned out to be a much more attractive option.

Behalf Financing – The Cash Flow Savior

Having previously held a sales management position with the insulating concrete form manufacturer, BuildBlock Building Systems, the B2B sales and marketing world was not foreign to me, however, the vapor industry was indeed.

I took every opportunity to learn marketing and business growth strategies from our top producing clients, not only because I was truly interested in understanding their approach, but also because my experience at BuildBlock taught me that my role in that position would ultimately prove to be most effective once I was able to help our

I took every opportunity to learn marketing and business growth strategies from our top producing clients, not only because I was truly interested in understanding their approach, but also because my experience at BuildBlock taught me that my role in that position would ultimately prove to be most effective once I was able to help our clients by providing them with specific means in which they could each grown their businesses.

One day I ran into a situation with a client who had just placed a large order directly from a manufacturer  in China. Typically on these orders, pricing is greatly dictated by the quantity of product being purchased. In this particular situation, my client saved nearly 20% by ordering in bulk, which was significant enough for them to take the risk at that time. The problem, however, was that sometimes these orders could take 5 – 7 weeks to arrive, particularly when the weight and/or volume of the order made shipping by air a fairly expensive consideration.

Needless to say, this delay in receiving the product they needed not only left their bank account below their comfort level but it also put them in a situation where they did not have the product in stock they needed to run their business or a credit card to use to purhcase more product.

Mistakes like these often were made at the expense of losing customers as, in many cases, the retail e-cig buyers would become impatient and either go somewhere else or order their devices online.

The customer called to discuss their situation but since we did not offer any financing terms on purchases, I opted to research other possibilities and came across a company called Behalf which offered term payment solutions to businesses, for business purchases.

I called the company and had a long talk with one of their reps but since I did not have prior experience actually working with the company, I proceeded with caution as I pointed our customer in their direction.  The and I set up our business account which enabled us to receive payments from our clients who used their services.

As I discussed their services with more people over the  following days, I discovered that there were surprisingly more people who used their service than I anticipated. In fact, I found we were actually losing business by not having an account with them as many of our customers just went to another vendor when they were in a situation where it made more sense to use Behalf financing services.

I heard many stories of how Behalf financing had saved my customers when they were in tight cash flow situations and needed additional inventory, computers, and other products and services to run their businesses.  Not only that, but my clients found it made a lot of sense to use on purchases which had a longer return on investment.Behalf was the cash flow savior.

Behalf was the cash flow savior.

Behalf Financing

How Much Does Behalf Financing Cost?

This part was somewhat surprising and had me asking, “So, what is the catch?” a few times before I fully understood the company’s business model.

The founder of the company started the organization as a means of providing affordable financing to business owners who had found themselves in a bit of a tough situation financially, in order to purchase products or services for their business.

Behalf financing generally costs $10 – $30 / month per $1,000 borrowed. The company offers 90 – 180-day payment terms and allows customers to pay off their balance early without acquiring any additional fees or expenses.

Not only is this much less than what most credit cards would charge, this also makes considering the use of Behalf to cover expenses such as your company’s website design or online marketing.

This is due to the basic economics of the situation.

Hypothetical situation.  Let’s say you are shopping outsource web design companies (vs hiring an employee to design and manage).

One of the options you found costs $500 and the other is $1,000. You know the $1,000 option will ultimately drive more business because it is more comprehensive, but you are not comfortable making that investment out of pocket. $500 is a more comfortable investment but you have a feeling you may not get as much out of the finished product as you would with the alternative option.

Rather than going the ‘more comfortable’ yet less effective route, you consider the costs of using Behalf Financing to spread the $1,000 investment over the next three months. On the higher end of the spectrum, that might cost $90 in fees to Behalf and the additional $500 for the investment itself makes the higher-end option run $590 more to pursue.

What is the Return on Investment for Using a More Comprehensive Digital Marketing & Web Design Service?

The true answer to this will depend greatly on the nature of the business you are involved in.   In the example above, using Behalf Financing in addition to a more comprehensive digital marketing and web design service was $590 more than the alternative option.  vast majority of businesses will have a much greater than $590 return if the more costly option is even slightly more effective than the $500 option.

The vast majority of businesses will have a much greater than $590 return if the more costly option is even slightly more effective than the $500 option.

Plus, considering you will continue reaping the rewards of a well-established web presence long after it has been set up (as long as you provide it with necessary upkeep) it actually makes more sense to compare the two options on a several year time frame.

Extending the investment over a longer period of time likely makes more sense if you are able to do so affordably, especially if you are ultimately getting even a few more customers out of it than the lower-investment route.

For a custom home builder or contractor of any kind, just one additional customer would more than justify the difference. For a vape shop or restaurant, for instance, one new customer every couple weeks would likely more than justify the additional expense.

The profit per customer & per transaction with ultimately change how the return on investment works but the overall advantages to using Behalf Financing are essentially the same.

How Do I Go About Using Behalf Financing for my Web Design & Online Marketing?

The Behalf financing approval process has improved greatly over the past couple years and today it is even easier than it was before to use their services.

  1. Visit the Behalf website here and fill in your details to begin creating your account. Continue going through that process until you receive a notification regarding your pre-approval status. Behalf uses a proprietary method of obtaining a pre-approval without the need for your social security number. This means pulling your pre-approval will not affect your credit score as they are not reporting this to any credit agencies. They will, however, report your successful payments, which will help your business credit.
  2. Once pre-approved, either contact me or request your free digital marketing evaluation. This will give me the opportunity to review your current situation and create a customized online marketing game plan specifically for your business. The more information you provide up-front, the more effective this process will be.
  3. After we have come to a game plan to pursue in establishing an effective web presence for your business, you will go back to the Behalf website and enter my vendor details and the total investment we have decided to be most comfortable and appropriate based upon your current situation and overall objective, Behalf will arrange the funding of your project based upon the payment terms you established with them.
  4. You continue making on-time payments to your Behalf account and they report positively to credit agencies as a result.  Your account with Behalf works as a revolving credit line so as long as you continue to make your payments on time, you can continue using the account for many other businesses to business transactions.

If you have further questions you may feel free to contact me anytime or you may contact Behalf if your questions are directly related to their services .

If you have questions regarding FogPusher’s work or hearing about what my clients have to say about my work, feel free to view our portfolio and/or testimonials, where you will find real client feedback from real customers.  You are welcome to contact any of them as references (please just be respectful of their time / time of day).

TTFN

Fill in the Form Below Now to Learn More About How Our Web Design & Marketing Services Can Help You (Specifically)

 

Free Vape Shop Marketing Resources (2018 List)

Free Vape Shop Marketing Resources (2018 List)

August 2018 Update: Most of the information in this article still applies today but Google My Business has now added on more features, so there is actually more to pay attention to.

I have had great success helping my clients drive additional business to their vape shops and I am open to discuss doing this for your business as well. I have one client in particular, that owns 13 vape shops. He attributes the doubling of his client base over the past year mostly due to my work on his Google listings.

This service is $1,250 for 1 location. There is a bulk discount available for multiple locations.

Simply fill out the form on the Contact page for more information or to arrange a discussion.

—————————————————————————————————————————–As a vapor industry business owner, maintaining an effective online presence is likely one of the most important things to prioritize in order to ensure the success of your business (outside of finding good employees and maintaining an inventory of quality product, of course).

Below you will find a fairly comprehensive list of the free vape shop marketing resources available.  Some will also be effective for marketing a vapor wholesale business or eLiquid brand, however,  this list is specifically geared towards optimizing your vape shop’s brand visibility.

In reviewing and utilizing these resources, please understand that one of the most important aspects of optimizing your vape shop’s presence online (or any ‘brick and mortar’ business, for that matter) is directly dependent upon your ability to portray a welcoming experience for prospective customers and the consistent distribution your business name, address, and phone number (at minimum).

 In order to ensure your business is receiving all of the traffic it needs (or is capable of acquiring) you want to make sure your business is listed in every relevant local directory as well as industry relevant directory possible – with the exact same name, address, and phone number (NAP).  I have made it a point to include most of the important resources to utilize below but each market will have slightly different resources, which can be discovered by utilizing the process described below.

Is having an actual website absolutely necessary in order to establish or maintain a successful vape shop?

Quite simply, yes.  Some will disagree and give examples of vape shops which have done well without an official website and I am aware of some of these examples, however, these businesses are an exception to the rule.

Some will disagree and give examples of vape shops which have done well without an official website and I am aware of some of these examples, however, these businesses are an exception to the rule.

Failing to implement an effective, professionally designed and search engine optimized website with on-page and off-page SEO in place, is shooting yourself in the foot before you even open your doors.

How do you know?

I managed business development for a vapor hardware distribution company and today vape shop owners make up a good portion of my web design and digital marketing clients.  I have seen many vape shops succeed and I have also seen many go out of business in their first six months.  

There are distinct differences which can usually be identified that make the difference.  In fact, it’s almost predictable, to a certain extent.  

While failure to have an effective vape shop website is likely not the most common reason for vape shop failure, I would say it is likely a close second place to hiring ineffective, lazy or conceited employees (or the owner coming across as this type of person) and/or choosing a bad location.

These things are absolutely certain to kill your shop but failure to implement an effective web presence will do the same.  It might just take a bit longer and will not likely be as easy to identify as the problem (until now, anyway).

I say this because the effectiveness and ultimately the results you get from listing your shop on these sites may rely a great deal on having a website in place for them to link back to.

That said, running a vape shop without a website makes it that much more important to take advantage of all of the resources available.


Vapor Industry Resources

Vape Shop Directories (Free)

These directories are specifically for vape shops  and vapor stores and they allow users to find local shops in their area.  Keep in mind that is not the only purpose of utilizing directories.

The customers may not even use these websites but having links to your website, including your name, address, and phone number, will make your vape shop more attractive and indexable to search engines since they are industry specific and are not spam sites.

FogPusher Local:  Find Your Favorite Premium eLiquid Brands Nearby

FogPusher Local is the newest addition to the vape shop directory list.  This is actually a project I designed myself to allow vape shop customers to search for their favorite eLiquid brands online.

The project came about because I was looking for a vape shop that carried a particular eLiquid I was interested in and the process of doing so came out to be a little more time consuming than I had hoped or anticipated.

The project is designed to index vape shops by the brands of eLiquid they carry, allowing customers to find them searching for these brands.

Vape shop listings are free on FogPusher Local.

VapeStores.com:VapeStores.com 

Vape Shop Directory with Deals and Coupons and News

CigBuyer.com 

eCig Reviews, Deals, Information & More

VapeAbout.com

Vape Store Finder and Vape Shop Locator

E-Cigarette Web Directory

(AlternateSmoking.com) Web Directory for Vape Shops.

Vapor Shop Local

Find your Local Vapor Shop local e-cig store finder. Find a Vape shop e-cig store near You. Have a Vape Shop? List your Vape Shop Ecig Store in our Directory.

iVapeLocal

iVape local can provide a suite of business services to help you grow your e-cigarette business. We provide cutting edge web design, powerful SEO, and a variety of other marketing services.

E-Cigarette Store Reviews

Find Vape Stores … E-Cigarette and Vapor store directory providing store locations, reviews, and ratings. The ultimate resource for finding E-Cigarette and Vapor stores near you.

Vapor Shop Finder

Vape shop directory and online retail store for vape goods.

Additional Vape Shop Directories Worth Considering (Not Free)

VaporSearchUSA: Helping You Find Your Local Vape Shop since 2009

This is one of the original vape shop directories and still manages to rank very well on Google.  While listings are not free, the $20-25 / year investment is a wise choice to make due to the website’s search engine rank and overall visibility.

I have also seen Vapor Search USA at some of the industry trade shows.  They have an active presence in the industry, unlike many of the other vape shop resources listed.


Local Business Directories

This list includes a list of free business directories which are worth listing your vape shop online.  These resources include vape shops in their directories / profile listings but are more specific to local businesses in general than they are vapor industry specific.  All of the following sites are worth creating listings for your business, and some are absolutely necessary.

All of the following sites are worth creating listings for your business, and some are absolutely necessary.

Google Business 

Google business is by far one of the most important listings you can create as a vape shop owner.  Most people conduct their online searches for local businesses using their cell phones so you are missing out on a tremendous amount of the market by not having this listing in place.  

When you create the account, they are going to mail you a PIN number to verify your listing online.  Look out for that in your mail, typically in the first 3-7 days after submitting your listing.

Bing Places

Bing is a growing player in the search engine world and you definitely want to set your shop up with a listing on their local business site.  They will also mail you a PIN number which you will need to verify.

Foursquare

Foursquare is another local business resource which allows users to ‘check in’ at the places they visit.  This has been around for a while and there are a lot of people that use the service.  It is definitely worth taking the time to set up for your shop.  They will also mail you a PIN number.

YP

YP.com has become one of the leaders in the business directory world.  They also now have a vape shop listing section, specifically geared towards listing vape shops.  While they also have paid listing services, you will, at least, cover the basics by utilizing the free business listing they have available.  Don’t be surprised when they call you to sell you advertising.  In fact, you can count on them doing that.

Don’t be surprised when they call you to sell you advertising.  In fact, you can count on them doing that.

Yelp

‘People use Yelp to search for everything from the city’s tastiest burger to the most renowned cardiologist.’  Yelp is a review website which allows people who enjoy reviewing things to go on their and share a piece of their mind.  Unfortunately, many of the times that people feel motivated to post a listing are when they are extremely upset with an organization about something, however, you will find in browsing their site that this is not always the case.

Unfortunately, many of the times that people feel motivated to post a listing are when they are extremely upset with an organization about something, however, you will find in browsing their site that this is not always the case.

It is always important to be consistent with your attitude and honest with customers with things and you will not have to worry about negative reviews.  Actually, I can pretty much guarantee you that as long as you are nice to people when they come in and you maintain at least a basic inventory of products that people want, and are honest with them when they ask for things they don’t want, that most likely nobody is going to make any negative reviews.  There are always exceptions where people are just rude and are having a bad day but I would say more likely than not, people will not go out of their way to curse you unless you set some kind of expectation which you were unable to meet.

There are always exceptions where people are just rude and are having a bad day but I would say more likely than not, people will not go out of their way to curse you unless you set some kind of expectation which you were unable to meet.

There are always exceptions where people are just rude and are having a bad day but I would say more likely than not, people will not go out of their way to curse you unless you set some kind of expectation which you were unable to meet.

There are MANY more than these… read on to learn about how to find them.


How to Find the Most Important Directories to List Your Shop (Other Than Mentioned)

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To find additional vape shop directories relevant to your specific area, conduct a Google search for ‘find a vape shop (your city)’ and locate the directory listings which appear on the first couple pages of the search.   For example, if you live in Oklahoma City you might search for finding a vape shop Oklahoma City (shown below), and your results would look something similar to the images below.

Notice some of the listings will be for actual vape shops which have ranked well or that you have recently visited online  and others will be actual directories. First, you will likely see the local search results.

 

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Above you will see the local search results, which appear first when conducting a Google Search for a local business. If you do not see your business listed and are interested in being in the top three show, or at least on the first page, be sure to contact us to find out how we can help. With our services, we guarantee your vape shop being  listed on the first page at very least.

 

Next, you will see the actual web search results.  I have highlighted the directories and the actual shops to better explain how to go about identifying which are directories and which are local businesses which have just ranked well for the search terms you used.   If you are in doubt about which, just visit the sites and see what they are about.  

You should do this for each key word you want to rank for, scanning and noting the first 2-3 pages of the search results.  These are the most relevant for your particular area

After you do this you might try the same with ‘vapor store (your city)’, ‘pigs (your city)’, etc….  You want to make sure all of your bases are covered in terms of potential search terms used to locate your shop.
Free Vape Shop Marketing Resources: Find Free Directories

 


If you have any questions or would prefer to just have somebody do this for you, I am also available for taking care of your online business listings.  Please contact me to inquire.

Be sure to check out my web design and digital marketing portfolio to see examples of my completed projects.

I specialize in vape shop web design, SEO, and digital marketing services for local businesses (physical address local, not close to me necessarily) and have been involved primarily in the vapor industry for the past couple years.   In addition to vape shop websites, I can help you market or design a website for an eLiquid brand you manufacture or distribute or for your vapor wholesale business.

 

Other Recommendations

Expand your product offering!  You have a vape shop – your customers want to get healthy….  Carry supplements!  Use coupon code SAVE6 to Save 6% at BulkSupplements.com.

Brainstorm other products to supplement your customer’s desire and lifestyle.

TTFN

 

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Effective Vape Shop Web Design Strategy vs. Other Retail Businesses

Effective Vape Shop Web Design Strategy vs. Other Retail Businesses

Many of my clients own vape shops or other businesses in the vapor industry including eLiquid manufacturing companies, wholesale companies, smoke shops, cigar shops and tobacco shops.  

A large portion of my business is in designing websites and SEO services, so many of the questions I receive are in regard to the necessities involved in designing a website for a vapor store.   Since I design websites and perform SEO services for companies in other industries as well, I wanted to take the opportunity to explain the reasoning that vape shop website design should be approached from a somewhat different mindset than retail businesses in other industries.

Being that I design websites and perform SEO services for companies in other industries as well, I wanted to take the opportunity to explain the reasoning that vape shop website design should be approached from a somewhat different mindset than retail businesses in other industries.

Check out my web design and digital marketing portfolio to see some of my completed projects for companies in the vapor industry.

What is the Objective of Your Vape Shop Website?

First and most importantly, vapor consumers are primarily buying name brand items (hardware or eLiquids) which are available from many places,  most of which can easily be found online very quickly and conveniently.  

That said, it is extremely important to consider your business model in the design of your website in general.  

There is definitely a place in the industry for retail shops, however, if you are driving your customers to buy products (other than possibly your own eLiquids) on your website, you may be making a costly mistake.  

As a retail business, your objective should be to get customers in the door and if your web presence is geared to do anything other than that, you are likely diluting your purpose and possibly turning your would-be customers into online shoppers.

Be Specific When Listing Vapor Brands on Your Website, But Not Too Specific

Be Specific, But Not Too Specific

The majority of sought-after vapor products are ‘specialty’ items which cannot be purchased anywhere – and likely not even in every vape shop.  

The industry is moving quickly and it is unreasonable to think that you would be able to keep up with every new product.  

You may have something at least comparable to the majority of all products on the market, but if you are losing customers at your website, they are likely to never know about it.

That said, if you are going to list out the specific products you are carrying, you either need to make sure the list is constantly updated or better yet, if you are going to have a list at all, keep the list limited to the name brands you carry rather than listing out the products.  

Why?  

Because if you are too specific about what you are carrying and your customers see a list which does not include what they are looking for, they may just assume you don’t have what they want.  

Encourage the customers to come see you as (hopefully) your inventory is being updated with new products on a regular basis.

Your Vape Shop Is Different Than a Shoe Retail Business

My Vape Shop is Just a Retail Business…

When considering how these aspects are different than a retail clothing shop, shoe store or even a sports good store, it is easy to see why vape shop web design is different.  For anything the customer needs to ‘try on’ to fit

For anything the customer needs to ‘try on’ to fit themselves, the customer is going to be much more likely to go to a brick and mortar location to purchase.  

Additionally, even if people are making youtube videos reviewing the newest basketball shoes on the market, the customer is still going to need to see how they fit their own feet.

The vapor retail business could be more accurately compared to an adult novelty store, however, many people are not comfortable using their credit cards for the items they would purchase from these stores.  

They are also likely to be less comfortable with the idea of their mailman, significant other or roomate knowing about their purchase.  

For these reasons, the web design strategy used for an adult novelty store is less concerning than it should be for a vapor store.  Its just not the same…

If you are in need of assistance with launching a vape shop or increasing the effectiveness of your vape shop’s web presence, request a free digital marketing report or contact us.  We work with businesses in a variety of industries but have worked with many successful businesses in the vapor industry.   In addition to web design we also specialize in social media management and other forms of

In addition to web design we also specialize in social media management and other forms of digital marketing services. Be sure to check out my web design and digital marketing portfolio to see some of my work.  

If you are considering a web design or looking for digital marketing solutions for your vapor industry business, please contact me or request your free digital marketing report.

Also, regardless of whether or not you need my assistance, be sure to check out this list of free resources for marketing your vape shop online in 2016.