Tag Archives: Business Development

The Best Marketing Strategy for Your Business [exercise included]

Best Marketing Strategy

You’re probably reading this because you are looking for that one quick fix that’s going to take your marketing from static to sensational.

Sensational marketing.  Now that would be something.

I’m here to burst your bubble unfortunately.  There isn’t one quick fix.

However, I wouldn’t bring you here if I didn’t have something of value to share, would I?

I spent a big chunk of my marketing career doing. Doing. Doing. Doing!

Initially I was doing it all thinking that was the answer.  Eventually I came to realize that sometimes less is more … such was the case when it came to marketing.

As I was marketing my business and those of my clients, I began to realize that sometimes those strategies where producing substandard results.

Sometimes switching strategies worked. Sometimes it didn’t.

For the longest time I couldn’t quite figure out the best marketing strategy “formula”. I streamlined. I immersed. Why were some strategies simply not working or not working as well as I would like?

I got my first aha! moment when I watched a recent keynote speech by author, speaker, and entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk.

In his speech, he talked about marketing in the world that we live in.  He stated that getting romantic about your marketing is the easiest way to go out of business.

Just because one method of marketing has worked for you for years, does not mean it will still work for you today.

You have to apply marketing initiatives that your target audience likes and consumes, not necessarily what feels comfortable to you.

You may be thinking, well shouldn’t I use strategies and tactics that I resonate with and understand?

Yes and no.

If you can incorporate those marketing tactics and tools that you enjoy and understand, that would be the ideal situation of course. You’ll most likely stick with it if that is the case.

However if 80% of your target audience uses Vine or Instagram, and you’re not on that platform,  you’ll be at a huge disadvantage. Ultimately this may cost you your business.

Here’s a simple solution.  If you really can’t wrap your head around using a specific tool or platform, hire someone who can.

If it’s a viable platform or tool, the investment for acquiring leads and clients will outweigh the cost of outsourcing this initiative.

My second breakthrough was even more powerful and profound.  It is something I’ve heard before and understood intellectually, but it never truly registered at my core.

It was simply this:

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Bad Habits May Be Impairing Your Business

Habits

Today I want to write about something that I don’t think gets addressed often enough – how bad habits may be impairing your business (and life).

Often times when we’re struggling in our business it’s usually because of some untold truth or because we’ve taken on some “bad” habits. Quite often we are not even aware of these unproductive habits.

It can be as simple as not keeping on top of our numbers (Been there, done that!) or being inconsistent with our social media marketing (*cough*).

You know it’s very interesting. A lot people complain about social media …  ‘they are not seeing the results they expected.’ I often get the all-too-often asked question, “How do I measure the ROI of social media?”

When asked,  “How long have you’ve been consistent with the process of social media marketing?,” not surprisingly 80% of the time they respond with “A few weeks.”

Hmm…

Or they tell me that they post a few times a week but there’s really no rhyme or reason with their process and they are not consistent with it.

Just like with anything in life, it’s the long-term actions that create results … But you have to be consistent! You have to post regularly if you want to start seeing results. You also need to be strategic.

And if you’re not seeing results, then maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy or tactics. Each business is unique. Therefore what may work for one business, may not work for another.

The only way to get consistent with a process is by creating a habit out of it. Just like brushing your teeth, it becomes automatic. You do it without putting much thought into it.  In the beginning it’s going to take some effort for sure, but as you do it long enough it becomes almost effortless.

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Marketing 101 for the Novice

marketing quote

What is marketing? Marketing, much like sales, for a long time has been given a bad rap. Mostly I think because people either don’t understand it or they fear it. As a result they don’t market their business or don’t do enough of it.

Let’s define marketing:

According to Merriam Webster dictionary, marketing is “the activities that are involved in making people aware of a company’s products, making sure that the products are available to be bought, etc.

Simply put, marketing is the process by which you show people how your product, service, or cause can make a difference in their lives! Like sales, it is not something you do to someone, but rather, something you do for them.

I’ve used this example before. Let’s say you went to the doctor for a checkup. Afterwards she gave you a diagnosis that required you to take certain medications. Wouldn’t the natural next step be for her to write a prescription and/or give you direction on what you needed to do next? How would you feel if none were given?

In essence that is what you are doing when you have a product or service that can help someone be happier, healthier, and/or wealthier and you don’t give them the solution by marketing your product or service. If they don’t know what it is you offer, they’ll never get the opportunity to make a decision to choose yes or no to that offer.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, marketing books available that can teach you the basic principles to marketing. At the end of the day, here’s how it works:

Person has a BIG problem/need/desire –> You have the solution

Your job is to hone in on your prospective customers’ problems, frustrations, desires, etc., and how your product or service will either alleviate or accentuate each.

  • How can your coaching alleviate their frustrations with not getting enough clients?
  • How can your interior design services make someone happier?
  • How does your body wrap help someone lose weight and as a result make them feel more confident and happier?

Marketing Channels

Here a but a few ways to market your business:

  • Virtual trainings (teleseminars, telesummits, webinars)
  • Direct marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • Video marketing
  • Advertising
  • Creating marketing materials (business cards, brochures, etc.)
  • Email marketing
  • Workshops / Lunch & Learns / Events
  • Speaking
  • Networking
  • Joining associations/BNI’s
  • Press releases
  • TV/radio/bill boards
  • Media coverage (news, editorials, local publications)

As you can see, there many methods you can use to market your business. Should you do them all? I wouldn’t suggest it!  Your job is to try different marketing initiatives, test them along the way, and see which ones work best for your business. Unfortunately not all marketing is created equal. If it were, we’d all be doing the same thing!

Where to Begin with Marketing

Where I’ve had most success when it comes to marketing was not by doing it all, but rather by selecting a few strategies and doing them over and over and over. And when you’re sick of it, do it some more!

You may also find that you may get results using many different methods. This does not mean you should use them all! I wouldn’t recommend spreading yourself thin this way. This is definitely a recipe for disaster – and overwhelm. Take it from someone who’s been there. 😉

I’ve always (and still do) followed the Rule of 3. That is, I do everything in three’s – 3 strategies, 3 tactics, 3 daily priorities, etc. Therefore, I would suggest you take your pick of strategies listed above and start with those. Don’t worry, you’re not married to them. You can change them later on if you like.

However, the key here is to immerse yourself in those three strategies over a period of time and evaluate their effectiveness. Keep doing those strategies that are producing great results and switch out the ones that are producing little to no results.

Here’s an example I’ve shared before on Facebook:

 

Sure marketing is a process. There’s no quick fix … And if someone tells you differently, I’d suggest you take your checkbook and run the other way – fast!

They key to marketing is:

  • consistency
  • persistence
  • dedication

Pick your process, stick with it for some time and evaluate your results along the way. Be sure to include both offline and online marketing strategies. I’m yet to come across a business/industry that can’t benefit from both types of marketing.

And listen if you’re really getting stuck with marketing, check out my Marketing Deconstruction Session; or at the very least attend a marketing seminar of sorts to gain some more clarity around how to do it effectively. Google ‘Marketing Seminars + [your city]‘ and see what comes up or visit Eventbrite and see what’s listed in your local area.

Study marketing! I heard T. Harv Eker say once that once your business is set up, you should be spending 80% of your time on marketing, sales, and promotion – and only 20% of your time on other stuff such as operations. If you’re hearing this for the first time, I know it can be overwhelming. There might even be a part of you that doesn’t agree.

For me it’s simple. T. Harv Eker is a multi-millionaire many times over and has run many successful businesses. My rule of thumb is this: If I’m going to take advice from anyone, I’m going to take it from someone who is generating a lot more income than me and producing great results in his or her business … And here’s what’s cool. The more I take on advice and strategies from those more successful than me, the more I continue to grow as an individual and professional.

Just saying … 😉

Empowering Questions to Ask When You Feel You’ve Failed

This week’s Marketing & Mindset Video Tip is about what are some of the questions you can ask yourself when you feel you’ve failed something.

We’ve all gone through this at some point in time – when we went through a process and didn’t get the desired result that we wanted or expected.

Something went wrong …

And I think it’s a disservice to ourselves when we don’t take the time to reflect back on what went right and what went wrong – so that we can do things differently the next time around. That is what growth is all about, is it not?

Over the course of time, I’ve come to create a habit of asking myself specific questions after every new process, venture, program, client interaction, etc., I take on, to see how I can continue to improve my desired results.

Here are the questions I’ve used:

  1. Why did this happen? Why did I get this particular result? For example, did I not promote enough?
  2. What could I have done differently?
  3. How can I do it better next time? This is about determining what did go right – and improving upon on it.
  4. What changes (if any) should I make in my strategies?
  5. What can I do to improve my planning and preparation?

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Building Your Confidence in Business

Today’s Marketing & Mindset Tip is all about building confidence! Specifically I want to talk about the things you can do to build more confidence in yourself when it comes to your business.

When I first started years ago and made the transition from owning an online retail shop to online marketing consulting, in hindsight I lacked a lot of confidence. The reason why I think this, was because it was a challenge for me to share with others what I did and how I could serve them.

The result? Lack of confidence.

Over the course of the years as I’ve continued to grow, I learned a few things along the way that have helped me to build my confidence in my business and stand in integrity with what I do. I know I can provide results for others; and there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

Here’s what I did:

  1. I niched myself.
  2. Stayed in my lane.
  3. Continued to practice my craft.

Check out the video below  as I go more in-depth with these action steps.

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How to Capitalize on Your Strengths … And a Cool Resource

Today I wanted to discuss your strengths. Unfortunately most people don’t take the time to look deep into what are their strengths, natural talents, and gifts and how to use that information to move forward in their life and business.

In particular, I wanted to share with you a great resource you can use to uncover what are your biggest strengths. It is a book called Strengths Finder by Tom Rath.

What is great about the the Strengths Finder book is that after taking a test (code is within the book), it lists your top 5 strengths in order. And it explains what each strength means and how you can use that information to grow.

Another really great thing is that you can use this information to pair up with other people who have strengths in those areas that you would consider a “weakness” of yours. Combining strengths with other entrepreneurs and small business owners is a very productive and powerful strategy to elevate all parties involved!

I recently did this with a business associate of mine. My strengths of course was with online marketing and techie stuff, and hers was more offline marketing – especially in the area of networking. She is a Master Networker! Thus we felt combining our strengths – and business models – would be the best formula for achieving entrepreneur success. The end result was the Marketing with Heart & Hustle Workshop we held this past January!

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The History of an Unforgettable “About Me” Page

History tests in high school were disastrous for me…  I mean who really gives a crap when the Battle of Bull Run happened? And what is this fetish with dates that history teachers seem to have?

I just didn’t see the point. In response my teachers would give me some quote about history repeating itself… All I knew is that if I couldn’t figure out how to remember all these facts and pass these tests – I’d be repeating history all right…

Is your “about me” page filled with facts?

I’m not gonna sugar coat this… The “about me” page is historically one of the worst and most visited parts of a website. That’s a bad combination if you’re hoping to attract more customers.

So what makes them so bad? The problem occurs when people share a lot of facts, but don’t make them relevant to their customers.

Say you share your credentials like certifications, years of experience, or the number of customers you’ve helped… Certainly your customer wants to know you’re qualified, but there are a lot of “qualified” people… what’s going to make a person pick you?

Your customers want to know you share the same values, that they can trust you to get them to a solution, and that you have character. That’s what people are trying to figure out when they visit your “about me” page…

And if all you’re sharing are facts, it’s going to be hard to separate you from all the other people vying for their time and money.

About page How your story has the power to make a bad “about me” page a thing of the past

The man who changed my view of history forever walked into the classroom wearing these big nerdy glasses, carrying a brief case, and walking with a lengthy gate that made you think of Abraham Lincoln. With a big smile he said, “How goes it?” What a character…

He made the Battle of Bull Run come alive by sharing stories of the heroic Stonewall Jackson. By painting a picture of why he made his stand, I was able to relate to him as a soldier fighting for something he believed in.

I passed this history class with flying colors… His stories were so memorable that I never had to study for a test in his class.

Choose that unforgettable story

The key to choosing the right story is aligning one of your life experiences with the core values of your ideal customer.

Step 1: Identify what your customers really want. To make it simpler, here are some categories of what your ideal customer might value:

  • A sense of excitement, adventure, or just plain ol’ fun?
  • How about a realization of a long-standing belief or conviction?
  • Maybe it’s a better understanding of who they are or what they want in life?
  • Is it love, friendship, or some kind of companionship?
  • Or to receive healing, balance, happiness, peace or freedom from something in their lives?

Example: My customers are small business owners who want to make an impact in the world and need to attract more customers with their online presence in order to realize that dream. Often, they are trying to figure out what their purpose is or how to successfully fulfill it.

Step 2: Think of a story in your life where you achieved that very thing your customer desires and use it to introduce yourself to your customers through your “About Me” page. Use the following questions to help you think of a story that resonates with the core values you identified in the first step.

  • How did you decide to do the work you do?
  • How did you overcome the problem you solve for your customers?
  • If you could be known for just one thing in the world, what would it be and why?
  • What’s your greatest challenge or accomplishment? How’d it play out?

Example: I’ve been in the shoes of my customers, and I found a way out… here’s the story of how it went down.

I’d recently broken up with the Fortune 100 Company that I worked at for 6 years and was “dating” five different business ideas at the same time… Unable to be successful at any of them because I was unable to meet the expectations of all of them, I found myself lost and depressed.

Having no choice, I explored my own life with reckless abandon to find a way to leave the expectations of others behind and discover my own path.

Uncovering my story revealed my purpose, and that clarity has effortlessly guided me since. Now I apply what I learned to guide small business owners in finding a brand that feels authentic to their hearts and is effective at attracting the right customers with their online presence.

Bring your “about me” page out of the history books and into life by sharing a story that gives your customer a reason to remember you… and the confidence to choose you.

Want to learn more ways story can attract more of the customers you love?

Download his free eBook titled “The Power of Stories: Make connections that serve your business, fulfill your purpose, and enhance your marketing.”

photo credit: Jill Clardy via photopin cc

Conquering the Marketing Beast is Not Only For the Lucky Few

Want to know some of the biggest complaints I hear from people when it comes to marketing? It’s this:

I’m not good at marketing

I don’t like marketing

Marketing is too hard

I just had a conversation with a new client the other day about her fear of marketing … Yes! She fears marketing.

She’d rather deal with the repercussions of not marketing her business, then deal with what it’s going to take from her to actually apply marketing strategies in her business.

Crazy I know!

But she’s not alone unfortunately.

There are many like her – suffering in silence as their business continues to spiral downhill. No leads in the pipeline. Not enough clients to sustain their business. Expenses piling up and not enough income coming in to pay those expenses.

Ugh!

And I felt her anxiety continue to build as we began to speak more in-depth about her marketing plan.

“Plan? What do you mean?” she asked.

I don’t like marketing. It’s very overwhelming,” she stated.

BIG Ugh!!

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What It Takes To Have Quantum Leaps in Business

Unfortunately by the time most business owners come to me to inquire about my consulting services, they’ve created a world of chaos and confusion in their business. Of course this is not done intentionally. Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know … I can relate.

But here’s the deal. Once someone jumps on that downward spiral of things continuing to go wrong, it’s often challenging for them to turn things around. By this point in time they are so resigned and have become complacent to what’s not working in their business, they can’t see the forest through the trees.

“People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.” Tony Robbins

So how are you supposed to take quantum leaps in your business if you can’t get past the chaos that seems to be all around you? Simple. Take. A. Step. Back.

A friend once shared an analogy with me that she uses with her clients – just like a sling shot, you have to pull back in order to spring the object forward even further than anticipated.

Quantum leap in business

So what does this mean?

If you are in a point in your business where you’re stuck, not moving forward, and feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, maybe this would be a good time to take a step back and evaluate the choices you’ve made thus far.

By doing so, and making the necessary course corrections in your business, you can potentially position your business to take these quantum leaps … And what better time to do so then now – with the new year upon us! Continue reading

Women’s Empowerment At Its Best

I love women. Don’t get me wrong I love men too. 😉  But something about getting like-minded women together — networking, sharing, being a stand for each other’s greatness — is so inspiring.

I’m currently an active member in several groups that either consist of all women or are women dominated and there’s nothing like it. We’re just fierce creatures who are committed to not only growing our business but truly being of service to others.

I think it’s just in our genetic makeup…

It’s no wonder when my friend and co-conspirator to changing the world one woman at a time, asked me to become an Ambassador to her business, 7 Pretty Women, that I said a resounding, YES!

What inspired me quite frankly after having an hour conversation on the phone with her (Which I initially intended to be 10 minutes!), was we shared the same mission … And that is to educate and inspire women around the world to live their best life.

It was clear to me she was up to something big and I wanted to be a part of it. Partly to support her. But also partly because I knew that by just the mere act of engrossing myself amongst this community, that I would be empowered and pulled up to new heights in my life and business.

So. How can you be a part of this community of amazing, like-minded individuals? Simple. Come and join us on October 3rd in New York for the S.M.A.R.T. Women: The Ultimate Business Empowerment Conference.

Here’s what you can expect to learn:

  • Using social media to gain attention
  • How to pitch the media
  • PR Do’s and Don’ts
  • Power tips to increase online visibility
  • Website best practices
  • What online marketing can do for your business
  • How to get the edge in your life and business
  • And more!

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