Tag: marketing plan

Marketing Tips for Entrepreneurs Part I

Being an entrepreneur means wearing many hats, so to speak – you’ll need to do several jobs when you’re a solopreneur. You may also have a virtual assistant to help you with some of your daily tasks. But, you’re still doing the lion’s share of the work. You’ll need to know how to manage your time and prioritize your task list to stay focused and work efficiently towards your marketing goals.

Here are tips for entrepreneurs, both new and seasoned, that can assist you in your daily workflow. See which of these resonate with you, and choose one to make your daily habit until our next blog comes out with part two. This blog will give you more marketing tips to incorporate into your business life.

 

Tip #1 Keep a Business Journal

Keep a business journal, write down trends and your daily tasks, and write down future tasks. A business journal is a great way to keep all your business notes in one place without stick note overload. Make sure to date and label all your work so you can reference what you’ve written down at a later date.

 

Tip #2 Find Out What Marketing Tactics are Paying Off

Look at what’s working and what’s not working in your marketing. If your email newsletter is doing great, focus more energy on your newsletter. What are you doing on social media? If that’s not going well, try another digital marketing channel, such as a landing page or lead magnet. You could also create videos on YouTube. Set a time to review your marketing efforts and where you’re spending to see what’s attracting the most attention and dollars back to your business.

 

Tip #3 Order From Your Own Company

Order from your own company or become a client under a different name. Analyze the process of ordering, shipping, online store, customer service, and the product itself. This will show you areas for improvement in the customer experience.

 

Tip #4 Make Note of What Gets Your Attention in Other Ads

Read quality ads and keep a list of the specific topics or ideas that made the ad stand out in your business journal. Then, try incorporating these aspects into your business if they work with your platform.

 

Tip #5 Watch other Consumers

When out in public, watch how consumers behave in different situations and how they consider their purchases. For example, see what brands they are gravitating towards and which ones they buy. Then, look at what they are considering. You can also invite your clients to a virtual meeting to see what they like and don’t like about your product, packaging, and other aspects of your marketing. This type of research will help you understand what your client is looking for and assist you in which direction to go, resulting in a positive outcome for your marketing!

How to Create a Marketing Plan for Your New Business

When you think of marketing, your mind may slingshot to social media. While this is one aspect of marketing, there are many other elements to digital marketing that you need to know before you jump right into social media. It’s important to design your digital marketing around a plan so that you’re spending less time, in the long run, working and posting your digital marketing than you are in the other aspects of your business.

 

Marketing Plan Step #1: Build a Website

Make sure to have your own website with your domain name. No one else can pull your information off the internet when you have your own website and domain name. You also have control over all your content. Make sure not to mistake having a social media page as your “website.” Your content or entire page can be pulled down at any moment, with no recourse, leaving you to start all over with a new site.

 

Marketing Plan Step #2: Choose an Email Service

While there are many email services out there today, Convertkit is one of our favorites for creators. Start with an email service that gives you a free account, then add the emails you have from prospects. Start with three to five tags, which are categories that you can set up to identify your email subscribers. A few categories that are good to start with are: clients, prospects or leads, and workshops (if you offer a free workshop). Whatever works for your business, categorize your email subscribers so that when you have an email campaign in the future, it’s easy to develop a targeted campaign right to the avatar you want to send them to.

 

Marketing Plan Step #3: Design a Lead Magnet

What is a lead magnet? A lead magnet is a freebie that you offer that is typically easy for you to generate and doesn’t use more of your time when your potential client takes you up on the offer. A lead magnet is a way to collect the email addresses of potential clients interested in what you offer.

Examples of freebie lead magnets are: ebooks, a mini-online course, a video series dropped via email, or a newsletter. Take one of the most common questions you get in your business and give them that information in your lead magnet. If you’re not sure what’s popular in your niche right now, take some time to do a Google search to find out what’s hot and trending online. 

 

Marketing Plan Step #4: Create Content Pillars

Content pillars are themes that you want to build your content around. For example, if you’re a florist, weddings, proms, and holidays are three content pillars you can build your content around. Create a theme for one to three months of content and build all of your marketing content, both print and digital, around the same theme. In doing this, you are continually reminding your followers about the service you offer. 

Why do you want to build your content around pillars? 

Because nowadays, in marketing, it takes up to 15 impressions for people to buy from you with all of the content they see on social media, email, and video. With that many impressions needed before someone considers buying, you need to think long-term for your digital (and traditional) marketing efforts.

When you’re building your marketing plan and content, remember that your plan doesn’t have to be perfect! Start small and see what works. Your first plan may be an email once a month, social media three days a week, and adding one blog to your website each month. Once you have a groove and are comfortable, start adding more content to your marketing!

Business Pitfalls to Avoid When You’re an Entrepreneur

When you’re starting a business, especially as a first-time entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of building your business, such as making your new website, your new company branding, and creating business cards. However, many new entrepreneurs fail to plan, which is why 80% of start-ups fail in their first year. To avoid failing in your new business, you’ll want to make a plan after you come up with your new business idea and before you start to make your new logo. This way, you can avoid many of the pitfalls that new businesses make when they start out.

 

Start Your Business with a Business Plan

The first mistake many business owners make is to start a business without a plan. 

Ignore market testing and push on with an inaccurate plan. When you lay out a plan for your business, you have steps to take that will make your business grow more rapidly and run smoothly. 

You can purchase many business planning books if you’re unsure where to start when building a business plan. Start by reading through one to three books. Find takeaways that appeal to you and use those for your personalized business plan. 

 

Make Sure to Recognize the Problem and the Solution for Your New Business

Your new business is exciting, and you’re ready to go! However, do you know the problem you’re solving for your new potential clients? If not, then you need to step back and figure out what the problem is that you’re solving and if this is a problem that people are looking for a solution to. You can find out by surveying people online to see if your services or products offer a solution that people are looking for. If so, does your product or service offer many of the features that consumers or other businesses are looking for? These questions need to be answered before you start investing in a logo or a website.

 

Build Your Own Website with a Domain Name that You Own for Your Business

Many people feel the need to be on social media, even more so than having their own website. This is a huge mistake to make when you’re a business owner! Why? Because a social marketing platform can take down your social media page without warning, leaving you without a site or a place for your clients to contact you. Even if you’re a brick-and-mortar store, this can hurt your business. Think of the many hours of time you’ve spent on your social media page (as your only source of an online website) that’s lost because someone on the social media platform didn’t like your content. That’s not a chance any business owner should take!

Make sure you have your own website with a domain name that you’ve purchased. Gandi is a great site to purchase your domain name from, which you can migrate to any platform on which you’re building your website. Whether you’re using a drop-and-drag website or an online marketplace, you want to own your domain so that you can control your content 24/7.

 

Build Your Email List After You Have Your Website Built

Many people mistake building their social media channels and completely ignoring their email list. Did you know that your email list is the BEST marketing tool out there? Even though it’s one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, sending messages out to your email list regularly is the best way to get in front of your ideal audience.

Make sure to know the basics, who your audience is, and do the legwork of data collecting to find out if your business idea is a needed asset to consumers or businesses. Once you’ve achieved that goal, then start your logo, branding, website, and email list.

McMinnville Business Mastery Lunch & Learn

EVER FELT LIKE MARKETING, STAFFING, AND GROWING YOUR BUSINESS WAS LIKE NAVIGATING A DIFFICULT MAZE?

What if you could follow a proven and time-tested roadmap that provides you the EXACT steps to more cash flow and freedom?

At my Business Mastery Lunch & Learn events, join area business owners as we tackle the business challenges of the day. In each session, walk away with no-cost strategies that can be implemented immediately.

Lunch and beverages are provided but registration is required.

To register for an upcoming event, click on the date you want to attend:

January 25 – Topic: Finding & Keeping Employees

(POSTPONED) February 8 – Topic: Position Your Business for a Bank Loan

February 22 – Topic: Exit Your Way – Grow with the Exit In Mind

March 8 – Topic: Pricing Workshop (details coming soon)

March 22 – Topic: No Cost Conversions & Sales Strategies (details coming soon)

Past events included Non-traditional Ways to Find & Keep Superstar Employees, No-cost Lead Generation Strategies, Increase Conversions and Sales With Small Tweaks, and more!

What these events aren’t:

NOT a disguised sales pitch

NOT a boring presentation about buying ads that don’t result in new customers anyways

NOT a place for me to listen to my own voice for a whole 90-minutes 🙂

 

What you will get is:

REAL strategies that you can implement yourself

INSPIRATION that can only come from being in a room with like-minded business owners doing the same work at the same time

The PEACE OF MIND knowing that you’re focusing on the business activities that really make a difference so you can work smarter rather than harder.

30 Ways to Effectively Market Your Business

A step-by-step guide to creating and executing a successful advertising campaign

Have you spent thousands of dollars on radio or Facebook ads and seen zero sales from the advertising spend? Maybe you’ve been burned by a marketing consultant that promises the world only to fail to deliver results… today, I want to lift the veil on how to create a successful advertising campaign. 

To do that, first, we must understand why people buy products or services. Every purchase is an emotional response. People always buy a higher emotional state. They’re buying for one of three reasons

  1. to solve a problem or stop pain
  2. an experience that feels good 
  3. for certainty 

To develop emotion and a call to action, the majority of successful professionals use a succession of information-based commercials. What we find is that information-based advertising is much more effective compared to usual brand-based advertisements.

Here, I want to share with you that the principles used to put together high-impact (and oftentimes, high-priced) ads can be adapted to fit your needs and offer you similar results. 

Here are some ideas for creating and executing a successful advertising campaign:

  1. Put together a short report that you’ll automatically send to prospects when they contact you. This should include a short description of your business and what you specialize in. Don’t forget to include case studies, samples, or other proof of your success.

  2. Develop value-oriented “yellow page” like ads.

  3. Consider newsletters as a way of educating and informing customers about your industry and the services offered.

  4. Offer a free lecture or webinar to raise awareness of your business, but make sure the content is relevant to your target market and that the presenters are well-known in the field.

  5. Buy an existing business, improve marketing and grow this new business faster than a “from scratch” business.

  6. Always test different versions of your ads to determine which ones are the most effective.

  7. Use direct mail marketing to grow your business.

  8. Put together a database of previous customers and send them new information.

  9. Offer incentives such as frequent purchasing benefits, loyalty programs, or referral programs.

  10. Approach large firms who may need your services and negotiate a deal to be their exclusive expert in your field.

  11. Offer a 24-hour information line with a regularly updated recorded message. Make this available to all current and prospective customers/clients.

  12. Donate time or materials to local charities to show support in your area.

  13. Offer public clinics for the general public to come along and discuss what they need that’s free and approachable.

  14. Organize seminars your customers/clients can pay to attend by putting together a high-perception value package.

  15. Approach local newspapers by offering to write a weekly column about your area of expertise. Don’t ask for a payment, just a byline, and bio.

  16. Develop a weekend or other destination seminar for customers/clients, not only does this give you an action-packed weekend with the most important people, it gives them a tax-deductible business adventure.

  17. Take a good seminar and turn it into written form as a home study, member site program, audio, or video program.

  18. Approach large companies and offer to give seminars to their employees, investors, or management.

  19. Be proactive with your marketing plan.

  20. Trade for your marketing. Offer products or services instead of payment.

  21. Be willing to bring in new clients, even if at an initial loss because it will likely pay off later.

  22. Adjust your marketing budget to maximize the potential income from them for the following year, and try to postpone advertising costs for the following year to offset your expenses.

  23. Make offers to target markets or target market businesses to pay them for referrals or shared databases.

  24. Offer loaner products to replace equipment that’s being repaired or refurbished.

  25. Give away something free to everyone who brings in a print version of your advertisement. This is a great way to see which ads are giving you the most bang for your buck.

  26. Continually consider what new products/services you can offer to current customers/clients.

  27. Develop a mail order division of your company.

  28. Offer a proposition to your competitors to trade customers/clients you were both unsuccessful in selling to.

  29. Use different marketing tactics as an excuse to attract new customers/clients with new offers and goodies.

  30. Offer a “you-pick-a-price” program. This is especially good for products you just can’t seem to sell.

So now you have it: 30 ways to market to other professionals and businesses. Other great ways to get your name out there for little or no money are as follows:

  • Get engaged in your community-volunteer, donate to local events, etc.

  • Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend networking and other activities throughout the year.

  • Join local, state, or regional professional associates for further networking opportunities.

  • Become a board member of a local organization.

Advertising should never be your only method of marketing strategy, there are numerous ways to get your name out there in a way that feels personal to potential customers/clients.

 

“Many companies have forgotten they sell to actual people. Humans care about the entire experience, not just the marketing or sales or service. To really win in the modern age, you must solve for humans.” – Dharmesh Shah, CTO & Co-founder of Hubspot.

 

If you’re not sure where you start with your marketing plan or how to reach out to your local community, competitors, customers/clients, and others who could influence your business in a highly positive way try our GUIDED TOUR to experience the tools and resources we have to boost your business to the next level and beyond.

This is how to Guarantee a rockin’ Q4

This is how to Guarantee a rockin’ Q4

Hello fellow rockstars,

I’m jumping in to talk about why this is the perfect time to start the 90-day Jumpstart. Why on earth would you do a program in the middle of the summer as we’re exiting a pandemic?

It’s natural for some businesses to slow down during the summer — pandemic or not. After talking to businesses in a variety of industries, it was clear to us this is the optimal time to embark on the 90-day Jumpstart.

We have one goal: to make Q4, rockin’ for you!

This summer, get everything lined up:

  • Hone in on marketing messaging that directly speaks to your ideal customer and market position systems using the three marketing fundamentals and the marketing equation.
  • Attract employees and onboard them in a way that you can rely on them during your most valuable season
  • Create efficiencies and systems that enable you to take Q4 and run with it.
  • We are exiting a pandemic. Yes! We need you to take care of yourself right now. Get out, enjoy friends and family safely, take a vacation… but, I want to see you participating and working ON your business rather than do it. I have a vision of someone logging in from a beach. Wouldn’t that be so cool?

What is the structure of the 90-day Jumpstart?

The reason why the program is structured the way it is, comes from an experience I had in 2017 when I was a part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) program. It’s kind of like an accelerated MBA where they pair you up with businesses that have at least $150,000 in revenue and four or more employees. To say this program was life-changing for me is an understatement. It was so awesome to be surrounded by entrepreneurs that had the same issues that I did. All of our businesses were in different stages and different industries but experiencing the same things. The camaraderie that developed was amazing.

I made my big life choice of leaving my bakery business based on a relationship that I had with someone in my 10KSB class. They asked me, “why was I hanging on so tight to the business when you have so much more to do?” My point in sharing that is that these deep relationships could stick with you for a lifetime.

As a business owner, I know that it can get really lonely, especially when you’re working day-to-day with managing employees and you — we all — need someone to listen to us, to help us see blind spots, and support us through challenging choices. That’s why 90-day Jumpstart is structured in a very intimate way where we have, at most, eight people in each cohort. So go ahead, click on the 90-day Jumpstart link and fill out the application if this at all interests you at all. The next step is you and I sitting down (virtually) and talking for 30 minutes about your business — and it’s free.

If the summer one doesn’t work for you, still fill out an application if this feels like a fit. We offer the program year-round and can stay in touch when the next cohort is available. There’s nothing more that I love than to hear about what you are doing. The passion fellow business owners have for their businesses, customers, and employees are so cool to me.

I look forward to speaking with you! Thank you for jumping in, considering the possibilities of upgrading your lifestyle by sustainably growing your business, and creating the life you want.

Let’s dig in!

5 strategies you will master by signing up for the 90-Day Jumpstart

90-DAY JUMPSTART BEGINS JULY 6

Are you asking yourself, why aren’t more customers buying from me? You invested in social media or a shiny new website but aren’t seeing conversions? Learn why your marketing doesn’t work and, more importantly, how to fix it NOW.

WHAT: 90-day Jumpstart is a structured virtual program where you will learn, practice, and implement a number of strategies that begin to grow your business immediately. Best of all, you’ll continue to see these strategies pay off for years to come.

After taking this course, you will never again ask yourself what you need to do and how to do it to increase sales, increase cash flows, increase efficiencies, or how to grow and attract dedicated staff.

Past participants have experienced 2x, 5x and even 15x growth in the first year these strategies were put in place.

HOW: You might be asking yourself, how is this possible?! You’ve likely been trying to get more customers forever but nothing sticks and you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel creating content with little to no engagement. Or, you’re getting engagement but not seeing sales. At the base of the 90-day Jumpstart, you’ll learn these strategies:

  1. Position your business in a league of its own
  2. Attract your soul-mate customer or client
  3. Attract and retain your ideal employees
  4. Increase your number of transactions
  5. Decrease your costs

WHO: Business owners in business a minimum of 2 years and generate $50,000 – $1.3M in revenue a year.

WHEN: The next cohort starts July 6.

Are you in? If it’s a hell yes! Fill out the application here >>

If you’d like to see more information, learn more here >>

Kick start your marketing

In Reid Hoffman’s podcast Masters of Scale, he interviewed Brian Chesky from Airbnb and they talked about something that has stuck with me since I heard the segment in 2017, “If you want your company to truly scale, you have to do things that don’t scale.”

Today, I’d like to share three things I did to get (and keep) my first customers.

  1. Meet your customers in person: You must meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. I understand that is challenging but remember the potential connections in-person meetings cultivate, otherwise, there’s always Zoom or Skype. You will learn so many valuable insights from this person’s attention that will carry you and your company to the future.
  2. Follow-up letter: When was the last time you got a piece of mail that was unexpectedly delightful? It’s been a minute for me (read: never). Your first customers want to feel valued and respected. Consider taking a moment to send a follow-up letter personalized with what you talked about and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you.
  3. Phone call: I hear you! No one calls anyone anymore. But, use the phone to share an article or something that triggered you to think of them, and that customer will be loyal forever.

A word of caution: None of these tactics will work if you don’t have a quality product or service to back you up.

Here are the key steps for putting together your start-up marketing tools:

  • Research potential customers, buyers, competitors, and their preferred methods of distribution.
  • Talk to potential customers! Surveys, polls, prototypes – take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
  • Follow up with your 3-step process from above.
  • Develop systems for contact follow-through, quality control standards, and customer service.
  • Keep lines of communication open with customers and build on your current relationship, possibly increasing future purchases.

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” — Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company.

I hope this lesson helps you put together a start-up marketing plan that can sustain and grow your business far into the future. The tools offered in our free training videos offer more of these strategies.

Educate your customers

You may be thinking to yourself, “Educate them about what?”

Entrepreneur and documentary filmmaker, Jia Wertz, says it better than I ever could in the opening sentence of her Forbes article, “Majority of customers visit your website or your brick-and-mortar only one time. Think about that.”

She goes on to explain that we’re spending all that money to get people in and we get one shot. Consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but I encourage you to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. I know it feels like a no-brainer but so few businesses create a system to bring back people who already know you and have bought from you.

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality, and branding position.

Here are key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  • Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in-person, and by carrier pigeon if you have must (lol)!
  • Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. They need to feel supported for what they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a ‘Thank You’ note with your contact or customer service information can go a long way in retaining a great customer.
  • Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  • Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity, and honesty go a long way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling with substandard product out there, and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you. That makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  1. Quality product/service
  2. Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  3. Offer content your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside.

Legendary business strategist, Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every way possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

Remember, you can access free support by signing up for our training videos. The videos can help you harness techniques to educate your customers and watch their lifetime value go up and your revenues pay off many-fold.