Free Stuff...Really Good Free Stuff

Hello to my fellow business owners. Here's a quick recap and some good free stuff. If your sales pipeline is full, your sales team is closing plenty of business and/or your marketing is attracting enough fresh leads for you, then you will not need the following information. If you are not getting the results you want then dig into some of the exercises below, this will provide data that you have right under your nose. You don't need to spend money to have people outside of your company telling you this info. These exercises will allow you to pull your own marketing data yourself. Then plug the data into your marketing efforts to enhance the results. 

It started with my October 2016 post, check out the ideal client/customer exercise. Know your target.

December 2016 - the importance of client retention systems, read Raving Fans.

January 2017- Take a dive into the Buyers Journey

July 2017 - Blogging ideas

August 2017 - More blogging tips

Go have some fun with this and save a few bucks from your marketing spend. Call if you need guidance on any of the exercises.

This post brought to you by SpliceNet Legal Tech. If your IT support is dropping the ball, slow to respond and you are in transition regarding IT support look to the group at SpliceNet. They are honest, reliable , and competent. They are experts in Cyber Security. Call Jim, mention that I sent you.  

Check out www.splice.net

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite lesson from this post? Please let me know with comments and/or questions.

Blogging for Small Business Owners

Hello to my fellow business owners. I hope it has been a good summer for you.

Last month I wrote a post calling myself out with my poor blogging cadence. I admit my mistake. Now, I'll have to be consistent or I'm totally full of crap. Remember, it's not what we say it's what we do. For now, I'm going for monthly posts. I may change the rhythm but my goal is consistency. My other goal is to show you, the business owner, a few components to blogging, including a few cautions to save you money from some of the folks out there who are telling you WHAT YOU NEED. Be careful, they are your dollars perhaps being thrown out the window.

Some basics on blogging...and remember KNOWING something and DOING something are two different things. Before writing your next post, consider your intended reader. Are you writing to a specific person or group? I try to lead by example, I'm writing to Business Owners. If you look through my content I'm pretty clear, I even included it in the name of my blog.

After locking down on 'who' you want to write to, go look at resources who will show you how to do exercises on your ideal customer. There are exercises you can find online that take you into a deep dive into understanding your ideal customer better. You don't have to spend a lot of money to have someone provide this type of market research, you can do it yourself with these tools. 

Why am I doing this George? Great question, after doing these exercises and determining exactley who you want to write to, you will have relavant content going to the right person. It sounds so simple but knowing and doing...bla bla bla  you get my point. 

This post brought to you by Marketing Matters. Marketing Matters is the best place to go when you are in need of marketing services. Why? Because Melinda Rea is a senior-level marketing communications professional who delivers results. Speed, affordability and focus drive their three step process. 

Check out www.marketingmatters123.com

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite lesson from this post? Please let me know with comments and/or questions.

 

 

 

Blog Cadence...Don't Do This

It's a simple message. Do not go 6 months between blog posts. I know, it seems ridiculous, but some of you have done this as well, I'm not the only one guilty of this. I went extreme in my flawed cadence with posting in January and then following up six months later with my second post in July.  

As business owners we have good excuses. The pace and rhythm of our lives and what we juggle is intense.  We're out there hustling to land business, we provide the service on that business, we chase checks...I could go on, anyone who owns a business understands. The key is to try to be consistent with blogging activity. If you're generating enough content you can post three to four times a week, you can go weekly, perhaps even monthly. Try to be consistent. 

An interesting exercise I offer you, go review 3-5 blogs that you like. Look at their archives, write down and track the cadence they follow. Next, look at your competition, do the same with them. To start just follow the cadence, don't get distracted by the content. You will start to be more aware of how well your competitors are (or are not) doing with this idea. I can show you more about 'content' later.

Cadence is just one aspect of blogging, I'll cover more fundamentals of blogging in future posts.

 

Right Under Your Nose

Check this out, it starts here, the title of this blog, all the content, the whole thing is written for a specific target audience. Building a buyer persona is the starting point. This example, written to the business owner, female and male, at least 40 years of age or older.

Follow this thought and take a pause when it comes to marketing. Somewhere early in our journey we created our logo, maybe we tweaked it over the years, we got our website up and going, perhaps we've invested in a different designer, one who is more expensive, they updated the website. Next we moved into working with a strategy and branding professional,  we started investing into sources helping with social media and analytics. We've heard so much about 'content creation' and 'digital', we invested in this path because we couldn't be left behind.

Here's the pause....

Look at all of this, all of this marketing stuff you have invested in. It's usually a lot, lots of stuff. It's all pretty cool, very shiny. But here's the problem, with so much money going into this, how can you still be struggling with a lack of leads? How can the sales pipeline be so empty?

So here it is, right under your nose. Companies who are defining a specific buyer persona, they then crank content that they know that ideal client will be attracted to. Their website is very clear. You know who they work with and exactly what they do. You can see the social media channels that they utilize, it's ALL there. 

Free stuff!! Stop throwing money at sources and start building some of this yourself. You'll save more than a few bucks. Go to Hubspot's website. Read their content regarding buyer personas. Next, look at the Hubspot partner lists, go to their websites. Right under your nose, you will see plenty of examples, great examples of what it looks like when you build Buyer Personas. 

You can do the basics, some of this marketing stuff is NOT as complicated as some of the professionals make it sound. 

 

 

 

The Solution

Hello fellow business owners! I frequently speak about the problems for business owners, possibly focusing too much on the negatives. I'm not trying to dwell on the negative or be a Debbie Downer. It has been my experience that usually high levels of pain and frustration leads a person to new levels of open mindedness and willingness. 

The solution, we build client retention systems,  built on activity and action not words! I don't care what that mission statement on your wall says. It sounds great, it was well written, but tell me what YOU DO to 'wow' your clients. Let's get passed your marketing talk and really look at what you do for your clients. 

The same thing applies to client acquisition programs. We build systems based on activity and behaviors. We can always measure the activity for solid analysis. We apply this to both inbound and outbound programs...the phone does still work if you go back to speaking with somebody and not talking at them. 

So there it is, the solution, a positive slant for those who think I'm focusing too much on the problems. 

 

The Problem with Sales and Marketing

This blog is intended for business owners only. If you are a sales rep working for a large company you may want to move on or just limit your comments. Selling when you work for yourself is not the same game that you play when selling or managing a sales team for a large company.  Yes there are some similarities, but there also exists many differences.  I speak from experience, I have a decade of experience with the large companies and another decade as an owner... it's a different racket!

I'll lump sales and marketing together for a moment. Remember, this is for business owners only. Let's start with marketing, here comes a huge pill to swallow. The following comment MAY help you with the denial I often speak of...YOUR MARKETING SUCKS! This idea is wrapped up and delivered in Mark Stevens book, he delivers the message in a concise, denial breaking method. The title, 'Your Marketing Sucks'. An exercise for the willing, buy the book, read it, join the conversation and explore the possibility that you may be suffering from this problem...or stay in denial and continue to throw hundreds and/or thousands of dollars out your window.

Now, the problem with sales. I take the simple thought from Mr. Gerber and the E Myth. You started your business, you were on fire! You started selling and servicing clients. You continued selling. You made it past the 2-3 year mark...congratulations, not many make it this far. But now you are stuck, you don't want to be the top producer. So you journey down the path of hiring a sales person or throwing money at lead gen companies. Now you are really stuck...and you can't break out of this pattern.  The one thing you know is that YOU ARE NOT GETTING RESULTS.

There is a solution. You will learn more about my improvement process with my posts under 'the new way'. Also,  in our solution we  will leverage many of the tools that you have already invested in and eliminate the tools that are not helping to generate revenue, the ones not producing a ROI.  

I close with this, I know these are some big and painful truths to explore, but try to be open minded. This is an invitation to break the denial that you could possibly be suffering from. 

This post brought to you by SpliceNet Legal Tech. If you are in transition regarding IT support look to the group at SpliceNet. They are honest, reliable , and competent. They are experts in Cyber Security. Call Jim, mention that I sent you.  

Check out www.splice.net

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite lesson from this post? Please let me know with comments and/or questions.

  

the new efficient path for revenue generation

Hello my fellow business owners. I've shared information about what I've labeled 'the insidious archaic path' of business development. I will continue to share solid information from my ongoing research and experience regarding this growing problem. You can refer to my other post for a definition of the problem.

As a solution to this problem I have created a revenue generation system, the new efficient path. The system has different parts; including an inbound marketing strategy, an outbound strategy and a client retention section.

One way to read my content, recognize that what I'm teaching you is the same plan I'm implementing myself. Just as Jason and David from 37 Signals/Basecamp did, they created something they could use.  I also want to teach you how to observe how the marketing/social media/content game really works.

The Internet worships a different god: TRAFFIC. As the battle for people's attention wages on I'll help you to navigate through the noise. The fascinating part is that as business owners we are part of the racket that we call marketing. It's my belief that we need to be more aware of what we are doing and the noise we are creating with our marketing.

This post brought to you by Marketing Matters. Marketing Matters is the best place to go when you are in need of marketing services. Why? Because Melinda Rea is a senior-level marketing communications professional who delivers results. Speed, affordability and focus drive their three step process. 

Check out www.marketingmatters123.com

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite lesson from this post? Please let me know with comments and/or questions.

Mr and Mrs Owner, Yeah You, You May Be Suffering From Horrific Denial...

Hello to my fellow business owners. Today I offer you a challenge. I'm sorry to break the bad news to you, but it may be true. You are brilliant, you have more talent, drive and intelligence than most people. The person who has never run their own business, and especially the ones who never made it past the the 2-3 year mark, simply DO NOT UNDERSTAND. 

But, you may be suffereing from denail. As social psychologist Timothy D. Wilson says, "People are masterful spin doctors, rationalizers, and justifiers of threatening information and go to great lengths to maintain a sense of well-being."  We are all susceptible to denial, you may be suffering from a devastating case of denial. I'm speaking about specific denial when it comes to client retention programs.

Do you have a client retention system?

It ALL Starts Here...

We all know this but we usually don't take the time to do it. Those of you who have read Strategy and the Fat Smoker know what I'm preaching. Yea, I'm talking about the ideal client exercise. Who is your ideal client or customer? Pause, reflect back on your time in business. Think about your absolute favorite client. Please don't tell me that you love all your clients. If you tell me that I'd say you are suffering from a horrific case of DENIAL. When I'm being honest with myself and/or being honest with a friend, I have had clients I love and I have had nightmare clients. 

An exercise for the willing- grab a piece of paper, write down your top three or four clients. Write down why you loved them. Next, make a list of some of the clients you did not like. List some of the reasons you did not like working with them.