Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Think Outside the Box – Try these Marketing Ideas

It’s time to abandon the classical side of marketing and start being inventive with your marketing strategy.

Marketing is constantly evolving. Some of the up and coming marketing strategies are good and some are just bad. There is so much competition and so many options out there, it is easy to get confused.

Surprising your audience with something new and interesting is a great marketing solution. Here are some fresh and unconventional methods to think about trying:

Build on Your Current Community or List

Look at your customers as a way to spread your message. When you send out newsletters or post blogs on your website, give them an easy way to share with their friends and ask them to do it. You could say, “If this information has been helpful, share it with your friends by clicking below (or forwarding this message).” It’s one thing to get new customers in traditional ways, but it’s another to find them in new and innovative ways. Word of mouth may be an old trick, but finding a new way of spreading it is a great strategy.

Know Where Your Customers Are

Knowing where your clientele frequents can help you figure out how to best position your marketing. There may be websites on the net that you never would have considered advertising on, but if your target market frequents them, there’s a good bet that you could gain some new customers by advertising on those sites.

Make Personal Connections

Think about personalizing the products that you market or arranging to have them personalized for your customers. If your product is digital, perhaps include a personal note with each purchase, or a free gift. Simple gestures like these can go a long way toward your building personal connections with your clients.

Make Saying Thank you Special

Thank your clients in some way, whether it be big or small. Send out digital gift cards, no strings attached. Or set up a points program and offer rewards to customers based on their points level. Thanking someone by giving something back says something to your clients. It resonates because it makes them feel special and appreciated.

The Internet is Powerful – Don’t Underestimate It

Do something innovative with videos and post them online. Shares on the internet make people more recognizable now than ever before. The 21st century’s version of word of mouth can be very powerful indeed.

Infographic Marketing

Infographics are very popular but be sure to use them correctly. When used correctly, you can more easily deal with the limited attention span of consumers caused by the surge in social media and technology. Words have become less effective of late and communication via multimedia is continually on the rise. Infographics are a fantastic way to explain a topic, or provide information in a fun and interesting way. Also, infographics can spread like wildfire online due to social media shares, media outlet exposure, and infographic directories. Be sure that you use good data and it is not just a throw away survey you scrapped together in the eleventh hour. Finally, if you decide to hire someone to create it for you, ensure that person knows their craft – ask for sample of their work before you hire them.

Affiliate or Referral Programs

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to attract sales and traffic. You can do this without any out of pocket expense. These programs involve paying for leads or sales that others send your way, rather than paying for client acquisition up front. You’re not just saying “thanks”, you’re actually giving them something.

People Hate Ads, But Not If They’re Creative

This doesn’t mean putting more creativity into your ad’s artwork. Innovative marketing requires an eye for parallels. If you can pull it off it’s great publicity for your business. People remember what’s different, even if it is clearly advertising a product.

Thinking Creatively.

You might get lucky…your same ideas from last year might just keep working. However, often they don’t. The novelty of new advertising doesn’t keep its novelty for very long. Businesses these days need to regularly consider changes to their existing methods of advertising to both current and potential customers. Being aware of common marketing mistakes is very important. Also of utmost importance is to always be looking ahead for new and lucrative possibilities in marketing that might not have worked previously, but in today’s climate, they just might be the thing.

Try thinking outside the box for your marketing strategies. You might just stay one step ahead of the competition and bring a pleasant surprise to your customers.

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Why We Need Content

Two of the quickest ways to lose favor with your prospects and clients are:

- Not communicating enough, and
- Only communicating to sell or promote something.

These two things are like having a teenager who is going through the
phase of only interacting with you when he needs money,
or wants to borrow the car. (You know the feeling because you either
have one or were one, right?) :-) It feels pretty yucky.

This is why it is so important that we regularly communicate with
our prospects and clients with a genuine desire to connect, serve,
and develop meaningful relationships.

We develop personal relationships by investing time and effort,
and having a sincere interest in that person. So shouldn’t our
business relationships be the same? In our industry I believe
the answer to that question is a resounding ‘yes’. If
we were selling widgets or other commodity items, perhaps it
wouldn’t be so important.  But we’re not. And this is why
having content is so important in our business.

Content builds relationships.
Content creates a feeling of good-will.
Content serves.
Content helps your prospects and
clients get to know you.
Content builds trust.
Content gives without asking for anything
in return.
Content keeps you top of mind.

Convinced? Great.

Your next action is to create a few pieces of content to send
to your clients and prospects. (Hint: you can also post
your content on your social media sites, blog, etc.
to gain exposure and build trust there).

Your content doesn’t have to be long and cumbersome.
And everything you write doesn’t have to radically
transform someone’s life. Don’t put that much
pressure on yourself. Create a few pieces of something
of value. Start with something 500 words or less.
Here are a few tips:

1. Write during your clear energy times.
Otherwise it feels like a big chore,
and your output won’t be its best.

2. Avoid distractions. Stay away from
phone, email, facebook, or interactions
with others when you are writing.
Nothing is more frustrating than getting
interrupted when you are hitting your stride.

3. If it is hard for you to get into a groove,
try writing about non-essential things
to warm yourself up. For instance,
answer a few emails, write a short note to
someone, do some journaling, etc.

4. When you get into a groove, keep going.
By doing this, you can create several pieces
of short content in one sitting.

Respond back and tell me what you think. I will respond.

Next time, I will share tips on how to select compelling
topics to write about.

Humor is Annoying

I remember a time when I would get annoyed by people sending me funny emails. I used to mutter under my breath, “I don’t have time to read this!” as I would press DELETE and move on to the “more important” matters of the day.

I’m not sure what has changed – whether it’s age, having more time, or simply getting clear on my priorities, but now I look forward (and often go seek) an opportunity to laugh. That is one of the blessings of Facebook – the creativity, humor, and human-ness that we now have access to.

But here is the best argument of all for the importance of laughter. Dr. William Fry of Stanford University Medical School likened laughter to a form of physical exercise. He said it’s like jogging on the inside. It lowers your blood pressure and heart rate, improves lung capacity, massages internal organs, increases memory and alertness, reduces pain, improves digestion, and lowers the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenalin. It’s good for the muscles involved in laughter—your chest and abdomen—and it exercises those muscles not involved.

Wow, that’s a big benefit for something that’s fun and makes you feel good anyway.

If you are one of those people that is quick to dismiss an opportunity to listen to a good joke (or tell one), or pass along something that warms your soul, might I encourage you to stop for just a minute or two and give yourself some “laughter exercise”?

Please share your favorite joke or story here, and pass it on!

They Were Swapping Mar*i*juana!

I live in Colorado. In Colorado, recreational marijuana is legal.

There are only two states in the U.S. where you can buy marijuana for “fun” – Colorado and Washington state.  In Colorado there are pot stores just as there are clothing stores, liquor stores, or any other kind of store.

It became legal only a short time ago so there is still a lot of controversy about the benefits and negative ramifications of “recreational marijuana” consumption.

Just the other day I was leaving a place of business that I regularly frequent (no, it wasn’t a pot shop), but I was shocked to see the proprietor sitting outside on a bench swapping cannabis with another man. It caught me off guard because for so many years it was something that people did behind closed doors.  But more importantly, this caught my attention because the proprietor’s business represents the total opposite of consuming drugs or other substances. Admittedly, this made me question what it is he REALLY  stands for.

Have you ever seen inconsistencies with businesses that you have purchased products and services from?  They say one thing, but act to the contrary?

This blog IS NOT about the consumption of marijuana.

It’s about how important it is that we professionally and consistently represent ourselves to our clients in a way that they trust us, and our products.  For us, professionalism is more subtle than exchanging pot in front of our store.  Our professionalism shows itself through our physical and online appearance, delivering top quality products and services, doing what we say we are going to do, providing stellar customer service, treating our clients respectfully in all circumstances, and minimizing risk with guarantees.

Have you thought recently about how you are representing yourself to your clients? This situation made me think about it for sure. What are you doing well,  and what can you do better?

Please respond and share this post with others!

Closed for Business

In my suburban neighborhood there is a small retail plaza of 6 stores.
In the summer of 2012 a frozen yogurt store opened up.
I could tell from his effort that the owner was excited about being a
business owner. He had a good location, good name, great sign,
and fun decor. He had at least 10 flavors (those yogurt machines
are expensive), and a huge smorgasbord of toppings.

I love supporting entrepreneurs so I watched every day
as he got closer to opening day. On opening day my daughter and I,
along with many of the neighbors who were anticipating
the opening, were there to support him
with a yummy frozen yogurt treat.

As time went on, I would stop in to get yogurt and we would talk.
He discovered I was a marketing consultant and would often
ask what I thought about various matters. But interestingly
I noticed he didn’t truly listen and he didn’t implement
anything he asked me about.

He was making costly mistakes by letting his
store look un-kept, having VERY long store hours
with no additional staff (burning himself out),
not marketing for maximum exposure and sales,
and trying to diversify with other food items
that were not in alignment with his
business and expensive to serve.

As time went on I noticed “fatigue” in the store.
In our conversations I offered suggestions
for the appearance of the store, how to get
business during the slow hours, adjusting
his business hours, and more. But he kept
doing more of the same, quieting sinking
into despair.

As more time went on, sure signs of failure were showing.
He would close during regular hours and put a sign on the door.
He reduced his store size to half.
His store and food displays looked un-kept
(a complete no-no when dealing with food)

I have since moved from that neighborhood but drive by
there on occasion to see how he is doing.
This week I drove by to check in and say “hi”…and
he was gone. Done. Closed. Another statistic.

Everyone needs a little guidance from others
as we grow and progress in a hobby, business
or special interest.

It is especially important if you are new at business.
It is foolish and MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE to
waste the time, money, and energy
trying to figure it out on your own.
And often it doesn’t work out – hence the more than
90% of businesses who are closed within 5 years.

Even if you are a master at your craft,
you need someone to consult, learn from, and seek guidance.
Masters know they need mending, pruning and fertilizing in order to grow.
World renowned golfer Tiger Woods sought the expertise
and guidance of Butch Harmon for more than 10 years,
and has worked with Sean Foley since 2010.
He knows there is always more to learn.

Don’t let your pride or ignorance keep you from
fulfilling your dreams. Don’t make the mistake of spending
money to start a business, but then stop investing in it
to maintain and grow.

Success has a price. Failure has an even higher price.

List + Regular Communications = Sales

If you don’t have a list, then you don’t have anybody to market to. If you don’t have anybody to market to, then you don’t have anybody to sell your products and services to. And if you don’t have anybody to sell to, then you can’t sustain a business.

It’s not that far off to say “the person with the biggest list wins.” Or more importantly to say, “the person with the biggest ‘targeted’ list wins”.

List + Regular Communications = Sales

To market effectively, you must have a plan for growing your list, marketing consistently to your list, and converting your prospects and clients. And the 1st step in that plan is to get a name.

When initially marketing to your target audience, the idea should not be to get a sale, but instead to get the name. You will be much more effective if you are marketing your products and services to people who are on your list as opposed to marketing to the general population, even if they are your ideal audience.

The reason for this is that most people when they first become exposed to your business will not be ready to buy. They need time to get to know you, and develop some familiarity and trust before they engage in a client relationship. And if you have their name, you can develop a plan to accomplish that.

Let me give you an example. I follow about a handful of successful marketers, including Jack Canfield. Jack is a very successful author and speaker in the personal development industry.

When Jack has a new product to promote or is doing an event in a city, he may advertise in the local newspaper or on the radio, and if so, I’m sure he gets a small percentage of response from those advertising sources. But Jack sells his products and fills his events mostly from his list. It’s much easier and cost effective to sell to a captured audience who has expressed an interest in your products and services than to a mass market. And Jack is very strategic about the free offers, discounts and enticing communications that he sends to his list to get them to respond.

So keep in mind, it is most effective to first bring your target market into your fold – get them on your list first – and then market to them there.

So how do you get a name? Here are some tips for doing that.

Choose a market –
Having a targeted market allows you to focus more on the needs, culture, and nuances of that market and to be more effective in your marketing efforts therefore, getting you the greatest results. This is a struggle for many business owners because they feel they will be limiting themselves, but the fact is you will have far greater success by marketing to a single market deeply than trying to market to many markets shallowly.
Our culture today is looking for specialists, not generalists. We are looking for people who we feel confident can solve our problems and meet our needs. By choosing a market, you will get known in your market, and establish yourself as a credible expert.

Find where they frequent –
When you have a specific market, you can go to where they frequent most and market to them there.
Brainstorm the places they frequent, by asking yourself these questions:
- Where do they go physically?
- What websites do they visit?
- What online communities are they a part of?
- What organizations are they a part of, etc.?

Capture their attention and get them to take action –
And you do that by giving something of perceived value for free that will allow the prospect to exchange their name for your offer. Many of us have been exposed to this strategy or are already using it in our own business. This strategy is a very effective way to grow your list. I recommend everyone have some sort of a special free offer to use to grow their list where the prospect goes to a single web page or your home page and download it there..

Once you get the name, then the relationship begins. And relationships are built from regular communication, giving value, and allowing your prospect to get to know, like and trust you. And the relationship continues until they are ready to buy. And hopefully it continues long after with referrals and lifelong friendships.

Your list is everything. In fact, you can equate your list to money in the bank. And if you don’t have a list, then you can’t sustain a business. So use these strategies discussed here to make building your list your number one priority.

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How to Stay in Front of Your List All Year Long

As a business owner, it is nice when you can stay in touch with your list on a consistent basis by regularly providing value added products and services, and developing relationships with your prospects until they are ready to convert to a client. This is one of the most effective strategies you can implement to grow your business.

With a planned out strategy, you can create a way to stay in front of your list all year long. Here’s some ideas on how to do that:

Develop several themes that resonate most with your market that educate and inform.

Ideally you want to come up with three to six (or more if they are readily available) topics that you can speak to your market about.

For example, if you are a career coach, you may want to teach on:
-       Networking
-       Interviewing
-       Resume writing
-       Negotiations

Decide on a suite of products and services that you would like to offer.

We recommend using different mediums to deliver your products such as reports, audios, videos, teletrainings, webinars and in person trainings. Different people prefer different ways to learn, so offering several formats allows you to accommodate more learning styles.

As an example, our Ready2Go Marketing Solutions’ products include a special report, 6 part audio training course, speech, teleseminar and workshop. You can use a similar model or create your own. And you may have other products you can add that you may already have created.

Schedule the delivery of these products and services around a main event such as a speech, teleseminar, workshop, or all three.

When scheduling the delivery of your products, arrange them so that the product that requires the least time investment from your prospect is delivered first. Then have your next product require a bit more time investment, and so on.

-       Here’s another example. Let’s say you are a relationship coach, and you may choose to do 4 themes throughout the year on communication, conflict resolution, finances and romance.

-       You are going to do 4 workshops that coincide with these themes as well as a teleseminar for each, all with the intent of eventually converting these couples to clients.

If you’re doing a workshop as your main event, you would schedule backwards from there, offering all the other products and services, and leading people to the workshop.

-       Once the cycle of this theme has been completed, you will have the other themes scheduled and ready to begin. Then you announce it, and roll them out.

-       There may be some lag time between themes and this is when you do other communications like sending your newsletter, a survey, maybe you have a standard telecall that you offer on a regular basis, an article, etc.

When following this model, you are communicating with your list all year long by giving, giving, giving,and providing value added products and services for free and low fee until they are ready to buy!
That is a powerful way to grow your business!

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Are you communicating with your list enough?

Many of you would probably say that you are not communicating with your list as often as you should. For what reasons would you say that you are not communicating more often?

Many of you have said, “I don’t have a big enough list to communicate to”? Or, “ I don’t know what to say”? Or “They’ll think I’m too salesy”?

All of those are very common responses, and are limiting the growth of your business.

There are so many benefits to staying in touch with your list – in fact, there are more benefits to staying in touch with your list than not.

Your prospects and clients need to hear from you, and they need to hear from you more than less.

It is imperative to be connecting with your list on a regular basis so you can establish familiarity, build relationships, let your list know you are alive and well, and YES, that you are taking clients.

And of course, when communicating with your list, your number one goal is to first give value.

In this posting, I will address the most common response I hear which is “I don’t know what to say.” And I will give you some ideas of how to determine ways to talk with your list on a more regular basis.

If you don’t know what to say, start first by asking yourself these questions:
“What are my target market’s 3 biggest problems?”
“What keeps them up at night?”
“What do they need most to improve their lives, work, health, relationships etc?”

If you really take the time to answer those questions (and make a list), you will have PLENTY of things to talk to your list about. Answer those questions in the form of tips, strategies, resources, even sharing a new perspective. Also, remember, we are inundated with information these days. People will appreciate you being the one who disseminates it down into “must know” content.

Often people are paralyzed to write because they feel like they must have something original to say, something brilliant to offer, or something life altering to share. Wow! That’s a lot of pressure. And because of that, people don’t write anything at all! So first and foremost, give yourself a break and realize that you don’t have to say the PERFECT THING and send the PERFECT MESSAGE to your audience EVERY TIME. You don’t have to hit the ball out of the park every time. You just need to give your audience information that THEY perceive is valuable, and STAY IN TOUCH on a regular basis while you create good will and foster relationships. Your goal simply is to stay in touch and stay top of mind and allow your prospects the opportunity to get to know you and see that you are a viable solution to their needs. And the best way to do that is through REGULAR communications.

Don’t worry about writing the next masterpiece. Instead think of topics to talk to your list about so that you can benefit your client and prospects’ lives, and stay top of mind.

And if you need content, consider our Ready2Go products as a core or complimentary topic. There is TONS of professionally crafted content right at your finger tips making staying in touch and staying top of mind a breeze. You can access it here at www.Ready2GoMarketingSolutions.com

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How To Make Meaningful Connections With The Prospects And Clients On Your List

Do you find yourself scratching your head
each month wondering what valuable communication
you can provide the prospects and clients on your list?

Continuous communication with our
prospects and clients is a must.
When we regularly communicate
and are speaking to them about their
greatest needs, interests and wants,
we are fostering relationships and building trust.
And relationships built on trust lead
to happy clients and great referrals.

But many business owners struggle
with sending regular value-added communications
to their list.  They don’t know what to talk about,
when to communicate, or through what form
(written word, audio or video).

It feels difficult to keep providing meaningful
communications month in and month out.
Yet content (free and paid) is the lifeblood
of your business.

Here are 4 easy steps to stay in touch
with your list on a regular basis:

1. Think of 4 things that your target market
struggles with most.

2. Write down as much as you can about:
-what their problem is,
-why they have it,
-what they have tried,
-why certain solutions don’t work,
-what the professionals are saying, and
-what they need to do.

If writing is difficult for you, use whatever means
is best for you – you can record it, speak to your friend
while recording, have them take notes, etc.
When writing or recording, don’t try to say
the right things, don’t try to say it in a marketing way.
Instead speak as though you are having a conversation
with a friend.  That will help the information to flow freely.
You can wordsmith it later.

3. Create 1-3 articles for each topic.
By taking what you have written,
you can edit it to 350-750 word articles.

4. Create a telecall for each topic.
If your business is on the internet
and if you have remote clients, teleseminars
and webinars are a must IF you REALLY
want to grow your business.
It will propel your business exponentially.

If doing teleseminars scares you,
that’s o.k. It scares everyone.
Push through it and do it.
The more you do the easier it becomes.
If you do this, you will be at more of an advantage
than 95% of your competition.  Is pushing through
your fears worth it?

Here are some other ideas on how to nurture your market:

- Every week send a success tip.
- Every month, do a newsletter with an article (or you can do it twice monthly)
- Every month do a telecall- On the telecall promote your group program, one on one program or workshop.
- Every month send the teleseminar replay and remind people of your upcoming program

It’s all about continuous, valuable communication
to develop relationships over time.
If you implement just some of these strategies,
within one month you can touch your list 5 – 15 times
and give value EVERY TIME.

By following this model, you have 4 months
of communications (amazing!).  At the end
of the four months you can repeat the cycle,
or by then, you will probably have even more things
to talk about.  This is a very worthwhile process.
And the more you do it, the easier it gets!

Give it a try and post your comments here!

To your success, Kim

A Thanksgiving Challenge For You!

On days like today we have a tendency to get so caught up in the event that we forget what the day is all about.

So today I would like to offer you a challenge.
Are you up for it?

Today I challenge you to be conscious of your thoughts all day,
and only focus on one thing – THANKFULNESS.

No worries,
fears,
anxiety,
stress,
anger,
impatience,
intolerance,
judgment
or the like TODAY.

Nothing but THANKFULNESS.

So when a family member makes a digging comment
or your best friend cancels
or small children are running rampant in the house
or the stuffing doesn’t turn out the way you expected
or your favorite football team loses
or your siblings bicker
or someone forgets the dessert
or you drop the bag of flour all over the kitchen floor…

Be aware of your thoughts,
remember your challenge for today
and be THANKFUL.

So make this day
be filled with
THANKFULNESS and JOY
and nothing less.

Are you up to the challenge?

Blessings to you!

Kim and the Ready2Go Team

P.S.  Like this post?  Please offer a comment.