Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Steve Jobs and the power of focus

Steve jobs, focus, ideas

How many new projects are you working on right now?

I ask you this, because one of the fastest ways to massively improve your effectiveness, is to give your full focus to as few projects as possible.

Why?

When you are a small business owner or consultant, you have a limited number of resources. By spreading yourself too thinly, across too many ideas or opportunities, you dilute how effective you can be at any one of those projects.

By deliberately choosing to focus on one good business idea at a time, and saying ‘no’ to the hundreds of other ideas demanding your attention, you get to give your full mental resources to the development of that idea. You also eliminate Mind Fog – that fuzzy thinking, which can come from focusing on too many things at one time.

Steve Jobs on focus

Steve Jobs shared his thoughts on the power of focus, at the Apple Worldwide Developers’ Conference in 1997:

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”
– Steve Jobs

In short: Go for clarity of focus. Don’t spread your resources too thinly.

Does email marketing work? Part II

email marketing

If you want to massively increase the success of your email marketing, [better open rates AND higher conversion rates], these 2 quick tips will really help you.

By the way, this is part 2 of a 2 post series. You will find the link to part 1 at the end of this post.

1. Increase your email open rate

Look at the recent emails you’ve opened, which were from people or companies you didn’t know.

I’m asking you specifically to focus on emails from those you don’t know, because these are the emails that you’re least likely to open.

Now, ask yourself why? What was it that motivated you to open that email, rather than delete it. After all, it was from a stranger.

  • Maybe it contained some compelling words in the subject line.
  • Perhaps the timing was right.
  • It could be that the subject line made you curious… curious enough to open the email.

Once you’ve had a think about what inspired you to open those emails, look for ways you can adapt that strategy, to increase your email marketing open rate.

2. Increase your email conversions

It’s great to have more prospective customers or clients opening your emails, but it’s if no value to you unless they take some kind of action.

This time, I want you to look at the last 20 emails you received, [regardless of who they were from], which motivated you to take positive action. By action I am referring to things like:

  • Making a purchase.
  • Clicking a link.
  • Replying to the email.
  • Calling the sender.
  • Subscribing to something.
  • Following the sender on a social network… any positive action whatsoever.

Now, look for ways to adapt the approach they used, into your own email marketing.

That simple 2 step process is a useful way to quickly discover valuable tactics, which can be incorporated into a wider, super-effective email marketing campaign.

But that’s not all…

Important

Here’s something you really should read. It’s how I helped Irene make over $32,000 in 9 days, with email marketing.

How to feel inspired every day

The best way to feel inspired, is to inspire others.

Why? Because by giving inspiration, we become a source of inspiration.

We become the source of what we need!

An unending cycle of inspiration

Look for opportunities to inspire the people you connect with. This sets a positive cycle in place, which benefits you and those around you.

Tip: What is inspiration? Steve Jobs and Picasso provide some insights!

Your choice: Act now or react later?

action

Imagine this:

  • Imagine a business, which provides a unique range of services, rather than the same generic range of services as it’s competitors.
  • Imagine a business, which invests time every week on improving its processes.
  • Imagine a business, which has developed a highly effective marketing strategy that generates high quality results regularly and consistently.
  • Imagine a business, which has a dedicated customer retention program, so that it seldom loses a client or customer.

Now, imagine what would happen if a business just like that one, moved into your area, targeting your clients and your future clients!

Do it first

Before something like that happens to you, I have a suggestion: Do it first! Tick off every item on that list and watch your business grow like never before.

Most business owners will wait until their business is under a sudden threat, before they up their game. They miss years worth of business development, because they fail to push and reach their full potential unless under external pressure.

Sometimes a super smart, agile competitor comes to town and takes chunks of their market share. Other times, a business owner will lose a major client and see their revenues suddenly drop dramatically. In either case, the business owner is driven to improve as a reaction.

In short: Don’t wait for something negative to happen, before you learn just how high you can fly. Act now!

Stop marketing to the wrong people. Really. Stop it!

wrong prospect

Today, I’d like to show you how to massively improve your sales results or attract more clients, with a simple and powerful improvement to your marketing.

Your prospective clients

Let’s start by taking a look at your prospective clients. You see, most small business owners think that everyone with a need for their service is a prospective client. That’s a mistake. An expensive mistake too.

Your prospective client is someone who needs what you offer… PLUS… whose world-view is already aligned with the value you provide.

For example

Apple make billions marketing well-designed products to fashion-conscious people who have money to spend. Apple don’t invest a dime marketing to the coupon crowd. Think about that for a moment.

That kind of clarity allows Apple [and every other professionally marketed business] to create massively more effective marketing. It allows them to talk directly to their prospective customers.

Getting focused

It takes too much time and costs too much money, to change a person’s world-view. So, focus your marketing exclusively on those, who already value whatever your service or product represents.

Shun those who don’t “get it”. It looks like this:

  • If you’re a high quality or specialist provider, focus on the quality crowd. The bargain basement crowd will always find you too expensive.
  • If you’re a fitness service provider, focus on those who want to get fit. Those who are out of shape, who have no interest in getting fit, will ignore your marketing.
  • If you’re a designer of high quality websites, focus on people who already have reasonably nice websites. Those who run a business behind an unprofessional piece of crap, won’t pay for a wonderful, professionally designed website.
  • If you’re a marketing provider, focus on those who know they need expert marketing help. Business owners who dabble with their marketing think they can’t afford you… regardless of how much money they have.

Once you get specific about your prospective clients or customers, you can get equally as specific with your marketing. This allows you to market with clarity.

Just imagine how much more successful your marketing becomes, when you’re putting a clear, compelling marketing message, in front of the right people!

In short: Know your prospective client or customer. Market to them. Shun the rest. You will go broke [and possibly a little crazy], trying to convince the wrong people to buy from you.

It’s your business. You’re in control!

I have a very important message for you today.

Please consider the following

You are in control of your business. Therefore, you never have to worry about earning too little, making too few sales or having too few clients. You have the power, right now, to improve your results in any area of your business, by making better decisions.

Here’s what that looks like:

  • Instead of wondering where your next business lead will come from — use a great lead generation plan.
  • Instead of wondering why you get so little business from Facebook, Twitter etc — use a great social network marketing plan.
  • Instead of wondering why you get too few new clients or customers from your email marketing —  use a great email marketing plan.
  • Instead of wondering how many clients or customers you will lose this year — use a great customer retention plan.
  • Instead of wondering why too few influential people recommend you — use a great outreach plan.
  • Instead of wondering why you attract too few, high quality clients — use a great client acquisition plan.

No ceiling on what you can achieve

It’s your business. There is no ceiling on what you can earn from it. No ceiling on what you can achieve. The key, is to make sure you are doing the right things, correctly.

Every day, I help small business owners take control of their marketing. I help them plan ahead with confidence and clarity. I show them exactly what they need to do and then guide them, every step of the way.

If you are interested, I can help you too. Read this to find out how.

Here’s a powerful marketing lesson from my newest client

crushed

I’d like to share something with you today, which you really need to know about. It’s that important. If you have noticed a sudden or gradual drop in business, this could well be what’s caused it.

It starts with understanding a basic truth of business: When you begin to find it harder to attract new clients or your sales numbers are down, there’s always a reason. Everything in business happens for a reason. As scientists say, every effect has a cause. The challenge is identifying the cause.

Here’s one major reason why your business may be struggling, along with exactly what you need to do about it.

Where did all our sales and inquiries go?

Remember yesterday, how I mentioned a new client I’ve just started to work with? Well, her competitors will soon see a significant drop in the number of high quality clients they attract.

They will wonder what’s happening; totally unaware that my client has just hired someone with an international reputation for his marketing results. Her competitors are unable to market against me. My client will win. And she will win big. The last client I worked with in her profession saw an increase of over 370% in revenues and a higher increase in profits.

Which is it to be?

Every business owner faces the same decision. I think the answer is blindingly obvious, yet many business owners find it so hard that they completely avoid it.

The decision is:

  1. Do you become the victim that’s losing business daily to better marketed competitors?
  2. Alternatively, do you become the business that thrives, because you invested in marketing that your competitors can’t possibly compete against?

[Note – Failing to answer that question is exactly the same as choosing option 1.]

Choose wisely.

How to get the best free marketing advice for your business

How to

There’s a lot of free marketing advice available online. Some is good, but sadly a great deal of it is ineffective and often toxic. Today, I want to help you identify the best advice and show you how to avoid the worst.

A new client with a familiar problem

I was inspired to write this, after my initial session with a new client this morning. I went through some questions with her, as I do with all my new clients. I quickly noticed that she was making a number of serious marketing mistakes. During our session, I asked her where she got those marketing ideas from and she named half a dozen marketing blogs.

I soon figured out what had happened. She had been taking advice from sources of ineffective and sometimes toxic marketing information.

Today, I want to help you avoid making the same, costly mistake. I want to start by drawing your attention to 2 types of marketing blogger.

1. The small business marketing blogger, who doesn’t have a business

Many marketing blogs are written by people who are employees. Some are regular employees with holiday pay and a boss, who write a blog that’s not directly connected to their employer. Other’s are junior employees, paid to produce lots of “content”.

Think about that for a moment: On sites like that, small business owners could be taking marketing advice from someone, who has either never had a small business or whose business failed, so they needed to get a job.

2. Guest bloggers on popular marketing blogs

Many of the top marketing blogs rely heavily on unpaid, guest bloggers. Guest bloggers write for free, in return for access to the popular blog’s large readership. With just 1 exception, every guest blogger I checked on the sites my client mentioned, had a low authority blog, with very little engagement or traffic.

Think about that for a moment: Their readers could be taking marketing advice from people, who feel forced to work for free, because they still haven’t figured out how to build a valuable enough readership, community or tribe of their own.

Check the source

No, not every employee who writes about marketing is clueless. Some, like Scott Monty, are highly respected and highly knowledgeable. No, not every guest blogger lacks a valuable community or tribe of their own, either.

What I’m saying is simply this: When it’s a name you’ve never heard of, it’s always best to check before you act on what they tell you.

This is especially the case if that stranger has never achieved what you need to achieve.

Well written and sincere

Lots of people write extremely well and make a compelling point… when what they’re telling you is incorrect. They may be sincere, but being sincere mustn’t be confused with being right. It’s possible to be sincerely wrong.

I estimate my new client has lost at least 5 years worth of business growth, and who knows how many thousands of dollars, thanks to following the same bad marketing advice as thousands of other small business owners.

Don’t let it happen to you. Check the source. Always, always check the source.

PS: Here are 7 valuable lessons I’ve learned, from 20 years as the owner of a successful marketing business.

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