Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing tips & ideas to help you grow your business, by Jim Connolly

Month: November 2012 (page 1 of 3)

What is your main marketing challenge?

I’m always looking for ways to increase the value you get from this blog. That’s why I would really value your feedback to the following question:

What is your main marketing challenge?

Please let me know by leaving a comment here.

This is your chance to influence what I write about and help me to focus on the areas of marketing, which are most relevant to you and your business.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Increase word of mouth referrals with this simple idea

How about you try this?

  • Think of 3 amazing things you would LOVE your marketplace to be saying about you or your business.
  • Write them down.
  • Next, put a plan together of the things you will need to do, in order for your marketplace to be spreading those amazing stories about you.

Switching focus

Every small business owner wants to attract more word of mouth referrals, yet they almost always focus on the wrong area. Instead of creating an experience, which becomes a remarkable story worth sharing – they focus on how to motivate people to share an unremarkable story.

People are hard-wired to want to communicate with each other. Give them an experience worth talking about and watch them go!

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

A key to great decision making

The first step to making great decisions, is to ensure you are working with accurate data.
business development ideas

  • You can assume your past clients were happy with you or you can ask them. By the way, if you get too few word of mouth referrals from past clients, do this now.
  • You can assume that prospective clients can find you on search engines or you can check your analytics. Look for things like the search terms they use, the pages they view and how they move through your site, etc.
  • You can assume that your marketing copy is as good as it can be or you can split test it. By testing different versions and measuring the feedback, you can refine your message and massively improve your results.

It’s easy to make bad decisions, simply because you are basing them on incorrect assumptions.

Thankfully, it’s almost as easy to take the guess work out and make better decisions, from accurate data.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Your answer to this question, will tell you in advance how 2013 will look for your business!

The opportunities in front of you today are amazing.

You have the tools to:

  • Get a targeted message in front of your ideal profile of client, in seconds, with their full permission.
  • Create a blog, which will allow you to build a massively valuable community around your business, with limitless potential.
  • Build and nurture a targeted network of wonderful people, who you can connect with daily through social networks.
  • Develop a newsletter and grow an extraordinarily valuable reader community, which grows in value every single day.
  • Increase the conversion rates of all your marketing and sales activities.
  • Attract more word of mouth referrals in a week, than used to be possible in a year.

What are you going to do with it?

The big question right now, is; what are you going to do with all that potential?

The final weeks of 2012 offer you an amazing opportunity, to lay the foundations of what could be your best year ever in 2013.

Take some time today to look at the elements of your marketing that are under performing. Write them down. Include everything that is not generating the results you need. Each item on that list needs to either be improved or replaced with something that works.

Cause and effect

What you can’t afford to do, is go into 2013 with the same strategy and tactics as 2012, and expect to see different results. The law of cause and effect tells us that to get the right effects (results) we need to put the right causes (actions) into play. The same old approach will result in the same old outcome.

Thankfully, you can set the right strategy in place whenever you make the decision to. The challenge, is making that decision. It takes courage. It means being one of the few, who is prepared to do what’s required, rather than what’s easy. Once you have the courage to take control, all the help and information you need is there, waiting.

If you are ready to take control, I’ve got you covered.

What you need to know about Skills and Strategy

If you want to see massively better results in your business and achieve more progress than ever before, you will find today’s post extremely useful.

The Skills / Strategy challenge

One of the reasons small business owners often work hard, for too little reward, is that they confuse skills with strategy. The difference was summed up brilliantly by Jim Rohn:

Success is 20% skills and 80% strategy. You might know how to read, but more importantly, what’s your plan to read? ~ Jim Rohn

In my experience, when it comes to marketing, most small business owners score well on skills and poorly on strategy. They know how to do the mechanics (the 20%) of marketing, yet they see a fraction of the results they should be getting, because they are missing the strategy (the 80% that makes all the difference.)

Right skills, wrong strategy

Unaware that their lack of an effective strategy is losing them a fortune, they carry on doing the right things, incorrectly.

Some extremely common examples:

  • They may know how to set up a Twitter or Facebook account, but lack the strategy to transfer their time and effort, into bankable results.
  • They may know how to publish a newsletter, but lack the strategy to turn it into a rapidly growing source of sales and business leads.
  • They may know how to answer the phone professionally, but lack the strategy to transfer enough inbound inquiries into sales or new clients.
  • They may know how to set up a blog, but lack the strategy to get thousands of people reading it and talking about it to their friends.
  • They may know how to write a marketing message, but lack the strategy to inspire people to read it or compel readers to take action.
  • So, they say they tried (whatever type of marketing) ‘but it doesn’t work’. It does work – but not if you’re doing it incorrectly!

Here’s the thing: Very, very few small business owners have an effective strategy for any of their marketing. They simply copy what they see others doing – even though the people they copy are equally baffled and are also following what THEY see others doing.

Get strategic

Einstein once said that insanity was repeating the same task, and expecting different results. Unless you want 2013 to be a rerun of 2012, get strategic. Learn what you need to do and learn how to do it correctly.

Why I welcome and value your emails

I recently added my email address to every page on this blog. Very soon after, lots of you asked me why I did it and what the results have been. So, here’s your answer.

Why I value your emails so much

Ever since I started this blog, I have published my email address (and my office address / phone number) on my contact page. This means I was already used to receiving email from readers.

My decision to publish my email address on every page, was to make it easier for you to contact me and also to demonstrate that I welcome and value your emails.

What type of emails do readers send me?

When people email me, they tend to do so because they either want to share something with me (around 95%) or to make an unrealistic request for free, specific marketing advice (5%). I can’t do the latter, it simply doesn’t scale because of the time required.

The variety of emails I receive, is huge. For example:

  • I get emails from readers who want to update me on the progress of their businesses and emails that let me know when a reader has spotted a typo.
  • I get emails asking if I will cover certain topics and emails thanking me for something a reader learned from the blog.
  • I get emails asking why there are no advertisements here and emails from people who want me to share their stories with you.

A wide variety of emails, from all kinds of people. I value them enormously!

The value of a 1-to-1 connection

Although every email I receive is different, they ALL have one very important thing in common: They open up an intimate, 1-to-1 communication between you and me.

If you want to connect with me, you are welcome to do so and it has never been easier. I look forward to hearing from you.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

When we work through gritted teeth, it shows!

You can always tell if someone is really enjoying what they do or if they are simply phoning it in – just going through the motions.

I spoke with the owner of an independent jewellers recently, who clearly loved her work. I was buying my wife some earrings and asked the owner for some help. She spoke with genuine passion and interest and her knowledge was incredible.

As I paid for the earrings, I told the owner that it was clear that she loved what she did. She replied that she has been fascinated with jewellery since she was a child and had always wanted to work in the profession. She started off working in a jewellers as a Saturday job when she was a kid, then got a full time job, slowly working her way up to store manager, before buying her first shop.

When we are not interested in what we do, it also shows

Just as a passion for what we do is reflected in our performance and results, when we do something we don’t really enjoy it also shows.

For instance, I love using Google+ and have a network of 17,000 people there. Google+ drives more visitors to my sites than all the other social networks combined and is a constant source of creative inspiration and business leads. I also love to use Twitter and 7,000 people connect with me there.

Then there’s Facebook. As anyone who knows me will confirm, I really don’t like using Facebook. And it shows! Just 1,000 people have ‘liked’ my Facebook page, because I deliberately do very little to promote it and chose to focus my energy on Google+ and Twitter instead. I know how to develop great social networks, but when it comes to Facebook, I dislike the experience too much to spend the time required there.

An alternative to doing what you dislike

If there are areas of your business that you don’t enjoy, consider replacing them with better alternatives. If you dislike selling, do what I do and attract leads instead. This blog drives sales of my audio program and client inquiries every day. If you dislike doing the paperwork, hire someone who loves it and watch your productivity and profitability improve.

In short: We have two options. We can learn to fall in love with the elements of our business that we currently dislike. We can find better alternatives. Simply going through the motions is a low leverage approach.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

How to avoid limiting your potential

The main obstacle we need to overcome in order to move our business up another level… is ourselves.

The beliefs you have about what you are capable of, formed by the stories you tell yourself, determine where you set the bar on your potential. This is why business owners find their turnover or revenue grows until it reaches a certain point, then plateaus.

It looks something like this

They start their business by doing everything they believe is within them. Their business then grows from day one, to wherever they have decided their limitation is. From that point onward, when they need to make a big decision in order to grow their business, they will either dodge the decision or decide that whatever it is, it’s too risky. Of course, this starves their business of the investment and resources it needs in order to grow – so they get stuck in an uninspiring and dangerous slump.

If you see a friend self-sabotaging their potential in that way, remind them of this wonderful quote:

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
~ Vincent van Gogh

Be aware of the stories you tell yourself and the huge impact they have on you. Those stories determine what you believe you are capable of and set the limits of what you can achieve.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Older posts