Jim's Marketing Blog

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

Author: Jim Connolly (page 21 of 176)

It shouldn’t matter

typos

No, it shouldn’t matter that your website has a typo.

It certainly shouldn’t matter that your latest newsletter uses an apostrophe incorrectly.

It shouldn’t matter, but it does matter!

Making judgements

A prospective client who doesn’t know you, starts making judgements on you based on the limited information in front of them. If they’re reading a piece of your marketing and spot a typo, it adds to the mental picture they are building of you and your business.

It’s heartbreaking to lose sales because of a typo or misplaced apostrophe. Thankfully, it’s totally avoidable with just a little extra attention to detail.

Show people, don’t tell them!

quote marks

You can tell them you’re reliable or show them you’re reliable.

You can tell them you’re a leader or show them you’re a leader.

You can tell them you care or show them you care.

Whenever possible, show people — don’t tell them. It’s people of action who are rare, not people who chatter.

Perception: The key to improving every area of your business

passion

How do you feel about your business and the work you do? That may seem like an odd question. However, the way you feel about what you do has a huge impact on the quality of your work and how others feel about you.

For example, think about those people you see from time to time, who are going through the motions with their work, but clearly not enjoying it. You can spot them instantly. That’s because it shows in their energy, their body language, their attitude and their output.

Now, think about the opposite. Think of those people who clearly love what they do. It’s just as easy to spot them. That’s because people who work with passion have a super-attractive quality, which stands out and makes us feel good about them. Their enthusiasm is infectious. That’s what I want to share with you today — how you can improve every element of your work, with a slight shift in your perception about what you do.

Allow me to explain.

Improve your perceptions and you improve everything

Around a decade ago, I realised that work was no longer as enjoyable as it used to be. I was stuck in a dull routine. So, I made a decision to change my perceptions about my business.

For example, one change I made was regarding the daily grind of working from my office. So, I decided to stop working from my office and start making things happen from my studio. That switch in perception may seem small, but it improved how I felt about going to work. It improved my attitude. It motivated me. Although the actual room I worked in was the same, ‘going to my studio’ felt a lot more inspiring, than ‘going to my office’. ‘Making things happen’ seemed a lot more creative, than ‘working’.

Small changes in my perceptions like that, quickly started to shine through in everything I did. The marketplace noticed too, which resulted in me attracting great clients and amazing opportunities.

How it works

So, how did such a relatively minor change result in such a huge improvement? It happened because people are attracted to those, who are driven, inspired, passionate and who enjoy what they do. By changing my perceptions, it changed how I felt and this created a domino effect that improved every element of my business. It also transformed how others felt about me, including prospective clients.

Whatever line of business you are in, try looking at it slightly differently. Have some fun. For example, don’t work from your officeexperiment from your lab or create from your studio. Instead of working on a big problem try unlocking a challenging puzzle.

In short: When you feel better about what you do, you do your best work and everybody notices it!

Is that ladder you’re climbing leaning against the wrong wall?

ladder

After 3 years of hard work, she achieved it.

Yet, she wasn’t happy.

I was emailed last week, by someone whose primary goal for her blog was to get a minimum of 1000 visitors a day, for 30 consecutive days. She achieved this goal after years of hard work, writing content and marketing her blog.

Why so unhappy?

She reached her traffic milestone and realised that she wasn’t in the traffic business. She owns a translations business. What she needs is for her site to generate regular, high quality leads and inquiries for her business, which it is failing to do. Instead, she is attracting zero value, drive-by traffic from Google and social networks.

It’s easy to get seduced by the wrong numbers — especially online. Before you invest years of your time working hard to achieve a marketing goal, make sure it’s a goal that is in line with your overall business objectives.

Otherwise you risk wasting years climbing a very long ladder, which is leaning against the wrong wall.

How to turn time wasters into gold dust

gold bars

How do you feel about people, who either ask you questions about your service or look around your products, then leave without buying?

Some business owners get angry at what they perceive to be time wasters. In doing so, they miss out on a massively valuable opportunity. They leave a huge business asset on the table… untapped.

I’m referring to the feedback these so-called time wasters can provide you with.

Time wasters are attracted to us for a reason

If you’re attracting lots of the wrong kind of inquiries, there’s a reason. It’s usually a sign that:

  • Your marketing message needs to be improved.
  • You are marketing to the wrong people.
  • Or both.

It’s extremely easy to learn which applies to your marketing, so long as you ask these people for feedback.

Before they end the call or leave your premises, ask something like: What was it that prompted you to (visit or call) us today? This will give you some feedback to work with.

For example

If they often say they were looking for a low priced (whatever), yet your prices or fees are average or above average, you need to review your marketing message. Take a look and see if you are overstating how low your prices or fees are. If you are not overstating how low your prices are, then you could well be targeting your marketing message at people with too small a budget. You get the idea…

The key is to try and get as much feedback as you can from those who fail to hire you or buy from you. It will help you improve your marketing message, improve your targeting and generate more business!

In short: Speak with people who don’t buy from you. Listen. Learn from their feedback. Then, make the necessary improvements to your marketing. Don’t just assume that someone is a time waster and therefore of no value to your business.

Their feedback could be commercial gold dust. In fact, it often is!

Marketing Tip: Embrace the edges

edges

It’s coming to the end of our family holiday and I wanted to quickly share a simple, yet extremely valuable marketing tip with you.

We remember the edges

I sat down earlier, thinking through the various things we have done together over the past week and realised something. Each of the memories that stood out, were ‘on the edges‘. In other words, they were experiences that were not what we were expecting, because they deviated from the predictable, middle ground.

Truly great customer service, beautiful buildings, delicious food, outstanding value, interesting people… all of these were only memorable, because they were significantly different from what I expected.

In business, if we want people to remember us, hire us, buy from us and talk about us, we do well to embrace the edges.

How?

A great place to start, is to avoid offering the same kind of experience as your competitors and to focus on being exceptional in at least one meaningful area.

This is especially effective if you offer a service with little perceived differentiation, such as; law, accountancy, training, SEO, copywriting, web design, marketing, etc.

In short: If you want to stand out for all the right reasons, avoid the predictable. Stay away from the middle ground. Embrace the edges!

How to get results AND avoid unnecessary stress

focus influence

Each of the following have one thing in common:

  • The economy.
  • The arrival in your marketplace of a smart, agile competitor.
  • The next trend.
  • The price of commodities.

Answer: They are all beyond your control. You can worry about them or complain about them, but you have no influence over them.

Focus on what you can influence

As a business owner, it’s essential to only invest your time and energy in what you can control.

Any result you want to achieve, needs to be within your influence.

For example: If your plan for a better future is based around making business improvements, you can adjust as required and achieve real progress. However, if your plan for a better future is based around ‘the economy picking up’, you put yourself in a position of zero influence.

Relying on things you can’t control is a major cause of stress. It’s also a really bad business move. So, take control. Plan to succeed and then follow your plan.

Seek out the dissatisfied (not the disinterested)

It’s a fact: People who are happy with their current provider, are not looking for whatever your business is offering.

Even if you’re providing amazing value, it’s invisible to those who are not interested.

Focus on the dissatisfied

Yes, build an awareness of how great your product or service is, so people know who you are and where you are, when they have a need.

However, if you want to have the full attention of people, who are ready to make a purchasing decision right now… seek out the dissatisfied.

It’s a far more rewarding business building strategy, than trying to convince the disinterested.

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