Marketing 101: How to get your timing right

One of the most common mistakes small business owners make, is that they try to force things to happen too soon.

The challenge with wanting things to happen too soon, is that too soon is… too soon!

Even if you are in a hurry, launching your product or project when it is still full of bugs and broken, is a bad idea. It results in you putting substandard work in front of your marketplace. It creates a terrible first impression. It will stop the initial, eager members of your marketplace from returning.

The thing about timing

Regardless of how soon we want to launch something, if it isn’t good enough for our marketplace, it will flop. After all, there’s zero demand for half-assed products.

Here’s the thing: If the farmer harvests her apples too soon, because she’s over enthusiastic, they will still be way too small and taste sour. No one will buy them. Of course, if she waits too long, those apples will turn to slush.

In a nutshell: Too soon is too soon… however, once it’s good enough to ship, ship it!

7 Ways to improve your sales results, right now

improve marketing results

Here are 7 marketing tips and ideas, to help you improve your marketing results.

1. Don’t close sales – Open relationships instead

For years, sales trainers used to tell people about the art of closing a sale. In these more enlightened times, we understand that business is all about people. We know that if we want to earn a client and encourage their ongoing patronage, we need to treat them like humans.

This means building outstanding relationships with them.

For example: If you believe that you offer a great service, you have a professional obligation to tell prospective clients, so they don’t make a mistake and hire the wrong provider. You know that you will look after them, but you can’t be sure another provider will.

So, show them that you’re committed to helping them. Focus on them and their needs.

Operating from this mindset is a great deal more effective, than seeing them as an opponent you need to beat with closing techniques.

2. Look for the gold in your inbox

Find the last 10 emails you opened, which came from businesses that were trying to sell you something. Now, look for what it was that caused you to open them.

Most of the marketing emails you receive gets deleted. Those that compel you to open them provide you with useful clues, on how to get your marketing emails opened.

3. Develop more word of mouth referrals

Think of the people and businesses that you recommend to friends. In each case, you will find that the service they provide is remarkable in some way. [We talk or remark, on things that are remarkable].

If you want to attract word of mouth referrals, you need to offer a service that inspires or motivates people to talk about it. This means going beyond what’s expected.

Here’s the thing: When it comes to earning word of mouth referrals, good enough isn’t good enough!

Think about that for a moment.

4. Be extremely easy to contact

If you want to attract more sales or client enquiries from your website, make sure it’s as easy as possible for people to contact you. The main thing to remember is that your contact page should be visible from every page on your site.

If you use a contact form, only ask for the details you must have. Every additional field you add to a contact form loses you a percentage of enquiries.

5. Get noticed by the right people

Many small business owners are uncomfortable at the prospect of standing out. The challenge with that mindset, is that you can’t be outstanding unless you stand out.

That’s not just a play on words, it’s a cornerstone of successful marketing. Your prospective clients or customers can’t see you if you’re hidden in the background.

So, step out from the masses and tell your marketplace who you are and why they should listen to you.

6. Match your marketing to your marketplace

Most of the popular marketing sites are operated by people, who make THEIR money selling low price affiliate marketing products, software or books. If you try and apply the same ‘killer’ techniques they use, when marketing your service based business, you will find it far less effective.

I spoke recently with an accountant whose blog wasn’t generating any leads whatsoever. Her problem was that her site looked and sounded just like an affiliate marketing site. We changed it so that it reflected the service she provided and the inquiries immediately started to flow.

Tip: Read this – Why too few people read your blog and how to fix it.

I have seen that same error hurt many, many service providers. If you’re using pop-up boxes, pinch pages, squeeze pages or other affiliate marketing techniques on your service based website, consider a more suitable approach. Immediately. If not sooner!

7. Put your marketing ideas into action more often

Those great ideas you have for developing a new product or service can’t help you, if you don’t use them.

There are few things in business more frustrating than seeing someone successfully put an idea into action, which you had years ago but didn’t run with. Similarly, many business owners wait until January to make important changes to their marketing, when it should be acted on as soon as possible.

Start off by actioning just one of your marketing ideas and see what happens. Test the idea. Measure the feedback. Learn from it and move forward. When you take this progressive, pro active approach, you will be amazed how much more effective your marketing becomes.

I hope you found these ideas useful. More importantly, I hope there’s something here, which you can put into action.

How to get things done, earn more AND enjoy the process

time management

How much do you value your time and how much do you charge for it?

I mention this, because although we claim to place huge value on our time, many people act in a way that suggests the opposite. The thing is, it’s impossible to build a successful business unless you use your time wisely and charge for your time accordingly!

How to lose time and waste your money

The lawyer who wastes 2 hours trying to repair his IT problem, doesn’t understand the value of his time. He can hire an IT professional for a third less than his hourly fee and get the job done correctly, in half the time.

Instead of using those 2 hours to delight his clients, he’s losing both time and money doing the job himself.

Of course, managing your time is more than just delegating tasks wisely. It’s also about protecting yourself from interruptions, which steal your time and divert your attention.

Losing time and surrendering attention

The business owner who allows themselves to be distracted all day with social network updates and emails, is handing their time (and attention) over to whoever demands it. However, by checking for email or updates at designated times, which suit their work flow, they can get far more done and save a massive amount of time.

How I gain an hour, for pennies!

When I put fuel in my car, I pay a little more for it than I need to. Why? Because the place opposite that charges less for fuel, always has an enormous queue. I can save myself 15 or 20 minutes every week, by going to the slightly more expensive place.

Here’s the thing: The hour or so a month this saves me, costs me pennies (literally). It’s great value, yet the majority of people can’t see it. Instead, they choose to trade their time, the most valuable asset any of us has, for pennies.

Can you spot the mistake here?

Pick any 2 lawyers, designers, dentists, accountants, etc, in your town and their fees will usually be within 10-20% of each other.

Whilst these people claim their time is of huge value, they sell it for average fees. They then end up working too many hours for average clients. That’s the OPPOSITE of how to grow a successful business.

How the most successful service providers do it

The most successful service providers work fewer hours, yet they earn far more than the average service provider.

Why?

Because they choose to offer an exceptional service, doing amazing work for high value clients. These high value clients pay them accordingly. So, they don’t need to work crazy hours, the way ‘average’ service providers do. These service providers place value their time in the truest sense, which means they use their time to do the best work possible – not average work, for average clients and average fees.

In short: It’s not enough for us to say we value our time. We need to demonstrate the value of our time in the decisions we make.

Tip: This will help. How to get more done in less time and improve your thinking.

5 Powerful reasons to get passionate about your business!

professsional development, business

A business owner with passion is a formidable force. Here are 5 powerful advantages these passionate people have, over the average business owner:

  1. Their passion inspires others to believe in them.
  2. Their passion drives them forward, when others decide to quit.
  3. Their passion gives them the courage they need, to leave their comfort zones when required.
  4. Their passion is contagious. It motivates the people around them.
  5. Their passion acts like a magnet, which attracts the people and resources their business needs.

Where does that kind of passion come from?

Passion is something we create ourselves. It comes to us when we get clear on a compelling, inspirational goal or target, and believe we will achieve it.

If you are not feeling and transmitting that kind of passion, take some time out today to think what your goals are for your business. Dream big dreams, then create a plan to make your dreams a reality.

Tip: You will find this extremely useful: How to be a serial entrepreneur.

Are you giving your business the sunshine it needs?

business development, business growth,

What single investment would result in the biggest improvement for your business?

For example:

  • Hiring an exceptional copywriter to rewrite all your marketing material, so people take action when they read it.
  • Moving your business to a better location.
  • Working to a professionally developed marketing strategy, which lets you build the kind of business you always wanted.
  • Getting your website redesigned, so that it looks amazing and instantly gives your business a professional image.
  • Improving the customer service offered by every member of your team.
  • Hiring a better accountant. One who can help you improve the profitability of your business, rather than just count the beans and keep you compliant.
  • Developing a great new product or service for your existing clients.

I’m sure you can find examples, which apply far better to your business, but you get the idea. Now pick one… and put a plan in place to make it happen.

We wouldn’t expect a seed to grow without sunshine. Equally, we shouldn’t expect a business to grow without giving it the resources it needs.

Determination, drive, persistence and the other thing!

Determination, drive and persistence are essential for business success. However, without a strategy they are useless. That’s why toddlers don’t run the world’s most successful businesses!

Doing the wrong things, even with determination, drive and persistence, leads to nothing but frustration. It’s the mistake made by every business owner, who works hard, yet makes little progress.

The answer

If you are following a strategy and it isn’t working, either improve the strategy or replace it with one that works. If you don’t know how to build the right strategy for what you want to achieve, hire someone who does.

Remember: Working hard, for too little reward, is a choice we make. We are free at any time, to start doing the right things, correctly.

Tip: Here’s how to make better business decisions.

Yes, they can afford your fees. Here’s what’s really stopping them!

When a prospective client tells you that they can’t afford your services, it’s seldom what they really mean.

No.

What they really mean is that they think your service is too expensive — that the fee is higher than the value.

Lower the fee or increase the value

The average business owner lowers their fee, in order to be more affordable. The lower their fee, the higher the perceived value. If they lower their fee enough, they will gain lots of low value clients and build a low profit business.

The most successful business owners increase the value they provide. They then make sure that the value is clear to their prospective clients. If they increase the value enough, they will gain lots of high value clients and build a highly profitable business.

BONUS: Here’s a FREE, 3 part series on how to sell your services to the best potential clients, for the highest fees:

How to attract the best clients and the highest fees – Part 1.

How to attract the best clients and the highest fees – Part 2.

How to attract the best clients and the highest fees – Part 3.

How to create a new, extremely profitable income stream!

Business development

Would you like to develop an additional, extremely profitable income stream for your business? If you would, here’s a great place to start.

Clients who pay you massively higher fees

Imagine your clients were paying you 3 times your current fee:

Here’s a suggestion: Consider building a new, exclusive version of your current service, which offers all those amazing advantages.

Why?

Because there is an extremely profitable subset of every marketplace, who are very happy to pay a premium, for a premium service.

You deserve clients like that.

Don’t let this mistake crush your business!

professional development,

There is an extremely common marketing error, which is ruining small businesses. Right now, I’m going to explain what it is and also show you how to avoid it.

I was prompted to write this after being contacted by a personal development coach with a marketing problem. She explained that she’d hired several copywriters over the past year, to rewrite the pages on her website, which sold her products and services. On each occasion, the results were the same. Very few inquiries and even fewer new clients or product sales.

Why didn’t it work?

Simple: The problem wasn’t the copywriting. Allow me to explain.

Focusing on the wrong thing

She told me a bit about her business and it was clear that the problem isn’t the copy she is using. The problem is with the predictable nature of what she offers. Her services sound just like hundreds of thousands of other personal development coaches.

So, when someone sees what she has to offer, there’s absolutely no reason why anyone should hire her, rather than one of the others.

Here’s the thing: If your marketing messages are not generating enough inquiries, clients or customers, it could be a sign you need to invest in creating a better (more valuable) service, rather than a better marketing message.

Market demand

There’s no demand in the marketplace for a provider who offers something, which is just a little better, bigger, smaller, faster or less expensive than the competition. That’s not enough to attract your prospective client’s attention or interest.

As a marketing professional, I spend lots of time with business owners, helping them make subtle changes to what they provide, so that it becomes distinctive and massively more attractive. I suggest you do the same, especially if you work in a competitive industry.

Tip: This will help you. It shows how to make your product or service stand out in a competitive marketplace.

How to be a millionaire. Yes, seriously!

professsional development, business

I’d like to share what I believe to be the easiest way, for a small business owner to make a million (pounds, dollars, euros etc).

How to make a million

Mathematically, there are lots of ways to achieve your million. Here are 3, starting with the worst and finishing with what I believe is the best option for a small business owner, with limited resources.

  1. You can make £1 from a million people. Possible, but incredibly hard. You need an extremely large reach, to connect with the millions of people required, in order to find 1 million who will pay you £1.
  2. You can make £1000 from 1000 different people. Easier than the first option. It requires a far smaller reach.
  3. Alternatively, you can make £10,000 from just 100 clients or customers. The balance here is a lot easier for you to manage. If you provide a product or service that has massive value, it’s extremely achievable to attract just 100 clients. Equally, if you’re marketing to the correct type of people or businesses, they have zero problem investing £10,000 in something, which they value enough.

These are not exact numbers. The best option for you may be somewhere between number 2 and number 3. The key is to get you thinking about how to make your next, or first, million.

An achievable, realistic target

Whilst many people struggle to believe they can become a millionaire, everyone in business knows they can attract 100 high value clients or customers, if they use the correct strategy. This totally changes how you feel about becoming a millionaire. Now it’s an achievable, realistic goal.

So, what are you going to create, which 100 people or organisations will pay you £10,000 for? Spend some time thinking about that. Give it the time and effort it deserves.

It could change your life.

Tip: Here are some useful ideas, on how to create a great new product or service.