Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Category: Professional development (page 1 of 88)

You should be more pushy. Here’s why!

PUSH

When it comes to being a pushy business owner, there are two ways to do it. One of them works extremely well.

Allow me to explain.

1. You can push other people

  • Pester them with cold calls.
  • Interrupt them with selfish requests.
  • Spam them.
  • Try and close the sale the first time you speak to them.
  • Hassle them for referrals at networking events.
  • Hound them on social networks.

2. You can push yourself

When you push yourself, you move forward.

When you push others, they just push you back again.

Choose wisely.

Is this story crushing your business?

crushed

We live in a golden age for small business owners. Thanks to the Internet, you can find pretty-much anything you need to know without leaving your chair. You can also find talented people, to guide you and your business to success.

Armed with access to the answer to any business problem, what does the average small business owner do with it?

They do exactly the same as they did 20 years ago. Statistics suggest that they spin their wheels or go broke. The numbers vary from country to country, but the story is very similar. [A quick search for your country’s small business survival rate can be a real eye opener.]

Why does this happen?

It happens because the average small business owner isn’t interested in doing things correctly. No. They are interested in doing things comfortably.

These business owners tell themselves a story, that trying something new is too risky. So they decide to stay comfortable and stagnate. This stagnation then ruins their business.

In short: Your success is directly linked to the story you’re telling yourself about the future of your business. If you’re frustrated at your lack of progress, it’s time to tell yourself a better story.

This will help you – Is the story behind your business powerful enough?

Be more interested in your client’s success, than your fee

There is a powerful success factor behind every great business, which you can implement starting today.

It can be summed up in just 4 words: It’s all about them!

It’s all about them

The most successful business owners have figured it out. They know that their success is always going to be an extension of what they do for their clients. So, they consistently look for ways to be of greater value.

In short: They are more interested in the success of their clients, than they are in their own fees or prices.

Why the me, me, me approach doesn’t work

The least effective business owners are focused on what they can get from their clients or customers.

  • They talk about closing the sale, rather than opening the relationship.
  • They talk about up-selling, rather than upping the value they provide to their clients.
  • They focus on what they can get, rather than what they can give.

That approach comes across in everything they do. As a result, their client retention is poor and they get few referrals from their clients, because we don’t recommend greedy, self-obsessed people to our friends.

Some ideas for developing the ‘them’ approach to business

It starts with an understanding that it’s all about what you do, not what you say. Every business owner claims to be client focused. So, you need to demonstrate that you are passionate about the success of their business.

For example:

  • Keep in regular contact and if you find they have a problem, offer to help.
  • Help them make connections. Think of people you know, who you can introduce them to… then do it!
  • Take a little time out every day, to help one of your clients in a way they were not expecting. This can be something as simple as sharing a useful blog post or newsletter article.
  • Find something valuable, which has a low delivery cost to you. Then add it to the service they receive from you… at no extra cost.
  • Keep your promises. Surprisingly few service providers can be totally relied upon. Become one of this rare group and your clients will notice (and tell their friends).

As the late Zig Ziglar used to say: You can have everything you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

PS - I recommend you read this: How To Build a Massively Valuable Business, using a More Human Approach.

The magic of being first… and useful!

We remember Roger Bannister today, because he was the first person to run a mile in under 4 minutes.

Apple is the world’s most valuable company today, largely because of profits from the iPhone — the world’s first smart phone. [Here’s the original iPhone press release.]

There are 2 useful lessons here:

  1. When you are the first to do something, it’s remembered for a very long time. We remember Bannister, even though Australia’s John Landy broke Bannister’s record just 6 weeks later. Landy was faster, yet remained relatively unknown because he wasn’t the first person to go sub 4 minutes.
  2. It doesn’t have to be perfect. The first iPhone was buggy. It even lacked a basic copy and paste facility for over a year!

This begs the question

What product or service could you be the first to create for your marketplace?

Remember… it doesn’t need to be perfect. It needs to be useful.

3 Opportunities to massively improve your business

3 three

Here are 3 opportunities, which every business owner should consider. Each one is based on the kind of work I do with my clients.

1. Attract clients, sales or enquiries

Have you ever considered attracting clients, sales or enquiries… rather than chasing them?

When people come to you with their need, you don’t have to sell yourself. You can reply to their enquiry as an expert in your field. They have a need, which they have asked you for help with. You are the expert with the answers they require. It works beautifully and the conversion rates are excellent.

Here’s the thing: When you chase prospective clients the way most small business owners do, that dynamic is destroyed.

You may be a lawyer, designer or accountant, etc., but when you’re chasing people for business, they will see you as a salesperson.

Think about that for a moment.

2. Fire your worst clients or customers

Have you ever considered firing your worst clients? Clients who pay you late or are rude or over-demanding, suck the joy out of your business.

By firing your worst clients and replacing them with great ones, you not only dramatically improve your client list, you massively improve the joy you get from your work. It’s your business, so build something wonderful that inspires you all day, every day.

3. Create and market a downloadable product

Have you ever considered creating a downloadable product? Well, you should.

Digital products require no shelf space. They require no handling, postage or packing. An audio program, book or video that you create once, can earn you a regular stream of income for years.

For example: I created my audio program 8 years ago. It has sold into over 100 countries, just from my blog! I’m making a highly profitable income today, from work I did back in 2007.

I hope those ideas have given you some food for thought.

2 Lessons from a bad idea

Sophie emailed me earlier, to tell me about her new business idea. She explained that she had met with 14 potential investors so far. None of them wanted to invest in her idea, however, that wasn’t the point of her email!

Here’s what Sophie discovered, when she asked the investors what their main reason was for not investing:

  • Half of them said the idea was bad, because no one had done it before.
  • The other half said the idea was bad, because it had already been done before.

2 lessons here

Firstly, every idea falls into one of those 2 categories. It’s either never been done before [though that’s highly unlikely] or it has already been done before.

Secondly, neither of those are valid reasons to say an idea is bad.

The fact remains that you will hear those replies time and again, whenever you try something new. They are bogus, but you need to be prepared to hear them.

Tip — Here’s some useful advice on how to create great ideas.

The persistent route to success

persistence

From childhood, we are told about the importance of persistence. And rightly so! We’re told to keep on trying and to work hard. We’re told that quitters never win and winners never quit.

However, there are 2 very different ways to be persistent in business. Both require hard work, yet only one of them can lead to meaningful success.

Allow me to explain.

2 Types of persistence

It looks like this:

  1. Successful business owners know what their goal is and they persistently reach for that goal again and again. They work hard, persistently doing whatever is required to achieve their goal.
  2. The average business owner has an average strategy, which they persistently repeat again and again. They work hard, persistently, even when their strategy isn’t leading to success. That’s what makes an average business, average.

The thing about persistence

Persistence is essential for business success. The key is to make sure you’re persistent in the right areas.

Persist with your goals and persist with strategies and tactics that work. However, if you’re working hard and making too little progress, it’s time for you to stop… and find a better strategy to persist with.

How to get your marketing noticed

marketing 101

Today’s post is all about how to attract more sales or enquiries.

Their are 2 types of marketing that get noticed:

  1. Marketing that is hand crafted or personal. An example of hand crafted marketing, would be a letter sent to you, which has your name and address handwritten on the envelope and a message tailored to your exact requirements, signed with a handwritten signature.
  2. Marketing that is highly polished and professional. An example of polished marketing would be a website or blog, which is expertly designed and where the content was produced by a copywriting professional. The quality builds trust and the content motivates people to take action.

Almost all small business marketing is outside of those 2 categories. It’s neither personal or spectacular. It’s neither memorable or impressive. It’s neither thoughtful or motivating.

Different approaches lead to different results

The successful minority of business owners invest in expertly produced, motivating and highly personalized marketing. It’s no coincidence their results are so impressive. Cause and effect.

Conversely, the typical small business will go broke within a few years or struggle on for years, working long hours and making little real progress. That’s because a casual approach to marketing causes casualties. Cause and effect.

No business owner sets out to struggle or make little meaningful progress. It is, however, a choice they have made, albeit an unconscious one.

At some point, the struggling business owner decided to relegate marketing to an low-level task. They did this unaware that everything their business does is marketing. As a result, they are dabbling with the development of their business. This produces predictably poor results.

How to turn things around

If your business is not growing the way you want it to, it’s time to take heed. Because whatever you believe about the quality of your marketing, it’s clearly not working.

The great news here is that by adopting the same attitude to marketing as the most successful business owners, the law of cause and effect comes into play. You can have the business and financial security you have always wanted, so long as you do the right things, correctly.

Read this, it will help: Everything your business does is marketing.

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