Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

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What everybody ought to know about being boring!

I received a spam email earlier. A PR company decided to send me a press release, to announce that a camera maker was going to sponsor an event. They wanted me to write about it.

No one cares

The thing is, it’s a mind-numbingly dull message.

  • It’s a non story.
  • It’s completely unremarkable.
  • It’s boring. Really boring.
  • It’s also too unimportant to be news.

Other than the camera company’s marketing department, the PR company and whoever organised the event – no one cares.

Pushing a dull message is simple. It requires no creativity. No art. No thought. However, it’s also extremely ineffective.

Alternatively

An alternative approach is to take a little more time and attract people’s attention, doing something worth talking about. People share remarkable stories all day long. No pushing required.

Make it remarkable. Then, people will remark on it. It’s that simple… and that difficult.

This will help: Increase word of mouth referrals with this simple idea.

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.

What’s the link between ABC News and me?

I want to share an extremely powerful form of link building with you. However, this is not about SEO. Allow me to explain.

A reader pointed out that ABC News didn’t link to me when they interviewed me recently. I disagreed, even though there’s no link from the article to my blog.

Here’s why!

Different values

The reader is an SEO guy. For him, the value of that article was all about getting a backlink or hyperlink, from ABC News.

The value to me, is being the guy who got the call, when ABC News needed an expert marketing opinion.

Different links

Interestingly, the SEO guy and I were both talking about links. However, we were focused on different types of link building:

  • He was talking about the kind of link building, which can help with higher search engine rankings.
  • I was talking about the kind of link building, which connects your marketplace to you and your business, when they need a product or service that you provide.

Link building strategy

Just as SEO experts use link building strategies, to cause influential websites to link to your website, the enlightened business owner strategically builds links with his or her marketplace.

Do something today, to form links in the mind of your marketplace, between what they need and what you offer. Then, do the same tomorrow. Repeat.

Quick Tip: Talk is cheap. People are more influenced by what you DO than what you SAY. Your actions are what create the strongest, most powerful links.

Here’s the fastest way I know, to increase your sales and profits!

If you want to generate high quality sales, extremely quickly, here’s a suggestion. It’s based on an idea I have used and seen used, many times, with amazing results.

3 Facts and a question

I want you to consider the following 3 facts about your clients:

  1. Your clients trust you.
  2. Your clients are used to trading with you, receiving invoices and paying them.
  3. Because of the previous 2 points, making additional purchases from you is seen as low risk or no risk.

Now answer this question:

What additional, useful product or service could you offer to your existing clients (or customers)?

Here’s why this works so well

Selling to your existing clients has 2 massive advantages over selling to strangers:

  1. The process is very quick, because of the 3 facts I just mentioned.
  2. By offering more, high value services to your clients, you become more valued as a provider. This makes them less likely to switch to an alternative provider.

If you’re looking for the quickest, least expensive way to generate far higher revenues and profits, this may be it. If not, it’s pretty darn close.

Yes, it requires a little creativity, but WOW – the results are worth it!

PS: Here’s some advice on how to create a new product or service, which people will love.

Here’s a delightful, profitable way to do business

What daily habits do you have?

I’d like to suggest you add one more daily habit to your list. It’s easy to do, takes very little time, yet is extremely rewarding. It’s simply this:

Find something you can do each day, which will delight one of your clients or customers.

There are just 2 rules:

  1. You need to delight them, by doing something that’s not a normal part of the service they receive from you.
  2. You need to delight a different customer each day.

Going beyond what’s expected

Yes, I know you work hard to look after all your clients, all the time. That’s NOT what I am referring to here. Your clients expect that and rightly so. I’m referring to going beyond what is expected, in a small but meaningful way.

For example:

  • Send them a hand written note, to thank them for their continued custom.
  • If you have discovered a website or application, which you think they will find useful, share it with them.
  • Recommend their business to your contacts.
  • Link to them from your website.
  • Send cupcakes.
  • Offer to meet them for a quick coffee, when you’re next in their area.

You get the idea. It’s not about spending lots of time or money. It’s the thought behind what you do that counts.

Delighting a different client every day

All of your clients or customers deserve to feel special… to be delighted.

The nature of human relationships, is that we bond better with some people then others. In business we need to go beyond that. It’s about building wonderful working relationships with all our clients, not a select few who we gravitate toward.

Why bother delighting your clients?

It matters. It really matters. We each have an inbuilt need to feel recognised and appreciated. When people show us recognition and appreciation, it dramatically improves how we feel about them. Yes, in purely commercial terms, that’s a strong enough case to justify delighting our clients — clearly, the stronger your client relationships are, the better.

I believe it’s about more than that!

As business owners, we work hard and we often work long hours. So, it makes perfect sense to improve our working environment… to make business as enjoyable as possible.

A superb way to achieve this, is to combine the excellent service you provide, with an ongoing commitment to delighting your clients.

PS: I recommend you read this – How to lift your business to a whole new level.

Let your past make you better, not bitter!

What do the following have in common?

  • Parents.
  • Money.
  • Education.
  • Contacts.

They are all excuses I have seen people give recently, for failing with a business or a project. Interestingly, we find that other people with those same challenges, succeed.

An important decision

Ultimately, we are all faced with the same important decision:

Do we allow our past to make us better or make us bitter?

This is one of the biggest decisions we will ever make. It will help determine our happiness and how much of our potential we reach.

If we choose wisely, we will find ourselves looking for reasons to succeed, rather than excuses to fail. The impact this has on our results is immeasurable.

5 Ways to build a massively valuable newsletter list

Here are 5 tips, to help you build a valuable newsletter readership or list. I used each of these ideas when growing my own newsletter, which had 45,000 subscribers when I published the last edition.

Newsletter Tip 1: Go easy on the pitches

Make sure it’s a newsletter and not a badly disguised advertisement. Here’s the thing: People avoid advertising. We skip the commercials on TV. We pay developers to remove the ads from the free version of their apps. We see advertisements as unwelcome interruptions.

If your newsletter reads a little too much like a sales pitch, it will be largely ignored. This leads nicely into the next point.

Newsletter Tip 2: Be useful

The more useful your newsletter is, the more your readers will value it and share it. Your ultimate goal is to build a large, targeted reader community, who become either clients, customers or advocates. None of that can be achieved with predictable, pedestrian content.

Useful content is what gives your newsletter wings. It’s what inspires people to subscribe, share and make purchasing decisions.

So, before you hit send on a newsletter, make sure it’s packed with valuable, useful information. Offer answers to your reader’s problems. Share useful tips. Point your readers to useful resources.

Newsletter Tip 3: Get the design right

Even if your content is wonderful, people won’t take it seriously if the design looks poor. The first bite is with the eye. So, pay a designer, the best you can afford, to design your newsletter template.

Always remember, whether your newsletter looks amateurish or is presented professionally, it all reflects back on you.

Newsletter Tip 4: Ask readers to share it

Even if readers think your newsletter is great, it may not occur to them to share it. By reminding them, you plant the idea of sharing the newsletter in their mind at the exact point, where they have just read it and enjoyed it. I used to have a section at the bottom of my newsletter, which said:

“If you have found this newsletter interesting, please share it with your friends”.

When I added that short message to my newsletter, the results were immediate and measurable.

Newsletter Tip 5: Help it spread

Convert people who had your newsletter forwarded to them, into subscribers. Imagine your friend had just forwarded a great newsletter to you. You’d want to get a regular copy, right? You don’t want to have to rely on your friend, remembering to forward each edition to you. So, I added the following sentence to the above message:

“If you have had this newsletter forwarded to you and would like a regular copy, click here.”

Never underestimate the power of a subtle, non-pushy reminder.

In summary

Newsletters can be an extremely valuable marketing asset. Take your newsletter seriously and invest in it accordingly. The rewards for getting it right are huge. No. Bigger than that!

PS: I strongly recommend you read this3 Tips From a World Class Newsletter.

Is your service answering a question, which your ideal clients are asking?

Here’s a simple, powerful tip, to help you create an extremely profitable new product, service or business.

The next big thing

I get emails daily, from people who want me to invest in their new project. Almost all of them are trying to be the next Amazon.com, Craigslist or Twitter, etc.

With little or no funding, no gap in the market and no one looking for a clone business, their projects have no legs. In other words, no one is talking about them or asking to get involved. Why? Because these look-a-like projects are answering a question, which no one is asking.

A better way to succeed

Start by answering a compelling question, which potential customers are asking and willing to pay for the answer to.

A scalable, affordable way to do this is to listen to your marketplace, via social networks. Look for common problems they face — things that frustrate them, cost them too much time, etc. Do the research and see if you’ve identified a gap in the market. Look at the numbers and if it all stacks up, give it the focus and energy it needs.

Building an answer to THAT question, will massively improve your chances of success.

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