Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Page 15 of 190

How to avoid wasting money on advertising

Here’s how to avoid a common advertising mistake, which loses small business owners a fortune.

Who (not how many) are you reaching?

The next time you are thinking of advertising, remember that the numbers come second.

Most small business owners buy advertising, based on the number of people who will read, watch or listen to the advertisement. That’s how to buy ineffective advertising. You see, it’s not about the number of people who will potentially see or hear your ad. It’s about who those people are.

The ad reached 125,000 people for just $475!

I was prompted to write today’s post, after a reader emailed me to say she had recently paid for an advertisement that went into a newsletter, with a readership of 125,000 people. She explained that whilst the readership “wasn’t an ideal fit”, she thought $475 to reach all those people was a bargain.

Her advertisement generated 9 responses and no sales.

Here’s what she got, in return for $475:

  • 7 responses came from pushy advertising salespeople, trying to sell her more ads.
  • 2 responses came from people who were totally unsuitable for the service she was advertising.

Like most small business owners, she was seduced by the number (or reach) of the advertising, rather than who the advertising was reaching.

In short: Before you invest a penny on advertising always, always find out who your ad will reach, before you concern yourself with how many it will reach.

Tip: Here’s some useful information, with examples, on how to get your advertising right.

How to grow your list in 3 steps. Warning: Requires effort!

If you write a newsletter or blog and your “list” is growing too slowly, this post is for you.

Toxic advice online

The Internet is packed with bad advice on how to improve the success of your newsletter or blog. So-called content marketing experts focus on things like; the best time to publish your work, how long your articles or posts should be and what kind of images you should use, how to SEO your work, etc.

These generic tips offer the reader no meaningful value. NOTHING that will resolve the actual problem. The reason no one reads Bob’s blog posts or Barbara’s newsletter, is not because they are published on the wrong day or at the wrong time, are the wrong length or lack the right images or SEO.

No.

The reason no one reads their work, is that it offers nothing new. It’s lacking in value. So, when people find it, they are not motivated to return or share what they have found. That type of blog or newsletter will never build an audience.

The actual solution?

It’s as easy and as hard as this:

  1. Have something worth saying and say it well. (In other words, provide massively valuable information and write it in a way that inspires your readers.)
  2. Put it where people can see it.
  3. Make it easy for them to share.

If you do that, your audience will grow. First, just 5 people will read it, but that’s fine. Why? Because they will love what you had to say, then share it with their friends. Some of their friends will value what you have written and they too will share it. Repeat…

To keep that process rolling and your readership growing, you need to focus on regularly having something to say, which people will value and share. This means learning how to write and having the courage to say it in your own unique voice.

So rich. So strange. So new.

I was prompted to share this with you today, after listening to a recording of the great Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas. Before Thomas took to the stage to share his brilliance with a packed, New York audience, he was introduced to the crowd.

The MC then described Thomas’ poetry as: “So rich. So strange. So new”. You can listen to the MC here. (It’s just 10 seconds into the audio.)

And it was. No one wrote like Thomas. He had something worth saying. He shared it with, initially, very small crowds. These small crowds of people then told their friends how amazing his poetry was. The media then discovered Thomas’ work and he became a worldwide success, whose work is celebrated today, 60 years after his passing.

Dylan Thomas didn’t succeed because he only wrote works that were a certain length. He didn’t succeed because he only performed or published on certain days. No. He succeeded because his work was too good NOT to share.

If we want to grow a highly valuable audience for OUR work, we need to strive to do the same. To be too good to ignore.

6 Ideas to make clients fall in love with your business

Here are 6 ideas, to help you earn the attention and interest of your clients and prospective clients.

  1. People love to feel appreciated: What are you doing, to show them your appreciation?
  2. People love to save time: What are you doing, to help them get more done in less time?
  3. People love to talk: What are you doing, to give them a story worth sharing?
  4. People love to relax: What are you doing, to make their lives easier?
  5. People love to succeed: What are you doing, to help them achieve their goals or dreams?
  6. People love to learn: What are you doing, to educate them in a meaningful way?

Invest in your marketplace. Contribute. Don’t make the mistake of expecting them to care about you, until you have shown that YOU care about THEM, first.

Tip: This will help you get the balance right!

Here’s what to do, when clients say you’re too expensive!

Most small business owners still believe that their clients primarily care about fees or prices… and they are right!

However, this is only true because they fail to offer clients anything else worth caring about.

  • No, people will not pay you more than average, when your services are too similar to other similar priced services.
  • Yes, there are providers in every industry who earn 5X or 10X the typical fees. Why? Because they provide 5X or 10X the value.

Rather than complain that clients care too much about your fees, create something else for them to care about. It works. In fact, it can transform your business.

Tip: Here are some examples to help you sell on value and be in high demand.

It’s time for a powerful marketing tactic

Here’s an extremely powerful marketing tactic, which your competitors are overlooking. Get this right and you will give your business a very strong advantage.

It’s simply this: Meet your deadlines every time, no matter what it takes.

Why?

Because by consistently delivering your promises, on time, you set yourself apart from all or almost all your competitors. You tell us more about your professionalism, commitment and reliability, than a marketing message ever could.

It’s a wonderful way to build a great reputation.

It’s also a fantastic way to grow your business, because you give the marketplace a story, which they will want to share. That’s the key to attracting high quality, word of mouth referrals.

There’s no substitute for courage and hard work. Period.

Think about this for a moment.

  • All the books we need to read are out there… waiting to be read.
  • All the contacts we need to make are out there… waiting to be contacted.
  • All the teachers we need to learn from are out there… waiting to teach us.
  • All the technology we need is out there… waiting to be used.

EVERYTHING WE NEED in order to succeed is out there, waiting for us. However, very few people are willing to pay the price for success. They want to carry on doing what they do, because it feels safe… even though it’s getting them nowhere. They want shortcuts, so they can avoid doing what needs to be done.

We have to be smarter than that!

If you want to succeed in any meaningful way, make better decisions and work hard. Extremely hard.

The bottom line: There’s no substitute for courage and hard work. Period.

How to stop your business from becoming a dinosaur

If you want your business to become increasingly relevant over time, rather than fade away, here’s something you need to know.

Hipsters

Right now, there are lots of people walking around, wearing the Hipster look.

It’s fashionable. It’s in vogue. It’s very much of the moment. A trend, which has now gone mainstream.

Of course, the fashionistas have already dropped the look and moved onto the next new thing. Slowly, others will do the same. The Hipster trend then becomes something you look back on, just like every fashion before it.

Long term commercial success

When Groupon (remember that?) was the big thing, thousands of small businesses sprung up offering Groupon-like services. Then, when Groupon’s buzz died down, the trend those small businesses had invested in was gone.

Here’s the thing: Making long-term business decisions based on a current trend, is almost always a mistake.

Think long term. Focus on providing as much value to your marketplace as possible. What we know for sure is that value and quality are never out of style.

If you invest there, you can immunise your business from becoming yesterday’s news.

PS: Here’s some advice, with lots of examples, on how to build a successful business.

2 Ways to increase the lifetime value of your clients

Here are 2 ideas, to help you increase the lifetime value of your clients or customers.

To start, you need to understand what their current, average lifetime value is. It’s relatively simple.

For example: If your average client is worth £1000 a year to you in profits and they remain a customer for an average of 5 years, a client’s average lifetime value to you is £5000.

Once you figure out the average value of your clients, consider the following question:

How can you increase their lifetime value, by increasing what they spend with you and the length of time you retain their custom?

1. Increasing what they spend with you

Look for additional, extremely valuable services or products for your clients. Your clients have an existing trading relationship with you. You have earned their trust. They know you. They are also far more likely to buy an additional product or service from you, than from a stranger.

A great place to start is to think of the challenges your clients or customers face. Now, consider how you can help them with these problems, with additional services or products.  Yes, it will take time and a little creativity, but the rewards for getting this right are huge.

A wonderful, additional benefit of this approach, is that the more your clients or customers rely on you for a number of services, the less likely they are to switch to another provider. This leads on nicely to the next point.

2. Retaining their custom

Very few small business owners have a structured client or customer retention plan. Your clients are being targeted by your competitors all the time. A well designed client retention plan can help you keep your clients, regardless of what the other guys are doing.

Finding ways to retain, and improve the financial value of your clients or customers, is one of the smartest things a business owner can do.

It makes your business massively more robust, as your client base has no desire to switch from you to another provider. That allows you to plan ahead with greater confidence.

Bonus: By finding products for your customers, rather than customers for your products, you also tap into the fastest way to boost sales and profits.

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