Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

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How often should you publish blog posts?

content marketing tips

Karen from Delaware emailed me with a question earlier.

“I’d love for you to post on your blog every day like Seth Godin does.  Is there a strategic reason why you don’t?”

That’s a good question. The answer is that you need to match your publishing model to the business model behind your blog. Allow me to explain.

My publishing model

It’s easy… very easy, for me to publish something every day. However, my business model doesn’t require me to keep tapping you on the shoulder with daily posts.

Why?

I market just 2 services via my blog. There’s a limited number of clients I can work with and every post generates client enquiries.

Daily publishing, [which I did a few years ago], caused me to receive way too many enquiries. The huge momentum created by daily publishing is disproportionate to the few additional posts I was publishing each week.

If I decide to change the blog’s business model, so my income is primarily from the sale of products or advertising, I will need to adopt a daily publishing model of at least one post a day.

The daily publishing model

Whatever his motivation, Seth Godin uses a publishing model that rewards daily blogging. His blog is a kind of single author book store. Every post displays a carousel [on the left of each post], which is stacked with 18 of his books.

His well-crafted, daily posts are what create traffic to his book store. They also pre-market his books, by referencing new books in his posts long before they are published.

  • If you like Seth’s posts, you may buy a book.
  • If you don’t buy a book, you may still decide to share the post you’re reading, with your social networks.
  • By sharing the post, others will visit Seth’s blog.
  • They too may decide to buy a book or share the post.
  • A cycle is created, which is fed by daily content.

That model clearly rewards daily publishing. Fewer posts would equal less traffic, fewer shares and fewer sales.

In short: Your publishing model should support whatever you want to achieve. So, choose the best frequency for your business, rather than copy what someone else is doing. Their approach could be totally wrong for you.

Tip — Here are 25 reasons why you should write a business blog!

How to be extraordinary

how to two

Fact: You are capable of extraordinary things.

There are no ordinary people. It’s just that some of us settle for ordinary results. So, we make ordinary decisions and take ordinary actions.

It’s easy to be ordinary. We simply need to follow the masses. It requires no courage and no creativity. It’s like living on autopilot. This is why millions of extraordinary people live ordinary, unfulfilled lives.

So, how do you become extraordinary?

You don’t need to do a thing! You are already extraordinary. You were born that way. However, there are 2 things you should do, to live an extraordinary life.

  1. Make extraordinary plans. This means deciding what you want, rather than settling for the ordinary.
  2. Summon the courage to put your plans into action. It’s tricky to break free from the masses and do your own thing. Remember those periods of your life, where you needed to be brave? That’s proof that you have the courage required. You need to dig deep down and summon that courage.

Those 2 steps are all that separate us from enjoying an extraordinary life.

Questions and answers

Is it easy? No. It’s challenging.

Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Can you do it? Yes… 100%. You’re extraordinary and capable of almost anything you set your mind to.

Do you want it? That’s for you to answer.

How to use The Lock In Effect

How to, lock in effect, lock-in, lockin

One way to retain more of your customers is a tactic called The Lock In Effect. The Lock In Effect is almost universally frowned upon. And with good reason too. It’s a selfish and manipulative approach to business.

However, in this post, I am going to show you a powerful, ethical and profitable way to use The Lock In Effect to grow your business.

So, what is The Lock In Effect?

The Lock In Effect is a term, which is typically used to explain a practice, where a company makes it extremely hard for their customers to leave them, even if the customer wants to.

A couple of lock in examples:

  • UK banks are notorious for making it far more difficult to move to another bank, than it needs to be. Bill payments are often missed and a process that should take minutes electronically, can drag on for weeks or more. You feel locked in, because the pain and frustration of moving banks is so high.
  • If your company is set up to use a certain software package, which all your employees have mastered, it makes it a lot harder to drop that software when a better alternative appears. The cost of buying the new software, the time and cost required to retrain everyone and the potential for lost data, makes you feel locked in.

An alternative Lock In Effect

Yes, there will always be businesses that deliberately offer a very average service and try and lock their customers in using trickery. However, people with that kind of mindset don’t read this blog.

For people like you and I, there is a far better way to use The Lock In Effect. It’s more effective. It’s more ethical and it leads to massively better results.

We can create so much value through our products and services, that our clients or customers lock themselves in. This approach to business has been used by companies like Apple and Zappos – where we see their customers not only going back to them again and again, but also telling everyone about them. That’s why the best Apple salespeople… are Apple’s own customers.

The goal here is to lock clients or customers into your business, by delivering an experience that is so good, they would be crazy to leave you.

Finally, always remember that your customers have the freedom to buy from whoever they choose. Make it your goal to consistently inspire them to keep on choosing you.

That’s the most effective way to make the lock in effect work for you and your clients.

Is this why your marketing isn’t working?

market

Regardless of the results you may be seeing, marketing works. In fact, it works extremely well.

Look around you. Everything you own is proof that marketing works. The device you’re reading this on, for example, was marketed to you successfully; either by a company or the word of mouth recommendation of a friend.

If marketing works, why doesn’t it work for me, Jim?

Ineffective marketing, the kind we see from the vast majority of small business owners, doesn’t work. Their marketing seldom reaches the correct people and when it does, it fails to influence them to make a purchasing decision.

Here’s what happens:

  • Your marketing results are determined by a choice you have made, often unconsciously. [To either use effective marketing or to dabble with DIY marketing].
  • And that decision was determined by the story you have told yourself, about growing your business.
  • If you believe investing in doing things correctly is too expensive or risky, you will dabble.
  • However, if you see dabbling as a certain route to failure, you will invest in marketing your business correctly.

In short, if you want a more successful business, start by telling yourself a better story. Read this. It will help you get it right.

How to make extremely valuable business contacts

How to

This post is all about how to build an extremely valuable network of influential people.

Think about it: We all know business owners who struggle to find new clients… even though they are members of networking groups and are connected to hundreds of people on Linkedin.

That should be impossible!

Surely, with all those contacts, these struggling business owners should be able to reach out with a message and generate more clients than they could possibly need.

But they can’t. Why? Because the typical small business owner builds networks that are of very little commercial value.

That’s why the most successful business owners use a very different approach.

Allow me to explain.

How successful business owners get connected

The most successful people in business are extremely well connected. They make it a habit to identify useful contacts in advance and then nurture relationships with them. As a result, they have people they can go to for advice or assistance in any area of their business.

When they have a problem, it’s often a case of: One call — problem solved!

How the average business owner connects

Typically, small business owners take the opposite approach. They focus on numbers, not value. Most commonly, they attend networking groups and connect with other business owners… who are only in that same networking group because they too are struggling.

As a result, they end up with lots of low value business contacts. They lack the type of influential connections, which are required in order to grow a successful business.

So, when they need new clients or have a significant business problem, their equally struggling contacts are unable to help.

Make the power of association work for you

There’s another important reason not to network with struggling business owners.

I’ve found that time and again, those who associate with business owners who are going nowhere, tend to find their own business heading in the same downward spiral. It’s the same power of association we saw at school, when a good kid started hanging with the wrong crowd and soon saw their grades drop.

Fortunately, the power of association works both ways.

Just as associating with struggling business owners can hurt your business, associating with successful business owners can inspire you to raise your game. It’s hard to overstate the value of associating with great people and learning from their experiences.

Think about that for a moment.

Stop focusing on the numbers. It’s all about value

As people, we are all of equal value. However, in business, our commercial value differs vastly. Successful business networking is about connecting with the right people.

Be selective. Focus less on numbers and more on value. Go deep and narrow, rather than shallow and wide.

Here’s how a 300% fee increase attracted more clients

marketing 101

Do you offer a great service, but attract too few clients? If so, here’s one way to turn things around… fast!

I was prompted to write about this, after speaking with a client earlier. We talked about what’s happened since she tripled her fees last year. Yes, it took a lot of courage, however, not only is every client now massively more profitable to her, she has never been busier with new clients.

So, why did a 300% increase in her fees result in more clients, rather than fewer clients?

My client is highly experienced and provides an excellent service. However, her fees used to be around the average for her industry.

In other words, she was claiming to offer a top quality service for what sounded like a bargain basement fee. She was giving people a mixed message and creating doubts in their mind.

The kind of people who seek out excellent service and are willing to pay for it, would have ignored my clients former marketing. They would see the service being offered, compare it to the cheapo fee and get suspicious. They’d assume she was another bargain basement provider making claims she couldn’t back up.

Of course, those looking for a cheap provider were not attracted to her either, as they shop around for the lowest fee and hers were close to average.

So, my client had previously failed to attract the best clients and the worst clients. She was left with the overcrowded middle of the market, where it’s exceptionally competitive, low profit, and very hard to stand out.

The lesson here is simple: If you genuinely provide an excellent service and want to attract lots of great clients, you need to make sure that your prices match your promises.

4 Powerful words that attract clients like a magnet

4 four

I have an idea to share with you today, which is one of the most powerful I have covered on Jim’s Marketing Blog. If you want to attract more clients, I’m sure you’ll find it extremely useful.

Allow me to explain.

When I speak with a new client or prospective client, I have a 4 word phrase that always captures their attention.

It’s simply this: “Bring me your problems”.

Bring me your problems

The moment a small business owner hears those words, I can almost feel the stress leave their body. Many have wrestled with their business development problems for years. Now, they have help from a renowned business development expert.

They’re no longer guessing. They’re no longer alone. I’m there to solve their marketing and business development problems.

Your business can do the same

If you’re a service provider, you are a professional problem solver. This is true regardless of the kind of services you offer. With that in mind, I have a question for you.

Do you clearly ask your clients [and prospective clients] to bring you their problems?

It’s hard to overstate how powerful those 4 words are and how attractive they are. Why? Because it’s what everyone wants to hear. No one wants to struggle with a problem, so asking them to bring you their problem is providing exactly what they want AND what they need.

Think about that for a moment. Next, figure out how to incorporate that message into your marketing.

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.

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