Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

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Marketing 101: First impressions

What kind of impression are you creating, in the mind of your prospective clients and customers? In this post, I explain why image is so important and also answer an often asked question.

New branding

As many readers have noticed, I’ve added some new branding to Jim’s Marketing Blog and my social networking accounts.

Jim Connolly branding

A few weeks ago, I hired a professional photographer to take some honest, up to date photos of me for the blog. Then last week, I added my new logo and branding, which was created by the award winning team at Attract.

jim connolly logo

Why the new branding?

It matters. No… it REALLY matters!

As soon as a prospective client or customer connects with you on your website or a social network, they start to form their initial impression of you.

You can either present them with a professional image or… not.

Why do I invest thousands a year on a site that offers free information?

People ask me that question a lot. It’s perfectly true that the vast majority of people who read Jim’s Marketing Blog, are here exclusively for free information. They are the freebie crowd. It’s what freebie hunters do.

However, the reason I invest thousands of pounds here every year, isn’t for the freebie crowd. It’s for the total opposite crowd… professional business owners. These amazing people contact me every day to either Pick My Brain or join my 1 Year Marketing Service.

If I want professional business owners to continue contacting me, my message and the image around it, needs to be worthy of their valuable attention.

The same applies to your business

The first impression you give to your prospective clients or customers, is enormously important. It’s either generating trust or generating doubt. It’s either supporting your marketing promises or destroying your marketing promises.

The bottom line: Your image is either helping your business or hurting your business. You’re losing a fortune if you neglect it.

They lied: You NEVER pay the price for success!

As a business owner, you never pay the price for success, however, you do pay a hefty price for failure.

The price of failure is being paid daily, though most business owners are blind to it until they get the bill at the end.

  • You pay a price for lacking commitment.
  • You pay a price for refusing to invest in your business.
  • You pay a price for missing opportunities.
  • You pay a price for ducking the important decisions.
  • You pay a price for wasting time — your time and the time of others.
  • You pay a price for being risk averse.
  • You pay a price for knowing more about a reality TV show, than what’s happening in your industry.
  • You pay a price for pessimism.
  • You pay a price for being just like your competitors.
  • You pay a price for giving your attention to the unimportant.
  • You pay a price for neglect.
  • You pay a price for applying free, general advice to your specific business problems.
  • You pay a price for ignoring the black smoke in your business.

Thankfully, the opposite is also true

You enjoy the price for success.

  • You enjoy paying the price of a wise investment.
  • You enjoy paying the price of turning an opportunity into a gold mine.
  • You enjoy paying the price of building a great, professional reputation.
  • You enjoy paying the price of building a wonderful network.
  • You enjoy paying the price of growing a powerful marketing asset.
  • You enjoy paying the price of owning a business, which gives you and those you love a great quality of life.

Here’s what we know: Those business owners willing to pay the price of success will achieve it. The remaining 99%… won’t.

PS: If you are in that 1% or would like to be, you will find this extremely useful: How to build a successful business.

How to attract the attention and interest of your marketplace

If you would like to attract the attention and interest of your marketplace, this post is just for you.

attraction marketingI was prompted to write this, after I shared something on my Twitter and Facebook accounts yesterday, which resulted in 2 very different reactions from people.

Here’s what I shared: “Giving and receiving starts with giving. If you’re not receiving enough, you’re probably not giving enough”.

Most people seem to have understood the point of this message. Some did not.

One message… two reactions

Those who understood the message realised it was about the power of contribution. That the best way to get value was to give value. That the best way to make a new friend, was to be a friend to someone.

Those who totally misunderstood the message, thought it was a selfish trick they could use. They saw it as a way to give something, with strings attached. They saw it as being a selfish way to gain an advantage over someone.

Them focused

The most successful businesses are contribution focused.

They deliver value and quality, which enriches the life or experience of their customers. They look for opportunities to help their marketplace. They understand that if they give enough value, they will receive enough value. So, they keep on giving and they do it happily.

Me focused

Selfish business owners really struggle with this. So, they choose to pester and pursue the marketplace with selfish demands instead.

  • They cold call us because they have our phone number.
  • They spam us because they have our email address.
  • They send us unwanted letters because they bought our address.
  • They pester us on social networks and corner us at networking events.

As business owners, we can work from a contribution mindset or a selfish mindset. We can attract people or pester people.

Whilst the answer may seem obvious, check out how many people today choose to pester you for your attention.

This is great news for you and your business

Of course, this makes it easy for you to attract the attention and interest of your marketplace, with your contribution focused approach.

In short: If you want to get more from your marketplace, give more to your marketplace.

What every business owner needs to know about optimism

dart target

It’s great to feel optimistic about your business, so long as your optimism is justified.

  • Justified optimism is born from knowing that your business is making measurable progress in reasonable time. It comes from seeing your plans and ideas coming to fruition.
  • Unjustified optimism is very different. It comes from ignoring the reality of your situation and hoping things will ‘just get better’. Hope is essential, but it isn’t a business strategy.

Here’s the challenge

Unjustified optimism has the same effect on your mind, as justified optimism. If your business is stagnating or shrinking, yet you choose to believe everything is great, it acts like a narcotic.

A narcotic? Yes. It takes away the pain you need to feel, in order to motivate yourself to fix what’s wrong.

It’s like seeing black smoke coming from the back of your car, but choosing to ignore it and instead, telling yourself that your car is doing great. The engine then gets trashed, because you didn’t take heed of the warning sign and take action when you should have.

Business owners tend to be optimistic. Let’s face it, the very act of starting your business, with no guarantee of success, required a lot of optimism (and courage) on your part.

If you’re reading this, knowing that your business is on track to achieve whatever your goals or targets are, you are justifiably optimistic. Your optimism will shine through everything you do.

Off track?

If your business is off track or stagnating, don’t allow unjustified optimism to rob you of the motivation you need, to make the improvements required.

Instead, look at where you are right now and where you want to be in the medium and long term. Then, make the decision to give your business the resources it needs; the time, attention, energy and professional expertise.

Don’t see the black smoke and ignore it.

An exciting announcement!

I have an exciting announcement for you!

jim connollyIf you have been waiting to join my extremely popular marketing service, where I help you to make more sales, attract better clients / customers and boost your profits, the first space in 7 months is available to you now!

This is a great opportunity for us to work together, one-to-one, on the marketing and development of your business. You can find out more about the service here.

As places are marketed just a couple of times a year, I recommend you get in touch as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

I look forward to hearing from you. Full details of the service, including my contact information, can be found here: Jim Connolly’s Marketing Service.

Why following the crowd is a bad idea

follow like sheep

It’s hard to follow the crowd and achieve anything beyond average.

The wealthiest investors buy, when the crowd is selling. The most successful businesses stand out, while the crowd fits in. The wisest business owners work smart, while the crowd works hard.

Clearly the crowd is missing a key point

The worst reason to do anything in business, is because everyone else is doing it. It’s a short-cut to being average. A guarantee you will never stand out from the crowd. An immunisation to stop you attracting word of mouth publicity.

We must dare to be different or accept the price of being average. Why? Because history shows that if we keep on following what the average, struggling business does, one day, everything they have will be ours.

Content Marketing: Is your design killing your content?

The primary design task of any newsletter, website or blog, is to ensure the content is as readable as possible. The design should work like a picture frame and enhance, not hide, your work.

content marketing design

I was on a site earlier, where the design was so loud and busy, that it was hard to find the actual content. When trying to read the content, the rest of the site was so distracting that I left after just 30 seconds or so.

Most newsletters are just as bad. Instead of focusing on the message, they’re packed with distractions. Lots of different font sizes, colours, options, boxes and buttons — all getting in the way and breaking the reading experience. As a result, their actual content gets very little attention… and the newsletter providers wonder why their readership isn’t growing.

The poor readability epidemic

Unreadable design is such a huge problem now, that there are apps that try to combat it. Readability is maybe the best known.

Take a look at the design you use for your newsletter, website and / or blog. If the content is playing second fiddle to the design, change the design. After all, it’s your content that people come to you for and your content, which builds your relationship with your readers.

A quick tip: Clear, big fonts and lots of white space work better than almost anything, when it comes to making your content stand out.

How to get more value from me

Did you know that the free information I offer you here, is just a fraction of what I share each week?

Here are the places where you will find the majority of my free work.


I write far more frequently on Creative Thinking Hub. It is sometimes updated several times a day! It’s a website dedicated to sharing ideas, to help you solve problems and think more creatively. You can find it here.

Let’s get social

I share ideas and useful resources every day on Twitter. You can join me on Twitter here.

I also share ideas and resources on Google+. You can join me here.

I have an active Facebook page, which you can join me on here.

Please say hi when you connect with me. It would be great to hear from you!

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