Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Page 60 of 189

How to grow your business with clarity and confidence

I want to share a superb opportunity with you.

I need to start by saying that if you intend to just hunker down and hope business improves in 2013, then this post is not for you.

Okay, it’s just you and me now! As you genuinely want to grow a more successful business and are prepared to do something about it, I’d like to offer you a very special opportunity.

Your opportunity

  • It’s an opportunity for you to work with the best clients and the highest fees.
  • It’s an opportunity for you to get people talking about your business and generating word of mouth referrals for you.
  • It’s an opportunity for you to confidently plan ahead, knowing you are doing the right things, correctly.
  • It’s an opportunity for you to attract sales leads and inquiries, so you can focus on what you do best.
  • It’s an opportunity for you to plan ahead with total clarity about your business and it’s direction.
  • It’s an opportunity for you to start seeing the rewards your hard work deserves.

You and I working together as a team

It’s an opportunity for you and I to grow your business, working together as a team. You can find out how it works, here.

If you would like to know more, simply email me and I will happily answer any questions you have. If you would like a no obligation chat, remember to include your phone number and a suitable time to call, along with your time zone. It’s that easy.

This is the perfect opportunity for you to finally get the expert marketing help you need. With places already limited, I suggest you get in touch as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. I look forward to hearing from you.

How to show people your achievements and create a powerful impact!

No one likes people who are boastful. Little wonder then, that so many small business owners feel uncomfortable when showcasing their achievements. However, unless we learn how to show the marketplace what we have accomplished and when we are capable of, we will place a very low ceiling on our success.

In my experience, the best way to overcome a tendency to sell ourselves short, is to focus on honesty, context and proof.

Honesty and context

By being honest about what you have done and explaining your achievements or accolades in context, you shift your focus from being boastful to being truthful.

Context is really important too. If you simply list a ton of achievements every time you connect with someone, you will look like an ass. However, if you list them in the right places, such as the about page of your website, people will actually be looking for them. You will simply be offering people the information they need. If they are reading your about page, they are checking you out – they want to know about you.

Where’s the proof?

Anyone can claim to have achieved anything. As a result, many people lie like crazy about their achievements. So, it’s understandable that our prospective clients or customers want some proof, to back up our claims.

For example:

  • If you tell people you have been a content marketer for 5 years, link to something that backs that up; such as some old blog posts. You can also do as Seth Godin does and have your archive on the sidebar of your blog. Seth’s shows he was blogging in 2002.
  • If you claim in your marketing material that you have a famous client, get permission from the person to use their name and if possible, get a photo of you together, too. Otherwise, don’t expect people to automatically believe you.
  • If you tell people your work was featured in a well known newspaper, provide a link to the article. If you mention it in your offline marketing, use a scan of the coverage.
  • If you tell people you won a prestigious award, provide a link back to the announcement on the award website.

In other words, if you want your achievements to be seen as truthful you should show some proof. Yes, I know you’re honest, you know you’re honest, but a prospective client who doesn’t know you yet, who’s reading your marketing material for the first time, would like some proof.

For instance:

  • On the about page of Jim’s Marketing Blog, I mention that I write for The Microsoft Small Business Blog. I then link to one of my articles, which is on the Microsoft blog and checkable.
  • I do the same with a link to The Guardian newspaper, when they wrote about my listing on The UK Blog Tree as the UK’s most influential marketing blogger and the 2nd most influential business blogger.

Getting the balance right

Those and other achievements are only on my about page, so they are in context. If I listed them everywhere, they would be out of context. Just mentioning them here as an example, will sound boastful to some. That’s how important context is and how careful we have to be, to get the balance right.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

What’s inside the box?

I want you to imagine you have a very special box, which you place on a table in front of a prospective client or customer.

  • You explain to the prospective client that the contents of this sealed box, will be of so much value to them that once they have it, they will wonder how they ever managed without it.
  • You tell them that other people are using what’s in that box, and they love it so much that they write to you and thank you.
  • You then tell the prospective client that the price for what’s in the box, is a fraction of what it’s worth.

You then ask them: Would you like to see what’s in the box?

Their eyes widen as they lean forward and say: Yes please!

So, what’s inside the box?

As a business owner, your job is to develop a product or service that fits inside that magical box. In order for it to fit inside, your product needs to be able to deliver on those promises you just made, so when a prospective client sees it, they want it. Really want it.

Even great marketing is no match for an average or slightly above average product. That’s why the most successful businesses bake marketing into their products, so they are as desirable as possible. When you adopt this approach, marketing becomes a lot easier and massively more effective.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Social media smoke blowers: How to stop them hurting your business

I recently wrote a post asking you what your main marketing challenges were, so I could cover them in future posts.

One of the most common questions, was to do with the ocean of information being offered online, by people claiming to be social media experts. Today’s post is all about how to tell those with genuinely useful information, from the fakes.

Social media smoke blowers

It’s extremely easy for someone with little social media skill, to pretend they are a social media expert. All they need is a blog, a photo of them in front of a screen (looking ‘dynamic’ and preferably wearing a headset) and a few social networking tricks.

Here is a selection of what I have personally experienced from some smoke blowers:

  • I was emailed by the author of a book on how to make money on Facebook, who didn’t know what to do as he’d sold fewer than 100 copies. This social media marketing expert had no idea how to market his book, via social media or anything else.
  • I was called by a social media trainer, who is well known on the speaking circuit. He wanted to know if I had any work I could give him. This guy specialises in telling people how to attract high quality sales leads.
  • I was emailed by a blogger, author and speaker, who wanted to know if I could get her a free version of my blog theme. I explained that it only cost $60 and she told me that times were tough. This same person is selling online courses and ebooks on how to grow a successful business. She offered to repay me, with retweets!

So, how do you tell the genuinely informed experts from the rest, when you are new to social media and seeking to use it effectively for your business?

Protecting yourself from smoke blowers

I believe the best way to protect yourself from taking bad advice is to do a little research first, then apply some common sense.

For example:

  • If the only testimonials they offer are from others, with similar Pinocchio business models, be very cautious. (A Pinocchio business is one, with no visible means of support.)
  • Always remember that the rules of business apply online, just as they do offline.
  • Don’t let their numbers fool you. 100,000 Twitter followers means nothing. You can buy followers. You can buy software to build massive follower numbers. You can just randomly follow thousands of people, get a subset to follow you back, unfollow them all – then repeat until you have a huge following. If someone seems to lack credibility or you think they are promising impossible results, don’t let their social numbers fool you into ignoring your instinct!
  • Someone claiming to be a social media author or radio host/personality, still needs to be checked out:
    • Thanks to self publishing, my 7 year old son can claim to be an author.
    • Oh, and thanks to free services like blogtalk radio, he can claim to be a radio ‘personality’ too.
    • In both cases he would be telling the truth, but it would have nothing to do with his ability to help you improve your social media results!
  • If it seems too good to be true, it almost always is (yes, even on the Internet).

Consider the source

Always check the source of information before you act on it. Never let easy to fake social media numbers or lofty titles fool you into taking damaging advice or get you to part with your money. Not every social media expert or social networking ‘superstar’ is a fake. Some offer useful information, which makes commercial sense and offers a logical return on your investment.

Just be extremely careful of those promising amazing results, with no logical business path.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Photo: Pete Page

20 minutes of pure awesomeness

If you find yourself with 20 minutes spare today, here’s how to fill it with awesomeness!

  • Send a handwritten note to thank someone, who has helped or inspired you recently.
  • Comment on a blog you value, but have never previously commented on.
  • Send someone flowers – just because.
  • Write a newsletter article or blog post, about something that has been extremely useful to you, which will help your readers.
  • Send out a tweet, recommending a person, product or service that you appreciate.
  • Contribute to a charity that does great work; either financially or by helping them spread their message (or both).

It’s amazing how much awesomeness you can squeeze into 20 minutes, if you try. You see, not only will you make another person feel awesome by appreciating them – you make yourself feel awesome too.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

What is your main marketing challenge?

I’m always looking for ways to increase the value you get from this blog. That’s why I would really value your feedback to the following question:

What is your main marketing challenge?

Please let me know by leaving a comment here.

This is your chance to influence what I write about and help me to focus on the areas of marketing, which are most relevant to you and your business.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Increase word of mouth referrals with this simple idea

How about you try this?

  • Think of 3 amazing things you would LOVE your marketplace to be saying about you or your business.
  • Write them down.
  • Next, put a plan together of the things you will need to do, in order for your marketplace to be spreading those amazing stories about you.

Switching focus

Every small business owner wants to attract more word of mouth referrals, yet they almost always focus on the wrong area. Instead of creating an experience, which becomes a remarkable story worth sharing – they focus on how to motivate people to share an unremarkable story.

People are hard-wired to want to communicate with each other. Give them an experience worth talking about and watch them go!

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

A key to great decision making

The first step to making great decisions, is to ensure you are working with accurate data.
business development ideas

  • You can assume your past clients were happy with you or you can ask them. By the way, if you get too few word of mouth referrals from past clients, do this now.
  • You can assume that prospective clients can find you on search engines or you can check your analytics. Look for things like the search terms they use, the pages they view and how they move through your site, etc.
  • You can assume that your marketing copy is as good as it can be or you can split test it. By testing different versions and measuring the feedback, you can refine your message and massively improve your results.

It’s easy to make bad decisions, simply because you are basing them on incorrect assumptions.

Thankfully, it’s almost as easy to take the guess work out and make better decisions, from accurate data.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

« Older posts Newer posts »