Client Service + Marketing Strategy

Great client service is what separates a good business and an amazing company.

Let’s face it.  Great marketing may get the people to your business or organization, but great client service is what keeps them coming back and telling others about you.

As I’ve stated in videos and other blog posts, the essence and heart of marketing is about building and maintaining amazing relationships with your audience.  Great relationships lead to more business, more referrals and more work.

Below are 5 reasons why client service should be incorporated into your marketing strategy:

1.) Client Retention:  If you want to keep your current clients, the goal is to make it difficult for them to leave you. How invested are they into your company or organization?  Are you aware of their needs and other concerns outside of the work you are doing for them?  If not, ask questions and maintain some type of system or file on each client.  If you are aware of their interests, how are you supporting your GREAT clients in their outside interests and objectives.  Build real relationships with the clients that really matter.

2.) Competition:  When deciding to do business with either your company and another company, for most people, client service can be the deciding factor.  This is true even with nonprofits or ministries.  Competition in every industry is fierce.  Excellent client service can set you apart from the others.

3.) Setting Expectations:  One part of great marketing and client service is to set clear expectations of the services and products you offer.  The goal is to not allow your client/customer to get lost in the processes of your business.  Are they aware of next steps and how they will transition in and out of phases of the relationship?  How do things wrap up or begin in your business?  Clients need to feel secure in their transactions and business with you.  Are you making their lives easier or more difficult? This is good client service.

4.) Brand Identity:  The type of experience your clients have with team members or others in the company, contribute to the overall brand of the company.  We see this with Chick-fil-a. It is very rare that you will see a rude or unhelpful employee at Chick-fil-a.  It goes against their brand identity and their values.  Does that same type of client service permeate throughout your company?  What is your brand promise and identity?  Is this reflected in how your clients are treated?

These are just a few reasons why client service should be an integral part of your marketing strategy.  If you need assistance with incorporating client service into your marketing or branding strategy, contact me for a 15 minute consultation.  I would love to help you!

Developing Business During the Holiday Season

Marketing is all about relationships.  What better time to focus on your marketing and business development than around the holidays, when people are focused on their closest personal and business relationships? 

Office Desk Computer, Coffee Paper Christmas Holidays Decoration


Below are some five tips on how you can be strategic and thoughtful with your clients during the holiday season. 


1.) Know Your Contacts – If you have not taken the time throughout the year to organize your contact list, this a good time to tackle this important task.  You should be aware of where your contacts fit on your list of priorities.  For example, knowing if a contact is a prospect, current great client, a client with potential for growth (more work), or a client that is slipping away, or a referral, etc.  Once you know where your contact stands on your list of priorities, you are better equipped with a plan to reach out to them during the holidays (and the new year).  Some contacts may receive a card, other contacts may receive an invitation to dinner or a party, others may receive a company gift.  Get organized and know your clients.


2.) Brief Client Interviews –  Although the holiday season is not the time to do aggressive selling  to your clients, it is the time to lay the ground work and gather important information for the new year.  As you are visiting clients, don’t be afraid to conduct a quick assessment on how the year has gone for their business or your work for them this year.  As you are gathering this information, you should also plan on how to address their issues in the new year. 


3.) Plan Your Visits – This is a great time of the year to visit clients, referrals and prospects bearing goodies for the office or business.  A box of donuts or cupcakes can go along way and also opens up an opportunity to find out what they are working on or may need assistance with for next year.  On-site visits are an excellent way to glean more information and work from your clients.   


4.) Create a Holiday Message:  Consider tweaking a tagline or key brand message for your company.  It is completely appropriate at this time of year as long as you maintain an authentic brand voice for your company. 


5.) Don’t forget about the New Year: We often focus on Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, however, don’t forget to celebrate the New Year with your clients and prospects. Again, this is an excellent time to celebrate and quietly bring up their goals and plans of the New Year. 


Don’t let the holiday season slip by you without doing something strategic and thoughtful for your key contacts.  The most important point is to know who your key contacts are and where you want the relationship to go.  This will help determine how to approach them for the holidays and as you go into the New Year. 


Finally, remember…. it is all about building the relationship.  You should never think its a waste of time toasting with your client or stopping by with cookies. Relationships are the key to great business development. 

Marketing Challenges for Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, we can get pulled in so many different directions. There are challenges that will distract you on this entrepreneurial journey.  In this article, I will highlight just a few marketing challenges for entrepreneurs and new business owners.

  1. Not knowing your audience: So many people start businesses based on their watts marketing challengespassions and strengths.  This is excellent!  However, we often are so focused on starting the business that we forget to pay attention to who we are selling to, including their needs, desires and burdens.  We sometimes stop at just describing the demographics of our target audience.  However, there is more to knowing your audience than their age or demographics.  How do they purchase?  What keeps them up at night?  Where do they consume information? What do they follow and like on social media? It is critically important to know your audience.
  2. The wrong marketing platforms:  Many new businesses have the wrong marketing platforms.  They hear about so many social media platforms or new apps or programs and they want to start all of them.  There is not careful consideration of which platforms work for your business, target audience or which of them “speak” or sync with each other.  It is important to do an audit of your programs and make sure they work for your business and marketing strategy.
  3. Inconsistency & Lack of Clarity:  One of the keys to branding is creating a consistent story and selling that narrative to your audience.  This requires managing a lot of moving pieces and being able to stand back from your company and brand and decide on a consistent message.  This can be challenging. Often, this is the importance of having a marketing or branding consultant, to have an objective eye to look at your messaging and challenge you on your strategy.  Inconsistent messaging can cause distrust and ultimately hurt your brand and selling opportunities.
  4. Not Knowing Your USP:  Knowing your Unique Selling Proposition is key to marketing and branding.  You must know what value you bring to the table.  What is your differentiator?  Why should your clients and customers purchase from you? When businesses are unclear on this, they stumble through their messaging and how to sell and package their products and services for their clients.  Know your value.
  5. Underestimating Content Marketing:  Most small businesses don’t have the time or staff to work on content for their social media, blogs or website.  However, content marketing is key to establishing your brand and identity.  It is what will set you apart as a thought leader in your industry. No matter what you are selling, work on establishing yourself as an expert in your industry.

All these issues can be overwhelming, however, every business owner faces marketing challenges.  For assistance with any of these marketing challenges, feel free to contact me. 



The Problem with Dreaming Big

Let me preface this by saying: this blog post is not meant to discourage you.  Everyone who knows me, knows I love a dreamer.  I believe everyone should have a dream and chase after them with reckless abandon. For me, this is the essence of a great life – dreaming big and chasing after those dreams.  The problem with dreaming big is that we eventually have to turn those dreams into reality.  And this is where it breaks down for most people.

I’ve seen it (and experienced it) many times before.  We leave the brainstorming session, the dream conversations and plans. Our adrenaline is pumping, ideas are flowing, we are ready to take on the world and live out our dreams.  We finally get home, sit down at our desk, couch or dining room table and start thinking “how in the heck am I going to do this??”  Dreaming big is GREAT.  But putting together a plan and implementing the dream is what often trips us up.  The key to having a big dream is to be willing to start small.

Taking on too much, too fast is the quickest way to run into paralysis when time for implementation. The dream is sooo big, we don’t know where to start.  We let the plans sit on our desk, or worse – in our heads.  The dreams never turn into action  Below are three ways that we can effectively dream big, specifically when looking at marketing and branding plans:

1.) Just Start.  I have seen it over and over again: we overthink our start.  We want everything to be just perfect when we begin. The colors, the logo, the tfind-work-online-fagline, the website, the business plan.  I’m here to tell you, and even rock your world a bit:  Don’t worry about perfection.  It has been said: “Perfection is the enemy of good.”  Some things will need to be “near” perfect or good enough, and that’s okay.  Discover which things are fine to be “good enough” and keep it moving.  You can correct and fix as you grow and learn.  And … you WILL grow and learn so much after your first year or two or three in business. Things will inevitably change; you will learn more about yourtarget audience, your brand, your packaging, etc.  Therefore, indeed strive for excellence, but don’t sweat the small stuff.  Just get started.

2.) Start small.  Yes, dream BIG.  I mean it.  Go for it and go for whatever God has called you to do. But start small.  Start with one piece of your big, audacious dream.  Your goal should always be progress.  Get moving and stay moving. The bigness and magnificence of your dream will come in time. Momentum is powerful, therefore starting small is also about creating momentum and great energy as you pursue your dream.  It will allow you to work out any kinks in your plan and quickly course correct and rework the plan or vision.  It’s much easier to scrap or rework a small plan than a big one.  So don’t feel embarrassed or inadequate about starting small.  Small plans quickly turn into big dreams.

3.) Write it Down. You may have it in your head, but it also needs to be on paper. Not just buried in a random notebook in the back of your car, but always before you, within reach. There is immense power in writing down your goals and dreams.  It is one more step toward making it a reality and watching it cometo life.  Write it down with as much detail as possible.  And read it often.  This is another version of practicing affirmations.  You are watching, writing and speaking it into life. Keep the dream before you.

All these steps are essential whenworking on your marketing and branding plans. Marketing and branding can be overwhelming. There are so many aspects, strategies and tactics involved.  However, the goal is to just get started.  Put the dream in motion.

Do you have a big dream?  Have you gotten started? What’s stopping you?  The moment of perfect timing or finances, or whatever it is, may never come.  Start now.  Start small. Get going!

If you need assistance with developing the first steps with your marketing or branding plans, contact me for Get Started session.

Recharge Your Marketing for 2017

Time is moving so quickly! Can you believe we are halfway through the year? Where areMarketing goals
you on your goals for the year? Many of us may be disappointed with our progress, but now is not the time to get discouraged. Instead you have to get busy!
Below are a few tips in jumpstarting your marketing and branding efforts for the year:
  • Revisit Your Why: Why are you doing what your doing? It always begins with Your Why – the thing that moves you and makes you jump out of bed in the morning. If you are unclear on your Why – this may be the reason for your lack of focus or passion. Get the Why!
  • Network: Find an event in your area, in your industry and run elbows with those who are doing what you want to do. If you are mentally mature, this is always a good way to get our juices going and provide some inspiration. Have a goal to connect with at least one person and follow up with them after the event.
  • Stop Overthinkig It: Take the leap! Sometimes we wait until the moment of perfection to launch or release or do the marketing. Just do it. The moment of perfection may never come. Entrepreneurship is about testing, trying, failing and taking risks. It is about learning as you go. If you are uncomfortable with taking risks, this may not be the right avenue or the right time for you. Do your homework, trust your gut and take the leap!
  • Brain Dump: Often we are holding so much in our brain that it is paralyzing our activity. We have so many ideas and goals, but they are swirling in our head and we lack clarity. Take a few hours and get it all out. Write in a journal, notebook, chalk board, post it notes — something! Brain detox and the reset!
I hope these tips help you to recharge and prepare for a great end to 2017.  If you need assistance with any of these, please contact me or check out one my upcoming webinars!

Dazzle Them with The Experience

Do you provide great customer service or a great client experience?

Do you have a business, resimg_7967taurant or store that you enjoy visiting or supporting?  It may because of the products they sell, or it could simply be how the establishment makes you feel when you visit  Our emotions and our experiences play a huge role in branding and marketing.  As brand owners, we cannot ignore the power of creating a great and memorable experience for clients and customers.

Why is Client Experience (CX) Important? 

If a customer has a great experience with you, he/she will likely be a repeat customer and will tell others about your business, service or product. If they have enough good experience, they will be a loyal customer.

Customer experience is NOT customer service.  Customer service is often that point of contact your customer may have your business.  Customer experience embodies every experience, from digital awareness/media until after the transaction or service has been provided (follow-up or surveys).

Below are a few things to consider with creating a strategy for a wonderful and consistent customer service experience.

Keep It Simple 

Unfortunately, I’ve seen businesses or organiations make this too complicated, and then not able to maintain a consistent customer experience plan.  You have your core business – the service or product that you provide – therefore, be careful not to overthink providing a good client experience.  Think about your current client interactions on a daily basis.  How can you improve it?  How can you make it easier or more efficient for your clients or customers? Is there another small way that you can make them feel appreciated?

Ask Them

We often underestimate the power of simply asking our clients/customers how they feel?  If we remember that ultimately marketing is about creating and building relationships, we will keep in mind that in every relationship people just want to be heard and validated.  Are you listening to your audience?  Do they know you are listening and that you’ve heard them?  Are you addressing concerns and issues?  Ask. Listen. Respond.

Look at the Big Picture 

Be careful that you don’t judge your client’s experience on one touchpoint.  They may have a great interaction with you and your service or product, however,  the payment process may have been complicated.  Or they may have tried to order something from you online and it wasn’t clear.  Or someone from your accounting department was rude.  Be sure to step back and look at all touch points and the WHOLE experience of your clients/customers.

Don’t Forget Emotions

Emotions play a big role in marketing and branding in a myriad of ways.  With client/customer experience, you must know your audience and what is important to them.  When we know what is important to them, we understand more of the emotion to connect to and better able to make the the client experience relevant. Always know your audience and what is important to them.

If you need assistance with creating a client experience vision or strategy, feel free to contact me.  I would love to answer any questions that you may have or help you create an amazing strategy.


Can I Trust You ?

Trust is a big deal.  We know this is true in friendships and with our love interests, however it is equally true with our brand and our business. We often focus on creating a img_7842nice product to sell or doing great work for our customers or clients.  This is good and absolutely necessary. Everyone wants good service and a product that will do what we need it to do.  That is the basics if we have a business.  What is monumentally important is if we are creating raving fans.  Just like sports teams have loyal fans that will cheer them on and tell others about them, do we also have this with our brand.  Do you create loyalty and trust among our clients and customers?

Why Trust?

The world is full of talented people. People who write or speak better than you. People who create that product better than you.  People who can do whatever you do… better than you. So what make someone choose you over another business, service or organization.  Sometimes its price or convenience, but often it comes back around to trust.  People want to trust the people around them.

Building Trust 

Thought Leadership

One way we are able to build trust is to demonstrate that you know your stuff.  Do you know what you are talking about?  Do you know your industry and the things that are important to your industry?  If you know it, then its important to show that you know it.  This is content marketing – becoming a thought leader in your industry or community.  Are you consistently producing or promoting content? In order to build trust and expertise, share your knowledge with your audience by platforms such as: blogging, podcasts, videos, posting, etc.  Content is still king and helps build trust with your audience.

Fix it Quick

How quickly you address issues and deal with problems will either build or diminish trust with your audience. We’ve seen it with various large brands in crisis (Subway, United Airlines, Samsung, etc.) How quickly do they address their public relations crisis? How quickly do you address conflicts or complaints within or about your company or organization?  Have you ever completed a survey or client feedback form and provided negative feedback, yet no one called you to address it?  Trust diminished. When you demonstrate that you are open to dealing with problems, it show your authenticity, which builds trust.  Even if it is a problem that you created. Deal with it head on and watch your clients/customers trust in your brand rise.


Trust also comes when a client sees that you are focused.  We have all heard the term: “Jack of all trades, master of none.”  As a brand owner, your job is to always show yourself as a master.  Being too spread out with your expertise, products or services dilutes your brand and ultimately the trust a client has for you.  We have all had this sentiment when we walk into a business that says its an expert at one thing, and then you also see them promoting something in a completely different industry.  For example, you walk into an Italian restaurant for a good plate of spaghetti and then you discover they are also selling Chinese food. It is unlikely they are doing both well. Master your trade and stay focused on what you are truly providing your clients.

These are just three simple ways to build trust. There are many other ways that you can build trust for your brand.  The first step is realizing that trust matters in marketing and branding.  It is the key to developing business and creating loyalty with your audience.

If you need any assistance with building trust with your key audience, feel free to reach out to me at I will also offer a webinar on this topic in May.  If you would like to join the webinar, please email me to be added to the invitation list.

Building a Brand or a Movement?

Creating a movement or a brand-Starting a business is hard work. The hours can be grueling, along with the emotional and mental stamina needed to stay focused and innovative.  One thing that helps with turbulence and challenges of starting a business or organization is to understand if your business or organization exists for more than just paying bills.  It’s always exciting when you are brand is also a movement.  When the company or organization is more than about a product or service, but you are wanting to create change.
Brand vs. Movement
So what is different about creating a movement?  Movements are built on the things that make us human, which is ultimately that we want to be a part of something greater. Connecting to something to believe in and follow.  Movements are about creating a change.  This doesn’t mean that brands won’t do that.  However, the goal of a brand is about telling the story of your business, organization or product and allowing people to experience and follow that brand.  Movement is about transformation, where brands are often looking to dominate and compete in the marketplace. The goal of a movement is to change lives. Both are needed and critical, however the strategy and tactics needed with each are different.
Which are you doing?
If you are interested in creating CHANGE, if you have a message, if you want to go deeper, bigger and bolder, it’s important to see yourself as creating a movement. Movements build momentum and loyalty.  Movements offer hope…
Are you creating a brand or a movement?
Below are some key elements to creating a movement:
  •  Inspire.  You can’t get away from it.  If you want to create a movement, you have to inspire people to love something or hate something.  You have to tell the story in such a compelling way that you tug on the emotions of your audience.
  • Experience.  Stories are great; they keep us engaged and help us to think.  However, experiences make us FEEL something.  When creating a movement, you have to create an experience for your audience.  The experience you offer will depend on your industry and the vision for your company.  But don’t ignore it.
  • Live it. Whatever you are asking people to do, you have to be already doing it.  It needs to be ingrained in you and what you believe and do .
  • Create a call to action. What do you want your followers to DO?  Do you just want them to share the information? Donate? Follow? Attend?  Buy?  Whatever it is, tell them what you need for them to do and engage them to be part of the project. You have to show people how to follow.
  • Build a Tribe.  In order to build a tribe, you need to build trust.  Trust allows you to ask people to do some amazing things.  When creating a movement (or building a brand), you need trust.
Again, some brands are both.  They are about telling your company story, creating a following and proposing change.  Whichever you are doing, know the difference and tweak your business model accordingly.  If you need assistance in this area, feel free to contact me at  Or attend my next workshop Strategy & Stilettos- The Workshop.

Think Big, But Go Small

Developing a strategy is important in any business and marketing endeavor.  Often business owners or brand owners want to jump right into marketing, with very few plans and absolutely no strategy.

But, strategy is important. img_7842

Strategy is about creating an action plan and implementing it; a critical mistake with
planning is often going too big.  I know society tells us to “dream big” or “go big, or go home.”  I definitely don’t want to limit anyone’s dreams or plans.  However, creating big plans often paralyze or delay action plans. An effective strategy is to learn the skill of going small with your big plans, i.e. FOCUS.

I’ve seen it time and time again… the plans are so big, with no focus and action items. Below are some steps on how to still think big, yet go small with your marketing initiatives.

1.) Know your marketing goal for next 3 months. Choose just one marketing goal for the next 12 weeks and focus on that.  Try not to take on too many initiatives.  Just focus on one thing and know it inside and out.  If you do this every 3 months, you will have accomplished 4 marketing goals by the end of the year.

2.) Know your target audience.  We can never get around this. No matter what your business or organization, you must get serious about knowing your target audience.  This doesn’t mean you ignore others, but knowing your target audience helps you to develop a tone and voice, as well as plans on how and where to market to this audience.

3.) Develop keywords and phrases. Once you know your brand and your goals, it should be easy to develop the keywords and phrases that should be throughout your marketing materials.

4.) Know the value you bring and the problems you solve. Very critical when it comes to focusing and going small.  Don’t try to solve problems that are not your speciality or strength.  This spreads you thin and takes you away from “going small.”  Stick with your strengths and where you add value.

5.) Talk about your results. We could talk all day about ourselves or the business or organization.  Instead of spending too much effort focusing on yourselves, focus on talking about your results.  Testimonials are powerful.  Sharing client quotes or experiences with potential customers or clients are effective in creating a marketing strategy.

Thinking BIG is great!  We need big thinkers and dreamers.  But make sure you know how to go small and focus so that the big things get done.

For more information on creating an effective marketing strategy for your organization or business, contact me for a 10 minute complimentary session.





Finish Strong, but Start Stronger

We have all read so much information about finishing the year strong. Finishing strong is admirable and should be a goal for any business owner or leader. However, STARTING off strong should also be our focus. With just a few days left in 2016, our focus should now be shifting to how to start off strong and remain focused in 2017.

I believe in the power of momentum. What is in motion, often stays in motion. This is why morning rituals are so critical. It is often a predictor of how you spend your energy the rest of the day. The same theory applies with your year. Plan the first quarter of your year now, if you have not already. Create an undeniable momentum and see how your year takes off.

Below are 6 recommendations on how to start your year off STRONG in marketing your business or organization:

Develop Your Theme: Even if you don’t externally promote your theme for the year or the quarter, you should have it as part of your marketing plan for your or your team to remember. Having a meaningful theme helps to focus marketing efforts. Anything that does not help build or sustain your internal theme should be considered random acts of marketing. Discover your vision for the year, develop a theme that everyone can quickly remember and put your energy toward your theme.

Create Boundaries: This is a big one for me. I’m learning this as I’m type this blog. But I year 2017 written with sparkles, silhouette of a boy jumpingcan also write about it because I’ve experienced the detrimental effects when a business owner or leader does not create boundaries. In 2017, decide the type of boundaries you need to have a more successful and less stressful year. Will it require saying “no” more often? Refusing to work with certain clients that drain your time or energy? Creating specific work hours or days? One boundary I was proud of this year, is that I said no to work on Sundays. I broke that rule once and I felt horrible and somewhat resentful toward my client. She didn’t know and it was not her fault. It was up to me to establish that boundary. What are those things that brought you stress? Discover how to create boundaries around those issues.

Know Your Leads: If you are not focusing on leads, then you are not focusing on growth. Leads are your prospective clients or customers. Develop a plan on how to turn your leads into clients. Often we are so proud of our prospective clients or our followers, but we are not thinking strategically about how to turn them into loyal clients or customers. It is also important to know how long it takes your typical lead to make the decision to convert to a customer or client. For some industries and businesses, it may be just a few minutes, for other industries it may take several weeks. Normally the higher the risk or cost, the more time it takes to convert them. Know this and develop a plan.

Test and Measure: ROI (Return on Investment) is important. Sometimes it is difficult to measure, but think about what you can measure that will show some accomplishment or movement of some key goals. Marketing or branding is often hard to measure ROI, however, there are components that you can measure depending on your goals. For example, you may measure how your mailing list grows or the analytics of your newsletter. Are more people opening or clicking on the articles? How many people are calling per month? How many people have attended or visited your business or organization?

Don’t Discount… but Add Value: This was also a hard one for me. Discounts are sometimes necessary or can spark activity. However, don’t get into a perpetual cycle of discounting. This diminishes your value and sets the wrong expectations with your clients and customers. Some professionals never discount their services, the same with some products such as Apple. But, making sure you have value propositions is important. You can’t stand your ground on no discounts, but not add any significant value. The better you are, the more you KNOW how good you are, the fewer discounts you need to give.

Brainstorm Big: I LOVE brainstorming. When I meet with my clients, they will often hear me say “I’m just thinking out loud, you may not like this…” Brainstorming is not meant to perfect or right, but to expand your mind and take you down different paths. If something doesn’t feel right to you or you need a breakthrough….start brainstorming. I encourage you to kick off your year brainstorming and exploring the possibilities with your business or organization.

I hope this gets you started on a phenomenal year! Yes, end your year strong and do everything you can to feel proud of how you said goodbye to 2016. But don’t get too caught up on 2016. One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 43:18: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Or another version says: “But forget all that–it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.” (NLT). The future is bright. Enter into 2017 with great expectations for your business or organization.