Strategies for Making Time for Marketing

Woman with touch screen watchOne of the most common complaints I hear from entrepreneurs and brand owners is the lack of time they have for marketing and branding.  Marketing is so voluminous – I believe that many people get overwhelmed with the many aspects and options in marketing and its easier to become paralyzed and resort to inactivity, than to take one small step at a time.

Or we don’t understand what marketing truly entails and believe we don’t have time for “advertising” or “social media.”  However,  marketing is anything that grows your business or raises your profile.  This includes properly maintaining your referrals and building relationships with existing clients and customers.  This should be treated as a strategy for growing your business.

Yes, marketing takes time, however, it is absolutely necessary if you want to grow your business, create a brand and fill your pipeline.

Below are five points for making more time for marketing:

1.) Know what’s most important:  There are so many ways to market, brand and reach your clients. It’s important for you to be extremely clear on what works best for YOUR industry and market.  Advertising is not best for every industry; nor is social media, or events or cold-calling.  Do the research and know what works best for what you want to do and how your industry makes buying decisions.  This will eliminate random acts of marketing (i.e., being busy with marketing, but accomplishing nothing).

2.) Know what you want to communicate:  Marketing is about storytelling.  Your brand is the story and marketing is how you tell that story.  What is the story you want your audience to know about your company or organization.  What are the key points, value propositions that are important for your clients or customers.  This is not just what you want to tell or sell, but also what is important for your audience.  What are their pain points and how can you provide solutions.  Once you are very clear on this, it will save time on how you market your business.  You will be very clear on your message.

3.) Evaluate Your Tools:  So there are two schools here… either those of you who are not using enough tools and those who are using too many tools.  In this digital era, there are platforms, apps and tools for everything. Evaluate what you are using and notice if it can do more than what you are using it for; if you can eliminate a tool or combine it with something else.  Make your marketing tools work for you.

4.) Limit Your Social Media:  What?!? Yes, I said it.  At least limit how many social media platforms you focus on.  If you are giving equal amount of energy and time to more than 3, you are doing too many.  Go back to my first point.  And my second point.  Know what is most important and what is producing the best results for you.

5.) Use Your Timer:  There is something magical about hearing your timer go off and time to put your pencils down.  With some of your marketing tasks, set a timer for how much time you will devote to that task or initiative for that day.  Not only is this good for your moral and mental health, it also helps you focus.  Focus is a powerful thing.  Anything that can help us focus on the task at hand, is essential for your marketing strategy.

If you are interested in learning more about time management and marketing, please contact me directly for an upcoming course on strategies for increasing your marketing productivity.

 

Making Magic 9-5 and 5-9

The balance of employee vs. entrepreneur

I come across people every week that are trying to balance between launching their dreams and still working as a good employee.  How does one balance it all?  Do you abandon your dreams and stick with your 9-5? Do you quit your full-time job and go for it?

It is difficult to move the needle with your side hustle and still produce outstanding work for your employer.  But its possible.

Below are some practical tips on how to manage both:

Make the Most of Your Time:  If your primary job is from “9-5” – without question, youAfrican female executive at work must make the most of your mornings and evenings.  Most people will advise that you discover if you are a morning or evening person.  However, if you are an entrepreneur and an employee, it really doesn’t matter which time of day you prefer.  Early mornings are not optional; it is a must.  It sets the tone for your day and helps you to establish clarity.  Mornings give you the additional time and clarity to get work and strategy done for your passions and get a head start on your 9-5.  But evenings are important too.  Burning the candle at both ends may not be everyday – but at least commit to being an early riser or putting in an evening shift (weekends too) at least a few times a week or month.

Automate, automate, automate:  As much as you can, automate your life.  Anything that you can possibly automate, consider doing it.  This ranges from having your coffee brewing when you wake up, to your emails being sent throughout the day or social media posts.  Take inventory of your life.  Anything that you can remove from thinking too much about or having to manually do, try to automate.  I am a big user of Buffer and Acuity Scheduling.  Both help me to automate my life.

Calendar It:  This kinda goes without saying, but I am surprised by how many people do not use a calendar.  Or worse – they use too many calendars and have things spread out everywhere.  Figure out the best calendar for your personality: online vs. written, day view vs. monthly view, etc. Don’t rely on just your memory or your inbox.  Take that pressure off of yourself and use that extra mental energy for your work.

Write it Down:  Using a calendar is very different from having a “to-do” list.  It is important to create a to-do list each day.  I used to separate my lists from corporate job vs. side gig.  But now, I don’t.  For me, it doesn’t matter.  What needs to get done – must get done.  I put it all on a list and then prioritize my list.  Some things on my side hustle are top priority that day and requires me to take a moment out of my day or get up extra early to return a call or email, etc.  Get into a habit of writing your “to-do” list each day.

Get clear on your Why:  You will get tired and frustrated and wonder “why am I doing this?”  You must be very clear on your why.  Remember why you started and what you are passionate about.  If you don’t have a good why – then it will be very difficult to continue during difficult times.

Know Your Brand:   When you know your brand, not just your company brand, but your personal brand, it is much easier to know what to accept and deny in your professional and personal life.  When you know what YOU the product is focused on – you will have a better vision of where to spend your time and how to promote yourself and your business.  Knowing your personal brand brings clarity in all areas of your life.

If you need assistance with your personal branding or want more information on balancing your career and your business, contact me for a complimentary session to discuss more.

 

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!

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.

 

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.