Facebook is not the only place to find clients!

This is a funny statement coming form me given that most of my clients do come from facebook. But that is my business and every business is unique in its own right. While facebook seems to be the be all and end all of social media for some, I always have to ask and remind my own clients to look outside of facebook for their ideal clients as well. Not because their clients may not be their but more because their clients may not be using facebook as a tool to help solve their problem.

There are some businesses that thrive on facebook and the proof is in their conversions and return on investment. They do massive ads and outstanding videos and get clients dropping into their laps day in and day out but for others posting everyday and doing ads and live videos just does not get them the traffic they want. The problem is that they are not clear about who their ideal clients are and further do not know where they go to seek help for their biggest challenge. You first need to know and understand that, before you decide which social media platform works specifically for your niche.

Platforms such as Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest and Twitter are also great platforms to connect, engage and build relationships with your ideal clients…if used correctly. And there-in lies one of the biggest problems. Because entrepreneurs have gotten so hooked on facebook, they tend to try to use the other platforms in the exact same way and get no results, then give up completely, without understanding that each platform has its own nuances and users respond differently based on how you present your content.

I have followed some great brands big and small who are killing it on Instagram and Linkedin and the one thing I have realised is that they have taken the time to study and understand the platforms, so their ideal clients respond to them and they make a ton of sales…which is what we all want. They understand what type of content works, what type of images work and what call to action garners the best feedback from their audience. They also pay attention to their analytics so they know the best days and times to post to really reach an engaged audiences of buyers.

social media icons- rami-al-zayat-170349

My advice to my clients and to you is

  1. Do some market research about your ideal client and determine which platform works for them
  2. When you choose a platform, follow people who have mastered the platform so you can pick up on some useful tricks and advice on how to become an expert on the platform
  3. Experiment with the platform because you want to create something that is uniquely yours
  4. Don’t just post but engage with others as well so you can also build know, like and trust

This by no means is knocking facebook for its great business capabilities, however, as a business owner, it is imperative that you also do not put all your eggs in 1 basket. Even if your ideal clients are found on facebook, decide where is the 2nd highly trafficked social media platform that they are on and show up there as well. But show up in the right way! Try to master at least 2 platforms really well before you branch into others because you do not want to over extend your own abilities.

PLUS besides social media, there are other ways to reach your ideal clients like radio, press, tv, networking events and speaking engagements. So decide where you need to be and show up genuinely and proudly every day.

If you are still struggling to

  1. Find your ideal client
  2. Master social media to land clients

Then let’s get on a Free discovery call so we can discuss how to get you on the right track.

 

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M is for Marketing

The dreaded M word…lol. Okay I may be stretching it a bit, but truly that is the number 1 complaint I get from most of my clients. They do not know where or how to market their business. There is a mis guided belief that they just need to start a facebook page, post pretty pictures and motivational posts everyday and business will come knocking at their door. It is because of this misguided belief that so many business fail.

Even in school where I did marketing, I am not sure they actually showed us HOW to market. Yes we learnt about product, place and price but the actual HOW I think was sorely lacking and it rolls over when we are actually ready to start a business.

Marketing your business does not have to be daunting. It takes work but once you devise a plan and strategy that works for your business, the pieces start to fall together and the sales start to roll in. I want to share with you some key elements of any marketing strategy you devise. There is no one size fits all, but there are key elements that you need to consider before you get ‘busy’ with the ton of activities you feel are necessary to execute a solid marketing plan. So, let’s begin

1. Have a goal/plan

You need to be very specific about what you want to happen. You know that old saying about ‘Start with the end in mind’? Well here is where it comes in. What specifically do you want to happen in your business over a period of 3 months, 6 months, 1 year? How much do you want to earn and how many clients do you want to serve? Where do you want to be seen and heard? You have to hone down on this idea so that you can see and feel it before you even begin execution of any plan.

2. Know who your audience is

Too many times entrepreneurs try to sell to everybody and they end up burnt out and frustrated. Everybody does not need the solution you are providing. Get specific about who needs your business so that you save time, money and resources by speaking directly to them on a consistent basis. The more specific you get the greater the results will be. In my last blog post- Who is your ideal client we examined why they were important and how you start to find them.

group photo

3. Have multiple solutions

By this I mean, that your ideal clients may need what you offer in a variety of ways so ensure that you provide them a variety of solutions that fit not just their pockets but their needs. Gone are the days when you just have to sell one thing over and over. The best sales people know that you should be selling multiple things to satisfy the different stages of your ideal clients.

4. Have an opinion

What exactly do you want to be known as/for. People want to know that you stand for something and that they can rely on you for that thing that you stand for. Make sure than in any communication you share that your opinion is clear to your audience and that it resonates with what you are selling

5. Be consistent

This I cannot stress enough. Whatever medium you decide to use for your marketing strategy, you need to be consistent. Showing up once a week will not cut it because your audience is bombarded with information every 2 seconds. The challenge is to show up in an authentic yet creative ways so that your message stands out but none the less you need to be consistent in the delivery of your message and in asking for the sale every single day!

6. Do NOT rely on social media alone

Yes, I know billions of people are on social media but guess what — they all use social media differently. Social media is a powerful tool to get your message to your audience but its should not be the only way. A business page, a blog, a you tube channel, a podcast are all great ways to talk to your audience. But also utilise traditional media like radio, television, newspapers and magazines. Get involved with your community and network with your audience. Show up and let them see and hear exactly who you are away from your computer. Reach out and touch somebody (literally!!!..but not in a creepy crawly way please)

7. Do your research

Stop guessing about what people need and want. Ask them. Do a survey. Ask questions in groups; send an email or a text. Your role as an entrepreneur is to understand what your audience wants and tap into their emotional needs so that you can sell consistently. You cannot guess what their needs are. Start to ask them simple questions so you can structure your business to solve their challenges in a meaningful way that seems true to them. In a previous blog I asked- Are you doing your research? and I walked you through some of the ways to conduct research so that you grow your business consistently. Have a look and tell me what you think.

8.  Always measure

How will you know if your plan is actually working if your do not measure your growth. Every few months, take a look at the progress you have made. Ask your clients about the service they received and how it can be improved. Make note of where you may have fallen short and what you need to amp up in your business. To grow a sustainable business you need to measure your growth consistently.

Marketing is a mysterious task for many persons but it is something that you can learn to master with the right guidance and tools. As your coach, I understand the challenge you face and I would love to guide you to make marketing easier for you.

Let’s schedule a call this week and see if you would be the perfect fit for my MOB (Marketing on a Budget) Squad!

5 things you need to do before you start a business

Starting a business is no easy feat. In fact, having a great idea alone is not enough anymore. Gone are the days of build it and they will come. Now in order to build a sustainable business, you need to put in the work before you even officially launch the business. Why? So you do not waste time, money or resources. So that you have a clear idea of how fast and how deep your business will grow once you start. There are some important steps you need to take before you start.

Here are 5 things:

  1. A clear goal

You need to know what your end goal is for starting your business. Do you want to create a large conglomerate in 10 years? Do you want to leave a legacy for your children? Do you want to make $1million in 5 years? Do you want to create a regional impact and have your business in 5 Caribbean islands over 3 years?

What exactly do you want to happen in your business and by when? A goal needs to be written out and broken into smaller parts so that you can see and understand all the moving parts. A written goal is more likely to become real to you. A goal keeps you motivated and focused on the bigger picture even when you have tough days, weeks and months. A goal gets you excited to work on your business every single day.

2. A business plan

Your business plan is your guide to develop your business. Your plan will include who will make up the members of your team, as well as your estimated budget, your Unique Selling Proposition, your missions and vision statement and an analysis of your competitors and the market you are entering.

Some people rush through a business plan not realizing the importance it plays in guiding the developmental process of your business. Your plan can be flexible and in fact should be reviewed and updated maybe once a year to ensure you have tuck to your goals and take into consideration any changes in the economic climate in which you operate. I touched on this topic a few months ago- What does your business plan really say

3. Research

The one thing that many new business owners fail to do. They start with a great idea and then launch on social media with a biz page and images and expect to make millions. But before you start, you need to do some research to ensure you have a ready market for your business. Do people want what you are going to offer? How much are they willing to pay? How do they want it delivered to them and how often? What is the challenge they are facing that you are now going to solve for them?

Research is not a guessing game. It means you have to figure out who your ideal clients are and start discussions with them so that when you are ready to launch you know exactly what they need and want. It means speaking to industry leaders and do some surveys. It means getting really intimate with your market, visit and even speak to your competitors and ‘stalk’ them for a while to see what works and what is not working.

Without this crucial step, many businesses fail before they even have a chance to really get off the ground.

research

4. Understanding of your money

Why did you get into business? To make some money. That is one of the key mistakes entrepreneurs make. What is some money? Entrepreneurs need to have a very key understanding of how money works for them and if they have a challenge then that is the first help you should get from an accountant.

  • Do you have a budget?
  • How much does your product/service sell for?
  • How much are people willing to pay?
  • How much do you need to make every day, week or month?
  • What would your overheads be?
  • What taxes do you have to pay every quarter?

 

5. A marketing plan

Marketing is the life blood of your business. Without a structured system of marketing, your products can sit on the shelves for months and your phone will never ring. Marketing is NOT creating a facebook page. But instead, is the process of engaging with your ideal customers to build know, like and trust so they will buy from you continuously.

Marketing also involves a combination of activities which compliment each other to increase your visibility and reach. Many entrepreneurs get stuck on this part of business and while they have he best intentions, never seem to move past the launch stage. Hire an expert who can guide you through what a structured marketing plan would look like for your business. In a past blog, I spoke about 3 ways to market your business when you have no budget

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a good starting point for you to start your business. How many of these do you have in place and did you skip any steps when you were first starting your own business?

As your coach, I would love to help you through this process. For more help, book a FREE discovery call with me today and we can get started.

 

 

Stop Following Everybody

Stop following everybody. Let’s get straight to the point!

You start a business and then you get sucked into the vortex of facebook, instagram, twitter, Linkedin and the list goes on and you start to watch what everybody is doing, whether they are your competitor or not, you cannot help but watch they are doing and read all their success stories. And then you start to follow them or at least attempt to replicate what they are doing. And then you hear crickets in your business because the truth is they do not give you the whole truth about their processes. So you follow someone else and repeat the same procedure and you may see a little growth.

And then you decide to start a blog or an etsy store or a facebook group and you still are not seeing results. You decide to start to do videos and do online courses and workshops and start a second business even though the first one has not really taken off yet because well… everyone is doing it right.

And then you lie in bed and cry yourself to sleep because you just cannot understand how everybody is getting success and sales and being visible and taking fabulous trips and you are stuck with no clients, no sales, no life, no nothing… the simple solution is STOP FOLLOWING EVERYBODY!!

The reality is while you see your competitor really crushing it online and offline, you really do not know the full story. You do not know if they have sleepless nights. You do not know if they are in debt. You do not know if they have no support. You do not know much about them so you have no reason to compare yourself to them. That is the first point.

The second point is WHY do you want to be exactly like them anyways? To be in business you need to be UNIQUE. You need to develop a brand that will be memorable and authentic to your clients.

The third point is that you need to decide on a course of action and complete it until the end. You know what I am talking about. You have signed up for 10 online courses, joined 20 facebook groups, listening to at least 5 different gurus telling you to a different thing everyday and you feel overwhelmed, exhausted and confused.

crowded-room
Unsplash- Davide Ragusa

STOP FOLLOWING EVERYBODY.

Seriously. Choose one and complete it till the end. Test it with your audience and see if it resonates with them and then move onto the next thing.

Your story is unique and your journey is completely yours. You do not have to live by anyones rules or fill anyones shoes in order to be a success in business. It is totally up to you what you want to do and what makes you comfortable. I am not saying not to push yourself out of your comfort zone but what I am saying is that not because everybody is doing it means it is the right thing for your business. What do your clients need and want? How do they buy from you? How often do they buy from you?

The point is that the more of you that you show. The more of you that you share. The more you help your clients and focus on giving value and serving them, the more your business will grow and things will fall into place. Follow yourself for a change. Believe in YOU. 

Stop living in a ghost town

You know that scenario you play over and over in your head where noone is buying from you even though you are posting a new flier every single week advertising your oh so awesome promotion? Well believe it is not that is very true for many entrepreneurs. I call it living in a ghost town. Where tumble weeds blow through the streets, there is no sign of life and it has been uninhabited for a number of years, week or days.

It is scary but there is a way to invite people to your town so they can also know how fabulous you are and start to buy from you.

Your ideal clients will only buy from you if they know you exist. Which means you have to show up and let them know who you are and how you can solve their problems. Gone are the days where the one with the biggest mouth or the largest budget gets all the clients.

You need to develop a strategic plan to show up, be visible, attract the right clients and get them to buy from you over and over and over again.

How? By Showing up! 

What does this mean? Well if you know who your ideal clients are and where they are, then half your work is done. You need to show up where they are with the solution to their problems. Whether online or offline.

  1. Do not depend on social media alone. Yes it is a powerful means to attract your ideal clients and get continuous sales, but it is not the only way. Get away from your laptop and network with your ideal clients where they are. Speak directly to them so they can put a name and face to your product or service. (visit other towns and let them know how fabulous your town is…lol)
  2. Besides your business page and website, reach out to people via email. To grow your business you need to grow your email list. It takes work and patience but it is something you should not overlook. Go through the persons you connect with via email and ensure (once they are your ideal client) that they know how you can help them.
  3. Be consistent! Easier said than done right. But in order for people to know that you can solve their problem, they need to interact with you a few times. They need to see and feel that you can solve their problem. Which means you cannot post once a week. Or you cannot go to one event. Or you cannot blog once a month. Or you cannot do one video a month.
  4. Engage, engage, engage. It is not just about you spewing a set of information to your ideal client. You have to engage with them both online and offline. Ask questions, conduct surveys, give them valuable information, get their feedback on a new product or service, ask them what they want from you and how they want it, praise them when you see they have accomplished something that they have shared. Engage with them and build know, like and trust by building relationships so they will buy from you. I spoke about how to engage in an earlier post called- The importance of engagement to grow your business
  5. Utilize social media wisely. Meaning, use your analytics to determine what time your ideal clients are online so that you show up when they are. So that what you post and share appears on their time lines while they are scrolling through their feeds. This is critical to ensure you get seen at the right time and on the right days.
busy-town
Photo courtesy Unsplash- Mauro Mora

Inviting your ideal clients to your ghost town will create a thriving rocking town of clients who want to buy from you over and over and over again.

And if you are still unsure, then let’s discuss how we can work together to get your ghost town inhabited by the very best clients. Book a discovery call with me today!

 

 

The importance of engagement to grow your business

Everyday more businesses are popping up and it is getting even more competitive to get in front of your ideal clients. It is no longer about who has the biggest budget or who has the loudest voice or even the most creative. Going into 2017, it is all about engagement.

If you pay close attention to the brands and personalities on twitter and instagram for example, you can instantly see that ones who are rocking and making great strides by the amount of engagement they have. Nowadays, to make your business stand out-

You have to speak directly to your clients

You have to retweet them, quote them, ask them questions and respond to them. You have to become an active member of their lives and their community and you also have to build a community around your brand.

Whether you business is big or small; just a service or a brick and mortar establishment, if you have not been mastering the art of engagement then your sales will lag behind and you may find yourself struggling to grow a sustainable business. Clients want to know what you think and feel. They want their questions answered. They want to know that you care about them and not just making a sale.

Over the last year, some of my best clients have come simply from my engagement on Instagram. Not just liking a picture but commenting and providing feedback on a thought or a question and inviting them to message me if they want to talk further on the topic.

On twitter, you have to not only retweet but respond, follow and interact with your clients so you become part of their inner circle as well.

Likes mean nothing if there is no engagement

Some businesses still are of the believe that they need to get as many likes as possible but the truth is a business could have 10k likes and still get no sales. The end result should be to increase engagement so you can close the sale.

Even as a brick and mortar establishment, getting people through the door is not enough if no one is buying. How are you engaging them as they enter your store? How are they greeted? Do they feel welcomed? What are they offered? How are you engaging in your community or with your past clients?

How do you build engagement?

By asking questions. By getting involved and not just sitting by the sideline. By doing more than just liking posts but by actively commenting and giving feedback. By showing up consistently and giving value everyday. And like everything in business, you must have a strategy behind your engagement so that you do not get burnt out. Your engagement must be strategic and measurable as well.

And engagement does not begin and stop online. It must be extended beyond the computer. Through your community or charity. Through your local associations and alumni. Volunteer, speak up, sponsor an event or part of it. Through your media houses by doing interviews and reviews and opinion pieces.

Engagement is the heart and soul of your business and in 2017, every entrepreneur should make it a top priority in their long list of things to be accomplished.

If you are ready to build your engagement and make 2017 the year you really connect with your clients and close more sales than ever before then hook up with me for a FREE discovery call and let’s make a plan for 2017.

 

How to sell without selling

Time and time again we see businesses especially on social media post ad after ad about their product or service. They get one or two likes and no responses and worse yet nobody buys their product or service. They get depressed, despondent and throw their hands in the air and say that nobody wants to buy from them.

You want to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

They are selling the wrong way!!! That is what it actually boils down to.

How many times have I heard that people want to be taught not sold to. As entrepreneurs we have to understand the buying habits of clients are changing. They are in search of information because they want to make informed choices. Many times cost is not the biggest factor even though it may be a factor. But their trust in you and belief that you can actually solve their dilemma is the reason they will buy from you. If you can get them from Point A to Point B!

You do this by showing up and showing them how you can help. Give them details about your products or services. Show them the lifestyle they can have if they buy from you. Give them valuable information consistently so you will be positioned in their minds as the go to person for that particular product or service whether you have the highest price or the cheapest price.

Create opportunities both online and offline where you can talk about your business and the benefits to your ideal clients so that they know, like and trust you. Start selling the right way and you will not only get new clients but you will get recurring clients wanting to buy from you and referring you to others repeatedly. Your clients will become your own walking billboard because they have that much faith and trust in you.

Look at some of the leading brands that you follow. Examine closely their online and offline presence and many times you will see that they ‘sell’ you on how your life will be better. How your life will be improved by buying their product or service. They show you how their products are used and ensure that you know the benefits of choosing them over a competitor.

How are you selling to your clients? How are you ensuring that you are positioned as the ‘expert’ in your field? Do you need to master the art of selling without selling? Then you know what to do…book a FREE discovery call with me  and let’s get started