“One year I resolved to give up smoking, drinking and women. Worst 15 minutes of my life!”
You’ve probably heard that joke before and I’m sure that your resolutions and goals for 2017 have been developed with a bit more thought and will last a bit longer!
Yet, a survey in 2015 suggested that 66% of people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions within a month. We start with good intentions and good intentions, but by February our bank of will power is all but exhausted.
Why Do Goals/Resolutions Fail?
Here are some of the common reasons why we fail to keep or meet our resolutions and goals, based on my own experience and some quick research:
- You don’t develop a clear plan to achieve the goal or resolution.
- You’re not emotionally invested in the goal – the outcome would be nice to have, but you don’t want it enough (LifeHack).
- You’re not willing to raise your standards – you want the outcome without the hard work (LifeHack).
- You try to do too much at once (James Clear).
- Your resolution or goal was unrealistic in the first place (Shape).
I would argue that most of us set goals too quickly, without sufficient thought or consideration for how the hard work and change required will impact our lives or businesses.
Does It Matter?
New Year’s resolutions – they’re just a bit of fun, right? Start the year off motivated. Keep the gyms and diet clubs in business!
But it does matter. Each time we set, and then fail to achieve, personal goals, we chip away at our self confidence. In your business, setting goals and aspirations that are unrealistic or inappropriate mostly results in wasted time, energy and money.
So this year, I want to help you set goals that will actually stick, for the rest of year and beyond, whether that’s in your business or your personal life.
So I invite you to download this Goal-Setting Template (no opt-in required). This template is design to help you:
- Formulate goals that are appropriate for you, by referencing the values that are important to you and understanding you current needs.
- Develop SMART goals for various time periods.
- Create an action plan for each of those goals, including identifying the potential challenges and relevant solutions from the outset, and setting actions and deadlines.
There is no right or wrong way to complete the exercises, they are designed to get you thinking about your ambitions and the actions you need to take to achieve them.
These have been created to act as a resource for you, as well as your employees, friends, family and clients. Goal setting worksheets can be great motivational tools for employees, as well as for structured employee reviews.
This year, break out of the dispiriting cycle of setting lofty aspirations that are never achieved, and instead create a plan that you can actually stick to.
And let’s make 2017 your best year in business!
I think it was Henry who said he was sure that half of his marketing budget was wasted – he just didn’t know which half!
The reason that Ford and other large corporates have “marketing budgets”, the amounts of which are set and spent without any reference to actual sales, is because they engage in “indirect marketing”. In other words, advertising on TV, radio and other mass media channels with the intention of raising awareness of their brand, rather than to encourage an immediate response.
Small businesses cannot compete in this arena and should not waste time on brand building advertising. (You build a brand one customer at a time, by offering excellent service.)
On the other hand, Direct Response marketing demands an immediate and direct response from your potential customers. This type of marketing is used to answer questions, present your branding, products and the reason you do what you do.
Customers love this, as they are offered the opportunity to response, whether that be in the way of signing up for a newsletter, posting a comment on your site or blog, or purchasing a product from you.
You might still use the same mass media channels, but your ads are designed in such a way that prospects are compelled to get in touch with you. Which means that…you can track their response! And so you will know exactly which half of your marketing is working and which is not.
So, what does direct response marketing look like? Well, it comes in many forms, including:
- Direct mail
- Print ads
- Radio and TV ads
- Coupons or other incentives
Some of the advantages of direct marketing are:
- A great way to use free time during lulls in business.
- Productive way to communicate and empower you to create more relationships.
- Great way to up- and cross-sell to current customers.
- Low cost way to rustle up new business.
- Used as leverage to turn small sales into large sales.
- Supplement your current marketing program.
- Cost-effective way to reach target markets.
- Offers measurable results.
- Reach outside your local area for new business.
- Increase the effectiveness of your sales force.
These are all great things that can come from just taking a few simple steps to putting together a direct response marketing plan and executing it.
“I honestly don’t think you’ll ever find a safer, lower-risk, higher-profit method of increasing your business or profession than direct-response marketing.” Jay Abraham
Direct response marketing is one of the best ways to launch your business on a large scale and reach out to everyone in your target market whether they are in your local area or not.
Our FREE test drive can help you put together a great direct response marketing plan and get you on your way to heightened success.
Today I’d like to teach you about the three most important start up marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.
- In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. This shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
- Follow up letter: Always take a moment to send a follow up letter about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
- Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.
None of these will work if you don’t have a quality product/service to back you up!
Here are the key steps for putting together your start-up marketing tools:
- Research potential customers, buyers, competitors and their preferred methods of distribution.
- Talk to potential customers. Take a hard look at your product from a customer’s perspective and see what it needs to be successful.
- Follow up with your 3-step process from above.
- Develop systems for contact follow through, quality control standards and customer service.
- Develop post-sale follow up system to keep lines of communication open is customers and build on your current relationship which increases future purchases.
“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs” said Peter Drucker, management consultant.
Here’s another one I love from an icon:
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”
– Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company
This lesson has offered you the tools to put together a start-up marketing plan that can be used over and over again to help your customer base and business grow in a manageable way. The tools offered in our FREE test drive offer these very same things.
If yours is a young business, growing your sales is going to involve winning new customers. But every business owners knows that this is the most difficult – and expensive – of the business growth strategies. For small businesses such as ours, every marketing dollar counts – not to mention your time. So how do you ensure that your precious marketing resources are spent in the right ways?
Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers, so you aren’t wasting precious resources on mass marketing (or worse, “hope” marketing), and how to find joint venture (JV partners) to lower the cost of acquisition even more.
The first element of the 5-step profit formula is Lead Generation, because you can’t win a new customer until you have generated some serious interest in your product or service. But with millions of people in the country and tens or hundreds of thousands in your city, you going to have to narrow your focus.
I’ve written at length about niche marketing, but for the purposes of this blog let’s think outside the box. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:
- What do people really want to buy from me?
- What related products are they already buying?
Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services.
Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can joint venture with, ie, share your respective customer bases. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores.
The basic concept is this:
You want to find existing businesses that have the customer profile that you are looking for to market your products/services to.
Then strike up a relationship with those business owners to work out an incentive for customers to purchase from both businesses.
As a result, you have an audience to market to and they generate an added value from their current base.
So, how do you figure this out? There is a great formula from Jay Abraham you can follow with great success.
LV = (P x F) x N – MC
Here’s what it all means:
- LV is the life time value of a customer
- P is the average profit margin from each sale
- F is the number of times a customer buys each year
- N is the number of years customers stay with you
- MC is the marketing cost per customer (total costs/number of customers)
Once you know how much you need to spend to attract a new customer, you will know how much of an incentive you can offer to a business to help with lead generation.
So, here’s your step-by-step process:
- Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.
- Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.
- Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.
Remember, nearly all small businesses need more leads, so if you are able to find a compatible business, they should be ready and willing to work with you once the terms are right. And if they seem hesitant, walk away and keep looking – you want to work with businesses that are as ambitious and proactive as you are!
If you need help working through this process, check out our FREE test drive for the most comprehensive system of marketing tools and resources.
How many times have you contacted a business, ready to make a purchase, and they never got back to you?
There is nothing more frustrating – and heart-breaking – than watching a business that has invested time and effort generating qualified leads lose those potential sales due to a lack of follow up.
I know, I know: being an entrepreneur is a busy job and you can’t be in all places at once. It’s inevitable that some leads will get missed.
But is it really? I say NO! There are so many tools on the market today that make it easy to follow up and keep in touch with potential clients, without needing your constant attention.
Let’s face it: manual processes are highly vulnerable to human frailties – such as forgetfulness! This is where automated marketing becomes very important.
Automated marketing is designed to increase lead generation by enabling you to set up drip marketing campaigns that automate all of your online activity, from emails to social media. Activities such as contact management, lead scoring and nurturing, list segmentation, A/B testing of website pages and offers, email marketing, and performance measurement and reporting can all be done more efficiently through an automated marketing system.
Is an automated system necessary for my business?
The companies that are the most successful are the ones that are able to deliver consistent and reliable sales month after month. You can go a long way to achieving this through the use of auto responders and CRM systems. This is because they easily capture the details of your prospects and keep them up to date with your company whilst you go about your business.
Here’s what the various systems can do for your business, all while you are out winning business and servicing customers.
You can easily collect prospect information using sign-up forms and landing pages. You can quickly capture important customer information through lead forms and sync the fields with your CRM system, automatically populating and updating contact records.
Follow Up Campaigns
Once your contacts have been arranged into lists, you can start your automated email marketing. Developing and sending tailored emails promoting your content to your existing contact databases is an ideal way to drive action. While your primary goal may be to generate new leads, you can use the same contact resources to capture additional information about your leads and customers that will help you tailor your content.
Promote that content through emails and social media sharing. Some marketing automation systems have social sharing built in, while others may require a third-party solution. This is where the automation of your social media campaign can be a god send. Software such as Hootsuite or SproutSocial gives you the ability to schedule posts to go out to your audience at a time when they are most active on any particular network. You can plan your campaign in advance for a whole week, a month, or even longer.
Making Your Business Scalable
For your business to grow – and for you to have confidence that expansion will not negatively impact quality or customer service – you must automate anything that doesn’t require a human touch. Marketing automation has the ability to increase the value and impact of your content, capture lead intelligence, improve lead-to-sale conversion rates, drive repeat purchasing, and improve the overall customer experience.
And to find out what you should be saying in your automated marketing, watch our free video “The 3 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Small Businesses Make…And How To Overcome Them All” here.