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mike coleman nashville online marketing

One of the big mistakes many people make with their email and social media is trying to say everything. Remember, less is more when it comes to email and social media marketing. Your emails and social media are not for telling people everything that you do. Thats what your website is for.

Consider offering one thing at a time and remained focused on one topic at a time when it comes to crafting your blog post, article, newsletter, or social media post. By doing this you accomplish a couple of things:

1. You make it easier for your audience to digest the information you are sharing with them.

2. It takes the pressure off you to write a lot of content. And one more thing about content. You don’t have to be “original” and have something profound to say every time, but you do need to be delivering content that is helpful and applicable to the audience you are trying to reach.

3. It’s much easier to track your results. Anything is your online marketing strategy, just like your offline marketing strategy, should be measurable. You want people who read your blog post, article, or social media post to take some type of physical action. That physical action could be a click, a download, a phone call to your business, signing up for your services, or any number of other things.

mike-coleman-call-to-action-image

When it comes to writing sales copy, there is nothing more powerful than a strong call to action. Anytime you send an email or direct mail piece, the most important part of your communications is your call-to-action.

This is NOT a strong call to action: Call BR549

This is a strong call to action: Call BR549 before 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning to receive 15% off our services.

You’ve told your audience what to do, when to do it, and why they should take action. If you have these three things, you have a strong call to action. If you are missing one component, then it will not work.

I would like to hear from you. Send me a few of your calls to action you have used in the past.

 

social-media

How do I find the time to implement a social media strategy? The short answer is have a plan and make a schedule. Like any other aspect of your marketing, it’s important that you know your audience and post content that is interesting to your audience so they want to comment, share, retweet, etc.

Have a plan and a schedule for what you will post on a daily basis. This saves you time trying to figure out what you are going to post. Here is an example and you are welcome to modify it to suit your needs:

Monday: Link to an article

Tuesday: Quote

Wednesday:  Tip of the week or a short recipe.

Thursday: Promotion

Friday: Link to a video

Saturday:  Comment on someone else’s post or retweet something. Join a group discussion and share your knowledge.

Sunday: Post a photo with a comment.

You can also use Hootsuite to schedule posts to go out at certain times of the day.

The goal is to strike a balance so you are not posting 10 times a day, but you are posting enough to be considered active. That means 3 – 4 times per week. Find what works for you. I have just given you a basic blueprint for planning and scheduling your social media interaction. You can tweak it to fit your needs. And you may not want to post every day. That’s okay, but you still need a schedule so you know what you are posting on any given day.

What is your social media posting strategy?

Social bookmarking sites allow you to organize and store resources online. One of the more popular social bookmarking sites on the scene today is Pinterest.

What is Pinterest? Just think about a cork board you may have in your office where you pin specific things you want to remember or pin pictures of your vacation, favorite car, or whatever.

You can do the same thing in Pinterest, except now your cork board is online where you can share the links with your friends, see what other people are sharing, and search on specific topics of interest.  And people can follow you to see what you are pinning. You can create different boards and then pin your favorite things on the boards you create. For example, you may have a favorite music board, favorite restaurant board, amazing products board, favorite websites, or anything else related to you or your business.

Why is it important? Because people are spending more time on Pinterest than on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn combined.

Now you’re probably asking, “What does this have to do with marketing my business?”

Let’s say you are an event planner – you could post pictures of your clients’ events or of your venue. The same basic principle applies if you are a musician, photographer, or selling widgets. You are sharing your interests and providing some insight into your business.

And it helps build the know, like, and trust factor that’s so important for people to do business with you. Pinterest is just another window they can peak through to learn more about you and your business.

You can set up a personal account at pinterest.com or you can set up a business account at business.pinterest.com. And if you already have a personal account, it’s easy to convert it to a business account.

There are a couple of advantages to having a Pinterest business account vs a personal account. They are adding educational materials to help businesses market themselves, along with new features and tools designed specifically for businesses.

Go to business.pinterest.com. Check out the case study and browse the site to learn more about how this tool can help you in your business.

If you want to be successful in sales, stop being a salesperson and become a businessperson.

If you can convey to someone that you are not trying to sell them something, but instead you want to partner with them to increase revenue, increase market share, reduce expenses, increase their client base, or make their life easier in some way … then you have someone eager to work with you (or at least want to have a conversation). In other words, you want to partner with them to grow their business and make their life easier. It’s that simple. This approach (and shift in mindset) makes you a businessperson rather than a salesperson.

So, number one – you want to have the mindset of a businessperson (or partner) … not a salesperson.

And number two – you want to provide solutions. How do you know if there is a need and what solution you can provide? One way is online research. Visit their website or check out their LinkedIn profile. Find the key players in their organization. Prepare what you are going to say and then rehearse it a hundred times until you are comfortable with it.

Now you are ready for your first meeting or call. You’re going into the first meeting (or cold call) thinking of yourself as a business partner with solutions to help them grow their business and increase revenues.

Think about this scenario for a moment. If you walk into a business and you are trying to sell them on how great your product is, and you have to ask who is in charge of (fill in the blank), then you are viewed as a salesperson. And worst of all, you are viewed as a poorly prepared salesperson.

Now think about this scenario. You’ve done your research, you know the key players within the organization, you have established a need, and you have come up with a couple of solutions for them that will increase revenue. How do you think they will view you now? Now you are establishing your position as a leader who cares about their business and can offer a solution to a need that you have already identified. Now you are a valued ally, a trusted advocate, and a business partner.

Everything mentioned above also applies to your online marketing. You want to convey the message that you are a businessperson who knows your target market, knows the needs of your target market, and can provide solutions.

Review the Home page of your website. Is this the message visitors to your website are getting? Are they finding the information they need quickly or do they just see a nice graphic? Do they have to click on another link to find out your business philosophy, who you work with, what you do, and the solutions you provide?

I’m not saying you can’t have a nice graphic AND great content. But if I have the choice of having a shiny new graphic on my website or giving my visitors information that is pertinent to their business, I will choose giving them the information they want as quickly as possible.  This moves the sales process forward, and isn’t that really the purpose of your website?

If you approach selling your products or services as a businessperson, find the need, offer solutions, go into meetings fully prepared, and deliver value … then your career, business, and life will move to the next level and beyond.

When I tell people one of the services I offer in my business is copywriting, I get varied responses. Some people think I handle song copyrights. Others just have a puzzled look on their face.

Copywriting is writing copy (text) for the purpose of promoting a business or service. It is a fairly time consuming process that requires research, skill, and knowledge of the market that you are targeting. Copy can be written for a direct mail campaign, website, blog, social media post, press release, or for any other online (or offline) marketing piece.

So now that you know the definition and purpose of copywriting, it’s time for a few tips on how to write copy that gets the results you want while getting the attention of the search engines …

1) Create a great title (or headline) with your keywords used at the front of the title. In the case of email, write a compelling subject line to make sure your email gets opened and read.

2) Use your keywords throughout your content. Don’t overuse them. Keep the percentage of keywords you use in your copy to around 5%. Think about what your audience would be searching for if they wanted this product or service.

3) Write copy that matters to your target audience. This means you have to know who you are writing to in order to write effective copy.

4) Be clear on your objective before you start writing. Do you want the person reading your copy to purchase your product or service? Is there a particular action you want them to take? For example, sign up for your newsletter.

5) Educate your audience. Don’t just use your copy to sell something. Educate your audience on why this is the product or service they need.

6) Have a strong call to action. Be very specific on what you want them to do once they have read the copy.

The main thing to remember is to do your research before writing anything. It’s important to know who you are writing to and what their specific needs are before writing anything.

“Money likes speed” is not just a cliche. It is a fact. When you look at business owners who are successful and making money, there is one trait they have in common. They make decisions quickly. By learning to make decisions quickly, they also learn to fail fast and fail often.

If you are making minor (or major) decisions in your business on a daily basis, you will make a few mistakes. Get over it. If you can’t do that, then get a job, and let someone else make decisions for you. As a business owner, you are faced with many small decisions you have to make about your marketing, sales, where you will spend your money, and how you will spend your time every day. And you want those decisions to result in increased profits for your business.

Don’t waste time worrying about what someone else may think of your decision or of appearing foolish in front of your peers. Face it. Some people are not going to like you or the decisions you make no matter what you do. And they will give you advice you didn’t ask for. (And why do you have these people in your life?)

So stop trying to do things “they” like or agree with. It’s your business. If you have been in business for any length of time, you already know what to do. Follow your instincts knowing sometimes you will fail. And that’s okay. The good news is, as you get better at doing this, you will fail less often.

Knowing how to make decisions quickly is a trait that can be developed with consistent practice over time. Faster decision making will result in an increase in your confidence and an increase in revenues. And … you will become a much better decision maker.

My challenge to you today is for you to stop losing sleep over a decision you have to make concerning your business, and do not end your day until that decision is made. Commit to the decision and take action.

Here are a few free tools you can use and free things you can do to start your business.

Need a website? You can use WordPress to build a free website and start a blog that people can subscribe to. There are two versions of WordPress. WordPress.com is the free version and they host it for you. WordPress.org is where you would go if you want to have your own domain name and host the site yourself.

Do you ever wish you had image and photo editing software but don’t want to shell out the $600 for Photoshop?

Gimp is an image manipulation program similar to Photoshop. You can edit and manipulate photos, images, and also create images from scratch using this editor. Need a new logo or graphic for your website? Get your creative juices flowing and see what you can come up with using Gimp. Download it HERE.

Do you need Word, Excel, Powerpoint? There is great open source software (translated free) you can download that has the basic functionality of all these products. Check out Open Office. You can download it HERE.

Need business cards? Go to Vistaprint and you can order free business cards. Of course you are limited on design options if you are ordering the free cards, but … they are free.

Need audio editing software? Audacity is a free audio editing tool available for both Mac and Windows. You can download the Mac version HERE.

Social Media is a great way to get connected with your target market and engage them. You can open a Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn account for free. Start connecting with people in your target audience and share your knowledge with them. Don’t just be trying to sell them in every post, but do share your knowledge and find a way to engage them.

Make phone calls. Do your research online, create a list of people to call, develop your sales script, and start making calls.

You can email me at mike@mikecoleman.net or call me at 615-308-8078 to schedule a free 10 minute consultation to help you get started.

Money is no longer an excuse for not starting a business.

I have heard this phrase many times – “the money is in the follow-up”. When you think about it, this is very true when it comes to connecting with your customer, building the relationship, and making the sale. As you know, it generally takes 7 – 10 touches for a sale to occur. So following up with everyone is key to your success if you want to increase your revenue.

And, ideally, you will follow up with everyone you meet within 24 hours. But, even if it’s a few days after the initial contact with the individual or business, you can still maintain that contact. It’s never too late to follow-up or reconnect with someone.

One other thing to keep in mind. Don’t get discouraged when it seems you are wasting your time or don’t get a response. Following up with someone is never a waste of time. You will either close the sale or deepen the relationship or find more ways you can help them accomplish whatever it is they are trying to accomplish. So make an extra effort to stay in touch.

Here are a seven tips and techniques for following up:

1. Send a thank you note after a meeting. A handwritten note is still the best way to follow up with someone if you have their snail mail contact information.

2. Connect with them via email. After a networking group meeting or meeting with someone for the first time, a short email can remind them of who you are, what you do, and give you the opportunity to ask how you can help them.

3. Connect with them on social media. Almost everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

4. Get them into your database or add them to your list. Your list is the most important asset in your business, and you must constantly be working on building your list. One way to do this is to offer them something of value for free in exchange for their email address. And they can subscribe to your newsletter. This allows you to keep that top of mind presence with them and puts part of your follow-up strategy on auto-pilot.

5. Phone call. Just picking up the phone and calling someone can be a great way to keep in touch. But don’t get long winded in your conversations, Just let them know you were thinking about them and want to see if there is a way you can help them. You may want to shoot them an email and schedule the call in advance.

6. Find a way to help them. No matter what you do, you are still in the service business.

7. Keep it brief. Keep all your correspondence as concise as possible.

Here is your homework for today. Think of three people you need to follow up with and either send them a letter or thank you note; call them; send an email; connect with them on social media; or think of a way you can help them.

Business owners are often confused as to what business they are in. I hear things like, “I am just here to serve. I don’t care about the money.” Really?

So you don’t need money for a home, car, clothes, travel, or food. That’s great. You are independently wealthy and do not need to make money! (Now back to reality)

Most people need to make money to stay in business, but they often forget that as they get caught up in the romantic notion of having their own business and changing the world.

Here’s the bottom line. It doesn’t matter what your product or service is, you are in the business of sales and marketing. Whether you are a chiropractor, professional speaker, coach, musician, or making widgets, you are ultimately in the sales and marketing business.

Without effective sales and marketing strategies in place, you will lose your business and you won’t be able to serve anyone. So, if you want to serve others and have a dramatic impact on the world, then build a successful business by learning everything you need to know about sales and marketing.

Here are a few tips to help you get started ramping up your sales and marketing efforts.

1. Work on your personal development. Read, attend seminars, or listen to audio CDs while you are driving. Do whatever you have to do to get better at sales and marketing.

2. Embrace online marketing strategies such as creating a great website, social media, newsletter campaigns, or pay-per-click advertising. Staying connected with your audience is a great way to avoid making “cold” calls. If you are keeping in touch with people on a regular basis, they will, at least, know a little about you before you pick up the phone to call them.

3. Learn how to use the phone. This will allow you to make the most of your time while reaching a lot of people. I know it’s difficult to pick up the phone and make that first sales call, but after you do it a few times, it will become second nature. Every successful business person I know is great at using the phone.

4. Don’t forget the traditional marketing strategies. For example, direct mail still works if it’s done the right way. A book that I recommend to clients who want to do direct mail campaigns is Dan Kennedy’s “The Ultimate Sales Letter”.

You still have to reach out to people and connect face-to-face. A website and social media are great tools, but you will have to use both online and offline strategies to achieve success in your business.

Always remember, regardless of the business you are in, you are ultimately in the sales and marketing business.