Employees creating a marketing plan using laptops and printed charts

A How-To Guide: Creating a Successful Marketing Plan

You may have heard from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that 20% of micro-businesses don’t succeed in their first two years. Likely, it’s because they lack one thing: a marketing plan. A business owner can have the best-run operation globally and have loyal customers, but they won’t be able to survive and grow without marketing.

Whether it's done solo or with the help of an agency, a marketing plan outlines everything you do, from paying for ads to building social media profiles to hiring an SEO company. Below are a few points that each marketing plan must contain to succeed.

Know your target audience.

The more specific you can be about whom you target, the more successful your marketing plan is. For example, if you sell outdoor gear for cyclists over 50 years old, then finding magazines or websites that cater to this demographic will enable you to get in front of those most likely to buy products from your business.

Know what you stand for.

Define your business and ensure that every piece of content adheres to that definition. It’s okay to have a range of products or services, but don't confuse your customer by going off on too many tangents. If they see something when they visit your website and something completely different on your Facebook page, they’re apt to misunderstand who you are and lose interest.

To stand out from the competition, you need to define how you differentiate your product or service offering, pricing, and promotion. Your difference should give your product or service an edge over your competitors. It will help you create brand recognition and stand out from the crowd.

Solve a need and make it effortless for your customer to do business with you.

Don't try and sell something that people don't desire or need unless it's unique or offers remarkable value in some way. Solving a need of your audience is paramount to success. Still, it would help if you made it effortless for your customer to do business with you. Your clients are bombarded with options everywhere they turn, and this overload can lead to decision paralysis. Suppose your competitor has made it simple to access their product or service, and you haven’t. In that case, you'll lose that potential customer's business.

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Establish trust and value before asking your customer to do business with you.

Too many brands focus on getting first-time customers instead of cultivating their existing clients. But it's easier and more cost-successful to keep an existing customer than to get the latest one. So make sure you're putting your efforts into keeping your clients delighted.

Be wary of following the crowd.

Be distinct, and don't shy away from being the odd one out. It's easy to see what everyone else in your industry is doing and emulate them. Still, you won't stand out if you don't differentiate yourself from the competition. Don't be afraid to be who you are as a brand—it's preferable to trying to be someone else.

Businesses hire a marketing agency to save time and money in difficult times. You may have a vision of what your business could be, but you don't have the staff or expertise to make it happen on your own. Instead, you can outsource work to an agency with the talent and experience necessary to turn your vision into a reality.

But hiring a marketing agency is an investment, so you need to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck—and that means finding the right agency for the job. The impact of a quality marketing agency has proven to have a substantial effect on business performance.

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You should follow these steps to help you find the right marketing agency for you:

1. Know what you need from a marketing agency and ensure they deliver it.

Don't hire a digital marketing firm if they can't prove experience in SEO or PPC management. If you're looking for content creation or graphic design, ask them for samples of their previous work. See how responsive they are, and ask them questions about what they've delivered for clients in the past.

2. Make sure they understand your business goals.

If a marketing agency cannot explain how its services will improve your business—whether through generating more leads or boosting sales conversions—don't hire them. Here is a list of the top marketing agencies in Portland that may help your business grow and succeed.

Remember, the perfect combination of marketing services is different for everyone; it depends on your audience and what you want to get out of the campaign. The best way to understand this is to know both your business and your industry. Once you are clear on what direction you desire to take your business, you'll be able to find the best combination of marketing services that will lead you there.

A unique value proposition, or UVP, is crucial because it allows you to stand out from your competitors who are also trying to sell their products or services. Your UVP will help you maintain a competitive advantage over other companies in your industry or market by letting people know why they should buy from you instead of other companies.

The key is to make sure that everything about your brand and business—from the design of your website to the packaging on your products—reinforces the same message that's given by your UVP. This ensures that customers don't just remember what you do but also how you do it.

A unique value proposition helps you attract customers, but it also helps you cut through all the noise. The internet has made it easy for anyone to say they do what you do, but how are they different? What sets them apart? Is there something specific they offer that you don't?

Today we'll discuss how a brand can define its UVP that supports its business.

Define who your customers are

To create a compelling, unique value proposition, you need to know your customers. Narrowing down who your customers are will help you focus on what they want and need, making it easier for you to create a relevant and compelling message that resonates with them, thus making them more likely to do business with you.

When you have a target audience or focus in mind, you can begin by asking yourself why someone would choose to work with you over your competitors. What makes you different? What would prompt people to seek out your services instead of those offered by other businesses? If there's not something unique about what you do, then that's where your unique value proposition should begin.

Identify your competitors

If you're working in a competitive industry or market, you know your key players very well. They're the ones you see competing for customers and fighting over your target audience's attention every day. But it's important to think beyond them and cast a wider net so you don't misplace any opportunities.

Think of it this way—those other companies may not be direct competitors, but they are indirect ones if they can offer potential customers something similar to  what you do. And with the rise of social media and content marketing, more and more kinds of businesses can now compete for an ever-growing number of marketing channels. And we’re not only talking about traditional advertising, but also social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, video streaming services like YouTube and Vimeo, blogging platforms like Tumblr and personal websites or blogs, and email newsletters. This is why being aware of how your particular strengths can set you apart from the competition is so crucial.

Know what problems you are solving

Pain points, also known as customer pains or customer problems, are areas where your customers feel difficulty in their everyday lives. Are they unable to do something they want to do? Do they have trouble accomplishing a task? Does the cost of doing business with you put them at a disadvantage compared to your competition?

Pain points come from a variety of sources. It could be the technical side of your product or service. It could be that their lives are hectic and you want to give them an easy way to access your product or service. Identifying their pain points will help you know where to position yourself and your business.

Simplify your benefits

Most companies' benefit statements are long and confusing. They're written by people who know the intricacies of a product, but they don't know how to explain it in plain English. And they often use jargon that is hard for customers to understand.

The downside of having a benefit statement that is too long is that it can make it difficult for customers to understand what exactly sets your business apart from the competition. This can lead to misdirection, missed growth opportunities, and confusion among employees about which aspects of the company deserve their focus.

Conclusion

The ultimate value proposition is a simple yet effective business tool used to promote the benefits of your products and services. It can be presented in various ways: as part of your website, your sales letter, or part of your product packaging. Whatever form it takes, each UVP should reflect what you want to present to the market and differentiate your company from the competition.

There are many marketing methods to use when running a business or to get your name out there. But one of the most overlooked strategies is content marketing.

If you're in the search marketing game, you've heard the phrase "content is king." But marketers turn a blind eye to content as part of their digital marketing strategy because some do not believe it is cost-effective. In this article, we will explain why content marketing should not be ignored and the benefits if used correctly.

What Content Marketing Is

The term "content marketing" was coined by Joe Pulizzi around 2001, but the practice has been around for much longer. Content marketing is creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, get, and engage a defined and understood target audience—to drive profitable customer action.

Content marketing can be used across all channels. It uses various forms of media such as blogs, social media, infographics, eBooks, or case studies to help spread the word about a company's products and services. This makes it easy to reach potential customers wherever they are online.

Benefits of content marketing

  • Brand loyalty
    Content marketing helps build brand loyalty by creating a sense of community around your business. By sharing valuable information with your audience, you can become the go-to source for information related to your industry—which will help you stand out from the competition.

  • Building trust
    Your business wants to know that your customers can rely on you as an authority on your product or service category while building relationships with customers who may not be familiar with your brand or products. The content you create can be used as educational material on your site or shared elsewhere on the web. This helps build trust with potential buyers and keeps them coming back for more information about your business.

  • Establishing yourself as an expert
    Content marketing strategies allow you to promote your brand without alienating readers by interrupting them with advertisements. It's a more natural interaction that helps you engage with your target audience. You can create content that people will find helpful and shareable, which allows you to build your reputation in your field.

    It can be by creating and sharing valuable insights, tutorials, videos, or other types of resources that answer your audience's most pressing questions. This is much more effective than participating in social media where you're one of many voices in the crowd. 

    Also, writing content for your website and social media helps you establish thought leadership. When you're known as a leader in your field, it gives people reason to trust you. They'll be more likely to buy from you since they feel like they know what you stand for and how you operate.

  • Increased engagement on social media
    Like with any other marketing campaign, you want to tailor content to your audience—one way you can do this is by targeting specific social media platforms with different types of content. It's vital to create content related to each platform in a way that allows you to capture that platform's users' attention. Take a look at ways you can leverage each type of content to increase engagement on your company's social media pages.

    The great thing about content marketing is that it gives you so many opportunities for creativity. You can use anything from social media posts and infographics to blog posts and long-form articles to communicate with your audience—so long as it's valuable and interesting, people will want to share.

  • A more targeted audience
    You don't want to provide content for the sake of providing content and link baiting—you want to create valuable content for the reader. Content marketing helps you reach exactly who you want to reach by creating content that appeals to them. This specificity level means you're much more likely to convert leads into customers.

    You can start by researching what they want to learn about and then create content that meets those needs. This helps you build trust and credibility with potential customers, which leads them to buy from you when they're ready. You can use it to promote products, services, events, and other news about your business. Your content will be more relevant to your target audience because it comes from you—not from Google or other search engines.

Conclusion

With all the advantages that content marketing brings to the table, it is becoming necessary for businesses to take advantage of its many benefits. Content marketing wins by producing relevant, targeted, and engaging content for your target audience. This increases trust and engagement with your business and can increase sales or conversions. Content marketing is a win-win for the company and the consumer; everyone's a winner!

Have you ever wondered how to segment your email list effectively? Email segmentation is a method of dividing your email list and sending different messages to different segments. Email list segmentation is a compelling concept that allows you to communicate with your audience based on their preferences. By sending messages to people who have taken specific actions or met certain criteria, you can be confident that these subscribers are interested in what you're selling.

Poor list segmentation is one of the reasons why so many email marketing efforts fail. Suppose you can't send specific emails to different groups of subscribers. In that case, you won't make much money or even keep your subscribers interested. In this article, I'll walk you through some simple steps to segment your email list.

Steps on How to Segment Your Email List

Collecting emails

You can collect emails from visitors by offering a sign-up form for your mailing list or asking for user names in exchange for a free download.

One of the main advantages of using a form is that it's the easiest way to capture information from your visitors and send them updates without going back through your site and looking up their email addresses manually. Be sure that your form has an enticing call to action and it's not too intrusive—many people will leave if they feel bombarded with requests for their information.

The second option is less complicated than setting up a form, but it must work more for you as the website owner. You'll need to design an incentive for your audience that makes them want to hand over their email addresses—it could be anything from a unique resource, such as a PDF book.

Know your audience

Marketers who don't take the time to segment their audience are missing out on a huge opportunity: sending their emails to people who aren't interested in what they have to offer, which doesn't make sense. Here are some of them:

  1. Demographics - This is where you break down the demographics of those on your list. You can segment by age, gender, or location among other things. The benefit of this method is that it allows you to target specific markets effectively. Still, it can also be time-consuming and expensive if you have too many segments.
  2. Psychographics - This method looks at those on your list's personality traits and interests instead of demographic data such as age, sex, or location. It allows you to target people based on their hobbies, beliefs, and values rather than their physical attributes such as height or weight, which are much harder to quantify accurately anyway!

Choose your strategy

In segmenting emails, you need to decide what information will determine which segment(s) someone ends up in. It saves you money in terms of sending out emails. You only send out the relevant message to each group of people; therefore, you are not wasting time and money on irrelevant messages.

The more relevant your emails are to each subscriber, the more likely they will be opened and clicked on. This leads to higher engagement rates and increased conversion rates.

There are many filters a business could consider using when segmenting their email lists; here are some of them:

  • New subscribers
    By creating a new subscriber list, you can send them an introductory email with helpful information about your business and product offerings. This will help new subscribers get up to speed quickly and can be paired with other strategies.
  • Location
    If you're running an eCommerce business, this type of filtering can be beneficial. You won't want to send out a message about free shipping in the middle of summer if it's currently snowing outside (unless you sell snow globes). You could also use location filters to target specific cities or regions where your products are popular or where customers tend to live. For example, suppose you’re running an online clothing store based in New York City. In that case, you might target customers who live in New York City or nearby cities like Boston or Philadelphia.
  • Email engagement
    The more engaged someone is with their email inbox the higher the likelihood that they will open your emails and engage with your brand. For example, someone who opens but doesn't click may not be interested in what you have to say; however, someone who clicks through multiple times may be ready to make a purchase or sign up for an event or webinar.
  • Past purchases
    Suppose someone has purchased something from you before. In that case, they're already familiar with your brand. They have expressed interest in becoming a customer again in the future. Adding this filter allows you to send them targeted offers based on what they've already bought from your store or website.
  • VIP customers
    This filter identifies people who have signed up for rewards or loyalty programs through your website or store.

Conclusion

Email segmentation is an essential step in the email marketing funnel. It helps you narrow your focus and send valuable content to each group with a relevant interest. If you want to increase conversion rates and improve the experience for your readers, take advantage of segmentation today.

The use and popularity of email campaigns have been on the rise for several years. Businesses have been using them to keep in touch with their customers, promote new products or services, and increase sales. But what makes an email campaign successful? This article will give you some tricks and tips on developing a successful email campaign.

Steps on How to Develop an Email Campaign

To develop a successful email campaign, there are specific steps you need to take.

Define your goals

Before you start anything, it's essential to determine what your goals for the campaign are. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase sales, get more website visitors, or keep in touch with your customers? Once you know your goals, you can tailor your campaign accordingly.

Segment your audience

Another critical step is to segment your audience. Not everyone who visits your website or receives your emails is interested in the same thing. It would be best to target specific groups of people who will be most interested in what you have to offer. This can be done by creating different lists based on demographics (location, age, gender, etc.), interests, or previous purchases.

Create attractive and attention-grabbing content

Your content is one of the most important aspects of your email campaign. If it's not interesting or relevant to your audience, they won't bother reading it. Make sure you create catchy subject lines and use exciting visuals to capture people's attention.

Send out regular emails

The best way to keep your audience engaged is to send out regular emails. It may be helpful to set a schedule and stick to it as much as possible. This will help ensure that your subscribers know when to expect new content from you.

Test and analyze your results

Once you've sent out your campaign, it's essential to analyze the results. This will help you determine what worked and what didn't. You can then use this information to improve your next campaign.

10 Questions to Ask When Making an Email Campaign

Before you start your email campaign, make sure to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the goal of my campaign?
  2. Who is my target audience?
  3. What content do I need?
  4. What tone should my email campaign have?
  5. How often should I send emails?
  6. What design should my email have?
  7. How can I track the results of my campaign?
  8. What tools or software do I need?
  9.  Do I need help writing the copy for my email campaign?
  10. How much money am I willing to spend?

By asking these questions, you will be able to develop a plan for your email campaign that is tailored to your specific needs. It is important to remember that planning is key to the success of any campaign.

7 Tips for a Successful Email Campaign

  1. Think about length
    Don't just blast out long messages without regard for your reader's time or attention span. You don't have to write a novel, but you also don't want to make it too short or skimpy. Keep it somewhere between 150 and 300 words, which is long enough to give people the information they need without making them read too much.

    In general, shorter emails get higher click-through rates than longer ones. The optimal length of a subject line depends on the type of email you're sending, but most are between five and 25 characters long.

  2. Create an email design that works on any device
    The main goal of this technology is to ensure that the recipient sees everything you meant to them without any awkwardness or inconvenience in how they access it. There are two main  methods of optimizing your emails for all devices:

    a.  Creating multiple versions of each email.
    b. Coding each element of your message to adjust itself automatically.

    The first option is more accessible, but it makes for a bulkier email that could potentially take longer to load and can quickly become overwhelming for your readers. The second option is more complex, but it allows you to control every aspect of how your message looks on every different type of device.

  3. Be consistent with your email brand
    This may seem obvious, but it's important to keep in mind when creating written content. You want to make sure the tone of your emails remains consistent with the rest of your branding efforts. Think about how your readers have come across your website and other forms of printed material – is it educational? Informative? Funny? Seriously? When considering what tone you want to strike in your emails, use this guide.

    Your brand draws people to you—it's what makes them trust you enough to take action and do business with you or buy your product or service. Your brand is the image you hope to give your audience—it's the personality they see in you and the associations they make when they think of your name. You want to make sure that all of your emails represent this image well by following the same format and design as other marketing materials.

  4. Personalize it
    The more personal you make your email, the more likely recipients will open it. This means using the recipient's first name in the subject line and throughout the body of the text. It also means tailoring the content of your message to each recipient. For example, if you're running a promotion on home security systems, instead of sending the same generic offer to everyone on your list, send them an email that shares information relevant to their home security concerns and needs.

    Think about who you're sending it to—do they know all of the people at your business? Are they interested in what you have to offer? What's your relationship with them? Your answers will likely shape how and what you send in an email campaign. You'll want something exciting and helpful without being too pushy or hard-selling.

  5. Clear Call to Action (CTA)
    A call to action (CTA) is the part of an email that asks the recipient to take a specific action, whether that be clicking on a link, checking out a video, or signing up for a free trial. The purpose of a CTA is to convert the reader into a customer.

    Your CTA should be clear and easy to understand, so subscribers know exactly what they're getting into when they click through. If you're sending a newsletter with links within it, make sure those links lead directly to the content they should read next — don't just send them off into the abyss!

  6. Include a story
    Good stories are powerful—if you can pull off an exciting story with a memorable hook, you're more likely to grab your reader's attention and get them to read your pitch. Everyone loves a good story, and it works incredibly well in email campaigns because it allows your audience to connect with you. Including an anecdote about how you came up with the idea, or even just describing the development process, will make the recipient feel like they're part of the action and give them something to look forward to when they read your message. Here are some tips for crafting a great story:

    1. Be relatable
    The best way to do this is to tell a story about something that happened to you or someone else in real life. More than cute anecdotes—which require more work than most people want to deal with—these stories help you connect with your readers by making them feel like they're getting to know you better.

    2. Be concise
    Make sure that your story only covers one event at most. If there's too much going on, it gets confusing, which makes it harder for people to retain the information they're reading.

  7. Use a professional email marketing service
    Using a professional email marketing service can help you develop and execute successful email campaigns. These services offer a variety of features that can help you create beautiful emails. Moreover, they provide detailed reports that can help you measure your campaigns' success.

Conclusion

Creating a successful email campaign requires a lot of time and effort, but it can be well worth it. By following these tips in this article, you'll be on your way to creating an email campaign that is both effective and engaging.

You've been running your own business for a while now, and you're pretty happy with it. Sure, there were a few problems along the way, but they're a thing of the past now, right? Wrong. Complacency with your business is one of the most dangerous things. As an entrepreneur, you need to develop and improve your business to benefit both you and your customers. But, how do you make your business stand out in a crowded market? What are the best marketing strategies to bring customers to you in droves? Skillful marketing strategies can set your business apart from others. But what do these strategies look like? Here are five tips to make your brand stand out from the crowd.

Find your unique value and make it visible.

Clearly define your unique value proposition. Every brand has something that makes it special. It's your job to figure out what that is and make sure you make it as straightforward as possible. This is different for every brand and every industry, but pay attention to the things that make you stand out from the crowd. 

Ask yourself, "What do you do that no one else does?" This can be as simple as selling organic products or offering free shipping with every order. Make sure it's clear what sets you apart and why it's vital to your customers. Whatever it is, find it and use it as the foundation for your brand image.

Have a clear mission

Many people want to start a business but aren't sure what type of business they want to run. That's why it's essential to have a clear mission for your business. What's your mission? Who are your customers? And what problem does your product or service solve? If you can clearly define these answers, you can stand out from the competition.

Additionally, your brand identity should extend your company's identity and values. Think about why you started or bought this company in the first place and what you want it to accomplish. To make it easier, try writing down a summary of your business in one sentence or less. You can use this as a guide later when creating your brand identity.

When developing your brand identity, it's essential to have a clear mission statement that defines what your company is all about. This mission statement will guide all future branding decisions and ensure that you stay true to yourself as a company. For example, suppose you're passionate about helping others and giving back to the community. You should include this in your mission statement and use it in your marketing materials.

A clear mission statement will also help you find the right employees. You can use it as a benchmark when selecting potential employees and partners. It also helps the people who work with you understand what's most important.

Make the customer the main person in everything you do.

If you want your product or service to get noticed, it helps to know exactly who "your people" are, right down to the kind of music they listen to and the books they read. It's also important to know where these people spend most of their time online so you can focus on those channels.

Know who your customers are and what they want. Know what your customers expect from you and what they don't. For example, if you run a pet store and your customers have dogs, they'll be more interested in dog food than cat food. If you sell women's shoes, stay away from men's shoes unless men are your target audience (or vice versa).

Additionally, we all love to be appreciated. According to research, one effective marketing strategy is to build and sustain relationships with customers. The more you show your customers that you appreciate their loyalty, the more likely they will stay loyal. But don't just focus on existing customers; make potential new customers feel welcome. You never know—they might become loyal customers over time! But how do you do it? Some examples of this are sending thank you emails or promo coupons. 

Be honest

You may be familiar with the phrase "fake it ‘til you make it." But in this case, it's the opposite. If you haven't yet established yourself as an expert in your field, don't try to convince people that you are because there's a good chance they won't believe you. Instead, focus on offering exceptional products or services that add value to your customers and help them solve their problems. Establishing yourself as an expert doesn't happen overnight. Still, over time you can gain credibility by sharing your knowledge through blogs, articles and social media posts.

Honesty is essential in any industry, and it's what will make you stand out from competitors. Don't make promises and claims that you can't deliver on, which will disappoint customers. It's also important that you always tell the truth and are transparent with customers. For example, if you have to charge them more than what you originally quoted for a service or product, tell them why and explain it as best you can. If customers notice that you are honest with them, they are more likely to trust you, which is excellent for business.

Gold standard customer service

Selling customer service can be a powerful differentiator for a brand. Many consumers are willing to pay more for excellent customer service. In addition, customers who have had a positive experience are more likely to come back, and they are also more likely to share their experiences with others.

It's not just about hiring the right people or offering online chat. It's also about how you sell your products, how you describe support, and whether your customer service representatives can make decisions independently or if they have to escalate every decision.

In addition, you can help your customers by providing them with helpful information or guides about your products and services, or even by actively asking for their feedback, as it will help you improve your business practices and products or services in the long run.

Conclusion

Hopefully, we've shed some light on how helpful these tips can be. Whether you're already following these five tips or not, take some time to consider if they can help your brand be more memorable and meaningful in the long run. Let us connect if you need someone to guide you and achieve these tips.

Whether you are working for yourself or someone else, knowing your "WHY" will make all the difference in growing your business faster. Many questions come up when starting a business, not the least of which is how to execute a business plan from A to Z.

Your business has certain traits. You have a vision, and you know what you are getting into. So it's essential to know why and how important it can be to your business. Asking yourself why you are doing something can be a powerful tool when trying to achieve a goal or dream. Because if you do not know why you are doing something, you will not get the results needed to grow your business, no matter how hard you work, and you might end up giving up when you feel like it's too much. This article  aims to explain why knowing your Why is so important and how powerful it can be for your business.

There are three essential reasons why you should know your why, and they are as follows:

1. If you have a Why you have a purpose

Your Why is what drives and sustains you in difficult times. It is why you choose to take risks, expose yourself and go through all the ups and downs of building a business. The purpose of your business should be clear and concise. Otherwise, you will wander and waste time.

Your purpose can be personal or professional. It can be focused on a specific goal or be more general. It can also change over time as your life evolves and your plans change.

2. It keeps you authentic

All businesses have a Why. It drives the business, inspires customers, and makes people want to buy from you. In his book, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, Simon Sinek explains that it's essential for entrepreneurs to understand why they offer their product or service before communicating effectively with potential customers.

You can develop better marketing campaigns and more effective advertising strategies when you know your Why. You can use your Why to speak directly to your target audience and motivate them to choose you over your competitors.

Knowing and understanding your Why will also give you a better idea of who your target market is. This information helps you create personalized content for them because you know what makes them want to buy from you.

3. This will keep you on track

Your Why is a long-term vision for your business. It's the reason you started your business and the mission that drives all your business decisions. Also, remember that your reason for your business may change over time. That's perfectly normal. When that happens, you should rethink your Why and adjust it.

For example, if you are starting a new business or just trying to figure out your next step, it can be challenging to decide on a direction. And the problem is that it gets even more complicated when you have no idea why you are doing what you are doing. Without a clear goal or direction, you can easily get distracted by the next shiny thing and waste valuable time on something that may not even serve your purposes.

So we have talked about your Why and what it is. But how do you find your Why? Here are the tips to figure it out.

1. Ask yourself, "What drives you?"

What motivates you? What inspires you? Where do you get your energy? Why do you do what you do? What are the results of what you do?

If you can answer these questions, it will be easier to get through the day-to-day. And if you think about what the future holds for your business, it will be much easier to grow. When things get tough, or you feel lost, it's important to remember why you started a business in the first place.

The idea of finding your Why is so essential that it is one of the core principles of Simon Sinek's TED talk on leadership. Sinek says, "People do not buy what you do; they buy why you do it."

Remember that your Why is not necessarily the same as your "what," which can include things like products or services sold, your industry, or your target audience. Your Why gets you up in the morning and keeps you working late into the night. It's a deep-rooted motivation to change the world somehow, even if it's only for a small number of people.

Your Why is the purpose that drives your business and its growth plans. Your answer should be something that inspires and excites you, not just a means to an end. Once you find it, your answer becomes a mission statement that guides everything from product development to customer satisfaction.

2. Ask yourself, "What about your business do you love?"

Think about your business life. What is the greatest passion in your business, and what ignites that passion? Is it the product you sell, or is it the people you work with? Is it the creative process behind developing a new product line or the financial strategy of growing your business and seeing how far you can take it? Do you care about using your business to help people in need or your community? If you are stuck, consider what excites you.

Here is a tip: When you are excited, you have a sense of urgency, a rush of adrenaline and a big smile on your face. It feels good!

3. Ask yourself, "What problems do you want to solve for your customers?"

Business is about solving problems. Whether it's a new product or service, your goal is to improve other people's lives somehow.

When it comes to your business, your Why is about more than just making money. It goes beyond what you do and how you do it—finding your Why means truly understanding what motivates you and what role you want to play in the world. Without this knowledge, even the best businesses can become diluted over time and lose focus on their original purpose.

As a business owner, you get up every morning with one purpose: to serve the people around you. Many of us find that purpose in the form of a why.

Why do you do what you do? What drives your mission? How will your business help others and make a difference?

A compelling Why is more important than ever as we all work toward recovery from the global pandemic. When you know why you can communicate it to your audience and make an emotional connection with the people you serve.

When your audience understands the value you provide and can see a connection to their lives, they will be more willing to buy from you and recommend your company to others.

4. Follow your gut

I have mentioned before and will continue to say repeatedly, you need to know your Why.

Small business founders and owners are under a lot of pressure to make money. They have to keep employees, investors and customers happy, and it can be easy to lose sight of your Why with all the pressure.

But it's the reason that will motivate you to push through tough times. The Why will get your team through a rough patch in morale or get them to work weekends. The Why will make your customers fall in love with your brand.

Your Why is something other than your mission. Your Why is your purpose. That purpose drives you to accomplish that mission. Your Why should be the core of your business. It's like a compass that guides you in the right direction, even when you are lost, which is constant when you are doing things right!

Conclusion

A powerful Why can serve as the guiding force to inform every decision you make and help your customers connect emotionally with your brand. Everyone has a different way, and there is no wrong answer. For some, it's about making money; for others, it's about helping small and medium-sized businesses, while for others it's simply about following their passion or inspiring others. If you want more help figuring out your Why, let's connect.

Running a business can be overwhelming. There is so much to do! And there are so many strategies you can try in your business, and that's why it can be difficult. You are not getting any closer to your goals; you do not have time to grow your business because there are way too many things to do day after day. And that's where you can get stuck in a rut. It's up to you to know what you are going to do next.

With all the pressure to run a business, it's sometimes easy to forget what it takes to grow it. The first step to growing your business is to figure out where you can step back and let someone else do the work. This may sound counterintuitive in a world that's all about being number one is important, it's crucial to remember that the marketplaces are not just for selling things (it's also to connect to your customers).

Remember, you cannot do everything yourself. Finding good help costs money, but spending that money now is better than spending it later with a bad outcome. Ultimately, what you don’t know CAN be hurting you—and your business!

Use your time for the things you do best for your business. 

You probably did not start your business to spend your time doing the things you hate. But as a business owner, you need to do all kinds of things. However, trying to do it all can lead to a lot of stress and inefficiency. If you feel overworked, you may not be doing your best work. The solution? Outsource the things you hate.

This is not a new idea. Companies have been outsourcing for decades. Think of the assembly line at Ford or Apple. Even if it's not physically moving production to another company, outsourcing means paying someone to take over tasks that are not part of your core competencies.

Outsourcing allows you to focus on what you are good at and what you enjoy. Suppose you do not want to do your accounting or build a website for your business. Then, by all means, outsource the things you do not like or are not good at so you can spend more time doing the things that make you happy.

Use the time to focus on running your business, building client relationships, your family, and personal interests.

There's no need to become complacent or stagnant in business. By outsourcing tasks, this could also free up your time and move you forward to grow your business. Most business owners wear many hats, including accountants, web designers and salespeople. By outsourcing some work, you can also diversify your skills and learn new ones. You are not locked into doing just one thing, and you can constantly evolve as both an entrepreneur and a person.

Identify the things you can leave to someone else

When you outsource, you can delegate tasks that don't require your involvement directly, so you can focus on managing your business, establishing customer relationships, and pursuing your personal interests.

The benefits of outsourcing include greater flexibility and lower overhead costs. You can adjust your workforce very quickly to meet changing needs when you outsource. The world has become smaller and smaller in terms of communication and transportation of goods. This means that today's companies must be flexible to meet the needs of their customers.

Invest in experts who will take your business to the next level. 

Some things are better left to the experts—or at least someone who has more experience than you. Your business needs at least three types of help:

  1. People who can do tasks you do not have time for (like accounting)
  2. People who have skills and knowledge that you do not have (such as web development)
  3. People who can provide financial capital (like investors)

Finding these people is sometimes referred to as "hiring a third party." However, this term does not capture its meaning because hiring someone is only the first step. The most important thing is to build relationships with these individuals so that your company can benefit from them on an ongoing basis.

It can be challenging to find qualified and willing employees to work for you. The trick is to make sure you have a strong value proposition that includes a clear description of what you expect from an employee or contractor and then find someone willing to buy into your vision.

Cheap and fast is not always the best.

You might be tempted to hire a cheap service, but that's a big mistake. If you want to do it right, you need to hire someone who has the experience and knows how things work. For example, if you hire someone to develop your website, they should be knowledgeable about the technical aspects of building a website and strategies, not just someone who knows the basics of a website like designing.

Hiring an expert is something you should expect to do if you want to grow your business. You will probably get to a point where you cannot do everything yourself. Experts can take on many tasks so you can focus on growing and scaling your business, just like a partnership. Do not be afraid to pay more for someone with expertise because your time is worth more than what you pay them.

Have a clear future in mind 

Having a clear vision for your business and the role you want to play in your industry will help you grow your business more effectively. The longer-term nature of entrepreneurship allows you to be more specific about your goals. You can achieve your goals while leaving room for change in the future. So you can hire people who can work with you for the long term rather than hiring people who are only able to work with the current situation that you have right now. This is something that many entrepreneurs do not think (a clear vision) before starting companies.

Conclusion

Entrepreneurs tend to get distracted by the day-to-day challenges or build up too quickly. It's easy to get lost in the daily grind, but it's important not to lose sight of where you want to go. As a startup grows and changes, it needs someone to make sure those changes are implemented quickly. Not everyone wants that kind of responsibility. That's why an entrepreneur needs to think about what that person might look like.

Remember, as long as you're making progress—and yes, you will make mistakes—you're doing just fine. After all, nobody said entrepreneurship would be easy.

In the end, we all know that there's no one-size-fits-all formula for different tasks. Now, what can you do about it? The best solution is to take a good long step back and mark out which tasks are essential to your business. Delete those tasks that aren't essential. Then have someone to help you move you in the right direction.

Every year we have a chance for new beginnings and fresh starts. For business people, this often means thinking about how to run their business better in the coming year. As you look forward to a new year, ask yourself some questions about your goals.

Have you ever wondered why New Year's resolutions hardly ever work out? Often it's because people do not know what they want and have not thought about it. Maybe it's also because they do not write down their goals. To make sure your goals work this year, you need to do the following things:

Set realistic goals

Your goals should be ambitious, but they should also be achievable. Do not overwhelm yourself with unrealistic expectations that are impossible to meet. You do not want to set yourself up for failure before you have even started.

Think about what goals you can realistically achieve this year, and then break them into monthly and weekly goals. Once you have completed one goal, set a new one. You should never become complacent or stop trying to improve, otherwise, your competition will pass you by.

To help you set your goal, you can use the SMART method as a guide.

  • Specific
    - Your goal should be specific and clear, so you know exactly what you are aiming for.
  • Measurable
    - How will you measure your success? You can measure most goals by time or results (or both) For example, if your goal is to increase your social media followers by 500 within six months, that's measurable in both time (six months) and outcome (500 followers).
  • Attainable
    - A goal should be challenging but attainable and doable so that you can achieve it with hard work.
  • Relevant
    - Goals should relate to other aspects of your life so that they make sense in the context of your whole life.
  • Time-bound
    - Your goal should have a specific time frame for achieving it.

Ways to achieve your goals

setting goals for the year

Many people have goals, but no action plan. This often leads to a lack of motivation and a feeling that the goal will never be reached. It is essential to know exactly what you need to do to achieve your goal. This can increase motivation and make you feel like you are making progress.

For example, if your goal is to increase traffic to your website and get more visitors within the first quarter of the year, but you know you cannot do so, consider hiring a website developer to help you reach your goal.

Eliminate underutilized resources

Monitor what you spend. Unnecessary expenses pile up quickly and can cripple your business.

Ensure you have accurately counted everything you own (especially your expenses). Ask yourself: What is gobbling up your money? Could you be spending  it on something more practical like advertising or web design? Are you paying for advertising with poor  copy? Are you spending  more on advertising without and not getting the return on your  investment?

Maybe you do not need an office and could work from home instead. Maybe your staff is burning too many hours on projects that are not helping you achieve your goals? Anywhere you can cut excess spending will improve your business and allow you to spend it more on things that improve your business.

Have a clear brand mission

A strong brand mission is central to your business. Your brand mission statement is the foundation of your business. It defines what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. Once you have a solid brand mission, you can use it to guide every decision your company makes.

By directly expressing your intentions and values through your brand mission, you build trust in yourself and your brand. This mission statement can also serve as the basis for important decisions that might otherwise feel arbitrary.

Identify the weak points in your customers' journey

You can start by creating a customer journey map, a visual representation of customers' interactions with your company. It includes various touchpoints like emails and blog posts and direct interactions with your website or app.

A customer journey map highlights the weak points in the customer journey and helps you visualize how to improve the customer experience. For example, if you run an online store and many customers abandon the process after adding items to their cart, it may be because your checkout process is cumbersome and customers are frustrated at the end of their purchase.

To understand where you can improve, you first need to identify the weak points in the customer journey. You can use heat maps and other tracking tools to see how your customers are interacting with your website.

Checklist for your goals

Checklists have a great impact and benefits for  achieving your goals.

It's better to create a small checklist of annual business goals. This can include goals related to the service you provide. For example, if you offer a software-as-a-service, your annual goal might be to increase the number of customers who sign up for your service each month.

Don’t forget to keep a record of milestones and achievements. These can range from small tasks like packaging the first order you ship to significant business events like receiving your first large customer order. Add them under each goal or categorize them in their section.

Conclusion

In the end, we can’t argue the fact that goals are important. They push  us to be great. Goals force self-reflection and they help us construct a more coherent life. So when you set goals, it might be a good idea to keep these things in mind and focus. Just remember that good, thoughtful planning goes a long way toward ensuring that your goals are actually achievable. Hopefully, this guide will give you the guidance you need to plan your strategy, push yourself towards success this year and connect with us to learn more!

You have probably heard how important it is to have a conversational tone in your content. A conversational tone in your content is essential to make your content easier to read, which means your readers feel more comfortable and are more willing to follow you. It builds trust, ensuring your reader knows they can rely on you for quality information. It makes your brand more relatable and likable (especially if you put some personality into your writing).

It gives readers a sense of urgency—something that tells them, "You need to pay attention to this now." Plus, writing correctly allows even the most boring topics to be exciting and engaging.

But how do you write in a conversational tone? Just follow these easy rules!

Add personality

If you are unsure about your business’s personality, consider what makes your brand  unique and different from the competition. Maybe you have experience in a particular industry, or you can tell jokes like no other.

Whatever it is, use it to your advantage. If being funny comes naturally to you, do not be afraid to incorporate humor into your content. On the other hand, don't go for it if you are talking about emotional topics like politics or religion!

Keep your sentences short and your words simple.

Nowadays, people are used to scanning content  first before reading it. If they cannot find what they are looking for quickly, they go elsewhere. If you want your visitors to stay on your website, you need to write content  that sounds like a human talking excitedly, not like a robot or a professor.

To accomplish this  can use KISSmetrics.here are three main principles for entertaining copy:

  • Keep it short and straightforward.
  • Humanize the message.
  • Speak the same language as your audience.

The first principle is to keep sentences short, use common words, and avoid jargon. Humanizing the message means not sounding like you are selling something—although it's obviously okay to sell products  on websites. Speaking the same language as your audience means knowing who they are and what they expect.

Speak directly to your reader

A conversational tone is about speaking to the individual, not the collective. It would be best if you wrote in a way that comes across as natural and friendly. It should read like a conversation between two people. It should not be formal or stiff. Instead, it should be open and inviting. Your readers should feel like they’re talking to a friend who understands them and their needs when they read your content.

conversational writing

Another great way to appear more conversational is to use sentences that begin with "I," "we" or even "you." This makes you seem more like a personal friend than someone speaking to their audience from a throne on high!

Additionally, avoid jargon and technical terms. Your readers don't want to be bombarded with industry-specific terminology (unless they are looking for that sort of information). If you must use jargon or technical terms, define them first and then use them sparingly throughout the piece. Your readers will thank you!

Ask questions

Questions prompt your readers to respond immediately. Once they answer questions, they interact with you, making them likely to keep reading. Questions also help break your content into smaller chunks, making it easier for your reader to digest new information.

When you ask questions, make sure they are short and relate to the section. This allows the reader to focus on the point being discussed. Make sure each question is related to the topic and provides the reader with an answer.

An example of this could be something like "What do you think?" or "Can you see how this works?" It's an easy way to get your reader involved in what you're writing and make them feel valued as part of the process. It gives the impression that you want their opinion and are interested in what they have to say.

Use relatable stories

People are drawn to stories. When we hear a story (and relate), we're meeting up with an old friend. We do not feel like we have to be on our guard. We can relax and let the story sink in.

You can share funny anecdotes, stories, memories, and emotions when you write in a conversational style. It also allows you to build an emotional connection with your audience that will resonate long after reading your article or blog post.

It's about more than just "me" and "you." It's about engaging the reader in an informative discussion, adding value and motivating them to choose your content. By telling a story when you write conversationally, you engage in a dialog rather than talking to the reader.

Reminder

In the end, always read your content, ALOUD! This is another way to gauge the conversational tone of your writing. And it will also help you find areas of improvement within your text. How does your text sound when read? Does it feel awkward? Is it easy to read? Does it flow? Reading aloud will help you decide if you're using the right words for the topic and if you need to make any adjustments to improve the tone. 

Want to write more conversationally and drive more traffic to your website? Get a  FREE consultation now!

Why do some people succeed in persuading and influencing others while others fail? This is a question for which there is no single answer. However, there is one great rule of thumb you should always keep in mind and carry with you when selling: Knowledge, likability, and trustworthiness are the essential principles for success.

People want to buy from you because they trust you, like you, and know you. This may sound like an exaggeration, but it becomes much easier to do business with someone when you begin to trust, like, and know someone.

It's simple: If a customer does not like or trust you, they will not do business with you no matter how great your product is.

To learn more about the importance of the "Know, Like and Trust," or the KLT principle for your business, keep reading!

Know

If your  audience is knowledgeable about your company that means they have learned your brand messaging and content, and they are familiar with your product or service. But at this stage they are not ready to convert into customers. The audience needs more information about your product before making a buying decision.

At this stage, you should focus on raising customer awareness by providing informational materials that educate the target audience about their problem and show them how your product or service can solve it.

For example, if you create blog posts like this on your website, customers are already interested in your product and can find you online. This is important if they are new to your brand—they can see that you offer helpful advice on topics they are interested in and they'll trust you as a source of information. You can also use social media tools like Twitter chats and Facebook Live to provide leads with information relevant to their business.

Like

Your goal at this stage is to have customers and prospects engage with you. You can do this by creating exciting and engaging content that they will want to consume. You can also create events that they wish to attend and talk about.

To attract new followers  you need to provide value to your audience. There are five types of content that your audience wants to see: videos, social media posts, news articles, research content, and online classes or educational games.

If you do not have the time to create your content, you can draw on what's already available online. You can "curate" content by posting or linking to content from others valuable to your target audience. This can include articles, videos, infographics, and much more. Or you can also outsource content to help you.

However, remember that each social network attracts a different group of users with different interests. Facebook, for example, has the most users of any social network, but LinkedIn attracts more young professionals than any other platform. This means that you should take different approaches on different platforms depending on who your target audience is. If you are trying to target professionals, you should focus more on LinkedIn than Facebook. However, if you are trying to reach students or young adults, you should focus more on Facebook and Instagram than on Twitter or Pinterest.

Trust

In the trust stage, people are ready to do business with you. This does not necessarily mean a sale, but it could mean they come back to your website, sign up for your list, or make a purchase.

This is the phase where you need to have a solid call to action.

call to action

The best way to get a solid call to action is to put yourself in the customer's shoes and ask them if you can help them with a specific task. If they have come to your site because they are looking for a particular product, you need to lead them to that product. If they are looking for information, point them in the right direction. The best way to maintain that trust is to continually deliver quality content that your audience will find helpful.

Summary

The concept is simple. If you are helpful and solve a customer's problem, they will trust you more and be more inclined to buy from you again and possibly recommend you to others.Regardless of your industry, referrals are a company's best friend. A good business strives to keep its customers happy to tell their friends and family about their positive customer experience. This can lead to several benefits, such as new sales or brand loyalty.

Every business owner should focus on customer retention rather than constantly looking for new customers. The key is to continuously show genuine care, interest, and pride in your products or services to create enthusiastic fans who will come back and whose friends will want them too!

You want to apply the KLT Principle to your business? We are here to help you!

According to a recent report from Statista, in 2020 there were 3.6 billion active social media users worldwide. Using  social media platforms is a great way to help stay connected with their customers. But there are times when a business tweets, shares, and posts and no one seems to enjoy them  so they have  low engagement.

There are so many places to be present on social media that it can feel daunting. The platforms are constantly changing, and what worked a few years ago will not necessarily work  today. Many companies feel overwhelmed by the prospect of being present on all platforms and do not know where to start.

While industry standards for engagement rates across all social media platforms vary, social media marketers still strive to have a high rate of engagement in their posts. However, despite their best efforts, there are still some brands that  fail to get people to engage with their content.

If you’re one of them, keep on reading and learn about the reasons why your followers won’t engage with your posts.

You are not targeting the right audience

You know that feeling when you are at a party and everyone is talking about something you have no idea about? That's exactly how it feels for your audience when you do not know who they are.

For example, if your blog articles are aimed at entrepreneurs, but entrepreneurs do not follow you, your followers will not read your posts. Let us say you are trying to gain followers on Twitter (a platform where most posts last less than 24 hours), and you are trying to reach an audience interested in hiking and camping without even having a strategy in reaching the right audience. Your time and effort is nothing.

That’s why if your posts are not getting much attention, you should first check whom you are writing for and what you say.

So take some time to understand your target audience's concerns and hopes. What do they enjoy? The more you know about your readers, the easier it will be to create content they'll love.

You expect too much too quickly

When you first start posting on social media, it's easy to get discouraged when your posts do not get the response you want. You may even wonder if you are posting at the right time and if you have the right content.

However, keep in mind that engagement does not happen overnight. Many brands  make the mistake of expecting likes, comments, and followers right away. When that's not the case, they often give up trying. But building a loyal following that engages with your content is a gradual process.

Remember that it takes time and consistency for your audience to learn more about your brand, become friends with it, and feel like they can trust you enough to take the next step before buying. Before you reach the point where people are ready to buy from you (or at least talk about buying from you), they need time to get to know and like you.

You talk to your followers, not to “them.”

First, consider who is most likely to buy your product/service. Your audience is not everyone, it’s only a specific group of people.

The best posts on social media are the ones that are relevant to your audience. Before posting anything, you need to know who your audience is and what kind of content will be a hit. If you do not understand what motivates your customers, you will not be able to connect on social media. Your content must reflect your brand and its values (and those of your customers).

In order for your marketing efforts to be effective, you need to target the people who will be most interested in what it is that you’re promoting. You don’t want to waste time with people who aren’t going to benefit from your products or services.

You are posting too little

The first step to increasing the visibility of your blog posts is to increase your content output. Every social media platform has a different number of posts needed. However, another factor you need to consider is what kind of content you are writing and what type of audience you are trying to reach.

But that's not all! You also need to make sure that you publish quality content. If you want to create a post that will generate buzz, you should put as much effort into it as possible when creating  content. Your audience will appreciate the value of your thoughtful posts much more than ones that were tossed off without thought.

You are posting too much

You do not need to post multiple times a day. If you are posting on social media multiple times per day every day, your audience might be suffering from what we call, “overload,” which  can cause your followers to get annoyed and unfollow you.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that you need to create content that gets likes and shares. The reason is that your ultimate goal is to build your community of readers and also turn them into affiliates who will send more traffic your way. There are so many things you can do on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks where you are building an audience of fans. You can post photos, videos, links to articles, and even just text updates. Create content for the people. Give them quality posts that are informative, entertaining, engaging and genuine, so that they’ll share with their friends.

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