I don’t think it can be overstated that the web has brought with it unprecedented power. The power to reach your potential customer and put your marketing message in front of them cheaply and easily. Everyone is on the web no matter what niche you’re in, no matter your target demographic- they are there and with some trial & error, you can reach them.
That’s the good news. Now the bad news.
Almost no one knows how to market on the web successfully. This problem stems from a few key factors. First off- unless you’re a giant corporation, with an unlimited marketing budget, you cannot use traditional marketing methods on the web (sorry advertising agencies and traditional marketing companies). Anything designed for ‘brand awareness’ or ‘top of the mind’ isn’t going to generate the one thing small business owners and entrepreneurs actually need: customers.
Secondly, as the web has evolved over the past few years, more and more advertisers and ads have crowded the web, driving up prices and making it harder to get your potential customers’ attention. There’s even a condition called ‘Banner Blindness’ now where a percentage of people subconsciously ignore banner ads when they are surfing the web. Add to this the ever changing landscape of SEO (search engine optimization- which as of the time I’m writing this, 3/15/16, is dead, IMHO) as a quick traffic strategy and you’ll begin to see why so many people struggle to get any traction with their web marketing efforts.
So what can you do to enjoy success, while others fail? The answer is simple, but not easy.
To start, you’ve got to use the time tested and proven methods of direct response marketing. The web was literally made for this kind of advertising and it’s what every successful marketer and business owner I know uses. I’ve discussed this in previous blog posts.
The next success tip I’ll share with you is more of a mindset than a tangible thing- but it’s the most important part. You have to approach your efforts at web marketing with the mindset of ‘cracking the code’, and in reality it’s more like a 4-5 different codes. The overwhelming majority of people make a few feeble attempts at marketing online and then quit when they don’t see results. I like to tell my clients that they are mining for gold, and the web has a treasure chest of it- but that chest has a series of combination locks on it. In order to be successful online, you’ve got to figure out (dial in) the combination of each of these locks before you’ll get the gold (almost unlimited clients). Most importantly, you’ve got to have the emotional fortitude to go through test after test, trial and error with unwavering determination.
So what are some of these ‘locks’ you’ll need the combination to? Here’s a quick list of my top 6:
Where are my potential customers online? What websites, forums, etc.
What message ‘words’ will they click on?
What ‘image’ will they click on?
Are the clicks you’re getting from “qualified” prospects?
Can we improve on the “best” performing ads? (increase CTR- click through rate)
And lastly, do the clicks we’re getting convert to paying customers?
There are many more than this quick list but this represents a good start. Keep in mind that the lesson here is you’re always testing, working and refining your online marketing. You need to approach this task as an on-going effort, not a one and done type task.
Keep the right mindset, and your success is virtually guaranteed, because your ideal customer is online and with a little perseverance you will find and convert them to your customer, unlocking that chest of gold.
When you’re tired of beating your head against the wall and want proven, time tested methods and strategies that flat out work- bringing an avalanche of red hot customers to your door, then you need to grab a copy of Automated Entrepreneur Method right now. Save yourself countless hours of trial and error and get the shortcut to success right now.
You’ll also want to attend my webinar where I cover this topic and many more in depth. You can register for that here.
Yours in Profit,
For a million reasons, a website is a good idea. It gives your business, your brand, and your marketing a starting point. How does yours rank?
A website is more than a couple of pages with pictures. Unless your business is website development (and in most cases, you still need a LOT of help understanding what makes a website CONVERT visitors into buyers), getting help with your website is a good idea. My business is helping entrepreneurs structure their business and align marketing and business practices to make good money. I have not yet met a client who was not interested in making better money—and a good website is a smart place to start.
You have a website—now what?
The chances are good you already have a website. An employee, consultant, or maybe even a friend helped you get it together. Until you have time to optimize the site—it will do. So what does “optimize” mean?
Optimizing a website means different things to different people. Basically, it means making the most of your digital real estate. That is everything from the look and feel of your site, to the tools you use to analyze visits and conversions. Here are some steps to re-approaching your website as a marketing tool, and a placeholder in the digital world:
Whether it is website construction, content, or social media maintenance, many small business owners make the mistake of trying to do it themselves. As I have said before—do not spend time learning something you do not want to do every day. If designing or writing high-end websites is your business—learn the ropes. Otherwise, do not spend every day trying to figure out how to keep your Facebook feed fresh—pay someone good to do it for you.
Talk to friends, get references, and find consultants or freelancers in the business of website design, social media, or blog maintenance. Use your resources, instead of taking your own time from the business tasks that only you can—or want—to do.
Effective marketing means more than a well-built and maintained website—but it is a good place to start.
When you are interested in making better money doing what you love—call me at 585-633-7563.
Yours in profit,
Whether your business is a start-up or long-established, you need the most from your traveling time.
Like you, I am an experienced traveler. For business, and for our Marketing Automation Group Live Events, I travel routinely all over the United States. I enjoy travel, especially when I can build in value—wherever I am.
On the road: Tips for busy entrepreneurs
At the end of summer, and as the back-to-business vibe kicks in, it is worth revisiting whether you can get a little more time for you—or your business—on days you are traveling. Consider these ideas when you want to get where you are going, a little easier:
Expedited screening: When traveling by air, you spend a lot of time waiting. Reduce the delay by registering for programs like TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and other fast-lane programs. Choose the service that suits your travel habits or geographical location.
No expedited screening service guarantees that you may not occasionally be asked to step out of line and move through the usual security process. That said, you can save real time by taking advantage of programs that move you through security lines faster. Otherwise, try to wear shoes without laces.
Loyalty or not: Frequent flyer and other rewards cards just ain’t what they used to be. Because small business owners depend on affordable air travel, paying attention to these shifting, and sometimes shifty, programs is essential.
Delta Airlines recently changed the base of its popular SkyMiles reward system from miles traveled to dollars spent on airfare. Obviously, if you get a less expensive seat, correspondingly, your benefit goes down.
For any airline rewards, check the fine print. Because reward programs are changing, consider redeeming miles, and know the credit card cash-back benefits tied into airline points before applying. Remember that loyalty programs have nothing to do with loyalty. Manage frequent flyer miles with AwardWallet, TripIt, or other apps.
The devices: Make sure you charge all devices before you go, keep chargers with you, and carry small back-up charging devices. That said, the big risk for entrepreneurs traveling abroad is compatibility and security. If you travel often, you already know what your carrier provides. If you don’t already know—it is time to find out.
Information security, when traveling, is paramount. Some clients I know take temporary or blank devices when they travel. Many companies issue travel devices that are secure and wiped clean of proprietary and sensitive information. When traveling, consider these tips for devices that carry highly-sensitive business and personal data:
Quality work time while traveling: When flying, pay attention to layovers. Sometimes less is not more. Airlines are boarding 45 minutes before flights now, making it a tighter squeeze if you face a one-hour layover. Layovers offer focused work time if you packed what you need, and prioritized the work you can do ahead of time.
Best for last—traveling can get you business: While you already have a business agenda, and a client to meet on your trip, consider business opportunities along the way. In coach, or business class, be friendly, engage seatmates, inquire about their business, and talk about yours—if they are interested. While waiting in line at restaurants, events, or conferences, any time is a good time to strike up a conversation with another business traveler. Endless stories are told of serendipitous meetings on planes, during delays, and in long lines that result in ongoing business, and even partnerships.
Most small business owners travel at one time or another. Plan ahead to make your trip as easy—and productive—as possible. The goal is enjoy the road, and achieve your business goals.
When at home, or while traveling, time means money. When you want to get more value for your time and more money in your pocket, I hope you will call me at 585-633-7563.
Yours in profit,
You are at your desk and it is stacked with things you should do. They’re weighing you down—
and crushing your productivity. What can you do?
Don’t should on yourself. When faced with tasks you do not have the time, or skill set, to pursue, give yourself a pass. Here’s why.
As an entrepreneur, you are the captain of your ship. At the helm, you have overall responsibility for the business and your strategic plan. This means you are not at the oars, the galley, or rigging. When you lose your focus, your business goes off course—or possibly sinks like a stone.
If you cannot do everything, who can?
Delegation and the small business owner
Trying to handle business goals outside your expertise and interest is exhausting and time consuming. As we discussed earlier, entrepreneurs must undertake the responsibilities only they can handle—without feeling guilty about not doing everything else.
If it worries you to hand off some of your business function to others, consider the real benefits of diversifying your workload:
What types of tasks can you delegate?
Consider these tips when you think about what you could delegate:
Delegation looks different for each company. I work with entrepreneurs to create business plans and technological solutions. To coach small business owners from making in the low six, up to seven figures, I provide focus and create solutions that save them time and money.
Some modes of delegation for a small business owner can include:
Think about delegating tasks and services before you become overwhelmed, and your services suffer. Keep the following pitfalls in mind:
When you have a lot of things to do—and you know you are not going to do them—stop shoulding on yourself. Spend time thinking about your business, and move forward.
When you want to make more money doing the things you love to do, and you need focus—call me at 585-633-7563.
To your success.
What is on your list? And what have you crossed off lately? Oh—you gave up on the list. You are just living in the trenches of too little time, and too much to do. Let me tell you a secret—you will never have enough time.
Not, at least, until you get smart about how to use it.
A lot of attention, business practice, logistics, and personal frustration are rolled up in the concept of time. Young, middle-age, senior, workday, weekend—all words that measure time, underpinned by the general understanding that time flies—fast. You either work with time or it works against you.
Until you get smart about time, you will never have enough of it. Why do I keep talking about getting smart about time? Because as valuable as time is, most entrepreneurs do not see where, how, or why, they are exhausted and falling further behind each day. That is where getting smart comes in. Let’s talk about time.
You cannot make time, but you can spend it, and waste it. My business is to help entrepreneurs become successful. In fact, I aim to make my clients millionaires, work at what they love, and enjoy their lives, too. And trust me, you do not get there without understanding time.
When I work with clients, I check out how they do business, their processes, marketing, automation, products, services, and sales. When I first start working with small business owners, I see a lot of the following:
Any of this sound like you?
Let’s take a look at some of the traits that seem like a lack of time but could be something quite different:
What is the power zone?
Your power zone is where you work best. As a business owner, it is your job to focus on the right things, and drive the focus of everyone who works for you. If you are off task, and losing days on unprofitable ideas—your business will suffer. From owning my own business, and in helping other run theirs, consider these important tips:
When you are doing what really needs to be done to become successful—you are not entrenched, you are growing your business.
While you cannot make time, you can save it. When you want to make more money from your small business, and spend less time doing it, call me at 585-633-7563.
To your success.