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Are You Trying to Keep Up with the Marketing Joneses?

Are You Trying to Keep Up with the Marketing Joneses?

Focus Your Marketing Activities so they Don’t Overwhelm You

I see it all the time when I talk to small business owners. When I ask them about how they are marketing their businesses, their eyes roll and they act as if I blasphemed or something. Marketing seems to be the last things want to talk, think or do when it comes to their business.

Many prefer to hope that business will come, that each customer will tell a thousand other people about their great business and they will be able to live happily ever after.

Well good luck with that.

The reality is that if you want to stay in business or grow your business you are going to market your business.

The thing that most people don’t understand is that marketing does not have to be hard or unpleasant. You can successful market your business focusing on the marketing activities that you enjoy doing.

You don’t have to do everything.

If you enjoy writing then concentrate on writing that your audience will enjoy. You can:

  • Create articles for you blog
  • Create articles for other people’s blog
  • Create articles for consumer or trade magazines and their websites
  • Post your articles on LinkedIn
  • Create articles for article directories for others to share with their readers
  • Tweet your articles to your Twitter account
  • Create white papers or special reports
  • Create eBooks and Books

If you enjoy speaking then concentrate on speaking engagements. You can:

  • Offer speaking engagement to local community centers and churches
  • Create podcasts
  • Create video’s, post them to YouTube and your website or blog
  • Create webinars that people just watch or participate
  • Become a guest lecturer at your local community college
  • Create seminars or workshops for local community centers, community colleges, churches, and other educational learning centers

If you enjoy creating presentation and/or graphic then concentrate on presentation and/or graphics. You can:

  • Create Slideshare presentations
  • Create webinars whether live or on demand
  • Create infographics
  • Create interactive comic books, games and apps
  • Give workshops on how to create great presentations
  • Give classes on developing basic graphic design skills

Whatever marketing activities you choose, choose those that you enjoy and will not feel overwhelmed by forcing yourself to use what is hot. There is a variety of ways to create marketing opportunities utilizing a limited amount of tactics.

If you do not have time to spend on social media or do not enjoy social media then do not utilize those tactics, and if you do, then limit the amount of time that you spend doing those activities.

Take some time to think about what you truly enjoy doing, than choose the marketing activities that you will look forward to working on, on a daily basis. Find a few activities that you enjoy and put your full energy into those activities. Monitor their effectiveness and make adjustments as needed.

Your Turn:

What Marketing Activities do You Most and Least Enjoy?

 

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Marketing and PR for the Professional Services Firms

Blogging for Business Growth

 

The Secret to Turning out Massive Amounts of Content

The Secret to Turning out Massive Amounts of Content

Have you ever wondered how one blogger is able to turn out massive amount of content without hiring others to write for them or accepting guest posts?

I did.

Wondering how they did it, lead me to this secret…

Repurposed Content

What Is Repurposed Content?

Repurposing content eliminates creating content from scratch  Repurposed content is taking existing content or research, creating new content and extending the life of your existing content.

What do I mean by extending the life of your content?

Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you are a Insurance Agent that insures small businesses and have just given a presentation on “How to Sure You are Adequately Covered for any Business Disaster” to your local chamber of commerce.  

Here are 21 Ways to repurpose your presentation:

  1. Article: Rewrite the presentation by adding expert interviews and comments and submitting the article for publication into trade magazines and blogs.
  2. Podcast: Record the presentation as an podcast and add to podcast directories and upload to your site.
  3. Presentation: Turn your presentation into a Slideshare presentation and add to your site, Linkedin account, Facebook page and Slideshare.
  4. On-Demand Webinar: Record your presentation and turn it into an on-demand presentation for people to watch at their convenience. Turn the article into a webinar that your readers can view or a live webinar where members and participate and ask questions.
  5. Live Webinar: Turn the presentation into a live webinar, invite attendees and hold a Q&A afterwards.
  6. Transcripts: Have your podcasts and webinars transcribed and offer the transcriptions to your readers, attendees and newsletter subscribers.
  7. Buzz Piece: You can rewrite some of the content and turn the piece into a freebie for people who sign up for your newsletter.
  8. Series: Create a series of posts expanding on the ideas covered in your presentation.
  9. eBook: Group related blog posts and turn the posts into a free or paid eBook. If you choose a paid eBook, add some articles that you are new to the eBook.
  10. Kit: Combine eBook, podcasts, presentation, transcription, workbook, video and create a downloadable kit
  11. Workbook: Turn the information of the presentation into a workbook with actions tasks for your readers to complete.
  12. Press Release: create a press release letting the media know about your available presentation whether on demand or live, submit it to press release distribution sites, targeted media sites and add the press release to your blog/website media page.
  13. Infographic: Infographics are very popular right now. Create a great looking informative infographic with key information from your presentation and add it to your blog.
  14. PDF: Turn your presentation slides into a PDF for readers to download.
  15. Video: Turn your presentation into short video tutorials with screencast where viewers can watch and listen to you present the information.
  16. FAQ: Create a frequently asked question list and link to your presentation for the answers or created short videos answering questions obtained during your presentation.
  17. Contest: Run a contest offering a reward for the commenter who provides the best comment on the presentation.
  18. Case Studies: Turn examples from your presentation into case studies
  19. White Papers: Turn the presentation into a thought leadership white paper
  20. Comic Books: Create a comic book using the information in the presentation to create a hero villain and damsel in distress. Create a character for your business and make your business the hero of the comic book.
  21. Teach: Offer to teach a short course to non-profit groups, community colleges associations, trade groups and businesses

When working in a defined niche it can become difficult coming up with new information to provide to readers. When creating material try thinking of three ways that you can repurpose the material from the very beginning. This way you are always thinking about and planning for extending the life of your content. 

Your Turn:

What do you think of these ideas? Have you tried any of these ideas? Do you know of any other ways to repurpose content?

I would love to hear from you.

 

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Marketing and PR for the Professional Services Firms

Blogging for Business Growth 

 

A Simple Guide to Creating Your Marketing Plan for 2013

A Simple Guide to Creating Your Marketing Plan for 2013

The current economic downturn is causing stress among small businesses owners. Yet, this is not the time to cut back on marketing, but it is a time to get your marketing plan of attack into gear. You must first decide what your goals are, who your target market is, how you will reach your targets and set up a long-term plan to reach your target market.

What are your goals and who is your target?
Before you can begin a marketing campaign, you need to know what your goals are and who your ideal client is. How many ideal clients would you like to add to your client base?

We will follow Michelle Davis as she creates a marketing plan of attack for her financial planning firm. Michelle started her business two years ago and currently has 55 clients. She wants to add to add 25 new clients to her roster over the next twelve months, an average of two clients per month.

She has decided that her ideal client has a yearly income of $100,000 and $500,000 in investable assets. Beginning with a broad look at the type of client’s she wants to attract now, she need to add more details.

What other traits can she add to help decide who her ideal prospects are? Does she want prospects that she will have to spend a great deal of time educating on benefits of financial planning? Does she want clients who want full details of their financials on a quarterly basis, or someone who just wants to know if they are on target to meet their financial goals?

At this point, Michelle has decided that her ideal client is someone who has a household income of $100,000 per year. The client has investable assets of at least $500,000, married, planning for college education of two or three kids, and planning for the retirement of both partners.

They have an understanding of the need for financial planning, implementing the plan and desires to be informed but not educated. They also do not need a detailed report on their finances, but an overview of how their investments and whether or not they are on target to reach their goals.

Deciding where your market is and how to reach your market:
Michelle knows that the type of clients she is prospecting for live in affluent neighborhoods, children attend prestigious private schools and belong to certain country clubs and civic organizations. She quickly decides that cold calling will not reach this group of prospects. She sits down and thinks about the type of marketing activities that will reach her prospective clients, the type of marketing activities she likes to do and is most likely to complete.

Through careful thought and research, she have decided to use a combination of networking, referral partners, writing articles, writing reports, newsletters, postcards,blog, podcasts, slideshare presentations, radio interviews, videos, webinars, online groups, public relations and community involvement.

Now that she has decided on what kinds of marketing activities, she wants to pursue. She decides to do a breakdown of how often she will do each activity for the year, estimating that she is able to spend 10 hours a week on her marketing activities.

Michelle’s breakdown looks like this:

  • Networking events: Attend one per a week.
  • Cultivating Referral Partners: Host a breakfast or lunch meeting once a month.
  • Online Groups: Join 3-4 online groups that her target audience participates in and actively participate.
  • Writing Reports: Write an in-depth report once per month.
  • Newsletter: Create a monthly newsletter.
  • Postcards: Send out postcards every six weeks.
  • Podcasts: Create a short podcast once a week and post to blog.
  • Slideshare: Create a slideshare presentation four times a year.
  • Radio Interviews: Become guest on radio talk shows twice a month.
  • Video: Create one short video a month and add to blog
  • Webinars: Create four webinars per year.
  • Community Involvement: Become a sponsor in two large events per year.
  • Press Releases: Sending out press releases telling of news concerning her business or for a free offer.
  • Blog: Create a blog educating her clients and prospects on financial planning and keeping readers updated on financial news, adding posts at least twice a week

Creating her long-term plan to reach your market:

Michelle has figured out who her target market is, how she will try to reach her target market. Now that she has a plan on ways to reach her market, she has to decide on a schedule to implement the plan. Michelle starts by creating a spreadsheet with each month listed. Then she breaks the month down by weeks and starts placing events into each month, trying to place at least four events in each month.

For Example:

Weekly: Two blog posts per week and podcast

January

Week 1- Send newsletter to current email list
Week 2 – Go to a networking event.
Week 3 – Create Video
Week 4 – Send Press release offering a free booklet geared toward my ideal prospects and add booklet to website
Week 5 – Create SlideShare Presenation

February

Week 1 – Send newsletter to current email list
Week 2 – Host a lunch to cultivate referrals from current clients
Week 3 – Create Video
Week 4 -.Send out a postcard to prospects reminding prospects of the services she offers that are helpful to them and referring them to her website and blog

She lays out her marketing plan for the rest of the year, outlining her activities.

She knows that the plan should be flexible and is a guideline for her marketing activities, not set in stone. It will help her know what she should be doing at any given time, but she will not hesitate to change the plan when activities are not meeting her desired goals, but allowing the activities to have time to work and not change things too quickly. Give the plan time to work, making sure you have an idea of how the activities are really working before you change things.

Tracking results and hitting her goals:

Michelle revises her spreadsheet adding columns to keep track of her costs, what marketing activities are generating inquiries and clients gained per month, helping her to keep on target.

She knows it is important for to track her results. If she writes a press release and offers a free booklet, she tracks how many people call and request the booklet, and finds out how they found out about the booklet. She also tracks how many invites she sends out for her seminars, how many people sign-up and how many people actually attend.

Along with tracking her marketing activities, she tracks how many prospects that contacted her throughout the year that actually became clients. How long it took the prospect to move through her sales pipeline before they became a client. What was the deciding factor that made them decide to become a client? She tracks how many people visit her website. How many people download her reports, and sign up for her newsletter. Constantly tracking her results lets her know what activities are bringing her business and what activities are wasting her time. When it comes time to do next year’s marketing plan, she will know what activities to continue and discontinue.

Marketing Success

Marketing is a cycle. You must first understand what you marketing activities need to do for you. Are you trying to increase your prospect base, follow up with prospects, get a meeting, or close a sale? Gear your activities to what you are trying to do and focus on those things. When you increase your prospect base, move on to following up, getting the meeting, and closing the sale, then start all over. NEVER stop marketing, if you want to keep doing business.

Creating a marketing plan does not have to be a daunting task, it can easily be broken down into small bites of manageable projects that can be tracked and repeated. Just remember the old saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Your Turn:

Have your created your marketing plan for 2013?

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