The Next Evolution in Marketing and Sales

No matter what business you are in, what niche you serve, if you are marketing online or through email, you’re likely experiencing crappy open rates, increased opt-outs and declining conversion. These are clear signs that your would-be clients are demanding a change in the way you court and close your ideal clients.

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Marketing Support: Vital to Business

Should you do your own marketing or not? It depends. Let’s take a look:

Start-up: In the beginning, it’s up to you to find the right clients, sell to them, use their feedback to refine what you do and then repeat.

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Leading the Way Is Good Marketing

You have the expertise and credibility, and know how to lead others when it comes to your business. But do you showcase that well for potential clients? Letting others see your leadership skills is good marketing because it positions you as an authority worth listening to.

Market yourself as a leader with these tips:

Take on leadership roles. Join committees, take a board position or volunteer to spearhead activities within networking or industry groups you are part of. These are quiet kinds of leadership pursuits that even introverts can do gracefully. These activities put you into visible leadership roles in others’ eyes. Once people see you in action, it’s easy for them to consider hiring you or referring you to others.

Take the time to share your knowledge. Be open to answering questions or giving advice to others even if they aren’t potential clients. This is a good way to give back and it’s a generous stance that invites good will to you. I once took several hours to talk with and send a detailed email response to a young college student who had questions about my industry. The next month, his coach hired me as her marketing person because she was so impressed with the information I had shared with him!

Publicize your leadership roles. Be sure to note on your website, speaker sheet and LinkedIn profile what leadership roles you take on. Do you provide advice to those younger than you? Note that you are a mentor. Have you won an award? Be sure it’s part of your profile. Be loud and proud about your leadership roles to be seen in a bigger light.

Take on leadership roles, share what you know and communicate what you do to market yourself as a leader and attract your ideal clients.

Get more tips on creating a BIG presence with your marketing HERE.

Content Marketing: Do I Need It?

Maybe you don’t know what content marketing is. Your question may be “how often do I blog or write my newsletter?” Or “how does having content make me money?” Or “how do I get people to respond to me online?”
 
Content marketing is simply creating content—like written articles, blogs, newsletters and tips—or recorded information like videos, podcasts or audios, that you share with others to educate them about your business. It’s a great form of marketing because it’s relational or teaching based rather than salesy. And I know you hate to sound salesy!
 
But here’s the rub: if you don’t have a strategy for your content, it’s hard to get any response from this kind of marketing. And most solopreneurs underestimate how much time it takes to create quality content. Notice I said quality there, which means, don’t bother creating schlocky stuff because it will actually hurt your chances with your potential customers. After all, I’m sure your service with your clients is never subpar—but putting out poor quality content will make it seem like it could be.
 
Here are the four questions you want to answer before deciding whether content marketing is for you:
1) Do you love to speak, write or create content around your main business topic—or do people tell you they love how you explain things or love how you tell stories that illustrate a point?

2) Would being seen as an expert in your field increase your ability to sell your service or product?

3) Do you have the capacity to create a strategy for your content approach and analyze, review and tweak your content strategy once you’ve started—if not, are you willing to get help to do this step?

4) Do you have time in your weekly schedule to create or edit content or manage someone else who does?
 
If you answered yes to all four of these questions, then YES, it’s time for you to get going with content marketing. If you answered no to one or more questions, then maybe not yet. You’ll need to have all four of these in place in order to get any impact with your content marketing. Because it’s not just about doing it, it’s about doing it well. 
 
Have a topic you want me to address? Please send me a note: linda@lindabasso.com

Soar with the Eagles: How Branding and Community Lead to Entrepreneurial Success

“You will never see an eagle of distinction flying low with pigeons of mediocrity.”
― Onyi Anyado

When entrepreneurs commit to their big ideas, dreams and visions, they have a choice. They choose to take the leap, get support, gather resources, hang with other successful entrepreneurs and choose to be ALL IN, or they do not. Here are ways entrepreneurs who soar with the eagles stand out:

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Magnetize Community to Grow Your Business

There are endless options to expand and grow your business. Leveraging community can be a fun way. A community is a group with common interests and culture. According to a 2017 Michigan University article, incremental revenue increased 19 percent when customers joined an online community.

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Marketing Means Building Community

Marketing is really about creating relationships. It’s not about creating ads, building your brand or even growing your list. People buy from others they resonate with. If someone is a name on your list, and they do not feel your desire to have a relationship or to really know them, they’ll move on to someone else. Why? Because we are people! And most people have the need to connect, to be seen and to be heard. If you’re not creating a relationship through your marketing, you’re missing your real opportunity: building community.

These tips can help create community through your marketing:

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Use Your Business Card to Build Influence

 

The business card is no longer just a piece of paper with contact information to trade at a networking event. It is an extension of your brand, creates familiarity with professional photo and logo, has a call to action and is memorable. It is a vital tool for the growing business or entrepreneur who wants to stand out from the crowd, build influence and attract her ideal clients.

With this is mind, these are the things typically found on business cards, and sample calls to action.

Front of the card: 

  • Professional photo, logo and tagline
  • Name and title, if you have one
  • Address (optional for virtual businesses)
  • Phone number
  • Email and website address

Back of the card: 

  • QR code (optional). This is a type of matrix barcode that can be scanned with a smartphone and either go to a website, splash page, online store or mobile web page. The mobile web page is created by the company that creates your QR code. It can have an email capture on the page or provide the user with a redeemable coupon or coupon code. It requires an additional monthly investment. If your clientele is young and tech savvy, this might be right for you. Research thoroughly for a reputable provider. Typically, clients generate their own barcode and provide it for the creation of their business card.
  • Call to action: What action do you want the recipient of your card to take?
  1. Book you as a speaker? If so, you may want to include your most popular presentations.
  2. Go to your site and download your free compelling offer to build your list?
  3. Promote products or events?
  4. Have the prospect call for a consultation or to work with you?

When your business card stands out, it builds influence, and so do you!

Marketing Influence Is an Inside Job 

If you are good at creating influence, your business will soar. If you aren’t, it cannot take flight. Successful marketing means building influence with four groups of people: potential clients, existing clients, vendors and referrers.

How can you build influence?

Listen well. In marketing, becoming influential comes from being influenced yourself. When you listen to what others need from you, your company or your products, you are in the best position to give it to them. When you listen to what works for others in your industry and keep up to date on industry trends, you are well poised to influence existing and potential clients to take actions that have good results. When you listen to what referrers or vendors need from you, you can take care of them in ways that reinforce them taking care of you.

Teach others. When you educate another person on your business topics, you create influence. The more effective you are at sharing and teaching, the more influence you’ll have with those who use your information to improve their businesses. Teach what you have passion for, be a thought leader, use your own experience or share good research. Bonus: teaching is a relational activity that can garner the feedback you need for good listening.

Be responsive. Refine your message, services, products or customer care—indeed your whole business—to orient yourself around what your customers care about and what they want. What’s the point of listening well if you don’t respond in a way that shows you heard? The more responsive you are in all aspects of your business—with potential clients, existing clients, vendors and referrers—the more you will be trusted, admired and hired. Now that’s effective influence!

Listen, teach and be responsive to build influence and watch your business soar.

Get more marketing insights here!

How to know what to charge for a value-based business

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve had to struggle deal with that age-old question:
What to charge robin taney, the get real girlfor what you do. If you charge too much, your ideal client won’t find you and if you charge too little, your non-ideal one definitely will. When you have a product that clients can see, hear, touch, taste, or smell, the task is a little easier because the client is basing their expectations and impending results (satisfaction) on their senses. When you have a service, it’s more complicated because it’s based on that intangible thing called…value.

Kind of like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, attaching a price tag to the value you will create for them (note I said “will” as in it hasn’t happened yet) is, for some, just as impossible.

For you, value is based on three things:

  1. Quality
  2. Commitment
  3. Results

For your client, value is based only on results, and to some degree, time. Did you solve their pain in a reasonable amount of time?

Recently, my husband and I completely renovated a new house. The contractor agreed to work within our budget (which made my husband cry) and made the necessary changes in about two months. When I was getting ready to write the final check, I thought about asking for an itemized list of every nail, screw, and bucket of plaster to see if it had lined up with what I had paid. But, I realized that I had what I wanted. A beautiful house that was completed on time and close to the agreed budget. My point being that I got the results I wanted so it didn’t matter what I paid.

If you can deliver quality service and results to your client, you are providing value that is priceless to them.

So, make sure your pricing reflects that value. You (and they) are worth it.