Trust


17
Jul 13

Zenworkz Pearls of Wisdom

http://www.zenworkz.com/blog/zenworkz-pearls-of-wisdom/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business always ebbs and flows, and without continuous marketing it can sometimes feel like ‘feast or famine’. Walking away from an idea, a product or service that is not working is difficult when you don’t have the right measures in place to understand whether it’s the normal ebb and flow, or time to let go.  That is the hardest decision of all.

http://www.zenworkz.com/blog/zenworkz-pearls-of-wisdom/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A positive mindset is the secret to long term success and the difference between people who pick themselves up after a fall or give up, and never know whether they would have made it. What you give out in your life is what you attract, but the best part is, you get to choose.

http://www.zenworkz.com/blog/zenworkz-pearls-of-wisdom/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, the power of positive mindset is espoused by many successful people, why – because it works.

http://www.zenworkz.com/blog/zenworkz-pearls-of-wisdom/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping your eyes on developments in your niche market is about customers not competitors.  In my experience, businesses that spend too much time looking and responding to their competition are not focusing enough on their customers evolving needs and wants. Your business needs to be ready to evolve to meet those new niche needs.

http://www.zenworkz.com/blog/zenworkz-pearls-of-wisdom/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who doesn’t love Oscar Wilde’s quotes, a man who fought to be himself in a time of great prejudice and ignorance. Sell yourself first – every good business is personal and the very best businesses are very personal.

http://www.zenworkz.com/blog/zenworkz-pearls-of-wisdom/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In any aspect of our lives, when we change and grow we do see a world that we would never have known, if we had not stepped outside our comfort zone. Once out there, you can never return to the old comfortable place and that is a good thing, in my opinion. I do see many businesses who are left wondering what happened, after a new competitor emerges and takes away some of their market share. This is the critical time to change, to evolve, to jump ahead of your competition and meet new customer needs.

http://www.zenworkz.com/blog/zenworkz-pearls-of-wisdom/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the most important aspect of any business today is how you make people feel. Do you give them hope, do you lift the veil of doubt, do you educate, and do you lay a foundation of success?

These are my thoughts – I love to know what you think? Please leave a comment.

About the author: Teresa Bassham is a Marketing Coach and Director of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing. Teresa is passionate about helping small businesses create the right marketing, find the right customers; and achieve transformational results.

If you would like free how-to-do-it-yourself marketing resources or to subscribe to free e-news about all things marketing, please visit the website:

http://www.zenworkz.com/

For daily marketing tips and references, connect to our fabulous community on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Zenworkz.Authentic.Marketing

All or parts of this blog are able to be published with permission from the author – provided that the author is acknowledged and a link is given to the original source blog.

This blog is original content influenced by years of experience within the Australian small business culture and may not be applicable to other countries small business cultures.

 


10
Apr 13

How to craft the right brand message on social media

"At" Key on Computer KeyboardIn your marketing journey to attract and keep new customers, unique and authentic brand messages work best on social media.

Technology is moving so fast, you must understand and optimise every interaction with potential customers in a way that establishes positive, emotional responses to form meaningful relationships with your business, brand and message.

Getting the brand message right for what your business offers is vitally important. Not only does it provide the basis for your personal relationship with your customers; it answers the question foremost in every potential customer’s mind: Why should I buy from you? Over time, these customers can become your best marketing advocates and promoters.

How do you create the right brand message? The focus is “social” and where you can, to project your fabulous personality into your brand message.  Any unique and authentic brand message must be simple. If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t know enough about what motivates your customer to buy. The step then must be to research your ideal customer, create a profile of who they are and write specifically to them.

As I have said many times before, ‘benefits’ and not features will always grab your target audiences attention. Your brand message should demonstrate that you understand your customers situation, either the problem they need to solve or a want they must have, – the “benefit’ to them. You can then construct an offer that helps them to address their situation. Approaching it in this way could be the single deciding factor for them choosing your business offer over someone else.

Finally, without trying to sound like a broken record, people like to buy from people they know, like, and trust. Building trust begins with sharing your story, and showing your values, so you attract prospective customers who can relate to you.  Explaining why you do what you do, helps them understand what it’s like to deal with you and trust you.

In today’s crowded marketplace, with new competitors emerging from around the world, distracted audiences, and almost saturation marketing of products and services; it is more important than ever to ensure that when you have the attention of a potential customer, you are able to offer a compelling and authentic reason for them doing business with you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts? Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.

About the author: Teresa Bassham is the Boss Lady and Chief Coach of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, and is passionate about educating small and medium business professionals to create their authentic marketing and brand message, attract more ideal customers and create a marketing plan to achieve success. Please contact me if you’d like help creating your brand message on social media.  Visit my website for free resources and subscribe to weekly e-News updates on all topics related marketing.

For daily Authentic Marketing updates visit and “like” my Facebook page.

 


30
Jan 13

Writing from the Heart

Writing from the heartOne of my roles as a junior clerk (many years ago) was writing customer letters. These letters required approval from my then two supervisors (to this day, I don’t know why there were two!).  Sorry I digress; I became increasingly frustrated by the changes that were made to my letters by two people with very different writing styles; that I decided to play a trick on them both.  Pretending I was finding one matter difficult to write about, I asked one supervisor for help and he virtually wrote the letter for me.  I then sought approval from my other supervisor, who proceeded to correct the copy and rewrite the letter.

I then asked to see them both, showed them the letter where they had corrected each others styles, thanked them for their guidance and told them that from now on I would be writing my letters in my style, which I knew was quite adequate in fulfilling my role. End of story!

The reason I remembered this long forgotten occurrence is that over the holiday break I have been mulling over my own writing style and whether it is “good enough” for blogging? Recalling this story reminded me, that writing from the heart is about communicating with your audience and writing in a way that you feel comfortable with. Yes, there are very many skilled wordsmiths who offer excellent services but I believe that if you want to build trust with your online audience, your words should be your own. People need to know the authentic you, and in knowing the authentic you, can build a relationship which is the only way people will “buy” what you’re selling, whether its your service, your products or yourself!

I would love to know your story? Please leave me a message?

About the author: Teresa Bassham is the principle of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, and is passionate about educating small and medium business professionals to create their differential advantage, attract more ideal customers and create a marketing plan to achieve success.  She coaches customers online and by phone – if you would like to request coaching – please contact.


14
Aug 12

Telling Stories and Ruling the World (apologies to Plato)

Good marketing promotion has always been about building a strong relationship with your audience through telling your story. And building relationships with an audience of potential customers, is about being relatable and matching values.

Why are values important in your marketing promotion? Values represent what you stand for or believe in; and your values form the foundation of your personal and business branding message.

Your personal branding message is what sells you, your services, and helps you develop relationships with potential customers. Your business brand is what makes your business recognisable and sets it apart from others.

People will ultimately buy from those they know, like, and trust. That’s why telling your own story is so important. While your story is not a sales pitch, it is and should be seen unashamedly as self promotion. You just can’t create something fabulous, you have to communicate that fabulousness to your potential customers. It will be the story of your passion, your ideas, your values and the medium that people (who you ultimately want to buy from you), will get to know you, like you and trust you.

When people land on your web or social media page, meet you or walk into your office; they should understand within seconds what you are all about. Your blog posts should communicate that personal story directly or indirectly. Every piece of promotional material, including your story, that you put out should be put out with your potential customer in mind.

Telling your story can help you and your potential customers by:

  1. Displaying a clear values message or value proposition, your ideal customer will know very quickly if they trust you and want to do business with you.
  2. Explaining passionately why you do what you do, which also helps potential customers understand you and trust you
  3. Sharing something about yourself, revealing the real person; will enable customers (and suppliers) to see what you’re like to work with and for
  4. Clearly identifying a profile of your ideal customer, will encourage them to contact you

The bottom line is “be who you are” and make that your difference. Your values form the foundation of your personal brand. Your personal brand is what sells you and your branding is what makes your business recognisable and sets it apart from others. In sending out a clear message, your ideal customer will know very quickly if they trust you and want to do business with you.

Never forget that businesses are ‘people’ too, and in revealing the real you, you offer a sense of trust and assurance that the business is real, ethical and has integrity. Given the exponential growth of online video and social media, communicating your own story will have a big advantage over those that don’t reveal anything about themselves.

I would love to know how you feel about revealing the real “you” – so, please leave a comment?

About the author: Teresa Bassham is the principle of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, and is passionate about educating small and medium business professionals to research their customer market; create their authentic marketing message; attract more ideal customers; and create a marketing plan to achieve success in 2012/2013.  She runs local workshops in Northern NSW and coaches customers online and by phone – if you would like to attend the next scheduled workshops or request distance coaching online –please contact me.

Visit my website and subscribe for monthly e-News updates on all topics related marketing.

For daily Authentic Marketing updates visit and “like” my facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Zenworkz.Authentic.Marketing

 


26
Feb 12

Should you use Social Media for your Business?

The vast majority (80%) of Australian businesses don’t have a social media marketing strategy because they find it hard to see where social media fits into their marketing. From experience with my customers, it’s also because there is too much confusing advice on offer and the technology is changing so fast that the advice is often out of date.

My answer to the question: “should you use social media for your business?” is definitely yes, and …….. Before launching social media I ask my customers: “How are you measuring and responding to the need to build stronger customer relationships and gain trust, which results in increased and return sales?” The answer to this question provides clarity and shapes the medium for communicating to increase relationship, trust and sales.

Most smaller businesses will benefit from using at least 3 media channels for a typical marketing campaign, such as their website, e-mail, blog, social media, and more. Economy, technological advancements, and cultural changes will continue to drive cross-media and social media marketing opportunities.  These changes already seen in the USA and Australia, point to the rapid take-up and use of mobile devices and tablets for online research and purchases.

Importantly, new research from KPMG suggest your own website is an important influence for customers.  This research also suggests that while people still like to use PCs for social networking; business need to prepare for the growing impact of mobile devices.

Overlooked in discussions about customer communication – Email is often an under utilised medium for direct engagement.  As customers increasingly start to expect customised services, email communication can be tailored to foster trust, while reducing the cost of communication technology and without jeopardising the quality of the message.  Trust will soon become the most significant differentiator for online businesses.

The converged lifestyle of social media has empowered customers  to be vocal about their preferences and demands.  Businesses that are able to measure and respond to this evolving customer relationship will ultimately build stronger relationships and gain critical trust with their customers.

While there is now reasonable evidence that businesses utilising social media to engage customers are building stronger, more trusting relationships; it’s important to remember that social media should be a part of an integrated Marketing Strategy, whether it is in print, mobile, online, or social media.

Do you need advice regarding an integrated marketing strategy? Do you think your business should be using social media, but just don’t know how? Have you been using social media but getting no results?  If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then Zenworkz Authentic Marketing can help.  Owner, Teresa Bassham has over 22 years marketing experience, in both on and off line marketing, and is passionate about social media, providing options to do the social media for your business, or coach you to learn how to do it yourself.

If you have any specific questions you would like to ask, leave a comment below or on my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Zenworkz.Authentic.Marketing


6
Oct 11

How to avoid losing the essence of “You”

As always, it is a discussion with a passionate small business person that seeds the idea for this blog topic about how easy it is to lose the “essence of yourself” in your branding and what you can do to stop it from happening.  The delightful person in question was talking about a time when she had a professional rewrite her website content and subsequently lost the essence of herself and immediately lost fans.

When I talk about the “essence of you” what I am talking about is personal branding, your service uniqueness, your offer or who you are, particularly if you are the sole provider of your business service.

So, how do you maintain “the essence of you” in your off and online communications?  Here are my top four tips:

Be clear about your values, because communicating your values shows that you believe in yourself and that belief is the key to “selling” yourself and your services or products. Everyone you meet or connect with off and online, forms an impression of who you are and what your business can do. When your values are on show, they will know very quickly if they trust you and want to do business with you. The more you give of the essence of yourself to your customers, the more value you create.  The more value you create, the more others will want to give value back to you.

Be clear about the benefits that you offer to your ideal customers.  When you do this well, your essence or branding expresses who you are when you are delivering your very best.

Be clear about the benefits for yourself.  While meeting the needs of your customers is essential, you need to be the best representation of the essence of you to attract those customers who will be good for you, the ones who encourage you to perform at your best.

Be clear about communicating your authentic marketing message to focus on your essence; that you are passionate about delivering and the benefits that adds the most value to your ideal customer.

This clarity of communication should be your words and your ideas; and if you engage a professional to help you write it, don’t publish until it is the best representation of essence of you.

Communicating authenticity means having the courage to express your individuality and your vulnerability.  It’s about developing and unashamedly accepting your unique strengths and the drive that you have to reach your highest potential to benefit your customer and yourself.

When you make the commitment to define and communicate the essence of you in your work, you begin to focus on your strengths and diminish your weaknesses. You think specifically about how you can differentiate yourself from others providing the same services or products.  In turn you become more aware of how you are perceived by others and make adjustments to be the best you can be.

As this is such a important topic, I will provide a follow on post next week outlining the six key questions you can use to create an “essence of you” positioning statement, which you can use to keep your communications focused on that important brand – “you”.

Finally, I would love to hear what you have to say and whether you have had to fight to maintain the essence of you?

About the Author:  Teresa Bassham is the Chief Coach & Boss Lady of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, and is passionate about helping small business professionals to create their authentic marketing message and attract their ideal customers.  She conducts workshops in Northern NSW and coach’s customers online and by phone – if you would like to attend the next scheduled workshop or request distance coaching online – you can email me or call 02 66868413.  Please join me on Facebook and like for regular authentic marketing updates.

All or parts of this blog are able to be published with permission from the author – provided that the author is acknowledged and a link is given to the original source blog.

This blog is original content influenced by years of experience within the Australian small business culture and may not be applicable to other countries small business cultures.


27
Jun 11

EOFY – Time for a small business review?

Every year, every business, no matter how small should contemplate the future year ahead to ensure they have successfully prepared their business to meet emerging market opportunities.

Whatever way you choose to do this task of review; whether you stick to a meeting format, convene over a coffee or a few drinks; you should cover the following key areas to determine where you need to focus your attention in the coming year.  Whether you work alone, with your partner or with a small team, the following will help you to structure your end-of-financial-year review.

  1. Review your authentic marketing plan
    A quick look through the key activities from last year’s plan reminds you what you’ve achieved (and should celebrate!); and reinforces the overall vision or purpose and business goals you are pursuing. While your marketing tactics may change depending on the prevailing market conditions, the reasons you are in business does not.
  2. Review your business’ financial situation
    Important to review how you’re tracking financially. What was your yearly income, what was your yearly expenditure?  What actions and tactics worked for you and what didn’t.  Could you do things more efficiently?  More effectively?  It all should be brought to account here.
  3. Measure your passion
    Are you still enjoying what you do? If aspects of your business caused moments of despair last year, think about what was actually happening to cause this reaction for you and whether there are options to change this in the coming year.
  4. Review areas for professional development
    It’s important (after checking the finances) to look at your professional needs and wants covering everything from technology  investments, hardware and software upgrades, reference books, further education and attendance at networking events.
  5. Reconfirm your business values and goals
    Finally it’s important to reconfirm your personal and business values and goals to make sure you’re focused on authentic marketing  tactics that will attract your ideal customer and achieve your business outcomes in the financial year ahead.

This is a process that works for us at Zenworkz.  Tell us what works for you?

About the author: Teresa Bassham is an Authentic Marketing Coach and Director of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing. Teresa is passionate about helping small businesses create the right marketing and achieve transformational results.

All or parts of this blog are able to be published with permission from the author – provided that the author is acknowledged and a link is given to the original source blog.

This blog is original content influenced by years of experience within the Australian small business culture and may not be applicable to other countries small business cultures.


4
May 11

How to find a Niche Market?

There are many misconceptions about niche marketing.  Niche marketing is simply creating your own market system. Many service professionals will resist a suggestion that tells them they must restrict the ways in which they offer value to the marketplace.  The good news is that choosing a niche market strategy will do exactly the opposite: it will free you to be the biggest, most authentic, and most complete offer possible.

To summarise, good niche market is one in which:

  • You are highly visible and easily accessible to the people who are most likely to benefit from your services or products, including prospective customers, prospective collaborators and partners, and others with whom value-adding activities are most likely to be mutually beneficial.
  • You can employ the widest range of your talents, skills, and training (your authentic offer.)

A highly targeted niche marketing strategy not only attracts significantly more business but also provides richer opportunities for self expression and natural competitive advantage.

The following questions will help you identify your own market niche:

  • Where do you consistently find people whose values match your own?
  • Where do you feel that you are most credible?
  • Where is there the greatest need coupled with the greatest appreciation for your services or products?
  • What problems do the people have that would cause them to seek your services or products as solutions?
  • Who is naturally drawn to you and to your services or products?
  • Who is beginning the journey that you have successfully walked yourself?
  • Whose language do you speak?
  • Whose concerns can you reliably anticipate and address?
  • Who is it easy for you to serve?

Knowing and working from your strengths are essential parts of developing your niche marketing strategy.  There are probably several ways in which your strengths can add value in the marketplace. Therefore, developing a niche is a process of exploring several possibilities and gradually refining them.

As you refine your market niche, you may experience some anxiety that focusing on your niche will deprive you of needed business. What do you do if someone outside of your niche wants to hire you?  That is a decision you take depending on an assessment of fit and your current working circumstances, but always bearing in mind that it must not divert you from time with your ideal customer market.  The point of a niche is not to confine you, but to create the “healthiest” market system for your business.

Are you looking for an authentic marketing coach to trust, understand and be inspired by? Contact Zenworkz today.

About the author:Teresa Bassham is the Principle of Zenworkz – Authentic Marketing Coaching and helps small businesses be successful authentic marketers; either we do it all for you or coach you to do it yourself.All or parts of this blog are able to be published with permission from the author – provided that the author is acknowledged and a link is given to the original source blog.  This blog is original content influenced by years of experience within the Australian business culture and may not be applicable to other countries business cultures.

 


26
May 10

4 Essential Tips to Build Trust

Is trust essential in business? Many of us would quickly say that trust is critical to the survival of our personal relationships.  If you take the argument that survival in business is about the strength of relationships within a business and between customers and suppliers; then it follows that trust is and will be an important measure of business success.

Many businesses periodically use offsite team shared experiences to work on building and maintaining workplace trust.  Investment in building team cohesiveness and trust need to be carefully translated back into the workplace for lasting positive results.

Trust in business and life can be likened to growing a delicate flower – it can take time to blossom and can easily be crushed.

As consultants we often observe trust issues as the root cause of poor performance.  On a recent Zenworkz assignment, we witnessed the effects of a complete breakdown of trust between groups.

The introduction of new operating plant and technology combined with the flow-on requirements of new skills, changed work practices, work scheduling and new maintenance tasks, was being strongly resisted.

Each of the affected groups had become polarised, suspicious, critical and lacking in trust of efforts to resolve the introduction issues, and behaviour was escalating accordingly.  What should have been a smooth change transition, instead took over 12 months to implement with the loss of a senior executive.

As a result the business suffered losses financially, to their reputation as effective project managers, and in the previously built goodwill and cooperation between individuals and groups – demonstrating a delicate flower easily being crushed.

Our Concise Oxford Dictionary defines Trust as:

A firm belief in reliability, honesty, veracity, justice, strength etc of person or thing.

We believe that trust [in the forms of reliability, competency, integrity, values, respect] are the basic currency of business success.

Every day we rely or trust in others to deliver information, materials, products, and services which enable our business to work.   Within our business, we rely or trust in our people to perform work which our customers and stakeholders in turn, can be trust to deliver information, materials, products, and services to meet their needs.
Outside of our business, we rely or trust in our government agencies to keep our country, business environment, institutions and citizens secure, fair and democratic, to fulfil our individual and collective aspirations.

Trust is a complex and interrelated set of actions, experiences, and beliefs which we experience and influence each day.

In working to build resourceful and resilient people, we sometimes encounter degrees of mistrust or distrust between executives, managers, team leaders and workers.  We believe it is important to measure levels of trust as an essential part of improving business performance.

The degree of trust evident [or lack of trust] can impact business cost, innovation, information sharing, problem solving, service levels, and business reputation.  No part of a business will be untouched by poor trust practices.

From our experience the following 4 essential tips will assist in building a foundation for trust:

1. Clear and consistent communication within the business
Whenever there is a trust issue, we often observe, delivery, frequency, timing, content and tone of workplace communication may have caused the difficulty.
Communication which builds trust between groups needs to be regular, consistent, clear, and tailored to the audience needs.
Predictability of communication, respect for the audience, listening, fully answering concerns and acknowledging communication responses, serves to build trust.

2. Clarity of Expectations
Communication and understanding of the business’ shared purpose, values, required performance, acceptable behaviours, individual and group success measures, are essential to maintain clarity of expectations.
Clarity of expectations in a business guides action, aids conflict resolution, fosters cooperation and promotes trust both within, and external to the business.

3. Demonstrated values and respect
Showing respect, sharing and helping others, offering support, keeping commitments, being honest and reliable; builds competency, capacity, integrity; and helps manage business continuity risk and fosters trust.

4. Appropriate delegation and support
Appropriate delegation and support from managers and team leaders is an often over-looked tool in developing and maintaining trust.
Delegation and support of tasks [particularly involving new tasks or new technology] have an immediate impact on an individual in developing [or undoing] their competence, capacity and trust.
Appropriate delegation and support requires skilled assessment of an individual’s capacity to undertake a task, the performance and timeframes required, the inherent levels of risk and any support or resources required.

In this way a continuous loop is created: commencing with clear and constant communication; having clarity of expectations about task, behaviour and results; which in turn develops competence, capacity and trust.

Today, trust can be measured through customer and people engagement surveys which are very easy and cost effective to implement with online technology.  Zenworkz can measure levels of trust within and external to a business, as an essential part of improving performance.  If you would like an obligation free quote, contact Zenworkz.

Author: Brian Bassham, Principle Consultant, Zenworkz