Posts Tagged: Engaging Online Community


26
May 14

How to find enough time to market yourself online?

How to find more timeAll small business owners wear too many hats, we understand that. Not only are we running a business to make a profit (hopefully), but we are Husbands, Wives, Mothers, Sons and Daughters with lots of competing responsibilities and inevitable interruptions.

So, how do we find enough time to market our businesses online?

Sounds like a time management blog, doesn’t it. But in all of my experience as a coach, traditional methods of time management don’t really work in today’s over-stimulated environment, what I see are people becoming firstly, overwhelmed; and secondly, stop being strategic about online marketing.

The first lesson is, there is never enough time. And when you understand that, you can start thinking strategically about the use of your time.

All time is relative. According to The Doctor: “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly … time-y wimey… stuff”. Ergo: time flies or drags depending on what you’re doing – whether you are enjoying or not – we know that is right. 

And that is the key to managing time for anything that is an important goal in your life, is that it exists in your “wibbly wobbly … time-y wimey” mind. You can create it. You can get up at 5am and go to the gym! You can leave work at 5pm to pick up the kids and devote time to them! You can find time to think like your customer and create marketing that works!

It’s time (pun intended) to remove any self doubt or limitations you have around “not having enough time,” or it not being “the right time” to manage your current online marketing effectively. Here are the “wibbly wobbly … time-y wimey” steps:

Regain control of your marketing time through a review

Just like a Dietitian would advise if you were trying to improve your diet: Carry a diary and record all your marketing activities for a week. This will help you understand how much you can get done during the course of any working day and where your precious time is going. You’ll see how much time is actually spent marketing and producing results; and how much time is wasted.

Create a Goal to maximise your marketing time

As I have stated before: time is a thief in social media world without a clear purpose or goal for your efforts! Schedule blocks of time every working day for high-priority actions. I make a point to schedule at least one hour every working morning to marketing activities that lead to income (note: before looking at emails or social media!). Then, I take the next 30 minutes to plan the rest of my day. It’s important to not let yourself be interrupted until you complete your daily time plan.

If you work from home like I do, it is very easy to be interrupted, so put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get online marketing work done. Practice not answering the phone and checking e-mails during this time.  It requires discipline at first, but you can make it a habit, just like that early morning workout.

Use tools to reach multiple platforms and to engage more easily

If you can’t afford to engage an Assistant or VA to help you, there are many low cost platform and App solutions to maximise your marketing time investment. I provided more detailed information recently here.

What I see every day is small businesses making their marketing more and more complex by thinking that they need to keep up with online marketing developments. I don’t really see it working that well for them. However, you can choose to make online marketing more simple, and more targeted, saving yourself time with a focus on clear purpose and goals aimed at engaging the right customers and bringing increasing income to your business.

Finally, remember that it’s impossible to get everything done and celebrate that there will be low priority actions that will never be done (perhaps until you have the income to hire an Assistant).  But, remember the 80:20 Rule. The odds are good that the achievement of a clearly focused 20 percent of your priority activities will produce 80 percent of your results.

If you feel like sharing your own online marketing issues in the comments I’d love to discuss them.

About the author: Teresa Bassham is 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 would like help reaching the right customers online. Visit my website for free resources and subscribe for weekly 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


5
May 14

Facebook – Stay or Go?

facebook dislike croppedIt’s really no surprise that your Facebook Page reach has disintegrated in the last year. Facebook as a public company needs to make money from advertising and their actions are an attempt to drive you to pay for reach. With diminishing results, the question is then, do you stay and adapt; or do you shift your focus to platforms that you own and control, like your blog or website?

Firstly, it does come down to where you connect, or engage most with your ideal target market; and where you get the best results for your integrated online strategy. Don’t have an integrated online strategy? Then, that’s will be a good starting point.

If you have a website, your integrated online strategy for social media platforms, should be to the drive traffic to your website. I am assuming here that you have a website with something to offer visitors, and a clear call to action that leads ideal target customers into your sales process, to the satisfactory conclusion – a sale that makes your customer (and you) happy!

If you have a blog your strategy will be to get your ideal target market to sign up to your email list (for regular blog updates), and to engage with your blog content (something you are offering visitors for free). Ideally, you will want to focus on building your email list from search engine activity, but one clear reason for staying with Facebook will be building your list, if this has been very successful in the past.

You don’t have to have a blog to offer emails of value to your target market – potential customers will want to be kept updated about new products, specials and information of interest; competitions and giveaways are a good incentive to join your list.

Perhaps you should switch your social media efforts to platforms that will drive more traffic to your website, email list, or blog. For authorship, as a blogger, a focus on Google+ is a must because it will build your ‘social cred’ and improve your SEO. If you are a professional service like coaching, LinkedIn is a must for connecting with new clients and collaborators. Pinterest, and Instagram are very visual platforms, and are a must for anyone who can easily create original visual content, like graphic artists and artists. As for Twitter, you will need to make up your own mind about suitability to connect with your audience but if you are using a tool to schedule content posts, you would be crazy to not add it to your ‘social cred’ activity.

If you do decide to stay with Facebook as one of your key social media marketing tools, you need to be running competitions, posting regular engaging, sharable content; and paying something to advertise or promote those posts.

My final suggestion will be to ‘not have your promotional eggs in one basket’ and to use multiple online promotions, with face to face and online networking; email marketing; and some old fashioned forms of marketing: letters and media releases to connect with your target audience.

What about you – how are your Facebook efforts faring? Have you decided to stay or go?

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 would like help reaching the right customers online. Visit my website for free resources and subscribe for weekly 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

 


28
Apr 14

How to Reach the Right Customers Online

zen customer problem solutionIf you felt overwhelmed by online marketing last year, how are you feeling today? Are you still confused because reaching the right customers seems harder now.  Should you sign up for that SEO package, be using paid advertising on Facebook, using Pinterest, using Twitter, using LinkedIn, using Google Adwords, etc.

As a small business you probably won’t like ‘gambling’ with your hard earn’t money. So how do you make your online marketing more effective so you can focus on growing your business? As I have said many times before, consistent marketing is key to steady growth. But what can you actually “do” to reach your target customers online? Here are six ways to get started:

Know your ideal customer

All marketing decisions become easier when you have a better sense of your ideal customer profile. Start with your best customer – the one you love and they love you. Do you know their problems, what they need or want? Where do they connect socially online? Who and where do they seek recommendations or word of mouth referrals about your products or services from? With this information you can build awareness and focus on engagement where your customers are, and it will be easier (plus more time and cost effective) to target your offer or message through platform advertising. While I hear you protesting about the cost of research, the easiest way to start is to ask them, most good customers want you to be more successful, it’s in their best interest.

Create a simple marketing message

What makes your simple message unique is your personal story, your purpose, and your values. What make your message compelling is that it is customer centric – it speaks to the customers “hot button” that your service or product serves as a necessary solution in their life or business. By communicating a simple message, it will help to cut through the online noise.

Target new customers through effective online advertising

Targeted advertising is more effective with information about your ideal customer and clear goals for your business in mind. All online advertising services such as Google Adwords, Facebook, and LinkedIn, allow for you to select certain keywords, location and demographic options to target your ads to in search results. The goal is to help customers to discover your services or products through search, and provoke more questions and dialogue.

Blog about customer problems or interests and provide solutions

Time and money are always interchangeable in online marketing. A blog takes time and writing skills, but you are provided with a great opportunity to help your customers find what they already know that they want, or to teach them about something they didn’t even know they needed. Blogging is the area where you can demonstrate your value to your ideal customers, especially those customers who don’t know the right questions to ask.

Collect and display customer testimonials

Ask the ideal customers who are happy with your service or products for recommendations, a testimonial or to write a review. Potential customers will be positively influenced by seeing people they know and respect, refer and recommend you. If you don’t have a website yet, you can still place your reviews or testimonials on your brochures, emails or social media.

Stop worrying – everyone else is in the same boat 

We worry that our efforts in reaching out to customers are ineffective, but we are far more effective than those who are not trying.  By targeting your efforts you are only trying to please one customer at a time, which is much easier.

Online marketing can seem complex because there is so much information to confuse us all. It simply requires attention and focus on your ideal customer. Be authentic, instead of perfectly online savvy; open yourself up to real customer engagement, and tangible success.  With good online marketing, less is more .. but what do you think? 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 would like help reaching the right customers online. Visit my website for free resources and subscribe for weekly 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


21
Apr 14

Great Marketing Quotes Part 2

Hello, welcome to the second Great Marketing Quotes that I have created over the last year. I hope you find something to inspire you?

Be brave. Take Calculated risks. Nothing can substitute experience. Even failure! Learning from your mistakes, makes you stronger.

Zen Be Brave Take Risks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your brand should be very simple. It should sum up who you are. Your goal is to build brand recognition. But creating a simple brand is not simple, it’s the one area of marketing that you should not skimp on. A poorly created brand will hold your business back.

Zen Brand Goal is simple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You become like the people you spend most time with – choose your advisors carefully. This then is the litmus test for choosing people to support your business. Do they: make you feel positive, have the same values, inspire you to be better, always have your back!

zen choose advisors carefully

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customers only think problems – you have to provide their solutions. Too many small businesses promote what they do, rather than the solution to real customer problems. Don’t know your customer that well – time to fix that!

zen customer problem solution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overwhelmed by social media? Focus on one platform where customers are and be the best in that space! Do you know where your best customers are online? Time to find out!

zen SM focus where customer are

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We don’t learn by doing, we learn by reflecting on what we’ve done. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a marketing plan!

zen reflection planning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions or comments about your favourite marketing quotes, please feel free to leave a comment here or on Facebook?

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.

For daily Marketing Tips and Marketing content, visit and “like” my facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/Zenworkz.Authentic.Marketing


28
Jan 14

Relationship Marketing Reinvented for the Digital Age

Marketing is everthing you do croppedRelationship Marketing is not new, it has always been concerned with a focus on getting and keeping customers through excellent customer service delivery. Traditional out bound marketing was concerned with ‘getting’ customers and relationship marketing closed the loop to bring together customer service, perceived quality and marketing.

The real challenge of online relationship marketing in the digital age is to understand a customer segment of one like never before. Answering questions like:

  • What do they believe?
  • Who do they trust?
  • Who do they love and what are they afraid of?
  • What are they seeking?
  • Who are their friends?
  • What do they talk about and where online?

As a result of these answers we have a more complete view of a customer, and the opportunities for experiential marketing (both online and off-line) can be tailored for an ‘individual’ that will resonate beyond to customers just like them. These very personal experiences can be designed with the context of the customer life time value in mind.

The real challenge and opportunity for a business is whether an experience can be delivered when it counts most for the business and when it matters most for the customer.

Building a relationship and delivering an experience that matters lies in re-organising your systems, collecting the ‘relationship’ data, and in reinventing your product or service so that it becomes worth recommending. When you do that, your customers do the work of getting you more noticed through their relationships. When you produce something tailored to your ‘idealised’ customer profile, more attention leads to more conversations, which leads to more attention.

It is less about a goal of viral attention, but more about the attention by the customers that matter most; that you know matter most because you research and review your ‘soft’ metrics. You can dramatically impact your ‘brand awareness’ and improved customer relationships by investing in a tailored, targeted story that’s worth spreading.

Online marketing campaign spending is still measured through the use of hard metrics such as sales, revenue, lifetime value, and cost of acquisition. It will continue to play a role in justifying investments, but soft metrics: likes, views, URL clicks, click through rates, shares, comments, engagement, response to emails, and correlation to hard metrics will provide a complete picture of the value of the customer relationship.

The digital age provides everyone with the ability to listen, show you care about your customers and critics, but most importantly to build advocates that share and recommend your products or services.

Hope you find this article helpful?  If you have any comments, please leave them below.

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 marketing offers and brand message, attract more ideal customers and create a marketing plan to achieve success.  She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation.  If you would like to request coaching online – please contact me.

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

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

 


6
Nov 13

Facebook Ads vs Promoted Posts – my little experiment

Facebook waste of time?If you have a Facebook Page for your business you will be increasingly aware that when you post to your page, only 10-15% of your fans will see it. That means that if you have 500 fans, less than 1/5 are seeing your posts generally (*dependent on the type of post).

I decided to do a little side by side experiment to work out which would be best for my business and if you have a business that is similar, it will help you understand how it works now. Of course it will change in the future, as there’s no constant except for change with Facebook.

I choose to compare Facebook Ads and Promoted posts and have not looked at ‘Sponsored Stories”. The difference between standard ads and sponsored stories is that the stories look like Facebook ads, so they only appear on the right sidebar of the Facebook Page, along with all the other ads. There are some good arguments for using a Facebook Ad and a Sponsored Story at the same time, and this is what I will try next.

Bottom Line Results:

Facebook Ad breakdown:

  • Impressions: 923
  • Clicks: 6
  • Page Likes: 5
  • Spend: $5
  • Time: 5 days

The benefits of my Facebook Ad:

  • It was as cheap to run a weekly ad as a single promoted post.
  • It was simple to set up and to target a new ideal customer.
  • It gave me the ability to test different ads at the same time (which may be confusing for a novice).
  • It was the only way to gain more page likes (compared to promoted posts).

Disadvantages:

  • The downside that I can see is for people who see ads as spam and they wouldn’t be my target audience anyway.
  • With accusations of up to 80% fake clicks on Facebook ads, there is a smaller risk of fake clicks on promoted posts as they appear to be organic in the news feed.

Promoted Post breakdown: * post was my last blog

  • Paid Reach: 1,772
  • Spend: $5
  • Likes on Post: 30
  • Clicks on Link: *1
  • Engagement: 42

The benefits of my Promoted Post:

  • It’s main benefit is reaching my audience and their friends.
  • Although taken on a single post, it is relatively cheap for paid reach.
  • * I selected a post to my blog and I would suggest that this is the best use of  a promoted post, for promotions, events and content linked to your website, to drive traffic and leverage website content and sales.
  • Compared to ads, they are even more simple to use.
  • They are definitely better for driving engagement with your page fans.
  • They target the news-feeds of fans and are more likely to be accepted.

Disadvantages:

  • The major downside is the more you use promoted posts the more you have to pay to reach fans! One way round this is to be very selective with your promoted posts and take breaks from time to time; and to check that your available reach has gone up again before promoting. Having said that, there will be great variance depending on the type of post, so you will need to experiment what works best for you and your audience.
  • With Promoted posts you only reach people who have liked your page already and their friends.

Things to take into consideration:

  • Popup blockers such as AdBlock can hide Facebook ads, but will not hide promoted posts.
  • When you pause a Facebook ad campaign, the ad disappears from the site until you resume. When you pause a promoted post, the actions that have been performed on the post remain. If someone shared your post, for example, it doesn’t disappear when you pause the promotion.

The above experiment is far from exhaustive or scientific. The results, however, they are good enough for me to make a case that Facebook Ads are superior to gaining new page Likers but promoted posts are a superior method of reach and engagement.

So which should you choose? All of this is predicated on your type of business, and whether you are a local business or a purely online business. Facebook Ads tend to work well to increase new fans, while promoted posts help increase engagement & traffic to your website if you select carefully.

If you’re considering running any Facebook ads or promoted posts, keep the following in mind:

Go for quality over quantity: What you want are quality fans who are genuinely interested in what you do and what you have to say. They will stick with you for the long haul and be more likely to convert into actual customers.

Target your ad: Use the targeting options and interest categories that Facebook offers! This will go a long way towards attracting those quality fans.

Create an appealing Ad:

  • Test different images for your ad – think about a design that will resonate with your ideal audience.
  • Remember it’s all in the headline – spend 80% of your time choosing this hook.
  • Use your businesses keywords to engage your new audience.

Track your results: Use Facebook’s Ads Manager to track the results. You need to discover which ad, or combination of ads, will work best for you. Plan, do, check, act and refine.

I’d love to know what results you are getting for your business type and your general thoughts about Facebook Ads vs Promoted Posts?

About the author:  Teresa Bassham is the founder of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and educates businesses to think, create, engage and optimise their marketing effort.  She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation.  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

 

 

 

 


9
Oct 13

How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed by Social Media Marketing

"At" Key on Computer KeyboardDo you have days where you feel that you simply can’t understand another new thing about social media marketing? I know I do and I thought that as a marketing professional, I had a good capacity to know what I needed to know, and defer to experts when I didn’t.

Those lines are continually being blurred for me, so I do wonder how the folk who follow, engage and read my content feel. Do you feel like giving up? Hopefully the following will help put some things into perspective and let you forget or ignore the rest.

  1. Purpose - Ask yourself this question: What is your purpose for using social media marketing? The only answer can be: this is where I connect with my ideal customer! If 80% of your customer connections are offline, or somewhere else; STOP NOW – it’s time to rethink how you use your precious marketing effort, because time is a thief in social media world without a clear purpose. If your only purpose for social media marketing is connecting to your ideal customers – read on.
  2. A Simple Goal - Ensure you have a single, measurable goal for reaching your ideal customer through this medium. Focus only on that single goal until you can see measurable results. Effective online marketing includes experimentation, and measurement of whether you are succeeding or failing, to be able to make changes to improve your results.
  3. Reach Multiple Social Media Platforms - Find a free or low cost scheduling tool to maximise your time investment. I never advocate putting all your eggs in one promotional basket, so please find a tool that covers multiple media platforms – not just the Facebook scheduling tool. There are many tools at various price points – I use Buffer which costs very little and provides easy scheduling of your own original pictures, tips and blog posts, as well as other interesting and educational content. It covers Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and developments in the pipeline include Pinterest. Take this one step to take the time burden from yourself and reach multiple platforms without feeling overwhelmed.
  4. Respond and Engage Easily - Invest and use Mobile Apps to check in and engage at appropriate times during the day, to respond to your content, audience questions and information that you have scheduled. There is no point in acting on point 3, if you are not set up to implement point 4.
  5. Focus on Your Unique and Original Offer - Focus on what you do best, your own original ideas, original pictures (as creation is now so easy with smart phone technology); and content that is valuable to a small engaged audience.  Share other peoples original content to support your own ideas, that adds additional insight and value to your audience. Use your ideas, and content to show how your offer is unique and relevant within changing technology and contexts.

Marketing can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it – a choice that helps you feel more in control. When you are building your business, simplifying your unique marketing message to a highly targeted audience; with a clear purpose, and goal directed to where your ideal customers are online – will give you clarity, and importantly, peace of mind in this increasingly complex online world.

I’d love to know if these points have helped you? Please leave a comment, because it helps me too.

About the Author: Teresa Bassham is the founder of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and educates businesses to think, create, engage and optimise their marketing effort.  She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation.  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

 

 


14
Aug 13

Donna Hamer – Feeling the Fear and Doing it Anyway!

Donna Ajax photo

One of the real benefits of networking for me, apart from the opportunity to meet a wonderful array of successful business women, is to hear all about their stories. The stories of their business and life journey, what obstacles they had to over come, and what advice they can give to those of us who aspire to be successful.

The very first to inspire, engage, educate and connect with us is one such successful business woman and I hope you will enjoy reading her story, as much as I have finding more about this lovely lady.

Introducing Donna Hamer, Creative Director of Fanpage Competitions – a Social Media/Facebook Contest business.

What is your purpose in business? This is a very diverse role which allows me to work with business owners to show them how to use Social Media and more particularly, Facebook Contests as a way to grow their business and get a return on their social media efforts.

Where are you based? On the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Is your focus Local, National or Global? Global – the internet has no boundaries!

Tell us a bit about you and your background? After leaving school I started with a local law firm as a legal secretary and quickly moved into a role as a conveyance clerk. 14 years later, it was time for a career change and I decided to pursue a career in recruiting & workplace training. I believe one of my unique talents is the ability to understand the diversity of small & medium businesses and their individual needs. I don’t try and be everything to everyone!

In late 2010, I discovered the benefits of Social Media and naturally fell into a role of helping others use this medium in their businesses.

On a personal note – I am a single mum with a beautiful 14 year old son who keeps me on my toes. He’s a geek, so I need to always be one step ahead of him when it comes to technology. His school teachers tell me that in Business he is unstoppable! He loves to sit and listen to me on the phone or during webinars. When the call is over, if he thinks I haven’t given the right advice – he is not backwards in coming forward to share his thoughts. Both my mother and my sister are extremely successful business woman and I believe this has played a huge part in my business development and the advice my son gives.

How do you celebrate ‘Me’ time? Spending time with my Golden Retriever walking him on the beach. I love to watch him just run and be free and have no cares. Let’s me forget life and just smile at the simple things in life!

What is your No1 time management tip? Create a list and do the hard things first. Reward your steps along the way.

What book changed your life? Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway! – Susan Jeffers. I also just love this quote and every time I stumble or get fearful of doing something new – I remind myself to “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!”

What inspired you to start your own business? It was a natural progression as I changed career paths. I decided I wanted to be more involved with training and helping others in business. Whilst still working full time, I studied at night and completed both an Associate Diploma in Business Management, and a Certificate in Workplace Training & Assessment. I used these qualifications to work at the local TAFE and take on more management and training roles within the organisations I worked for.

The biggest challenge working for yourself is thinking you can do it all yourself!

What difference has being in business for yourself made in your life? This business has given me the opportunity to work my career around my parenting role. I have been very fortunate in never having to miss a school play or sports day. I wanted to be a successful business woman and a mum who was there before and after school. I love working from my home office or taking my laptop to the local coffee shop (across the road from the beach).  With the use of a mobile phone, I can do all of my business from these two pieces of equipment.

What have been your biggest turning points in life and how did you manage these moments so that they shaped you rather than broke you? One of my biggest turning points was being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010.  The entire year was just a write off, I was left with no income and I had to decide where I was going and what the hell was I doing! There was a lot of soul searching and discussion with friends and family. I felt broken and my business wasn’t making a turnover due to my lack of focus. Luckily I had my sister to turn too, who had absolutely no sympathy and told me to get back on the horse (so to speak) and do what I do best!

This is when I turned to Facebook as a marketing tool for my business.  I spent time learning about social media, and invested in my education. I knew if I wanted to make Facebook work that I would need to know how to use it effectively. I didn’t focus on any other social media sites, my thoughts are ‘if you want to do something, do it very well and master it’. Within 3 months of using Facebook, if I didn’t get a lead a day from my Facebook Page, I would go and look at it to see if it was still working.

In the end of 2011 – I then discovered Facebook Contests and went on a new path to create my own Contest app and to help train other businesses about using social media in their business.

What is your greatest piece of advice that you would give others in business? Find good mentors and spend money in educating yourself.

What have you found to be the most effective way to promote your business? Now that’s an easy question! Facebook and the use of Facebook Contests.

What one piece of advice would you share with the readers? Think outside of the square, try something if it doesn’t work, try it a different way. But NEVER GIVE UP on your dreams!

Lastly, what’s next for you and your business? Fanpage Competitions will always be a business that grows and develops as social media changes. Only last week we launched a new app called “Vote & Win” which grew from the requests of our clients. Personally for me, I am spending more time learning about Raw Foods and just loving what I am learning and where this journey will take me personally.

If you would like to learn to promote a successful Facebook Competition for your business, contact Donna now.

I would love to know if you found value getting an insight and understanding into what drives the successful people behind their Brands? Please leave a comment below:

About the interviewer: Teresa Bassham is the founder of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and educates businesses to think, create, engage and optimise their marketing effort.  She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation.  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


24
Jul 13

How to help the ‘right’ customers find you

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In the beginnings of a new business the focus will be on outbound marketing – telling the right customers that you exist. Your business grows through the hard work that goes into becoming known, liked then loved by customers who will refer and be fans of your business. But when you become busier, the time you have to focus on the outbound marketing diminishes and you need to ensure that the inbound marketing foundation (the platforms) are in place for the right customers to find you. This is the focus of my blog today.

I have written before that the key to finding customers is a deep understanding of what makes them tick and this certainly helps you to determine where’s the best place to spend your limited funds promoting your business. The following tips will help you focus on inbound marketing or helping the right customers find you:

Help the right customers find you:

To help the ‘right customer find you – you still need to be clear about ‘who’ you want to attract. As your business grows, and if you are following my advice of talking often to your customers, you will continue to gain important information. What are their frustrations, pains and needs – how could you reduce, eliminate or help them? You still need to position yourself as the best solution for your customers.

Update your marketing message:

Is it time to update your compelling, unique marketing message and offer? Remember, what makes your message unique is your story, your business purpose, and your values.  What make your message compelling is that it is customer centric – it speaks to the customers “hot button”, that your service or product serves as a necessary part of their life or business. Once you create the ‘right’ message, it then needs to be integrated across all your promotional customer touch points.

Communicate where the right customers are:

For every business it is important to be communicating and promoting where your customers are, both online and offline. The critical part of the right customers finding you, will be through your website.

I have covered in detail SEO (search engine optimisation) and using Google AdWords (paid) listings to promote your website effectively.  A high Google ranking for your website is a journey not a destination; and you must continue to add content that will provide value, prove your worth, and contain calls to action or hooks that will encourage the right customers to make contact.

The important goal is to rank on the first page for key search terms in your business category, because that is where you will be competing for potential customers attention. If you want to rank well on your own name (because your name is the business), then make sure there are multiple platform link opportunities for people to see your name; like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Twitter and multiple online directories entries – it will all help.

It will then come down to your specific industry and your customer’s online or offline behaviour. For  example: for online businesses, being on Pinterest, and Facebook is where their customers are; and they use engagement, sales and competitions to drive traffic through to their website store front. For other businesses, local is their focus and they would use Facebook, local directory listings, their website to add SEO impact; because customers searching locally will still respond to a local directory listing, customer reviews and website content, to help them opt in or opt out of the key marketing message that’s been created. A good example of the self selection process will be the pricing message, be it either low or high. A business can decide whether they want to invite contact for quotes for the lowest price; or state that price is not negotiable – both will send a clear message to the ‘right’ customer.

Build a contact database:

All businesses should build an email newsletter subscriber database, because the value of any small business is the number of actual and potential customers you have direct contact with.   Email, if done well, if a very effective engagement and selling tool. Of course, you need to have the mechanism to attract existing and potential customers to sign up for your newsletter, e-zine, blog or other content. Building an email subscriber database can be a smart return on investment for your time.

At different stages of business maturity, you will use both outbound and inbound marketing tactics. All businesses should have an easily found, user-friendly website suitable for both traditional computer and mobile devices, plus CTA’s or hooks for customers to leave their contact details. Beyond this, your marketing focus will reflect the particular needs of your industry and ideal customer niche, because different marketing tactics will work differently for different businesses.

This is what works for me. I would love to hear what is working or not, for you?

About the author:  Teresa Bassham is the founder of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and educates businesses to think, create, engage and optimise their marketing effort.  She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation.  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

 


11
Jul 13

Why People Buy from People they Know, Like and Trust!

Trust Like Know

Marketing theory, research into consumer behaviour and the psychology of why people buy is a very complex subject area, that covered in depth would cover 100 pages not 600 words. What follows is a summarised explanation of why it’s important to understand why people buy.

In a nutshell, consumer behaviour is a fairly broad marketing term that essentially seeks to answer the question of why customers act the way they do or why they buy. If we study and understand what makes people tick, we can better tailor our marketing messages to their wants and needs, greatly improving the likelihood of successful sales.

Snapshot of Consumer Behaviour

Customers can go through distinct buying phases when they purchases products/services:

  1. realising they need or want something,
  2. searching for information,
  3. evaluating different products/services,
  4. choosing a product/services and purchasing,
  5. using and evaluating the product/service after the purchase, and
  6. use or disposing of the product/service.

A customer’s level of involvement is important. Low-involvement products are usually inexpensive and pose a low risk to the buyer by purchasing them, making decisions easy. High-involvement products carry a high risk to the buyer if they fail, are more complex decision processes, or have high price tags.

Researchers also believe people buy products/services to enhance how they feel about themselves. To understand customers and connect with them, we look closely at their lifestyles and life stages (what they do, how they spend their time, what their priorities and values are, and how they see the world).

Perception is how you interpret the world and make sense of it in your brain, an area that was thought beyond examination. Not any more, neuroscience now studies the effects of brand consumption on your brain using advanced brain imaging technology. Customers’ attitudes are biases based on their values and beliefs, that rarely change but need to be understood for effective communications.

In short, various stimuli from marketing messages and the environment are thrown at the customer, who then goes through the decision process in light of their various biases and life-stage, and the sought after result is a (or repeated) purchase.

Impacts of Technology

What is rapidly changing how people make these purchase decisions, is the use of technology devices, smartphones, laptops, tablets, that connect via social media platforms. This intersection of technology and social interaction has created a world where people are more connected than ever before, increasing the ‘multiplier’ effect of word of mouth; but also more distracted from receiving your marketing message due to environment saturation.

The connected world has changed customer’s awareness of message stimuli for buying and we must adapt our marketing ’know, like, and trust’ strategies to make the most of this new environment.

Practical Actions

The best way to become ‘known’ is to create quality, valuable (free) content and deliver it via technology to potential customers. High-quality content marketing will attract attention and will build your knowledge area reputation. Creating stories that are authentic, lets people see who you are, what you stand for and why you’re worth following.

Building mutual relationships with potential and existing customers, fans and followers will nurture your ‘like’-ability. This is achieved through authentic communication and two way conversations with a community of loyal followers. Loyalty is built through the intimacy of your customer interactions.

Gaining the ‘trust’ of an online community is built by always delivering on your brand promise, creating and giving value above and beyond your promise. Trust in the form of reliability, honesty, integrity, mutual values, and respect are the future currency of success.

Creating a message that persuades people to act is the task of marketing. Consumer behavior theory is one of many tools that you can use to help you achieve your marketing and sales goals. The practical actions above are just the starting points for leveraging the ‘multiplier’ effect of social media word of mouth; and to create tailored, unique marketing messages that attract more customers and gain more sales.

I’d love to know your thoughts? Please leave a comment below.

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.