Marketing Strategy – Getting the Marketing Groove

Wouldn’t it be great to have a year where your marketing efforts were streamlined and got the results you were after? None of us want to struggle with marketing, and yet this is the one topic that continues to be highest in the minds of small business professionals.

Let’s really consider some of the reasons that can sabotage our marketing efforts, and how we can turn that around.

Lack of a marketing mindset

We don’t see ourselves as in the marketing game. The truth is, if you are out there running a business, thinking like a marketer has to become your priority. It’s no use having a great service if nobody knows about it, or you.

Lack of knowledge is your enemy. Start by reading whatever you can. Speak to successful people in your field and ask them what strategies they use. The information you need is out there for you to take.

Lack of investment

For many small business owners, the focus on cost control prohibits them from ever investing enough money into marketing and promotion. These activities are seen as costs rather than as an investment. So this year I encourage you to reframe your attitude towards marketing. Once you know what marketing activity to do, and have confidence that it will bring results, spend the money enthusiastically.

Lack of focus

Perhaps you do spend time and money on marketing, but you aren’t happy with the results. Or your efforts are ad-hoc rather than carefully planned. Whatever it is, 2005 is the year to take charge. If what you are doing isn’t working – stop doing it! Ask a professional for help (not your friends or associates!). Or put yourself in your customers shoes and work out what’s going to attract them to your business. If an ad-hoc approach is the problem, take the time to complete the marketing plan in the ‘How to…’ section and become ruthlessly systematic this year.

Lack of over-riding marketing strategy

Marketing activity and tactics are all well and good but it is like driving a rudderless ship if there is no grander plan. Part of creating a marketing strategy is to clearly understand exactly where you are right now, and where you want to be. Your goal may be to have sales of $1,$5 or $50 million. Or you may want to revolutionise your industry. Or you may want your company to be acquired within 5 years. What matters most is that you have a clear, precise vision of where you are, where you want to be in 1year, and where you want to be in 5 years.

Not surrounding ourselves with the right people

All of the great books on success advocate spending time with people who are already successful at what you want to do. Why? By surrounding yourself with people several steps ahead of you, you can absorb the attitudes and values that made them successful, as well as picking up new strategies and ideas. So If you are hanging out with people who also lack a marketing mindset then it’s time to think about expanding your professional network to include those who are already down the track to success.

Marketing is more of an art than a science. Often times you learn by systematically trying different activities and approaches. The experts don’t always have all the answers . . . and this is exactly why you need to give plenty of personal attention to make sure your marketing is working as hard as it possibly can. If you want to get serious about success in business, then understanding marketing is an ongoing priority.

Here’s a quick list of 10 ideas to get you into the marketing groove:

1. Commit to reading one new marketing book per month

2. Start learning about how to market online

3. Make a list of people whose businesses inspire you, and carefully study their marketing techniques. How many of these are you using?

4. Make a list of successful people in your industry and check out their marketing strategy. Why not offer to take one of them out for coffee to learn more about how they got where they are (what’s the worst that could happen?)

5. Revise your marketing budget. Look at your previous investment in marketing, and ask yourself if this is the amount a truly successful business would be spending

6. Review all of last year’s marketing activities. Work out which ones brought new business in the door, or were successful in some other way (building credibility for example). If you can’t quantify how successful the outcome was, stop spending the money!

7. Implement an ongoing ‘keep in touch’ program with existing customers

8. Ask 10 or more of your most loyal customers for a referral

9. Stop doing those marketing activities that you know don’t work, but you do them anyway

10. Market research – ask 20 of your customers what value you provide to them. Use what they say in your own marketing materials

Online Home Based Business – 3 Free Ways To Generate More Traffic

If you are new to online business then you must quickly realize that the key to success is traffic-generation, and if you’ve been working for a while without much success then you must start to explore some new techniques for driving more traffic to your online business.

One of the mistakes people make is assuming that paying for traffic is the best way to get results, but in-fact free traffic-generating strategies can work better and will actually continue to work for much longer than paid methods, ultimately bringing you more results for much longer.

Here are three of the most effective free traffic-generating techniques that I use in my own online business:

#1 – Guest blogging

Guest blogging is a great way to drive loads of free traffic to your online business. Simply email blog owners and ask them if they would be interested in having you make regular blog posts on their blog. This is beneficial to both of you because they get free high-quality content and you in-turn get people who will want to check out your own blog.

#2 – Try using YouTube

Creating videos these days is much easier than many people think, so whether you want to put yourself on there or you want to turn some of your content into a powerpoint presentation, you can benefit greatly by making a video and throwing it on YouTube. Even better yet, create your own channel on YouTube and make regular additions, generating a following and growing your business even further, absolutely free!

#3 – Article Marketing

If you know me you know how much I preach about the benefits of using article marketing to grow an online business. Not only is it free and highly effective, but when you get into an article-writing groove you can get a ton of great advertising content out there in very little time. And articles are great ways to pre-sell your target audience, so they are hardworking components of your online business.

1st Step In Starting A Business

As an Entrepreneur whose business enterprise turned 19 years last month, it may be good to share with readers some of the lessons encountered. The recent months I have been receiving queries on the secret for maintaining this business. Well it is no secret at all and I take pride in passing on important matters to those who sincerely want to commence or even those in business to restart the button as they say.

Primary Lesson: Mindset

Oftentimes, there are entrepreneurs who begin a business because of an opportunity. A deal may even begin with a mere restaurant napkin or even over some brown bottles. However getting into the groove of business must begin with having the proper frame of mind. There is a need to cultivate for the seed to germinate.

1st: Define the Purpose

It may be good to ask yourself the purpose of getting into business. I am not referring to identifying the business yet. Rather it will be more into probing the different layers related. One may say, “I want to be My Own Boss”, being your own boss entails several factors such as the ability to make a decision. To help further, it is recommended to be a relax mood and let your heartbeat be in a normal mode. Excitement or depression may not lead to better result

2nd: Start Writing

Letting our thoughts remain in our mind may be affected with other things. In my years till now, I have learned to always have a small pocket notebook. The first thing to do is write in BOLD Letters on top of each page the topic you are focusing. I call this Chapter of My Mind. There jot down things that may flash in your mind. You will be amazed to realize at the end of a week on ideas and perhaps reasons related to the focused topic.

3rd: Visualize The Business

Man has the most advanced computer chip in the universe. The Mind given the proper nurturing can create scenes. If there is a business opportunity, a person may begin to use his power of the mind to visualize how the business will go. This was one powerful tool I used to see for myself the present business I am in. I wanted to see in my mind how it will all work. Without being biased I was able to see both pros and cons.

4th: Instill Faith and Positivism

To be an entrepreneur entails risk. In fact this is what I call the point where it separates a Man from a Boy or a Woman from a Girl. There are no assurances of where and what the business will be. Try getting a copy of the popular song “Que Sera Sera” written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. This was made popular in 1956 as sung by Doris Day. One thing though is developing the ability to think Positive. Yes we keep hearing that word so much so it is deafening. Every waking up hour and even retiring, the entrepreneur brings with him or her business. Correlate the business to being like a Captain of Airbus 380. The responsibility is tremendous to be entrusted not just on the capital investment. It is more of the hundreds of lives. The Captain has operating manuals and a chosen and qualified team. What matter most is for the Captain to have the greater self-confidence of safely reaching the point of destination. Nobody is spared from having fears or sleepless nights thinking of certain situation of the business. What helped me through was the fact my faith became much deeper and stronger. To strengthen my positivism, I began always to think of good things and avoid being a pessimist or talking ill of people. Use your energy and resources wisely. Think that everyday you are getting better and better. Drive all your thoughts in contributing and making this world a happy place for everyone. Blessings come in many fold to those who do good.