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Creating clear marketing goals for action, success and more money!

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Business owners often know what they want in their businesses, but they don’t have clear goals on how to get what they want. They just know they want to be successful. They know they want to make more money. They know they want to do the thing that their business does.

Here’s the thing though: having clear and specific goals makes it easier to do everything else. Having clear goals even creates more time in your business because you’re not spending time on things that won’t move you forward. Clear business goals also help you define clear marketing goals which will ensure your attention and messaging is focused on what will have an impact on your business. And good marketing turns into more leads, which turns into more sales!

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?

Spend time thinking about your business goals, specifically about what you're hoping to achieve through your marketing. It's probably (though not necessarily) a given that one of your goals is to make more money, but we want to get more specific than that today. Your goals may include things, such as:

  • Being known as an expert at something

  • Being seen as a resource on a certain topic

  • Expanding your audience geographically or demographically

  • Getting more engagement online and building community

  • Increasing sales in a certain part of your business

  • Getting other people to talk about you to their communities

  • Filling a certain program

  • Increasing sales online instead of in person

Because it always helps to see specific examples, I'll share some of mine and create some fictional examples:

  • Be seen as an expert in explaining social media for small business

  • Be seen as an expert in nutrition and wellness

  • Expand audience beyond the Ottawa-area

  • Expand audience to new moms 

  • Increase sales in one-on-one coaching and speaking (or sign two new clients per month)

  • Create content that is linked to by other bloggers and media outlets

  • Be more findable in search

You can be even more precise and create goals that are channel-specific:

  • Increase Facebook likes by 300 people

  • Establish a presence on YouTube and get 1000 video views

  • Get retweeted and tagged by industry experts on Twitter

  • Get three media hits per month


REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO ACHIEVE

The more you work to figure out these goals and why you're setting them, the more likely you will work them into your plan efficiently. Take a few minutes and write down an explanation of what you mean by each one and why they're important to you. For example:

  • I really enjoy helping small business owners figure out how to use social media for their business in a one-on-one setting. I get energized and excited when having personalized calls with business owners and hearing them figure out what they could be doing. Their lightbulb moments make my day, and their wins and increased revenue are my wins too. I want to do more of that so I need to make it clear that this is something that I do, like to do and I am good at.

  • I feel that it's time to expand beyond my local market. I like to spend time in Toronto and Boston and want to start by growing my audience in those specific cities. To do that, I need to start to grow an audience in those cities, so there is already a start of a customer base in those cities when I arrive to hold an event or launch a product. I need to figure out where my audience is spending their time (online and off) in those cities so I can create a custom plan.

  • I want to grow my online sales. I know that if I focus more of my attention on driving people to my online store and the products I sell there, I can increase that revenue stream. That may mean decreasing what I make in person while I focus on online or working extra hours to carry me through the gap.

TIME TO DO THE WORK

I challenge you to spend 10 minutes right now coming up with three or four marketing goals for the next six months. Really think about what you like to do, what you want to be doing and why you want to be doing it and give yourself some real explanations on why those are important and meaningful goals for you and your business and your marketing right now. Then leave a comment and share some of those ideas here!


NEED MORE SUPPORT?

I’m running a 6-week program to help you TAKE ACTION.

Join me and a group of entrepreneurs in exactly the same position to create a solid foundation and action plan and then START IMPLEMENTING!

Join by October 1st and you will get a bonus group coaching call before the program starts, as one free month in the Biz Advantage (value $197).

Let’s do this together! :)

Are you visible online?

Do people know who are you? What you're selling in your business? Who you work with? Why they should buy from you? 

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Getting visible online is something a lot of business owners really struggle with, but it's also one of the very best ways to be seen. To be known. To get more clients. To make more money.

When you're visible you can share your experience, your expertise, and give your audience the opportunity to get to know you. This is how you build relationships. You're creating the "know, like and trust" factor, which is how many people choose what to buy and who to buy it from.

Here's the good news. You don’t need to be a social media expert to make social media work for your business - you just need to be visible on it!

The bad news? Visibility is often something business owners have a really hard time with.
You may find yourself shying away from posting online too much or not wanting to share too many photos, personal stories or selfies. 

So, how can you get comfortable and start taking action so that people can see you, your business, and all of the value you have to offer? Be visible. And if that feels hard, get more comfortable with being visible in a safe space designed just for that - my visibility challenge.

I want to support business owners as they talk about their mindset. I want them to be more comfortable posting in a variety of places online, dabble with video and even start thinking about getting media attention.

Let's get you in front of more people so more people have the opportunity to start working with you!

Are you ready to attract your ideal clients? Together let's get more active in the online space, share relevant content, and build relationships with the people in your networks. That is how you stay top of mind, which is what visibility is all about. 

So, sign up for my visibility challenge.  It takes about 5-20 minutes per day (some days less!) over 14 days. We'll start getting comfortable, setting up good visibility tactics and building relationships with each other at the same time.

Let's get visible together! See you over there!

When "comparisitis" gets you down

There are days when you see someone posting all their successes online and you think:

“If they can do it, I can do it!”

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“Wow, that’s so inspiring - I want to try it too!”

And other days all you think is:

“Where do they find the TIME (the energy/the will) to do any of that?!”

“Ugh, are they just trying to point out all the things I can’t make happen – is THAT the point of their "braggy" post?! To make me feel terrible? BECAUSE IT’S WORKING!!”

Now… I’m sure most of us, when we think about it calmly, know that all of those second set of responses are not about the other person at all, but more about how we’re feeling about ourselves. We’re SO hard on ourselves. We want ALL THE THINGS but don’t know how to make all the things happen and we resent that other people seem to have it all figured out.

It’s really important to remember:

  • Nobody has it all together – just because they are having great fitness successes does not mean they're not struggling in other areas of their lives.

In every place that it looks like I have it all together, I very likely have an area I have decided to ignore or have dropped balls on. ;)

  • We all have different priorities – someone who is focusing on one area of their business or life in a major way has probably stopped focusing on something else for that period of time, but we don’t take into consideration what OUR priorities are when we feel badly about what other people are doing really well at.
     
  • It’s a constant work in progress – we’re always having to adjust and figure out what the best next step is for ourselves. Make sure to check in with yourself and see if you’re still prioritizing the right things, and if not, what needs to happen next?
     
  • Don’t try to struggle through everything alone – make sure you have your people:  the ones you can talk to when you feel like you’re not doing a good job, the ones who can remind you of all your recent wins and how awesome you are (because you totally are!).

There are a few people in my social feeds who have been making me have "comparisitis"  lately. Particularly when it comes to health stuff (for you it might be getting more sales, more clients, people engaging with other content when people are not engaging with yours). I’ve had to remind myself that it’s because I WANT to be more active and feel like I’m doing the right things for my body, and my resentment towards them is more frustration at myself for not prioritizing that part of my life. So, I’m upping my health on the priority list for 2018 and re-evaluating how I’m spending my time.

I got an Apple watch and I’m working hard to track my steps and move more often. I’m going to go check out a gym I’ve been meaning to check out for a long time. I’m going to make a snowshoeing date with some fellow entrepreneurs. And I’m going to try my best to remember that it’s amazing that the people I know who are focusing on things I’d like to focus on in my life have worked hard, have struggled, and resenting them isn’t doing me any good. I either need to be OK with NOT focusing on that right now, or make some changes to make it happen for myself, because the only person who can make changes in my life is ME.

*Post brought to you by some whiny self-indulgent freak outs while scrolling through Facebook recently.*

What you need to know about Facebook recommendations

I'm a member of many Facebook groups and something that seems to be happening a lot lately is that people are feeling really frustrated that people they've hired based on suggestions from Facebook groups have turned out to not be good hires at all. 

People are understandably annoyed and want to talk about the bad service they've received. Today I don't want to talk about what to do once you're unhappy, I want to talk about how you need to view online recommendations and what I believe you need to keep in mind when you're looking to hire someone new so that you aren't put in that position on the first place!

Asking for recommendations on social media

One of the reasons I love social media is because it's an amazing place to go and find information from people you know. It's how we recently started getting quotes for a new roof, it's how we found a plumber when our shower started leaking, it's how I find guests for my podcast, and so on and so forth.

Having the ability to go and ask people who you should talk to is AMAZING and takes out a lot of the research that I don't want to do.

But here's the thing - sometimes people just tag (when they put a person's name down and it links to their account or their Facebook page) someone they know who does the thing you're asking about and they have no personal experience with that person. They aren't saying "I've used this person, I had a great experience, here's why!" They're saying "I know a person!! This is who it is!" sometimes they're even saying "I know a person and I really like them - this is who it is!!"

It is your responsibility to then take those recommendations and decide how much more information you need to make a decision.

What do I do with the information I get?

A few years ago there were a lot of people getting really frustrated with the new LinkedIn system of endorsements. They felt that they were meaningless and that people were misusing them. It inspired me to write a blog post about them, to explain why I thought they were great. 

Here is a direct quote from the other blog post and I think, word for word, it applies here as well:

It is important not to think that these are testimonials.  Most of the people who endorse you haven’t even worked with you.  Instead it is a way to know if what you’re putting out into the world is what you want.  

What does that mean? It means that people are saying they know a person does a thing. 

If someone tags me as a business coach but has never worked with me, what they're saying is "Hey, I know Lara Wellman is a business coach!" not "I've worked with Lara and she was great because xyz."

It means I've done a good job at getting my name out there for what I do (yay!)

So when people start tagging names when you ask for a recommendation, don't think those tags are worthless - they're a great place for you to start digging in deeper!

Sometimes people HAVE worked with those people. Sometimes you know based on the volume of tags that someone clearly has a pretty good reputation (or has done a great job at getting their name out there about what they do - that's what you need to make sure you distinguish).

Use the tags to make a list of who to find out more information about. Make sure you then talk to people who have actually worked with those people to get references.

Someone getting lots of tags in a Facebook group is NOT enough information to go on to feel like you did your due diligence. 

The sad truth

The reason this post is being written is because I hear a lot of stories about people who hired someone based on a lot of Facebook tags and then they got really bad service. I get private messages from frustrated clients and friends who have hired people without getting actual references, and it turns out that there are many people out there who have great cheerleaders without the follow through of great work to go with it.

When you're hiring someone new, make sure you know

1) What you want to have delivered.

2) What information will make you feel comfortable about working with the person (is it expertise and knowledge? is it quality? is it meeting timelines? is it customer service?)

3) How much risk you're willing to take (you may decide to hire someone based just on a few name tags and a conversation with them - that's ok too, but know that digging further will give you more assurances.)

Using Facebook to get recommendations is something I'm always going to continue doing, but understanding the difference between a straight tag, even if lots of people tagged a person and an actual story of experience is really important - make sure you take that next step to protect yourself!

Have you ever asked for recommendations on Facebook? How did it go?

5 Ways to Build Your Community Online

5 ways to build your community online

Whether you're trying to build engagement in a Facebook Group or on a Facebook page or just on Twitter or Instagram, there are a few things that are important to keep in mind to build community: 

1. Set the tone

Lead by example! You are the leader of your community. The way that you behave in that community, from the kind of support you give, to the language you use, to the amount that you're present in the group, is key. If you're not willing to demonstrate through your own behaviour how you want the group to look and feel, you can't be surprised if things go off course. 

In my group there is always a distinct drop in participation if I'm away too much. I need to participate a lot if I want others to participate a lot. Also I find that people are really helpful, respectful and follow the "rules" without having to be policed because they see what the group is meant to be like. 

2. Ask simple questions

People have short attention spans, you need to ask questions (at least some of the time) that are so easy to answer people don't even have to think.

Where are you from?

How many kids do you have?

What's your favourite colour? 

Questions like that seem like fluff but what you need to remember is that your goal is to get people to participate, even just once. Once they've commented on something, they'll be more likely to comment again another time. They'll also be more likely to see your content if you're building your community on a tool that operates with an algorithm.  

Even if you're going for something more complex than the questions above, keep the questions pretty simple so they don't have to think too long. If a person is required to think too long they often decide it's not worth the effort and move on. 

3. Always go first

People hate going first. If you ask them a question they worry that what they want to say might not be what you're actually asking for or they don't know how to share the information they want to share. 

When you ask a question or if someone in your community asks a question, do your best to answer it. You're taking away a lot of the anxiety of being the first to post and you're essentially providing them with a template for their own answer.

4. Be relatable

Share you. Share your realness. Let people see that you're human and not that different from them.

The more you can do that, the less intimidated they feel, and people don't engage in places they feel intimidated. It's why the idea of sharing messy realities works so well.  

The time I accidentally uploaded a draft version of my podcast to iTunes I was horrified. I shared that in my community and it was one of the most popular posts I've ever shared. Why? Because people like to know everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Because they like to know that I'm not that different than them. 

5. Make people feel important


When someone posts anything, like it. Even better comment on it. It's a lot of work but you're rewarding people for their participation. When you give them answers and make them feel like they are truly in a place that is there to support them, they will keep posting and commenting, and that's what you want.  

Creating an active online community is a lot of work, but it also can be really rewarding, fun and help you reach your sales and business goals. 

I hope these 5 tips were useful - and that you'll join me in the Biz Studio if you haven't already!