content marketing

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! :)

How to sneak "vegetables" to your audience

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You know how some people talk about sneaking vegetables into their family's food?

"I can't get my kids to eat the right healthy stuff so I hide it! Pureed vegetables in their meat foods; they never knew it was there! I'm am sneakily keeping them healthy even though they don't care about healthy. BWAHAHA!"

I want you to think about how you can sneak vegetables into your audience.

WHAT?

Ok, so here it is:

What we want and what we need are not always the same things.

What experts know we need and what we think we need are not always the same things.

That means that while we want to talk to everyone about the things we KNOW they need… they might not be thinking we're talking to them because they think they need something else. And that's why we need to talk about the "something else" and hide a bit of the stuff we know they actually need inside of it.

What your audience thinks they need to know

Let's use some examples.

Maybe you know that what people need in order to have more energy and feel better is to move and exercise more. You know that once they do that they're going to start feeling better all around, which is going to have a snowball effect on their lives.

Meanwhile, they're thinking, "I just wish I didn't look dumpy in every piece of clothing I put on."

What your audience really needs to know

You may know the problem isn't that they, "need to lose more weight" but that's all they can focus on right now. So, you need to talk about how to lose weight, and while doing that you need to work in some ideas of what they really need to know and do to be healthy.

Here's another example, you're a business owner and your business coach knows that business strategy, planning and working on your mindset is really going to help you move forward in your business. But you really just want to know how to market yourself better so you can get more clients and learn how to screen share during a Facebook Live. If that business coach pays attention and talks about marketing and gets your attention with some how-tos and simple strategies to get more visible, they can weave in the importance of business planning and mindset as part of THAT content.

You're not being dishonest

This is NOT being dishonest. It's giving people what they want, and learning that the best way to get the right messages to the people who need it isn't to yell louder and louder until people understand what they're saying, it's to get their attention with what they want and educate them while they're learning about that thing.

I don't know about you, but I know some people would never CONSIDER eating a mostly veggie based meal, but give them a good meat lasagna and they're excited and ready to eat. And if it was GOOD and REAL lasagna that had some healthy vegetables in it (no bait and switch here!), everyone gets what they needed and wanted.

How will you sneak "vegetables" to your audience?

So, how can you sneak vegetables into the things your audience really want? Thinks about the people you talk to on a regular basis... what are they asking you about? Are they often asking you for things that don't seem like the right place to start? Can you start there anyways?

Leave a comment telling me how you can apply this to your business or if you aren't sure how - come over to my Facebook group and ask and we'll brainstorm it out together!

Want more content and tips like this, with all kinds of vegetables hidden into the meat sauce? Join my free Facebook Group!

And if you want a bit more on HOW to provide value to your audience and figure out what they want, check out this blog post: http://thebiz.studio/blog/are-you-providing-value.

Blog posts that keep working for you

One of the most frustrating things about writing long pieces of content is feeling like only a few people saw them and hours of your time was for nothing.

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to blog content that will help you feel like it was well worth the time invested.

1)   Summon the SEO bots

Quality content on your website will help you rank higher in search engine searches. Even if you think of it as being there in order to help you work towards ranking higher in search (which we won’t), that’s still not a bad reason to create good content for your website.

This is important because every time you create new content, your website is crawled by the search engine bots. 

2)   Bring visitors to your site

You can send people back to your website for stuff that is already there, but often that gets tired pretty quickly – how many times can you promote your About and Sales pages without people getting frustrated?

Instead, by creating new content that you know is of interest to your audience, you have an opportunity to entice them to return and make them feel like they’re getting value out of what they’re reading.

It's key to make sure that you’re telling them you’ve created the content. Post it on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and on Pinterest. Then send out an email to your mailing list letting your audience know that you created the new content.

If you don’t tell people that it’s there, they won’t know to go and look – so, promote, promote, promote!

I once heard you should spend as much time promoting a post as you spend writing it, if not more. Keeping that in mind will help you figure out just how much effort you have to put into getting people to see it for you to feel like it was worth writing.

A few other tips for promoting:

  • Share multiple times – on Twitter you can share it 5-6 times over 48 hours easily. On Facebook you can share it again 24-48 hours later.
  • If you’re worried about seeming repetitive, use ICYMI. It stands for “In case you missed it” and recognizes that you’ve posted it before, but that you know not everyone will have seen it.

But this next piece is also really critical:

3)   Don’t forget about it.

Once you’ve promoted the content, plan to share it again over time. Not all of your content may be evergreen, but if it is it, plan to share it again in two weeks, six weeks and nine weeks later. You may even want to schedule it to share again in those time frames while you’re posting it the first time. It will save you time and make sure you don’t forget to keep re-sharing it.

There’s a great tool that can help you do that, though it is relatively expensive, called Edgar. I’ve been playing around with it and if you can afford to invest it in, it definitely makes sharing consistently easy.

4)   Reuse pieces

Don’t think of your blog post as just a blog post. Take pieces of it and do different things with it.

Reuse it as a script for a short video, take quotes out and share as tips on Twitter or create visuals and share on Instagram. 

Creating great content can be time consuming, but if you make that time well worth the investment then you will see results - results that make it easier to keep doing. By making sure the content is being properly promoted and shared on a regular basis, you’re going to see far more results with one piece of content than you did before.

Spend some time thinking about some of the content you’ve written in the past – can you do some of these things with them now?

 

 

 

Beyond planning: The importance of strategic planning

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The longer we run our business, the more emphasis and priority Lara and I put on planning. And I don't mean just laying out a plan for what we want to do. Every year, we take a more strategic approach to setting goals, developing products, and creating content. It's making us better at what we do, better at helping our clients, and understanding our clients' needs. 

We have started having 3-4 planning days per year to set priorities, plan timelines, discuss ideas, etc. It's time we spend away from doing any work for clients or product development. However, it's absolutely critical to the short- and long-term progress and success of our business.

So much of what we do as business owners applies to planning and using social media in a strategic way. Imagine, if you will, a person who has what they feel is a fabulous idea for a business. Remember the jump to conclusions mat from Office Space? (Warning: there's a little four-letter language in this clip.)

Starting a business without clear goals, research into marketability of products and services, or realistic view of what's involved can lead to a rude awakening. I think every business owner has experienced this to some degree - whether a product or service completely bombs or they have to rethink their entire business model. That's usually when you come to the fork in the road and you have to decide which new direction to take.

Strategy is just as important to social media success

We make every effort to simplify social media for our clients. It's not rocket science. We know this. However, between using the actual tools and crafting messages with a strategic focus and tying it all in to your business objectives, the process can get overwhelming. Small business don't need a 100-page strategy document, but they do need to start with identifying goals, audiences, and key messages. Once they know the what and the why, then they can move on to tactics (the how). The "how" is pretty easy once you've established "what" and "why".

Answer these questions for your business

  • Why do we use <insert social network>?
  • Is our presence effective?
  • Are we using it to our advantage?
  • Have we gained any customers through that channel?

They aren't easy questions, but it's worth reflecting. This is the time of year that we all start looking at a fresh start in the New Year. We all want to be more organized, focused, productive. 

You can do all of those things, but it starts with a plan. I'm personally terrible at setting goals for our business in the areas that I am responsible for - Lara is pushing me and reminding me to be better (or just do it). I know the importance. I know why I struggle with it. I'm working on a solution that works for me and our business because without setting those goals, even knowing my audience and key messages, I'm holding myself and my business back from being the best we can be.


Webinar - Get Results in 2015 using Social Media with a Plan!

Lara and I are going to talk about planning tips, advice, and resources during our December 9th webinar. Sign up here!


Do you struggle with staying focused in your day-to-day use of social channels? That can derail your plans for social media AND other areas of your business. Our Daily Social Media Checklist can help.

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