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Posts Tagged ‘marketing tips’« Older Entries |
Friday, April 8th, 2011
I have to say I get 'slightly' annoyed when I see creative design and "marketing" companies talking about your brand, as if brand is all about the logo, look and visual style of your business.
Your BRAND is more than just a logo!
Your business brand is the very essence of your business and your visual "brand identity" is simply the representation and communication of your brand values. And a visual one that can help your customers and potential customers recognise you with ease and consistency.
So for me, and the team at Just Too Busy, when we help you create your brand, we are doing MORE than just designing you a new logo (although this is something we do very well, I have to say!).
Your business brand consists of key elements that you need to understand and define, so that you can communicate those brand values and positioning to your identified target audiences. If you don't pay attention to this side of your brand, and we think it is the most important side, then a pretty logo that has no meaning or deliberate thought involved in its creation, will just not "do it" for you (or your business).
SO… When we say your brand is more than just your logo… We REALLY mean it!
If you would like to learn a little more about how to create your own business brand then click here to sign up for this FREE Just Too Busy webinar.
Tags: brand development, brand identity, brand secrets, branding, business brand, creating a brand, creating my brand, creative design, logo design, Marketing, marketing advice, marketing help, marketing tips, small business marketing
Posted in Just Too Busy, Marketing, Uncategorized | Comments Off
Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
I love the process of creating a brand (and this is more than just a logo – watch this space for my next post) and for small businesses this often involves their entire business proposition and positioning.
So when I work with my clients, the majority of whom run small businesses, when we talk about brand, we are talking about their whole business, their offering, their target markets and how they can differentiate themselves from the competition and entice their target markets to spend their money with them.
Many small businesses will start marketing and promoting their small business without really thinking through what it actually is they are marketing and promoting and this often means they end up spending money on marketing that’s not working as well as it should for them – because they haven’t thought it all through. So here are the three key things I get my clients to think about when we are defining their business brand in preparation for marketing it.
The WHAT, the WHO and the WHY…
If you know inside out, in detail, with clarity (you get the picture) WHAT it is you are offering then you can clearly communicate that offering in your marketing.
If you know WHO you are offering your products and services to then not only can you identify the particular needs of your target market but you can create communications to them that are targeted specifically for them and to address those needs – this means they are more likely to respond to your marketing because they will relate to what you are saying and how you are saying it.
If you WHY your target market would buy from you rather than a competitor – i.e. you know the benefits of your business for your target market and you know your competitive advantage – then again communicating this information to that target market becomes easy and more focused.
If you would like to know more about defining the WHAT, WHO and WHY for your business to make your marketing more effective and get more business then please feel free to contact us on 0845 272 3539 or visit our website for more information.
Tags: branding for small businesses, branding strategy, business brands, business marketing, Marketing, marketing for small businesses, marketing tips, small business marketing, successful marketing
Posted in Just Too Busy, Marketing | Comments Off
Friday, September 17th, 2010
I was reading a great post the other day about how to write a great FAQ page – you can see the whole post here. One of the tips (number 6 actually) was about Being Available to your customers. The point in this case was put a link to your contact page if the customer (or potential customer) has a question that hasn’t been addressed by the FAQ page. And the complaint in this blogger’s case was companies who don’t put their contact details on their website.
And I totally agree. If you don’t put your contact details on your site then it screams “don’t trust us!”. Ok you might not want your address on your site if you work from home (like I do) but there are sites out there that provide products or services but do not have any way for their customers to contact them
I find this so annoying and frustrating especially when it is a business that provides an online service and the only way to get help is to go to their help section which never really does the job. There are many companies out there that seem to be saying “hey thanks for your business and here is what we think you will need to know when using our product or service but if it isn’t then tough”.
I spent hours on one particular online service provider’s site trying to find a phone number or an email and could I? I think you know the answer.
So what’s my point? Well there are two.
If you use your website as a place for your customers to find out more about you or manage the service they receive from you then it is crucial to make sure they can contact you as easily as possible.
So make sure your contacts details are on your site and that when someone does get in touch you try to get back to them as soon as you can. Customers only stay customers if they feel valued, and that means they need to feel they are important enough for you to stay in touch with them and to let them get in touch with you.
Monday, April 26th, 2010
It’s a blind date and you’ve been set up by your BFF with one of her boyfriend’s work colleagues. You’ve spent most of the afternoon getting ready, you’re on your way to the snazzy restaurant you both settled on and you’re starting to get a little nervous and wondering if he’ll be attractive, nice, interesting or funny – or all of the above.
Then you walk through the door and none of that matters. He takes one look at you and bolts through the back door! What did you do wrong? You didn’t even get to say hello. What on earth could have caused him to flee so suddenly?
Do you think the fact that you are wearing a wedding dress just might have had something to with it? Err duh! Of course! Who turns up to a blind date in a wedding dress? It screams D E S P E R A T E!!! And no-one wants to go out with someone who is that desperate – do they?
So is your business wearing a wedding dress?
What I’m really asking is: are you desperate for more clients? Has the last year and the economic crisis had a negative impact on your business? Is your business struggling? Would you do anything to get a flood of new clients through the door?
If you answered YES to any of these questions or would answer yes to anything remotely similar then your business is wearing a wedding dress and your clients and potential clients can probably tell that you are – just as easily as that guy could see the wedding dress (and his blind date) walking through the door of that snazzy restaurant!
The one thing that won’t get you more clients, more business, more money is looking like you are desperate for any of them. The key to having clients that are confident in you and your business is to maintain that confidence yourself. After all, most small businesses go through a quite patch at some point – mine did last summer – but what I didn’t do was panic.
Yes I was worried – it’s not nice to have a quiet time when you run your own business it’s lonely out there – but I stayed confident in what I was offering and the one thing I didn’t do was turn up in a wedding dress.
So what does a business wearing a wedding dress look like?
Quite simply it looks like any business that is doing this:
- Slashing their prices left, right and centre
- Over-marketing to the same groups of people or subscribers – this includes too many emails or too much follow-up
- Knee-jerking by trying to create new services or products without really planing them properly or thinking them through
- Coming on too strong in potential sales situations and then giving away too much too easily
- And many more
And just as turning up to a blind date in a wedding dress can be a bit frightening to the other party, so are the actions of any business that is panicking. People are turned off by it and may ultimately wonder if there is something wrong with your business which is causing you to panic.
So, even if times have been or still are tough -and they are for many – the one thing not to do is panic. Your customers and potential customers will know it and this will not encourage them to walk through your door but rather run the other way.
Confident marketing and branding is always important but never more so when things are hard and it’s easy to have a wobbly. Have a sit down and think about what it is that is keeping customers away (it’s usually more than just money) and see what you can do to fix it in terms of your marketing or your business model. Get creative and have fun with it – after all you have some time on your hands so you might as well stay positive and put it to good use!
Just remember to keep that wedding dress locked tightly away in the closet and make sure you have your best Marc Jacobs or Caroline Herrera outfit on!
Monday, February 15th, 2010
How to quick-start, kick-start your marketing….
If you know you should be doing marketing for your business but aren’t getting round to it then here are a few ideas to get your marketing off the ground, quickly:
- Find ONE networking group in your area and go along as a guest – more groups will let you participate as a member and you can meet new people quickly and easily without spending a fortune. It will also give you the opportunity to see if you might even want to join that networking group. If, however, you don’t think it’s for you then you haven’t spent a fortune to find this out.
- Sort out your email signature – if this doesn’t have – at the very least – your website address and your phone number in it – along with your logo, then you are wasting a FREE marketing opportunity every single time you send out an email. Ideally your email signature should also have a client testimonial in it and you can think about changing that every few months or so and perhaps promoting any special offers you have going on.
- Either start a blog or find one that perhaps you can guest post on. This is more simple than it sounds: go into Google Reader, browse or search for different types of blogs that have a relevance for your area of expertise or knowledge, visit the blog and send the owner an email offering your guest post services. You will get yourself some quick and easy online exposure (especially if it is a well-read blog) as your post will have your name, business and web link in it.
That’s it: a 1,2,3 way to quick-start, kick-start your marketing. It’s always hard to find time to market your business but if you need more customers then, without marketing, how do you think they are going to know about you?
Go on, get started today!!
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Spreading the word – proving your expertise!
- Establishes your knowledge and expertise on your chosen topic
- Enables you to communicate with your target market (and more) on any topic of your choice (of course it should be relevant to them)
- Provides a forum via your author biography or article resource box for you to ‘brazenly’ promote your business (in conjunction with the expertise piece this works really well)
- Creates inbound links to drive people to your website or blog (as long as you remember to include the URL in your bio or resource box!)
- Raises your profile and adds to your credibility as an expert
- Gives your target market the opportunity to learn more about your field of expertise (and your business) in a non-sales way
- Has a positive impact on your website’s page ranking and SEO results rankings
- Provides you with a range of information that you can leverage in a number of other ways such as using the information for a newsletter, a blog post, put it on your website, use in a presentation, part of an ebook or series and more….
So you can see that just by writing one article and submitting it online the results of that can be impressive. Of course, the more articles you write the better and more impressive the results will be. It won’t work just to submit one article – but it is a start!
And that’s where most people STOP!
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
This post covers what I think is one of the most effective ways of generating leads for your business: Networking – the traditional face to face type.
As most networking groups wind down for the Christmas break, now is the perfect time to look at what your networking strategy is going to be for the New Year. And by strategy I simply mean how are you going to be using networking to promote your business?
Networking is Marketing
If you aren’t doing any networking as yet for your business, it is certainly something you should be thinking about. Networking is a very useful marketing strategy. To get the most out of your networking, however, you need to consider the following:
1. Networking is a long-term strategy. You may think that if after your first networking meeting you don’t walk away with a new client then it has been a waste of time. Wrong! Although it is certainly possible to walk away from your very first meeting with a new client (or a potential one), it is not how you should be viewing your networking strategy. Networking is about meeting new people, developing relationships with them and establishing your credibility with those people.
2. Networking is NOT selling. I like to think of networking as a press release rather than an advert. You do not walk into a networking event and shout, “Hey I’m from Just Too Busy, I do marketing, come and buy from me or send me people who will!” That’s networking as advertising and there are some groups who think this is how it works.
What you should be doing is talking and listening to people at the event, perhaps making some suggestions based around your area of expertise, offering advice, giving feedback – basically being helpful and demonstrating that you know what you are talking about and are not at all interested in the sell, but in building relationships with your fellow networkers.
3. Networking is about brand. Taking into account points 1 and 2 above, your networking is about your brand. Your brand is the essence of your business and should be what you aim to promote at every single networking event. Promoting your brand means ensuring that you have a clear “elevator pitch” – one that tells people what you do without the sell attached. It also means that you have a very clear understanding of your business brand including your service/product offering and your target market.
4. Networking is about getting business. At the end of the day, networking should be about getting new business for your business. This must be the point of any marketing in the end. But it is how you approach that getting of new business that defines the type of marketing strategy you use. Networking is essentially about building relationships, establishing your credibility and promoting your business with a long-term view. Any networking that promotes quick wins or instant referrals isn’t promoting the type of networking that really works, the type that I like to call “authentic networking”.
So what is Authentic Networking? For me Authentic Networking is:
* Long-term investment of time (not just money)
* Developing new relationships (not just buyers)
* Being there to establish your credibility (not just status)
* Looking to gain freely given testimonials (not just pressured referrals)
* Helping your fellow networkers where you can (not just looking to sell, sell, sell).
So, whether you are already networking or whether you have yet to start, I hope these points will help you approach it in a way that in the long-term, both for getting you new business and for your reputation, will, I think, do you and your business the most good.
If you have any questions about your networking strategy then feel free to get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: business marketing, business networking, how to develop your brand, marketing for small business, marketing tips, networking for your business, networking is marketing, successful marketing
Posted in Just Too Busy, Marketing | 1 Comment »
Friday, November 13th, 2009
Use joint ventures to cut your marketing budget in half and double your list…
Small businesses are always looking for ways to save money – especially right now. Joint venture marketing is a perfect way to do this. You share the costs and you share the list.
And it’s EASY!
So in this installment of the Marketing Basics: 17 Ways to Generate Leads for your Business, I am going to give you some ideas on how you can generate leads for your business while keeping your costs down using joint venture marketing. (more…)
Tags: business marketing, joint venture marketing, Marketing, Marketing basics, marketing budgets, marketing for small business, marketing tips, small business marketing, successful marketing
Posted in Just Too Busy, Marketing | Comments Off
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
How to break free of the marketing activities
that everyone else says you should be doing!
As a small business owner, responsible for pretty much everything from running the finances, to making the tea, from organising your diary to doing the marketing, have you ever felt overwhelmed by all the different marketing activities you think you should be doing – because everyone else is?
I know I have done in the past!
I have spoken to three people in the last week or so where the topic of conversation was just this: what marketing should I be doing and how do I know it’s the right thing?
With more and more ways to communicate with your target market, it seems that the choices for marketing activity is just growing. The explosion of social media has just compounded this. For example some people say that to be effective in your marketing you SHOULD be doing a monthly email newsletter, a weekly or daily blog, Twittering like crazy and regular online networking etc.
WRONG! Your marketing, your specific marketing for your specific small business, is just that: specific. Just because other people are doing those things, doesn’t mean you have to or SHOULD.