Marketing Plan Outline – 3 Essential Keys to Creating A Marketing Plan

Everyone knows that it is essential to market your business successfully.  In fact what most people dont realise is that marketing is far more important and impactful their business than even the product or service that they deliver.  So that your marketing is effective there are some key tips you need to consider first.

  1. Who is your target audience? Knowing exactly who it is that you want to hear your message should form the foundation for any marketing that you produce.  This will include your website, flyers, brochures etc.  Spend some time considering who is your most  likely ‘success story’, and this is probably a good foundation from which to construct an image of your ideal client from.
  2. What is your unique message? Ask yourself questions like “What has happened in my life that has me doing what I am doing now?”  “What has influenced me to be where I am today in business?”  You will discover that there has been an accumulation of events or happenings that has lead you to have the passion you have for your business today.  These things will form part of your unique message.  The things that no matter how hard someone tries to copy or model you on, will always remain your uniqueness to the market.
  3. Create a brand that truly reflects your personality, your target audience and your unique messsage.  Consider what your business stands for.  What are the values by which you operate?  You will want your brand to be consistent through all your marketing mediums.  This means your website, your brochure, flyers should all reflect the same colourings, logos or designs, tag lines and core marketing message.  Your brand shoud also refect your personality.  This way, no matter who you are with or where you are, you are always seen as an authentic representation of your business.

When you bring these three key points together, you will have created a powerful branding message that will attract more of your ideal clients into your business magnetically rather than having to spend thousands of dollars ‘chasing’ clients to do business with you.  Good luck!

Clear Out Your Junk!

Most of us are quite comfortable with the idea that it is a good thing to do a spring clean around the house once in a while. The thing we don’t tend to do so often is to do the same type of “Clearing Out The Junk” of our business environment.  New opportunities and clients can only come into our life if there is room for them.  Imagine your wardrobe full of clothes.  You are less likely to go out shopping for more clothes when your wardrobe is already bulging and overflowing with other clothes.  (Some husbands may disagree on that!) On the other hand, once you clean out the wardrobe, you might be immediately inspired go out and add something new to your collection.  It is the same in business.  What is often the case is that we are so ‘full’ with junk, that we either don’t see these new opportunities, or we are too crowded to be able to take advantage of them when they appear.

Recognise that you need to have a clean out. It becomes evident that it is time to clear the junk when you become despondent with your clients, you start to make excuses as to why you should not do something, you stop enjoying what you are doing, you don’t have enough time to get everything or you are finding it difficult to attract new clients.

Take Action – Once you recognize a clean up is needed, you must take action.  Take inventory of what it is that is keeping you bogged down.  It might be old friends that no longer serve your best interests, jobs or favours for others that are not making the best use of your time and expertise, re-setting of boundaries on your time. If you work from home, it could be that you need to clean out and re-organise your office space so it is a reflection of a productive and active mind.

 

Evaluate your intentions – Be clear on what it is you want to achieve from this point forward.  How many new clients do you want to attract?  What are your priority projects and what is the deadline for them to be completed?  What new connections and relationships do you want to build?  Clarity on your purpose will allow you to be open to seeing the new opportunities that will flow to you.

Perhaps set aside half a day or even an hour or two to have a good clean out of your environment and then follow it with evaluating your new intentions.  You will be amazed at how more productive and profitable you will find this exercise to be.

Let me know what experiences you have had when you have ‘cleaned out the junk’.

Why Is Your Website Not Working For You?

A question I often ask my target market is, “what’s your biggest challenge with building your business online?” And one answer I get frequently is this:

“How do I make my website earn money?”

If you’ve got a business online or offline, then you must have some sort of web presence. It may be that it’s a one-page ‘sign up for my list’ kind of site, or a full-blown brochure site with a menu of choices, or maybe your site is in the form of a blog. Regardless of what kind of site (or sites) you have, if they’re not doing what you want them to – and I am presuming that as we’re in business, ultimately that means making some sort of a profit – then it’s time to make some changes.

In business it is important to track everything that you do, and one of those things is knowing whether or not your website is REALLY working or not? Here are four strategies to test and track your pages to know what needs fixing:

1. What do the numbers say?

Some folks are under the impression that a successful website is one that you have spent thousands of dollars on to create the most spectacular site imaginable.  This is not always possible from your budget point of view, and quite frankly, the cost of your website will not be what determines it’s effectiveness.

For now, though, even an ugly site can make money. I know because many successful coaches and consultants have had ugly sites for years, and yet they been a very big piece of their success to date. In fact, I know they are raking in the bucks each and every month, year after year.

So don’t get caught up in having the most polished and professionally looking site. Focus more on having the pieces in place that will bring you the cash, too.

2.  Track Your Numbers

By using google analytics you can keep track of how many visitors you have to your website.  You can even break this down further and see where they are coming from – whether it be from your ezine, your articles, social media or other lead generating tactics you are applying.  From here, you can also see what action your visitors take when they are on your site.   These two sets of figures will give you an indication of your conversion rates.  You will be able to see what campaigns are working for you and where most of your traffic is coming from.

This will allow you to then reduce what is not working, and do more of what is.

3.   Just Change Things One By One

As you discover what it is that you want to change on your website, rather than make a whole lot of changes all at once, change just one thing at a time.  This will mean that you can see immediately the effects of the change and whether or not it was a good one. Simply changes might be words used in a headline, or the offer you are making to your visitors.

4.   Each Page Has Just One Job

Think of each page on your website as a separate entity all of its own.  Each page should have just one job to do when a visitor lands on it.  It may be to optin to sign up for your list, to call you for an appointment or to find out about your offer or product.  If you have several things for a visitor to do when they visit a page, they may become confused.  As a well known internet marketer Alex Mandossian says “A confused mind never buys”.  So, be sure that each page is clearly defined in it’s role and that there is not a lot of ‘clutter’  that may distract your visitor from the main purpose of the page.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on making your website work for you. Please feel free to leave your comments below!

The Motivated Mind

Tomorrow I will be presenting a training that I have put together titled “The Motivated Mind”.  I am really excited to be presenting this to a group of self employed property coaches.  I have designed the program to explore the real meaning of motivation.  I wonder what it is for you?

You may strive to find the motivation to move you towards your goals without realizing that in fact, every action is a motivated action.  Truth is, every action you take is one that you decide at some level to take.  The word motivation is from the root word motivate.  The definition of motivate is ‘a voluntary action that moves us in a direction’.  There is no mention of success, happiness, health.  So motivation actually occurs in both a positive and negative direction.

You might consider two people – one is quite happy lying on the couch all afternoon watching TV, while the other is outdoors running and swimming for a few hours.  You could be forgiven to think that the first person is ‘lazy’ and the second is ‘motivated’ to be healthy and fit.  In actual fact, both persons are equally motivated, just in different directions and to achieve different outcomes.  So in fact it is not motivation that you need to find, but to get the right direction for your motivation.

When you seem to find it difficult to move in a positive direction of motivation, this usually is out of a fear that you are harbouring.  For example, if you want to achieve higher sales and seem to find it hard to get motivated, it is most likely that you are in fact motivated in a negative direction through fear of pain that will arise from taking the required action. This pain could be in the form of making cold calls, fear of being rejected, fear of success perhaps.  Many of these fears are subconscious and difficult to identify at first.

A useful exercise is to list all the things you want to achieve. Then alongside each of the items, list what your fears are or the pain you will receive as a result of taking an action that would move you towards your goals.  Once you can identify these fears, it is much easier to then work on moving through them.

Simply realize that every action you take is a motivated action.  It will always take you towards your goals – whether your goal is to lye on the couch all day, or whether your goal is to become fit and healthy.

Leave me your comments on what motivation is to you…..

Results or Excuses?

“Each day you can produce one of two things – either excuses or you have results. Which one do you have today?”
This is a tweet that I recently posted because it really struck a chord with me. Why? Because this is the subject of many conversations I have with clients and colleagues.
So let’s take a look and work out which is true for you:
I want you to think of just *one thing* that is frustrating you in your business right now.
Once you have that ‘one thing’ in mind, what was the next thought that popped into your head?
What came up?

Perhaps one of the following:
– So-and-so hasn’t got back to me yet.
– So-and-so hasn’t got back to me yet
– It’s going to take too much time, money or resources.
– I’m not sure what to do next.
– I don’t think this is right for me.
– I’m feeling lost, confused, unsupported.
All of these thoughts and feelings are quite valid. And, they are all excuses.  You may prefer another word from ‘excuses’, but either way, if you are not progressing forward, making change and getting results, then I would like to suggest that the issue here is not truly any of the above.
In case you were unaware, I asked you to consider  – ‘what’s one thing’ – deliberately, because how we do one ting is most likely how we do everything.
That is what I want to emphasize here – to make you aware of the fact that for all the time that you spend focusing on the external factors as to why something is not working for you, will continue to feel frustrated and stuck.
Here’s an example that my sound familiar to you:
A client of yours may be stalling and waiting for all the ‘ducks to line up’ before they commit to the next stage in their business.  Perhaps they may even be frustrated by what appears to be a lack of support from you or another coach.  Rather than get defensive with this, when this frustration is shared, drill down to the real issue by asking a series of simple questions.

 

In many cases, your clients don’t take any action, including asking their coach (you) for the support they need. Once they become aware that they have everything they need to move forward, including the very help they came to you for in the beginning, they can often move forward very quickly. They will then start to ask for direction and how they can implement the information they already have, and very quickly they will be moving forward to their goals.

This ‘excuse’ mode probably does not stop here for this client of your.  They most likely find that they are doing the same thing in their personal life with family and friends.  Frustrated by their lack of support, yet, as soon as it is asked for, avenues for assistance and help become very evident.
So let me repeat:
How you do anything is how you do everything.
Think about that.
I’d love to know how this resonates with you. Please leave your thoughts below – and thanks!

Working from home? Achieve success without distraction.

Do you love the idea of working from home but you’re constantly distracted by things such as housework, kids, hubby and friends, and wondering how to handle it?
Working from home certainly allows you many benefits. Think about it: no traffic, commuting or annoying coworkers. But without the right mix of people contact and structure you can easily fritter away your time without the things you need to show for it, such as new clients and lucrative opportunities.
My very first business was run from home as is my current one and I am certain now that I would never trade in my home office for a “real” office, no matter how big my business gets.
Here are my favorite secrets for turning your home into what I call, a “success sanctuary.”

Tip #1 Know When To Close The Door
Putting in place your own boundaries is essential when you work at home, otherwise running a business can consume every waking hour of your life. These boundaries should include decisions about your work and how much you work. I get the most done when I follow a daily ritual. That means I don’t answer phone calls, turn on the computer or answer email until I’ve completed my personal, morning routine.
Likewise, at night I have an end of day ritual that includes shutting down the computer, neatening my desk and updating my to-do list for the next day. Rituals like these give you a feeling of order, which will help you relax during your off hours so you can start up again the next day feeling refreshed and recharged.

Tip #2 Keep Your Home Your Sanctuary
No matter how big your home is, I recommend setting up a separate work area for your business. A private room or area set aside for the sole purpose of  running your business is ideal but if you must share space then set up a screen or some other type of divider to separate your business from the rest of your life. Creating this kind of privacy will help you focus and feel professional.

Tip #3 Take Daily “Energy” Breaks
I tend to set a timer for a one hour block of solid focused time, then when the time is up I will get up and go outdoors for some recharge time. Some business owners crave company. Whichever your preference is, make sure you build that into your day. You’re the “boss” so don’t wait until you feel stir-crazy to take action. I recommend taking a daily social or get-back-to-nature break daily to keep you focused and inspired about building your business.
Tip #4 Let Your Family Know Your Intentions
Women entrepreneurs are easily side-tracked with household demands such as making lunches, laundry, playing referee when your kids aren’t playing nice, etc.
Listen, running a business takes focus, concentration and creativity, which you won’t have if you’re constantly interrupted with the demands of others, even if they’re your family.
It is important to let your family know up front that when you’re working you’re not available to handle their disputes or to “play mum.”  Share with them the importance of growing your business, then ask for their help and support. Let them know EXACTLY what the rules are, such as no interruptions unless the house is on fire or someone is bleeding (think I’m kidding? I’m not!).
Be sure to acknowledge their help in allowing you to grow your business. Above all, do NOT cave in and give up your priorities for the day. Successful businesses are built on creating strong boundaries so now is a great time to practice strengthening yours. Besides, when your family sees that “mum really means business” they’ll respect you and what you’re doing even more, in turn you will be an awesome role model for the people you care most about. Time you spend with them can then be quality time.
Home is Where The Heart Is…
It doesn’t matter whether you’re office is the dining room table or you have a private home office all to yourself, the more these simple tips are practiced  the more focused and professional you’ll feel. Remember that building a successful home based business is a dream that many aspire to and YOU can achieve!

I would love to know how you manage your work at home situation, or the challenges you meet.  I would love you to leave me a comment.