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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

MM Tip #4 - What Makes You Different?

Do people understand what it is that you really do and how?

Once you have completed your business plan and/or marketing plan, you naturally want to get out and meet some prospective customers.

If you have done a good job with your marketing plan, you are fully prepared for this face-to-face interaction with other business owners. However, it is one thing to have a thorough plan and yet something else to know what to say and how to say it in 30 seconds.

You have tonnes of competition out there and they all are looking for the same customers you are. For example, if you are a realtor, how are you going to make yourself stand out from the rest? What can you say in 30 seconds that people will remember? What about the health and wellness business? What will you call yourself? How are you different?

Remember that everyone can say they "give the best service", or "have the best products", or "the best trained technicians." Say something that your competition cannot say.

As soon as you introduce yourself, people need to understand what you are, that you are unique because you have deliberately found your special niche.

Develop a tagline that tells people exactly what you do.

eg: "I'm ___(Name)___, The __(Identifier)__, specializing in __(your specialty)___ helping people _(achieve)_. Did you know that    ____(a question that will cause your audience to think about your product of service's uniqueness)_?
I'm __(Name)__, The __(Identifier)___."

Take what you have discovered through your planning process and develop something that people will always remember you by.

Remember to speak with confidence from your diaphragm. Slow down and pause between your name and your company name. Enunciate and speak clearly.

I can't tell you how many networking meetings I attend and there are always several whom I cannot hear clearly enough to understand what their name is or the name of their business. These people have just wasted their time and money attending the meeting.

How you speak, what you say and how you hold yourself as you stand, all play an important part in your introduction. Develop 'posture.'

Once you have decided what you are going to say, practice it over and over until it rolls off your tongue with ease and confidence.

Never attend a networking meeting without being properly prepared.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

Thursday, 13 October 2016

LinkedIn Tip #71 - How do I build valuable relationships on LinkedIn?

Have you been wondering how to make the transition from connection to relationship?

This comment from one of my valued connections on LinkedIn speaks to this relationship topic.

"Sadly, I feel that a number of people view LinkedIn connections as a commodity and not appreciating that 'connections or relationships' take time and nurturing.

Perhaps you can post an article as to how people can make positive and personalized introductions - and make themselves compelling, not the other way around as inferred in your post here.Referring to my blog post "Why Should I Connect With You?"

In that post, I mentioned that connecting to people is not all about connecting, it is all about who they are connected to. I also mentioned that I had received a referral from a connection in Vancouver (I live in the Edmonton, Alberta area) to someone in Calgary, Alberta.

I would never have received that referral if I had not built a solid relationship with the referor.
I will mention here that I am also known as the "Relationship Queen". I work diligently to build relationships with all my connections that build the Know, Like and Trust required for people to want to do business with you.

People want to do business with those they Know, Like and Trust.

Hopefully this does not sound cold.

From experience, when we offer our help in many different ways for free, it always comes back to you. There is no thought of how this will come back to you, you are just interested in truly being a friend and helping your fellow associates, whether you are on LinkedIn or in a personal situation for real life.

The true secret to building solid relationships is that the relationships are built online, but real business gets done offline.

We move the relationship to a face-to-face of some kind via phone conversation, or video call, webinar, workshop, coffee meeting if they are in your local area.

The thought that should permeate our minds is that it is not all about yourself; it is about how many people you can help in some professional way. (I inserted the word, "professional", so people don't let their minds run a-muck.)

From experience, I have found that when I conduct myself in this manner, somehow, somewhere it all comes back to me.

After all, we are all on LinkedIn to do business, right!

We want to do business with people we have a good relationship with right!

Building relationships is not all about how many people we are connected to. It is all about how many people we can help to do business through introductions, referrals, wishing them good wishes in their new job or a happy birthday.

Remember that all those connections we have on LinkedIn are people too.

How would you like them to treat you?

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

MM Tip #3 - What Kind of Business will You Build?

Have you done your research?

All too often people start a business with a brainwave and a drive to prove something. They want to prove something either to someone else or to themselves. They want to prove that they can go it alone and that they do not need a J-O-B.

Another BIG reason people start a business is because there just is not enough income for the family. This is why 4 out of 5 businesses being started in Canada today are by women. (StatsCanada)

Women like stuff, like food in the cupboards. When we see that stocks are constantly low, we start to panic.

Women are looking for something that they can run from home, in the cracks, between running a family and having a job.

What are we...crazy?

Back to the topic at hand.

What is it that you will work "in the cracks"? How will you decide what business you will run?

Before you start going to opportunity meetings or the like. Before you renew your mortgage to take equity out of your home, think long and hard. Sit down and decide what would work best with your availability and what your resources are. What are you doing?

If you have never had a business of your own before, the first thing you need to do is find a coach that can help you put together a business plan.

Without a plan, you will most likely fail. 86% of new businesses fail within the first 2 years in Canada. (StatsCanada)

What is it that you need for your business? What is it that you need for yourself?

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

Friday, 7 October 2016

MM Tip #2 - What is Your Story?

No matter how old you are, you have a story.

Are you sharing your story? Sharing your story helps people to relate to you. They need to understand who you are and why you do what you do.

Marketing has been a major part of my life for over 30 years. During this period I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of different businesses. They are all searching for customers that they can help. 85-95% of these businesses have little or no marketing budget, so how are they going to get the word out to their audiences? -And for that matter, who are their audiences?

There are a myriad of marketing platforms online to choose from, but how do you know which ones to use? Which ones are best for you? Where can you find the most reasonably priced ones?

As a marketing expert, I have made it my responsibility to know where to find the best marketing tools for business. It is my responsibility to know how to market online through many different platforms.

I know how to direct businesses from FREE platforms to paid platforms. 

There are systems that are little known. There are systems that will help us start making money almost instantly.

I have access to over 30 different platforms for you to use.

If you are looking for FREE...I've got it!

If you are looking for low cost...I've got it!

If you are looking for ongoing marketing support...I've got it!

If you want to earn while you learn...I've got it!

What is it that you need for your marketing?

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

MM Tip #1 - Thou Shalt have a Marketing Plan!

Are you "Flying by the Seat of Your Plans?"

When I worked with the Business Owner Development program, a FEW years ago, it became apparent very quickly that most of the businesses I was helping had no marketing or business plan. In fact, 85% of them were technically bankrupt!

My job in this program was to work with 32 different businesses helping them implement the things they were learning into their own businesses. It was my responsibility to go into each of these businesses once a month for 2 hours and help them with incorporating the program principles into their businesses.

When I discovered that they had no plan whatsoever, we would sit down and draw up a simple 12 month cash flow projection, so we could get some idea of where they were at with their business. I will always remember the expressions on their faces as they realized that they were going deeper and deeper into the 'red' as the months progressed. The realization would hit them that they were 'technically bankrupt'!

All too often people get a great idea or inspiration about a business they could start and just vaguely figure out what some of the key costs are without realizing that there are many more things to take into consideration than just opening their doors.

Once you open your doors, who is going to come through them? How will you attract customers to your doors? Will they want to come in when they get there? Where are you going to find these so called customers? What will you help them with? Why would they want to buy from you? What is your competition doing? Better yet, who is your competition? 
What are your costs of advertising, production, supply, etc?

Most new business owners know what the rent is, internet, hydro, phone...the basics. Then they have no idea how to cover these through their sales of products and services.

Just doubling your cost of materials is not enough. You need to take into consideration ALL your costs, as well as what the market will bear, hence what the competition is charging.

I met with a young entrepreneur a few weeks ago. She had invented some great make-up that was natural and was selling her product for only a few dollars. My question to her was, "How much money do you need to make each month in order to cover all your costs?" Her response to me was, "$1500/month." What do you think she was missing in her plans?

Even if she was living on the street, there is not enough money to pay herself a wage that would cover her basic living needs. She had no idea where she needed to go with her pricing.

Is this you? Are you forgetting all the things you need to consider with your marketing plans?

If so, here's a solution, Rapid-Fire to Retire.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

Saturday, 1 October 2016

LinkedIn Tip #70 - Are You Being Nibbled to Death by a Duck?

Feeling like you are overwhelmed with all the "little" things in your business?

When you started your business, you set up all the free platforms for your online marketing, and then what? Did you suddenly get business? Did customers come flocking by asking for information on your widget for this and what's-it for that?

I'll bet they didn't.

I'll bet that you got everything all set up and then felt stuck because you had no idea what you were doing or how to use any of the platforms. Am I right, or Am I right.

LinkedIn is where it's at in the book of The Marketing Mentress.

For years I used the free platform because I could direct message people to build the relationships I needed and wanted for business. However, now we can only send 15 free InMails a month, and those can only be used through the group messaging system. If you are using LinkedIn for business, 15 InMails will only last you a few days each month. You can purchase InMails at $10/InMail if you wish, but it is far less costly to just purchase a paid platform.

On the free platform, if you want to make lots of sales through LinkedIn, you need to use many round-a-bout systems to build those relationships. It takes a LOT of time.

How much time do you have for your LinkedIn marketing?

If you are like most business owners, you are feeling like you are "being nibbled to death by a duck". You have a myriad of urgent things pulling at you every day, all screaming for attention. Right!

Here is what I have discovered is needed to make your LinkedIn marketing run on all cylinders.

1.    You need to use Sales Navigator, or at least the Business platform. (I went into this in one of my previous blogs. "Why you need to be on a paid platform.")

2.    You need to have a profile for business on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest...depending on the type of business you have. Retail businesses gain traction with Yelp as well.

3.    You need to use a paid auto-posting platform to pre-schedule your posts. I have tried free platforms, and they are so cumbersome that they did not save me much time. Personally, I recommend Sprout Social. (You get 30 days free trial.) On these platforms, you can connect all your social media platforms, including LinkedIn. Then you can schedule posts to automatically post on different days and at different times of day.

4.    You need to use either a cloud platform to store your documents, or continue to purchase external hard drives, but my concern with external hard drives is where do you store these in case of fire, so then you need to purchase a fireproof cabinet to store them in...more costs. DropBox is free. Personally, I prefer this, because I can access my documents from anywhere around the world, and do not need to carry extra hard drives with me when I travel.

5.    You need access to pictures for all your blogs. If you have an iPhone or the like, you can take great pictures, but do you have time to go take, edit and save pictures? I have a solution.

6.    You need to decide where and how often you want to place ads on LinkedIn or other platforms. More nibbling.

7.    You need a website that is search engine optimized. If you have a website and it does not have SEO, then your site will be placed way down on page 150! 

"Nibble, Nibble, Nibble mouse! Who is nibbling on my house!"

Hence being "nibbled to death by a duck"!

If you are finding yourself in a position where you are wondering what you need to do next with your LinkedIn marketing, contact me. I can help you make money unleashing the true power of LinkedIn.

Discover how to put it all together. - with less $ than if you paid for advertising.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress