3 Ways to Nurture Leads You Were Never Taught

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Entrepreneur, Featured, marketing | 0 comments

We are all connected. “Look up at the stars, they are the same ones I see”, is a go-to saying to folks when we have to be separated by miles. Connecting to one another is built into our core programming. All romances ultimately revolve around affirmation and acknowledgement. We thrive when we are reminded we are not alone. “Can you see me?” “Yes.” “Am I awesome?” “Yes, yes you are.” Done! Happily ever after.  I get it, you are overwhelmed. The word traction has been burnt into your mind.  You must get traction to prove your idea should live. Traction means real people using and ideally paying for your product. The vision for the perfect product often becomes blinding. The trenches of managing the product makes it difficult to see the world in which your potential users live. Entrepreneurs become bogged down with distractions. Motivation becomes centered around the product vision. 1. Re-Define Your Customer by Giving Them Back a Human Identity Listen to your customers Learn from them Encourage yourself and your team to engage them Then, only then can you attach numbers and analytics to them. Think of your leads as customers instead of numbers.  Treat them like customers, customers you already have. Use the numbers and the data to better serve them. Give them the best experience possible and they will be more than traction. They will trust you. Look up to you. Those customers will be your evangelists. Have a doctor’s mindset: Stop thinking like a salesperson. Instead, think like a doctor. When a patient walks into a doctor’s office with a problem, does the doctor state her solution at the beginning of the visit? No way. Instead, the doctor spends time examining the problem, asking questions and then, only when she’s confident she has the right answers, does she offer a solution. Apply this same approach to your selling.” –  by Marc Wayshak, Entrepreneur.com Invest in a quality contact management system. I have seen it done well in Excel, Highrise and Salesforce. Choose a system that works best for you. Record interactions with customers giving a seamless experience to the customer no matter which person on staff they work with. An impressive extra that startups have been adding is asking customers for a list of folks on their staff who are A-OK to talk with about their account. One startup even has their own, “safeword” (their word, not mine). That way instead of Samantha, your customer service gal, asking for your customer’s account number, she will ask them for their name. If their name isn’t in your contact management system then you ask for the business email address and safeword. If the person doesn’t know the special key...

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Refocus: Must Haves VS Nice to Haves

Posted by on Nov 9, 2013 in Entrepreneur, Featured, marketing, Tips & Tricks | 0 comments

Admit it, you are multitasking and it is failing you. Don’t worry, you are not alone. When I gather entrepreneurs into a group the common theme that always bubbles up is a lack of resources with an over-abundance of ideas. Those who are actively learning to master the art of focus get that the real goal is traction. Period. Must Have VS Nice to Have Here is the secret sauce, but I am going to warn you first, this information isn’t going to be of much value unless you put it into action. Sticky notes: Rummage through your junk drawer and find those lonely pack of sticky notes Pens: Test and try out pens from that same junk drawer and choose a couple that can be trusted. Quiet Space: Either lock yourself in a room or turn off all distractions. Flop on the floor: Armed with sticky notes, a pen and a quiet place to work it’s time to belly flop on the floor, you are ready to create. Start Writing: Write one thing per sticky note of tasks or projects you think need to be done for your business. Time to Sort: Now take each sticky note and ask yourself, “Is this something I must do in order to get my business from point A to point B, or is this something that is a nice to have and has a low probability of progressing the business?” The reason you are currently belly flopped on the floor is that I want the sticky notes to be within arms reach. Plus, it limits your ability to get distracted. Once you have finished sorting your sticky notes by Must Dos and Nice to Haves, move them into two pretty columns. Whew! Now you can stand up and grab your cell phone I know you are itching to look at. Flip to the camera, hover over your hard work and take a few pictures of your two lists. Then go grab your tablet or laptop and flop back on the floor, time to record all of those great sticky notes. Personally, I typically recommend recording both columns in a Google Doc spreadsheet. Must Haves 1st Now, you have a list of things that will move your business from Point A to Point B. This will be a test of will: can you stick to this list? Can you keep your focus and maintain the goal of maximizing your resources? Yes, I know you can. Common Must Haves: Setup analytic reports: Google Analytics allows you to create custom reports that will magically be delivered to your email inbox. Reduce the time you need to hunt through Google Analytics and get a digest...

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Still Afraid of Writing Content?

Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Entrepreneur, Featured, marketing, Search Marketing, Tips & Tricks | 0 comments

Ta da! We are now living in a world of endless information. Whether you find yourself surfing Pinterest or lost in a Wikipedia hole users are still distributing a great deal of their time looking at search results. Google, its country cousin Yahoo and city boy step brother Bing are all happy to keep us marketers, entrepreneurs, Grandma’s, lady-with-broken-sink, or person-looking-for-a-dog-sitter hunting for just the right link, just the right answer. What Questions Do Customers Ask You? Sitting down with a friend of mine who decided to join the ranks of entrepreneurs, he was puzzled by how to compete with the Goliath’s of his industry. It wasn’t service, products, or even price he was confused about; it was search. To make it simple: what answers do you have that the web doesn’t? Can you position yourself as best-in-show when it comes to expertise? By taking commonly asked questions to your blog and using the content for social networks you are in a prime position to win over ready-to-buy-leads. Here is an example: So Fido needs to be watched for a couple days and my first search is casual. I have a few weeks until I need to make a decision and my neighbor next door might be able to watch the furry beast. However, getting closer to the vacation date, I still need to choose a sitter. This time I have a dollar figure in mind so I search for: Once again, I get three ads. Yet, what is different about this search? Some of you search savvy folks might jump up and say, “OH OH! Long tail, long tail, pick me! LONG TAIL!”. Yes, you would be right, but my conversion optimization folks would probably say this kind of search is a step beyond research: I am a user that is closer to being interesting in buying. So, dog sitters and dog sitting websites, I am a person in need of your services; I am your prey. Yet, when I was vulnerable at the watering hole only one lion was there with a result that was close to relevant. Take this as an opportunity to go back to your writing desks with a strategy to provide valuable information that will attract visitors looking to convert to customers. Publish Both Questions AND the Answers Writing content, good content, is going to take time. Yet, if you can imagine yourself behind the counter and a customer walks up to you asking the most common questions, how do you respond? If it helps, record yourself and type out your responses to be used in blog posts, pages and on your social media channels. Content Dipped in Gold Make a template: Add to your blog post or page...

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Does Marketing Feel like Hiking a Mountain?

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Featured, Lyndit, marketing | 0 comments

There was a time when I used to hang out with a couple of Iron Man athletes. They pitched and sold me on the idea that hiking up Mt. Si (a 4 mile, steep, repetitive scenery and deceivingly difficult hike) was an easy morning thing to squeeze in. I trusted them, and I trusted my abilities as during those days I was actively suffering at Crossfit, hiking regularly and could even splurge at Dairy Queen without a budge on the scale. There was no easy button, and if there had been one I would have stomped on it with every last bit of energy I had. Like Marketing, it’s miles, the sweat and the feet on the ground that go the distance and get the results. Pushing the Limits, Enjoy the PB&J While I may have oversold myself as an athlete or my Ironman friends overestimated my abilities I found myself hiking up the mountain pretty unprepared for success. I clearly remember asking my two super-human friends if I should bring something, like water. “Naw, you will be fine” they incorrectly reassured me. At the top of the mountain, I realized two things: keeping up with people that can run 5 minute miles for 26+ miles is almost impossible without contemplating jumping off the trail and, hiding in the bushes, I also learned that after you suffer for 3+ hours and finally get a chance to sink your teeth into a donated PB&J sandwich it will be the most delicious thing you have ever eaten. “Anyone who wants success in their business better be prepared to work hard on marketing.  It is part of the day-to-day work that will fuel your business. BUT if you want to sustain for the long-haul and not frizzle-fry, then figure out how to work SMART vs. working HARD on your marketing.” Lorrie Thomas, Web Marketing Therapy Become Scrappy If I hadn’t made it to the top of Mt. Si, I would have never known what it would take to do it. I have worked with a lot of underdogs and a few champions; some of those businesses rose from the bowels of Google to be first in every highly qualified search and converted visitors beautifully into users. Emails were sent out announcing to the whole company that our team successfully brought another customer on board which was the baton for other teams to take it from there. In other roles, I called upon the team and my marketing MacGyver skills. As a team, we massaged leads, sometimes for more than 6 months, before we got a nibble back. The idea of gently poking leads on a regular basis paid off. Leads converted or unsubscribed and the grueling customer lifecycle became less a stretch of patience and more of...

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Who are you? And other questions I ask myself.

Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in Featured, Lyndit, marketing | 0 comments

While Robin Hood, Rosie the Riveter and Gollum are seriously lacking in the social media scene, most of you reading this could tell me who they are. While you have better odds at winning the lottery than getting a resume from one of these folks, you could imagine if their CV came by your desk. Robin Hood would be a very personable guy to work with, however, he might need some extra training to become a barista. Rosie the Riveter would undoubtedly motivate staff to increase production by 200%. Meanwhile, Gollum might apply for a loan to open an antique jewelry business. The question of “Who am I” or even “Who are you?” can be a daunting one to answer. A few years ago I attended a conference hosted by Frank Kenney, called Bigfoot. An afternoon of educational sessions led by various experts in our area was great, however, the lunch keynote was ultimately what I needed to hear. Through  story, Rabbi Daniel Lapin shared how important it was to tell people who you are. He shared that it used to be that merchants would give themselves a descriptive last name to help promote their skills hence Goldsmith. The idea was to introduce yourself and immediately share how you could be of service and provide value. Explore the Question: Who are you? Everyone has a complex and evolving identify  Personally, I struggle with the idea that I could bottle up “me” into a clear cut vanilla flavored description. A few sentences? That doesn’t seem to cover even half of it. The challenge: create a straight forward, to the point and clear statement. I struggled with the thought that I needed to squeeze the essence out of my previous job titles in order to get the purest version of my skill set. Which wouldn’t be true as I am not my job title. I began writing down a list of prompts in hopes of guiding myself to the answer of “who am I?” Is there a common theme at the core of the majority of my jobs? What skills have risen to the surface and become my “cream” abilities? What are my job weaknesses? Where do I want to be working? What is my big picture goal of working? If I could do any job right now with the skills and resources I have what would it be? What do I truly dislike doing? What problems can I solve? What are my boundaries and requirements? Where do I want to be in one, three and five years? Where to Tell People Who You Are It’s time to do a little cleaning, dusting off of old profiles, and refocusing my pitch to those looking in from the outside. Places I...

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Revisiting Your Personal Brand

Posted by on Sep 24, 2012 in Featured, marketing, Tips & Tricks | 2 comments

Let’s steer clear of resume chat for this round of conversation. Nearly ever time the topic of personal branding comes up it is normally from a place of positioning to move out of one place and into another. While those hiring are drowning in resumes, having a strong brand is important to stand out. However, personal branding is much more than just serenading new paychecks. While it may sound awkward, I want you to Google yourself. Add ego-surfing to your buzzword flashcards. What do you find? Oh! Don’t forget to look and see what comes up for images too. You may or may not be surprised what you find. Tackling Personal Branding Step one: don’t panic. Step two: Personal Branding is for You. Whether you are happy at your current job or not, flush the myth that personal branding is only for job seekers and politicians.You can build a brand anywhere and anytime. I know some amazing engineers that have a legendary personal brands beyond their 9-5 job. “Gone are the days where you’re either an employee or an entrepreneur. We now have a culture that supports being a mixture of both” – Christina Smith, Your Membership.com Step 3: No excuses. I get it, it’s easy to ignore home improvement projects. Heck, I am still working on cleaning up from last winter’s savage rampage on my trees. If you have let your personal brand get a little dusty and rusty it is worth the effort to shape it up. “If we don’t carve the time to learn about the things we want to learn, we will never do them.” – Frances Advincula, Femgineer.com Step 4: Choose You. This may just be one your most challenging efforts thus far – pick out your photo. If it’s been 5+ years since your last “me” photo, it’s time to update it. Skip the professional headshot taken at work, the glamour shot you did with your buddies and any photos you wouldn’t want printed on the front page of the newspaper. Go for natural, smiling and personality filled photos.  “Realtors are notorious for using crummy, outdated photos. I rejected a realtor once because her photo was so… fake.  She had done some good branding work, but when I met her in person I was literally taken aback. She was at least 25 years older than she appeared in her photo. I didn’t discriminate because she’s old, I rejected her because she wasn’t honest with me. She purposely — knowingly — misrepresented herself. And for me, that’s a deal breaker.” – John Furgurson, Brandinsightblog.com Step 5: Sales is not a dirty word. I have come to understand that sales is a very broad term that for many years left a icky taste in my...

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