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Top Mistakes You Can Make as a New Business

Working with businesses owners we see a lot of mistakes and successes. Especially for the new business or freelancer, the mistakes below can completely destroy your business before it has the chance to succeed.

Mistake #1: Striving for Perfection

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”

– Salvador Dali

As a type A perfectionist, I struggled with this. It also is the number one thing I see people starting a business struggle with, as well. Your business is your baby and you are pouring your heart and sole into making it a success, but being too wrapped up in the little things can keep your from actually going out and finding clients. If you find yourself:

  • Stressing over your logo
  • Tweaking every aspect of your website
  • Rereading your introduction email over and over to make it just right (but still not hitting send)
  • Working on perfecting your elevator speech before you attend your first networking group

then you may be focusing too much on being a perfectionist. Trust me, though thoughtful branding can help you land more clients, if you are receiving personal referrals, it isn’t going to stop you from getting paying clients. People choose who they are going to work with based on your personal connection not because of what your logo looks like. Then there is your website… Perfection for every site is a moving target. Your products and services will change. You will notice contacts respond more to one aspect of your business rather than another. As for the next two points, you are procrastinating! It is okay to want to define your messaging, but just getting out there and putting yourself out to prospects is far more important. Sure you want to make sure your messaging is just right when you reach out to that dream prospect or mentor, but these shouldn’t be your first contact. The best part about putting yourself out there before you think you are ready is that you get to understand what the market actually wants and needs! When I first started Boundless Marketing, I had my dream service offerings in mind. Turned out that nobody even understood what I was talking about! There wasn’t a market. I drastically shifted my messaging and began signing contracts almost immediately.

Mistake #2: Thinking you can get clients just by posting things online.

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work. Marinate on that for a minute.”

– Robert T. Kiyosaki

The internet and social media has shifted many of our mindsets about how you can get clients. Even through online channels you need to create a personal relationship with your network. Just posting your blog posts online isn’t going to cut it. I recently signed up for a program to Gain 100 Followers in 3 Days, just to see how other professionals where growing and starting their email lists. Guess what, these influential bloggers and business owners all start int the same place – asking friends, colleagues, clients, and prospects individually if they wanted to join their email list! If you find yourself:

  • Wondering why your networks haven’t converted into paying clients
  • Haven’t asked your mom, sibling, aunt, and grandparent if they want to join your list
  • Are frustrated seeing all these other people succeed

Then you may just be making this mistake. Start going to networking groups and collecting business cards. Take the email address you collect and shoot out a quick note following the template below :

“Hi NAME, I recently met you at EVENT NAME and loved learning about your business. I am in the process of starting an email list focusing on 3 TOPICS YOU WILL BE WRITING ABOUT, and was wondering if you would be interested in receiving the emails. My goal with list is to LIST BENEFITS. Are you interested in learning more?”

Not everyone will say they are interested, but the ones who do will help you grow your contacts quickly! We work with a lot of businesses who see varying amount of success through their social media marketing. The ones who see a return quickly are the clients who are complementing our marketing management services with their own outreach and networking. To see the best results from your marketing, you need to treat social media as you do in person networking. Create personal relationships and treat handles and usernames as individual people not just another account.

Mistake #3: Not Understanding Your Own Values

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”

– Roy E. Disney

Okay, so this one does tie into the branding of your business, but it really is getting out being your authentic self. Knowing your values helps you to better manage your time, set priorities, and work with clients you enjoy. If you find yourself:

  • Wishing there were more hours in the day
  • Being drained after meetings with prospects
  • Continually wishing you had done X, Y, or Z

Then you may be making this mistake. One of my first clients taught me this lesson the hard way. My values are Relationships (family), Creativity, Challenges, Health, Experiences, and Knowledge. Shortly after I began my business full time, I traveled to my brother’s wedding. I was ecstatic to see him tie the knot and spend time with my family. Unfortunately, a new client nearly ruined my weekend. As a people pleaser, I started bending over backwards for the client and found myself anxiously checking email during the rehearsal dinner. I wasn’t being present. Finally, I recognized I would resent my actions if I didn’t shut off all devices to be there for my family. Sure there was a nasty email from my client, but we worked through our differences once the owner understood my boundaries. If you find yourself stressed about client conversations, I urge you to lay out boundaries, guidelines, and a list of responsibilities. You may loose some clients, but they are the people who take up 80% of your time. Think of all the other things you could do to grow your business if you had 80% of your time back!

What mistakes have you made in your own business that kept you from success?

3 Mistakes that can Ruin Your Business and What to do About Them. Working with businesses owners we see a lot of mistakes and successes. Especially for the new business or freelancer, the mistakes below can completely destroy your business before it has the chance to succeed.

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Are You Spending Too Long on Your Headline?

Do you find that you spend hours rethinking and rewording your headlines? What if there was a way to speed up the time it takes to write a compelling article title, email subject, or ad header that actually gets clicked?

Have you ever wondered if more people would read your blogs is they had a different title? Probably! The most important step to writing is taking the time to understand your customers’ wants and needs.

So how do you write a winning headline that  will get you heard?

The following “formulas” from Mike Samuels of the McMethod are proven to get your read!

1. A Question…

Ask the most pressing question in your niche.

Example: What is the best software for webinars?

2. How-to …

How to X (try to use numbers in your X)

Example: How to make $5,000 in 2 weeks.

3. Liar, Liar

X Lies About Y. Here the goal is to induce fear. Your goal is to invert a typical relationship of trust.

Example: 7 Lies your marketing director told you about measuring social ROI

4. The Promise …

Make a big promise about results client’s can see.

Example: Get 1,000 subscribers to your blog in 3 days.

5. A Comparison

Why X [is better than, instead of, rather than] y. This works well if the comparison dispels major myths in your industry.

Example: Why you should be building relationships with referral partners not end consumers.

And my favorite quick formula for writing winning headlines:

End Result Customer Wants + Specific Period of Time + Address the Objections

Example: Make $100 in your first week while working only 1 hour per day.

Why do these headlines work?

Following formulas like the ones above increase clicks because they are specific, client-centric, and give actionable tactics that lead to real results. As long as your blog ties into the headline that you write, your readers will thank you. Most importantly, these formulas keep you from being vague.

As you are writing the headline, also make sure you know exactly what your client wants. McMethod gives the example of not saying “Lose 10 Pounds” if your client actually wants to “get ripped”. This obviously ties into being specific and client-centric, but can often be overlooked!

Have you worked on transforming your headlines and titles? How have you seen your open and click rates change using these formulas?

Write a killed headline in a quarter of the time

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How to Use Content Marketing to Build Trust and Credibility

If you’re the content person for your brand, you’re probably busy creating pieces of content that aims to give out information about your products or services. You may also be focused in writing content that tell about your brand’s story. Amidst the churning out of content, have you ever stopped to think about why people choose to buy from your company? The answer is simple. It’s because they trust your company.

Whether you’re creating content for your clients, existing customers or new prospects, it is important to keep in mind that the real purpose of content marketing is to build greater levels of trust with your audience. Trust and credibility are important to win the loyalty of your customers.

Use these tips to create content that will help you enter your customer’s world and become an important part of it:

Put people first

In order to build trust and enhance your influence, you need to remember who you’re writing for. The content you create should be relevant to the people you are trying to communicate with. Know their demographics, determine your niche focus and stick with it.

Deliver high quality and relevant content to your audience on a regular basis. Overtime, people will see your brand as a trusted authority. They’ll keep coming back for more once they see you as a trustworthy source.

Be consistent

People don’t have an idea how reliable you are unless they start working with you. But by observing your activities and posting schedule, they can decide whether or not they can rely on you.

Choose your social media channels carefully and commit to being there regularly. Also, make it habit to post new content on your blog and update your site from time to time. By turning up regularly and publishing high quality and relevant contents on a regular basis, you will start to earn the confidence of your marketplace.

Interact with your audience

Newsletters, social media updates and blog posts are a great way for your audience to stay up-to-date with your business. But it’s not supposed to be a one-way communication. Find ways to interact with your audience online.

You can ask questions, encourage them to send photos of them with your products, share their stories etc. Don’t forget to respond to mentions on social media and reply to comments on your blog. Through this strategy, you’ll be able to build a relationship with your target audience. Through this relationship, they will come to trust you.

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3 Ways to Turn Prospects into Paying Customers

3-ways-to-turn-prospects-into-paying-customersIn the B2B world, one of the marketer’s primary goals is to generate new leads. Most businesses have no trouble acquiring leads. The problem is, many of them fail to realize another important component of the sales funnel – lead conversion.

There is no point in generating leads if you can’t convert those leads into customers. After all, that’s how your business thrives and succeeds. Make sure you implement these strategies to prevent prospects from slipping through your fingers.

Quick follow-up

Time is of the essence in the business world. The speed at which your sales team follows up on the lead is important. Make sure that you follow up within 24 hours or all your efforts will be put to waste. Call them or just send a follow up e-mail. Offer to answer any questions that they might have. Sometimes, this is enough to get them into purchase mode.

People lose interest faster than you may think. As such, a quick follow up is recommended. If your sales team aren’t fast enough, they will move on to your competitors. Don’t let them wait.

Herd mentality

People are often influenced by the behavior of the people around them. This includes their buying behavior.

If you want a consumer to buy a particular product, you can use this to your advantage. Let them know how many people have bought your product in the last few weeks. This simple strategy can help boost your sales. If they see other people jumping on the bandwagon, they are likely to do the same.

Qualify leads

Not everyone who visits your site is interested in what you have to offer.  As such, it is important to determine which leads are worth your effort.

Qualifying leads can mean the difference between wasting lots of time and energy and landing a new, juicy business. You want to make sure you’re selling to right people. Check to see if they fit your buyer profile and their activities on your site before passing them off to sales.

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3 Ways to Turn Prospects into Paying Customers

paying-cutomersIn the B2B world, one of the marketer’s primary goals is to generate new leads. Most businesses have no trouble acquiring leads. The problem is, many of them fail to realize another important component of the sales funnel – lead conversion.

There is no point in generating leads if you can’t convert those leads into customers. After all, that’s how your business thrives and succeeds. Make sure you implement these strategies to prevent prospects from slipping through your fingers.

Quick follow-up

Time is of the essence in the business world. The speed at which your sales team follows up on the lead is important. Make sure that you follow up within 24 hours or all your efforts will be put to waste. Call them or just send a follow up e-mail. Offer to answer any questions that they might have. Sometimes, this is enough to get them into purchase mode.

People lose interest faster than you may think. As such, a quick follow up is recommended. If your sales team aren’t fast enough, they will move on to your competitors. Don’t let them wait.

Herd mentality

People are often influenced by the behavior of the people around them. This includes their buying behavior.

If you want a consumer to buy a particular product, you can use this to your advantage. Let them know how many people have bought your product in the last few weeks. This simple strategy can help boost your sales. If they see other people jumping on the bandwagon, they are likely to do the same.

Qualify leads

Not everyone who visits your site is interested in what you have to offer.  As such, it is important to determine which leads are worth your effort.

Qualifying leads can mean the difference between wasting lots of time and energy and landing a new, juicy business. You want to make sure you’re selling to right people. Check to see if they fit your buyer profile and their activities on your site before passing them off to sales.

 

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How to Get People to Promote Your Business

How to Get People to Promote Your Brand

Start-ups and small businesses are always looking for ways to get maximum exposure for their business with limited budget. Value is the most important word when allocating budget for your marketing campaign. But what if you could find people who are willing to write about your products and promote them to their friends for free? Yes, it’s possible.

Getting your customers to promote your business will likely spur some level of success. Here are some tips on how to get people to promote your business.

Find loyal customers

Keep an eye out on people with a history of buying from you. Now, you want to find people who are committed to your brand and loyal to you in more ways than one, and make sure you remember their names. These people are more likely to help you spread the word out about your business than those who made a single purchase.

You won’t be able to turn every single customer into an advocate, so you need to find those people who believe in your brand. Not all people endorse products for money. Some people do it because they like the product or they believe in the company.

Offer awesome customer service

If you want to get people talking about your business, then you need to go above and beyond their expectations. Meeting their expectations is good as well, but chances are, they won’t be singing your praises either.

Build a relationship

When it comes to building advocates, you should aim for ongoing engagement. You cannot just push people to do you what you want if they don’t trust you, so focus on the relationship first. Spend more time engaging them. Reach out and always respond to your customers. The closer they feel to you, the happier they’ll be to tell others how amazing your products and services are.

Referral program

Studies show that 83% of customers are willing to refer a product or service to their family and friends, but only 29% actually do. It’s because most businesses do not ask them to.

Referrals are the best form of advertising. In fact, they are incredibly well equipped to market and sell your products and services. All you need to do is ask. Don’t forget to say thank you every time a successful referral is completed.

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Tips to Get More Email Subscribers

emailmarketing While everyone is focusing on building a strong social media presence, others tend to forget about the importance of email.

Your email list plays a big role in your marketing campaign. It can help you build relationships with your target audience, generate buzz about your business and attract new customers. That said, it makes sense to continuously grow your email contacts.

Interested to grow your email list and grow your subscribers? Then you came to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll be sharing with you some effective strategies on how to get more email subscribers. Follow the tips below to get your first 1,000 subscribers.

Place a subscription box on every page of your website

Most website owners think that people would first access the home page before navigating through the site. But that’s not always the case. They may check your products, scroll through the “about us” section or any other page on your site. In order to get people to subscribe to your newsletters, make sure your sign up box is a prominent feature of your website. The more visible it is, the more subscribers you’ll get.

Content is king

You won’t have a hard time getting people to sign up for email updates if you have great content on your site. As a marketer, it is your responsibility to constantly supply your readers with fresh, relevant and informative content.

Offer an incentive

People love receiving free stuff. If you can give them something like a free trial of one of your products, a free ebook with useful information or access to an exclusive video, you’ll make an impact to your target audience. When done correctly, it can help you build a relationship with your audience and grow your email list.

Your offer should be interesting enough to your ideal customers. Find out more about your target audience and know what’s keeping them up until 3:00 am.

Run a contest

Social media contests are one of the most effective ways to get email addresses from folks who want to hear from you. You are free to hold whatever contest and on any social media channel you want. But since majority of the adult population has a Facebook account, you might want to start there. Also, ask people to enter their email address in order to participate.

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Reasons Why High Quality Content Still Matters

content  creationContent is the new method of advertising. Over the years, business owners and marketers have realized the importance of utilizing content in their marketing strategy. Because of this, most companies have made a commitment to push content out there to keep feeding the masses with information. Audiences today, however, have wised up. That said, the importance of quality content cannot be stressed enough.

Forget about the dry press release and the hard sell. Rather, provide your audience with good content that they can to share with others.

Here are 3 reasons why high quality content still matters

Helps improve your ranking on search engines

Every user is searching for content in some form or another. Some businesses, however, think that the more content they have, the better their chances are of appearing in Google or other search engines. What they fail to realize is that quality is one of the key ingredients of a successful content marketing.

Google’s primary goal is to provide users the best results possible. Search engines are getting better at sniffing out bad content. Google, for instance, constantly update their algorithms to ensure that top-ranking sites contain high quality and relevant information. Just having something on your site is not necessarily good.

First impressions matter

In this digital age, people first visit your website and read through your content to decide whether you’re a credible business. It is often the first interaction a prospective customer has with your brand. Hence, it is important to take time to make your website as appealing as possible.

If your site is full of bad writing and grammatical errors, users are likely to migrate away from your site. Remember, contents that aren’t well written convey incompetence and laziness. These are two things you certainly don’t want associated with your business.

Attention is getting harder to grab

With professional services firms now churning out more content than ever, there is far more marketplace noise to cut through in order to capture the attention of your target audience. Companies that provide high quality content are those that are succeeding in reaching their audiences and converting their visitors into paying customers.

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Tips to Get More Online Customer Reviews

BIMSReviewsWith today’s savvy buyers, you know how important online reviews are to your business. People would share their experiences and what they have to say about your company. Given that majority of the adult population spend most of their time online and would read reviews before buying stuff, these reviews, whether they are positive or negative, can have a big impact on your business.

Customer feedbacks do not only affect buyer’s decision, it can also help give you an insight as to what customers think of your business; thus, allowing you to make certain changes that would make your products, services and business better. Remember, it’s your customers that pay you, so make sure you listen.

Here are a few simple ways on how to get customers to review your business online.

Just ask

After you’ve delivered a product or a service, try to ask your customers for feedback. It does not necessarily have to be a good review, just an honest review. Don’t be pushy. Rather, let the customer know that you are very much interested to know whether or not they were satisfied of the transaction and that you value their opinion.

Offer incentives

Sometimes, the best way to encourage customers to create reviews is to give them something in return. It doesn’t have to be expensive. If you own a restaurant, you can offer a free dessert on their next visit. You can also offer a free gift or a free trial version to those who will send in a review. The better the incentives are, the more reviews you are likely to receive.

Increase customer satisfaction

Happy customers will be very much willing to share their experience with the masses through the web and social media. This can help scale positive world of mouth and attract potential customers in the process.

Improve your services and people will start talking about your business. Remember, it would be impossible for you to get good reviews unless you have happy customers to write them.

Customer survey

Customer surveys are a great way to get feedbacks. This allows you to get customers to answer specific questions and find out what they really think about your services.

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Tips for Writing a Killer Call-to-Action

bimspicIt’s not easy to get people to visit your site. Once you’ve hooked your audience, you want them to stay a little longer in your site and do something. That something could be sharing your content, providing information, downloading something, adding products to their shopping cart or purchase your products. Unfortunately, most people will not know what to do unless you give them clear instructions.

This week, we’ll be sharing with you some tips on how to create a clear and effective call-to-action. Here are a few.

Offer a free trial or download

Sometimes, you may have to sweeten the deal to encourage people to complete a call-to-action. One of the best ways to capture the attention of people is to offer them something of value, and give it to them for free. Offer a free e-book or a free trial. People will thank you for it.

Size matters

Size does play a huge part in getting your call-to-action button noticed. Make sure it’s big enough that online users won’t miss them, but not too big that it looks like a monstrosity. Remember, your call-to-action needs to be sized sensibly. You should also consider the position of your call-to-action on the page.

Be direct

Keep your call-to-action short and simple to ensure that majority of visitors will click-through on the action you ask them to. If you want people to leave their email address, then tell it to them straight. Make sure people will understand it at just a glance. Don’t get all whimsical and critic.

Add a sense of urgency

If you have reduced the price of your products, let visitors know that the offer is only good for a limited time. If they do not purchase within the specified period of time, then it will result in a missed opportunity. Add a sense of urgency and include words such as today, immediately or now.

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