Don’t Focus On Your Goals. Focus On This Instead.

Don’t Focus On Your Goals. Focus On This Instead.

“You don’t rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.”

– James Clear, Atomic Habits

Nothing makes me happier than achieving a goal for my clients.

As a marketer achieving client goals is arguably the most important part of my job, but what many people fail to realize is most goals will fail without proper systems in place to help execute the strategy to accomplish those goals. In his book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, Scott Adams says that “Goals are for losers.

He goes on to explain, “Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous pre-success failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out.  Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do.

Seeing the quote above resonated with me as a new business owner, and as a marketer. Systems give us something to focus on immediately, while goals are often established for the future (typically quarterly, or annually). Because goals do not provide immediate information and gratification, it makes sense that when you focus more on your goals than the systems you have in place to help achieve your goals, you are living in a constant state of failure until your goal is met.

In my business I get around this state of failure by establishing micro goals monthly that allow me to provide almost immediate value to clients. These micro goals also allow me to predict whether or not we are on track to hit our quarterly and annual goals. Guess what! The act of establishing micro goals is actually an example of a system. It’s just one of many systems I have in place in my business to propel my clients forward.

Here are some of the ways I ensure the systems in place streamline and grow my business, and my client’s businesses as well.

Automation

At its core, a system should be something automatic that solves a problem in your business. One of the things that I struggled with when launching my own business was prioritizing my digital content. Between managing client work and working a second job, my own digital presence was taking a backseat. Using scheduling software like Later, I have been able to schedule content for my social platforms in batches – rather than having to find time every day to post content. Automated systems help you use your time effectively and improve your productivity and should be implemented by your business as often as possible.

Evaluation

Once your systems are in place you MUST make sure they are actually working for your business. When I started working in the marketing industry, on-boarding clients was chaotic. It took several phone calls, emails, and hours of planning before services even started being executed – and most importantly, it disrupted workflow for existing clients. After finding that process ineffective, I was able to implement new (and automated) systems to streamline the process. I traded in an initial discovery call for a quick, 10 question survey for prospective clients to fill out prior to our first meeting. The survey included a link to a calendar to schedule our first phone call/in-person meeting. This survey allowed me to collect data on their perceived marketing needs prior to our meeting, rendering initial discussions irrelevant, and allowing me to tailer the content I brought to our meeting specifically to their needs.

Revision

If your system isn’t working – fix it, but also be sure you’ve given the system time to work. Don’t change your system just because you forget to follow a week after you implement it or because the first few weeks you find yourself needing a checklist to ensure you are completing all steps as needed. While a system can work immediately, you will likely need some time to adjust to a new way of doing things. I prefer giving myself 60-90 days to evaluate a new system to determine what is working and what isn’t. From there, I try tweaking small parts of my systems in places I think it may be flawed rather than changing my entire system completely. This ensures systems ultimately have longevity so I am not constantly changing systems for my business (creating more hassle than it’s worth).

Setting up your systems will take time in the beginning but in the long run, your systems will save you hundreds of hours of frustration and stress. Do you have any systems in place?

Keep Your Customers During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Keep Your Customers During the Coronavirus Outbreak

As an introvert who works from home, social distancing in light of the Coronavirus epidemic is a piece of cake. But as a small business owner, the negative impact this epidemic can have on your business is likely looming over your head and causing severe anxiety.

While these are definitely scary times, this is also an opportunity for you to utilize the time you are given to make a plan for your business and consider different pivots you may be able to make during this time to help keep your business afloat while clients and customers are staying in.

Your hands may be tied in regards to a lot concerning your business right now, but how you spend your time is totally up to you – so today I am sharing a few different tactics you may consider implementing immediately, or in the coming weeks, to help maintain relationships with clients and generate sales.

Promote Gift Cards

If you don’t already, make gift cards available for purchase online. While your clients may not be able to utilize them immediately, gift cards often have no expiration date, meaning they can be used for future goods/services once business resumes as normal.

Get Digital

This is a great option for those that offer educational services (dog trainers, nutritionists, etc). There are a couple of different options for digital streaming, the first being recording videos of lessons in advance and hosting them online. For a small fee, your members can “unlock” your video content to consume at their leisure. Another option is to take to social media and live stream a training session, host a Q+A, or share information about a subject you consider yourself an expert in. Not only will you keep clients engaged with your business, but you’ll give them something to do while they practice social distancing.

Sell Merchandise

Similarly to gift cards, if you have merchandise on hand, you may consider selling it to customers still utilizing your business or offering it for sale online. Shipping isn’t currently affected by CVOID-19, but be sure to keep that in mind when you consider whether or not you want to sell products online.

Plan an Event

I’ll say it again. The best thing we can do right now is utilize the time we are given. So plan for the future! It’s never too early to begin planning and preparing for the time when you get the green light to operate your business as normal, and with quarantines going into effect and business slowing, you have the time, take advantage of it! Start thinking about ways you can really give your business a boost once the dust starts to settle and things begin to resume as normal.

The key to all these tactics is being candid with your clientele about how participating and taking advantage of your offerings directly affects your business and your team during these difficult times. Make sure your messaging is clear when promoting any new tactics you begin to implement and answer any questions your clients may have in a timely manner and be as direct/open/honest as possible or as you feel comfortable.

Stand Out From Your Competitors in 2020

Stand Out From Your Competitors in 2020

If you read my most recent post, you now have a clear goal defined for 2020. Congrats! You are well on your way to amplifying your businesses success this year, but there are still a few key things to explore in your business to guarantee success.

Today, I’m going to tell you how to determine what your USP is. Unique Selling Proposition, or Unique Selling Point, is the special sauce that helps your business stand apart from other businesses selling a similar product or service. Simply put, it’s what makes your business unique. And it can play a pivotal role in your brand voice and marketing message.

Your Unique Selling Point may be subtle, or it may have jumped out at you as a strength in the SWOT analysis you completed after reading my most recent blog, but every business has one. The good news is that your USP is relatively easy to discover with just a few steps.

Identify benefits of your product or service.

Does your restaurant prepare authentic Italian fare in an area full of burger joints? Maybe your dry cleaning business delivers. Take some time right now to write a list of different ways your ideal customer benefits from your product or service.

How does your product or service make people feel?

Maybe you sell Italian food a half mile away from Little Italy, or every dry cleaner in your area delivers. It happens. So now think about how your product or service makes your customer feel. Do you pride yourself on treating everyone who walks through the door like family? That could be your Unique Selling Point! Take another minute and add every emotional need your product or service meets to the list you started.

What do you do that your competition doesn’t?

Take the list you created, and narrow it down to things that your competitors don’t, or can’t, do. This is where the market analysis you’ve conducted will come in handy as it will give you a reference to determine what your competition is doing already.

What is left on your list that stands out or is important to you? What can be maintained, or even elevated? There is your Unique Selling Point.

Once you know you’re Unique Selling Point you can leverage it in all forms of marketing to help you achieve your business goals in 2020.

What business large or small has a USP that you immediately recognize? The one that immediately comes to mind for me is: Expect more. Pay less. What business uses that as their USP?