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?

Ask Yourself These Things Before Hiring a Marketer

Ask Yourself These Things Before Hiring a Marketer

You’ve made the decision to contract a marketer for your business. That’s great! Before you meet with your candidates, there are a few things to consider to ensure your interviews go off without a hitch and you find the perfect professional to help you grow your business and your brand. Often times, business owners establish a need for marketing before they determine why they need it. Don’t make that mistake. Read on to find out why, and learn some questions you should consider prior to meeting with marketing professionals.

Think of your business in terms of health. Say you have had knee pain for the past few months and you go to your doctor for an exam. Your doctor will likely ask you if you’ve taken any medications to help your pain, if your pain is chronic, and what your activity levels are like. You likely know the answers to those questions because you’ve thought about them prior to your appointment.

The same applies to your marketing needs. In order for someone to successfully help you develop your marketing plans, they need to know as much information as possible first. Below I’ve outlined 4 things that you absolutely need to consider before meeting with any marketing professional to discuss your needs.

Have you identified your business’s biggest problem? Have you tried solving it internally?

It’s important to know your company’s pain points prior to interviewing someone to help guide your marketing efforts. Be as detailed as possible when identifying your issues, so that when the time comes, your marketer has all the information necessary to establish a strategy that addresses your problem directly. It’s also helpful for potential marketers to know what you’ve tried before in an effort to fix your problem by yourself.

If you have many problems outlined or are unsure of how to identify your issue, you may benefit more from a consultation than a full time marketer to begin. Get the ball rolling today with your free 60 minute consultation.

Do you have a clear goal for your business in mind?

Let’s just get this out of the way – “make as much money as possible” is not a clear goal. Everyone wants to grow (aka make more money). When establishing a goal ask yourself how much you want to grow, and how quickly you want to get there.

Setting up a successful campaign that yields more money can be a total disaster if that growth happens too quickly and your business doesn’t have a capacity to fulfill those sales. While a marketer can certainly help you establish whether or not your goal is realistic (after a thorough analysis of your current marketing/business presence), it’s up to you to voice your expectations up front so that everyone enters the partnership with clear guidelines.

An example of a good goal is: “Last year we did X amount in sales, this year our goal is to do Y.” This goal will give your potential marketer an idea of where you’re going, and when you want to get there, and you provide real numbers that your marketer can use to break into micro (quarterly or monthly) sales goals to establish whether or not a campaign is working well and you are on track to meet your goal.

Do you have set expectations for a marketing role?

This seems like a given, but often times isn’t discussed. Please consider what expectations you have for a marketing professional prior to contracting an expert to help you, especially in terms of communication. Do you want someone who can join weekly team meetings to provide updates? Are you looking for a weekly report, or monthly? What do you want the approval process to look like?

Those are all things to consider so that when the time comes, you can address those expectations immediately and establish whether or not the person you are meeting with will mesh well with your current business practices.

Have you established a marketing budget?

Every single marketer you meet with will ask you this question because it keeps them a jumping point to start a proposal and begin planning a strategy.

It is 100% okay if you don’t have a solid budget established at the time of your interview. Having a price range in mind is often enough for a marketer to get the ball rolling. However, you should consider your marketing budget, and your ad budget and whether or not you will establish an ad budget, or run an organic (unpaid) campaign.

Ad budgets are often charged in addition to your marketing budget, both should be considered prior to your interview. Keep in mind: the marketer you hire will be able to determine whether or not your ad budget is reasonable during the analysis phase of strategy development and may change month to month.

Have you considered these questions and are ready to take the next step in growing your business? Let’s chat today and get the ball rolling!