We all recognise that whatever you’re doing the first step is the hardest to take.
Below are just a few things I want you to think about today, this applies even if your business has been running for a few years but isn’t doing well or not as well as you expected:
Where do you want you and your business to sit in the marketplace?
Who are your ideal clients and what do they look and sound like, get specific here.
What is your number, how much do you need to make each week, month or year to pay your bills and live a full and happy life?
What is your ‘superpower’, what are you good at and what can you teach, coach or mentor others to do successfully?
If your business could bring you anything what would it be? Happiness, wealth or a ………… you fill in the blanks?
These are just some of the ways positioning your business and your life can help you really laser focus on what you have to do to make your business and your life a success.
But what if you can’t really do this yourself? What if you don’t have the discipline to really knuckle down and make the business, or your life, work the way you want it to?
Then you need a coach or mentor. It’s a simple as that. Please don’t put this off any longer. If your life or business isn’t living up to your expectations then please find someone who can help you. You can even switch this around. If you think you can help someone achieve their goals and dreams then do it. There isn’t a better feeling in the world than helping someone achieve greatness, trust me.
Wherever you sit, needing help or the ability to give help you owe it to yourself to do it.
Let’s focus on the fact that you need help
Most people who fall into this category never really realise they need help, they blindly go on doing the same thing over and over again, really poorly. Trust me I know through bitter experience.
Find someone who you can work with, it could be a friend or a business person you admire and trust, ask them for advice and be honest about why you’re asking. Tell them your business or life sucks and that you want to do everything thing you can to change it and you want their help.
Once you have asked and got over that initial embarrassment of asking, yes it can be extremely embarrassing, I can guarantee that you will feel 100% better in yourself and your outlook.
Please do not make the mistake of thinking this is a weakness, the amount of people I meet who think admitting they need help, especially in the business world, is a weakness is astounding. Shout it from the rooftops if you have to but get some help.
What are the traits of a good mentor? Here are just a few…
Empathy, they must have empathy with your situation
The ability to listen
Help when help is needed. People and business fail and good mentor is there to help pick you up
Teach, the ability to teach what they know is key
Time, a mentor will give you their time until the problem is solved
These are just a few of the characteristics of a good mentor should possess but I am guessing, because you are reading this, that you knew this already, why, because this is exactly the type of person who could help you turn your life and business around.
I will say this again I closing. Don’t leave this to chance because you only have one life…live it happy and live it full and have the business you were meant to have.
As some of you might know I am a drummer of sorts and I only bring it up in the business world when I think its relevant.
The video below is of John Bonham, the Led Zeppelin drummer, and I use this example of his Moby Dick drum solo to pose a few questions and get you thinking about your business, your audience and the value and expertise you bring to them.
“How much value are you bringing your audience?”
The reason I ask this is because John Bonham is still been talked about as one of the most influential drummers of all time, not just in rock drumming either, over 20 years after his untimely death.
If you watch this drum solo carefully as a business owner you can pick out things that resonate, or they should.
He has learned his craft by watching and learning from the great drummers before him
He doesn’t play to the audience or showboat. He is giving them maximum value
His concentration and attention to detail is unquestionable
Everything is in perfect sync, its seamless
There is lots of light and shade in what he does, he doesn’t do the same thing over and over again
The audience are mesmerized, just think how many people are at that gig and how transfixed they are with his skill
Every drummer there, and since, wants to be him
He experiments with different sounds and textures
He cares about the audience and how they are feeling at anyone time
This fantastic drum solo didn’t happen by accident it was crafted over many months and years
These are just 10 examples of a drum solo that you can apply to your business and remember this was performed in 1975!!!
If you want to be the John Bonham of your niche ask yourself, “What value am I bringing to my audience?”
I was talking to a business owner the other day and was really surprised just how many have no idea who their perfect client is.
So I thought to help anyone who might be struggling with this so here’s what I do:
Demographic, where do they live. Nowadays it could be anywhere in the world if you have an online business but vitally important if you have a bricks and mortar business
What do they look like, what’s their name, what’s their age, what’s their job, how much do they earn and how much do they have to spend? All these things are really important in building up a clear picture of who it is your trying to sell your products or services to
When it comes to clients you can’t take the chance on NOT knowing who they are
Get yourself a sheet of paper and start to build up a profile give them a name to begin with and you will find this will really focus your thoughts and efforts
But what if you’re still struggling to pinpoint them? Well the easiest way is to pick one of your best clients. The ones who buy your products or services on a regular basis, pay on time, and are just a pleasure to work with on a day to day basis and use this as a starting point. If you don’t have any clients yet then start with the list above
Once you have this nailed down then you can start to build a really detailed profile that will help you attract new clients and customers that are suited to your business. Let’s face it you don’t want to work with people who annoy the hell out of you do you? No life’s too short for that.
What next? Well you can start to give them, in this case, excellent value content, but for you it could be coffee and cake, washing machines, it doesn’t really matter what the product or service is just that you are targeting the right audience with the right marketing and promotion messages. There is nothing worse than receiving messages and updates from someone when you have no idea who they are and why they are sending you stuff.
I hope this has started you thinking about your perfect client and that you can go into 2014 with renewed vigour on how to find them and please feel free to ask any questions below we would love to hear from you.
So we are coming to the end of another year and it’s just flown by, disappeared, vanished! We all think “where did that go?” and more importantly “what did I achieve?” Now is the time to take stock and plan ahead.
I love to look back on the past year and use it to plan for the brand new year ahead. This always fills me with anticipation and excitement.
Some things we will have done well and some things we won’t but please don’t beat yourself up about it, its fine and not everyone reaches all their goals, there has to be some left for the New Year.
This is a good time to take stock and find out if you are still:
Having fun doing what you’re doing, if not then something is really wrong and you need to address it
Engaged with your clients in a meaningful way and not just ‘plodding’ along for the money
Do you have the right clients? I know this might sound a little silly but maybe you haven’t and you don’t know it? Here’s a great barometer to test this. If the phone rings and your happy to hear the voice on the other end, your client, then all is well. If not then it’s time to reassess if it’s a good idea to carry on the relationship
Making money, if not then a change is definitely on the cards or at least speak to someone who can help turn this around
Getting out into the ‘real world’ enough? This might sound strange but so many of us spend so much time either in front of computer screens or looking at laptops and mobile devices that we forget about real life interaction and how this helps us as human beings. Get out and live a little, do things you haven’t done for ages. Make a list if it helps but get out and enjoy yourself, the online world will still be there when you get back. You don’t need permission.
These are just some of the things you need to ‘take stock’ of for the coming year because you don’t want to be doing the same old, same old, do you? NO you don’t!!
This is my favourite part, what am I going to do next year that will make me and the business better?
For me this could be:
Planning a new seminar/workshop that will help you get more out of social marketing and your life
I really do want to help you achieve everything you set out to do next year and I want you to know I will be with you every step of the way. Planning for this is a big job in its self but very rewarding and fulfilling
Mentor a few more people and businesses on how to be successful online and offline
Write a book, I have promised myself this for a while and 2014 seems the perfect time to do it
Just be a better person to my family, friends and you
This is a short list, yours might be longer, but writing this down really does help you focus on what you need to do for the coming year. One thing I do know is, however successful you have been this year you want to do more, be better and help more next year.
That for me is the first question every person should be asking “how can I help?”
One of the great mysteries of life is how to be fulfilled? Happy is great but fulfilled is just a whole different level and something you should be striving for in all that you do. We all need help at one time or another, I know I do. So here’s one thing that you can do for yourself for 2014, get yourself a mentor, the definition of mentor, it can and does help your business and you grow beyond your wildest dreams. Someone that will help you and tell you ‘as it is’ with no hidden agenda or trying to sell you something is a godsend and I would recommend it to everyone.
I hope I have given you something to think about and to plan for in the coming year? Your life and work has to be something you really are happy and fulfilled doing everyday. There are no ‘re runs’ it’s a once only deal, if you believe some.
If you hate your job, change it, if you hate your life, change it. It really is easier than you think. You hold your destiny in your hands…no one else.
2014 is going to be your year especially if you take stock and have a plan.
It is estimated that we see anywhere between 2000 and 3500 marketing messages each day, a staggering amount wouldn’t you agree?
But in all this chaos we only look at and remember a very small fraction of all this stuff pushed our way.
Jayne and I watched the new series of Homeland last night on ‘catch up’ TV why? The adverts are cut out, or at least there is only one which we can decide to watch or skip. This lets us watch it without little interruption.
When I worked in email marketing we called this approach ‘spray and pray’ the definition is spray as many messages to as many people as you can and pray that they act on it. TV, newspaper and radio advertising is still based on this concept of disruption. I think in the age of connectedness and context this is a very ‘narrow’ view to take. There are lot’s of ways to contact people without interruption
A lot is made of social media and is anyone making any money by doing it? Well I would say yes, but then again you may think I would. But hold on a minute how can you make money? To me its an indirect way of making money. Let’s take a radio station they sell advertising to their clients and then broadcast their message on their behalf at strategic times of the day. Great you may think, well yes and no. How do they know when your target audience is listening? Take the TV model they sell advertising based on the program broadcasting at the time so you would think they would have a better chance at ‘snagging’ a willing buyer for their advertisers. But again how many times have we been watching something about polar bears and an advert for sofas comes along. The randomness is fantastic.
So think about social marketing, how can that help? Well it can for lots of reasons. If you take marketing your business seriously then you have to have at least one social channel to speak to your clients, customers, potential customers and anyone interested in your business. Social Marketing is a really targeted way of speaking to only interested people. If you get your content right and it resonates with your tribe then you are on to a winner. Now I am not saying abandon all other forms of advertising as it can bring in great results. But! The amount of advertising I see without any reference to social channels is staggering and a little puzzling because what should be in your advertising and marketing are links to your social channel/s then your visitors can start a more deep and meaningful conversation with you which in turn leads to more sales.
Now this is a simplified way of doing things but you get the idea.
So now we get to the crux of social marketing. Just because someone knows who you are and the services or products you provide doesn’t mean they are going to come over all warm and fuzzy and buy your stuff. No they have to trust you first before that happens. Or should I say you have to gain their trust!
So how do you do this? There is only really one way of gaining trust and that is give them what they want without gain. Yes thats right ‘without gain’ if you ‘dive’ right in with a sell then you will turn everyone off and you rarely get a second chance.
You have to target your audience with the right messages but you need to know who they are. It’s seldom your friends from school or college its those who have experienced your pain at sometime or other when running their business, this is how you resonate with them in the first place.
This about the ‘spray and pray’ analogy I gave you earlier, if you use this method then your message will be lost along with all the others. If you target your audience with ‘laser’ like precision then anyone who is really interested will get your message and in all probability spread the word about you and your business, they become brand advocators.
Look at it this way, the more time you spend on the people who aren’t interested in you and your business the less likely you are to find the ones who are.
So you have to know who they are and then you are in the position to give them what they require.
You can do this by profiling your ideal client. Age, demographic although that’s not much of a barrier for what I do, buying habits, problems they might have and how you can solve them. This will really help you focus in on who they are and the content you should be giving them.
In the next post I will explain how this is done and how it can really help you find your target audience.